Posted inFilm

American Movies

Engram Sepals (Melodramas 1994-2000) **** (Masterpiece) Directed by Lewis Klahr. Lewis Klahr begins the description of his new series, “Engram Sepals (Melodramas 1994-2000),” with a quote from the iconic Hollywood director Douglas Sirk: “The word ‘melodrama’ has rather lost its meaning nowadays: people tend to lose the ‘melos’ in it, the music.” And though Klahr […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Colleen McHugh

On opening night of last month’s Chicago Cabaret Convention, Colleen McHugh nearly stole the show with her bravura rendition of Edith Piaf’s “Hymn to Love” and comically melodramatic take on Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive.” But in her club act at Davenport’s, Songs of Self-Delusion, McHugh opts for a subtler style, deftly balancing understated poignance […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Rest of the Story

To our readers: Last week’s Reader carried a cover story by Juan Antonio Juarez, a former Chicago police officer. The story’s accuracy has been called into question by several letter writers, some of whom took issue with Juarez’s characterization of the late John Lyons. Others wondered at the reliability of recollections so many years after […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Five Guys Named Moe

Five Guys Named Moe, Drury Lane Theatre Evergreen Park. Playwright Clarke Peters’s premise is flimsy even by musical revue standards: a young hip-hopper whose girl left him is drowning his woes in booze and the blues when out of an ancient radio appear five hepcats from the swinging era of 1940s jazz, come to share […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Nobility Takes It on the Chin

Mirandola Noble Fool Theater Company The Green Bird Strawdog Theatre Company In 1727, a 20-year-old law student named Carlo Goldoni was so traumatized one day by the torture of a “sinful monk” in the town of Modena that he wanted to renounce the world. But his father, a country doctor, proffered an unusual prescription for […]

Posted inNews & Politics

TRG Music Listings

Rock, Pop, etc. concerts ANJB3 performs as part of the Version>02 festival exploring digital media. Fri 4/19, 10 PM, Kanter Meeting Center, Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago. 312-397-4010. ARBOR AVENUE STATION Free in-store performance. Sat 4/20, 8 PM, Borders Books & Music, 3539 E. Main, Saint Charles. 630-443-8160. BILLY BRAGG & THE BLOKES, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Gaza Strip

American filmmaker James Longley traveled to Gaza in January 2001, hoping to make a documentary about the second Palestinian intifada four months earlier, but after he was denied access to the PLO he decided to make this film about the precarious existence of ordinary Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. In the press package Longley is […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Composer and tenor saxophonist Russ Gershon started the Either/Orchestra in 1985, inspired by Sun Ra and Gil Evans. But the notion had already been brewing for a couple years–in the early 80s he’d played in a student big band at Harvard run by visiting professor Illinois Jacquet, and not long after he’d taken a Berklee […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Princess Superstar

For DIY musicians, it often seems the only way to leap from cliquish cult status to household-name stardom is to retool for the lowest common denominator. But Concetta Kirschner (better known as platinum blond, bumpin’-bodied Princess Superstar) has managed to make herself famous the hard way–without selling out, or even earning enough money to quit […]