Posted inArts & Culture

Illusions of Permanence

Todd Slaughter: Protected Comforts at the Chicago Cultural Center, through June 16 One hears it from television commercials and high-end art galleries, from art dealers and fashion snobs: ownership of objects enhances one’s worth. Identification with our possessions is even part of our language. “I’m parked around the corner,” a car owner says. “It’s you,” […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

DUB NARCOTIC SOUND SYSTEM 5/10, SCHUBAS The collective led by ex-Beat Happening front man and K Records owner Calvin Johnson doesn’t have a regular lineup, and it hasn’t released an album since 1999’s Sideways Soul (K), a collaboration with the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion (their companions for most of this tour but not in Chicago). […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

I’m a straight male who wants to suck some cock. I don’t want anything else, just to suck someone else’s dick. I want this to be very discreet, and absolutely safe. I don’t want anyone to know I did this, and I also don’t want any diseases. Any suggestions? –Wanna Be a Cocksucker Like all […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Sniffs

The Sniffs, at WNEP Theater. Wry Mike Myers look-alike Tony Mendoza and pretty, amazingly flexible Stephanie Sylvester (she does splits! she can bend over backward on a rope ladder!) are like high school cutups using pratfalls, dirty jokes, and stupid human tricks to get attention. Lucky for us these goofballs are charming instead of irritating, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Calendar Sidebar

On March 7, residents of 3542-44 S. State, in the middle of the Stateway Gardens public housing development, got their 180-day notice. As part of the CHA’s sweeping “plan for transformation,” the ten-story building–dubbed the “house of pain” by local gangs–is coming down in September; the 70 or so families in residence have to figure […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Seldoms

In Chicago’s kaleidoscope of a performance scene people fall together and apart, forming new and different patterns, often over a period of many years. Dancers Carrie Hanson and Susan Hoffman and performance artist Doug Stapleton have been kicking around the city for a while and worked together (with a few others) on a piece in […]

Posted inArts & Culture

A Song Time Ago!

A Song Time Ago!, ImprovOlympic. It’s difficult to be original in a spoof of Star Wars; after all, the first installment has been around since 1977. Yet writer-director Jason Chin in A Song Time Ago! makes us laugh, offering more than just the usual jokes about the Force, the relationship between C-3P0 and R2-D2, and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Good Housekeeping

In this uproarious and often scathing debut feature (1999), writer-director Frank Novak charts the dissolution of a working-class marriage, as a war of nerves between husband and wife escalates to absurd extremes. The wife (Petra Westen) is having a lesbian affair with a solicitous, upwardly mobile accountant, and the unemployed husband (Bob Miller), prodded by […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Vagina Monologues

There’s no denying that Eve Ensler’s cultural tsunami of female empowerment suffers from an occasional surfeit of earnestness. But if there’s a better antidote to self-important solemnity than Judy Tenuta, I haven’t encountered her–and the Oak Park native has stepped into the long-running show at the Apollo until May 19. Tenuta doesn’t haul out her […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Damo Suzuki & Cul de Sac

For vocalist Damo Suzuki, creativity is inseparable from spontaneity. In 1970, two members of the archetypal Krautrock ensemble Can encountered him busking on a Munich sidewalk, making up songs off the top of his head, and asked him to join the band onstage that night. He did–without any rehearsal–and proceeded to stay on for three […]

Posted inMusic

8 Bold Souls

8 Bold Souls don’t record much–a paltry four albums since their founding in 1985–but year in and year out, the octet remains one of Chicago’s best working bands. A prime reason is the composing of director and tenor saxophonist Edward Wilkerson Jr. He’s a master of recombination, grouping the players along various lines to good […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Writing Our World! (WOW!)

Writing Our World! (WOW!), Child’s Play Touring Theatre, at the Goodman Theatre. For 21 years the Chicago-based Child’s Play Touring Theatre has traveled the country performing works based on stories written by children. And their newest production is children’s theater at its most engaging, creative, and fun. This lively multicultural smorgasbord of catchy songs, short […]