Posted inNews & Politics

Puff Daddy

Union Pacific Challenger number 3985, the world’s largest operating steam locomotive, is making a rare visit to the Chicago area this weekend. The 20th Century Railroad Club booked the big engine for two day trips from West Chicago to Milwaukee, both of which sold out in a toot (at prices that would buy a round-trip […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Lightbox Orchestra

Free improvisation remains one of the most potent forces behind Chicago’s creative music scene, but since the demise of the Monday-night sessions at Myopic Books last year there haven’t been many opportunities to hear it in its pure form. In most cases free improv is for the players, not the fans: musicians navigate theoretically uncharted […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Summer Sketchbook

The CollaborAction showcase of 20 short plays (each under seven minutes long) includes world premieres by Warren Leight, Beth Henley, Wendy MacLeod, and others. The festival also features environmental design by Wesley Kimler and DJs between plays. “Summer Sketchbook” takes place nightly through June 16 at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division. Show times are […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Domestic Relics

Domestic Relics, Second Floor Adriana, at Breadline Theatre. This meditative late-night improv excursion, directed by ImprovOlympic veteran Pat Shay, pulls its ideas from performer-moderated audience discussion. Using everyday objects as catalysts–patrons who bring “domestic relics” to the show get a $2 discount–the cast reassemble first-person reminiscences into a single free-associative melange. At its best the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Shakespeare’s Women

Shakespeare’s Women, Plays Well With Others and Synergy Therapy Theatre, at Heartland Studio Theater. A man and woman encounter each other in a private room on the fringes of a formal party. He desires further acquaintance. She hesitates. This spurs a debate on the female nature, entered into by guests also fleeing the revels to […]

Posted inNews & Politics

TRG Music Listings

Rock, Pop, etc. concerts ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND Wed 6/19 and Thu 6/20, 7:30 PM, Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State. 312-443-1130 or 312-902-1500. ATMOSPHERE See Critic’s Choice; free in-store performance. Tue 6/18, 4:30 PM, Tower Records, 2301 N. Clark. 773-477-5994. BLINK 182, GREEN DAY Sat 6/15, 6:30 PM, Tweeter Center, I-80 and Harlem, Tinley Park. 708-614-1616 […]

Posted inFilm

ABC Africa

This is the most accessible film to date by Iranian master Abbas Kiarostami, though some people have been mistakenly scared away by its subject matter: the enormous number of Ugandan children orphaned by the AIDS crisis. In fact, much of this 2001 digital-video documentary focuses on the kids singing and dancing–at times it resembles a […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Four Brothers

For fans of vocal jazz–heck, for anyone merely intrigued by it–this one’s a no-brainer. Kurt Elling, who’s topped readers and critics polls in Jazz Times and Down Beat, has brought together his contemporary Kevin Mahogany and the two surviving vocal heroes of the hard-bop 60s, Jon Hendricks and Mark Murphy. The resulting quartet represents not […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Whether they like it or not, Soviet will forever bear the brand of electroclash, the New York neo-Eurotrash scene showcased at promoter Larry Tee’s ballyhooed festival last fall. Electronic musicians who’ve been so tagged, most prominently Fischerspooner, have been both lauded and criticized for being overly accessible and, like, retro to the max–everything from the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Stories According to a story last month in the New York Times, hundreds of young men and women in China have endured months of pain to gain a few inches in height and supposedly improve their social and professional status. The “Ilizarov procedure,” which costs $6,000, involves breaking bones in the shins or thighs, […]