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Posted inArts & Culture

Sweet Songs and Sour Notes

Cannibal! The Musical! Great Beast Theater at ImprovOlympic Alferd Packer, the only member of his six-man mining expedition to emerge from a trek through the Colorado Rockies in 1883, was the last person to be tried for cannibalism on American soil. With a bit of tweaking, Trey Parker has transformed Packer into a noble fool […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Farewell

In the summer of 1956, an ailing Bertolt Brecht spends one last day at his cottage on the outskirts of East Berlin, presiding over a wide assortment of lovers like an exasperated patriarch. Among the women jostling for his attention are Danish actress Ruth Berlau, editor and translator Elisabeth Hauptmann, stage ingenue Kathe Reichel, and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

George Coleman

Recording infrequently and devoting much of his energy to private teaching, saxophonist George Coleman dropped below most jazz fans’ radar for much of the 80s and 90s–despite the fact that so many younger musicians during that period concerned themselves with lionizing the elders who’d laid the groundwork for the hard-bop mainstream of the 60s. For […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Freaks, Sweetback Productions, at Frankie J’s MethaDome Theatre. Tod Browning’s 1932 film Freaks was too personal and extreme for its time and effectively sank him in Hollywood, though it was later recognized as his masterpiece. Sweetback’s “revisionist adaptation” creates a different paradox: director and company cofounder Kelly Anchors has thrown her heart into the production […]

Posted inFilm

9@Night Trilogy

San Francisco director Rob Nilsson casts his digital videos from an acting workshop he founded called the Tenderloin Ygroup, some of whose members are homeless people or inner-city residents. They improvise many of their lines, and because their performances lack calculation, they evoke the rough and tenuous quality of life on the periphery: people interrupt […]

Posted inNews & Politics

TRG Music Listings

Rock, Pop, etc. concerts PAUL ALLODI & THE A.C.E. ALL-STARS Free concert. Wed 7/24, noon, Bloomingdale Public Library, 101 Fairfield, Bloomingdale. 630-529-3120. MARC ANTHONY Sat 7/20, 7:30 PM, United Center, 1901 W. Madison. 312-455-4500 or 312-559-1212. ANTJE, RIPLEY CAINE, KATIE TODD, ANNE HARRIS, SUMMER CHANCE Benefit for the Chicago Abused Women’s Coalition. Sun 7/28, 2 […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The History of the Devil

The History of the Devil, Trap Door Theatre. One of the biggest problems with Clive Barker, as with fellow goth-scene patron Anne Rice, is that he acts like he invented the Byronic hero. This flaw is particularly apparent in The History of the Devil, a play that debuted about five years before his breakthrough film, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

DJ Hell, Traxx

Mulleted and mustachioed, sharp-dressed and self-made, as sleazy as a strip-club regular and as shrewd as any businessman–DJ Hell is Germany’s International Deejay Gigolos label. Hell (aka Helmut Geier) has been DJing since his teens, but didn’t start the label until 1996, at the ripe old age of 34. He began with a small operation […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Stories According to a May report in the New York Daily News, dozens of moneymaking Web sites have been created by parents posting photos of their underage daughters (some as young as six) frolicking in frilly clothing or swimwear. The pages operate like pornography sites, with teaser photos and monthly subscription fees; members get […]