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Filling a Need

“I think my wisdom teeth are loose,” Julio says as he leans back in the dentist’s chair. “The teeth aren’t really hurting me or nothing. I just don’t want to wait a few months and have to get them taken out in the emergency room.” Julio (not his real name) has full-blown AIDS, and he […]

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Crimes of the Heart

Crimes of the Heart, Village Players Theater. This Oak Park troupe has made several unsuccessful attempts over the years to elevate their shows to the level of professional non-Equity theater. With this production, their spot in the pro leagues is assured. In Beth Henley’s Pulitzer-winning Crimes of the Heart, three orphaned sisters are mired in […]

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Aunt Nancy and the Doggie Tales

Aunt Nancy and the Doggie Tales, Cornservatory. West African Anansi folktales save the day in Edward A. Thompson’s kids’ adventure. Meenah and Shelby are visiting world-traveling Aunt Nancy (a cheery Michelle R. Thompson-Hay) and odd, accident-prone Uncle Herbert (a comically blundering Kelvin Davis) when they discover that their dog, Jamal, is the last of a […]

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The Fiances

Italian director Ermanno Olmi followed up his first big success, Il posto, with this striking 1962 portrait of a Milanese engineer (Carlo Cabrini) whose relationship with his fiancee (Anna Canzi) suffers when he goes to Sicily to help open a steel factory. As usual, Olmi supplies only the hint of a plot, defining the hero […]

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Orson’s Shadow

Orson’s Shadow, Chicago Center for the Performing Arts. Austin Pendleton’s fact-based but highly fictionalized backstage drama concerns the tumultuous 1960 London premiere of Ionesco’s Rhinoceros, starring Laurence Olivier under the direction of Orson Welles. The project was marred by scandal–Olivier made the tormented decision to dump mentally ill wife Vivien Leigh for his Rhinoceros leading […]

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The Straight Dope

What’s up with menopause? As a woman in her late 40s experiencing hot flashes and other signs of the looming cessation of menstruation, I’m wondering why women lose the ability to reproduce while men retain it, at least theoretically, until death. Not that I’m going to miss the pill, tampons, etc, but there’s a lack […]

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Quang Hong

Quang Hong escaped from Vietnam by boat with his family in 1978, when he was four, and studied art at the University of California in Santa Cruz before moving to Chicago a few years ago. Today he occasionally sells his paintings on the street or makes sidewalk drawings. He traces his interest in art to […]

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Phedre

Phedre, Court Theatre. Director JoAnne Akalaitis combines the gestures of classical Greek tragedy with the flamboyant theatricality of Peter Weiss’s Marat/Sade to get to the heart of Jean Racine’s 17th-century version of the myth of Phedre, who had a passion for her stepson. Jolting the story out of its safe haven in the past, Akalaitis […]

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Calendar

Friday 9/20 – Thursday 9/26 SEPTEMBER 20 FRIDAY Singing and repetitive, rapid-fire movements are used to illustrate the workings of the mind of a mentally ill person in Teatro del Puente’s Los ojos rotos. “But it’s also a love story that anyone can relate to,” says a spokesperson for the International Latino Cultural Center of […]

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Phil Guy

Guitarist Phil Guy grew up in Lettsworth, Louisiana, absorbing acoustic sides by Smokey Hogg, Lightnin’ Slim, and Lightnin’ Hopkins from his father’s record collection. But like his older brother Buddy, who was already playing out when Phil was in his early teens, Guy modeled himself on electric fretmen like New Orleans’s Guitar Slim. In 1969, […]