Posted inArts & Culture

Robert Erickson

The 11 abstract paintings, drawings, and prints by Wisconsin artist Robert Erickson at Gwenda Jay/Addington–part of a three-person exhibit titled “Earth & Sky”–are inspired by natural forms and have a mysterious presence. The drawing New Hope VIII looks a bit like a dark cliff or butte rising against a background suffused with horizontal lines, and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Radical Remakes

Jennifer and Kevin McCoy: Every Shot, Every Episode at the Renaissance Society, through December 22 Helen Mirra: Arrow at Donald Young, through January 31 Jason Salavon: Crossbred and Crystalline at Peter Miller, through December 31 Remakes are routine in the film industry–Cape Fear, Diabolique, The Fly, Psycho, Sabrina, Solaris, to name a few recent ones. […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Stories In September in Munich, Inga “Hot Pants” Kosak won the first Extreme Ironing World Championships, beating 80 contestants from ten countries on a five-station course (woods, water, rocks, urban, and freestyle). Performances are scored based on degree of difficulty: one competitor ironed while bouncing on a trampoline, another while floating down a river […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Heart of Christmas

The Heart of Christmas, at the Lakeshore Theater, through January 5. For those who’ve tasted the 27 flavors of Scrooge this holiday season, here’s something different: a musical tale narrated and sung by folk legend Jim Post, aided by his wife, playwright-lyricist Janet Smith Post, and daughter Angel Daniel. The narrative borrows heavily from Mark […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Talking Past Each Other

The Man Stripped Bare by His Boy Curious Theatre Branch at the Lunar Cabaret If form follows function, it makes perfect sense to build a play about fragmentation out of fragments. Could there be a more apt way to communicate isolation than a series of soliloquies in which the people onstage rarely acknowledge one another’s […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Mr. Punch, or Jack and the Blase Bride

Mr. Punch, or Jack and the Blase Bride, Piccolo Theatre, at McGaw YMCA Child Care Center Auditorium. In his director’s note, Briton Geoffrey Buckley suggests that the allure of pantomime can’t be fully appreciated by an American audience–and it is one of those quintessentially British institutions, like blood sausage, that simply doesn’t translate well this […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Vanity Project

The Vanity Project, Handsome Theatrical Company, at Live Bait Theater. Jay Paul Skelton clearly has a solid bunch of friends; I’d be willing to bet that everyone connected with this evening of eight short Skelton-written pieces is his friend. Who else would agree to participate in a show that advertises its self-indulgence in the very […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

[Dan Savage is on vacation this week. Here is “Classic Savage Love,” a column that originally ran in June of 1957, the year he won his first Pulitzer Prize–Eds.] I’m a man in my mid-30s, and I just started dating after the end of a five-year relationship. The last three dates I’ve had have been […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Idle Threats

Idle Threats, Hermit Theatre, at the Chicago Cultural Center. You have to like a playwright with the guts to explore the effect critics have on art and artists. In Idle Threats Idris Goodwin gives us a brilliant but spoiled movie critic (played with a beguiling understated irony by off-Loop veteran Beau O’Reilly) who pans a […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Billy Joe Shaver

Billy Joe Shaver, the guy who wrote every tune on Waylon Jennings’s 1973 classic Honky Tonk Heroes, came back strong in the early 90s with albums like Tramp on Your Street (Zoo). But it’s hard to imagine this key figure in the Texas outlaw movement making that resurgence without the support of his son Eddy’s […]