Posted inArts & Culture

M. Ivan Cherry

The 23 paintings in M. Ivan Cherry’s new show at Gescheidle form a meditation on sleeping children that’s more proof of the relevance of figurative painting. Quick and Nimble is an overhead view of a shirtless boy lost in sleep. Like all of Cherry’s figures he’s isolated on a canvas painted a solid color, which […]

Posted inMusic

Alan Licht

David Bowie sleepwalking his way through The Man Who Fell to Earth, William S. Burroughs scamming his buckshot-splattered paintings into galleries–plenty of artists skilled in one medium misguidedly think they can step right into another. But Alan Licht–whose first book, An Emotional Memoir of Martha Quinn, was published last year by Drag City–is no dilettante. […]

Posted inMusic

The Hills Were Alive

Various Artists Virginia Roots: The 1929 Richmond Sessions (Outhouse) Various Artists RCA Country Legends: The Bristol Sessions Vol. 1 (RCA/BMG Heritage) In 1929, the record industry was hoping to make lightning strike twice. Two years earlier in Bristol, Tennessee, a session recorded by a Victor Records talent scout named Ralph Peer had brought the Carter […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Cody Chesnutt

One of the many highlights on the Roots’ Phrenology is “The Seed,” a riff-driven gem written, sung, and played by 32-year-old Cody Chesnutt. A version of that song originally appeared on his ambitious 2002 double-CD debut, The Headphone Masterpiece (Ready Set Go!), a 36-track lo-fi collectionon which Chesnutt played every instrument–and where his potential is […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Vienna: Lusthaus (Revisited)

Watching this evening-length performance piece, it’s easy to see Martha Clarke’s origins in the dance group Pilobolus: Vienna: Lusthaus (Revisited) is filled with strange transformations of the human body. But unlike most Pilobolean productions, Clarke’s strings together images in the service of a single aim: re-creating fin de siecle Vienna as she imagines it. This […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Monumental Works

Angelina Gualdoni: Demo at Vedanta, through February 8 John Wanzel: The National Defense and Interstate Highway System in Miniature at Dogmatic, through February 1 Realizing that hubris lies at the root of civilization’s “achievements,” many recent artists eschew modernist claims to artistic truth in favor of more modest and contingent statements. Angelina Gualdoni’s six carefully […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

I really need some insight from someone I don’t have to look in the face! I’m a young actor who is trying to get some info on the behind-the-scenes etiquette of filming a sex scene. (Cable-series sex, not adult-movie sex.) I’ve done theater and some extra work in film, but up to now I’ve never […]

Posted inArts & Culture

County Fair

County Fair, Gift Theatre Company, at National Pastime Theater. Some folks measure the passage of time in birthday parties, others in Christmas mornings or Thanksgiving dinners. Playwright William Nedved, originally from Iowa, measures it in county fairs: this new play is set in 1995 in the farming community of Hancock, and the county fair provides […]

Posted inArts & Culture

A Night in Mantua

A Night in Mantua, Griffin Theatre Company. In this comedy incorporating characters from four of Shakespeare’s Italian plays, playwright William Massolia favors modest epiphanies over world-weary contemplation. A Night in Mantua takes an intellectual but not stiflingly erudite approach. Massolia borrows the narrator and the play-within-a-play structure of The Taming of the Shrew and adds […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Way Home

A single mother from Seoul, desperate to find a job, leaves her seven-year-old son (Seung-ho Yoo) in the care of her deaf-mute mother in a remote village. The brat initially scorns his stooped and withered grandmother, but his petulance is overcome by her silent love and generosity. Writer-director Jeong-hyang Lee recruited most of her actors […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chicago SketchFest

The second annual edition of this showcase of sketch comedy, presented by Posin’ at the Bar, features more than 50 local and out-of-town ensembles–some well established, some new to the scene–representing a remarkable range of styles and viewpoints. The festival runs through January 25 at Theatre Building Chicago, 1225 W. Belmont. Performances are Wednesdays-Thursdays at […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Steve Million

Pianist Steve Million has played long enough and in enough different settings–from Jeff Newell’s New-Trad Octet to his own odd little two-keyboard band Monk’s Dream–to qualify as a genuine fixture on the Chicago scene. And his three albums for Palmetto, recorded with a quintet featuring top-notch New Yorkers Chris Potter and Randy Brecker, have plenty […]