Posted inArts & Culture

Final Angel

Final Angel, Fine Arts Enterprises, at Theatre Building Chicago. Stephanie Lenore Kuehn’s metaphorical dreamscape is based on an actual assault on Chicago actress Lynn Green. Kuehn invokes the myth of Persephone–who was taken to the underworld and raped by Hades–as an archetype representing death and transformation. We meet Lil after she’s been raped, rocking with […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

I went onto the Drudge Report today and read something that must be a bunch of shit or a complete hoax: “MAG: 25% OF NEW HIV-INFECTED GAY MEN SOUGHT OUT VIRUS, SAYS SAN FRAN HEALTH OFFICIAL.” Is there any truth to this? The link was E-mailed all over my office today, and it makes gay […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Russian Ark

This Alexander Sokurov feature (2002) is one of the most staggering technical achievements in the history of cinema–a single shot lasting 95 minutes while moving through 33 rooms in the world’s largest museum, the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg (which also encompasses the Winter Palace). Part pageant and museum tour, part theme-park ride and historical meditation, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Wise Decisions

Judgment at Nuremberg Shattered Globe Theatre at Victory Gardens Theater Opening night of Judgment at Nuremberg was unusual. There wasn’t just the usual ragtag crowd of critics, Jeff committee members, and dutiful actors’ friends wearing scuffed shoes, their eyes red from attending too many openings in too few days. No, there was a group noteworthy […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Nick Warren

Nick Warren’s Reykjavik #024 is the latest two-disc volume in the seemingly unending series of bland trance and progressive-house mixes churned out by London’s Global Underground imprint. But Warren, a Massive Attack associate and leading member of club hit makers Way Out West, diverges from the label’s tired formula. Most of #024 is midtempo and […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

ARRIVALS 1/31, FIRESIDE BOWL On its second album, Exsenator Orange (Thick), this south-side quartet serves up cold meat-and-potatoes Chicago punk. Singer-guitarists Isaac Thotz and Dave Merriman spit out melodies a good deal more complex than the saccharine hooks of whatever pop punkers are hot on MTV this week. But the Arrivals lack the precision and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Branson Family Comedy Christian Cavalcade

The Branson Family Comedy Christian Cavalcade, Noble Fool Theater Company. Having benefited from the city’s largesse in securing a high-profile renovated space downtown, the least the Noble Fool and its tenants can do is provide a few laughs. But that’s apparently beyond Harvey Finklestein’s Institute of Whimsical, Fantastical, and Marvelous Puppet Masterage. To call this […]

Posted inMusic

Britain Breaks Its Silence

OT Crew “Dubplate” Dizzy Rascal “I Luv U” When it comes to per capita rap talent, Great Britain ranks somewhere between North Dakota and Yemen. Brit-rap has seemed moribund since the early 90s, when rave culture, as Simon Reynolds put it, “swallowed hip-hop whole.” The MC was largely relegated to a supporting role–his job was […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Stella Chiweshe

The mbira–a set of tuned metal keys affixed to a wooden board and housed in a resonator made from a halved calabash–is a cornerstone of Zimbabwe’s Shona culture. But though it’s been part of ritual life for a thousand years, musicians started to use it for entertainment purposes only as recently as the 1970s. Stella […]

Posted inArts & Culture

A Pair of Pinters

A Pair of Pinters, Raven Theatre. A dozen productions of the same Harold Pinter drama could be staged without a single moment being duplicated: his plays’ ambiguities allow performers to choose their own subtext. But while actors and directors may relish playing Pinter, audiences often scratch their heads over him. The two Pinter one-acts presented […]