Posted inArts & Culture

Estrogen Fest 2003: Female Identity–It’s Not Just About the Hair

Previously produced by the Aardvark theater company, this third annual festival of women’s theater has been taken over by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs in conjunction with Prop Thtr. Running through May 10, the festival features artists in the fields of theater, performance, poetry, dance, and music; scheduled participants include Karen Finley, Stephanie Shaw, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Ragged But Right

Shut Up and Love Me! Karen Finley at the Apollo Theater, through April 12 The first time I saw Karen Finley perform, she stopped in the middle of the show to scold an audience member for laughing. As I recall, she was talking about attempts to cleanse art museums, and the chortle came at the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Buried Treasure

To the editor: The best thing about the Reader is Jonathan Rosenbaum. Period. With the exception of Facets’s Milos Stehlik on WBEZ’s Worldview, Rosenbaum provides the only intelligent film reviews in Chicago–he’s a cultural treasure not just for our city but for our nation. So where is our cultural treasure? Not only is there no […]

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Pretty Things/Suspicious Clowns

Pretty Things, WNEP Theater, and Suspicious Clowns, Viable Theatre Company, at WNEP Theater. Zach Helm’s new play begins arrestingly with a slide show of snapshots: an empty toilet, an unmarked bottle of pills, a tube of lipstick. It’s a fine staging choice by director Patrick Jacobi: the simple poetry of the images hooks the audience […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chicago Latino Film Festival

The 19th annual Chicago Latino Film Festival, presented by the International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago, continues Friday through Thursday, April 11 through 17. Film and video screenings will be at Association House, 2150 W. North; Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St.; Biograph; Richard J. Daley College, 7500 S. Pulaski; Facets Cinematheque; I.C.E. Cinema, […]

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Imperfect Worlds

Martin Mull: Hindsight at Carl Hammer, through April 19 Scott Anderson at Peter Miller, through April 26 While illustrators like Norman Rockwell offer images of an impossible childhood utopia, other artists mine their childhoods for works that balance wish fulfillment with hints of nightmare. Martin Mull and Scott Anderson, two artists of different generations, both […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Listen to Lou

Dear Cliff Doerksen, Why the bitter diatribe [March 14] on Lou Reed’s present man-of-letters persona? Maybe you just had a bad week? Wanted to stir the pot a little for provocation’s sake? Or how about you really are the philistine that your review of Reed’s latest work, so affectionately titled “Birdbrained,” makes you out to […]

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Gus Russo

Last year when I was in London, a North African cabbie asked where I was from. When I told him Chicago, he smiled, said “Al Capone,” and made a machine-gun motion with his fingers. Sure, it’s a cliche–it was either that or “Michael Jordan”–but organized crime is as essential to the city’s identity as the […]

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TRG Music Listings

Rock, Pop, Etc. Concerts AFI, THE EXPLOSION, BLOOD BROTHERS Sold out. Sat 4/12, 7 PM, Riviera Theatre, 4746 N. Racine. 773-275-6800 or 312-559-1212. AMERICAN ENGLISH (BEATLES TRIBUTE) Sun 4/13, 5 PM, Stevenson High School West Auditorium, 2 Stevenson Dr., Lincolnshire. 847-634-4000, ext. 1882. ARTIFICIAL MEMORY TRACE See Critic’s Choice. Sat 4/12, 9 PM, 6Odum, 2116 […]

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Alladeen

The Builders Association, a New York-based experimental company founded by former Wooster Group dramaturge Marianne Weems, made its Chicago debut almost two years ago with Xtravaganza, a trippy homage to producer Florenz Ziegfeld, director Busby Berkeley, dancer Loie Fuller, and designer Steele MacKaye. For her troupe’s return engagement Weems has joined forces with designers Keith […]

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Rules Are Rules

Dear sirs, In your February 28 issue I found the juxtaposition of “Instant Prisoner” and “In Pakistan, She Would Be Dead” interesting. Based on these stories we see the immigration service is big, complex, confused, inept, and on different pages in different books. Well, that’s why it’s called a bureaucracy. It was far from perfect […]

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Gilrs in the Driver’s Seat

Be Aggressive Rivendell Theatre Ensemble at Breadline Theatre Most road literature concerns men with a pronounced wild streak who take to the hills to avoid civilization. But for women, much of the journey is becoming uncivilized enough to walk out in the first place. Annie Weisman’s deliciously dark, sassy comedy about teenage girls on the […]

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Jan Erkert

Jan Erkert has no shame. She’s never had any. In 1989 she performed a solo called Fame & Fortune in a pink Afro wig, a tutu, and tennies. In the 1991 Forgotten Sensations, members of her company rolled around on patches of sod and pretended to be babies nuzzling for their mothers’ breasts, then munched […]