Posted inArts & Culture

The Coral

The spastically hype-happy British press has already compared this Merseyside sextet to far more famous Liverpudlians, but though the band’s eponymously titled debut overran the UK last summer, here in the U.S. (where it was released on Columbia in March) the going has been slower. The disc kicks off with a two-note bass bounce that […]

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Tiny Plastic Rainbows

This first feature by Chicagoan Jennifer Reeder, best known for her “White Trash Girl” videos, is a study in anomie in which a group of emotionally detached characters (among them a therapist, a private detective, and a claims adjuster) somnambulate through a nameless city, only dimly and intermittently aware of one another’s presence. Reeder’s long […]

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Israel Film Festival

The 19th annual Israel Film Festival continues Saturday through Thursday, May 10 through 15. Screenings will be at the Esquire and Highland Park, 445 Central, Highland Park. Tickets are $9, $6 for seniors and children aged ten and younger; a festival pass, good for five admissions, is $36. For more information call 877-966-5566. Films marked […]

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Jump Rhythm Jazz Project

Artistic director Billy Siegenfeld, who calls his troupe a “jazz orchestra,” makes dances by developing a “rhythmic counterscore” to the music he plans to use, then rehearses them without any music whatsoever. These rhythmic counterscores are complex in themselves–incorporating singing and audible breathing as well as percussive moves of the feet, hands, and head–but when […]

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Adolph Gottlieb

Chicago is rich in alternative galleries featuring work by recent art-school grads but poor in exhibitions of seldom-seen work by famous artists–the kind that are common in New York and Los Angeles. A new gallery, Valerie Carberry, has stepped into the breach with the first Adolph Gottlieb show in Chicago in 36 years, focusing on […]

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Postmodern Ploys

The Violet Hour Steppenwolf Theatre Company Richard Greenberg’s plays are tight, polished little machines, clever constructions that tease the minds of attentive audiences and reward that attention with a flurry of details, all seemingly essential to solving the puzzle or puzzles at the center of his scripts. Sometimes, though, Greenberg’s games can seem mere tricks, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Matching Wits

At Wit’s End comes home this week. The musical, inspired by the literary and theatrical minds who met regularly for lunch at New York’s Algonquin Hotel in the 1920s, was crafted in Chicago over a six-year period by lyricist Cheri Coons and composer Michael Duff. Northlight Theatre artistic director B.J. Jones committed to staging it […]

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The Lesson

The Lesson, Elephant Man Theater Company. It’s hard to know what Eugene Ionesco meant by this tale of a tutor so incensed at an unreceptive pupil that he resorts to violence. But a director must decide at what point we should begin to suspect that bloodshed is imminent. Should we heed the professor’s housekeeper when […]

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New Anatomies

New Anatomies, Foreground Theatre Company, at the Athenaeum Theatre. “The European tribal wars,” observes a Sufi priest in New Anatomies, “are more bitter than ours but are conducted with much more subtlety.” Caught in the middle of them was Isabelle Eberhardt, a real-life explorer who roamed the deserts of the Middle East garbed as a […]

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Patty Larkin

On her current CD, Red-Luck (Vanguard), pop singer-songwriter Patty Larkin sometimes allows her cleverness to get the better of her: “Inside Your Painting,” for instance, is tripped up by its feverishly kaleidoscopic imagery and Summer of Love clearance-sale folkadelic arrangement. At other times she plays it too safe: “Children” is sabotaged by cliches like “I […]

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Yusef Komunyakaa

“After Nam he lost himself, / not trusting his hands / with loved ones,” Yusef Komunyakaa writes in “Losses,” a poem from Dien Cai Dau (1988), one of several books in which he looks back on his time as an army combat correspondent in Vietnam. Ironically perhaps, it was after ‘Nam that Komunyakaa found himself, […]