Posted inNews & Politics

Offensive Language

Dear editor: As a person with a disability, I found your May 2 cover story, “Life Sentence,” offensive and demeaning. The mere title suggests living in a wheelchair and using synthesized voice to communicate is equivalent to a prison sentence. I use a wheelchair and a communication device like Orozco to maintain my full-time job. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Fascination

Fascination, About Face Theatre, at Theatre Building Chicago. Randall is a Dahmer-Gacy hybrid monster who lures gay boys to the house he shares with his invalid father, murders them, and stows the bodies in an ever more populated crawl space. Tall, handsome, and cowboy laconic, he racks up around 40 kills (the lack of an […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Skatalites

Only four original members of the Skatalites play on the band’s new album, From Paris With Love (World Village), but the disc is hardly the work of some ghost band cashing in on former glories. The ska pioneers have gone through countless lineup shifts since they changed the shape of Jamaican music back in the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Insulting Advertising

To the editor: I was disgusted to read Affordable Portables’ March Madness ad in your newspaper. My understanding of March Madness is a celebration of winter turning to spring. It’s not an opportunity to make light of serious illnesses which some people daily cope with. Affordable Portables were selling items such as the “psycho” sofa, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Pura Vida

Pura Vida, Live Bait Theater. Chicago writer Paul Peditto spent the last year of the economic boom–1999–in Costa Rica living off his stock market earnings and having lots and lots of sex, most of it paid for. During his year of debauchery the fortysomething playwright (best known for his adaptations of Nelson Algren’s Never Come […]

Posted inArts & Culture

DAT Politics

DAT Politics, a coed glitchcore group from France, are maximalists with a minimalist sense of timing. Doling out beats sparingly, they carve rhythm out of blank space but then pile on rich, detuned Casio trumpets and other sappy but heraldic sounds and top it all off with little chirps, plinks, and flutters. Though each song […]

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A Long Gay Book

Frank Galati is a noted specialist in the work of Gertrude Stein: he’s directed the Stein-Virgil Thomson operas The Mother of Us All and Four Saints in Three Acts for Chicago Opera Theater, and his 1987 tribute to Stein and Picasso–She Always Said, Pablo, produced by the Goodman–lingers in my memory as one of the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chicago Human Rhythm Project

This organization, founded by Lane Alexander, is branching out. For one thing, last year the CHRP began hosting a concert in honor of National Tap Dance Day (May 25, also Bill “Bojangles” Robinson’s birthday) in addition to its annual shows in August, now in their 13th year. And though the CHRP festivals have often welcomed […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Mariza

Since the 1999 death of Portugal’s mighty fado matriarch Amalia Rodrigues, a number of strong performers have stepped forward to save the music–which sets extravagant lamentations to ornate acoustic guitar accompaniments–from calcifying into tourist fare a la Chicago blues. Singers like Misia and Cristina Branco have played their part by adding new material to an […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Vance Gilbert

Vance Gilbert was a jazz singer before he decided to adjust his style and hit the Boston singer-songwriter circuit in the early 90s. There he caught the attention of Shawn Colvin, who invited him onto her tour as an opening act; three well-received CDs on the Philo label followed. His latest disc, last year’s One […]