Posted inArts & Culture

Decasia

Filmmaker Bill Morrison spent two years foraging through the film archives of the University of South Carolina, the Library of Congress, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York to assemble this 70-minute collage of hallucinatory images produced by the decomposition of nitrate film stocks. At times it threatens to contract into an artifact […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Love the Hard Way

Adapted from a Chinese novel, produced and directed by Germans, and shot on location in the Bronx, this 2001 drama never grows roots deep enough to feel completely authentic–its main characters, a petty blackmailer (Adrien Brody) who’s secretly writing a novel and a brilliant but naive Columbia University student (Charlotte Ayanna) who falls for him, […]

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Calendar

Friday 6/27 – Thursday 7/3 JUNE 27 FRIDAY The Uptown-based youth performance ensemble Kuumba Lynx is sending a delegation to Cuba next month as part of a poetry exchange with a similar group in Havana, but only the adult organizers will actually be making the trip–due to travel restrictions, the kids can’t go. So local […]

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Downsize

Downsize, Walkabout Theater Company. John G. Connolly–who single-handedly sold the Steppenwolf Arts Exchange’s production of Fahrenheit 451–apparently excels at playing pricks too. In Downsize, his hyperkinetic turn as Archie–a sleazy Ricky Roma type trying to claw his way out of a sinking corporate ship–ought to make directors think twice before giving him any future nice-guy […]

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Little Mermaid

Little Mermaid, Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Marc Robin’s adaptation of the fairy tale, which he also directs, borrows as much from Disney as from Hans Christian Andersen. Though the heroine’s name has been changed from Ariel to Melody (Johanna McKenzie Miller), her fresh-scrubbed sweetness and pop-star belt remain the same. Melody is accompanied by two guardian […]

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The Fall

For better or worse, most bands that have been around for a quarter century attain a certain level of stability. But the only consistent thing about the Fall, who played their first gig 26 years ago in Manchester, England, is vocalist Mark E. Smith. Backed by a revolving crew of musicians, he sneers, snarls, and […]

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Duo a Go Go

Duo a Go Go, at ImprovOlympic. It may not be worth a special trip, but you could do worse than cap off a post-Wrigley evening with a beer and Duo a Go Go. ImprovOlympic alums Laurel Coppock and Bobby Mort have woven together an untaxing hour of sketches: a grim caped crusader learns to lighten […]

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Fool for Love

Fool for Love, Reverie Theatre Company, at the Athenaeum Theatre. Sam Shepard’s 1984 drama about the tumultuous love between half siblings marked a turning point in this great writer’s career: it was his first play that didn’t matter. Despite using the kind of material he’d worked brilliantly in True West and Curse of the Starving […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Phillin’ in Some Blanks

Dear Peter: I appreciate your fine work in writing about the local music scene in Chicago. However, I would like to address last week’s column [Post No Bills, June 20]. Chicago is a great music town, as witnessed by the incredible talent we have performing in our “bar scene.” National public acclaim is not the […]

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Ritual Power

New Dances 2003 Melissa Thodos & Dancers at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, June 20-22 In its never-ending quest for trends, the Wall Street Journal reported the “end-of-the-school-year crunch,” time demands placed on parents by the spread of graduation ceremonies from college down to prekindergarten. The Journal sagely attributed this phenomenon to a […]

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Hello Again

Hello Again, Circle Theatre. A major miscalculation dogs Michael John LaChiusa’s 1995 musical trivialization of Arthur Schnitzler’s La ronde. In 1900 Schnitzler’s bittersweet depiction of intersecting lovers indulging in a sexual round dance–the first and last lovers come full circle–was bold comedy. Its game of erotic tag created a democracy of desire. Wisely, LaChiusa (known […]

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Apocalyptic Butterflies

Apocalyptic Butterflies, Collaboraction, at Chicago Dramatists. Anyone who’s ever experienced the doldrums of a relationship or looked around one day and wondered “Is this all there is?” will recognize the sadness presented with such breezy charm in Wendy MacLeod’s comedy. Hank is a small-town shoe salesman who fears his wife no longer loves him–Muriel hasn’t […]

Posted inNews & Politics

That’s My Band

Peter Margasak, This is the drummer for Hello Dave, and reading your disparaging comments [Post No Bills, June 20] about my band really affected me. We’ve spent nearly a decade busting our asses on the road trying to make a name for ourselves only to be dismissed by people like you as a cover band? […]

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Right Place, Right Time

If you missed The Optimists during its run in Wilmette last fall, here’s another chance to see it. Jacky Comforty, an Evanston comedy writer, took up documentary filmmaking in order to tell this story about the fate of Bulgarian Jews in World War II, and spent more than a decade working on it. While The […]