Posted inArts & Culture

The Tragedy of Hamlet

The Tragedy of Hamlet, Chic-speare Production Company, at Ebenezer Lutheran Church. Director Ann James sets Shakespeare’s Danish play at the end of the 19th century–a choice that makes quite a bit of sense. In particular it allows Jonathan Pereira as Hamlet to play with the attitudes of aestheticism: he wears his thick, dark hair in […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Prairie Lights

Prairie Lights, Stage Left Theatre, at the Theatre Building Chicago. If you’re going to see only one holiday musical about religious tolerance and family affection this season, by all means make it this one. Librettist Susan Lieberman has converted (no pun intended) her Emmy-nominated teleplay Prairie Latkes into an earnest, homespun, good-hearted stage show, with […]

Posted inNews & Politics

TRG Music Listings

Rock, Pop, etc. concerts TORI AMOS, HOWIE DAY Wed 11/27 (sold out) and Fri 11/29, 7:30 PM, Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State. 312-443-1130 or 312-559-1212. B2K, IMX, TG4 Fri 11/22, 8:30 PM, Arie Crown Theater, McCormick Place, 2301 S. Lake Shore Dr. 312-791-6190 or 312-559-1212. JIM BRICKMANN Fri 11/22, 8 PM, Rialto Square Theatre, 102 […]

Posted inFilm

Magnificent Repression

Far From Heaven **** (Masterpiece) Directed and written by Todd Haynes With Julianne Moore, Dennis Quaid, Dennis Haysbert, Patricia Clarkson, Viola Davis, and James Rebhorn. It becomes apparent that in this context, for practical purposes, “Sirk” does not denote a mood or a philosophy or a set of plot elements, but rather a repertoire of […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Cookie-Cutter Libraries

Some issues at the Chicago Public Library [“Reading Is Incidental,” November 15] deserving of wider public recognition: The policy (unstated) at the Chicago Public Library is to feature largely identical collections throughout the city. Whether a branch be located in Humboldt Park, Edgebrook, or Back of the Yards, the book and magazine collections will be […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Sleepy Time Gal

Christopher Munch, one of America’s most gifted independent filmmakers, follows his features The Hours and Times (1991) and Color of a Brisk and Leaping Day (1996) with this lovely and moving 2001 drama, a speculative account of his late mother’s early life in which a woman (Jacqueline Bisset) and her long-lost illegitimate daughter (Martha Plimpton) […]

Posted inArts & Culture

No Place to be Somebody

Charles Gordone’s Pulitzer winner hasn’t lost an ounce of intensity in 33 years. James Bagnall revives Stage Actors Ensemble’s 1994 staging (directed by David A. Mason), turning up the heat on the saga of Johnny Williams, a Chicago pimp and would-be gangster who blows his chance to escape the hate-driven death trip he’s been on […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Stories Labor and management have been feuding for months at Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia; after the zoo stopped paying the “poo allowance” workers receive for picking up animal droppings, the rank and file publicized the details of a plan, allegedly proposed by management, to help impregnate the zoo’s female gorillas (the male, named […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Dinner for Six

Dinner for Six, Argos Agency, at ImprovOlympic. The fourth incarnation of director Jason R. Chin’s excellent long-form show has all the basic strengths of past mountings. It begins with a clever take on the full-cast opening, framing the usual brainstorming session as dinner-party conversation, then spirals into two- and three-person scenes that culminate in another […]

Posted inArts & Culture

There’s a Girl in My Hammerlock

There’s a Girl in My Hammerlock, Griffin Theatre Company. This awkwardly moralistic after-school special of a play is interesting for the feeling of abject dread it engenders rather than what it says about teenage savagery. The truest moments in William Massolia’s adaptation of Jerry Spinelli’s young-adult novel seem to unfold in slow motion, one excruciating […]