Posted inArts & Culture

Vulgar Boatmen

Never really part of any trend, this Florida-via-Indiana band, sister band to the Silos, exists in a kind of limbo. For over 20 years they’ve plotted their own career, complete with hard-to-find releases and a cult following. And they haven’t changed their sound either: graceful, folk-based indie rock that’s both familiar and unusual, like Wilco […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Talking Truth About Transsexuals

Greetings, I am a well-known church musician in Chicago. Also, closetedly, I am male-to-female transsexual. I am also African-American. Being those in one often puts me in a big bowl to be stigmatized. And being very naturally passable puts me in a completely different boat. I am writing about Dennis Rodkin’s article on J. Michael […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Calendar

Friday 1/2 – Thursday 1/8 JANUARY 2 FRIDAY “We keep hoping that maybe the divine Melissa Gilbert will stop by,” says Becky Eldridge, cocreator of the musical spoof Little House on the Parody. “Or Richard Bull, the original Mr. Oleson on the TV series, will drop us a note. He’s in Man From Nebraska at […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Dynamic Duo

What a concept! Over-the-hill Hollywood comedy writer (Robin Williams?) comes home to Chicago to start a new career. Hooks up with a Second City writing guru (Steve Martin?) who soon loses his job. They form a company to develop local talent and produce movies, but the only project they can get funded is bankrolled by […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Louis Lortie

Louis Lortie made his debut when he was 13, playing Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto with the Montreal Symphony. At 25 he won prizes at two prestigious international piano competitions, the Busoni and the Leeds. Now 44, this widely acclaimed French-Canadian pianist has made more than 30 recordings on the Chandos label and has played the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

TRG Music Listings

Rock, Pop, Etc. Concerts BRYAN ADAMS Mon 1/5, 7:30 PM, the Vic, 3145 N. Sheffield. 773-472-0449 or 312-559-1212. SANDY ANDINA Free in-store performances. Fri 1/9, 8 PM, Borders Books & Music, 15160 S. La Grange Rd., Orland Park. 708-460-7566. Sat 1/10, 8 PM, Borders Books & Music, 1144 Lake, Oak Park. 708-386-6927. ANONYMOUS 4 Wed […]

Posted inFilm

Depth Perception

Films by Vincente Minnelli Generally regarded as an entertainer with a superb eye, director Vincente Minnelli was influenced by art nouveau, impressionism, surrealism, and African art. While a number of critics have found a melancholy undertone to his films, the consensus seems to be that, in the words of Ed Lowry, “there is a dominance […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Curiouser and Curiouser

Laurel’s Love at the Athenaeum Theatre At first you might think it’s some kind of cheesy Christmas pageant. We see a very blond little girl dressed like a Bible character, her white gown secured with rope. She mimes digging in a garden as she sings a song (her own composition, we’re told) about how the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Modern Times

I don’t have much patience with colleagues who dismiss Charlie Chaplin by saying that Buster Keaton was better (whatever that means). To the best of my knowledge, with the arguable exception of Dickens, no one else in the history of art has shown us in greater detail what it means to be poor, and certainly […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story In November Amsterdam hosted the first world championship in a new hybrid sport called “chess boxing,” the invention of Dutch artist Iepe–each match consists of six four-minute chess rounds alternating with five two-minute boxing rounds, with victory coming by knockout, checkmate, or judges’ scoring (if the contestants go the distance). Both the Royal […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Cooking With Elvis

Lee Hall’s black comedy features a paraplegic Elvis impersonator, his alcoholic wife, their food-obsessed teenage daughter, and the hapless baker who moves into their home in northern England. Dale Goulding’s staging for Sang Froid Theatre Company last year in a studio at the Athenaeum captured beautifully the play’s atmosphere of dank claustrophobia, some of which […]