Posted inArts & Culture

Don’t Dress for Dinner

DON’T DRESS FOR DINNER, Attic Playhouse. Perfected by Georges Feydeau in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the sex farce has more recently been associated with lowbrow tourist shows in London (like Ray Cooney’s Run for Your Wife) and badly acted touring and amateur productions of the sort Michael Frayn sends up in Noises […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Phedre; Andromache

PHEDRE, Keyhole Theatre Company, and ANDROMACHE, Keyhole Theatre Company. You can’t help but cheer the ambition of mounting two tumultuous five-act Jean Racine tragedies in rotating repertory on a tiny budget with the same eight-person cast. And pairing the plays, newly translated by Barbara Carlisle, is an astute choice. Andromache, written in 1667, was Racine’s […]

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History Hits Home

Free Man of Color Victory Gardens Theater There are two big risks to writing historical dramas: that you’ll end up with a pageant, full of research but lacking humanity, or that the history will prove superfluous to the story. Charles Smith in his fine new play Free Man of Color, now receiving its world premiere […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

What’s the true story on South American Nazis? After World War II why would countries like Argentina and Paraguay want them? –David Storms Come now. After the war Argentina and Paraguay were run for years by nationalist strongmen, Juan Peron and Alfredo Stroessner respectively, who liked to strut around in military regalia and brutalize dissidents. […]

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Pacifica Quartet

The Pacifica Quartet certainly looks the part of a next-generation quartet: first violin Simin Ganatra’s family comes from South Asia, second violin Sibbi Bernhardsson is from Iceland (yes, he’s worked with Bjork), violist Masumi Per Rostad is half Norwegian, half Japanese, and cellist Brandon Vamos’s parents are prominent string instructors of Latin descent. And they […]

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Godshow

Writer-performer Tim O’Malley’s honest, funny show about his life as an alcoholic and drug addict has been running off and on since last April. One wonders if the primary audience has been people in recovery and those who love them–but if so it’s time for the word to spread. O’Malley’s observations about the costs of […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Calendar

Friday 1/30 – Thursday 2/5 JANUARY 30 FRIDAY John Adams’s opera The Death of Klinghoffer, about the murder of a Jewish passenger during the 1985 hijacking of the cruise ship Achille Lauro, has been attacked over the years for being both pro-Zionist and overly sympathetic to the Palestinian hijackers. Penny Woolcock’s film version, which has […]

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The Tracker

Rolf de Heer’s 2002 western, which I first saw as the opening-night attraction at the Melbourne film festival, is the best Australian feature I’ve seen in years. Aboriginal actor David Gulpilil (Walkabout, Rabbit-Proof Fence) gives the performance of a lifetime as a tracker helping three mounted police find a murder suspect in 1922, and though […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Precious Moments

This fall the entire first floor of the Merchandise Mart, previously home to GNC and Casual Corner, became LuxeHome, the World’s Largest Collection of Luxury Boutiques for Home Building and Renovation. Talk about a makeover–the Mart’s art deco corridors feel almost plain compared to the sleek, shiny kitchens that make up LuxeHome. They’re kitchens as […]

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Aleksander Hemon

Much has been made of Aleksandar Hemon’s remarkable facility with the English language–which he was forced to learn just 12 years ago, after landing in Chicago as an accidental refugee of the war in Bosnia. And his 2002 novel, Nowhere Man, now out in a Vintage paperback edition, is full of the sort of inventive […]

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Fool for Love

FOOL FOR LOVE, Circle Theatre. Sam Shepard’s 1984 play could pass for a bad parody of his own earlier, better work. All the stock characters are here–the neglectful alcoholic father; the rootless, hard-bitten son; the overcivilized chump–as are Shepard’s usual themes and situations (this play is set in a New Mexico motel). Still, the playwright […]

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Rana’s Wedding

A soulful Palestinian beauty (Clara Khoury) in occupied East Jerusalem receives an ultimatum from her father: if she hasn’t married by the following afternoon, she’ll have to accompany him to Egypt. This lively 2002 feature by Hany Abu-Assad follows the determined young woman as she races around the city trying to locate her lover and […]