Posted inArts & Culture

Good Boys

GOOD BOYS, Chicago Theatre Company. This play by the pseudonymous “Jane Martin” examines the aftermath of a Columbine-style high school shooting. The father of the sole black victim tracks down the father of the white shooter-suicide in a Florida park eight years after the event. The black father–Thomas Thurman (Phillip Edward Van Lear), a minister–wants […]

Posted inFilm

True Lies

In his early films, director Tim Burton helped drag sick humor and glam nihilism into the mainstream. But his latest effort, adapted from Daniel Wallace’s novel, is an ode to white picket fences, hot apple pie, and old-fashioned storytelling. As in Sleepy Hollow, his drastic revision of Ichabod Crane’s adventures, the story unfolds against a […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Sirens: Straight to Video; The Claudia and Deb Show

SIRENS: STRAIGHT TO VIDEO, at Donny’s Skybox Studio, and THE CLAUDIA AND DEB SHOW, at Donny’s Skybox Studio. The Sirens’ new improv effort–inspired by audience minimonologues shot before the show–doesn’t offer much extra bang for the logistical buck. Coordinating live and taped, onstage and on-screen rhythms can’t be easy yet offers little that simpler “suggestion […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Calendar Sidebar

Last June telly viewers in the UK saw this message on their screens: “Some images in this film have been obscured by the BBC. These images were broadcast unobscured by Al-Jazeera.” What followed was an insightful, dispassionate report–part of the BBC’s “Correspondent” series–documenting three weeks in the life of the Qatar newsroom of the Arabic-language […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Big James & the Chicago Playboys

Trombonist Big James Montgomery and his Playboys’ current disk, Blues Power (Isabel), collects a handful of tracks from their 1999 debut, Funkin’ Blues, and most of 2001’s If It Wasn’t 4 Da Blues (both released on Montgomery’s own label). The juxtaposition illustrates both the blessings and the pitfalls of maturation: the earlier tracks, which range […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Stereophonics

Pity the poor Stereophonics. They’re arena-headlining stars in their native Britain but get a steady stream of flak from critics, tabloids, and Thom Yorke, while in America they’re reduced to warming up theater crowds for the likes of VH1-approved coffeehouse refugee Howie Day. Despite the continued efforts of their label (the Welsh combo was the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Calendar Sidebar

Janine Wilburn’s 2002 diptych, Broken Lady, can be read as a set of before-and-after shots: On the left, the orderly structure of life before an act of sexual violence. On the right, the fragmented aftermath, a semblance of that previous life still visible through the cracks. This painting and eight other pieces make up “Survivor/Victim,” […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Daniele D’Agaro

Italian reedist Daniele D’Agaro has always gotten around: he’s dug up unpublished Don Byas tunes for a mainstream album with bop great Benny Bailey; explored the common ground between improvisation, electronics, and African folklore with his trio Lingua Franca; and teamed with church organist Mauro Costantini to perform Duke Ellington’s sacred works. But he’s never […]

Posted inNews & Politics

WXRT’s Mixed Signals

Dear Mr. Margasak, Thank you for bringing attention to WXRT’s decision to sell its ONXRT CD exclusively through the national chain Best Buy [Post No Bills, January 16]. Independent music stores are a critical part of a vibrant cultural scene, nurturing new and creative artists, and all of us who care about music should support […]

Posted inFilm

American Dream Team

Miracle ** (Worth seeing) Directed by Gavin O’Connor Written by Eric Guggenheim With Kurt Russell, Patricia Clarkson, Noah Emmerich, Eddie Cahill, Michael Mantenuto, and Nathan West. Two years ago Disney released a fine sports drama called The Rookie, the true story of a high school baseball coach who tried out for the majors at age […]