Posted inArts & Culture

Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris

JACQUES BREL IS ALIVE AND WELL AND LIVING IN PARIS, Brown Couch Theatre Company, at National Pastime Theater. It’s a tad disconcerting to see young performers throw themselves into Jacques Brel’s anthems of disillusionment. More bitter than sweet, his songs celebrate weathered survivors, wronged lovers, and battered souls, from soldiers furious with the killing game […]

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Dragons 1976

On the new debut album by Dragons 1976, On Cortez (Locust), alto saxophonist Aram Shelton, bassist Jason Ajemian, and drummer Tim Daisy (all born in 1976, the Year of the Dragon) lay bare the components of their simple, uncluttered music and bet everything on careful phrasing and attentive interaction. Shelton, one of Chicago’s finest young […]

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Though Kronos Quartet’s world-in-a-blender approach has yielded some dodgy cocktails over the years, you have to give them credit for helping to break down the walls of the classical music ghetto: just about every genre of music on the planet borrows freely from others, so why shouldn’t serious composers have the freedom to do the […]

Posted inMusic

Minimalist Mythmaking

Pandit Pran Nath Midnight/Raga Malkauns (Just Dreams) Early on in The Concert for Bangladesh, the sound of Ravi Shankar’s group tuning up is received with applause from the Western audience, which has mistaken it for the actual music. Three decades later, it’s still not such a small world after all. The sitar craze of the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

TRG Music Listings

Rock, Pop, Etc. Concerts ERYKAH BADU, FLOETRY Sat 2/28, 7 PM, Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress. 312-922-2110 or 312-902-1500. TRACY BECK Free concert. Wed 2/25, noon, Chicago Music Mart, DePaul Center, 333 S. State. 312-362-6700. BIG BAND Tribute to big-band music. Fri 2/20, Sat 2/21, Fri 2/27, and Sat 2/28, 7:30 PM, and Sun 2/29, […]

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Henry Rollins

It’s hard to believe that the same Henry Rollins who declared that “sensitivity is for pussies” has spent the last few years as a solo performer detailing a set of neuroses thicker than his own neck, fussing about turning 40 and finding the right girl to settle down with. Maybe people are finally getting hip […]

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Fur Beethoven

FUR BEETHOVEN, Journeymen Theater Company. In press materials, director Tonika Todorova maintains that the biodrama she conceived (Jeremy Beiler wrote the script) is told “from Beethoven’s perspective.” Yet this rudimentary pageant, offering little information one couldn’t gather from 45 minutes on Google, has no discernible point of view at all. The basic elements of Beethoven’s […]

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Paragon Springs

PARAGON SPRINGS, TimeLine Theatre Company. Steven Dietz’s transplant of Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People from Norway in 1882 to the midwest in 1926 has a couple of interesting points to make–the play is more compelling than, say, Drowning Crow, Regina Taylor’s arid, pointless reworking of The Seagull. But ultimately Dietz adds little that’s […]

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Over The Tavern

OVER THE TAVERN, at Metropolis Performing Arts Centre. For good and ill, Tom Dudzick’s play about a 1950s working-class Catholic family resembles a two-and-a-half-hour sitcom. Well-worn grievances are rehashed, most related to nuns brandishing rulers and threatening hellfire for oversleeping on Sunday or (saints preserve us) having impure thoughts. Precocious kids mug and crack wise […]

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George Piper Dances

Who the heck is George Piper? And what does he have to do with the Ballet Boyz? Turns out that “George Piper” is an amalgam of the middle names of Michael Nunn and William Trevitt, dancers with London’s Royal Ballet who were featured in Ballet Boyz, a collection of video diaries that first aired on […]