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Posted inArts & Culture

Explicit Lyrics

This celebration of sexuality directed by Daryl Nitz has been remounted after a run last summer with one new cast member and some song changes–and it’s only gotten better. The three original singers and pianist Claire Bigley have been joined by fluid-voiced Ty Perry, who adds sexy panache to what was already a naughty romp. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Intermission

Critics in the UK have compared this ensemble comedy to Magnolia, Short Cuts, and Amores perros, but that’s a clear case of oversell: at 105 minutes, it operates on a much smaller scale than any of those ubernarratives. But Irish playwright Mark O’Rowe, who wrote the script, has an admirable sense of dramatic proportion that […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Rhonda Vincent

Although Missouri-born Rhonda Vincent has been a showbiz professional for nearly four decades–she joined her family’s bluegrass act, the Sally Mountain Show, at the age of five and became its drummer at six–she feels she’s only come into her own as an artist in the last five years or so. “I came to a crossroads, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Stories According to a December story in the Chicago Tribune, the nationwide anxiety over mad cow disease hasn’t affected business at a restaurant in Evansville, Indiana, that serves brain sandwiches, a traditional dish supposedly imported by the townspeople’s German ancestors; the most popular sandwich is fried cow brains on a bun. Said one hardy […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Stanislav Ioudenitch

The first performer in this season’s Rising Stars series at Ravinia is pianist Stanislav Ioudenitch, gold medalist at the 2001 Van Cliburn competition. Born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, he’s performed throughout the former Soviet republics and much of Europe and will make his Carnegie Hall debut in April. His only recording to date is the Harmonia […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Author’s Voice; Out at Sea

THE AUTHOR’S VOICE and OUT AT SEA, Liquid Stage Theatre Collective, at Theatre Building Chicago. The comic choices Richard Greenberg makes in his trashy 1987 one-act are reminiscent of bad episodes of Bewitched. A would-be writer snags a big publishing contract thanks to a troll with a gift for words who does all his writing […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Jim Jarmusch’s Favorite Shorts

This shorts program was originally compiled for a personal appearance by director Jim Jarmusch at last December’s Movieside Film Festival but proved so popular that the organizers have scheduled an encore screening. It’s indicative of Jarmusch’s singular taste that all but two of these items–Sara Driver’s energetic documentary The Bowery (1994) and Hype Williams’s equally […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Walking Wounded

American Dead American Theater Company Last May, when I reviewed Brett Neveu’s The Go, I said its quiet, unadorned, working-class realism reminded me of the early live television dramas, like Paddy Chayevsky’s Marty. With American Dead, Neveu has moved beyond mere reminiscence. Here he’s mastered and revived the thing itself, full out. There were times–especially […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

I know you don’t want to hear this, Dan, but marriage is about babies. By supporting the baby industry–i.e., hetero baby producers–our government keeps the country populated. Gay people can’t reproduce, even if they can raise other hetero people’s kids (adoption) or use other people’s sperm (artificial insemination). But never–and I mean never–can two gay […]

Posted inMusic

How to Murder a Mystery

Black Heart Procession The Tropics of Love DVD (Touch and Go) Black Heart Procession & Solbakken In the Fishtank 11 (Konkurrent) The Black Heart Procession’s 2002 concept album, Amore del Tropico, was a mild departure from their previous work–a bit more upbeat, a bit more up-tempo, with an actual title instead of a number. But […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Cast on a Hot Tin Roof

CAST ON A HOT TIN ROOF, Noble Fool Theater Company. “The play Tennessee Williams forgot to write,” as this improv company calls it, has sacrificed a few IQ points in its move downtown. But the concept originated in 1991 by the Free Associates–a fully improvised one-act in Williams’s style–remains intact in this revival by the […]