Posted inArts & Culture

Steel Magnolias; Steel Magnolias

STEEL MAGNOLIAS, Circle Theatre, and STEEL MAGNOLIAS, Billy Goat Experiment Theatre Company, at the Broadway Armory. Robert Harling’s 1987 off-Broadway hit–a seriocomic study of six strong, sassy women at a southern beauty parlor–centers on the caring but contentious relationship between small-town socialite M’Lynn Eatonton and her diabetic daughter, Shelby. Torn between her desire to protect […]

Posted inMusic

Let ‘Em See You Sweat

N*E*R*D at the Riviera, April 8 N*E*R*D’s sophomore release, Fly or Die (Virgin), is a record that could only have been made by somebody who’s got other ways to pay the bills. Chad Hugo and Pharrell Williams, aka the superproducer team the Neptunes, play all the instruments themselves, and with their plinky piano chords, rudimentary […]

Posted inNews & Politics

TRG Music Listings

Rock, Pop, Etc. Concerts 1-2-3-4 performs at the closing reception for “Imaginary Landscapes: Envisioning New Concepts for Sound.” Sat 4/17, 6-10 PM, Texas Ballroom, 3012 S. Archer (third floor). 773-677-1353. AIR, MOSQUITOS See Critic’s Choice; all-ages. Tue 4/20, 7:30 PM, Riviera Theatre, 4746 N. Racine. 773-275-6800 or 312-559-1212. AMY ARMSTRONG & FREDDY ALLEN perform and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

PAC/edge Performance Festival

This “convergence of Chicago artists,” presented by Performing Arts Chicago and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, runs through April 18. The avant-garde showcase features some of the city’s most adventurous artists working in the disciplines of theater, performance, circus arts, storytelling, dance, music, video, and sound and installation art. All activities take […]

Posted inArts & Culture

An Unenchanted Evening

AN UNENCHANTED EVENING, Experimental Theatre Chicago, at Chicago Actors Studio. Part sketch comedy, part spoken-word performance, part movement-based theater, this eclectic show written and performed by an all-female ensemble looks like it opened way too early. It seems the director and dramaturge didn’t have time to trim the less successful scenes, and the performers didn’t […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Brother Grimm is in the Basement–Dreams and Drawings From the Land of Faerie

BROTHER GRIMM IS IN THE BASEMENT–DREAMS AND DRAWINGS FROM THE LAND OF FAERIE, Free Associates, at the Royal George Theatre Center. This laborious family-oriented improv show reminds us that imagination can transport a child from a bad situation into a “happily ever after” ending. Too bad the moral comes after audience members’ creative powers have […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Proof

PROOF, Goodman Theatre. David Auburn’s 2001 Pulitzer-winning play opens on the 25th birthday of Catherine, daughter of a schizophrenic former University of Chicago mathematics professor who revolutionized his field, then declined into dementia. She’s put her own life on hold to care for him and now, on the eve of his funeral, must face the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story According to a March Knight Ridder report, police in the Transylvania region of Romania are cracking down on the traditional practice of vampire killing, and many villagers are outraged that they may face three-year prison sentences for “disturbing the peace of the dead”–especially because vampire killing is usually a family affair. Since a […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Voyaging

This dreamy pastiche of movement, text, video, original music, and ambient noise–splashing waves, dripping water, birdsong–celebrates the life and work of Charles Darwin, in particular his travels on the HMS Beagle. Fortunately directors Stephan Mazurek of Walkabout Theater Company and Julia Rhoads of Lucky Plush Productions make little effort to elucidate the details of Darwin’s […]

Posted inArts & Culture

In Print: design gone wild

Starting out as a graphic designer in the early 90s, Colin Metcalf was wowed by Raygun, the David Carson-designed cultural magazine that exploded the staid graphic arts scene of the day. It defied traditional design logic: layouts and typefaces looked like they’d been run through a blender and poured onto the page. Metcalf had never […]

Posted inArts & Culture

River North Chicago Dance Company

The Mourning is something of a departure for River North artistic director Frank Chaves: this duet shows the moment of death. “He doesn’t want to let her go,” Chaves says. “And she wants to let him comfort her–yet spare him suffering.” He was inspired to create the piece (which Oak Park-based Momenta originally performed) by […]