Posted inArts & Culture

Chicago Sinfonietta

An orchestra’s fourth, or utility, trumpet is rarely asked to perform a concerto, but the level of talent today is so high that many nonprincipals are more than capable of accomplished solo playing. As the CSO’s fourth trumpet for nearly two seasons, Tage Larsen has turned in polished, commanding performances regardless of where he’s been […]

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Girl in Hyacinth Blue

GIRL IN HYACINTH BLUE, New Leaf Theatre, at the Lincoln Park Cultural Center. Writer-director Morgan Leavitt’s powerful adaptation of Susan Vreeland’s luminous novel traces the history of a Vermeer painting as it travels from owner to owner, a story told mostly through melancholy interior monologues. The play moves backward in time, beginning in the present […]

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Deerhoof

This San Francisco band is hardly the first to juxtapose sugary pop melodies and angular guitar rock, but with its latest album, Milk Man (Kill Rock Stars/5RC), Deerhoof has elevated the trick to an art form. Singer and bassist Satomi Matsuzaki delivers bubblegum hooks in a voice so mousy and naive it’s a wonder it […]

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Noises Off

NOISES OFF, Metropolis Performing Arts Centre. Michael Frayn’s three-act comedy depicts a British sex farce, “Nothing On,” three times–as a frantic dress rehearsal, a chaotic performance seen from backstage, and a self-destructive presentation late in the run, when the actors are sick of the show and one another. To get things so elaborately wrong, Noises […]

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Elena and Michel Gran

The collaborative canvases of Elena and Michel Gran–they describe their process as “symbiotic”–manipulate not just space but time, melding the juxtapositions of objects in Picasso’s cubist collages and the airless solemnity of Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin’s 18th-century paintings. In The Port, an imaginary landscape on a desktop, a folded newspaper hat is set afloat on a sea […]

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The Pool of Bethesda

THE POOL OF BETHESDA, Umalleniay Productions, at Live Bait Theater. British doctor Daniel Pearce is diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and learns not only that his wife is having an affair but that she knows about his affair with a colleague. But none of these revelations arises until the second act of Allan Cubitt’s […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

Having just finished watching Pirates of the Caribbean I am wondering about cannonballs. It seems that Hollywood always has them exploding on contact. How is it that a solid iron ball explodes? You would need a hollowed ball filled with TNT, wouldn’t you? And if you have a cannonball that’s hollow, how do you fill […]

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Rene Marie

Rene Marie didn’t start singing in clubs till 1996, at the age of 41, but just two years later she made the happy decision to leave her job as a bank teller to concentrate on music. She has superb tools and the fearlessness to use them for experiment rather than mere recreation. Her voice has […]

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Calendar

Friday 4/23 – Thursday 4/29 APRIL 23 FRIDAY Even if your budget is more Ikea than Louis XV, at this weekend’s seventh annual Chicago Antiques Fair you can ogle furniture, jewelry, ceramics, and more courtesy of dealers from around the country and Europe. The show, on the second floor of the Merchandise Mart, 350 N. […]

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Video Mundi

Now in its second year, this festival of avant-garde video continues Friday through Sunday, April 23 through 25, with eight programs of short works assembled by a variety of curators. Friday screenings are at 6:30 and 8:00 at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, 312-744-6630; Saturday screenings are at 3:00, 4:00, 5:30, 7:00, 8:30, […]

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Josh Rouse

There’s a huge gap between the solo career Paul Westerberg seemed to promise us and the one we got. By now there should have been a stack of gritty but mature guitar-pop albums; instead we have a decade’s worth of botched experiments and grumpy complaining. For a while there, though, it looked like Nashville singer-songwriter […]