Steppenwolf’s revival is one of the most emotionally jolting productions I’ve seen in months. In Anna D. Shapiro’s sensitive staging, the set pieces are stripped to the barest essentials, which allows this show about old wounds to breathe on new terms.
There’s a certain frustration attached to any attempt to describe the work of Lucille Clifton, whose wise, rounded verse feels as if it’s already said it all. Clifton’s poems are quiet but also furious. They’re spare, funny, often biblical, and heartbreaking–testaments to her commitment to “the balance of intellect and intuition” and the challenge of […]
Lake Affect: Photographs by Othello Anderson at City Gallery, through June 28 Barbara Crane: Still Lifes / Natures Mortes at the Chicago Cultural Center, through May 23 Disciplined, carefully delimited approaches to nature photography yield a revelatory diversity in two exhibitions. Shooting in color, Othello Anderson has been recording a single view of Lake Michigan […]
THE ALCHEMY OF TULIPS, Ravenous Productions, at the Storefront Theater. Writer-director Joseph Ravens uses dance, text, and screen images to tell the story of a 17th-century market disaster in Holland caused by speculation in tulip bulbs–a sort of tulips.com phenomenon. This seemingly dry economic event provides some beautiful themes and tales: Ravens makes the tulip […]
The Best Made Flans
The city’s public art director says he was having a bad day, but he threw a phone and he’s been canned.
Jon Langford & Rob Lentz The Rise & Fall of the National Barn Dance at the Chicago Cultural Center, through May 30 Don’t bury me on the lone prairie Take me where the cement grows Let’s move down to some big town Where they love a gal by the cut o’ her clothes And you’ll […]
THE OTHER WAY: STORIES OF THE NEW UPTOWN, Scrap Mettle Soul, at Alternatives, Inc. For ten years Scrap Mettle Soul has presented true community theater: the stories of real people in Uptown and Edgewater. In The Other Way, the narratives come from people who’ve immigrated to this country from other, more violent places. Though the […]
I’m a relatively inexperienced 26-year-old young lady. I have basically spent the last four years celibate, in a dead-end relationship that I’m finally out of. Recently, I met a much older man, 41, who is extremely experienced and has had a history of being totally freaky (golden showers, porn, etc). He’s got a pretty healthy […]
For years Tyrone Davis has recorded little but standard soul-blues ballads and cloying, swaggering hoochie-man numbers (“Sugar Daddy,” “Tip Toe Through the Bedroom”). But last year’s Come to Daddy (Future) opens with a refreshing jolt of gut-thumping hard funk: on “Dogg” Davis promises that “Before the night is over / I’m gonna be your favorite […]
In 2000, shortly before he left Chicago for New York University’s MFA program, poet Quraysh Ali Lansana was chatting with his friend Zahra Baker about Harriet Tubman. They knew that the abolitionist had suffered from narcolepsy due to a childhood blow to the head, and wondered whether God had talked to the deeply religious Tubman […]
(The) Violent Sex Visions & Voices Theatre Company at Chicago Dramatists If someone could write about writing with one-tenth the intensity Roger Kahn brings to baseball, the literary world might have itself a new champion. But the process of actually committing words to the page and wrestling over grammar and spelling and meaning is universal […]
EMBER SWIFT 5/7, SCHUBAS This Toronto-based singer-songwriter follows the Ani DiFranco model, with her own label (Few’ll Ignite Sound) and networking Web site. On her eighth album, Disarming, Swift (on acoustic guitar) and longtime collaborator Lyndell Montgomery (electric bass, violin) effectively contain the music’s fierce politics in an easy-to-swallow capsule of deft, frisky, superwhite jazz […]
Benjamin Britten’s valedictory opera, written three years before his death in 1976, is perhaps his most personal work for the theater. Adapted from Thomas Mann’s 1912 novella, it’s the tale of an aging writer, Gustav von Aschenbach, wrestling with spiritual malaise and his obsession with a beautiful adolescent boy he encounters during a vacation in […]
Dear responsible of the newspaper, I’m Jorge Dyszel, director of the movie Finally, the Sea. I write to you in respect to the ironic criticisms and comments that have been published in your newspapers signed by Mr. Rosenbaum [Section Two, April 16]. I strongly believe that said comments have been trendy, damaging, and with absolute […]