Posted inArts & Culture

Kronos Quartet

Over the past 30 years the Kronos Quartet has established itself as one of the premier ensembles dedicated to modern music. At first the members played works by familiar composers such as Bartok, Berg, and Ives, along with more contemporary fare by, among others, Penderecki, Crumb, and Feldman. But they were also early proponents of […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Editor’s Job

Both playwright and polemicist Tony Kushner and Sun-Times theater critic Hedy Weiss have points to make in the dispute described by Michael Miner in his June 4 Hot Type column “Pride and Prejudice.” But Miner and Kushner go too far in seeking to bring Weiss’s editors into this. A critic or a columnist stands or […]

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The Sweet Little Prince

THE SWEET LITTLE PRINCE, T.U.T.A. (The Utopian Theatre Asylum), at Victory Gardens Theater. Stephen Angus and Zeljko Djukic’s adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s The Little Prince includes most of the book’s incidents while missing most of its meaning. Director Djukic may have divined that the story is a French existentialist Christology: an aviator with a […]

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Calendar

Friday 6/11 – Thursday 6/17 JUNE 11 FRIDAY The U.S. used to lead the world in leisure time, but today the average American works 400 hours more a year–that’s ten full workweeks–than the average German. The Seattle-based organization Take Back Your Time is working to slow us down by lobbying for legislation mandating a minimum […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Sam Phillips

As a songwriter, Sam Phillips is drawn to the debilitating effects of frustrated longing and missed opportunities, topics to which her ravaged, world-weary voice is well suited. Like her last album, Fan Dance, Phillips’s terrific new release, A Boot and a Shoe (Nonesuch), was produced by her husband, T-Bone Burnett, who’s given it a small […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Brain-Damaged Media

Dear Chicago Reader, Thank you for your insightful article about Dr. Helen Morrison by Cliff Doerksen [“True Crime?” June 4]. A couple of weeks ago I caught Dr. Morrison in an interview on the CNN program 360 with Anderson Cooper. The segment was about a link between brain damage received as a child and serial […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Saban Bajramovic

When it comes to Rom music, you can’t get much realer than Serbian vocalist Saban Bajramovic. His earthy, expressive songs celebrate the passions of the Rom and lament their persecution, and his delivery ranges from teary-eyed but controlled to reckless and inflamed. Born in 1936 (to the best of anyone’s knowledge), Bajramovic attended four years […]

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The Fantasticks

THE FANTASTICKS, Metropolis Performing Arts Centre. Perhaps this musical, which ran continuously in a tiny downtown Manhattan theater from the eve of the Kennedy administration until after 9/11, is such a favorite because it speaks to generations of young people who throng–or long to throng–to the big city, to spin the wheel in the carnival […]

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Street Scene

STREET SCENE, Artistic Home. Elmer Rice’s naturalistic drama was praised at its premiere in 1929 for its candid views of social tensions in New York’s slums. If today its dialogue seems stilted and its characterizations hackneyed, the plight of young lovers struggling to escape a world of poverty, prejudice, and violence has lost none of […]

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Theatrical Essays

THEATRICAL ESSAYS, Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Created in concert with a gifted nine-member ensemble, Tina Landau’s playful new 90-minute piece explores subjects as diverse as bananas, film noir, and love in the age of irony. From the opening section, on the joys and tribulations of getting lost in Venice, to an impassioned and stunning tribute to […]

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Randy Sandke/Harry Allen Quintet

Harry Allen plays a velvety tenor in thrall to Stan Getz, and Chicago native Randy Sandke harks back even further for his coal-furnace trumpet style, to the music of Armstrong and Beiderbecke. Given their strong roots in the swing tradition, you might assume it’s Retro Week at the Jazz Showcase, but Sandke and Allen each […]

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Philip Jeck

Turntablists from Jam Master Jay to the X-ecutioners have indulged in flashy displays of scratching, but despite its name, the technique doesn’t necessarily despoil a DJ’s record collection. Philip Jeck, on the other hand, prefers his vinyl thoroughly despoiled. The 51-year-old Liverpudlian treats the hiss and crackle of his exceptionally distressed records with the same […]

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Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra

Femi Kuti, son of Fela, headlines the House of Blues on Tuesday, but the Afrobeat pioneer’s legacy is better served by Antibalas–while Femi delivers a bland and polished version of his father’s music, this New York orchestra (whose membership hovers between 15 and 17) plays the stuff uncut. On its first two albums Antibalas crafted […]

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Feed the Hole

FEED THE HOLE, Sideway Theater Company, at American Theater Company. People in their mid-20s often try to sound deep, political, cool, edgy, emotionally in tune–or all of the above. Playwright-director Michael Stock hasn’t outgrown that effort yet, as his Feed the Hole makes abundantly clear. Stock’s jokes can be funny, and a breakup scene in […]

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Seven Out

SEVEN OUT, DueEast Theatre Company, at Stage Left Theatre. Keith Uchima was right: Ken Eto is a great subject for a play. A Chicago hood of Japanese descent, Eto was a reverse-image poster boy for the American dream, making his way in the post-WWII mob despite anti-Asian prejudice and Italian domination, succeeding right up to […]