Posted inArts & Culture

Missing Motives

Brutality of Fact Eclipse Theatre Company at Victory Gardens Theater Eclipse’s decision to revisit this ten-year-old black comedy by Keith Reddin makes a lot of sense, and not just because the company’s in the middle of an all-Reddin season. Now that our commander in chief believes he has a direct line to the Almighty and […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Chuck Shepherd is on vacation. The following items are reprinted from the News of the Weird archive. Lead Story In 1998 police in Wichita, Kansas, removed four children from their parents’ mobile home, which was littered with animal feces, and placed them in foster care. Officers reported that numerous Star Trek posters and magazines were […]

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Eric Schlosser

After reading Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation, I actually called my mom to thank her for getting swept up in the whole-food movement of the 70s. I may have hated that whole-grain zucchini pizza, but the aversion to Big Macs stuck, possibly adding years to my life and saving my soul to boot. Schlosser’s muckraking […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Henry Crown Gallery

The skylit Henry Crown Gallery at the top of the great central stairs at the Art Institute of Chicago is an architectural mausoleum, filled with relics of buildings gone to early graves. Here is a broken column and a chunk of mosaic floor, fragments from Adler & Sullivan’s demolished Garrick Theatre, there the disembodied head […]

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Maria Full of Grace

This watchable and well-made feature debut by American independent writer-director Joshua Marston is also very much a showcase for Catalina Sadino Moreno, who plays the eponymous lead with grit and energy. Maria is a fearless and attractive 17-year-old Colombian who leaves her job on a rose plantation to work as a drug mule. For $5,000 […]

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Open-Air Screenings

All screenings are free and, unless otherwise noted, will be shown by video projection as part of the Chicago Park District’s “Movies in the Park” series. See listings for capsule reviews. Films marked with an asterisk (*) are highly recommended. The Fighting Temptations Avalon Park, 1215 E. 83rd St., Friday, July 30, 8:15, 312-747-6015 Guess […]

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Hunt Slonem

About 40 tropical birds, some uncaged, live in Hunt Slonem’s New York studio, so the bird paintings in his show at Jean Albano may be more realistic than they seem. In Habitat Hyacinths red, green, yellow, and blue parrots face all directions, and rough black brushstrokes represent perches. But everything is covered with a rough […]

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Greg Osby Four

When alto saxophonist Greg Osby released Banned in New York (Blue Note), an authorized bootleg recorded on a minidisc machine, in 1998, he said it was an attempt to keep pace with his musical development: by the time a studio recording came out, he’d already moved on to something new–from hip-hop fusion, for example, to […]

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The Baker’s Wife

THE BAKER’S WIFE, One Theatre Company, at the Athenaeum Theatre. Based on Marcel Pagnol’s popular 1938 film La femme de boulanger, itself an adaptation of Jean Giono’s 1932 novel Jean le bleu, Stephen Schwartz and Joseph Stein’s musical should be better than it is. The setting is exotic: a village in Provence. And the premise […]

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Ken Stringfellow

Ken Stringfellow’s new Soft Commands (Yep Roc) marks a significant if subtle shift from his last solo effort. 2001’s Touched found the silvery-voiced Posies front man hunkered down in producer Mitch Easter’s North Carolina studio trying to distill the essence of his old band’s decade-long career into a single disc. Soft Commands, written and recorded […]

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Horro’Rama Drive-In

As part of the Flashback Weekend nostalgia convention, the west parking lot of the Holiday Inn O’Hare International, 5440 N. River Road, Rosemont, will be converted into an open-air theater, with patrons invited to bring blankets and lawn chairs (the “drive-in” part is purely sentimental). Shorts, trailers, and remarks from drive-in aficionado Joe Bob Briggs […]