Posted inArts & Culture

Fillet of Solo Festival

Live Bait Theater presents its ninth annual showcase of one-person performances. The event features work by an array of well-known fringe artists–among them David Kodeski, Stephanie Shaw, Susan Karp, and Edward Thomas-Herrera–as well as a crop of emerging talents, including real-life police officers involved in Live Bait’s Police-Teen Link program. The Fillet of Solo Festival […]

Posted inMusic

Soul Survives

Ricky Fante Rewind (Virgin) Van Hunt Van Hunt (Capitol) The nomenclature of pop music has never been an exact science, but neo-soul has to be one of the most useless terms ever coined. Any genre that can accommodate Stevie Wonder pretenders, Afrocentric fusion, European quasi-jazz grooves, and hippies isn’t really a genre, especially when much […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Fun While It Lasted

FUN WHILE IT LASTED, Fillet of Solo Festival, Live Bait Theater. Death, according to monologuist Edward Thomas-Herrera, always trumps irony. It certainly has in his new show. Known for his sardonic, fantastical tours of an imaginary gin-soaked demimonde, Thomas-Herrera here spends an hour talking about his mother’s death from cancer and his own fumbling attempts […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Significance of Sunday

A Family Farm Album: The Photographs of Frank Sadorus at the Illinois State Museum, through August 27 Seurat and the Making of La Grande Jatte at the Art Institute of Chicago, through September 19 Work and leisure coexist in the benevolent, fertile landscape captured by Frank Sadorus, an amateur photographer who documented his life on […]

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Don’t Mess With Success

Rubbed Raw: Recent Investigations in Butoh at the Spareroom, August 5-7 Chicago Human Rhythm Project: Rhythm Asia at the Museum of Contemporary Art, July 30-August 1 Chicago Human Rhythm Project: Juba! Masters of Tap and Percussive Dance at Northwestern University, Josephine Louis Theatre, August 6-8 Two examples of Japanese dance showed up recently on Chicago […]

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Gideon’s Day

With its eccentric mix of realism and mannerism, London locations and stylish sets, John Ford’s 1958 adaptation of a John Creasey novel is decidedly un-Hollywood. Chronicling a packed day in the life of a Scotland Yard inspector (Jack Hawkins), it seems almost plotless at first, which may explain why the U.S. release, titled Gideon of […]

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Amp Fiddler

After two decades of serious session work with the likes of George Clinton, Prince, Carl Craig, Maxwell, Lucy Pearl, and Jamiroquai, Joseph “Amp” Fiddler of Detroit has finally stepped out on his own; unsurprisingly, his first album, Waltz of a Ghetto Fly (PIAS America/Genuine), is steeped in the deep funk and soul that dominates his […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Grant Park Orchestra

Scottish composer James MacMillan finds inspiration in the early Christian church, creating works of great spiritual power that never sermonize or lapse into mystical solipsism. His 1992 percussion concerto Veni, Veni, Emmanuel is rooted in an Advent chant, but MacMillan opens up that theme to spin out a glittering constellation of sounds. Near the end […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Thee Fine Lines

This trio from Springfield, Missouri, owes a lot to Billy Childish–the insanely prolific, stubbornly primitive, hilariously misanthropic British rocker who’s been bashing away in varying degrees of obscurity for almost three decades. Thee Fine Lines deliver the same kind of catchy, dirt-simple tunes, stomping 60s garage beats, snarly guitar, distorted vocals, and shitty sound quality […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Solid Citizen

SOLID CITIZEN, at the Neo-Futurarium. “I’m numb to this,” a grand jury member says in response to the testimony of a young sexual abuse victim. But Lisa Buscani’s character really isn’t–and neither are we, thanks to the power of this writer-performer’s storytelling. Her five monologues, linked by each character’s desire to help others, are so […]