Posted inArts & Culture

Orange Flower Water

Orange Flower Water, Steppenwolf Theatre Company. This tale of marital infidelity delivers everything you’d expect from a Steppenwolf show. Taut, credible, emotionally charged dialogue. Riveting, risky performances from gifted actors. Flawless direction. A focused dramatic arc. It’s also, for good and bad, something like watching couples in counseling. On the one hand, the timeless topic […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Bounty Killer

Crushing poverty, civil unrest, and random gunfire were–and still are–the norm in the Kingston ghettos where dancehall star Bounty Killer grew up. He was singing in front of crowds before he was ten, standing out in the street in front of a booming reggae sound system; his early rhymes became local hits without ever being […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Stories In September in Knoxville, Tennessee, 51-year-old Thomas Martin McGouey left a suicide note in his apartment, painted a bull’s-eye on his body, walked outside, and attracted a crowd of police officers by firing a pellet gun in a parking lot. But his plan to provoke the officers to kill him in self-defense fell […]

Posted inMusic

Punk Primer/Postscripts

Punk Primer Though punk as a concept has had a profound impact on popular music, most of its original practitioners have been consigned to the footnotes of rock history. While a handful of bands from both sides of the pond managed to parlay their notoriety into careers–the Ramones, Blondie, Talking Heads, the Clash, and X, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Bunny the Undead Expediter–“You Brought Her, You Slayer,”

Bunny the Undead Expediter–“You Brought Her, You Slayer,” Careening Theater, at Angel Island. Fight choreographer Erin Kathleen Carlson plays the martial heroine in writer-director David Skvarla’s parody of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Here, as in the TV series, the teenage crusader and her sidekicks–nerdy Gander, brainy Maple, and mentorly Miles–swing stakes and swords, kick infernal […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Polish Film Festival in America

The 15th annual Polish Film Festival in America, produced by the Society for Arts, runs Saturday, November 1, through Sunday, November 16. Unless otherwise noted, films are screened from 35-millimeter prints and tickets are $9 at the Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence. Films are projected from video and tickets are $7 at the Society for […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chicago Humanities Festival

The 14th annual Chicago Humanities Festival, this year themed “Saving + Spending,” runs November 1 through 9, offering dozens of lectures, readings, and discussions by writers, artists, and scholars (see schedule below) as well as film screenings and theatrical and musical performances (see separate listings in this section and in Section Three). The following events […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Quasi, Ladybug Transistor

Sam Coomes puts the “inarticulate” in “inarticulate rage” on Quasi’s unfortunately titled Hot Shit (Touch and Go). In the ranted coda to “White Devil’s Dream,” an indictment of recent U.S. policy, he runs down a list of administration-related figures, including the entire Bush family and Messrs. Ashcroft, Cheney, Powell, and Rumsfeld, and tells them all […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Cricket in Times Square

The Cricket in Times Square, Lifeline Theatre. George Selden wrote this warm fantasy about a cricket’s brief tenure as New York City’s most famous musician, though the 1960 children’s book may owe its lifeblood to illustrator Garth Williams. It certainly owes its nuances to his fabulous pen-and-ink renditions, full of dirty crosshatching and delirious van […]