Posted inArts & Culture

As Much As You Can

Beginner’s luck may account for the ups and downs of this effort from seasoned performer and first-time playwright Paul Oakley Stovall. His family drama dives headlong into identity politics–a young man brings home his boyfriend of another race–and somehow lands gracefully on the other side. Nonchalantly, with unforced humor and organic ease, Stovall sketches out […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Underneath the Lintel

This monologue by Glen Berger is an existential comedy akin to Waiting for Godot, full of clues to what is most likely a mystery without solution. As performed by the exceptional Larry Neumann Jr., Berger’s story of a librarian’s quest to determine the origin of a book returned 113 years overdue is even more moving […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Beatbox, Vol. 2

Audience members barely outnumbered performers at this super-sized remount of Dirty South Improv’s franchise piece, a no-holds-barred mix of hip-hop and improv comedy. Director Jay Olson–taking over the reins from the show’s originator, Zach Ward–has doubled the size of the ensemble and split it into two groups, each accompanied by a beatboxer. Unfortunately a lot […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

While flipping around cable recently, I came across a show discussing human fertility. Among its claims was that male fertility rates (sperm counts) have declined by 50 percent in the past 30 years and continue to decline. They suggested one possible reason for this is that as much as 80 percent of hormones in female […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Part movie binge, part slumber party, this 24-hour marathon of cinematic castoffs has become an annual event at Northwestern University. This year’s festival is already sold out, but there’s a ticket exchange on the Web site, Movies begin screening at 6 PM Friday, January 28, at McCormick Auditorium in the Norris University Center, 1999 […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Instruments of Movement

Founded by artistic director James Morrow four years ago, Instruments of Movement uses an eclectic mix of music and dance styles to explore–well, whatever the company feels like. A year ago, in Lifted, it was the Christ story; last May it was jazz great Chet Baker. This program focuses on male-female relationships. Ruff Side of […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Notre musique

Jean-Luc Godard isn’t being as hard on his audience this time around, and it seems to have paid off: I’ve yet to encounter any hostile critical response to this feature, a mellow and meditative reflection on the ravages of war. Set in Sarajevo and structured in three parts after Dante’s Divine Comedy, this beautiful film […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Conversation

Francis Ford Coppola’s 1974 film, about a wiretapper enduring a personal crisis, appears an unlikely candidate for transfer to the stage. The tight montage and brilliant sound design in particular would seem difficult to re-create in a live production. Yet Pyewacket does a great job of finding stage equivalents for Coppola’s cinematic effects. Adapter Kate […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Perhaps the most delightful of Yasujiro Ozu’s late comedies (1959), this very loose remake of his earlier I Was Born, But . . . (1932) pivots around the rebellion of two brothers whose father refuses to buy a TV set. The layered compositions of the suburban topography are extraordinary, as are the intricate interweavings of […]