Posted inArts & Culture

Rhinoceros Theater Festival

The Curious Theatre Branch’s 15th annual showcase of experimental theater, performance, and music from Chicago’s fringe runs through 11/20 at the Curious Theatre Branch, 7001 N. Glenwood. Admission is $12 or “pay what you can”; for information and reservations, call 773-274-6660. Following is the schedule through 10/11; a complete schedule is available online at […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Thespis, or The Gods Grown Old

Operetta fans can die happy now that the Savoyaires have “re-created” Gilbert and Sullivan’s first collaboration. Only two of Sullivan’s songs survived the original 1871 production of Thespis, but in 1982 Kingsley Day composed a score as faithful as he could make it, now lavishly arranged for 25-piece orchestra. The result is as exhilarating as […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

I am a Middle Eastern guy who lived 21 years of my life in that region. This year I came to Canada. The sexual freedom in this country makes you feel more and more inclined to have sex with a girlfriend. Lately, I met this girl in an Internet chat room. She said she has […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Jim Black’s Alasnoaxis

As the drummer for Dave Douglas’s Tiny Bell Trio, Tim Berne’s Bloodcount, Ellery Eskelin’s trio, and a slew of other groups, Jim Black disassembles the beat like a kid who gleefully wrecks a Lego castle to build new shapes with the blocks–and then, without a moment’s pause, snaps the original construction back together perfectly. Just […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Midnight Hellhouse

Two abortions are depicted onstage in this send-up of evangelical Christian haunted houses that use scenes of sinners in hell to scare visitors into “piety.” One abortion is performed by a rabid stem-cell addict who bites into a pregnant woman’s abdomen in order to devour her fetus. In the other a woman aborts the Christ […]

Posted inFilm

Act of Violence

Recruited as MGM’s production chief in 1948, Dore Schary tried to inject the sluggish fantasy factory with a dose of social realism, and one of the first products was this taut sun-washed noir (1949) directed by Fred Zinnemann (High Noon, From Here to Eternity). Robert Ryan is an avenging angel in raincoat and fedora, limping […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Single File

This third annual festival of solo performance, featuring more than 30 pieces, runs through 10/10 at the Athenaeum Theatre, third-floor studio, 2936 N. Southport. Tickets are $15 per show; “all access” passes cost $90. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster by calling 312-902-1500 or logging on to; single-show tickets are also available at the […]

Posted inNews & Politics


[snip] “The murder rate in CHA developments has nearly doubled since 1999, the year before the city launched its Plan for Transformation,” report Brian Rogal and Beauty Turner in the Chicago Reporter (July/August). One resident says, “It’s like they took all the gangs and mixed them up.” [snip] Neither Bush nor Kerry has a plan […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Travis Morrison

Former Dismemberment Plan front man Travis Morrison realizes that most indie rockers don’t need to be argued out of reelecting George Bush. Instead he spends his first solo album, Travistan (Barsuk), analyzing the ways in which politics and history impinge on the personal lives of himself and his mostly white, reasonably privileged cohort. On “Che […]