It’s hard to imagine a messier or more eccentric take on 9/11 and the Bush administration’s various wars on terror than John Green’s political farce, in which three women set out to achieve world peace by “taking the balls” from a trio of testosterone-poisoned world leaders. Set in an alternate universe remarkably like our own, […]
Friday 8 BLACK HEART PROCESSION The Black Heart Procession recently got pushed out of their comfortably uncomfortable groove by participating in the Dutch label Konkurrent’s “In the Fishtank” series, which throws bands together in the studio to make a record on the fly. BHP hooked up with the Dutch art-rock band Solbakken, and the result, […]
The body count in Teatro Bastardo’s improvised show is high, but the performers are more focused on getting laughs than on giving us chills. Using a title suggested by the audience, they spoof the mayhem and melodrama of 1930s monster movies by fictional director Brunst. On the night I attended, “The Claw” was the evening’s […]
James Owens’s treatise on the threat to personal freedoms posed by an autocratic government can be frustrating. The playwright’s intent seems to be to push us headfirst into a hyperparanoid reality and force us to grapple with a narrative that needs too much unpacking to be savored. The resourceful ensemble renders a few moments indelible: […]
Local Democrats who don’t know their own ward committeemen are hoofing it around Wisconsin to beat Bush.
Experts at belittling each other, George and Martha indulge in Olympic-level imbibing as they entertain and undermine a younger couple who lack the illusions–what Ibsen called the “life lies”–that sustain a marriage. In Edward Albee’s classic, George goes too far, and by the play’s end these two seasoned fighters must face their feelings. Rich with […]
Is James Ellroy the greatest white-knuckle-drunk writer since Eugene O’Neill? Is he a frightful braggart and a publicity whore of the first order? Didn’t he revamp detective novels from tough guy whodunits into sprawling postwar dramas with real psychological immediacy? Do I dig him, and does he worry me? Yes to all the above. Ellroy’s […]
Guy Massey makes such a superb George W. Bush that the original could just stand aside and let Massey take over. In Theater Oobleck’s sprawling political satire, shaped by the Odyssey, the 1960 film Spartacus, and passion plays, Massey re-creates W’s slouch toward Washington. The piece–which is much smarter than its title–recounts how “five of […]
As a fresh recruit out of college, Chicago Public Schools Teacher Lauren Handley found Arne Duncan’s rhetoric inspiring. But even she can’t see how Renaissance 2010 is going to attract more like her.
Alice is 60 and Wonderland is a burlesque club in Jim Hornor’s extremely loose adaptation of the Lewis Carroll classic for UMA Productions. In this staging by Mikhael Tara Garver, the premise seems little more than an excuse for lots of running around and overacting, and the script’s assumption is offensive: that the “personhood” of […]
The last time pianist Danilo Perez played the Jazz Showcase, he did something his fans have been begging him to: he recorded his working trio live in a club. Now he returns to the scene to celebrate the imminent Web-only release of that recording. Of course, the clamor for a live disc didn’t arise because […]
The subjects of a new documentary were pin-down girls in the pinup age.
As Beau O’Reilly’s new play opens, it’s raining onstage–huge sprinkling cans suspended from the ceiling inundate a cluster of umbrella-clutching citizens. One of them, a teenager listening to Lou Reed’s “Vicious” (the source of the play’s misquoted title) on her Walkman, collides with a bus. Later, in a honky-tonk bar, a web of connections develops. […]
Even in his entertaining play about the disastrous filming of “The Misfits,” Arthur Miller’s keeping her for himself.
The city’s annual literary festival continues through October 30, with readings and book signings by local and national writers, poets, and scholars as well as discussions, lectures, workshops, and children’s activities at bookstores, public libraries, and other venues. All are free unless otherwise noted. For more information call 312-747-4300, see www.chicagopubliclibrary.org, or contact the hosting […]