Posted inArts & Culture

King Sunny Ade

The unwitting progenitor of what we now call world music, Nigerian juju legend King Sunny Ade was signed by Island Records founder Chris Blackwell after the 1981 death of Bob Marley–the label wanted a new third-world star with boundless charisma. The three albums Ade released on Mango, an Island subsidiary, brought him international acclaim, but […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Brian and Shevat

Gabrielle Reisman’s fable of true love among the Gen-Y set is sweet, occasionally funny, and quite charming thanks to actors Jimmy Freund and Elizabeth Middleton. But there’s something missing. In keeping with the current vogue for love stories involving time/memory displacement (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Time Traveler’s Wife), Reisman’s one-act mysteriously drops […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Signs of Life

I used to be a journalist myself, and I never particularly liked the idea that one has to shed all one’s convictions and rights to individual expression the second one takes up the pen [Hot Type, April 1]. I guess it depends on whether you think of yourself as a journalist first and a citizen […]

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Emio Greco | PC

The shoulders carry pain; they hunch to ward off harm. And the shoulder girdle–that vulnerable, sinewy, crucial part of the body from which the more consciously expressive arms and hands hang–is the focal point of Rimasto Orfano (“Abandoned Orphan”). In this 75-minute piece for six performers by Italian choreographer Emio Greco and Dutch director Pieter […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Boundary Breaker

Nicole Gordon is a self-described good suburban Jewish girl whose sweetly colored paintings and installations at Peter Miller disturbingly reflect on cultural displacement. Her goal is to cut through viewers’ complacency using her work’s studied prettiness. “In the very protected suburbs I grew up in,” Gordon says, “you hold yourself in your own little world […]

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The Rimers of Eldritch

Lanford Wilson’s evil Eldritch, a small midwestern mill town on the skids, is no Mayberry. It’s a dump where boredom, hypocrisy, ignorance, and envy contend for the souls of the citizens. So there can be no loss of innocence when two crimes–a murder and a sexual assault–emerge from the townspeople’s constant chorus of mean-spirited gossip: […]

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Handsome Boy Modeling School

White People (Atlantic) just may be the first hip-hop album where the skits are more riveting than the music–and in this case that’s saying a lot. Prince Paul and Dan “the Automator” Nakamura first revealed their lounge-lizard personas, Chest Rockwell and Nathaniel Merriweather, on the 1999 tour de force So . . . How’s Your […]

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PAC/edge Performance Festival

This multidisciplinary event, presented by Performing Arts Chicago and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, runs through Sunday, April 10. The avant-garde showcase, now in its third year, features established and emerging artists (including a number of SAIC students and alumni) working in theater, performance, circus arts, puppetry, storytelling, dance, music, video, and […]

Posted inArts & Culture


A marriage of convenience becomes a tragic romance in this enveloping 2004 German drama by Fatih Akin, whose Turkish ancestry and German upbringing inform the story’s clash of cultures. In a seedy section of Hamburg a middle-aged loser (Birol Unel) purposely crashes his car into a brick wall, but instead of a toe tag he […]

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Take Me Out

In Richard Greenberg’s Tony-winning comedy, now in a crisp production by About Face Theatre in partnership with Steppenwolf, baseball is a metaphor for the best and worst of America. The play ostensibly focuses on a multiracial Derek Jeter-style superstar, Darren Lemming, who comes out to his team and the press. Though his teammates pretend to […]