Posted inArts & Culture

Leopard Woman

Warning: David Gilbert’s new play is about people who never learn, never change, and take forever to leave the stage. True, he’s filled his nearly three-hour fictional biography of a blacklisted screen actress with lots of heated arguments, melodramatic speeches, and appearances before congressional committees, not to mention a series of amazingly bad career moves […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Daily Affirmations

The last time I saw work incorporating an artist’s blood, he had AIDS and was using blood to make a statement. But aside from its clinical aspect, Nina Leo’s Trace 1 doesn’t suggest illness. For this installation she’s taken a sample of her blood each day since July 7, 2003, and placed it on a […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

I am a 25-year-old SWM who lives in a large apartment complex. Over the past several months the woman who lives upstairs from me has fallen into the habit of coming downstairs once or twice a week and giving me a blow job. She seems fairly normal, and is about ten years older than me. […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Politicians Know Best

Reader: Ben Joravsky, as usual, brings an interesting perspective to his discussion of the ongoing debate over the future use of Wilson Yard [The Works, April 29]. But there is more to say about this deal than was revealed in the article. To begin with a small point. Wilson Yard is indeed a very eccentric […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Silk

Mary Zimmerman abandons the ancient myths and epic legends that have served her so well in the past with this adaptation of Alessandro Baricco’s 1996 novel, about a French silkworm trader and his unconsummated love for a mysterious woman he meets in Japan in the mid-19th century. Zimmerman’s piece starts slowly–it’s far more heavily narrated […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Seldoms

The Romantic idea of the artist as a closed but chaotic system permeates the Seldoms’ new hour-long work, Recluse. Begun during a residency that artistic director Carrie Hanson and assistant artistic director Doug Stapleton held at the pastoral Ragdale Foundation in February, the piece is far from quiet, instead envisioning the artistic process as “vigorous […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Books

With their first two albums the Books–Paul de Jong and Nick Zammuto–devised a breathtaking new kind of chamber pop. They relied heavily on digitally chopped-up guitar, cello, banjo, and violin, and once in a while they’d add some vocals (theirs or other people’s), but most arresting was the way they uncovered music in sampled chunks […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Our Evolved Critics

I’m moved to see [J.R. Jones] come out so strongly in support of Todd Solondz’s latest [“After Dawn,” April 29]. I’ve read many, many reviews of Palindromes, pro and con, but yours is the most spirited and articulate celebration (I started to say “defense”) of the controversial director I’ve seen. Boy, when people hate his […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Soul of a Clone

Upstream Theater, based in Saint Louis, makes its local debut with this clever riff on Franz Kafka’s short story “A Report to an Academy,” about a captured ape who wills himself to become human to gain a semblance of freedom. In director Philip Boehm’s conception, the report takes the form of a history lecture by […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Bruce Springsteen

It’s easy to get all snarkiferous toward the Boss whenever he emerges, slimed with pundit slobber, with an album that’s overblown or otherwise flawed in some crucial way. (If there ever was an artist who should be banned from using synthesizers, it’s him.) His latest, Devils & Dust (Columbia), doesn’t have such problems, but even […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Downside of the Deal

Thanks to Ben Joravsky for his courageous, in-depth journalism on the CTA and the Wilson Yard [The Works, April 29]. The impact of the political deals that plague the Wilson Yard are finally rising to the surface. Shiller as usual is pushing her agenda of low-income housing in the areas of Uptown that already have […]