I saw a bottle at the pharmacist’s today that said “Shark Cartilage” on it. My curiosity was piqued, so I asked if it really was shark cartilage. My pharmacist said it most certainly was and that a lot of people take it for its alleged immunity benefits. She told me that sharks don’t get cancer, […]
When Mission of Burma played their first reunion show in Chicago, in November 2002, I had to be cajoled into going. I’m always skeptical of reunions–especially when the band in question meant something to me in the first place. The group, active between 1979 and 1983, mixed aggressive, angular guitar rock with avant-garde tapefoolery, paving […]
Even if he’d rather listen to Stabbing Westward.
Two shows get squeezed into one lumpy mess in this Chemically Imbalanced Comedy late-night offering. Creator Chris Churchill describes it in press materials as “a kid’s show for…angry grown-ups.” This translates into occasional attempts at clumsy quasi-political commentary delivered by four pajama-clad adults, who also spout irritating non sequiturs and insult one another–their relationships feel […]
In her 1988 play about convicts sent to an Australian penal colony in the late 18th century, Timberlake Wertenbaker speaks passionately about justice, the civilizing role of theater, and the role of government in shaping society. This Piven Theatre ensemble, however, is anything but passionate in Jennifer Green’s staging: the cast hams it up throughout […]
Reaching the end of this exquisite Writers’ Theatre production, all I wanted was to watch it again, backward. I longed to see its bitter climax give way to the sweet beginning I’d enjoyed so much, even though I knew the sweetness was false: a little sugar to palliate the bad bets made, bad breaks got, […]
Contemporary Irish drama checklist: Nearly indecipherable blue-collar brogues? Check. Crude euphemisms for sex with ugly girls? Check. Whiskey? Check. Stories detailing grotesque violence? Check. Mark O’Rowe’s two back-to-back monologues have all the most corrosive elements of recent Irish plays, but in Mike Tutaj’s staging they also offer humor and poetry. Pickled blackguards Howie and Rookie […]
The warmly charismatic David Pompeii has a wit that can cut political fallacies and dopey politicians into shreds. An excellent stand-up comedian, he makes you laugh–and think. Unfortunately there’s little stand-up material in this 45-minute show. Instead Pompeii’s “one-man cabaret” is an unsuccessful melange of quirky videos from the Internet, a DJ mix of dance […]
A cornucopia of films and workshops for children ages 2 through 13, the 21st Chicago International Children’s Film Festival continues Friday, October 22, through Sunday, October 31, at Facets Cinematheque, Burnham Plaza, and the Vittum Theater, 1012 N. Noble. Subtitled films programmed for children under age 11 will feature an actor reading the subtitles live. […]
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 events are free unless otherwise noted. For more information call 312-747-4300, see www.chicagopubliclibrary.org, or contact the […]
A collection of short stories highlights the creative charge writers get when they mine music for inspiration.
Angie Stone and Anthony Hamilton explore the most grown-up of pleasures: normalcy
This week at: Beat Kitchen
The Lost Sounds provide proof, in case anybody still needs more, that interbreeding is the way of the future. Formed in Memphis in March ’99 as a trio–with Jay Reatard and Rich Crook, formerly of ultraprimitive garage howlers the Reatards, and Alicja Trout, who’d collected a pile of analog synths during her stint in the […]
In this sly mockumentary, Zak Penn persuades German filmmaker Werner Herzog to direct a documentary on the Loch Ness monster. Herzog explains that he’s less interested in the monster than in the human need to believe, but Penn, acting as his producer, is more consumed by the human need to sell tickets, and behind Herzog’s […]