Posted inArts & Culture

Marvin Sease

If any one artist has come to personify soul-blues, it’s Marvin Sease. A former gospel singer who began his career in the 60s, he uses his emotionality and muscular timbre to invoke some deep soul on his ballads, but he’s all sauciness and arrogance on his notorious novelty songs, which all seem to have hair-curling […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Loving Repeating: A Musical of Gertrude Stein

This new chamber musical by composer Stephen Flaherty and director Frank Galati celebrates 20th-century literary lion Gertrude Stein and her lifelong love for Alice B. Toklas. Galati’s libretto, stitched together from Stein texts, conveys both her quirky charm and radical vision as an artistic innovator and queer pioneer, while his artful, elegantly designed staging conveys […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Happy Accidents

The path that led Teo Gonzalez to his present work has almost as many twists as the thousands of little cell-like shapes in his paintings and lithographs at Roy Boyd. Born in Quinto, Spain, in 1964, he dropped out of school at 15 (“I didn’t know what I wanted to do and they weren’t teaching […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Dido, Queen of Carthage

Christopher Marlowe’s account of the love affair between Dido and Aeneas is part classical tragedy, part Elizabethan comedy. There are contradictions too in this Camenae Ensemble Theatre Company production: its richly executed costumes, sensual dances, and exotic Moorish music are at odds with the venue, a colonial-style Park District field house. Director Sara Keely McGuire’s […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Lucky 7s

Trombonists Jeb Bishop and Jeff Albert could both use some good luck. Bishop quit the Vandermark 5 and Peter Brotzmann’s Chicago Tentet more than a year ago after developing problems with his hearing, and throughout 2005 took only the occasional gig, using the time off to let his ears heal and reassess his musical direction. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Nina Simone: The High Priestess Speaks

In this biodrama/revue, playwright Ebony Joy gives a good sense of the variety in singer-pianist-composer Nina Simone’s repertoire, including her renditions of “I Love You Porgy” and “I Put a Spell on You” as well as Simone’s own protest songs “Mississippi Goddam” and “Four Women.” As Simone, Yahdina U’Deen reveals a strong voice but delivers […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Daniel Dinello

At least Dr. Frankenstein knew when to stop, writes Columbia College film studies professor Daniel Dinello in his new book, Technophobia: Science Fiction Visions of Posthuman Technology (University of Texas Press). The good doctor made one monster, but in the end he refused to create a mate, sparing the world their ghastly progeny. Dinello sees […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story Lannie Hendrickson, 24, was arrested in Bozeman, Montana, in December on two counts of assaulting a minor after he allegedly bit two children he was babysitting, ages 1 and 2, on their arms, shoulders, and legs because they wouldn’t quiet down and go to sleep. According to court records, he couldn’t recall how […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

Every time I watch ESPN or Spike TV I see these commercials for Enzyte “natural male enhancement.” Does that shit actually work? Not that I’m small or anything, but I’m a divorced, middle-aged, chain-smoking, overweight single guy who lives in a trailer park. The only things I’ve got going are a steady job and a […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Donald Harrison

For a minute there it looked like alto saxist Donald Harrison might move to Chicago: when he appeared at last year’s Chicago Jazz Festival, his native New Orleans was still underwater, and Harrison told me that (a) he’d lost pretty much everything and (b) he’d always liked Chicago a lot. Though he didn’t end up […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Ed’s After Dark

Several of the bitchy waitstaff at Ed Debevic’s go from rude to crude, staging sketch comedy in a back room with bad audio and worse lighting. Starting with a short stand-up bit, they alternate live and video segments. The live ones get mired in a yukless muck of trite gags, but occasionally the vulgar revelry […]