Posted inArts & Culture

Metal Hearts

This Baltimore duo really has a way with bad ideas. On the new Socialize (Suicide Squeeze), Anar Badalov and Flora Wolpert-Checknoff seem to be playing a game of aesthetic chicken, daring each other to come up with the least appropriate thing to do in an intimate, downcast indie-rock tune. That would explain the coupling of […]

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Circus Crashers

The title of this Wise Woman Fools show is misleading. The real stars are not Mel and Zetta, the two mildly funny thirtysomething female clowns who try to crash the show Lucy Ricardo style, but the fearless, powerful members of the Actors Gymnasium teen ensemble, a disciplined squad of highly skilled gymnasts and acrobats. They […]

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Balkan Beat Box

The core members of Balkan Beat Box, reedist Ori Kaplan and drummer Tamir Muskat, are regulars on the polyglot New York underground scene that’s best known for spawning Gogol Bordello. In fact Kaplan used to play sax with those self-styled Gypsy punks, and Muskat worked with lunatic Gogol front man Eugene Hutz a couple years […]

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Jeffrey Moore

Jeffrey Moore’s erudite novel The Memory Artists, newly out in paperback from St. Martin’s Griffin, uses an intriguing cast of characters to examine the peculiarities of the mind. Noel Burun is a hyperintelligent but emotionally addled thirtysomething synesthete–he experiences sounds as colors. He’s also hypermnesic, blessed (or afflicted) with near perfect recall. At the other […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

When I’m reading novels of, say, the antebellum south and there’s a guy who goes around on a cart selling blocks of ice, how the heck did he get it? I mean, they didn’t have the fridge to rely on. Did they go way up north and cut blocks of ice and pack it in […]

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Bobby Corn and the Mystery of Da Nile

The Corn family travels to Egypt in the fifth installment of Corn Productions’ series of kids’ mystery musicals. Christopher Rex Jacobs’s boobish Bobby is in a hip-hop troupe invited to perform in a Cairo cultural-exchange program. His self-important sister is the choreographer, and Mom (a delightfully dim Sarah Ballema) is chaperone. Their adventures involve a […]

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European Union Film Festival

The ninth European Union Film Festival continues Friday, March 17, through Thursday, March 30, at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State, 312-846-2800. Tickets are $9, $7 for students, and $5 for Film Center members. Following are films screening through Thursday, March 23; for a full festival schedule visit All Souls Subtitled “Stories […]

Posted inArts & Culture

A Life in the Theatre

This funny, moving revival of David Mamet’s wry 1977 one-act perfectly captures the clipped rhythms, cryptic pauses, casual profanity, and semantic precision that are hallmarks of a writer for whom drama lies in character and language rather than action. Thematically, too, this is quintessential Mamet, charting the evolving relationship between an ambitious youngster and his […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Ray Price

Ray Price, a crucial figure in country who transformed it in the 50s and 60s with hits like “Crazy Arms,” “Heartaches by the Number,” and “City Lights,” still performs and records today, at age 80. A Texas native, he began playing out shortly after a stint as a marine during World War II, though his […]