The headliner may be Frederick Ashton’s 1964 The Dream, danced to the music of Mendelssohn. But the real story is Jiri Kylian’s gorgeously abstract four-movement Return to a Strange Land, set to Janacek sonatas. Its moves are complex yet feel inevitable: two men embrace across a woman suspended between them, then keep their legs entwined […]
This internationally acclaimed Chicago-based male vocal quintet performs German and American popular music of the 1920s and ’30s with a combination of high musical artistry and wry theatrical humor. Formed in the late 80s to back Marianne Faithfull on her Brecht-and-Weill project, the ensemble–tenors Mark Bleeke and Timothy Leigh Evans, baritone Eric Edlund, and basses […]
TONY CONRAD is one of the few artists whose interviews and writings are as consistently rewarding as his work. None of it is easily digested, though. Last year he told an interviewer that at 65 he’s been thinking about the value of listening to old recordings versus making new ones and that he increasingly sees […]
Last year Senegalese superstar Youssou N’Dour released Egypt (Nonesuch), a stunning musical statement intended in part to challenge perceptions of Islam in the West. Instead of using his longtime African band, mbalax masters the Super Etoile, N’Dour recorded the album with Fathy Salama’s Cairo Orchestra, an ensemble steeped in the ancient traditions of Arabic classical […]
It’s not quite a long night’s journey into boredom, but Clayton J. Horath’s revival for Collage Productions does lengthen out the play’s inactive action. Performed in the cramped entry hall of a 1910 mansion, meant to evoke the 1912 cottage where Eugene O’Neill set his family tragedy, this Journey sure looks the claustrophobic part but […]
Debra Shore thinks the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District could be key to the future of the region and the environment. That’s why she’s raising real money to win an office most candidates barely campaign for.
More gross than scary, this Local Infinities show is still perfect for Halloween–or indeed for any time you feel like contemplating the hideous mysteries of the human body. Larry Underwood is the voice of reason as Doctor Tulp, based on a real-life dissector Rembrandt immortalized in a 1632 painting. Meghan Strell is the hysterical Sister […]
This excellent ensemble drama by writer-director Rodrigo Garcia (Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her) has the elliptical magic of a short-story collection: each of its nine vignettes, named for a female protagonist, transpires in a single, uninterrupted take, but the scenes are so dramatically cogent the characters’ lives seem to stretch far […]
Sheldon Patinkin’s deeply felt staging roots Tennessee Williams’s gorgeous coming-of-age drama in a raw, real family who hurt one another when they most want to help. Brendan Donaldson gives the frustrated son and resigned narrator an appropriate restraint. Dina Connolly is a sepia portrait come to life, all fragile yearning as Laura: her candlelit scene […]
And if we’d only charge what it really costs, says Donald Shoup, you’d never have trouble finding a spot again.
Writer-director Kitty Mortland’s new musical for children centers around a shy junior high schooler named Stewie and his complicated plan to gain popularity: he contaminates the town’s vegetable supply with a special serum that lets him enter the dreams of anyone who ingests it. Stewie reasons that if he appears in the other kids’ dreams, […]
This week at: Green Dolphin Street
Merce Cunningham’s relentlessly abstract, often only vaguely musical works can seem formless and purposeless. Closer to paintings than dramas, they act as meditation devices. Yet each piece has a distinct feeling and movement style. Sounddance, created 30 years ago, is performed to an electronic score by David Tudor that recalls engines working, sometimes almost cheeping […]
Tidy, picturesquely gritty Bridgeport resembles the Wicker Park of 20 years ago: rich in architectural history, it has a large, stable working-class population and good access to public transit. Home to the White Sox, the Chicago Police Department, and the Daley regime, it’s also become the latest destination of local “independent” culture with the advent […]
Torture for art’s sake is still torture.