Posted inArts & Culture

Oklahoma!

This intimate, vigorous revival of the iconic 1943 musical sweeps away all vestiges of Broadway spectacle or dinner-theater cuteness, revealing the gritty subtext of the romantic, comical, sometimes violent tale of cowboys courting farm girls in territorial Oklahoma. The cast, led by director Damon Kiely and musical director Malcolm Ruhl, compensate for their occasional vocal […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Yip-Yip

With their stacks of synths, buggy goggles, and black-and-white checkered hoods and pajamas, these two Florida nerds look like yet another gimmicky concept band. Fortunately they don’t have a kooky agenda or implausible backstory we’re supposed to buy into–they’re just here to rock our party and wear goggles while they do it. It’d be easy […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Teapot Scandals

The centerpiece of Jon Steinhagen’s sparkling new musical is a dim-bulb Republican president from Ohio with a penchant for cronyism and corruption–we’re talking Warren G. Harding, of course. Steinhagen’s take on the 29th president is surprisingly compassionate, though his sly satirical revue, receiving its world premiere from Porchlight Music Theatre, shouldn’t be taken as historical […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Seldoms

Choreographer Carrie Hanson became fascinated by the concept of darkness while reading In Praise of Shadows, Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s slim 1933 volume on Japanese aesthetics (one tidbit: it was once customary for elderly women to black out their teeth). The Seldoms’ program–a collaboration with the International Contemporary Ensemble, a music group based in Chicago and New […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Landscape of the Body

Crowded into a performing space smaller than many living rooms, John Mossman’s pressure-cooker production is well suited to John Guare’s eccentric, overheated drama about a Maine housewife turned Times Square porn star accused of killing her son. Filled with intense performances and executed at a pace that unifies Guare’s intentionally jagged storytelling, this staging reveals […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Toy Soldiers

J. Sebastian Fabal’s song cycle opens with a requiem featuring a mother dressed in black and cradling a flag from a military funeral. Suspense is patently not the composer-playwright’s intent. Though he’s purportedly addressing the current war in the Middle East, the scenario seems closer to the Vietnam era, from protesters’ outdated slogans to soldiers’ […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

I caught a segment on some car show about modding up your car. One of the things they mentioned was the benefit of filling your tires with nitrogen instead of air. Considering I fill my tires with air and don’t have much of a problem constantly refilling them, what is the straight dope on nitrogen […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Jean-Yves Thibaudet

Last month Jean-Yves Thibaudet was one of the headliners at the Cartagena International Music Festival, offering an outstanding performance of Saint-Saens’s Second Piano Concerto. He gave the dramatic Bach-like opening a bold, rich sound and played the first movement’s lyrical passages soulfully, the virtuosic sections with bravura. And though the piano had a stiff, difficult […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Computers and Chaos

Anna Ursyn WHEN Through 2/24 WHERE Illinois Institute of Technology, Galvin Library, 35 W. 33rd, 2nd fl. INFO 312-567-5293 Anna Ursyn’s prints at the Illinois Institute of Technology–which incorporate photographic fragments and computer-generated geometrical shapes–have a complexity and suppleness unusual in computer graphics. Ursyn often repeats elements, sometimes with variations, to convey a sense of […]