Posted inArts & Culture

Electrics

See Wednesday. Tonight’s lineup includes a quartet featuring Axel Dorner, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Raymond Strid, and Michael Zerang; a duo of Strid and Zerang; and a quartet featuring Sture Ericson, Kevin Davis (see Saturday for more on his show with Woody Sullender), Lonberg-Holm, and Ingebrigt Haaker Flaten. a 10 PM, Hungry Brain, 2319 W. Belmont, 773-935-2118, […]

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Drag

NDrag | Two “straight-ish” male cross-dressers, one confirmed drag queen, one drag king, and a gorgeous male-to-female transsexual strut up and down a runway, usually in gender-inappropriate clothing, in this 90-minute collaborative show conceived by Dean Evans. Wildly uneven, it can be amusing (a militaristic 80s-style aerobics session devolves into a cartoonish orgy) and moving […]

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Luna Negra Dance Theater

Through an interpreter–Luna Negra choreographer Eduardo Vilaro–Afro-Peruvian singer Susana Baca tells me during a rehearsal that it feels good to dance in his Mi Corazon Negro (“My Black Heart”). “I love when the music moves and lifts me,” she says. A woman of great serenity, dignity, and authority, she certainly looks happy, even blissful, while […]

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Side by Side by Sondheim

NSide by Side by Sondheim | Stephen Sondheim is so far above good and beyond conventional that it’s easy to see his musicals as pure art and forget their Broadway showmanship. This Theo Ubique Theatre Company version of a much-performed biographical revue supplies an entertaining reminder. Director Fred Anzevino goes in heavily for old-fashioned, hand-shimmying, […]

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Iraq in Fragments

Documentary filmmaker James Longley (Gaza Strip) has a flair for cinematography and editing and a poetic sensibility that informs both these talents. He’s also responsible for this film’s music. But the most significant credits for this examination of Iraqi Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds may be the dozen translators listed. (“The future of Iraq will be […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

I saw an article the other day saying that 45 percent of the U.S. population believes that the earth is less than 10,000 years old. That would certainly explain the election results of the past few years, but I don’t believe it. A near majority of Americans simply cannot be that retarded. I looked on […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Site Unseen

“Sites seen” is more like it. In this third annual showcase, curated by Julie Laffin, performers’ audio and visual additions to the Chicago Cultural Center’s grand and humble spaces alike give them new resonance. Sara Schnadt’s Re-Trace is set in the third-floor kitchen, formerly the entry to the stacks when the building was the main […]

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MC Traciotomy

When this New Orleans lifer takes the stage, for the first few minutes you might think you’re in for a sort of ODB-meets-Lawrence Welk thing–some white dude in a fusty golfer getup saying crazy shit over cream-puff funk. But that’s just the bait in his bait-and-switch routine: Right when you start to get a little […]

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Memento Polonia

NMemento Polonia | Though you needn’t look far to find entertainment celebrating Jewish or Irish culture, you’ll find few plays about the Polish-American experience. Playwright Jenni Lamb addresses that lack in her nostalgic account of Old World hardships–and pleasures–and New World aspirations. Though based on her own family’s history, Lamb’s 75-minute chronicle of the uneasy […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story David Scholnick, a biologist at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, is measuring how shrimp respond to physical exertion by having them run and swim for hours on a tiny treadmill, the Web site LiveScience reported in October. To vary the strenuousness of the workouts, the shrimp are sometimes made to wear tiny […]

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The Big Yellow Bus

NThe Big Yellow Bus | Every week a core cast performs a different type of long-form improv with guest improvisers and musicians. At the show I saw the audience suggestion was a place, Antarctica, and every scene was set there. The performers meet once just before going on, which gives a frenetic unpredictability to their […]

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Mutual Appreciation

YouTube has realized the indie-film ethic of ordinary people generating their own cinema, but the result seems to be a library of solipsism, self-regard, and second-rate showbiz. That makes a genuine indie talent like Andrew Bujalski (Funny Ha Ha) even more notable; his low-budget tales of confused college grads have all the immediacy of a […]

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Perks of Nudity

NPerks of Nudity | In this new play, Pavement Group artistic director David Perez displays a gift for creating short, vivid scenes that reveal volumes about his young, confused, somewhat spoiled middle-class characters. But he hasn’t figured out how to knit these moments into a coherent story. And the premise–three friends are forced to spend […]

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Polish Film Festival in America

The 18th Polish Film Festival in America continues Friday, November 10, through Sunday, November 19, with screenings of contemporary features and TV documentaries. Veteran director Filip Bajon (Spring to Come) will appear at two weekend screenings of his new crime drama The Foundation (110 min.), about a con man planning a job while he’s being […]