Posted inTheater Review

The Bechdels, tested

Alison Bechdel’s family, captured first in her 2006 graphic memoir Fun Home and then in a Tony Award-winning 2015 chamber musical (music by Jeanine Tesori, book and lyrics by Lisa Kron), feels right at (uneasy) home on the intimate Copley Theatre stage in downtown Aurora. Presented as part of Paramount’s “Bold” series of seemingly more […]

Posted inTheater Review

When the swash buckles

There’s a reason you rarely see Zorro: The Musical, the 2008 show inspired by a masked Spanish hero (conceived of by Johnston McCulley in 1919 and since the subject of numerous books and movies) who defeats evil and tyranny by expert swashbuckling. Scratch that. There are myriad reasons. Among them:  Zorro: The MusicalThrough 8/21: Wed 1 PM, […]

Posted inOn Culture

Pox Americana

Last Sunday, stuffed with antibiotics, numbed by painkillers, and facing a date with an oral surgeon the next morning, I made my way to the International Museum of Surgical Science for an artist’s talk by James R. Wilke. It’s not the best way to visit this unique repository for the medical devices of yesteryear, but […]

Posted inMusic

Peaches celebrates the 20th sexiversary of her debut full-length, The Teaches of Peaches

After COVID quashed touring for much of 2020 and 2021, we seem to have collectively agreed that anyone celebrating a significant album anniversary could do their victory lap whenever they damn well pleased. Of course, Berlin-based Canadian musician and artist Merrill Nisker has never asked for or needed anyone’s permission, not even before she dropped […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Maybe we’re crazy

Have you ever been playfully called “crazy” and laughed, only to cry silently in the basement bathroom for two hours? No? Just me? Well, if you’ve ever stared into the abyss and questioned your own sanity for more than a hot second, Kellye Howard’s latest one-woman show, Crazy or Nah?!, running this weekend as part […]

Posted inTheater Review

Screwball smear tactics

Politics has always been a “smelly kitchen,” to borrow a phrase from Jean Anouilh’s version of Antigone. But in 1933, two new cooks entered that kitchen. And the recipes they came up with continue to befoul the air of American elections. Leone Baxter and Clem Whitaker (a widow and a married man who eventually became […]

Posted inMusic

Ruido Fest celebrates the diverse sounds of Latin alternative music in its return to Union Park

Ruido Fest stands out as more intentional and visionary than most of Chicago’s destination festivals. When it launched in 2015, it was billed as the country’s only three-day outdoor music event focused entirely on Latin alternative music, though that description only hints at what to expect. Ruido Fest’s eclectic international lineup crosses generations and genres, […]