Posted inTheater Review

Big-box problems

If verisimilitude and timeliness were all it took to create a great play, Ken Green’s world premiere comedy-drama about working in big-box retail would be a home run. Its dialogue captures every cliche and bit of doublespeak in the corporate human resources dictionary, not to mention every grouse and plaint ever uttered in a workplace—and […]

Posted inTheater Review

Promise the moon

Environmental peril is the norm. News streams whisper about the climate crisis, relentlessly broadcasting the planet’s daunting existential threat. However, nothing seems to change. Kids, born into environmental defeatism, struggle to rekindle hope as the world yells out in pain. So Theatre L’Acadie’s If This Is The End, written by Melanie Coffey and directed by […]

Posted inTheater Review

Storefront Star Wars

Pay no attention to the show’s baggy, forgettable, mildly pompous title. This smart, tightly written play is at once a very funny satire of the Star Wars saga—and Star Wars fans—a heartfelt homage, and fabulous fan fiction. Set not so long ago in a galaxy not so far away (OK, the setting is contemporary Hollywood), […]

Posted inMusic

The accidental postrock diner

In the early 90s, Dead Rider guitarist Todd Rittmann moved into a three-bedroom apartment with an attic on the corner of Paulina and Grace in Lakeview. He’d recently left DeKalb, where he’d studied at Northern Illinois University. Rittmann shared his Lakeview apartment with three musicians, including Tom Mioducki and Pat Samson, who’d formed a noisy […]

Posted inTheater Review

Messy Muslims

Chicago actor and community organizer Arti Ishak was tapped to audition for Hatefuck in 2020. They found the script exciting, like nothing they’d ever read. But the production was ultimately canceled in the wake of the pandemic, leaving Ishak determined to get this play up on a Chicago stage one way or another. Now it’s […]

Posted inOn Culture

Food, glorious food!

Chicago Opera Theater is trying out a new opera at the Athenaeum next week. Titled The Cook-Off, it’s about a televised contest in which three young chefs face off over the same meal. The exotic dish they’ll be cooking? Mac and cheese—the mainstay of American tables during the Great Depression. It’s an apt choice at […]