Expertly written, exquisitely performed, steamy, and hilarious, The October Storm at the Raven Theatre offers a warm slice of south-side Chicago life in the 1960s. Joshua Allen’s play, the second in his Grand Boulevard Trilogy (the first was The Last Pair of Earlies, produced by Raven in 2021) is refreshing in that it explores the […]
Tag: Vol. 52 No. 16
Issue of May 18, 2023
On the cover: “Inmates are extremely manipulative”
Hundreds of lawsuits against Wexford Health Sources, a for-profi t medical corporation operatin inside Illinois prisons, allege substandard care. An employee handbook describes how clinicians were trained to be skeptical of incarcerated patients.
Illustration by John Garrison.
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Mother’s Day weekend provided the perfect time to open this irreverent, boisterous look at three women’s journey from two blue lines on a pee stick to graduation day. Running at Mercury Theater Chicago’s Venus Cabaret, the musical by Julie Dunlap and Sara Stotts features first-time mom Rachel (Tafadzwa Diener), second-time mom Angie (Jacquelyne Jones), and […]
You don’t have to be a sucker for love-hate romances among the literati to fall in love with Rehana Lew Mirza’s Hatefuck, but it helps. Then again, Lew Mirza’s play, now in its local premiere with First Floor Theater under Arti Ishak’s clever direction, provides a lens not usually implemented in tales of professional and […]
The Gender Play‘s the thing
All of the world is a stage, and Will Wilhelm knows it. Their new production at About Face (cocreated and directed by Erin Murray), Gender Play, or what you Will, is the perfect platform for them to explore their gender journey while also expressing their more dramatic side via monologuing with a side of dissertation. […]
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Bristol duo Giant Swan bring relentless techno chaos to the Empty Bottle
Since the 2010s, a crop of artists have shifted and contorted electronic dance music into new levels of aggression and experimentation, challenging as well as rewarding their listeners. Bristol duo Giant Swan, who create raw and pummeling industrial techno with meticulous attention to detail, are at the vanguard of this sound. They collide clattering synths […]
In Motion: Praize Productions Inc. fosters sisterhood and community through dance
As a young, rising Chicago dancer, Enneréssa LaNette envisioned herself leading an arts organization of her own. So in 2010, when she was 25 years old, she founded Prazie Productions Inc. (PPI) on the city’s south side. “I always knew that eventually I would be a professional artist and start an organization where we can […]
’Inmates are extremely manipulative‘
Content note: This story contains descriptions of deaths in prisons, including suicide. On July 16, 2010, at 11 PM, Jeremy started sweating. He walked to the health-care unit inside the Lawrence Correctional Center, a medium-security men’s prison in southeast Illinois, where he was serving a 14-year sentence. The facility sits about 90 minutes from Terre […]
In Lucy and Charlie’s Honeymoon, renegade lovers are on the lam
Actor, writer, composer, musician, lyricist, visual artist, short film director, and stop-motion animator Matthew C. Yee is no still water. But he does run deep. Yee is currently playing the lead male in Lookingglass Theatre’s Lucy and Charlie’s Honeymoon, a country-and-western musical about an Asian American couple on the lam from the law. He also […]
Don’t stop believing
Imagine if Harper, the Valium-addicted Mormon wife in Angels in America who imagines herself in Antarctica, actually met famous explorer Ernest Shackleton through some rift in the time-space continuum. Only instead of being a neglected housewife, she’s an aspiring avant-garde composer looking for a big break. Shackleton Loves Me Through 6/1: Thu 7:30 PM, Fri […]
Step into the Aztec Empire during the 16th century, on the eve of a new millennium. City Lit’s world-premiere musical Aztec Human Sacrifice (written by Kingsley Day and Philip LaZebnik) tells the tale of The Chosen One (Freddy Mauricio), destined for sacrifice to ensure the sun’s rise. Defying fate, he flees with Princess (Marcela Ossa […]
Queer Singapore stories
Last year, speaking to a BBC reporter about the Singapore government repealing Section 377A, a colonialist-era holdover that criminalized gay sex, local LGBTQ+ historian Isaac Tng paraphrased the gay community’s mixed response to the news as follows: “It’s like a nice, hot cup of coffee,” he says, “that got left on the table.” It’s a […]
A Bronzeville six-flat frames the sometimes melodramatic but compelling story in Tina Fakhrid-Deen’s Dandelions, now in a world premiere at MPAACT under the direction of Lauren Wells-Mann. Opening with a litany of the greats associated with the neighborhood (Sam Cooke, Ida B. Wells), the show soon moves into the lives of everyday people caught up […]
A perfect Ten
What can you say in ten minutes? If the ten examples in the Gift’s triumphant return production of its long-running series are any indication, anything and everything. Ten 2023 Through 5/22: Mon and Thu-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 3 PM; Filament Theatre, 4041 N. Milwaukee, thegifttheatre.org, $10 A mother agonizes over getting her eight-year-old an iPhone. […]