Posted inFeature

‘Just trying to help him stay alive’

Sheila Haennicke was woken up around 2 AM on November 16, 2021, by an Oak Park policeman who informed her and her husband that their 29-year-old son was found unresponsive and his body was at Ascension Resurrection Hospital. In the hours before, Sheila Haennicke’s son, David Haennicke, died of an accidental overdose on the CTA […]

Posted inMusic

Chicago percussionist and composer Sam Scranton merges introspection and jittery energy on Body Pillow

On his new solo album, Body Pillow, Chicago percussionist, composer, and improviser Sam Scranton presents a menagerie of immersive, bubbly electronics. I’d become familiar with Scranton through his work with local new-music ensemble Honestly Same, so I expected this record to be an electroacoustic sound pastiche—along the lines of The Ceiling Reposes, a stunning album […]

Posted inMusic Review

Sleep Sinatra and Televangel give listeners a taste of Nebraska hip-hop on Incorruptible Saints

Midwest hip-hop is alive and well in . . . Lincoln, Nebraska? The richness of Lincoln’s hip-hop scene may go largely unnoticed by mainstream fans, but that doesn’t negate the subterranean greatness of local stalwarts such as Adrian Madlock, who makes music as Sleep Sinatra. Sleep’s discography is bountiful and aggressively independent; his Bandcamp page […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Claes Oldenburg’s Chicago

At the corner of Madison and Jefferson in Chicago stands a 100-foot-high baseball bat, constructed in a lattice pattern from 20 tons of steel. It is the largest sculpture created by the artist Claes Oldenburg, a man from whose mind sprang any number of super-sized objects: a 45-foot tall clothespin in Philadelphia, a 29-foot-long spoon […]

Posted inMusic

Algeria’s Imarhan celebrate resilience and tradition through globally informed desert rock

Imarhan emerged from southern Algeria’s close-knit Tuareg community in 2006. Fans of Tuareg rock greats Tinariwen will already be familiar with the quintet; Imarhan front man Iyad Moussa Ben Abderahmane (aka Sadam) is a cousin of Tinariwen bassist Eyadou Ag Leche, and he’s toured with the band to fill in for members who couldn’t go […]

Posted inMusic

The Magic Number convenes six veteran improvisers for an unprecedented celebration of creative uncertainty

The Magic Number is three. It’s the number of musicians that gallerist, record label proprietor, and music scholar John Corbett deems to be ideal for an improvisational encounter. And since he’s organizing this event—which coincides with his observation of a significant birthday that’s divisible by three—he gets to pick the terms of engagement under which […]

Posted inTheater Review


The SpongeBob Musical had its pre-Broadway run here in 2016. I missed that, but I can’t imagine it was any more delightful than what Kokandy Productions has concocted in the basement at the Chopin. Stephen Hillenburg’s Nickelodeon series about the plucky and absorbent title character inspired this toe-tapping, whimsical explosion featuring songs by a murderers’ […]

Posted inTheater Review

Shakespearean shaggy dog

For Midsommer Flight’s tenth annual production of free Shakespeare in Chicago’s parks, the company has chosen as shaggy a dog story as the Bard had in his quiver. In ancient Britain, Princess Imogen secretly weds Posthumus to get out of marrying her stepmother’s odious son, Cloten. What follows includes (but is not limited to) alleged […]