| Jan 28, 2014
| 3:30 PM
In "Gidion's Knot," the intriguingly tense new play from emerging writer Johnna Adams, a mother, Corryn, shows up at her son's classroom to attend a previously scheduled parent-teacher conference. Her arrival at the school is a surprise to the teacher,...
| Jan 21, 2014
| 2:30 AM
"LET me explain this. I take a step on the terrace. Where I was just a memory. I take another step -- a memory. Look! A shooting star. It's gone. Shot! It's a memory!"
"You seem very wrought up, dear."
So it went between Elizabeth Taylor and Noel Coward...
| Dec 15, 2013
| 2:13 PM
Low-grade verbal abuse of those you love passes as humorous small talk in many British households, especially those populated by snarky writers, creative types and insufferable academics from the so-called humanities. Such a family — progressive...
| Nov 7, 2013
| 7:30 AM
The timing feels serendipitous. After a hiatus in 2012 to regroup, Reeling, Chicago's long-running gay and lesbian film festival, is back — kicking off just days after Illinois lawmakers voted in favor of marriage equality. You can't plan that...
| Nov 27, 2013
| 12:14 PM
The earlier they trot out the decorations, the more quickly arrives the seasonal fatigue.
So if you would rather choke on an undigested bit of beef than pay dearly for Ebenezer Scrooge, if you secretly hope the "Christmas Schooner" will never leave...
| Sep 5, 2013
| 3:10 PM
The fall theater season of 2013 is already very much underway. From the scores of intriguing possibilities, here are 10 Chicago shows, opening between now and the holidays, that sound especially juicy. They're listed in alphabetical order; date ranges...
| Jun 19, 2013
| 1:37 PM
Pessimism, a character observes in this 1995 drama from Austin Pendleton, is not something that can really be enjoyed in public. Which is why perhaps we seek it out so greedily at the theater, where it can be enjoyed at a safe remove....
| May 9, 2013
| 4:00 PM
An indie movie about the making of an indie movie, "He's Way More Famous Than You" is the jittery spawn of "Living in Oblivion" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm." Halley Feiffer, playing a washed-up-before-her-time actress (named Halley Feiffer) who's...
| May 4, 2012
Few realizations are as painful in life as the one that comes to a previously generous person, fallen on hard times and made suddenly and brutally aware that the quality of kindness among homo sapiens is neither reciprocal nor ubiquitous.
| Jan 4, 2013
| 9:01 AM
With Scrooge back under wraps, it's time for the 2013 winter theater season to begin in earnest. There's an especially strong slate of classical works opening between now and the end of March, but the offerings also are as diverse as ever. Among the...
| May 8, 2012
| 3:55 AM
Last Sunday's screening at New Haven's Lyric Hall of the documentary "Broads,"that features salty, outspoken interviews with actresses of a certain age remind me of some of my own favorite interviews of like-minded dames.
I'll post a series of these...
| Mar 29, 2012
| 8:16 AM
Over a recent lunch, genial playwright Donald Margulies was wondering why it took so many years to get a foothold in Chicago.
Margulies, who seemed genuinely quizzical on the subject, had a point. With the exception of a (to my mind) quotidian 2003...