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A dark and compelling 'Tosca' at Lyric Opera of Chicago

Chicago opera lovers are getting a "twofer" with this season's dark and compelling production of Puccin...

'Or,' gives the Restoration a playful dose of contemporary attitude

With her fanciful play "Or," Liz Duffy Adams has reimagined the early Restoration period with a touch of Ja...

'Blues for Mr. Charlie' at Washington University: not perfect, but powerful

James Baldwin dedicated his play “Blues for Mr. Charlie” to the memory of Medgar Evers and of the four gi...

‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’ has a bite that equals its bark

If there's one thing Edward Albee knows, without equivocation, it is the darker side of intimacy. The deep cuts t...

'The Winslow Boy' pairs social justice with a bit of romance

The St. Louis Repertory Theatre's current production, "The Winslow Boy," by Terrence Rattigan, is, at i...

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The MUNY opens its 96th season with the heartwarming and hopeful musical "Billy Elliot," based on the popular movie, with book and lyrics by Lee Hall and music by Sir Elton John. The moral, a combination of "be true to…
Terrence McNally's Tony award winning play deals openly with the personal side of the lives of several gay men. In its moving,production, Stray Dog Theatre seems more relaxed and comfortable with the script, including its themes and nudity. The resulting…
Trivia question: what do Pablo Picasso, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Man Ray, Henri Matisse, and Ernest Hemingway all have in common? Answer: they all frequented the Saturday evening salons at 27 Rue de Fleurus in Paris presided over by Gertrude Stein…
Whatever your political persuasion, the documentary "Citizen Koch" delivers an alarming description of democracy imperiled. Focused on the Wisconsin drama involving then Governor Scott Walker and movement for his recall, critical contributing elements include the Citizens United case and the…
Quietly intense and profoundly moving, Polish director and co-writer Pawel Pawlikowski's "Ida" begins with the title character, 18 years old, a novitiate in a Catholic convent, preparing to take religious vows. It's the only life Ida, an orphan called Anna,…
It has been over three decades since I saw the 1979 Marvin Hamlisch and Carole Bayer Sager musical "They're Playing Our Song" on tour at the old American Theatre. I remembered it as a funny, sweet, and charming little show…
For the first two-thirds of director Aram Garriga's documentary "American Jesus" he presents a kaleidoscopic snapshot of a surprisingly diverse array of American Christian groups. Individual ministries cater to cowboys, bikers, surfers, yoga practitioners, mixed martial arts cage fighters, strip…
For what is a film but a duet of words and pictures? That fact automatically sets up any movie entitled "Words and Pictures" as redundant. So how to avoid cliche? Screenwriter Gerald di Pego doesn't; in fact, the film is…
New Line Theatre's "Hands on a Hard Body" delivers a sobering, but ultimately hopeful, look at contemporary America. Focused on a car dealership contest held in Texas until 2005, the musical features rock songs and pop-influenced ballads interspersed with dramatic…
Director/editor Joan Grossman chronicles the 1962 origins, development, and eventual demise of Drop City in her documentary of that title, treating the subject with a lively cinematic approach befitting the inventiveness of the people who developed the community called the…
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