Chicago Tribune from Chicago, Illinois on November 27, 1999 · Page 33
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Chicago Tribune from Chicago, Illinois · Page 33

Chicago, Illinois
Issue Date:
Saturday, November 27, 1999
Page 33
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Chicago Tribune, Saturday, November 27, 1999 Section 1 33 Sugar plums by Salt Creek Salt Creek Ballet will present "The Nutcracker" Saturday and Sunday at Hinsdale Central Auditorium, 630-769-1 1 99; Dec. 4 at the Paramount Arts Center in Aurora, 630-896-6666; and Dec. 1 1 at Governors State University, 708-235-2222. India fest Nartan Dance School performs Sunday at the Cultural Center as part of the ongoing festival of Indian culture. 312-346-3278. On-line reviews Check out Chicago Tribune critics' reviews of recent theater, pop, rock, classical and dance performances on-line at metromix.comreviews. .Jll.ll U M'"V 1 I Arts watch Crowing f pains Adam Douritz preaches misery, ' self-absorption By Brad Cawn Special to the Tribune Counting Crows frontman Adam Duritz fashions himself as the foremost of preachers on human misery, a king of pain, a stranger in a world passing him by. Scorned, beaten down, done wrong, he desires so greatly to talk about his own crushed emotions that he'll stretch his band's most famous ballad, "Round Here," into a 10-minute oration to anyone willing to lend an ear. So never mind the head cold that forced Tuesday night's show Rock review to be pushed back to Jan. 20; Wednesday's gig at the Aragon was chatty and busy, all naked confession in song and droll conversation about the pearly dread-locked singer. He lectured about his girlfriends ("Four Days"), he complained about his goldfish ("Omaha"), he incessantly made note of the horrible illusion that is his richly successful rock 'n' roll life. Duritz's pain, it seems, is inescapable. Therein begs a particularly daunting question: How is any music fan supposed to empathize with a whiny self-absorption made for one yet mass produced "V.T" res- J Tribune photo by Candlce C. Cusic Adam Douritz, frontman of the Counting Crows (left), whined, lectured and complained at the Aragon. for millions? At its best, the band's rootsy swagger and earnest blue collar bar rock recalls past scholars of moody introspection like Van Morrison, but these influences and landmark recordings like "Astralweeks" express the hurt and loss of the human experience with universal emotions and an everyman sensibility. All three Counting Crows' efforts strain within the context of Duritz's troubles, colored by a sonic background that, while continuing to widen, remains peculiarly innocuous, as inoffensively pleasant as an Eagles record. That may work for the coffeehouse, but in a cavernous dwell ing with 4,500 people in attendance it proved something akin to slow torture, the band driving the musical speed limit in a nearly two-hour set that lit several sparks but never caught fire until the closing of "Hangin-around." In between, it would have veered close to the ridiculous, were it not for the fact that the band delivered their folkie jams and down-tempo balladry with all the dry excitement their latest record, "This Desert Life." Duritz had joked early on that he has been accused of always writing the same song, but it's no joke. The sedative haze of "Rain King" and "Daylight Fading" were about as indistinguishable from one another as the band's dark "Four Days" was from REM's "The One I Love." That the group, bolstered by a third guitaristmandolin player, dully delivered its material with the flawless execution of the classic rockers they so recall was but a further reminder of the mere functionality of their songs. But perhaps Duritz described the band's flaws best during his yearning performance of the show's elegiac highlight, "Amy Hit the Atmosphere," in which he sang, "Today was just a day fading into another And that can't be what a life is for." Et tu, ladies! Footsteps parries with gender issues By Chris Jones Special to the Tribune William Shakespeare may have penned the greatest monologues and soliloquies of all time. But from "All the world's a stage" to "It is the cause, it is the cause my soul," the vast majority of these timeless treats were dispensed through the mouths of men. Sure, Helena, Gertrude, Beatrice, Cressida, Lady Percy and the rest get a few self-reflexive nuggets, but they are frequently in reaction to some questionable male activity. Even if these great Elizabethan dramas show unusually profound awareness of the female psyche, even the most dedicated Shakespearean actress would admit that, when it comes to the profundity of rhyming couplets, the playing field is hardly level. Hamlet, King Lear, Othello, and all the other members of the hubris-filled boys' club, get most of the good stuff. Since Shakespeare wrote his plays for men and boys, the surrounding issues of gender have always been fluid and complex. So one could argue that there is no reason under the sun why women should not play the male roles in a contemporary production of a Shakespearean drama and thus bring new insights to these juicy male speeches. That, at least, is the premise of the Footsteps Theatre Company's consistently intriguing series of all-female productions of Shakespeare's plays that has been going on now for several seasons. Karin McKie, a strong actress who has appeared in several of Footsteps' women-centered Shakespeare plays, has another Theater review "Shakespeare's Lovers and Fighters' When: Through Dec. 12 Where: Theatre Building, 1225 W. Belmont. Phone: 773-878-4840 beef. Not only are women denied the best speeches, but when it comes to classical stage combat, they are usually restricted to the sidelines. The proactive result is "Shakespeare's Lovers and Fighters." McKie's pleasantly unified Sunday evening revue of the Bard's greatest (mainly male) hits, allows women to muse on the relative nobility of suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, even as they jump into a fight with Laertes. Performed on a Sunday schedule at the Theatre Building, this 75-minute show is at its best when it explores issues of gender quite explicitly, rather than merely trotting out familiar readings of these canonical speeches. It's also a more engaging exploration of Shakespeare's fighters than of his lovers. But there is some terrific fight choreography from Kara Pasierb (who also performs, superbly) and an interesting take on the moody Dane from Jean Adamak. Appropriately enough, given the premise, it's the perplexing witches from "Macbeth" that provide the thematic glue for this interesting and progressive piece of theater. And the excellent Susy Ibrahim, Alida Vitas and Ashley Bishop make three fascinating guides. IDs. 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Six puzzle books per year, a coffee mug, notepads, ,.,li, f I h Pencils, and more! iud Fora jst 0( jumbe prooucts call Tribune Media Service at 800.788.1225 Vi ijY A letter to the fans of f J) . TRADING CARD UHEj .-. &utm2'f' f' This Thanksgiving when you and your family v'1" 'y 'v!1 rffCX see 'Pokdmon The First Movie' ' " wo, and mail in your ticket stub, f. - --"" This Thanksgiving when you and your family see 'Pokemon The First Movie' and mail in your ticket stub, please be assured that there are enough Trading Card Game Cards for every ticket purchased. Send a self-addressed stamped ' envelope and your Pokemon ticket stub - (postmarked by December 31, 1999) to: Pokfmofi Trading Card Offer do Technicolor 909 Rochciter Ave. -Ontario, Ca ft 761 I i.iT t . .. vhu A .? v "''( ir i iff r i 1 WAIFR T0WFR Cn.cago 311444 HlI) 593 WEBSTER PLACE IlMSJO 7,-3.327-3100 CHATHAM 14 Cniugo ji; 444 fliM 629 FORO CITY 14 Cn.UK, 312-444-fkM 157 LAWNDALE 10 Cfi caax 312 444-FllM 30 LINCOLN VILLAGE Ch,ugo 312.444 Ti.MliJS S2ho 1 WESTERN Ctl-UDO 312 444-FILM 628 VILLAGE NORTH Chitago rn.'M 9100 CANTERA 30 A4iienville 630 444.FllM635 CINEMARH Ue.iott Park '0133 1920 CHICAGO RIDGE MALL 'rucjai. "06 44 "tM L17 CRESTWOOD y. ' 1 ' - mb. eblv.ciHI 706 j 2300 CINEMAS l .( M. 444 f IlM i5?7 . ia . 34-7469 GLENWQ0D Liiei. GOLF MILL N.ks 84 . 444 flLM(525 GROVE CINEMAS OoAieis G'0. 630 444 tlLM 547 HILLSIDE SO. Hi.s.da 738.347 6001 LAKE ZURICH 12 Lie 2urh 847 330 0300 LAKEHURST Wauea4 847 473 4200 LINCOLNSHIRE 20 L.iitu.iisrine 3-4. 15 t'6A) MARCUS CINEMA Kanoib'M 932 loo4 Call theatre or see directory ad for showtimes. NORRIDGE Nufiuige ;ua 45? 9000 H0RTHBR00K COURT 14 Nu.'lnoi.rut. 6-1' 444 t ILM NORTH RIVERSIDE MAIL hwin firrtriiJe ."ue 444 hL.M5b6 0RLAND SQ Oiiirid Kir ,'5fa.444-ftlMC?6 QUARRY CINEMA? 14 Myaans70e 444-flLV o3l RANDHURST16 Ml ?itii(cl4Vl744TilM56a RICE LAKE SQ. WrifaUKi o3u 444 rL,M546 RIDGE CINEMAS Amngtun h:s ShT 444 HLM tbH RIVER RUN linsmg ;l)6 od5 0052 RIVERTREf COURT Venon rtiiii 64. 444 tLW 526 ROILING MEADOWS iViing MeuwsMr a:00 ROUND LAKE BEACH 18 Rau'U Larte Bran W- 346 49W SOUTH BARRINGTON So., in Si imgMn 84,. 444 HLM 634 S0UTHLAKE MALL Mt-ntrJla.jJTj; STRATFORD SQ. Bioon.ngoait 6j0 44J f ILM S45 STREAMW00D Siie-.Tiooj cju .ii 69C0 WESTERN HEIGHTS Cr,ui)o ills roB :4," OtWO WESTRIDGE COURT NaiMf'.tw djj 444-FIlM 4'j9C WOODRIDGE WoQUi Lige 6jj i7 JflOC YORK funhjrsi 630 834 06 75 Y0RKTQWN 18 l in-..j f.0,, 444 fi.HS .0 from nwie teview, to ttieotie news. from cIcsskoI bokrs to hit plays. from oil exhibitions to ion musicians. In Sunday's PIS 7 1 3 s My entertainment A

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