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Calendar, Night&Day Don’t Tell Mama

Don’t Tell Mama

Short on narrative but rich in imagery and portent, Cabaret-Berlin: The Wild Scene, weaves together original photographs, paintings, home movies, news clippings, documentary footage, and audio archives into an impressionistic collage representing the Weimar Kabarett. While today Bertolt Brecht and…
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Calendar, Night&Day You Said It

You Said It

The digital age promotes communication. (We’re more connected than ever.) The digital age inhibits communication. (We form superficial relationships and hide behind virtual selves.) We love our smartphones. (We could not live without them.) We hate our smartphones. (We wish…
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Calendar, Night&Day Renaissance Man

Renaissance Man

In 1987, The Princess Bride was released in theaters; an entire generation of children has lines from the eminently quotable film seared into their brains. One of those lines was uttered by the self-important and blustery villain, Vizzini, who heralded…
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Calendar, Night&Day Theater of War

Theater of War

Meryl Streep is arguably America’s greatest living musical-theater actress. Anyone who saw the two-time Oscar winner shamelessly mug and prance through the mindless movie musical Mamma Mia! earlier this year might call me certifiable, but those who caught her Mother…
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Calendar, Night&Day

Theater of War

Meryl Streep is arguably America’s greatest living musical-theater actress. Anyone who saw the two-time Oscar winner shamelessly mug and prance through the mindless movie musical Mamma Mia! earlier this year might call me certifiable, but those who caught her Mother…
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Culture, Stagecap

Woman's Will offers capitalist critique for free

It's tough to criticize free theater in the park, especially when the material in question is more adventurous than, say, Shakespeare's greatest hits. So bravo to the all-female troupe Woman's Will for staging The Good Person of Szechuan, Bertolt Brecht's…
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Calendar, Night&Day

The Mother of All Brechts

Bertolt Brecht is best known among theater buffs for his chintzy-chic Weimar Republic cabaret collaborations with Kurt Weill. But Mother Courage, one of the most depressing accounts of war ever penned in the 20th century, is his true masterpiece. Although…
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Culture, Encore

Our critics weigh in on local theater

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. The moldering schoolhouse tradition of spelling bees has inspired a cultural deluge of late, from Myla Goldberg's 2001 novel Bee Season to the feature film Akeelah and the Bee. That the bee…
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Culture, Stagecap

Happy End

Are Americans really just a bunch of gangsters and puritans? This uneven mobster musical definitely wants us to consider the possibility. Happy End follows the clichéd good-girl/bad-boy romance of Salvation Army preacher Lillian Holiday and notorious gangster Bill Cracker. It’s…
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Culture, Stage

Happy End

The back room at Original Joe's provides a suitably speak-easy setting for Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's Happy End. Set in Chicago circa 1939, this gangster movie-style musical theater piece revolves around an unlikely romance between tough guy Bill Cracker…
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Film, Finding a Way

Finding a Way

The Czech drama Zelary brings to mind Bertolt Brecht's pointed observation that "war is like love; it always finds a way." In this instance, war creates the atmosphere in which an unlikely love flourishes, then overwhelms that love. Only a…
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Culture, Stage

"100 Years of Political Theatre, Series A"

Eastenders' fifth annual One-Act Festival has a political theme this year. The troupe offers a century's worth of dissident playwriting, from early Soviet Russia through South Africa to the present-day United States. But the first thing to point out about…
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Culture, Stage Smudged <i>Circle</i>

Smudged Circle

Bertolt Brecht's last great play, written for Broadway in the '40s with the idea of teaching well-heeled Americans about property rights, premiered at Minnesota's Carleton College in 1948. To make it work on Broadway, Brecht had even thrown in a…
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Culture, Stage

Saint Joan of the Stockyards

This early Brechtian fable of corporate greed in the Chicago meat market rarely gets produced, most likely because Bertolt Brecht wrote so many other, more potent plays. His young Joan Dark works for the Black Hats, a Salvation Army-like outfit…
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Culture, Stage The Business of War

The Business of War

"Damn this fucking war," says Mother Courage in a moment of clarity, just after she gets through damning an imminent peace. The heroine of Bertolt Brecht's great protest play is an army-supply merchant, pulling her rickety wagon along the fringes…
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Culture, Stage Taking Wing

Taking Wing

Last year Susannah Schulman played Juliet at the California Shakespeare Festival as a glossy-eyed mall girl in the blush of first love -- wisecracking, calculating, and spoiled. That's wrong for Juliet, who needs a touch of naiveté, but for the…
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Music, House of Tudor House Of Tudor

House Of Tudor

The Make-Up is not your average garage band. Led by the odd but acute intellect of Ian Svenonius -- whose voice vacillates between gritty exhaustion and breathy falsetto -- the Make-Up's members are revivalists in a bizarro world of their…
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Calendar, Night&Day

Berliners' Rise and Fall

One thing the pre-reunification government did right in East Germany was fund the arts it favored. For instance, the Berliner Ensemble performed in a beautiful old East Berlin theater 50 years after Bertolt Brecht founded the company in 1949, and…
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Calendar, Night&Day

Night + Day

Wednesday November 4 High Voltage Uncle Tupelo's debut album No Depression was auspicious in more ways than one: Not only was the title later borrowed to describe rootsy country rock outside the Nashville "new country" marketplace, but the band itself…
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Culture, Stage

Story Hour

The Zoo Story By Edward Albee. Directed by Aida Jones. Starring Carolyn Bates and Kerry LaBelle. Presented by the 511e Chronicles at the Brava! Studio, 2180 Bryant, through Jan. 26. Call 982-6422. To most people, "alternative staging" means a Wild…
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