Culture Vultures: Zero Dean's travel blog, a Steppenwolf play, Achatz's memoir, and more 

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Ginny Berg, publisher of Chicago Gallery News, just attended:

Hot L Baltimore at Steppenwolf

The music in this show was really excellent—it was from the early and mid 1970s, like Sly and the Family Stone and Richie Havens. In terms of the actors, a few were new; it's nice when they bring up-and-coming artists into their performances. Allison Torem did a terrific job playing "The Girl"—sort of this overly energetic, enthusiastic character who's trying to save this old hotel and realizing she doesn't have a chance. The residents know the end is near, and she's the glimmer of hope. She's in between growing up and hasn't lost her innocence yet, but is about to lose it. I also enjoyed the performance of de'Adre Aziza, who was a good contrast to Torem's character—she was this woman in skimpy clothes with a wicked sense of humor, who's been around the block. They played off each other pretty well.

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