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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Morning Art: Nnenna Okore

Posted By on 03.31.11 at 08:34 AM

Skin, by Nnenna Okore, part of On the Edge, a show of her work opening Fri 4/1, 6-8 PM, at Northwestern University's Dittmar Gallery, 1999 Campus, Evanston, 847-491-2348.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ron Bieganski Out at Free Street Theater

Posted By on 03.30.11 at 05:19 PM

Longtime artistic director Ron Bieganski is out at Free Street Theater. Bieganski and his job parted ways last week; so far nobody's saying why. In the wake of his departure, board president Esther Grimm has been replaced by her predecessor, Peter Handler. although she remains on the board.

Bieganski logged more than a quarter-century with Free Street, and has been artistic director since 1995. It was under his leadership that the company began to focus on its current mission of training teenagers to develop and perform original work. Free Street is left with only one full-time employee, managing director Mica Cole, who says there's no immediate plan to replace him.

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UChicago Hookups, Now eduHookups, Spreads the Love

Posted By on 03.30.11 at 05:02 PM

The brazen casual encounters site that gained notoriety as UChicago Hookups is spreading like the cl— hmm . . . well, it's spreading. After changing its name to eduHookups last week, the site opened registration on Monday to people with Columbia College and Northwestern e-mails; it launches for DePaul and Loyola students at midnight, Yale and Washington University on Friday, and Brown next Monday. Earlier this week it reported having a modest 800 registered members, but as it expands across college networks, the site seems poised to go viral, Facebook-style.

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I Am the Queen

Posted By on 03.30.11 at 04:22 PM


Josue Pellot may be best known for his neon signs in Humboldt Park that might look like beer ads at first glance, but actually depict the bloody conflict between Conquistadores and native Tainu in Puerto Rico.

Pellot was born in Puerto Rico and grew up in Humboldt Park. He first collaborated with Brazil-born multimedia artist Henrique Cirne-Lima on a six-minute video documentary about Division Street domino players in the West Side neighborhood.

Then he ran across a flyer for the Cacique Pageant, a transgender beauty contest put on each May by Vida/SIDA, the HIV-awareness and sex education program of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center. Pellot and Cirne-Lima decided to embark on a documentary about the pageant, the second in what they plan as a series of video portraits of the community.

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Turntablist Ignaz Schick Explodes the Monkey in Chicago This Weekend

Posted By on 03.30.11 at 01:55 PM

Ignaz Schick
  • Ignaz Schick
Ignaz Schick doesn't have to leave home to play with a lot of improvisers: the Berlin-based turntablist is already a member of two large, well-established ensembles, the seven-member Phosphor and the 24-piece Splitter Orchestra. During his recent travels he's taken to throwing mini festivals during which he plays a series of short duets—sometimes with old friends, sometimes with people he's never encountered before. He calls these events Explode the Monkey, and he's staging one in Chicago at Enemy on Friday and Saturday night.

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Reedist Michael Blake, Out of the Shadows

Posted By on 03.30.11 at 11:29 AM

Michael Blake
  • Michael Blake
This weekend bassist and bandleader Ben Allison makes what's becoming an annual visit to the Green Mill, this time in support of Action-Refraction (due from Palmetto on April 12). On this trip as well as most of Allison's recent visits, reedist Michael Blake has been part of his band. I've been a fan of Blake's music for more than a decade, and I think it's unfortunate he doesn't get more attention—he's not only Allison's secret weapon but also an impressive bandleader in his own right, revealing an unstinting curiosity and passion in a variety of contexts.

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One Bite: Oden

Posted By on 03.30.11 at 10:00 AM

oden, karashi, sansho, shichimi togarashi
  • Mike Sula
  • Oden, karashi, sansho, shichimi togarashi

Oden is a Japanese winter stew in which all sorts of absorbent, wiggly, squishy bits simmer for hours—even days—in a broth based on dashi, soy sauce, and mirin. I had my first taste of it a few months ago at the great izakaya Torihei, in Torrance, California. There it's served in a fairly refined "Kyoto style"—you order individual bites of "white radish," "hanpen fish cake," or "half raw egg with salmon roe," and out comes the particular morsel bathing in a small bowl of light dashi. But oden can be found all over Japan in convenience stores, on the street, or in individual oden-ya, served from great vats where chunks of daikon, mountain elephant yam cakes (konnyaku), fried tofu pouches (like ganmokdoki or aburaage), and all manner of processed fish cakes (say, chikuwa or kamaboko) bob in the simmering stock, sometimes impaled on skewers, sometimes in compartmentalized dashi baths. The key to good oden is a long, slow simmer so the food can absorb the stock. Japanese friends tell me that some renowned oden-ya have maintained the same mother dashi for decades, constantly replenishing it as it reduces and concentrates in flavor.

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Morning Art: Thomas Macker

Posted By on 03.30.11 at 09:24 AM

Tears of Things, a photo by Thomas Macker, part of For All Our Failings, a show of his work opening Sun 4/3, 4-8 PM, at ACRE Projects, 1913 W. 17th,

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Morning Newsfeed: Muti's Ready to Go, Radiation in the Burbs, Underage Drinking, Losing Out on the Lotto, and More

Posted By on 03.30.11 at 09:16 AM

Former Chicago Police Chief Jody Weis spills the dirt on "whiners" in the department, and why he wore a uniform, even though he was never a Chicago cop. (Tribune)

Oft-injured and ill CSO director Riccardo Muti says he's healthy and ready to lead the orchestra. (Tribune)

Radiation from Japan has been detected in DuPage and Will Counties. (Fox Chicago)

Eleven people were injured as a gunfight caused a CTA bus to crash in Englewood. (Tribune)

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Ads From the Past: June 20, 1975

Posted By on 03.30.11 at 09:00 AM

Chicago Reader @ Forty ads from the past: Plummers

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Agenda Teaser

August 22
Quebe Sisters, Nicole Amine FitzGerald’s
August 22

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