A Jacques Brel Revue: Songs of Love and War | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

A Jacques Brel Revue: Songs of Love and War 

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Buttressed by Arnold Johnston's sharp new translations of the songs, this well-wrought tribute to the Belgian cabaret genius feels brighter and more vibrant than the better-known revue Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris. Returning Brel to his raunchy roots, the peppy rouser "Marathon" becomes the perilously misogynistic "Flemish Wives": grimly dancing through life, they remain young while their men die off. "When We've Nothing but Love" is a truer title than the more famous "If We Only Have Love," and Brel's love/hate affair with his native Flanders erupts in "The Flat Land." Director Fred Anzevino and music director Michael Miller mold the five performers in this Theo Ubique Theatre Company production into passionate proponents of Brel's work, especially in lilting waltzes like "Son Of," "Jef," and "In the Spring." Open run: Fri-Sat 8 PM, Sun 7 PM. No Exit Cafe, 6970 N. Glenwood, 773-743-3355. $18-$20; dinner packages available.

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