GOGOL BORDELLO | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader


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A few weeks ago The Colbert Report did a segment about civic-minded volunteers in Arizona who were building their own fence along the Mexican border. I like to imagine one of those xenophobic spoilsports stuck at a Gogol Bordello show, slouching against the wall with a tumbler of scotch while everybody else dances like they're on fire. This family-size New York band, fronted by the explosively charismatic Eugene Hutz, is a wild-ass celebration of immigrant culture that proposes an unstable common ground between Gypsy music and other archetypally marginalized genres like punk and dub. No one's shut out of this party: "Harem in Tuscany (Taranta)," from the new Super Taranta! (Side One Dummy), careens from Italian folk to flamenco to traditional Ukrainian dance music, and Hutz often slips into a kind of transatlantic patois. ("Was your grandma anti-anti? / Was your grandpa panty-panty?" he asks cryptically on "Super Theory of Super Everything.") Their raucous, postmodern circus of a stage show is equally disrespectful of borders--the ones between performer and audience, between playing and dancing, and sometimes between showmanship and self--destruction. a 7 PM, the Vic, 3145 N. Sheffield, 773-472-0449 or 312-559-1212, $20. A --J. Niimi


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