CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
CHICAGO – There was a day not that long ago when it felt like Nick Stahl was the next rising star. He delivered nuanced performances in films and on HBO’s “Carnivale” that led one to believe there was potential for stardom. “The Thin Red Line,” “In the Bedroom,” “Bully” — he was going somewhere in the early ’00s, but he was derailed into basically nothing but straight-to-video junk like “Mirrors 2” since 2005’s “Sin City.”
CHICAGO – When done improperly, there’s nothing more embarrassing than actors playing against their type or social class. There is a subtlety to channeling the lower middle or the working class beyond dressing down or developing a bad hairstyle. “Sleepwalking” is the type of film that gets it wrong and just gets worse as it tries harder.