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 – Chicago is a hotbed for new stage talent, and the growth of that creativity is generated in new theater works. The Artist’s Lab at Stage 773 is one such developmental program, and director Kevin Hanna is currently in residence to create a new three part musical production called “The Cowboy and the The Showgirl Cycle.” The first part will have its premiere at Stage 773 on February 11th, 2016 (details below).
CHICAGO – One of director Tim Burton’s great actor collaborators is the veteran performer Martin Landau. Landau voices Mr. Rsykruski, a science teacher who inspires young Victor Frankenstein in “Frankenweenie,” released on Blu-Ray on January 8th. This is part of Laudau’s magnificent 60 year career in film, television, stage and acting instruction.
CHICAGO – There are very few directors who have a more distinct career halfway point than Tim Burton. With very few exceptions, I vastly prefer the first half of his career, when he took chances on films like “Edward Scissorhands,” “Batman,” and the great “Ed Wood,” recently released on Blu-ray for the first time to coincide with the Blu-ray release of “Dark Shadows” and the theatrical release of “Frankenweenie.”
CHICAGO – Would I love Ed Wood as much without Tim Burton’s amazing film of the same name? Probably not. I’ll admit that I can’t watch “Bride of the Monster” and NOT think of Martin Landau’s Oscar-winning performance and I smile when thinking of Wood directing some of his awesomely-bad features but I’m really picturing Johnny Depp more than the actual filmmaker. Does it matter? For whatever reason you enjoy the king of Z-movie cinema, the 6-disc “Big Box of Wood” set is a treasure for cheesy movie fans.
CHICAGO – The legendary Martin Landau was recently in Chicago with two films in special presentation at The 45th Annual Chicago International Film Festival - the classic “North by Northwest,” also releasing on Blu-Ray tomorrow, November 3rd, 2009, and the new drama “Lovely, Still,” co-starring Ellen Burstyn.