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 – Frank Oz’s “Little Shop of Horrors” was one of my favorite movie musicals when I was a kid but I’ll admit that I hadn’t seen it i decades and was a little concerned that my nostalgia for the film was misguided. Mere minutes into the new Blu-ray release, I knew the opposite was true — this is an even better film than you remember, now fully enhanced by the legendary alternate ending that the studio forced Oz to cut after test screenings nixed it. This is a great release.
CHICAGO – The minute I saw “Pushing Daisies,” one of the very first notes I took while watching the pilot was “this is never going to last”. It was great, but it was also too quirky, strange, romantic, and hard to put into a definable box, making it unlikely to find an audience. Now that the second-and-final season of “Pushing Daisies” is on DVD, we can look back and see the beauty of the brief time we had with this great show and wonder what might have been.