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 – What is the remedy for the holiday blues? How about a dose of “Liza with a ‘Z’!” The sparkling and funny “We Three Lizas” is back for the holiday season from About Face Theatre of Chicago, just in time for the lights and tinsel. Danielle Plisz, Mark David Kaplan and Bethany Thomas play the three title Liza Minellis, with a deft direction by Scott Ferguson.
CHICAGO – It’s easy to see why “Cabaret” was such a phenomenon when it was released in 1972. The film not only tackles issues of sexuality that the musical genre had largely ignored up to that point, it features the kind of evocative visual compositions and performances not often seen in the genre. It is a “serious musical.”
CHICAGO – Critics were pretty hard on the remake of “Arthur” starring Russell Brand, Helen Mirren, Jennifer Garner, and Greta Gerwig (including our very own Patrick McDonald, who gave the film 2 stars out of five) and the film relatively bombed at the box office, opening in 2nd place to “Hop” and making only $12.7 million in its first frame with a lower per-screen average than “Hanna” or “Soul Surfer.” Now you can compare the new version to the award-winning original and its dreadful sequel in a 2-movie collection, now on Blu-ray.
CHICAGO – Those of you longing for a film version of “The Sopranos,” “Friends,” or “24” (all of which have been rumored at some point or another), should look no further than “Sex and the City 2,” which was recently released on Blu-Ray and DVD, for a cautionary tale. HBO’s “Sex and the City” was a fantastic comedy but both films based on it have been disastrous. Their only value is for filmmakers to learn what not to do with a creative property.