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 – TNT’s “King & Maxwell” fits squarely in the TNT brand, shows built around the charisma of its stars. Whether it’s the popular gents at the center of “Franklin & Bash,” Kyra Sedgwick on “The Closer” or the likable pair who headline “Rizzoli & Isles,” the brand has worked (and didn’t exactly for ensemble shows like the now-canceled “Monday Mornings” and “Southland.”)
CHICAGO – I was hoping that the practically straight-to-Blu-ray “Apartment 143,” written and produced by “Buried” and “Red Lights” director Rodrigo Cortes, would be a clever horror alternative that just didn’t find the right path to mainstream success but was truly worth your time. My hopes were dashed against the rocks of cliched storytelling, awful acting, and generic direction about ten minutes into this mess. A few decent ideas in an interesting climax save it from complete disaster but you’re likely to have turned it off by that time and visited a scarier location.
CHICAGO – Melissa Leo is a familiar face to admirers of the TV show “Homicide: Life on the Street”.