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 – “Saw VI” opens with two people in a race to cut off as much flesh as possible before time runs out. It’s gross. It’s nauseating. It’s exactly what fans of this franchise have been looking for and what its critics have derided. The twist is that these victims are a part of the current financial crisis, making their torture something audiences, many of which have been impacted through loss of income, would more likely cathartically enjoy.