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 – “The Music Man” is alive in a way few Hollywood musicals ever are. Its big numbers often grow organically, allowing melodies to emerge from the rhythm of speech, overlapping action or the seemingly mundane movement of characters across the frame. In the exuberant world of this ageless classic, music is less of a self-conscious construct than an irresistible life force infiltrating the cadence of everyday life.