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 does it take to crawl out of a hole so deep that you can no longer see the sky? For some people, depression isn’t just a bad mood or an off day, it is as debilitating as a disease, and it can kill. One such man is Walter Black (Mel Gibson), and the unusual way that he survives his affliction is chronicled in the fascinating, memorable, accomplished “The Beaver.”
CHICAGO – “Mother and Child,” with an all star cast of Annette Bening, Naomi Watts, Samuel L. Jackson, Jimmy Smits and Kerry Washington, is mindful of its subject matter, that rare and elusive connection between a mother and their offspring. However, the film has difficulties when the characters become inconsistent with their past backgrounds after that connection is introduced.