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 memory of South Africa freedom fighter Nelson Mandela, who passed away on December 5th, is filled with deserved accolades and iconography. Director Justin Chadwick and actor Idris Elba brings the man to human life in the essential “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.”
CHICAGO – Director Clint Eastwood has given up on subtlety, choosing instead to tell old-fashioned, direct stories with as much technical skill and dramatic competency as possible. There’s nothing particularly wrong with the legendary director’s “Invictus,” but it’s also not nearly as memorable or thrilling as it could have or, given the true story that it tells, should have been.