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“The Way the Mystic Sees” CultureMary Helena Clark, \"The Plant (Still from film),\" 2012. From the installation, \"The Way the Mystic Sees,\" 2019/ Image courtesy Weinberg/Newton Gallery At Weinberg/Newton Gallery, Through December 14 In the inaugural group exhibition at the gallery's new River West location, artists including rts &Nick Cave and Max Guy, take stock of our contemporary surveillance state.
Art The Ideal Between Meleko Mokgosi, \"Bread, Butter, and Power,\" 2018. Intuition and Institution Fowler Museum at UCLA. Courtesy the artist and Honor Fraser, Los Angeles. Photo © Monica Nouwens. Meleko Mokgosi’s Bread, Butter and Power at the Smart Museum of Art By Stephanie Koch Meleko Mokgosi’s solo show “Bread, Mokgosi grew up in Botswana, a country feasible for Mokgosi to return to Botswana Butter and Power,” on view at the Smart promoted in the years following its 1966 and interview the country’s residents. Museum of Art, is an exhibition of twenty-one independence from Great Britain as the model “He has research assistants in Botswana who large-scale paintings focusing on democracy of stability and democracy in Africa: dia- mond-rich yet corruption-free, sound interview people about democracy and his in the context of contemporary, southern economic growth, regular and fair elections, assistants also take photographs as part of Africa. As part of an eight-chapter project, “Democratic Intuition,” created between 2013 and a free and vigorous press: A success story the process. They are locally based, and he circulated within and through institutions in uses the photographs to faithfully reproduce and 2019, the expansive series reveals the Botswana and abroad, as well as informally people and, in some cases, their homes,\" vestiges of colonialism still present, the historical line of democratic institutions and its through popular, visual culture. Jones says. \"These are real people in practices, and how these structures manifest Botswana who are directly impacted by the and condition the everyday of its subjects. But when personal histories and the truth issues, the themes, the topics that he is claims of its subjects are placed in proximity to addressing in the body.\" In mainstream U.S. culture, we are experienc- those established narratives, reputation and While each chapter of “Democratic Intuition” ing in real time a fraying relationship between reality come into conflict. Mokgosi’s artistic practice is steeped in theoretical research, but works to reveal the complex entanglement ourselves and an ideal image of democracy. between subjecthood, representation and That image pictured a space where participa- he works to bring democracy’s abstracted image to the ground of lived experience sociopolitical systems, the paintings of “Bread, tion in democratic culture and practices reciprocally provided security in the form of a through the representation of its people and Butter and Power” focus on gendered Newcity NOVEMBER 2019 good life, fair justice and equality. The reality of their voice. Each chapter is sourced from field divisions of labor and a feminism specific to our lived experiences, particularly for minorities, research in Botswana. southern Africa. Mokgosi’s process is instead reveals our continuous adjustment to meticulous and informed heavily by theory. shifting socioeconomic conditions. By way of a “There is a respect that [Mokgosi] pays to the Months of research and storyboarding widening wealth gap rooted in discriminatory individual in the way that he represents them,” produce works pre-planned to the detail of says Erica Jones, associate curator of African which brush will effect which stroke. What policies and systemic racism enabling results are portraits rendered slightly larger Art at the Fowler Museum in Los Angeles. injustices, marginalized communities are than life, holding not only the subjects, the Jones curated the first showing of “Bread, maintained to be invisible and vulnerable. In Butter and Power,” presented at the Fowler in meaning of their facial expressions and place of fading democratic institutions, the posture, but significant details of their interiors. creation of local, grassroots support systems early 2018. emerge because of our remediations and As he is based in the United States, it is not In recent years, the Smart Museum has sought adaptations. 54
to broaden and diversify the works it shares to down and shared through oral tradition. ART TOP 5 NOVEMBER 2019 Newcity reframe traditional art-historical narrative to Broadly speaking, oral tradition is not include untold and overlooked stories. Although recognized as a mode of research and 1 The Way the Mystic Sees. “Bread, Butter and Power” shares experiences articulation on par with those forged in the Weinberg/Newton Gallery In particular to southern Africa, for Jennifer Carty, academy, such as archival research or history the inaugural group exhibition at associate curator of Modern and Contemporary painting. As a genre originating from the gallery's new River West Art at the Smart Museum and receiving curator seventeenth-century Europe, history painting location, artists including Nick for the exhibition, the show is a moment for shared narratives which championed the Cave and Max Guy, take stock of visitors to contemplate their own relationships nation-state, along with its culture and our contemporary surveillance to democracy and gender in daily life. practices, creating a sense of history for a state. Through December 14 relatively new system of political organization. “What’s powerful about Meleko’s work is this 2 Re: Working Labor. rich layering of representation that may not As an artist who is committed to reshaping and SAIC Sullivan Galleries. reveal immediate recognition to an audience reorienting the ways we narrate and dissemi- A wide-ranging group exhibition, unfamiliar with the context of southern Africa, nate history, why would Mokgosi use the very featuring new work by Mierle but the work leaves entry points,” Carty says. colonialist vehicle which assisted in the creation Laderman Ukeles and Chicago “By deploying the language of history painting of conditions for present-day social, political artists Josh Rios, John Preus and narrative strategies, the artist exposes and cultural exclusion, especially within this and others, tackles the affinities in relation to democracy, gender and body of work focused on feminism and untenable, changing nature of historical representation.” gendered labor? The use of the established labor under late capitalism. genre provides a familiar visual language, and Through November 27 As a way to look beyond the meta-narratives thus an access point into previous logics of of colonialism and nationalism, the twenty-one representation. It is this access point from 3 Rotimi Fani-Kayode large panels are grouped and positioned which Mokgosi can dismantle entrenched (1955-1989). Iceberg side-to-side, formally organized like a film strip. colonialist ideas and theories surrounding who Projects. The late artist's first The subjects become actors and, through and what is portrayed, while simultaneously solo exhibition in Chicago Mokgosi, they speak their realities. In one set, centering the bodies of those who experience features beautifully composed the scene begins with school children the emotional and psychic realities built from photographs that confront performing manual labor in their uniforms, those ideas and theories. issues that remain relevant presumably in the school courtyard. As a show today: from racism in the art centered on gender, it complicates that theme History paintings also promoted western world to homophobia. Opens through its intersectional engagement with notions of aesthetics, values and ethics November 2 questions concerning class and education. alongside heteronormative and patriarchal norms, as they forefront the stories of white 4 Leon Polk Smith: Foundational to feminism is education, both in men. It is how a society saw the ideal in Endless Space. Gray terms of who has access and what is taught. images. In the vivid and significant details of Warehouse. Smith's irregularly Mokgosi highlights state educational priorities ephemera in the subjects’ homes, Mokgosi shaped, minimalist canvases, for children and young women in Botswana documents how a similar move happens today. with rich colors that signify the where manual labor is privileged over academic Magazine pages decorate a home, picturing landscapes of his Native pursuits. A country could have an image that the material objects attached to what builds a American upbringing, continue upholds democratic values and organization of good life: vacations, cars, nice homes. to stun, decades after their law. But if the law governs a society never Depictions of socioeconomic units such as creation. Through November 23 equally trained in what Indian scholar and nuclear families and business executives at feminist critic Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, a work are nestled next to positively charged 5 Martha Rosler: great influence to Mokgosi, calls the “intuition of text—Empower, Rising Stars, Team Players, Passionate Signals. democracy”—that is, to have the tools to Outstanding Leaders, It's an Entrepreneur’s Neubauer Collegium. question their world and its lines of power— World, A Success Story. The feminist artist displays then could that country claim to be democratic? nature-based photo and video Away from a nationalist narrative offering a shiny work, which ponders the cost of Jumping forward in the grouping, the set cuts picture of economic growth, Mokgosi directs producing \"natural\" flowers and to an interior home where public and intimate our attention to a reality of entrepreneurial spirit. gardens. Through January 31 spheres converge. A television showing a In a panel of a roadside stand set between a Christian program is rendered in incredible half-done background and foreground, the 55 detail, but the stand on which it sits is alluded image sharpens on fruit and biscuit packages; to through quick gestures. The subject settled these goods become the subject as they are on the bed is brought forth and given attention arranged and rendered in still life. Tuck shops, with gorgeous burnt sienna and umber, yet the or small retail stores in southern Africa, are bed’s platform is roughly sketched and left usually run by women as a way to provide for incomplete, revealing swathes of unprimed their families and communities. Improvised canvas. The painstaking and focused brush shops become institutions. Where the success work zooms into the scene, the partially story of Botswana’s democracy does not finished effectively zooms out. The moments of provide for its residents, these women create unprimed canvas allow for the same sense of their own means, and for Mokgosi that is a form pause enacted by a film director, allowing of feminism which is lived, not theoretical, and space for the viewer to reflect and engage different from a Western take. intuitively with the questions, concerns and histories offered. Meleko Mokgosi: Bread, Butter, and Power, at the Smart Museum of Art, 5550 South The panel from the schoolyard makes a Greenwood, through December 29. Manet & transition to the interiors of the home by way Mokgosi—Oysters/Butter/Bread, Part II of a of a text in Setswana, the lingua franca of free sketching workshop, at the Smart Botswana, detailing an allegorical tale passed Museum of Art on December 5.
EXHIBITIONS THE ARTS CLUB OF CHICAGO KAVI GUPTA GALLERY 201 East Ontario Street Kavi Gupta | Washington Blvd., 835 W. Washington Boulevard 312 787 3997 Tues–Fri 10-6, Sat 11-5 [email protected] / www.artsclubchicago.org Kavi Gupta | Elizabeth St., 219 N. Elizabeth Street Tues–Fri 11-6, Sat 11-3 Thurs–Fri 10-6, Sat 11-5 Through December 21 Abraham Cruzvillegas: The Ballad of Etc. 312 432 0708 November, 2019–March, 2020 Garden Project | Bernard Williams: [email protected] / www.kavigupta.com Opening November 15 To Reclaim (Kavi Gupta | Washington Blvd.) The Black Tractor Project Through December 14 Jeffrey Gibson: CAN YOU FEEL IT THE BLOCK MUSEUM OF ART ( Kavi Gupta | Elizabeth St.) At Northwestern University LOGAN CENTER EXHIBITIONS 40 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston, IL 847 491 4000 At the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts [email protected] / www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu 915 E. 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637 Tues, Sat–Sun 10-5, Wed–Fri 10-8, Mon closed 773 702 2787 September 21–December 8 Pop América, 1965-1975 [email protected] / arts.uchicago.edu/logan/gallery Tues–Sat 9-9, Sun 11-9, Mon closed CARL HAMMER GALLERY November 15, 2019–January 5, 2020 Camille Norment: 740 N. Wells Street Untitled (red flame) 312 266 8512 [email protected] / www.carlhammergallery.com MONIQUE MELOCHE GALLERY Tues–Sat 11-5:30 September 6–October 26 Celebrating 40 Years 451 N. Paulina Street November 1–December 21 Kahn and Selesnick - Madame Lulu’s 312 243 2129 [email protected] / www.moniquemeloche.com Book of Fates: Drawings and Photographs Tues–Sat 11-6 November 2–December 21 Brendan Fernandes DEPAUL ART MUSEUM MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY At DePaul University PHOTOGRAPHY 935 W. Fullerton Avenue 773 325 7506 At Columbia College Chicago [email protected] / artmuseum.depaul.edu 600 S. Michigan Avenue Mon–Tues closed, Wed–Thurs 11-7, Fri–Sun 11-5 312 663 5554 September 12, 2019–February 23, 2020 Julia Fish: bound by spectrum [email protected] / www.mocp.org September 12, 2019–February 23, 2020 Remember Where You Are Mon–Wed 10-5, Thurs 10-8, Fri–Sat 10-5, Sun 12-5 September 12, 2019–February 23, 2020 Architectural Annotations October 10–December 22 Third Realm
THE NEUBAUER COLLEGIUM RICHARD GRAY GALLERY FOR CULTURE AND SOCIETY Richard Gray Gallery, Hancock: 875 N. Michigan Avenue, 38th Floor At the University of Chicago Mon–Fri 10-5:30, Sat by appointment 5701 South Woodlawn Avenue Gray Warehouse: 2044 W. Carroll Avenue 773 795 2329 Tues–Sat 11-5 [email protected] / neubauercollegium.uchicago.edu 312 642 8877 Mon–Fri, First Saturdays 9-5 [email protected] / www.richardgraygallery.com Through January 31 Martha Rosler: Passionate Signals September 13–November 23 Leon Polk Smith: Endless Space POETRY FOUNDATION (Gray Warehouse) November 11, 2019–January 10, 2020 Alex Katz: Flowers 61 W. Superior Street 312 787 7070 (Richard Gray Gallery, Hancock) [email protected] / www.poetryfoundation.org Mon–Fri 11-4 SCHINGOETHE CENTER Saturday, November 2 11-4 September 5–December 20 The Life of Poetry in Morden Tower of Aurora University 1315 Prairie Street, Aurora, IL THE RENAISSANCE SOCIETY 630 844 7843 [email protected] / www.aurora.edu/museum At the University of Chicago Mon, Wed–Fri 10-4, Tues 10-7 5811 S. Ellis Ave., Cobb Hall, 4th Floor September 24–December 13 THREADS: A Line from There to Here 773 702 8670 [email protected] / www.renaissancesociety.org SMART MUSEUM OF ART Tues, Wed, Fri 10-5, Thurs 10-8, Sat, Sun 12-5, Mon closed September 14–December 1 LaToya Ruby Frazier: The Last Cruze At the University of Chicago 5550 S. Greenwood Avenue RHONA HOFFMAN GALLERY 773 702 0200 [email protected] / www.smartmuseum.uchicago.edu 1711 W. Chicago Avenue Tues–Wed 10-5, Thurs 10-8, Fri–Sun 10-5 312 455 1990 Through December 15 Samson Young: Silver Moon or [email protected] / www.rhoffmangallery.com Tues–Fri 10-5:30, Sat 11-5:30 Golden Star, Which Will You Buy of Me? November 8–December 20 Jacob Hashimoto Through December 15 Meleko Mokgosi: Bread, Butter, and Power Through December 15 Down Time: On the Art of Retreat ZHOU B ART CENTER 1029 W. 35th Street 773 523 0200 [email protected] / www.zhoubartcenter.com Mon–Sat 10-5 September 22–November 8 Terminal Forms - Ed Oh, Presented by 062 October 18–November 13 Painting The Figures Now
Logan Center Gallery • Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts • 915 E 60th St Chicago IL 60637 Camille Norment November 15 GORDON POWELL — Nov. 2 – Dec. 21, 2019 UNTITLED arts.uchicago.edu/logan/gallery RED FLAME January 5 McCormick Gallery Gordon Ad.indd 1 www.thomasmccormick.com 10/10/19 2:36 PM Through December 15, 2019 Newcity NOVEMBER 2019 Jacob Hashimoto Meleko Mokgosi, Bread, Butter, and Power (detail), 2018, Oil paint on canvas. Courtesy the artist and Honor Fraser, Los Angeles. Photo © Monica Nouwens. NOVEMBER 8–DECEMBER 20, 2019 1711 WEST CHICAGO AVENUE CHICAGO ILLINOIS 60622 WWW.RHOFFMANGALLERY.C OM 58
Dance DANCE TOP 5 Lucky Plush Productions in “Rink Life.” Photo: Valerie Goldston 1Bangarra Dance Theatre. Harris Theater. Australia’s Holding Each Other Up ambassadors of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture Lucky Plush Celebrates the Joy of Skate Culture in “Rink Life” bring a distinctively thunderous mix of contemporary and By Sharon Hoyer traditional dance to the Harris stage. November 22 & 23 There are places we think of as being ties in Chicago and cities around the NOVEMBER 2019 Newcity of the past, regardless of their continued country. (See Dyana Winkler and Tina 2 Forge Forward. Harris existence and evolution. When we talk Brown’s excellent 2019 HBO documentary, Theater. Hubbard Street’s about a thing being of a bygone era, we “United Skates”). Yet there’s something Fall program offers short almost invariably do so with affection—nos- about the roller rink that resonates with the works by Crystal Pite, Kyle talgic places feel comforting, stable: safe disco era, which made space for ecstatic Abraham and company harbors in tumultuous times. expressions of blackness and queerness. member Rena Butler. Add in the rink as a family-friendly, all-ages November 7, 9 & 10 Roller rinks are a good example. Be it a venue and you have nostalgia of a fixture from your youth, your regular refreshingly inclusive, nurturing flavor. 3 Rink Life. Steppenwolf Saturday night ritual or a cultural touchpoint 1700. Lucky Plush you’ve only seen on screen, the roller rink is The 1970s-era roller rink is also the petri dish Productions reflects on how one of those special little universes with its Julia Rhoads, founder and artistic director of people prop one another up own set of social codes, its own sense of Lucky Plush Productions, selected for through playful movement, style, its own music—all the necessary examining the nuances of human interaction vocalizations and the frame ingredients for building a vibrant culture. and interdependence. “Rink Life” is an of 1970s roller-rink culture. Roller skating is a culture that thrives, albeit evening-length dance theater performance November 7-17 threatened, in African-American communi- featuring Lucky Plush’s signature blend of 4 INAI-The Connection. Dance Center of Columbia College. Natya Dance Theatre collaborates with modern Indian dance choreographer Astad Deboo on a performance that includes dance, puppetry and live music. November 7-9 5 Ex/Body: wake, dam, steel. Dovetail Studios. Molly Shanahan and her Mad Shak collaborators mine for the origins of performance in micro-movements and deep bodily sensations born of trauma. November 1-3 59
dance, conversational dialogue, storytelling managing rigorous vocal and physical work performer-driven score, changing the emotion and live music. “Rink Life” is distinct from prior simultaneously. “It’s been amazing to see how of the sound and creating a kinesthetic Plush productions, though, by its emphasis on good they’ve gotten at the voice work,” experience,” Rhoads says. “These were the live music. First inspired by “Cadence,” a piece Rhoads says. “I build work around the people questions we started with: how do we play commissioned from Rhoads by Hubbard in the room and I want to foreground them on with the social codes of a roller rink? What Street Dance in 2017, “Rink Life” is derived the stage. It really was hard in the beginning. mini-dramas are unfolding on the outside of foremost from playful vocalizations. “I typically They still get fatigued in parts where they have the rink? One way we built the dialogue was to make long-form work and working with to move through technical choreography and ask the ensemble what they’re curious about Hubbard was different—shorter work, tight maintain notes. We’re also going to do some in this world. We created mini dialogues processes,” Rhoads says. “I wanted to use the Alexander technique which will I hope will help around mini-scenes and that generated the voice because Lucky Plush uses storytelling them come up with more strategies. I’m not a content of the relationships and the bubbling and casual dialogue. I didn’t know the musical theater person, but I’m fascinated by up of conflicts that needed to be resolved. You Hubbard Street dancers’ comfort with this, so the collision of vocabularies and how they get a real sense of the people and their we started with humming. Then I thought what work together. It could be two people having relationships to each other. They’re about if the score is driven by the voice? I wound up an awkward moment and someone begins people holding each other up. Each character loving the quality of it—the three-part harmony, humming and the other person joins in, and it comes to a moment where something is the breath and challenge of singing while can feel oddly familiar.” revealed. That’s what I’m most excited doing challenging physical movement. I about—we need to have time and space to wanted to dig more into that and give it a more Pop tunes of the seventies further ground get things wrong. If it’s the nostalgia of a space narrative context with Lucky Plush.” the feeling of familiarity in “Rink Life.” At one or what is conjured by the space if you haven’t moment, performers humming through been in it, there’s a lot of joy inside it. I just The Lucky Plush company members are solfeggio are inspired to break out into a think it’s delightful.” formidable triple threats one and all, but the harmonized a cappella rendition of “Stayin’ vocal demands on top of choreography in Alive.” Moments like these are generated by Steppenwolf 1700 Theatre, 1700 North “Rink Life” presented a challenge to the the performers in the studio, a derived theater Halsted, (312)335-1650. November 7-16, performers. The company worked with vocal approach that makes Plush Productions feel Thursdays-Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at coach Bethany Clearfield on techniques for distinctly authentic and spontaneous. “It’s a 3:30pm. $15-$40. Steppenwolf.org. Photo: Chiara Valle Vallomini BETWEEN GESTURES | October 24-25, 2019 Photo: Amit Kumar Newcity NOVEMBER 2019 POL PI NOÉ SOULIER NATYA DANCE THEATRE ECCE (H)OMO Movement on Movement WITH ASTAD DEBOO October 24, 2019 | 7:30 p.m. October 25, 2019 | 7:30 p.m. INAI—The Connection Post-performance Conversations: November 7-9, 2019 Thursday, October 24 and Friday, October 25 7:30 p.m. World premiere Go to dance.colum.edu for more information. Go to dance.colum.edu for more information. 60
Design DESIGN TOP 5 1Chicago Architecture Biennial. Chicago Cultural Center. The much-anticipated third edition of the CAB takes over the city with exhibitions focusing on architecture, design, urbanism, policymaking, research and the arts. Through Jan. 2020 Farnswrth House 2 SOFA Chicago. Navy Pier. The design event of the year Looking Back returns to Navy Pier to bring together three-dimensional art The Farnsworth House Story and design across multiple media—glass, ceramics, wood, By Isa Giallorenzo fiber, jewelry, metal and sculpture. Oct. 31-Nov. 3 City life can be cluttered. No matter how three questions about the Farnsworth House 3 SOM “Stereoform Slab”. much we Marie Kondo our lives, there is so history. West Loop. During the much going on. Running away from Chicago Architecture Biennial, everything and into the woods can be an Tell us a bit about Dr. Edith Farnsworth. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill builds irresistible idea. But where to? A dingy log Dr. Edith Farnsworth was a Chicago research a pavilion using advanced cabin with outdated furniture and carpeted physician who specialized in kidney diseases technology to explore ways to floors? Never! A design-savvy alternative at Passavant, now Northwestern Hospital, reduce the carbon footprint of would be Farnsworth House, a masterpiece during the 1940s and 1950s. Her enzyme concrete construction. Through country home built by Mies van der Rohe for research was leading for the time but she Jan. 2020 Dr. Edith Farnsworth between 1949 and wasn’t given proper credit or encouragement 1951. Located on the edge of the Fox River in during a very male-dominated time in history. 4 Setting the Stage: NOVEMBER 2019 Newcity Plano, Illinois—about an hour-and-a-half from She was also a classically trained violinist, poet Objects of Chicago Chicago—the house is a National Historic and translator—she spoke French and fluent Theatre. Design Museum of Landmark that attracts thousands of visitors Italian. After many years of a busy practice, Chicago. An exhibition to per year, one-third of them from outside the she decided to build a weekend house and celebrate the Year of Chicago U.S. Besides its gorgeous architectural views, through mutual friends, was introduced to Theater by showcasing design Farnsworth House organizes exhibitions, talks architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, head of objects including costumes, and workshops, site-specific installations, and the School of Architecture at IIT, in 1945. She lights, sound, props and sets, activities including landscape and birding became fascinated with architecture and on loan from local theater walks, yoga and tai chi classes as well as design and although she complained that her companies. Through Jan. 2020 their signature Moonlight Tours. Alternatively, weekend house was impractical, she enjoyed shopping at the well-equipped architec- it for twenty years before selling it and retiring 5 Made in Chicago Market. ture-and-design-themed gift store is an option. to Italy. Her personal papers and journals are Plumbers Hall. The city’s For those who need more reasons to make archived at the Newberry Library and her small businesses assemble to the trip, there's plenty to do nearby, including professional papers are archived at the bring you a unique opportunity horseback riding and hang gliding. One thing Northwestern Medical Archives. Two new to shop local before the holiday is certain: the minimalist nature of Farnsworth books and a major motion picture are frenzy begins. Nov. 30, House will help you push back and reclaim expected over the next two years, so her 10am-5pm space for serenity. But first things first: archives have been essential for piecing executive director Scott Mehaffey answers together who she was as a person. She never 61
married and had no children but her nephew many young GIs enrolled at IIT after the war outside of the mainstream. The Farnsworths has been generous with recollections and and idolized Mies—so the Farnsworth House lived on the Gold Coast and she had grown Farnsworth family history. was a touchstone for these young architects, up in Hubbard Woods—but her journal many of whom would develop their own entries focus on the trees and wildflowers The Farnsworth House is so widely versions during their careers. Do a Google found in the Winnetka ravines rather than studied. Why is it considered a pinnacle image search of “Farnsworth House lookalikes” local gossip or social happenings. During the of Mies van der Rohe’s style? and you’ll see them all over the world. The war, she and a friend took a Sunday Since the revival of Modernism and interest in house was included in architecture and design afternoon drive west, through the bucolic the International Style starting in the early histories very early on, so we have octogenari- rural scenery along the Fox River and as she 1980s, Farnsworth House has become an visitors from Europe who tell us they tells it in her journals, hopped the fence and increasingly studied as a turning point in the studied this house “at university.” It’s a plopped down in two old chairs under history of American architecture. Certainly, it pilgrimage site for designers and design majestic old trees along the river. It turned out was a departure from the pre-World War II enthusiasts from around the world and we to be the former vegetable gardens for buildings Mies had designed—but was also a host hundreds of architecture students and Colonel Robert McCormick’s “Tribune Farms” design and build project that allowed Mies to professors each year—especially this year, and had been a grazing pasture for many develop many of the details, massing and during the Bauhaus centennial. years—so the landscape she discovered was materials palette that would come to very Arcadian and pastoral. She was able to characterize his distinctive strain of modern Why was Farnsworth House built acquire the first parcel, where the house is architecture. Today, the genre is often referred on that site? located, from Colonel McCormick himself in to as Miesian Modernism. Practically speaking, Edith was an iconoclast and always a bit 1944-45, but later purchased two additional parcels to the east—resulting in the fifty-eight acre site we have today. Mies wanted the house to be located among the existing trees near the river, and set the house five feet above grade to accommodate seasonal floods. Unfortunately, he couldn’t have foreseen the amount of upstream develop- ment in the Fox River watershed and the house has flooded approximately seven times over the last seventy years. Farnsworth House, 14520 River Road Gate 1, Plano. Open Tuesday-Sunday from April-November and on Tuesdays and Saturdays January-March. $20. Halloween Parties PumO5pcKktiRonusbnien/Wrtha1el9kPark Scary Movies Treats & More! Pumpkin Patches SpHaacuensted Newcity NOVEMBER 2019 Learn more at: ChicagoParkDistrict.com STAY CONNECTED. This program is presented as part of the Chicago Park District’s Night Out Supporting Sponsors: in the Parks. Arts programming in neighborhoods across the city advances the goals of the Chicago Park District and the Chicago Media Cultural Plan. Learn more at: Sponsor: www.nightoutintheparks.com City of Chicago | Lori E. Lightfoot, Mayor For more information about your Chicago Park District, visit Chicago Park District | Board of Commissioners | Michael P. Kelly, General Superintendent & CEO www.chicagoparkdistrict.com or call 312.742.7529 or 312.747.2001 (TTY). 62
&DiDnirningking DINING & DRINKING TOP 5 Orange Garden/photo: David Hammond 1 Meals on Wheels Chop Suey Chronicles Chicago’s Celebrity Chef Ball. Morgan Manufacturing. All-American Chinese Food in Chicago More than eighty Chicago chefs gather to celebrate food and By David Hammond philanthropy with a seated dining event and a larger Sitting at one of only two tables in the front Fuschia Dunlop makes the case for the dish reception-style gathering for NOVEMBER 2019 Newcity dining space at See Thru Chinese Kitchen #23 originating with a Hunanese chef named Peng 500 guests. Raffle, dancing, (5609 West Division), I’d just walked back from Chang-kuei, who emigrated to Taiwan after the silent auction. Nov. 9 the carryout window and pulled open the big 1949 Communist revolution and came to New white styrofoam container holding my General York in 1973, opened a restaurant, and served 2 Christmas Carol Dinner. Tso’s Chicken when two women walked in. One modified versions of traditional Chinese Lawry’s. It’s early for looked at my meal and exclaimed, “Damn, that recipes. General Tso’s Chicken was a hit. Christmas, but this fun evening looks good.” Reviewing the restaurant in the New York kicks off with eggnog and Times in 1977, Mimi Sheraton gushed that holiday carolers followed by a It did look pretty good, glistening with what I “General Tso’s chicken was a stir-fried four-course dinner (featuring suspect was an unusual amount of sugar in a masterpiece, sizzling hot both in flavor and prime rib) and then to the sauce that also contained flecks of hot red temperature.” Peng returned to Taiwan in the Goodman for “A Christmas pepper, drizzled over a golden mound of fried 1980s and opened the first of a chain, Peng Carol.” Nov. 17 chicken blobs, with baby corn and irregular Yuan, that soon closed because, in part, chunks of green bell pepper here and there, native-born Chinese seemed to find General 3 Last Saturday set against a gray hillock of shrimp fried rice. Tso’s Chicken too sweet for them. Discotheque. Bar Biscay. I ate it all. After dinner, the West Town The See Thru Chinese Kitchen empire has Franco-Spanish restaurant General Tso’s Chicken is one of those dishes almost twenty locations around the Chicago turns into a seventies-inspired that’s a punchline because it’s so… American. area, making it the second-most popular chain disco until 2am. Nov. 20 Much like Tex-Mex food, which tends to overdo after Panda Express. There is, of course, a tier the cheese in a way traditional Mexican food of relatively inexpensive and—to be honest— 4 Winter Wonderland does not, and Italian-American food, which generic Chinese-American food outlets, Launch. The Godfrey. unlike traditional Italian food uses way more frequently in strip malls, but unlike See Thru Embrace the winter by dining garlic, meat and, yes, cheese than would be Chinese Kitchen or Panda Express, these and drinking a selection of done in Europe, Chinese-American food tends small take-out places are mostly small coffees (from an interactive toward the sweet end of the food spectrum. businesses rather than part of a larger group. siphon coffee maker), a So: why do all these strip-mall Chinese seasonable menu of shareable There is little or no evidence that General Tso’s restaurants look alike and have the same plates and s’mores in igloos Chicken originated in China. British chef menu items—even similar-looking menus? with fire pits. Nov. 23 5 Thanksgiving at a Steakhouse. RPM Steak. RPM, one of Chicago’s premier steak places, serves a Slagel Family Farm Turkey (roasted or fried), with all the traditional sides and a few surprises, including white truffles shaved tableside, and rare Japanese Olive Beef. Nov. 28 63
Jennifer 8. Lee investigates the amazing menu reads like a listing of greatest hits, but the American cuisine: the St. Paul Sandwich, invented in St. Louis, is a strange and strangely uniformity of small Chinese American restau- reason you go to Orange Garden is for the old-school vibe. The retro façade features fluted delicious creation. rants in her book “The Fortune Cookie Chronicles” and in her 2008 TED talk, “The Hunt metallic columns on either side of shiny, metal-trimmed doors. There’s a second floor, in Great Sea Chinese Restaurant (3253 West for General Tso.” According to Lee, a loose the classic arrangement of business space on Lawrence) has the usual offerings, and one very nationwide affiliation of Chinese-American the first floor and living space for the owners on special one: Lollipop Chicken Legs. When we restaurants and take-out joints get their were last at the Chinese-Korean Great Sea, a products from the same sources. For instance, the second floor. The neon sign in front advertises chop suey, for years a dish synony- platter of these hugely popular legs graced every Fold-Pak sells two-thirds of the takeout table. What makes them so delicious? People mous with Chinese-American cuisine. Inside, containers used in the industry, and Kari-Out there are gold chandeliers, Chinese artwork on who live in the U.S. are accustomed to the taste makes most of those little, watery packets of the walls, and red, a lot of red. In the evening, of sweet, thus the almost too-too sugary syrup soy sauce you always get with your orders. the servers put out traditional Chinese zodiac that covers General Tso’s Chicken and Orange Through industry publications like the monthly placemats. What you want is probably the egg Beef. The folks at Great Sea Chinese Restau- Chinese Restaurant News, delivered to over rant, who were one of the first Chicago 40,000 restaurateurs, Chinese-American takeout rolls and Sesame Chicken, another Chi- nese-American classic, said to have originated restaurants to serve Lollipop Chicken Legs (also restaurants from Key West to Seattle are called gam pong gi wings), recognize the connected by invisible threads. “If McDonald’s is in California with Chinese immigrants. Yankee predilection for sweetness, but they use the Windows of the dining world (where one Luo’s Peking House (113 North Marion, Oak sweet as one flavor among many, including company controls the standards),” Lee says, spicy-hot and savory. We Yanks also dig Park) prepares a mean egg foo young, a food “then Chinese restaurants are akin to the Linux also attributed to Chinese migrants in California convenience, and so the meat on the Lollipop operating system, where a decentralized working on the railroad. Like Orange Garden, Chicken Wings is pulled up to the end of the network of programmers contributes to the Luo’s Peking House is old school, painted an bone, providing a handle for easy eating. underlying source code.” avocado green, likely sometime in the seventies, Unlike the large corporations—See Thru with vinyl-backed chairs and aging fixtures that When Harvey Keitel and Robert De Niro and Chinese Kitchen and Panda Express—we find make the place even more lovable. At lunchtime, friends run out of money in Martin Scorsese’s you get an egg roll, soup, entrée, fried rice, tea “Mean Streets,” they go for Chinese. Chi- the smaller and more charming old-school and fortune cookie for about eight dollars. It’s a nese-American cuisine is a traditional value food, Chinese-American restaurants, one-of-a-kind deal you cannot beat, which is very much in the and at each of these restaurants, you can get and with a lot of personality, serving their tradition of the great Chinese-American lunch big enough to share for under ten dollars. neighborhood. Here are three one-off Chi- Try finding a deal like that elsewhere, even at nese-American restaurants, each representing restaurants. The neon in the window assures “The Best Chinese Cuisine in Town” (with McDonald’s. Even if it’s sometimes a little more their take on the traditional genre. “CHINESE CUISINE” in bold red). We always get fried and a little more sweet than you might a big order of egg foo young; at home, we put prefer, Chinese-American food—or perhaps we Orange Garden (1942 West Irving Park) is a jewel of Art Deco design, although otherwise it’s the leftover patties on white bread with lettuce, should call it American Chinese—hits a lot of our tomato and mayo, a classic of Chinese- buttons, and it is, indeed, damn good. a standard Chinese-American restaurant. The Newcity NOVEMBER 2019 64
FILM TOP 5 Film 1 UCLA Festival of Edifice Is Your Father Preservation. Gene Siskel Film Center. A rush of restored work Seeing Movies In The Material World via the invaluable archive opens with a 35mm print of Frank Borzage’s By Ray Pride aching, monumental 1940 melodrama, “The Mortal Storm,” When you’ve seen enough movies local citizenry want to “make movies,” too, NOVEMBER 2019 Newcity capturing what happens between in enough places, in drive-ins from and enact rituals with a camera and tripod friends when fascism takes a nation. childhood and city palaces in adulthood, they fashion from wood. They had no do you remember the places as well, notion of a finished film (which “The Last Screenings throughout November if not better than the films themselves? Movie” pretends not to be), but only of The edifice as much as the onscreen incantation, repetition, séance. 2 Orlando. Gene Siskel evidence? I do. (You should be able to Film Center. Sally Potter’s remember what’s around or behind the No longer a whisper of a rumor of a film, oracular ode to the nonbinary, flatscreen in your living room.) I’m not a digital restoration of “The Last Movie” both poker-faced and fantasticated, Marilu Henner, I don’t remember the exact shows in November at Siskel. It was a with Tilda Swinton in the seat and what she said and what I said grail when I first encountered it in college, otherworldly glory of her youth. and if the Dots were juicy-fresh. But I a film that our film society was told had 35mm. November 15 & 21 remember the seat I chose, best for the disappeared from the face of the planet, movie in that particular space. or at least from the Universal Pictures 3 Dark Waters. Todd Haynes film depots. makes a modern-era true- The memory of dreams projected, played crime picture about the eddying out in spaces: my own dreams I remember We asked the right person the right effects of chemical corporation poison. and photographs I take are often that questions, a practice that led to the Is it Safe? Opens November 22 frame within frame: the scene, also seen. most memorable screenings those years, and a few days later, a 16mm print 4 Queen and Slim. Propulsive Remembering where you were in the arrived, a couple of twangy reels in a visualist Melina Matsoukas theater is a strange passion, and not the battered hard-cardboard carton belted (“Formation”) makes her feature same as being surrounded by ephemera, with woven green straps. directorial debut in a latter-day the collection of stills and pressbooks and outlaw couple saga—”A black posters, the graven images in worship of Its notoriety was intense. We mostly Bonnie and Clyde?!”—from a the bright, transient graven images, nor gorged on noir and movies of the 1970s. screenplay by Lena Waithe, from a touching film or projecting film. We didn’t want to wait to spec the print in story by Waithe and James Frey. the tiny screening room before its weekend Let it detonate. Opens November 27 In the gorgeous, obstinate delirium of midnight screenings, we decided to hold it, Dennis Hopper’s “The Last Movie,” a touch it, place it on a nearby flatbed editing 5 A Beautiful Day in the filmmaker’s journey atop mountains in table to decipher the reported mysteries of Neighborhood. Director Peru with crew and natives in tow, the the movie that supposedly included single, Marielle Heller (“Diary of a Teenage Girl,” “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”) could make it three terrific pics in a row. Opens November 27 65
flash frames. (I heard that print never made (Biograph Theater, Lincoln Avenue, ran for mounting but already in full display: children, gathered around a toad on a Southern country its way back to the warehouse.) months, saw it three times, fourth row center; dirt road, fought over the right to inflate and explode the unfortunate animal. “You always the owner, Larry Edwards, was in a spirited get to blow! I never get to blow!” one boy yells. That “screening” of those reels once they give-and-take about real estate in the lobby I looked to the left of the small screening room, where the then-seventy-year-old songwriter were dredged from a depot in Atlanta or that first Sunday afternoon.) and succinct schmoozer Sammy Cahn, a regular when performing at the Wellington Dallas or maybe just Chicago, is a 360-degree Theater, was, as always, enjoying the use of hallucination in memory: the room, what was “Bob le Flambeur,” Jean-Pierre Melville’s the courtesy telephone. Cahn was taken by on the wall, what we were wearing. (The faces dour lark of gamblers by night in now-fallen the onscreen goings-on. “I’ll have to get back Montmartre in Paris (The Fine Arts, Michigan to you,” the ace lyricist of “It’s Magic,” “I Fall In we made at each other when strange and Love Too Easily” and “Call Me Irresponsible” beautiful things began to happen.) We studied Avenue, all the way to the back, dead center; said, delicately placing the receiver down and the strangest bits of it on the flatbed, the way the big-cheese art-house of its time.) moving to a middle row seat directly in front of my middle row seat in an audience of more we did all of Tex Avery’s cartoons: show us And that visceral, even primal evocation of than ten. The movie grows darker and darker in bright summer sun and Sammy Cahn your carnal mysteries! The images that are childhood fears in a Brit’s fictive American slid, slid, then slouched to watch the entirety of “The Reflecting Skin,” framing my first engraved in memory are luscious tableaux, encounter with it. striking close-ups: still photographs of a place South that still somehow resembled mine, Philip Ridley’s long-missing “The Reflecting The lights came up: “Now what kind of where a happening took place. sandwich does that require?” Sammy Cahn Skin” (1990). (One of the three private said, a smile across his face. From a stack of recent Blu-ray reissues, screening rooms at Cinecenter, inside a The DCP restoration of “The Last Movie” shows at Siskel on November 17-18, along- I can pick the place where I first saw them high-rise on Elm Street.) side Nick Ebeling’s “Along For The Ride,” a portrait of Hopper’s longtime right-hand one-by-one. Siskel and Ebert previewed most movies man, Satya de la Manitou. Belmondo in Jean-Pierre Melville’s “Le Doulos” there. Irv Kupcinet was still alive and snoring. (The Film Center’s old black box theater, once Kupcinet and others invited nightlife perform- on Columbus Drive, front row.) Melville had his ers who were in town, including semi-regular own studio for a time, and recycled bits of sets, Carol Channing, who would try to whisper when explaining plot details to her slightly especially one particular stairway, through multiple 1960s movies. With the sort of sense deaf consort. (“Yes, he’s hiding in the closet” of place I’m describing, it’s a small but genuine in a stage whisper in her drawn-out delivery hallucination to see fate befalling yet another was, like all her murmuring, indelible.) character in the same window or hallway. A few minutes into the screening of “The Elliott Gould and Christopher Plummer in the Reflecting Skin,” the shimmering weirdness of Ridley’s grandiose Gothic was not just fevered revenge thriller, “The Silent Partner” Newcity NOVEMBER 2019 66
Avery R. Young Lit /Photo: Benjamin Wardell Presenting Poetry as Art Poet and Musician Avery R. Young describes “neckbone” By Tara Betts Avery R. Young, a fixture in Chicago’s I’ve been describing this book as a way to One of the blessings for me was growing up NOVEMBER 2019 Newcity poetry scene, has expanded into visual and present poetry as art. I use words like visual in a setting where I was surrounded by people performance art. If you see him perform with poetry, concrete poetry. When they ask what who looked like me. his band Da Deacon Board, you hear a broad is it about, it’s about navigating adjectives range of influences, ranging from classic soul within blackness, intersections in a completely You know, the interesting part for me is and R&B, funk, gospel, and even Crucial black world and recognizing ways in which that I know some people will be excited Conflict’s 1996 hit “Hay.” Although he is known this young dude figured out how to move. to see that there are plays on Josephine to many youth throughout the city as a I set out to explore thirty-two moments in Baker, Nina Simone, James Baldwin and teaching artist and a Rebirth Poetry Ensemble black culture that define where black people Billie Holiday. I was more interested in coach, Avery has published in literary journals are in this moment in time, and then realized Mama Mary as a character. You’re not as a poet for many years, with intriguing turns I was writing about me. relying on celebrities, you’re relying on of dialect and putting a special stamp on “blk” people you know personally. as a moniker of pride. Newcity spoke with him It’s also about how these poems link about “neckbone,” his debut collection of together multiple narratives of blackness. Right. I was trying to make those connections. visual poetry and its companion soundtrack I started the book with Billie Holiday. As I album, “Tubman.” The conversation traversed Yeah, being in workshops with Nikky Finney, started to put pieces together, I discovered an abiding love for black women, African- her joint was, how do you connect the that I had to figure out [laughs] Billie Holiday American artists’ lives, the inspiration of poet personal narrative, the local narrative and because Holiday lived a quintessential black Nikky Finney and artists like Billie Holiday national narrative to a more universal narrative? life. Although she was a celebrity and cultural and James Baldwin, and how each person From that moment in that workshop, where icon, she lived this quintessential black-in- embodies intersections that make complex she explained and drew this map of these America life, and she lived it in front of a lot of human beings. connections, I knew because there’s a way people before we even knew or realized what of growing up black in a city like Chicago that celebrity was. It’s not enough to say that we If you had to describe this book to is different from growing up black in Seattle, are super-duper. It’s also about saying we are someone who has not seen it, how or growing up in a place where there are not complicated, and can you navigate through would you describe “neckbone”? a lot of black people. what makes us complicated, right? There are 67
references to things rooted in our culture To me, that is her extension of her humanity LIT TOP 5 as far as Aunt Esther combined with to me. I return that extension of humanity to 1 Martín Espada. The Josephine Baker. There’s Billie Holiday and her and black women. Seminary Co-Op Bookstore. Bill Ayers hosts Martín Espada Nina Simone. There are stories of Uncle When you clean chitlins, you clean away the and other contributors reading from Espada’s anthology “What Shot and Mama Mary, Nina Baby and Lil trice [waste from pig’s intestines]. Why do Saves Us: Poems of Empathy and Outrage in the Age of Blk Errythang—people who’ve impacted Trump.” November 2 me. My work has been informed by people we keep treating black women like the trice? Remember, I was in the classroom and 2 “The Peanuts Papers: I know, listen to and read, whose life and Writers on Charlie asked the kids who was smarter—boys or Brown, Snoopy & the Gang, art I’ve admired. and the Meaning of Life.” girls? As soon as the girls were given the American Writers Museum. Editor Andrew Blauner and Right, it seems like a lot of people think opportunity to speak, they were quiet, then Chris Ware playfully discuss the about celebrity, but they also don’t think one little girl came up to me and said, “Mr. classic comic strip drawing on about mythology. Were you thinking Young, boys don’t like girls who are smarter an anthology of writers and cartoonists with their reflections about constructing these stories that than them.” It was totally rooted in igno- on Charles Schulz’s work. are archetypes or myths that sometimes rance, and what they’ve been bombarded November 4 defy the myth people think they are? with through media and toxic masculinity. 3 Kundiman Reading. I was like, this girl may grow up to be The Dial Bookshop. Helene Achanzar, Sarah Gambito, Yeah, because I was thinking the Bible the ninety-three years old. She will have lived Melody S. Gee and Janine with this piece of knowledge for eighty- Joseph read as members of this whole time, and how the Bible functions poetry retreat. November 6 three years of her life. That’s a long time to in the culture. Like the story of Moses is a 4 Carmen Maria carry something like that and they begin to Machado. Women methodical story, but there was a Moses and Children First at that lived. You can look at it as the story of manicure their actions around that moment. Swedish American Museum. Machado in conversation with this man’s life as the basis of faith, like Nina Emil Ferris about her new Simone is a person who lived a life, but her How did you start on “Tubman” as the memoir, “In the Dream House.” music struck certain things in me that make “neckbone” soundtrack? November 8 me revere her, and a lot of it is surreal in the way that I’m presenting it. That’s why there’s One of the earliest readers of the book 5 Lynda Barry. The so much time invested in black mythology, commented about it being rooted in black Hideout. Barry cele- voice and black maleness and how that brates the launch of her latest black folk, and the way in which I create a graphic work “Making Comics.” world where both intersect because our folk works in the world of black girl magic, or in the shifting of culture toward black girl magic. November 18 heroes do become larger than life to us. When I read that, I thought, “Dang, this black 68 As immediate or personal as my Big Mama woman loved me.” There were pieces in is, Big Mama is still a myth in black culture. “neckbone” that I thought could be extended People have high regards for the matriarch sonically, so I did. I extended some poems of the family, and that’s an archetype, right? via sound, song and rhythm, and that’s how What I wanted to do with that archetype was “Tubman” came to be. I wanted to honor Big Mama and black women. She’s not present a woman. The first time I read the book, and I was crossing the t’s and dotting a representative of my Big Mama, she the i’s, I found myself saying “That woman represents a lot of black women I know. loved me.” [laughing hard] If I can’t say nothing else about life, I know I was loved by If you tell some people Avery does that woman. It wasn’t that the thought was poetry, visual art and song, there are still people asking how is one person unusual, but when I think about the cover doing all that. We’re in an age where of “Tubman,” it’s clearly a photograph people are commodified around of women in my life. That woman really showed me the ways in which black women specializing and doing one thing. are the black man’s best fucking friend. They ask you “Do you want to do a book I thought about that and how you have tour or do you want to do a record tour?” this thread of black women as creative I want to do both. The record and the book agents, as the matriarch, as the friend. go hand in hand. We can figure out what Does that inform the poems? that looks like. Why can’t I read a poem at the Poetry Foundation, then go across It informs the poems and how I present the street and jam at the House of Blues? women in my work. A lot of times we only There is a way in which the work in this book know them and often only have the capacity performs anyway without me having to read to look at them through this very narrow lens. anything from it. There’s also this responsibil- ity to teach black children that they are okay. They our mommas, our sisters, our lovers. It’s not easy for black men to see the human I want them to know from the beginning, being black is not something you can Newcity NOVEMBER 2019 in them because they spend so much of wash off. This book can be my version of their existence trying to prove that they a “Young, Gifted & Black.” This is a city full of man, but I beg to differ. You gotta check intersections and people are full of intersec- and recognize the humanity of sisters tions. There’s not just one way to be us. around you, especially when it comes to Mary Booker (Avery’s mother). When the white doctors told her that they had to cut Go to lit.newcity.com for a longer version my feet off, she said that was not her of this interview. decision to make because she recognized something in me that was going to walk with Avery R. Young and Da Deacon Board these crooked-ass feet anyway. It wasn’t her return to perform at The California Clipper call. She wasn’t gonna play God with me. on November 23.
IN THE FORMER BOOKMAN’S ALLEY SPACE AT Live at The Book Cellar 1712 SHERMAN AVE, EVANSTON 224.999.7722 Storytime! Chris L. Terry THIS HOLIDAY SEASON, HAVE FUN November 1, 11am “Black Card” AND KEEP YOUR HOLIDAY DOLLARS LOCAL November 13, 7pm Keith Ammann BY SHOPPING WITH US! 13th Annual “Monsters Know What They’re Doing: Witty Women Writers Visit us Throughout November for Books, Games, Jewelry, Gifts Combat Tactics for Dungeon Masters” And These Great Literary Events: November 1, 7pm with Stacey Ballis, Claire Zulkey, Saturday, November 2, 3pm Wendy McClure and Amy Guth Valya Dudycz Lupescu November 14, 7pm Pia Justesen in Conversation with Mary Rosenberg: and Stephen H. Segal From the Periphery: Real-Life Stories of Disability Jonathan Blum Sunday, November 3, 4pm “Forking Good” November 2, 6pm “The Usual Uncertainties” Northwestern Masters in Creative Writing Showcase with Naeem Murr, November 15, 7pm Gioia Diliberto and Faisal Mohyuddin, hosted by Christine Sneed Shauna Sever Thursday, November 7, 6pm Essay Fiesta! We Got This: Solo Mom Stories of Grit, Heart, and Humor “Midwest Made” with Marika Lindholm and Katherine Shonk November 6, 7pm at Spinning J Bakery November 18, 7pm Saturday, November 9, 11am - 6pm Deana Rose Jewelry Trunk Show Laura Kamoie, YA Local Author Night Sunday, November 24, 3pm Sophie Perinot and E. Knight Marra B. Gad: The Color of Love: A Story of a Mixed-Race Jewish Girl featuring Kimberly Gabriel, Saturday, November 30 “Ribbons of Scarlet” Rosaria Munda, Keena Roberts SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY November 7, 7pm and Lauren Mansy Check our website for all the deals, festivities, and visiting authors! November 20, 7pm Snazzy Time Story Hour For details on these and other events, visit our website at with Ms. T! Coletta WWW.BOOKENDSANDBEGINNINGS.COM November 8, 11am “Risotto and Beyond” November 30, 4pm The Kates!! November 8, 7pm Spencer Wise “The Emperor of Shoes” in conversation with Amanda Goldblatt, “Hard Mouth” November 9, 6pm Go to our website for event details, book clubs and more! Your Independent Book Store in Lincoln Square! 4736-38 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago 773.293.2665 • bookcellarinc.com FREE EVENTS FROM Photo by Michael Tutino. THE POETRY FOUNDATION NOV/6 NOV/21 Exhibition The Life of Poetry in Poetry oﬀ the Shelf Poetry oﬀ the Shelf Morden Tower A Celebration of Cave Canem Legacy Exhibition open through Seamus Heaney Conversation December 20 7:00 PM 7:00 PM Poetry Foundation NOV/12 DEC/5 61 West Superior Street poetryfoundation.org/events Poetry oﬀ the Shelf Poetry oﬀ the Shelf John James & Joshua Mehigan Dorothea Lasky 7:00 PM 7:00 PM
Music Cadillac Baby / Courtesy Blues Unlimited Magazine A Bolt from The acclaimed Chicago blues label Earwig which comprises soul, R&B, gospel, urban the Blues Records celebrates its fortieth anniversary country music, doo-wop, radio bits and even comedy. For his Bea & Baby label, Cadillac Earwig Records Reassembles this month. Earwig has released seventy-six a Scattered Legacy Baby recorded Roosevelt Sykes, Earl Hooker, traditional blues, jazz, gospel and spoken- By Dave Hoekstra Sleepy John Estes, Detroit Junior, ribald word albums, including projects from the Chicago cab driver T. (Thurman) Valentine nascent Jelly Roll Kings with Frank Frost, and many others. His role as an urban folk Honeyboy Edwards and the last recordings hero is celebrated in the previously unheard of Maxwell Street Jimmy Davis. “Cadillac Baby Passed So Fast,” recorded in But the new four-CD box set “Cadillac Baby’s the early 1960s by Sleepy John Estes (guitar) Bea & Baby Records” is the largest undertak- and Hammie Nixon (harmonica.) ing in Earwig history, poised to receive a Cadillac Baby was born Narvel Eatmon in Grammy nomination when those are an- 1914 in rural Cayuga, Mississippi. He followed nounced on November 20. The 128-page companion book features rare photos and liner the Great Migration to the South Side of Newcity NOVEMBER 2019 notes by Frank, Jim O’Neal of Living Blues and Chicago, where he became a producer and entrepreneur. The six-foot Eatmon was big in Chicago music writers Bill Dahl and Robert side hustles. He sold used hubcaps and ran Marovich, and its 101 tracks were recorded a trucking business for a short period. He over thirty years, but Cadillac Baby’s most prolific output was between 1959 and 1964. operated an appliance repair service, a record store and a candy shop heated by a wood- Songwriter and producer Cadillac Baby burning stove. was an audacious ornament on the hood of He had to pay for the Cadillacs that he loved. Chicago’s midcentury cultural and musical history. Earwig founder Michael James Frank Cadillac Baby owned three different Cadillacs spent seven years curating his body of work, in his lifetime. 70
He and his wife Bea opened Cadillac Baby’s Cadillac Baby was slowing down. Frank helped place him into an assisted living facility. Showbar at 4708 South Dearborn in 1959. The bar was originally the Cpl. Buck Rogers, Cadillac Baby died of congestive heart failure on March 17, 1991. A month later, Richard MUSIC TOP 5 Post 193 AMVETS club. He was known to drive his Cadillac onstage to emcee his show was murdered in a gang altercation. He was nineteen years old. via a ramp from a garage door entrance. He also broadcast a brokered radio show on “I was still down from Cadillac Baby’s passing. 1 Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Thalia Hall. WOPA from the club. I had brought him back and he died. And then The iconic New Orleans ensemble performs music Cadillac Baby shrewdly learned it would be Richard died.” The 3-D tracks “7402,” a jazzy from “A Tuba to Cuba,” a documentary that traces its easier to obtain a private AMVETS license than hip-hop workout. and “Here We Go Chi-town” roots to that island, with new a Chicago liquor license. “He got friends who are included. In the latter dense and dramatic material, too. November 4 rap, 3-D warns that you “better dance before were veterans and he paid their dues if they 2 Jeezy. Riviera Theater. it gets too late.” If he’s true to his word, didn’t have money,” Frank says over lots of Jeezy’s tour for his new album, “TM104: The Legend coffee at the Hollywood Grill in Wicker Park. “So of the Snowman,” marks the he paid enough dues to get the charter. He was “It was a revelation to hear the breadth of his rapper’s farewell to hip-hop. able to keep it going for a couple of years until catalog,” Frank says. “I had to find vinyl in most the city finally made him get a tavern license.” cases. Cadillac only had one master tape. In November 12 the process of doing that and researching him, 3 The Last Waltz Tour. Michael James Frank grew up in Pittsburgh, I decided I was going to do justice to him and Chicago Theatre. An all-star recreation of the Pennsylvania where he listened to radio DJ the artists. Other than the blues stuff that has Band’s legendary November 25, 1976 farewell concert, Porky Chedwick, the “Platter Pushing Papa,” been reissued, everything in his catalog has featuring Don Was, John been under the radar. Nobody knew anything Medeski, Cyril Neville and another colorful character known for hip others. November 21 about this except for collectors.” rhyming schemes. Frank became aware of 4 Dave Specter. Evanston SPACE. Bea & Baby Records while obtaining his Tony Gideon provided the mellow tenor of the The blues guitarist throws a CD release gig for his new bachelor of arts in Social Relations from Delmark album, “Blues from Lehigh University. “The type of music Cadillac doo-wop group The Daylighters. They were the Inside Out,” which also recorded that was not blues, I heard that style influenced by Hank Ballard and the Midnight- features his debut as a in Pittsburgh,” Frank says. “And I loved local ers, which explains their name. Two Daylight- vocalist. November 6 ers tracks appear in the box set, including roots and soul music.” 5 Nella. Old Town School. “Mad House Jump,” where everyone including The young Venezuelan vocalist (her debut album, The path to Cadillac Baby became clearer Frankenstein was rockin’ and boppin’. “Voy,” was released in March) sings with an irresistible vulner- once Frank arrived in Chicago. He landed in Gideon, now eighty-one, lives in Birmingham ability and a ravishing Latin suppleness. November 20 the nocturnal orbit of Living Blues magazine and is one of the handful of known surviving founder Jim O’Neal (who had run a Cadillac Bea & Baby artists. Gideon learned about Baby profile in 1971) and Delmark Records founder Bob Koester. “Many nights of going to the record business through Bea & Baby blues clubs with Bob Koester,” Frank says with and he became a pathfinder for Frank. “Back a smile. “Many nights. In 1974 there was a guy then I was reading Cash Box, Billboard, from England who had Red Light Records. He Record World,” he says. “Everything in the wanted to go to the South Side. He didn’t feel music business I could get my hands on. comfortable going on his own, so Bob asked I learned the business inside out.” Gideon me to take him. I took him out there and that’s still has his own Birmingham-based label, when I first met Cadillac Baby. He had a little Sound Mindz Entertainment. store around 3400 South State Street. He was The Bea & Baby project cast a wider net for selling 45s he had hanging around from his Frank than most of his forty years of Earwig label, other 45s, candy and stuff like that. material. “Seeing Cadillac Baby’s reach and He had stopped recording in 1971.” having the documents to back it up was real A fire at Cadillac Baby’s store in July 1978 different for me,” Frank says. “And then finding destroyed tapes, records, overseas correspon- out that Tony Gideon compiled some of that was cool.” dence and many photos. Only a couple of bubblegum dispensers survived. Cadillac Yet there was one key similarity with previous Baby attempted a comeback by having Earwig projects. “Be genuine,” Frank says. correspondence sent to his sister’s candy “Honeyboy Edwards spoke truth to power. store at 5847 South State. I never had the drive to be a full-time musician. Frank was a neglect investigator for the Illinois But he told me to learn the techniques of the Department of Children and Family Services. greats and then express your own style. Maxine Davenport, a friend of Chicago blues Cadillac Baby was rough, but he could be charming. He had a temper and was quick to pianist Sunnyland Slim, contacted Frank In NOVEMBER 2019 Newcity express it in colorful language. Blues and jazz the fall of 1988. Frank had purchased Slim’s musicians were revolutionaries. They had to Airway Records masters in 1988. Five Slim play their music the way they wanted to play it, tracks are included in the “Bea & Baby” box when they wanted to play it and wherever they set. Davenport’s seventeen-year-old son had to—step outside the social norms for the Richard Davenport was an aspiring rapper most part and deal with the consequences.” under the stage name 3-D. “She persuaded me to meet her and Cadillac Baby,” Frank That was certainly true of Cadillac Baby. says. “I produced some singles on her son. In January 1989 Cadillac Baby and I went to Acme studios (in Chicago) to record Richard. Read a longer version of this story We did two tracks.” at music.newcity.com. 71
Stage The cast of “Red Bowl at the Jeffs,” Started in the Basement, produced by The Sound Now They’re Here /Photo: Montana Bruns Talking With the Next Generation of Storefront Theaters By Ben Kaye Newcity NOVEMBER 2019 It all started in a basement…” as the future of Chicago’s illustrious and the highs and lows of making non-equity oft-discussed storefront community. storefront theater in a highly introspective Or so the mythologizing goes when you and hilarious takedown of the Chicago theater talk to theater companies in Chicago. The Sound scene. Their follow-up, “Killed a Man (Joking),” Steppenwolf, now a multimillion-dollar dissected feminine violence and justice in a nonprofit theatrical enterprise, started from A common theme among the artists I spoke pop-up production staged in a Den Theatre humble beginnings in a church basement, with is a desire to find opportunities that lobby space, in conjunction with First Floor honing in on a specific brand of honest and otherwise aren’t there, especially those who Theater. “Asking people to sit in the dark, raw performance, ballooning into a nationally are working to create art that goes against face forward and listen to the thoughts that renowned institution that many theaters the mainstream. This is what served as the you have is actually an incredible, massive hope to emulate. It’s as close to a theatrical initial impetus for The Sound, where Rebecca ask,” Hyland says. “Neither of us ever take American Dream as you can get, a Chicago Willingham (artistic director) and Beth Hyland that for granted in our work, I think we try to spin on New York’s “If you can make it here, (playwright in residence) created a home to earn the audience’s trust, of course, but also you can make it anywhere.” hone their own theatrical voices and develop [their] attention because, attention and time their artistic sensibilities. The Sound began its are massive gifts.” But a myth is a myth for a reason: the ideal life with “Seagulls,” a contemporary, indie-rock starts to unwind when you dig into the context adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s “The Seagull,” The Passage Theatre of time, circumstance, opportunity and, of premiering as part of the Chicago Musical course, good old-fashioned luck. In a plain Theatre Festival. The production cemented With The Passage Theatre, Cory Hardin as wide as the Chicago theater scene— Hyland and Willingham’s fascination with (artistic director) and Grace Bolander the League of Chicago Theatres advertises music, language and theatricality in their work. (marketing director) see a company that builds the city as having “more than 200 theaters”— The same show was remounted as part of itself upon the fact that good art doesn’t have and with so many larger companies fixed Steppenwolf’s LookOut series, four years a foot to stand on if the artists making the in the imelight, what inspires this generation’s after its initial production, offering Willingham work aren’t treated with respect. They see theater-makers to start their own companies? and Hyland a full circle, showing how far their three guiding principles as “Doing things they’ve come as theater-makers. the right way. Treating artists with respect. I sat with artists from four up-and-coming Taking our career in our own hands.” This is storefront theaters to find out their mission, Their work experiments with an array of the starting point for their work, and this why they do what they do, and what they see theatrical forms. One of their boldest produc- dedication to ethical art has cemented their tions, “Red Bowl at the Jeffs,” explored place in the community. 72
The Passage Theatre recently The Barrens set out to create fully STAGE TOP 5 concluded its first season, a two-pro- immersive theatrical experiences duction whirlwind comprised of Mickle only if it fits the text being produced. 1 Hoodoo Love. Raven Theatre. Maher’s Shakespearean riff “Spirits to Still, even if they were to produce Katori Hall’s spellbinding, music- Enforce,” and the solo performance a show in a proscenium setting, they filled tale about the danger of our desires compilation “The Lessons.” With both look to challenge the perceptions returns to Chicago with Wardell Julius of these productions, wildly different in of how that style of theater is Clark directing and music direction by presentation, tone and subject matter, usually consumed. Ricky Harris. Opens November 5 the company knew that a sense of strengthened communication, and “I haven’t seen anybody do this kind 2 P.Y.G. or The Mis-Edumacation strengthened community, could be of stuff before,” says Rose. “So it’s of Dorian Belle. Jackalope the hallmarks of The Passage. fun to be on the forefront. It’s like Theatre Company. Inspired by Shaw’s doing something that’s just a little bit “Pygmalion,” this Midwest premiere Cory remembers the moment that different and daring.” is a blistering and entertaining look at The Passage as a community truly cultural and racial appropriation in a solidified for him, watching a run of The Neighborhood fictionalized exchange of ideologies, “Spirits to Enforce.” vernacular, and alleged street cred. “Good citizens make good art,” says “I remember standing in the back of Gloria Imseih Petrelli, who is in charge Opens November 5 the church and being incredibly proud of community outreach at The of the ensemble, with tears streaming Neighborhood as well as a board down our faces, because we had truly member. “[We’re] making sure that lived by everything that we were we as good people are making art putting forth. Everything we believed that we want to see. And realizing in was right in front of our eyes.” that other people want to see that too,” she says. Their upcoming season is comprised The Neighborhood has crafted pieces 3 Packing. About Face Theatre of two world-premiere productions, that range from stylistic takes on Company. Combining personal from playwrights Preston Choi and Beth contemporary plays (a production of memoir, historical record, popular music, Hyland, further proof of the interconnec- Noah Haidle’s “Vigils” with a picture and ancestral frontier stories, this world tivity of the artists in our city. frame as the primary design element), premiere one-person play by Scott world premieres addressing contem- Bradley illuminates the deeply personal “I think that speaks to how involved porary pop culture (“Goodnight, Fred LGBTQ struggles that are too often we want to be with our community,” Rogers,” about the sweater-wearing erased from U.S. history. Opens says Bolander, “and how much we children’s program host), and want to raise up the voices of people rough-and-tumble takes on the work November 7 who invest in our community.” of Anton Chekhov (“Ivanov!” and “III Sisters”). Their aesthetic includes 4 Peg. Broken Nose Theatre & The Barrens Theatre Co. working with ladders and found The New Colony. In this world objects to create a homegrown feel, premiere co-production, an ordinary Starting a theater company should like a group of kids creating a play with couple faces their kinks, quirks and stoke a little bit of fear. Luckily, Millie whatever they could find in their attic. societal conditioning, as they’re quickly Rose and Cory David Williamson reminded that gender politics follow (co-artistic directors) have chosen to Kadin McGreevy (founding director) them everywhere, including the let fear be their guide in crafting The feels a sense of necessity, working to bedroom. Opens November 18 Barrens Theatre Co. With fear as an access people’s perceptions and impetus, in terms of content as well as imaginations as they craft their work 5 Always… Patsy Cline. NOVEMBER 2019 Newcity mission, the company has crafted a to be challenging and engaging. “There Firebrand Theatre Company. niche in expanding the limited scope is a real joyful discovery in being like Christina Hall and Firebrand Theatre of storefront immersive theater that ‘It’s on purpose. There’s a reason why artistic director Harmony France stems from a sense of discovery. we’re doing it.’ We don’t ever intend alternate roles in a musical based on [to have] a running sink in our show. the real-life friendship between Louis “We want to produce work that Because there’s a better way to do Seger and country music legend challenges us, challenges our it in theater.” Patsy Cline. Opens November 19 audiences, and challenges our form,” Molly Donahue (director of play These are four of the many companies development) says. “And that comes that are created (and dissolved) on from this kind of overall metaphor of a daily basis in Chicago. Goodman fear, of facing our fears. We’re going Theatre executive director Roche to face our fears together.” Schulfer has referred to Chicago as the “Silicon Valley for theatre startups.” Their latest piece, “Bloody Bathory,” It’s a fragile ecosystem, but one that is an expansion of a piece work- allows for growth, opportunity and shopped last year, dissecting the change. And the next generation of legend of the accused Hungarian serial theater-makers are making sure that killer Elizabeth Bathory while exploring their art is challenging, thoughtful and her history through a new perspective. binds us together as a community. Like “Sleep No More” in New York City, audience members have the option to “A theater should be like a church, follow seventeen individual characters or a firehouse,” says Hardin. “[We] across the course of the production, need to be able to go toward it in providing each person with a one- times of need.” of-a-kind theatrical experience. 73
Newcity NOVEMBER 2019 Life is BeautifulBy David Alvarado 74
Logan Center Family Saturday: Together with Zen Sat, Nov 2 2-4pm FREE Wellness is a luxury that we all should be able to afford. Take part in an afternoon of artistic relaxation for the entire family. arts.uchicago.edu/familysaturdays Logan Center Appropriate for families with 773.702.ARTS for the Arts children ages 2-12. Registration is 915 E 60th St encouraged. Free parking in lot at LoganCenterCommunityArts 60th and Drexel.
THROUGH JAN 26, 2020 TUE, NOV 12, 6–7:30 PM SAT, NOV 23 DIRECT MESSAGE: ART, IN PROGRESS: SEED LYNN AND UNWRAPPED: A HOLIDAY LANGUAGE, AND POWER SADIE WOODS PRESENT ARTIST SHOWCASE AT THE Experience art that reveals the GHOEMA: WHEN THE PARTY MCA STORE power of words. IS A PROTEST Find unique gifts from local Two artists explore the roots of artists and makers, a huge MCA carnival in a performance that gingerbread museum, and asks, “How do you remember?” more as the MCA welcomes the holidays in this new indoor MUSEUM OF marketplace for the whole CONTEMPORARY ART family. CHICAGO mcachicago.org/look FREE FOR YOUTH 18 AND UNDER OPEN UNTIL 9 PM TUESDAYS AND FRIDAYS #MCAMADEYOULOOK Photo: Sadie Woods and Seed Lynn, Ghoema: When The Party Is A Protest, digital photography, 2018. Photo: Seed Lynn.