The Weather Station are from Toronto, just like the headliner tonight, Bahamas. The lead singer, Tamara Lindeman, asks the crowd, “Are you ready for a slow one?” At first, it seems like a joke, since most of the songs so far have been slow. However, the next song is extra slow as they drag out the notes. When music is at this pace, each note counts, and the band sure does use each note wisely. Their soft rock / folk sound is reminiscent of Aimee Mann. Lindeman also resembles her a touch in appearance and this is good company to be in. This young band is off to great start!
And of course, Bahamas killed it again. See our past reviews of them here.
Mat Kearney has been coming to Chicago often since he released Nothing Left to Lose in 2006. He started at Schubas and has since played at the Metro and at the Chicago Theatre. He says playing a packed Raviera Theatre for the first time is enough to make him die happy. He has built his fan base solidly through all this touring and by releasing a solid stream of albums.
A highlight of the night is when he plays “Heartbeat” from the 2015 album, Just Kids. It’s a great dance and pop tune that makes for a joyous live performance. Kearney is all smiles and he runs around the stage. Also, in a tribute to Tom Petty, they play a bit of “Free Fallin’” in a cool slowed down version that becomes a big sing along.
For “Where We Gonna Go from Here”, it’s just Mat on acoustic guitar. It’s great when a band can switch gears like this. To have slow parts and fast parts really creates a full show. At the end of the encore, he closed with “Nothing Left to Lose” from 2006 and it sounds just as fresh as it did 12 years ago!
With a song like “Faces” by Earth, Wind & Fire, it has to be a fun piece. And Alvin Ailey does not disappoint. It’s incredibly lively and vibrant with dancers in bright and colorful outfits dancing all over the stage with giant smiles on their faces. It’s like being in a 70’s dance club, disco ball, and all! There is even the guy who took way too many drugs bumbling around the stage. This is a great piece to open up the night.
Choreography: Gustavo Ramirez Sansano
This is a very artistic piece. The staging is all black and white. The music is eerie. Dance can be a very abstract art, and this is the case here. It’s good to see this dance company continuing to experiment.
Victoria Choreography by Gustavo Ramirez Sansano Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Credit Photo: Paul Kolnik email@example.com nyc 212-362-7778
Choreography by Alvin Ailey
This is a full company piece that is met with a loud applause right when it starts. It’s gospel music that plays which gives the piece a religious feel. It’s happy, sad, and beautiful. Since its premiere, it has been performed continuously around the globe and it has become the most widely seen modern dance piece in the world.
Every performance is affected by its context. Tonight, Pretty Sister, had the difficult task of following Spencer Ludwig and playing before Betty Who. Ludwig had just amazed the audience as a one man band playing keyboards, trumpet, and singing along to a modern funky beat. So, when Pretty Sister, aka Zak Waters, took the stage to just sing along to his prerecorded music, it was a bit of a comedown.
It also didn’t do him any good when he said “I’m not used to this cold. I’m from California”. He wasn’t going to get any sympathy from a Chicago crowd 5 months into winter. The highlight of his set was when Ludwig joined him on stage with his trumpet. Waters seemed to notice his set wasn’t going so well. He even mentioned that he also “was ready for Betty Who.” So, he wrapped up his set quickly.
The Betty Who performance that followed was incredible. It was a tough task to play in the middle. It would probably suit him better to be the first opener. His music is good, but it needs a better context.
Have you ever wished that you were invisible and that you could attend a party and just listen to what everyone else is saying and not be seen? Southern Gothic provides this opportunity with its immersive theatre style. The party takes place in a house created in the theatre where the action takes place simultaneously in the kitchen, dining room, living room, and the front porch. So, just like a real party, you won’t hear everything that is happening. However, unlike a regular party, you can just get up and leave any conversation immediately and jump into any other one without appearing rude. In fact, you are encouraged to do so. Also, enjoy the cocktails that are handed out and the snacks prepared for the guests. Don’t miss out on the Spam!
The party is celebrating Suzanne Wellington, who is turning 40. Four couples attend the festivities. However, that number isn’t quite accurate, as a few other couplings exist. In fact, one affair has resulted in an unplanned pregnancy. Also, there is political scandal and business corruption that surfaces. Suffice it say, it will be a night to remember!
The experience is one of only a few immersive theatre experiences in the Chicago scene recently. One was the Hubbard Street Dance Fall Series which featured dancers all over the Harris Theatre. They were in the lobby, stairways, the seats, the dressing rooms, and backstage. Another one is Tony N’ Tina’s Wedding in which you get to be a guest at a wedding for the ceremony and the reception (at two different locations). The third is Flanagan’s Wake, at Chicago Theatre Works, which is a wild Irish party. If you were a fan of any of these, you’ll definitely enjoy this Windy City Playhouse production.
Joseph is out of a job and low on money. So, he decides to rent out his rooms on Airbnb. His landlord, Matabang, convinces him to install hidden cameras and spy on the females that stay there. He then shares these videos with a group of men called The Union. Then comes along a new tenant, Clara, who is not conventionally attractive. Matabang is very upset, but one member of The Union, Ezra, is very attracted to Clara.
It’s unsettling how easily Joseph goes along with this plan. It’s also upsetting when he tells Natalie, the other roommate, about it, and she decides not to do anything about it. Because of their lack of any moral qualms about it, the characters seem unreal and despicable. Also, one character claims that the police won’t do anything if their cameras are discovered. This is blatantly false. In fact, a New York hospital is being sued for $2.2 Million for unauthorized filming of two patients.
Christopher Donaldson’s performance as Ezra is the highlight. He expertly embodies the socially awkwardness and unintended creepiness of the character that is the most real in this story.