Ronnie Fields, 59
Randolph Street and Michigan Avenue
What was your thinking when you got dressed this morning? It's kind of an homage to my dad. I was born and raised in the city, but my father used to break horses for a living out in the country. And besides, I like horses and John Wayne and that look. I started wearing a cowboy hat back around '82 or '83. There seemed to be a resurgence of western style in the African-American community back in the '80s. People went back to the southern styles of blacks coming out of Texas or Arkansas.
At this year's Lollapalooza, one of the festival's American Sign Language interpreters, Amber Galloway Gallego, attracted attention for her spirited interpretation of Kendrick Lamar's "Fuckin' Problems," conveying lyrics such as "I love bad bitches, that's my fucking problem" with so much energy, you could feel it from a football field away. The video—here's the original—has since gone viral, collecting more than 4 million views on YouTube. It's nice to see interpreters getting more credit, but Galloway Gallego isn't new to the profession; she's a seasoned pro with years of experience, having signed for artists such as Madonna, Snoop Lion and Lady Gaga. "I've been doing this for so long," she recently told Rolling Stone. "And then they catch this clip of me going, 'Girl you know you want my dick!'" The increased interest in ASL at concerts inspired us to revisit our profile of Barbie Parker, another interpreter at Lollapalooza who works with Galloway Gallego as part of the Texas-based company, LotuSIGN. She spoke with Brent DiCrescenzo about the level of thoughtfulness and planning that goes into conveying live music, even the dirtiest hip hop. Check out the article.
There are a few valid reasons to go to Medieval Times. You love the Middle Ages. You're a child. You live in the suburbs and what else is there to do? And there is this: Your friend is turning 25 and celebrating at Medieval Times and you're offered a free ticket to go. That, folks, is what brought me to Medieval Times, in 2013, at the ripe age of 21.
I grew up in Florida frequently visiting Orlando's Arabian Nights—essentially, Medieval Times with a Saudi twist. I was a nerdy horse-enthusiast as a child. So the opportunity to revisit an equestrian dinner-theater show in adulthood sounded fun, or at least comical.
Our group of nine twenty-somethings packed into a truck and caravanned down I-90 to the enchanted land of Schaumburg (German for "foam castle," fittingly), just past the IKEA. From the tollway you can clearly see the Lego-like towers and flags of the arena emblazoned with the bright red Medieval Times sign.
Nervo Aussie dubstep and electro duo Nervo is easy to like because it's made up of twin sisters with a keen sense of style, but when they set their mind to making music, all that other stuff plays second fiddle. Perfectly melding pop and dubstep, they're a tasteful example of what the overblown EDM scene can offer, and they're helping close out a great year of bookings at the Mid. The Mid. 10pm. $25.
Kill All Comedy Sketch comedy, at its weird and experimental best, hits the stage at this evening of up-and-comers. Hideout. 6:30pm. $5.
"Caroline Picard: Divining Transhuman Space" Picard installed a series of colorful visual models and notes in the 9–5 office of Philip von Zweck (D Gallery) that engage with "the Anthropocene, the End Times and the limits of human imagination." You know, the usual stuff that adorns office spaces. (Hours by appointment.) D Gallery. Through Dec 31.
"Kelly Kristin Jones and Nancy Newberry: Recent Works" Maybe it's because we've been rewatching Friday Night Lights or just the fact that autumn always stirs up school-related memories, but this exhibition of new works by photographers Nancy Newberry and Kelly Kristin Jones appeals to our nostalgic fall feelings (and weird preoccupation with Texas). Featuring expressive images of American high schoolers and college students, it explores various social rituals and rites of passage, including the Texas tradition of wearing highly ornamented and elaborate corsages and the nationally observed traditions of Greek life. Schneider Gallery. Through Dec 31.
After seeing the actor Paul Dillon back behind the wheel of Hellcab at Profiles Theatre last week, reprising the role he originated 21 years ago in Famous Door Theatre's first production of Will Kern's play, I've kept thinking back to my first viewing of the wholly unlikely 1997 film adaptation in which Dillon also starred.
I first encountered the movie in the new releases section of my local video store in college. It had been released as Chicago Cab, with the VHS cover art touting some of the more famous of the Chicago-connected actors who'd signed on for brief scenes as the passengers in Kern's screen adaptation: Gillian Anderson, John Cusack, Laurie Metcalf and Julianne Moore. I watched it knowing nothing about its history as a Chicago play (in my defense, Google barely existed at this point), and basically had no idea what to make of this plotless connection of vignettes about a weird cab driver and his weirder fares.
The movie features a remarkable parade of Chicago actors: You can spot John C. Reilly, Tracy Letts, Ora Jones, Mary Ann Thebus, Shanesia Davis, Moira Harris and a 22-year-old Michael Shannon, among others. This in-depth, on-set Chicago Tribune Sunday magazine piece from 1997 tells the story of how it got made. And what appears to be the full movie is viewable on YouTube. For a briefer taste, here's Shannon's scene, playing a character credited as Crack Head:
Here's what Time Out's film critics are saying about this week's new movies:
"Even when the rote action sequences inevitably take over—these bigger, badder Hunger Games now come with poison fog and killer CGI monkeys!—the film still makes room for some slyly humorous supporting work by Jena Malone as an ax-wielding cynic, and Jeffrey Wright and Amanda Plummer as scatterbrained science whizzes."—Keith Uhlich on The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
"Imagine a Robert Frank portfolio reimagined as a familial tragicomedy, and you’re halfway there."—David Fear on Nebraska
Nervo Aussie dubstep and electro duo Nervo is easy to like because it's made up of twin sisters with a keen sense of style, but when they set their mind to making music, all that other stuff plays second fiddle. Perfectly melding pop and dubstep, they're a tasteful example of what the overblown EDM scene can offer. The Mid. 10pm. $25.
Hungarian State Folk Ensemble The world-renowned Hungarian State Folk Ensemble twirls into town for a one-night-only performance featuring traditional folkloric dances, colorful garb and authentic tunes that inspired the likes of Bartók, Liszt and Kodály. Auditorium Theatre. 7:30pm. $25–$68.
When Minnesota’s Surly Brewing Co. departed the Chicago scene in June 2010, it was like taking a toy away from a child who had just learned how to play with it—we weren't quite attached enough to throw a fit, but it left us a little confused and maybe a bit resentful.
Due to a lack of production capacity, and rather than send just a few dozen barrels to the Chicago metro area each month, Surly left. In retrospect, it made sense—they wanted to wait until their capacity could handle the demands of the Chicago market. (Dogfish Head made a similar move in March 2011, pulling out of Tennessee, Wisconsin, Indiana and Rhode Island. They announced their return to those markets in June.)
Surly became our Bigfoot, our Amelia Earhart, our white whale. For the months following the official departure, we'd be teased with a keg of Cynic here or a barrel of Bender there, but that wasn't long lived.
That drought ended officially on Monday. The brewery is building a second brewing facility in Minneapolis, which means its capacity has increased to the point where it's decided to jump back into the fray.
As we learned last week, Jon Stewart is not a fan of deep-dish pizza. He called it an "above-ground marinara swimming pool for rats" and said that in Chicago, "It's very cold, it's windy, you need to be able to, I don't know, have a pizza and maybe cut it open and climb inside to keep warm."
Those are fighting words, so last night, Marc Malnati of Lou Malnati's stopped by the Daily Show to defend our pizza honor and deliver Stewart a sauce-covered pie. Though Stewart almost seems to grimace when he takes a bite, he says that it's "very tasty" and shakes hands with Malnati. Then he says that anything is better than California pizza.
While we'd take a thin-crust pie over deep-dish any day of the week, you can't argue that a deep-dish pizza isn't pizza—we're willing to give that name to anything with crust, sauce and cheese. Here's the video:
Slo 'Mo At this polysexual series in a Logan Square specialty cocktail house, party purveyor Kristen Kaza and DJ Tess drop the needle on love-drenched classics by Al Green, Marvin Gaye, Prince and the queen of lovers' rock, Sade. The Whistler. 9pm.
Adler After Dark: Particle Party Join the Adler Planetarium the third Thursday of every month for nighttime shows and entertainment. Adler Planetarium. 6:30pm–10:30pm. $20, Members $15.
Gov. Pat Quinn signed Illinois's new marriage equality legislation into law before a large crowd of supporters on Wednesday in Chicago—and he did it on Abraham Lincoln's desk.
The signing ceremony for Senate Bill 10, the Religious Freedom & Marriage Fairness Act, took place at the UIC Forum, where the desk on which Lincoln wrote his first inaugural address in 1861—the speech in which the new president appealed to "the better angels of our nature"—had been delivered from Springfield for Quinn to use today, making Illinois the 16th state to offer full marriage regardless of gender when the law takes effect June 1. Reports put attendance of today's event at about 2,300 people.
At this very minute, thousands are gathered at UIC to watch and celebrate as Gov. Quinn signs Illinois' marriage-equality bill. (Stay tuned for our coverage of the momentous occasion.) How fitting, then, that Funny or Die recently released this hilarious video starring Modern Family's Jesse Tyler Ferguson as the first gay Bachelor, complete with a marriage proposal and George Takei as the host. Please enjoy.
Have lingering questions regarding the Affordable Care Act? In the immortal words of Michael Jackson, you are not alone. For the uninsured, finding info on health care options in online marketplaces has not been without bumps (and, as Saturday Night Live goofed, some executive pill-popping). If you haven't already compared plans via Healthcare.gov or alternative web tools—such as this minimalist site made by three twentysomething programmers—or if you simply have Q's that still need A's, you can bring them to a health care town hall being held December 9, from 4 to 7pm at the Chicago Cultural Center.
Wine critics may hate Beaujolais Nouveau, but we'll get behind any day devoted to drinking wine. There are tasting parties around the world to try the young French wine, which is released every year on the third Thursday in November. The light-bodied, fruit-forward wine is made with gamay grapes picked as late as September and designed to drink right away. Bottles are available starting at 12:01am on Thursday, but if you're planning to hold off on celebrating till tomorrow after work, here's where to go.
All Binny's Beverage Depot locations will be hosting tastings throughout the day on Thursday, and you can take home a bottle—or case—to drink on Thanksgiving.
Sip and swirl a sample at Child Link's 11th Annual Beaujolais Nouveau Wine Fest on Thursday at 5pm. The event, which supports the adoption and fostering programs at Child Link, is a bar hopping event through downtown La Grange with multiple tastings, music, food and raffles at locations like Bella Bacinos (36 S La Grange Rd, La Grange) and Prasino (90 S La Grange Rd, La Grange).
A psychedelic band ain't worth its weight in bean burritos without a killer cosmic light spectacular. As you can easily see by flipping through our slideshow, MGMT come correct with more than enough acid-inspired star fields, color swirls, melting palettes and garish projections (dubbed "The Optimizer") to cook your retinas. The hook-eschewing band brought tunes from its self-titled third album, an underrated affair that explores wilder ends of the electronic spectrum. Never the most charismatic stage performers, the dudes of MGMT have evolved into a sturdy jam act of sort. And, yes, they still played "Time to Pretend," "The Youth," and "Electric Feel." Though you get the sense they have far more fun with "Siberian Breaks," still the peak of their creative powers, if you ask me.
ART & DESIGN
"Amanda Gentry: Expanding" The Chicago-based artist focused on functional clayware before turning to non-functional pieces, such as the minimal modular relief sculptures exhibited here. Her first major solo show, "Expanding" features pillows as a metaphor for the mental and physical weight of the human experience. Hyde Park Art Center. 9am–8pm.
Lemonade Beauty Bar's Motown and oldies night features a special guest DJ every week. With no cover and some old jams to groove to, guests can be sure to dance away their mid-week blues. Beauty Bar. 9pm. Free.
1. Joe DeRosa The Lincoln Lodge plays host to the Chicago debut of DeRosa, a nationally touring comic who's now a writer on The Pete Holmes Show. DeRosa's second album, You Will Die., was released in September. The Lincoln Lodge. Nov 23 at 8, 10:15pm. $15.
2. Once in a Lifetime presents She's Too Young Local comedians take on, MST3K-style, the cinematic treasures that are Lifetime movies in this series presented by saki and Everything is Terrible. In this entry from 2004, suburban mom Marcia Gay Harden is distressed to discover her town's teens are having (gasp) group sex. Lincoln Hall. Nov 26 at 8pm. $5.
3. 3Peat + Family Tree House Boat Accident Some of Chicago's best improvisers of color (John Thibodeaux, Gary Richardson, Patrick Rowland, Nate Sherman, Brianna Baker and Nnamdi Ngwe) go longform as 3Peat, while Second City mainstage alum Tim Baltz and iO and Annoyance regular Barry Hite riff on the events of the past week as Family Tree House Boat Accident. iO Del Close Theater. Nov 20 at 10:30pm. $5.
Black Box Acting, the popular actor training program that's most recenty been headquartered at the Den Theatre, has acquired a permanent home at 2625 W North Avenue, co-founders Laura Hooper and Audrey Francis said today.
The 3,200-square-foot building, on the border between Logan Square and Humboldt Park, is newly rehabbed with a design by Perimeter Architects. It will open in January, with three classrooms, a student lounge and more amenities. "When we originally dreamed up Black Box, we said our goal was to build a ‘home’ for our artists where they could push their creative limits," Francis and Hooper said in a joint statement. "And we did literally mean, a place. A physical space. We’re so proud that that we’ve finally reached a point where that home could actually be owned by Black Box."
Hooper and Francis started Black Box Acting in January 2009 with two classes and a dozen students; five years later, the program has five full-time staffers, 11 instructors and has trained more than 600 students in its signature Black Box Method via two programs: the Studio, offering a curriculum of part-time, five-week classes, and the Academy, a five-month immersive program. I wrote about my experience sampling a Black Box class in January 2012, when the Academy was launched. Visit blackboxacting.com for more information.
Chef Graham Elliot announced last week that he's closing his eponymous restaurant (which just earned two Michelin stars) after New Year’s Eve to reconcept and open again next spring. He told Chicago Magazine that they took out seats and were doing "a fraction of the volume we used to." Elliot already has a space, name and concept for the new spot, which wll offer “creative, higher-end” food. He closed his sandwich shop, Grahamwich, in August.
There are about six weeks to try the final Graham Elliot tasting menu, which the chef revealed today on Twitter: there are 15 courses, arranged like a periodic table, half of which preview the new restaurant and half of which are plays on older dishes. There's truffle popcorn, sweetbreads with cranberry and chestnut, a foie gras lollipop and 12 other dishes, which are available starting tonight.