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This Week’s Must-Read Stories in Chicago Culture

Key and Peele have their moment, Guy in Your MFA gets a book deal, and Tree discusses his new mixtape.

Tree’s new mixtape Trap Genius is out now.   Photo: Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune

Immutable Majesty

More than 200 years after the French queen’s death, Alana Arenas is making Marie Antoinette pop. Zac Thompson asks the Steppenwolf ensemble member how.

Elder Statesman

As Chicago’s increasingly youthful hip-hop scene waxes and wanes, 31-year-old rapper Tree continues to churn out work at the rate of Bob Dylan. Noisey catches up with the emcee ahead of his new tape, Trap Genius.

Literary Lampoon

For five months, Highland Park native Dana Schwartz has been skewering bearded boy-writer types from the Guy in Your MFA Twitter account—a passion project that’s landed her an unexpected book deal. The Reader meets the woman behind the gag.

Key Differences

To perform racial satire in the 21st century is to be compared to Dave Chappelle, and Second City alumni Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peel (Key & Peele) are no exception. Slate asks just how similar the two shows really are.

Encore

…and if that wasn’t enough Key and Peele for you, Zadie Smith has profiled them in The New Yorker.

Queen Dee

Jazz singer Dee Alexander has been heatedly preparing for tomorrow’s show at the Symphony Center. Chicago goes behind the scenes as she practices with musical director Miguel de la Cerna.

New Boss on Set

Bruce Rauner’s new director of the Illinois Film Office has little experience with film—but she’s wasting no time learning the local landscape. The Tribune sits down with Christine Dudley.

Review Revue: Thérèse Raquin

The alternately lustful/murderous opera by Tobias Picker and Gene Scheer is having its area premiere at the Harris Theater, and critics have been (mostly) smitten:

Chicago Tribune: “American composer Tobias Picker and his librettist, Gene Scheer, distilled the classic tragedy of Therese…down to one of the more viable American operas of the last 15 years.”

Chicago Sun-Times: “…guilt is something of a living, breathing character of its own in the stark but heated (and in one case, erotically explicit) Chicago Opera Theater production…”

Chicago Reader: “[Chicago Opera Theater] often amps up its shoestring productions by turning up the erotic heat. This Thérèse Raquin is no slouch in that department, offering cunnilingus (simulated, far as I could tell), plus a really good horror-flick-like gotcha moment.”

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