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This Week’s Must-Read Stories in Chicago Culture

R. Kelly faces scrutiny, DeRogatis slams Lolla, and Steppenwolf confronts the Trib on air.

R. Kelly’s slot at Free Press Music Fest is the subject of protests in Houston.   Photo: Clayton Hauck

Tour De Play

How are companies like the Hypocrites and House Theatre engaging audiences for 12 hours at a time? Chicago takes a look at binge-watching theater.

Monstrous Merger

For the first time since selling controlling interest to Ticketmaster/Live Nation, Lollapalooza boss Charles Attal last week went on-record with the media—and longtime Lolla watchdog Jim DeRogatis has some harsh words for the journalist who interviewed him.

Haunting History

While we’re on the topic of DeRo’s two main beats, how about another look into R. Kelly’s myriad sexual assault allegations? The Washington Post looks at protests surrounding his Free Press Summer Fest slot.

Dire Discourse

After Tribune theater critic Chris Jones panned Steppenwolf for Young Adults’ This Is Modern Art as a “romantic ode” to graffiti, co-author Kevin Coval slammed the critic for failing to engage with Chicago’s marginalized youth. WBEZ hosts the pair with SYA artistic director Hallie Gordon in an on-air debate.

Freak Show

As Chicagoans took their sweethearts on dates over Valentine’s Day weekend, the Mad Mobster True Crime & Horror Expo tore through the downtown Hilton. The Reader wades into the city’s goriest convention.

Bedheads

Renters, beware: Chicago landlords know that the Deadheads descend on July 4th weekend, and with legitimate Airbnb rentals nearly sold out, the Chicagoland Apartment Association is policing hard. The Tribune dives in.

Renaissance Man

From Friends to Empire, Rockit Ranch CEO Billy Dec’s IMDb pages keeps growing. Chicago asks the restaurateur about his budding acting career.

Review Revue: Hammer Trinity

The House Theatre’s nine-hour, seven-act trilogy opened last week to many a critical bear hug:

Newcity: “It is…nothing short of stunning.”

Chicago Tribune: “…despite the high-minded meditations on narrative and its discontents, this is still a House show, replete with the high-octane theatricality that they do best.”

Chicago Reader: “I had no clue what was going on for long stretches, yet…I found it both thrilling and thought-provoking.”

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