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Updates to the Updates

By Justin Sondak in Arts & Entertainment on May 19, 2006 4:01PM

Chicagoist never gets the last word. Shows run long after we’ve weighed in, discussions evolve beyond our ramblings, companies grow, companies fold, artists work hard to make a living or to make the next news cycle. For our curious and attention-deficient readers, some quick updates on previously reported stories.

Art Fairs and Festivals
At the eleventh hour, the Merch Mart saved Art Chicago 2006. Soon after the exhibitors packed up came word that Merchandise Mart Properties bought the fair from Thomas Blackman Associates, bringing stability to the event while prompting concern that it will become too safe to draw exciting young exhibitors. MMP has retained Mr. Blackman as a consultant for 2007.

novahall.JPGHolding an art fair in a hotel wasn’t such a crazy idea after all. We prefer seeing and discussing art in comfortable rooms to sterile, hastily assembled exhibition halls. Roaming the City Suites Hotel halls during the Nova Art Fair, we learned about the proposed Chicago ART Project, which aims by 2007 to open an institution constructed from recycled shipping containers, celebrating Chicago artists past and present. The Marwen kids showed off some really cool sketches, think M.C. Escher with a street sensibility. We glimpsed at the art scene blowing up in Miami’s Mayfair neighborhood, enjoyed stunning portraits from Philadelphia’s Projects Gallery, and hallucinogenic delights from the UK’s Clapham Art Gallery.

hpaccreative.JPGWe only had an hour or so for the Hyde Park Art Center’s Creative Move festival, where we took in Weave’s unusual sonic imagery. We do recommend checking out the hodgepodge of mind-bending work that is the Takeover exhibition, an inspiring level of collaboration on display through June 11.

What happens when a boy genius grows up? Doogie Howser M.D. was cancelled too soon for us to be sure. But The House Theatre’s new show The Boy Detective Fails sheds some light on the subject. Their adaptation of Joe Meno’s new book opened last weekend. Catch the video trailer here.

spotme.jpgThey’ve taken over an apartment and a bar. Now our friends at the Sandbox Theatre Project head for the weight room, opening their latest original show Can You Spot Me? this weekend at the Webster Fitness Club. We know they can act, but how do they fare with the bench press and elliptical machines?

Drunk off the success of last month’s show, Schadenfreude returns to the Gallery Cabaret tonight for The Schadenfreude Rent Party. They’ll present new material dreamed up in cyberspace, welcome Fox News weatherlady Michelle Leigh, whose job they’re trying to save, and present comedy trio Triplette, Susan Messing, and other funny folks.

When Urinetown returned to Chicago, we predicted a new round of bathroom analogies from the press. Here’s ours: after 6 weeks of underwhelming sales, Urinetown trickled to a close.

Hubbard Street Dance's Spring program has come and gone, but next month the dancers become the choreographers at the “Inside/Out” workshop. Watch their work as it develops at the Athenaeum for only $10.

Tonight and next month, the Chicago Tap Theatre presents dinner theater of sorts. Ensemble members perform at Café Simone at Cyrano’s Bistrot and Wine Bar, to the delight of a pomme frites munching crowd. Reservations are recommended.

Other stuff
In a continuing bid to hold your attention all year, The Chicago Humanities Festival will present senior editor of Newsweek Jonathan Alter, discussing his new book The Defining Moment: FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope. The free June 2 event is at Northwestern’s Law School Campus.

To the relief of the U.S. Olympic Committee, I.O. is still I.O.