Hello, Dali: From the Sublime to the Surreal | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Hello, Dali: From the Sublime to the Surreal

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Jamie O'Reilly and singer-songwriter Michael Smith follow up their moving, much praised evening of songs from the Spanish Civil War, Pasiones, with a show that has a much more diffuse theme: art. Against a background of projected images by such artists as Picasso, Botticelli, and O'Keeffe, the two perform Don McLean's paean to Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Simon's portrait of Rene and Georgette Magritte, and Leonard Cohen's and Bob Dylan's tributes to, well, Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan. Sandwiched between these better-known tunes are Smith's songs, some of which are witty (his beatnik take on Wilde's novel, "Ballad of Dorian Grey") and some of which are poignant (his homage to Chicago painter Leopold Segedin) but all of which deserve much more exposure than McLean's or Simon's or even Dylan's music. (I secretly wish that O'Reilly and Smith had chucked their theme and done a Michael Smith evening instead.) Performing together with ease and grace, these two make even the weakest material in the show seem strong and send the stronger material--such as their clever subversion of the standard "Mona Lisa"--into the stratosphere. Lunar Cabaret, 2827 N. Lincoln, 773-327-6666. Through December 20: Sundays, 7 PM. $12. --Jack Helbig

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo by Iwona Biedermann.

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