Anna's Picks

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October 18, 2004 // UPDATED 4:21 pm - April 25, 2007
By: Anna Pratt
Anna Pratt

Billy Corgan

Alternative rock icon Billy Corgan is set to debut his poetry. His first collection, "Blinking with Fists," is the culmination of notebook verses written since his last year with the band Smashing Pumpkins.

While poetry seems to be a much different artistic form than the dramatic sound of the Pumpkins (the band is perhaps best known for their '90s hits "Tonight, Tonight" and "Bullet with Butterfly Wings"), Corgan's lyric poetry is equally intense.

His almost stream-of-consciousness poems speak personally about love, grief, self and devotion (some of which may reflect the Pumpkins breakup, such as bittersweet "The River Runs Foul" wherein Corgan talks about not trusting his own voice and heading home alone).

The alternative rocker will discuss the heartfelt stanzas with City Pages' Jim Walsh. Books will be on sale, and Corgan will be available to sign copies after the talk. Also, the budding poet's first solo album will also be out this spring.

Friday, Oct. 22, noon Loft Literary Center, 1011 Washington Ave. S. Free. 215-2575.

'Humble Boy'

Astrophysicist Felix Humble seeks to prove the "superstring theory" -- the hypothesis that there is a single, physical force that ties everything together on a subatomic level.

Although he's primarily unsuccessful in proving the existence of the superstring, Humble finds that everything in his life -- parental relationships, dysfunctional families, old and new lovers, beekeeping, death, Hamlet-like themes and even cremation mishaps -- seems to run in tragic-comedic concentric circles.

To begin with, Humble isn't thrilled to come home for his father's funeral. His critical mother is overbearing and never satisfied. (But here's a fun fact for comic relief: she lost her sense of smell when she had plastic surgery on her nose.)

Much to his chagrin, Humble learns that not only is she unfaithful to his father's memory (she's even destroyed his beekeeping father's hives), but she's kept a lover on the side for years. Humble detests her longtime partner -- who also turns out to be the father of one of his own ex-girlfriends.

Inspired in part by Shakespeare's renowned "Hamlet," "Humble Boy" shows Humble's struggle to remain true to himself amid countless family squabbles and professional woes.

Thru Nov. 7, Friday-Saturday 8 p.m., Sunday 2 and 7 p.m. (alternately) Theatre in the Round, 245 Cedar Ave. $20. 333-3010.