Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story The barbaric Gotmaar Festival continues in Pandhurna, India, despite the village’s increasing modernization (10,000 TV sets among its 45,000 people): Each year, after a full moon in September, all village activity stops for a day and the males divide into two groups to gather rocks. They spend the rest of the day throwing […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Sports Section

It’s fashionable, these days, to dismiss top-ten lists, those annual rites where facts and events are sorted the way a child sorts baseball cards. David Letterman lampoons the practice, quite successfully, almost every night. I agree that history–even sports history–is a continuum, that years and decades are arbitrary markings that make little sense when chopped […]

Posted inArts & Culture


SLEUTH Apple Tree Theatre Company Mysteries seem singularly maladapted to the stage; novels, movies, and even radio plays have the advantage over stage plays in that they can follow the plot wherever it may twist. But the playwright is stagebound: the best he or she can provide (in cinematic terms) is a series of medium-long […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Songs of the Season

For Yuletide junkies still craving seasonal sentiment, this Christmas Eve performance should provide a decent fix: some three dozen musical selections compressed into a prettily sung, briskly paced two-hour revue, with coffee, champagne, and desserts served throughout the evening. Musical director Mark Elliott has unearthed a giant sized stockingful of songs for the likable eight-person […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Little Prince

THE LITTLE PRINCE Touchstone Theatre at the Theatre Building Grown-ups never understand anything for themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.–The Little Prince Because grown-ups are always in danger of forgetting who they once were, Antoine de Saint-Exupery remains a delight and a solace. No one […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The City Musick

There is never a shortage of performances of Handel’s Messiah this time of year, and it can be nearly impossible to distinguish between them. Some practical advice for novices would include: avoid the do-it-yourself variety, which makes about as much sense and is as aesthetically meaningful as a dance-it-yourself Nutcracker; also avoid community performances, unless […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

Go ahead, forget your glasses. Our favorite invention from the assortment of ideas recently produced by seventh- and eighth-graders at Hope Community Academy on South Lowe: “a double vision car with prescription glass for vision-impaired drivers.” What Chicago has more of than most other major markets, according to the newsletter MarkeTrend (October 1989): “daily radio […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

Who is this St. Jude dude? Why are people always thanking him in the classified section of the newspaper? –Lisa Keyes, Madison, Wisconsin I am continually shocked at how little the coming generation knows about the realm of the spirit. Saint Jude is the patron saint of hopeless causes. Also known as Jude Thaddeus, he […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Calendar Photo Caption

These beguiling panoramic photos were taken during a 1988 sojourn in China by Swiss-born Chicagoan Francois Robert. Dennis Adrian has said of Robert’s candid photography that it “is removed from the kind of photography which manipulates its materials and technical possibilities in order to present new visual realities stemming only from the medium. Robert’s technique […]

Posted inMusic

Tav Falco’s Panther Burns

What exactly Tav Falco is I’m not sure. He certainly is an aficionado of southern muck rock, and he fronts a band, Panther Burns, that plays a potent, eerily corporeal strain of mucked-up rockabilly (muckabilly?). But he’s also at least part performance artist (he used to call himself Tubeman and play blues classics on police […]