Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story On October 1 Mikey Sproul, age three, made national news when he commandeered the family car, which had one flat tire, and cruised down U.S. 41 near Tampa, Florida, hitting two parked cars and narrowly missing several moving ones. Mikey’s assessment: “I go zoom.” On November 11 Mikey used a cigarette lighter to […]

Posted inArts & Culture

War

War’s unlikely beginning–Eric Burdon basically picked the band members out of an LA bar to back him after he left the Animals–was followed by an unlikely continuation: after Burdon split, the band turned into a 70s-hit-making machine assaulting the Top 40 over and over again with an irresistible amalgam of Latin beats, funky playing, and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Summer House

Jeanne Moreau, Joan Plowright, Julie Walters, and newcomer Lena Headey star in an enjoyable English comedy directed by Waris Hussein and set in Croydon, a straitlaced London suburb, in 1959. The story, adapted by Martin Sherman from Alice Thomas Ellis’s novel The Clothes in the Wardrobe, concerns a young woman (Headey) who finds herself engaged […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

KARL HENDRICKS TRIO, 12/31, LOUNGE AX The moderate appeal of this Pittsburgh combo’s early records seemed to revolve around the conceit of decidedly nerdy guys playing tuneful but clunky ditties about girls, drinking, and puking. Their blatant nonhipness somehow made a straight cover of “She Was Hot” kind of acceptable, although it was a big […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Reader to Reader

Dear Reader: A recent Sunday afternoon at the bridge at the Northwestern landfill: The hooked fish swam glumly in the water below as the fisherman prepared his net. A small crowd watched the drama unfold. Taking his time, the fisherman reached down through the railing and netted his handsome, coppery prize. Someone said it was […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Field & Street

I’ve been thinking so much about what to say in my last column that I’m beginning to identify with Neil Armstrong. Neil had to come up with something memorable to mark his landing on the moon, and even though my audience is a bit smaller than his, I did feel a need to deliver something […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Six Degrees of Separation

A young hustler (Will Smith) claiming to be the son of Sidney Poitier cons his way into the upper-class Manhattan household and affections of a middle-aged couple (Stockard Channing and Donald Sutherland), with disquieting and soul-searching consequences once his fraud is discovered. John Guare adapted his own play by transplanting the action from a bare […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

And a happy new year to you too. Southern Illinois University veterinarian David Lane on holiday hazards to pets, from ornaments to spicy dressing: “I always see a surge in vomiting dogs around Christmas.” Some of us can just go home for the holidays to experience this. In January the Brookfield Zoo will offer a […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

What time is it on the north pole? I mean, suppose I lived in Texas and I traveled straight north until I reached the north pole. I would look at my watch and determine what time I had arrived. But suppose just as I was mouthing the words, someone from New York arrived and said […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Catskills on Broadway

If laughter ever became a crime, this show would do hard time. It’s a loving and detailed homage to the deft comics who honed their timing, mugging, and crowd-control skills in the raucous resorts of the Catskill Mountains. I caught the show in February at Miami Beach’s immense Jackie Gleason Theatre, where almost everyone in […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Calendar Photo Caption

This marks the fifth year that artist Lee Kay has exhibited his pastels-on-foam-core portraits in the Speed Queen at 3355 N. Halsted. Why a laundromat? “They leave the bright lights on at night and I thought, what a great place to show some stuff,” says Kay, who lives across the street. (He’s also shown his […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Less Talk, More Music

BLUES IN THE NIGHT Northlight Theatre 1940s RADIO HOUR Opera San Benedetto It’s the sketchiest of stories, established with the barest minimum of dialogue: in 1930s Chicago, four lonely people in a seedy hotel pass a steamy night by singing the blues. As conceived by Sheldon Epps, Blues in the Night doesn’t really explain how […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Light Opera Works

Although Victor Herbert’s staged spectacle for children Babes in Toyland, which premiered here in 1903, was designed in the mold of The Nutcracker and The Wizard of Oz, it’s seldom been revived except on film (the 1934 Laurel and Hardy comic version, the schmaltzy 1961 Disney attempt starring Tommy Sands and Annette Funicello). For the […]