Posted inArts & Culture

True Books

Is the Bible True? How Modern Debates and Discoveries Affirm the Essence of the Scriptures, by Jeffery L. Sheler (HarperSanFrancisco, $24). Synopsis: The Bible is factually true, or at least true enough to merit poring over history and archaeology. Jesus wasn’t just a carpenter: he was a good carpenter. Representative quote: “Jesus and Joseph specialized […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

EKOOSTIK HOOKAH 12/28, MARTYRS’ I’m not surprised to learn that this long-lived Columbus band was invited to play at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame–they sound a little like nearly every band Rolling Stone thought was important circa 1972, fronted by Ian Anderson on a handful of herbal pep pills. Not my cup of […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Lean and Mean

History Repaints Itself Second City E.T.C. Second City 4.0 Second City By Albert Williams In Live From the Second City–1961, the deliciously funny vintage TV special screened last weekend as part of Second City’s 40th-anniversary celebration, a very young Alan Arkin appears as a very old Noah. The sketch–the finale of a live performance taped […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

You recently gave this advice to a gay man involved with a married bisexual man: “Don’t mess around with bisexuals.” You went on to tell the reader he should not mess around with married men either. Staying away from people who are in committed relationships is sound advice. But condemning all bisexuals as poor relationship […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Stories Officials in Suwon, South Korea, showing off 580 new plush public rest rooms to reporters in November, implied that the toilets would earn the country greater world respect. “In this era of globalization,” said one official, “it is important to become the leader in the world in the cleanest bathrooms.” The johns feature […]

Posted inArts & Culture


MACBETH, Mom and Dad Productions, at the Chopin Theatre. In this staging, the witches are not only the first characters onstage but the last to leave. Indeed, they’re never wholly out of sight, and not just because of the extensive double casting in this Mom and Dad production. They lurk on the perimeter of the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Light Opera Works

LIGHT OPERA WORKS Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado has been wildly popular since the night it debuted in London in 1885. H.L. Mencken claimed that by the end of that year “it was being played in Europe and America by fully 150 companies. One night in October in this country alone, there were no less […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Insider

Based on Marie Brenner’s 1996 Vanity Fair article “The Man Who Knew Too Much,” this docudrama exposes Big Tobacco with low-key fervor. It resists obvious opportunities to sensationalize the dilemmas of a former head of R and D who had to decide what to do with what he knew and a 60 Minutes producer who […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Robbie Fulks

ROBBIE FULKS Robbie Fulks’s misleadingly titled new album, The Very Best of Robbie Fulks (due in January on Bloodshot), is in fact a decade-spanning collection of oddities and rarities meant to tide fans over as Chicago’s best singer-songwriter-satirist–who parted ways with Geffen this year–works out new material and decides how to release it. But like […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Friday 12/24 – Thursday 1/6 DECEMBER By Cara Jepsen 24 FRIDAY Chicago usually turns into a ghost town on Christmas Eve, so there should be plenty of parking at tonight’s Retro Eve. The fund-raiser for the Jewish Children’s Bureau’s Therapeutic Family Day Care Center offers free food and cocktails until 10 and music by the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

While waxing nostalgic over our favorite cartoons from the 60s and 70s with some friends, we suddenly realized that Disney’s The Lion King bears a striking resemblance in plot and cast to the Japanese-made 60s TV series Kimba the White Lion (of which we can all remember every word of the theme song, by the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Cradle Will Rock

This ambitious, Altman-esque tapestry by writer-director Tim Robbins re-creates various events involving art, patronage, and politics during the mid-1930s, all revolving around the Federal Theater’s legendary New York production of Marc Blitzstein’s socialist opera The Cradle Will Rock and its suppression by the U.S. Congress. One could make countless legitimate complaints about the film’s details, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

“My first action was assisting in getting the Evans Potato Chip company to recall their chips which bore a sticker which read ‘ass-kickin hot,’” Northwest Austin Council organizer Marvis Seals tells “Neighborhoods” (October), newsletter of the Chicago Alliance for Neighborhood Safety. “The sticker was only in Austin and kids in school were sticking the labels […]