Fashion Enforcer

Uncool nightclubbers beware: Curious Jorge Sanchez is looking for you. A Chicago nightclub denizen for the past eight years, college dropout, and self-proclaimed fashion expert Curious Jorge has launched the Fashion Patrol to raise the level of sartorial savvy on the local club scene. When on patrol, Jorge issues fashion violators bright orange tickets resembling the new parking citations slapped on offending motor vehicles by Mayor Richard Daley’s meter maidens. Curious Jorge’s tickets list hair violations such as “chemical fire hazard” and “helmet head,” as well as accessories and weapons violations that include “fake Rolex” and “dangerous earrings.” Other infractions range from “polyester anything” to “too much and/or cheap cologne.” There is one plus to the fashion tickets however: they serve as free admissions to the nightclub Shelter if–and only if–reformed fashion offenders pass muster at the door.

Curious Jorge, who claims to be a longtime watcher of club couture, believes that most fashion problems begin in the suburbs. “Thursday nights are OK in most of the clubs,” he observes, “because most of the crowd is from the city; but Friday and Saturday nights are the worst because of the suburban influx.” Hair apparently is a big problem out there beyond the city limits. Curious Jorge recently issued tickets to a couple of suburban girls sporting what he considered heads of unacceptably permed and sprayed blond hair. Those least likely to be cited for fashion violations, says Jorge, are those who know how to dress with a sense of humor. The Fashion Patrol chief himself, for example, recently arrived at a club in a “Congoleum” shirt made of pieces of kitchen floor tiles. “It was a spur-of-the-moment choice,” Jorge confesses. “It took about 15 minutes to staple together the flooring. I normally spend about three hours a day thinking about what I’m going to wear out to the clubs that evening.”

Of course Curious Jorge has his opinions about what’s in and out on the club fashion scene. Tops on the out list is black anything; in are cross-dressing (“It’s a way to have fun”) and the 60s look. Overall, Curious Jorge foresees an end to the era of serious attitude on the club scene “We’re heading into a gentler, friendlier time.”

Son of Steak Man Makes an Offering to the Cow-Spirits

In about four weeks, Michael Morton expects to open the doors of the Voodoo Beef Bar, his restaurant-nightclub creation at 1248 W. George. Last Saturday he hosted his father, restaurateur Arnie Morton, and a small group of friends at a construction party where he talked about the look of the finished place. Upstairs, in a high-ceilinged bar and club decorated in bright primary colors, Morton plans to book a constantly changing lineup of live entertainment. Downstairs, in the main-floor restaurant, the decor will incorporate metal meat racks and hooks from the meatpacking plant that formerly occupied the site. Hand-painted murals, stuffed bats, and a crocodile (Morton raised them in the basement of his house at college) will also be part of the first-floor ambience. The menu will feature fish, fowl, and pasta, says Morton–no red meat.

Court Theatre Signs Sahlins

Bernard Sahlins and partner Pam Marsden, who have formed a consulting business called Theatre Resources, have signed on as consultants at Court Theatre under a one-year contract with a 30-day termination clause. Last Saturday the Court Theatre board of directors approved the plan–heartily endorsed by Nick Rudall, who has just been elevated from artistic director to executive director–to bring Sahlins and Marsden on board to consult on a number of matters ranging from audience development to staff activities to funding support. Terms call for Sahlins and Marsden to work with Court 20 hours a week for a fee of $2,000 a month. Though some board members apparently abstained from voting on the contract, Rudall is getting what he wants. “He feels he needs Bernie as a consultant,” says one board member.

The Stripper Next Door

Hit shows don’t always make good neighbors. The cast and crew of Commons Theatre’s mammoth production of Maksim Gorky’s The Lower Depths are hoping their audiences won’t be distracted during the play’s quieter moments by raucous striptease music. The music is part of Live Bait Theater’s hit production of Girls, Girls, Girls, Live on Stage, Totally Rude, which is playing in an adjacent theater at the Theatre Building. “We’re worried about possible sound seepage,” admits one cast member in The Lower Depths, Gorky’s masterpiece about a group of down-and-out people living in a rooming-house cellar. A Live Bait spokeswoman dismisses the concern: “There was no problem we know of with Tiny Alice, which preceded The Lower Depths in that space.” Commons is underlining the seriousness of Gorky’s work with a series of four Sunday-afternoon symposia on topics ranging from substance abuse to homelessness to human rights in a free enterprise system.

Movie-Views News

Are Chicago moviegoers closet sex fiends? Perhaps more than half of them are if you believe a random poll of 200 moviegoers recently conducted by the Movie Channel. According to the survey results, only 43 percent of Chicago respondents said there was too much sex in the flicks, compared with 60 percent of the respondents in a similar Minneapolis poll and 64 percent in the Bible Belt capital of Atlanta. The polls also indicate that moviegoing is on the decline. In Chicago, 43 percent of the respondents said they see fewer movies than they did five years ago; 50 percent of Minneapolis respondents and 51 percent in Atlanta indicated they also attend fewer flicks. And what about the best movie of all time? Frankly my dears, the favorite in all three cities was Gone With the Wind.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Loren Santow.