Posted inArts & Culture

Erwin Helfer and Clark Dean

Sometimes we take our local treasures for granted. Erwin Helfer is one of the premier living purveyors of the myriad piano styles that have made Chicago a music mecca since the 20s, and Clark Dean’s saxophone style carries echoes of Bud Freeman, Sidney Bechet, and Ben Webster, while retaining a lyrical romanticism all his own. […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

The other day, a friend of mine asked me a question which left me speechless. I could not begin to come up with an answer. You are my only hope. Why is shit brown? –Dave Alyea, Lemont, Illinois I am answering this question, friends and neighbors, not because I have low motives, but because I […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Satin Slipper

Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira’s seven-hour adaptation of French symbolist poet/playwright Paul Claudel’s marathon theater masterpiece. The action of the drama spans four continents and involves half the history of 16th-century Europe and the New World, with metaphysical preoccupations that play directly into de Oliveira’s own perennial themes of unattainable perfection and graillike striving (Francisca, […]