Posted inArts & Culture

Orchestra of Illinois

This Orchestra of Illinois concert presents an unusual opportunity for Chicagoans to hear China’s premier pianist, Yin Cheng-Zong. Russian-trained and a past Tchaikovsky Competition winner (1961), the 46-year-old Yin is noted for his technical brilliance and air of hauteur as much as for his uncanny ability to survive China’s periodic anti-intellectual campaigns. One indication of […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Golden Palominos

I once saw a wild-eyed Anton Fier (in Richard Hell’s band at the time) jump out from behind his drum kit in midset to attack an audience member who was apparently flipping lit cigs at the bandstand. So I have no trouble believing persistent reports of what a moody, intense guy he supposedly is. Besides, […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Spirits of the dead communicate through Ouija board, slash a few tires, and scare the bejeezus out of everybody. Pardon the suggestion, but this may be the best little Z film in awhile. First-time director Kevin S. Tenney camouflages his nonexistent budget by pushing his camera straight in the actors’ faces and stripping his visuals […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Raising Arizona

Joel and Ethan Coen’s Road Runner comedy in overdrive, about a convenience-store bandit (Nicholas Cage) who swipes the infant son of an unfinished-furniture tycoon (he’s got quints so he won’t mind, Cage’s wife insists), then has a hard time holding onto the kid. The snickering humor that percolated through the Coens’ overly arch Blood Simple […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Joel Grey is the above-the-title star of this elaborate revival of the 1966 musical set in Nazi-era Berlin, but the show’s real strength lies in the performances of its two leading ladies. Alyson Reed, whose talents were buried in the dismal film version of A Chorus Line, is a revelation as Sally Bowles, the determinedly […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been annoyed at the fact that hot dogs come ten to a package while buns come in either eight- or twelve-packs (usually eight around here). My girlfriend says it’s because kids often eat wieners without buns, and it’s just thoughtful packaging by the meat packers. I think she’s […]