Posted inNews & Politics

Ionesco on AIDS?

To the editors: I really must protest Tom Valeo’s review of Alliance Theatre’s Killing Game in your April 17 issue. Mr. Valeo, who is normally a perceptive and thoughtful critic, seems to have missed the point of the play and the production. It is true that Ionesco’s play concerns itself with a mysterious, fatal disease […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Parade

“I got 14 supervisors out there ready to reroute,” says the CTA superintendent. “They’re here on Sunday, their day off. Just for this.” “This” is the third annual “Don Quixote Crusade” Cinco de Mayo parade, and its organizer and grand marshal Ramon Cervantes is holding an impromptu press conference in a Burger King on Wacker […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Rusty Research

To the editors: David Moberg’s review of Rusted Dreams [April 10] calls attention to strengths and weaknesses of Bensman and Lynch’s study of steel and South Chicago. I worked at U.S. Steel South Works and was active in its Unemployed Committee. My neighbor, Frank Lumpkin, is leader of the Wisconsin Steelworkers Save Our Jobs Committee, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Local Lit: James McManus’s end-of-the-world epic

The fiction trade is never booming but it’s been relatively healthy of late. Short-story collections — tidy albums of terse snapshots framed with irony — have been a particularly popular commodity. This mild bull market is encouraging but conceals insidious dangers. Success breeds imitation and complacency, discouraging risk, excess, and ambition. Writers grow in craft […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Ann Beattie

Ann is standing in the driveway between the lobby of the Ritz-Carlton and Water Tower Place. Her publicist always arranges for someone to drive her around whatever city she is visiting, and she is waiting for the person who will be her escort in Chicago. On the phone the night before, he told her he […]

Posted inFilm

Joe and Ken

PRICK UP YOUR EARS *** (A must-see) Directed by Steven Frears Written by Alan Bennett With Gary Oldman, Alfred Molina, Vanessa Redgrave, and Wallace Shawn. Joe Orton was the pet bad boy of English theater in the 60s, a one-man assault on conventional British morality. Unabashedly homosexual when that was still a crime punishable by […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Foxfire

FOXFIRE Touchstone Theatre My grandmother just died at the age of 91. She lived in the same world we do, but she had one foot firmly planted in the 19th century, a world of horse-drawn wagons, kerosene lanterns, sewing bees, and barn raisings. Every time I visited her, I was struck by some strange anachronism […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Scene of the Crime

Andre Techine’s moody, erratic French thriller, about a provincial nightclub owner (Catherine Deneuve) whose teenage son is terrorized by a pair of escaped criminals. The plain, generic title disguises some slippery metaphorical intentions, since neither scene nor crime invites a straight, literal reading (the wider crime is family and social rather than particular, and the […]

Posted inFilm

Gertrude and Alice

WAITING FOR THE MOON * (Has redeeming facet) Directed by Jill Godmilow Written by Godmilow and Mark Magill With Linda Hunt, Linda Bassett, Jacques Boudet, and Bruce McGill. Why bother producing a film about literary lioness Gertrude Stein and her faithful sidekick Alice B. Toklas that not only portrays them disingenuously as “just good friends” […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Twelfth Night

TWELFTH NIGHT Chicago Shakespeare Company at the Immediate Theatre In 1936, a Young Turk named Orson Welles mounted an all-black Macbeth, set in Haiti. In that same period, in England, Tyrone Guthrie was breathing new life into the Old Vic by showing the same irreverence for tradition. Guthrie took flak from critics who considered his […]