Posted inMusic

Prince–Sign ‘o’ the Times

SIGN ‘O’ THE TIMES Prince Paisley Park/Warner Brothers 925577-1 The Prince perplex can be easily stated: how can someone who’s so in control be so out of control? How can the auteur of an entire scene and sound — he’s not merely made stars of his high school pals and sent most of the women […]

Posted inArts & Culture

High Gloss, Low Spark

ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER at the Civic Opera House May 7-10, 1987 TWYLA THARP DANCE at the Auditorium Theatre May 9, 1987 Although an Alvin Ailey engagement rarely offers a creative surprise, his strong sense of drama and his dedication to celebrating the black experience and to exploring ancient ritual generally combine to make […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Gidget Goes Iambic

THE BELLE OF AMHERST Chicago Cooperative Stage The Belle of Amherst is a one-person show about Emily Dickinson — the woman, her life, her poetry. Perhaps you’ve never cared for Dickinson’s poetry. In that case, I can tell you right now, you’re sure to care even less about her life, especially as it’s revealed in […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Calendar Photo Caption

Alienation brought on by a high-density environment is what this and other photographs by Michael Ensdorf in “Eight Close Up” are meant to convey. The work of Ensdorf and seven other photographers will be on display through Friday, May 29, in the New Works Gallery of the U. of I.’s Architecture and Art Building, 845 […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

Not that I am calling you a liar, but I would like to dispute your answer to the question posed in a recent column regarding the origin of the term “the whole nine yards.” It is not a nautical, coal, or ready-mix term but rather relates to the clothing industry. It is a term that […]

Posted inMusic

Duke Ellington: The Blanton-Webster Band; Duke Ellington Orchestra/Count Basie Orchestra–First Time! The Count Meets the Duke; Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Max Roach–Money Jungle

DUKE ELLINGTON: THE BLANTON-WEBSTER BAND RCA Bluebird 5659-1-RB FIRST TIME! THE COUNT MEETS THE DUKE Duke Ellington Orchestra/Count Basie Orchestra Columbia Jazz Masterpieces CJ 40586 MONEY JUNGLE Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Max Roach Blue Note BT 85129 Few American popular musicians were quite as honored and lionized in their lifetime as Duke Ellington. The great […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

Blub! According to a recent press release, the atrium lobby of the Embassy Suites Hotel/O’Hare is home to a worldwide assortment of tropical saltwater fish “housed in a 300-gallon octagonal fish tank that is an exact replica of the hotel.” “It does not matter who is elected mayor of Chicago,” growled Richard Kaplan in the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

A Wobbly Farewell

It begins with music and it ends with music, as gatherings of the members of the Industrial Workers of the World often do. The husband-and-wife folksinging team, proud Wobblies from Minneapolis, open up with “I’m Gonna Work a Four-Hour Day.” He plays the guitar and she the mandolin. Her elastic face shines through the Joe […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Til the Fat Lady Sings

TIL THE FAT LADY SINGS Lifeline Theatre Most of us are frightened by death, the hooded specter, the hideous unknown, ready to pounce when we least expect it. Our natural aversion to it makes for few experts on the topic. Woody Allen, always talking about what he’s not supposed to, is one of the few. […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Field & Street

I spent the first Saturday in May sitting in classrooms at Joliet Junior College, attending, along with a few hundred fellow enthusiasts, the eighth Northern Illinois Prairie Workshop. The workshop organizers had provided us with 61 different classes to choose from, with topics ranging from “Prairie Management With Fire and Saw” to “Surveying Prairies for […]