Posted inNews & Politics

The Joy of Torah

To the editors: Although it is not my custom to air religious views in the media, I feel compelled to respond to the article “The Importance of Being Jewish” [August 7]. There were so many misconceptions in the article about Torah Judaism (which the author refers to as Orthodoxy), and I cannot begin to address […]

Posted inNews & Politics

More on Hispanic Publishers

To the editors: The slug of David Fremon’s article in the Neighborhood News section of your July 31 issue (“Try a little togetherness: Hispanic community publishers join forces, seek profits”) would lead the reader to expect a balanced investigation of Hispanic publishing groups in Chicago and their efforts to organize and professionalize. Nothing, however, could […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The “corporate school” experiment: Can the public schools be reformed from without?

Joseph Kellman is a man with a seemingly paradoxical mission: to start a private school whose avowed goal is to improve public schools. Now his 20-year dream is nearing reality. January 1, 1988, marks the opening of the prototype school of the Corporate/Community Schools of America, a partnership between Chicago business, educators, and community groups. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Landscape Suicide

All of James Benning’s features can be regarded as shotgun marriages in which he attempts to wed his distinctive formal talents and interests–framing midwestern landscapes with beauty and nostalgia, using ambiguous offscreen sounds to create narrative expectations–with an intellectual and/or social rationale. Landscape Suicide is almost certainly his most successful and interesting foray in this […]

Posted inFilm

A Film of the Future

THE HORSE THIEF **** (Masterpiece) Directed by Tian Zhuangzhuang Written by Zhang Rui With Cexiang Rigzin and Dan Jiji. If the two aesthetically richest decades in the history of cinema have been the 1920s and the 1960s, it is in no small part due to the fact that it was during these two golden ages […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Waking the Dead

AWAKENINGS City Lit Theater Company at the Raven Theatre Of all the grotesque maladies that can afflict us, brain disorders are especially horrifying. They don’t merely cause pain and debility; they strike at the core of human personality, and challenge the sense of self in a way that a diseased kidney or a broken bone […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Torch Song Trilogy; Shoeless Joe

TORCH SONG TRILOGY Reflections Theatre Ensemble SHOELESS JOE Chicago Actors Ensemble Watching Torch Song Trilogy at Reflections Theatre last week, I was reminded of W.B. Yeats’s phrase, “the young in one another’s arms.” The people in Torch Song spend an awful lot of time embracing–not just making love, but talking, comforting, sharing joy and soothing […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Beehive

Five and a half months into its run, and with two cast changes since opening night, Larry Gallagher’s 60s-rock tribute Beehive maintains a buoyant freshness that offsets its slick, speeded-up run through more than 40 oldies but goodies. The six women in the cast combine high attitude, vibrant voices, and first-rate musicianship, playing off each […]

Posted inNews & Politics

No School Today

“There’s no well-paid teacher,” said Lois Trang, meaning that there’s no such thing as a teacher getting a decent salary. Trang isn’t a teacher herself; she’s a new mother who was trying to enroll her daughter Laura for her first day of school ever. But on this sunny Tuesday morning, Joseph Stockton School at Beacon […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Vermeer Quartet With Murry Perahia

Over the past decade, Murray Perahia has emerged as the most consistently engaging of the postwar generation of concert pianists. Technically brilliant (of course) and astutely insightful (a far less common trait), the New York-born, Juilliard-trained Perahia also possesses that all-too-rare gift of being able to get to the heart of any music and to […]

Posted inArts & Culture

dB’s/Ben Vaughn Combo

The problem with revisionist pop music is that once bands become self-conscious about their sources of inspiration, most get mired in wide-eyed nostalgia (history on a pedestal) or cross-eyed cynicism (history as bunk). Two poised, clever, tuneful exceptions from the New York/Hoboken scene are arriving for separate club dates. Although the dBs may never recapture […]