Posted inArts & Culture

Phil Alvin

The possibilities of Phil Alvin as a solo act have turned out to be greater than one might have suspected back when he was the tortured, mannered lead voice of the Blasters. Since parting company with that band and with his guitarist/songwriter brother Dave, Phil has undertaken one of the decade’s more fascinating explorations of […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Stage Business: a young director mixes it up at the Goodman

“In contemporary theater we’re seeing a wonderful mix of disciplines,” explains David Petrarca, the remarkable young director currently in residence at the Goodman Theatre. “Interdisciplinary work, while it has always existed, has been historically relegated to the avant-garde. Now a theater audience comes to expect a dance-theater-music performance. All of that cross-fertilization of the arts […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Casting Out the Nazis

ANSELM KIEFER at the Art Institute Anselm Kiefer, the German painter whose works are being shown at the Art Institute, rarely gives interviews, dislikes being quoted, and has been photographed only occasionally. It’s refreshing to find an artist who refuses self-promotion, who apparently believes that his gloomy paintings are clear enough and powerful enough that […]

Posted inFilm

Invitation to the Trance

SLEEPWALK *** (A must-see) Directed by Sara Driver Written by Driver and Lorenzo Mans With Suzanne Fletcher, Ann Magnuson, Dexter Lee, Steven Chen, Tony Todd, Richard Boes, and Ako. The French term fantastique–which emcompasses science fiction, comic strips, Surrealism, sword and sorcery tales, and many other forms of fantasy–suggests an attitude toward the imagination that […]

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Best of Dance for $1.98

BEST OF DANCE FOR $1.98 at MoMing January 15-17 and 22-24 People see live dance, instead of staying home and watching TV, for a couple of reasons: for one, dance concerts are–or most purport to be–more intellectually stimulating. But perhaps more significant is the element of risk. A dancer or choreographer could fall flat on […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Silly Willie

A man wearing a dark plaid shirt and a black, peaked stevedore’s cap sticks his head out the little window of the hot dog stand and shouts across the street to a construction worker, “Hey, buddy! How about knocking off for lunch? How about a bowl of chili?” The construction worker shrugs and keeps walking. […]

Posted inFilm

A Zed and Two Noughts

The boldest and arguably the best of Peter Greenaway’s fiction features to date, this extremely odd and perverse conceptual piece certainly isn’t for every taste, although Sacha Vierny’s cinematography makes it so luscious that you may find yourself mesmerized in spite of yourself. The title refers to a European zoo; the curious plot involves two […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Discovery in De Kalb

JULIE SALK AND THE ZEPHYR DANCE ENSEMBLE at the Emergence Dance Theatre January 21-23 Driving out to De Kalb to see Julie Salk and the Zephyr Dance Ensemble, passing endless silos and abandoned tractors, I kept thinking, “There can’t be any art out here. Everyone’s too busy bundling hay, or polishing horses, or whatever these […]