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 […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

I was told my local hospital was home to one of the nation’s leading experts in, catch this, penile fractures. This has me worried, Cecil. How might it happen that I would, you know, break it? Is this a hazard of everyday life? Are there any preventive measures I might take? –M. Toulouse-Lautrec, Hyde Park […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

Former video-game addicts do “amazingly well” at learning airplane instruments, reports the University of Illinois, and they will probably be better airline pilots because of their superior hand-eye coordination. Why teenagers should nag their parents not to smoke. “Boys from smoking families had significantly thicker heart walls and stiffer aortas” and less “good” cholesterol in […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Beware the Angry Young Playwright

To the editors: Re: John Bliss’s letter (January 15) concerning the cover story “Look What They’ve Done to My Play” (December 18): What a sight! It’s not every day you get to read an angry young “playwright,” spewing streams of bile at the contemptible masses who just don’t understand the theater. You think they only […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chicago String Ensemble

While some other musical organizations in town are retrenching, the Chicago String Ensemble, under the direction of Alan Heatherington, keeps coming up with bountiful samplers of string music at its most edifying and refreshing. This all-American fare includes not only old favorites but also brand-new pieces: Leon Stein’s Oboe Concerto and Oscar Haugland’s Interlude, both […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Glib Smear

To the editors: Despite my fervent belief in democracy, as a concept, C.C. Pyle’s glib smear [“Our Bodies, Their Selves,” January 15] made me crave a return to the elitist position of intuitive study held prior to the rediscovery of the human-growth field that followed Shirley MacLaine’s success in popularizing her life search. How stupid […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Tot Control: Week 12

To the editors: It has been quite interesting to follow the response over the past two months to the article entitled “Tot Control” (November 13). As a parent whose situation was discussed there, I admit these letters have provoked much reflection. Unfortunately, the majority of those folks who felt the need to respond to this […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM Pegasus Players at the Edgewater Theatre Center August Wilson plans to chronicle the black experience in 20th-century America by writing a play set in each decade. Sounds fine, but there’s a hitch: the black experience has been haunted by slavery and racism. Wilson can’t ignore that. But that confronts him with […]