Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

Where do pigeons go to die? I’ve only seen maybe two dead pigeons in my life. Considering how many there are, the streets should be littered with them. Is there a pigeon graveyard? –Ken Ellyson, Dallas; similarly from Bobbie Warshau, Evanston, Illinois; Betty Pryde, Novato, California What is this? Just a few years ago everybody […]

Posted inNews & Politics

And Now–Fictional Journalism

To the editors: Is this journalism? Or is this fiction? Your article of March 25, 1988, “Saying No to Fundamentalism,” exhibited such an inordinate amount of errors in fact, that I found it hard to take it seriously. A nice concept, but the research was lacking. Do Jehovah’s Witnesses really believe that the U.S. Army […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chicago Ensemble

Though half-forgotten and much underappreciated now, Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959) was in his time the most celebrated of Latin American composers, a man of all genres who produced a vast number of works of varied quality but whose piquant originality shone through nonetheless. Undeservedly dismissed in some quarters as salon music–possibly because of the composer’s association […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Moving the Big Cats

Afghanistan leopard. Panthera pardus saxicolor. Less than 50 in captivity. Survival in nature in doubt. Nouri the leopard can see it coming. She cowers behind the leafless, in fact branchless, tree in her cage in the lion house at the Lincoln Park Zoo. She sees the cart loaded with the vet’s boxes, which look more […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Mad Critic Blues

To the editors: They say there’s no accounting for taste, but there should be an accounting for bald-faced ignorance, prejudice, and bad temper on the part of critics. Tom Valeo in his review of the Theatre of the Reconstruction’s current production makes himself out to be some kind of authority on Sam Shepard, but he […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

“People am no longer ashamed of their trash,” crows Carl Youngberg, director of “epicure programs” at Neiman-Marcus. This year the store’s new plastic garbage bags are a light green (which N-M shoppers pay to be able to call “paradise jade”). If the 13-gallon size isn’t enough for you, send your servants out for the 33-gallon […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Cardiff Giant’s Comedy Sideshow

CARDIFF GIANT’S COMEDY SIDESHOW Cardiff Giant Stage Co. at the Roxy An honest, humble title, Comedy Sideshow–and accurate. As big-top fare it’s no great shakes, but as an ancillary act on the Midway of Mirth it’s more than OK. The Cardiff Giant Stage Co. says it “lives on the border between ensemble comedy and experimental […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Les McCann & Eddie Harris

It’s been 19 years since keyboardist Les McCann and saxman Eddie Harris first joined forces at the Montreux Jazz Festival–an occasion preserved on the wildly popular LP Swiss Movement–so it’s about time to try it again, don’t you think? The success of that first pairing was dependent on individual strengths: each is a showman, and […]

Posted inFilm

A Bankable Feast

BABETTE’S FEAST ** (Worth seeing) Directed and written by Gabriel Axel With Stephane Audran, Jean-Philippe Lafont, Gudmar Wivesson, Jarl Kulle, Hanne Stensgard, Bodil Kjer, Vibeke Hastrup, and Birgitte Federspiel. Only when she had lost what had constituted her life, her home in Africa and her lover, when she had returned home to Rungstedlund a complete […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Four Portraits of Mothers

FOUR PORTRAITS OF MOTHERS Fusion Theatre Group at Raven Theatre Arnold Wesker’s Four Portraits of Mothers consists of four monologues on the theme of motherhood. In a desperate attempt to report some favorable news about this production, I’m afraid all I can say is that the show is over in less than an hour. Also, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Field & Street

The call of the upland sandpiper is one of the eeriest sounds in nature. A long wailing whistle that rises and then falls, it has been called as sad as a November wind, and indeed it does sound more like the wind than the cry of an animal. Sometimes the bird delivers its lonely cry […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Period With a Passion

THE CITY MUSICK at the John G. Shedd Aquarium April 20 When I asked a member of the City Musick recently why they were performing Mozart’s Idomeneo at the Shedd Aquarium, I was told with an utterly serious look, “Believe me, not just for the halibut.” There is a certain appropriateness to hearing Mozart’s early […]