Posted inNews & Politics

Those Girls Asked for It

To the editors: Pat Stoll [“Demonstration,” May 6] would have us believe that a great injustice was done to the two girls who were allegedly struck by a professor in a three-piece suit after they unfurled a Palestinian flag at an Israel Independence Day celebration at Chicago Circle. I suggest that the facts as Stoll […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

Why does the air smell and feel so good after a spring rain shower? It was that way this morning, so I thought to ask the person who has the answers to the really tough questions of life. –Thomas Vastine, Villa Park, Illinois Tough is right, buddyroo–what you’re innocently asking me to do is jump […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

The buckthorn that ate Chicago. The state Department of Conservation is warning against 14 nonnative weeds that are overrunning and smothering native Illinois plants. The devil weeds include such former “good guys” as crown vetch, multiflora rose, and autumn olive. Also on the least-wanted list: smooth buckthorn, common buckthorn, purple loosestrife, Japanese honeysuckle, white sweet […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Urine Error

To the editors: Harold Henderson is a fine chronicler of the offbeat and the unfamiliar. But I’m afraid his powers of prognostication fail him–at least in regard to an item in his April 29 City File column. Contrary to Mr. Henderson’s prediction that an “amazingly low rate of drug use” would be found among arrestees […]

Posted inArts & Culture

International Theatre Festival of Chicago

Slim pickings in this final week. What used to be a brace of productions from eight foreign countries and four local theaters–together with one “special added attraction” from somewhere in between–has been whittled down to a comparative pittance: two foreign, two local, and the special attraction. Representing the world: the English Shakespeare Company and the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Sports Section

The weather was oddly appropriate. There was a haze on the city skyline and a white, bleached-out quality to the sunlight; it had all the characteristics of a hot midsummer afternoon. Yet the temperature was actually a bit brisk, especially, of course, near the lake but even downtown away from the water, on the south […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Hitler-Reagan Equation

A BRIGHT ROOM CALLED DAY Stage Left Theatre “The world is perched on the brink of . . . something!” –Agnes Eggling, in A Bright Room Called Day. There’s a character named Zillah in Tony Kushner’s A Bright Room Called Day: a young Jewish woman with a punky style who harbors an obsessive loathing for […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Minnie’s Boys

MINNIE’S BOYS National Jewish Theater What exactly is laughter anyway? The facial muscles contract automatically, the diaphragm heaves, all in response to a series of complex mental associations. There’s nothing else like it in the human experience, except for tears of sadness. What triggers this profound reflex action? Why do some people laugh at a […]

Posted inMusic

Albert Mangelsdorff

In the 70s, Albert Mangelsdorff recorded an album called Tromboneliness, and the concept contained in that title applies to his appearance in Chicago: an evening of unaccompanied improvisation. No matter that the trombone would seem to be an instrument particularly ill-suited to the purpose; in Mangelsdorff’s hands, it might as well be anything from a […]