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Posted inNews & Politics


To the editors. The news that Jon Margolis, the Tribune’s political correspondent, will be moving to sports after the election should come as no surprise. (Hot Type, July 1.) Margolis’s cynical, smart-ass style has always seemed more suited to covering the fortunes of the Cubs and Sox than the future of the world. But the […]

Posted inNews & Politics


To the editors: While reading the article “Child in the Streets,” Reader (July 1, 1988), I realized almost from the very start that this kid (pseudonym Timothy) does not exist. Not the way he’s described, anyway. Perhaps, the author, hearing about all the problems the teenagers today are going through, from bits of information had […]

Posted inArts & Culture

I Cover the Lockerroom

I COVER THE LOCKERROOM at Sheffield’s At one point in Jeff Hagedorn’s new play, I Cover the Lockerroom, Michael William Randolph turns and bitchily addresses the audience, inadvertently giving away the heart of the show. “Have you figured out that if you finished your first drink,” he asks, “you could go to the bar and […]

Posted inArts & Culture


The Mekons, who appeared in 1977 as a first-wave punk group from Leeds, made their best music in the middle of this decade as a stumbling, paranoid, jaded, and thoroughly brilliant amateur “roots” band–mixing American country with English folk and Urban Drunk, they teetered on the brink of total chaos with as much desperate fun […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Merchant of Venice

THE MERCHANT OF VENICE Oak Park Festival Theatre The Merchant of Venice is one of William Shakespeare’s “but” plays: “But teacher, he wasn’t really endorsing anti-Semitism, was he?” Well, class, not endorsing it, no. But Shakespeare was a man of his time, and it was a time of Christian supremacy. Very few Jews were even […]

Posted inArts & Culture

High Quality

NEW DANCES ’88 Chicago Repertory Dance Ensemble at the Ruth Page Foundation Theatre July 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, and 23 A dance concert, like a good meal, is ephemeral, meant to be consumed at a sitting. Like a gourmet meal it relies on established traditions, and often it’s made up of several courses. But […]

Posted inFilm

City of Angels

WINGS OF DESIRE *** (A must-see) Directed by Wim Wenders Written by Wenders and Peter Handke With Bruno Ganz, Solveig Dommartin, Otto Sander, Curt Bois, and Peter Falk. They all have weary mouths, bright souls without a seam, And a yearning (as for sin) often haunts their dream. –Rainer Maria Rilke, “The Angels” Damiel (Bruno […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Asya’s Happiness

Originally entitled The Story of Asya Machina, Who Loved a Man but Did Not Marry Him Because She Was Proud, Andrei Mikhalkov-Konchalovsky’s remarkable 1967 depiction of life on a collective farm, one of his best films, was shelved by Soviet authorities for 20 years, apparently because its crippled heroine is pregnant but unengaged and because […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Woods

THE WOODS Talisman Theatre at the Chicago Cooperative Stage The Woods, by David Mamet, is a character study of two people who represent the quintessential male and female, and explores how we manage to survive in the dark primordial forest of relationships. Mamet is particularly interested in women’s desire to “nest,” and men’s fear of […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Existential Vaudeville

BAD MOON American Blues Theatre at the Goodman Theatre Studio I read the author’s note and I wasn’t impressed. Rick Cleveland was saying the same things everybody always says about westerns. There was the nostalgic bit about how he’d spent his childhood “holed up inside dark movie theaters,” watching cowboys go “thundering across the plains.” […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Arid America

DESERT CANTOS Richard Misrach at the Art Institute GATES OF EDEN: AMERICANS AND THE LAND Peter Hales at the Public Library Cultural Center Richard Misrach prides himself on not photographing the classic landmarks of the American west. Death Valley and the Grand Canyon, he says, are nice, but not representative. And they are not represented […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Restaurant Tours: Brazil, Portugal, and Albany Park

Rio’s Casa Iberia, in Albany Park, bills itself as “the only Portuguese and Brazilian restaurant in Chicago.” Such a claim invites not only the usual question–how good is the food?–but also the question of how well it represents Portuguese and Brazilian cuisine. The answer to the first question is easy. Certain gastronomic principles apply universally–quality […]