Posted inArts & Culture


Mae West’s swan song to cinema at age 86 is one of the world’s all-time worst movies but that doesn’t detract at all from its immense charm and lewd fascination. Based on West’s own play, directed after a fashion by Ken Hughes (reportedly many hands were involved), and including such standbys as Timothy Dalton, Tony […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Soaring Soprano

LA SONNAMBULA Lyric Opera at the Civic Opera House September 17, 21, 24, 27, and 30 and October 3, 7, and 11 In the summer of 1850, Chicago audiences heard the first opera ever performed here: Vincenzo Bellini’s La sonnambula. The opera was such a success that a repeat performance was given the next day; […]

Posted inFilm

The White Woman’s Burden

GORILLAS IN THE MIST ** (Worth seeing) Directed by Michael Apted Written by Anna Hamilton Phelan With Sigourney Weaver, Bryan Brown, and John Omirah Miluwi. In Hollywood there has always been more marketing than actual belief behind ethnic stereotyping. While the white men who ran the old studio system may have believed that Stepin Fetchit […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

I’ve got a hypothetical question. I’m building this boat. It’s getting bigger and bigger. At what point does it become a ship? –Jack Skiles, San Antonio, Texas This question is exceedingly deep, Jack; you must have spent more time in the tavern than usual. It falls into the same cosmic line of inquiry, I think, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

Down under Navy Pier. Chicago Maritime Society divers pulled more than 100 artifacts off the bottom of the lake at Navy Pier during this summer’s Maritime Folk Festival, reports Chicago Maritime News (Summer 1988). Most were old soda-pop bottles. “A third of the recovered bottles were close to forty years old, reported diver Dave Milligan. […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Bring Back Herb

It’s a beautiful blue-sky day in Grant Park. Near the new sculpture–the one that looks like red metal boat oars rotating on top of a pole–there’s a small group listening to a man bark through a megaphone: “Man, we don’t want crack, we don’t want heroin, just bring us the marijuana we need!” A shout […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

When Georg Solti accompanied the remains of Bela Bartok back to their mutual Hungarian homeland last June, Solti was emotionally overwhelmed by the experience. A single rose left on the master’s coffin became a symbol of the debt of gratitude that his former pupil felt. The Solti/Bartok collaboration is legendary; add to that the Chicago […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Doctor Faustus

DOCTOR FAUSTUS Court Theatre Why wert thou not a creature wanting soul? –John Faustus, PhD Years ago I listened to a recording of Dylan Thomas reading Faustus’s death soliloquy. The memory alone still gives me an exalted chili. Damn if I haven’t always wanted to see this play. Not just because I’m attracted to the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Days of Daley

To the editors: Congratulations on the Hot Type column about the McCarron/Tribune series [September 16]. Mike Miner got to some of the subtleties of the series well. McCarron’s insistence that we are without leadership but suffocating with community input sounds like the kind of table pounding that the owners of the Tribune did over the […]