Posted inArts & Culture

The Shout

THE SHOUT Live Theatre The technique of story theater, developed in Chicago by Paul Sills, helps a work of fiction make the perilous passage from page to stage without failing apart. It provides the glue that holds the dialogue and the narration together. Without that glue, a piece of fiction is likely to collapse onstage […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Department of Offended Feminists

To the editors: What was the purpose of Chris Petrakos’ “To Women” [September 9]? If the author meant to emphasize that ignorance and misogyny still exist in the eighties, he only partially succeeded. What proved to be most disturbing about Petrakos’ treatment of this idea was his devotion to articulating George’s views on women. Instead […]

Posted inMusic

Serkin and Solti

CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA at Orchestra Hall September 28 and October 1 The word “legendary” is thrown around so often in the arts that one hesitates to use it even when it seems deserved. Yet two of the figures who opened the Chicago Symphony’s 98th season in a special nonsubscription fund-raiser on September 28 are legendary. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Sly & Robbie

Sly Dunbar (drums and percussion) and Robbie Shakespeare (bass) are generally recognized as the greatest professional rhythm section in reggae. As their reputation has grown, they’ve taken advantage of the opportunity to jump from backing big reggae acts, like Black Uhuru, to backing even bigger international rock acts, like the Rolling Stones. Though they’ve hardly […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Romeo and Juliet

ROMEO AND JULIET Goodman Theatre At the very end of the superb first act of Goodman Theatre’s Romeo and Juliet, as the young lovers kneel so Friar Lawrence can sanctify their love with matrimony, Larry Schanker’s lyrical, folkish score strikes a single shimmering dissonant note–not a harsh or mournful signal of doom, but a nervous, […]

Posted inMusic

Chicago Sinfonietta

CHICAGO SINFONIETTA at Orchestra Hall September 27, 1988 The Chicago Sinfonietta, which prides itself on being an affirmative action organization, is the latest in a long line of midsize orchestras that have sought recognition despite the lengthy shadow of the Chicago Symphony. It faces formidable odds. As far as I can recollect, no other professional […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Fire and Water

The rain, indecisive all morning, asserted itself just as we got to Maxwell Street. My first visit was a soggy mess; droplets muddied the road and fell, not very faintly, over the living and the dead and the hubcaps and the bootleg Head & Shoulders and the platanos and the sneakers. Sheets of plastic paper […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Theater Notes: 80 gallons of blood a month

Mick Napier has always been a sucker for slice-‘n’-dice, hack-’em-up movies. Over the years, he says, he’s seen plenty of antisocial psycho-killers (sometimes already dead themselves) slash up their onscreen victims (often horny teenagers) by the dozens. He’s seen critical classics (including the work of David Cronenberg and George Romero), popular classics (Friday the 13th, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Fishbone/Schoolly-D

This double bill is contradiction incarnate. Fishbone is a group of six young black men from the west coast whose whacked-out ska seems to appeal almost exclusively to white kids. File them under offbeat black crossover. Schoolly-D, on the other hand, is a hard-core rapper from the east coast whose songs like “No More Rock […]

Posted inFilm

Muddled Americans

TRACK 29 ** (Worth seeing) Directed by Nicolas Roeg Written by Dennis Potter With Theresa Russell, Gary Oldman, Christopher Lloyd, Colleen Camp, Sandra Bernhard, and Seymour Cassel. As a rule, I tend to be favorably disposed toward non-American movie depictions of American life, at least as a source of fresh perspectives. If we accept the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Ganja and Hess

Dr. Hess Green (Duane Jones) is a black anthropologist who develops a taste for blood after he’s accidentally stabbed by a dagger from an ancient civilization. Ganja (Marlene Clark) becomes infected as well, and the two of them become lovers and mutual tormentors in their joint journey toward death. Certainly the most original and intellectually […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Beautiful Animals

JOSEPH HOLMES DANCE THEATRE at the Auditorium October 7 and 8 Joseph Holmes Dance Theatre is one of the hardest-working, most peripatetic troupes around. Each year they pop up in engagements all over the Chicago area–and around the country and, this year, out of the country (in Israel). But it’s fun to catch them in […]