Posted inArts & Culture

Neon Wilderness

NEON WILDERNESS Itinerant Theater Guild Very near the southwest corner of Damen and Division is a bar called the Rainbo Club. You can park right outside for free because someone has knocked the tops off the parking meters. On a Saturday night the street is deserted and it doesn’t look too safe. And at first […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Positive Thinking

THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH Bailiwick Repertory My wife Beth’s pregnant with our second child. She’s coming to the end of her first trimester, which means she’s been nauseous and I’ve been miserable for a few months now. It hasn’t been pleasant. We thought she was over the worst of it, though, so we planned […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Tales of Unconscious Living

TALES OF UNCONSCIOUS LIVING Idea Theatre Company at Boombala The Idea Theatre Company wants to change its act. After three and a half years touring Illinois schools, using theater and comedy to tackle serious issues, they’d like to stay in one place for a while and do comedy revues for adults. Tales of Unconscious Living […]

Posted inFilm

Crime’s a Bitch

AND THEN YOU DIE *** (A must-see) Directed by Francis Mankiewicz Written by Wayne Grigsby and Alun Hibbert With Kenneth Walsh, R.H. Thomson, Wayne Robson, and Maggie Huculak. The gangster’s lot is not a happy one, on-screen anyway. Even though crime pays, the hours are long, tempers are short, cronies are treacherous, and the competition […]

Posted inFilm

Handmade Realism

BELL DIAMOND *** (A must-see) Directed by Jon Jost With Marshall Gaddis, Sarah Wyss, Terri Lyn Williams, Kristi Jean Hager, Dan Cornell, Hal Waldrup, Ron Hanekan, Alan Goddard, and Anne Kolesar. The films I most eagerly look forward to will not be documentaries but works of pure fiction, played against, and into, and in collaboration […]

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Calendar Photo Caption

Meet Manuel, a “fashion-obsessed guerrilla soldier who dreams of achieving world-wide freedom from fashion.” His is only one in a series of portraits by Tirzah Mutrux called “Men in Jackets and Others,” which features “psychologically intense yet amusing painting-portraits of men, (painted in black and white) attired in leather jackets and fashionable sunglasses set against […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

I taped a Moonlighting episode that ABC broadcast in DC on either September 23 or 30 of 1986. When I finally got around to watching it, I noticed that a frame of letters had been inserted into the footage of an explosion. These are the letters: VTILT URKTC VFCFI VTILO VTOIL ZZTT XIGVSSO BL? What […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Last Emperor

Bernardo Bertolucci’s visually ravishing spectacle about the life of Pu Yi (1905-1967), the last Chinese emperor, is a genuine rarity: a blockbuster that manages to be historically instructive and intensely personal at the same time. Pu Yi (played by three children at ages 3, 8, and 15, and by John Lone as an adult) remained […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

Cut down in the prime of life. Public Citizen’s Critical Mass Energy Project reports that “the Dairyland Power Cooperative closed its 18-year old LaCrosse reactor in Genoa, Wisconsin in May 1987 because it was too costly to operate.” Reactors are normally planned to have a useful life of 30 years. “Piano factories, high schools, print […]

Posted inArts & Culture

What’s a Woman?

JAN ERKERT & DANCERS at MoMing December 3 through 6 and 11 through 13 ZE’EVA COHEN AND DANCERS at the Dance Center of Columbia College December 4 and 5 We look for dance to carry some emotional weight. And when that’s missing, the dance can seem empty, no matter how attractive and intelligent. Ze’eva Cohen’s […]