Posted inArts & Culture

The Iron Triangle

An honorable failure, this Vietnam war drama and action film attempts to do something that, to the best of my knowledge, no other commercial movie about the war has attempted: represent the point of view of the Viet Cong as well as that of American soldiers. Given this ambition, it’s regrettable that director and cowriter […]

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The City File

Rubbing it in. The Wisconsin Electric Power Company recently held a media-briefing session to explain why it just had its seventh rate decrease in five years. The year of creeping nounism. Effective New Year’s Day, the National Association to Aid Fat Americans renamed itself the National Association for the Advancement of Fat Acceptance. “I’m consistently […]

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JazzMo

JAZZMO Director’s Co-op at Cotton Chicago Too many scoundrels have learned that the phrase avant-garde can magically transform a flawed show into an “experiment.” No idea is so bad that it can’t be redeemed with a few paragraphs of foggy academic prose explaining how this all-too-boring play is really on the cutting edge. Happily, JazzMo […]

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Authentic Twaddle

To the editors: In reference to the review by Dennis Polkow of Basically Bach’s performance of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio which appeared in the Reader on 13 January: Dennis Polkow must have a musical time machine in which he zooms to and from truly authentic performances from the times of Bach, Handel, Beethoven and even Berlioz, […]

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Long Day’s Journey Into Night

LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT Inn Town Theatre Company at Prop Theater Loss of faith–Christian faith specifically, but faith in life generally–is the obsession that underlies Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night. But O’Neill, himself a lapsed Catholic, couldn’t shake the heritage of the religion he was raised in; Long Day’s Journey is a […]

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Jack Owens

The music we call Delta blues is actually a complex interweaving of many regional styles, each with its own distinctive harmonic and rhythmic subtleties. Around Bentonia, Mississippi, on Highway 49, Nehemiah “Skip” James and Jack Owens developed an introspective, gentle music characterized by moaning falsettos and precisely articulated guitar patterns that were conceptualized with a […]

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A Movie Against Racism

To the editors: Jonathan Rosenbaum must have a pretty skewed idea of what the average person knows and SHOULD know about racism in the American South in 1964. His scathing review of Mississippi Burning [December 16] misses the film’s point–and its excellent depiction of that point. Mississippi Burning is a film that its producers, for […]

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The Sports Section

In the climactic play of the Super Bowl, John Taylor cut down and across on a post pattern to get open for Joe Montana and give the San Francisco 49ers the go-ahead touchdown. It sounds simple, but it’s not. The post pattern–in which a wide receiver runs straight down, shimmies to the outside with a […]

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Iron Men

To the editors: Congratulations to Kitry Krause on a remarkably realistic portrait of American Indian ironworkers [January 20]. Having handled publicity for the construction of dozens of Chicago skyscrapers including Sears Tower, John Hancock and Standard Oil Building, I have come to know and admire ironworkers–both Indians and others. (Only a small percentage of ironworkers […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Screwing up the sales tax

Like all great legislative maneuvers, it happened quietly and fast, when almost no one was looking. At the end of last year’s legislative session, Jim McPike, a Democratic state representative from Alton, amended the sales-tax reform bill so that the General Assembly and the governor could control which municipality would get what portion of the […]

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The Wind in the Willows

THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS at the Theatre Building “This is the place of my song-dream . . .” –from The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame Kenneth Grahame’s 1910 children’s book, The Wind in the Willows, has been the subject of several theatrical and film adaptations. There is a famous Walt Disney cartoon, […]