Posted inArts & Culture

Curse of the Happy Artist

CAVALCADES IN LEARNING Chris Sullivan at Randolph Street Gallery January 27 and 28 Chris Sullivan is one of the most skilled performers I’ve ever seen, exploring a richly imagined universe of grotesque characters in a wholly idiosyncratic and disarmingly sincere performance style. Sullivan simply tells stories–or more accurately, tells stories about himself telling stories–but the […]

Posted inFilm

Bringing Back the Depression Musical

TAP ** (Worth seeing) Directed and written by Nick Castle Jr. With Gregory Hines, Suzzanne Douglas, Savion Glover, Joe Morton, Dick Anthony Williams, “Sandman” Sims, Bunny Briggs, and Sammy Davis Jr. One of the more poignant effects of contemporary Hollywood has been the virtual extinction of at least two of the major genres that served […]

Posted inFilm

The Big Lesson

THE CHOCOLATE WAR *** (A must-see) Directed and written by Keith Gordon With John Glover, Ilan Mitchell-Smith, and Wally Ward. What would your prognosis be for the following movie? It’s an adaptation of a novel that has attracted a substantial cult of adolescent readers, written and directed by a young actor best known for playing […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Calendar Photo Caption

These masked dancers are Tarascan Indians taking part in one of the many annual festivals held in their southwestern Mexican state of Michoacan. They are dressed as viejitos, or respected elders. Their dance, which concerns the struggle between the viejitos, representing beauty and order, and the feos, representing ugliness and chaos, is a Christmastime ceremony […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

When I read the ingredients of certain foods, I often see something of this sort: “…oil (may contain one or more of the following: soybean, safflower, palm, and/or lard)…” Don’t the food companies know what they’re putting in their own products? Don’t they care? I mean, they’re either putting lard in the food or they’re […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Secrets of the Aborigines

DREAMINGS: THE ABORIGINAL ART OF AUSTRALIA David and Alfred Smart Gallery In the painting Kulijarra, dark ocher lines slash from concentric circles in the middle of the canvas out to each corner. Parallel lines of small gray, white, and mustard acrylic dots fill the triangular spaces between the ocher lines. The dots that curve along […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

“All of our native plants have their own stories they’re trying to tell,” writes Robert Lonsdorf in Prairie Projections (January 1989), the newsletter of the North Branch Prairie Project. “Some take a few human generations to tell it. This unfinished work of allowing the earth to say ‘prairies’ and ‘savannas’ again is a contract of […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The F Card

They went to the fourth annual Cubs Convention at the Hyatt Regency Hotel last weekend to rub elbows with beloved Cubs players, past and present, and to bend elbows with Hall of Fame broadcaster Harry Caray. But 11 miles to the west, at the Hillside Holiday Inn, they came looking for “Fuck Face.” There were […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Prisoners of the Present

SUFFERING FOOLS Commons Theatre I always thought history was about the past until I stumbled across The Sociological Imagination by C. Wright Mills. In his essay, Mills distinguishes between personal troubles and social issues. If a husband and wife can’t get along, they have personal trouble, Mills says. But if they live in a society […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Field & Street

In his classic book A Sand County Almanac, Aldo Leopold wrote of how winter might look to various animals in cold climates like ours. For a meadow mouse, our warm, nearly snowless January would have been a disaster. Meadow mice spend the summer collecting grasses and storing them in caches on their home territories. These […]