Posted inArts & Culture

Fine Swiss Movement

BASEL BALLET at the Auditorium Theatre January 26-28 The Basel Ballet, the only Swiss ballet troupe making a considerable splash on the international theatrical circuit, introduced itself to Chicago with three charming performances of La fille mal gardee (“The Poorly Guarded Girl”), the oldest ballet still in the active dance repertory. La fille, created by […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers

Spring training begins next week, and the advent of the national pastime is the perfect time to consider the career of Art Blakey: baseball has its farm system, which develops young prospects into major-leaguers, and jazz has Blakey. Over the last 35 years, Blakey’s bands have served to mold and train promising young musicians on […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Palm Beach Story

The all-time best Rudy Vallee performance is as a gentle, puny millionaire named Hackensacker in this brilliant, simultaneously tender and scalding 1942 screwball comedy by Preston Sturges–one of the real gems in Sturges’s hyperproductive period at Paramount. Claudette Colbert, married to an ambitious but penniless architectural engineer (Joel McCrea), takes off for Florida and winds […]

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Two Many Bosses

TWO MANY BOSSES Center Theater There’s nothing wrong with Two Many Bosses that a complete rewrite or three couldn’t fix. This musical comedy, a first effort for its authors, has an interesting concept and a few nice songs going for it in its premiere staging. Now all it needs is a script that is actually […]

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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 […]

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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 […]