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 […]
MY OEDIPUS COMPLEX: MYTHS OF EARLY LIFE AND AFTERLIFE IN IRELAND City Lit Theatre Four short stories–two by Frank O’Connor (who used to contribute to the New Yorker) and two by James Stephens–make up this evening of reader’s theater. Both authors are Irish humorists; other than that, there doesn’t seem to be any great reason […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
SORE THROATS Kamijo at Chicago Actors Project BAGS, LEMON TREE, and HAIL MARY II Commons Theatre If the playwright’s worst fear is an indifferent audience, Howard Brenton needn’t worry. In his first play, Revenge, the English dramatist savaged the London police with the sensational overkill that has since colored all his outbursts. In Pravda he […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
If more people voted, the argument goes, the nation might move toward the left. But if the left could find a way to move the nation, maybe more people would vote.
One Burner Cookery, published in the 1940s, was meant for people in the war years who cooked on an electric hot plate or served from a chafing dish. In the cookbook’s narrative portion, however, author Flora Harris seems to speak strictly to the chafing-dish crowd. “Do you live to entertain friends and be a social […]
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 […]
Often he is, when it’s easy and expedient. But when the political stakes are high, he usually lies low.
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 […]