Posted inNews & Politics

Bar Fight

It was a standard barroom argument. But it happened in the bar of the Heartland Cafe, the Rogers Park watering hole for refugees from an earlier, earthier era. On this Thursday night, the female bartender broke with barroom tradition–which dictates that the bartender, in concert with a few hunch-shouldered regulars, decides which sports event the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Les Miserables

LES MISERABLES at the Auditorium Theatre At last, two years after it opened in New York, it’s come to Chicago. It’s an event, a spectacle, a dress occasion, an opera, and a musical. It’s Les Miserables! I don’t know. I don’t get it. Maybe if I’d seen the original Royal Shakespeare Company production–the one with […]

Posted inMusic

Religious Experiences

MUSIC OF THE BAROQUE at Saint Paul’s United Church March 6 THE CITY MUSICK at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall March 12 Holy Week came a bit early this year for Music of the Baroque and the City Musick. In early March Music of the Baroque presented Bach’s Saint John Passion, and the City Musick presented the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Old News

To the editors: After paging through the cover section of your March 17 issue I was vaguely bemused; not by any particular item, but rather by the whole. I looked again and found a feature article on a book about LSD in which the CIA was repeatedly mentioned. There was one review of Bob Dylan […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Making Noise Quietly; Eat the Jung

MAKING NOISE QUIETLY Bailiwick Repertory EAT THE JUNG Playwrights’ Center “I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.” –Dwight D. Eisenhower Peace lovers have always known how to attack warmongers: contrast the hawks’ glittering generalities with pictures of real […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Sports Section

Losing Kendall Gill for about a third of the season was, in hindsight, the best thing that could have happened to the University of Illinois basketball team this year. No one–not even Gill’s greatest admirer–was aware of how important he was to the Fighting Illini. Quick and thin, intelligent on the court, with a fine […]

Posted inMusic

Elvis Costello–Spike

SPIKE Elvis Costello Warner Bros. 9 25848-1 “I wish you’d known me when I was alive,” croons Elvis Costello, with a studied dissolution, on his new LP, Spike. He’s referring, obliquely, to his celebrated death-and-rebirth dog and pony show of three years ago: After a ten-year career of almost unrelieved caustic energy, the onetime London […]

Posted inFilm

Immigrants Again

PELLE THE CONQUEROR * (Has redeeming facet) Directed and written by Bille August With Max von Sydow, Pelle Hvenegaard, and Kristina Tornqvists. Immigrant sagas are surefire cinematic material, or at least they ought to be. Immigrants are ordinary people cast into extraordinary circumstances, being forced to cope with a confounding and often unfriendly milieu, whether […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Cecil Taylor

The whirlwind pianist, composer, visionary, and eccentric Cecil Taylor returns to Chicago. It’s ironic that so many fans of mainstream jazz hold up Taylor (like Ornette Coleman) as an example of the “cacophony” and “formlessness” they decry in free music; it’s ironic because few improvisers have been as organized or as concerned with harmony, dissonance, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Winter’s End

On Wednesday, March 8, the sun shone, and there was a promise of 60-degree weather over the weekend. In my tiny urban garden, sparrows fluttered at the feeder, spilling seed on the melting snow. Pigeons announced, cooing and peeping, that babies were being raised in the hole left last fall when part of our crumbling […]