Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

“Make sure you smoke a fresh cigar,” advises the Cigar Association of America. “A simple test for determining the freshness of a cigar is to squeeze it gently while holding it to your ear. A fresh cigar will give a little and produce a rustling sound like a cool breeze passing over a lazy palm […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Costume Contest

It isn’t easy to transform a bulldog into a leopard, but Joy Holt was trying. She was trying in broad daylight, in the middle of the sidewalk, with a small circle of people raptly watching. “He’s not afraid. Cosmo’s not shy at all about getting dressed in public,” Holt said as she struggled to give […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Edith and Anton

EDITH AND ANTON City Lit Theater Company at Live Bait Theater “There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it,” said Edith Wharton. She and that other acute observer of the upper classes, Anton Chekhov, who was born two years before her, both became superb mirrors–Chekhov brought […]

Posted inFilm

Lies of the Mind

TALKING TO STRANGERS **** (Masterpiece) Directed and written by Rob Tregenza With Ken Gruz, Marvin Hunter, Dennis Jordan, Caron Tate, Henry Strozier, Richard Foster, Linda Chambers, and Sarah Rush. Let us consider this waiter in the cafe. His movement is quick and forward, a little too precise, a little too rapid. He comes toward the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

More Movies: The final days of the 24th Chicago International Film Festival

The 24th Chicago International Film Festival, now into its final days, still has some 40-odd programs to go, reviews and descriptions of which can be found below. A few specifics: Screenings are at the Biograph, 2433 N. Lincoln; the Three Penny, 2424 N. Lincoln; the Music Box, 3733 N. Southport; and Ida Noyes Hall on […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Ripped Van Winkle

The San Francisco Mime Troupe, which enjoys an almost cultish following in its own neck of the woods, has also garnered praise from afar, including the Tony Awards. They hit you over the head with leftist philosophy at the same time that they double you over with laughter. I became a dedicated convert after stumbling […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Significant Moments

WAR & WEDDINGS: PHOTOGRAPHS BY STEVEN GROSS at the Public Library Cultural Center NO EASY ROSES: A LOOK AT THE LIVES OF CITY TEENAGERS Olive Pierce at the Field Museum Most people don’t spend much time looking at art photography, the kind displayed in galleries or glossy coffee-table books. What we look at more are […]

Posted inMusic

Let’s Active

On his third full-length record, Every Dog Has Its Day, prodigy producer and ultrapop songster Mitch Easter continues his search for the perfect hook. There’s a drama to his efforts and a poiignancy as well: it’s a noble task but a hopeless one too, and sooner or later one realizes that that’s not really what […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Hanover Band

No, this is not a “band” concert in the modern sense–it is one of the world’s leading period instrument ensembles making its Chicago debut at long last. The British Hanover Band (band was a common 18th-century designation for an orchestra) is known primarily in this country through its many award-winning recordings under a variety of […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Trio Basso

Trio Basso, the most intriguing of Europe’s new-music chamber groups, was formed in 1982 by Cologne-based violist Eckart Schloifer, cellist Othello Liesmann, and double bassist Wolfgang Guttler even though, at the time there were not more than a handful of original works designed for their singular instrumental combination. Since then, the number of works written […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Harlem Suite; Rapunzel

HARLEM SUITE at the Regal Theater RAPUNZEL Hystopolis Puppet Theatre “It’s a showcase full of quality–sophistication all around,” goes a line in Andy Razaf’s song “That’s What Harlem Is to Me.” The description applies as well to Harlem Suite, the new dance musical directed and choreographed by Maurice Hines. A tribute to black musical and […]