Posted inFilm

Stiff Upper Lip

FOR QUEEN & COUNTRY ** (Worth seeing) Directed by Martin Stellman Written by Stellman and Trix Worrell With Denzel Washington, George Baker, and Amanda Redman. Greed is good, the American tycoon (Michael Douglas) in Wall Street sermonized, taking his text from the actual utterances of billionaire Donald Trump. In the 80s, a trait that even […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Swastikas

“They won’t let my grandfather into the country.” “Why not?” “It doesn’t matter. He’s an old man. Why can’t they let him in the country, for crying out loud?” The young woman had dirty blond hair and a sharp face, and was pointing with a long, skinny finger at the young man sitting next to […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Getting It Right

A shy London hairdresser (Jesse Birdsall), still a virgin at 31, finds himself getting involved with three very different women (Lynn Redgrave, Helena Bonham Carter, and Jane Horrocks) in a very pleasant romantic comedy directed by Randal Kleiser. Adapted by Elizabeth Jane Howard from her own novel, the film seems modeled in part on such […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Polio Days

THE TAFFETAS Ivanhoe Theater Someday perhaps, when I’ve lost my taste for living in the present, I’ll be seduced by the appeal of the nostalgia musical. I’ll turn off the leaking faucet of time and escape merrily into a revisionist past. In that brief refuge, I’ll revel in the absurdity of how I used to […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Hanah Jon Taylor

Hanah Jon Taylor is having a party, and he wants you to come. The occasion is a concert recording session for his debut album, and Taylor has assembled a top-notch group of musicians: drummer Thurman Barker, Malachi Favors Maghostut, the excellent young pianist Calvin Brunson, and the much-traveled Hamid Drake on percussion. (Together they represent […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Jester and the Queen

Since the 1960s, when she did brilliant, radical work (Something Different, Daisies, Fruit of Paradise) that arguably made her the most inventive living Czech filmmaker, Vera Chytilova has had a checkered, uneven career. This is in part because, unlike such compatriots as Passer and Forman, she chose to remain in her country, where her work […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Wenceslas Square

WENCESLAS SQUARE Body Politic Theatre In January of this year, internationally renowned Czech playwright Vaclav Havel was arrested in Wenceslas Square along with 1,400 others for participating in a memorial-protest demonstration. The memorial service was in honor of Jan Palach, a young student who, in 1968 on that site, set himself on fire in protest […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Ladyhouse Blues

LADYHOUSE BLUES Chameleon Productions Considering how realistic a play Ladyhouse Blues is, Chameleon Productions’ set is strange–the backdrop for Craig Griffin’s kitchen consists of eight doors and a window. Are these doors meant to suggest the parts of the house we never see? A door of course suggests people who’ll enter or leave by it, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Jimmy Burns

Sometimes the factors that condemn a musician to obscurity are beyond understanding. Jimmy Burns has been on the Chicago music scene for over 30 years, starting with close-harmony doo-wop groups in the 50s, and developing a repertoire ranging from the Delta blues of Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup to the mellow, gospel-tinged classics of Sam Cooke. […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

Why should I care about the barometric pressure? Just about every TV weather report I’ve ever seen mentions it, along with whether it’s rising or falling, as if this is supposed to be meaningful. Well, not to me it isn’t. What’s the story? Is this just a useless piece of erudition the weather creatures throw […]

Posted inNews & Politics

HiFi Corner

To the editors: Cecil Adams recently addressed a reader’s question on the Infinity Reference Standard V speakers, priced at $50,000.00 per pair [Straight Dope, February 17]. I have some additional information you may find interesting: the reader seemed to feel that these were the most expensive speakers he had ever heard of, and I thought […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

New frontiers in international trade, as reported in the Greater North-Pulaski Business Times (February/ March 1989): “Royal Crest Designs, Inc., at 3123 N. Pulaski, makers of ‘Sittin’ Soft’ cushioned toilet seats, found a market in England for ‘soft seats’ that play ‘Hail, Hail, the Gang’s All Here’ when the lid is up.” Catholic Charities ($5.98 […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Overworked? Irritable?

To the editors: I read with interest the article on emergency foster homes [April 28] and feel the need for a few comments based on my own experiences. The National Association of Social Workers has stated that the caseload size should be 27 per worker. The State says it should be 40 and the Reader […]