Posted inArts & Culture

Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra

The only full-time professional chamber orchestra in the United States returns to Chicago for a special Orchestra Hall concert. One of the world’s most sensitive and accomplished chamber ensembles, its 24 players have an unsurpassed sense of color and line–and flexibility in performing music of all periods. The group’s present appearance is particularly significant because […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News Story

Within the inner sanctum of Area Four Violent Crimes, the City News reporter slouched at a battered desk. The office was experiencing the gloomy lull that is characteristic of the third watch, a lull that was disrupted only by muffled blows and stifled yells from within interrogation room F: the sound of an offender being […]

Posted inFilm

French Provincial

POULET AU VINAIGRE *** (A must-see) Directed by Claude Chabrol Written by Dominique Roulet and Chabrol With Jean Poiret, Stephane Audran, Michel Bouquet, Jean Topart, Lucas Belvaux, Pauline Lafont, Jean-Claude Bouillaud, and Caroline Cellier. In 1985, after seeing Claude Chabrol’s Poulet au vinaigre at the Toronto Festival of Festivals, I remember thinking: At last! The […]

Posted inArts & Culture

2 Legs and a Cane

2 LEGS AND A CANE Third Rail Comedy Ensemble at the Roxy Derailed? Well, not exactly. More like distracted. Even with a clear concept and a solid method to help keep it on track, the Third Rail Comedy Ensemble show 2 Legs and a Cane gets lost somewhere along the line–one of those phantom trains […]

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A Tudge Romance

A TUDGE ROMANCE Playwrights’ Center You can put your brain on automatic when you watch this one. The only thing unfamiliar about A Tudge Romance, Elise Formichella’s vaguely likable life-style comedy, is the word “tudge.” I gather it means a lowbrow along the lines of Stanley Kowalski. A line from Steel Magnolias captures my sense […]

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Ballet in a Gritty City

BALLET CHICAGO at the Civic Center for Performing Arts May 17-20 Chicago is a pretty gritty town–an incubator for the blues, not the ballet. But under the artistic direction of Daniel Duell, Ballet Chicago has just presented its third season in eight months, and that alone is a significant accomplishment. Duell hasn’t succeeded in creating […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Traveler in the Dark

TRAVELER IN THE DARK Wisdom Bridge Theatre at the Coronet Playhouse Marsha Norman’s Pulitzer Prize winning play ‘Night, Mother posed a rather thorough defense of suicide. Go ahead and kill yourself, the play seemed to suggest, as long as you’ve thought it all through. Now, in Traveler in the Dark, Norman examines the hopeful flip […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Perhaps the most unjustly neglected of Luchino Visconti’s early films is this hilarious comedy, tailored to the talents of Anna Magnani, about a working-class woman who is determined to get her plain seven-year-old daughter into movies. A wonderful send-up of the Italian film industry and the illusions that it fosters, delineated in near-epic proportions with […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Young Artists

All day long, a puffy white sky threatened to wash out Alex Sanchez’s handiwork, but the Sullivan High School junior kept at it. Standing on a milk crate, he stretched above the other kids working on the Keith Haring mural in Grant Park, a thin paintbrush in his hand making little green crosses. “Oh, please […]