Posted inArts & Culture

Jacques Brel’s Dead and We’re Not French/Improv the Night Away

JACQUES BREL’S DEAD AND WE’RE NOT FRENCH Relative Obscurity at the Roxy IMPROV THE NIGHT AWAY Sarantos Studios It’s been written to death because it’s been done to death–the comedy revue based on television. That usually means spin-offs of mercenary quiz games, eye-witless newscasts, ego-tripping talk shows, Saturday Night Moribund, and those all-too-familiar sitcoms. Relative […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Game of Love

AS YOU LIKE IT Oak Park Festival Theatre Every summer the Oak Park Festival Theatre puts on an outdoor production of some Shakespeare script, and every summer I plan to go take a look at it, thinking, This will be perfect. To see a masterwork played out for me in the sweet air, on a […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Tangled Snarl

THE TANGLED SNARL Raven Theatre Company Why, why, why, why, why would anyone try to do yet another parody of detective movies? Everyone from Neil Simon to the Firesign Theater to the Bowery Boys to Roger Rabbit, not to mention hordes of improvisational comedy troupes, has tackled this genre, and if there is anything new […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Cash Card

A man offered me $200 to hold his money for him while he met up with a prostitute. “I hear you can’t trust prostitutes in Chicago,” he said. He was from Haiti. “Don’t trust anyone,” I said. He told me he’d hooked up with a prostitute when he first reached town, and while he was […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

Why do so many public buildings want you to use the revolving doors rather than the regular doors? –Seamus McCafferty, Hoboken, New Jersey As with many things, there are two reasons–the ostensible reason and the real reason. The ostensible reason is that the revolving doors create an air trap. Since the interior of the building […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

Dept. of limited options. From a Chicago commercial dating-service questionnaire: “My friends consider me to be: _ Very Attractive _ Somewhat Attractive _ Above Average _ Average _ Fairly Plain” “The late Ira Bach, long-time city planning director and author of Chicago on Foot…. walked from his Loop office each day, rain or shine, to […]

Posted inFilm

Cult of Personality

LET’S GET LOST ** (Worth seeing) Directed by Bruce Weber. “Can you carry a tune? Is your time all right? Sing! If your voice has hardly any range, hardly any volume, shaky pitch, no body or bottom, no matter. If it quavers a bit and if you project a certain tarnished, boyish (not exactly adolescent, […]

Posted inMusic

Exemplary Conducting

GRANT PARK SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA at the Petrillo Music Shell July 7 and 8 Grant Park programs are often full of imagination, but Grant Park conductors usually are not. I find that the latter generally nullify the virtues of the former. While a first-rate orchestra can sound decent even with a second-rate conductor–as the Chicago Symphony […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Sports Section

At a party over the Fourth of July weekend, a friend of ours–who is nine years old–was entertaining us by aping the deliveries of a few notable pitchers. The identifiable characteristics of the pitching motions were all there–Dwight Gooden with his straight, over-the-top movement, Mike Bielecki with his low delivery and his lunge toward home […]