Posted inArts & Culture

Blacklight Film Festival

The eighth edition of the annual festival of black independent film continues through Thursday, August 17, at the Film Center, Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson, 443-3737; at Facets Multimedia Center, 1517 W. Fullerton, 281-4114; and at the Music Box, 3733 N. Southport, 871-6604. Tickets are $5, $3 for Blacklight members; admission to the Music […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Wilde on the Edge

LIVING UP TO MY BLUE CHINA Cloud 42 at Stage Left Theatre “Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known,” Oscar Wilde wrote in his 1895 essay “The Soul of Man Under Socialism.” That individualism, Wilde thought, makes art magnificent; history has shown it also makes art dangerous, at least […]

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Careening Is a Skill

CAREENING IS A SKILL Curious Theater Branch at Theater Oobleck In 1985 Maestro Subgum and the Whole was a nine-piece band with a sound described by one music critic as “the Miami Sound Machine meets the Residents.” The Maestro’s music at that time was unique in that it consisted not so much of songs but […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Quiet Please

The man sitting in the library reading the Tribune appears to be about 60. There’s a dusting of gray in his thin beard, and he looks somewhat frail and unsteady. He wears a plaid cabdriver’s cap, a clashing plaid shirt, and well-pressed blue pants. A man who appears to be about 30 walks up with […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Lou Harrison and Gamelan Si Betty

Like fellow avant-gardist John Cage, Lou Harrison has turned a lifelong infatuation with Oriental music–especially the Javanese branch–into a rich and varied body of fascinating, Eastern-accented sound assemblages. Incorporating a wide variety of influences and techniques ranging from his mentors Henry Cowell and Schoenberg to Chinese shadow-play music, Harrison’s music can be mesmerizing: waves of […]

Posted inNews & Politics

A Surgeon’s Gift

Craig Bradley is clearly used to the best: his spacious office suite is decorated with tasteful, expensive furniture and lots of wood. The walls are hung with black-and-white photographs by his wife, Anne Bradley; a square coffee table in the waiting room is covered with four neat rows of magazines–including Vogue, Architectural Digest, Chicago, Better […]

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Half My Face Is a Clown

HALF MY FACE IS A CLOWN at Second City E.T.C. Bob Odenkirk’s program bio notes that he writes for TV’s Saturday Night Live, but don’t let that put you off. Odenkirk’s one-man show Half My Face Is a Clown displays an intelligence and craftsmanship long missing from SNL and most other shows of that ilk. […]

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Tiny Tot Mystic

TINY TOT MYSTIC Sarantos Studios A couple years ago I was conducting a seminar on a Sioux reservation in South Dakota. At one point we were discussing a short story by Chekhov, and a woman was proposing an interpretation of the story. She was articulate and made a sound argument. When she finished, the man […]

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Hang Loose, Mother Goose

HANG LOOSE, MOTHER GOOSE Bailiwick Repertory A good children’s play has more to tell its young audience than they can immediately absorb, planting seeds for future harvests. Charmagne Spencer’s very hip Hang Loose, Mother Goose is a children’s tale that celebrates the power of make-believe and enlists its young audience in its pursuit. To do […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Boys Next Door

THE BOYS NEXT DOOR Pegasus Players Remember The Producers? Mel Brooks’s comedy about two guys who stage a musical called Springtime for Hitler, expecting it to flop? Only it doesn’t flop? And they end up in jail, ha-ha? Remember the opening-night sequence, and that one shot of the audience right after they’ve seen a big […]