Posted inArts & Culture

Lone Star

LONE STAR Mary-Arrchie Theatre Company The Mary-Arrchie Theatre Company is located in what used to be the quarters of the Joseph Holmes Dance Theatre. I’m glad the former occupants weren’t there to see what the current production of James McLure’s Lone Star is doing to the studio’s beautiful hardwood floor. Before the play is over […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Navigator

The virtues as well as the limitations of this bizarre fantasy from New Zealand, winner of half a dozen Australian Oscars, stem from its literary conception. Though the story is an original (by director Vincent Ward), and Ward’s use of both black and white and color gives it a very distinctive look, it feels like […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Films by Fred Marx

Four films by an Illinois-based film and video maker whose experimental and political interests pointedly inform and reinforce one another. Dream Documentary (1981), which is especially impressive, uses found footage, inventive editing, and an effectively selective sound track to comment on the ways that we look at the third world. Hiding Out for Heaven (1982), […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Mr. Simms

Shortly before midnight a middle-aged black man staggered up Granville near Winthrop. He wore walking shorts, sandals, socks, and a white T-shirt that was soaked with blood. His eyes and forehead were badly swollen. He got as far as the el station before he collapsed in the gutter, where he lay bleeding slowly from his […]

Posted inFilm

Abyss Full of Tricks

THE ABYSS ** (Worth seeing) Directed and written by James Cameron With Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Michael Biehn, John Bedford Lloyd, Leo Burmester, Todd Graff, and Kimberly Scott. To satisfy these new cravings of human vanity, the arts have recourse to every species of imposture; and these devices sometimes go so far as to […]

Posted inArts & Culture

De La Soul

De La Soul’s 3 Feet High and Rising is for my money the landmark hip-hop album of ’89, a captivating tapestry of sound, color, and rhythm that makes the vast majority of gold-bedecked MCs seem pretty lame by comparison. Like other hiphoppers, De La Soul raid the pop/rock past for grooves and other fragments to […]

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Lowell Fulson

The career of Lowell Fulson exemplifies the evolution of the blues from an indigenous folk music to a popular art form. Born in Tulsa in 1921, Fulson played in an Oklahoma string band in the late 30s. He traveled throughout western Oklahoma and Texas, eventually teaming up with the legendary singer Texas Alexander, whom he […]

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Jerome Kern’s Second Coming

SUNNY Grant Park Symphony and Chorus at Orchestra Hall Artistic archaeologists are slowly reclaiming our musical past. Pianist-scholar Joshua Rifkin helped to revive Scott Joplin’s fame with his historic 1970 recordings of nearly forgotten rags; a few years later William Bolcom and Joan Morris released two recordings of grand old vaudeville showstoppers. A recent revivalist […]

Posted inArts & Culture


TREATMENT Lookingglass Theatre at the Edge of the Lookingglass In four months of operation Lookingglass Theatre has built up something of a reputation as a venue for the kind of performances that used to be confined to Lower Links, Randolph Street Gallery, and Chicago Filmmakers. Their latest production, British playwright Jonathan Moore’s Treatment, is an […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Does the Tribune Love Its Free-lancers?; Saying No to Woodstock; Our Flagging Vigilance

Does the Tribune Love Its Free-lancers? The trouble with Chicago magazines, speculated James Warren recently in the Tribune’s Tempo section, could be “editorial ennui.” It could be a lack of “a cohesive community here of magazine editors and writers . . .” It could be umpteen other things. One of which could be that “Chicago […]