Posted inNews & Politics

More on Jesus

To the editors: I was delighted to see that my letter to your tabloid found its way into print [July 14]. However, I was disturbed by the heading under which it appeared. I would also like to take the time to further explain the point I was trying to make (obviously not too well) in […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Swamp Foxes

SWAMP FOXES Organic Theater As disappointing as theater often is, it’s usually superior to even the most accomplished feats of its bastard offspring, television. That’s because theater is a live art, with 25 centuries of history, with an audience gathered from its community–ephemeral, vulnerable to the unexpected, and, each evening, unique. Theater can be good, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Second Bird One Stone

SECOND BIRD ONE STONE TimeFrame Theatrical Productions at Bailiwick Repertory The program for Second Bird One Stone describes Audrey, its focal character, as a copywriter and “poetess.” Audrey wears her hair in a fountain of frizz and speaks in a soft nasal twitter punctuated by glass-shattering shrieks of “Oh, my God! I don’t believe it!” […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

While scanning the shortwave radio bands recently, I discovered a station broadcasting five-digit numbers in Spanish. Each number was repeated twice before a new one was broadcast. It was a little strange, but I figured I had stumbled onto the Cuban Lotto numbers station. Then last night I picked up a similar broadcast in English. […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

Would that be frozen, canned, or on the cob? From a recent theatrical press release: “The production has all the ingredients, including a breathtaking juggling act, fan-dancing, tap-dancing and ample corn…” Buttermilk, flavored milk, candy bars, home permanents, denture cleaners, and disposable diapers are “products least likely to be bought by the upscale,” according to […]

Posted inMusic

The man who knew too much

It’s sometimes forgotten that there’s a strong link between the blues, white folk music, and country and western. In the first half of the 20th century, different musical and cultural traditions coexisted uneasily throughout the south and intertwined in complex ways. The black plantation musician of the 1920s led a dual life. He played blues […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Johnny “Clyde” Copeland

Johnny Copeland has managed to harness the furious energy of modern hell-bent-for-leather blues guitar and fit it into the sophisticated tradition of his Texas roots. Copeland led the house band at Shady’s Playhouse in Houston in the early and mid-50s; there he came into contact with the music of such greats as Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, […]

Posted inFilm

License to Feel

DISTANT VOICES, STILL LIVES **** (Masterpiece) Directed and written by Terence Davies With Freda Dowie, Pete Postlethwaite, Angela Walsh, Dean Williams, Lorraine Ashbourne, Debi Jones, Michael Starke, and Vincent Maguire. An autobiographical film about growing up in a Catholic working-class family in Liverpool in the 40s and 50s. Achronological glimpses of a traumatic family life, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

One of the more felicitous Chicago Symphony appointments of recent years is that of Michael Morgan as assistant conductor. Only 31, the Oberlin-trained maestro has made tremendous strides since joining the orchestra in ’86. Poised, intelligent, and keenly astute, he is starting to fashion his own musical personality–that benchmark of true musicianship. Interpretively, he may […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Who’s Responsible for Illinois Magazine?; Mapplethorpe in Chicago: The Lucky Moment

Who’s Responsible for Illinois Magazine? The other day we uncovered a specialist in a kind of journalism we’d never heard of. Gretchen Reynolds calls what she does “custom publishing.” That is, she creates magazines to order, laboring in an anonymity even vaster than the usual editor’s. Pick up Illinois, the superslick magazine she just put […]