Posted inMusic

Midnight Oil: rock around the apocalypse

Australian popular art–or at least the Australian popular art that becomes popular in the Western world these days–relies heavily on images of the apocalypse. This appears to come naturally to many Australian rock bands and movie directors, but it also tends to be what we expect them to deliver us. The most popular Australian band […]

Posted inArts & Culture

A Girl’s Guide to Chaos

A GIRL’S GUIDE TO CHAOS! at Royal-George Theatre A Girl’s Guide to Chaos!, now playing in the Gallery Theatre in the Royal-George, is the kind of play you’re embarrassed to admit you like. It’s cute; as a matter of fact, it’s downright perky. This isn’t about love between modern men and women, but about girls, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Objections to Sex and Violence

OBJECTIONS TO SEX AND VIOLENCE Commons Theatre When a play uses sex and violence literally and metaphorically, passion is an operative emotion–the playwright, the director, the actors, somebody has to feel it to convince the audience. But in the Commons Theatre current production of Objections to Sex and Violence, passion is almost absent. In fact, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

On Exhibit: a roomful of Daleys

Richard Feigen remembers the 1968 Democratic convention well. Feigen, a Chicago-trained artist who now works in New York but owns a gallery here, recalls the surprise that swept the city–first at the demonstrations, then at the bloodshed. Feigen, though, was not surprised. “Everyone was astonished by what happened,” he says, “except for the art community.” […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Joe Pass

If guitarist Joe Pass were performing solo–the format for which he has received the most attention–you wouldn’t be reading this. Pass’s solo forays have always been notable for their displays of virtuosity, the ambitiousness of the concept, and their novelty. Unfortunately, they often stop swinging halfway through, and they always become repetitive, as the mortal […]

Posted inFilm

A Christmas Commodity

SCROOGED * (Has redeeming facet) Directed by Richard Donner Written by Mitch Glazer and Michael O’Donoghue With Bill Murray, Karen Allen, John Forsythe, Bobcat Goldthwait, Carol Kane, Robert Mitchum, Michael J. Pollard, and Alfre Woodard. It must have been in the late 50s or early 60s when, as a teenager, I happened across a story […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Last Words of Dutch Schultz

THE LAST WORDS OF DUTCH SCHULTZ Prop Thtr No sense in speculating why, but it seems as if this year’s theatrical trend in Chicago is the dramatization of novels, such as the pointless Little Caesar, the unbearable Macondo (based on One Hundred Years of Solitude), and the dubious The Grapes Of Wrath. Generally it’s been […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Exploits of a Living Newspaper

EXPLOITS OF A LIVING NEWSPAPER Blind Parrot Productions “The news,” as George Bush’s campaign managers understood perfectly, isn’t just what happens; it’s how events are reported, how information is marketed, and how the public responds to it all. “The news” may be what someone did, or just what someone said–or what someone didn’t say. “The […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Waiting for a Strike

At midnight Sunday, nobody came through the doors of the Chicago Sun-Times except a tall, handsome security guard in a blue parka and cap. He whispered into his walkie-talkie as soon as he saw the clump of delivery truck drivers waiting for their load, smiled and nodded at a couple of reporters from other media, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Full Moon Over Blue Water

Set mainly in and around a lakeside establishment called the Blue Water Grill in Texas, this is a small film, but within its own terms a delightful and virtually perfect one. The characters–the dreamy grill owner (Gene Hackman), who compulsively watches home movies of his long-vanished wife; his grumpy yet serene father-in-law (Burgess Meredith); a […]