Posted inFilm

Anything for a Laugh

THE NAKED GUN: FROM THE FILES OF POLICE SQUAD! ** (Worth seeing) Directed by David Zucker Written by Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and Pat Proft. With Leslie Nielsen, George Kennedy, Priscilla Presley, Ricardo Montalban, O.J. Simpson, and Nancy Marchand. Unlike some of my colleagues, I find the latest comedy by David Zucker, Jim […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Rockwell on a Plate

In a democracy, art belongs to the people. –Norman Rockwell A couple of Sundays ago, Myrtle Sudbrink of Hartland, Wisconsin, fulfilling a long-held desire, spent $110 to purchase a ten-year-old plate decorated with a Norman Rockwell painting of a cobbler. She made the transaction at the Bradford Exchange in northwest suburban Niles in the company […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Prophet on a Platter

SALOME Lyric Opera of Chicago Opera-goers thought that they had seen the ultimate in vile decadence when they encountered Richard Strauss’s Salome in its premiere at the Dresden court theater. The current Lyric production, which opened on November 25, is as vile and decadent as they come, and the composer would doubtless have approved. The […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Playwright on a Skewer

THE SLOW AND PAINFUL DEATH OF SAM SHEPARD Theater Oobleck at Cabaret Voltaire When in the course of adolescent infatuation a man is raised to the level of archetype, and then promoted to the status of demigod, it becomes necessary to fire up the chainsaws of satire. And in Theater Oobleck Sam Shepard has met […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Gretchen Cryer

Gretchen Cryer, who’s in Chicago for the first time since 1981, when she starred here in her musical I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road, offers a generously long and musically rich evening of pop story telling in her new cabaret act. The well-remembered older repertoire–songs from musicals she wrote with […]

Posted inMusic

Ho and Hum: Is success spoiling U2?

To every garage band, basement jammer, and Stratocaster-copy basher in America, U2 must be the Dream personified. With scant, almost minimal musical resources, vocalist “Bono,” bassist Adam Clayton, drummer Larry Mullen, and guitarist “The Edge” have carved out a solid and distinct artistic identity, a huge international audience, and a critical reputation as the band […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Brad Goode Quintet

The charismatic image of the young-man-with-a-horn has been around for quite some time (check out Gabriel) and in 1980s Chicago, it finds embodiment in Brad Goode. The youthful trumpeter (who looks about 19 but in fact is 24) brings vigor and a sense of history to his music, and he’s serious about its past (the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Calendar Photo Caption

One day in 1981, photographer Kevin O. Mooney was struck by the desolate image of one lonely lifeguard doing duty in the pouring rain on the empty beach at Foster Avenue. Mooney made a picture and it became the first in his “Lifeguard Series,” which includes Norwood Park Pool (1987), shown at left. His lifeguard […]

Posted inArts & Culture

A Christmas Carol

A CHRISTMAS CAROL Goodman Theatre The enduring popularity of A Christmas Carol through the last decade has really intrigued me. I mean, here’s old Ebenezer Scrooge, the perfect hero for the Reagan 80s: an old white man who’s independent, thrifty, conservative, resolute in the face of opposition, openly contemptuous of “liberality” and impatient with the […]