Posted inArts & Culture

A History of the American Film

A HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN FILM Pegasus Players When Christopher Durang’s play with music A History of the American Film was first produced in 1978, the mainstream critics jeered, calling it sophomoric and shallow, a collection of old college-show jokes trying to pass itself off as a play. (The New Republic critic thought a better […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Personal Bits

CHOREOGRAPHERS SAMPLER at MoMing Dance & Arts Center February 2, 3, and 4 There’s something new under the sun, and it’s happening at MoMing. For several years MoMing has hosted “Dance for $1.98” (the original price was a buck), intended for new and emerging choreographers. Now there’s “Choreographers Sampler,” for experienced choreographers, a joint project […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Hokum From New York

My friend Mike arrived in Chicago with his friend Hokum. Hokum’s a New Yorker and smelled like one–a scent that seems to combine cigarette smoke with sauerkraut. His prickly face made him look like a porcupine with an excessive hair-loss problem. Hokum had it in mind that he should be granted a complete tour of […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Eric Schneider

Eric Schneider might be labeled a traditionalist–except that he’s got his ears open to newer sounds than those of the bebop masters who shaped his concept of the saxophone. But you can’t just call him a bebopper and be done with it either, because his comprehension of the swing saxophone giants is sure and prevalent. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Stump the Host

Here, goodness gracious, is one Chicago rock band that has it all: excellent original songs, two appealing and emotionally credible singers, a guitarist playing memorable licks, a rock-solid rhythm section–and yes, a name that people remember. Stump the Host play rock ‘n’ roll that’s been soaked overnight in a big bucket o’ country feeling and […]

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La Svengali

LA SVENGALI Live Bait Theater Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the legend of Svengali is its continuing appeal. George du Maurier’s 1894 novel, Trilby, holds out the thrilling possibility of completely controlling a beautiful person, of taking over his or her will. We’ve all had that fantasy, especially on Saturday nights. In du Maurier’s […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Jungle Brothers

The Jungle Brothers set themselves apart from other “positive” rappers like Boogie Down Production and De La Soul by flaunting a mystical streak a mile wide. Their appealing mishmash of back-to-nature vegetarian sentiment, inspirational Afro-Christian rhetoric, and sexy humor sets a peaceful, conciliatory tone that’s refreshing enough to make tough dudes like LL Cool J […]

Posted inMusic

Albert King

Albert King’s smooth, string-bending guitar passion complements a voice that’s one of the most expressive in modern blues, capable of bringing equal conviction and skill to dusky balladry and barrel-chested macho. His fretwork, though not as technically amazing as that of nonrelatives Freddie and B.B. King, is as polished and stylized as any on the […]

Posted inFilm

Women on the Spot

STORY OF WOMEN **** (Masterpiece) Directed by Claude Chabrol Written by Chabrol and Colo Tavernier O’Hagan With Isabelle Huppert, Francois Cluzet, Marie Trintignant, and Nils Tavernier. In Claude Chabrol’s Story of Women, a woman has died after an abortion performed by the lead character, Marie, a housewife turned kitchen abortionist in a provincial town in […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Good for Bats

To the editors: A friend included a copy of “Bat Attitudes” (James Krohe Jr., Reader, 13 Oct. 1989) in his Christmas correspondence to me last week–thus this letter may be excused its tardiness. Krohe did a fine job of reporting the facts about bats, about ridiculous fears, and he did your readers a service in […]