Posted inArts & Culture

The Art of Politics: How Lois Can Go/Actors’ Enmity, or The Impudence of Being Honest/How Many Russians Does It Take to Satiate an Audience?/More Ballet Notes/Oh What a Feeling/This Winter’s Winner

Seated in the middle is James Deuter, who’s told the press that the actor on the left is “woefully inadequate” and the actress on the right “doesn’t have a clue.” Going onstage every night must be a drag for all concerned.

Posted inArts & Culture

The Bitter Tea of General Yen

Frank Capra’s very atypical drama about an American missionary (Barbara Stanwyck) being taken prisoner by a Chinese warlord (Nils Asther) is not only his masterpiece, but one of the great love stories to come out of Hollywood in the 30s–subtle, delicate, moody, mystical, and passionate. Joseph Walker shot it through filters and with textured shadows […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Duck Variations

THE DUCK VARIATIONS Ignatz Players at Sheffield’s Sometimes it seems as if David Mamet, with his artful meanderings and patented rhythms, has been with us forever. His mark is everywhere. It seems a long, long time ago that characters spoke in full sentences free of expletives. And yet 18 years ago, that dialogue was an […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Michael Feinstein

With his aggressive, love-me grin and oily good looks, Michael Feinstein comes across like the ultimate cocktail-lounge crooner, so the fresh phrasing that makes old standards shine like new is especially impressive; there isn’t a cliched inflection to be heard in Feinstein’s performance. At his best–when he’s singing the best material–he’s a sublime dramatic interpreter. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Guilty Pleasures

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF at the Civic Opera House You go to nonprofit theater to learn something new. You go to commercial theater to confirm what you already know. One’s about discovery, the other’s about comfort. More or less, anyway. The lines aren’t as clear as they used to be. And they’re getting blurrier all […]

Posted inFilm

No Stars: A Must-See

THE PLOT AGAINST HARRY *** (A must-see) Directed and written by Michael Roemer With Martin Priest, Ben Lang, Maxine Woods, Henry Nemo, Jacques Taylor, Jean Leslie, Ellen Herbert, and Sandra Kazan. I hate stars. There’s a part of our culture that devotes itself ceaselessly to producing, promoting, and consuming them, and a lot of people […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Mystery Games

DAVE RICHARDS: NEW WORK at the Compass Rose Gallery Imagine the perplexity you would feel if you found yourself in a room filled with unfamiliar, elaborately designed game boards. Without movable tokens or instructions on the rules of play, the games would seem mysterious, symbolic puzzles in which shapes and colors have a hidden meaning. […]

Posted inNews & Politics

A New Enterprise?/Court Reporting

A New Enterprise? At Chicago Enterprise, a time to worry? Founding editor Alfredo Lanier has moved on. Associate editor Tom Andreoli moved on with him. The new editor of this interesting little magazine doesn’t know as much about economic development as you wish he did. “I’m sure he’ll be a quick study,” says the publisher. […]