Posted inArts & Culture

Beyond Therapy

BEYOND THERAPY Raven Theatre Despite the fact that Christopher Durang has written only two plays that directly confront his Catholic upbringing–The Nature and Purpose of the Universe and Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You–Durang will always be a Catholic writer. Or, more precisely, he will always be a lapsed-Catholic writer. Even those plays […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Adman’s Advocate

To the editors: As someone who actually crafts those dastardly pre-recorded commercials for once-pure WFMT, I’d like to offer the devil’s viewpoint on the whole business [Hot Type, January 26]. (You will understand why I must take the craven step of remaining anonymous.) Basically my response is, get something real to worry about. I can […]

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The Straight Dope

What is the origin of Uncle Sam, the cartoon character symbolizing the U.S.? Any relation to Sam Hill, as in what the S.H.? –Anonymous, Denver Let’s get the small stuff out of the way first: the answer to your second question is no. Sam Hill is merely a soundalike euphemism for “hell” once used by […]

Posted inNews & Politics

A Film of Social Conscience

To the editors: Jonathan Rosenbaum’s article, “Nihilism for the Masses” [February 2], starts out sounding like a welcome defense of Michael Moore’s Roger & Me against Harlan Jacobson’s criticism in a recent Film Comment. Unfortunately, Rosenbaum goes on to make a similar mistake as he is criticizing. He tells us that the film causes us […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

Which toppings? Domino’s Pizza magnate Tom Monaghan “is wonderfully Philistine,” reports James Krohe Jr. in Chicago Times (March/April 1990). “‘The concept of delivering a hot, tasty pizza in 30 minutes or less,’ he has said, ‘is pure and needs no embellishment, any more than a Frank Lloyd Wright design might need a Gothic tower grafted […]

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Our Obtuse Critics

To the editors: I am writing to review the performance of your critic Justin Hayford. In the past few weeks I have seen two plays that Mr. Hayford reviewed, Theater Oobleck’s When Will the Rats Come to Chew Through Your Anus? [February 2] and Mosaic Theatre’s Door Number One [January 19]. I am not affiliated […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Yank Rachell

Though somewhat unheralded, the mandolin has a long history in blues and other southern black folk music. Yank Rachell, born in 1910 in Brownsville, Tennessee, is one of the few remaining bluesmen who specialize in the instrument. His keening, sensual style–rooted in the call-and-response tradition but imbued with an improvisational feel all his own–supports a […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Roger and Me–Mostly Me

To the editors: Your review of Roger & Me [February 2] contained your usual attention to cinematic history and criticism and a creative, intelligent way of integrating these issues in a way that’s accessible to a non-academic reading audience. This approach sets you apart from every other writer on cinema in Chicago. On the other […]

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Separated at Birth?

To the editors: Separated at birth. The similarities are just too striking to be coincidental. Both men play a major role in successfully established Chicago-based business ventures (one–journalistic, the other–in the hospitality industry). Each has had to gain support for his latest undertaking from some of the chief movers and shakers of the downtown business […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Fourth War

John Frankenheimer still hasn’t regained his stride since his black-and-whlite films of the 60s, but he’s settled down into being a pretty good director of thrillers, and this is one of his best for some time–comparable to the kind of lean, purposeful work he used to do for such 50s TV shows as Studio One […]

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Natural Ethics

To the editors: My hearty congratulations on the cover article of the February 9th issue, entitled: “Uncle J.R. Explains It All for You,” by Harold Henderson. That the Reader decided to pick up a topic such as teaching ethics is worthy of commendation. I have been teaching engineering thermodynamics (and a little bit of ethics) […]

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Mrs. Warren’s Profession

MRS. WARREN’S PROFESSION Northlight Theatre Mrs. Warren’s Profession can be found in George Bernard Shaw’s 1898 anthology, Plays: Pleasant and Unpleasant, where it’s grouped with the plays unpleasant. Shaw put it there because, as he said, its “dramatic power is used to force the spectator to face unpleasant facts.” Of course, the popular notion of […]

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Bebe Miller and Company

BEBE MILLER AND COMPANY at the Dance Center of Columbia College March 8-10 Bebe Miller’s position as an African American choreographer of modern dance is far from assured, despite her company’s appearance in the Dance Center’s series on the African American tradition in modern dance. She doesn’t deal overtly with the black cultural experience, doesn’t […]