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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Love at Large

Alan Rudolph at his second best is still better than most other American filmmakers around, and this dreamy, romantic comedy-thriller is in many ways his most graceful picture since Choose Me. Tom Berenger plays a private eye hired by a mysterious and glamorous woman (Anne Archer) to follow a man; he sets off after the […]

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Wrong Number

When I walked into the living room, the new phone machine seemed to be suffering from epilepsy of the LED. The new machine is supposed to blink once for each message recorded, but I found it hard to believe that there could have been so many calls in just a few hours. “Hello. You have […]

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The Beggar’s Opera

THE BEGGAR’S OPERA Court Theatre You can’t bury John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera. Audiences need it in 1990 as much as they did in 1728. We need it as much as German audiences, sick of their own era’s venality, did 200 years later when it was updated by Brecht and Weill as The Threepenny Opera. […]

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Femme Ferocious

PAT MURPHY: PAINTINGS AND DRAWINGS at Artemisia Gallery The painting style of Chicago artist Pat Murphy is so ferocious you can practically hear it roaring and snarling as you enter the room. The bold brush strokes and bright colors of these oils on stretched linen and watercolors on paper are only a prelude, however. For […]

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Chicago Opera Theater

Psychological ambiguity has always been a feature of the unusual music of Peter Maxwell Davies, who today arguably stands as Britain’s greatest living composer. With his famous Eight Songs for a Mad King, Maxwell Davies left his audiences wondering whether the king was mad or a madman was imagining himself to be king. With the […]

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Quota, unquota: how Atrium Village survived the Reagan-Meese assault on affirmative action

Ronald Reagan was president, and trying to make his conservative doctrine the ideology of the land, when the federal government took Atrium Village to court. The year was 1987, and it was a bewildering situation: the Justice Department, which had defended the rights of segregated colleges to receive federal tax breaks, was charging Atrium Village, […]

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1990 Off Off Loop Theater Festival

Returning, after two years’ hiatus, under the auspices of producer Doug Bragan’s Douglas Theater Corp., this third not-so-annual event features 16 non-Equity companies in as many one-act plays, organized in programs of four (during previews, programs of two). The selections range from experimental drama to camp melodrama to medieval farce to musical comedy to good […]