Posted inNews & Politics

Brutal Bettleheim

To the editors: I was utterly and profoundly shocked at Michael Miner’s reference to the late Bruno Bettelheim as a “great Chicagoan” (“Some Professor Down in Hyde Park, 3/23/90, section 1, page 4). Mine said that Bettelheim “was understood to be a great Chicagoan everywhere but in Chicago.” Well, Mr. Miner, unlike you, some of […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Man at Play

JOSEPH LITZENBERGER at the Ricky Renier Gallery My dictionary has no less than 19 definitions for the word “play.” The definition most appropriate to the wonderfully varied and engaging sculpture of Joseph Litzenberger, however, describes play as the natural activity of children. Play is important to creativity, because the most creative art making involves free-spirited […]

Posted inArts & Culture

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. The selections range from experimental drama to camp melodrama to medieval farce to musical comedy to good ol’ American naturalism. “One might […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Malukosamba

Brazilian-born Chicagoan Venicio de Toledo heads up Malukosamba, a group with a constantly changing lineup of players that brings to life Toledo’s quirky mix of rock fused with samba and other Brazilian musics. Over the last year or so the group has achieved varying results, ranging from awkwardly patched together pop songs to exhilarating explosions […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Playwrights for the ’90s

PLAYWRIGHTS FOR THE ’90S Chicago Dramatists Workshop Well, they are short: six plays in less than two hours. And no one would want these six to be any longer–tighter maybe, or more focused, less obvious, less cutely quirky or portentously severe. But not longer. If there’s a flaw common to the scripts in Chicago Dramatists […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Butterfly

THE BUTTERFLY Chicago Children’s Theatre at North Shore Country Day School The Butterfly, by Bijan Mofid, is billed as a Persian folktale about love, honor, and courage, but the translation by Don Laffoon struck me as a veiled glorification of the artistic spirit. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but the plodding production left […]

Posted inFilm

Dick and Jack’s Excellent Adventure

MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON * (Has redeeming facet) Directed by Bob Rafelson Written by William Harrison and Rafelson With Patrick Bergin, Iain Glen, Richard E. Grant, and Fiona Shaw As far as great white hunters go, movies haven’t progressed much from the cheerfully juvenile Jungle Jim films (starring a waterlogged Johnny Weissmuller) through King Solomon’s […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Sports Section

It’s a dangerous time of year for the Bulls. Their position in the play-offs is secure, but the grueling National Basketball Association schedule grinds away for another two weeks after this weekend. That’s just enough time to allow the team the belief that it can coast awhile before sharpening its game for the play-offs. Thus, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Louis Myers

In modern blues, expanding one’s horizons usually means delving into the challenging improvisational realms of jazz, funk, or rock–carrying one’s music bravely into the future. Here, though, a legendary Chicago bluesman gets a rare chance to stretch out backward. Guitar and harmonica master Louis Myers was among the most important forces behind the 50s-era evolution […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Vulgar Boatmen

After about six months of listening to it, I’m convinced that what the Vulgar Boatmen’s first album, You and Your Sister, is about is a half century of American music. You hear it in the country blues cadences of “Cry Real Tears,” the Buddy Holly hand claps in the title song, the lyrical tips-o’-the-hat to […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story A class-action lawsuit recently challenged Oregon’s alleged failure to follow its Medicaid policy of supplying dentures to low-income people who lose their teeth. Oregon claims it has only enough money to furnish dentures to quadriplegics, who need teeth for things other than eating. For other toothless people, the state furnishes only the name […]