Posted inNews & Politics

Department of Incorrect Critics

To the editors: Laura Molzahn’s busy-busy, over-stuffed reviews of dance events in the Reader are hardly perceptive. Her “hasn’t worn well” judgement of the Joffrey Ballet’s Trinity [March 23], which large audiences cheered recently in the Auditorium, is hardly correct. So she didn’t like it, because she is myopic about dance other than the pretentious […]

Posted inMusic

Stoltzman/Goode/Stoltzman Trio

When husband and wife clarinetist Richard Stoltzman and violinist Lucy Chapman Stoltzman performed on a Chamber Music Chicago program of frivolous Keith Jarrett chamber music in 1987 (that turned out to be largely an ego trip for Jarrett), an otherwise unbearable evening was made tolerable by the couple’s musical sensitivity. The extraordinary team has been […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Beyond the Myths

To the editors: I’ve read many articles regarding the Palestinian-Israeli situation but few have been as balanced as Kitry Krause’s Reader article [“Enemies,” March 23]. Perhaps she was inspired by the fairness and intelligence of her subjects who are to be respected for their ability to step beyond the historical myths and experiences of their […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Temper Tantrum

To the editors: Unfortunately, the opportunity to review a theatre piece sometimes produces a critical performance which overshadows the artistic performance of the players. Such may be the case for many who both saw La Nik a Wet (Dreiske Performance Company Theatre, March 3) and read Justin Hayford’s shrill, non-stop temper tantrum, which seems to […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

I’ve heard that during times of heavy demand, natural gas suppliers compensate by introducing an inert, nonflammable gas just to keep the seals tight and the pressure steady. Is this true? Do we pay natural gas prices for the substitute stuff? Your home meter doesn’t know the difference! –Jack Ballard, Springfield, Virginia Cecil is not […]

Posted inArts & Culture

David Lindsey

Here’s good news for those doubters who fear for the future of homegrown Chicago blues: guitarist David Lindsey, the west-side-born-and-bred son of local blues legend Big Bad Ben, is beginning to make himself known to a wider audience. Lindsey’s been featured for several years at clubs like Mister Tee’s (at Lake and Saint Louis), and […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

Or you could step on them. Hammacher Schlemmer now sells an “aluminum can crusher,” complete with wall mount, 16-inch compaction arm, and foam-covered neoprene handle, for $22.95. Escape from your drunken, abusive father and float south on a makeshift raft with a desperate runaway slave… Well, that’s not exactly the curriculum, but Detours, the Rock […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Like Life

LIKE LIFE Cellar Door Players at Royal George Theatre Center’s Gallery Not exactly a major discovery, Cellar Door Players’ “Like Life” is nonetheless a diverting little find: two good, short comic plays (both by Chicago writers), whose differences emphasize their connection while keeping the evening as fresh and funny as it is brief (an hour […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Exiles From Eden

OF MICE AND MEN Synergy Theatre Company I’ve always considered Of Mice and Men a maudlin tale for adolescents, and it is. The novel, written during the Great Depression, is short and intense–guaranteed to hold a teenager’s attention–and the stage adaptation is a textbook example of a well-made play. The exposition is swift and clear, […]

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. At the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

School reform’s principal problem

Last winter when parents and community activists attempted to oust Wells High School principal David Peterson, most observers wrote it off as a neighborhood insurrection. But that battle–which has spread from the near-west-side school into the courts–represents a much deeper conflict between activists and principals that threatens to upset the nascent public-school reform movement. From […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Field & Street

I saw three eastern meadowlarks last week in the restored prairie at the western end of Somme Woods. For me this is big news. I’m doing a breeding bird survey on this 150-acre piece of Cook County forest preserve, and nesting meadowlarks would just about make my spring. The restored prairie is connected to a […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Angels of Warsaw

THE ANGELS OF WARSAW Victory Gardens Theater And so it was for millions, who turned from Luftmenschen into Luft.”–Andre Schwarz-Bart, in his Holocaust novel, The Last of the Just. There’s a line missing from Marisha Chamberlain’s The Angels of Warsaw. It’s the line left out of a brief description of Nazi depredations against Poland’s capital […]