Posted inNews & Politics

Copy Shop

“Have you ever chanted?” For some reason, everyone who walked into the copy shop this night was wearing Hush Puppies. It was past midnight and the crowd looked like they’d stumbled in from West Madison Street. “One time I chanted for a TV set and a stereo.” A Jamaican musician and his Wrangler-clad girlfriend had […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Cruising

It is a nightly performance, a curious sort of automobile ballet on the quaint wide boulevard that meanders through the north end of Lincoln Park. Every model car imaginable wanders, weaves, pauses, turns around, speeds up, slows down. The lone drivers are also of every sort imaginable–white, black, brown, Asian, young and old. They have […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Borah Bergman & Paul Smoker

Trumpeter Paul Smoker, Iowa’s resident new-jazz genius, has made several trips to Chicago in recent years, and if you’ve never heard him, you’ve been missing one of the most coherent improvisers in music today. (And that’s not even mentioning his technique–I can think of no modern trumpeter who could beat this guy in a cutting […]

Posted inArts & Culture

First Is Supper

FIRST IS SUPPER National Jewish Theater When a comedian attempts a work of “serious” drama, watch out. There is nothing worse than a funny person trying to create art with a capital A. More often than not the result is something less honest, less true, and considerably less successful artistically than the comic’s earlier funnier […]

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Les Liasons Dangereuses

LES LIAISONS DANGEREUSES Interplay and Windy City Theater Company Watching Interplay and Windy City Theater Company’s production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, I found it hard not to wish Christopher Hampton had written his adaptation of Choderlos de Laclos’ notorious novel about seduction and sexual intrigue as a one-man show starring that irresistible rogue the Vicomte […]

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Tony Williams Quintet

The best description I’ve heard of Tony Williams’s drumming came from a soprano friend of mine who labeled it “lead feathers.” Indeed, Williams seems to take thunder and bottle it so that he can dispense it at will. The control and musicianship he exhibits on an instrument that all too often is simply an ornamented […]

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Chekhov Lives

UNCLE VANYA Goodman Theatre Astrov: I sat down and I closed my eyes and thought: One hundred years from now. One hundred years from now: those who come after us. For whom our lives are showing the way. Will they think kindly of us? Will they remember us with a kind word, and, nurse, I […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Cruelest Energy

To the editors: The letters about Bruno Bettelheim [April 6 and 20, May 4] remind me of myself and of people I know, and of the complexity of each of us. We can know so little of each other. Sometimes the worst, sometimes the best. My perception of a local minor celebrity is that the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

A Slug Writes:

To the editors: My name is Gregg Juhlin and I play bass for the Slugs. I’m curious as to how I can get involved in this “Battle of the Bands” [Critic’s Choice, March 2, and Letters, March 30 and April 20 and 27]. I mean–which bands do I have to slag? Or how about this–I’ll […]