Posted inArts & Culture

Rites of Rhythm

HUBBARD STREET DANCE COMPANY at the Civic Center for Performing Arts May 8-12 The best dance is always mysterious, a wordless ritual pagan in its reliance on rhythm and its certainty that gut, muscle, bone, and sinew can communicate. Lou Conte, who has directed Hubbard Street Dance Company for all of its 12 years, understands […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story Doctors William Rappaport and Kevin Haynes of the University of Arizona reported in a recent journal article that the incidence of sponges left inside surgery patients is probably “much more” than the one in 1,000 previously reported. Government in Action Uruguayan police officer Saul Claveria was given official permission in February (under a […]

Posted inFilm

15th Annual Festival of Illinois Film and Video

Prizewinning film and video shorts in four categories–experimental, animation, documentary, narrative. Because I was one of the five judges in this year’s competition, I’ve seen them all, and they’re certainly a far ranging bunch. The first-prize winners are Francois Miron’s visually intoxicating What Ignites Me, Extinguishes Me (experimental), Ian Fowler’s intriguing In Passing (animation, although […]

Posted inNews & Politics

All About In-Laws

Leah Averick says she lost her equilibrium several years ago when she got the news she was to become a mother-in-law. “I didn’t know what to do or say. Why was I feeling this way? I should have been happy. Other people told me that my future daughter-in-law would be like a daughter to me, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

A Sondheim Dream

INTO THE WOODS Marriott’s Lincolnshire Theatre A man sits dozing in his library. His mind is troubled–by too much work, too much pressure from city living, too many friends dying of AIDS, stress, and age. Things sure were easier when he was a child, when his mother read to him from Mother Goose and the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Indian Corn

LAKME Chicago Opera Theater at the Athenaeum Theatre Under normal circumstances I wouldn’t be caught dead at a performance of Leo Delibes’ Lakme, a silly opera with a ridiculously stereotyped 19th-century view of Indian culture. The music is pure syrup, though it can have a certain charm to it if the right coloratura is found […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Silos/Vulgar Boatmen/Jayhawks

Where the heck have the Silos been? After two scintillating expositions of American songcraft and atmosphere manipulation, chief grain elevators Walter Salas-Humara and Bob Rupe let the band languish for two years. Rupe produced a rocking album for a group called the Children; Salas-Humara recorded the moody, gorgeous solo record Lagartija, did an acoustic tour […]

Posted inArts & Culture

World Party

I like Karl Wallinger for a couple of reasons. One is that he can begin a song with the line “I got an extra glimpse of the truth today” and still rescue it from almost certain doom. Another is that he seems to think “Ain’t Gonna Come Till I’m Ready” is a protest song. But […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Largo Desolato

LARGO DESOLATO Blind Parrot Productions Our exposure to the art of other cultures has always been governed as much by the exporters, who send what they think Americans will like, as by the value of the art itself. And the same popular mind-set that, in the 60s, pronounced hallucinogenic drugs an integral part of Lewis […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

Have you ever gotten your fingers stuck to a metal ice cube tray in the freezer? They won’t come loose until you run warm water over them. Similarly, I’ve heard you’re in big trouble if you put your tongue on a cold flagpole in the winter. Yet you can eat a totally frozen Popsicle without […]