Posted inArts & Culture

Greg Bendian

“I don’t want to create imaginary sound worlds,” says Greg Bendian. “I want to create sounds you can taste. Sounds you can walk into.” Bendian, whose skills have been sought out by such new-music bigwigs as Leo Smith, John Zorn, Christian Marclay, and (most recently) Cecil Taylor, is an unusual percussionist: able to dart and […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Practical Mathematics

To the editors. Thanks to Cecil Adams for the beaut on calculating pi out to umpteen decimal places [March 16]. Absurd though it is, I can envision one good reason that some computer guys may do it: they use it as a standard, endless task with which to calibrate their computers’ speeds. Besides something like […]

Posted inFilm

Teen Beat

CRY-BABY *** (A must-see) Directed and written by John Waters With Johnny Depp, Amy Locane, Ricki Lake, Traci Lords, Kim McGuire, and Polly Bergen. “I’m tired of being good,” says sweet little Allison Vernon-Williams near the beginning of Cry-Baby, the new musical comedy by John Waters. This WASP beauty with the double-barreled handle, whose closest […]

Posted inMusic

Symphony Futures

CIVIC ORCHESTRA OF CHICAGO at Orchestra Hall April 26 and May 12 The notion of listening to a training orchestra, however fine, doesn’t seem very enticing. I used to hear the Civic Orchestra on a regular basis when I was in college, receiving tickets as a bonus to my CSO “University Night” series (whatever happened […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Warning to Women

To the editors: I am writing in response to Diana Spinrad’s review of Curious Theatre Branch’s The Weirdly Sisters [March 30], and in response to the play itself. The review makes several good observations–although I would go further in stressing that the play “takes itself a little too seriously.” The Weirdly Sisters has a much […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The First Step Toward Genocide

To the editors: If Skokie’s Holocaust Memorial Foundation [Our Town, May 4] wants to teach others how the Holocaust happened, it might begin by denouncing all invocations of collective guilt. The condemnation of a whole people for the actions of some is the first step toward genocide. The Czech people suffered betrayal into the hands […]

Posted inArts & Culture

James and the Giant Peach

JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH Playwrights’ Center Transferring James and the Giant Peach to the stage is like reproducing the ceiling of the Sistine chapel on a postage stamp. There’s simply too much of it. This classic children’s book by Roald Dahl is wildly imaginative. It begins with James’s mother and father getting eaten by […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Credit Error

To the editors: Happy as I was to read Jack Helbig’s enthusiastic reponse to The Castle [May 4], his review contained a factual error which I feel bound to correct. In comparing The Castle to City Lit’s production last spring of Henry James’ The American, Mr. Helbig mistakenly credited me with directing and adapting both […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Love Letters

LOVE LETTERS Steppenwolf Theatre Bard of WASP anguish, chronicler of WASP decline, A.R. Gurney makes a practice of taking genteel WASP traditions and showing them go genteelly haywire. He did it to the art of dining in The Dining Room. He did it to party giving in The Perfect Party. He did it to the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Louis Hayes Quintet

Louis Hayes joined Horace Silver’s quintet while still a teenager (1956, age 19), and he remains a lively, forceful drummer of the hard-bop school, with more than enough sass and flash to satisfy those looking for fireworks. But in the last 20 years, Hayes has proved to be at least as adept a bandleader, anchoring […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Our Masters, Our Cells

To the editors: This is in reply to Ron Baumgarten’s letter (March 9), which was written in response to Prof. Regalbuto’s article [“Uncle J.R. Explains It All for You,” by Harold Henderson, February 9], which advocates the mistreatment of animals because they have no “souls.” Mr. Baumgarten writes “The existence or non existence of ‘souls’ […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Our Country’s Good

OUR COUNTRY’S GOOD Remains Theatre at Bailiwick Repertory The Corn Is Green with whips. Up the Down Staircase with dysentery. Welcome Back, Kotter with kangaroos. That’s Our Country’s Good. Set in early colonial Australia and centered on a British junior officer’s efforts to stage a comedy using convict talent, Timberlake Wertenbaker’s 1988 drama pursues your […]