Posted inArts & Culture

Broadway Bubbies

BROADWAY BUBBIES at the Briar Street Theatre There is a lot to hate about Broadway Bubbies. The name, for one: an obvious ploy to attract bus loads of grandmothers from the northern suburbs. The show’s slender, cynical premise is another. It’s no more carefully thought out than the idea that if you “create” a musical […]

Posted inNews & Politics

One Out of Two Ain’t Bad

We printed the wrong text with the right picture in our movie Critic’s Choice last week. The film pictured, Metro, was part of a program of films from the Soviet National Film School. This program was associated with, but not the same as, the 15th Annual Festival of Illinois Film and Video, described in the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Endgame

ENDGAME Sybil Theatre Company at Heartland Studio Clov: Do you believe in the life to come? Hamm: Mine was always that–Endgame Last year Samuel Beckett met the end he’d written about for 50 years. I wonder how he took it. Did his plays pass before his eyes like so many rehearsals for oblivion? Like a […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Field & Street

Conservatives are beating up on the Endangered Species Act again. Secretary of the Interior Manuel Lujan Jr., who is responsible for enforcing it, launched a bad-cop assault on the act a few weeks ago, charging, in effect, that the law’s rigidity prevented him from having the freedom to decide which species deserved to survive and […]

Posted inMusic

Wild Child Butler–Lickin’ Gravy

LICKIN’ GRAVY Wild Child Butler Rooster Blues R7611 They’ll never pin George “Wild Child” Butler down. The Alabama- born harmonica player, who claims that his mother gave him his nickname after complaining, “Boy, you wild, you wild, you wild, you just wild, you crazy!” has been living up to the moniker for most of his […]

Posted inArts & Culture

A Woman of the World

GRANDMA MOSES–AN AMERICAN PRIMITIVE at the Civic Theatre Before I saw Grandma Moses–An American Primitive, I saw an article about it that included photos of Cloris Leachman getting made up for the second act–the one where she plays the artist celebrating her 100th birthday. The photos offered your basic isn’t-it-amazing transformation: Cloris before, Cloris after, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

John Mayall

At 56 John Mayall is an unheralded elder statesman of modern blues and rock. His Bluesbreakers, originally formed in 1962, were the prototypical British blues band: they fused raw energy with youthful rock-and-roll passion in a way that perfectly captured the heady exuberance of the times. Theirs was the sound that ignited the furious interest […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story The wife of handyman-inventor Teddie Eli Smith of Brunswick, Georgia, involved in a custody dispute with him over their four-year-old daughter, said in March that the child was conceived with a homemade artificial inseminator Smith rigged up with a bulb syringe and hair spray container. She further said that the device had been […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Cemetary Boy

Darling Lauretta Duerrstein is dead. She died before her eighth birthday. Nearly a hundred years later I sat on her grave trying to sketch her stony likeness. She holds a headless dove on her left arm, while her right hand rests on a petrified stump. A bonnet and flowers lie strewn at her dainty stone […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Little Milton, Otis Clay, Ruby Andrews

Here’s a blues and soul revue in the great tradition. Mississippi-born Little Milton Campbell is among the most-enduring contemporary bluesmen performing regularly on the black circuit: his vocal style fuses eloquent blues passion with contemporary nuances, and he’s developed a guitar technique that fits postwar King-style string bending and pop arrangements into a solid down-home […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Longtime Companion

Thankfully, the first commercial feature about AIDS doesn’t follow the obscene Reagan-Bush approach–saving all its tears for children, with the unmistakable implication that other AIDS victims don’t count. It follows a group of adult friends and acquaintances, including a few who work for television, who spend their vacations on Fire Island and who are all […]