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Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story Ned Stacey, owner of a Tallahassee, Florida, comic-book store, announced in January that the store’s cash-register-receipt ink would be composed partly of his own blood. Court Reporter Gary Duvall filed a lawsuit in Baltimore in November against Smiley the Clown, who failed to honor his contract and show up at Duvall’s daughter’s fourth […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Stage Sizzles

ENSEMBLE ESPANOL at Northeastern Illinois University July 13-15 and 20-22 Spanish dance has always been full of vivid spectacle and fiery spirit. Flamenco–what most people envision when they think of Spanish dance–has plenty of both, with dramatic, flirtatious, confrontational duets to boot. Even in a solo, the dancer expresses an inner turmoil that seems to […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Witches

A minor but very enjoyable Nicolas Roeg fairy tale–adapted by Allan Scott from Roald Dahl’s novel, and one of the last films on which Muppet master Jim Henson worked–about a very wicked Grand High Witch (Anjelica Huston) in contemporary England with a plan to turn all that country’s children into mice. She hatches this plot […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Steve Freund

After years as sideman to some of Chicago’s most illustrious legends–Big Walter Horton, Sunnyland Slim, and Otis Rush among others–guitarist Steve Freund is stepping out on his own. Those who remember him for his puckish, sometimes outlandish rhythm patterns behind Horton’s sweet-toned harp are in for a surprise: he has disciplined (but not reined in) […]

Posted inArts & Culture


BOUNCERS Next Lab Plays about blue-collar Brits are popular this season, and John Godber would appear to be the most popular playwright representing the genre, ahead of Willy Russell (Shirley Valentine) and Mike Stott (The Fancy Man) in number of plays produced in Chicago in the last year. Thanks to Stage Left’s production of Godber’s […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

What’s the lowdown on the secret Mormon underwear? Also, can they baptize people posthumously? Do they baptize babies with blood? Is there a secret room in the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake where they can convert anyone to Mormonism from afar without their knowledge or consent? I fear my wayward grandkids may turn me into […]

Posted inArts & Culture


ICECREAM Inn Town Players and Element Theatre Company at the Project Americans and the British have long had a love/hate relationship; it began with the English as the overbearing parent and us the rebellious child. The blood ties have weakened considerably of course, and now we’re more like third cousins once removed. Yet people on […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

“The City’s record on energy conservation is open to question,” writes Mary O’Connell in The Neighborhood Works (June/July 1990). “The Harold Washington Library, for example, is being built all-electric–despite the fact that electrically heated buildings are much less efficient and more expensive to operate.” Yes, but only at a distance. From a recent survey: “Fifty-three […]

Posted inFilm

Modern Messiah

JESUS OF MONTREAL *** (A must-see) Directed and written by Denys Arcand With Lothaire Bluteau, Catherine Wilkening, Johanne-Marie Tremblay, Remy Girard, Robert Lepage, Gilles Pelletier, Yves Jacques, and Arcand. It must have been about 30 years ago that I saw Jules Dassin’s He Who Must Die, a popular art-house movie at the time and one […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Stuck on WFMT

To the editors: If Peter Dominowski thinks having one’s radio dial permanently tuned to WFMT is extremely rare, then he apparently doesn’t have much of a handle on the listeners [June 22]. Nearly everyone I knew that listened to WFMT did so just about all the time, and none of us thought it the least […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Field & Street

I saw a muskrat this spring along the north branch of the Chicago River between Irving Park Road and Montrose Avenue. A chain-link fence there separates the steep, wooded riverbank from Homer Park. The muskrat was on the river side of the fence. Mention animals living in the Chicago River and people usually respond with […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Fetal Facts

To the editors: In the June 29th Letters, Helen Redmond takes Karen Hoffman Nolan to task for recognizing the validity of points on both sides of the abortion issue. Redmond concludes that abortion is not murder since “a fetus is not a human life.” With this unsupported opinion, she apparently hopes to justify her view […]