Posted inArts & Culture

Kiss Me Kate

A concert staging of a classic musical not only provides a second chance to hear a favorite show, it tests the show’s power to entertain by reducing it to its core–the words and music or, to get even more basic, two boards and a passion. In a good show that reduction can only enlarge. Last […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Quick Change

A delightful “small” picture in an era when such things are no longer supposed to exist, this quirky comedy follows the adventures of a trio of bank robbers (Bill Murray, Geena Davis, and Randy Quaid) who pull off an ingenious and successful job but then find it difficult to get out of New York City; […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Our Handicapped Critics

To the editors: Why did you send Dennis Polkow to review Carousel at Chicago Opera Theater [June 15]? You have several good theater critics, and he knows even less about theater and musical comedy than he does about singing and opera. Why do you send someone who is legally blind to review any staged production? […]

Posted inMusic

Heart and Soul

HEINRICH SCHIFF at Ravinia Festival July 9 SHURA CHERKASSKY at Ravinia Festival July 10 The first two Ravinia recitals of the summer brought to mind a recent discussion with a rock-music producer concerning the difference between performers who are capable of evoking music and performers who simply go through the motions. Music, we agreed, is […]

Posted inNews & Politics

E-Z Listening

To the editors: Peter Dominowski’s answers to Bryan Miller’s questions (cover story, June 22) suggest that the new program director may not ruin WFMT but that his new policies will take the station far from what it was before CETA forced it to become a profitmaking institution and will probably turn it into Chicago’s classical […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Soft Remembrance

SOFT REMEMBRANCE Wisdom Bridge Theatre and Cullen, Henaghan & Platt Productions Forced feeling is now being inflicted on audiences at the Wisdom Bridge Theatre through a play with the transparent title Soft Remembrance. This generic title is a giveaway; with no hint of a subject, it reveals both the play’s method and its desired effect–an […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Love Bug

I can’t tell you what she was doing there, in fact I can’t even tell you what I was doing there. All I really can say is that I was there, and so was she. But then what difference did that make? It was the No Exit Cafe and we were there. Or really, I […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Brave and Inspired

RED TANGO Chicago Actors Ensemble At a time when inspiration seems in short supply, and fear, timidity, and the desperate pursuit of big box-office receipts threaten to stifle the spirit that put Chicago theater on the map, Chicago Actors Ensemble never fails to give me hope. Not only does this company have a predilection for […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Foam Mattress

It is the day after the Detroit Pistons won some championship or other. My friend Charlie calls me from Detroit to say he wants to come visit me. Is that basketball, baseball? I still don’t know. All I know is that following the triumph of the team, the celebrating in the streets left eight people […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Jim Trompeter Quartet

Once in a while, you walk into a club and find something that so exceeds your expectations, you remember why you keep going back into clubs in the first place. There’s an excitement steaming off the bandstand, a supercharged atmosphere–just what you’d have found if you wandered into Oz about six weeks ago, when keyboardist […]

Posted inArts & Culture

All Men Are Whores

ALL MEN ARE WHORES Posse at Victory Gardens I’m glad to have David Mamet around. We need someone to rage about capitalism’s dehumanizing aspects, to show us how exploitation and greed have seeped into our most intimate relationships. He’s smart, he’s articulate, and sometimes he writes good plays. But still I marvel at the feeble, […]