Posted inArts & Culture

An Ecological Vision

MONET IN THE 90s at the Art Institute of Chicago On my first visit to the Art Institute’s exhibition of Claude Monet’s 1890s “series” paintings, two teenage girls stood looking at one of the pictures, a particularly radiant sunset landscape. One remarked to the other, “Oh, wow, I didn’t even know they had colors like […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Kenny Neal

Louisiana-born guitarist Kenny Neal is one of the most exciting of the bold new generation of musicians who’ve been redefining the boundaries of blues expression in the 80s and 90s. Son of Baton Rouge harp legend Raful Neal, Kenny has incorporated his father’s deep blues feeling and clarity of expression and fired it up with […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Some Candy

SOME CANDY Cardiff Giant at Cabaret Voltaire Cardiff Giant obviously love doing comedy improv, which is evident in the respectful way they approach their material. Performing improvisationally is deadly difficult, and most companies I’ve seen resort to easy sight gags or one-liners. The performers always seem bent on trying to be clever, and all I […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Sleepy LaBeef

Call it roadhouse music, honky-tonk, rockabilly, or what you please–I’d just as soon call it traditional rock ‘n’ roll, and I’m convinced that right now Sleepy LaBeef is its foremost purveyor. Maybe you haven’t heard of him (and frankly I’m at a loss to explain why he’s not a hundred times more well known), but […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Introduction to capitalism: suburban mentors work with west-side minorities in joint economic ventures

A visitor to this near-west-side neighborhood won’t be long deceived by the colorful sign at 2454 W. Harrison: “B and E Country Store: Specializing in Country Ham and Loose Chitterlings.” The door and windows are shuttered, testimony to a steady economic deterioration in the neighborhood that gives some streets an eerie ghost-town atmosphere. But inside, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Sports Section

When your city plays host to the All-Star Game, it becomes the capital of baseball for a few days. And, like any capital, it becomes a willing victim of pomp and pageantry, of events inflated to overshadow their utter lack of importance. The All-Star Game just played at Wrigley Field offered nothing profound and nothing […]

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OBSESSION Lil’ Productions and First Stage Theatre at Synergy Center Playwright William Reilly has a great sense of humor–if he only knew it. His gothic beach musical Obsession could be a camp classic–if it wanted to be. It combines elements of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, and Friday the 13th. It’s […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story Orange County (California) Superior Court clerks discovered last fall that they had failed to complete the paperwork to make nearly 500 pre-1985 divorce judgments final, thus leaving the parties legally married. The worst-case scenario for one husband occurred in Phoenix in April when an appeals court ruled that Bonita Lynch was entitled to […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Ruby Oliver Goes to Hollywood

Meet Ruby L. Oliver, feature filmmaker. One Sunday afternoon last July, Oliver was pacing back and forth outside the auditorium of the Film Center. Inside, her first feature was making its debut as the centerpiece of the Blacklight Film Festival, an annual local forum for black film artists. The critics had been enthusiastic about Leola […]

Posted inFilm

Godfather and Son

THE FRESHMAN *** (A must-see) Directed and written by Andrew Bergman With Matthew Broderick, Marlon Brando, Bruno Kirby, Penelope Ann Miller, Frank Whaley, Maximilian Schell, and Bert Parks. “The overwhelming attractiveness of the screwball comedies involved more than the wonderful personnel. It had to do with the effort they made at reconciling the irreconcilable. They […]