Posted inNews & Politics

The Dark Side of Subscriptions

To the editors: For what seems like eons, Danny Newman [Letters, July 27] has been the undisputed world champion salesman of subscriptions. But reading his pitch today makes me think of that other famous salesman–Willy Loman. Must attention still be paid here? Yes, subscriptions have helped the performing arts to flourish in America in the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story After a bus fell into a ditch in April outside Dhaka, Bangladesh, injured passengers were left moaning for hours because potential rescuers were too frightened to approach the bus. Baskets containing six cobras had come open in the crash and their caretaker had been killed. Several hours later, a snake charmer arrived from […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chekhov for Democrats

THE GOOD DOCTOR KKT Productions at Chicago Cooperative Stage THE STAR SPANGLED GIRL Back Rent Players at the Playwrights’ Center A principle of comedy that’s been attributed to Mack Sennett, Billy Wilder, and Groucho Marx, among others, goes that if you dress a man up as an old lady and put him in a wheelchair […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Going for Hartigan

To the editors: In response to the letter by Saul Mendelson, veteran member of IVI- IPO, about the gubernatorial endorsement session [July 27], it’s important to acknowledge a couple of details that Saul omitted, two examples that illustrate why the largest gathering of IVI-IPO members in years voted by a two-thirds majority to endorse Neil […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Harley’s Place

Until recently, Harley Budd’s big black 1979 Cadillac sat in front of his restaurant at Willow and Howe streets as if waiting for him to return and drive it maniacally through the side streets, never giving way, deliberately intimidating small foreign cars. Now only the Tap Root Pub sign remains. Budd and the first incarnation […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Metropolitan

Whether it’s “accurate” or not, Whit Stillman’s crafty independent feature about wealthy Park Avenue teenagers and a middle-class boy who joins their ranks over one Christmas vacation is certainly well imagined, and impressively acted by a cast of newcomers (including Carolyn Farina, Edward Clements, Christopher Eigeman, Taylor Nichols, and Elizabeth Thompson). The simple but offbeat […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Comiskey Park, Our Laughable Landmark/Lights Out, Times Up/City News Party: Check It Out

Comiskey Park, Our Laughable Landmark We don’t like being laughed at, so we didn’t enjoy our conversation with Peter Bynoe, the public official responsible for building the new Comiskey Park and tearing down the old one. The Romans who burned Carthage would admire Bynoe’s assignment, which is to wipe the old park from the face […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Class Action: where aspiring filmmakers get a shot

Orson Welles once remarked half facetiously that movies are the biggest and most expensive toy train ever invented for grown-ups. More so now than ever, as today’s aspiring young filmmakers know well. At the top four film schools in the country–Columbia University; University of Southern California; University of California, Los Angeles; and New York University–tuition […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Two Jakes

Jack Nicholson directs and stars as upscale Los Angeles detective Jake Gittes in the much-awaited, much delayed sequel to Chinatown (1974), scripted, like its predecessor, by Robert Towne and set 11 years later, when Gittes is fatter and even more cynical about his work. Harvey Keitel costars as the other Jake, Meg Tilly plays his […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Waiting for Jane

Two strangers, a man and a woman, share a bench on the corner of Addison and Halsted. Their parcels lean against their thighs. Hers: bubble wrap squashed into a plastic Jewel sack. His: a filthy blue gym bag with an obscure corporate logo. She gazes eastward, searching for signs of the Addison bus. He squints […]

Posted inFilm

Bland Justice

PRESUMED INNOCENT * (Has redeeming facet) Directed by Alan J. Pakula Written by Frank Pierson and Pakula With Harrison Ford, Bonnie Bedelia, Greta Scacchi, Brian Dennehy, and Raul Julia. Perhaps my expectations for Presumed Innocent were unrealistically high. Amid the summer’s mob of brain-bashing rabble-rousers, this movie promised to be grown-up fare, the work of […]

Posted inArts & Culture

John Doe

If Dylan married the sensibilities of Elvis and Rimbaud, X pulled off a similar trick with Hank Williams and William Burroughs–all, of course, within the confines of the genre of LA gutter punk in the late 1970s. Lovers John Doe and Exene were riotous romantics adrift in a milieu that didn’t allow for much hope; […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Sharing Expenses

SHARING EXPENSES Acme Arts Company at the Edgewater Theatre Company We all know that television has ruined America. Thanks to that little glowing box, our great national debates have become simpleminded and embarrassing: Burn the flag–yes or no? Spike Lee’s new movie–thumbs up or thumbs down? Complex issues and complicated problems are of course excluded […]