Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

What’s the origin of the word “buck,” meaning a dollar? –Anonymous, Denver, Colorado As usual we have lots of speculation, no firm conclusions. Next time we start a language we gotta keep better notes. The leading theory at the moment is that buck comes from an old practice in poker. Evidently in the 19th century […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Naked Art

JAN BARTOSZEK AND DANCERS at MoMing Dance & Arts Center November 30-December 3 and December 8-10 As the arts go, dance is pretty naked. There’s little to mediate between artist and audience: no script, no paint on canvas, no score. Your body is your instrument; often, your subject is yourself. You can get around that, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Cinderella

CINDERELLA Fort Worth Ballet Company at the Chicago Theatre November 22-26 Cinderella, Paul Mejia’s ballet, was Chicago City Ballet’s most inspired creation. Designed as an annual Thanksgiving attraction for the entire family, Cinderella was CCB’s outstanding artistic and box-office success. The beautiful, witty costumes by Ben Benson, the sumptuous sets by Steven Rubin, and the […]

Posted inFilm

American in Paris

THE FILMS OF WILLIAM KLEIN At a time when the National Endowment for the Arts is under siege–and not only from yahoos like Jesse Helms, but also from certain anarchists, leftists, and intellectuals–the general paucity of information and understanding about national funding of the arts in other countries only helps to underline how isolationist this […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

“The Wienermobile experience is finally complete,” according to Oscar Mayer Foods, celebrating the return of the giant hot-dog-shaped vehicles, which include “steam vents which emit the aroma of freshly grilled hotdogs to entice passers-by.” “Chester Dunbar’s murder”–he was 16 years old and was killed while sitting in geometry class, for having made fun of a […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Foreign Language

To the editors: Harold Henderson’s ignorant comment, “What country did you say you were from?” on the welcome fact that Illinois high school students will now receive foreign language credit for learning American Sign Language (City File, October 20), is sadly, typically, indicative of the lack of linguistic sophistication–that is, sophistication about linguistics–in the general […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Praying at Auschwitz

To the editors: “Inexplicably.” According to a recent Reader item [Calendar, November 10], the nuns at Auschwitz are, “inexplicably,” still there. Well . . . It’s about time someone did some explaining to the seeming thousands of short-memoried American liberals bashing the Catholic church and (inexplicably, I might add) the convent at Auschwitz. May I […]

Posted inNews & Politics

A Master’s Voice

HUNTER, WARRIOR, SHAMAN Timothy Martin Making an original video artwork must be one of the most difficult tasks for a contemporary artist. Our culture is saturated with highly stylized, technically masterful video images, from the evening news to television commercials to music videos. Most video artists whose work I’ve seen fall into one of two […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Inside Information

To the editors: As one of three jurors for the performance series “Opening the Circle of Identities,” I appreciate your coverage in the November 24th Reader. But unfortunately, Justin Hayford skirted several important issues. For starters, Dominique Dibbell’s Dean Rivers was a parody of a male performance persona. Instead of arguing this point, however, Hayford […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Intimacies

INTIMACIES at Halsted Theatre Centre People who get AIDS are all perverts, right? And deserve what they get? Most people who have these ideas will probably not choose to see Intimacies, a one-man show written and performed by Michael Kearns, who depicts six people with AIDS. But anyone who did harbor them might feel themselves […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Cool One’s Heels

COOL ONE’S HEELS Inn Town Theater Company at Kiku’s Standing in line is familiar enough to city people. One wouldn’t think there’d be much drama in an experience so everyday, so mundane–especially since nobody seems to know what the characters in Israel Horovitz’s Line, the main play in this collection of short pieces, are waiting […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Lucky Peterson

Multiinstrumentalist Lucky Peterson, who’s in his mid-20s, has already logged more years of musical experience than some people twice his age. Billed as a prodigy, he had an album produced by Willie Dixon and was touring and appearing on national television shows at five years old. Back home in Buffalo he sat in with the […]