Posted inArts & Culture

The Blasted Word

ADAM BROOKS at the Abel Joseph Gallery Big red letters spelling the word “LOVE” beckon from one wall of the gallery. They lead the gaze to a pair of binoculars clamped to the wall’s freestanding edge. The binoculars are aimed at a nearby window that looks out onto the Damen/North/Milwaukee intersection, now dark and desolate […]

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CANE Victory Gardens Theater A deep rumble coming from the core of the earth. The deep rumble of an underground race of people.–Cane The powerful yearning for identity in a land that denies it pulses through the 1923 novel Cane. Considered the gem of the Harlem renaissance, Jean Toomer’s free-form work combines disconnected short stories, […]

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The Belle of Amherst

THE BELLE OF AMHERST Body Politic Theatre Emily Dickinson has always presented problems for scholars. The egalitarian precepts of the romantic movement in literature introduced the thitherto-unknown (or long-forgotten) notion of a female poet, although they saddled this innovative creature with the potentially ridiculous characteristics of the genre–the egocentric hypersensitivity, the charismatic antirationalism, and the […]

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Uncommon Ground

UNCOMMON GROUND Northlight Theatre Jeremy Lawrence’s play about the political upheaval in the U.S. and Poland in 1968 opened as U.S. bombs rained on Iraq and Scud missiles hit Israel. During intermission, at least one couple was listening to the news on the radio, and some people in the audience actually brought Walkmans. Yet the […]

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Chicago Chamber Musicians

When Stravinsky wrote L’histoire du soldat (The Soldier’s Tale) in 1918, Europe was deeply mired in the Great War. Stranded in neutral Switzerland and despondent over reports of senseless brutalities from the front, the youthful (36-year-old) composer–with the help of Swiss writer C.F. Ramuz–came up with this morality play, a combination of music, dance, and […]

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Speeches and Dreams

CHICAGO PERFORMS Michael Zerang and Kaja Overstreet at Randolph Street Gallery January 25 and 26 Michael Zerang’s Hot Sands and Kaja Overstreet’s Moonlight are the two works making up this double bill, and they couldn’t be more oddly matched. Zerang’s piece uses broad, grotesque, cartoonish strokes to indict our country’s swaggering military posture in the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

While trying to figure out why our troops are in Saudi Arabia recently, I looked up the Kuwait-Saudi Arabia-Iraq area in my 1966 atlas. I found two large areas along the border called “neutral zones.” What does this term mean? Do Romulans live there? Do the zones have any relevance to the current conflict? –D. […]