Posted inArts & Culture

Goober & the Peas

Goober, the statuesque leader of Detroit’s Goober & the Peas, was standing outside a meeting room during an industry confab here not long ago, his trademark grin (very wide) in full evidence. “Come see our show tonight” he’d say politely to passersby, handing out fliers. Goober was dressed as he normally is: a ten-gallon hat, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Less Than Human

To the editors: At the end of Bill Wyman’s otherwise excellent account of the Public Enemy/Sonic Youth police riot [January 18] I was sorry to find a sermon of surreal proportions. Beyond offensive was Wyman’s patronizing addendum, characterizing the police’s attacks on bystanders as merely “the unfortunate result of cops being jerks and protesters being […]

Posted inFilm

All by Myself

Christian Blackwood’s fascinating documentary portrait of Eartha Kitt not only offers a multifaceted sense of its subject–as professional entertainer, private individual, political activist, and self-commentator–but also treats each of these facets in a kaleidoscopic manner. The relationship between Kitt’s champagne-and-furs persona and her traumatic deep-south upbringing is especially suggestive; by the end of the film […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Another Antigone

ANOTHER ANTIGONE Center Theater Studio Theater These days, it’s easy to write off A.R. Gurney as an upper-class WASP playwright whose every play eventually touches on the same topic: the allegedly declining influence of WASP culture. And it’s hard not to resent, if only a little, the privileged characters who populate Gurney’s plays: the boozed-up […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Sexual Warfare

TENNESSEE and BITE THE HAND Steppenwolf Theatre Steppenwolf’s so easy to make fun of anymore. With its big-time rep, its big-deal corporate backing, and its new big-budget building at North and Halsted, the formerly hungry ensemble’s opened up some biggish contradictions for itself. Watching it try to contend with those contradictions can be pretty amusing, […]

Posted inFilm

All in the Circle

ONCE AROUND *** (A must-see) Directed by Lasse Hallstrom Written by Malia Scotch Marmo With Holly Hunter, Richard Dreyfuss, Danny Aiello, Gena Rowlands, Laura San Giacomo, Roxanne Hart, Danton Stone, and Tim Guinee. “I don’t know much about art, but I know what I like.” This standard expression of cheerfully blinkered American consumption tells us […]

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 […]

Posted inArts & Culture


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, […]