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Loading Zone

Walking downtown on a dull, sunless morning I thought I saw a man having a heart attack. He was leaning with all his weight against the back of a truck with a pained look on his face, pulling off a pair of heavy work gloves, and clutching his chest. Sitting near his feet, almost asleep, […]

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Chicago Sinfonietta

Does Canadian music have an identity of its own? Or is it just an undistinguished, far-flung branch of American music? To be frank, what little I’ve heard by members of the tiny community of Canadian composers has not made any long-lasting impression. Maybe that’s why I’m looking forward to Chicago Sinfonietta’s Salute to Canada!–to see […]

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America’s Other Metropolis

AMERICA’S OTHER METROPOLIS Theatre of Dave at the Playwrights’ Center The Theatre of Dave, as its name implies, doesn’t take itself very seriously. Its casual approach, from the rather glib program to the chatty lobby staff–including a guy handing out chocolates who I assumed was the playwright himself–may be delightful to some and annoying to […]

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News of the Weird

Lead Story High school guidance counselor Angelo Cardella filed a $15,000 lawsuit in Ansonia, Connecticut, in October for a 1988 incident in which he suffered back and neck injuries at the hands of Joseph Melita. According the the lawsuit, Melita was experiencing a heart attack and negligently clutched Cardella, pulling him to the floor and […]

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Modigliani

MODIGLIANI Mary-Arrchie Theatre Genius, though admirable from a distance, is frequently insufferable at close range. And artists have a greater reputation than most for dubious behavior, perhaps because the abstract nature of art and corresponding difficulty in measuring its worth tend to mystification of the creative process and exaggeration of its eccentricities. Aberrant behavior among […]

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Annals of school reform: the Algebra Project, an experiment in community-connected curriculum

The secret to teaching algebra to Chicago’s inner-city students may begin with a ride on the subway. That’s the idea behind the Algebra Project, a radical new program devised by civil-rights activist Robert Moses that has been introduced to six schools by a network of not-for-profit educators and activists. “The spirit of the Algebra Project […]

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Next of Kin

The first feature (1985) of Canadian writer-director Atom Egoyan (Family Viewing, Speaking Parts) is probably his least-known work. But thanks to its dynamic camera style and its bizarre premise, it is in many ways his most immediately engaging. In the course of undergoing family therapy with his parents, a young Canadian WASP (Patrick Tierney) comes […]

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Anais Nin’s Erotica

EROTICA: LITTLE BIRDS Organic Theater Company Greenhouse Sometime in 1940, bohemian diarist Anais Nin, living in genteel poverty in New York City, turned to writing erotica to earn some extra money. Paid a dollar a page for her work, Nin discovered the task to be far from the onerous “castrating occupation” her friend Henry Miller […]

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Coping With Chaos

DISASTER SERIES Joe Goode Performance Group at the Dance Center of Columbia College February 14-16 You just can’t help laughing when you first see Joe Goode onstage in the Disaster Series. Goode solicits that response with placid exaggeration–a porkpie hat, big eyes, wide mouth, and drawn-out vowels. The work’s ten sections treat disasters large and […]