Posted inArts & Culture

Song of My Navel

MIRA, CYCLE 1 Contraband at the Dance Center of Columbia College May 3 and 4 The prospect of describing Mira, Cycle 1 fills me with the same despair I feel looking at my basement, which is cluttered with mostly useless objects that need to be sorted and put away or–more likely–thrown out. What a mess. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Mysticeti and the Mandelbrot Set

THE MYSTICETI AND THE MANDELBROT SET Theater Oobleck The Yellow Kid turned 96 on Sunday. On May 5, 1895, Richard Outcault’s comic strip character first appeared in the New York World as a resident of “Hogan’s Alley,” generally recognized as the first successful newspaper cartoon series. Small, bald, big-eared, barefoot, clad only in a yellow […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Great Gatsby

THE GREAT GATSBY Wisdom Bridge Theatre I’ve got to admit I’ve never read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Jazz Age classic The Great Gatsby. The book got such heavy play in my high school English classes that I avoided it just to see if I could–and it turned out I could, so here I am with a […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Shell-shock: why Marj Halperin quit as public school spokesman

The final straw, says Marj Halperin, came last month when she was ordered to stop talking to reporters about the Board of Education’s budget. It was a strange ultimatum; she was, after all, General Superintendent Ted Kimbrough’s press secretary. But it followed months of behind-the-scenes fighting between Halperin and board bureaucrats and members. “They said […]

Posted inArts & Culture

1991 Off Off Loop Theater Festival

Eighteen theater companies are presented in six different programs of two to four plays each, organized along loose thematic lines by producer Doug Bragan and associate producer Judith Easton. That’s two more companies and two more programs than last year, when Bragan first stepped in to revive this non-Equity showcase founded and then discontinued by […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Out of the Storefronts

OFF OFF LOOP THEATER FESTIVAL SEX LIVES OF SUPERHEROES Griffin Theatre Company FORECAST Blind Parrot Productions PARENTHESES Bailiwick Repertory What love does is to arm. It arms the worth of life in spite of life. –Archibald MacLeish Add to the pleasant shock of falling in love the additional surprise of some unlikely lovers, and you’ve […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chicago Dance Medium

CHICAGO DANCE MEDIUM at the Dancespace Performance Center May 3, 4, 9, 10, and 11 Isadora Duncan fervently believed in the power of movement–“movements are as eloquent as words,” she wrote in her autobiography. This noble philosophy is explored poignantly in the works presented by Chicago Dance Medium in its spring concert series. The program’s […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Off Off Loop Theater Festival: The Letter/Next/Dog Stories/Red Tango/Coup

OFF OFF LOOP THEATER FESTIVAL THE LETTER Mina Sama-No Theatre Company NEXT BDI Theater Company DOG STORIES Phoenix Theatre RED TANGO Chicago Actors Ensemble COUP Zebra Crossing Theatre Five plays in four hours–excluding intermissions–may seem like a hefty bite of theater for one evening, but Douglas Bragan has learned from last year’s Off Off Loop […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Lonnie Pitchford

Lonnie Pitchford may well be the most unique young bluesman active today, totally immersed in the most venerable blues traditions. His forte is the single-string guitar, a homemade instrument of direct African lineage that consists of a piece of baling wire nailed to a wall or post, with one end twined around a snuff can […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Muzeeka

MUZEEKA Strawdog Theatre Company I once tried to interview John Guare. He was friendly and apparently eager to answer my questions–he leaned forward in his chair as though hanging on my every word. But he answered each question with just a couple of words, or at most a sentence. Then he would stare at me, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Max Roach/Sonny Rollins

Together again–sort of: Roach and Rollins are appearing on the same stage, just not on the same night. But the decision to book these two old friends and jazz soul mates on the same weekend involves a neat conceit spun from one of the music’s great encounters. By the early 50s, Max Roach was already […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Sports Section

In the waning moments of the first half of the first playoff game between the Bulls and the Philadelphia 76ers last Saturday, Charles Barkley went to the far end of the court and sat down. Michael Jordan was shooting free throws, and Barkley went to the other end, grabbed a towel from a ball boy, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Daddy Nostalgia

Not only is Jane Birkin at her best in this low-key, realistic drama; she’s also the element that ties everything else together. Directed by Bertrand Tavernier from a script by his ex-wife, Colo Tavernier O’Hagan (he wrote some of the dialogue), this is basically a chamber piece for three voices about a Parisian screenwriter (Birkin) […]