Posted inNews & Politics

Day-care centers and alternative schools are getting burned by new state fire regulations

Hardly anyone–except perhaps a Chicago Teachers Union lifer–would dispute that providing alternatives to the Chicago public schools is of major importance, particularly for non-Catholics. But the new state fire-alarm code for private day-care centers and preschools is so strict that it could well cause the closing of some of the schools and centers that provide […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Catholics in Heat

CATHOLICS IN HEAT Stage Two Theatre Company This week’s newspapers carried reports of a speech Pope John Paul II made in Portugal warning (to quote the Reuters wire service) “that materialism still threatened Christianity.” The pope never met Wanda Gassett; if he did, he might throw in the towel. Wanda is the heroine of Christopher […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Celebration

A luncheon at Ditka’s put on by the Chicago chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences finished with jumbled scenes from Gone With the Wind playing on five overhead TV sets. Pretend battles and a resplendent Vivien Leigh had been cannibalized to decorate this music video. As the sound was turned down, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Saffire–The Uppity Blues Women

When these three self-proclaimed “middle-aged” women left their day gigs and hit the road in 1988, some predicted that their folksy, hummin’ and strummin’ approach toward blues would wear out its welcome and they’d eventually be relegated to some cubicle in Kingston Trio Hell. But so far the Uppity Blues Women show no signs of […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Caucasian Chalk Circle

THE CAUCASIAN CHALK CIRCLE Court Theatre Terrible is the temptation to do good! –the Singer, The Caucasian Chalk Circle Virtue may be its own reward, but that’s little protection in a world that despises it. In The Caucasian Chalk Circle Brecht told a bitter truth–that the rich expect the poor to be submissive and to […]

Posted inFilm

The Man Who Fell to Sleep

SWITCH * (Has redeeming facet) Directed and written by Blake Edwards With Ellen Barkin, Jimmy Smits, JoBeth Williams, Lorraine Bracco, Tony Roberts, Perry King, Lysette Anthony, and Victoria Mahoney. In a review of Blake Edwards’s S.O.B. ten years ago, I was skeptical enough about his reputation as a trenchant social satirist that I called him […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chamber Music at North Park

Ten years ago pianist Elizabeth Buccheri helped establish the chamber series at North Park College, which has considerably enriched musical life in the city’s northwest corner. Now, many happy and edifying concerts later, some of the series’s participants–including members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Vermeer Quartet–are back to celebrate its remarkable success. The […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Tabloid Truth

TALES OF THE LOST FORMICANS Lifeline Theatre BUNNICULA Lifeline Theatre As flies to wanton boys. . . . –King Lear If you were lucky enough to have seen Scott McPherson’s Marvin’s Room when it premiered at the Goodman Theatre Studio a little over a year ago, you probably remember what a hapless bunch of losers […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Man With the Golden Arm

THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM Open City Theatre at the Synergy Center It took me three hours to read a two-paragraph passage in Jim Carroll’s Basketball Diaries. The passage was about Carroll and his buddy getting caught in the act of shooting up heroin and having to run through the city, one of them […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Under One Roof

UNDER ONE ROOF Society for New Things Human beings rarely conform to the idealized conceptions of them that their relatives create after they die. The premise of Dan Halstead’s one-act Back Again (being presented with Wrapped Up in Pieces under the collective title “Under One Roof”) is based on this impulse to keep people with […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Graces

GRACES Trilogy Productions at Stage Left Theatre I had a friend in college who was convinced that he was destined to write a great play someday. Unfortunately, he couldn’t stop thinking about what English professors might say about his work 100 years from now. So instead of writing his play, my friend spent all his […]