Posted inArts & Culture

Reivers

Pop Beloved is the Reivers’ fourth album and the title is a close approximation of what you might call the, um, zeitgeist (Zeitgeist was their former name) of the band: slightly awkward, but created out of a wistful, human craving for warmth and unity. Songwriter John Croslin digs the rural world in the same way […]

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Teachers’ Turns

NATIONAL FACULTY CHOREOGRAPHY SERIES III at the Dance Center of Columbia College June 14 and 15 Dance teachers from America’s colleges and universities got together at the Dance Center for the “National Faculty Choreography Series III”–and the results reminded me of my best college teachers. These dances were technically strong: physical, expressive, and not marred […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Sports Section

At first, I thought the shot was no more astounding than, oh, a dozen or so other astounding shots Michael Jordan has pulled off in his seven seasons in Chicago. On seeing the replay, I granted that, no, this one was right up there–top three or five. Of course, Jordan does this sort of thing […]

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Irma Thomas

Irma Thomas’s trademark standards–“Don’t Mess With My Man,” “Wish Someone Would Care,” the original “Time Is on My Side”–helped define R & B, but they only touch on the surface: Thomas’s reputation as a soul and blues immortal is based largely on numbers like “It’s Raining” that never became hits outside Louisiana and Mississippi but […]

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I, Figaro

I, FIGARO Curious Theatre Branch When we first see him on the narrow Curious Theatre stage, the immortal Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais sits with a towel over his face and his feet in a bowl of water, drunk, aging, exiled, reciting the recipe of a dish no one will cook for him, yelling for a […]

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True West

TRUE WEST Bowen Park Theatre Company at the Jack Benny Center for the Arts “So they take off after each other straight into an endless black prairie. . . . And the one who’s chasin’ doesn’t know where the other one is taking him. And the one who’s being chased doesn’t know where he’s going.” […]

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News of the Weird

Lead Story The 3M Company announced in April that at least 20 people have died in the last two years from intentionally sniffing Scotchgard fabric protector to get high. The National Institute on Drug Abuse says more people use inhalants to get high than cocaine. Other drugs of choice include Freon, room deodorizers, typewriter correction […]

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Steamship Quanza

STEAMSHIP QUANZA Building Company at Chicago Dramatists Workshop There’s no shortage of examples of how not to write a play based on actual events. Some authors do virtually no research, while others can’t bring themselves to leave anything out. Some are so overcome with zeal that they assume they don’t need to argue their case, […]

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Testosterone Traumas

HURLYBURLY Cactus Theatre at the Synergy Center David Rabe’s Hurlyburly takes us on a scary three-and-a-half-hour trip deep inside a guy named Eddie–that’s “inside” as in autopsy. Under his thin skin, Eddie is mostly dead, numbed by a self-defeating sophistication, a drug-enhanced paranoia, and an alienation so complete he talks to people as if he […]

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The Straight Dope

When I was a small boy I attended a circus that featured a “human cannonball.” This amazing fellow was shot out of a large cannon and flew about 30 yards into a giant net. How did they do this without blowing the poor guy to pieces? It seems to me if this was legitimate the […]