Posted inArts & Culture

Wasted Time

WASTED: A BRIEF HISTORY OF GARBAGE Abiogenesis at David Puszh Dance Studio November 1 Wasted: A Brief History of Garbage, a half-hour performance work incorporating dance, mime, and installation elements, is topical, politically correct, and utterly unaffecting. If it weren’t for the performers’ deadly earnestness and sophomoric intensity, you’d think the performance itself was meant […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Storytelling/Artist on Fire

Two highly original and personal documentaries by Canadian feminist filmmaker Kay Armatage, both of which gracefully fuse traditional and experimental methods of art making to offer passionate views of creativity. Storytelling (1983) intercuts between the performances of several master storytellers, each representing a different style and tradition. Most of the storytellers are women–an old Irish […]

Posted inFilm

Natural Industry

WATER AND POWER **** (Masterpiece) Directed by Pat O’Neill. Some 75 years ago agents for the rapidly expanding city of Los Angeles began secretly buying water rights in the Owens Valley, 260 miles to the north. Two huge aqueducts now carry this water south; a once-fertile valley has become a desert; and the unique ecosystem […]

Posted inArts & Culture

John Abercrombie Trio

In my book, John Abercrombie belongs at the head of a jazz-guitar lineage that includes Pat Metheny, John Scofield, and Bill Frisell–all of whom use a softened attack and a globular timbre to weave their impressionistic ideas into jazz’s answer to neoromanticism. Abercrombie has remained the most romantic of the bunch: some of his recorded […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

Did Neil Armstrong muff his historic line or didn’t he? When I along with half a billion others witnessed the first human step on the moon on July 20, 1969, I swear I heard Armstrong say, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” What he meant to say, of course, was […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Sending Up Steinbeck

OF GRAPES AND NUTS Illegitimate Players at Victory Gardens Studio Theater Funny is too weak a word for what’s going on at the Victory Gardens Studio Theater. Remember Monty Python’s killer joke? The Illegitimate Players have come up with the killer show. The Players have scaled comic heights before. Their Glass Mendacity was the most […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

“When someone is having a heart attack, he doesn’t want to shop around,” Dr. Quentin Young of Chicago’s Health and Medicine Policy Research Group tells Chicago Enterprise (October 1990). And that’s why the government’s attempt to control health-care costs through the marketplace hasn’t worked out so well. The heart-attack victim, Young notes, “wants to be […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Ex-Chicagoan Ned Rorem returns to Orchestra Hall–where he got the informal portion of his musical education more than half a century ago–with an ambitious, brand-new vocal work, one of the Chicago Symphony’s nine centennial commissions. Entitled Goodbye My Fancy, the hour-long oratorio is vaguely autobiographical, with texts based on the prose and poetry of Walt […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Image Control

The place setting is one of H.D. Anderson’s specialties. She knows exactly what every conceivable component on a place mat is for, from the soupspoon to the cold salmon fork. She knows the way to project an appropriate image while eating sorbet. She tells her clients to think of a dinner plate as if it […]