Posted inNews & Politics

The Coolest Place in Town

It’s one of those days during the heat wave after you’ve lost count of how many it’s lasted. Da Mare requests that people conserve water, but in his usual Republican way, he doesn’t issue any orders. Fire hydrants are open all over the city as kids seek relief. The water pressure is low and tap […]

Posted inMusic

Misery loves Morrissey

Johnny Marr discovered Morrissey—sometime after, one assumes, Morrissey invented himself—in 1982. Within a couple of years, Morrissey’s strangled romanticism and Marr’s extremely pragmatic guitar playing made the Smiths one of England’s most celebrated bands. Besides the press’s absolute infatuation with the enigmatic Morrissey—heightened by his refusal to cop to being either gay or straight, claiming, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Opera Notes: music from Monastero’s, the fund-raising restaurant

Eighteen years ago the Monastero family–owners of Monastero’s Ristorante at 3935 W. Devon–decided to hold a contest in their restaurant to give young singers a chance to perform before an audience. To fund the prize–an all-expenses-paid trip to Italy to study opera–they charged their dining clientele a fee to watch the contest. The event proved […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Losing Headstart: city, school board, and federal government fumble while poor neighborhoods howl

For 25 years, North Lawndale’s three- and four-year-olds have learned their ABCs at Howland Elementary, a public school at 1616 S. Spaulding. The preschool classes they took were part of the federally funded Headstart program, one of the few Great Society initiatives to survive nearly 20 years of mostly Republican rule. But come September there […]

Posted inFilm

The Black Man’s Burden

BOYZ N THE HOOD (Has redeeming facet) Directed and written by John Singleton With Cuba Gooding Jr., Ice Cube, Morris Chestnut, Larry Fishburne, Angela Bassett, Nia Long, and Tyra Ferrell. It’s been estimated that at least 19 pictures by black directors will be released in the U.S. this year. That’s less than 5 percent of […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Cookie Crumb Club

COOKIE CRUMB CLUB at Organic Theater Company Greenhouse At 11 AM on a Saturday the last thing most healthy children want to do is sit still and shut up. Veteran folksinger Jim Post knows better than to expect them to, and so participation is the order of the day at the Cookie Crumb Club. However, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

End of the Night

END OF THE NIGHT Mary-Arrchie Theatre Company After only a couple of years, it’s too early to tell for sure, but the Mary-Arrchie company appears to suffer from end-of-season fatigue. Two of the three one-acts that make up this year’s finale, “End of the Night,” which takes its title from an early Doors song, have […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Open Doors

Festooned with European prizes and an Academy Award nomination, this solid, well-acted humanist period drama–adapted by director Gianni Amelio and Vincenzo Cerami from a novel by Leonardo Sciascia–makes its points quietly but firmly. In Palermo, Sicily, in 1937, an accountant (Ennio Fantastichini) for the Fascist Confederation of Professionals and Artists, who was recently fired for […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Pictures of Color

JEFF DONALDSON at ETA Creative Arts Center Gallery What’s immediately striking about Jeff Donaldson’s mixed-media works is the intricacy of his vibrantly colored patterns. This is work that is meant to get your attention–and hold it. Donaldson has learned his lessons well over the years (he’s been creating images since he was three), and he […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Reel Life: local boys make comedy

Ever since his childhood in Park Ridge, Greg Glienna has pictured himself as a director of comedies. At age eight he, with the help of his best friend, Jim Vincent, made his first film in Super-8. In the early 80s and several shorts later, he and Vincent enrolled in the undergraduate film program at Columbia […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Von Freeman Quartet With Jodie Christian

What’s special about pianist Jodie Christian is that he’s a jack of all trades–no, a master of all trades. Jazz is demanding–the player must simultaneously create, interpret, and complement his fellow musicians–and it’s no wonder that versatility among several jazz disciplines usually comes at the expense of distinctive character. Christian, however, forged his bright, complex […]