Posted inArts & Culture

My Children! My Africa!

MY CHILDREN! MY AFRICA! Wisdom Bridge Theatre To South African playwright Athol Fugard, language is perhaps the most important weapon in the struggle for political reform. At one point in his My Children! My Africa! Mr. M, a well-respected black teacher, holds up a rock in one hand and an English dictionary in the other. […]

Posted inNews & Politics

New Math

To the editors: There are some factual errors in Ben Joravsky’s Neighborhood News article (“Annals of school reform: Has the central office been cut to the bone?”) which ran in your December 6 issue. Here is some clarification on the misinformation printed. 1. There are only 1,722 Board of Education workers at the central office, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Contemporary Chamber Players

The first performance last November of Ralph Shapey’s Concerto Fantastique caused quite a stir at Orchestra Hall: more than half of the audience left between movements; those who stayed to the end, however, gave a rousing ovation. Despite its shortcomings–its length and unwieldiness–the hour-long work showed the iconoclast expressionist back at the top of his […]

Posted inArts & Culture

La Belle Noiseuse

Jacques Rivette’s greatest film since the 70s is one of the most penetrating examinations of the process of art making on film. It concerns the highly charged work of a figurative painter (Michel Piccoli, giving the performance of his career) with his beautiful and mainly nude model (Manon of the Spring’s Emmanuelle Beart), but also […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Advice for Nelson

To the editors: As a writer, I’d howl from the rooftops in defense of a political satirist’s right to skewer anyone he chooses. But I can’t work up much steam for artist David K. Nelson. No, not because I’m an African-American woman who happens to live around the corner from Alderman Dorothy Tillman. It’s just […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

During the recent Christmas season I saw references everywhere to “Victorian” Christmas celebrations–house tours, store windows, magazine advertisements, etc. I can understand people pining for a simpler time, provided we overlook such details as child labor, Jim Crow laws, and women not having the right to vote. What I wonder is whether people in Victorian […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chicago Ensemble

The piano trio was invented toward the end of the Baroque era as a vehicle for ostentatious court pianists. Haydn, experimenting with the genre several decades later, elevated the violin from supporting role to almost the piano’s equal, and Mozart too wrote his trios as rich musical dialogues between the two haughty instruments. The cello […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Hat’s Off

To the editors: The recent outburst over the wonderful drawing in your paper of Dorothy Tillman [December 20] is highly uncalled for. The day that anyone can tell the publisher of a newspaper what he can and can’t print went out with 8-track tapes. My family and I have enjoyed your paper for many years […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

Some of us were looking forward to the LAST one! Argonne National Laboratory notes that December 20 was the 40th anniversary of the first illumination of light bulbs by nuclear-generated electricity. “In honor of the anniversary, one of those bulbs was re-lit with electricity from an advanced reactor designed by Argonne for the 21st century.” […]