Posted inArts & Culture

The Show Host/Birth of a Frenchman

THE SHOW HOST Teatro Vista and Victory Gardens Theater Victory Gardens Studio Theater Television has no country. It’s easily translated from one language into another–the philosophies that go into and pour out of the set are so instantly recognizable and widely accepted that TV has become a culture unto itself. Take Teatro Vista and Victory […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Baal/Dirty Dreams of a Clean-Cut Kid

BAAL Sliced Bread Productions at Club Lower Links In rethinking Bertolt Brecht’s Baal for a contemporary audience, playwright-director William Bullion states that he sees “the main character as a 1919 Jim Morrison.” The rock poet who gave us “Riders on the Storm” seems a singularly appropriate model for an updated version of Brecht’s first play: […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Our Methodical Critics

To the editors: Excuse me, but doesn’t the Reader have any editors to monitor when their writers aren’t doing their jobs? Why is Bill Wyman, who supposedly is your rock writer, ending his reviews with digs at the Sun-Times and Jae-Ha Kim [“Vying for the Pantheon,” March 13]? Who cares what he thinks about the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Joy of Pain

SPUNK: THREE TALES BY ZORA NEALE HURSTON Goodman Studio Theatre Whenever I sit in an audience to review a show I take copious notes, and intellectual-sounding terms like “juxtaposition,” “intentional artificiality,” and “representational/presentational” always seem to creep into my notebook. I have a master’s degree, after all. Watching “Spunk” in the Goodman Studio Theatre, I […]

Posted inMusic

Rory Block, hot and cold

“Acoustic blues,” said the gent at the door of Buddy Guy’s Legends a few Wednesdays ago when a prospective customer asked him what Rory Block’s show was going to be like. “It’s just a girl singing.” That was hardly fair. Vocalist-guitarist Rory Block grew up in the folk-drenched Greenwich Village of the early 60s. She […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Debility of Rights

To the editors: Thank you for the article on Jeanne Bishop [April 10]. It was a sensitive, informative probe into our prejudiced, self-serving government. It exposed our Bill of Rights for what it truly is: conditional, debilitated and fleeting. I hope this article will spur readers on to become involved. Exercise your rights or like […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Capitol Steps

Remember Chuck Percy? The former Republican senator from Illinois may have been ejected from office by the voters, but he left at least one enduring legacy: the Capitol Steps musical comedy group, cofounded by Percy aide Elaina Newport to entertain at a 1981 Christmas party in the senator’s office. “We had thought of putting on […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Reverse Sexism

To the editors: Carol Moseley Braun [March 6] suffers from a deficiency noted in many politicians: she has a complete lack of class. In late January of ’92 she flashed her 1,000-watt smile and stuck the knife in Bill Clinton, saying to Channel Two’s Mike Flannery that women would remember the Flowers affair. C’mon girl, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

U. Utah Phillips

Only a true-blue, work-shirt-clad folksinger could pull off what U.Utah Phillips does: for recreation he periodically takes to the rails and lives the life of a hobo. Once he even managed to get paid for it, landing a grant to study and document the life-style. Though Phillips lives out west–where men are men and guns […]

Posted inArts & Culture


COMEDIANS Court Theatre A true comedian “works through laughter, not for it,” the once-popular Eddie Waters tells his students in Comedians. “A real comedian . . . dares to see what his audience shies away from.” The debate over whether a comedian should aim for cheap laughs and easy targets or strive to reveal greater […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Be True to Your School

To the editors: Cliches leap to mind while reading about the school with, according to the writer, so many mobsters’ children [Our Town, March 13]. Not “It takes one to know one” or “Birds of a feather.” Both of those imply that the story is correct. And besides, the reporter’s own family was carefully exonerated. […]

Posted inFilm

Scenes Not From a Mall

MY COUSIN VINNY *** (A must-see) Directed by Jonathan Lynn Written by Dale Launer With Joe Pesci, Marisa Tomei, Ralph Macchio, Mitchell Whitfield, Fred Gwynne, Lane Smith, and Austin Pendleton. WHITE MEN CAN’T JUMP *** (A must-see) Directed and written by Ron Shelton With Wesley Snipes, Woody Harrelson, Rosie Perez, Tyra Ferrell, Cylk Cozart, and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Robert Conway

The New Music Chicago Festival is back! This biannual confab of the best, the brightest, and the most outrageous midwestern composers and performers promises a cornucopia of the latest trends as well as homages to avant-garde masters. Among the headliners are Cube, saxophonist John Sampen and the Black Swamp Saxophone Quartet, and the Boston Composers […]