Posted inArts & Culture

Chicago Dance Medium

CHICAGO DANCE MEDIUM at the Harold Washington Library Theatre May 8 and 9 The opening images of Rosemary Doolas’s premiere, Allez Pleurer Comme des Hommes (“Go Cry Like Men”), come from World War II footage of tanks burning and Paris being liberated. The soft black-and-white film is filled with celebrating Parisians: women in simple dresses […]

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Alfredo Jaar: Geography War

ALFREDO JAAR: GEOGRAPHY WAR at the Museum of Contemporary Art I could comment on the formal virtues of the carefully crafted pieces in Alfredo Jaar’s current installation at the Museum of Contemporary Art, “Geography War.” The aesthetic qualities of his light boxes deserve some praise. But to focus on that would be to miss all […]

Posted inArts & Culture

TanaReid With kenny Burrell

In jazz, the rhythm section forms the heart of almost every ensemble, and the communication between rhythm section and leader largely determines the music’s success. So when the rhythm section is the leader–as with TanaReid, the two-saxophone quintet assembled by drummer Akira Tana and bassist Rufus Reid–you’ve got it made in the shade. One of […]

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The Song of Jacob Zulu

“The fire is burning. . . It is taking the children / It is eating the future,” sings Ladysmith Black Mambazo in the choral introduction to Steppenwolf Theatre’s The Song of Jacob Zulu. The “fire” is South African apartheid, but the words could just as easily be about America’s own crisis of race and class, […]

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Connections of the Heart

Connections of the Heart is good, clean fun in Lesboland. Paula Berg’s musical takes a witty insider’s look at the current preoccupations and obsessions in the lesbian community. It’s thick with cultural references, but you don’t always have to be queer to get them, and the story–a romantic comedy about four gals grappling with their […]

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Janos Starker

Budapest-born Janos Starker, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s principal cellist in the 50s, is still a preeminent and much-recorded concert soloist. He’s also keenly appreciated as a teacher, having trained scores of musicians during his long tenure at Indiana University. Starker’s playing style, though a bit old-fashioned in its central-European mellowness, is ideally suited for the […]

Posted inMusic

Teenage Fanclub

Attitudewise, Teenage Fanclub is Scotland’s answer to the Pixies–their languid, almost indolent approach to craft and career makes their rising success seem almost inadvertant. Whether, like the Pixies, they’ll hang on to this blase attitude and become annoying remains to be seen. Soundwise, of course, they’re nothing like the Pixies: the pulsing guitars, the effortless […]

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Aspects of Love

ASPECTS OF LOVE at the Civic Theatre During intermission at the opening of Aspects of Love, a group of people tried to pinpoint this musical’s cultural antecedents. The Bloomsbury group? After all, David Garnett, whose 1955 novel is the show’s source, was married to Virginia Woolf’s niece. How about D.H. Lawrence, Garnett’s mentor? No, Noel […]

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Obsessive Rituals

KAREN MCMAHON AND BOB EISEN at Randolph Street Gallery May 1 and 2 When we first see Karen McMahon she’s buried under a mound of dirt. It covers her like a blanket, with a few patches of skin showing through. She slowly lifts her head, as if waking; she moves her arms and legs, freeing […]

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An Evening With Peter Ustinov

There’s a mean streak in Sir Peter Ustinov that I like. It’s nice to know that so accomplished a personage isn’t above using his acquaintanceships with notable people as fodder for witty, ungenerous anecdotes and impersonations, delivered in Ustinov’s distinctive style–ironic, melancholy, and slightly weary, the attitude of a cosmopolite who’s fluent in many languages […]

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Savage Sucker Punch

THE MARRIAGE OF BETTE AND BOO Apple Tree Theatre Christopher Durang’s The Marriage of Bette and Boo is a nasty little comic masterpiece pointed at the heart of the ideal American family. Injustice and small cruelties abound in the world of Bette, Boo, and their extended families. Marriage is a mine field of miscommunication, family […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Low Income Housing

To the editors: Thanks for your piece [Neighborhood News, May 1] about Pam Gore and her low rent hotels. More could (and should) be written not only about the hotels but about low income rental housing. The few private entrepreneurs still running low rent multiunit buildings are a disappearing species. We are being driven out […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Women’s Politics in Black and White

To the editors: I just read Florence Hamlish Levinsohn’s article “The Pique of Women Voters” [April 24] and, not to my surprise, the normally very thorough author fell into the quintessential stereotype of classifying “women” and “women’s” issues in terms primarily exclusive to white women. How disappointing. Lost in Levinsohn’s recap of the remarkable victories […]