Posted inArts & Culture

Robyn Hitchcock & the Egyptians

The career of Robyn Hitchcock–authentic Brit eccentric, ace songwriter, blah blah blah–has been erratic as hell. In the last couple of years, however, he’s succeeded in magicking himself into a radio-friendly rocker of the first magnitude. (The fact that few radio stations have bothered to notice is beside the point.) On last year’s Perspex Island, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

International Theatre Festival of Chicago

In Chicago, even-numbered years bring the odd productions from around the world to town. At least they have since 1986, when Jane Nicholl Sahlins, Bernard Sahlins, and Pam Marsden first launched this sometimes controversial, visionary biennial event. When the festival was founded, Chicago was routinely omitted from major national theater tours, whose producers gauged that […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Sandra Bernhard

Sandra Bernhard’s out-there public persona–the King of Comedy weirdo, acidic and mocking Madonna-nonwannabe, unruly demistar–sometimes obscures her actual artistic accomplishments. Against a backdrop of the songs of a shared culture, from “Me and Mrs. Jones” to “Little Red Corvette,” an unruly demistar acts out her prejudices and anxieties, incredulous voice drawling, ungainly limbs flailing, razor-sharp […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Capturing the Erotic

SAINTS AND SINGING Sweet Jane Productions at Cafe Voltaire Gertrude Stein is Gertrude Stein is Gertrude Stein, and either you like her or you don’t. She can certainly be admired for her audacity: writing plays and stories that blatantly ignore questions like who, what, where, how, and why. Her bohemian life-style in Paris and open […]

Posted inArts & Culture


OVERRULED Touchstone Theatre at the Halsted Theatre Centre Exasperatingly perverse, George Bernard Shaw often seemed to waffle on many big issues. Though he liked to pretend that he could cut through the cant about marriage, adultery, and feminism, he could waver spectacularly on these volatile matters, at various times treating marriage, for instance, as a […]

Posted inFilm

Lie Lady Lie

HOUSESITTER ** (Worth seeing) Directed by Frank Oz Written by Mark Stein and Brian Grazer With Steve Martin, Goldie Hawn, Dana Delany, Julie Harris, Donald Moffat, Peter MacNicol, Richard B. Shull, Laurel Cronin, Roy Cooper, and Christopher Durang. I’ve seen previews of two summer comedies so far–Sister Act and Housesitter–that have elicited gales of hysterical […]

Posted inMusic


Flavor of the month in alternative land is Pavement, an amiable, somewhat obscurantist LA group noticed both for their efficient parroting of all the right Pixilated, Sonic Youthful moves (which don’t impress me, and probably won’t you) and for their occasionally open and oddly ingratiating songwriting (which does me, and might you). On Slanted & […]