Posted inNews & Politics

The Work of a Master

I’m sitting in my office one afternoon when a young man I’ve never seen there pokes his head in the doorway. He’s wearing Bermuda shorts, a black-and-white T-shirt promoting somebody’s band, has long brown hair tied behind his neck in a single tightly wound braid. The look is at once clean-cut and 90s-hip. He’s carrying […]

Posted inMusic


It’s possible that the only true survivors–emotionally, musically, and politically–of the great initial blast of British punk are the Mekons. The music of their convincing early onslaught has evolved over the last six or so years into an unassailable melange of modern British postpunk and Hank Williams-era C & W, and the result is an […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Brutal Poetry

HERE IS MONSTER Next Lab In the Next Lab’s first production in their 40-seat “black box,” Dexter Bullard took an interesting but weak script–John Godber’s episodic, essentially plotless Bouncers–and transformed it into a first-rate production. The play ran for nine months and earned Bullard a reputation as one of Chicago’s up-and-coming young directors, a reputation […]

Posted inArts & Culture


MOMENTA at the Ruth Page Foundation Theatre November 1 and 2 Momenta is the only group I know of in the Chicago area that is dedicating its energy, imagination, and scarce funds to authentic re-creations of vanished dances by important American choreographers. Stephanie Clemens, Momenta’s artistic director, began the project three years ago to acquaint […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Nights of the Blue Rider

The 50-odd groups appearing in the eight-week “festival of Chicago’s international arts” include a dozen theater companies and performance artists; those performing November 7 through 14 are described below. These listings refer to theater and performance art offerings only; on nights when only one performance is listed here, be assured at least one other program […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Mozartean Players

A milestone anniversary like the Mozart bicentennial ought to be an occasion for discoveries and revelations; appropriately, the well-regarded Mozartean Players are proffering a program of delectable pieces from Mozart’s early and middle periods this weekend. Though the chamber ensemble performs on period instruments, founder Steven Lubin has shown a healthy skepticism toward the authenticity […]

Posted inArts & Culture


PERISHED Theater Wyrzuc at Too Far West Coffeehouse Few crises can be more perverse than a child getting beaten by a parent: when kids encounter a wrong, their first impulse is to run to parents to set it right. When the protector turns into a nightmare bully, how does a new mind grapple with such […]

Posted inFilm

What Is a Jew?

EUROPA EUROPA **** (Masterpiece) Directed and written by Agnieszka Holland With Marco Hofschneider, Rene Hofschneider, Delphine Forest, Andre Wilms, Julie Delpy, and Halina Labonarska. Solomon Perel was born in Peine, Germany, in 1925, the youngest child of a Polish-Jewish shoe merchant. He survived World War II first in a Soviet orphanage (1938-41), then by posing […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Power Pipes

POWER PIPES Spiderwoman Theater at the Edgewater Theater Center October 24-27 Reviewing a work in progress is a lot like evaluating a restaurant by walking around the kitchen and smelling the food as it’s being prepared. The fact is, you never really know how it’s going to turn out. It could be great, but then […]