Posted inArts & Culture

This Year’s Throwaway

I PURITANI Lyric Opera Heaaad ’em up! Mooove ’em out! And the cast of Lyric’s I Puritani, a Bellini work that is the Italian equivalent of an old-fashioned Hollywood oater, lumbers dutifully back and forth across the stage. The world that Bellini and his operas inhabited is long gone. It was a world in which […]

Posted inArts & Culture

About Men

JAN ERKERT & DANCERS and KINETIC WHITE GIRLS at Link’s Hall Studio November 1 and 2 It’s possible to see modern dance as a women’s ghetto–and modern dancers as the starving little sisters in a community that’s undernourished anyway–in a country that ghettoizes all art, not just dance. That’s why it’s so heartening when modern […]

Posted inFilm

Physiognomy as Fate

FRANKIE & JOHNNY ** (Worth seeing) Directed by Garry Marshall With Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer. Frankie & Johnny is about the difficult courtship of two working people who, though they work side by side eight hours at a time, cannot quite manage to communicate. If the idea sounds familiar, it should. Though based on […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Sports Section

The last two weeks have done much to establish where the Bears stand in the National Football League this season. After a beginning in which they defeated four straight mediocre teams by slim margins, the Bears then lost to two very good teams by large margins. This left the Bears somewhere in the middle of […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Short Films

John Greyson’s hilarious and wonderful The Making of “Monsters” from Canada is an audacious pseudodocumentary–a short about the making of a musical about a gay-bashing incident that results in murder. If that sounds offbeat, consider that the two creative minds behind the musical are George Lukas (identified as the Marxist literary critic who directed American […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Jean Stapleton and Lee Hoiby

It takes considerable vocal talent to sound as perfectly dreadful as Jean Stapleton sounded when she screeched her way through “Those Were the Days” on TV’s All in the Family. Stapleton established herself as a delightful comic soprano of the Broadway variety back in the mid-1950s, when director George Abbott featured her in Damn Yankees; […]

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Off the Wagon

This performance series, which shifts the Free Street Theater’s focus from touting outdoor events to indoor shows at its home base, kicks off with two one-person works. Out Comes Butch, written and performed by David Schein, who recently succeeded the late Patrick Henry as FST’s artistic director, marks Schein’s Chicago performing debut. A founding member […]

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Members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

The notion of a Ralph Shapey Day must strike its honoree as a bit ironic. After all, for much of his four-decade career the University of Chicago-based maverick was largely ignored by the musical establishment; and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra during the Solti regime paid scarce attention to his provocative compositions. Interest in Shapey’s music […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story The product catalog of the Menstrual Health Foundation of Santa Rosa, California, offers washable cotton sanitary napkins for $5 each and lauds its dedication to helping women everywhere “who are saying ‘yes’ to menstrual empowerment and . . . reclaiming the menstrual mysteries–for our daughters, ourselves, our old wise women and the Earth.” […]

Posted inFilm

7 Women

A commercial disaster when it came out in 1966, generally relegated to the lower half of double bills, and dismissed by most critics, John Ford’s magnificent last feature is surely one of his greatest films–not merely for its unsentimental distillation of Fordian themes, but for the telegraphic urgency and passion of its style, which is […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Me Too

To the editors: I read your cover story [October 11] on Michael Pensack, the Money-Grubbing Avaricious Pseudo-Humanitarian, dedicated to tenants (in Michael Pensack’s interests), and I feel cheated. I employed Mr. Pensack about a year and a half ago to help me out of a serious squabble with my landlord after my roof fell in […]

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The Straight Dope

The other day at work I saw a fluorescent light bulb crash to the ground and shatter. When I started picking up the pieces, a coworker warned me to be very careful, saying there was a highly toxic chemical inside fluorescent tubes and one cut meant certain death. This is something I’ve heard before. Just […]