Posted inArts & Culture

Family Rozhdestvensky

The Rozhdestvenskys are fast emerging as Russia’s most prominent musical family. The father, Gennady, son of a well-known Moscovite maestro and singer, joined the Bolshoi Theatre as conductor in 1953 at age 22 and oversaw a number of important premieres. A skilled practitioner of politics and the recipient of the Lenin prize, he became, in […]

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Haiku Dancer

STEVE PAXTON at Link’s Hall July 10, 17, and 18 The poet Gary Snyder has said that one of the pleasures of reading poetry is learning the shape of another person’s mind. In Snyder’s poetry, and much modern American poetry, the poet’s drive to eliminate all emotional excess and manipulation can result in a kind […]

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Star Power

MY THING OF LOVE Steppenwolf Theatre Company Adultery is the subject of Alexandra Gersten’s play My Thing of Love, set in the present in south-suburban Evergreen Park, and the torrent of emotions released when Elly (Laurie Metcalf) discovers her husband of 12 years, Jack (Tom Irwin), has taken a young lover pretty much carries the […]

Posted inFilm

Artful Imitations

UNIVERSAL SOLDIER ** (Worth seeing) Directed by Roland Emmerich Written by Richard Rothstein, Christopher Leitch, and Dean Devlin With Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren, Ally Walker, Ed O’Ross, Jerry Orbach, Leon Rippy, Tico Wells, and Ralph Moeller. UNLAWFUL ENTRY ** (Worth seeing) Directed by Jonathan Kaplan Written by Lewis Colick, George D. Putnam, and John […]

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Outsider Artist

SYLVIA PLACHY’S UNGUIDED TOUR at the Museum of Contemporary Photography Over the years I’ve gotten used to flipping open the first page of the Village Voice to find one of Sylvia Plachy’s weekly images. Intriguing, moving, surreal, lyrical, intense, they always capture a monumental moment with such matter-of-fact poignancy that the image can’t be overlooked. […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story Eldon Helget, a manager at a Menards building-supply store in Minneapolis, was fired in June because he was planning to build a new house outfitted with ramps that would ease travel for his wheelchair-bound daughter who has spina bifida. Helget violated the Menards company rule that a manager cannot build or add to […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Letters Home

LETTERS HOME Transient Theatre Sylvia Plath’s suicide at the peak of her career left a legacy of questions that have attracted a cult obsessed with trying to find answers. The people she left behind often seem to be victims of this cult. Plath wrote highly personal poetry, and many academics (rightly or wrongly) use it […]

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Doctor Faustus

DOCTOR FAUSTUS Oak Park Festival Theatre At the end of Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus the chorus pronounces the obligatory moral: “Faustus is gone; regard his hellish fall,” the punishment of a man tempted by “unlawful things / Whose deepness doth entice such forward wits / To practice more than heavenly power permits.” Yet industriously undermining […]

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STARKWEATHER Saratoga Company at Stage Left Theatre “The lovers’ happiness was threatened by a world that labeled them too young and tried to separate the two,” reads the press release for the Saratoga Company’s Starkweather. “In some respects, Caril and Charlie were victims . . . [who] never had much of a chance to begin […]

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When you’re talking about one person’s musical sensibility running the show, the distinction between playing solo and playing with a group is generally meaningless, of course. Stiff, the first album from Sugar, Bob Mould’s new power trio, does seem to have focused the talents of the formidable thrash god. His two demanding solo albums were […]

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Lemonheads/Juliana Hatfield

Now that Lemonheads albums have essentially become Evan Dando solo albums, we can see that the lanky Bostonian’s personal concerns are more obscure, quieter, and more difficult than those proffered by former cohort Ben Deily. At his best, as on “Half the Time” (off of Lovey) or on the title song to the new album […]