Posted inArts & Culture

Little Comforts/Troll Fantasy

LITTLE COMFORTS and TROLL FANTASY Synergy Theatre Company Anyone who doubts the wisdom of the old saying that a playwright who directs her own work has a fool for a producer should check out the pair of one-acts, Little Comforts and Troll Fantasy, currently being performed by Synergy Theatre Company. Chicago playwright Lisa Dillman, who […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

When I was a little kid my mother always warned me not to sit too close to the TV because it would “ruin your eyes.” Now I am saying the same thing to my two sons. Is this really true? Exactly what eye damage can occur? Is there an optimal distance from which to view […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Heinemann’s New Style

In the back of Stuart Brent’s bookstore on Michigan Avenue, Larry Heinemann stands a few feet from walls that hold framed photographs of celebrated Chicago writers, among them Saul Bellow and Nelson Algren. There’s a move and pull to this room, a certain flow and rhythm that’s really a competition to be heard. Some other […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

So that’s how the pros do it! Mercantile Exchange futures trader and after-hours chef Robert J. Prosi, on his Big Boss Bar-B-Q Sauce: “I knew Big Boss was destined for success when my 11th batch came out perfectly because 11 is my lucky trading number as well.” Analogies we’d rather not pursue any further. “Campaigns […]

Posted inMusic

Warren Zevon straight

Fifteen years ago Warren Zevon was the most daring and brilliant of a crop of talented west coast singer-songwriters that included Jackson Browne and the Eagles, among others. The Zevon of those years combined a macabre, surreal comic sense (“Werewolves of London,” “Excitable Boy”) with a penchant for tender sentimentality (“Hasten Down the Wind,” “Accidentally […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Joe’s Handy Guide to Revolution Made E-Z/Return of the Bitch . . . The Third Coming . . . Skid Mark’s Nocturnal Excretions

JOE’S HANDY GUIDE TO REVOLUTION MADE E-Z Playwrights’ Center Since late-night shows tend to attract a crowd that’s a little grungy and offbeat, most theater companies tend to make these offerings raunchy and antiestablishment. Swearing and occasional blue jokes are de rigueur. And if you can tie in a little bit of radical social commentary, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Vigorous Exception

To the editors: I would like to take vigorous exception to your article on doctors [July 10]. My experience in 73 years of life, including accidents where I had no choice of doctors, is counter to yours. Without exception I have been treated with competence, courtesy, and caring, and I have nothing but respect, gratitude, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

One Happy Actor

To the editors: No theater review could compare to the thrill I got yesterday upon picking up your latest edition. I raise money for Saint Joseph’s Carondelet Child Center [“Child Abuse on the Brain,” July 3] and have found it to be a more enriching form of service than anyone has a right to do. […]