Posted inMusic

Bringing Back Barber

CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA at Orchestra Hall October 26 and November 3 Samuel Barber had the misfortune to peak early. In 1933, when he was barely 23 and fresh out of the Curtis Institute, the Philadelphia Orchestra introduced his very first orchestral score. Other premieres and honors soon followed, including a prestigious Prix de Rome that […]

Posted inArts & Culture

One of the Greats

SUSANNE LINKE at the Harold Washington Library Theatre November 8 and 9 There’s a moment near the end of Susanne Linke’s Flut (“Flood”) when you realize that she can either dance the climactic feeling of this solo or let it be. She lets it be, abandoning the stage to the final chords of Gabriel Faure’s […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

The perception that some number combinations appear more frequently than others in the various state lotteries leads me to wonder: do all number combinations have equal probability, or is there some mathematical quirk that would allow certain number combinations to appear more often than others? –Douglas J. Stark, Houston What you want, Doug, is what […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Seen at 20 years’ remove from the issues that prompted its writing–the Vietnam war, Kent State, waves of ghetto riots, and grief over the murders of John and Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr.–Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Schwartz’s 1971 effort at a Wagnerian Gesamtkunstwerk emerges as much richer and more universal than it originally […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

Purity: the impossible dream. Environmentalist Tom Kinder describes his family’s “awakening” to the ubiquity of plastics, in Greenkeeping (September/ October): “We looked around our house and saw the very chemicals that we had fought in hazardous waste dumps or chemical factories….We had to do something. So we piled all our plastics–okay, not quite all, we […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Dwarfs

THE DWARFS Feral Theater at Sheffield’s School Street Cafe Less than a year old, the Feral Theater has already carved out a niche for itself as a company that produces minor works by major playwrights. Their first production was Sam Shepard’s 4-H Club. This pointless, plotless fragment masquerading as a one-act hardly seems worth staging, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Field & Street

The great thing about Chicago’s weather is the drama. Of course standing on an icy corner in a howling gale waiting endlessly for a bus from the ZTA (“Zeno’s Transit Authority: We’re always almost there”), you might be pardoned for thinking “Drama, schmama, I’m moving to San Diego.” But think for a moment of what […]