Posted inArts & Culture

Short of Perfection

THE GOODBYE GIRL Shubert Theatre For predictable, contrived mush with hardly a musical phrase worth remembering or a gag that rises above the average sitcom, The Goodbye Girl isn’t half bad. Of course it’s nowhere near the standards its authors have set elsewhere: there’s not a song in Marvin Hamlisch’s score that comes close to […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Wizards of Quiz

THE WIZARDS OF QUIZ National Jewish Theater If a good play is one that stirs up more questions than it answers, then The Wizards of Quiz is a very good play. The problem is, too many of those questions concern the play itself and not its subject–the choices the playwright made rather than the story […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Alley Entrepreneur

“I represent the externalization of not fitting in. I don’t want to fit in,” says Mark Thomas, leaning his chair against the banana yellow walls of his office. He’s wearing black jeans and a black motorcycle jacket, and his long brown hair, which is usually in a ponytail, is hanging straight from his receding hairline […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Boys on the Board/Gay Grief on the Obit Pages/Sniping From the Tower

Boys on the Board A two-year study by Chicago Women in Philanthropy came to a striking conclusion: Programs designed specifically for women and girls “are receiving only 1.4% of the total dollars donated by Chicago-area grantmakers to non-profit organizations.” CWIP, which is composed of about 200 women at local foundations and charities, believes this percentage […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Carlos Johnson

Guitarist Carlos Johnson is a fleet-fingered picker who wraps a shimmering B.B. King-like timbre around asymmetrical melody lines; he augments this breezy virtuosity by laying sharp staccato notes amid his leads to keep things from getting too smooth. Johnson’s repertoire runs the gamut from jazz classics like Ellington’s “Take the ‘A’ Train” to original compositions […]

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The Hours and the Times

Christopher Munch’s brilliant and concise account of what might have happened during John Lennon and Brian Epstein’s four days on vacation in Barcelona in 1963–written, directed, produced, and shot by Munch (who also photographed The Living End) on location in black-and-white 35-millimeter. Visually spare and running for only an hour, this benefits not only from […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Dale Clevinger and Friends

Dale Clevenger, the first chair of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s fabled horn section, is arguably the busiest musician in town. Not only is he chiefly responsible for creating the mellow, sensuous sound that has made the orchestra a powerhouse in the late 19th-century repertoire, but his mellifluous horn playing can also be heard in a […]

Posted inArts & Culture

In the Face of Death

BILL T. JONES/ARNIE ZANE DANCE COMPANY at the Merle Reskin-Blackstone Theatre December 17 and 18 Bill T. Jones and his dancers might have been movie stars–they have that combination of vivid personalities, openness, and talent that connects with an audience. That star quality that makes an audience feel they could just walk up and start […]

Posted inMusic

Punk filtered through queer

Even in her thrift shop duds, G.B. Jones can’t play down the glamour. Statuesque, with her long hair a shade between fuchsia and Miss Clairol’s Sparkling Sherry, this artist, filmmaker, guitarist, and self-described “dyke from hell” easily holds the rapt attention of a roomful of surly punk kids. It’s Friday night at Czar Bar, a […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Norman Dogged

To the editors: Once again, Norman Dog defies reality in favor of his particular brand of misogynist mythology. Once, he cast a wife as the threatening abuser shooting at her husband. “Do you always have to start as soon as I walk in the door?” says the poor guy. Granted, portraying women as the crazed […]