Posted inMusic

Records

BROADCASTING Saffire–The Uppity Blues Women Alligator 4811 Saffire–The Uppity Blues Women have been hailed as a refreshingly contemporary version of the classic women blues singers of the 30s and been criticized as a one-trick pony whose act will eventually grow stale. The Uppities are folksy but only occasionally do they become earnestly righteous. In a […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Word Wonks’ Corner

To the editors: In the “Stop This Word” item in his December 25 Hot Type column, Michael Miner pleads for the retirement of the word “wonk,” calling it a “term that was fresh when the New Republic began using it months ago to describe Clinton Democrats and has now leached into the mass media and […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story In Naples, Italy, in November masked men attacked four members of the Napoli soccer team with iron bars, sending one of them to the hospital. A group of fans later claimed responsibility for the attack, declaring that it punished the players for a 5-1 loss to the AC Milan team. “[The Napoli players] […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Casino Evil

To the editors: David Moberg’s article, “Daley’s Crapshoot” [November 20], should be must reading for anyone that wants to understand the issues associated with the megacasino proposal. It is fortunate that Moberg and the Reader were willing to examine the facts and the complexities of this proposal. It is likewise regrettable that others in the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Deep Blues

Blues buffs have some genuine cause for rejoicing: Robert Mugge’s 1991 documentary about blues performers in the Mississippi Delta, made for England’s Channel Four, contains some of the best blues I’ve ever heard or seen on film. Using blues critic and historian Robert Palmer–accompanied by Dave Stewart (of the Eurythmics)–as tour guide, the film proceeds […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Playboy of the Western World

THE PLAYBOY OF THE WESTERN WORLD New World Repertory Company When John Synge’s The Playboy of the Western World opened at Dublin’s Abbey Theatre in 1907 the audience rioted, angered by its obscene and blasphemous language and its unflattering portrait of the Irish. For the first week of the play’s run people tried to disrupt […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Catholic School Girls

CATHOLIC SCHOOL GIRLS Act Now Productions at Cafe Voltaire It’s the early 60s. Catholic schoolgirls wear plaid, respond to air raid drills with panicked squeals about communism, and are mercilessly browbeaten by sadistic Brides of Christ. They’re taught not to bite down on the Host at Communion (a practice compared to “biting off the leg […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Lorenzo’s Oil

This is a docudrama about a couple (Nick Nolte and Susan Sarandon) whose five-year-old son who has a rare and mysterious degenerative disease called adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD). It’s hard to make such a project sound good, but in its own quiet way this is an astonishing film, both as a medical detective story that sustains taut […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Woyzeck

WOYZECK Chicago Cabaret Ensemble at Latino Chicago Theater Company In one powerful scene in Chicago Cabaret Ensemble’s Woyzeck a woman in a low-cut black dress stands center stage. Previously we have seen her cradling a red scarf as if it were a baby. A man in black stands behind her, only his green-gloved hands visible. […]

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Fuhrer Fantasies

THE CROAKING FASCIST and THE ARMBAND VARIATIONS Theater for the Age of Gold at Link’s Hall What an ad campaign Hitler ran! Almost half a century after the fall of the Third Reich his hollow-eyed, caterpillar-mustached visage and fylfot logo (co-opted from a Bronze Age Eurasian religious symbol) are still considered vivid and powerful enough […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Guillermo Gomez-Pena and Coco Fusco

Ciao Columbus, Buenos Dias Nuevo World (B)order!” might be the battle cry of the two “aboriginal specimens” who have demanded to be discovered even if it means placing themselves in a glass case for 16 hours this weekend at the Field Museum. A “Post-Colombian Site-Specific Project,” created by performance artist, writer, and provocateur Guillermo Gomez-Pena […]

Posted inMusic

A.C. Reed & the Sparkplugs

Veteran saxophonist A.C. Reed is something of an anomaly among contemporary blues hornmen: his style seems to owe more to the raucous guitar sound of early-60s Chicago guitarists like Buddy Guy than to the roadhouse honkers who usually provide the inspiration for blues horn blowers. His repertoire consists primarily of straight-ahead Chicago-style burners interspersed with […]