In the inner cities of the U.S. and in the capitals of Europe, where pool checkers is taken as seriously as chess, the quiet bachelor postal clerk from Chicago was known as the best American who ever played the game.
To the editors: On reading “Defender of the Shining Path” in your January 22 issue, I was confronted with the thought that the Reader may print news but not always news fit to print. Of all the people who are professors, or who could or should be professors, how was Bill Martin picked for a […]
Filmmaker Peter Thompson and anthropologist William Hanks met each other swimming in Lakeview’s Gill Park pool in 1986. Four years and thousands of laps later, they ended up in side-by-side hammocks on the edge of the jungle in Mexico’s Yucatan. Their quarters, an eight-by-ten-foot mud hut shared with a Maya family of ten, required some […]
To the editors: Regarding “Specimens From the New World,” January 29. Was it art or was it natural history? Visitors coming to the Field Museum on January 16 or 17 who had not read about Guillermo Gomez-Pena and Coco Fusco’s installation performance ahead of time, or who missed the museum’s handout, or who did not […]
Originally entitled Hellcab Does Christmas and marketed as a hip antiholiday holiday show, Will Kern’s incredibly black comedy about a day in the life of a poor beleaguered cab driver was never, strictly speaking, a holiday show. Even though Kern’s slice-of-life play is set on Christmas Eve, the when of his story doesn’t matter nearly […]
THE CREATION OF THE WORLD AND OTHER BUSINESS Avenue Theatre It’s a drag: most of the great playwrights of our time have written only a few great plays. That’s especially bad news for theater companies that would like to put on a Tennessee Williams or Arthur Miller play but realize that all the classics have […]
Stephanie Shaw reviews Chicago Theatre Company’s Mens, by Sarah V. Finney.
There’s been some controversy over the production of the Jayhawks’ third album, Hollywood Town Hall. George Drakoulias, who created the crisp retro of the two Block Crowes records, is said to have neutered the Jayhawks’ country-rock sound in an attempt to turn them into similarly platinum stars. But here’s a distinction: The Crowes transparently retread […]
Harriet Ross, the stalwart associate artistic director of the Joseph Holmes Dance Theatre, is tired of the struggle. “It’s no longer about how well you do your craft, but how well you do the grants game.”
On October 1 a 13-year-old girl walking along a residential street in the far-west-side neighborhood of Austin was abducted at gunpoint, dragged into an abandoned building, and raped. Over the next two months news of that crime was followed by reports of seven other rapes in the same neighborhood. A serial rapist was on the […]
PAINTING CHURCHES Theatre du Jour at Heartland Cafe Studio Theatre One of the hardest things for a writer is to present an honest picture of his or her own family: there’s a natural tendency to skew facts in order to show oneself in the best possible light. Too often audiences are forced to sit through […]
For someone who likes to fly by the seat of his pants, Bob Eisen is awfully businesslike during rehearsal. Watching his five dancers walk, crawl, and hurtle through their paces, he looks and sounds grim. He calls out to Dan Prindle that he’s not drawing out a pause in his crawl long enough, and runs […]
NEXT GENERATION PROJECT at Link’s Hall, February 5-7 Sometimes it’s better to watch dance with the brain turned off–but it can be hard for a choreographer to find the off switch. If the dance is funny or physically wild, that helps; intentional noise, a kind of static, will sometimes do the trick too. The three […]
SNAKEBIT Remains Theatre Snakebit, the second play by actor-turned-writer David Marshall Grant, is a baby-boomer version of the kind-of-hip, sort-of-serious comedies that used to be a staple of dinner theaters. In these plays a problem is introduced–divorce, aging, chemical dependency, some long-past chance at love–but for the next two acts it’s not allowed to interfere […]