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Posted inFilm

The Filmmaker’s Problem

POVERTIES *** (A must-see) Directed by Laurie Dunphy Years ago, when some friends and I were running a university film society, we had an office where we looked at the films we were about to show and at the films other area film societies were showing. The building janitor sometimes used the office to sleep, […]

Posted inFilm

Family Values and Mass Murder

STAR TIME *** (A must-see) Directed and written by Alexander Cassini With Michael St. Gerard, John P. Ryan, Maureen Teefy, and Thomas Newman. I doubt that any current media buzz term is more ideologically polluted than “family values.” Even its alternative, “suitable for the whole family,” doesn’t contain the same puritanical lies. The egregious false […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story Four families in Burlington County, New Jersey, filed a lawsuit against the Catholic Church in March, claiming damages for emotional distress caused by the church’s failure to remove a priest who they reported had sexually abused their children in 1990. The couples claim that as a result of the priest’s staying on at […]

Posted inArts & Culture


FAITHFUL Renegade Theatre Company at the Royal George Theatre Center’s Gallery Wouldn’t it be funny if a hit man called his psychiatrist while he was on a job? Wouldn’t it be even funnier if the psychiatrist were a sniveling, insecure gambler begging his patient for guidance and assurance? The author of Faithful, Chazz Palminteri, was […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Three Women From Hollywood

UPSY-DAISY! Robyn Orlin at the Blue Rider Theatre, May 8 and 9 Every little thing pays off in Upsy-Daisy!, Robyn Orlin’s new work: the bright red lip prints, the sparkly black pumps, the dozen or so multicolored bathing caps, the little windup duckies, the fishbowl, the sealed baggies full of water, even the two with […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Metaphysical Whodunit

GHOST IN THE MACHINE Steppenwolf Theatre Company David Gilman’s Ghost in the Machine begins with one of those petty occurrences that can turn a rational person into a fixated nut case: the loss of a $50 bill. It quickly proceeds to a mystery of much larger implications: the discovery, in a densely layered piece of […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Club Dates: a postmodern jazz quartet

“I think there’s a crisis in the arts today, and you can see it in jazz,” says the Vandermark Quartet’s reedman and leader, Ken Vandermark. “So many people are retreating back to bop. Too few people are playing contemporary music that’s true to themselves and their experiences. Parker and Monk played bop because it evolved […]

Posted inMusic

Alfred Brendel

At age 62 Alfred Brendel is arguably the most respected and beloved pianist in the generation of performers whose careers took off in the 60s. He gained this distinction, however, partly by default. There were more brilliant technicians and more soulful interpreters than he at the starting gate, but some of them, like Leonard Shure, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Man Who Replaced Siskel and Ebert/What ABout Bob?/Silent Reporting

The Man Who Replaced Siskel and Ebert Since 1986–and this might astonish Sisbert fans around the country–Dave Kehr’s been the principal film critic of the Chicago Tribune. We have bad news; he’s leaving for New York. His reasons are personal, but it isn’t fame that beckons. Fame–or shall we say stature?–he already enjoys. He’s chaired […]

Posted inArts & Culture


CAMELOT Shubert Theatre “You must be crazy,” composer Frederick Loewe said when lyricist Alan Jay Lerner suggested they write a musical about King Arthur. “That king was a cuckold. Who the hell cares about a cuckold?” Lerner knew better, of course. He knew that the story of Arthur is much more than just royal soap […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Human Rhythm Project

Syncopated rhythmic line dances, intricate tangles of footwork, high-flash leaps and turns, swoops and slides, dapper elegance: tap dancers know how to grab your attention. A few years ago downtown commuters would sometimes find a tap dancer in tails–complete with top hat and cane–on the subway platform, his dress and energetic dancing contrasting with the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Calendar Photo Caption

This painting by Peter LoCascio, Object Relations, is one of 49 pieces in the Hyde Park Art Center’s current exhibition. “Party Mix,” on view through June 12, features the work of seven artists who, according to curator Dennis Adrian, represent “important artistic points of view outside the most familiar popular conventions of contemporary art.” The […]