Posted inNews & Politics

Integrated Neighborhoods

To the editors: Harold Henderson did his usual excellent job on “Apartheid American-Style” [May 7]. The problem is there, and Chicago is an extreme example. But, the place to look for solutions is in the exception to the problem. A friend searched the census data for “diverse” community areas, any of which has less than […]

Posted inArts & Culture


HAMLET Belligerent Bard Productions at Cafe Voltaire Watching Belligerent Bard’s production of Hamlet, I couldn’t help but remember an encounter I once had with a professional mover. Our office was being moved down seven floors, and I had spent the last five minutes trying to maneuver a six-foot filing cabinet, straining every muscle I had. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

McKay’s Bees

MCKAY’S BEES Griffin Theatre Company Forgive the pun, but Griffin Theatre’s production of McKay’s Bees is the sort of show that really bugs me. Not because it’s bad. Far from it. But because it comes so close to being really, really good. If sheer ambition were the secret to theatrical success, Griffin would be heading […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Much Ado About Nothing

Kenneth Branagh’s second attempt (after Henry V) to popularize Shakespeare for the screen yields his best movie to date–not especially interesting as art perhaps, but a smashing piece of entertainment. The comedy has been cut and deprived of its urban setting so that the whole thing could be shot in and around a 14th-century Tuscan […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Guns of Steel

To the editors: Enjoyed your April 16 lead article, “A Radical Woman.” But Ms. West’s memory has faltered in one instance: the “Memorial Day Massacre” of 1937 (p. 22) occurred in South Chicago at the gates of the Republic Steel Works, not at Inland Steel, which is in East Chicago, Indiana. Republic Steel was then […]

Posted inFilm

Red Tape

THE STORY OF QIU JU **** (Masterpiece) Directed by Zhang Yimou Written by Liu Heng With Gong Li, Lei Lao Sheng, Liu Pei Qi, Ge Zhi Jun, and Yang Liu Chun. For a comedy that takes bureaucratic negotiation as one of its overriding themes, Zhang Yimou’s The Story of Qiu Ju has negotiated quite a […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Clue in the Old Birdbath

THE CLUE IN THE OLD BIRDBATH Stage Left Theatre I can’t imagine a more fitting production for The Clue in the Old Birdbath, Sandra de Helen and Kate Kasten’s 1984 musical send-up of the Nancy Drew mysteries, predictably filled with mysterious mansions, long-lost relatives, and a mad psychiatrist. This mini musical is perfect for the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Swan

THE SWAN Apple Tree Theatre Poor Dora. It’s not enough that she’s a nurse working a high-stress job caring for acutely disabled men in a rural hospital “somewhere in Nebraska.” Not enough that three husbands or boyfriends have all deserted her–via divorce, suicide, or just plain skedaddling. It’s not even enough that Kevin, her current […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Max Roach Quartet

Max Roach plays the drums with such persuasive authority, and leads a band of such crisply committed modernists, that you could easily ignore his absolutely vital place in the development of jazz. On the other hand, a “You Are There” litany of his career’s highlights–including his spot behind Charlie Parker on the first important bebop […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story In an attempt to boost his campaign for mayor of Los Angeles and publicize an environmental program a week before the primary in April, Tom Houston scheduled a news conference 60 feet underwater in Santa Monica Bay. However, only one reporter attended, and he got seasick; the water was too murky for Houston’s […]