Posted inArts & Culture

Bad Summer for White Boys

To the editors: For the second week in a row, we’ve been treated to Jonathan Rosenbaum’s hysteria about the damage “political correctness” is doing to the movies [“Beautiful and Barbaric,” June 11]. Apparently it’s been a tough summer for white boys. If I understand Mr. Rosenbaum’s use of the term, “political correctness” means “the belief […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Two of Us

THE TWO OF US Prairie del’Arte Theatre Company at Victory Gardens Studio Theater As anyone who’s ever seen Noises Off can tell you, journalist-novelist-playwright-screenwriter Michael Frayn has a gift for comedy. Or, to be more precise, he has a a gift for farce. Deep down even Noises Off–beneath all the theatrical in-jokes, the sly Pirandellian […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Restaurant Tours: eating correctly at the Whole Foods Market

The Whole Foods Market, which opened in March at North and Sheffield, is the new hangout for the politically correct. They’re loading their shopping carts with natural pet foods, nontoxic cleaning agents, recycled paper products, naturally brewed beers, and wine from organic grapes. They’re buying nitrite-free, hormone-free, organically fed, free-range poultry, beef, lamb, and veal […]

Posted inArts & Culture

In Other Words

IN OTHER WORDS Theatre Praxis at Facets Multimedia Center It seems that the underlying messages of the four selections that make up Theatre Praxis’s evening of short plays, “In Other Words,” are that heterosexual males are repulsive–even if they were once homosexual females–that gay men (especially dead Asian ones) are saints, and that gay women […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Captive

CAPTIVE Splinter Group Bill is a burly construction worker, Jessica a soft-voiced office drudge. They say they haven’t had sex in four years–they’ve settled for exchanging fantasies and game playing a la Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Though they come close to arousing each other, as Jessica says, “Close doesn’t mean anything. Close is the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Two Small Bodies

TWO SMALL BODIES Blue Collar Theatre Company at Cafe Voltaire A playwright’s talent is often best evidenced in the way he or she handles cliches. Most playwrights can create quirky characters, unusual language, plot twists. Even a novel idea is not beyond the reach of many. But when playwrights run smack up against those scenes […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Junior Brown

The term “new country” is, I’ll admit, used pretty sloppily: It now describes everyone from metaphysical cowboys like Jimmie Dale Gilmore to antique warblers like Iris DeMent to rockers like Steve Earle. But think of it another way–as country music that isn’t embarrassing–and it all fits into place. Latest submission is Junior Brown. This guy’s […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

What’s the name of that black stuff athletes smear on their faces to deflect the sun? Does it work? –Rita J., Kansas City, Missouri It’s called “eye black.” It’s supposed to reduce glare and has the added advantage of making you look pretty fierce or pretty weird, depending on the cast of mind of the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Eastern Standard

EASTERN STANDARD Fade to Black Productions at Cafe Voltaire What truly irks me about advertisements that quote reviews is that they’re cheap. You can never get to the heart of a play in just one word or sentence. You can’t even do it in one review. Especially if it’s a play as rich and complicated […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

Nice work if you can get it. “Madonna is a hot item, extremely popular among cutting-edge academics right now,” says U. of I. comparative-literature graduate student Hartmut Heep, who presented a paper, “Madonna: The Politics of Sex,” to the April meeting of the American Popular Culture Conference. Heep’s Rhetoric 105 undergraduates at first “read Madonna […]

Posted inFilm

The Self-Aware Action Hero

LAST ACTION HERO ** (Worth seeing) Directed by John McTiernan Written by Shane Black, David Arnott, Zak Penn, and Adam Leff With Arnold Schwarzenegger, Austin O’Brien, Charles Dance, Anthony Quinn, Tom Noonan, Mercedes Ruehl, F. Murray Abraham, and Robert Prosky. The word is out: Last Action Hero is an unmitigated disaster. The sound of studio […]