Posted inArts & Culture

Once Upon a Time, Cinema

An entertaining if somewhat uneven departure by Mohsen Makhmalbaf–perhaps the most versatile contemporary Iranian director, and certainly one of the most talented, prolific, and controversial–this 1992 film can be regarded in part as a kind of peace offering to the Iranian government after the banning of his two previous features (loosely comparable as a gesture […]

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Rhinoceros/Eastern Standard

RHINOCEROS Next Theatre Company Eugene Ionesco’s Rhinoceros is a simple little tale, charming for its goofiness and admirable for its insight into human shortcomings. Ionesco revels in the absurdities of 20th-century French culture, with its penchant for intellectualism and its love affair with reason. While the number of rhinos in a provincial French town is […]

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Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Three compositions were written for the joint centennials of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the University of Chicago, and Shulamit Ran’s belated entry, Legends, promises to be a middle-of-the-roader. As a composer, the Israeli-born Ran is not as resolutely radical as her onetime mentor and U. of C. colleague Ralph Shapey, whose contribution to the […]

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Hal Galper Trio

Pianist Hal Galper spent a dozen years working with two of the ballsiest alto saxophonists in jazz–Cannonball Adderley and Phil Woods–and so you’d expect his ability to summon, a full-figured, densely textured keyboard persona whenever needed. But that side of his character doesn’t surface all that often in Galper’s own trio, where he revels in […]

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Tokyo String Quartet

Twenty-five years ago four young Japanese musicians formed the Tokyo String Quartet at the urging of their mentor, Robert Mann of the Julliard String Quartet. It was an auspicious debut, signaling the arrival of a new generation of quartets capable of inheriting the mantle of their distinguised elders. At first the Tokyo emulated the Juilliard’s […]

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God’s Country/Spooks

GOD’S COUNTRY Shattered Globe Theatre At the beginning of Shattered Globe’s production of God’s Country, two video monitors mounted above the stage play footage of violent acts and intolerant people–racial riots, the Third Reich at work, grinning Klansmen, etc–to the accompaniment of “Sympathy for the Devil.” The song is a little worse for wear, the […]

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Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT at the Chicago Theatre Early in act two of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, a pompadoured, pelvis-swinging Pharaoh cuts loose with an all-shook-up showstopper about a troubling dream he’s had. After he’s finished, his Hebrew slave-turned-soothsayer Joseph nervously asks for an encore, punctuating his request with a few […]

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Plastic-Covered Passion

JAMES ROSENQUIST: GIFT WRAPPED DOLLS at Feigen, through October 9 My first reaction to most of James Rosenquist’s paintings is immediate and intense visual pleasure. One of the founding Pop artists, he fragments images drawn primarily from mass media, paints them with a sensuousness somehow more resonant than that of an appealing advertisement, and juxtaposes […]

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Food From Trash

FOOD FROM TRASH American Blues Theatre Gary Leon Hill’s Food From Trash marks a disappointing opening for American Blues Theatre’s new 150-seat performing space. First staged in 1983, the heavy-handed script revolves around a corrupt waste-disposal company and the men who make their living hauling trash. The result is an unglamorous soap opera–dominated not by […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story In August Gary T. Williams, 38, pleaded guilty to forgery in Louisville, Kentucky, in a case involving checks totaling more than $4,800. Williams told the judge that he needed the money to pay off a man who lived in the group house in which he was staying and who had threatened his life. […]