Posted inArts & Culture

The Power of the Ancients

THE ANCIENT AMERICAS: ART FROM SACRED LANDSCAPES at the Art Institute MEXICAN, CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICAN TEXTILES at the Art Institute Among the many masterpieces on view at the Art Institute’s exhibit of pre-Columbian art, “The Ancient Americas,” four are particularly potent examples of this art’s “cosmic,” outward-reaching aspects. At the center of a gold […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Women at War

WAC-A-GO-GO (“THE ART OF EMERGENCE”) at HotHouse December 5 WAC women don’t dilute their art. They go straight for the jugular, slicing through the how-do-you-do of polite discourse to say exactly what’s on their minds. Judging from WAC-a-Go-Go, their benefit performance Saturday night at HotHouse, WAC women are warriors–politically, artistically, and socially. The benefit was […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Borrowed Car

It was just after 2 AM when Steve Archer was ripped from a deep sleep by the explosive roar of a car gunning through the alley beneath his Wicker Park bedroom window–his deepest sleep, the loudest, fastest car. He bolted out of bed, expecting to see a police chase. Struggling to open the old wooden […]

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The $50-Million Avant-Garde Film

To the editors: I’d like to thank Jonathan Rosenbaum for his refreshingly levelheaded defense of Bram Stoker’s Dracula (“Cornucoppola,” November 27). To the casual filmgoer (or critic)–weaned on bland Hollywood formula, conditioned to being a passive spectator–it’s understandable that such an eclectic film should leave them feeling bewildered. But can’t they appreciate a good joke? […]

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The Straight Dope

If the average body temperature is 98.6 degrees F, why is it that when the air temperature reaches 85 or 90 we feel uncomfortable? –Scott Hadley, Santa Barbara, California One of Cecil’s competitors once wrote that it was because we wore clothes–as though all you had to do to be comfortable in 98-degree heat was […]

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Rules of Reporting

To the editors: As the agent for Tony Kushner, author of Angels in America, I would like to advise Lewis Lazare that, contrary to his article, no theater in Chicago has “an inside track” to producing the play in Chicago [The Culture Club, November 13]. It amazes me that although I was said to have […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

“As one wanders through the armory, it becomes progressively more difficult to tell where the original structure ends and the installed art begins,” writes Richard Solomon on the Museum of Contemporary Art’s current show, “Art at the Armory: Occupied Territory,” which runs through January 22. “The stencils on the handrails that spell out ‘do not […]

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Bats

The Bats exhibit both the enormous strengths and rather less significant weaknesses of the diverse New Zealand bands slowly gaining attention in the rest of the world. The band has been around since the mid-80s and has lots of releases out on the country’s preeminent label, Flying Nun. The Bats’ central players are Robert Scott […]

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I’m Not Krazo

To the editors: Imagine my shock and surprise when I returned to Chicago recently and came across Jack Helbig’s review of Another One Man Show: The Steve and Leo Story with the New World Repertory [November 27]. Although I originated the role of “Krazo, the World’s Kraziest Prop Komick,” duties out of town necessitated my […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Concertante di Chicago

When it comes to programming, Concertante di Chicago, arguably one of the country’s best and least heralded chamber orchestras, shows a great deall of savvy in making unlikely yet totally logical connections. Most recently, it’s come up with this music-theater double bill. Written more than a century apart, Mozart’s one-act opera The Impresario and Stravinsky’s […]

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Change the World. Buy a Sweater

ADVERTISING AND SOCIAL ISSUES: UNITED COLORS OF BENETTON at the Museum of Contemporary Photography It’s the sort of small-business success story Ronald Reagan liked to weave into his talks about the “American spirit.” Originally a family business, organized in 1965 near Treviso, Italy, the clothing retailer Benetton now boasts more than 7,000 shops in 100 […]