Posted inFilm

Gentle Persuasion

SCHINDLER’S LIST *** (A must-see) Directed by Steven Spielberg Written by Steven Zaillian With Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes, Caroline Goodall, Jonathan Sagalle, and Embeth Davidtz. The ideological structures of Spielberg’s films “hail” the spectator into a world of the obvious that affirms the viewer’s presence (even while dissolving it), affirms that what the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Deed of Trust

DEED OF TRUST Victory Gardens Theater There’s something comfortable about Claudia Allen’s plays. Maybe it’s because many of them are about small-town folks in Michigan. Maybe it’s because she often explores family matters. Maybe it’s because she has a sense of humor about and compassion for her characters. They’re fleshy. They’re genuine. They have quirky […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Based on a play by John Galsworthy, this 1933 British feature about anti-Semitism stars Basil Rathbone as a wealthy Jewish businessman sued for slander after he accuses an army officer (Miles Mander) of stealing 100 pounds from his wallet during a weekend house party for aristocrats. It might be argued that the film itself isn’t […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Point Is the Energy

DOUG ELKINS DANCE COMPANY at the Dance Center of Columbia College, December 9-11 If you wanted to put Doug Elkins in a box, you could use words like “postmodernism” and “appropriation” to describe the crazy way he mixes dance styles from one moment to the next: hip-hop and flamenco, ballet and break dancing. Like a […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Endangered Species

To the editors: As we debate the renewal of the Endangered Species Act (“Environment: The Endangered List,” November 5), we might ponder the words of biologist Norman D. Levine, who wrote in an article in the journal BioScience: “Perhaps 95 percent of the species that once existed no longer exist. . . . What species […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Marion Verbruggen

The recorder is one of those instruments that couldn’t find a place in the modern orchestra. Already in existence in the 12th century, it enjoyed widespread popularity during the Renaissance. But slowly the flute and the piccolo–both equipped with reeded mouthpieces–gained wider acceptance, and by the late 1700s the recorder had fallen into disfavor. With […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Ensemble Espanol

It’s a theatrical truism that firelight onstage is effective, whether it’s a candle, a candelabra, or a lit cigarette in the dark: natural burning light magnifies the presence of the performer who holds it. So imagine two dozen dancers holding lit candles as they march from the back of an auditorium down to the stage, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Reader to Reader

Dear Reader: I’m at Hammacher Schlemmer on Michigan Avenue, staring at the Harley Davidson Telephone ($89.95) and waiting for the salesperson to bring me the Nutcracker Music Box ($39.95) my brother asked me to pick up. The store is crowded; it’s 15 days before Christmas, and everyone is shouting. “It’s all toys. Just what we […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Sports Section

Early in the game against Green Bay two Sundays ago–during the Packers’ first drive, in fact–middle linebacker Dante Jones stepped in front of a Brett Favre pass at the Bears’ 14-yard line and returned the interception to the 20. In the grip of a Green Bay tackler, he handed the ball off to cornerback Jeremy […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Il trovatore

The mass appeal of Verdi’s middle-period opera Il trovatore can be attributed to its overabundance of hummable tunes. But those same arias and duets also pack a dramatic wallop when set against the machinations of the melodramatic plot, which takes place amid civil war in 15th-century Spain. Manrico and Count Di Luna are twin brothers […]