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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Joanie Pallatto

Joanie Pallatto offers an armload of stylistic contradictions, then matches them up in unexpected and often successful ways. She’ll produce a honeyed, almost cloying vocal timbre, which wouldn’t seem to have anything to do with the ecstatic, barely controlled rhythms of her scat-singing; the clash sometimes sets off sparklers. She has a trained and versatile […]

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Critical Condition

THE VIEW FROM THE BED: A PERSONAL LOOK AT ILLNESS AND DISABILITY at the International Museum of Surgical Science, through January 14 Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a diagnostic tool useful in a variety of situations–but while MRI generates high-resolution pictures of the insides of our bodies, it also unnerves patients, who must enter a claustrophobic […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Jit

A pleasantly unpretentious low-budget musical from Zimbabwe (1990), written and directed by Michael Raeburn, author of a well-known nonfiction book about Zimbabwe, We Are Everywhere. The plot concerns a sort of working-class rural Candide called UK (Dominic Makuvachuma), who is knocked unconscious when he falls out of a taxicab and then falls in love with […]