Posted inArts & Culture

Ice Cube

Ice Cube is a talented numbskull; even his occasional primo tracks are undercut by their derivativeness, lyrical pratfalls, and serious moral problems. I don’t like a lot of things about him, starting with his idea of comedy–his latest album, The Predator, for example includes a dramatization of a prison strip search (“Reach down and lift […]

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Lion in the Streets/Fable

LION IN THE STREETS Roadworks Productions at Synergy Center In the opening scene of Lion in the Streets, a group of children torment a lonely little Portuguese girl because she’s dirty, different, and lost–easy prey. They form quickly into a mob, they throw rocks, they try to drive her from their neighborhood. It’s the sort […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

Is it true that there has never been a war between two democracies, excluding civil wars? One part of my extended brain trust, a highly unreliable source, claims that this is a natural fact, Jack, and I have not yet thought of an instance in which one democracy declared war against another democracy. In a […]

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After Magritte/The American Dream

AFTER MAGRITTE and THE AMERICAN DREAM Chroma-Zone Productions at Mary-Arrchie Theatre Forget what trash novelist Jacqueline Susann said. Sometimes once is enough. There are plays that benefit from repeat viewings, every performance uncovering a new layer of meaning. Then there are plays that pretty much say everything they have to say the first time. One […]

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The City File

The almighty car. How did members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America first hear about their current congregations? According to a survey published in the Chicago-based Lutheran (July), the top three ways were “invitation from a friend” (22 percent), “family or personal past association” (24 percent), and “driving by” (29 percent). Best six aldermen […]

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Music Couture

FELD BALLETS/NY at the Auditorium Theatre, October 14-17 Certain pieces of clothing clearly transcend their practical function: I’m no slave to fashion, but even I can recognize the beauty of luxurious materials put together in an elegant way. Eliot Feld’s dances (on view recently at the Auditorium Theatre, for the first time here in several […]

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A Man of the Theater

If you’re putting on a play in Chicago, Richard Eisenhardt would love to receive your press release. Understand he can’t guarantee he’ll attend your production–his schedule allows him to see only 125 to 200 plays a year–but he’ll certainly publicize it for you and wish you a most successful run. Eisenhardt is Chicago theater’s most […]

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Glen? Or Glenda?/Mystery Date

GLEN? OR GLENDA? Interplay MYSTERY DATE Illegitimate Players at Live Bait Theater Late night used to be a free-trade zone of sorts for daring theatrical ideas, a time on theaters’ otherwise risk-averse schedules when directors such as Greg Allen and Mick Napier or performers such as Paula Killen could play around without having to be […]

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Charles Gayle

Cecil Taylor’s favorite saxophonist makes his Chicago debut. As that recommendation might suggest, Charles Gayle plays free jazz–very free jazz–and he does so unrepentantly, with storm-wind assaults on hell’s-loose rhythms, rubato wanderings at slow tempos, and plenty of upper-register cries in all cases. Gayle is known as the most ferocious of “energy” players, launching into […]