Posted inArts & Culture

Island of the Blue Dolphins; Heroes and Saints

ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS Lifeline Theatre Most Chicago directors haven’t quite got the hang of putting narrators onstage–often turning a narrator, an unnamed intelligence lurking behind a text, into a specific character leads to dramatic disaster. Such a narrator simply relates scenic details (“The sun’s familiar late-August rays welcomed my half-sister Eunice and me […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

Bylaw number one: This union will enthusiastically support the immediate firing of all members who hide or burn mail. “Of course, lighting a load of mail on fire is hardly the best solution to the problem,” opines David Futrelle in In These Times (April 18). “What we need is not sabotage, but stronger and more […]

Posted inArts & Culture


It’s often suggested that free-improvising musicians be judged on how composed their spontaneous musings sound. The Boston quartet Debris aggressively blur the distinctions between improvised and composed music, crafting their work with equally generous portions of each. While reminiscent of both Anthony Braxton’s zigzagging saxophone and the complex precision of the 70s British rock band […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Spreading Credit

Spreading Credit Dear editors: Many thanks again for the thoughtful article covering the work of the Center for Neighborhood Technology [“The Wizard,” April 8]. I’d appreciate it if you could publish this letter noting some important corrections and amplifications. Bob [McClory] did a wonderful job covering the myriad of organizational interests with which we’ve been […]

Posted inMusic

Getting Nailed

NINE INCH NAILS RIVIERA, MAY 7 What came to be called industrial music took shape in the late 80s, ushered in by a handful of postpunk avant-noise bands like Throbbing Gristle, Chrome, and Cabaret Voltaire. Less a school than a style, and heavily weighted toward the tougher end of the dance world, industrial interlaced machine […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Just Like a Woman

To the editor: I write to add to what I suspect is a pile of letters complaining of the sexism in Michael Solot’s review of Nicholson Baker’s latest novel, The Fermata, “Reading: A Man and His Hand,” in the April 15 issue of the Reader. Although Baker’s self-indulgent obsession with quality masturbating is worth at […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Philadelphia Orchestra

Like the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic–its fellow members in the Big Five of American orchestras–the Philadelphia Orchestra has new artistic leadership. Gone is the glamorous and youthful Riccardo Muti (for Milan’s La Scala), and succeeding him is the 70-year-old Wolfgang Sawallisch. Thoroughly German-trained, Sawallisch spent much of his career in his […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Feminine Insights

To the editor: Concerning Michael Solot’s book review that appeared in the April 15 issue, can he possibly be serious when he says that “the insights in a book like The Fermata . . . are really quite feminine,” that what Baker’s books have in common “. . . is that their gaze is directed […]