Posted inNews & Politics

Art Attack

It happened while I was painting this “mural” that says “subway scholar” in huge 16-foot-by-as-high-as-I-can-reach letters. It spans an eighth-mile city block across the backs of four factory buildings, two and a half stories up, along one of the major veins of the el before it plunges into the subway downtown. So if you’re on […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Caricature Assassination

LIBRA Steppenwolf Theatre Company THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE Shattered Globe Theatre Happiness is not based on oneself, it does not consist of a small home, of taking and getting. Happiness is taking part in the struggle, where there is no borderline between one’s own personal world, and the world in general. –Lee Harvey Oswald, in a […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Field & Street

A coyote took up residence in Chicago’s Norwood Park neighborhood this spring. It’s hard to say how long it was there before anyone noticed it, but once someone did all hell broke loose. In mid-April Chicago television cameras and newspaper reporters descended, and the coyote graciously cooperated, posing with alert ears and bright eyes in […]

Posted inFilm

Death Becomes Him

** BACKBEAT (Worth seeing) Directed by Iain Softley Written by Softley, Stephen Ward, and Michael Thomas With Stephen Dorff, Sheryl Lee, Ian Hart, Gary Bakewell, Chris O’Neill, and Scot Williams. Those somehow unacquainted with the vast canon of biographical material on the Beatles should note that in 1960 there were five of them. Stuart Sutcliffe, […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Made up of Wyclef Jean and Prakazrel Michel, a pair of Haitian refugees–hence the moniker–and New Jerseyite Lauryn Hill, this hip-hop trio has been saddled with the stupid label “alternative rap” merely because it doesn’t espouse casual violence, sexism, or misogyny. The Fugees’ syllable-cramming, dancehall-inflected rap style ain’t that far off the genre’s well-beaten path, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Mikis Theodorakis

Best known in America for his movie scores (Zorba the Greek, Z), Mikis Theodorakis’s rep back home rests as much on his political activities as on his music. Tortured and imprisoned (1967), then exiled (1970) for resistance to the 1967-’74 military junta, he later served in parliament and as a cabinet minister in the Greek […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Heart of a Dog

The shtick of the New Crime troupe–roiling emotions broadcast by a primary palette of pained expressions, virtuoso choreography married to Jef Bek’s crashy, bashy percussion and cartoony keyboards, an oxygen-sucking pace–has never been so overwhelmingly packed together as in its current offering, Heart of a Dog. The show’s been playing for a while, but it […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Look Back in Anger

LOOK BACK IN ANGER Bailiwick Repertory For England 1956 was not a happy year. Wartime privation lingered on–rationing of certain foods, for example, continued up until 1952–and factory employment dwindled just as hordes of young men, many of them traumatized, returned home in search of the domestic dream that had sustained them. Amid this national […]