Posted inArts & Culture

Joking Around: a stand-up guy

When Raymond Lambert’s friends were complaining a few years ago that they couldn’t find work, his natural response was to try to help them out. Lambert, a native of Wilmington, Delaware, had came to Chicago in 1989 to work in banking. Through a friend he became involved in a volunteer program speaking to schoolchildren about […]

Posted inArts & Culture

A Little Friendly Competition

CHICAGO ON TAP at the Navy Pier Skyline Stage, July 22-24 In the early days of jazz, audiences followed musicians the way sports fans follow ball players today. When Ben Webster, in Duke Ellington’s band, picked up his tenor sax and started to play, people knew it was Ben Webster–no one else sounded like him. […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story Recent episodes of Bobbittry: In May in Hong Kong the wife of Wong Cheong-do, 43, sliced his penis off in a domestic dispute, but doctors were able to sew it back on because Wong had thought to bring it to the hospital. In April Clifford A. Roby, 34, sliced his off with a […]

Posted inMusic

Butthole Surfer

LE SHAUN “WIDE OPEN” (TOMMY BOY) Free market capitalism is the darnedest thing. While an unfettered marketplace promises a variety of choices, in practice companies attract the greatest number of consumers by keeping their products culturally shapeless and uncontroversial. That’s one reason conservatives revere the free market as if it were the Baby Jesus, and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Stepper’s Ball

STEPPER’S BALL ETA Creative Arts Foundation Stepper’s Ball opens with a memory, as old Sammy, the proprietor of the Castle Dance Club, puts down his broom to play a mellow tune on the jukebox and dream-dance with his young bride of long ago. In this moment the universe of Phyllis Curtwright’s play is established, so […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Trees Are All Right

Dear editor: Although not quoted in Ben Joravsky’s July 15th “Neighborhood News” article on the possibility of trees being damaged by street repaving machines, I was contacted early in his research and provided him with some general information on this issue. I do wish he had mentioned his plans to include allegations that the city’s […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

Why is it that Native Americans died from diseases brought by the Europeans, but Europeans didn’t die in great numbers from Native American diseases? –Bob Kelso There may have been at least one Native American bug that wiped out a few boatloads of Europeans; see below. But in general you’re right: percentagewise, and probably absolute […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Winter’s Tale

THE WINTER’S TALE Two Planks Theatre Company at Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ Doing Shakespeare is like hitting a baseball. It doesn’t look hard and lots of people try, but even after years of practice professionals still have a hard time doing it. So when a young, relatively inexperienced company on a meager budget […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Ignoble Signage

Dear editor, Reading about poet Joffre Stewart’s arrest for trespassing [Neighborhood News, July 8], I thought you might be interested to know about the signs saying “This area is being watched” in the African American section of Barnes & Noble’s Diversey store. These signs don’t seem to appear anywhere else in the store–not, say, among […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chance Dance Fest

Rolled up and leaning in a corner of the Link’s Hall office is a 30-foot-long, 11-foot-high painting on paper of a Greyhound bus, left over from a wonderful dance by Bob Eisen called Bus Tales, part of last year’s monthlong Chance Dance Fest. Every summer since 1990 the Chance Dance Fest has combined some fascinating […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Paper Chase

In a vast and vigorous metropolis that just renewed its world-class status by hosting an international sporting event and countless international visitors, locating an out-of-town daily newspaper seemed like the simplest of tasks. Quite honestly, it seemed like no task at all. This is Chicago, Illinois, not Elko, Nevada. From the Cubs to Kup to […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Dare to Bowl

Dear editor, As an aspiring professional bowler I found the opening paragraph of Jeffrey Felshman’s “Blind Alley” (7/15/94) dreadful. I personally know hundreds of people who could answer his questions and thereby refute his “nobody . . .” statements also. I’m not sure if his opening remarks are intended to denigrate bowling or blind people […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

Hey, I can’t find the clutch on this thing. Piano rebuilder Paul Revenko-Jones of Music of the Spheres Pianoworks (Chicago Industrial Bulletin, May/June): “There are 11,000 to 12,000 parts in a piano. That’s more parts than there are in a car.” Musical inspiration. According to Mike Konopka in the Eardrum (June), “It is a common […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Group Effort

FRIENDS WITH FIRE ARMS: A FAREWELL TO FEMINISM at Chicago Filmmakers, through August 28 I couldn’t imagine a more unlikely multimedia performance collaboration than one between brash performance artist Paula Killen, refined actress-violinist Miriam Sturm, and intellectual filmmaker Katy Maguire. But here it is, framed by Mary Brogger’s beautifully spare and elegant set, and it […]