Posted inArts & Culture

The Apple Cart

Some of the bluntest political satire and drollest romantic comedy in town is to be found in a 65-year-old play by George Bernard Shaw. Written in 1928 when its author was in his 70s, Shaw’s last popular success is rarely performed in America, where its target–the tensions inherent in a democratic monarchy–may be deemed a […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story A new TV game show set to air early next year in England and Italy pits divorcing spouses against each other, with the objective of determining how their property will be divided. Instead of relying on costly lawyers or counselors, the spouses answer questions on the air about each other and their relationship. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Lots of Meaning

METAMORPHOSIS Mauri Formigoni at Milwaukee and Erie, through October 1 As I approached the intersection of Milwaukee and Erie, wondering on which corner the vacant lot with Mauri Formigoni’s installation would be, I heard a deafening roar. Looking up, I saw four jets streak by, flying in tight formation–wanderers from the Air & Water Show. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Johnny the Aquarius

The young Polish director Jan Jakub Kolski is a surreal fabulist and religious skeptic in the vein of Luis Bunuel. The protagonist in his 1993 Johnnie the Aquarius (better translated as “Johnnie the Water Bearer”) is a wizened old man who suddenly discovers he can cure ills by splashing his patients with water. He leaves […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Derek Bailey & Company

“The quality of an idea or a technique or even a piece of equipment that attracts me,” the British guitarist Derek Bailey has stated, “is its malleability.” His own ideas and techniques, and even the contexts in which he makes music, bear this out. His guitar style is a primer on “extended technique”: the inclusion […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

We all know that America was named for Amerigo Vespucci. What does Amerigo mean in Italian? –Dave Curwin, Newton, Massachusetts What do you mean, what does it mean in Italian? What does Dave mean in English? Amerigo in Vespucci’s day was an established if not especially common name whose original meaning, it’s safe to say, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

Sorry, dear, you’ve been replaced. For $120, Hammacher Schlemmer’s fall catalog offers Safe-T-Man, “a life-size companion designed as a visual deterrent to criminals…lead[ing] them to believe you have the protection of a male companion whether he’s seated in the passenger’s seat of your car or near a window in your home.” Other good points: “he” […]

Posted inFilm

History Happens

**** THE BLUE KITE (Masterpiece) Directed by Tian Zhuangzhuang Written by Xiao Mao With Zhang Wenyao, Chen Xiaoman, Lu Liping, Pu Quanxin, Li Xuejian, Guo Baochang, Zhong Ping, and Chu Quanzhong. Covering 15 years of modern Chinese history, from 1953 to 1968, The Blue Kite is powerful less for what it says about continuity in […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Hispanics in Wicker Park

Dear Editor, Correct me if I’m wrong but I think Huebner interviewed one Hispanic (this may be wishful thinking) in his article about Wicker Park gentrification [“The Panic in Wicker Park,” August 26] and this was in reference to the effect of gentrification on the art community and not the displacement of Hispanic families in […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Entering his fourth season as head of the CSO, Daniel Barenboim is on the hot seat. Critics and subscribers are grousing about the inconsistencies in his interpretations; some of the players feel he’s either too tough or too soft; and to top it all off the Orchestral Association is embarking on an expensive renovation project […]