Posted inArts & Culture

The Piano

Sweetie and An Angel at My Table have taught us to expect startling as well as beautiful things from Jane Campion, and this assured and provocative third feature offers yet another lush parable about the perils and paradoxes of female self-expression–albeit one that seems at times a bit more calculated and commercially minded. Set during […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Sports Section

It was like that moment in The Natural when Roy Hobbs hits one up in the lights and sparks come raining down on the fans, except that it wasn’t overblown movie bathos but real life. Michael Jordan walked out from the end of the floor, cast in a spotlight against a background of darkness, camera […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Drunkin Grownups/Lone Star/Laundry & Bourbon

DRUNKIN GROWNUPS Mettle Theatre at the Heartland Studio Theatre Drunkin Grownups (that rhymes with Dunkin Donuts) delivers what the title promises: fresh, tantalizing doughnuts, stale and inebriated characters. Served with an unbelievable, uninteresting plot about a father who meets the son he never knew he had, Mark Routhier’s Drunkin Grownups belabors its points about relationships, […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

MORPHINE, 11/19, METRO In his promising new band, singer and two-stringed slide-bass player Mark Sandman (former leader of Boston’s bluesy roots rockers Treat Her Right) has replaced the ever-present lead guitar with the saxophone of Dana Colley. Unfortunately, on its second album, Cure for Pain, the band comes across as mannered and uninspired–mostly due to […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Not since the end of the Beatles and Lennon and McCartney’s scathing recorded swipes at each other have we seen such public rock-star spatting as in the wake of the splintering of N.W.A. After this immortal bunch of gangsta-rap nogoodnicks (whose first album, Straight Outta Compton, put out-there rap on the map) saw the departure […]

Posted inArts & Culture

You Like to Watch, Don’t You

RIVER NORTH DANCE COMPANY at the Harold Washington Library Auditorium, November 11 and 13 Lovers of dance like to watch: there’s something deeply voyeuristic about watching dance onstage, something that goes beyond the attraction of ogling nearly naked bodies. Wallflowers at a social dance can jump up and join in, but viewers of concert dance […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story In September police in Springfield, Massachusetts, charged wheelchair-bound Anthony C. Garafolo with robbing a Northeast Savings Bank. The thief demanded money, received $2,500, wheeled himself outside, and was picked up by a man driving a getaway van. Garafolo had robbed the same bank in 1990; he’d also robbed a liquor store and been […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Can’t Pay! Won’t Pay!

CAN’T PAY! WON’T PAY! Stark Raving Ensemble at the Splinter Group In my more pessimistic moments I’m convinced we’re living in the dark ages of comedy–at least in Chicago–a time when silliness and sloppiness reign supreme, and no one gives, in the words of E.E. Cummings, “a shit for wit.” Stark Raving Ensemble’s production of […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? Raven Theatre Taken as domestic drama, Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is a rather despicable work. Littered with misanthropy, misogyny, and vicious cruelty, it seems to be the product not of a rebellious enfant terrible but of a nasty spoiled brat biting the hands that provided the sizable […]

Posted inFilm

Southern Sleaze

A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE *** (A must-see) Directed by Elia Kazan Written by Tennessee Williams and Oscar Saul With Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter, and Karl Malden. FLESH AND BONE ** (Worth seeing) Directed and written by Steve Kloves With Dennis Quaid, Meg Ryan, James Caan, and Gwyneth Paltrow. Depending on whose figures you […]