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 […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Die Walkure

Wagner’s epic retelling of the German saga Der Ring des Nibelungen gets more convoluted and psychologically complex with each installment. The prologue, Das Rheingold, which covers the theft of the Rhine maidens’ gold and the curse put on the ring forged from it, sets the stage for tragic confrontations between gods, giants, dwarves, and humans. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Calendar Photo Caption

During the two decades or so that she lived on the streets, Chicago’s famous bag-lady artist Lee Godie could often be found drawing on the steps of the Cultural Center. Now her art is on view there in a massive 20-year retrospective that includes some seldom seen early work. Exhibit curator Michael Bonesteel (who first […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Sheila Jordan & Harvie Swartz

Some singers celebrate their debt to Billie Holiday by covering her songs and noting her mannerisms. Sheila Jordan does neither, but she embodies the Holiday spirit more faithfully than most. Like Lady Day, Jordan eschews the merely pretty, finds the improvised notes nobody else wanted, and revels in the naked purity of a somewhat unorthodox […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

I trust you a lot more than I trust Ann Landers. I was wondering if you can give me the straight dope on the following letter that recently appeared in her column. “Dear Ann Landers: I am a 17-year-old high school senior. I accidentally got my girlfriend pregnant. Here’s the catch: We never actually engaged […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Kate: A Celebration/Auntie Mame

KATE: A CELEBRATION Royal George Theatre Center Cabaret Cissy Conner does a mean Katharine Hepburn–also a sassy, spunky, passionate, and grouchy one. Conner is a United Airlines stewardess who has impersonated Kate the Great for in-flight announcements and, on the ground, at the Gentry cabaret and in Look at Me at the Apollo Theatre–so she […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Cherry Orchard

THE CHERRY ORCHARD European Repertory Company at the Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ, Baird Hall Anton Chekhov called The Cherry Orchard a comedy. Konstantin Stanislavsky called it “a ponderous drama of Russian life.” Ever since its 1904 debut, directors bold enough to attempt the play have been forced to walk a tightrope between comedy […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Unified Theory of Rock

To the editors: Your “unified theory of rock” [Hitsville, November 5] was interesting to read, and largely accurate, but there are a few holes in your argument. Your generational distinction between the listeners (and buyers) of music by musicians like Pearl Jam, and the rather staid fans of Sting, Clapton, and Phil Collins certainly holds […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

Tree lovers beware: salt kills! According to Arbor Topics (Fall/Winter), published by the suburban Wheeling tree-care firm Hendricksen, salt from winter de-icing can draw water away from plants the same way salt draws moisture out of meat when it’s salt cured: “When salt spray or runoff gets on foliage or into the root zone…water is […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Insulting the Aragon

To the editors: I am very tired after all these years of performers insulting the Aragon Ballroom [Hitsville, October 29]. Could it be the problem is not the venue itself but the current acts that insist on forcing their musical “charms” on it? Since the 1920s–I have never read any accounts of musical artists floundering […]