Posted inNews & Politics

Where Are the Techies?

To the editors: As an avid theatergoer and longtime “reader” of your publication, I am writing to point out a disturbing and ongoing trend evident among those charged with criticizing local theatrical productions and the work of the various professionals involved in local theater. While all Reader reviews include the words “in this production,” generally […]

Posted inArts & Culture

A Christmas Carol

In a holiday season split between almost desperate commercialism and economic uncertainty, I’m grateful for this year’s less slick and more expressive edition of Goodman Theatre’s annual A Christmas Carol. Under Chuck Smith’s direction, the production has a few rough edges but offers a version of the tale more clearly told and deeply felt than […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Ballad of a Man

BALLAD OF A MAN Quicksilver Productions at American Blues Theatre Quicksilver Productions bills Ballad of a Man as “an original pop/rock musical for the 90s.” In effect, it’s a series of musical comments on a crisis. Attempting to examine the problem of homelessness through one man’s sudden descent to the streets, this well-meant work contains […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Stalinist Muralist

To the editors: Reading Huebner’s article (10/29/93) on the “swashbuckling” Hector Duarte and his murals we are told of his (Huebner’s) “awe” at learning that Duarte had been enrolled at the Siqueiros Mural Workshop, we learn that (of Rivera, Orozco, and) Siqueiros was “the most radical of the three, aesthetically and politically . . . […]

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Charisma

CHARISMA Next Theatre Company Joe Butler mysteriously disappears from a party celebrating his high school graduation. His worried parents eventually discover him preaching with a fringe religious sect, and he’s rumored to have effected a bona fide miracle. Unconvinced, the boy’s mother, Maggie, takes steps to restore her son to his former self, a mission […]

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The Straight Dope

Correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s my understanding that sugar does not have an appreciable effect on human behavior, yet every teacher and parent I know believes fervently in the sugar “high” and the apparent wild effect on children. How did this nonfact get to be accepted as gospel by so many? –Michelle Murphy, […]

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The City File

Knives aren’t enough? From the Chicago-based newsletter the Rational American (November): “Real feminists–women who don’t whine about oppression, but do something about it–are active in the NRA…” Don’t lobby for kids, lobby for social change, urges Robert Halpern of the Erikson Institute on North Wabash (Erikson, Winter). “Building a reform agenda primarily on children’s issues […]

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Curve

Toni Halliday is a dance-floor succubus, the Morticia Addams of England’s recent crop of gossamer-voiced pop sirens. Seductive, haunting, and midnight-at-the-graveyard dark, her vocals convey terse accounts of romantic carnage (in “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus,” she announces, “We won’t be happy ’til we kill each other”). In these ominous tales love […]

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Chicago Symphony Orchestra

British-born composer Bernard Rands started out studying in Italy with modernists Luigi Dallapiccola, Bruno Maderna, and Luciano Berio, then moved westward as his academic career took him to London, New York, Princeton, and San Diego. His musical disposition has also shifted over the years, from the continental avant-garde to electronic music to colorful neoexpressionism. Arguably […]