Posted inArts & Culture

Private Views

SIDE BY SIDE–LOST LIVES: PAINTINGS BY ED FRAGA at the Chicago Cultural Center, through December 30 Like most art of the 20th century, surrealism has its Achilles’ heel. Its typical strategies–plumbing dreams and the unconscious for themes and imagery, juxtaposing familiar images in unexpected, even irrational ways–can be devastatingly subversive, challenging our habits of mind […]

Posted inFilm

A Perfect World

On the run from the Texas Rangers in 1963, an escaped convict (Kevin Costner) develops a close friendship with the seven-year-old boy (T.J. Lowther) he takes hostage. A good two-part character study with a terrific performance by Lowther and fine work by Costner, which should help resuscitate his image after too many Boy Scout projects, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story The London newspaper the Guardian reported in October that Great Britain’s Department of National Heritage is likely to outlaw the December 18 start-up of a new satellite TV service, “TVs on TV,” an all-transvestite channel that originates in Germany. A spokesperson said the voyeur audience would probably be at least ten times the […]

Posted inFilm

Sexual Discourse

THE PIANO *** (A must-see) Directed and written by Jane Campion With Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel, Sam Neill, Anna Paquin, Kerry Walker, Genevieve Lemon, Tungia Baker, and Ian Mune. Given how sexy and volatile it is, it’s no surprise that The Piano is a hit. It’s also no surprise, given the strong-arm tactics of the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

New Music

To the editors: I belong to a quiet fraternity which holds that the serious music of our time is as important as the concert music of the baroque, classical, and romantic periods, which together constitute almost the entire standard repertoire of our mainstream musical establishments. Compared to those earlier periods, as much music of the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Right Ho, Jeeves

RIGHT HO, JEEVES City Lit Theater Company at the Chicago Cultural Center “We shall soon have Christmas down our throats,” P.G. Wodehouse once said. In that merry but wary spirit, City Lit Theater Company has turned to the British humorist for a holiday entertainment not overly bedecked with boughs of holly. Right Ho, Jeeves is […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Phair Comment

To the editors: Mr. Wyman, you are a piece of work. In your November 19 [Hitsville] reminiscence of the Liz Phair Metro show you describe “Casey Rice matter-of-factly tuning Phair’s guitar as she chatted with the crowd” as a highlight of the concert! Gee, I recall seeing the Who in 1980 and not once did […]

Posted inArts & Culture

How Are the Kids?

A 1990 collection of six fictional shorts, made in diverse corners of the globe and addressing the international rights of children, here having its U.S. premiere. It’s an uneven package, but the filmmakers include the team of Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Mieville, the late Lino Brocka, and Euzhan Palcy (A Dry White Season). The jewel […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Sly Fox

SLY FOX Bowen Park Theatre Company at Synergy Center Larry Gelbart’s cynicism ill suits the holiday spirit–and thank God. Sly Fox, a wicked 1976 updating of Ben Jonson’s wry masterpiece Volpone, is a sharp tonic in the season of schmaltz. Chock-full of bawdy irreverence, nasty double crosses, and justifiable misanthropy, it’s a sort of curmudgeon’s […]