Posted inFilm

Kieslowski’s Reel World

Red **** (Masterpiece) Directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski Written by Krzysztof Piesiewicz and Kieslowski With Irene Jacob, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Frederique Feder, and Jean-Pierre Lorit. A film of mystical correspondences, Red triumphantly concludes and summarizes Krzysztof Kieslowski’s “Three Colors” trilogy by contriving to tell us three stories about three separate characters all at once; yet it does […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Reader to Reader

A car horn kept me up past midnight. At first it sounded like an impatient driver signaling a friend, but it persisted for another nine or ten minutes. It would periodically subside for a few restful minutes, then return again and again and again. It was probably a car alarm, but my imagination suggested a […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Myth often seems like something belonging to long-vanished peoples. But for the Hindus of modern India, a living polytheistic culture, myth is not so distant.Sakuntala retells through dance and mime a myth from the Mahabharata, one of India’s two great epic poems. Jennifer Savarirayan, who’s studied both modern dance and the south Indian dance form […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

MULE 12/16, LOUNGE AX On their latest album, If I Don’t Six (Quarterstick), the Ann Arbor trio Mule leaven their crushing boogie wallop and mountain man howl with a healthy dollop of West Virginia hillbilly. After earlier efforts that sounded like a ZZ Top tribute band using overwrought James Brown stop-start tactics, they’ve replaced their […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story In November New York City police arrested the city’s most notorious traffic scofflaw, Leroy Linen, 41, after he inadvertently gave them his real name when he was stopped for having only a crudely hand-lettered license plate on his car. Linen’s driver’s license had been suspended and he’d piled up 633 violations for failing […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Girl Party

Sweat Dreams at the Organic Theater Company Greenhouse, Lab Theater, through January 30 Sweat Dreams, the follow-up to last year’s immensely successful all-women revue I’m Sweating Under My Breasts, has a great deal more confidence: the writing’s sharper and more nuanced, and the actors tell their stories more naturally. I’m Sweating Under My Breasts was […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

From years of watching TV weather I know that our weather (in particular the jet stream) moves from west to east. Yet, as the sunrise and sunset show, the earth rotates in that same direction. Does that mean that the atmosphere is rotating around the planet faster than the planet itself is spinning? Shouldn’t it […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Choral Ensemble of Chicago

The Choral Ensemble of Chicago has been around for almost three decades, and as its many fans well know the quality of its singing is uneven. But the Christmas program seems to bring out the best in the group. This season the fare is once again an assortment of holiday carols and hymns: sections from […]

Posted inArts & Culture

What Happened Was …

This gripping and well-acted theatrical duet (1993) evokes a kinder, gentler Oleanna; the setting is the apartment of a paralegal assistant (Karen Sillas) and the circumstance is her first date with a coworker (writer-director Tom Noonan). Neither character is quite who she or he appears to be, and a subtly modulated power shift between the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

Nonsteroid rage. UIC public-health professor Paul Goldstein reports on a study of 400 typical Chicago gym users: users and nonusers of anabolic steroids are equally likely to have histories of above-average violence and drug abuse. Stop the immigrants! “The northern Mississippi Basin and the rivers of Europe were once separated by a wide expanse of […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Blood Brothers

Playland Steppenwolf Theatre Company South African playwright Athol Fugard’s dramas go far beyond diatribe against racial injustice, probing instead the soul sickness suffered by victim and victimizer alike in an immoral system. His 1992 one-act Playland is no exception. Firmly grounded in the politics of a postapartheid but still deeply divided South Africa, this poetic […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The World Goes ‘Round

THE WORLD GOES ‘ROUND, Apple Tree Theatre Company. Packaging and performance are the strong suits of Peter Amster’s inventive revival of this sturdy revue celebrating the wide-ranging songs by composer John Kander and lyricist Fred Ebb (creators of Cabaret, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Flora, the Red Menace, and Chicago). These collaborators created a rare […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Pierre Boulez first wrote his cantata Le visage nuptial in 1946 for a chamber ensemble. Then he spent four decades fine-tuning and reorchestrating the score. The result is one of his richest, most aesthetically satisfying and challenging works: its expressionism recalls that of Berg and Schoenberg; its use of instruments owes a debt to Olivier […]