Posted inArts & Culture

Stoops

ETA Creative Arts Foundation. Slice-of-life dramas about the everyday joys and tragedies of a group of neighborhood kids are as enduring as the lifelong friendships they detail; the plot line of Crystal Rhodes’s Stoops is comfortably familiar. Three African American girls in a poor but close-knit community come of age during the 60s and 70s, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Akogare No Pari

Doorika, at Bailiwick Arts Center. Reviewing experimental theater always feels dangerous–especially in the case of Doorika, a collective that describes what it does as “borderless, saturated meta-linguistic theatre experience.” In other words, the only concrete information a reviewer can provide may come directly from the press release. Akogari No Pari–the third part of Doorika’s trilogy […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story After visiting all 78 army storage sites for the hand-held Stinger, Redeye, and Dragon missiles, employees of the congressional General Accounting Office discovered in October that thousands were unaccounted for in the army’s records. More Stingers and Redeyes were on hand than records indicated, but 9,744 fewer Dragons were found. An army spokesperson […]

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Zine of Record

J-Bird has identified with hip hop since he was a shorty in Waukegan. It shows in everything from his speech to his mannerisms–he sounds like a Bronx teen and gestures with his hands like a laid-back MC. The 24-year-old J-Bird (aka Jason Cook) has just launched a new zine called Caught in the Middle, a […]

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Awake and Sing!

Raven Theatre. Some plays never date; instead the viewer grows up with them, shifting sympathy from one character to another as he or she comes to resemble one more than the other. A drama that sums up many real-life struggles, Clifford Odets’s still-subversive 1934 masterwork Awake and Sing! presents us with a Depression-era family for […]

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The Amen Corner

Stage Actors Ensemble, at Bryn Mawr Theatre. James Baldwin’s play may be read as Sophoclean tragedy, in which the protagonist is punished for excessive pride, or as a woman’s reassessment of the moral path her life has taken. It may be seen as a contemplation on whether one’s first religious duty is to God or […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Unscene Artist

Many thanks for Harold Henderson’s January 6 cover story on artist Bob Guinan. The writing and pictures were worthy of Bob’s estimable, and lamentably underacknowledged, contribution to “the art scene”–a phrase and a concept that would make him wince. Sensitively captured in the story are the blend of warmth and gentle cynicism that make him […]

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Sunnyland Slim

Sunnyland Slim sometimes struggles a bit under the weight of his 87 years–his legendary voice has become almost as frail as his body, which for so long seemed to defy the laws of nature and time–but he wears the mantle of Chicago blues patriarch with dignity and retains the stylistic individuality that’s distinguished him since […]

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A Copy, Right?

About two months ago, the benevolent souls at Motorbooty magazine sent several copies of our new issue to the Reader, hoping for critical hosannas or at least a well-aimed missive. Among countless other gut-busting gems, the issue features a parody of Apple’s well-known “What’s on Your PowerBook?” ad. The parody lists a number of hypothetical […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana has cropped up on the sound tracks of at least a dozen movies in the last 20 years, most notably as exhortations to battle in Excalibur and Glory. In writing what he described as “profane songs for singers and chorus, to be sung to the accompaniment of instruments and magical images” […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Bay at Nice

at Turn Around Theatre. Some productions around town are entertaining, but few could be classified as fine art. Veteran Chicago director June Pyskacek’s production of David Hare’s The Bay at Nice, however, comes awfully close: this kind of grace, wit, and intelligence are rare. Watching this all-too-brief meditation on art and artifice is like being […]