Posted inArts & Culture

DJ Premier/Jeru the Damaja/Group Home

DJ Premier maintains one of hip hop’s busiest schedules. In addition to his main gig with rapper Guru in Gang Starr, he’s a highly sought after DJ who’s produced for a wide variety of artists–from Arrested Development, Neneh Cherry, and Branford Marsalis’s Buckshot LeFonque project to rappers like Nas, Notorious B.I.G., and Das EFX. Celebrated […]

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Miller Lite

Broken Glass National Jewish Theater Subtlety has never been Arthur Miller’s strong suit. Even at his most inspired he could sometimes seem a Torah-thumping Sunday-school teacher. Despite the magical artistry of plays like The Crucible and The Price, one could still feel occasionally the suffocating presence of Miller the Wise, tallith wrapped around his shoulders, […]

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Robyn Hitchcock

From the pioneering psychedelic postpunk of the Soft Boys to a remarkably varied and productive solo career, Robyn Hitchcock has remained an unflagging exponent of left-side-of-the-dial pop tunesmithing. Heavily inspired by Pink Floyd founder/acid casualty Syd Barrett, Hitchcock has always loaded his songs with tripped-out whimsy, bizarre humor, and wildly imaginative and strange narratives. But […]

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Window on the World

Gustave Caillebotte: Urban Impressionist at the Art Institute of Chicago, through May 28 The umbrella has become the very foremost badge of modern civilisation. –Robert Louis Stevenson, 1871 Is there anybody in this great humping city who has not taken a few minutes to sit down on a park bench, say, for the sole purpose […]

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Storioni Ensemble

For much of his career and for a long period after his death in 1963 Paul Hindemith was dismissed by the avant-garde as an archconservative who wrote dry, mechanical, and, worse yet, tonal music that paid homage to older styles. Now that the pendulum of musical taste has swung the other way, Hindemith may yet […]

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Treasure Hunt

Like Clint Eastwood and Jackie Chan, Hong Kong star Chow Yun-fatt is a shrewd molder of his screen persona. Starting out in his early 20s as a soap opera heartthrob, Chow quickly took on leading roles in a string of romantic comedies. Then in the mid-1980s, while a box-office champ in east Asia, he changed […]

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Sweat Dreams

About the closest thing we adults have to an oral tradition is chewing things over at the local tavern, the days of camp-fire story telling having long since passed. And Pretzelrod Productions’ collection of monologues, Sweat Dreams, under the direction of Dorothy Milne, is like one of the best such nights you can imagine, swapping […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

The cow goes “moo.” The sheep goes “baa.” What do little kids in Africa learn instead? What does the wildebeest say, for example? –Bill Kinnersley, via the Internet. You are a lucky guy. I’ve just been reading a book on this subject by Hank De Zutter, an English professor and honorary chairman of the zoophilology […]

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Holy Ghosts

Holy Ghosts, at Heartland Studio Theater. When Nancy Shedman flees her ill-tempered husband to join a charismatic sect, her irate spouse follows to fetch home the household goods she’s taken, little realizing that his errand will land him in the middle of a congregation that deals in visions, seizures, glossolalia, strychnine swallowing, and snake stroking. […]

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Titanica

This 94-minute Imax documentary by Stephen Low (1991) has the same nonaesthetic features of other films in this format–most notably a TV-like lack of precise composition necessitated by the curved screen–but its subject, the risky Canadian-American-Russian expedition to pick over the wreckage of the Titanic, has an inherent fascination and haunted poetry that triumphs over […]