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Posted inArts & Culture

Margaret Jenkins Dance Company

Like mandala, Margaret Jenkins’s The Gates: Far Away Near tries to paint a picture of the entire world from every possible point of view. In fact The Gates tries to paint consciousness, not just things. Only a mystic would attempt a task so outrageously ambitious, and Jenkins and her collaborators fashion a worthy mandala by […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Naked Rage

A Certain Level of Denial Karen Finley at Steppenwolf Theatre, through April 23 Naked except for a flower-festooned hat and black slip-on shoes, Karen Finley lies motionless onstage in a tightly framed box of light roughly the size of a grave. One moment she speaks as a dispassionate psychiatrist barely able to conceal his sexist […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Shock Value

Dear Reader: Thankfully, Terry Brennan has solved an age-old dilemma by neatly identifying what it is that begins to make a piece of art, art (“Attention Getters,” February 17, 1995). He identifies the “extraordinary” factor, where a piece of art needs to have an exceptional quality to be engaging and to have a chance at […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Cure

Though it loses some of its steam before the end, this is an uncommonly affecting and unhackneyed story about a friendship between two alienated 11-year-old boys from neighboring middle-class, single-parent homes, one of whom has AIDS. Working from an original script by Robert Kuhn that mixes comedy and tragedy as if they were kissing cousins, […]

Posted inArts & Culture


APRIL Friday 21 Owner Debbie Tunney says the most popular pies at the Andersonville Ann Sather aren’t war-horses like apple or blueberry but upstarts like raspberry and white chocolate. This disclosure comes on the occasion of the restaurant’s Swedie Pie contest. To enter, show up at 9 this morning at the restaurant, 5207 N. Clark, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

A Bad Joke

The Minstrel Show Donald Byrd/The Group at the Shubert Theatre, April 13-15 Five years ago, in the Crown Heights section of New York City, a five-year-old African American boy was playing on the sidewalk when he was struck and killed by a station wagon that had somehow jumped the curb. When the driver, a young […]

Posted inArts & Culture

On Stage: choral riffs

Choral singers have the great humdrum job in music. They dress alike, they sound alike, they drill and drill–a squad of G.I. Joes, a platoon of Unknown Soldiers. Each singer’s identity is subordinated to the needs of the group. You’re supposed to blend in. If anyone notices you, you’ve screwed up. When Arthur Moswin tells […]

Posted inMusic

Local Singles Roundup/Schmitsville

Local Singles Roundup Philo, “Everything Died” The first release from the local trio Philo is the cheery “Everything Died,” which finds leader and songwriter Jeff Cohen running down a pretty definitive laundry list of sorrows arriving in the wake of a lover’s departure. There’s a lot of spaciousness in the mix–one spare electric guitar accompanies […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Mud flap: Charges of anti-Semitism in Hyde Park linger long after the election

Almost three weeks have passed since the Fifth Ward aldermanic election, but activists in and around Hyde Park are still fuming over that campaign. Janet Oliver-Hill, who lost, says she was smeared by “dirty and ugly and unwarranted” allegations of anti-Semitism. Barbara Holt, the winner, says Oliver-Hill brought the mess on herself by attempting to […]