Posted inArts & Culture

NEMO ’95 Festival

A group of local new-music advocates has formed New European Music Overseas (NEMO) to introduce Chicagoans to the cutting edge of the European composing community, and its founding on the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II is no coincidence. The war’s end ushered in the postserial style and a fascination with newfangled […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Not In My Neighborhood

Arizona Company, at TurnAround Theatre. Chicago playwright Don Hayes, no newcomer to show business, nonetheless contents himself in his evening of three one-acts with unfocused fool-on-the-hill stereotypes, bathetic prisoner-of-society stereotypes, and slapstick spoofs of stereotypes long obsolete. In his Go to Arizona and Wait a young journalist is intrigued by the homeless schizophrenic he interviews. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

No More Sweets for You

The main message of this interesting program of 16 short films and videos selected by Chicagoan Elisabeth Subrin–nearly all of them by artists under 30 from around the country–seems to be that minimalism is finally over. An exception may be Sadie Benning’s black-and-white German Song, a rarity in that it’s a music video that breathes, […]

Posted inMusic

Rhapsody In Blue

Portishead Vic, April 25 The first time I listened to Howlin’ Wolf’s “Shake for Me” I was struck by how ragged it sounded. Not ragged in the sense of the raw emotionalism of the prewar Delta bluesmen, but ragged in the band’s brawny layering of sounds. My rock aesthetic had prepared me for fiery, out-of-control […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Field & Street

On May 9, 1985, my cousin Janet came to my house for dinner, and we ate the fruit of an avocado in a salad. After dinner I carefully scrubbed the lustrous skin of the dark avocado seed, removing all the pulpy mush, and poured water in a glass one of my roommates had stolen from […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Sexual Healing

Dance Fusion Soul & Duende Spanish American Dance Theatre and Near East Heritage Dance Theatre at the Bop Shop, April 23 Psychokinetic Debra R. Levasseur and Robynne M. Gravenhorst at Link’s Hall, April 28-29 Unless you put a flamenco dancer and a belly dancer side by side, as the recent “Dance Fusion” concert did, you’ll […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Ready for the River

Impulse Theatre Company, at the Body Politic Studio Theatre. If all Impulse Theatre put onstage were Ken Puttbach’s brilliantly economical set and lighting and director Stephen Gray’s uncannily evocative stage pictures, this could be a truly fantastic production of Neal Bell’s surrealistic road drama Ready for the River. Sitting in eerily dim light, hearing the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Family Matters

Dear Editor: Finally! A comprehensive, good understanding of the DCFS and court systems as they relate to abused and neglected children and families [“The Children’s Crusade,” March 24]. While the Chicago Tribune has sensationalized (and to a lesser degree, the Sun-Times) stories of children abused while involved with DCFS, Richard Wexler has written a fair […]

Posted inMusic

Riding The Juju Train

I.K. Dairo and His Blue Spots Equator Club, April 29 Flashback to the last year of ChicagoFest. Onstage are King Sunny Ade and His African Beats, a Nigerian band riding the crest of a sudden burst of Western popularity. Influential members of Chicago’s African community dance across the stage to affix paper currency to the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Women Behind Bars

Women Behind Bars, Trap Door Theatre. Tom Eyen’s 1974 off-off-Broadway play pays witty, campy homage to the women in grade-B prison movies: it’s packed with in-jokes and sly references to films like Women’s Prison and I Want to Live! But in the fumbling hands of the folks at Trap Door Theatre, Eyen’s satire is indistinguishable […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Dynamic Duo

Chicago Reader Editors: If someone is motivated enough to blast one of my favorite critics (Letters, March 31), then I can summon enough energy to defend him. With the duo of Peter Margasak and Bill Wyman, the Reader has easily the best music coverage in Chicago, arguably the best in any American newspaper (it’s one […]