Posted inFilm

Acting the Part

The Perez Family Rating * Has redeeming facet Directed by Mira Nair Written by Robin Swicord With Marisa Tomei, Alfred Molina, Chazz Palminteri, and Anjelica Huston. Almost 50 years ago, when fair-skinned Oklahoman Jennifer Jones played a Native American in Duel in the Sun, her makeup artists went overboard in their efforts to attain authenticity, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Kills Like Teen Spirit

A year ago, Kurt Cobain put a gun to his head. For all that’s been written about his suicide, the power it holds over our emotions and imaginations remains, for the most part, a mystery. It doesn’t come down to anything quite so simple as great songs, a great band, a great singer, or “the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

Is there any basis to the stereotype that some homosexuals lisp? My sister, the lesbian, says it is cultural. What is the root of this? –J.I., Oak Park, Illinois We tread on thin ice, I suppose, but if Cecil won’t tackle a question like this, who will? Not being suicidal, I made little Ed do […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Egon Schiele

Itinerant Theater Guild, at the University of Illinois at Chicago, UIC Theater. When the great Austrian expressionist painter Oskar Kokoschka called expressionist artists “soul rippers,” he surely had in mind the contorted, emaciated, nearly decomposing figures of Egon Schiele. This painter and draftsman perverted romanticism’s idealized artist-martyr using the iconography of popular photographic pornography of […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

Proficiency test. Computer repair technician Yvonne Miller on her first day of work at south suburban Moraine Valley Community College (Applause Applause: 1994 Employee Awards): “My boss, Jay Torrens, said, ‘Here’s your office. There’s your computer. By the way, the computer doesn’t work so you might as well fix it.’” “In the best of all […]

Posted inArts & Culture


MAY Friday 26 Lowell Handler, a photojournalist with Tourette’s syndrome who travels the world taking pictures of fellow Touretters, is the subject of Lauren Chiten’s Twitch and Shout, a look at the strange but harmless neurological disorder. The documentary plays this weekend and next at Facets Multimedia Center, 1517 W. Fullerton. Show times are Fridays […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Song of Singapore

Song of Singapore, Piper’s Alley. Borrowing most of its plot elements from the 1947 Ava Gardner movie Singapore–including the setting, an amnesiac heroine, stolen jewels, a slimy cop, and the imminent threat of Japanese invasion–this piece of fluff aims to combine concept musicals like Pump Boys and Dinettes and Nunsense (whose gimmick is the characters’ […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chicago Composers’ Consortium

For emerging local composers with newly minted PhDs, chamber recitals organized by the Chicago Composers’ Consortium have proven to be an indispensable forum. It helps, of course, that older academics often consent to be spotlighted along with their younger colleagues, whipping up wider interest while bestowing implicit approval on fledgling careers. At this season finale […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Star Dreck

Flaubert once said he preferred tinsel to silver, because tinsel has all the same qualities as silver–plus pathos. I think this is why, when it comes to cult sci-fi TV shows, I’ve grown so fond of VR.5 and Babylon 5. They have everything that great cult shows need: a freaky look, an enigmatic premise, a […]

Posted inNews & Politics

True Colors

To the Editor: I’m beginning to wonder if Mr. Greene himself isn’t the impetus behind Ed Gold’s BobWatch columns. Just compare their last names. Quite a coincidence, isn’t it? But seriously, I find it hard to believe that Mr. Gold writes in earnest. If he really finds Bob Greene so offensive, why does he serve […]