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Posted inArts & Culture

A Spoonful of Saccharin

Another Midsummer Night Goodman Theatre If we shadows have offended, . . . Gentles do not reprehend: If you pardon, we will mend . . . –Puck, in A Midsummer Night’s Dream One reason the Goodman Theatre likes to end with a musical each year, I think, is that an upbeat crowd pleaser can soothe […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

Letters we couldn’t finish because we were rolling on the floor. From a dog food company: “If dogs could talk, what might they say? Chances are they would fret about fat. Sixty percent of American dogs are overweight…” “Only Loop employers knew what parking cost” when contacted in a survey of parking provided by Chicago-area […]

Posted inMusic

Two Strands of DNA

Arto Lindsay Trio Aggregates 1-26 (Knitting Factory Works) Ikue Mori Painted Desert (Avant) A play on new wave, the tag “no wave” was applied to a wing of New York’s late-70s punk-rock scene after the influential Brian Eno-produced 1978 compilation No New York. The album introduced to an unsuspecting public the sounds of the Contortions, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love

This sweet, tender, exciting 1994 feature by writer-director Maria Maggenti is about the puppy love that blossoms between two high school seniors: a rebellious tomboy pothead gas-station attendant who lives with her aunt in an all-lesbian household and a popular wealthy black intellectual. Maggenti doesn’t always have her technique together–there are some awkward voice-overs, and […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Field & Street

I’d been on a long, sweaty driving trip for two weeks, and when I started noticing come-ons for the World’s Largest Buffalo 100 miles west of Jamestown, North Dakota, I understood immediately that it was my destiny to visit it. I cruised slowly through Jamestown’s pleasingly junky Frontier Village, a tourist concoction with fudge shops […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Maids of Gravity

I don’t know much about this LA combo, but its recently released eponymous debut is one of the year’s best straight-up rock albums. Bearing a vague resemblance to their labelmates and neighbors Acetone–whose striking debut, Cindy, remains one of 1993’s best-kept secrets–they craft immaculate, often gentle melodies, setting the hushed, dreamy vocals of Ed Ruscha […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Opera Boffo!

The Lyric Opera appears to have been taken over by the staff of TV Guide. In this year’s subscription brochure, the Lyric’s 1995-’96 season is described in prose usually reserved for hyping new sitcoms or video releases of Michael J. Fox movies. Susan Mathieson, director of marketing and communications for the Lyric, says the synopses […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Four Dogs and a Bone

Center Theater Ensemble and Wisdom Bridge Theatre. I don’t know which is worse, John Patrick Shanley’s insufferable play about the endlessly manipulative assholes who inhabit the film industry, or Dan LaMorte’s uninspired production of it. But clearly these two were made for each other. I mean, who better to direct yet another play by yet […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Run On

Between them Sue Garner, Rick Brown, Alan Licht, and David Newgarden have played ingratiating pop, howling free improvisation, off-kilter rock, and down-home country with Fish & Roses, the Blue Humans, the Mad Scene, the Shams, and half a dozen other groups. In the NYC-based quartet Run On they confine themselves to structured, accessible rock songs. […]

Posted inFilm

Redrawing History

Pocahontas Rating ** Worth seeing Directed by Mike Gabriel and Eric Goldberg Written by Carl Binder, Susannah Grant, and Pillip LaZebnick With the voices of Irene Bedard, Judy Kuhn, Mel Gibson, David Ogden Stiers, Linda Hunt, Russel Means, Christian Bale, Billy Connolly, and Joe Baker. American history without Smith and Pocahontas is hard to imagine. […]