Posted inArts & Culture

La Traviata

Verdi’s ever-popular weeper is the Grant Park Festival’s latest crowd-pleasing collaboration between the Lyric Opera Center for American Artists and the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra. A naturally gifted soprano who can also act, Juliana Rambaldi last year proved to be a stunner in Bruce Saylor’s Orpheus Descending. She’s ideally suited for the part of Violetta, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Space Case

To the editor: How sad it is to read David Futrelle pan space exploration as a senseless waste of time and money (“The Space Waste,” June 2) simply because the human race is unable to utilize its celestial neighbors for any of its own immediate needs. Not once does he suggest the possibility that in […]

Posted inMusic

Togetherness

Chicago Symphony Orchestra Ravinia Festival, July 16 True collaboration is one of the mysteries of music. It is not the same as mere accompaniment. Mere accompaniment is what singers generally encounter at auditions, where they hand their music over to an unknown pianist and say a silent prayer that their markings will be observed; there’s […]

Posted inMusic

Alanis Morissette

“You see me as a sweet back-loaded puppet / And you’ve got a meal-ticket taste.” With those artless words, Alanis Morissette nicely captures the story behind the all-too-temporary fame she’s now experiencing. Alternative rock’s latest one-hit wonder, a 20-year-old Canadian poseur, is riding on the swell of her vulgar piece of soft-porn attitudinizing, “You Oughtta […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Ticket to Ride

Dear editor: Ben Joravsky’s profile of Miriam Santos [July 14] concludes with her leaving a Humboldt Park school after making a commencement speech. Joravsky states that while Santos is “in the limo; windows up, AC blasting, heading for a private lunch downtown with bankers,” the children have to walk home to their tenements. Joravsky makes […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Terminal Cafe

SummerNITE, at the Bailiwick Arts Center At a time when real wages are falling and more and more of us have insecure, perk-free temporary, part-time, or freelance jobs, it’s striking, even a little appalling, how few contemporary playwrights seem to write about the way we live. When they do get around to writing about people […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Alegria

What started in the early 80s as a loose-knit collection of street performers has turned into a multimillion-dollar international enterprise; but in its last Chicago engagement, the 1993 run of Saltimbanco, Montreal’s Cirque du Soleil showed no sign of corporate–or corporal–sluggishness. That production boasted the same brilliance, energy, and youthful invention that dazzled in the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Too Little, Too Late

I have read Ben Joravsky’s article on Kimberly Johnson and City Colleges [Neighborhood News, June 16], and all I can say is you have arrived with too little too late. We, the dedicated teachers in the City Colleges system, have been battered and attacked from all sides. First, we have been barraged from above: Gidwitz […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Repeat w/ Madeline

The Odessa Group, at Cafe Voltaire Attending the Odessa Group’s “urban dinner theater” production of Jim McDermott’s Repeat w/ Madeline is like having a dinner in reverse. The waiter takes your order, plops a heaping helping of healthy edibles in front of you, takes them away when you’re done, then brings the appetizer. The hors […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Vernis Rucker

Vocalist Vernis Rucker is the latest protege of Quinton Claunch, the fabled Memphis Svengali whose Goldwax label launched the R & B careers of O.V. Wright and James Carr in the 60s. Her debut CD, Stranger in the Sheets, showcases a voice that can segue effortlessly from sexy intimacy through lady-in-the-streets assertiveness all the way […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Bulletproof Heart

You’ve probably never heard of this crime picture and love story (1994), but it’s almost certainly the best American genre movie released so far this year–the sort of beautifully crafted personal effort that would qualify as a sleeper if our film industry still allowed sleepers to function as they did in the 50s. Given the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Gene

Gene is an amusing scrap of a band from England. Awhile back it seemed as if the Smiths’ lethal combination of affected vocals (basket case Morrissey) and blasting guitars (the obsessive Johnny Marr) would disappear without a trace; now suddenly here’s a band doing exactly the same thing. Only not as well. The Smiths were […]