Posted inArts & Culture

Gangsters and Mulatto

Stage Actors Ensemble of Chicago, at Dancetech. Teenage Bert Lewis has returned home from boarding school and is scandalizing his family and neighbors with his rebellious behavior. But what might be regarded as a harmless nuisance in other circumstances here must inevitably end in violence, because this is 1930s Georgia and Bert is the illegitimate […]

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The City File

Sound’s like a good idea to me. In the Chicago-based Student Lawyer (September), Di Mari Ricker describes a legal-writing professor driven to distraction by ignorance of apostrophes: “Benson gives his students a fifth-grade-level test with 10 sentences that need apostrophes. Students are allowed to take the test as many times as they wish, but if […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Quote Check

To the editors: Thank you to Cate Plys for September 15th’s cover story, “WBEZ’s Big Gamble.” Although many of the real estate and financial issues involved in the station’s move to Navy Pier are complex, Ms. Plys’s story helped to give a belated public airing to issues that WBEZ’s listeners, members, and donors need to […]

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Albee’s Routine

Sand: Three Plays on a Beach at the Theatre Building Edward Albee’s arrest for indecent exposure on a Florida beach a few years back was somehow appropriate. The playwright’s made a career out of indecently exposing impotent intellectual men, booze-glugging, oversexed women, and their small-minded upper-class values–all the while exposing himself as an artist just […]

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Designing Men

Dear Reader: I know enough about journalism to realize that writers and editors try to eliminate anything that distracts from the focus of their story. But sometimes the result is that readers end up with false impressions, and people who should receive credit don’t. That’s why we have these letters columns, right? Case in point: […]

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Seven

Who would have guessed that a grisly and upsetting serial-killer police procedural costarring Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman as detectives, written by a Tower Records cashier (Andrew Kevin Walker), and directed by David Fincher (Alien3), would bear a startling resemblance to a serious work of art? One can already tell that this film is on […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Jerry Granelli

Even though he turns 55 this year, the profile of percussionist Jerry Granelli has only recently started to come into focus; the emerging picture has plenty to recommend it. It would have come as little surprise if Granelli–who studied with Dave Brubeck’s drummer Joe Morello and who has a host of sideman credits on his […]

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Verdi at the Crossroads

Simon Boccanegra Lyric Opera Lyric Opera opens its 41st season with Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra, a middle-period work that’s been seen here four times before: in 1959 (with general director Ardis Krainik singing the role of Amelia’s servant), ’65, ’74, and ’79. That’s not bad exposure for an opera that was a flop at its premiere […]

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Field & Street

Last weekend my friend Kevin bagged going to see a late movie with a group of us because he’d promised a woman he’d arrive at her apartment at 10:30 to spend the night. Not for amorous pursuits, he insisted, but because she was terrified of being alone at night. He explained that she’d just moved […]

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The Waking of Annabel

The Waking of Annabel, Cafe Voltaire. There are probably a million ways to mess up a story as sweet and simple as the one Gabrielle Suzanne Kaplan (a Reader contributor) tells in The Waking of Annabel: three troubled people–a babbling mentally ill patient, a warm but doubt-filled social worker, and a professional but emotionally dead […]

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Imaginary Cartoons

Spencer Dormitzer at Space Gallery, through October 7 John Fraser at Roy Boyd Gallery, through October 17 Spencer Dormitzer’s startlingly goofy paintings–15 are on view at Space Gallery–are something of a surprise even today, when anything can be art. True, bright, pop colors, cartoonish imagery, and bizarre fantasy figures all made it into galleries years […]