Posted inArts & Culture

The Phantom Lady

THE PHANTOM LADY, Sword & Cloak Productions, at the Footsteps Theatre Company. Dona Angela’s overprotective brothers–the stuffy Don Juan and the nerdy Don Luis–keep a close watch on her, but sometimes she and her servant contrive to sneak away for some fun. But when Luis spots them, Angela is forced to enlist the aid of […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Blinded by Science

To the Editors: Harold Henderson’s “Environment: The Manufactured Crisis” [September 16] was a good review of the popular literature, but because Henderson seems to be scientifically illiterate, he misses the true issue: the concept of net energy loss. That is, how much energy (in BTUs or calories) we use to clean up the mess we […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Tobacco Road

TOBACCO ROAD, Pillar Studio, at the Organic Theatre Company Greenhouse. In its day, the early 1930s, this play about the trashiest of white trash and the Erskine Caldwell novel on which it was based stirred up a peck of trouble. The critics hated it–one called it “repulsive and . . . faintly sickening”–and its frankness […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Next Dance Festival

There are a few lines from an Alice Walker poem that I want to copy and tape to the refrigerator door of some of my friends: “Never offer someone your heart who is a heart eater / Who finds heart meat delicious but not rare.” Eater of Hearts, Paula Frasz’s solo based on that poem–to […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Unfortunate Attitude

Dear Leah [Eskin]: Your October 21, 1994, article about National Depression Day [Our Town] is a perfect example of how a smug, misguided journalist can hurt people with his or her irresponsible use of words. It also demonstrates how an opinion, no matter how assured, when not based on fact, doesn’t validate itself. You proudly […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Paper Tiger

THE PINK: A PAPER RITUAL OF EROS Muna Tseng Dance Projects at the Dance Center of Columbia College, November 10-12 A crumpled pile of waxy white paper lying upstage begins rising slowly, rustling, almost crackling, a complicated luminescent mass brought to life. Perhaps it’s the brittle covering for some animal, the exoskeleton of some soft, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Oleanna

I haven’t seen David Mamet’s controversial two-character play on the stage, but his own film adaptation is easily his best movie since House of Games. The two characters are a pontificating, bullying male college professor (William H. Macy) up for tenure and his initially cowed, eventually empowered female student (Debra Eisenstadt), who winds up charging […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Viridian

This fruitful collaboration between Chicago independent Joseph Ramirez and Illinois poet Paul Hoover is a major advance over Ramirez’s attempt to yoke cinema with poetry in his first feature, Descent. Shot with a Chicago cast and crew in rural Iowa, Viridian follows the painful adjustments of a divorced young woman and her little boy as […]

Posted inFilm

The Way We Weren’t

You can figure out a lot about the differences between our culture and French culture by comparing two current series of low-budget TV features about teenagers. The French series, “Tous les garcons et les filles de leur age” (“All the Boys and Girls of Their Age”), produced by the French “cultural” channel Arte, has yielded […]

Posted inNews & Politics

In Defense of Tower

Dear Editor: Re Peter Vilkelis’s letter (October 7) bashing Tower Records: I’ve gotta stand up for Tower. First of all, the employees in the classical section (at least the ones I’ve seen in my two years of shopping there) don’t appear to have gone in for body piercing beyond earrings. And since I’m only interested […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Gregory Whitehead

Sound artist Gregory Whitehead is as much elaborate prankster as impassioned explorer. Often working out of the German Horspiel radio-play tradition, Whitehead explores a wide range of topics and approaches. The short pieces on The Pleasure of Ruins and Other Castaways (Staalplaat/Korm Plastics), for example, make up a remarkable journey through speech–the liner notes assert […]