Posted inArts & Culture

Next Dance Festival

After gobbling up your Thanksgiving dinner, this weekend you can gobble up a feast of dance by four different choreographers during the second, and final, weekend of the Next Dance Festival. Claire Bataille’s duet Nice Work, If You Can Get It, set to Gershwin, has the same straightforward, good old American, slightly old-fashioned flavor as […]

Posted inMusic

Singing Between the Lines

Sheila Jordan Green Mill, November 18 and 19 Whatever your image of a jazz singer, chances are Sheila Jordan doesn’t fit it. She’s not willowy, she’s not sultry, and she’s not black. She’s short and square, with pale skin and a wide toothy grin. Walking down Michigan Avenue at lunchtime, she could easily be mistaken […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

Why is it that every single organ and component of the human body gets cancer except the heart? I have heard about cancer of everything from the brain to the blood; it seems no appendage is safe from the ravages of the big C. Yet I have never heard of anyone getting heart cancer. Am […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Ashtray Boy

Plenty of rock bands are bicoastal, but Ashtray Boy is the only one I know of that’s bihemispheric. In Sydney singer-guitarist Randall Lee lives and plays with one rhythm section, and in Chicago, the home of his record company, Ajax, he plays with another. Lee’s songwriting traits–a broad stylistic range and an even broader streak […]

Posted inFilm

Pregnant Pa’s

* MARY SHELLEY’S FRANKENSTEIN (Has redeeming facet) Directed by Kenneth Branagh Written by Steph Lady and Frank Darabont With Kenneth Branagh, Robert De Niro, Helena Bonham Carter, Tom Hulce, Aidan Quinn, Ian Holm, Richard Briers, and John Cleese. * JUNIOR (Has redeeming facet) Directed by Ivan Reitman Written by Kevin Wade and Chris Conrad With […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

Most Chicago public high schools have accepted Mayor Daley’s offer of metal detectors–but that doesn’t mean they use them, report Elizabeth Crouch, Debra Williams, and Dan Weissmann in Catalyst (November). “Clemente High in West Town accepted the detectors–‘to stay on the mayor’s good side,’ says [local school] council chair Cindy Rodriguez–but didn’t set them up. […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Good One

TO: Bill Wyman FR: Your only fan Bill: Seriously, you need to finad another line of work!! You are so funny at music!! Try comedy, Bill. You take amazing pains to blast the Stones and who do you recommend? Lyle Lovett [Critic’s Choice, November 4]!!?? This is too funny!! You are such a joke!!! Get […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Bad Religion

Many years ago we all dreamed of a world in which punk rock–real punk rock–topped the charts, saturated the airwaves, and got in everyone’s face. Well, it’s happened–Green Day and Offspring are selling in the millions, and more bands keep coming. The latest astoundingly successful entry is Bad Religion, a dozen-year-old punk outfit led by […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Wilhelm Reich: No Jerk-Off

In “Stroke of Genius” [November 4] Dennis Rodkin attributes to Dr. Domeena Renshaw, head of Loyola’s Sexual Dysfunction Clinic, the claim that “early in this century” Wilhelm Reich built an “Orgone Box” in which patients were supposed to sit inside and masturbate. “He sold the box until he was tossed in jail, and died.” I […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Real Thing

Fluid Measure Performance Company at the Dance Center of Columbia College, November 17-19 Fluid Measure Performance Company has evolved amazingly since the days in the late 70s and early 80s when a group of performance artists (including me) sat at a table in Patricia Pelletier’s apartment haggling, at times yelling, over the goals of a […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Maid’s Tragedy

THE MAID’S TRAGEDY, European Repertory Company. Honor and duty seem quaint, archaic concepts at the end of the twentieth century, when shirking personal responsibility has become a growth industry. Compare, as did Charles Baxter in his recent article “Dysfunctional Narratives,” the words of Robert E. Lee three days into the Battle of Gettysburg–“All this has […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Giant Sand

When Howe Gelb sings “Careless with abandon and reckless with random”–from “Bender,” a tune off last year’s sprawling, aptly titled Purge & Slouch (Restless)–he’s actually describing his muse: Giant Sand is his vehicle and he drives it wildly, using a revolving cast of players and constantly shifting musical direction. On their latest effort, Glum (Imago)–in […]