Posted inMusic

Hinda Hoffman Quartet

HINDA HOFFMAN QUARTET I suspect that most jazz listeners go through a similar process the first time they hear Hinda Hoffman. First you realize that she improvises sparingly at best; she doesn’t scat, and she takes few detours in her readings of standard selections from the American Popular Songbook. Next you get over expectations of […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Reduced Shakespeare Company

It’s one of the little ironies of Chicago’s timid and increasingly unimaginative commercial theater scene that two-thirds of the Reduced Shakespeare Company–Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor (Matthew Croke is the remaining third)–live in town yet no local producer has ever invited them to perform here. So the adept comic actors in this trio–best known for […]

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Austin’s Late Bloomer

“I knew Jimmie Dale Gilmore since before he was shorter’n me,” Jo Carol Pierce is saying. Her dulcet twang sails over the telephone line from the residence of an aunt she’s visiting in her hometown of Lubbock, Texas. The Austin singer-songwriter is reminiscing about another Austin singer-songwriter, the tall and graceful Gilmore, her first husband. […]

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The Rhino in Winter

Offered as an adjunct to the annual summer Rhinoceros Theatre Festival, this monthlong showcase of fringe performance features work by the likes of locals Jenny Magnus, Beau O’Reilly, Frank Melcori, David Isaacson, Scott Turner, and James Schneider. The fest runs February 1 through March 2 at the Lunar Cabaret and Full Moon Cafe, 2827 N. […]

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No One Will Be Immune, Under Observation, and The New World Order

No One Will Be Immune, Under Observation, and The New world Order, ClothMother Productions. Given that Harold Pinter begat David Mamet who begat Howard Korder, it’s surprising that ClothMother’s collection of one-acts doesn’t work better. All three pieces deal intelligently with the power of words to alienate people, but none is developed enough to be […]

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4-Play

4-Play, Bailiwick Repertory. Why juxtapose a comedy about a trendy couple’s crisis of conscience over eating meat with a harrowing Harold Pinter drama about a man forced to drink liquor after his tongue has been cut out? Yet that’s what this showcase of one-acts does, and the effect is, well, tasteless. As it happens, Pinter’s […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Reader to Reader

The woman left her counter at a nearly empty Lincoln Avenue thrift shop to show a male customer some merchandise in the back. “Anybody ever buy these bikes?” he asked. “Nobody but you,” she laughed. He pointed to a pair of exercise bicycles. “And these don’t move?” “No, they don’t.” Leaning on a handlebar, he […]

Posted inMusic

Jazz Sisters

JAZZ SISTERS Here at the end of the century we’ve reached the tertiary level of feminist awareness in jazz. First the place of women in jazz (mostly singers) was established and then the standing of women instrumentalists; now comes a program designed to remind us of the women behind those women–the women who write the […]

Posted inFilm

The Engagement of Anna

One of Greece’s most respected veteran directors, Pantelis Voulgaris–who’s virtually unknown outside Europe–has earned a reputation as a subtle prober of his country’s social strata and a sensitive observer of the psychological shifts in everyday life. His debut feature, The Engagement of Anna (1972), which opens the Film Center’s mini retrospective, serves as a lucid […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

Hey, Faggot: I am a 36-year-old male, approximately 30 pounds overweight. I have always battled with my weight and have learned to live with the ups and downs. However, no matter how much weight I lose or how often I work out I always have a big flabby chest–a source of discomfort and shame to […]

Posted inFilm

Letter From an Unknown Woman

One of Max Ophuls’s four Hollywood films, this masterpiece nearly defines the film melodrama, complete with the genre’s often implausible twists–the lover who fails to remember a former flame, the child a father never knew was his, the train compartment contaminated with typhus. But Ophuls brings to life this story of the tragically selfless love […]

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Spot Check

LENNY KRAVITZ 2/2, Aragon On his fourth album, Circus (Virgin), Lenny Kravitz continues skimming the past in search of familiar settings for his well-worn religious platitudes. Kravitz plays almost everything on the record himself, borrowing mostly from Jimi Hendrix while evoking a John Bonham-esque wallop and a Sly Stone-ish funk. Just like the title of […]