Posted inArts & Culture

Solopalooza

Though solo performers are a dime a gross these days, this hasn’t translated into a surplus of great shows. That’s why Elisa DeCarlo’s bracingly honest one-woman tragicomedy I Love Drugs is such a treat. Using the same format as Sherry Glaser’s sweet but shallow Family Secrets–in which one woman plays all the members in an […]

Posted inNews & Politics

See the Evil

I really enjoyed the cover story on the police brutality in the Area 2 headquarters [“Town Without Pity,” January 12]. I couldn’t believe all of the wrongdoings that are going on in the Chicago police force. I agree with you 100 percent. We should do something about the leniency that we give officers that we […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Critic’s Choice

Boy meets girl, boy gets girl, boy beats girl . . . that’s the premise of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein’s second collaboration: the story of carousel barker Billy Bigelow, a doomed young drifter who vents his self-loathing by smacking his wife around. The team’s most operatic musical, featuring Rodgers’s most sweeping score, is also […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Reader to Reader

Two thirtyish men are sitting side by side on the northbound Ravenswood el. “I’m ready to put money on this,” one says. “I’ll buy you a plane ticket to Switzerland if you paint a painting of a bear and a carrot.” “A bear and a carrot, huh. I could do that.” “It’s no risk to […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Mississippi Juke Joint Caravan

MISSISSIPPI JUKE JOINT CARAVAN In northern Mississippi hill country lives a blues sound so raw and primal even hardened Yankee critics have been left awestruck. Characterized by melodies based on modal themes, it’s driven by rhythmic patterns that were around long before modern shuffle backbeats were conceived. Guitarist R.L. Burnside is one of the form’s […]

Posted inFilm

Martha and I

In this 1991 semiautobiographical film set in the late 30s veteran Czech-born director Jiri Weiss turns a series of childhood incidents into a riveting narrative about a young Jewish student’s coming-of-age and the surprising marriage of his doctor uncle to a German maid. What starts out as Emil’s rites of passage in a Nazi-infested Czech […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

I’ve got a question I hope you can answer quickly. Why is it that we associate the heart (the organ) with love, affection, relationships? I’m a writer at an ad agency and I’m working on a Valentine’s Day card project. –Paul Schmelzer, via the Internet Damn, late again. Did you have a plan B or […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Rhino in Winter

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 through March 2 at the Lunar Cabaret and Full Moon Cafe, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Joe McPhee

JOE McPHEE Though sadly he remains unknown, Joe McPhee is one of the most distinctive voices to emerge from the free-jazz movement of the late 60s. Raised in Poughkeepsie (where he still lives) by his trumpet-playing father–who provided his first horn lessons–McPhee studied technique while serving in the military and later cut his teeth playing […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

By Harold Henderson “Most of my customers don’t have [parking] permits,” Ed Mooney of Flatts & Sharpe Music Company on Sheridan in Rogers Park writes in the cover letter to his petition, which registers complaints by area businesses about permit parking. “Overnight the public streets became private parking for those able to get a permit….After […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

Hey, Faggot: My boyfriend got a so-called boob job as a teenager because he was embarrassed by his “breasts.” What a waste! He has no sensation in his nipples. Oh, what I would give for a little bit of breast on him and the chance to suck a responsive nipple! He says that if he’d […]

Posted inFilm

Carmen Miranda: Bananas Is My Business

Highly personal and informative, Helena Solberg’s feature-length 1994 documentary about Brazilian musical star Carmen Miranda and her complex identities–a Broadway and Hollywood icon who caricatured Brazilian traits, a woman who became a campy “bombshell”–is an eye-opener. A Brazilian-American herself, Solberg may have more invested in this subject than she can handle, but most of what […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Milestones

Milestones, Laughing Lantern Theater Company, at the Players Workshop. This three-act play addresses our reaction to and fear of technological change, the miscommunication and misunderstandings between different generations, gender and class issues, and family dysfunction. But however contemporary it sounds, Arnold Bennett and Edward Knoblauch’s Milestones was first produced in 1912 and follows a British […]