Posted inNews & Politics

Lay Off Larry

Re: “Scary Larry” [February 23] C’mon, what do you expect? Television news is not in the business of educating people or entertaining people or really performing any service other than making money for its owners and corporate sponsors. The moniker “news” is merely a “handle” by which each channel gets to present various degrees of […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Set in French-occupied Indochina on the eve of the protracted civil strife that would eventually lead to the Vietnam war, this first feature by Pauline Chan hauntingly evokes an era and a place, depicting this desperate time far more accurately than the 1992 Indochine. At the center of Traps is an unhappy young Australian couple–he’s […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Sports Section

By Ted Cox Shaquille O’Neal of the Orlando Magic put up a shot early in the fourth quarter against the Bulls a week ago last Sunday, but with Luc Longley playing tough one-on-one defense it came down short. Michael Jordan pulled in the rebound and dribbled straight out, with both Scottie Pippen and Toni Kukoc […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Birdcage

One swell reason for seeing this fresh Americanized remake of La cage aux folles–the 1978 French farce about a middle-aged gay couple–written by Elaine May for her old improv partner, producer-director Mike Nichols, and costarring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane as the couple–is its hilarious depiction of Pat Buchanan as played by Gene Hackman, which […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Confession Confection

Dear Mr. Rosenbaum: I generally agreed with your capsule review of Dead Man Walking, which describes the movie as honest and balanced in its handling of the controversy over capital punishment. But, after seeing the movie, I read the book of the same name upon which it was based. Then I wasn’t sure anymore about […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Mark Twain and the Laughing River

Veteran folk-pop singer-songwriter Jim Post (“Reach Out in the Darkness”) is no actor, but he’s a wonderful vocalist and tale teller–and nearly a dead ringer for Mark Twain. So this delightful family-oriented entertainment, smoothly directed by Brian Russell, is a natural: impersonating Twain in late middle age, Post matches the great writer’s anecdotes about growing […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

Eddie Blazonczyk & the Versatones 3/8, FitzGerald’s The king of Polish polka, Eddie Blazonczyk, has been a Chicago institution for more than three decades. This clever booking gambit finds him opening for gonzo revisionists Brave Combo (who play the next night at Lounge Ax). As the recent “best of” collection Polkatime (Cleveland International) shows, his […]