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Posted inArts & Culture

Never the Same Rhyme Twice

Never the Same Rhyme Twice, Mary-Arrchie Theatre. What’s most intriguing about a great con artist is that, even if you know you’re being conned and watch his every move, he can still fleece you and leave you wondering how he did it. But unlike classics in the con artist genre (The Sting) and not-so-classics (David […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

Enclosed are two of the many articles on the death of Gloria Ramirez, who became known as “the toxic lady” because she downed several medical attendants with her fumes. Pesticides, nerve gas, cervical cancer, kidney failure, cardiac arrest, crystals in blood, and other obscure causes were cited in these and many TV reports. Did they […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Reel Life: nursing the serpent

“Medicine runs in my family,” says Barbara Bird, a 50-year-old former nurse turned documentary filmmaker. “My mother is a nurse. My great-grandmother was a nurse. My dad is a doctor. My grandfather was a doctor. The whole family was medical.” And medicated too, she points out in Handmaidens, her video revealing the dark side of […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Decalogue

By a cruel twist of fate, Krzysztof Kieslowski’s major work, made in 1988, is finally receiving its Chicago theatrical premiere only a few days after his death at the age of 54. Ten separate films, each running 50-odd minutes and set mainly around two facing high-rises in Warsaw, are built around a contemporary reflection on […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Emmylou Harris

EMMYLOU HARRIS When Emmylou Harris released Wrecking Ball (Elektra) last year quite a few old fans and country purists balked at the notion of a record produced by Daniel Lanois (U2, Neville Brothers) that featured songs written by Jimi Hendrix and Neil Young. It’s easy to forget, however, that prior to the crucial role Harris […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Pack Is Back

The Pack Is Back, at the Jazz Buffet. Like the Beatles, the Rat Pack will never reunite—except in deft impersonations and restoration revues like this one. The slim premise is that Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin return from heaven for a last fling with Frank Sinatra. The script (by Mark S. Rossella and producers […]

Posted inArts & Culture

A Variable Passion

A Variable Passion, Writers’ Theatre–Chicago. This is just the sort of nice, sweet nothing of a show that will go down easy with a late-middle-aged, middle-of-the-road audience in the back of a bookstore in Glencoe. Essentially an anthology of writings on love held together by the thinnest of stories–philandering professor facing divorce spends a couple […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story Recent passings of note: In Columbus, Ohio, M.S. Tooill; in Arlington, Virginia, W.M. Croker; in Oklahoma City, William Death. In February in Rhode Island a 44-year-old man was killed on the shoulder of I-95 after being hit by a truck while standing between two other trucks–one hauling granite slabs for tombstones and the […]