Posted inArts & Culture

Reel Life: video on the make

When videomaker Mark Blottner moved to West Town from Cleveland in 1983, he hadn’t the slightest idea that he would soon be consumed with the life of writer Nelson Algren, known for his grittily poetic chronicles of the Polish neighborhood around Division Street and Milwaukee Avenue. “Living here and reading his stuff really made the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Pilar Medina

There may be other soloists like Mexican artist Pilar Medina, but I don’t know of any. She extrapolates from flamenco–in which she’s well trained–to create works that are modern in feeling if not appearance, full of meaning and specific emotion. In El aguila dorada (“The Golden Eagle”) she adopts several personas in turn, embodying Mexico’s […]

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The Urge to Merge/Show Boat Adds It Up

The Urge to Merge Talks of an imminent merger between the Touchstone and Organic theaters have put a spotlight on the financial pressures now bearing down on Chicago’s beleaguered stage community. Though the merger of the 10-year-old Touchstone and 26-year-old Organic is not yet a done deal, it’s clear that both organizations are currently trying […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Purloined Menu

There was a sense of recklessness with which we pursued dinner at Mango, ordering more than we could consume, more than decorum would suggest we drink, and loitering later than management might have preferred. Despite the overwrought food styling and vaguely disturbing sconces, Mango’s crisp decor and simple American menu inspire such easy indulgence. -Leah […]

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Dithyrambic

DITHYRAMBIC Pauline Oliveros is the grand doyenne of American avant-gardism, the quintessential west-coast free spirit who’s always willing to explore unconventional philosophies and techniques. A trailblazer in electronic music and an influential teacher at Mills College and the University of California, San Diego, Oliveros has compiled an impressive body of work that heightens one’s awareness […]

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Richard Stotlzman

RICHARD STOLTZMAN A charter member in the exclusive club of successful crossover musicians, Grammy-winning clarinetist Richard Stoltzman combines an engaging personality and a marvelous command of technique. He’s remarkably eclectic, performing jazz and classical music with the same conviction and verve, and he seems to appreciate the essence of any music, as shown in the […]

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News of the Weird

Lead Story Houston police arrested a 46-year-old man in February and charged him with molesting his 12-year-old granddaughter. Police officers and social workers suspect that the man is not only her grandfather but her father and suspect–since the girl is five months pregnant–that he is also the father of what would be his own great-granddaughter. […]

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The Truth

The Truth, OverBored Productions. Maybe if playwright-director Elizabeth Ward had written and directed all the plays in OverBored’s trio of one-acts this 90-minute evening wouldn’t be such a chore. Like the other plays, Not Seven–Ward’s bittersweet comedy about the blossoming friendship between a wittily frank lesbian and an uptight, getting-to-be-uncloseted gay man–is too talky, lacks […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Reader to Reader

I was buying some toiletries at Walgreens the other day. At the checkout register the clerk couldn’t scan one item. Finally he gave up and paged someone in the cosmetics department. “I need a price check on Tampax tampons–” “No, no, no,” the woman working at the next counter yelled to him. “You ask her […]