Posted inArts & Culture

Ballet Chicago

After its dismal production of Hansel and Gretel two seasons ago, Ballet Chicago seemed on its last legs. But the company bounced back beautifully last year with a technically impressive, highly entertaining production of Coppelia. Artistic director Dan Duell’s trick to keeping his impoverished classical company alive then: hire strong dancers and borrow sets and […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Killing Our Nightlife

To the editor and publisher of the Reader: A few weeks ago the Reader’s Hitsville section finally began to address the struggle that the nightlife industry of Chicago has been forced to endure [April 19]. The pieces about Berlin and Lounge Ax do raise certain questions about the (lack of) fairness of liquor-related licenses, however, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

The spring breeze is blowing, and it’s starting to smell like baseball, at least here in Texas. This brings to mind a fundamental question: how do groundskeepers make the checkerboard pattern in the outfield? Alternating types of sod? I’ve always wondered. –Justin Gaynor, Dallas For the answer to a classic question, you want a classic […]

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Surface Noise

Joe Chvala and the Flying Foot Forum at the Dance Center of Columbia College, April 25-27 Imagine six dancers: lips blackened, faces gray and gaunt, wearing white shirts, narrow black ties, trench coats. After 17 minutes of a ferocious, pulsating war dance, they assemble in a military line. Hands bent like claws ready to tear […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City Desk

Two Humboldt Park brothers went out for dinner last month. Forget the doggie bags; one brother went home in a body bag after a rear-ended van plowed through the restaurant’s wall. Last December, a man waiting for a parking place at a Palatine post office found a convenient spot after bulldozing through the front door, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Kids’ voices on video

In Rosa Maria Marquez’s television production class at Benito Juarez High School in Pilsen, A students are mixed in with D students, seniors with freshmen. The wide range of age and ability might be an impediment in other classrooms, but Marquez says that most of her students “excel tremendously.” “I try to tap into their […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Calendar Photo Caption

Tabu Ley Rochereau is widely acknowledged as a pioneer of the electric-guitar-motored soukous style of African pop, which fused Cuban and African-American influences with Congolese rhythms. Credited with writing more than 2,000 songs for himself and other artists, Rochereau left Zaire in 1989 to escape harassment from the Mobutu Sese Seko regime, and he’s since […]

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B Sharp Jazz Quartet

B SHARP JAZZ QUARTET Inspired by their elders, schooled in the tradition, shunning electronics–based on that description, the B Sharp Jazz Quartet out of Los Angeles could pass for any of the neoclassic jazz units led by Wynton’s Kids. The fact that they sound strikingly more modern–exhibiting a much greater command of the last quarter […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Field & Street

By Jill Riddell During the years I worked for environmental organizations we used to joke, “Is it a beautiful Saturday in May? Is the sun out? Are birds singing? Great. Let’s get 14 environmentalists in a room with no windows and talk about money.” For a while it seemed as though I spent every Saturday […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Tattoo

TATTOO, Trap Door Theatre. Mrs. Wucht has allergies and scratches herself and wears a respiratory mask at all times. Younger daughter Lulu slashes herself with scissors and, for an after-school hobby, works as a prostitute. Elder daughter Anita is going to marry the local florist’s assistant–but will he still be willing when he learns that […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Nemo Ensemble

NEMO ENSEMBLE Our city’s latest cross-Atlantic musical exchange continues this week with more concerts introducing composers from European countries considered noteworthy pioneers of current aesthetic tastes. One composer to watch is Italy’s Ada Gentile. A longtime professor at Santa Cecilia Conservatory in Rome, Gentile first visited Chicago six years ago when some of her chamber […]