Posted inNews & Politics

Field & Street

Your first decision, if you are going to write about beetles, is whether to tell the story of J.B.S. Haldane, the great British biologist. A Marxist and an atheist, Haldane was asked whether his studies of nature had given him any insight into the character of the Creator. “Yes,” said Haldane, “he had an inordinate […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Familiarity Breeds Contempt

It’s a Slippery Slope Spalding Gray at the Goodman Theatre, September 3-8 By Jack Helbig Spalding Gray was the perfect monologuist for the 80s. A fair-haired heterosexual WASP male–a member of the only truly acceptable demographic group then–he had problems that were the only truly acceptable problems of the time: a dysfunctional family life (cold […]

Posted inMusic

Ted Hearne

TED HEARNE One welcome facet of the Festival of Chicago Composers, which runs on successive Sundays this month, is its inclusion of several generations of local composers. The oldest on this week’s program is Northwestern’s William Karlins, who’s in his 60s, and the youngest is Ted Hearne, a 14-year-old who attends Whitney Young High School […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Ball of Confusion

Revelers Center Theater Ensemble at the Theatre Building By Adam Langer Distressingly, the one character who inspires sympathy in Beth Henley’s comedy of theatrical types gathered to mourn the passing of their friend and mentor Dash Gray is the only one who has nothing to do with the theater. Bob Gray, the simpleton brother of […]

Posted inArts & Culture


HAMLET, Stage Two Theatre Company and Inclusive Theatre. According to the press materials, “This Hamlet focuses on the theme of the nuclear family,” a choice as insupportable as using Buried Child to examine the worldview of the Elizabethan aristocracy. No matter, the theme never materializes onstage. Instead director Nancy Sheeber tries to get her audience […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Stories In August the Saint Louis Art Museum filed a $2.5 million lawsuit against the Whitney Museum of Modern Art in New York City, among other parties, because a Whitney guard damaged a Roy Lichtenstein painting while it was on loan to the museum. According to the lawsuit, the guard, Reginald Walker, 21 at […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Power Failure

THE POWER FAILURE, InPact Theatre Company and Lair Multimedia, at Victory Gardens Theater. On a set that recalls the 60s TV shows The Avengers and The Prisoner–a black-and-white chessboard adorned with small tables, a few chairs, and a white curtain–two men play a game of mental one-upmanship. One is a well-groomed official (Mark Vallarta) who […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Lepers, Sun Partners, Inc., at the Theatre Building. When Lepers first opened, a little more than three years ago at Cafe Voltaire, it had all the earmarks of a long-running late-night show: a darkly comic script, a taboo-flouting subject (sexual perversity in the 90s), intelligent direction, and lots of nudity. The show moved to Shattered […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll

Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll, Journeymen, at Angel Island. Eric Bogosian has always seemed more cartoonist than dramatist–a problem that’s easy to overlook when he’s performing, given his incendiary oratorical skills and gift for mimicry. But when Bogosian’s words are spoken by other actors they often seem heavy-handed and repetitive, his targets easy, and his […]