Posted inArts & Culture

Better Half Dead

BETTER HALF DEAD, at Victory Gardens Theater. A sign in the lobby warns audience members not to give away the ending. Not to worry: if I gave it away, you’d just give it back. Better Half Dead–a threadbare thriller by Joan Torres, coauthor of Men Who Hate Women & the Women Who Love Them–is better […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

Things we didn’t realize we needed, from a recent Riunite press conference: “America’s #1 wine importer introduces new ‘user-friendly’ wines.” “A combination of libertarians in Congress (and in state governments), funded by corporate polluters, have hit upon a formula for crippling environmental protections in the Great Lakes (and elsewhere),” writes Peter Montague in Rachel’s Environment […]

Posted inMusic

Jeanie Bryson

JEANIE BRYSON Jeanie Bryson arrived on the scene a few years ago to a chorus of critical fanfare, some of it generated by her bloodlines–she is the daughter of bebop progenitor Dizzy Gillespie–and much of it stemming from the New York critics’ sincere appreciation of her unprepossessing and unspectacular vocal style. Bryson herself sings without […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Interrogating the Nude

INTERROGATING THE NUDE, Strawdog Theatre Company. As the iconoclastic, ridiculously brilliant Marcel Duchamp, David Warren turns in the kind of sophisticated, dead-on-the-mark performance you see once or twice a season, if you’re lucky. Surrendering to the New York police department to declare that he’s dismembered a naked woman–which he’s done on canvas in his just-completed […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

About 200 years ago Sir Edmund Halley discovered an anomaly in space around the stars of the Pleiades. A hundred years later Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel confirmed Halley’s findings. In 1961 Paul Otto Hesse defined and measured this anomaly. It’s an energy ring of incredible size, 760 thousand billion miles wide, and is due to intersect […]

Posted inArts & Culture

In Performance: from page to stage

Stephanie McCanles had just broken up with her boyfriend when she came across Adrian Tomine’s comic book Optic Nerve. Floored by Tomine’s acerbic humor and starkly illustrated stories about alienated urbanites, McCanles–the artistic director of the Milwaukee avant-garde theater group Inertia Ensemble–knew she had to get the latest issue. Unable to find it in Milwaukee, […]

Posted inMusic

Dave Douglas String Group

DAVE DOUGLAS STRING GROUP Versatility is a necessity for a young jazzer trying to make it in New York, all the more so if he takes his music outside the mainstream. Not only can trumpeter and composer Dave Douglas navigate many stylistic waters, but he relishes the opportunity. Perhaps best known as the Don Cherry […]

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 […]