Posted inArts & Culture

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, StreetSigns, at Facets Multimedia International Performance Studio. A complete, faithful, theatrically satisfying stage adaptation of James Joyce’s autobiographical novel is probably impossible. As soon as you start cutting his magnificent prose you’ve changed the work utterly. So adapter/director Derek Goldman and company set out to “violate…the […]

Posted inFilm

!Protest! No. II

Despite the provocative title of X-Film Chicago’s latest program, these four shorts are gentle, brooding, evocative mood pieces. The longest, Mong-hong Chung’s 30-minute Escape, is quirky and somewhat disjointed. The Taiwanese filmmaker made it while a student in Chicago, and he conveys his feeling of dislocation with real emotional impact. In one section a man […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Second City’s Debate ’96

SECOND CITY’S DEBATE ’96, Second City. I suppose every age deserves the satire it gets. A sharp-witted, informed, opinionated age gets sharp-witted, informed, opinionated satire. A lazy, strategy-obsessed, television-besotted age gets a show like Second City’s Debate ’96, in which only the easiest targets–Bob Dole’s grouchiness, Bill Clinton’s cupidity, Ross Perot’s ears–are lampooned. Which is […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Racing Demon

RACING DEMON, Organic Touchstone Company, at Touchstone Theatre. The newly merged Organic Touchstone Company is off to a superb start with this production of David Hare’s thoughtful, touching, wryly humorous play. Like a cross between a Susan Howatch novel of Anglican angst and a sardonic Evelyn Waugh social satire, Hare’s drama examines moral wrangling and […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

Ya gotta have art. From a recent press release from the School of the Art Institute: “In his sculptural installation, Stephen Schofield transforms cloth membranes into crystallized mattresses by soaking them in boiling syrup and inflating them using vacuum cleaners whose air flow has been reversed.” Women not welcome here. Sandra Namath tells Jane Easter […]

Posted inMusic

Stepan Rak

STEPAN RAK Czech guitarist Stepan Rak is the sort of player that regularly achieves the impossible on his instrument, making things like contrary motion, autonomous simultaneous rhythms, and two-string tremolos seem as easy as barre chords. He’s also a double threat–a player and, since the late 60s, a composer. The 51-year-old resident of Prague has […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Life Support Systems

Emma’s Child Victory Gardens Theater By Carol Burbank Kristine Thatcher is perhaps best known in Chicago as an actress, appearing most recently in the Goodman’s Arcadia and in the long-running Three Hotels. But she’s written a witty and sentimental play in Emma’s Child, asking many provocative questions about adoption among other subjects: what if the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

After much inquiry and research I have reached a dead end as to how to get my home phone number taken off all telemarketing and tele-fund-raising call lists, locally and nationally. Even after I tell callers who want donations for local causes to stop calling me, the calls persist–and seem to multiply! I’ve searched for […]