Posted inArts & Culture

On Stage: camp hits a high note

There are sopranos, and then there are divas. The great ones’ names evoke a thrilling heritage: Maria Callas and Renata Tebaldi, Nellie Melba and Zinka Milanov, Emmy Destinnova and Amelita Galli-Curci, Galina Vishnevskaya and Vera Galupe-Borszkh . . . Vera Galupe-Borszkh? Reviled–er, revered–as “La Dementia” by those in the know, this Russian star’s unique mastery […]

Posted inFilm

No Investment, No Return

Nick of Time * (Has redeeming facet) Directed by John Badham Written by Patrick Sheane Duncan and Ebbe Roe Smith With Johnny Depp, Christopher Walken, Charles S. Dutton, Peter Strauss, Roma Maffia, Gloria Reuben, Marsha Mason, and Courtney Chase. In an era when hack directors bludgeon us with stupidity, flashing close-up images of violence to […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Nights of the Blue Rider

This multidisciplinary performing arts festival, hosted by the Pilsen area’s Blue Rider Theatre, runs through December 17, with shows most Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM and Sundays at 7 PM, as well as children’s matinees on selected Saturdays and Sundays at 3 PM. Most evenings feature two or more artists, with intermissions between each […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Fares and Prayers

Wacker Drive streaks north through the Loop, swerves to miss the river, and roars along hotel row, the bottom level pulling a tight left into the drive, the top screeching to a halt midair. Here, at the dead end of upper Wacker, peace reigns. Sheltered from the tide of traffic, trolled only by slow sedans […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Open Call

Zeitgeist Theater, at Royal George Theatre Center Gallery. It seems an inevitable premise for an interactive improv show from the inventors of Flanagan’s Wake: renowned director Zdzislav (“Ziggy”) Sczerba-Smith, inventor of “theater in the surround,” is casting a yet-unnamed musical for the Murky Future Theatre, the roles to be filled in a cattle-call audition. Audience […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Police Scanner

Dispatcher: OK, ah yeah, double 25, take a ride over to the Nixon School, 2121 Keeler. Ah, in the principal’s office they’ve got a child abuse. They’ve got a five-year-old girl in there, her face is covered with cigarette burns. Officer 2525: Maybe she’s just a near-sighted smoker, but I doubt it. All right. 2121 […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Rosie Flores & Wanda Jackson

Like many in the state from which she hails, native Texan Rosie Flores has been playing what folks in the biz call alternative country (or more recently, Americana) for years. It’s too uppity for country radio, too twangy for rockers, but Flores has embraced her cross-pollinated idiosyncrasies proudly. Her latest album, Rockabilly Filly (Hightone), delves […]

Posted inMusic

Reluctant Heroine

Amps Pacer (Elektra) Kim Deal is a long-distance runner, albeit one who has to be coaxed to run at all. Deal’s voice first hit my ears back in 1988. Her song “Gigantic,” on the Pixies’ Surfer Rosa, was a pop-punk masterpiece with a deceptively simple chorus that wouldn’t leave my brain. But that was her […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Reader to Reader

As passengers entered the bus an elderly man stood outside, a few feet back from the door. “Go home,” shouted the female driver. “Go home.” The man stood undeterred. “Do you love me?” he yelled. “Go home, go home,” she replied. “But do you love me?” the man implored. “Yes, I love you,” she said […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Fables of the Revolution

The Petrified Forest Mary-Arrchie Theatre The Killer and the Comic Mary-Arrchie Theatre It must have been a thrill to be an American socialist in 1935. The Bolsheviks had proved they had staying power. Upton Sinclair had made an impressive bid for the California governorship the year before with his socialist EPIC (End Poverty in California) […]