Posted inArts & Culture

Personal Space

Dance COLEctive at Link’s Hall, September 27-29 By Mitchell Kupferberg Margi Cole calls the Dance COLEctive, her new company, a cooperative venture of new and emerging choreographers under her informal artistic direction. Mixing and matching choreographers as needed for each concert, she intends to foster a spirit of creative collaboration among the dancers and choreographers […]

Posted inMusic

Dirty Three

DIRTY THREE The effects of nonstop touring are palpable on the Dirty Three’s new album, Horse Stories (Touch and Go). In almost a solid year of performing, violinist Warren Ellis, guitarist Mick Turner, and drummer Jim White have struck a balance among the hypnotic grace, gorgeous lyricism, and tumultuous peaks that characterize their work. While […]

Posted inMusic


SCRAWL Because we here in the media are so obsessed with nihilistic youth, any grubby yobbo who articulates a desire to off himself can get himself hailed as the spokesperson for his generation. But since 1985, Scrawl’s Marcy Mays has chronicled the painful path from the hazy days of college through postcollegiate confusion to the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Straight Dope

In a gas oven you can cook a turkey for five, six hours, and the oven is not vented to the outside. But run your gas furnace for any time at all without a vent and somebody is gonna die. Huh? –DPeter6857, via AOL Now, Peter. Your oven, relatively speaking, is little. Your furnace is […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

Mercy Beat 10/11, Thurston’s Christian and Justin Webb, sons of 60s pop songwriter Jimmy (the one responsible for “MacArthur Park”), formed this quartet in Boston, then last year moved it to Chicago. The knotty mid-tempo rock of the just-released Extended Play (Indie City) shows that they’ve inherited their dad’s flair for churning out better-than-average mainstream […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Colors of Desire

Degas: Beyond Impressionism at the Art Institute, through January 5 By Fred Camper The Art Institute is touting its big, special-admission Degas show as an exhibit that comes “from a period of his career once shrouded in mystery.” Once, perhaps, but the huge 1988 Degas retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York […]

Posted inMusic

Rafael Toral

RAFAEL TORAL Despite widespread indifference in his native land, Lisbon-based Rafael Toral has released a series of CDs that push the boundaries of musical genres as well as the limits of his instrument, establishing him as one of the most gifted and innovative guitarists of the decade. Played at low volume, Wave Field (Moneyland) is […]

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Randy Newman’s Faust

RANDY NEWMAN’S FAUST, Goodman Theatre. Randy Newman describes his Faust as having “none of the dignity and profundity of the original.” If by “the original” he means Goethe’s Faust, which he follows closely, he’s dead wrong on the first count, as Walter Kaufmann’s 1961 translation made clear: Goethe’s monumental drama is a treasure chest of […]

Posted inFilm

The Champaigne Safari

The subject of this fascinating docu-bio-cum-social history by the Canadian animator turned director George Ungar is Charles E. Bedaux, a French-born entrepreneur who became wealthy in the 20s by selling his pseudoscientific theories on regimentizing the industrial process to blue-chip manufacturers. From his base in New York–where he emigrated at age 19–Bedaux peddled his vision […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Down the Road

Down the Road, Sun Partners, Inc., at the Theatre Building, and Frump Tucker Theatre Company, at Angel Island. When do those who profit from our fascination with violence become accessories to the crimes they claim to deplore? This is the question posed in Lee Blessing’s Down the Road, in which a husband-wife team of journalists […]