Posted inArts & Culture

Hurlyburly

HURLYBURLY, Firstborn Productions, at Zebra Crossing Theatre. David Rabe’s three-hour 1984 epic is almost an argument to drop the big one, elaborately exposing a passel of Hollywood phonies–two misogynistic, pill-popping, coke-snorting casting directors, an anal-retentive screenwriter, and a desperately violent bit player. Sprawling, sloppy, self-indulgent, and ultimately too infuriatingly accurate to dismiss, this is a […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Flashes of Meaning

How Dear to Me the Hour When Daylight Dies Goat Island at the Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ, September 27-29 and October 4-6 By Carol Burbank Watching Goat Island perform is like watching a human ghost caught in a machine. Each performer has a distinct role and personality but maintains a studied gestural neutrality […]

Posted inFilm

They Know You’re Watching

The First Wives Club Rating ** Worth seeing Directed by Hugh Wilson Written by Robert Harling With Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton, Maggie Smith, and Sarah Jessica Parker By Anthony Puccinelli The First Wives Club opens with a flashback. Best friends Cynthia (Stockard Channing), Brenda (Bette Midler), Elise (Goldie Hawn), and Annie (Diane Keaton) […]

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Merzbow

MERZBOW Rock music has become louder and more aggressive over the years, but it’s still got a long way to go before reaching the heights of sheer sonic violence scaled by members of Japan’s noise underground: acts like Masonna, Solmania, and Hijokaidan have made the punishing scream of ear-splitting feedback and gushing white noise the […]

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The American Nightmare

The Kentucky Cycle Pegasus Players By Albert Williams In the 1930s Eugene O’Neill sketched the outline of an epic cycle of plays, collectively titled “A Tale of Possessors, Self-Dispossessed,” in which the failures of one Anglo-Irish immigrant family from generation to generation would symbolize America’s corruption by greed and materialism. The mammoth project never came […]

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On Exhibit: One Danny Yoon saves face

No more chopstick art,” says 26-year-old multimedia artist One Danny Yoon with a laugh. “I’m sick of it. That and Bruce Lee.” Other Asian-American artists have turned to incorporating hanbok, or traditional Korean dress, and other cultural symbols to sum up the experience of growing up Asian in America. But Yoon’s current work focuses on […]

Posted inMusic

Maria Muldaur

MARIA MULDAUR It’s a long way from the desert chic of Midnight at the Oasis to the swampy southern roots rock of Maria Muldaur’s new album, Fanning the Flames (Telarc). But I doubt that anyone (except maybe her accountant) really minds. Midnight remains a radio staple more than 20 years after she recorded it, but […]

Posted inMusic

Stranger in His Own Country

Jim Lauderdale Persimmons (Upstart) By Peter Margasak Jim Lauderdale’s conundrum is a timeless one. Though he’s no stranger to the country music charts, the fans know him only by proxy–his songs have been recorded by George Strait, Patty Loveless, Doug Supernaw, Vince Gill, Mark Chesnutt, Mandy Barnett, and Kelly Willis, among others. The closest Lauderdale […]

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Ballet Theater of Chicago

Historically, Chicago has been unable to sustain even one major ballet company, and now here’s a third. But this one is the charmer, the young upstart. Started two years ago by the husband-wife team of Mario de la Nuez and Meridith Benson and premiering last February with Giselle, it’s professional, ambitious, multicultural (with a large […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Stories Conspicuous getaways: Police quickly made arrests for robberies in Chicago and Oshawa, Ontario, after the thieves failed to blend in with the crowds as they walked away with their loot. When Chicago police caught up to Jude Bradshaw, 41, he was still wearing the green hat and purple pants he wore to rob […]

Posted inMusic

Gregg Bendian

GREGG BENDIAN In his work with a number of free-improvisation giants, spectrum-spanning drummer Gregg Bendian has demonstrated that he can both float like a butterfly–as while accompanying the abstractionist guitar player Derek Bailey on last year’s Banter (O.O. Records)–and sting like a swarm of bees, as in his work with the ferocious pianist Cecil Taylor. […]

Posted inMusic

Jimmy Burns

JIMMY BURNS Jimmy Burns bills himself as a bluesman, but he’s actually a sensitive purveyor of songs from a broader spectrum of African-American popular music. Born in Mississippi, Burns taught himself guitar by plucking notes from broom wire nailed to the planks of his front porch. By the 50s he’d come to Chicago, where he […]