Posted inArts & Culture

Holger Czukay

Holger Czukay As a founding member of the German art-rock band Can, bassist Holger Czukay set a standard for the next three decades of experimentation. Various members of Can have occasionally collaborated since the group disbanded in 1978, and the whole band even re-formed briefly in 1986, but it’s Can’s mind-boggling work from 1968 to […]

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Family Secrets

The fabulous, flaky Fisher family is back in town, and I urge you to make their acquaintance. Originally introduced here a year and a half ago when actor-writer Sherry Glaser brought her howlingly funny one-woman show Family Secrets to the Royal George, the Fishers are now receiving visitors at suburban Apple Tree Theatre, where Glaser’s […]

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Deck the Walls: A Christmas Gift

By Michael Miner Deck the Walls: A Christmas Gift Festooned in a green tweedy coat and red stocking cap, A.E. Eyre entered my office. “My literary monument,” he explained, jauntily waving a manuscript. He poured himself some coffee. “I thought your literary monument was arranged last summer,” I replied, “when you were accepted by the […]

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Season’s Greetings

SEASON’S GREETINGS, Candlelight’s Forum Theatre. When a character here calls his novel “painfully witty or wittily painful,” he also describes the play: Alan Ayckbourn has created a circus of dysfunction out of a family’s Christmas reunion. The cascade of crises includes infidelity, spousal abuse, burned lamb, prematurely opened presents, self-destructing toys, and a soporific puppet […]

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The Straight Dope

What is deja vu and why does it occur? –Eric Palmer, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania I could have sworn I’d answered this question before. However, having scoured the files, I guess it just seems like I did. Is this a deja vu experience? No, this is an out-to-lunch experience. I feel it’s important to make these fine […]

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Clark Terry

Clark Terry The great trumpet innovator Clark Terry has lived long enough and stayed healthy enough–and still plays so damned well–that he’s easily slipped into the role of jazz’s “grand old man.” Seeing his name on the Jazz Showcase bill for another New Year’s Eve, you’d almost expect him to hit the stage carrying a […]

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CPS Number Crunching

I must address the recent article in the November 22 issue of the Reader titled “Reform or Rehash?” by Ben Joravsky. The article focused on the Chicago Public Schools’ recent reform efforts, including its plans to expand preschool programs. The story contained a number of inaccuracies, and I’d like to set the record straight. The […]

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Edward Petersen

Edward Petersen In what may become one of Chicago jazz’s great annual Christmas presents, Ed Petersen returns for an end-of-the-year weekend that gives us the chance to savor his invincible virtuosity–a flavorful concoction of grit and spice that now belongs to the city of New Orleans (where Petersen took a teaching gig in 1994). On […]

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Mixmasters

The 1996 version of Betty Crocker is a computer-morphed composite of 75 different women, designed to make Betty more ethnic, less waspy. Over the years, Aunt Jemima has moved in the opposite direction–shedding her trademark bandana, straightening her hair, getting a nose job. Perhaps when General Mills and Quaker Oats merge to control the baking […]

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Madagascar Skin

This quirky lyrical pastorale about the growing love between two men paints a portrait of an idyllic private world of gentle banter and surreal fantasies. In his second feature, British director Chris Newby is careful not to turn his main characters into blatantly sexual or pitiful misfits: Harry, a shy, gawky young gay man with […]

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One Fine Day

Michael Hoffman (Restoration, Soapdish) directs Michelle Pfeiffer and George Clooney in a beautifully contrived romantic comedy with a Manhattan setting that’s exploited to the utmost. A veritable anthology of the perils of single parenting–demanding jobs, cellular phones, busy schedules, transportation hassles–this works a lot better than most Hollywood fluff because the leads are so good […]

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Don’t Believe the Hype

Restaurateurs, manufacturers, and fundamentalist Christian men all convened in Chicago during 1996. None of them got the publicity that the Clinton coronation received, even though the city didn’t have to pay any of the other conventions to come here. As the list below shows, the DNC didn’t even crack the top ten for attendance. 1. […]

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Restaurant Tours: back to the bayou

John Moultrie thinks we’re ripe for a Cajun comeback. In the mid-80s nothing was hotter–literally and figuratively–than Louisiana cooking. Even your corner diner was serving blackened something. Then the rage for Cajun dissipated. One by one the restaurants folded. Sure, Heaven on Seven, in a downtown office building, is packed at lunchtime, but grand as […]