Posted inMusic

George Garzone

GEORGE GARZONE Listening to the Boston saxophonist George Garzone, one marvels again at the number of excellent musicians who for some reason or another have received relatively little attention outside their home regions (in Chicago, Von Freeman and Eddie Johnson come most immediately to mind). Garzone’s gig as a professor at Boston’s famous Berklee College […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Privatized Schools

In reference to the article “Raising a Stink” [Schools, December 20], the comment about labor-management cooperation was made (since I made it) because some union members feel that deals are being made at the expense of the workers. We need worker unity for our needs (the rank and file union members) and for quality free […]

Posted inMusic

Hot Club of San Francisco

HOT CLUB OF SAN FRANCISCO If you have a more than passing knowledge of jazz history, or just a special fascination with the fledgling European jazz scene of the 1930s, then the name of this group tells you a lot. “Hot Club of San Francisco” suggests that this band reveres the music of the Quintette […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Film Notes: 33 unique universes

The trouble with writing about experimental films is that you can’t compare them with each other very usefully,” wrote Roger Ebert in 1967, back when Chicago’s alternative film scene received regular atten-tion in the daily newspapers. “Commercial films all exist in more or less the same universe. They want to communicate, and they may also […]

Posted inNews & Politics

A Tale of Two Cities

It was amusing to note the careless nature with which Justin Hayford reviewed The Best of the Fest shows at the Factory Theater [December 27]. One would think that such a verbose critic, given to such authorlike voicings, would take care to note certain details that may be rather important in regard to the shows, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

A Hairy Who’s Who

Art in Chicago, 1945-1995 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, through March 23 By Fred Camper Complaints were predictable. Long before the Museum of Contemporary Art’s survey of the last half century of Chicago art opened artists were whining about being excluded; after it opened critics griped that important artists were left out and lesser […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Blithe Spirit

BLITHE SPIRIT, CenterLight Sign and Voice Theatre, at American Blues Theatre. A production that deepens the roots of theater by branching out, CenterLight’s inventive revival of Noel Coward’s 1941 comedy employs signing actors onstage and speaking actors at microphones offstage. Their fusion of gesture and tone, expression and intonation, creates a language greater than the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Wasted Youth

The Boys of the Peggy August Club Trap Door Theatre By Albert Williams The Pirates of the Caribbean are being overhauled, as you may have heard: Disneyland’s robot buccaneers, whose rowdy animatronic woman chasing has drawn increasing criticism over the years, are being reprogrammed to lust after food rather than wenches. But the self-styled studs […]

Posted inMusic

Cyber-Traditionalist

Roger McGuinn The Folk Den www.uark.edu/-kadler/rmcguinn/ FolkDen/index.html By J.R. Jones Ever since his band the Byrds electrified folk in 1965, Roger McGuinn has embraced the conflict between musical tradition and modern technology. His love of futurism and high-tech gadgetry resonated weirdly against the Byrds’ folk roots in songs that dealt with relativity (“5D”), extraterrestrials (“Mr. […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

Revenge of the raccoons. Nearly half of Illinois raccoons tested in a recent three-year study had been exposed to a Leptospira bacteria that can cause disease in humans. Now, according to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, “Leptospirosis was diagnosed recently in a group of Illinois teenagers, who contracted it while swimming in a woodland […]

Posted inArts & Culture

TheatreSports

TheatreSports, at Broad Shoulders Theatre, and ComedySportz, at the TurnAround Theatre. It should come as no surprise to find two improv-comedy troupes tapping into Chicagoans’ innate love of competition: both TheatreSports and ComedySportz pit two teams of improvisers (sides are chosen nightly) against each other. The results are as unpredictable as any ball game, and […]

Posted inFilm

Mother

All of writer-director-actor Albert Brooks’s comedy features are good, but this one, his fifth, about a twice-divorced science-fiction writer moving back in with his mother (Debbie Reynolds) in order to figure out why he has problems with women, is probably the most accessible as well as the best realized. For all the seriousness of the […]