Posted inNews & Politics

Government Serving the People

Alderman Burton Natarus has developed the instincts of a grizzly bear. The last ward remap shifted downtown into Natarus’s territory, and you can almost see him raking his claws against the skyscrapers to mark his range. Chicago aldermen expect to rule in their own wards, a custom called “aldermanic privilege.” But some aldermen disagree with […]

Posted inMusic

Patrice Michaels Bedi

PATRICE MICHAELS BEDI Given her ripe, sensual voice and the uncommon curiosity and intelligence she displays toward the vocal repertoire, soprano Patrice Michaels Bedi ought to be singing on some of the best stages in the world by now. But career building in classical music is a tricky matter, and Michaels Bedi hasn’t gotten the […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Package, Mary-Arrchie Theatre. Though Scott Stuart’s new one-act Package aims to resonate on a political level, its most interesting drama lies in the relationships of the three main characters. Vera is a xerox artist who produces volumes of flyers (whose messages we never learn), Nat is an annoying street clown who relies on Vera for […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Heiress

THE HEIRESS, Apple Tree Theatre. Fans of the excellent 1949 film treatment of Henry James’s 1881 Washington Square will be enthralled by Apple Tree’s revival of Ruth and Augustus Goetz’s 1947 script. Superbly cast, finely tuned, and consummately acted, this production is as textured and nuanced as the film, and so psychologically precise that its […]

Posted inFilm

The Passion of Joan of Arc

Though I haven’t heard Richard Einhorn’s new oratorio Voices of Light–which was a brisk seller on Billboard’s classical charts early last year, written to accompany Carl Dreyer’s last silent film–I have seen the original version of Dreyer’s masterpiece, rediscovered in a Norwegian mental asylum during the 80s after having been lost for half a century. […]

Posted inMusic

Curiouser and Curiouser

Julian Cope Interpreter (Kak/Echo) By Jim DeRogatis In theory, at least, rock ‘n’ roll is the music of freedom and individuality and antiauthoritarianism, so it follows that we make heroes (if not millionaires) of those who forge their own distinctive paths, from Screamin’ Jay Hawkins to George Clinton to that guy who used to be […]

Posted inMusic

Leontyne Price

LEONTYNE PRICE Let’s face it–at 70, Leontyne Price no longer has quite the command of the agile, bewitching instrument that made her America’s prima donna in the 60s and 70s. So, what has compelled this proud, reclusive soprano to embark on a concert tour in the twilight of her career? I suppose it’s The Essential […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Master Class

MASTER CLASS, Shubert Theatre. Call this one “Diva Dearest.” Despite Faye Dunaway’s detailed technique and the passion she brings to Maria Callas’s accent, expressions, body language, and hair, you never forget that this is a celluloid legend riding Terrence McNally’s vehicle to a future film. Unlike Meryl Streep, Dunaway does not disappear into her roles. […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Case of the Well-Paid Ghost

The Case of the Well-Paid Ghost Rich Daley was hiding behind his desk, fiddling with a model airplane, when his brother Bill bounded through his office door. “Hey, chum,” laughed Bill, just back from Washington, where he’d been sworn in as United States commerce secretary. “You look spooked! Did you faint?” “You shouldn’t surprise people […]

Posted inArts & Culture

King of Pain

Richard II Writers’ Theatre-Chicago The Life and Death of King John Shakespeare’s Motley Crew at the Edgewater Theatre Center By Jack Helbig Popular in its own time, Richard II was first printed in 1597 and went through four editions before 1623. But in our day the play has been overshadowed by Shakespeare’s tragedies about more […]