Posted inArts & Culture

Table Settings

TABLE SETTINGS, Close Call Theatre, at the O Bar & Cafe. Neuroses are usually a family affair, and Table Settings introduces us to playwright James Lapine’s dysfunctional kindred: negligent father, prissy mother, hedonistic elder son, precocious younger son, rebellious daughter, and old-country grandmother. The typical urban upper-middle-class clan is shown over a period of some […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Sports Section

When the White Sox got Albert Belle and lost Alex Fernandez over the winter, my response to people who asked what I thought of the team’s chances became, “You draw a lot of fans winning games 13-12.” The question now, however, is how many fans will the Sox draw losing games 15-12? Even without Robin […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Love’s Labor Lost

Love’s labour’s lost, Next Theatre Company, at Noyes Cultural Arts Center. The word most people on the way out were using to describe this production was “cute.” That fits. Enthusiastically performed by a youthful, exuberant, if somewhat bland cast, this could easily pass for lighthearted Depression-era farce were it not for Shakespeare’s language. Hope for […]

Posted inFilm

Why Live Here?

In Mark Street’s laid-back, loosely structured 50-minute Why Live Here? (1996) three people describe their reactions to living in different places: San Francisco, Florida, and Montana. At the end one of them says, “We live where we live because we like it, or we don’t hate it enough to move.” Sometimes the footage illustrates the […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

BIG BACK FORTY, JOHN WALSH & THE SINKHOLES 4/11, BEAT KITCHEN With pedal steel guitar and twangy vocal harmonies, Big Back Forty, a quartet from Columbus, Ohio, injects a smidgen of country into otherwise anemic songs like “Blood,” but it’s not enough to resuscitate the group’s stodgy heartland rock. Antimatter Eisenhower (National Seed), the first […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Hissy Fit

geovanis.qxd Dear letters editor: I feel compelled to point out that Michael Miner seems to be operating under some serious misapprehensions about what constitutes “journalistic integrity,” namely a code of ethics that functions in his head rather than in the real world. To wit, in his 4/4 piece “Consider the Source,” Miner suggests that I […]

Posted inMusic

Matt Wilson Quartet with Dewey Redman

MATT WILSON QUARTET WITH DEWEY REDMAN For those who have followed drummer Matt Wilson’s activities over the last few years, it’ll be no surprise that he’s hooked up with Dewey Redman this weekend. Redman–the sometimes transportive saxist and veteran of groups led by Ornette Coleman and Keith Jarrett–hired Wilson for his trio tour last summer; […]

Posted inArts & Culture

True Books

Wealth on Minimal wage, by James Steamer (Dearborn Financial Publishing, $16.95). Synopsis: While working for the last ten years at low-income jobs, Steamer and his wife managed to accumulate a personal worth greater than their entire combined incomes over that period. You can too! Representative Quote: “Learning to cut children’s hair is easy and spouses […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Bit Player

peterson.qxd Dear Letters to the Editor: In “Consider the Source,” his April 4 Hot Type column, Michael Miner raised a number of pointed criticisms of “Anatomy of a Smear Campaign,” Chris Geovanis’s (aka Lillith del Cerdo) critique of the allegation that political indoctrination in radical proindependence Puerto Rican politics had overtaken the education of students […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Writers’ Convention

Reporters covering the Heaven’s Gate mass suicide apparently decided that the only way their readers could relate to such weirdness was through comparisons to movies and TV. Some must have used whatever video they last rented, like Todd S. Purdum in the New York Times on March 30: “‘It was one of the most bizarre […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News Of The Weird

Lead Stories In March the New York Times reported on a recent spate of really bad Japanese TV shows, among them one in which bikini-clad young women attempt to crush aluminum cans by squeezing them between their breasts and another in which a young child is brought onstage and told that his mother has just […]

Posted inMusic

Mary Cleere Haran

Mary Cleere Haran Like many baby boomers, Mary Cleere Haran grew up on the songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein–and then later discovered in Richard Rodgers’s earlier collaborations with Lorenz Hart a whole new canon that was “lively, spirited, sexy, and much more interesting,” as Haran puts it. Hart’s urbane, martini-dry lyrics, and the jazzy wit […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Standing Up for Geovanis

wilson.qxd Dear editor: Michael Miner’s attack on the Chicago Ink article by Chris Geovanis (Hot Type, April 4) is an example of what’s wrong with the style of journalism practiced by “alternative” newspapers like the Reader. Miner is mad at Geovanis for printing the comments of Charles Kyle, a consultant to the Chicago Public Schools […]

Posted inMusic

Bobby Zankel Group

BOBBY ZANKEL GROUP While some jazz musicians isolate themselves in small corners of the music world, others, like Bobby Zankel, build bridges between different camps. What an accomplishment, for instance, to use as sidemen both swing-happy boppers like trumpeter Johnny Coles and drummer Ralph Peterson and open-sea adventurers like saxophonist Odean Pope and pianist Marilyn […]