Posted inNews & Politics

Seeds of War

chukman.qxd To the editors: Lee Sandlin’s meditations on World War II provoked many thoughts and ideas. [“Losing the War,” March 7 and 14] Last summer I mentioned to a teenage colleague that my parents had immigrated to the U.S. because of World War II. He said, “Oh yeah. The Holocaust. Like Schindler’s List.” The idea […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Twin Brothers

THE TWIN BROTHERS, Billy Goat Experiment, at Voltaire. The seven Billy Goat experimenters do their best to clutter up this adaptation of the Brothers Grimm with artsy, deconstructionist gimmicks: a narrator who bridges scene changes with echolalic incantations, a biography of the authors in the middle of the text, a gruesome (thankfully brief) dissertation on […]

Posted inMusic

Etta James

Etta James is for many the epitome of the ballsy, brassy R & B mama. Her best-known hits have been characterized by torrid sexual longing pumped into overdrive by protofeminist assertiveness–and the personal dues she’s paid for her outlaw lifestyle have become legendary. But behind the legend is a versatile and sophisticated stylist who’s dabbled […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

This is something that drives me crazy every time I hear it: “Why is a raven like a writing desk?” Is there really a hilarious answer to this seemingly impossible riddle? Or is the hilarious part that there really isn’t an answer? Also, where did this riddle originate? –Mary, via the Internet This riddle is […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Our Inadequate Critics

jackson.qxd To the editor: It’s bad enough that Fred Camper is given space in your publication as an art reviewer, but now and then he appears as a film critic as well. I found his review of the Sticks and Stones portion of Women in the Director’s Chair especially inadequate [Critic’s Choice, March 21]. Contrary […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Always…Patsy Cline

ALWAYS…PATSY CLINE, Apollo Theater Center. This commercial transfer of a 1996 hit has lost a lot of the warmth that made the show so appealing at Northlight Theatre. Originally a gentle celebration of female friendship grounded in the musical and emotional values shared by country-music star Patsy Cline and her fan-turned-confidant Louise Seger, the show […]

Posted inNews & Politics

A Soldier’s Story

powell.qxd Gentlemen, I thought the two-part in-depth piece on World War II by Lee Sandlin was one of the most factual and engrossing of the many articles I have read concerning this subject [“Losing the War,” March 7 and 14]. He told it like it was and caught the horror and suffering of this tragic […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Elephant Man

THE ELEPHANT MAN, Voxershorts, at the Theatre Building. John Merrick still haunts us: what might he have become if the world had seen him accurately? Bernard Pomerance’s sleek, vigorous 90-minute play makes this former midway freak a barometer by which to measure all around him–including, by implication, the audience. A Beauty and the Beast with […]

Posted inNews & Politics

E-Mail Espionage

peterso2.qxd Dear Letters to the Editor: Hot Type columnist Michael Miner remains enamored with the opinion that a jury of her peers might find Chris Geovanis guilty of “reckless disregard for the truth” for the way Geovanis reported her impromptu conversation with the Chicago Board of Education’s Charlie Kyle, without Kyle’s prior knowledge that he […]

Posted inFilm

Chasing Amy

After running off the rails in Mallrats, writer-director Kevin Smith (Clerks) not only returns to form but surpasses himself in this touching romantic comedy about comic book artists. The immature hero (Ben Affleck) falls in love with a bisexual woman (Joey Lauren Adams) with a promiscuous past, then struggles to come to terms with his […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

Hey, Faggot: As a child, I was exposed to inappropriate visuals. My mother made a point to show us kids exactly where babies come from. Since that time, I’ve had a fixation about the vagina. Every girl I’ve ever had has been blessed by this fixation. Sometimes I just want to crawl inside a vagina […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Derf Watch

sernine.qxd Re: “The City,” March 14 He’s the Bob Greene of alternative comics. Berating the obvious, he gives good causes bad names. This week his “things to hate” are radio stations he is evidently proud to have outgrown. May one day the Reader outgrow Derf, unless Derf learns to outgrow hate. Raoul Sernine Chicag

Posted inMusic

Divine Cacophony

Helsinki Philharmonic Angel of Light (Ondine Records) By Lee Sandlin I don’t know how honest used-car dealers or aluminum-siding salesmen are these days, but the old con games are alive and well in classical music. This recent release from the contemporary Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara is a textbook example of bait and switch. Everything about […]

Posted inMusic

Karen Mason

KAREN MASON It’s a long way from Orphans–the funky, now-defunct Lincoln Avenue tavern where I first saw Karen Mason 20 years ago, singing for whatever cash listeners dropped into a hat–to Le Cabaret at Cite, the scenic and pricey penthouse supper club at Lake Point Tower where she’s performing through this weekend. The distance–aesthetically as […]