Posted inArts & Culture

Crack-Baby’s Revenge; or, Mobius Dick

CRACK-BABY’S REVENGE; or, Mobius Dick, Torso Theatre. Writer-director-producer Billy Bermingham’s sequel to Cannibal Cheerleaders on Crack is a weak Three Stooges vision of pseudo apocalypse. I was surprised that this spoof of genders and violent sexuality in a postnuclear world could be so safely gross and blandly unentertaining. One audience member who came because Cannibal […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

How big a battle is 17 percent? The Chicago New Party’s spin on 17th Ward aldermanic candidate Chuck Kelly’s 17 percent showing against a Daley-backed candidate in the April election: “The New Party and its allies sent a message to Mayor Daley that nothing will be conceded to him and his allies without a fight.” […]

Posted inFilm

Intimate Light:Films by Nathan Dorsky

San Francisco filmmaker Nathaniel Dorsky’s silent, meditative, and visually lush movies eschew not only plot but other conventional forms of organization as well. No obvious rhythmic or thematic principles link their images; Dorsky strives to release the viewer from tension, expectation, and interpretation. Alaya is a study of sand. In extreme close-up each grain is […]

Posted inFilm


My favorite feature by Rainer Werner Fassbinder (1973; not shown in the U.S. for years because of problems involving the rights to the Cornell Woolrich source novel) is a horrific black comedy–a devastating view of bourgeois marriage rendered in a delirious baroque style. Vacationing in Rome, a virgin librarian in her 30s (Margit Carstensen) meets […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

On a recent NBC Today Show segment, some Martha Stewart wannabe said you shouldn’t throw rice at weddings because it kills birds. Supposedly birds eat the rice, it swells in their stomachs, and they explode over playgrounds. Having cooked a lot of rice, I know it takes boiling heat and a good 20 minutes to […]

Posted inFilm

Survey Of A Sadist

Films by Rainer Werner Fassbinder By Jonathan Rosenbaum I’m still trying to figure out what I think of Rainer Werner Fassbinder (1945-1982), the German whiz kid who’s the focus of a nearly complete retrospective showing at the Film Center, Facets Multimedia Center, and the Fine Arts over the next couple of months. An awesomely prolific […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Days of the Week

Friday 5/2 – Thursday 5/8 MAY By Cara Jepsen 2 FRIDAY One of the drawings in Slowin’ Down: The Art and Stories of Cook County Incarcerated Youth depicts a prison scene with a monsterish sheriff presiding over a group of dehumanized, faceless forms on the ground. It was made by a 17-year-old in Cook County […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Poor Substitute

Fires in the Mirror: Crown Heights, Brooklyn and Other Identities Northlight Theatre at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie By Jack Helbig Anna Deavere Smith’s one-woman show is a brave, urgent, radical work. Part of a series she began creating in the early 80s, “On the Road: A Search for American […]

Posted inMusic

Flying Saucer Attack

FLYING SAUCER ATTACK Flying Saucer Attack was founded by accident in 1992, when guitarists David Pearce and Rachel Brook took advantage of a four-track recorder that had been left unattended by Brook’s brother. When Pearce played the tape at the Bristol record store where he worked, a friend mistook it for an import single and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Major Barbara

MAJOR BARBARA, Shaw Chicago, at the Chicago Cultural Center. This city-sponsored ensemble specializing in George Bernard Shaw’s writings provides an invaluable service to a theater scene saturated with Shakespeare but suffering from Shavian deprivation. The troupe’s free concert readings are usually well suited to plays emphasizing intellectual debate rather than action. But the format has […]