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 […]
The long run of Peoria’s outgoing mayor gets mixed reviews.
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.” […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Mount Carroll is a cute little historic town located two and a half hours west of Chicago and just ten minutes from the Iowa border. The farmland on the way is flat as a pancake; the town gets its name because it was built on a hill that, according to legend, was the result of […]
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 […]
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 […]
A group of fourth-graders from Downers Grove sidesteps a regiment of flower beds and winds past the American tanks planted outside Colonel Robert R. McCormick’s First Division Museum. The legendary Tribune publisher has been the subject of derogatory gossip for almost 80 years. But the kids visiting his Wheaton estate today know nothing of his […]
Garment workers in central Indiana watch their only means of support go south.
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 […]
A boat in a moat may bring gambling to Michigan City.
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 […]