Posted inMusic

Crisol

CRISOL It’s hard to know where to start singing the praises of Crisol’s just-released Habana (Verve). You could credit young trumpet superstar Roy Hargrove for finally giving himself over to the Afro-Cuban rhythms that have percolated through his recordings since 1990. You could home in on the marvelous Cuban pianist Chucho Valdes, cofounder of the […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

C.J. Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana Band 7/4, Fitzgerald’s This second-generation zydeco star could have more trouble with his father’s ghost than Hamlet–if he were the sort to be preoccupied with that crap. But his incorporation of bits of jazz, funk, and R & B indicates a slight overeagerness to please the masses rather […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Lone Wolf

The Lone Wolf The lone wolf of Clark and Diversey, Steak ‘n Egger, Cheeks–the guy who looked like Paul Newman and lived alone above the Logos Book Store–is dead. The circumstances of his death, like the circumstances of his life, are in great dispute. Officially, he was said to have overdosed on some mix of […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

I just hit 40 and still have an unanswered question from my teens that has always bothered me. Aerosmith in “Sweet Emotion” sings about being accused of impregnating a girl. At the end of the verse they sing, “Can’t catch me ’cause the rabbit done died,” referring to a pregnancy test. Arguments start over just […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Taste of Chicago

Taste of Chicago: In addition to all that food, Taste of Chicago offers free musical performances on several stages in Grant Park: the Fun Stage (Jackson and Michigan), the Fox Diner (Jackson and Lake Shore Drive), the Taste Stage (Michigan and Congress), and the Petrillo Music Shell (Columbus and Jackson). For information call 312-744-3370. FRIDAY […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Lesser Children of the Gods

Death Defying Acts SummerNITE at the Bailiwick Arts Center By Adam Langer This evening of one-acts is either a testament to the playwrights’ talents or an indictment of the flaccidity of modern American drama: Woody Allen, David Mamet, and Elaine May have more work of value at the bottom of their drawers than other contemporary […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Beyond Therapy

BEYOND THERAPY, CollaborAction, at Voltaire. The chosen prey in Christopher Durang’s acerbic 90-minute send-up of psychiatry are hucksters who sell quick fixes to desperate people. Peddling comforting lies, they try to cut through life’s complexities–only to paralyze their patients. More than a title, Beyond Therapy is the goal Durang dangles before two perplexed losers: Bruce, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Ella

Ella worked at teh Belair for ten years, and on the third floor exclusively for the last five. The news of her sudden death–she was only in her 40s–sent show waves through the building…. Five years ago, Ella replaced Bea, the wild one. Beah had a little “bad” in her, and that’s what we liked. […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

Clout rules the schools. Dan Weissmann of Catalyst (June) ranked Chicago’s 50 wards, first according to how badly their schools need repairs (according to an independent survey in 1995) and then according to how much the School Reform Board is actually spending per square foot of school space. “Of the five wards with the greatest […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Company

COMPANY, Pegasus Players. Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s 1970 concept musical–about a swinging bachelor’s emerging urge to merge despite the examples of his neurotic friends’ troubled marriages–is a problematic work. Offered in the 25th-anniversary “composer’s edition,” Sondheim’s soft-rock score remains fresh and brilliant, with its pungently witty lyrics, sinuous yet spiky melodies, and intricate harmonies […]