Posted inArts & Culture

A Man with Connections

A MAN WITH CONNECTIONS, Chicago Artisan Productions, at Famous Door Theater Company. Russian playwright Alexander Gelman’s conventionally realistic drama is the Russian inversion of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons. Andrei, a construction-site manager driven to complete a project on schedule and under budget, assigns an unsafe job to his son Alyosha (Karamazovian reference intended, no […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Corporate Makeovers

William Finley Green at Automatic, through November 10 Raffael Rheinsberg at the Fassbender Gallery and the Fassbender Annex, through November 16 Yugo Next: Fuel for Thought in the South Arcade and Festival Hall of Navy Pier, through December 15 By Mark Swartz In the 1970s Alison Knowles worked and reworked a series of performances and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Waste Land

One of the great disappointments of my brief, disappointing career as a graduate student in English was hearing a recording of the great T.S. Eliot reading his masterpiece “The Waste Land.” Speaking in a flaccid, reedy, neurotic, male-menopausal voice, Eliot not only failed to release one watt of the power coiled in his taut, electric […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

Hey, Faggot: Recently I began going out with a wonderful guy who, in almost every respect, is the most well-adjusted person I’ve ever dated. He comes from a solid midwestern family, his parents have been married 30 years, and he has a great relationship with them. There is something about this relationship, however, that I […]

Posted inArts & Culture

A Wonderful Life

A WONDERFUL LIFE, Candlelight Dinner Playhouse. Frank Capra’s holiday classic, now a half century old, is more than a poor man’s Christmas Carol: George Bailey is the Job of Bedford Falls, giving up a trip to Europe, college education, honeymoon, and career as an architect to serve his dad’s building and loan association. Without supernatural […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

Curnutte & Maher 11/8, Otis’ I caught a whiff of early Dylan on the verses to “American Fadeaway” from this Nashville-based acoustic folk duo’s recent Alive (Marengo) (“She’s buying up books about romantic looks / And constantly changing her hair”), but these college-circuit entertainers, too nice to go in for the kill, retreat on the […]

Posted inFilm

Bad Girls: Outlaws, Riot Grrrls, and Punks

These 12 lesbian films and videos express widely, er, wildly diverse attitudes toward sexuality. Karisa Durr’s Grade AA Butt makes no bones about depicting women’s asses (humorously) as if they were meat. Shots emphasizing the sensuality of kneading dough in Nora Sqilagyi and Alex Marshall’s Pastry Girls are intercut with images of a woman being […]

Posted inMusic

Keiji Haino & Fushitsusha

Keiji Haino & Fushitsusha In the burgeoning Japanese extremist noise-rock world, multi-instrumentalist Keiji Haino holds a hallowed position. He came onto the scene in the early 70s with Lost Aaraaf (an Albert Ayler-inspired group in which Haino sang), then formed the archetypal psychedelic noise duo Magical Power Mako (which made three fascinating records for Polydor). […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

The dangers of compost, according to Mary Phelan and Art Plotnik, quoted in Chicagoland Gardening (September/October): “When you see how beautifully it breaks down one type of waste, you start looking at everything you don’t like.” Doctor, do you have a problem with my skin? “What is most striking about this multitude of studies is […]

Posted inMusic

Bowing to Father Time

Billy Bragg The Vic, October 30 By Todd Pruzan Robyn Hitchcock, who’s been touring with Billy Bragg, recently described himself as an aging hippie and Bragg as an aging punk. Though neither label is really on the mark, Bragg certainly had an ax or two to grind during the Thatcher years, and grind he did. […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Media Blitz/ Who’s Sorry Now?

By Michael Miner Media Blitz So it’s finally over,” said Bosco. “After a conspiracy so immense…” I wasn’t sure what he was getting at. All I’d read about for months was Clinton’s duplicity, Clinton’s concupiscence, Clinton’s willingness to bend with each vagrant breeze. “You shouldn’t have read anything about him at all,” Bosco grumbled. “He’s […]