Posted inFilm

Sentimental Journey

Larger Than Life Rating ** Worth seeing Directed by Howard Franklin Written by Roy Blount Jr., Pen Densham, and Garry Williams With Bill Murray, Janeane Garofalo, Matthew McConaughey, Keith David, Pat Hingle, Jeremy Piven, Lois Smith, Anita Gillette, and Linda Fiorentino. By Jonathan Rosenbaum They say an elephant never forgets, but what they don’t say […]

Posted inMusic

Wolf Records Festival

Wolf Records Festival This lineup of blues artists who have new or recent CDs on the Austrian Wolf label is notable both for the quality of the principals and the stylistic breadth they represent. Billy Branch and John Primer cut their teeth alongside forward-looking traditionalists Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, Sammy Lawhorn, and Magic Slim, and […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

Hey, Faggot: When my husband and I met we were promiscuous, drug-ingesting, late-night fiends. Then we decided to get married, move across the country, and start fresh. We are much happier living this saner lifestyle, except for one thing: my husband doesn’t find me at all sexually appealing anymore. He says he loves me, thinks […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Don’t Disappoint Captain January

DON’T DISAPPOINT CAPTAIN JANUARY, American Blues Theatre and Premiere Productions. Joseph Urbinato’s sprawling comedy-drama is crammed full of family secrets, unkempt relationships, Shirley Temple allusions, and gentle coincidences that lead to unlikely and sudden closure. The play tells the story of a daughter’s rebellion against her manipulative sister and fragile-seeming, possessive mother. The action begins […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Living in the Present Tense

Like all good playwrights, Ian Pierce isn’t particularly interested in how his characters feel. He’s much more interested in how they think, and how those thoughts compel them to act. While lesser playwrights monopolizing area stages seem content to back their characters into corners where they can sob (or at least look very upset) for […]

Posted inArts & Culture

More than Words

Bondagers Shattered Globe Theatre By Jack Helbig In an age overstuffed with visual images–on billboards and in movies, on Web pages and in glossy magazines, on slick TV commercials and in ever-changing fashions–it’s easy to forget that the ear is as easily seduced as the eye, that the right word spoken by the right person […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Sports Section

There was something of the pomp–and the tedium–of a coronation to the Bulls’ championship-ring ceremony and home opener this month. With its spotlights and repetitive musical fanfares, it was an affair so bombastic it could have been a Leni Riefenstahl production. Yet the crowd was less than ecstatic. “Oh yes, this is how it goes,” […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Masking the Pain

Patty Carroll: Photographs and Messages at Artemisia Gallery, through November 29 By Fred Camper The iconography of Patty Carroll’s photographs of women, 15 of which are on view at Artemisia, is familiar. Showing a woman’s head and torso, her face hidden behind cabbage or sausages or a kitchen implement, is easy to read today as […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Imagining Brad

IMAGINING BRAD, Home Room Productions, at Cafe Voltaire. It’s hard to praise this play without revealing the sinuous plot. Peter Hedges (who wrote the screenplay for the charmer What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?) packs this 70-minute one-act with enough telling reversals to keep you absorbed to the bittersweet end. A former Chicagoan whose plays were debuted […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

Hurl 11/15, Empty Bottle Hauling enormous slabs of dense guitar on its debut album, A Place Called Today (Third Gear/My Pal God), this austere Pittsburgh four-piece murmurs at times to keep alert as miles go by on an endless, desolate freeway. Killdozer’s last-ever performance follows. John Huss Moderate Combo 11/15, Lounge Ax Hyde Park singer-guitarist […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Crying Woolf

Crying Woolf, Zebra Crossing Theatre. Adapting a work of fiction to the stage, especially a complete and satisfying read like Virginia Woolf’s short story “The New Dress,” is always a challenge. In her one-woman show, adapter and performer Alexandra Main makes a brave attempt at portraying the woman in Woolf’s story, Catherine Waring, who’s returned […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

Things leftists don’t want to know. Employers across the midwest are complaining about a shortage of workers, particularly at the entry level, according to First National Bank of Chicago economist Diane Swonk. In some areas of Wisconsin the unemployment rate is less than 2 percent. “Of late on Sundays I have trespassed into an odd […]