Posted inArts & Culture

Saturday Stories

SATURDAY STORIES, A Red Orchid Theatre. Jimmie Cumbie’s collection of monologues disguised as a play concerns an apartment building that apparently rents only to heartbroken singles. Over the course of a rainy, dismal Saturday, each tells his or her sorrowful tale of love gone wrong. Some are quite moving, as when one resident muses on […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Stories In November ecology activists in Chile issued an alert that two-foot-long mutant rats were attacking livestock in Santiago. At about the same time, residents of Brooksville, Florida, complained about the sudden appearance of three-foot-long, 14-pound nutria rats (vegetarian rodents once imported from South America for their fur). And two weeks later the New […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Impassioned Embraces

IMPASSIONED EMBRACES, Paz/Suarez Bubblegum Productions, at Heartland Studio Theater. It’s a surprise to learn that John Pielmeier, author of the theological thriller Agnes of God, also invented these ten playful sketches and monologues, a keen showcase for seven actors full of the same knowing twists and absurdities that fueled David Ives’s All in the Timing. […]

Posted inMusic

Cradle of Electronica

Raymond Scott Soothing Sounds for Baby: An Infant’s Friend in Sound (Basta Audio/Visuals) He turned on the car radio and that same feeling returned. Those electronic sounds did something strange to him, touched some subconscious place in his brain, made him squirm. Made his gums itch. When Ren & Stimpy licensed Raymond Scott’s music from […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

Hey, Faggot: I met this guy through the personals, and we happily dated until I found out a couple of things: 1. He had a pregnant girlfriend. 2. He was cheating on me with someone else besides his pregnant girlfriend. Now I just found out that I’m pregnant by him. After you stop laughing, tell […]

Posted inFilm

Jackie Brown

Jackie Brown Adapting Elmore Leonard’s novel Rum Punch for his third feature, Quentin Tarantino puts together a fairly intricate and relatively uninvolving money-smuggling plot, but his cast is so good that you probably won’t feel cheated unless you’re hoping for something as show-offy as Reservoir Dogs or Pulp Fiction. A flight attendant (70s blaxploitation queen […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Shut Up and Laugh!

Shut Up and Laugh! Let me make a New Year’s resolution for you: take some bigger risks with your theatrical dollars in 1998. Lord knows Chicago is full of dicey, hole-in-the-wall performance spaces–which often provide a hefty artistic return on a meager admission charge. You can start your year with one of the biggest, most […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

BUMPUS 1/17, METRO A collection of kids who went to college in the 90s and carefully studied the sounds of James Brown and Sly & the Family Stone isn’t going to remotely approach the desperate energy and triumphant radicalism of the real deal–what was once revolutionary is now just fun. With that understanding, though, Bumpus […]

Posted inFilm

The Color of Paradise

Jour de fete Rating **** Masterpiece Directed by Jacques Tati Written by Tati, Henri Marquet, and Rene Wheeler With Jacques Tati, Paul Frankeur, Guy Decomble, Santa Relli, and Maine Vallee. By Jonathan Rosenbaum Every Tati film marks simultaneously (a) a moment in the work of Jacques Tati; (b) a moment in the history of French […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Succulence

SUCCULENCE, Pod Productions, at Second City, Donny’s Skybox Studio. For years Chicago’s comedy scene has been dominated by straight, white, middle-class, not particularly rebellious or introspective men. But there are only so many sketches one can write about dissatisfied husbands, exasperated Cubs fans, and jerks trying to pick up women in bars. After a while […]

Posted inArts & Culture

True Books

Snow in America, by Bernard Mergen (Smithsonian Institution Press, $24.95). Synopsis: The history of our nation refracted through “nature’s crystalline gift.” Frosty the Snowman is analyzed. Representative quote: “In a 1982 paper, ‘An Overview of Seasonal Snow Metamorphism,’ written for a U.S.-Canadian Workshop on the Properties of Snow held at Snowbird, Utah, Colbeck proposed a […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Fat Lady Hasn’t Sung

balkin.qxd Mike Sula reported inaccurately and did us a great disservice in his reporting about the Sunday Maxwell Street tribute at the Chicago Historical Society in Section One [Calendar] in the 1/9/98 issue of the Reader. He wrote, “And since the Devil paved paradise and put in a parking lot, all that’s left are the […]

Posted inMusic

Ed Thigpen Quartet with Antonio Hart

ED THIGPEN QUARTET WITH ANTONIO HART Drummer Ed Thigpen’s last few appearances in Chicago have only confirmed what audiences understood from his first noteworthy appearances in Chicago, with Oscar Peterson in the 50s and early 60s: with his immaculate stick work and split-second accents, he defines tasteful drumming without sacrificing the fluid dynamics and deep […]