Posted inArts & Culture

The Anastasia File

The Anastasia File, Illinois Theatre Center. The greatest unsolved mystery of the 20th century may be the story of Anastasia, the woman who was perhaps the sole surviving heir to Russian czar Nicholas II. At the very least it’s a tale that long ago became fodder for made-for-TV movies, pop biographies, and of course most […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Cheap Suits

Case #97L4694: Rentschler v. Manhole Michael Rentschler says he “suffered great bodily pain and injury and mental anguish” from an April 30, 1995, fall in the bathroom of the gay bar Manhole, 3458 N. Halsted. Rentschler charges that the proprietors of Manhole “negligently permitted grease, oil or other slippery material” to remain on the bathroom […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Following Function

A Basketmaker in Rural Japan at the Field Museum of Natural History, through February 8 A Game of Chance at Printworks, through February 7 By Fred Camper Viewing the 100 some elegant handmade baskets and other objects in the Field Museum’s “A Basketmaker in Rural Japan,” I was struck at first by their repeating geometrical […]

Posted inMusic

Karl Montzka Organ Band

KARL MONTZKA ORGAN BAND Though they haven’t received half the press, the Montzkas would come second only to Von and George Freeman in a Chicago jazz-sibling rivalry. When keyboardist Karl locks rhythms with drummer Eric, they make a great case for nature and nurture: having grown up in the same household, presumably listening to much […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

Really. According to a recent press release, the Chicago Skyloop film–an eight-minute aerial tour of the Loop and lakefront now being shown at Navy Pier–“is shown in two 15-seat theater capsule flight simulators that give the illusion of virtual reality.” Everybody does it, then they grow up. “The best research evidence available suggests several broad […]

Posted inMusic

Tim Mulvenna

TIM MULVENNA The unaccompanied drum recital was a staple of 70s free music. Andrew Cyrille was first to go on record by himself, with What About? (BYG) in 1969, and he and fellow explorers like Milford Graves and Han Bennink turned the seemingly limited setting into a boundless format, expanding the kit with ancillary percussion […]

Posted inMusic

Cube

CUBE Headed by academics, the new-music consortium Cube can’t shake the urge to educate us. Most of its concerts are eruditely organized around a theme; its latest, “The Rise of the American Music Identity,” explores European influences on American art music in the first half of the century. It’s hardly a new topic, but one […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

I’m one very disgruntled and estranged member of the Catholic church–so disgruntled, in fact, that I really don’t want to be counted as a member. How can I get excommunicated? I assume it’s not as simple as writing a letter (though this probably only means the church is more bureaucratic than most mail-order CD clubs). […]

Posted inFilm

The Codes

The Codes Wojciech Has directed this 1966 Polish film in which a father’s search for a son arrested in 1944 becomes a moving meditation on the irreversibility of time and the impossibility of fully knowing the past. Tadeusz has lived in England since before World War II while his wife and two sons remained in […]

Posted inMusic

Mark Naftalin

Mark Naftalin It’s hard to believe that musicians like Mark Naftalin, who personified the youthful embrace of blues and R & B by white musicians and audiences in the 60s, are now approaching elder statesman status themselves. Naftalin, a Minneapolis-born keyboardist whose early influences included such Chicago masters as Big Maceo, Otis Spann, and Sunnyland […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Days of the Week

Friday 1/16 – Thursday 1/22 JANUARY By Cara Jepsen 16 FRIDAY Last week as I was bemoaning my lack of resources, my father took it as his cue to suggest–again–that I get a real job. Author Jan Phillips says that rather than surrounding themselves with naysayers, writers and off-the-beaten-path types should hang around people who […]