Posted inArts & Culture

Dance Chicago ’97

Dance Chicago ’97 What do audiences want? I don’t know, dance troupes don’t know. Maybe audiences don’t know. If you fall into that category, Dance Chicago ’97 is for you. Now in its third year, the fest lasts for six weeks and features some 300 local performers, both dancers and less traditional movers. And it’s […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Visiting the Lincolns

VISITING THE LINCOLNS, Stage Actors Ensemble of Chicago, at the Second Unitarian Church of Chicago, Performance Loft. This 80-minute one-act offers a charming, convincing conceit: it seems the audience has arrived unexpectedly at the White House to visit with President and Mrs. Lincoln. It’s Good Friday 1865, and before our hosts depart for a certain […]

Posted inArts & Culture

On Exhibit: the glory of junk food

Artist Linda Dolack says, “I joke with my kids that…the four basic food groups are artificial flavor, artificial color, additives, and preservatives.” In her most recent work Dolack has copied the designs on food packages with colored beads, producing life-size replicas that glitter even more alluringly than the real thing. “I think the original packaging […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Community Disservice

A Yard of Sun Famous Door Theatre Company By Justin Hayford Just before the second weekend of Famous Door’s A Yard of Sun, cast member Larry Neumann Jr. landed unexpectedly in the hospital. The company canceled all four shows that weekend and the following Thursday and Friday performances. Considering that Neumann’s character doesn’t appear until […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

Hey, Stupid Faggot: What kind of an idiot are you? How can you say that the AIDS crisis is over? Are you HIV positive? Are you dying? I hope so. More than 30,000 people died in the United States from AIDS last year! The AIDS crisis is still going on, and it is getting worse–people […]

Posted inMusic

Count Basie Orchestra

COUNT BASIE ORCHESTRA When Count Basie uttered his best-known line–“One more once,” which led to a bonus coda on his still-famous hit recording of “April in Paris”–he couldn’t have known just how seriously his orchestra would take it. But 13 years after Basie’s death, the Basie band keeps on coming back, and nobody’s complaining. The […]

Posted inArts & Culture


SMASH, Bailiwick Repertory. What makes this adaptation of George Bernard Shaw’s 1887 novel, An Unsocial Socialist, so ingenious is that playwright Jeffrey Hatcher retains Shaw’s characters and thorough dissection of socialism but creates an entirely new framework that helps streamline some of the more confusing aspects of the narrative. In the process, he demonstrates his […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Power Trio

Blue Man Group at Briar Street Theatre, open run By Carol Burbank The lobby of the Briar Street Theatre has been transformed into a nest of tubes filled with light and pulsing liquids and an odd mechanical collage of music and voices. Tucked into the tubing are paintings hung at precarious angles, and the bathroom […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

LONESOME ORGANIST 10/18, Lounge Ax Former 5ive Style keyboard whiz Jeremy Jacobsen might just be making a vain play for sympathy by calling himself lonesome, because on his debut Collector of Cactus Echo Bags (Thrill Jockey) he generates a lot more excitement in collaboration with himself than the hundreds of guitar-toting boys who conceal the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Too Much Joy

Ballet Theater of Chicago at the Athenaeum Theatre, October 8-12 By Molly Shanahan Ballet is hard. In every sense. As I sat down to watch Ballet Theater of Chicago at the Athenaeum–in a solid performance peppered with brilliance–I was desperately trying to suspend the disbeliever in me, the part that has trouble reconciling the pretense, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Conservative Education

paterson.qxd Paul Pekin’s faith in the current state of American education is touching, but unpersuasive (“Schoolhouse Crock,” September 12). He’s an expert writer (thanks, perhaps, to his old-style education), but a crude polemicist and no logician. His entire case is built on the claim that any information coming from conservative sources must be, ipso facto, […]