Posted inArts & Culture

Giving Up the Ghost

The Memory of Water Steppenwolf Theatre Company By Albert Williams “How confusing the beams from memory’s lamp are,” wrote Ogden Nash in his poem “Preface to the Past.” British actress-turned-author Shelagh Stephenson–in her witty, poignant playwriting debut, The Memory of Water–visualizes memory as a cool, soothing light gently swaying on a bedroom ceiling. Steppenwolf Theatre’s […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

The undead at Zion. Commonwealth Edison cut costs by closing its Zion nuclear plant. In a recent press release, David Kraft of the Evanston-based Nuclear Energy Information Service asks the follow-up: “If ComEd couldn’t invest enough money and resources to keep the plant open and safe, what is their incentive to invest the resources necessary […]

Posted inMusic

Come/Sue Garner

COME/SUE GARNER A couple years ago it looked like Come was history: after a tour in support of its second album, the Boston band’s longtime rhythm section quit. But by forging ahead with several different bassists and drummers on its third record, Near Life Experience, guitarists Thalia Zedek and Chris Brokaw (both of whom sing […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Milked Dry

From the Chicago Tribune: Paul Galloway, February 9, 1998: “The reporter’s pulse pounds. He is seeing something that has almost vanished from the American scene, witnessing a memory from his youth, one he never expected to see again, not in an area like this anyway….Here in the middle of the night, near the center of […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

Is there anything to the phenomenon known as “stigmata,” i.e., when people inexplicably develop the same type of bloody wounds inflicted on Jesus on the cross? –R.T. in NYC Maybe I shouldn’t tell you this, but I have these scaly patches on my palms that have been known to bleed. At first I thought they […]

Posted inMusic

Forced Marriage

Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Orchestra Hall, February 5 By Lee Sandlin There’s a rule orchestras follow about new music: they always play it in the first half of the concert, and they always follow it up with one of the blandest, safest, most overplayed works in the repertoire. Their assumption is that audiences hate any […]

Posted inFilm

Mother and Son

Mother and Son Apart from the eye-filling black-and-white video Oriental Elegy (see separate listing), Russian filmmaker Alexander Sokurov’s painterly, visionary side has seldom been more evident than in this gorgeous 1997 contemplation of a son caring for his dying mother. The story is minimal, but the color images are so breathtaking that there’s never a […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Days of the Week

Friday 2/20 – Thursday 2/26 FEBRUARY By Cara Jepsen 20 FRIDAY What constitutes ladylike behavior? Miss Manners would no doubt have a different answer than the organizers of the Ladylike Performance Festival. Atalee Judy’s Paradiddle makes use of one drum set, one drummer, one dancer, and four wigs, while Paule Turner’s Browning Blond in Suicide […]

Posted inArts & Culture

European Union Film Festival

Now in its third week, the European Union Film Festival continues Friday through Sunday, February 20 through 22, at the Film Center, Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson. Admission is $6, $3 for Film Center members. For further information call 312-443-3737. FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 20 The Last Bus Home A 1997 Irish “punk rock odyssey,” set […]

Posted inArts & Culture

David’s Redhaired Death

David’s Redhaired Death, Siren Productions, at the Chopin Theatre. The most frustrating aspect of Sherry Kramer’s play isn’t the grossly underdeveloped characters or the conspicuous absence of plot–it’s the distressing lack of clarity. Kramer hasn’t written a single line of dialogue that isn’t stilted, and there seems to be no emotional weight behind her hollow […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Message in the Mess

Sheila McHugh: Crowns and Hair at ARC, through February 28 Roxene Rockwell: Boxes at ARC, through February 28 Jodi Younglove: Field at ARC, through February 28 By Fred Camper While Renaissance painters assumed they should use all their artistry to establish the divinity of Christ, and the impressionists sought to make palpable their claim that […]