Posted inArts & Culture

Love Connection

Jan Erkert & Dancers at the Athenaeum Theatre, through March 22 Los Mu–equitos de Matanzas at the Museum of Contemporary Art, March 13 and 14 You could see it as a New Age thing, but modern dancers since Martha Graham have considered their task to be the creation of new rituals. Graham even borrowed classical […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Bus Stop

BUS STOP, American Theater Company. On the surface, William Inge’s 1955 comedy, about the intersection of eight lives at a rural Missouri bus stop, is fairly conventional. It’s driven by a standard plot device: an external force–in this case, a raging blizzard–traps a group of disparate individuals together under one roof. The characters, though not […]

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Chancing at Lunacy: The Completely Improvised Irish Country Play

CHANCING AT LUNACY: THE COMPLETELY IMPROVISED IRISH COUNTRY PLAY, Free Associates, at the Ivanhoe Theater. These brilliant improv chameleons–they’ve spoofed Shakespeare, Mamet, Tennessee Williams, and the Brontes–are changing colors once again. Improvising on a theme of green, they’re crediting their audience’s sophistication, or at least curiosity, by singling out the dramas of Brian Friel (Dancing […]

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Evolve or Die

EVOLVE OR DIE, the Neighbors, at the Chicago Historical Society. Many improv comedy troupes make the mistake of watching too much TV and reading too few newspapers, which makes them too ignorant of the world to create shows worth watching. In trying to avoid this error, the Neighbors fall prey to a much more sophisticated […]

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Quests: New Lesbian Work, Part 1

Quests: New Lesbian Work, Part I The strongest of the seven works on this program is also the most somber. While it’s become a cliche for a first-person film to focus on the artist’s troubled family life, Kim McNabb’s Gifts From My Father (1997) portrays the filmmaker’s relationship with an alcoholic parent with raw emotional […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Cheap Suits

Case #98CH2312: Gmitruk v. Archbishop Francis George Northwest-sider Tadeusz Gmitruk accuses newly elevated Cardinal Francis George of shirking his diplomatic responsibilities. Gmitruk was disappointed when George went to Rome last month to receive his new title while Cardinal Jozef Glemp of Warsaw was visiting Chicago. The suit says that George’s absence “make damage [to] all […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Trial by Media

Fatty John Fournier Quintet at the Second City E.T.C., through April 7 By Carol Burbank Just this morning I heard another high-minded editorial bemoaning President Clinton’s alleged sex with and lies about Monica Lewinsky (no videotape). And I’m sure I’ll hear another Clinton joke or three today, as the scandal’s oily slick of speculation continues […]

Posted inFilm

Inside Pitches

Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life Rating ** Worth seeing Directed and written by Michael Paxton Narrated by Sharon Gless. Primary Colors Rating *** A must see Directed by Mike Nichols Written by Elaine May With John Travolta, Emma Thompson, Adrian Lester, Kathy Bates, Billy Bob Thornton, Larry Hagman, and Maura Tierney. By Jonathan Rosenbaum […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

I will mediate you to death! “It is sad to say that my prediction of almost 10 years ago, that ADR [alternative dispute resolution] processes would be ‘co-opted’ by traditional adversarial processes…has come true,” writes Carrie Menkel-Meadow in the Chicago-based Dispute Resolution Magazine (Winter). “In recent years I have watched lawyers write letters ‘filing an […]

Posted inFilm

Fireworks

Fireworks In this complex flashback narrative that fuses danger, sorrow, and loveliness, detective Nishi (writer-director Takeshi Kitano) is a quiet yet volatile man who takes a road trip with his dying wife, while his partner Horibe (Ren Osugi) trains himself to be an artist after being paralyzed on the job. Intercutting between the lonely, productive […]

Posted inMusic

Russian National Orchestra with Gil Shaham

RUSSIAN NATIONAL ORCHESTRA WITH GIL SHAHAM Though only 26, violinist Gil Shaham is already a hardy veteran of the international concert circuit. His talent became apparent just after his family moved from Champaign to Israel in 1973; by nine he’d made his debut with the Jerusalem Symphony. Generous government subsidies allowed him to study with […]

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The Straight Dope

I recently acquired a satellite dish and have become a shameless junkie of old westerns. In half of these B movies of plains life, it seems there is always a woman giving birth. After they give her the obligatory wooden spoon to bite on, someone always yells to boil some water. What’s with the water? […]