Posted inNews & Politics

Ride With Attitude

mees.qxd Say what you want about the formal deficiencies of Will Staples’s drawing Slim Mixture [Our Town, April 3]; it makes a definite statement about contemporary art standards. Like the artist’s crude and forthright bid for attention, the cartoon figures that are clearly delineated and easily categorized draw low grades. But the blurred figure receives […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Aunt Dan and Lemon

Aunt Dan And Lemon, Terrapin Theatre, at TinFish Theatre. The contemplative reminiscence is Wallace Shawn’s genre, soliloquy and conversation are his tools, and the labyrinthine journey to discovery is his purpose. In Aunt Dan and Lemon the sickly Lenora, nicknamed Lemon, recalls a childhood summer spent absorbing the wisdom of her Aunt Dan, a wisdom […]

Posted inArts & Culture

True Books

Hot Chocolate for the Mystical Soul: 101 True Stories of Angels, Miracles, and Healings, by Arielle Ford (Plume, $13.95). Synopsis: Deepak Chopra’s publicist presents inspirational stories of life-changing encounters with volcanoes and pyramids, as well as her own feelings of love for a dolphin. Representative quote: “Suddenly I was a bird.” Noteworthy flaw: Foreword by […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Permission to Wander

Luna’s Gaze MASS Ensemble at the Chopin Theatre, through April 12 By Justin Hayford Courage is often misidentified in the performing arts. Critics make a habit of praising big, loud pieces for their daring, which is a bit like gauging the boldness of a Hollywood film by the number of exploding objects. Sure, the faster-louder […]

Posted inMusic


BEDHEAD With its third album, Transaction de Novo (Trance Syndicate), this somber Dallas quintet hasn’t exactly become extroverted, but by the time Bedhead cranks it up, near the end, on “Psychosomatica,” it’s clear that the band has a more masterful grip than ever on dynamics. Bedhead’s previous releases feature frail but pretty melodies fluttering out […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Beppie Blankert and Dansers Studio

Beppie Blankert and Dansers Studio The third of four presentations in the EuroContempo portion of the Spring Festival of Dance is a full-length piece by Dutch choreographer Beppie Blankert. Oddly, Volume 2 is the second work she’s done about composer Charles Ives: given his penchant for American folk songs and spirituals and his solid grounding […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

“While we [Chicago Public Schools] do get some very good teachers, it’s more luck than the result of any kind of focused effort,” says Janet Froetscher of the financial research and advisory committee, an arm of the civic committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, which hopes to change that. “A lot has happened here […]

Posted inFilm

Too Big to Ignore

My Giant Rating *** A must see Directed by Michael Lehmann Written by David Seltzer With Billy Crystal and Gheorghe Muresan. Gummo Rating **** Masterpiece Directed and written by Harmony Korine With Jacob Reynolds and Nick Sutton. By Lisa Alspector I’ll be surprised if many people have anything negative to say about My Giant, a […]

Posted inMusic

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA This week and next, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is drawing a historical parallel–something it rarely does–by presenting the local premiere of Arvo Part’s Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten alongside Britten’s own tribute to an older master, Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge. In a way, these two works chart the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

CECIL: HEAD IN THE CLOUDS? In your column on the weight of a cloud versus that of a 747 [March 13], you state: “Now of course, it’s true that weight isn’t the same as mass, and that a cloud put on a scale wouldn’t weigh anything.” Yuck! The weight of an object equals its mass […]