JOHN FAHEY In the 60s John Fahey was pegged as a folk revivalist who made make-out music for hippies; a decade later he was blamed for the insipid acoustic noodlings of the New Age. But after a lengthy absence imposed by health and personal problems, the guitarist has recently issued a series of discs that […]
Clockwatchers This impressive first feature by Jill Sprecher, coscripting with her sister Karen, shows that she has an eye and ear all her own. The focus of this subtle and intelligent comedy is the experience of four office temps–played by Toni Collette (Muriel’s Wedding), Parker Posey, Lisa Kudrow, and Alanna Ubach–who temporarily bond to stave […]
The Perpetual Patient A challenge faces anyone who updates Moliere’s The Imaginary Invalid–including prolific playwright Keith Reddin and director Michael Maggio, the creators of this new version, being introduced in a student production at DePaul University (where Maggio teaches). Compared to today’s doctors, 17th-century medical men were charlatans; as a result, Moliere’s antimedical diatribe carries […]
FIDELIO Beethoven’s one and only opera, Fidelio, may be more music than theater, but what a glorious stretch of music it is. The tale of a brave, resourceful woman who disguises herself as a man to rescue her husband from wrongful imprisonment merely serves as a springboard for the most idealistic of composers to express […]
Cradle: Three Stations, Six Platforms Men of the World May 15 By Justin Hayford It’s a few minutes before noon on the first humid spring day. At the Madison el station a handful of weary-looking souls are spread out across the northbound and southbound platforms, immobile, practically inert, making every effort to ignore one another. […]
How did this average stickup man wind up rotting in a Cuban hellhole, and why didn’t that teach him a lesson?
When I started birding along the Chicago lakefront in the early 70s sightings of other birders were a lot rarer than sightings of birds. Of course the parks were generally less heavily used in those days. I once narrowly escaped a mugging near North Pond, between Fullerton and Diversey, on a perfectly pleasant spring afternoon. […]
What’s behind Chicago’s lackluster shooting schedule? Film office honchos Ron Ver Kuilen and Ricahrd Moskal say it’s high tech and the Canadians.
Will the Amusement Tax Get the Ax? The short list of people interested in nurturing any local music scene rarely includes politicians–in fact, in Chicago the pols seem too busy fielding complaints about the noise and booze that go hand in hand with live music. Yet last month at a City Council meeting, 43rd Ward […]
Films by Lewis Klahr I haven’t seen Whirligigs in the Late Afternoon (1996), the longest show on this program, but Lewis Klahr’s dreamlike work is so special that I’m sure it’s worth checking out. I’m especially partial to Altair (1994), a gossamer “color noir” culled from late-40s pages of Cosmopolitan and set to the strains […]
In 1927, when Melville Jean Herskovits became Northwestern University’s first anthropologist, there wasn’t much scholarly interest in the African roots of black American culture. The few people thinking about it assumed those roots had been lost when Africans were ripped from their homelands and sold into slavery. As W.E.B. DuBois noted, the prevailing opinion early […]
Last Sunday morning, while most of Chicago slept, artist Ben Rubin defaced the plaza in front of the John Hancock Center, chalking a series of circles on the sidewalk and writing the word mine in each one. “Associating the violence of laying minefields with claiming the ownership of public space is really at the heart […]
kapson.qxd Kim Phillips-Fein’s article (“The View From the Booth,” May 15) correctly states the dangers of silver nitrate film. It was quite flammable, caused numerous fires, and led to fairly stringent building code rules regarding the construction of projection booths. However, it was not the cause of the 1903 Iroquois Theatre disaster. The Iroquois, which […]
Novelist Mark Maxwell imagines an unlikely meeting of minds.
SIGNIFICANTS AND OTHERS, Cobalt Ensemble Theatre, at TinFish Theatre. With its debut production, Cobalt Ensemble Theatre is already lost in the crowd of unremarkable storefront troupes. Assembling “a collection of comedic vignettes about love relationships” (a concept about as broad as “six pop songs about sex”), director Katherine Condit-Ladd keeps everything light and forgettable. With […]