Posted inArts & Culture

Garage Sale

Garage Sale, Circle Theatre. Playwright Marc Stopeck’s fractured, campy anthropological study of a day in the life of a dysfunctional suburban family rings hollow from the outset. Setting an entire play within the claustrophobic, cluttered confines of a neighborhood garage sale may be cheeky, but beyond the premise the cliche-infested script is feverishly dull. What […]

Posted inMusic

Hair Today

Slaughter Revolution (CMC International) Warrant Belly to Belly (CMC International) Dokken Shadowlife (CMC International) By Joshua Green For the better part of the Alternative Decade, being a heavy-metal fan has been no picnic–and even today, with Ozzfest lumbering toward us for the second year in a row, those who consider themselves more musically enlightened still […]

Posted inMusic

Ben Goldberg

BEN GOLDBERG Oakland’s Ben Goldberg is a prime mover in the ongoing jazz-clarinet renaissance, progressive division, but on a raft of recent recordings he avoids the split tones and shrieks favored by many new-breed licorice-stick players. Although Goldberg’s been on the scene since the dawn of the 90s–leading the revisionist New Klezmer Trio, whose two […]

Posted inArts & Culture


STRAIGHTS, Bailiwick Repertory. Imagine a world where heterosexuality is a sin and a drag queen named Big Sister monitors citizens to maintain compulsory promiscuity and dyke/fag conformity. Apparently playwright Dennis Safren hoped to shock audiences with just this scenario in his half-baked satire Straights, playing as part of Bailiwick’s “Pride Series ’98.” Unfortunately, Scott Cooper’s […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Thrills, Andrew Bird’s Bowl of Fire, at the Mercury Theater. If Kurt Weill had been a Yankee in the first decades of this century and written rags, jumps, and tangos, they might have sounded a little like this eclectic collection of musical portraits. Indeed, everything that Andrew Bird’s Bowl of Fire ensemble does seems to […]

Posted inFilm

The Audience is Us

The Truman Show Rating ** Worth seeing Directed by Peter Weir Written by Andrew Niccol With Jim Carrey, Laura Linney, Noah Emmerich, Natascha McElhone, Holland Taylor, and Ed Harris. By Jonathan Rosenbaum Undeniably provocative and reasonably entertaining, The Truman Show is one of those high-concept movies whose concept is both clever and dumb. Let’s start […]

Posted inArts & Culture

True Books

Water: The Shocking Truth That Can Save Your Life, by Paul and Patricia Bragg (Health Science, $7.95). Synopsis: Fluoride, “the gangster of the chemical underworld,” is a poison discovered by Hitler and responsible for a wide range of deadly illnesses. Drink distilled water with vinegar in it. Representative quote: “The fluoride in your water is […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Freedom Fighters

Coming of the Hurricane Organic Touchstone Company By Albert Williams “A world turned upside down”–that’s how one of the characters in Coming of the Hurricane describes the circumstances of both blacks and whites in the years following the Civil War. In Keith Glover’s exciting, boldly etched portrait of southern prizefighters, onetime slaves are now free–but […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Yeoman of the Guard

The Yeomen of the Guard, Light Opera Works, at Northwestern University, Cahn Auditorium. Strangely dark and emotionally ambivalent, this 1888 operetta by William S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan veers far from the comic formulas of the same team’s H.M.S. Pinafore and The Mikado. Set in the time of Henry VIII, it concerns a condemned prisoner […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Jimmy All the Hits

JIMMY ALL THE HITS, Needles Theatre Company, at Stage Left Theatre. You’ve heard the story a thousand times before: a talented kid with a new sound is drawn into the music industry, then resists the efforts of his managers to make him more commercial. Whether our hero or the great devil capitalism triumphs depends on […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Big Apple Circus

Big Apple Circus Founded 20 years ago by a pair of former street jugglers, the Big Apple Circus combines the artiness of Cirque du Soleil with the good old Barnum & Bailey-ness of more traditional American circuses yet never stumbles into Cirque du Soleil’s Eurotrashiness or Ringling Brothers’ elephantine love of bigness for its own […]

Posted inMusic

Kieran Kane

KIERAN KANE Fed up with the stifling demands of the Nashville machine, three years ago Kieran Kane and fellow artists Kevin Welch, Tammy Rogers, Mike Henderson, and Harry Stinson founded the label Dead Reckoning, which quickly became the town’s finest artist-run imprint. But Kane’s paid dearly for messing with the divine order: before the switch […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

Attention shoppers: apocalypse in aisle 14. An information-systems executive concerned about computers that will have problems with the switch to the year 2000 told this story to the Food Marketing Institute’s annual gathering at McCormick Place on May 4: “An executive from one major chain…set the clocks in a store ahead to the year 2000 […]