Posted inMusic

Snooky Pryor

SNOOKY PRYOR Blues harpist Snooky Pryor is living proof that a musician can stand by his muse and still remain vital through the vicissitudes of taste. But at one point it did seem that his intractability would be the end of him: in the 50s, when contemporaries like Little Walter were exploring sophisticated, jazz-tinged elaborations […]

Posted inMusic

Chicago Opera Theater’s one hour opera festival

Chicago Opera Theater’s One Hour Opera Festival Chicago Opera Theater’s new trio of well-sung one-acts emphasizes its variety with a promenade format–requiring the audience to move between three different spaces–and it’s well worth the walk. Bon Appetit!, Lee Hoiby’s short spoof of TV chef Julia Child, turns the Athenaeum Theatre’s cramped second-floor studio into a […]

Posted inFilm

Camp

Camp Andy Warhol’s 1965 response to Susan Sontag’s famous essay defining “camp” won my heart at the outset when its cast members (including Mario Montez, Gerard Malanga, and Jack Smith) start by discussing summer camps they’ve attended. Filmed at Warhol’s New York studio, the Factory, against walls covered with silver foil, each person presents a […]

Posted inMusic

Joan Morris and William Bolcom

JOAN MORRIS AND WILLIAM BOLCOM While other singer-pianist teams may be more effective and affecting with European song, Joan Morris and William Bolcom have no peers in the American arena. Now 25 years into their partnership, they long ago mastered the art of give-and-take–they’re so in the groove that each number is dispatched as effortlessly […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Orlando

ORLANDO, Piven Theatre Workshop. Any cast would have to work overtime to compensate for a set as ugly as the one Jack Magaw has inflicted on this production. On sickly orange latticework at the rear of the stage he’s flung a hideous assortment of cheap costume pieces; it looks like the bargain bin at Village […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Caught in the Net

CAUGHT IN THE WEB, Performance Theatre, at the Performance Loft, Second Unitarian Church of Chicago. This interesting hybrid of long-form improvisation and conventional playwriting has promise, but in the end Kelsey Hartman’s confusing new comedy garners more puzzlement than laughs. With the Performance Theatre ensemble, Hartman and director Darcy Hughes have cobbled together two one-acts […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Zine-o-File

From the pages of The Scaredy-Cat Stalker ¥ Number 7 (5535 NE Glisan #5, Portland, OR 97213; $2) Excerpts from: Never Mind the Bullock I don’t know what the deal is with freaks and Sandra Bullock. Last time it was the illiterate guy who wrote her a song. Now, it’s Mona and Brigit, two kooks […]

Posted inMusic

Paulinho Garcia

PAULINHO GARCIA The obvious model for transplanted Brazilian singer and guitarist Paulinho Garcia is Joao Gilberto, who made the exquisite first bossa nova recordings back when that style was refreshing and coherent and before it devolved into a generic rhythm to be tacked onto largely inappropriate material. Gilberto has worked with small bands and large […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Caught in the Net

Captured at www.tfb.com/-rharper/npca.html Pig Decoy Carving The National Pig Carvers Association Dedicated to the preservation and advancement of pig decoy carving The actual date when pig decoys were first employed in the hunt for the wily wild pig is not known. We do know that over the years pig decoy carvers had become so highly […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Beautiful Thing

Beautiful Thing Political doctrinaires might look down on this gentle and touching play about two teenage boys, neighbors in a London public-housing estate, who fall in love. But worrying about whether this tender, funny tale is intended for gay or straight audiences misses the point: director Gary Griffin’s beautifully played production, like English playwright Jonathan […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Cartesian Heart

THE CARTESIAN HEART, Breadline Theatre Group, at Center Theater Ensemble. In this generous, ambitious ensemble effort (based on a script by director Michael Oswalt), the Breadliners artfully update three fantastic E.T.A. Hoffmann tales immortalized by Jacques Offenbach in his 1881 masterwork Les contes d’Hoffmann. The setting is an urban coffeehouse where Nicklausse (Hoffmann’s faithful companion […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

“There are many worse things in politics than hypocrisy,” the University of Chicago’s Jean Bethke Elshtain reminds us in U.S. Catholic (June). “For example, vicious cycles of retribution, whether against nations or groups or other political figures. On the whole list of political sins, crimes, and misdemeanors, hypocrisy would come pretty low on my list. […]