Talk Like An Egyptian
JAMES NEWTON There’s no separating James Newton’s musical accomplishments from his instrument of choice: in his hands, the jazz flute has reached the likely pinnacle of its evolution. Classically trained but artistically intrepid, Newton combines Hubert Laws’s rosy timbres with the streaked earth tones of Eric Dolphy, screaming post-Coltrane imprecations with classic Ellingtonia, etching fine […]
Fallen Angels A personal assistant pines for the professional killer whose room she cleans while he’s away on assignment–when she isn’t getting herself off there.The killer, who expresses his ambivalence about his work and his assistant in voice-over, seems depressed yet uncynical. When a hyperactive woman approaches him at McDonald’s, they hurtle into a compulsive, […]
EVERYONE’S COMING OUT, ROSIE!, Second City, at Donny’s Skybox Studio, Piper’s Alley. Slicing and dicing, this nine-member outreach ensemble delivers a ton of lavender-laced laughs in a mere hour. Its latest gay-themed revue (last year’s hit was Whitney Houston, We Have a Problem) is neatly framed by a parody of The Music Man in which […]
Old Well A landmark of Chinese rural realism, this 1986 feature meticulously captures the harsh, insular existence of a parched valley in central China that hasn’t changed much over the centuries despite the introduction of modern amenities. Plagued by water shortages, the villagers have tried for generations to find water in an old well; the […]
An Illinois cyclist learns the hard way about some little known rules of the road.
A farm museum preserves the bad old days.
PAN-AMERICAN/STARS OF THE LID If the recent onslaught of laptop-toting Teutonic sound artists has left you yearning for something a little more organic, this pairing of performers associated with the local Kranky label is your ticket. The Austin duo Stars of the Lid make their lush, glacially paced music the old-fashioned way. On their latest […]
Regarding Spam [May 1], is it true, as travel writer Paul Theroux claims, that the people of the South Pacific love their Spam because it tastes so much like…people? –Mary E. Sage, via the Internet Marketing Spam must present some unique challenges. Imagine the conversation in the boardroom: Spam Product Manager #1: I’ve got some […]
THE GERSHWIN YEARS Celebrating George Gershwin just a little ahead of schedule–the centenary of his birth is technically in September–this concert features three top-flight local talents. Pianist Kevin Cole, who put the program together, is a specialist in Gershwin’s jaunty but lush keyboard style, as he has proved in orchestral performances around the country as […]
Passing Shadows These eight avant-garde films share no common theme, but the best three work by throwing the viewer off balance. Stan Brakhage’s Commingled Containers is full of beautiful imagery, like light reflected on water, but the brevity of each shot and the unpredictable editing prevents it from becoming static or merely pretty. In Last […]
By Cara Jepsen JUNE When bluegrass legend Bill Monroe played at Indiana’s Brown County Jamboree in the 1950s, he enjoyed the experience so much he purchased the 55-acre concert venue and campsite, which he fixed up and owned until his death in 1996. It was recently bought by Dwight Dillman, who played banjo with Monroe’s […]
A defiant firefighter’s antigay agitation has Madison up in arms.
PHAEDRA’S LOVE, Defiant Theatre, at American Theater Company. If you think simulated blow jobs, make-believe disembowelment, and people saying “cunt” are provocative, you’re Sarah Kane’s kind of audience member. In her 1996 Phaedra’s Love she transforms the mythological queen into a modern-day, libidinally rapacious royal and recasts her stepson Hippolytus–traditionally a chaste devotee of Artemis–as […]
LOS VAN VAN First megalomaniacal anti-Castro lobbyist Jorge Mas Canosa kicks the bucket, and now Los Van Van make their second-ever Chicago appearance hot on the heels of their first–what’s going on? It ain’t over by a long shot, but it seems that the U.S. government’s inhumane and ineffective Cuban embargo may be on its […]