Posted inMusic

Frederica von Stade

FREDERICA VON STADE The dark luster of Frederica von Stade’s voice may derive from her range, which rides just a notch lower than the typical mezzo-soprano’s: by her own admission, “on a good day” she sings down to low F and up to high D. But it’s taken more than a little extra huskiness to […]

Posted inNews & Politics

State of Concern

darin.qxd Dear editor: Harold Henderson does a good job (“Dead Zone,” July 31) explaining a complex ecological problem and Illinois’ possible contribution to it, as well as possible solutions. Unfortunately, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, which has the responsibility for providing for clean water in our state, doesn’t seem to take the problem as seriously. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Queen of the Stardust Ballroom

Queen of the Stardust Ballroom, Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire. Though playwright Jerome Kass based this musical on his mother, the shallow, manipulative script and a pedestrian score by Billy Goldenberg and Alan and Marilyn Bergman squander any true-to-life complexity. Set in the mid-70s, the show tells of an aging Bronx widow, Bea, who discovers new […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Assuming the Worst

putnam.qxd Dear editor: I enjoy the Reader on a regular basis. I look to it for information on a variety of topics, ranging from music to theater. The July 24 cover story by J.R. Jones (“Ska’s Lost Cause”) was well researched and generally engaging. As a frequent ska concertgoer, I found much of what Jones […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Better in Translation

Reservoir Dogs Azusa Productions at the Chopin Theatre By Jack Helbig You’re acting like a first-year fucking thief! I’m acting like a professional! –Mr. Pink to Mr. White in Reservoir Dogs Nothing is less likely to stir my soul than the prospect of yet another theater company remounting a hit. In most cases, this means […]

Posted inFilm

Return to Paradise

Return to Paradise Compared to the self-righteous xenophobia and hypocritical pornography of Oliver Stone and Alan Parker’s Midnight Express, this drama about a Malaysian drug bust and its consequences for three young Americans is serious, intelligent, and powerful. Three buddies (Vince Vaughn, David Conrad, and Joaquin Phoenix) do some adolescent carousing in Malaysia, then the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Stories The BBC reported in June that despite recent government crackdowns in Pakistan, gangs operating around the shrine of Sha Dola in the city of Gujrat have been disfiguring infants handed over to the shrine for religious training so that their appearance will generate more sympathy when they are forced to beg on the […]