Posted inMusic

Joe Morris Trio

JOE MORRIS TRIO There’s no doubt left in my mind that Joe Morris is the most distinctive jazz guitarist of his time. While there are a few things you can generally expect of him–single-note runs and solos that rely on melody no matter how avant-garde the setting–a deluge of recordings in the last couple of […]

Posted inMusic

Andrew “Jr. Boy” Jones

ANDREW “JR. BOY” JONES Despite his diminutive nickname, Andrew “Jr. Boy” Jones is a veteran blues bandleader who’s put in time with some of the best, including Jimmy McCracklin, Freddie King, Johnnie Taylor, and Katie Webster. You’ll notice that list has a strong southwestern bias, and so does the music on Jones’s long-awaited solo debut, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Talent Pool

THE TALENT POOL, Beatnik Theatre, at the Chopin Theatre. It’s no surprise when a young company like this one puts out uneven work. The Talent Pool, which Patrick Ney developed through improv with the Beatnik Theatre, attempts to lampoon the bloodthirsty, ass-kissing, frenzied feeding troughs known as casting agencies. But rather than develop a story […]

Posted inArts & Culture

No Exit

NO EXIT, Sentia Theatre, at Stage Left Theatre. Jean-Paul Sartre envisioned hell as a hotel apartment, which in this Sentia Theatre production is decidedly not four-star: the furniture is shabby, the sofas are sprung, the servants are smart-ass teenagers with an annoying habit of talking in tandem, and the guests’ wardrobes are as drab as […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Catholic Guilt

By Michael Miner Jonathan Kwitny has asked his publisher to make a few small changes. It’s a common request by an author. Man of the Century, Kwitny’s new biography of Pope John Paul II, runs some 700 pages, and a few odd mistakes were bound to surface after publication. Here’s one of them. Kwitny originally […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Judging Valentino

JUDGING VALENTINO, Taking Care of Business, at the Second City, Donny’s Skybox Studio. If there’s a redeeming aspect to Eric Francque’s dismal comedy, it’s that it simultaneously lowers our expectations of theater and raises our tolerance level. After sitting through this inept satire of western Illinois bumpkins, I’m willing to rethink The Blob: The Musical […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Lines of Tension

Vadim Kravets: Works on Paper at Maya Polsky Gallery, through November 20 Otto Upts, 1850-1933 at Carl Hammer Gallery, through November 15 By Fred Camper It’s an irritating irony of the art world that nonprofit, tax-exempt museums are often less adventurous than commercial galleries. While the latest installment in our leading art museum’s seemingly endless […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Stories New York City special-effects artist Matt McMullen, 28, has been selling his life-size, authentically detailed, steel-skeletoned silicone dolls under the name “Real Dolls” for several months on the Internet at a price of around $4,000 each plus options. So far Stacy, Natasha, Nina, and Leah are available, with the customer’s choice of hair […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Aha: The Book Club

AHA: THE BOOK CLUB, Zygomatic Arch Theater Company, at Bailiwick Repertory. Under the direction of brilliant monsters like Viola Spolin and Paul Sills, the first improvisers had to be a quick, well-educated bunch. Which is why so many of the theater games perfected at the time assume that players have a vast pool of knowledge. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Polish Film Festival

Polish Film Festival The ninth annual edition of the Polish Film Festival, produced by the Society for Arts, continues Friday through Tuesday, November 7 through 11. Film and video screenings will be at the Gateway Theatre, Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence. Tickets for most programs are $7, $6 for Society of Arts members. Tickets for […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Selling Evanston Cheap

pierrehu.qxd To the editor: [Re: Neighborhood News, October 31] Not long ago, the John Buck Company came with its begging bowl to the city of Chicago, demanding $14 million for road improvements to go along with its massive Nordstrom-anchored project on North Michigan. Chicago wisely said no. Now Buck and his begging bowl are back, […]