Posted inArts & Culture

Wings

WINGS, Wild Iris Performance Group, at Footsteps Theatre Company. Thank God Arthur Kopit wrote Wings, breaking the news to American theatergoers that stroke victims have a hard time with language and are often frustrated and confused as a result. Well, duh. Kopit’s 1978 play dramatizes the struggle of seventysomething Emily Stilson’s “inner self” as she […]

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Celtic Fest Chicago

CELTIC FEST CHICAGO presents music at six locations in Grant Park: the Seisuin Tent (Jackson and Columbus), the Harp Tent (Columbus and Congress), the Uillean Pipe Tinol (Columbus and Jackson), Butler Field (Jackson and Lake Shore Dr.), the Celtic Crossroads Stage (Jackson and Lake Shore Dr.), and the Petrillo Music Shell (Columbus and Jackson). Also […]

Posted inMusic

Les Batteries

LES BATTERIES On their long-delayed third album, Bell System (Rift)–most of which was recorded at Chicago’s Idful Music with John McEntire more than three years ago–the bicontinental percussion duo Les Batteries continues to flout expectations. Together New Yorker Rick Brown (Run On, Timber, Fish & Roses) and Frenchman Guigou Chenevier (Volapuk, Etron Fou) take concise […]

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Windy City International Documenatry Festival

Windy City International Documentary Festival The Windy City International Documentary Festival, presented by Columbia College and the International Documentary Association, runs Sunday, September 20, through Sunday, September 27, at the Field Museum of Natural History, Roosevelt at Lake Shore Drive, and at Columbia College’s Collins Theater, 624 S. Michigan. All screenings are free, but the […]

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Libation Bearers

Libation Bearers, Tom Small Productions, at Center Theater. Aeschylus was the first of the “big three” classical Greek tragedians to draw upon the scandalously dysfunctional House of Atreus for his plays. But unlike Sophocles and Euripides, his later rivals, Aeschylus gave an account focused not on individual members of the royal clan but on the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

That many? According to a random telephone survey of 340 Chicago-area blacks and bilingual Latinos, “Only 35% think their race or ethnic group is accurately portrayed on local TV news,” report Cynthia Linton and Robert LeBailly of Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism (Institute for Policy Research “Working Papers,” Spring). Next year state legislatures will consider […]

Posted inMusic

Massive Attack

MASSIVE ATTACK By concerning themselves with honest-to-goodness songwriting, trip-hop granddaddies Massive Attack may have lost some of the beat faithful, but the trade-off is a body of work that transcends club music’s cycle of built-in obsolescence. On their third and latest album, Mezzanine (Virgin), they don’t cover a lot of new ground, but they aren’t […]

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Anson Fundergurgh & Sam Myers

ANSON FUNDERBURGH & SAM MYERS Texas-based guitarist Anson Funderburgh and veteran Mississippi harpist and vocalist Sam Myers make for one of the most unlikely pairings in contemporary blues. Though Funderburgh’s capable of balls-out rock ‘n’ roll aggression, he relies on well-crafted solos to anchor his style: he creates tension with sustained lines, builds in precise […]

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Lounge Lizards

LOUNGE LIZARDS Next year marks the 20th anniversary of the Lounge Lizards. I doubt that many people figured the band to last half that long, and I wonder if anyone is more surprised than founder and leader John Lurie–after all, it was he himself who originally dubbed the Lizards’ eclectic, jokey style “fake jazz.” Lurie […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

I recall reading an article in the Bodega Bay Navigator by one of their staff columnists who is a minister. He said there is some evidence that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were husband and wife. This does seem to make sense. Is it true? –adorablyred, via the Internet Can we do something about these stupid […]

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David Rousseve/Reality

David Rousseve/Reality For me, David Rousseve’s new dance-theater piece, Love Songs, is a collection of brilliant shards. I know the story: the tragic love of John and Sara, set in the brutal context of slavery. I know the music: a selection of great arias, from Wagner to Puccini. I know that the set suggests a […]

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Thomas Borgmann Trio

THOMAS BORGMANN TRIO It’s hard to ignore the torrent of saxophonists heading the revival in postfreedom jazz–but it’s also getting hard to tell them apart. Something similar happened in bebop, then again in the 50s, in 70s fusion, and especially in the neoclassical 80s: a popular genre inspires more innovators, but also supports more imitators, […]

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Reel Life: the joys of movie muscle

Between 1957 and 1965 over 150 sword-and-sandal movies were unleashed on the American public. But when MGM archivist and gladiator-film buff John Kirk started researching the popular genre, he found very few mentions of Hercules and Goliath movies in film-history texts. “It’s as if they were nonexistent or too embarrassing to bring up, which is […]