Posted inArts & Culture

The Captain’s Boy

THE CAPTAIN’S BOY, Bailiwick Repertory. Not to be confused with Bailiwick’s family-friendly holiday musical, The Christmas Schooner, is The Captain’s Boy, a different kind of nautical romp–a gay pirate musical by Clint Jeffries and Chris Jackson. But it’s not The Pirates of Penzance minus Major General Stanley’s daughters. A cross between Jeffrey and One Flew […]

Posted inNews & Politics

This American Strife

wilber.qxd Dear editor: History is rewritten every day, and I am compelled to offer another version of the story told in the Reader about The Wild Room and This American Life [November 20]. Anyone who actually listened to The Wild Room (which I did) and who listens to This American Life (which I do) knows […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chicago

Bob Fosse, John Kander, and Fred Ebb’s 1975 musical, based on Maurine Dallas Watkins’s 1926 comedy about celebrity, crime, and corruption in Prohibition-era Chicago, ingeniously uses classic showbiz forms to tell the story of a Windy City showgirl, Roxie Hart, put on trial for killing her boyfriend. Roxie’s lawyer is a Ziegfeld Follies-style tenor accompanied […]

Posted inMusic

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion

JON SPENCER BLUES EXPLOSION Spencer and his boys haven’t learned many new tricks in the years that have elapsed since the release of Orange and its subsequent remixes–they retreated to the garage on last year’s Now I Got Worry, and in some ways the new Acme (Matador/Capitol) puts them right back where they left off […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Caretaker and Interlude

THE CARETAKER and Interlude, TinFish Theatre. Perhaps the 25-minute intermission between these two one-acts on opening night, during which the stage manager led two lost souls through the placement of every prop and set piece, indicates that this “new play showcase” wasn’t ready to go. But judging from the scripts, it probably shouldn’t have gone […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Wild at Heart

Robert Lostutter at Carl Hammer, through January 2 Trino Sanchez at Portals, through December 19 By Fred Camper Artists seem to have thoroughly absorbed the dictum that each must find an original style–any tour of Chicago galleries reveals a lot of initially striking or unusual art. But on repeated viewing much of this work starts […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Sports Section

So it has come to this: The Bears play in prime time on Sunday, and I’m sorry to be missing even the increasingly cartoonish X-Files. In fact, I’m sorry that the Fox network isn’t playing one of its world’s-most-gruesome-police-chases specials, because it would truly be a dilemma whether to watch that or the Bears, whose […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Madonna In Spite of Herself (A Common Nativity Story) and Rudolph the Red-Hosed Reindeer

THE MADONNA IN SPITE OF HERSELF (A COMMON NATIVITY STORY), Corn Productions, at the SweetCorn Playhouse, and RUDOLPH THE RED-HOSED REINDEER, Sweetback Productions, at the SweetCorn Playhouse. Not for the fundamentalist-at-heart, these campy productions–combining adulation and irreverence in equal measure–will certainly insult anyone who believes that children’s stories and religious tracts should be worshiped without […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

That’s strike one, Mr. Mayor. Cecelia Clark reports from Cabrini-Green in the “Residents’ Journal” (October): “A reporter asked Daley [at the September 22 opening of the Dominick’s at Division and Clybourn] about the problems with President Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. Daley said, ‘You may have a problem in a family and you don’t say […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

GOLDEN SMOG 12/11, METRO Like its obvious role models the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, this country-rock supergroup–whose core is the Jayhawks’ Gary Louris and Marc Perlman, Soul Asylum’s Dan Murphy, Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, Run Westy Run’s Kraig Johnson, and Big Star’s Jody Stephens–is on a crusade to reclaim the airwaves […]

Posted inMusic

Magellan String Quartet

MAGELLAN STRING QUARTET I first met the young Chinese composer Tan Dun in 1986, while he was pursuing a doctorate at Columbia University under the tutelage of Mario Davidovsky and Chou Wen-chung. He’d emigrated because he found the Chinese cultural bureaucracy stifling, but he’d brought with him part of his native Hunan village: in his […]