Posted inMusic

Pauline Oliveros

PAULINE OLIVEROS Though she’s a product of the ravenously experimental late 60s–she cofounded the famous Tape Music Center at Mills College in Oakland–the music Pauline Oliveros has forged over the last few decades is decidedly timeless. It rolls into your consciousness like thick banks of fog: gorgeous, amorphous, ethereal, enveloping. In her best-known vehicle, the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2

HENRY IV, PARTS 1 AND 2, Shakespeare Repertory Theater. With vaulting ambition, Shakespeare Rep devotes the remainder of its season to rotating repertory. Taking the risk was right: Parts 1 and 2 of Henry IV are intricately related. In Part 1, Henry IV is haunted by having usurped the throne and defends his ill-gotten realm […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Form Follows Dysfunction

Dysfunctional Home at Northern Illinois University Art Gallery, through March 6 Traci Molloy: Still (The Final Chapter) at Artemisia, through February 28 Robert Wilson: The Theater of Drawing at the Museum of Contemporary Art, through March 14 By Fred Camper “Dysfunctional Home” at the Northern Illinois University Art Gallery made me think of the antiseptic […]

Posted inFilm


Rushmore Wes Anderson’s second feature has some of the charm and youthful comic energy of its predecessor (Bottle Rocket), also coscripted by Owen Wilson, but it also represents a quantum leap. Jason Schwartzman plays an ambitious working-class tenth-grader who’s flunking out of a private school–the Rushmore of the title–because he’s too engrossed in extracurricular activities. […]

Posted inNews & Politics


I found myself chuckling over the absurd semantics of the Reader’s February 12 page-one grabber and reference to page eight’s headline, “Aldermania!” The term sums up succinctly and best the madness surrounding Chicago’s aldermanic elections, as demonstrated by the pols and their “henchfolk.” In fact I myself labeled just that the quadrennial (or is it […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Edmond, Hypocrites, at the Boxer Rebellion Theater. Paving the way for Northlight Theatre’s Chicago premiere of David Mamet’s The Old Neighborhood next month are several off-Loop revivals of the Chicago-bred playwright’s works. On the heels of Wing & Groove Theatre’s Sexual Perversity in Chicago comes this terse, tough drama, premiered in 1982 at the Goodman […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Say Goodnight, Gracie

SAY GOODNIGHT, GRACIE, East Window Theatre Company, at the Greenview Arts Center. Two decades ago Steppenwolf turned Ralph Pape’s 80-minute one-act into a play so intimate the audience felt like eavesdroppers; a sense of urgency made every confession count. But today Say Goodnight, Gracie seems aimless and overfamiliar, the victim of too many Big Chill […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Stories In December workers for an AIDS awareness campaign in Cali, Colombia, constructed and inflated a condom as long as ten football fields and large enough to permit dancing inside as part of a local celebration. The Denny’s restaurant chain, which paid $45 million in 1994 to settle a lawsuit brought by African-American customers […]

Posted inMusic

His Majestie’s Clerkes

HIS MAJESTIE’S CLERKES In 1993 Frank Ferko wrote a set of motets for His Majestie’s Clerkes that were based on the works of the 12th-century German abbess Hildegard von Bingen. They displayed not only erudition but a keen understanding of how elastic music should be in conveying the meaning of a text, as they adroitly […]

Posted inMusic

Sierra Maestra

SIERRA MAESTRA Thanks to the twin roots projects guitarist Ry Cooder threw his weight behind in 1997–the Grammy-winning Buena Vista Social Club and the Afro-Cuban All Stars’ Grammy-nominated A toda Cuba le gusta–and the meteoric rise of trumpeter Jesus Alema–y’s Cubanismo!, the current level of interest in Cuban music rivals the 50s mambo craze. But […]