Posted inArts & Culture

Three Ways Home

THREE WAYS HOME, Stage Actors Ensemble, at the Performance Loft, Second Unitarian Church of Chicago. Volunteer caseworker Sharon has been assigned to investigate charges of child abuse against welfare mom Dawn. But both have good reason to mistrust the New York social-services system. Dramatically, of course, the two women must be initially hostile, so that […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

The dirtiest 10 percent of 18,320 cars leaving Algonquin Road for southbound I-290 September 15-19, 1997, produced 61 percent of the carbon monoxide, 46 percent of the nitrogen oxides, and 44 percent of the hydrocarbons emitted by vehicles at that spot. That’s the news in a report from the University of Denver team that took […]

Posted inMusic

Dave Douglas Tiny Bell Trio

DAVE DOUGLAS TINY BELL TRIO New York trumpeter Dave Douglas has been a hard guy to catch standing still in recent years. He’s played foil to John Zorn in Masada, fronted his own pianoless Miles Davis-flavored quartet with saxist Chris Potter, recorded abstract tributes to composers as different as Booker Little and Joni Mitchell, and […]

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On Film: a home movie for the ages

In 1981 Lisa Lewenz was visiting Baltimore, nosing around her family’s attic, when she discovered dozens of forgotten home movies her Jewish grandmother, Ella Arnhold Lewenz, had made in Germany in the 20s and 30s. The films included footage of Ella’s prominent upper-class family’s daily life in their Berlin mansion (now a part of the […]

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Chicago Symphony Orchestra

CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA The Chicago Symphony Orchestra debuted orchestral pieces by Florence Price and William Grant Still in the 30s and 40s, but it’s rarely played a major work by an African-American since. In fact, the premiere this weekend of Olly Wilson’s third symphony, Hold On, is the CSO’s first such performance in decades–and the […]

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Sears Theater Fever

Sears Theater Fever For the second year in a row, the League of Chicago Theatres has teamed up with Sears, Roebuck and Company to promote Chicago-area theater with a week of activities. Though all the free tickets set aside by various theaters for the week of March 1 have been snapped up, Saturday’s kickoff “Sampler […]

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A Loss of Roses

A LOSS OF ROSES, Fourth Wall Productions, at Wilbur Wright College. Revived 40 years after it flopped on Broadway, this little-known late offering by William Inge includes postproduction revisions. Fourth Wall’s staging gives the play a fair shot at a second chance. Compared to Inge’s more sentimental efforts (Bus Stop, Picnic, The Dark at the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

I’ve heard of people under general anesthetic who become physically paralyzed but remain mentally alert. They feel the surgeon’s scalpel but are helpless and unable even to blink an eye or make a sound. Could you give me the straight dope on this phenomenon? –Pandora, via the Internet It happens, babe. Get a load of […]

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Drinks on the House

Drinks on the House By Mario Kladis I live above Phyllis’ Musical Inn, and a couple weeks ago my landlord, Clem, asked me to watch the bar while he painted my apartment. “But I’ve never bartended before,” I said. “It’s nothing,” Clem explained. “You stand behind the bar, you get people drinks, you take their […]

Posted inMusic

MSBR/Government Alpha

MSBR/GOVERNMENT ALPHA Now that Merzbow, elder statesman of the Japanese noise underground, is releasing albums through John Zorn and appearing at major festivals (he’ll be at Victoriaville this year), it’s about time somebody else stepped up onto the bottom rung of the ladder. This double bill promises a glimpse into the future of Tokyo experimentalism. […]

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Days of the Week

Friday 2/26 – Thursday 3/4 FEBRUARY By Cara Jepsen 26 FRIDAY Students in the University of Chicago’s film studies department put together this weekend’s forum, The Activist Camera: Class, Sexuality and Ethnicity in Films of Japan, to highlight new Japanese movies that give a voice to formerly marginalized groups–like Toichi Nakata’s Osaka Story, which examines […]

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The Beaux’ Strategem

THE BEAUX’ STRATAGEM, Powertap Theater Company, at the National Pastime Theater. Anglo-Irish playwright George Farquhar’s 1707 play has aged pretty well. Though much of the “keen satire” promised in the prologue has withered with time–Farquhar’s references to the War of the Spanish Succession flew over all our heads–this lighthearted, heavily plotted romance is still amusing. […]

Posted inFilm

My Name is Joe

My Name Is Joe This is one of Ken Loach’s most powerful films, even if it takes a wrong turn–a lamentable failure of imagination in Paul Laverty’s script that foreshortens the leading female character about three quarters of the way through to accommodate the deterministic plot machinery. A reformed alcoholic and volunteer soccer coach (played […]

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Joe Lovano

JOE LOVANO When Joe Lovano released Trio Fascination (Blue Note) last year, it’d been almost eight years since the saxophonist had recorded in a pianoless trio–a long time to abstain from what will likely be seen as his signature setting. He’s at home among all kinds of instrumental textures, from the 24-karat soul of guitarist […]