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Posted inArts & Culture

Closed to Interpretation

Unfinished History at the Museum of Contemporary Art, through April 4 By Fred Camper The Museum of Contemporary Art has been a troubled institution for some time. In the last few years its director and most of the curatorial staff have resigned; new director Robert Fitzpatrick appointed new curators only a few months ago. Since […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Class Act

Three Days of Rain Steppenwolf Theatre Company By Adam Langer A Richard Greenberg play in town raises the collective IQ of characters on Chicago stages by at least 20 points. In his new Three Days of Rain, it’s just a matter of everyday conversation for a character to observe that “abstractions are turning into facts […]

Posted inMusic

Red Holloway

RED HOLLOWAY Gritty, sweat-streaked, bluesy tenor saxophone is an essential ingredient in what’s come to be known as soul jazz–and tenor man James “Red” Holloway was seducing crowds with that sound well before “soul” was a term people applied to popular music. He was a mainstay in Chicago by the end of the 1940s, playing […]

Posted inFilm

The Way South

The Way South This 1981 study of the third world, which takes us from Amsterdam down to the Nile, poses no overarching thesis–filmmaker Johan van der Keuken discards the colonial assumption that he understands the world, focusing as much on his own efforts to see as on his apparent subjects. The title refers to the […]

Posted inArts & Culture


TRUST, Thirsty Theater, at Pilsen Arts Center. If Steven Dietz ever gets tired of writing plays, he has a bright future in TV. Like any soap opera worth its salt, Trust is highly artificial and hopelessly hollow, as Dietz attempts to portray the intersection of six lives against a seedy rock ‘n’ roll backdrop. For […]

Posted inMusic

Adjusting Her Aim

Kelly Willis What I Deserve (Rykodisc) By Peter Margasak Maybe you can’t judge a book by its cover, but you can tell a few things about a country singer by her hairdo. On the first of three poor-selling albums for MCA’s vaunted Nashville division, Well Travelled Love, Kelly Willis looked like a bookish bumpkin proudly […]

Posted inNews & Politics


Last week’s “Aldermania” column (February 19) incorrectly reported that Alderman Sam Burrell of the 29th Ward had recently been indicted. The mistake was introduced during editing and should not be attributed to Grant Pick, who signed the item. We apologize to Alderman Burrell and our readers for the error. The Editors

Posted inMusic

World Saxophone Quartet

WORLD SAXOPHONE QUARTET Whether or not the World Saxophone Quartet, formed back in 1977, triggered the wave of four-reed, no-rhythm-section jazz ensembles that crested in the early 90s, no one would deny that it was one of the idiom’s brightest beacons. The quartet collected the best of the avant-garde saxists who converged on New York […]

Posted inArts & Culture


From the pages of Hermenaut ¥ Number 14 (P.O. Box 141, Allston, MA 02134; $6) Excerpted From Anorexic Outfitters By Pauline Wolstencroft One day, in the fall of 1995, I decided it was time to do something about Urban Outfitters. I was sick of hearing my friends complain about getting paid slave wages in exchange […]

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 […]