Posted inArts & Culture

Here’s Buford

HERE’S BUFORD, Aardvark, at the Playground. In this affectionate but unfocused depiction of two homeless men, Chicago playwright Vincent Bruckert delivers an updated, home-based, humor-impaired version of Waiting for Godot. But unlike Beckett’s tramps, Bruckert’s Ed and Buford never earn our empathy: these undeserving souls are merely better than those who exploit them–a drug dealer […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Buying Into Bluegrass

Buying Into Bluegrass To the editor: Bravo to Peter Margasak for getting it exactly right about Steve Earle with the Del McCoury Band (April 2). He’s correct: this is a marriage of musical convenience and has all the strengths and weaknesses of any such project. If Steve Earle were a more sensitive guy, he would […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Aurora

Aurora, at UNITE Hall. The prologue to this play informs us that, due to straitened circumstances, the company has been forced to lay off actors, necessitating double-casting of some roles, and to tailor the play to resemble romantic comedy. This might be only the author’s playfulness, but labor lawyer turned playwright Thomas Geoghegan does seem […]

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Critic’s Choice

TAPE-BEATLES After a few years of operating as Public Works, these longtime collage artists have gone back to using their original, much more provocative name. Actually, calling what the Tape-beatles do “collage” is putting it nicely–they build their work entirely out of pieces of other people’s music, film, and video, and their motto is “Plagiarism.” […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Anatomy of a Bust

Anatomy of a Bust By Susan DeGrane The bricks of cocaine formed a solid wall, 20 feet long, 4 feet high. Weighing more than a ton, the wall had an estimated street value of $143 million. Once the cocaine was cut, police say, it could have wound up as ten million bags of crack. The […]

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Don’t Tread on Me

Don’t Tread On Me I must take strong objection to Lewis Lazare’s comments regarding my work as a stage director in the Culture Club article “LOW Blow” in the April 2 issue. The quality of my work has been highly appreciated in the press over the years both in Chicago and around the country, and […]

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The History of Bowling

THE HISTORY OF BOWLING, Victory Gardens Theater. In his rich new comedy about an epileptic woman who befriends and falls in love with a quadriplegic, Chicagoan Mike Ervin not only writes about the disabled without sentimentality but has enough piss and vinegar to attack those who infantilize and disempower them. (Jerry Lewis is never mentioned […]

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Zine-O-File

Excerpted from The Darker Side of Museums By Jeff Hoke What makes museums so tedious? Why do they give us a sense of apathy…even dread? Originally intended as places of inspiration, museums have become mausoleums for the enshrinement of objects. The dread we feel comes from how these objects were collected and why, for reasons […]

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Escape From the Matrix

Escape From the Matrix I enjoyed the review of The Matrix by Bill Stamets [April 16], and I’d like to add some comments about the movie’s divided neo-Marxist politics. The Matrix can be seen as an allegory of cinema: when Neo and the rest enter the Matrix, with their “ideal body projection” (no scars or […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

April is the cruelest month, breeding IRS agents out of the dead land. According to the March 30 “Chicago Events Update,” issued by Free-Market.Net, the Chicago Libertarian Seminar is sponsoring a discussion on “libertarian and economic readings of modern poetry” on April 30. We’re #1! Oops… The American Mayor: The Best & the Worst Big-City […]

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The Straight Dope

What’s the difference between a street, a road, an avenue, a boulevard, etc? There seems to be no rhyme or reason as to how the names of public ways are suffixed. Does it depend on width, length, importance, or (more likely) the builder’s whim? Please advise. –Will Lampe, Englewood, New Jersey Whimsy? Lesser minds might […]

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Defari/Xzibit

DEFARI/XZIBIT With gangsta rap haven Death Row Records pretty much out of the picture, real LA hip-hop has finally emerged from the shadows. And I’m not just talking about the underground–which is crawling with whizzes like Jurassic 5, Rasco, Peanut Butter Wolf, the Beat Junkies, Aceyalone, and Dilated Peoples–but also some formidable mainstream talent. Some […]