Posted inArts & Culture

Bern Nix

BERN NIX Like his mentor and former employer Ornette Coleman, guitarist Bern Nix cares about few things more than melody. This is most palpable on his lone recording as a leader, Alarms and Excursions (New World), a 1993 trio date with Fred Hopkins on bass and Newman Baker on drums. But once you’ve picked his […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Eating Raoul

EATING RAOUL, Circle Theatre. This Forest Park company has in the past played host to some toothless, mildly campy satires–Satan’s School for Girls, People Like Us. Which may be why they chose to do a musical version of Paul Bartel’s cult film, the dark comedy Eating Raoul. Why they thought they could best the movie’s […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Silver Images Film Festival

Silver Images Film Festival Presented by the Chicago-based documentary production and distribution company Terra Nova Films, the Silver Images Film Festival runs Friday through Wednesday, April 30 through May 5, at Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington; North Shore Senior Center Bldg. D, 7 Happ Rd., Northfield; and Oakton Community College Hartstein Campus, 7701 N. […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

BURNING AIRLINES 4/30, FIRESIDE BOWL; 5/1, EMPTY BOTTLE This D.C. power trio is a shameless holdout, playing earnest, angular, dynamic punk rock with an emphasis on the rock. Emphasis also on holdout, as opposed to throwback–guitarist J. Robbins and drummer Pete Moffett cut their teeth (and probably some other body parts) in the hardcore juggernaut […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Fierce Librarian

The Fierce Librarian By Neal Pollack A young woman entered the microfilm room of the Harold Washington Library. She appeared to be in a hurry. An angry-looking man wearing a gray beret sat behind the desk. “Can I help you?” he asked. “Um,” she said nervously. “I’m looking for the Times. December 21, 1996.” “The […]

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Safe Harbor

SAFE HARBOR, Red Hen Productions, at Organic Theater Company. The story of the Algava family–one of only two Jewish families to survive the Nazi occupation of Thessaloniki, Greece–could be compelling dramatic material. Illuminating a little known chapter in the history of the Holocaust, playwright Joanne Koch finds a fair amount of tension and heartbreak in […]

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Still Life

Still Life, Grassroots Theatre Company, at Sheil Park. Emily Mann’s 1981 play, set in 1978, is mostly about the legacy of Vietnam, but it’s also about marital abuse, substance abuse, the destructive influence of the Catholic church, the therapeutic amorality of art, the emasculation of American men, the problems that come from having houses, dogs, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Desperately Seeking Helen

Filmmaker Eisha Marjara was born in India and emigrated to Quebec as a child; in this engrossing 1998 autobiographical film she ponders her ethnic identity, the power of pop culture, the nature of femininity, and her mother’s failure to balance East against West, all the while embarking on a wild (and perhaps imaginary) search for […]

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Stilluppsteypa

Stilluppsteypa The title of the terrific new compilation (Microscopic Sound), on Caipirinha, is an apt description of the MO of an increasing number of electronic-music artists. In work being done everywhere from Japan (Ryoji Ikeda) to Finland (Pan Sonic), morsels of music, single tones or clicks, are stretched, chopped, distorted, blurred, and looped into a […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Violet

VIOLET, Apple Tree Theatre. Strong and true, this prizewinning, emotionally textured 1997 musical by composer Jeanine Tesori and lyricist Brian Crawley mines every feeling behind its sturdy songs. A midwest premiere, Eileen Boevers’s staging electrifies. Based on Doris Betts’s story “The Ugliest Pilgrim,” Violet recalls Sondheim’s Passion as it paints a down-home portrait of a […]