Posted inArts & Culture

The Secret Rapture

THE SECRET RAPTURE, Element Theatre Company, at Victory Gardens Theater, and THE SECRET RAPTURE, Firstborn Productions, at Chicago Dramatists. David Hare’s plays are not good for Chicago theater companies. Not only do actors have to refrain from running around and adopt a very English reserve, they must understand world politics–a subject most local companies work […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Master of Unreality

La Turista Azusa Productions at Breadline Theatre Suicide in B Flat: A Mysterious Overture Ranch Theater Company at the National Pastime Theater Back Bog Beast Bait Azusa Productions at Breadline Theatre By Jack Helbig Once Sam Shepard was young and sort of twisted and wrote plays fueled by fear and inspiration and speed in six […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

I’m a straight white 21-year-old college student dating a 19-year-old straight white girl. She has rich white parents, and I have rich white parents, and we both live in big white houses. Her parents love my parents, my parents love her, her parents love me. Problem? She’s dull. I’m bored. I don’t want to hurt […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Ray Wylie Hubbard

RAY WYLIE HUBBARD Ray Wylie Hubbard has spent most of the 90s putting the previous two decades behind him. He’s still best known as the guy who wrote “Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother,” a 1973 hit for Jerry Jeff Walker that became something of an anthem for the outlaw country movement, but that old […]

Posted inNews & Politics

New Moms for Cate

To the editor: A friend who was in Chicago just gave me the July 9 issue of your paper; I had to write and thank Cate Plys for (1) enduring Danielle Crittenden’s new book (though I hope to God that neither she nor the Reader actually had to pay for it) so that she could […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Where Men Are Empty Overcoats

WHERE MEN ARE EMPTY OVERCOATS, 6 Players Productions, at the Theatre Building. Likable but lame, Eric Pfeffinger’s forced comedy, produced by a troupe from Bloomington, Indiana, depicts with thudding predictability a gay man’s coming out to his repressed Cincinnati family. Right from the clumsy start this stiff script lurches into sitcom mode, each character defined […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Sports Section

It was a steamy afternoon and the clouds seemed to grow out of the sickly white sky, as in the paintings of Dutch masters. Mickey Morandini, shorn for summer, took swings in the batting cage. Manager Jim Riggleman, off to the side, discussed in a weary, matter-of-fact voice how difficult it is to get even […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Wayne Hancock

WAYNE HANCOCK In the liner notes to his brand-new third album, Wild, Free & Reckless (Ark 21), Austin country hero Wayne Hancock writes, “I am loyal to this music and I will continue to play it till the day I die. If the masses want the industry they can have it. I’m not here for […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Let Them Buy Condos

Dear Jack, Speaking on behalf of Lincoln Square’s business community and in response to your recent article “Home Invasion” (Chicago Reader 7-30-99), I can only hope your extended stay here in Lincoln Square will be remembered more for some of the nicer things our neighborhood has had to offer over your concerns for the loss […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Will and I

Michael York is best known for his more or less contemporary characters in such films as Cabaret, Logan’s Run, and the Austin Powers movies (he plays Mike Myers’s spymaster). But the lean, sharp-featured 57-year-old English actor, whose elegant voice blends seductive softness and sharp-minded steeliness, got his start in Shakespearean drama. He made his London […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

ALEUTIAN 8/13, EMPTY BOTTLE On its debut album, Frame Dragging (-Esque), this combo, which moved to Chicago from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, incorporates samples of Wagon Christ, Aphex Twin, and even the defunct local outfit Rome, but the dominant components of Aleutian’s music are the twangy atmospherics of Brad Prenda’s guitar and his breathy, occasionally insufferable […]

Posted inNews & Politics


Dear Bob Greene (c/o the Reader), It took a close reading of the evidence, but I think I’ve pieced together what you’re up to. The Reader has gone and awarded you, as partial compensation for your promise not to sue them over the defunct BobWatch feature, a stint as guest columnist under a pseudonym. The […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Liquid Gold

Liquid Gold, 5-lb. Test Productions, at Profiles Theatre. Less speculative than most science fiction, Jeffrey Raymond Dainton’s new drama portrays a not-too-distant future in which drastic changes in climate have caused an infestation of bloodthirsty poisonous spiders. In one sense Liquid Gold presents a fairly standard postapocalyptic scenario, and Dainton doesn’t bother to mask his […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Winifred Haun

Once a sort of star with the now defunct Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theatre, Winifred Haun was always a strong dancer and a strong person: she formed her own company several years ago and helped start the Next Dance Festival–all while raising her young daughter. Now she lends her strength to another cause, a collaboration […]