Posted inFilm

Getting It Both Ways

American Beauty Rating *** A must see Directed by Sam Mendes Written by Alan Ball With Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch, Wes Bentley, Mena Suvari, Chris Cooper, Peter Gallagher, and Allison Janney. By Jonathan Rosenbaum American Beauty is a brilliant satirical diagnosis of what’s most screwed up about life in this country, especially when […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Serious Business

The Skin of Our Teeth American Theater Company By Adam Langer You have to wonder, if Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer-winning The Skin of Our Teeth were given its world premiere today, what audiences would think. Of course, plays these days hardly ever have three acts, and works with 36 characters are financially viable only when Andrew […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Rhinoceros Theater Festival

This annual showcase of experimental theater, performance, and music from Chicago’s fringe began as part of the Bucktown Arts Fest; now it’s hosted by the Curious Theatre Branch. Taking its name from surrealist painter Salvador Dali’s use of the term “rhinocerontic” (it means real big), the Rhino Fest celebrates its tenth anniversary with shows by […]

Posted inArts & Culture

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf

FOR COLORED GIRLS WHO HAVE CONSIDERED SUICIDE/WHEN THE RAINBOW IS ENUF, Journeymen, at the Chicago Cultural Center. Ntozake Shange’s 1976 “choreopoem” assembles seven “colored girls” (Lady in Orange, Lady in Purple, etc) who testify to the struggles that made them strong. A stirring ensemble piece, this 80-minute collage of poetry, movement, and song allows each […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

I am a 43-year-old female who has always identified as bisexual. I’ve enjoyed plenty of healthy uninhibited sex in my time as well as good relationships on both sides of the fence. I recently met a woman who is 110 percent wonderful, and she seems to feel the same about me. The problem? I am […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Barrelhouse Chuck

BARRELHOUSE CHUCK Pianist Barrelhouse Chuck learned at the feet of greats–Sunnyland Slim, Little Brother Montgomery, Detroit Junior–and his earnest reverence for his teachers’ music has tempted critics to dismiss him as a mere acolyte. But Chuck’s 1999 debut, Salute to Sunnyland Slim (Blue Loon), proves he’s developed a style that, if not entirely his own, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Setting Sites on Tommy Gun’s

Dear Ms. True, Recently the Chicago Reader published a story by Sarah Downey on a proposed Jewel-Osco development at Roosevelt and Ashland [August 13]. In the story, Ms. Downey suggests that Jewel-Osco asked the city to “use muscle” to obtain the property currently known as Tommy Gun’s Garage for our development. She says, “Jewel, for […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Valley of the Dolls

VALLEY OF THE DOLLS, Sweetback Productions, at the SweetCorn Playhouse. Having accomplished Scarrie–The Musical and Joan Crawford Goes to Hell, Sweetback now delivers its own Valley of the Dolls, a tabloid-lurid saga of three fortune huntresses who pay a “price for a precious place on the mountain peak” of success. Jacqueline Susann’s smarmy novel titillated […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Sports Section

If a sports fan should have a heightened appreciation for the play of a Tiger Woods or a Michael Jordan in today’s unforgiving media spotlight, what’s the proper response to a Frank Thomas? Thomas, like Jordan before him and Woods now, has faced steadily increasing scrutiny and pressure during his career. Unlike those two champions, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Spinning Your Wheels

Dear Carlos Pecciotto [Letters, September 10], As a fellow bicycle commuter, I fully appreciate the car-culture-versus-cyclist problem. My husband was a Chicago bike messenger for three years and nearly got killed doing it. However, I was totally put off by your cynical tone and personal attack on the author of “Joy Riders” [August 20]. After […]

Posted inArts & Culture

In Wine Time

In the Wine Time, ETA Creative Arts Foundation. What could be more romantic than a young writer’s memory of the summer day just before his 16th birthday? Especially at dusk–“the wine time,” when people emerge from their homes to sit on their stoops, drink, gossip, squabble and make up, dance to records and to music […]