Posted inNews & Politics

Power to the People

Dear editor: Free speech does rock! And that is why the people running the show at Harpo Inc. are trying to stop free speech [December 10]. Thank you for the interesting story about Oprah Winfrey and her company’s influence over one person’s First Amendment rights and public discourse at large. This story illustrated very well […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Kitsch Pitch

Not that many decades ago high art and kitsch were thought of as irreconcilable opposites. Now, however, it almost seems as if art imitating kitsch were the norm among young artists. The less interesting work in this vein simply replicates the superficial effects of mass-culture objects, but the best of it, dating back at least […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer adn Rudolph the Red-Hosed Reindeer

RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER, Annoyance Theatre, and RUDOLPH THE RED-HOSED REINDEER, Sweetback Productions, at the American Theater Company. Every year for the past ten years the Annoyance folks have taken a TV holiday classic (A Charlie Brown Christmas, Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town, Frosty the Snowman) and adapted it for the stage, re-creating with […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

BUSKER SOUNDCHECK 12/17, DOUBLE DOOR For their annual holiday show, this midwest alt-rock juggernaut will good-naturedly demolish traditional tunes as well as “Christmas classics” by the Beach Boys, the Andrews Sisters, and the Kinks. KAHIL EL’ZABAR’S RITUAL TRIO WITH PHAROAH SANDERS 12/17 & 18, DeJOIE’S Percussionist and promoter Kahil El’Zabar, who briefly but effectively made […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Fallen Angels

FALLEN ANGELS, Writers’ Theatre Chicago. A quip by W.S. Gilbert suits this delightful trifle perfectly: “Of course it’s nonsense, but it’s such precious nonsense.” Noel Coward’s 1923 comedy still teases and titillates, as two bored wives learn that the exotic French lover both knew before they married their duffer husbands has returned to London. His […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Save Lincoln Square!

I was at the meeting at Sulzer Library called by Mary Edsey to protest the conversion of the Davis Theater into condominiums, and Alderman Schulter didn’t help his bid to unseat Committeeman Ed Kelly any. At the meeting, Alderman Schulter’s assistant responded to one citizen’s question by offering to “kill her”–political jargon for silencing opposing […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Ravenswood’s Rotten Core

Letter to the editor: Ben Joravsky did his usual succinct Neighborhood News column on “Screen Savers” (December 10). He depicted Ravenswood residents so agonized about their community that 500 of them turned out to express concern about the threatened closing of the Davis Theater. Mary Edsey and Sharon Woodhouse, sincerely civic-minded citizens who organized the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Luke Slater

LUKE SLATER Back when Afrika Bambaataa inaugurated electro with “Planet Rock,” nobody could’ve guessed that such a narrowly defined genre would be undergoing such a broad revival more than 15 years later. In the present crowded field, Luke Slater stands out: like Aphex Twin, he’s as interested in emotional depth as in cool noises and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Winter Pageant

Redmoon Theater’s eighth annual Winter Pageant may be the most nonconforming, nontraditional holiday show currently playing in Chicago. The Winter Pageants have always been nonreligious by design, but this year not only are Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanza never mentioned, winter gets only scant attention. This year’s pageant is based roughly on the Logan Square mural […]

Posted inArts & Culture

A Marvel and a Mess

Aida Walt Disney Theatrical Productions at the Cadillac Palace Theatre Dinah Was Northlight Theatre at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie By Albert Williams The back-to-back openings of Dinah Was and Aida last week offer telling evidence of what makes a musical play succeed. Both shows feature proud black women struggling […]

Posted inNews & Politics

I’m With Oprah

To the editor; I am a longtime fan of both Hot Type in general and Michael Miner’s work on it in particular; it’s the only thing like it in Chicago and I never miss reading it. I’m also a former reporter (for the Reader, among others), and something of an absolutist about defending the Bill […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

“You are probably not a liberal anymore,” writes Sam Smith in the “Progressive Review” (October), if you “consider a 5% wage increase in an industry to be inflationary but a 5% return on your stocks in that industry to be inadequate,” or if you “know what NARAL stands for but not SEIU,” or if you […]