Posted inArts & Culture

Curse of the Starving Class

CURSE OF THE STARVING CLASS, Hypocrites, at the Viaduct Theatre. Sam Shepard’s 1976 play is very much an artifact of that bleak, morally bankrupt bicentennial year. His archetypal American family, well fed but spiritually hungry, has been shattered by selfishness: dad’s a drunk, mom’s a bullying bitch, and the brother and sister, both in their […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chicago Israeli Film Festival

Chicago Israeli Film Festival The Chicago Israeli Film Festival, a program of contemporary Israeli cinema, runs Saturday through Thursday, January 22 through 27, at Facets Multimedia Center, 1517 W. Fullerton. Screenings are $7, $5 for Facets members; for more information call 773-281-4114. SATURDAY, JANUARY 22 Jewish Vendetta This 1997 movie gets bogged down in elaborate […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Topsy-Turvy

Topsy-Turvy For all his versatility as a writer-director, I was surprised to learn that Mike Leigh (Secrets & Lies) had made a film about the genesis of Gilbert and Sullivan’s mid-1880s comic opera The Mikado. Yet this 160-minute “backstage musical” is about something he knows intimately–the complex of personal, organizational, artistic, and cultural factors that […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Sports Section

There was a time when I would drive to a Bulls game playing the Jungle Brothers’ Done by the Forces of Nature on the car stereo. It was jumping yet thought-provoking hip-hop–music to thrash the Detroit Pistons by. Last week I drove to the United Center playing My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless. One of my favorite […]

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Red Noses

RED NOSES, Push and Shove, Inc., at Stage Left Theatre. In 1348 the black death killed a third of Europe, mocking secular and sacred authority with its indiscriminate slaughter. Similarly, British playwright Peter Barnes (author of The Ruling Class) cocks a snook at today’s powers that be, though his protagonists are from the era of […]

Posted inMusic

Music for Every Occasion

K-Rad at Karma, January 13 K-Rad Ohio Gear Node By Joshua Westlund K-Rad was deep inside enemy territory. As the Chicago-based electronica foursome set up computers and keyboards on the third floor of Karma, the sprawling River North nightclub, sweaty clubgoers stared blankly at the sullen, drably dressed geeks in their midst. “How can they […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Transformations 2000

TRANSFORMATIONS 2000, Piven Theatre Workshop. I was introduced to improv in 1969, when a hippie troupe came to my elementary school and performed a very spacey fully improvised show on the theme of peace and love. I vividly recall an excruciatingly long scene in which a guy and two girls pretended our school gym was […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

ALEX CHILTON 1/20 & 21, SCHUBAS Over the course of a career that stretches from the Box Tops to Big Star and beyond, Alex Chilton has written many of the greatest pop songs in history–the communicative, vulnerable side of indie rock in the 80s and 90s would have been unthinkable without him. He’s also written […]

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Private Passage

PRIVATE PASSAGE, Stage Left Theatre. In the bad old days a middle-class young woman “in trouble” had three options: get married and keep the baby, risk an illegal and potentially life-threatening abortion, or go into retreat until the baby was born and surrendered to an adoption agency. Legalized abortion, improved and more widely available contraception, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

A Woman Scorned

johnston.qxd Dear Reader: Re: “The Siege on South Peoria Street” (1/14/00) This article was nostalgic reading for me. It was astounding to discover another/different perspective of Chicago’s south side in the 1950s. My parents immigrated to Chicago in the early 50s with my brother, sister, and me. My parents were Irish but met and married […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

The shame of Illinois. Daniel Dighton writes in the fall issue of the “Compiler”: “In 1970, with an operating budget of $65 million, there were six adult prisons holding about 7,000 inmates in Illinois. There was optimism that a newfound emphasis on rehabilitation of the offender would control inmate population growth by cutting down on […]

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Zine-O-File

From the pages of Paper, Scissors, Clocks (P.O. Box 14117, Minneapolis, MN 55414; $3.95) Excerpts from: Special Fascion Supplement! Fashion for the New Gilded Age! In the face of a fashion industry that is driven by the dictates of profits and planned obsolescence…In the face of mindless, disposable consumerism…In the face of the Cult of […]

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Marshall Vente Project 99

MARSHALL VENTE PROJECT 99 The hallmark of the annual Marshall Vente Jazz Festival has been its variety: over four packed nights of music, it’s often featured more than a dozen groups, only about a third of them actually led by Vente–the tireless pianist, arranger, radio host, and entrepreneur whose musical projects have ranged from intimate […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Downsizing by Any Other Name

lsudc.qxd Letter to editor, Students at Loyola University Chicago are heartened to see that the Reader presented a unique view on our school’s financial problems [January 7]. However, the article didn’t provide an adequate analysis of our disenchantment. Students attend Loyola because it has a reputation for certain academic and ethical standards. Those standards are […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Class Enemy

CLASS ENEMY, Red Hen Productions, at the Athenaeum Theatre. It was 20 years ago that Next Theatre gave British playwright Nigel Williams’s 1976 slice of rage its pile-driving local premiere. Now it’s time for another generation to feel the unprocessed pain of this unrelenting drama. Red Hen’s revival confirms the play’s power–and reflects the current […]