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Posted inArts & Culture


Rosmersholm, Alchymia Theatre. An arcane Ibsen work infrequently performed and overshadowed by his masterpieces, this 1886 melodrama nonetheless bears the playwright’s unmistakable stamp, involving a freethinking woman, an overwrought man, allegations of sexual impropriety, and a dizzying amount of moral and intellectual pontificating. Somewhat long-winded and banal, Rosmersholm nonetheless has merit as an academic curiosity: […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Chump L’oeil

Dear editor, It is a sad state of affairs when “the most exciting young painter in town” (“Original Spin,” Reader, March 10) is reproducing, however precisely and artfully, other well-known artists’ masterpieces. Critics may expound on the fascinating technique and uniqueness of this appropriation, but it shows little true creativity. These copies seem to possibly […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Food Chain

THE FOOD CHAIN, Organic Theater Company. Nicky Silver pretends to be an angry cutting-edge iconoclast, but in reality he’s just the baby boomers’ Ray Cooney, a writer of reasonably funny, sometimes politically incisive farce: Silver would never in a million years ruffle his audience’s sensibilities. So you’d think that William Pullinsi, who staged so many […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Dying Words

Dear Dr. Nelson: Thanks for your note and for your interest in my work [Letters, March 10]. Actually, while there are a few books regarding the clinical topic of prognosis (and not just ancient ones like those you mention, but more recent ones too), I think what the reporter, Mr. Sharlet [“Prognosis: Death,” February 25], […]

Posted inArts & Culture


GOLDIE The man with the golden teeth has a lot to answer for: a pretentious drum ‘n’ bass concept album (double album, actually), an hour-long “symphony” with nary a decent hook, idiotic Rick Wakeman-style pronouncements about how jump-up jungle is bad because it isn’t artistically advanced, even though the most simplistic, formulaic jump-up track is […]

Posted inArts & Culture

One Touch of Venus

One Touch of Venus Strike Up the Band–the inaugural production of the “Ovations!” series of musical re-creations at the Auditorium Theatre–was a terrific calling card for a grand new venture. Nothing was stagy about this concert performance, which may have omitted sets, period costumes, and choreography but offered superb singing, faithful orchestrations, a great band, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Ripped Canvass

To the Reader: Thank you for the inside look at door-to-door canvassing (Our Town, March 10). I have responded to a canvasser at my door from Citizens for a Better Environment on three separate occasions. On each occasion the canvasser assured me that all of my personal donation would go toward recycling, specifically the separate […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago The title of Jiri Kylian’s 1991 Petite Mort is of course a euphemism for orgasm–an oblique but striking literary term for something pondered often but seldom discussed. Kylian aims for that combination of tasteful and potent in this piece for six couples, now receiving its Hubbard Street premiere–though you wouldn’t know […]

Posted inMusic

Afro-Cuban All Stars

Years before Ry Cooder’s marketable name sparked the current American craze for Cuban music, producer Nick Gold of World Circuit Records was laying the groundwork, releasing great records like the 1994 album ÁDundunbanza! by the wonderful son revival group Sierra Maestra. That band’s musical director at the time, tres player Juan de Marcos Gonzalez, would […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Something Lethal in the Air

I’ve greatly enjoyed Mr. Shepherd’s column in the past, but this week, he implied something that was way off base [News of the Weird, March 3]. In a section entitled “Nothing Can Go Wrong,” after mentioning the plummeting Mars orbiter and the dead batteries in some mock nuclear warheads, he mentioned the return of the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Access Denied

James Welling at Donald Young, through April 22 By Fred Camper James Welling’s 14 large abstract photographs at Donald Young offer a sly commentary on art’s evolution away from its roots in stone and cloth and plant dyes and toward film and video and the digital world. The thick black bands against white backgrounds in […]