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Posted inArts & Culture

Ballad Hunter

Ballad Hunter, Chicago Dramatists. The Appalachian mountains are our country’s designated place of magic and enchantment, and so it’s appropriate that Jenny Laird set her Ballad Hunter in the remote hills of West Virginia, its characters sunk in the poverty and isolation engendered by the Depression. The action centers on the local midwife, who lives […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Paint By Numbers

Dear Reader, Classic, biting satire, Fred Camper’s “Original Spin” (10 March issue). I am so jealous that I didn’t think of the concept first, of creating a totally imaginary Chicago “Artist” to pound home all the cliches: –young male, poor –SAIC grad! Yeah! –from dysfunctional family –debating whether to move to New York –totally derivative […]

Posted inArts & Culture

West Beirut

West Beirut Quentin Tarantino’s cameraman, Lebanese filmmaker Ziad Doueiri, wrote and directed this autobiographical first feature (1998) about his early teens in Beirut–set in 1975, during the onset of the country’s civil war–and cast his younger brother Rami as himself. In fact, Doueiri scores with every member of his wonderful cast, which consists of nonprofessionals […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chicago Latino Film Festival

Chicago Latino Film Festival The 16th annual Chicago Latino Film Festival, presented by the International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago, runs Friday, March 31, through Thursday, April 13. Film and video screenings will be at Water Tower, 845 N. Michigan; Facets Multimedia Center, 1517 W. Fullerton; Rubloff Auditorium, Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson; the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Ron Friedman

RON FRIEDMAN Trumpeter and flugelhornist Ron Friedman has come full circle. In the mid-70s he played with an obscure but fondly remembered fusion quintet called New York Mary, which broke up before Chuck Mangione, Shadowfax, and half the old Arista roster turned “fusion” into a dirty word. He then spent most of the next quarter […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Buddy & Julie Miller

Buddy & Julie Miller Over the last few years, Buddy and Julie Miller have done a lot of high-profile work for other people. Buddy’s guitar playing has been a regular feature in bands led by Emmylou Harris and Steve Earle, and he did an excellent job producing the new Jimmie Dale Gilmore album. And he […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Checkmates, ETA Creative Arts Foundation. Straddling the line between insightful contemporary drama and hackneyed sitcom, Ron Milner’s play–which premiered at ETA in 1987–examines the generation gap between two couples: the Coopers, who are nearing their golden anniversary, and their tenants, the fast-track yuppie Williamses. Widely performed over the years, the play has starred such notables […]

Posted inArts & Culture

GooseFlesh and BoneHead

GooseFlesh and BoneHead The improbability of male intimacy has long been one of Dolores Wilber’s artistic obsessions. In her last piece, Getalong Little Doggie, she put three men and a 12-year-old boy through an elaborate, ultimately ridiculous bonding ritual: standing for long stretches with their faces mere inches apart, they showed just how distant they […]

Posted inNews & Politics

TRG Music listings

Music listings are compiled by LAURA KOPEN and RENALDO MIGALDI (classical, fairs and festivals) from information available Tuesday. We advise calling ahead for confirmation. Please send listings information, in-cluding a phone number for use by the public, to Reader Music Listings, 11 E. Illinois, Chicago 60611, or send a fax to 312-828-9926, or send E-mail […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Cover of Life

THE COVER OF LIFE, Circle Theatre. In its glory years Life magazine–which ceases publication in May–acted as a family album for the nation. Playwright R.T. Robinson invents a World War II cover of three brides holding their husbands’ portraits, then imagines the truth behind that propagandistic facade. Kate Miller, a hard-boiled New York reporter, is […]

Posted inMusic

Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer & Mark O’Connor

YO-YO MA, EDGAR MEYER & MARK O’CONNOR Some crossovers are a waste of time and talent–an opera diva crooning show tunes, for instance–but cellist Yo-Yo Ma’s collaboration with bluegrass fiddler Mark O’Connor and bassist Edgar Meyer has paid off, producing two CDs filled with sincere and charming treatments of American folk music. The first, 1996’s […]