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Posted inArts & Culture

David Berkman Quartet

DAVID BERKMAN QUARTET No one can accuse David Berkman of slacking: the pianist’s two albums, Handmade and the forthcoming Communication Theory (both on Palmetto), contain 23 of his own painstakingly crafted compositions. His tunes combine straightforward melodies with deceptively tricky harmonies–delighting the musically savvy without chasing away the weekend listener–and his arrangements use the modest […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Reasons to be Fearful

In reference to your April 7th article about our aldermen carrying weapons, I found it interesting that a few gave the same reasons for carrying guns that law-abiding citizens have also given. Thirty-fifth Ward alderman Vilma Colom stated, “As a single Hispanic female I have been in situations where if I didn’t have a firearm […]

Posted inArts & Culture

InterFest 2000

InterFest 2000 Chicago theater is as racially and culturally varied as the city itself, yet to actor-director Stephan Turner–and many others–it often seems that off-Loop theater is still fragmented in terms of the work companies present and the audiences they target. “We live together, we work together, and then when we get ready to do […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Truth in Canvassing

Dear Reader: As a 20-plus-year employee of Citizens for a Better Environment (CBE), I was shocked to see Ken Dunn’s letter in the March 31st edition of your paper alleging that our canvassers told him on three separate occasions that contributions to CBE would go to support the Resource Center. If a CBE canvasser did […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Ute Lemper

Ute Lemper On her new Punishing Kiss (Decca), German cabaret star Ute Lemper tackles a slate of tunes written for her by some of rock’s darkest and wryest artists–including Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, Nick Cave, Scott Walker, and the British cult group the Divine Comedy. Over the last decade the singer has won acclaim for […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Kenny Barron Quintet

KENNY BARRON QUINTET Kenny Barron is one of the most admired and most widely recorded pianists of the past 30 years, but his great versatility may have prevented him from leaving a deeper mark as a soloist. His impeccable technique bursts with influences ranging from 1940s Bud Powell through 1970s McCoy Tyner, and he seems […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Sexual Orientation of Poets

Regarding Lawrence Bommer’s too short “review” of Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s presentation of Words on Fire [Section Two, March 17], I find it highly inappropriate that the show was reviewed using an argument about what was NOT included in it. Bommer complains about the “absence of gay-themed works” in this multimedia performance piece, which is based […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Random Acts, Three Tales From Boystown

RANDOM ACTS, THREE TALES FROM BOYSTOWN, Potter Productions, at the Playground. Very random indeed, but that’s the point of this collection of one-acts about the men of Boystown, Lakeview’s “gay ghetto.” Chicago playwright Howard Casner depicts three sets of friends or lovers who are waiting, reading, and hoping for something to happen. Nothing does, and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Shelby Lynne

SHELBY LYNNE Nashville has let yet another genuine talent slip through the cracks: Shelby Lynne, the older sister of current critical darling Allison Moorer, made a handful of unspectacular country albums in the 90s, but her debut for Island, I Am Shelby Lynne, is an artistic triumph. Produced by Bill Bottrell (who’s also worked with […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Picturing Ecstasy

Phyllis Bramson: Cosmic Disorder at Carl Hammer, through April 22 Margaret Wharton at Jean Albano, through April 29 By Fred Camper Just around the corner from each other are two strong exhibits that don’t seem to be getting the attention they deserve. Both artists are midcareer Chicago women who’ve earned significant reputations. Both love excess. […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Rosenbaum Right On

Dear Mr. Rosenbaum (or whomever this may concern): It seems that Eyes Wide Shut is the first masterpiece of my time (or at least, released in theatres on more than five screens nationwide). I read the review of Eyes Wide Shut on the Chicago Reader Web site many times, and I can’t manage to say […]