Posted inArts & Culture

Improv-A-Holics

IMPROV-A-HOLICS, at Phoenix Ascending Theatre. Improv is a harsh mistress. You can practice and practice, pay hundreds of dollars to the local improv gurus, learn every game ever developed, and still fall on your face. Of course, the ideal is to be having so much fun even the audience doesn’t care about the mistakes. But […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

A tale of two cities, told this time by Sharon Schmidt in Substance (March): “On January 3 Daley rang in the New Year with Alderman Patrick Levar of the 45th Ward, on the Northwest side. The occasion was the ribbon cutting ceremony of the $10.6 million addition to the Portage Park Elementary School, 5330 W. […]

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Silver Images Film Festival

Presented by the Chicago-based documentary production and distribution company Terra Nova Films, the seventh annual Silver Images Film Festival runs Monday, May 1, through Sunday, May 14, at Good Shepherd Hospital, 450 W. Highway 22, Barrington; Loyola Univ. Rubloff Auditorium, 25 E. Pearson; District 214 Community Education, 2121 S. Goebbert Rd., Arlington Heights; Good Samaritan […]

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Tony Bevan

TONY BEVAN British saxophonist Tony Bevan is living proof that you can’t measure an improviser’s talent by the length of his discography. He’s released about as many albums in his decade-plus career as guys like John Butcher and Evan Parker do per year, and the most recent, a 1998 three-inch CD called Three Oranges (Foghorn), […]

Posted inNews & Politics

‘BEZ’s Core Values

‘BEZ’s Core Values Hats off to Peter Margasak for bravely inciting what will no doubt be known to future generations as “The Great Peashooter Rebellion” [April 14]. One would be hard-pressed indeed to conceive of a nobler pursuit than arguing the comparative merits of the Mainstream (WBEZ) and the Sidestream (Vandermark, Anderson, et al). Why, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

Our building is having a blood drive, and I noticed the following on the promotional materials left in our office: “Donating blood is a health benefit for all men, and women over 50, by removing excess iron from the blood. Studies show that excess iron can damage cells in the arteries which can cause the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Kenny Burrell & Ernie Andrews

KENNY BURRELL & ERNIE ANDREWS Kenny Burrell came out of the fertile crescent of Detroit jazz in the 1950s and promptly established himself as the guitar voice of the hard-bop movement–the next link in a chain of fret men that descended from protobopper Charlie Christian through bebop players like Tal Farlow and Jimmy Raney. And […]

Posted inMusic

Lozenge

LOZENGE The cross-pollination of punk and improvised music has opened various new avenues of exploration, from the Ex’s euphoric intersections with Dutch improvisers to Thurston Moore’s free-jazz-noise-guitar compotes to the range of shotgun weddings between jazz and no wave arranged by Weasel Walter in the context of his Flying Luttenbachers. Lozenge, a Chicago band that […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Calendar

FRIDAY 4/28 – Thursday 5/4 APRIL By Cara Jepsen 28 FRIDAY The meaning of a 200-year-old sentence has become one of the most hotly debated topics in modern politics: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be […]

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Campaign in the Ass

Anarchist, publisher, comedian, Yippie clown, and “investigative satirist” Paul Krassner has been stirring things up since the early 60s, outliving most of his own iconoclastic generation, among them Mort Sahl and Lenny Bruce, whose autobiography he edited. (Sahl is technically alive but lost his comic edge at about the time he started cuddling up to […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Minelli on Minnelli

When Liza Minnelli sang in the movie Cabaret about a friend who died “of too much pills and liquor,” audiences inescapably heard the line as a reference to her mother, Judy Garland–and feared the same fate would befall the daughter Garland had with film director Vincente Minnelli. But Liza, now 53, proved herself a victor, […]

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Eifman Ballet

Saint Petersburg choreographer Boris Eifman apparently does nothing small, taking the stories and movements of classical ballet, in which he’s obviously well versed, and amplifying them almost beyond recognition. Red Giselle, to be performed as the troupe’s Chicago debut, transports all the pain and passion of the 1841 original into a 20th-century story based on […]

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Cymbeline

CYMBELINE, Shakespeare’s Motley Crew, at the Viaduct Theatre. Like Shakespeare’s other late romances, Cymbeline is a loose assemblage of conflicting styles and realities. What begins as a tale of a tyrant king banishing his daughter Imogen’s lowborn husband, Posthumus, turns into a fantasy of divine intervention when Jupiter descends to the sleeping Posthumus in the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Music Notes: good old country comfort

The Chicago Cantonese Amateur Musical Association occupies a somewhat ramshackle but acoustically sound apartment above a nondescript Asian gift store on Cermak Avenue. On any Sunday or Monday, the sounds of Chinese opera and folk songs drift down to the street. The musicians play banjo, guitar, zither, violin, and various percussion instruments, and there’s always […]