Posted inArts & Culture

Side By Side By Sondheim

SIDE BY SIDE BY SONDHEIM, Pegasus Players. Born a generation too late to fully participate in Broadway’s most fertile era–roughly the 1920s through the ’50s–Stephen Sondheim still turned out witty tunes and pleasing lyrics worthy of the masters: Rodgers and Hart, Rodgers and Hammerstein, George and Ira Gershwin. When this revue of early Sondheim songs […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Jean Smith

JEAN SMITH The last thing I expected from Jean Smith was a mostly instrumental solo album: in Mecca Normal, her punk rock duo with guitarist David Lester, her words–bluntly political or private and allusive–are integral to her singing. But her voice has always served as an instrument too, not just as a way to deliver […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Sports Section

It’s been so long, I’d almost forgotten about that unique moment when a fan totally commits to a team. Understand, I’m not referring to a fan’s usual allegiance, impassioned though that may be, but to the deeper feeling that a team is going somewhere and taking the fan along with it, for better or–as is […]

Posted inFilm

Matters of Life and Death

The Hart of London Rating **** Masterpiece Directed by Jack Chambers. By Fred Camper Jack Chambers’s 80-minute film The Hart of London (1970), being presented this Saturday by Kino-Eye Cinema at the Chicago Cultural Center, is hardly ever screened; in fact, when I polled eleven local critics, curators, filmmakers, and academics interested in experimental film, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Soiree Dada

SOIREE DADA, WNEP Theater Foundation, at TurnAround Theatre. Someone sitting in the audience for this fascinating hour-long performance may well wonder how long the silence, screaming, gibberish, and baffling exchanges will last. The evening almost defies description, but that, after all, is the point of dadaism. The WNEP Theater Foundation’s show offers simultaneous dialogue in […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

GROWTH LTD 6/23, GALLERY CABARET; 6/30, THURSTON’S This local quartet says in a cover letter that its music is “‘alternative rock’ without the least bit of hip hop, trip hop, extremeness, post anything, drum ‘n’ or bass, noise pop, jazz, or punk flavorings.” Real meat ‘n’ potatoes guys–and their self-released Happy Is a Four Letter […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Stick Knife Here

STICK KNIFE HERE, Theatre Corps, at Viaduct Theatre. Though it may at times lack the clockwork precision or accessibility of Charlie Chaplin’s best material, Theatre Corps’ new ensemble piece owes an awful lot to the great silent film comedians of the early 1900s. The influence of Buster Keaton and Fatty Arbuckle, in particular, is undeniable: […]

Posted inArts & Culture

True Books

Think Like a Cat: How to Raise a Well-Adjusted Cat–NOT a Sour Puss, by Pam Johnson-Bennett (Penguin, $16.95). Synopsis: The author of Psycho Kitty and Twisted Whiskers leads you through the thicket of raising a confident, emotionally balanced, and happy cat. Representative quote: “When there is an unexpected crisis, such as a death in the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Roger McGuinn

ROGER McGUINN A local boy who made good, Roger McGuinn has long been acknowledged as a pivotal figure in rock: as the brilliant (and by most accounts autocratic) leader of the Byrds, he married traditional American music to 12-string electric guitar, creating a sound that would influence everyone from Bob Dylan and the Beatles to […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Ingrid Jensen Quartet

INGRID JENSEN QUARTET Though a preponderance of post-Marsalis trumpeters have homed in on the tough, soulful, but largely conservative melodies of the hard-bop 50s, few have explored the crusading swagger with which Freddie Hubbard and Woody Shaw led bebop into the liberated, tumultuous 60s. Now the bop revival has finally produced an answer to Hubbard’s […]