Posted inArts & Culture

Creature Winds

Creature Winds, Curious Theatre Branch, at the Lunar Cabaret. Called in the program a “zenjazzbuddhafreudsonicinstallation for four voices,” this is the tale of a complacent scientist who commits suicide after a moment of introspection irrevocably shakes his self-confidence. But audience members may be forgiven for not comprehending this story immediately, for composer Michael Zerang–credited in […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Rock Criticism Is Dead

Rock Criticism Is Dead It’s funny that Jim Dorling chose that old Creem review of Physical Graffiti, presumably to show how much times have changed in his recent put-down of Stereolab in Rock, Etc [October 29]. Funny because Cobra and Phases Group Play Voltage in the Milky Night is the first album to come out […]

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Friday 11/5 – Thursday 11/11 NOVEMBER By Cara Jepsen 5 FRIDAY Effective mentoring programs for at-risk youth don’t just happen. At this weekend’s Tutor/Mentor Leadership Conference, sessions will focus on recruiting and retaining volunteers, communicating with teenagers, recognizing signs of drug use and domestic violence, and more. The conference is from 8 to 4:30 today […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Verbatim Verboten

In Michael Martin’s estimation, America is witnessing the “bedridden stage of privacy’s decline.” But that’s all right with him if it means that the most embarrassing demons of the powerful and pretentious come to light. Always one to revel in popular culture’s more contemptible impulses, he’s now put together “Verbatim Verboten,” a monthly cabaret series […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Women

THE WOMEN, Headstrong Theatre. The bitchy dialogue and whiplash wisecracks in Clare Boothe Luce’s catty 1937 classic create a modern-day school for scandal, as saintly Mary Haines tries to rescue her wandering husband from the clutches of man-eating Crystal Allen. Flirting with misogyny, the playwright digs deep nails into Mary’s treacherous friends: scheming Sylvia Fowler […]

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Dance Chicago ’99

Organizers of this festival, now in its fifth year, have planned an upbeat program for opening night. Xsight! Performance Group, which usually trades in satirical cultural commentary and sexual provocation, offers an “intimate and elegant” duet to Chopin, Nocturne, choreographed by artistic director Brian Jeffery; he performs with Julia Rhoads, a dream of a dancer. […]

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The Man Who Drove With Mandela

White, British-born Cecil Williams was a well-known stage actor and director in South Africa following World War II, but he played his most important role in the backseat of an elegant automobile, where he sat, the embodiment of complacent white privilege, while exiled African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela posed as his chauffeur. Williams actually […]

Posted inArts & Culture


LUNA For four years I’ve been trying to figure out just what it is about Luna’s records that dissolves my brain cells into giddy little pleasure bubbles. But this band’s appeal is impossible to pinpoint–it’s not in any one thing but rather in a thousand little things. It’s the sad grandeur of Dean Wareham and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Les Rythmes Digitales

LES RYTHMES DIGITALES Nobody will ever accuse French-born, English-bred Jacques Lu Cont–the “brains” behind Les Rythmes Digitales–of subtlety: this is a guy whose best song is called “Jacques Your Body (Make Me Sweat).” A spoonful of good taste usually helps his goofy hooks go down: on the new Darkdancer (Wall of Sound/Astralwerks), the infectious synthesized […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Susan Marshall & Company

When this New York-based troupe performed at the Dance Center of Columbia College a little more than ten years ago, I was struck by choreographer Susan Marshall’s instinct for drama and her knack for emotionally resonant, kinetically logical movement phrases. One brief sequence in the duet Arms elegantly evoked the push-pull dynamic of close relationships: […]

Posted inMusic

Writing Off Rock

Flowers in the Dustbin: The Rise of Rock and Roll, 1947-1977 by James Miller (Simon & Schuster) Even if there were a definitive history of rock ‘n’ roll, it would be useless to most people. Given that rock has featured prominently in the personal lives of more currently living English speakers than perhaps any other […]