Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

What is the origin of the Wiccan religion? Most Wiccans you talk to say the religion is an extension of ancient, matriarchal earth worship and will attempt to turn you into a frog if you disagree. Others point to a descendancy from medieval healers and claim close kinship with all those who were burnt at […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Suddenly Last Summer

Suddenly Last Summer, Eclipse Theatre Company, at the Chopin Theatre. Forty-one years after its premiere, Suddenly Last Summer still has the power to shock–not with its lurid depiction of sexual repression and psychological deviancy but with the parallels Tennessee Williams draws between the brutalities of so-called primitive and civilized cultures. However gruesome Sebastian Venable’s death […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Love Reinvented

Cunningly crafted, sharply idiosyncratic, and deeply compassionate, the ten compact shorts in this 1996 French anthology range in tone from comically surreal to grimly sorrowful. Paul Vecchiali’s poignant, erotic The Tears of AIDS makes imaginative use of its sound track to recount a chance encounter between a bisexual hunk and an HIV-positive man who’s heard […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Calendar

Friday 11/12 – Thursday 11/18 NOVEMBER By Cara Jepsen 12 FRIDAY New and old buildings can coexist in Chicago, says Albert Friedman, who’s both a developer and the acting chair of the Landmarks Commission. Maybe he can suggest what to do with the threatened Tree Studios when he talks about The Future of Chicago today […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Cafe Tacuba

CAFE TACUBA With their recent double album, Reves/Yosoy (Warner Brothers)–the title translates to “Backwards/I Am”–Mexico City’s Cafe Tacuba make clear that nonchalant style blending isn’t exclusive to Brazilian pop. On previous discs, like Re (1994) and the superb covers collection Avalancha de exitos (1996), the quartet established its daring range, fusing traditional rancheras and boleros […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Judas’ Mother

JUDAS’ MOTHER, Griffin Theatre Company. Chad Beguelin’s comedy has one great thing going for it: it pulls very few punches. The vicious script–which imagines Jesus and Judas as childhood chums–is a demented mix of Woody Allen-style one-liners and grotesque soap opera histrionics. The only passion in this play is Reba Iscariot’s overwhelming contempt for her […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Flipside

Flipside, Pintig Cultural Group, at the Preston Bradley Center for the Arts. The war of assimilation still rages for many Filipino-Americans, but the emphasis has shifted since the post-World War II era, when immigrants struggled to find acceptance. Today’s youth faces an even more insidious enemy–the loss of cultural identity. And that loss is at […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Paul Taylor Dance Company

With his big, bouncy, muscular movement, Paul Taylor has often been considered the all-American choreographer. And works like Company B, set to nine Andrews Sisters songs, have a definite popular appeal. But he also has a dark side. In fact sometimes his work is so bleak it’s cartoonish: the 1985 Last Look places its dancers, […]

Posted inMusic

The Country Club

Poor Little Knitter on the Road (Bloodshot) By Anders Smith-Lindall Here’s a concept: a tribute record to a tribute record. In 1985, LA punks John Doe, Exene Cervenka, and D.J. Bonebrake from X, Dave Alvin from the Blasters, and stand-up bassist Johnny Ray Bartel–all of whom had what in those days and in that scene […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Milly-ennium Show

In the 80s Chicago was filled with nightclubs like the Roxy, the Raccoon Club, CrossCurrents, and Boombala, most of them little more than glorified neighborhood bars with small stages where a handful of broke performers could pool their resources and put on eclectic, eccentric variety shows. Part showcases, part testing grounds for new material, these […]