Posted inArts & Culture

Blissfield

BLISSFIELD, Victory Gardens Theater. Victory Gardens may be in turmoil after the recent rift between its board of directors and its artistic staff, which threatened to tear the company apart, but it seems nothing can shake the company’s commitment to meek, soft-focus, bland plays. Blissfield, Douglas Post’s new “American mystery,” is the kind of chatty, […]

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Rachel Z

RACHEL Z She describes the all-day practice routine of her teenage years as “pretty dorky,” but pianist Rachel Nicolazzo–better known as Rachel Z–has seen her share of celebrity as an adult. Her keyboard programming contributed significantly to Wayne Shorter’s Grammy-winning 1995 album High Life–which New York Times critic Peter Watrous used to dismiss the entire […]

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The Straight Dope

Hi, i have been wondering for the longest time how dinosaurs had sex?!?! Ive asked just about everybody, but i havent gotten an answer. They seam too large to have sex like humans, and their tails would get in the way for doggy-style…PLEASE ANSWER MY QUESTION!!!!!!! –Lianna Sure thing, Lianna. Just promise me you’ll get […]

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Captured Aural Phantasy Theater

CAPTURED AURAL PHANTASY THEATER, Park Avenue Produce, at the Beat Kitchen. Based on an intriguing premise–that stage adaptations of comic book stories from the 50s, 60s, and 70s would be a hoot–Captured Aural Phantasy Theater never lives up to its promise. Where other, more disciplined companies might have found interesting ways to translate the action […]

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Quoth the Raven

Dear Reader writers: I’m writing to thank the young critic who was sent from the Reader to review our show The Dark Black Raven [September 15]. I’m sorry you didn’t care for our show much. Thanks for not mentioning any of the actors in your rather humorous review. At least you didn’t point any one […]

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Rebooting an old favorite

When Radio Shack introduced one of their first computers, they gave it the futuristic name TRS-80, which sounds a lot sexier than what’s widely believed to be behind the acronym: Tandy Radio Shack 1980. Actually, the TRS-80 was first introduced to the unsuspecting public on August 3, 1977, at the whopping price of $599. It […]

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Calendar

Friday 10/6 – Thursday 10/12 OCTOBER By Cara Jepsen 6 FRIDAY A New York midwifery practice, a Texas grassroots housing initiative for migrant farm workers, a Navajo Nation program that promotes traditional sheepherding and weaving practices, and the Southwest Youth Collaborative in Englewood are among the dozen community enterprises examined through photos and interviews in […]

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Teaching Lessons

Dear editor: I have to respond to Maureen Welch’s somewhat unfair assessment of Gregory Michie’s teaching ability (in her letter in the 9/15 issue). While I don’t know Mr. Michie personally, he and I are both students in UIC’s College of Education, and I had the pleasure of reading his book, Holler If You Hear […]

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The Silver Chair

The Silver Chair, Lifeline Theatre. James E. Grote’s adaptation of C.S. Lewis’s fourth Narnia chronicle makes brief reference to earlier volumes but is sufficiently self-contained for playgoers hitherto unacquainted with the series. The heroes are two misfit children who flee their schoolmates’ bullying for the magic kingdom of Narnia, charged with the task of freeing […]

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Mad Shak Dance Company

When Mad Shak artistic director Molly Shanahan was 12, she sang in the chorus of Puccini’s La boheme–and clearly the music found its way into her heart. Her Dream With Me the Rain, set to excerpts from the opera, is a beautifully universal interpretation of this passionate music and story, without sentimentality but with much […]

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Eddie Cotton

EDDIE COTTON Eddie Cotton grew up singing gospel and to this day serves as minister of music in his dad’s church in Clinton, Mississippi–and though the 30-year-old guitarist cites Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and Little Milton as primary influences, he shows his roots on his debut CD, Eddie Cotton Live at the Alamo Theatre (Proteus), […]

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Auto Didact

[Re: “You Can’t Fool Mrs. Sykes,” September 15] To the editor and Ben Joravsky, Some of Mayor Daley’s chickens are coming home to roost. Specifically his lack of people skills, more specifically that he doesn’t understand democracy. Harold Washington’s understanding of those skills was critical in the creation of the Local School Councils. Paul Vallas’s […]

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Fred Simon

FRED SIMON With so many jazz musicians focusing on speed and virtuosity these days, Chicago pianist Fred Simon looks like quite a reactionary. He assiduously avoids technical flash, favoring moderate tempos and uncomplicated rhythms, uncluttered textures and open harmonies. In his compositions, he displays a fondness for arioso melodies that sound a lot like Wayne […]