Posted inArts & Culture

The Dianalogues

The Dianalogues, Third Circle Theatre Company, at Philosofur’s. A guruish fellow I know once spoke eloquently about people’s intense responses to Princess Diana’s life and death. The average person, he said, is unwilling to accept his or her own inner nobility, instead projecting it onto celebrities. We give enormous power to these icons, allowing them […]

Posted inMusic

Two-Bar Blues/Duck the Malls

Two-Bar Blues As detailed in last Friday’s Tribune, a grudge match is escalating between Lenin “Doc” Pellegrino, owner of the venerable Lincoln Park blues club Kingston Mines, and Rufus McCullum, a former Kingston Mines manager who opened the Lake Street club Rooster Blues in October. “He’s trying to copy everything about Kingston Mines,” Pellegrino says, […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

Recently, one of my friends was giving a girl a friendly back rub when she took off her top and bra and let him continue. Then she informed him that she didn’t want to have sex with him. He told her he was going to go hang out with the guys. When he told us […]

Posted inMusic

Wizard of Aaaaaahhs!

Dio at House of Blues, November 28 By Monica Kendrick I’ve never liked the term “outsider artist.” It presumes the existence of an “inside,” and worse, it presumes that the person doing the labeling is in a position to determine which is which. As Stephen Hawking is fond of pointing out, there is no privileged […]

Posted inFilm

Trying to Have Some Fun

Quills *** Directed by Philip Kaufman Written by Doug Wright With Geoffrey Rush, Kate Winslet, Joaquin Phoenix, Michael Caine, Billie Whitelaw, Patrick Malahide, and Amelia Warner. Smoking *** Directed by Alain Resnais Written by Alan Ayckbourn, Jean-Pierre Bacri, Agnes Jaoui, and Anne and Georges Dutter With Pierre Arditi and Sabine Azema. No Smoking *** Directed […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Shadow

“What evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows! Ha haa haaa haaaa haaa haa ha!” John Hildreth has revived his superauthentic reenactment of this radio gem’s final broadcasts. Using two actual scripts from the series and a team of actors who could have been pulled from the pages of Radio Weekly circa […]

Posted inMusic

Show Us Your Riffs

Rockrgrl Music Conference 2000 at the Renaissance Madison Hotel, Seattle, November 2-4 By Kate Darling The phrase “women in rock” always pisses me off. It’s a blazing cop-out to characterize any art solely based on the gender of its creators, and the result of the designation is often an insidious suggestion that being a woman […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

CUBA L.A. 12/15, HOTHOUSE On Navidad Cubana, their second release on Narada, this Los Angeles-based 11-piece group of exiled Cuban musicians puts a fluid shake and shimmer on some of the hoariest Anglo Christmas chestnuts. In a few cases they actually manage to scrape away the waxy buildup these tunes have accumulated in near constant […]

Posted inArts & Culture


MACBETT, Division 13 Productions and Greasy Joan & Company, at the Chopin Theatre. Director Joanna Settle clearly has an exacting vision; it seems no element escapes her notice in this production of Eugene Ionesco’s dark, absurdist romp through Shakespeare’s Macbeth. On Andrew Lieberman’s sublimely garish set–a severe expanse of wood-grain paneling and featureless carpet that […]

Posted inArts & Culture

God’s Mistake

GOD’S MISTAKE, Corn Productions, at the Cornservatory. There’s something brave, and a little foolhardy, about a comic writer who decides to produce a serious work. If writers of the stature of Charlie Chaplin and Woody Allen have a hard time pulling it off, you’d hardly expect Robert Bouwman–the Tiff half of the local drag comedy […]

Posted inArts & Culture

A Survivor! Christmas

A Survivor! Christmas, Zeppo Theater Company, at the Beat Kitchen. The third in Zeppo’s series of end-of-the-year musicals is yet another sparkling foray into giddily obvious humor. Writer-director George Brant ties his send-up of the real-TV hit into the holidays with a premise that’s both hilariously stupid and ingenious: the contestants compete on Christmas day […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Johnnie Bassett

JOHNNIE BASSETT In the 60s, Detroit-based guitarist Johnnie Bassett worked with Johnny “Guitar” Watson, Tina Turner, and Little Willie John, as well as more elemental bluesmen like John Lee Hooker and Washboard Willie. He even played on some of Smokey Robinson’s first recordings with the Miracles. But in the middle of that busy decade, Bassett […]