Posted inMusic

A Couple of Live Ones

Neil Young, Friends & Relatives Road Rock (Reprise) Drive-By Truckers Alabama Ass Whuppin’ (Secondheaven.com) By Michaelangelo Matos Live rock albums that accidentally function as comedy records have a long history. The classic of the genre is arguably the notorious Lou Reed Live, from 1975, on which the punk godfather spends more time taking shots at […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Stories Variety reported in January that Britain’s Pathe Pictures had scheduled an April shooting date for the $7 million comedy Thunderpants, described as the story of “an 11-year-old boy whose amazing ability [to break wind] leads him first to fame and then to death row, before it helps him to fulfill his ambition of […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Evil Men Do

Coyote on a Fence Shattered Globe Theatre at Victory Gardens Theater Bash: Latterday Plays About Face Theatre He who bears the brand of Cain shall rule the earth. –George Bernard Shaw, Back to Methuselah By Albert Williams The two central characters in Bruce Graham’s taut, thoughtful Coyote on a Fence are neighbors on death row […]

Posted inArts & Culture

All Messed Up And Nowhere to Go

The Ordinary Yearning of Miriam Buddwing Steppenwolf Theatre Company By Kelly Kleiman “All happy families are alike,” says Tolstoy at the start of Anna Karenina, “but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” These days, though, it seems it’s the unhappy families that are all alike: parents disappointing, children ungrateful, patrimony insufficient if […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

My boyfriend of one year phoned me to tell me he almost cheated on me. An old girlfriend invited him back to her house. The only reason he didn’t, he said, was because he had too much homework (we are both university students), not because he loved me too much to do such a thing. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Cubicle Rats

CUBICLE RATS, Conspiracy Theatre Company, at Second City, Donny’s Skybox Studio. Like a lot of jaunts to the office-humor supply room, this show hinges on the weirdness of the workplace. Even the best-matched colleagues are bound to become surreally familiar through endless on-the-job shoulder rubbing, a state Cubicle Rats hyperextends ferociously. Its six coworkers (Joel […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chi Lives: life of O’Reilly

Jamie O’Reilly’s childhood sounds like the premise for a Technicolor-drenched 1950s Hollywood musical: a powerful Irish-American, Shakespearean actor father revered in the local theatrical community, a radiant, silver-voiced diva of a mother, and a brood of 14 singing children, each more talented than the next. Put them in a small town in northern Illinois, where […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Sports Section

The Blackhawks’ season appeared to be peaking at the perfect moment. With owner-superstar Mario Lemieux back on the ice after a three-and-a-half-year layoff, the Pittsburgh Penguins were coming to town, bringing the Hawks their first capacity crowd at the United Center since a bunch of Detroit Red Wings fans filled the place early in the […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

NERVOUS CENTER FESTIVAL OF IMPROVISED MUSIC through 2/4, NERVOUS CENTER Although the Nervous Center–an almost unnaturally comfortable Lincoln Square coffeehouse whose dank basement has hosted a healthy mix of local hopefuls and nationally and internationally known experimental musicians–isn’t closing until February 17, this last-blast-style festival gathers many of the Chicagoans who’ve bounced their sounds (and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Exact Change

Exact Change, Cenacle Theatre Company, at Pilsen Theatre. What was a one-act in 1989 is now two acts long–a wise decision on the part of playwright David Epstein. Where the earlier version opened with three Vietnam vets on the run after having botched a kidnapping, this one introduces us to a trio of fundamentally gentle […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Digging Up the Dead

When developers announced plans in 1998 to build a mall on a 75-acre soybean field at U.S. 12 and Long Grove Road, local residents tried to block the plan. Old-timers remembered that there had once been a small cemetery on the old Deer Park farmstead, although the gravestones had been removed decades before and the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Rest of the Story?

The Story: Chicago Tribune, January 20 “There was testimony from a sperm bank coordinator who testified that April Goodman deposited Albert Goodman’s sperm there in 1996 without Albert’s knowledge.” The Rest of the Story: Just how did April Goodman manage to collect her husband’s sperm without his knowledge? TROTS: Why did you have testimony from […]