Posted inArts & Culture

Getting Out

Getting Out, Synergy Therapy Theatre, at the North Lakeside Cultural Center. In a stark, peeling white basement, with the audience a mere four feet from the action, there’s literally no room for artifice or stage tricks. It’s a near perfect metaphor for playwright Marsha Norman’s heroine, Arlene (Melissa Van Kersen), as she tries to rebuild […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Girl With the Suitcase

The subject of a weeklong retrospective at Facets Multimedia Center, Italian director Valerio Zurlini (1926-1982) is lesser known outside his homeland than the neorealists of the 1940s and the activist filmmakers of the 1960s. But between 1950 and 1976 he created a distinguished body of work dealing with thwarted love, class differences, postwar hedonism, and […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Losing Independents

Dear Reader, Why mince words? More often than not the Reader does a feature article on a business that is on its last legs. In your March 9, 2001, issue, your Section Two feature story [Culture Club] concerned the closing of Toshiro, a longtime member of independent clothing retailers. In addition to Toshiro, you also […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

Why does Swiss cheese have holes in it? –Cassie, via America Online No one wants to face up to this squarely, so I guess it’s up to me. Swiss cheese has holes in it because of bacteria passing gas. Contemplating a typical piece of Swiss cheese, the majority of whose holes, by USDA regulation, must […]

Posted inFilm

A Brighter Summer Day

Bearing in mind Theodore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy, this astonishing 230-minute epic by Edward Yang (1991), set over one Taipei school year in the early 60s, would fully warrant the subtitle “A Taiwanese Tragedy.” A powerful statement from Yang’s generation about what it means to be Taiwanese, superior even to his recent masterpiece Yi Yi, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Mark Turner-Kurt Rosenwinkel Quartet

MARK TURNER-KURT ROSENWINKEL QUARTET Tenor saxophonist Mark Turner and guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel have been regularly playing in each other’s groups since they attended the Berklee College of Music back in the 80s, and they’ve developed an unspoken musical empathy that’s impossible to miss. They’re both superb melodists, making tricky stretches seem effortlessly graceful, particularly in […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Friday 3/23 – Thursday 3/29 MARCH By Cara Jepsen 23 FRIDAY “In the 1880s, when the railroad first came through New Mexico, the pueblos in the Rio Grande valley would make trinkets they thought the tourists would like,” says Leroy Garcia, co-owner of Santa Fe’s Blue Rain Gallery. Garcia and his wife and business partner, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chicago and Icarus’s Mother

Chicago and Icarus’s Mother, Azusa Productions, at the Breadline Theatre. No dramaturge today would allow Sam Shepard to do the sort of things he routinely did in his druggy early plays. In the 1965 one-act Chicago, for instance, Shepard’s protagonist delivers long monologues standing partly clothed in a bathtub while a parade of guests in […]

Posted inMusic

Guidance Leaves the Path

Guidance Leaves the Path “The next level costs a lot of money,” says Rob Kouchoukos, co-owner of the Chicago dance-music imprint Guidance Recordings. As a first step up, Kouchoukos and his partners Ivan Pavlovich and Martin Stary spent a bundle flying the label’s new Glaswegian act Spylab to Texas to make its American debut at […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Equus, Thirsty Theater, at the Pilsen Theatre. A shy adolescent boy driven to forge a private religion is not as shocking a character as he would have been in 1973, the year this play was first produced. Neither are the misgivings of the psychiatrist whose duty it is to rob him of his terrible creed. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Math Curse

“It seems to me that almost everything is a waste of time,” grouses Milo, the apathetic schoolboy in Norton Juster’s The Phantom Tollboth. Had Milo been blessed with an opportunity to see Heath Corson’s pitch-perfect adaptation of Math Curse, Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith’s children’s book, he might have felt quite different about his schoolwork. […]

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CLEANSED, Defiant Theatre, at the Viaduct Theater. A line from an epitaph for playwright Sarah Kane–“Mental illness is pointless, undignified, and ultimately, always physical”–could easily describe her excruciating play. Cleansed offers a blurred allegory of society-as-institution, institution-as-society that’s frankly banal and uninformative, bluntly mirroring insanity’s exitless maze. Its obsessions are alienatingly personal, its logic circular, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chuck Prophet

CHUCK PROPHET When this indie-rock veteran played Schubas in July, I wrote a Critic’s Choice for his opening act, Columbia Records discovery Paddy Casey, speculating that the newcomer might give Prophet “a run for [his] money.” I have no idea whether either of them read it, but after Casey finished his workmanlike set–and the packed […]