Posted inArts & Culture

Women in the Director’s Chair International Film and Video Festival

The 20th annual Women in the Director’s Chair International Film and Video Festival, featuring narrative, documentary, animated, and experimental works by women, continues Friday through Sunday, March 23 through 25. Screenings are at the Women in the Director’s Chair Theater, 941 W. Lawrence. Unless otherwise noted, tickets are $8, $6 for students, seniors with a […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Cocksurehanded, at Bailiwick Repertory. Apparently Jon Bigness can write, add up his IQ, and jerk off with the same hand. Certainly one hand was all I needed to count the laughs in his vapid sketch-comedy revue, a callous, shallow suckfest that makes Defending the Caveman look like a brilliant meditation on gender relations. A self-described […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Stories According to the March issue of Vanity Fair, a Chicago convention of 400 “furries” brought together people (mostly men) who dress as animals, who are sexually attracted to others dressed as animals, who are sexually attracted to stuffed animals (“plushies”), or who otherwise identify intensely, though nonsexually, with animals. Said one, “If a […]

Posted inFood & Drink

Cheese Whizzes

Cheese Whizzes In the hall off the dining room at the Kendall College culinary school in Evanston, the men in white coats have arrived. Hailing from as far away as San Francisco, Mississippi, and Delaware, a group of lab-coated dairy experts (actually nine men and one woman) has convened to judge the 2001 United States […]

Posted inFilm

Satire in Action

15 Minutes *** Directed and written by John Herzfeld With Robert De Niro, Edward Burns, Kelsey Grammer, Avery Brooks, Melina Kanakaredes, Karel Roden, and Oleg Taktarov. By Jonathan Rosenbaum A first-rate Hollywood entertain- ment, 15 Minutes is more than a little schizophrenic, a shotgun wedding between two seemingly irreconcilable genres–the buddy/cop action thriller and the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Erik Friedlander & Topaz

ERIK FRIEDLANDER & TOPAZ In the space of its two recordings, jazz cellist Erik Friedlander’s quartet Topaz has provided a working definition of “leaps and bounds.” The subtle tunes on its eponymously titled debut showcased some promising tone poetry–especially in the interaction of Friedlander’s voluptuous arco work and Andy Laster’s wide-planed alto sax–but the album […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Vick’s Boy

VICK’S BOY, American Theater Company. However clever or well executed, a sitcom is a sitcom and seems especially wasteful when it’s done live. Playwright Ben Bettenbender’s treatment and this production both outclass the material–ruthlessly amateurish blackmail at a huge law firm. But all the attention lavished on the script can’t quite disguise its glaring discontinuity. […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Reader to Reader

As soon as I learned to walk, I learned to keep my eyes on the sidewalk. My neighborhood had more dogs than children, and in the era before pooper-scooper laws I knew how to distinguish the triumphal mound of the Great Dane from the delicate droppings of the aptly named shih tzu. I thought I’d […]

Posted inMusic

Sweet Emotion

Weezer at the Aragon, March 9 By Liz Armstrong Two weeks ago, more than 4,000 wide-eyed teens streamed into a once-elegant ballroom on Lawrence Avenue where it seemed all their musical fantasies might come true. At one novelty booth near the back of the main floor they could play guitars loaded with effects; at another […]