Posted inArts & Culture

Ajax

AJAX, Hypocrites, at the Viaduct Theater. Director Sean Graney is never one to bunt–he swings for the bleachers. Most recently he gave The Cherry Orchard a wallop, transforming Chekhov’s usually sedate domestic comedy into a boisterous, semifarcical romp. And he still managed to find more humanity in the play than most directors would have with […]

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Left Luggage

A wise man does some matchmaking in 70s Antwerp when he suggests to a student without a work ethic that she apply to be a nanny in a Hasidic household. The mother (Isabella Rossellini) isn’t sure she wants a woman in blue jeans influencing her five children, but she’s desperate for the help; Chaja (Laura […]

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Shivkumar Sharma & Zakir Hussain

SHIVKUMAR SHARMA & ZAKIR HUSSAIN Shivkumar Sharma and Zakir Hussain have both stretched the boundaries of northern India’s Hindustani classical music: Sharma almost single-handedly introduced a new instrument, a trapezoidal hammered dulcimer called the santoor, and Hussain continues to explore fusions with music from the West, as well as from elsewhere in his own country. […]

Posted inNews & Politics

I’m a Writer Too

I’m a Writer Too It seems hard to argue that Nick Green [reviewing Terror in June, May 4] is not a writer. Clearly, he uses words, composed consistently and entirely of letters, without the slightest indication that he would do otherwise, say, using a combination of numbers or other symbols, like sl%#!b3erg. There are spaces […]

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Sing-a-Long Sound of Music

It’s all too easy to put down The Sound of Music. Theater critics sniffed at the 1959 Broadway production, and film reviewers trashed the 1965 screen version, but the public knew better. The musical’s emotional openness and unguarded optimism honestly express the worldview of composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein; as Ethan Mordden writes […]

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Autechre

AUTECHRE Sean Booth and Rob Brown, the Mancunian duo known since 1992 as Autechre, have produced some of the most challenging and influential electronic music of the last decade. Their early releases on Warp Records spun elements of Miami bass, Afrika Bambaataa, and Mantronix into an abstract strain of robot dance music, but by 1994, […]

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Slapshot From a Snapper

Re: “Ice Queens” by Michael G. Glab [April 20] Women’s hockey and women’s sports in general have always had difficulty being taken seriously, and I find it disappointing that the article in the Reader took the route that it did. What began as a great concept for an article (the history of three women in […]

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Suicide

SUICIDE Noise Pop has made some great scores this year, but it’s interesting that two of the greatest had their heyday in New York in the 1970s–when, as in Chicago nowadays, the historic action was going on mostly in very small clubs. While Television offered elevation, Suicide, the duo of keyboardist Martin Rev and front […]

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River North Chicago Dance Company

River North artistic director Sherry Zunker burst on the scene almost ten years ago with her vivid, stirring, MTV-influenced Reality of a Dreamer. That dance was showcased in an Emmy-winning documentary about the company, which put her jazz-dance troupe and the (then) tiny video firm of HMS Media on the map. Now Zunker is leaving […]

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The Bevis Frond

THE BEVIS FROND Those who have witnessed the Bevis Frond in concert–or heard their 1999 CD Live at the Great American Music Hall, San Francisco (Flydaddy)–know that psychedelic relic Nick Saloman can be counted on to deliver the kind of orgasmic guitar jams that once raised the rafters at the Fillmore West. But for this […]

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Yes, But Do Sould Have Meat?

To Norma S. (Letters, May 4): Some religions claim that humans have something called a “soul” that animals don’t. Behavioral psychologists would dispute that there is any such thing. As the owner of an intelligent and perceptive poodle, I’m somewhere in between; I think it’s a question of degree. But in any case, all living […]

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Charles Walker & Johnny Jones

CHARLES WALKER & JOHNNY JONES Vocalist Charles Walker’s discography spans more than 40 years, and on his first release–1959’s “Slave to Love,” on the Champion label–one of the backing musicians is guitarist Johnny Jones. Though Walker has never had a hit, singles from his early stints on blues and R & B imprints like Fury […]