Posted inArts & Culture

Stranded in the Shallows

Joan Lee: Ephemera at Contemporary Art Workshop, through June 16 Max Mohr: Pre-Nova at Vedanta, through June 16 By Fred Camper Last October Joan Lee was surprised by the first snowstorm of the season while standing on a hill in Vermont, an experience she found almost frightening. “Grasses and small shrubs around me, in the […]

Posted inNews & Politics


Critique-a-Critic I am confused about the role of a theater critic. What are their qualifications? What do they have to know about theater? Do they simply give random opinion, or do they need a background in theater? I have serious doubts to the perspicacity of one of your theater critics. I have never attended a […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Taffetas

The Taffetas, Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire. The singer-as-role-model phenomenon predates Britney and Madonna by more than half a century. But where today’s MTV icons represent women’s empowerment and sexual freedom, the teen idols of the “fabulous 50s” were poster children for a peppier, white-bread, “I Like Ike” worldview. For those who want to relive those […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

A couple of weeks ago I convinced my girlfriend to dress up in her old school uniform for sex. We started going out long after high school ended, so I never got a chance to do the deed with her in uniform. I get the feeling she didn’t enjoy herself as much as I did […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Actual Theatre

Actual Theatre, Bare, at WNEP Theater. Shaun Himmerick and Fuzzy Gerdes are like the college roommates whose interactions made their buddies groan, “There they go again!” or “Knock it off, you two!” In Actual Theatre this duo–supposedly what’s left of the original Bare Essentials Theatre, based in Denver–propose to explore “the real relationship of two […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Here’s What You Saw

To whom it may concern, While we were absolutely thrilled to be described as “brave” and a company “to watch” [May 25], out of respect both for our author and the ensemble, I would like to make a few corrections concerning Nausicaa Productions’ adaptation of Always Together. I hate to disappoint, but Anca Visdei’s play […]

Posted inArts & Culture

On Exhibit: standardize this!

When Julie Toole started teaching at Pablo Casals Elementary in west Humboldt Park in 1992, the school offered music classes and an after-school program that taught students everything from tap dancing to violin. “Now the only after-school activity offered is tutoring related to standardized testing for the Iowa Test of Basic Skills,” says Toole, who […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Sports Section

As the White Sox awaited this weekend’s series with the Cubs, the two teams’ latest role reversal looked almost complete. The Sox, who figured to repeat as American League Central Division champs this season, entered the workweek in third, seven games under .500, a distant twelve games behind the second-place Cleveland Indians and an extra […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Best Dope In Town

BEST DOPE IN TOWN, at Improv-Olympic. This autobiographical one-man show tells how star Ric Borelli overcame the divorce of affluent parents and an extremely unfair drug bust to go from smug, spoiled Wilmette youth to coldly self-involved LA actor. It’s an inspirational tale: young Ric, though only dealing enough to “supplement his income” and buy […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

OLO 6/8, DOUBLE DOOR You may never have heard of this semilocal band–started here but currently based in Bloomington, Indiana–but in Japan their records come out on Trattoria, the label run by pomo-pop megastar Cornelius. Their second full-length, Still Life With Peripheral Grey (on the Milwaukee label No Karma in the U.S.), is far more […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chicago Blues Festival 2001

In the past, critics have accused the Mayor’s Office of Special Events and the Blues Festival’s all-volunteer advisory committee of adopting a cynical “book it and they will come” attitude: if almost anything that includes the words “Chicago” and “blues” will draw tourists to Grant Park like flies on sherbet, and if four days of […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Government Inspector

The Government Inspector, Terrapin Theatre, at the Athenaeum Theatre. Nikolay Gogol’s masterwork centers on a stranger who unintentionally exposes a town’s corruption. Wrongly taken to be the title investigator, Saint Petersburg con artist Khlestakov is bribed by the corrupt inhabitants and even offered the mayor’s daughter. In contrast to his past life, he and his […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Without Subtitles and Flood

Without Subtitles, Playwrights’ Center, at Loyola University Chicago, Kathleen Mullady Memorial Theatre, and Flood, Alchymia Theatre. As a prisoner in a Japanese concentration camp in Indonesia, playwright Jeroen Brouwers experienced the horrors of World War II firsthand. After the liberation of Indonesia in 1945, Brouwers’s family settled in the Netherlands, and his experiences as a […]