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 […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Starring Chicago!

The Gene Siskel Film Center inaugurates its new location at 164 N. State with a three-week retrospective of films shot or set in Chicago, continuing Friday, June 8, through Saturday, June 23. Tickets are $7, $3 for Film Center members. For more information call 312-846-2800. FRIDAY, JUNE 8 Meet the Parents It’s tempting to call […]

Posted inArts & Culture

By the Bog of Cats

BY THE BOG OF CATS, Irish Repertory of Chicago, at Victory Gardens Theater. The idea behind Irish playwright Marina Carr’s most recent work–an update of Euripides’ tragedy Medea to modern-day rural Ireland–sounds brilliant. Nearly 2,500 years after it was performed in Athens, the original is still riveting: a middle-aged woman turns murderous when her husband […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Short films by Jan Svanmajer, program two

This week Facets Multimedia Center presents a retrospective of shorts and features by Czech surrealist Jan Svankmajer, whose work has profoundly influenced both pop culture and the avant-garde in Europe. This macabre program of seven shorts, made between 1979 and 1993, shows him at the height of his creative powers, using aggressive, intricate editing to […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Nature Under Glass

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 […]