Posted inNews & Politics

Say the Right Thing

Say the Right Thing “Frankly,” Tribune columnist Clarence Page told me by E-mail, “I envy those who were able to react with remarkably measured, cold-blooded reason on the first day. I couldn’t do it.” There’s no need to say on the first day of what. Cold-blooded reason is the normal mode that columns are written […]

Posted inArts & Culture

SBD: Silent But Deadly

SBD: Silent But Deadly, at the Second City, Donny’s Skybox Studio. At this point, solo performer Brad Steuernagel hasn’t done enough homework to achieve his goals as a physical comedian. During one of the lulls in his latest one-man show, SBD: Silent but Deadly, he gushes on and on about Rowan Atkinson’s influence on his […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

Please check your principles at the door. According to the summer issue of “Taxnews,” published by National Taxpayers United of Illinois, four of the five Libertarians who won office in Illinois’ April 3 local elections are members of public-library boards. Last time I checked, libraries spend tax money to loan free books and magazines to […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Monster Mash

Bubonic Homunculus Drain at the Lunar Cabaret Lives of the Monster Dogs WNEP Theater The mad scientist is a hard character for writers to resist. His superior intellect gives the author license to indulge in the archest language and tone, to make him speak in insanely literary formulations, then play the resulting slide from dialogue […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Seven Chances

Buster Keaton is a bachelor who stands to inherit a fortune if he finds himself a bride by seven o’clock in this 1925 silent feature, which Dave Kehr has described as “a cubist comedy…based on a principle of geometric progression” from the number seven. Adapted from a stage-bound play by David Belasco, it takes off […]

Posted inMusic

Peter Kowald, Hamid Drake & Assif Tsahar

PETER KOWALD, HAMID DRAKE & ASSIF TSAHAR In 1969, pioneering free-jazz saxophonist Albert Ayler named an album Music Is the Healing Force of the Universe, and today bassist Peter Kowald, percussionist Hamid Drake, and reedist Assif Tsahar practice what he preached: their first tour was in Tsahar’s native Israel this February, and the sight of […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

Has anyone ever actually faked his own death and assumed another identity? I am speaking of public figures like Elvis, Hoffa, and the like, not the ordinary insurance scam. I know there are lotsa theories out there, like JFK and Elvis and Hoffa on a desert island having a hoot and so forth, but what’s […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Ass Ponys

ASS PONYS The Ass Ponys seem to be making up for lost time: after one of those all-too-familiar major-label crashes, they fell silent for four years, but in 2000 they released Some Stupid With a Flare Gun on Chicago’s Checkered Past imprint, and earlier this summer they followed it up with Lohio, the best album […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Know Your Ideologies

Dear Reader: Your recent article on Bush’s tax cut (“Congratulations! You Lose!” by Linda Lutton, August 17) is generating a lot of heat, but not much light. That’s because the underlying assumptions that divide the liberal from the conservative worldview aren’t being clarified. Permit me, in a nutshell, to explain what the argument is REALLY […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Calendar

Friday 9/21 – Thursday 9/27 SEPTEMBER 21 FRIDAY Prankster cum performance artist Matthew Weddington–profiled in these pages in July–will walk downtown streets today in a performance entitled Rip Off Artist, beginning at 9 AM on Michigan at Chicago. Look for the guy in glasses, white short-sleeved shirt, blue tie, and black pants, carrying his life […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Ivona, Princess of Burgundia

IVONA, PRINCESS OF BURGUNDIA, Strawdog Theatre Company. Fairy tales are wonderful vehicles for satire. Voltaire used the device in Candide, Jonathan Swift in Gulliver’s Travels. And in 1935 avant-garde Polish playwright Witold Gombrowicz wrote a vicious, hilarious attack on self-serving, autocratic rulers based on a common fairy-tale premise: a prince falls in love with an […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Typecast for Terror

Ray Hanania grew up going to the movies, where he noticed that the “sinister, evil characters” often looked like an uncle, a brother, or himself. “It doesn’t do much for your self-esteem,” says Hanania, whose family’s Palestinian. A former video-rental store owner as well as a journalist, he started keeping a list. These are at […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Lutton’s Fuzzy Math

I am sorry to hear that Ms. Lutton [“Congratulations! You Lose!” August 17] will not be receiving a tax rebate. From CNN’s Web site, at www.cnn.com/2001/ALLPOLITICS/06/07/tax.primer: “Those who had absolutely no tax liability (their tax bill was 0, or they got a rebate from the government) will not get a rebate check. In order to […]