Posted inArts & Culture

Marcio Faraco

MARCIO FARACO He’s from Brazil, where people are making great music left and right these days, but Marcio Faraco insists that he had to move to France to make a record. “I was like a rat, begging in the gutter,” he complains in the liner notes to his recent debut album, Ciranda (Blue Thumb). “A […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Slaughterhouse 5-Cattle 0

Slaughterhouse 5-Cattle 0, Second City. The sketch-comedy form is universally recognizable thanks to Saturday Night Live and other Second City offshoots. And improv training and performance, once trade secrets, are now also well-known. This familiarity plus the weight of reputation and history make an excellent recipe for unfunny comedy. But with Slaughterhouse 5-Cattle 0, Second […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

PALOALTO 11/24, PARK WEST Don’t be fooled by the cover of Paloalto, the American Recordings debut of the Los Angeles quintet of the same name. Though it not so subtly apes the look of various releases on Jade Tree and Thrill Jockey, it’s actually a big commercial-sounding rock record, produced explicitly for radio by Rick […]

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TALLULAH, Shubert Theatre. What becomes a legend most? Certainly not this one-woman play. Kathleen Turner as Broadway star Tallulah Bankhead has the right sultry presence, husky voice, and ribald sense of humor; what she hasn’t got is a script that makes much sense. Playwright Sandra Ryan Heyward has set the action in Bankhead’s boudoir in […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Group Efforts: I’m OK, you’re OK, even if we’re not OK

A poster listing the “10 Warning Signs of ‘Normality’” hangs in Katherine Hodges’s Ukrainian Village kitchen. It cautions that such qualities as being obedient, boring, and gullible may be psychiatric problems like “adjustment prone,” “hyper-inactivity,” and “naivete disorder.” “I don’t like seeing emotions and behaviors as illnesses,” says the 24-year-old Columbia College student. “Your emotions […]

Posted inNews & Politics


NOVEMBER 24 FRIDAY Last year on this, the biggest shopping day of the year, there were Buy Nothing Day anticonsumerism actions in over 30 countries. In Vancouver, a gold-clad Mr. Materialism thanked shoppers for their enthusiastic spending; in Kyoto, a “Zenta” Claus sat meditating in the lotus position for eight hours on the city’s busiest […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Another Part of the Forest

ANOTHER PART OF THE FOREST, Eclipse Theatre Company, at the Chopin Theatre. The Hubbard clan–that delicious nest of vipers synonymous with galloping greed and elaborate treachery–was originally unleashed in The Little Foxes, Lillian Hellman’s 1939 play. Its prequel, Another Part of the Forest, was written seven years later and reveals how the Hubbards got so […]

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TRI-DIM In September, eight of Sweden’s hottest young improvisers were hustled around town to play in various combinations with the Chicago improv mob under the auspices of John Corbett and Mats Gustafsson’s Pipeline 2000 project–and though they were a mind-bogglingly talented bunch, the one who made the deepest impression was acoustic guitarist David Stackenas. From […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Daniel Barenboim and Radu Lupu

DANIEL BARENBOIM AND RADU LUPU Fifty years ago, at age seven, Daniel Barenboim made his professional debut in his native Buenos Aires, and for the golden anniversary of that occasion he’s holding a series of concerts, here and at Carnegie Hall, with old friends and longtime collaborators. Last Sunday he played Symphony Center with an […]

Posted inArts & Culture

A Christmas Carol

A CHRISTMAS CAROL, Goodman Theatre. It’s right that the show that ends Goodman Theatre’s 75 years in its old home behind the Art Institute is a ghost story. Dickens’s tale of redemption seems a fitting farewell, both prologue and epilogue: the Ghost of Dramas Past yields to the Ghost of Dramas Yet to Come. This […]