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Posted inArts & Culture

Soft Ball

Baal Trap Door Theatre By Justin Hayford By the time Bertolt Brecht completed his undergraduate studies in 1917, only 5 of his original 68 classmates were on hand to take the exit exam. The others had been shipped off to the war. Many never returned, and several of Brecht’s boyhood chums were killed as well. […]

Posted inNews & Politics

TRG Music listings

Rock, Pop, etc. concerts BoDEANS, WILLIE NILE Fri 11/24 and Sat 11/25, 7:30 PM, Riviera Theatre, 4746 N. Racine. 773-275-6800 or 312-559-1212. D-ERANIA Sat 11/25, 7:30 PM, Mars Hill Church, 5916 W. Lake. 773-287-3535. JOHN DIGWEED, DJs WALSH & SOMMER See Critic’s Choice. Sat 11/25, 9 PM, the Vic, 3145 N. Sheffield. 773-472-0449 or 312-559-1212. […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Babes Off Broadway

Cabaret singer and former Kenilworth resident Jeff Harnar says he owes his career to his North Shore upbringing. His first performance was with the Wilmette Children’s Theatre when he was nine years old. “They were doing Music Man. I got the part of the little boy who sings ‘Gary, Indiana’ and a Chicago talent agent […]

Posted inNews & Politics


To the editor: Can someone please clue me in on why Jennifer Berman has cartoons published in the Reader? I have read every Berman feature with interest over the past few years only to see if her current comic is even worse than her last. Her cartoons are not in the least bit funny or […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Stories In October the New England Journal of Medicine reported the apparent first-ever transfer of a food-poisoning virus from one football team to its opponent. Florida State beat Duke, 62-13, in the 1998 game, but 43 queasy Duke players and assistants got some unintended revenge by making 11 FSU players violently ill during and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Baritone Nation

BARITONE NATION Modern music seems to encourage unconventional combinations of instruments, but the lineup of Baritone Nation–four baritone saxists, one percussionist, and nothing else–will still probably catch a few people by surprise. A basic 17-piece jazz orchestra never uses more than one bari; to see four lined up in a row you’d usually have to […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Hollywood Whores

Thank you for printing “Junket Bonds” [November 17], the excerpt from Jonathan Rosenbaum’s upcoming book. Honesty in the evaluation of big Hollywood films is hard enough to come by; honesty in the evaluation of film criticism seems nonexistent. It’s long been my own contention that the mainstream media “film critics” are not film critics at […]

Posted inMusic

Local Release Roundup

Local Release Roundup BLUE MEANIES The Post Wave (MCA) On their major label debut these local veterans put a new-wave shine on their horn-driven pop punk–complete with gratuitous backing vocals by Jane Wiedlin of the Go-Go’s. But their songs remain defiantly forgettable. The nasal, aggressively obnoxious snarl of singer Billy Spunke–more Pee-wee Herman than John […]

Posted inArts & Culture

R.L. Burnside

R.L. BURNSIDE Despite the obligatory protests from purists, there’s nothing inherently wrong with the Fat Possum label’s attempts to graft hip-hop technology onto the deep blues of Mississippi hill country guitarist R.L. Burnside–at a juke joint or a house party, the groove is all that matters once things get hot. Burnside’s latest, Wish I Was […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Songs of Ourselves

To the editors: I’m writing in response to Kelly Kleiman’s review of the About Face Theatre’s production of Whitman [October 27]. I need to preface what I want to say by admitting that I haven’t seen the production, and hadn’t planned to until reading Ms. Kleiman’s review. But I found her assessment to be unnecessarily […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Private Eyes

Private Eyes, Sliced Bread Productions, at the Acme Theater. Steven Dietz’s deeply flawed black comedy gets a blemished once-over in Sliced Bread’s sincere but emotionally hollow production, which wastes a terrifically talented cast. Using the device of a play within a play within a play, Dietz recounts in often confusing terms the story of Matthew […]

Posted inMusic

The Album at Twilight

Robert Christgau Christgau’s Consumer Guide: Albums of the ’90s (St. Martin’s Griffin) By Kevin John Robert Christgau began his writing career in 1967–the same year Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band solidified the status of the album as the primary bearer of meaning in pop music. It didn’t take him long to formalize this development […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

I am a 35-year-old Asian straight man. My girlfriend and I have been seeing each other for over a year, and recently I told her that I watch porn videos with my younger brother. She is OK with the fact that I watch porn but thinks it’s strange that I watch it with my brother. […]