Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

In case you hadn’t noticed, the rich are coming. Upper-income people (those who make 120 percent or more above the median) made up 29 percent of Chicago home buyers in 1993-’94, but 35.1 percent in 1999-2000, according to the Woodstock Institute’s “Home Buying by Income, 1993-2000,” written by Dan Immergluck and Geoff Smith. “The best […]

Posted inArts & Culture

High Lonesome: The Story of Bluegrass Music

Highly informative and thoroughly endearing, this 1991 documentary by Rachel Liebling chronicles the “high, lonesome sound” and its legendary performers against the backdrop of a changing America. Created by Scotch-Irish settlers in the Appalachian Mountains, bluegrass gradually infiltrated the mass media, incorporating outside instruments (the mandolin) and styles (from syncopated African-American work songs to rock […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Professional and Eve of the Trial

The Professional and Eve of the Trial, TinFish Theatre. The company’s “second annual Serbian heritage production,” featuring two one-acts, kicks off with an adaptation of Chekhov’s short story “Eve of the Trial” by Samm-Art Williams. Though perhaps more appropriate for, say, a Russian heritage celebration, it provides an hour of light, crowd-pleasing entertainment. Williams has […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Rimers of Eldritch

The Rimers of Eldritch, Terrapin Theatre, at the Athenaeum Theatre. Lanford Wilson’s 1966 play could be viewed as a prototype for his later works, likewise set in industry-fueled villages. In this case, Eldritch’s coal mines have shut down, leaving the town only a trucking business and neighboring middle-class community, Centerville, to support the few remaining […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Painting Churches

Painting Churches, Organic Theater Company. Tina Howe’s play about a woman who returns home to paint her aging parents’ portrait comes ready-made with problems, including lines like “Daddy’s last Pulitzer hardly covered our expenses” and “Ezra Pound brought me these shoes from Italy.” Howe’s reliance on what David Mamet calls “And then my cat died” […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, ComedySportz. Best known for its competitive take on Viola Spolin’s improv games, Comedy-Sportz is the last group I’d expect to stage a traditional fully scripted Christmas show like this one. Adapted by Barbara Robinson from her own sweet but shallow young-adult novel, it details what happens when the rowdiest family […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

I’ll be blunt. I dig being smacked in bed. My boyfriend is willing to do this, he says, but he seems to think twice a month is enough. And when he does smack me he only does it until I’m horny enough to let him proceed with the after-hitting festivities. He’s just not hitting me […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Top Girls

Top Girls, Remy Bumppo, at Victory Gardens Theater. Caryl Churchill’s 1982 feminist masterpiece has lost none of its scalding wit, lapidary genius, and eviscerating insight. And James Bohnen’s staging for Remy Bumppo, featuring one of the strongest casts I’ve seen all year, should not be missed. The brilliant first scene–a fantasia in which high-flying corporate […]

Posted inArts & Culture

House

House, Chicago Repertory Company, at Chicago Actors Studio. The character in Daniel MacIvor’s one-man play, Victor, is usually described as an ineffectual, socially inept loser. Victor himself points out that he’s not weird but is most definitely fucked-up. (“You’re born weird,” he says. “You get fucked-up.”) Yet Tim Klein’s portrayal proves Victor is much more […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast, Cadillac Palace Theatre. Now touring for the third time since its 1994 Broadway debut, this lavish musical re-creates fairly faithfully the 1991 Academy Award-winning movie. New songs with lyrics by Tim Rice are bland compared with the original slyly witty Howard Ashman tunes, but combined with Linda Woolverton’s sensitive rewriting of […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Sports Section

The Bears weren’t the only Chicago team to show dramatic and unexpected improvement this fall. The Blackhawks did also, even though they, like the Bears, made no major additions during the off-season. They had, however, hired a new coach, the businesslike (and English-speaking) Brian Sutter, and his more organized approach to the game produced instant […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Latinologues

Latinologues, at Bailiwick Repertory. This collection of comic monologues–written and directed by Rick Najera and performed by Najera and a rotating cast–attacks stereotypes the old-fashioned way, not only debunking their distortions but humanizing them by sheepishly acknowledging their occasional basis in fact. To the wrong crowd, this maliceless show might at times come off as […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Arafat’s War

Editor: Michael Miner (Hot Type, 11/16/01) is to be commended for bringing to light the dismay many members of the Jewish community feel over the Chicago Tribune’s treatment of Israel in its pages. One need go no further than a quote in Miner’s piece attributed to Tribune editorialist Storer Rowley to see the extent to […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

German conductor Wilhelm Furtwangler was legendary for his intensely felt and insightful interpretations, meticulously rehearsed and marked by a stubbornly unorthodox treatment of tempo. He did his most celebrated work between the world wars, for top-tier institutions like the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic, and the Bayreuth Festival; his signature style famously transformed pieces […]