Posted inNews & Politics

Cocktails and Comfort

The BC Tap is the sort of place that sponsors softball teams, whose patrons have “usuals,” and where “everybody knows your name.” Outside, nothing identifies the bar at Balmoral and Clark but its Old Style sign and large windows, which show off the homey interior’s tall comfortable stools and a carpeted floor. More than just […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

I’m in a crisis. I am dating a man who is kind, considerate, and mature, and sexy to boot. The only problem is that he’s had a vasectomy, and I want kids–I want kids real bad. He says he would consider reversing his little nip and tuck, but it’s not as if he’s made any […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Sketch Fest

This two-month showcase of Chicago sketch comedy features more than 30 local ensembles–some well established, some new to the scene–representing a remarkable range of styles and viewpoints, with two or three groups sharing the bill at each performance according to the schedule below. Participating troupes include Stir-Friday Night!, Annoyance Productions, Weaselicious, Brick, ÁSalsation!, GayCo Productions, […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Peaches is better known, but Viki, aka Vixxen Hott, has been doing a sexy weirdo shtick for just as long. There aren’t actually many similarities between the two: Peaches’s act is about control, and her songs are as accessible as X-rated lo-fi electronica can be; Viki goes with a confused demeanor and complex timing. Like […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

C.J. CHENIER & THE RED HOT LOUISIANA BAND 1/11 & 1/12, FITZGERALD’S In rock ‘n’ roll, sons of legends will almost always let you down–call it the curse of Julian Lennon. But C.J. Chenier’s father, Clifton, was one of the proud few responsible for bringing zydeco to the masses, and in his death in 1987, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Emotional Fireworks

Blood Wedding Hypocrites at the Viaduct Theater In our age of caution and half gestures, the stage too is dominated by fear, inhibition, and ambivalence. Modern plays revolve around characters who spend much of their time screwing up the courage to act or trying to sort out a mass of conflicting feelings. Even David Mamet’s […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Elena Bashkirova

Russian-born pianist Elena Bashkirova is talented enough to be a famous soloist in her own right, but in part because of her two marriages–to violinist Gidon Kremer and pianist Daniel Barenboim–she’s still a relative unknown, overshadowed by her husbands’ celebrity. Kremer was Bashkirova’s spouse and constant collaborator in the 1970s, and during that time both […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Dutch sound artist Jaap Blonk is returning to Chicago for the third time since last spring, and if you think it sounds like he’s fallen in love here, you’re right, sorta: “The Chicago musicians I got acquainted with have been very open-minded and generous in offering me opportunities to play improvised music with them in […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Gosford Park

This upstairs-downstairs comedy-drama, set in 1932 in an English country house, is probably Robert Altman’s most accomplished film since the 70s. Among its virtues are the discipline exercised by its fine English cast, a good script by Julian Fellowes (based on ideas by Altman and costar Bob Balaban) that incorporates certain aspects of Agatha Christie-style […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Blue Man Group

Hard to believe, but it was more than four years ago that the Blue Men arrived with their jungles of industrial tubing and turbo-hydraulic water-spouting thingamajigs to test a postpsychedelic generation’s affinity for sensory overload. The revue is more clean and collected than it was at its premiere–much of the kinetic clutter has been thinned […]