Lead Stories According to a BBC News report last month, Matsushita Electric Industrial runs a state-of-the-art retirement home near Osaka, Japan, using robotic companion bears to comfort the residents (average age: 82) and continually check their health signs. Covered in fur, the bears respond to voice commands and can monitor a resident’s alertness by timing […]
For people who hear the word “rumba” and think of Ricky Ricardo leading his dinner-jacketed orchestra at the Copacabana on I Love Lucy, the music of Los Munequitos de Matanzas is likely to be either a disappointment or a wake-up call, if not both at once. Los Munequitos play the original rumba, an Afro-Cuban roots […]
This isn’t a pub crawl–it’s a bunch of guys going from bar to bar and having a drink at each one.
“I can’t stop,” says jazz violinist Samuel Williams. “Even when I really want to stop. Even when I don’t have enough money to eat and I’m living off $20 a week. I feel like I was made to play.” Williams, who performs under the stage name Savoir Faire, has been playing violin since he was […]
Slow Food, Italian Style
Bedlam, at the Playground. In this late-night comedy, written and directed by Andy Eninger, small-time performance artist Danny Farragut springs his boundary-blurring works, which usually involve his bed, on unsuspecting visitors to a drapery museum. Free-associative scenes jump from present to future to ancient past, eventually revealing unlikely connections between Garp-ishly fatherless provocateur Danny and […]
Jesus Hopped the “A” Train, Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis has spent a lot of time working with prison populations, so it’s rather astonishing that his play, set on Riker’s Island, is so utterly unconvincing much of the time. And as directed by Ron O.J. Parson, this is yet another production that substitutes […]
Eva Watson Schutze, a portraitist in league with Alfred Stieglitz and his photo secessionist movement, exemplified late-19th-century ideals of the “new woman” as well as the era’s “new photography.” A dedicated pictorialist, she embraced an artistic style of subjective, soft-focus lyricism, derided as “fuzzography” by mainstream photographers of the time, who espoused sharp-focus realism. Born […]
Hey, everybody: After I mentioned a sexual fantasy of mine in print a few weeks ago– Brad Pitt coming all over Ashton Kutcher’s face–a reader suggested that I devote an entire column to other people’s fantasies. Upping the ante, I decided to have a contest, with prizes going to readers whose fantasies were selected for […]
Adja Yunkers: To Invent a Garden at the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, through March 31 Mu Xin: Landscape Paintings and Prison Notes at the David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, through March 24 Modern art has frequently been enriched by cross-cultural influences, but Adja Yunkers’s inspirations were unusually diverse, including religious […]
The audience is small and shows are few and far between, but walking musical encyclopedia Ralph Lampkin lives and breathes cabaret.
Uncle Broadway, Royal George Theatre Center. Created by Richard Ericson, Bruce Coyle, Judith Swift, and Paul Grellong, this hybrid musical taps into the new patriotism while invoking the star-spangled nostalgia of America’s greatest flag-waver, George M. Cohan. His spirit returns in a dream to help a sullen white teenage rapper bummed out by school shootings […]
The Public League championship game went big time this year–taking up a position not just at the United Center but in TV land as well. The city’s most important high school basketball game drew about 15,000 fans to its biggest indoor arena, even as the game claimed two hours on public television’s WTTW–during pledge month, […]
Selling out implies that an artist has some integrity, and that he’s relinquishing it to move product. But Andrew W.K. never had any such notions of virtue; he’s just a weirdo who perfected a familiar formula–big songs with big guitars, big hooks, and even bigger choruses–and decided to go for the gold. In the mid-90s, […]
On her 1998 debut album, 29 Nights (Decca), Danni Leigh sent a current of rockabilly sass rippling through neotraditionalist honky-tonk and was quickly pegged as “the female Dwight Yoakam.” But that formula, so successful for Yoakam, wasn’t enough to score her radio play; the record stiffed, and she soon parted ways with the label. Early […]