Underneath Ben Wahhh’s visions of melting flesh and disembodied eyeballs lurks a driven and capable entrepreneur.
Five Rooms of Furniture Organic Theater Company Turning pain into payoffs seems to be a peculiarly American institution, and a vexing one. It’s easy to chirp that no amount of money can possibly make up for mind-numbing loss when you’re not the one going through the torment. At the same time, the promise of earthly […]
To the editor: I note that someone in your pages is defending God and the church [Letters, July 12, July 19, August 16, August 23]. It’s time we asked Him a few questions. Like, what has He done for us lately? Six billion of us down here, and half still live on less than two […]
Friday 8/30 – Thursday 9/5 AUGUST 30 FRIDAY Song (canto), dance (baile), and guitar (guitarra) are the three main components of flamenco, but there’s also plenty of audience participation in the form of rhythmic hand clapping (toque de palmas). There will be several opportunities for the latter over the next few weeks, starting with this […]
Nat Ward, left, was photographed in June 2000 by Jon Lowenstein as part of the CITY 2000 photodocumentary project. I interviewed him the following February in his loft apartment, which he shared with a roommate and a vast assortment of interesting objects, including three motorcycles and two partially disassembled pianos. I’m Nathaniel Ward, and I’ve […]
Sarah Gee Wants You to Cheer the Fuck Up, at Second City, Donny’s Skybox Studio. Former Second City Touring Company member Sarah Gee is perky but not in a mindless, annoying kind of way. Instead her sunniness camouflages the dark, often deranged characters in her one-woman show, directed by David Buckman. There’s the waitress who, […]
I was deeply offended by your recent front-page article concerning Scientology [“Death of a Scientologist,” August 16]. I felt the data was inaccurate, biased, and discriminatory. I have been a member of the Church of Scientology for nearly 15 years now, and I am living a positive, rewarding life because of what I have learned […]
Improvisers have never been particularly prudish–in fact, improvisatory games tend to dissolve inhibitions. And in recent years, as audiences’ general knowledge has shrunk (at one show, a reference to Ernest Hemingway was greeted with the stunned silence usually reserved for quips about high-energy physics), jokes about sex and bodily functions have become a quick, easy […]
When guitarist Corey Harris hit the national scene in the late 90s, he seemed a likely candidate to lead the growing acoustic revivalist movement among young African-American bluesmen. Since then, however, he’s proven more interested in expanding what his audience thinks of as “blues” than in hewing to tradition. His latest, this year’s Downhome Sophisticate […]
On Golden Pond, Drury Lane Oakbrook. Ernest Thompson’s 1978 play is set in the comfortable but not sumptuous Maine summer home of Norman and Ethel Thayer. Chelsea, their 42-year-old daughter, has spent years distancing herself from her irascible father. Now she’s returned to Golden Pond with her dentist fiance and his 13-year-old son, ostensibly to […]
The Unlimited Sunshine tour is one of the more peculiar and stylistically diverse packages assembled in recent memory. It’s not all good–Cake headlines–but it looks smart on paper. On Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (Warner Brothers), their long-anticipated follow-up to the kaleidoscopic The Soft Bulletin, the Flaming Lips continue to grow, but it’s not their […]
Slide guitarist Lil’ Ed Williams learned his craft from his uncle J.B. Hutto, whose stripped-down approach in turn owed a debt to Elmore James’s slashing, Delta-inspired style. When Ed takes on the persona of a slide-slinging Lord of Misrule, he can make even the glitziest tourist trap feel like a house party, but in recent […]
Since the 1950s Albert “Tootie” Heath, of the Philadelphia Heaths, has been a paragon of jazz drumming. Just swinging as hard as he does would be more than enough to get by on, but he has myriad ways of giving voice to the time, from a very light cymbal ride to the full Fort McHenry […]
His Non-Civic Duty It’s an ageless adage and probably true that no one ever reads a newspaper article about himself that doesn’t get something wrong. Wayne Brasler had this experience the other day. He opened Jnews, the alumni newsletter of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, to the headline “Brasler, teaching pioneer, retires.” Most […]
Buddhists and local Tibetophiles commune.