Posted inArts & Culture

Breaking Away

Rocket to the Moon Writers’ Theatre The Time of Your Life Steppenwolf Theatre Company At the end of the 1930s the great democratic experiment that had swept Europe and America 150 years earlier seemed poised on the brink of failure. The “free economy,” which had long promised independence in exchange for hard work, was revealed […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

And God said, “No way I can divert all four airplanes, so I’ll let New York go and concentrate on rural Pennsylvania.” The August 28 issue of PBS Web publication “Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly” ( visited Shanksville, Pennsylvania, for the obligatory September 11 anniversary story and came away with a theologically challenged quote from a […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Devil Vet

Social estrangement and loss of identity are the central concerns of this gently warped tale about a bloodthirsty Transylvanian veterinarian, his captive subjects, and an itinerant freak show. Writer-director Bob Fisher claims the Universal horror films of the 1950s as his biggest inspiration–par for the course when it comes to his work with the Mammals, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Joshua Redman Elastic Band

The Joshua Redman Trio–Sam Yahel on organ and Brian Blade on drums behind Redman’s tenor and soprano saxes–has just released its debut album, Elastic (Warner Bros.). But in fact this is the second album in less than six months from these same three musicians; the first, recorded as a cooperatively led trio called Yaya3, was […]

Posted inFilm

*Corpus Callosum

This stunning 93-minute video by Canadian conceptual artist Michael Snow might be his greatest work since La region centrale over 30 years ago. Almost certainly his most accessible feature, it combines elements from virtually all his previous films: the inexorable camera movement of Wavelength, Back and Forth, and La region centrale; the encyclopedic cataloging of […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Too Much of a Good Thing

The Ribbon Factory Mad Shak Dance Company at the Harold Washington Library Center, through October 4 As even his most ardent defenders will acknowledge, playwright August Wilson sometimes goes on too long. It’s a by-product of his tremendous gift: there’s no limit to the dialogue he can invent for his characters. Beyond a certain point, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

A good friend of mine, a Chinese born in Nanking, China, told me that many Chinese (including himself) do not need to use deodorant. “We don’t have sweat glands under our arms,” he said, “We don’t need to use deodorant.” I’d always thought that all humans were endowed with similar glands and organs. We all […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Cuisine Art

Chef Lisa Futterman is not accustomed to doing one thing at a time. It’s Saturday morning at the Chopping Block, the Lincoln Park culinary shop where she teaches. As the students in her Rustic Italian class wander in (mostly young women, with a few husbands in tow), she peels and deveins a pile of shrimp, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Saving Face

Living in the south generally means keeping one foot in the past and one watchful eye on the future: the racist dogma of the old south and the economic prosperity of the new butt heads magnificently in every city below the Mason-Dixon Line. Laurie Jo Reynolds’s exhaustive look at two of the often overlooked keystones […]