Posted inArts & Culture

Violent Visions

Kazimierz Kalkowski at the Society for Arts, through January 6 The bizarre figures and gnarled forms in Kazimierz Kalkowski’s 29 ceramic sculptures at the Society for Arts recall the tradition of the grotesque: in her catalog essay, Zofia Watrak links Kalkowski to Bosch, Brueghel, Callot, Goya, and Daumier. But his work is also in the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Winter Pageant

Secular humanists and pagans need holiday cheer too, and Redmoon Theater’s deliberately artless annual celebration of the winter solstice gives it to them. This year Lookingglass Theatre stalwart John Musial conceived and directs the show, and musical polymath Mark Messing heads up the four-piece band. A beleaguered mother (Meghan Strell) and her daughter (Katie Connolly) […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Who Killed Santa Claus?

Who Killed Santa Claus?, TinFish Theatre. This is a whodunit whose prattle about astrology, Hair, and the pill quickly reveals its age. But playwright Terence Feely’s anti-Agatha (as in Christie) innovations give this 1970 thriller a certain historical interest. In the right hands, Who Killed Santa Claus? might be a period curiosity, as swinging London […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Ann Worthing

The 12 oil paintings by Ann Worthing at Aron Packer Gallery set a single animal against a softly colored background, but most of their titles–Monkey Business, Squirrely–are words humans use to judge one another. Yet Worthing undercuts any judgment. The open eyes and dead-on gaze of the sheep in Sheepish contradict the title; the mug-shot […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Know Your Flags

Michael Miner made a common mistake when he referred to the Confederate flag that makes up part, or most, of a number of southern states’ flags [Hot Type, December 13]. That flag is the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia (Robert E. Lee’s outfit). The “Stars and Bars” consists of a blue canton, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar, Chicago Shakespeare Theater. The fault with director Barbara Gaines’s disappointing modern-dress rendition of Shakespeare’s play is not in her stars. She’s assembled some of Chicago’s most reliable actors for the Bard’s tale of political intrigue and civil war. But having put such notables as Kevin Gudahl, Scott Jaeck, Scott Parkinson, Guy Adkins, Linda […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Lock’Er Up

Let me get this straight: Joy Brown [“Trapped,” December 13], by her own admission, started seeing this loser on the sly, against her parent’s wishes, even though he was treating her like dirt; made babies with him without even a stable relationship, much less a long-term commitment. Furthermore, when “the system” granted her request for […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Calendar Sidebar

Last year dancer and graphic designer Diana Garcia Snyder recruited fellow dancer Elizabeth Lentz to come up with a way to keep dance on the minds of Chicagoans year-round; the result is the first Chicago Dance Calendar, which went on sale this month. The two dozen groups featured in the 2003 calendar paid a fee […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Hamid Drake & Michael Zerang

The end of the year is packed with religious observances: Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza. But the winter solstice (which falls on December 21 this year) is the oldest of them all–humanity has celebrated this celestial occurrence since it first learned to read the stars. Drummers Hamid Drake and Michael Zerang planned their first solstice concert 12 […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City v. Small Business Owners

As another small business owner recently targeted for selling used CDs without a secondhand dealer’s license, I felt compelled to point out the most obvious flaw in Alderman Schulter’s recent addition to the ordinance [Post No Bills, December 13]. While all other items previously covered in the law are unique by appearance or serial number, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

If the state lottery is a tax on people who are bad at math, the residents of zip codes 60619, 60628, and 60617 need a remedial class in the worst way. According to Leah Samuel’s study of Illinois Lottery receipts (Chicago Reporter, October), these three south-side zip codes generated the most lottery sales in fiscal […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Flying Karamazov Brothers

The Flying Karamazov Brothers, at Royal George Theatre Center, through January 19. So many shows today have imperative titles: Stomp, Blast!, and now Catch!, a 90-minute jugglefest by the Flying Karamazov Brothers. Ever since their dazzling debut in Goodman Theatre’s A Comedy of Errors three decades ago, they’ve been convulsing Chicago (“our second hometown”) and […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

A while back I read an article about how sperm may be an antidepressant for people who ingest it in one way or another. But that’s not my question. What interests me is that a few months later, I read an article about the scientist who proposed that theory. He said what started him down […]