Posted inArts & Culture

Blast!

Anyone who’s been to a high school football game will recognize Blast! immediately. The brass-and-percussion band, the routines with flags and batons, the rendition of “Malaguena”–this is is a halftime show. An evening-length halftime show, without a game to justify it. The concept seems perverse. The halftime show rates right up there with ice ballet […]

Posted inArts & Culture

2 Pianos, 4 Hands

2 Pianos, 4 Hands, Northlight Theatre. In Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt’s 1996 play, two gifted young pianists develop a friendship/rivalry fraught with compulsion and peevish, wry humor–it’s like an Odd Couple with two Felix Ungers. Scenes alternate between one boy and the other, depicting spats with parents who force them to practice and lessons […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Mike Jones Trio

When Mike Jones was still a kid, he had a chance to ask the peerless Oscar Peterson how he too might become a great jazz pianist; Peterson told him to go to the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Jones did, and one night classmate Diana Krall dragged him to a local hotel to hear […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Adler’s Inspirations

After architect David Adler graduated from Princeton in 1904 he went to Germany and then to France to study firsthand the historical styles he would later adapt in designing his elegant American country homes. While overseas he began to collect picture postcards–not the usual naughty Parisian lady stuff, but photographs and drawings of the great […]

Posted inNews & Politics

TRG Music Listings

Rock, Pop, etc. concerts ANITA BAKER Fri 12/27 and Sat 12/28, 8 PM, Star Plaza Theatre, I-65 and U.S. 30, Merrillville, Indiana. 773-734-7266 or 312-559-1212. CREED Sun 12/29, 7:15 PM, Allstate Arena, 6920 Mannheim, Rosemont. 847-635-6601 or 312-559-1212. DARK STAR ORCHESTRA 18 & over. Sun 12/29, 8:30 PM, the Vic, 3145 N. Sheffield. 773-472-0449 or […]

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Roasting Chestnuts: Oy! It’s Christmas

There’s an added spark this year to the core material in the Noble Fools’ holiday revue spoofing star-driven specials. At the show’s center is Patricia Musker as smarmy big shot Gina Oswald: whenever the indefatigable Gina sings, Musker’s mugging and tics milk every note for hilarity. The chorus–the eight Zeitgeist Family Singers–now have well-developed individual […]

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How the Cookies Crumbled: Velveeta Laid It On Thick/CAN Can–For Now/Roosevelt Back in Business

HOW THE COOKIES CRUMBLED Velveeta Laid it on Thick When we talked with underground cartoonist Stuart Helm last May, he was getting ready to fight a temporary injunction that would force him to wipe his professional name, King VelVeeda, from his Web site (cheesygraphics.com) and stop signing it on his art. The injunction was sought […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Stories A number of news outlets in South Africa reported in November that a 20-foot African rock python had suffocated and swallowed a ten-year-old boy who was gathering fallen fruit in a mango plantation near Durban. Several children witnessed the attack, and hid up in the trees until the snake moved on; according to […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Light Opera Works

Though H.M.S. Pinafore and Patience have their partisans, most Savoyards (myself included) place The Mikado and The Pirates of Penzance above all else in the Gilbert and Sullivan canon. Both farces have operatic aspirations that can be realized when cast with the right voices and performed by an orchestra that can convey Arthur Sullivan’s elegant […]