Posted inArts & Culture

MC Paul Barman

MC Paul Barman’s giddy 2000 EP, It’s Very Stimulating (Wordsound), wasn’t exactly a hit with underground MCs–exuberance is about as credible in hip-hop these days as courtesy toward the police. Over jolly beats and cartoonish samples (provided by producer Prince Paul) Barman goofed on his geeky Jewish-intellectual persona, as he spouted “My sex life is […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Datebook

FEBRUARY 21 FRIDAY Last year writer and Newcity.com editor Frank Sennett wrote an article for Booklist about nearly forgotten spy novelist Donald Hamilton, whose Matt Helm series was once so popular eight million books were in print. On behalf of Hamilton, Sennett was fielding queries from publishers interested in releasing the final book in the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Dirty Bible Stories

Dirty Bible Stories, WNEP Theater. The “dirty” part misleads a bit: this often delightful improv-originated retelling of supposedly shocking tales from the good book includes such unblue material as the raising of Lazarus–the first zombie–and omits the salacious Susanna and the elders, David and Jonathan, the woman taken in adultery, and Jezebel, Delilah, and Salome. […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

I’ve noticed that networks are always proud of how many people were watching their shows, as shown by the Nielsen ratings. Who is Nielsen, and how is he counting the 7.8 million people who were watching the latest reality show? How do they figure out what I’m watching? I have a feeling they ask a […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Master Builder

The Master Builder, Keyhole Players, at Josephinum. Adapter-director Frank Merle sets this production of Henrik Ibsen’s 1892 play in 1920s Chicago, Americanizing characters’ names and otherwise nipping at the original. Though the abridgment seems unnecessary and some illuminating passages are missing, this is nevertheless a fine staging. Harold Solness (Ed Keller), the ruthless title character, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Calendar

Friday 2/21 – Thursday 2/27 FEBRUARY 21 FRIDAY Last year writer and Newcity.com editor Frank Sennett wrote an article for Booklist about nearly forgotten spy novelist Donald Hamilton, whose Matt Helm series was once so popular eight million books were in print. On behalf of Hamilton, Sennett was fielding queries from publishers interested in releasing […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Funnier the First Time

Run for Your Wife Attic Playhouse Caught in the Net Drury Lane Theatre Evergreen Park In farce as in life, we find comfort in the familiar. Of course writers of farce inflate everyday human interactions to impossible levels: doors slam and telephones ring more frequently than in any sane household. But actions and motives pushed […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Doug Smithenry

Just when I think painters have done it all, someone comes up with images unlike any I’ve seen before. Doug Smithenry’s 34 paintings at Aron Packer are based on figures and backgrounds he finds on the Internet–but after he prints them, he crumples up the paper and flattens it with a rolling pin. This makes […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Overlooked

Anne Melinda Palmore and Darryl Geoffrey Crosby are the principals of 3D Design Studio, the two-person design firm that won the Universal and Affordable House Competition. As we are the only employees of the firm I know that we were never contacted in any form by Ms. Becker before she wrote her article [“Stop the […]