Posted inArts & Culture

Howlin’ At The Moon

Howlin’ At The Moon, Black Ensemble Theater. While preparing for the New York premiere of The Jackie Wilson Story, this talented company debuts a musical bio of blues legend Chester Arthur Burnett, aka Howlin’ Wolf. Jackie Taylor and Jimmy Tillman’s “bluesical” skips Wolf’s early Mississippi-delta life, focusing on his Chicago years: his sensational career (including […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Wedding Band

Wedding Band, Steppenwolf Theatre Company and Congo Square Theatre Company. It’s a bit much for press materials to state that African-American playwright Alice Childress never made it to Broadway because “she wrote difficult plays and was unwilling to compromise.” How, then, to explain the Broadway success of her contemporary Lorraine Hansberry? If Wedding Band is […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Sonny Fortune

With a billowing tone on alto and tenor, a sinuous sound on soprano, and a juggernaut quality to his improvisations on all horns, saxophonist Sonny Fortune is a vital reminder of the power and promise that lit jazz from within during the 1960s. Fortune first grabbed the attention of jazz fans in the early 70s […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Discovering you aren’t the person you were raised to think you are must be disconcerting, especially when you’re in your mid-30s. But writer-performer Michael Fosberg forged from his own shock and bewilderment a story of personal growth that transcends his individual experience to address all cultures and ages. Premiered at Bailiwick Repertory in 2001 and […]

Posted inFilm

Windmills of His Mind

Lost in La Mancha ** (Worth seeing) Directed by Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe With Terry Gilliam, Jean Rochefort, Johnny Depp, Nicola Pecorini, and Philip Patterson, and narrated by Jeff Bridges. Don Quixote is a fairy tale. So is Bleak House, so is Dead Souls. Madame Bovary and Anna Karenin are supreme fairy tales. But […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

20 MILES 2/21, HIDEOUT Guitarist Judah Bauer, best known for his work with the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, formed 20 Miles with his brother Donovan back in 1996, mostly for kicks. That’s some scary talent, considering how plenty of musicians base whole careers on far more disposable music. On Keep It Coming (Fat Possum), the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Love at Arm’s Length

The Cider House Rules Famous Door Theatre at Victory Gardens Theater A pregnant friend told me recently that she intends to create a T-shirt for her tyke that inverts a standard anti-abortion slogan: “It’s a choice, not a baby” is the legend she wants. Dr. Wilbur Larch, the cantankerous obstetrician-orphanage director at the heart of […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Let Him Do His Job

Dear editor: Perhaps it’s because I just returned to Chicago several months ago, after 14 years of living and working in Washington, D.C., that some of the criticism of Tom Tunney by his opponents in the Reader article [“How Could He?” February 14] makes my skin crawl. Even the activists and some of the other […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Breakbone DanceCo.

“I’m a sucker for romantic stuff–dark romantic,” says Breakbone DanceCo. artistic director Atalee Judy. You can tell. Her new 75-minute piece, One, is set in a castle and features maidens in bloodred corset tops and long skirts. What’s fascinating is not the melodramatic conceit, however, but Judy’s invention: she carves up the cavernous second floor […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Fog of War

War (What Is It Good For?) at the Museum of Contemporary Art, through May 18 A permanent collection–what is it good for? The Museum of Contemporary Art answers: a rapid-response exhibit called “War (What Is It Good For?).” Assembled by assistant curator Michael Rooks, this show of 36 works by 22 artists and one video […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Hammer in Hand

To the editor: A response to Earl Oliver [Letters, January 24] Oh yes, there is power in our union, only it’s in the hands of one! I am one of the persons mentioned in the January 10 article “Suits vs. Boots.” Now on a whole, all the response to the article I heard was good. […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

Keeping track of the new machine. Fifteen of the 50 city aldermen have been members of the Chicago City Council since at least 1989. Political scientists Dick Simpson, Ruben Feliciano, Rick Howard, and Aaron Van Klyton of the University of Illinois at Chicago have compiled their voting records on contested issues in 1989-’90 and in […]