Posted inArts & Culture

An Ecstasy of Dragonflies

An Ecstasy of Dragonflies, City Lit Theater Company. New playwright Page Hearn surely sensed that his plot–two men are blinded to their love for each other by their foolish infatuation with the wrong guys–was familiar turf for any orientation. So he tricked it out with surreal elements: a TV cartoon that gives the would-be lovers […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Most hip-hop parodies fall flat because the would-be jokers don’t seem to understand the culture. Insider Mike Ladd–who’s worked with El-P, members of the Anti-Pop Consortium, and other underground notables–doesn’t have that problem, and his latest project, the Majesticons, makes some pointed observations about commercial hip-hop’s conspicuous consumption. Much of Ladd’s new album, Beauty Parlor […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

Rah rah ROTC. Writing in the Chicago Free Press (April 9), Paul Varnell argues that the military isn’t going to become gay friendly on its own. “The effect of banishing ROTC and military recruiting by the most liberal, gay-accepting colleges and universities was to increase the proportion of recruits and young officers who are less […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

Being a big fan of your book Skipping Towards Gomorrah, I was delighted to read about William J. Bennett’s gambling “problem.” America’s number one moral crusader lost millions of dollars in Las Vegas casinos. I realize it’s not cool to laugh at the misfortunes of others…but I’m willing to make an exception for Bennett. So […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Weapons of No Destruction

Upon enrolling at Ball State University in 1994, Christine Dominick immediately joined the school’s fencing club. Growing up in Edison Park, she had drawn, painted, and played the piano, but by the time she got to college she was tired of “boring girlie stuff….All I knew is that I wanted to fence. It just seemed […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Owning Mahowny

Director Richard Kwietniowski follows up his impressive debut feature, Love and Death on Long Island, with this equally absorbing study of a compulsive personality, based on Gary Ross’s nonfiction book Stung: The Incredible Obsession of Brian Molony. Philip Seymour Hoffman, indie cinema’s patron saint of sweaty need, plays an inscrutable young assistant manager at a […]

Posted inNews & Politics


MAY 16 FRIDAY When Chicago’s weekend-long Great Chicago Places and Spaces architecture festival was launched five years ago it featured just under 50 tours. This time around there are 155, many of which will be led by architects and designers; they range from tomorrow’s tour of the new UBS Tower at One North Wacker with […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

ENON 5/16, METRO Brainiac guitarist John Schmersal took a break from music after the band’s front man, Tim Taylor, was killed in a car accident in 1997, but he reemerged two years later with a new project, Enon, named after a small town in his native Ohio. Begun as a solo affair, Enon developed into […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Material Excess

Dante meets American consumer culture in Gregg Biermann’s startling digital video update of The Divine Comedy. The longest of its three sections, “Inferno,” is a filmstriplike series of images made out of junk mail. A Victoria’s Secret catalog stands in for those damned for lust, while other associations–Rite Aid ads that represent thieves–are less obvious. […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

I know that this really isn’t the type of thing that is asked about frequently, but I gotta ask. When someone smokes marijuana, they get the much-fabled “munchies.” I know that this occurs, I am just at a loss as to why it does occur. What is the physiological reasons for this to occur? –Out […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Theory of Everything

The Theory of Everything, DueEast Theatre Company, at Wing & Groove Theatre. Seven people meet every Saturday on the roof of a Las Vegas wedding chapel to watch for UFOs. Three generations are represented: the elderly May, her daughter Patty and son-in-law Hiro, Patty’s friend Shimmy, her son Gilbert and his chums, siblings Lana and […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Wrongheaded Thinking

In the front-page story “A World of Hurt” (April 18), Charlie Frago describes two of his students as “dark-skinned…and incredibly violent.” Well, one can certainly see that Charlie made the best of his American education. The bias of white is right, black is bad has been the basis of American policy since the pilgrims landed […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Paradise Island

Many times when underground stars go solo, their experimental, self-indulgent wank-offs seem designed to test the loyalty of their fans. (Azita Youssefi and Kathleen Hanna, I’m lookin’ at you.) That’s not the way it has to be, though, as demonstrated by the innocent and sincere music of Paradise Island, aka Jenny Hoyston, who sings and […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Friday 5/16 – Thursday 5/22 MAY 16 FRIDAY The Chicago-based Rebel Grrrl collective was founded two years ago when three women hooked up to put out a zine of the same name. “Ladyfest was sort of the catalyst for deciding to do the zine in the first place,” says Julie, one of the three. “Originally […]