Posted inNews & Politics

And Your Little Cat, Too

As admirable as Rene Lozano is in his work as an animal control officer [May 9], Josh Schonwald missed an opportunity to educate your readers further, specifically in stating that dog packs are “more likely to threaten cats.” Many otherwise intelligent people believe cats must roam, but the truth is that neither cats nor dogs […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Trad Gets Trumped

21 AD Asia at Link’s Hall, May 9-11 Jazzdance by Danny Buraczeski at the Dance Center of Columbia College, May 1-3 Jump Rhythm Jazz Project at the Vittum Theater, May 7-11 Every art form has its purists and its pollinators–and often they’re at loggerheads. Plenty of jazz musicians still refer to fusion as “the F […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Sports Section

The baseball season is a long, smooth-flowing river. That’s its great beauty and also its inherent advantage over other sports. There’s little doubt the teams that have risen to the top by the end of the regular season deserve to be there; the teams have all been tested over a great distance, and their ups […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Indefensible

In 1947 the great dramatists Tennessee Williams and Eugene O’Neill sat down at their respective kitchen tables and each wrote a play called A Streetcar Named Desire. When they compared notes they discovered that not only were their titles identical, so were their plays. They flipped a coin, Williams won, and the O’Neill manuscript was […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Versailles

Versailles, at the Athenaeum Theatre. Pastiche can be an art form if it serves an idea, but the only idea in Ben Byer’s “family comedy” is that men like to masturbate. This sloppy exercise in serial dramatic styles incorporates David Mamet’s repetitive obscenities, Sam Shepard’s disgusting family secrets, Arthur Miller’s bourgeois despair, and John Osborne’s […]

Posted inArts & Culture

In the Spotlight

In the Spotlight, New Leaf Theatre, at the Lincoln Park Cultural Center. In An Idle King, the first one-act on a program of three written by New Leaf company member Brandon Ray, an elderly couple consider their status as the only survivors among their circle of friends. In the second, Faultless, a blocked jazz musician […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Pentecost

Pentecost, Irish Repertory, at Victory Gardens Theater. By the time I got to Belfast, in 1989, all anybody seemed to want was more tourism. Sure, the people I met were torn up over the ongoing “troubles”–harshly evident in the flak-jacketed constabulary, the British tanks on Grosvenor Road–but more than that they were exhausted. The UK […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Inner Senses

The screen persona of the late Hong Kong star Leslie Cheung (A Better Tomorrow, Farewell My Concubine, Happy Together) combined boyish openness and vulnerability with intimations of buried emotional torment. In this 2002 supernatural thriller, Cheung’s last film, he brings characteristic concentration to the part of a psychiatrist literally haunted by his past. He leads […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Buck 65

The hip-hop underground is chock full of wordy bastards. Coincidentally or not, lots of them are white, and lots of them have taste in beats so austere they make Mobb Deep sound like Fatboy Slim. Like many such MCs, Buck 65 (ne Richard Terfry) could probably pass for a spoken-word artist or stand-up comic if […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

LYNYRD’S INNARDS 5/23, PRODIGAL SON On their third full-length, Untitled No. 3 (What Else?), these boys next door, still perfecting their I’m-such-a-loser puppy punk, flaunt their sloppiness and show a tendency to creep so close on the heels of a beat they practically stumble over it. The band’s self-effacing wit aims to capture hearts instead […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Life and Times of Jewboy Cain: A Musical Novel for the Stage

Whenever Jeff Dorchen returns to Chicago from his current home in Los Angeles, I’m reminded of the enormous hole he left in our performance scene. Keenly intelligent and politically audacious, he’s an actor, singer, musician, and writer, creating everything from full-length plays to folk tunes. All these talents come together in his “one-man play with […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Eddie & Jimmy Burns

You’d never know it from the graceful symmetry they achieve on 2002’s Snake Eyes (Delmark), but brothers Eddie and Jimmy Burns seldom played together until a few years ago. Eddie was born in Belzoni, Mississippi, in 1928 and has lived in Detroit since 1948. He’s best known for his work with John Lee Hooker, first […]