Posted inMusic

50 Cent

Queens rapper 50 Cent rhymes on two of the summer’s biggest hits–Lil’ Kim’s “Magic Stick” and his own “21 Questions”–and if you listen to the songs together you’ll hear the dilemma facing today’s superstar MCs. On “Magic Stick,” 50 invokes his dick’s mesmeric power, claiming “I know if I can hit once, I can hit […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Bob Long

Chicago keyboardist Bob Long has no fear of commitment, musically speaking: when he enters a relationship, he’s in it for the long haul. In the late 80s he formed a quartet with saxist Brian Gephart that, though performing only sporadically, has maintained its aesthetic and built its repertoire over the course of three self-released CDs. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

As You Like It

As You Like It, Festival Theatre. “We who are true lovers run into strange capers,” declares the mischievous Touchstone–and four pairs of lovers pursuing one another through the English countryside all but guarantee odd adventures. Director Jack Hickey minimizes the lugubrious circumstances behind a quartet of nobles suddenly forced to fraternize with farmers, instead having […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Stories In June both the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times reported that marketers have begun targeting a growing group of young, urban, heterosexual men who have a “heightened sense of aesthetics”–that is, they indulge in expensive skin creams and hair grooming products, custom-tailored clothes, exfoliation, manicures, interior decoration, and even plastic […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Mira’m (Se dicen tantas cosas) (So Many Things Are Said)

This haunting dance-theater piece by Barcelona choreographer Marta Carrasco portrays our trembling, confused emotional lives. Short related pieces–set to well-chosen music that ranges from Tom Waits and Edith Piaf to Mozart and Schubert–evoke the disconnect between outward expression and inner feeling. In one, a woman moves sinuously and sings a French love song while on […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chicago’s Other Puppet Theater

The Adding Machine Hystopolis Productions at Red Hen Productions Hystopolis Productions is probably the best puppet theater you’ve never heard of. Established more than 20 years ago, it’s come up with brilliant productions of distinctly adult material like Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. But its shows have been few and far between, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Daughters of the Mock

Daughters of the Mock, Congo Square Theatre Company, at Victory Gardens Theater. Enacting rituals onstage is a tricky business: the solemnity of the rites can feel forced and hence comical. Witness the audience laughter accompanying the voodoo climax of Judi Ann Mason’s tale of a Louisiana roots woman and the curse–or blessing, as she maintains–she […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Cerqua Rivera Art Experience

No question about it, live music can be liberating, inducing in dancers an energy and spontaneity impossible with a recorded score. Watching a rehearsal of Cerqua Rivera Art Experience, a troupe made up of dancers and Joe Cerqua’s jazz band, I was struck by the general air of freedom and good humor, even though I […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

I am an 18-year-old female dating a 19-year-old male, and we are both virgins. We met in a behavior modification program. We are now both home and dating, which we couldn’t do in the program. It’s my first committed relationship, and we’re in love. We want to have sex. My parents are fine with it, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Nicholas Basbanes

“Every man must die sooner or later, but good books must be conserved,” the 19th-century Spaniard Don Vincente is quoted as saying in Nicholas Basbanes’s 1995 study, A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books. The former monk stood accused of murdering at least eight other book collectors for their printed treasures, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

Like milking a rattlesnake. “You don’t have to expand gambling in Illinois to raise more tax money,” says University of Illinois business professor John Kindt in a recent university press release. “Just raise the taxes on casinos in operation, and you’ll get revenues right away.” Nevertheless, he thinks everyone would be better off if gambling […]