Posted inArts & Culture

Himalayas: An Aesthetic Adventure

Flush with the conviction of a lived faith, some of the paintings in the Art Institute’s magnificent “Himalayas” show are as fine as any art now on view in Chicago. Three of the best are Tibetan. The dazzling detail of the 12th-century Scenes From the Life of Buddha Shakyamuni gives it a map-of-the-world completeness. The […]

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Taylor Eigsti Trio

Jazz demands (or at least requests) that its practitioners come to the stage with a storehouse of musical knowledge–a solid foundation for the improvising that defines the idiom. So the steady parade of jazz prodigies remains surprising: Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Lee Morgan, McCoy Tyner, Kenny Barron, and Wynton Marsalis are among those who made […]

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Horns and Halos

Revised since its screening last year at the Chicago Underground Film Festival, this fascinating and troubling documentary by Michael Galinsky and Suki Hawley chronicles the tortured history of Fortunate Son, the sensational 1999 biography of George W. Bush that was pulled out of stores by St. Martin’s Press after the Dallas Morning News revealed that […]

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Stella

David Wain and Michael Showalter’s film Wet Hot American Summer–an extended goof on Meatballs set at a Jewish summer camp–ran roughshod over 80s teen sex-comedy cliches with a quasi-graphic depiction of gay sex, a falling chunk of Skylab, a shot-by-shot homage to Animal House, and a talking can of vegetables. This perversely funny 2001 film […]

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The Comedy of Errors

The Comedy of Errors, First Folio Shakespeare Festival. It’s not clear why this production of Shakespeare’s comedy is so leaden. Maybe it’s too realistic, with the two sets of twins becoming genuinely annoyed rather than comically enraged at being mistaken for one another. Or maybe it’s not realistic enough, failing to establish strong relationships between […]

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Little House on the Parody

Little House on the Parody, Single Box Turn Productions, at the Playground Theater. Successfully spoofing a TV series requires a story that both insiders and outsiders can follow and actors who can mimic the physical, vocal, and emotional qualities of the original characters. This musical handles the former pretty well: playwrights Becky Eldridge and Amy […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Who’s Got the Agenda Here?

Re: Hot Type / “Wise Asses” (July 4, 2003): It was very observant of you–a heterosexual, I presume–to notice Antonin Scalia’s choice of the phrase “so-called homosexual agenda.” The “gay agenda” is actually a phrase that was coined by the radical religious right to expose homosexuals’ quest for “special rights” (another RRR-coined phrase). Around the […]

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Slap & Tickle

Slap & Tickle, Bailiwick Repertory. Imagine giving 100 gay men 60 seconds each to talk about their sex lives. They probably couldn’t progress much beyond basic logistics–who did what to whom, where, and when–and you’d learn little about them, sex, or yourself. But why imagine when you can sit through David Parr’s willfully uninteresting play […]

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Goodman Latino Theater Festival

Ensembles from Spain and Mexico join local troupes in the Goodman Theatre’s first-ever showcase of Latino theater. Coordinated by actor-director Henry Godinez, the fest features readings, performances, and discussions in both Spanish and English. Participants include Chicago’s Teatro Vista, Aguijon Theater Company, and Teatro Luna as well as Mexico’s Certain Inhabitants’ Theatre and Spain’s Compania […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Normal Heart

Ms. Linda Grossman [“Still Doing Time,” June 27] is totally wrong in thinking that normal adult men fantasize about 16-year-old girls. Normal men fantasize about women. Normal men look at a 16-year-old girl and say, “Whew, she will break some hearts one day!” David Van Landuyt Lincoln Park

Posted inNews & Politics

Phair Enough

I can only say I have mixed feelings about any CD that [Liz] Phair has released [“Just Like All the Rest,” June 27]. All of them, including the much heralded Exile, were average musical releases at best. Phair is the ultimate musical tease, an artist who creates an atmosphere of intrigue but fails to deliver […]

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Travels With Lewis and Clark–Part One: The Principal Stream

Travels With Lewis and Clark–Part One: The Principal Stream, Theatre-Hikes. Theater is usually a sedentary experience–but not the way the folks at Theatre-Hikes do it. For three hours last Sunday we walked around the Morton Arboretum, punctuating the treks from spot to spot with short breaks, during which performers reenacted scenes from Lewis and Clark’s […]