Posted inArts & Culture

Bad Judgment Day

BAD JUDGEMENT DAY, WNEP Theater, at Lakeshore Theater. This play by Clay and Nate Sander satirizes evangelical churches, capitalizing on the fact that piety often conceals immorality. Unfortunately the script is aimless and the concept dated, but the show features a couple of bright performances. The plot revolves around two rival churches. The nondenominational parish […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Public Servant Scrutiny

After reading about the new Haymarket riot memorial [Culture Club, January 16] I am not surprised that the Chicago Public Art Program has monumentally failed again in commissioning art for the city. I hope Mary Brogger just happens to be posing at a local scrap-metal yard and that is not a $220,000 sculpture behind her, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Califone

Nearly three years ago Califone lead singer and multi-instrumentalist Tim Rutili told the Reader, “I love records that you can put back on again and again, noticing something new every time. That’s the kind of record we want to make.” They’ve outdone themselves on their latest, Heron King Blues (Thrill Jockey). Though it was recorded […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Bowling’s Biggest Fan

Maybe this has happened to you. You’re flipping through TV channels on a Friday night. You get to the no-man’s-land of low-budget cable: C-SPAN, HSN, C-SPAN2. Then you hit Channel 25, and here’s what you see: In the middle of a bowling alley there’s this boundlessly upbeat sixtysomething man looking directly at the camera, speaking […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Linkin Park

Even if somehow you’ve never heard a Linkin Park song, you’re familiar enough with their megaplatinum sound: it’s what rings in your mind’s ear whenever you mock rap-rock. On Hybrid Theory (Warner Brothers), the band’s 2000 breakthrough, their sound isn’t really a fusion of “hip-hop” and “metal” (I use quotes because we’re dealing with some […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

Get equal rights, but whatever you do, don’t campaign for the right to be married, Jim Rinnert advises gay leaders in In These Times (December 30). Let heteros have the word and the institution, he says, and insist only on “a civil contract recognized by state and federal governments that gives gay and lesbian unions […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Brentano String Quartet

Sooner or later all aspiring composers have to come to terms with J.S. Bach: with his formal rigor and his masterful use of theory to serve emotion, he casts a long shadow. The Art of Fugue, his exhaustive study of counterpoint, sometimes seems as much a hermetic meditation on self-imposed limits (the entire work consists […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Thomas Mallon

The term “historical fiction” usually puts me in mind of a good snooze, but Thomas Mallon’s clever new novel, Bandbox (Pantheon), had me laughing from page one. In this, his sixth in the genre, Mallon, who’s also a literary critic (Stolen Words) and historian (Mrs. Paine’s Garage), takes us to the Jazz Age and a […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Datebook

JANUARY 23 FRIDAY In Elmore Leonard’s 38th crime novel, Mr. Paradise, a lingerie model in Detroit takes a gig as a cheerleader for an elderly trial lawyer’s kinky pleasure and gets mixed up in a hit. Leonard will read from Mr. Paradise tonight at 7:30 PM at Barbara’s Bookstore, 1350 N. Wells in Chicago. It’s […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

During a breakfast stop prior to a recent day of skiing, my husband chided our teenage son for requesting coffee, saying that “caffeine stunts your growth.” When challenged both my husband and I were obliged to concede that we did not know if there was any scientific backing for this common parental admonition. So we […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Elephant Man

THE ELEPHANT MAN, Side Project, at the Side Studio. In a mere 90 minutes, Bernard Pomerance’s 1979 drama explores a lot more than one short life. John Merrick’s deformed body belies a noble and artistic soul, and his sheer inability to resemble anyone else highlights the mystery of identity. How much humanity can you claim […]