Posted inArts & Culture


CROWNS, Goodman Theater. What joyful noise is made by Regina Taylor’s soulful ensemble of six sisters with “hattitude” (and one man). Taylor adapted and directs her own musical version of Crowns: Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats, a book of Michael Cunningham photographs accompanied by Craig Marberry’s oral histories. The women reveal their stories […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Truth Versus Perception

Dear editors: I have not seen enough of Judge Leo Holt [“A Law Abiding Judge,” March 5] to form an opinion of him, but I was in his courtroom the day he sentenced William Ligue. Judge Holt’s ruling cited the prosecution’s failure to enter victim Rocky Gamboa’s medical records into evidence. This omission left only […]

Posted inArts & Culture

500 Clown Frankenstein

Sometimes I wish the folks in 500 Clown were less in love with what Justin Hayford has called “harrowing physical comedy,” usually built around some terrifying set piece. In 500 Clown Macbeth it was a shaky scaffold, and in 500 Clown Frankenstein it’s a huge, rickety laboratory table. The three-member troupe is so in love […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

Early last year my married girlfriend deployed to Iraq. Prior to her leaving she told me she was having problems with her husband. Being a good friend, I supported her. I learned via e-mail that she had fallen in love with another man. When she came home and asked her husband for a divorce he […]

Posted inNews & Politics

MLK Must Go

Dear editor: Congratulations to your reporter Steve Bogira, for his excellent writing in “A Law Abiding Judge” (March 5), an article about retiring judge Leo Holt. Mr. Bogira’s story makes two references to a portrait of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., which now hangs in Judge Holt’s courtroom at the Criminal Courts Building and was […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

GREAT BIG SEA 3/26, METRO Something Beautiful (Zoe/Rounder) is this Celtic-Canadian band’s seventh album, and they’re still struggling to write songs as powerful as their interpretations of trad material or their well-selected covers: the album’s emotional peak is the sea shanty “John Barbour,” and “Beat the Drum,” a cover of “Pride of the Summer” by […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Greg Davis

Although Greg Davis has spent his life in or around two major American metropolises, his music has always been distinctly pastoral. A native of the Chicago burbs and a graduate of DePaul (where he studied jazz composition), Davis later moved to Boston to attend the New England Conservatory of Music. It was there that he […]

Posted inArts & Culture


AMADEUS, Porchlight Music Theatre Chicago, at Theatre Building Chicago. The narrator of Peter Shaffer’s insistent biodrama–court composer Antonio Salieri–incessantly attacks God for deserting him, a pious puritan, while bestowing genius on his Viennese rival, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Shaffer sets up a historically dubious contrast between the devout Salieri, with his “desperate sense of right,” and […]

Posted inArts & Culture


The cold war is long over, but the politics of divisiveness, in which critics of the government are smeared as traitors, is all too present today. In this climate it’s both stimulating and scary to be reminded of the case of blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo, imprisoned in the late 40s for contempt of Congress after […]

Posted inArts & Culture


ESCURIAL, Hunger and Dread, at No Exit Cafe. The crazed King in Michel de Ghelderode’s avant-garde 1928 play calls for his jester to amuse him. The King’s young and beautiful queen is dying, but instead of praying for her peaceful passing, he aims to torment the jester, Folial. The play’s title indicates a historical context: […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Few Who Profane the Robe

Dear sirs and mesdames: I read with much interest the lead story in your Friday, March 5, 2004, edition. The article’s heading, “A Law Abiding Judge,” correctly reflects the professionalism and rockbound belief in the rule of law of the main subject in the story, Judge Leo Holt. I commend the article’s author, Steve Bogira, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Backwards Into the Future

Benefactors Writers’ Theatre David Kitzinger is a middle-aged English architect commissioned to clear away 15 acres of “gray and exhausted” South London Victoriana and replace it with public housing for 3,000. He starts out full of earnest, arrogant enthusiasm, vowing to give the people what he knows is best for them–and most of all to […]