Posted inArts & Culture


Friday 4/30 – Thursday 5/6 APRIL 30 FRIDAY Today a panel led by Chicago’s Queer Eye guy, Ted Allen, will try to figure out what’s behind the boom in food porn at Food Revue: A Conversation About Food Writing and Criticism. Other participants include Tribune food editor Carol Haddix, Restaurants & Institutions managing editor Scott […]

Posted inFilm


As a teenager Duncan Roy escaped the London working class by passing himself off as a British noble and infiltrating the high society of Paris and New York; he got away with it for five years before he was busted for fraud. Now a veteran playwright and stage director, Roy makes his feature film debut […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Job Opportunity

Last fall, when I took my first ride in the backseat of Teddy’s Delta 88, it got kind of wild. At one point we were engulfed in Marilyn Manson fans headed for the Aragon; at another we were surrounded by Chicago cops playing their flashlights around the car and wanting to know if we’d heard […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Maddux Redux

My dog is dying. He’s ten years old–not that old for a wheaten terrier, but not young for any dog–and suffering from inoperable abdominal tumors. He has good days and bad, days he can eat and days he doesn’t. His spine has become a spiky ridge leading to the increasingly protruding hip bones. I’ve had […]

Posted inArts & Culture


I have no idea how many times I listened to Your Blues (Merge), Daniel Bejar’s sixth and most recent testament, in the hopes that with enough repetition it might get slightly less irritating–but the genius of it defeated me. Throughout the album’s 12 grandiose, overripe tracks, the part-time New Pornographer plunders second-rate Weimar cabaret, English […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Kanye West, Dilated Peoples

Kanye West’s smash debut, The College Dropout (Roc-a-Fella), has a couple big shortcomings–the antieducation rhetoric is funny but wrongheaded, and the 12-minute monologue that closes the record is only charming once–but it’s still the smartest, most enjoyable pop album I’ve heard this year. Though the Chicago native is hardly flashy on the mike, he has […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Strictly Dishonorable

STRICTLY DISHONORABLE, American Theater Company. No one would bother to revive this 1931 script if its author weren’t Preston Sturges, whose later film work defined the fast-talking cynical comedy of social comment. Set in a speakeasy, Strictly Dishonorable features occasional flashes of the wit for which Sturges became famous but mostly predictable responses to predictable […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chicago Improv Festival

The seventh edition of this annual celebration of the art of improvisational comedy brings together performers from around the U.S. and abroad; Chicago, of course, is heavily represented. This year’s festival, the largest yet, is divided into several series–Mainstage, Showcase, Sketch, Solo, Duo, and Fringe–as well as an all-night improv session, a series of daytime […]

Posted inArts & Culture


I tried to get a pal to bet me that the guys in the Blackouts started playing together in the mid-to-late 90s–these Champaign-Urbana rockers borrow both from standout garage bands of that era and from punk acts that were by then mainstream (hint: the Sex Pistols). My friend wouldn’t bite, though, or I’d be 50 […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Threesome

THE THREESOME, Janus Theatre, at the Athenaeum Theatre. If this sporadically funny Eugene Labiche play is any indication, farce should not be played on such a small stage–or perhaps the problem is director Terence Domschke’s ill use of the space. True, we’re drawn in when actors deliver asides since we can’t avoid eye contact with […]

Posted inArts & Culture

International Pop Overthrow

The third Chicago edition of the International Pop Overthrow festival, curated by LA power-pop superfan David Bash, started April 16 and continues through this weekend. There are no advance ticket sales or festival passes; admission is $5 for afternoon shows and $8 for evening shows except for April 30, which is $10. For more information […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Blues Brothers Revival

THE BLUES BROTHERS REVIVAL, Chicago Center for the Performing Arts. The Blues Brothers began as a lighthearted homage by two white blues fans, John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, on Saturday Night Live. Simultaneously poking fun at white appropriation of black music and appropriating it themselves, the Blues Brothers were soon selling more records than any […]