Posted inArts & Culture

Tenores de Oniferi

The a capella vocal style known as cantos a tenores has existed untouched in the relative isolation of central Sardinia for several thousand years, and the Sardinian quartet Tenores de Oniferi performs this rarely heard music in its traditional form. Lead vocalist Francesco Pirisi chants each melody in a piercing nasal tone marked by subtle […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Mea Culpa/Outing the Fan/News Bites

Mea Culpa Last week’s Hot Type story “Maryville’s Mole?” discussed the Sun-Times’s ongoing critical coverage of Maryville Academy and its executive director, the Reverend John Smyth. In one section a leading Smyth critic, Ron Davidson of the University of Illinois at Chicago, described a telephone conversation he’d had in July with Sun-Times investigative reporter Tim […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Sporty Girl

Los Angeles-based stand-up comic Georgia Ragsdale–who’s launched a tongue-in-cheek campaign to replace the term “lesbian” with “sporty girl” because it’s “less alarming”–will be in Oak Park this weekend to celebrate the local premiere and DVD release of her latest film, Wave Babes–It’s Never Too Late to Ride the Big Ones. In the movie, she plays […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

In your column about handwriting analysis you wrote, “More than 200 objective scientific studies have demonstrated that graphology is worthless as a predictor of personality.” After I whined a bit, you conceded that you had misstated matters. It wasn’t that 200 studies had independently concluded graphology was worthless; rather, one researcher, Geoffrey Dean, made this […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet, Chicspeare Production Company, at Ebenezer Lutheran Church auditorium. This troupe operates without a director, as Shakespeare’s Globe trotters might have done, and at times the lack of a controlling vision takes a toll–in too brisk a pace and too few moments that sink in. (Given the assembly-hall acoustics, the actors could also […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Sylvia

Broadly speaking, the popular literary biopic is a hopeless subgenre, but this account of the relationship between Sylvia Plath and husband and fellow poet Ted Hughes manages to test the rule thanks to its unusual seriousness and first-rate performances by Gwyneth Paltrow and Daniel Craig. Director Christine Jeffs and writer John Brownlow scrupulously avoid taking […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Kaito

Bands across America, from Erase Errata to the Watchers to the Ex Models (see Critic’s Choice), are happily pillaging English postpunk, but not many British bands have taken an interest in revisiting that era. The Brighton quartet Kaito are one of the few, but they’re not content to simply mimic arty bands like Essential Logic, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Shaky Foundations

Skyscraper Piven Theatre It’s more cinematic than theatrical to give setting a central role. Consider the films Nashville and Magnolia, or simply the bell tower in Vertigo. More than providing an environment for human encounters, the settings in these pictures largely define those encounters and even dictate the nature of their outcome. There are certainly […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Calendar

Friday 10/24 – Thursday 10/30 OCTOBER 24 FRIDAY Blacks and whites have been victims in almost equal proportions of the 500,000-odd murders that have taken place in the U.S. since 1977. But according to a recent Amnesty International study 80 percent of murderers executed for their crime were convicted of killing white victims, and while […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

My husband-to-be is a conservative running for high political office in the Bible Belt. He has a good chance of winning. I am aware that campaigns can become ugly and personal. Before I met my husband I dated women, posed for naked pictures, was into drugs, and even appeared in a Girls Gone Wild video. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Woman in Black

The Woman in Black, Stage Two Theatre Company, at Estonian House. True horror lives in the mind. If you want proof, check out this minimalist production of Stephen Mallatratt’s stage adaptation of Susan Hill’s thriller. Using little more than tricky lighting, a dozen or so sound cues, and a handful of simple props, director Frank […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Akram Khan Company

The word that comes to mind for Akram Khan’s evening-length Kaash (“If” in Hindi) is elegant. The costumes are sleeveless black split-skirt jumpers over loose black pants, for men and women alike. Sculptor Anish Kapoor’s set–a glowing rectangular frame of red light at the rear of the stage–has an evocative simplicity, suggesting without depicting an […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Steinski

Even if the recording industry had never committed any other offense (stop laughing, I’m trying to make a point here), it would have earned our everlasting contempt just for making the official release of Double Dee and Steinski’s “Lesson One: The Payoff Mix” a legal impossibility. In 1983 ad writer and record nut Steve Stein […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Sports Section

When I climbed the steps into the grandstand before the first game of the National League Championship Series, Wrigley Field appeared more beautiful than I had ever seen it. After a full day of Indian-summer sun the park was warm and welcoming–even if Sammy Sosa, taking batting practice, had already settled into fall fashion and […]