Posted inNews & Politics

Petty Crime

September 4, 10:45 AM, 6100 block of North Winthrop. Assault. 23-year-old male working on roof was struck in leg by BB pellet of unknown origin. A moment later his face was splashed with tar when a second projectile struck open container. September 7, 8:50 PM, 5300 block of North Linder. Assault. 17-year-old female crossing yard […]

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Reader to Reader

My friend Jake asked me to help him sell “Packers Suck” T-shirts at the Bears-Packers game last month. He had sold them when the Bears played the Packers in Champaign last year and made $500 in less than two hours. “They sell themselves,” he told me. “One for $10, two for $15.” We hopped on […]

Posted inArts & Culture

On the Open Road

On the Open Road, Journeymen Theater Company. Steve Tesich’s 11-year-old script maintains its political currency in this imaginative production. Tesich, who won an Oscar for his highly personal screenplay Breaking Away in 1979, became a vocal critic of U.S. foreign policy in later years and devoted himself to increasingly cynical meditations on the human condition. […]

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Ex Models

Space usually denotes minimalism, but the Ex Models use it as punctuation–the comma before each barrage of prickly, dissonant prose. The New York quartet pop-locks in and out of aggressive, sexually frustrated grooves to a choppy beat bashed out by drummer Jake Fiedler. Guitarists Shahin and Shah Motia (who are brothers) rile each other up, […]

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Pretty Girls Make Graves

Pretty Girls Make Graves’ second full-length, New Romance (Matador), leads off with the jittery, expansive statement of purpose “Something Bigger, Something Brighter,” an indication of the raised emotional stakes this Seattle quintet is playing for–no diffident indie rock shuffles for them, no ma’am. Not that last year’s Good Health was a model of reticence–the opening […]

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Datebook

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 African-Americans make up only 12 […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Small Wonders

Job Opportunity Tape They take you, quite literally, for a ride. Michael Fosberg drives up to the Mercury Theater in a gray 1985 Delta 88 with a landau roof, plush burgundy seats, and an air freshener in the shape of a burning eight ball. There are three of us at the curb. He steps out […]

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A 60-Minute History of Humankind

A 60-Minute History of Humankind, Neo-Futurists. The title may suggest the Reduced Shakespeare Company’s reliable brand of sophomoric pastiche. But writer-director Andy Bayiates deserves credit for choosing a more challenging path through the bloody thickets of human history. In this prime-time Neo-Futurist offering, Bayiates and choreographer Genevra Gallo represent Homo sapiens as perpetually caught between […]

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Puppet Noir

Puppet Noir, Billy Goat Experiment Theatre Company, at the Broadway Armory. Riding the crest of two related waves–environmental performance and superintimate presentation–Puppet Noir sidesteps the shtick-over-substance pitfalls of both, thanks to a knowing script steeped in genre conventions and a crack cast more than equal to the show’s hard-boiled poses and language. The crumbling corridors […]

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A Streetcar Named Desire

A Streetcar Named Desire, New World Repertory Theater, at Mason’s Building. The New World Repertory Theater might have assessed their resources more thoroughly before choosing so ambitious a play as their inaugural production. The company’s educational mission and its borrowed quarters in the Downers Grove Masonic-temple auditorium limited the time available for rehearsal, and the […]

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Rhinoceros Theater Festival

The Curious Theatre Branch’s ambitious yearly showcase of experimental theater, performance, and music from Chicago’s fringe began as part of the Bucktown Arts Fest. Over the years it’s mushroomed from a neighborhood happening to an event of citywide significance–especially now that it’s been taken under the wing of the Department of Cultural Affairs as part […]