Sean Graney made the leap from director to playwright in 2003 with this oddly beguiling piece, a faux school pageant about passion, betrayal, and suicide inspired in part by 18th-century Japanese dramatist Chikamatsu Monzaemon. In the suffocatingly close confines of the Side Studio, director Jimmy McDermott brought both epic sadness and aching humor to Graney’s […]
Oak Park-based journalist Alex Kotlowitz tackled race and urban poverty in his acclaimed books There Are No Children Here and The Other Side of the River, but he gets to chill–a bit–in his latest, Never a City So Real: A Walk in Chicago, published as part of the “Crown Journeys” series of literary travelogues. Shunning […]
POPPIN’ AND LOCKDOWN 2: DANCE THE RIGHT THING, Factory Theater, at Prop Thtr. In their 2002 hit Poppin’ and Lockdown, Kirk Pynchon and Michael R. Meredith combined two of the corniest genres of 1980s cinema–break-dancing flicks and prison movies–to superb effect. This sequel sticks close to the spirit of the original, as a group of […]
Lead Story In June the director of Thailand’s corrections system, in search of a way to discourage inmates from betting on the European soccer championships, scheduled a match against outsiders: trained elephants from Ayuthaya Elephant Palace. “They are not the best players because they are quite slow,” one of the elephants’ trainers said. “But they […]
Old paint, bike parts, table scraps–if it’s something you don’t want, Kevin Kaempf can probably turn it into something you do.
Dear Editor: I am writing this letter in response to last week’s feature story, “The Eyewitness” written by Grant Pick [August 27]. Although Mr. Pick did a reasonably competent job of summarizing the highly fact-intensive case of the People of the State of Illinois v. Jason Gray, Mr. Pick made several factual misstatements to which […]
Since Chuck Prophet released the bleak masterpiece Homemade Blood in 1997, bringing down the curtain on the alt-country and roots-rock stage of his solo career, his music has come to encompass a dizzying array of styles. Multigenre hybrids like 1999’s The Hurting Business and 2002’s No Other Love nodded to influences as diverse as Bobbie […]
Shallots Keeps It Kosher in Skokie When Shallots’ five-year lease expired in January, the rent on its Clark Street space in Lincoln Park doubled. So owners and chefs Laura Frankel and Dennis Wasko packed up their kosher kitchen and moved it to Skokie, where the new SHALLOTS BISTRO opened in June. Skokie seems a natural […]
If Millennium Park can teach Daley about the rewards of good design, it might actually warrant its outrageous price.
To the editor, In Michael Miner’s column this week [August 27] he states, “Let’s cut Bush some slack. A comfy spot’s what Bill Clinton had at Oxford. To guys who signed up for the national guard, those six years of meetings and summer camps looming ahead were a huge millstone.” I assumed Miner was being […]
SHAME THE DEVIL! AN AUDIENCE WITH FANNY KEMBLE, Stockyards Theatre Project, at the Majestic Midway Theatre. There’s a good play to be written about 19th-century actress and abolitionist Fanny Kemble. Now somebody needs to write it. Though Lori Adams’s performance makes Kemble believable, Anne Ludlum’s script is less play than school pageant. Instead of showing […]
Dear Readers: Last week we were treated to the childhood sexual misconceptions of my male readers–a shocking number of which involved piss. This week it’s the girls’ turn. My grandma on my dad’s side liked to come in while I was sitting on the toilet, doing number two, and tell me, “That’s how your mommy […]
If you follow entertainment news with any regularity, you’re probably already familiar with The Brown Bunny. Last year it caused an uproar at Cannes with its graphic three-minute sequence of writer-producer-director-cinematographer-editor-star Vincent Gallo being hungrily fellated by Chloe Sevigny. The filmmaker subsequently got into a highly publicized feud with Roger Ebert, who had called The […]
Re: Liz Armstrong’s Yacht review [Section Three, August 20] Liz Armstrong is right on the money. Previous quarter-pumping action does not pass for paying dues. Modest mouse manipulation makes most meager minds more mired. The 80s ate their children; 88 lives per hour. We children of the 80s are stuck going backward, thinking we’ll eventually […]
NBC promoted its coverage of the summer Olympics in Athens as a grand experiment. For the first time it would put all 28 Olympic sports out there for the U.S. television audience that claimed to want them all. The message, in effect, was “If you air it they will come,” though “Put up or shut […]