Posted inArts & Culture

Parallel Lives

A middle child of four, photographer Ben Gest says, “We used to joke about how I kind of fell through the cracks. I think I always felt conscious of how people dealt with each other.” Growing up with three siblings and an attentive mother–“She was happiest when we were all together in the house, and […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Holiday Arts and Crafts Sales

Listings of holiday craft fairs, trunk shows, open studios, and special gallery events will run through December. Send information to artlistings@chicagoreader.com. Check each week for schedule updates or call for more information. Admission is free unless otherwise noted. All That Glitters: A Holiday Bazaar Crafts, CDs, clothing, jewelry, and other items from local artisans and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Being 11

Maybe I read too many of John Powers’s Catholic-school memoirs in junior high, but Courtney Shaughnessy’s look at a parochial middle school circa 1987 feels mighty derivative. The play draws on a hoary device: New York writer Mikey Owens returns to his midwestern hometown after his mother’s death and explores the experiences that marked him, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Bright Leaves

Apart from the groundbreaking Sherman’s March (1986), this is the best entry yet in Ross McElwee’s ongoing autobiographical saga: it’s funny, profound, and beautifully organized, and for once the southern documentary filmmaker seems fully in control of all the inherent ironies. McElwee learns from his second cousin, a movie buff, that the Gary Cooper vehicle […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

Can a person request to be buried in his backyard rather than a cemetery? A guy in West Virginia said in June that he planned to be buried in his yard; the city council had to pass a new law to prevent it. I say a person (in California, where I live) can be buried […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Importance of Being Earnest

One unwelcome discovery in Charles Newell’s dogged, faithful three-hour revival of Wilde’s masterpiece is how much its wit can wear you down. Not a few lines belabor the obvious or distract without amusing. But instead of rendering the comedy crisper, Newell makes this mannered comedy of manners more deliberate. Lance Stuart Baker’s Algernon is almost […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Festival of New French Cinema

Presented by Facets Cinematheque and the French Cultural Services in Chicago, the eighth annual Festival of New French Cinema runs December 3 through 12 at Facets. Tickets are $9, $5 for Facets Cinematheque members; for more information call 773-281-4114. Unless otherwise noted, all films are in French with subtitles. As if Nothing Happened A promising […]