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 […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Emi Maeda

Tokyo-born harpist Emi Maeda has spent much of her life studying the classical repertoire for her instrument, but you probably wouldn’t guess it from listening to her own “Batgirl in Vienna.” On that piece Maeda–who’s currently studying at Sibelius Academy in Helsinki–uses her harp as the interface for an elaborate network of electronics; the sound […]

Posted inArts & Culture


No surprises here: Dan Goggin’s new “Nunsense” musical features groaner puns and silly songs (“Matzo, matzo man”). The Little Sisters of Hoboken are taking an ecumenical cruise when the entire cast of Fiddler on the Roof–except the guy playing Tevye–gets sick, so he and the nuns put on a show (but not that show). Goggin’s […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story Anal cancer linked to the human papillomavirus is detectable only by direct visual inspection, so it’s unsurprising that anal-wart researcher tops the second annual list of “The Worst Jobs in Science” in the November issue of Popular Science magazine. Other contenders include worm parisitologist (dealing with Dracunculus medinensis, which can grow to over […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Roasting Chestnuts

Every year Noble Fool Theatricals comes up with a scant story line for this Christmas program of songs, dances, and comedy sketches revolving around Gina Oswald, star of an over-the-top holiday special, and her long-suffering Zeitgeist Zingers. This time they’re trying to land a gig in Alaska, but the smooth crooner looking for a partner […]

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This traveling festival of digital works runs Friday, December 3, through Sunday, December 5, at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago; tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door. For more information call 312-397-4010; a full schedule is online at Judging from the three programs I was able to preview, digital […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Brave Combo

In 1979–the year WLUP hosted Disco Demolition Night at Comiskey Park and I learned to polka in gym class–the boys of Brave Combo turned to polka, not punk, to thumb their noses at commercial music. Like any polka purveyors worth their pilsner, they’re brilliant musicians but modest enough to make sure that every flickering clarinet […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Jane Comfort and Company

The protagonists in Jane Comfort’s Persephone and Underground River both travel to an underworld, an experience that comes across as simultaneously liberating and dangerous. But their destinations are very different: where Persephone of course visits Hades’ kingdom and becomes his bride, the person represented by four dancers in Underground River is a girl in a […]