Posted inArts & Culture

Larry Taylor

Drummer and singer Larry Taylor learned the blues from his stepfather, Eddie Taylor, the guitarist who helped pioneer the postwar Chicago style. He’s since played sideman to other greats, including A.C. Reed, Willie Kent, and Johnny Littlejohn, but for several years he’s also fronted his own band. On his debut CD, the new They Were […]

Posted inNews & Politics

POV Shots

Jonathan Rosenbaum has written intelligently often enough that his gaffes and errors just amaze me. In this last month two different films have played in Chicago which have scenes in which Rosenbaum thinks characters are hallucinating. In Irma Vep Hong Kong movie star Maggie Cheung plays a Hong Kong actress named Maggie Cheung, who travels […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Mojo

A common criticism of Jez Butterworth’s 1996 shout-’em-up, set in the hopped-up, mobbed-up London music scene of the late 50s, is that for all its post-Mamet, post-Tarantino aggression, its conflicts are stakeless, lacking any deep insight or universal resonance. For my money, however, the real problem with Mojo is that it’s a black, black comedy […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Novak, the CIA, and the Facts

Michael Miner’s Hot Type column, “Robert Novak’s Not Talking,” November 26, was remarkable for its display of contempt for facts. I don’t care what Miner thinks of any of our editorials. I do care when he egregiously misrepresents the newspaper. Let’s start with his insinuation that the paper was “just going through the motions of […]

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 back for schedule updates or call for more information. Admission is free unless otherwise noted. About Face Theatre Holiday Market Jewelry, decorative crafts, bath and body products, handmade chocolates, and more. Staged […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Brother to Brother

The world of the Harlem Renaissance becomes an emotional lifeline for a troubled young college student (Anthony Mackie) in this smart and passionate debut feature by Rodney Evans. As a gay black man, the hero feels doubly isolated: macho classmates in his African-American studies course consider him a disgrace to the race, while his uncertain […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The One-Man “Star Wars” Trilogy

Canadian Charles Ross reenacts George Lucas’s classics in a fleet and fun 60-minute show directed by fellow Canadian T.J. Dawe. With good humor and at times offering impressive impersonations, Ross re-creates all the essentials from the first three “Star Wars” movies. He’s best as a petulant Luke or a prissy C-3PO, and his Jabba the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Moolaade

This masterwork by Ousmane Sembene, the 81-year-old father of African cinema and one of Senegal’s greatest novelists, is the second film in a trilogy celebrating African women (after Faat Kine, a 2000 comedy about a sassy, self-made city woman). It focuses on the defiant second wife of an elder in a West African village who […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Last January pianist Jonathan Biss made his Orchestra Hall debut, playing Schumann with the Staatskapelle Berlin. This weekend Biss, who at 24 has already performed with most of the major U.S. orchestras, will play Mozart with the CSO. His first CD, released in May, confirms that he’s a thoughtful, passionate musician who consistently serves the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

A Merry Jewish Christmas

A plot twist and a scene featuring prayers performed in a made-up sign language almost save this predictable comedy–but not quite. Josh Levine’s one-act about a gay Jewish man coming out to his family while concealing that his longtime lover is not Jewish steals shamelessly from every Abie’s Irish Rose comedy in history, with particular […]