Posted inArts & Culture

Travesties

Breathlessly, exhaustively clever, Tom Stoppard’s 1974 play ingeniously (sometimes tediously) returns Lenin, James Joyce, and dadaist poet Tristan Tzara to 1917 Zurich. Layering absurdity over historical anecdote, Stoppard depicts these disparate pioneers as remembered by British mediocrity and accidental spectator Henry Carr, a consular flunky, and in the process has great fun with the mutations […]

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Wanda Jackson & the Lustre Kings

Wanda Jackson is often referred to as the First Lady of Rockabilly, but I think the current online edition of Creem gets closer to the mark when it calls her “the Original Riot Girl.” Jackson’s snarling, hiccuping vocals were just as brazen a challenge to white middle-class propriety as Elvis’s hips, and the abrasive sneer […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Vader

Formed in Poland in 1986 and often credited as one of the first eastern European bands to get heard beyond the iron curtain, Vader has released an album every single year since it signed to Earache in 1992. That’s a particularly impressive feat given their sound: punishingly dense metal with an architectural sensibility isn’t something […]

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Berlin ’45

Jeffrey Sweet’s new play, about German civilians and Russian soldiers coping with life in the months just before and after the fall of the Nazis, begins promisingly enough. But too often Sweet has his creations step out of character to narrate their stories, insert a historical footnote, or deliver a paragraph or two of expository […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Showing Us How It’s Done

How encouraging to have read Harold Henderson’s article “How Much Green Does It Take to Go Green?” [March 18]. It’s about time that Chicago–the city our mayor wants to make the greenest in the nation–take notice of the residential side of green renovation. Henderson’s thorough comparison of the crucial economic and environmental aspects of green […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Asian American Showcase

The ninth annual Asian American Showcase, presented by the Foundation for Asian American Independent Media and the Gene Siskel Film Center, continues Friday through Thursday, April 8 through 14, with screenings at the Film Center. Tickets are $9, $7 for students, and $5 for Film Center members; for more information call 312-846-2600. FRIDAY 8 From […]

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Birds

Hurt McDermott’s modernized, unfunny adaptation for TUTA (The Utopian Theatre Asylum) dulls the satiric bite of Aristophanes’ classic comedy. The bland script makes few sharp observations on politics and peace, and its fleeting moments of wit can’t compensate for the ensemble’s listless delivery. Director Zeljko Djukic seems so concerned with making this an extravaganza that […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Offense Taken

I was very distressed by your article [the Works, April 1] wherein you have elected to use the offensive term “paddy wagon”–an ethnic slur aimed at the Irish-American community. Be advised that detainees are transported in police vans called squadrols in the city of Chicago. PO C. Reid (retired)

Posted inNews & Politics

The Old Tax and Grab

Nice to read Joravsky’s latest on creative lying in local government [“Arrogance on Wheels,” March 11]. But didn’t it sound strangely familiar? Is Joravsky plagiarizing? Is he recycling old columns? No, actually it’s the politicians trying the same scam over and over and over again–Brown Line, Cook County Hospital, Dan Ryan, lakefront/Promontory Point. And it’s […]

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Chicago International Documentary Festival

The third annual Chicago International Documentary Festival continues Friday through Sunday, April 8 through 10, with screenings at the Beverly Arts Center; Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division; Facets Cinematheque; Northwestern Univ. Block Museum of Art; Northwestern Univ. Thorne Auditorium; and Society for Arts, 1112 N. Milwaukee. Unless otherwise noted, tickets are $8.50, $7 for seniors […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Deana Carter

Few women chafe against the Nashville hit-factory system because it doesn’t allow them to be girly enough, but Deana Carter may be such a rarity. When Carter broke out on Capitol a decade back with Did I Shave My Legs for This? (on the strength of the genuinely funny title track and the wistfully folkish […]

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Malouma

The Mauritanian singer Malouma Mint Moktar Ould Meidah grew up in a family of griots and began taking music lessons at six, learning how to play the ardin, a kora-like harp; by the time she was fifteen other musicians were performing her original compositions. To allow her to broaden her musical knowledge, her father moved […]