Posted inArts & Culture

Onion City Film Festival

The opening-night program of this experimental film and video bash is unusually star-studded, with short works by Kenneth Anger, Peter Kubelka, Jonas Mekas, Michael Snow, Ken Jacobs, and Ernie Gehr. Anger’s Mouse Heaven (2004) does for Disney creatures what his Scorpio Rising did for bikers. In Poetry and Truth (2003), Kubelka plays with the phoniness […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Carnival

Bob Merrill and Michael Stewart’s 1961 musical comedy is well worth reviving–especially when the director trusts the text as much as Michael Ehrman does in this sentimental but never cloying Light Opera Works/Actors Gymnasium production. Lili runs away to join a carnival, then must decide between an illusionist (whose specialty is infidelity) and a puppeteer […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Eugene Mirman

Like David Cross, Todd Barry, and Patton Oswalt, Eugene Mirman is at the forefront of a shift away from comedy clubs and toward the career path of the indie band. Russian-born, Boston-bred, and New York-based, Mirman regularly performs in music venues, records for a rock label (Seattle’s Suicide Squeeze), and has opened for the likes […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

Being a woman of the world, I’ve encountered quite a few strange fetishes in my life. However, my brother Mikey and his hopelessly blond girlfriend recently got into coprophagia. I’m a pretty open-minded gal, but I draw the line when I have to kiss the face that . . . well, you know. Alas, pointing […]

Posted inArts & Culture

As You Like It

Theatre-Hikes’ lightweight production of Shakespeare’s comedy is most memorable for its set: the Morton Arboretum. The audience hikes through woods and fields between scenes, sitting on the ground or in their own portable chairs to watch; there’s a low-impact version circling a lake, but it’s not quite as stroller- or wheelchair-friendly as the company says. […]

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Pearls and Brass

The buzz about the Pennsylvania blues-rock trio Pearls and Brass has been building all year. Formed in 2002, they were largely unknown outside the Keystone State and stoner-rock circles until they scored a slot opening for ex-Slint guitarist David Pajo in Louisville in 2003. Slint invited them to play the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival in […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Life Is a Dream

There’s little reason nowadays to stage Pedro Calderon de la Barca’s 17th-century fable about a prince who forgives his father for mistreating him, a theme also reflected in a subplot in which an abandoned wife reunites with her faithless spouse. In the hope of rendering these stories palatable to modern sensibilities, adapter Adam Webster takes […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Go-Betweens

In 1978, when the Go-Betweens were a fledgling trio playing punk shows in Brisbane, Australia, they covered both the Monkees and the Velvet Underground. More than 25 years later the group–which expands and contracts around the core duo of singer-guitarists Grant McLennan and Robert Forster–is still trying to reconcile naked pop ambition with high-minded, eccentric […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Leon Despres

He’s a courtly 97-year-old who relies on a walker, but longtime Fifth Ward alderman Leon Despres has a few swift kicks he’d like to deliver. Challenging the Daley Machine, his new memoir, takes on his nemesis, Richard J. Daley, and the docile City Council that left him alone on the losing side of so many […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Pickpockets on the El

A Reader Writes: Sunday afternoon on the Red Line I witnessed two pickpocket attempts, about 40 minutes apart. As my uncle was getting on the el at Jackson, a man in front of him pretended that his foot was caught between the platform and the train. He fell backward into my uncle, grabbed him, and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Electrelane

Some albums are so perfect for driving they’re dangerous. I once drove a third of the way across Indiana listening to Kraftwerk 2 before I realized I was going the wrong direction, and another time Surfer Rosa got me a speeding ticket in North Dakota–by the end of its 30-odd minutes I was 50 miles […]

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Drapes

In today’s reactionary climate, I’m inclined to give after-school specialties like this one by Quade Productions the benefit of the doubt. But playwright Stephen House would exhaust the patience of a saint. Following the disintegration of her latest romance, alcoholic, middle-aged single mother Peyton moves back in with her mom, Estelle. Peyton’s son Jake struggles […]