Posted inArts & Culture


In this self-consciously contemporary adaptation of the protofeminist 1879 classic, Rebecca Gilman offers Ibsen by way of Ann Beattie: the script is peppered with references to phenomena like Enron, Vicodin addiction, and stem-cell research. But Gilman never makes a convincing case that her Nora, a Lincoln Park trophy wife who somehow doesn’t have her own […]

Posted inFood & Drink

Homey Italian, Traditional Vietnamese, and Breakfast Like They Do It in Europe

Anna Maria Pasteria 4400 N. Clark 773-506-2662 My first apartment in Chicago was on West Dakin, just around the corner from Anna Maria Pasteria. I was usually broke, but when I did have a few extra dollars this low-key Italian restaurant on Broadway was my default “nice” place. The neighborhood was still a couple of […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Out Among the Dragons

Dan Noonan’s new semiautobiographical script is a minor miracle, avoiding the pitfalls that hobble so many AIDS plays. Melodramatic pity, facile moralizing, and PC proselytizing have no place in this piece about Patrick, a nebbishy HIV-positive hemophiliac searching for love in his doctor’s waiting room. Instead Noonan turns a TV-movie premise into a carefully observed […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Jess Klein, Ana Egge

Singer-songwriter Ana Egge isn’t quite 30 years old, but her husky voice has the worldliness of a musician twice her age, and most of the songs on her fourth album, Out Past the Lights (Grace/ParkinSong), sound like the musings of a battle-scarred survivor. Her delicate acoustic arpeggios, boxy chord progressions, and ebullient pop-folk leads could […]

Posted inArts & Culture


The Epoxies don’t do a thing that wasn’t done to death by 1987, but if you still care about that after you’ve heard them, you’re too jaded for your own good. These Portland neo-new wavers play pop punk splashed with Doctor Who synths and space-laser noises, and their sci-fi-influenced lyrics attack consumerism, crummy jobs, and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Critter Obsessed

The first animal that Irene Hardwicke Olivieri incorporated in her work was a walking stick, found when she was an undergrad in Texas. “They’re pretty amazing,” she says. “They have a record copulating time among insects of 72 hours, and they’re capable of parthenogenesis.” She kept it in a terrarium for a while, reading everything […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Jazz on a Summer’s Day

Bert Stern’s film of the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival (1960; his only film) features Thelonious Monk, Louis Armstrong, Eric Dolphy, Chuck Berry, Dinah Washington, Mahalia Jackson, Anita O’Day, Gerry Mulligan, Chico Hamilton, and many others. Shot in gorgeous color, it’s probably the best feature-length jazz concert movie ever made. Despite some distracting cutaways to boats […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The War of the Worlds

Not the new Tom Cruise vehicle, but rather, as Dave Kehr wrote for this paper many years ago, “the archetypal 50s science fiction film, with science and the military teaming up to repel an alien invasion (though ultimately it’s God who saves the day). As the perfect crystallization of 50s ideology the film would be […]