Posted inArts & Culture

Open-Air Screenings

Bend It Like Beckham PG-13, 112 min. Wed 7/27, dusk, Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph, 312-746-5494. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off PG-13, 98 min. Wed 7/27, 8:30 PM, Winnemac Park, 5100 N. Leavitt, 312-742-5101. Finding Neverland PG, 101 min. Tue 7/26, 7 PM, Mann Park, 3035 E. 130th St., 773-646-0210; also Thu 7/28, 8:30 PM, Oriole […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Charlie Hunter Trio

Charlie Hunter fooled us with his debut disc in 1993: the album was billed to the Charlie Hunter Trio, but its songs had four distinctly discernible instrumental lines–guitar, sax, bass, and drums. How to explain three musicians playing four parts? Hunter is just a bona fide freak of nature. Using the lower three strings of […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

I have a question I don’t think you’ve ever addressed. I’m a 32-year-old heterosexual female who was stricken with near-terminal cancer eight years ago. I’ve gone through every sort of treatment known to mankind (and had the gross misfortune of going through menopause at 27 years old). I was sort of a late bloomer when […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Ruins

If the progressive rock of the 70s was a bloated red giant, then the Ruins are the compact, whirling pulsar left behind after the supernova. This bewildering Japanese duo uses only a drum kit and an electric bass to create a frantic, overstuffed conglomeration of dense hyperspeed prog, alien funk, blown-out metal, and batty histrionic […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Gravy Train!!!!

Loads of punk bands walk the line between brilliant and stoopid, but Gravy Train!!!! is the only one I can think of that throws itself down and humps it. The skittering sound of this Oakland band-cum-dirty dance troupe is created by two squeaky-voiced, potty-mouthed girls, a gay guy with a voice like Boo Boo bear, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Organizing Iraqi History

Steve Nash Anthropologist Field Museum of Natural History Steve Nash is in charge of the roughly 1,500,000 objects in the Field Museum’s anthropology collection, from 40-foot totem poles to bronze bathtubs from Pompeii to rain gear made from sea mammal intestines by arctic natives. His current project is cataloging 32,000 relics excavated in the 1920s […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Sea Marks

This two-person play reveals the gentler side of a company renowned for its gritty, testosterone-driven productions. The woman in Gardner McKay’s bittersweet fable is a secretary working in Liverpool and the man, a fisherman from the western coast of Ireland. Their love is nurtured by letters to each other, but when they finally meet they […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Lake Street Extension

Oracle Productions opens the doors of its new storefront theater with this 1992 Lee Blessing drama about an abusive father, his troubled son, and the Salvadoran refugee who lives with them for a time. These are turbulent waters for a maiden voyage, but director Aaron Shapiro’s production holds up reasonably well. Exploiting the cramped space […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Hamlet3

Like any great dramatic character, Hamlet is full of contrary impulses. Literalizing this obvious truth, director Christopher Fuller divides the melancholy Dane among three actors representing his “passive,” “emotional,” and “trickster” selves. Predictably, Shakespeare’s complex creation becomes schematized–the emotional Hamlet is droopy, the trickster is demented, and the passive is, um, Hamlet. Occasionally the device […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Unwanted Things

Weeds and trash, Scott Wolniak noticed after he and his wife bought their Humboldt Park home in 1998, had one thing in common: “They were very tenacious–they kept coming back.” In 2001, a year after he entered grad school at the University of Illinois at Chicago, he began collecting weeds and rubbish and photographing the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Snips

[snip] “Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition,” U.S. senator Barack Obama told this year’s graduating class of downstate Knox College. “It asks too little of yourself. You need to take up the challenges that we face as a nation and make them your own. Not because you […]

Posted inArts & Culture

That’s Weird, Grandma

Count on Barrel of Monkeys to be clever, funny, and energetic no matter what. For the past four years a rotating cast of its actors has reimagined often bizarre, always hilarious stories they get from young Chicago Public Schools students–simple tales about birthday parties, sibling rivalries, and dance contests and more whimsical ones about adventures […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Suzanne Hancock

Suzanne Hancock works the hell out of bridge metaphors in her first full-length collection of poems, Another Name for Bridge (Mansfield Press). There’s the bridge crossed growing up, the bridge as “swollen and vascular” love “holding two torsos immobile,” the bridge from one season to the next. There’s even the bridge as bridge, “a leap […]