Posted inArts & Culture

Killers

Bizarre and gleefully sadistic, John Olive’s deranged noir is what might have resulted if David Lynch and John Webster had ever collaborated on a trashy dark comedy. Set in the 1950s, the play revolves around a writer of pulp fiction living in a run-down boardinghouse filled with desperate, half-mad lowlifes who could have crawled from […]

Posted inNews & Politics

An Argument for Euthanasia

Perhaps a better title for “Born Bad?” might have been “Is Lucky Lucky?” Call me crazy, but living in a kennel, scared shitless, medicated, and regularly shocked into submission doesn’t sound so good. Did the author consider talking to a positive-reinforcement trainer re pit bulls and their plight? What reasonable person would suggest using pain […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Johnny Tremain

Considering its age and overt educational and patriotic aims, Esther Forbes’s 1943 young-adult novel, about an apprentice silversmith who becomes swept up in the American Revolution, is remarkably subtle and effective. Adapter John Hildreth and director Katie McLean have improved on it, trimming the story to fit within two hours onstage without sacrificing either the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Of Mice and Men

The performance space isn’t the only thing that’s smaller than usual in this storefront staging–the text of John Steinbeck’s classic has also been reduced, with dialogue and whole characters missing. These abridgments may be the source of somewhat eccentric interpretations under Michael Rice’s direction. Peter Esposito’s avuncular Candy and J.J. McCormick’s embittered Crooks resist the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Shocking Alternatives

Great article [“Born Bad?” February 24]. Thanks for doing a story on this issue. One complaint though. It’s very dangerous to promote negative-reinforcement training. Most people are clueless and end up only abusing animals further with these methods. These methods are very old-school. There are a number of new, more progressive, humane training methods used […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

Cecil, always enjoy your column, however you’ve got this “airplane and conveyor belt business” absolutely wrong. . . . –strafe, via the Straight Dope Message Board It’s all about the interpretation of the question. Unfortunately, Cecil commingled two different interpretations in his column. –zut, via the SDMB My confidence in Cecil has taken a gigantic […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Fellow Travellers

Local playwright Margaret Lewis offers no easy solutions to the thorny ethical dilemmas in her new script, about two German art students in the 1930s struggling in the face of Nazi censorship and persecution. Max is a neoclassical landscape painter inadvertently in accord with Nazi ideals, and so his star is on the rise despite […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Pit Bull Abuse

Could you have possibly found a more prejudicial and inflammatory headline than “Born Bad?” [February 24]? No, I don’t think you could. Then you open by using a severely abused dog to examine the nature of an entire breed. Even though the bulk of your article largely exonerates the breed, you put so much negativity […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Importance of Being Earnest

The cozy first floor of an old mansion makes a charming venue for Oscar Wilde’s play–though there are times, particularly in the act set in a garden, when Christopher J. Berens’s staging gets cramped. The amusing North Lakeside Players cast usually delivers Wilde’s witticisms with great facility; Benjamin W. Beck’s Algernon, Erin Shelton’s Gwendolyn, and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Crimes of the Heart

The three McGrath sisters of Hazelhurst, Mississippi, are having a bad day. But with courage, perseverance, and a few bouts of hysterical laughter, they meet its challenges and survive to face the future. Beth Henley’s dark comedy received a Pulitzer in 1981, and Frank Merle’s staging for the Keyhole Theatre Company amply demonstrates why. The […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Haircuts

Charles Ifergan 106 E. Oak 312-640-7444 (workshop) At Charles Ifergan’s student workshop I got a haircut that made me look like the kind of person who could actually afford that kind of haircut. You have to be flexible: the hours are limited, appointments must be made two weeks in advance, and the students are often […]