Happy End was thrown together in 1929 at the behest of a starry-eyed theater producer looking to capitalize on the surprise success the previous year of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's The Threepenny Opera. It was an ominous year for capitalizing ventures in general, you might say. As if to prove it, Happy End, whose story of Chicago gangsters and Salvation Army evangelists was cobbled together by Brecht and Elisabeth Hauptmann, was anything but a success in its time. In fact, after its famously negative reception Brecht made a point of distancing himself from it. Read more »
Damn, it's been hard to stay focused since the rain stopped. So many beers in the park to enjoy and so many great shows to see. Here are a few you should catch in between bike rides and slosh ball games.
Gregory Euclid's work must be seen in person, because no photos can do it justice. He's showing at White Walls through June, with Anthony Yankovic III and Teodor Dumitrescu, who are also amazing. Next door, the Shooting Gallery just opened its annual erotic show, where one can ogle boobies and butts in painted and photo forms. Read more »
Before the pinks start flying, let's get the snap critique out of the way: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift is completely ri-drift-ulous. Start with the deeply tanned, pastel-loving, hella-bleached-blond ganguro girls (now with highly buoyant boob jobs!), proceed to the silly gang-drifting scene down a mountain (why not make it Mt. Read more »
(Electronic Arts; PS2, Xbox, Windows XP)
GAMER This game is not bad. It's no God of War, but really, nothing is or ever will be. Godfather is Grand Theft Auto with bits from the beloved Coppola movie used as story line guidance and inspiration.
You play a character who lives on the periphery of the Corleone family, making his way up the Ragu-stained mafioso ladder. Read more »
Are you a good dwarf or a bad dwarf? In the storied production history of The Wizard of Oz, there were notoriously (and no doubt, apocryphally) so few of the former that Glinda-like attempts at taxonomy seem pointless. They were all bad, or at least naughty, as dwarves have historically seemed in the popular imagination. Read more »
America is unquestionably the land of the large. We well realize that gigantic things generate a sense of awe — along with danger — as it currently applies to presidential hubris and supersized snacks. Read more »
TEEN FLICKSIn the late ’70s and early ’80s a funny thing happened at the movies: Suddenly aware of a whole pocket-moneyed demographic betwixt Disney and the R rating, major studios began targeting a median audience, aged 15. (Ultimately they'd even get their very own designation, PG-13.) An explosion of post-Meatballs teen comedies soon replaced sex farce fucking and wanking with peeping and pranking. Read more »
1. John Cameron Mitchell's midnight premiere of his sensitively X-rated Shortbus not only roused the Palais's audience to a 15-minute standing ovation (a legendary feat); it brought out some of the deepest tears I have shed in my short life. Warning: The MPAA (which we now finally understand, due to Kirby Dick's revolutionary exposé This Film Is Not Yet Rated) won't know where to start with this sucker. It's much more than the graphic sex; it's the graphic honesty. Read more »
GAMERBlackis a first-person shooter game in which you play a soldier killing for some kind of shadowy government "special ops" group. Games like this are a little strange politically. They always seem to have some kind of subtext geared for Ruby Ridge types. Creepy. The makers of Black, however, were good enough to make the enemies white, at least. Apparently Russia is still some kind of threat to America. Whatever.Read more »