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Friday, December 31, 2010

Harry Lennix returns to Pegasus Players for Jan. 3 performance

Posted By on 12.31.10 at 02:03 PM

Former Chicago actor Harry Lennix, whose screen credits range from Robert Townsend's The Five Heartbeats and Spike Lee's Get On the Bus to recurring roles on such TV series as ER, 24, and the hilarious Little Britain USA (in which he played an Obama-like American president forced to fend off the outrageous sexual advances of the British prime minister), will participate as a special guest artist in a benefit for Pegasus Players on Monday, January 3. The event will feature readings of winning scripts from Pegasus's 2010 Chicago Young Playwrights Festival, a competition open to teen playwrights around the Chicago area. As previously reported here, the once seemingly moribund Pegasus has been revitalized by a new partnership with Hull House Association, "whose mission of reaching out to the underserved perfectly complements Pegasus's commitment to youth and community education," according to Pegasus's new board president, playwright David Barr. The event begins with a pre-performance reception at 6:30 PM at Lookingglass Theatre, 821 N. Michigan, 708-720-0413. Tickets are "pay what you can," with a $25 suggested donation to benefit the Chicago Young Playwrights Festival. Tickets may be purchased at the door (box office opens at 6:15 PM or at

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Joravsky, Bus on Chicago Newsroom

Posted By on 12.30.10 at 02:39 PM

Reader columnist Ben Joravsky runs down Mayor Daley's legacy, the mayoral race, the end of highrises at Cabrini Green, the anti-teacher sentiment of Waiting for Superman, and President Obama's midterm performance, in the year-end episode of Chicago Newsroom.

Former Chicago Public Radio program director Ken Davis, who moderated last year's Chicago Journalism Town Hall, has hosted the public affairs and media analysis show since September, Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. on cable channel CAN TV19.

At the end of the show Ed Bus, the fictional 53rd Ward alderman, makes an appearance to boost his satirical mayoral campaign, touting his 100% pro-Daley voting record in the City Council. Bus is played by Chicago Public Radio senior content developer Justin Kaufmann, a member of comedy troupe Schadenfreude.

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Dinner & a Show: Thursday 12/30

Posted By on 12.30.10 at 01:14 PM

Eric Guitar Davis
  • Eric "Guitar" Davis

Show: Eric "Guitar" Davis "Most modern rock-styled 'blooze' guitarists leave me cold, if not nauseated, but occasionally a hot-blooded pyrotechnician like Eric 'Guitar' Davis manages to imbue the usual fusillades with genuine musical merit," writes David Whiteis.

9:30 PM, B.L.U.E.S., 2519 N. Halsted, 773-528-1012,, $10.

Dinner: The Counter "There must be some latent anti-west coast bias in me that initially smirked at the idea of a bunless 'burger bowl,' what the folks behind exploding Santa Monica burger chain the Counter call what is essentially a burger salad. But the two I sampled, belonging to a pair of carb-conscious but pleasure-loving eaters, were really tasty," writes Mike Sula.

670 W. Diversey Pkwy., 773-935-1995,

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More Photographic Goodness

Posted By on 12.30.10 at 12:09 PM

I like that at this time of year publications tend to look back on the year and the city through a lens. My favorite issue of the year to post, 1,000 Words, is up; it has at least four extremely funny pictures. But it's not just the Reader; there are a lot of good things to look at.

* Chicagoist is posting photos from the vault of Art Shay every week.

* One of my favorite local photographers, David Schalliol, posted his favorite personal pics on his blog.

* It's practically Vivian Meier month in Chicago: Chicago Magazine has a profile of her unusual story; there's a mostly-funded Kickstarter campaign for a documentary about her; and she was on Chicago Tonight as well. Vivian Meier: on my list of "crushes from the past."

* The Tribune published its (106!) photos of the year; the closeup of Daley is my favorite, and the one of Obama's Memorial Day address is spectacular. One suggestion: run them bigger! (One reason 1,000 Words is my favorite issue to post: an excuse to run pics 800px wide.)

* Regular Reader contributor Robert Loerzel (author of one of my favorite cover stories this year) posted a two-part series of his favorite concert pics of the year, some of which appeared in the Reader's concert photo series.

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Early Warnings Roundup

Posted By on 12.30.10 at 10:30 AM

Ty Segall
  • Denee Petracek
  • Ty Segall
Not too many new show announcements tend to come along in the five short days between Christmas and New Year's Eve. Promoters and bookers take vacations and enjoy the holidays, and who can blame them?

But though this week's crop of Early Warnings is a bit skimpy, the announcements I did scrounge up are actually pretty impressive—so get your calendar out. Ty Segall, Glassjaw, and Steve Ignorant of Crass all appear on my list of notables. In February, Motorhead plows through the Congress Theater with Clutch and Valient Thorr, and the Detroit Cobras tear up the Double Door. And the individual shows in Screeching Weasel's 25th anniversary festival in May go on sale New Year's Day at noon; the three-day blowout includes Screeching Weasel (duh), the Queers, the Riverdales, Chixdiggit, and Teenage Bottlerocket.

Check out the full rundown after the jump:

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Morning Art: Giuseppe Porta

Posted By on 12.30.10 at 09:05 AM

Bearded Man with His Right Arm Raised, by Giuseppe Porta (Giuseppe Salviati), part of Seven Centuries of Art, on display through 1/2 at the Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan, 312-443-3600.

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Almost Guilt-Free Fur

Posted By on 12.30.10 at 08:50 AM

  • Jon Tunnell/Creative Commons
Fur in fashion is a controversial subject, but as reported in this National Public Radio piece yesterday, various organizations are positioning fur from the nutria, a rodent native to South America, as a choice that can improve the environment. Nutria, which were introduced into areas beyond their native habitat by fur traders, do a lot of ecological damage to wetlands by feeding on the roots of water plants. Environmental groups such as Righteous Fur put on fashion shows and encourage designers to use the animal pelts to help rid those areas of this invasive species.

If they really want to sell this, I suggest using the other name for the animal, coypu. Nutria sounds too much like something you'd put on your cereal for health reasons, like wheat germ.

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Red Moon and Cleo in the Universe

Posted By on 12.29.10 at 05:35 PM

From within the confines of their Los Angeles studio, Sirocco Research Labs create homemade genre mashups like Red Moon, in which a werewolf takes command of a Soviet submarine in 1986, and French New Wave-style Cleo in the Universe, in which the heroine smokes, philosophizes, and romances a puppet in a space capsule.

The Co-Prosperity Sphere hosts Sirocco Research Labs and screens those two films, followed by music by Clique Talk, Thursday 12/30, 9 pm.-Midnight at 3219-21 S. Morgan St.

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Dinner & a Show: Wednesday 12/29

Posted By on 12.29.10 at 01:17 PM

DKV Trio
  • DKV Trio

Show: DKV Trio "For many years the DKV Trio was the most soulful and fiery improvising band in Chicago," writes Peter Margasak. "As the band's members developed new interests and grew busier with other projects, it became increasingly difficult to coordinate their schedules to convene DKV, and about seven years ago it ceased to be a regular group. But Drake, Kessler, and Vandermark know they had something special going, and every so often they get together to do it again."

9:30 PM, Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, 773-227-4433 or 866-468-3401, $10.

Dinner: Jane's The reasonably priced Cal-American fare is innovative, eclectic, and especially friendly to vegetarians.

1653 W. Cortland St., 773-862-5263,

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