This week's Culture Vultures recommend: | Culture Vultures | Chicago Reader

This week's Culture Vultures recommend: 

Enron, art in the Loop, and the Larry Sanders Show

"The almost Shakespearean human drama that was the Enron saga."

"The almost Shakespearean human drama that was the Enron saga."

Bethany McLean, financial reporter and coauthor of The Smartest Guys in the Room, the 2004 book on Enron, is keeping an eye on:

Enron TimeLine's production was great at capturing the almost Shakespearean human drama that was the Enron saga. It wasn't so much about really complicated business things or villains who set out to do bad things, like deliberately destroy a company and cost people their life savings, as it was a story about very human failings that lead to disaster. While some people are scared away by the financial complexity of Enron, the story is ultimately about people, not about numbers, and TimeLine captured that perfectly. The play also captured the twisted dynamics between the main protagonists—Jeff Skilling, Ken Lay, Andrew Fastow, and Rebecca Mark—in a way that, if not always true in the letter, was very true in spirit. The small theater made the experience more intimate. I also loved director Rachel Rockwell's notes in the program. She did her work and understood both the complexities and the human elements of the story. [Enron closes

click to enlarge JONATHAN SUTCLIFFE
  • Jonathan Sutcliffe

David Salkin, artist whose installation Room for Views is on display at Peregrine Program is guiding himself through:

Art in the Loop I walk around a lot, especially downtown. After the Art Institute kicks me out at 5, I walk across Michigan Avenue toward Mies van der Rohe's Federal Center, at Jackson and Dearborn, where it's best on the weekends when the Loop is empty and still, when you are not distracted by how people are actually using the space. I take the public art crawl pilgrimage route north along Dearborn, first encountering Sol LeWitt's Lines in Four Directions, then go touch Calder's much more prominently sited Flamingo. I spend about 15 minutes looking at the Inland Steel building, glance at Chagall's Four Seasons mosaic, then look past the Picasso to the Daley Center itself, then over to Clark where I spend about ten minutes justifying the Thompson Center, and finally emerge at the river to think about Marina City. I don't feel like I'm behaving like a tourist. I'm not made of wood; these urban moments are fucking spectacular.

click to enlarge larry-sanders_magnum.jpg

Stephen Sowley, manager of Electrical Audio, vocalist for Fake Limbs, and part-time blogger is channeling:

The Larry Sanders Show: The Complete Series I got steamrolled by a band a little while ago. In short, they nickeled-and-dimed me out of some material costs for their session. It was petty and stupid. When I embarrassingly admitted it to my boss he said, "You need to stop asking people what time it is, and start telling fools what time it is." So I dove straight into the 17-DVD set of The Larry Sanders Show: The Complete Series, with Rip Torn's hard-assed, quick-witted producer Artie as my spirit animal.

For six seasons the show excelled at a practically Shakespearean level of honesty and irreverence in looking behind the curtain of Hollywood. In a way, Hollywood isn't that far away from the world of music; there's ego, there's eggshells, and there's parasitic cattiness. There's some bad stuff too.

I aim for Artie, but probably land on Hank Kingsley. I'm only human, after all.

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