Category: Entertainment

Living on the Wabash Arts Corridor

The year I moved to the South Loop, 2013, Wabash Avenue from Roosevelt north about half a mile — the very area where I live — was slated to become an arts corridor. Before then the only tourists likely to go to South Wabash were headed to Buddy Guy’s Legends. An excess of parking lots... Read more »

Raising my voice against loudness

I saw Jesus Christ Superstar at Lyric Opera last week, just days before it closed Sunday. Reading critics’ overwhelmingly glowing reviews after, I was surprised that only a couple of them mentioned what I thought the production’s flaw: it was too loud. The music drowned out the lyrics. On Chicagoland Theater Reviews Dan Zeff mentioned... Read more »

The Great American Read and other book lists

For a reader and lover of lists, the Great American Read is a double delight. The upcoming eight-part PBS series will feature the 100 novels apparently most loved by Americans. It premieres May 22 on WTTW. The list is already online at, where you can take a quiz to see how many of the... Read more »

Wordnesia strikes when playing Scrabble

My friend Sandie and I were playing Scrabble, as we do every Tuesday, and I blanked on spelling annul. Two n’s or two l’s? Another time I juggled the u and e in fuel back and forth. I spent my career in the word business and am a decent speller. How is it then that... Read more »

Rethinking my reaction to BLKS

I saw BLKS, currently playing at Steppenwolf, in previews. I was eager for the reviews to come out to reinforce my opinion. Self-doubt had set in when the performance got a standing ovation from quite a few in the audience. It hadn’t wowed me. Despite its name and playwright Aziza Barnes’s writing that it’s “a... Read more »

Thoughts for December: the weather and shopping

The carolers at Cloud Gate Friday sang “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas,” but I doubt that any of us were unhappy that it was warm enough to leave the gloves and hats at home. Christmas was still 3½ weeks away. The snow could wait. The weather the past few days has been such a... Read more »

Biennial needs more clarity for us laypeople

The Chicago Architecture Biennial, executive director Todd Palmer said in a WTTW interview, is “a kind of hands-on, fun, accessible way to get the public thinking about what’s new in the field of architecture.” Accessibility to the public is a laudable goal, but unfortunately, too many of the exhibits are obscure to me — even... Read more »

Why Call the Midwife is great television

Back when we were all gaga about Downton Abbey, another BBC drama was winning me over. Call the Midwife didn’t get the fanfare of Downton Abbey, but I came to think it was a better show. Make that is a better show — Call the Midwife is still going strong in its sixth season. It’s... Read more »

It's not your hearing — actors mumble

Much of the time the questions Marilyn vos Savant answers in her Parade magazine column are brain teasers — fitting for the person with the highest IQ ever recorded (228). An Ask Marilyn column a few weeks ago, though, appealed to more people than the puzzle lovers. The questioner wondered why the dialogue in movies... Read more »

Exotic Feline Rescue Center is worth a visit

One of the most incomparable places to visit within a few hours of Chicago is hardly known by the public. When I told people I’d be going to the Exotic Feline Rescue Center, the only ones who had heard of it were my sister and brother-in-law in suburban Indianapolis. Since the center’s chief source of... Read more »