Chicago, ‘Puppeteer’ City

The Huffington Post, July 6, 2010 — Did the word puppeteer originate in Chicago? The evidence suggests that it did, although it’s never easy to close the book on any etymological investigation. Read my blog post at the Huffington Post.

Rocking to Warhol films at the MCA

The Huffington Post, April 13, 2009 — Andy Warhol’s films raise the question of what exactly you’re supposed to do with them. Are they regular “films” meant to be seen in a movie theater? Or some other sort of art? Read my blog post at the Huffington Post or Underground Bee. Photo by Robert Loerzel

When another Senate seat was up for sale

The Huffington Post, February 6, 2009 — A hundred years ago, political tensions were running high in Illinois. Everyone wanted to know the answer to one suspenseful question: Who would be the new U.S. Senator from Illinois? The struggle to answer that question would stretch on for four years, as charges of bribery and corruption rocked… Continue reading When another Senate seat was up for sale

Some critics enjoy shooting ‘Buffalo’

Pictured (l to r) in the Goodman's 1975/76 production of David Mamet's AMERICAN BUFFALO are J.J. Johnson, Mike Nussbaum and William H. Macy. Photo courtesy of the Goodman Theatre

The Huffington Post, December 27, 2008 — American Buffalo came and went pretty damn fast on Broadway this fall. The reviews were not exactly glowing for director Robert Falls’s revival of David Mamet’s drama, which is widely regarded as one of the playwright’s best plays. It’s worth remembering, though, that critics did not greet American Buffalo with universal acclaim… Continue reading Some critics enjoy shooting ‘Buffalo’

When the world watched Chicago

The Huffington Post, December 6, 2008 — As just about everyone pointed out on Tuesday night, Barack Obama’s election as president was a moment of huge historical significance for the nation. Obama’s eloquent election-night speech in Grant Park is also surely one of the great moments in Chicago history… Read my blog post at the… Continue reading When the world watched Chicago

Another banking crisis: Chicago’s Panic of 1896

The Huffington Post, November 10, 2008 — The news from Wall Street is prompting a lot of comparisons with the Great Depression, but the history books are filled with other similar financial crises. Throughout the 1800s, when the government barely regulated the financial markets at all, speculative bubbles and piles of bad loans caused several… Continue reading Another banking crisis: Chicago’s Panic of 1896