August 30, 2002
Comics are suffering the end of a stand-up boom, says the CS Monitor:
August 28, 2002
Watched West Side Story in Grant Park last night, the finale of Chicago's Outdoor Film Festival, settling into those nylon expando-chairs (which roughly half of the crowd of a few thousand owned) and watching the swift, low evening clouds dust the glimmering night skyline, at one point shrouding the Sears. A spectacular outdoor venue for a classic movie.
I'd never seen WSS before, nor did I study Romeo and Juliet (on which it's based) in school. What I was struck by was how precocious the story was in how viscerally and lucidly it captures and anticipates the urban angst of the late 60s and beyond. The movie was released in 1961. At once it speaks to the riots of the 60s, the urban decay of the 70s and 80s, and the gentrification of the global 90s, and so personally and passionately. Barely a year after Eisenhower, it also contains a lively satire of social-pscyhobabble about the causes of gangs (in the Jets' song to the police lieutenant) that is far beyond more tired debate of late.
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