Posted inOn Culture

High-wire act

If you were a Bloomie’s Chicago customer at the River North store, you won’t be hugely surprised when you walk into Bally’s new pop-up casino in the 111-year-old Medinah Temple. Bloomingdale’s saved this massive Moorish Revival architectural fantasy (at 600 N. Wabash) from demolition when it opened a store there in 2003, restoring the dome-topped […]

Posted inArts & Culture

‘We don’t want to get bigger. We want to get deeper.’

This week, we’re kicking off a new occasional series, Stages of Survival, spotlighting theater companies that are, despite the pervasive gloom-and-doom narratives about the performing arts, still producing. The plan is to eventually encompass a broad range of companies: Equity and non-Equity, those that are itinerant and those that have their own spaces, and companies […]

Posted inPress releases

[PRESS RELEASE] GRAMMY Award winner Peter CottonTale headlines Chicago Reader’s Annual UnGala Celebration

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CHICAGO, September 20, 2023 – Chicago Reader announced today that multi-platinum recording artist and producer Peter CottonTale, who has collaborated with Chance the Rapper, SZA, and others, will be headlining its second annual Reader UnGala Celebration on October 18, 2023. Held at Epiphany Center for the Arts, the evening will begin at […]

Posted inArts & Culture

‘125 is feeling very good’

Because Chicago is so well known for its “Magnificent Mile” retail district—North Michigan Avenue between Oak Street and the Chicago River—it’s all too easy to overlook, or take for granted, the importance of what can be called the city’s cultural corridor: Michigan Avenue stretching south from the river to Roosevelt Road.  What an extraordinary array […]

Help end Alzheimer’s with your purchase of a Wild Tripler Win ticket from the Illinois Lottery

Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) impact people of every walk of life. In 2020, Illinois Lottery launched a new specialty Instant Lottery ticket called The End of Alzheimer’s Begins With Me, designating 100 percent of its profits to the Alzheimer’s Association, Illinois Chapter. To date, the Illinois Lottery has raised more than $3 million […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Biennial as experimentation

In 2017, a barge drifted along the Chicago River. It wasn’t carrying the usual Ozinga concrete or gravel; instead it floated a museum. Produced by the Floating Museum, an interdisciplinary collective comprised of architect Andrew Schachman, artists Faheem Majeed and Jeremiah Hulsebos-Spofford, and poet avery r. young, the museum barge showcased artwork from dozens of […]

Posted inMusic

The Reader’s guide to World Music Festival Chicago 2023

In July, I attended a community meeting at the Broadway Armory in Edgewater about the city’s plan to turn the Park District facility into a temporary shelter for asylum seekers. A group of protesters, angry that much of the armory’s programming would be relocated or otherwise disrupted, carried bright yellow signs reading “Don’t Displace Us.” […]

Posted inGossip Wolf

Hammered dulcimer player Joel Styzens celebrates a lushly orchestrated new solo album

Gossip Wolf first became acquainted with multi-instrumentalist Joel Styzens via his remarkable hammered dulcimer playing on the Elijah McLaughlin Ensemble album III, which Reader writer Bill Meyer praised in May for its attempts at “musical transcendence.” As you might expect from that record’s shimmering acoustic textures and accessible melodies, Styzens’s own compositions play out across […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Gratuity included

Editor’s note: On September 20, the Workforce Development Committee voted 9–3 to advance the ordinance ending Chicago’s subminimum wage to the full city council. A proposed ordinance moving through the complicated world of city council committees would require businesses to pay their tipped employees—like bartenders, bussers, and servers—at the statewide $15.80-per-hour minimum wage instead of […]