We're kicking off Giving Tuesday early this year! Your donation today will be matched up to $10K, doubling your impact! If you donate $50 today, the Reader will receive $100.

The Reader is now a community-funded nonprofit newsroom. Can we count on your support to help keep us publishing?

Posted inNews & Politics

Elizabeth’s Story

To the editors: “Elizabeth” is wonderful [“Elizabeth’s Story,” December 15]. How many teen age pregnancies are the result of rape? Does anyone know, or even ask? Joy Calhoun Glen Ellyn PS: “Elizabeth” brings so clearly to my mind the last verse of Andrew Calhoun’s song “Survivor.” May you outlive the end of that story And […]

Posted inArts & Culture

On Exhibit: women of the FSA

For the photographers who worked for the federal government’s Farm Security Administration in the 1930s and ’40s, life was never easy. Charged with traveling around the country and documenting poverty and the New Deal policies being implemented to ameliorate it, they spent months every year on the road, staying in cheap hotels, eating bad food, […]

Posted inFilm

Inner Space

SOLARIS **** (Masterpiece) Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky Written by Friedrich Gorenstein and Tarkovsky With Donatas Banionis, Natalya Bondarchuk, Yuri Jarvet, Vladislav Dvorzhetsky, Anatoly Solonitsin, and Sos Sarkissian. “We take off into the cosmos, ready for anything: for solitude, for hardship, for exhaustion, death. Modesty forbids us to say so, but there are times when we […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Coffee at McDonald’s

At first glance they looked like an old married couple, out for an afternoon walk and coffee at McDonald’s. Both were dressed in long gray coats and black rubber boots, both moved with slow, uncertain steps. They parted at the door and the man, out of breath and clutching a pair of glasses mended with […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Drag, He Said

THE MAIDS Cesear’s Forum at Centre East Studio Theatre A pair of losers carefully plan a crime by acting it out in private, with one of the criminals taking the intended victim’s role; but when the time comes to carry out the deed, the criminals fail miserably and turn instead on each other. Is this […]

Posted inMusic

Rise and Fall

UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO NEW MUSIC ENSEMBLE at Goodspeed Recital Hall November 12 CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA at Orchestra Hall December 16 As we enter the last decade of the 20th century, it is only natural to rethink the place of some of the century’s most important composers. Two recent concerts offered a rare opportunity to compare […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Art Hodes Quintet

Art Hodes is a historian of conventional stripe: in the early 40s he began writing articles and producing radio programs about the earlier styles of jazz that had influenced him. But hearing him at the piano affords a history lesson, too: his unhurried tempi and unpretentious technique serve the music by opening you to the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Hotel Monterey

This early experimental feature, slightly longer than an hour, by Chantal Akerman (1972), shot silently and brilliantly by Babette Mangolte, explores the corridors, lobby, elevators, and rooms of a cheap New York hotel. Occasionally the rooms’ solitary occupants are glimpsed, but this only increases the overall atmosphere of eerie isolation and quiet, and reveals perhaps […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Arkansaw Bear

THE ARKANSAW BEAR Growing Stage Children’s Theater Company at the Coronet Playhouse It’s not just sex that children learn about sooner than adults can tell them. A brush with death–whether that of a pet or a relative–can quickly alert a child to life’s ultimate condition. Even so, few plays for children deal directly with death. […]

Posted inFilm

Unfinished Business

BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY Directed by Oliver Stone Written by Stone and Ron Kovic With Tom Cruise, Kyra Sedgwick, and Willem Dafoe. In Vietnam war films, U.S. troops are over there because they’re over there because they’re over there. Not one feature film–unless you count John Wayne’s frothing right-wing fantasy The Green Berets […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Swamp Successes

To the editors: I read with great interest your newspaper’s November 3, 1989, article entitled “Swamp Squad” about the efforts of citizens to protect our nation’s vanishing wetlands. However, the article did not mention U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (U.S. EPA) very significant and aggressive role in this effort. The article alludes to a ruling against […]