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 inArts & Culture

Spalding Gray

Among the things that lift monologuist Spalding Gray above his legions of imitators–including a wonderfully centered stage presence, articulate speech, and a knack for combining gravity and humor so as to avoid both self-importance and self-diminishment–what I find most interesting is his ability to stake a position that’s at once universal and self-absorbedly individual. The […]

Posted inFilm

Pink Panther, Dead Horse

SON OF THE PINK PANTHER * (Has redeeming facet) Directed by Blake Edwards Written by Edwards, Madeline Sunshine, and Steve Sunshine With Roberto Benigni, Claudia Cardinale, Herbert Lom, Debrah Farentino, Robert Davi, Shabana Azmi, and Burt Kwouk. Son of the Pink Panther is the eighth or ninth Pink Panther movie, depending on how you keep […]

Posted inArts & Culture


MEDEA Palookaville at the Greenview Arts Center Palookaville’s manifesto declares them to be “artists hell-bent on putting forth a theatre for the common man.” This production makes Robinson Jeffers’s adaptation of Euripides’ Medea seem common enough, but in ways perhaps unforeseen by the company. The story in itself has plenty of tabloid potential: after committing […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Windows on the Invisible

GATES OF MYSTERY: THE ART OF HOLY RUSSIA at the Art Institute, through September 15 In the icon painting The Archangel Gabriel (1502), by Dionysii and studio, Gabriel cuts a gently curved figure against a solid gold background. His small face is only a bit wider than his neck, and meets it gracefully in an […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Reader to Reader

Dear Reader: A couple stood in front of a trendy Lincoln Park restaurant. He was an attractive and exquisitely attired older man, tan and seemingly in vigorous good health, with a knowing expression in his eye that belied his genteel subtlety of manner. She was young and stop-in-your-tracks gorgeous, regardless of the obvious surgical and […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Pushing the Hispanic Button/More on the Jarrett Affair/Whatever Happened to Robert Marsh?

Pushing the Hispanic Button “I don’t know if we’re talking about counter and parry and thrust and stuff,” the sales/marketing director of La Raza was telling us, “but I’d say what we’re going to do will hit the streets a couple of weeks ahead of Exito, in early September.” Exito is the free weekly Spanish-language […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Should She Stay or Should She Go?

SAVE THE LAST DANCE FOR ME Hidden Stages Hidden Stages has a wonderfully intimate theater space. Tucked away on the fourth floor of an industrial building off Cermak in the no-man’s-land between Chinatown and Pilsen, it’s the perfect venue for a late-evening play–and the excellent jazz that’s played there every weekend. Would that the company […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story A Cincinnati woman recently accused a 42-year-old man of sexually assaulting her after taking advantage of a medical condition which usually causes her to faint when she hears the word “sex.” Allegedly, the man accosted her in her apartment building, uttered the magic word, and then attacked her when she fell to the […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Originally known in French as Jacquot de Nantes, this is a loving and lovely reenactment of the wonderful French New Wave director Jacques Demy’s childhood in Nantes, made by his wife Agnes Varda while Demy was dying of AIDS. Brief glimpses of Demy’s movies and Demy himself are craftily woven in to show us how […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Les Tetes Brulees

Les Tetes Brulees take pains to point out that despite the seeming raw unself-consciousness of their “bikutsi rock”–which draws heavily on traditional dance music from the western rain-forest regions of Cameroon–their music is actually a conscious reaction to the slick, flashy makossa style that has held sway in their country since the ascendancy of Manu […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Brad Wheeler

Americans dream of summering in France, but saxophonist Brad Wheeler, who moved from Chicago to Paris several years ago, is spending the last part of his summer vacation in Illinois, where his depth of purpose and committed urgency always find a sweet home. Wheeler plays music as if he’s been thinking about nothing else since […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Johnny “Yard Dog” Jones

I don’t know why they call Detroit’s Johnny Jones “Yard Dog”; it seems to me that “Moanin’ Wolf” might be more exact. His guitar playing has a sweet mournfulness that’s remindful of mid-period Johnny Heartsman–he even borrows Heartsman’s “moaning” technique–and his voice modulates from the barking grittiness one would expect of an Arkansas native to […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chris Thomas

To many, guitarist Chris Thomas represents everything new and frightening about the younger generation of bluesmen: as influenced by rock as he is by blues or R & B, Thomas cares little for the restrictions of genre or generation. He’ll segue from a mournful-sounding Delta intro into a thunderous metallic bombardment; sometimes it’s as if […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Anna Christie

A subtitled print of the fascinating German-language version of Greta Garbo’s first talkie (1930), shot at the same time and on the same MGM sets as the more familiar English version of the Eugene O’Neill play–a procedure carried out with several other pictures during this period, before dubbing was invented. The German version has a […]