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

Playback Theatre Midwest

Playback Theatre Midwest, at Angel Island. Yes, improv is a great way to generate comedy material. And yes, when it’s done by seasoned performers it can be almost as rich as more slowly developed forms of theater. But improv is also a great form of therapy, inspiring spontaneity and encouraging the expression of blocked feelings […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Simple Solutions

Eve Andree Laramee: Apparatus for the Distillation of Vague Intuitions at Randolph Street Gallery, through April 29 Glance through the doorway at Eve Andree Laramee’s installation Apparatus for the Distillation of Vague Intuitions and you think you’re seeing an apparition: an enormous chemistry lab sits on a large black table about three feet off the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Point Man

Stage Two Theatre. Gary Scott Saipe’s play, currently running at Waukegan’s Stage Two Theatre, begins with a fascinating look at the dynamics of multimillion-dollar deal making–territory that Saipe, a real estate lawyer with an office in the Loop, clearly knows well. His script communicates with remarkable grace the understated hysteria of postmodern business, with all […]

Posted inFilm

Emotional Striptease

Exotica Rating *** A must see Directed and written by Atom Egoyan With Bruce Greenwood, Elias Koteas, Mia Kirshner, Don McKellar, Arsinee Khanjian, and Sarah Polley. The saddest parts of Exotica–Atom Egoyan’s lush and affecting sixth feature, a movie inflected like its predecessors by obsessive sexual rituals and desperate familial longings–are moments when money awkwardly […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Hidden Agenda

Real Pictures: An Installation by Alfredo Jaar at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, through March 25 Acquiring prosperity on the backs of others is the basis of the West’s economic domination of formerly colonized third-world countries, and many of Alfredo Jaar’s earlier forays into this subject provided pictorial metaphors for the phenomenon. For a mid-80s […]

Posted inNews & Politics

A Clarification

Dear Editor, Your article by Rosalind Cummings, “Confessions of a Working Poet” [March 3], deserves two comments: 1. The music of poetry is not the music of music, the music of poetry is the music of words. 2. Marvin Tate makes Michael Warr look like a colossus. Gloria Klein S. Plymouth

Posted inArts & Culture

On Stage: true lies, sad truths

“This book is so full of laahs,” Keli Garrett says, laughing, putting an exaggerated drawl on the word lies. “Funny laahs. Story laahs. Laahs black people tell. Laahs we tell to make our stories funny.” Garrett is talking about her new play based on Charles Johnson’s rich allegorical novel, Faith and the Good Thing, which […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Music Notes: Jim O’Rourke’s noisy niche

Jim O’Rourke developed his interests in music and film early on. He’d learned how to play the guitar by age six and discovered Frank Zappa and Jean-Luc Godard when he was a self-described “teenage loner on the northwest side,” living in a working-class, decidedly nonintellectual household. “I didn’t listen to much traditional rock or pop,” […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Wishful Thinking

To Bill Wyman, “Alternative-Rock Tipsheet” [Hits- ville, February 24] was most amusing. It goes to further prove your lack of music knowledge. You say that our band could represent the “end of rock music as we know it.” First of all, we don’t play “rock music,” we play alternative rock. Learn the difference. Secondly, a […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Elektra

Arguably the most compelling tragic opera since Tristan und Isolde, Richard Strauss’s Elektra exploits the Wagnerian notion of music drama. Adapted from Sophocles but given a Freudian spin by librettist Hugo von Hoffmannsthal, this 1909 work is a cacophonous combination of psychopathic passion and torrid accusations. For one hour and 50 minutes–in one continuous act–the […]