Posted inArts & Culture

Jacques and his Master

Jacques and his Master, TinFish Theater. The old free will vs. determinism debate gets resolved fairly neatly in Milan Kundera’s three-act adaptation of Diderot’s Jacques the Fatalist and His Master. The Czech author (The Unbearable Lightness of Being) posits here that one can exercise free will but the results still fall into repeating patterns whose […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Purloined Menu

La Cumbamba rocks. “Hotel California” is turned up to 11, competing against El Beso Azteca banging it out in the basement clubhouse. Fresh salsa, drippy candlesticks, and expired gladiolus loiter on mismatched tables under the sulk of a Keith Richards portrait and nudie ceramic figurines. William Restrepo, chef, waiter, owner, and antagonist of “poopy Colombians” […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Person to Person

Loving Little Egypt Griffin Theatre Company By Albert Williams “Only connect!” wrote E.M. Forster in How-ards End. “Live in fragments no longer. Only connect, and the beast and the monk, robbed of the isolation that is life to either, will die.” Mourly Vold, the hero of Loving Little Egypt, isn’t quite a monk or a […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Eddi Palmieri

EDDIE PALMIERI Although it’s hardly a recording for the ages, like the classics Justicia, Sentido, or Palmas, last year’s casual Live! (RMM) is a nice jaunt through the phases of Eddie Palmieri’s career as a Latin-jazz avatar. Born to Puerto Rican parents in Spanish Harlem in 1936, Palmieri initially resisted jazz in favor of salsa, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

TRG Music listings

Music listings are compiled by LAURA KOPEN and RENALDO MIGALDI (classical, fairs and festivals) from information available Tuesday. We advise calling ahead for confirmation. Please send listings information, in-cluding a phone number for use by the public, to Reader Music Listings, 11 E. Illinois, Chicago 60611, or send a fax to 312-828-9926, or send E-mail […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chi-Lives: dancing uphill

It took Anthony Foster six years to learn that the thing he was best suited for–the one thing he did phenomenally well–wasn’t going to pay the bills. He got the kind of breaks most aspiring dancers only dream of. When he was 14, he learned how to break-dance from an Elgin group called the Boogie […]

Posted inMusic

The Ten Best Albums of 1999

The Ten Best Albums of 1999 1 THE ROOTS Things Fall Apart (MCA). For years Philadelphia’s Roots have been the best live hip-hop act around, and with their fourth album they’ve finally parlayed their versatility and vision into a studio effort that lives up to their marathon performances. Things Fall Apart does justice not only […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Stories In November, Seattle hosted a two-day euthanasia technology conference in which various techniques and products were presented. A man from Vancouver, British Columbia, submitted the most promising invention, the “debreather.” The device’s mask and hose run to a jar containing an unidentified substance that supposedly makes death from lack of oxygen “quick and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Erwin Helfer & John Brumbach

ERWIN HELFER & JOHN BRUMBACH In the 30s and 40s, Chicago was swimming with boogie-woogie and blues pianists–the big fish in that big pond included greats like Albert Ammons, Meade Lux Lewis, Big Maceo Merriweather, and Jimmy Yancey. But the scene’s been drying up for decades, and Sunnyland Slim’s passing in ’95 has left folks […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Rosetta From its opening seconds, this feature from Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (La promesse), winner of the Palme d’Or at the 1999 Cannes film festival, has to be the most visceral filmgoing experience of the past year, including all of Hollywood’s explosions and special-effects extravaganzas. It concerns the desperate efforts of the 18-year-old […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

Making any special plans for New Year’s Eve? Prepared for Y2K? Laying in any provisions? Arming yourself? Worried about the world coming to an end? Ready for rapture? –Lilly I’m writing this column before New Year’s Eve, but by the time you read it in the Chicago Reader New Year’s Eve will have come and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Same Old Song

Same Old Song To preserve and present the best world cinema, France has the Cinematheque Francaise and England has the British Film Institute; we’ve got the American Film Institute, which doesn’t even have a clue about the best Hollywood movies. Consequently most younger American viewers have never seen a film by Alain Resnais, probably the […]