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

Book Marks

Books have a mystical place in our culture: they’re signifiers of wisdom, vessels of secret knowledge, repositories of private longings. Recommending a book is a coded communication: by suggesting this title at this time I tell you something about myself and about what I think of you. Loaning a book is an act of intimacy. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Cordelia Was the Fool

Cordelia Was the Fool, Great Beast Theater, at the Inner Town Pub. This evening of monologues includes modestly interesting meditations that trail off all too frequently into inconclusiveness, blurring the line between performance and stand-up comedy of the “Did you ever notice…?” variety. The strongest of the three participants, both as writer and performer, is […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Generic Latina

Generic Latina, Teatro Luna, at Phoenix Ascending Theatre. The show begins with the performers holding signs: Indigeonous, African, European, Ecuadorian, Pinarican, Jewruvian, Argentexican. Together they make the point that there is no generic Latina–that U.S. Hispanics comprise many different races, ethnicities, and nationalities. This engaging exploration by Chicago’s only all-Latina company is dispensed in “probaditas,” […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chicago A Capella

CHICAGO A CAPPELLA Since its debut in 1993, the nine-member Chicago a Cappella has earned a reputation as a versatile, knowledgeable interpreter of music for unaccompanied chorus, with a repertoire ranging from sacred music of the Renaissance to a 1995 commission called “Birth of Soul, Part I.” The ensemble’s intellectually curious artistic director (and bass), […]

Posted inArts & Culture

A Hotel on Marvin Gardens

A Hotel on Marvin Gardens, Pendulum Theatre Company, at the Athenaeum Theatre. Nagle Jackson’s heavy-handed but intermittently engaging play tackles Americans’ elephant in the living room: class warfare. Jackson (who indicted materialism in his The Quick-Change Room) targets K.C., the control-freak CEO of “Me magazine.” Her annual April Fools’ power trip, a daylong Monopoly party […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Three

Three, at Second City, Donny’s Skybox Studio. Described as “an exploration of the world around us through the eyes of three sardonic men,” this evening is more comedy showcase than play: each performer holds court for 20 or 30 minutes, with a rookie announcer to introduce them. Kyle Kinane is possibly a Steven Wright-Eminem love […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chuck Jones Program #8: Upstaging the Arts

The Film Center’s retrospective on legendary animator Chuck Jones concludes with this program of 11 cartoons, dating from 1949 to ’65, in which Bugs Bunny and friends encounter the arts, from circus acts to TV commercials. The ones skewering the pomposity of classical-music concerts represent Jones at his best, creating an unhinged hilarity that denies […]

Posted inNews & Politics

TRG Music Listings

Rock, Pop, etc. concerts AMERICAN ENGLISH Beatles tribute band performs at a benefit for the Pickwick Theatre Council and the theatre program at Maine South High School. Fri 3/16, 7:30 PM, Pickwick Theatre, 5 S. Prospect, Park Ridge. 847-692-6590. ANTIBALAS, MARVIN TATE’S D-SETTLEMENT See Spot Check. Fri 3/9, 8 PM, Old Town School of Folk […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Living End

LIVING END You have to wonder about a band that can filch countless hooks from rock records of the 50s, 60s, and 70s and then declare on the opening salvo of its debut album, “We don’t refer to the past / When showing what we’ve done.” This punk-pop trio from Melbourne, Australia, recorded two solid […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Mustard’s Retreat

MUSTARD’S RETREAT Ann Arbor-based folkies Michael Hough and David Tamulevich, better known as Mustard’s Retreat, have a talent for transforming quotidian details–household chores left undone, snow accumulating beneath a darkening sky, a roadside phone booth–into poetry; the lucidity and resonance of their images recall William Carlos Williams’s dictum “No ideas but in things.” Some of […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Pitz and Joe

PITZ AND JOE, Red Hen Productions, at Angel Island. Anyone thrust into the position of caretaker will identify with Dominique Cieri’s autobiographical play about a brain-damaged man and his sister. And anyone who’s witnessed neurological decay will find the flashbacks from the simple, syllable-slurring Joe (Doug MacKechnie) to his nimble, gifted former self heartrending, and […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Stories Isn’t it “Kill the referee”? In February, after a youth basketball game in Fayetteville, Georgia, that featured much bickering over referee Oliver Lewis Wood’s “bad calls,” Wood pulled out a knife and stabbed the coach. The referee, who by day is a Baptist minister, was arrested; the coach, who by day is a […]