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Podtalk: Desiree Burcum of ‘Yippie Fest,’ at the Prop Theatre in Chicago, Aug. 17-19, 2018

2018 Yippie Fest

CHICAGO – It’s the 2nd annual Yippie Fest in Chicago at the Prop Thtr (Theatre), and the three days of Theater, Performance, Music, Film, Comedy and more kicks off with the 2018 Opening Ceremonies on Friday, August 17th, and runs through Sunday, August 19th. The Fest evolved from the spirit of Mary-Arrchie Theater’s Abbie Hoffman Fest, which ran from 1989 to 2016. The Fest also celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Yippies (Youth International Party) in Chicago, during the Vietnam protests in August of 1968. The whole world was watching. For more information on Yippie Fest, including tickets, click here.

Podtalk: Josh Hope, Co-Director of the Windy City International Film Fest, July 12-15, 2018

2018 WCFF

CHICAGO – This is Year Two for the Windy City International Film Festival (WCFF) – from Thursday, July 12th to Sunday, July 15th, 2018 – and the festival that celebrates indie filmmaking both locally and internationally will have its screenings at Chicago’s historic Biograph Theater (2433 North Lincoln Avenue). Also for the second year, the festival is co-directed by Mindy Kay Parks and Josh Hope. For a complete weekend schedule, click here.

Film Review: ‘Get Out’ is Funny, Scary & Tells Us About Us

CHICAGO – When he got his chance, writer/director Jordan Peele (“Key & Peele”) completely understood what he had to do – combine his skewered hilarity, love of horror movies and true social conscience, and put them all into one great movie. Ladies and germs, “Get Out.”

Film Review: Schizophrenic ‘Top Five’ is Evolution for Chris Rock

CHICAGO – Chris Rock wants you to take him seriously, so he has made a comedy with inconsistent laughs, and a nod towards the weird fishbowl lives that today’s celebrities endure. It’s a rare film where the last part is stronger than the first few acts, a mishmash that is “Top Five.”

Interview: Deon Cole Hosts ‘Conan’ Writers at Just for Laughs Chicago

Deon Cole, Just for Laughs

CHICAGO – While the “Conan” show spends a week in Chicago during the TBS “Just for Laughs” comedy festival, some of his writing staff are showcasing their talents around town in a couple venues. Comedian and “Conan” writer Deon Cole hosts and performs at these events.

Interview: T.J. Miller on His Chicago-Inspired Comedic Sensibility

CHICAGOT.J. Miller is not yet a household name, but his comic stylings are memorable in such films as “Cloverfield,” “She’s Out of My League,” “Gulliver’s Travels” and the upcoming “Our Idiot Brother.” Those comedic roots are in Chicago, doing stand-up and improv here.

Theater Review: Ellen DeGeneres Brings Laughs, Magic to Chicago Theatre

Ellen DeGeneres

CHICAGO – “I like the word ‘somewhat’”, mused Ellen DeGeneres Wednesday night onstage at the Chicago Theatre in front of what is now her standard roused audience. “Like you can say, ‘I’m somewhat gay. But my girlfriend’s really gay.’”

Interview: Ellen DeGeneres Takes on Chicago in ‘Just For Laughs’ Festival

Ellen DeGeneres

CHICAGO – Ellen DeGeneres has always been a woman of many hats. Whether taking a seat as host (or featured dancer) on her Emmy Award-winning talk show “The Ellen Degeneres Show”, offering musical insight to hopefuls on “American Idol”, or lending her voice to the LGBT community, DeGeneres has become a trailblazer of the entertainment industry.

Theater Interview: The Many Faces of Lily Tomlin

Lily Tomlin

CHICAGO – Legendary comedienne Lily Tomlin has made a career on her ability to hear voices. Whether in the form of the pestilential operator Ernestine, the aristocratic Madame Lupe, or precocious 6-year-old Edith Ann, Tomlin has engrossed audiences with her unique approach to character humor for nearly four decades.

TV Review: ‘Better Off Ted’ Could Be Worse But Far From Best

Better Off Ted
HollywoodChicago.com Television Rating: 2.5/5.0
Television Rating: 2.5/5.0

CHICAGO – In a landscape of increasingly lower ratings for quirky TV comedy (talk to the producers of “Scrubs” if you don’t believe me), I’m kind of amazed that “Better Off Ted” made it to the air. If “Arrested Development” and everything Andy Richter has ever tried couldn’t find an audience, who thought people would be attracted to this left-of-center workplace sitcom? And the fact that it doesn’t live up to the potential of its concept means the show’s thin chance of survival just disappeared.

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