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Exclusive Photo: Rush Rocker Geddy Lee, in Chicago for His ‘Big Beautiful Book of Bass’

Geddy Lee, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – He has THE distinctive rock voice among his generation of 1970s lead singers, and catapulted the group Rush into the stratosphere with hits like “Tom Sawyer,” “Fly by Night” and “Freewill.” He defies all bass player jokes in his years of playing and influencing with that rhythm instrument. Geddy Lee came to Chicago to promote his “Big Beautiful Book of Bass.”

Film Review: 'The Farewell' Greets with Cultural, Emotional Exploration

CHICAGO – We all have those family stories that seem just so uniquely ours that it is hard to believe anyone could actually relate to them. Stories that, at the time, don’t seem like anyone else would even understand. Lulu Wang proves in “The Farewell” that all it takes is a little empathy, a skilled storyteller, and a group of talented people to bring any story to life.

Exclusive Photo: Marc Maron, Podcaster and Actor Featured in New Film ‘Sword of Trust’

Marc Maron, Photo by Joe Arce.

CHICAGO – One of the most prominent podcasters of this particular era is Marc Maron, who famously broadcasts his “WTF with Marc Maron” show from his garage. His mix of comedians, politicians and celebrities has brought him notoriety in the crowded field. He is dipping his toe into acting, with a lead in a new film “Sword of Trust.”

Film News: ‘Apollo 11’ Documentary in Theaters for 50th Anniversary on July 20, 2019

Apollo 11

CHICAGO – Today is the 50th Anniversary of astronaut Neil Armstrong’s first step on the moon, and an excellent documentary on the subject – simply titled “Apollo 11” is doing a “one day only” showing on July 20th, 2019. For theater locations and show times around the country (type in your area), click here.

Film Review: Copy Cat Live Action ‘The Lion King’ Seems Unnecessary

CHICAGO – The latest tendency of Walt Disney Pictures to make live action remakes of their classic cartoons should have stopped at “Jungle Book” and “Beauty and the Beast.” The last three, “Dumbo,” “Aladdin” and now “The Lion King” subtract from their source cartoons, and the King is downright weird.

Podtalk: Director Lulu Wang on Her New Film ‘The Farewell’

CHICAGO – One of the hottest films from the first half 2019 festival season was an emotional story about family. “The Farewell” is a breakout for both the lead actor Awkwafina (“Crazy Rich Asians”) and her director Lulu Wang. Wang’s story of her grandmother became a universal spirit about our relative connections.

Podtalk: Mindy Fay Parks, on 3rd Windy City International Film Fest, July 18-21, 2019

2019 Windy City International Film Fest

CHICAGO – One of the new Film Festival “kids” on the block is the Windy City International Film Fest, now in its 3rd edition. Touted as an indie film festival that celebrates local, national and international filmmakers, the fest has four days – July 18th through the 21st, 2019 – of networking, screenings and special events. One of the co-founders (with Josh Hope) of the fest is Mindy Fay Parks. For a complete schedule, click here.

Theater Review: Kokandy Productions ‘Head Over Heels’ Sparkles with Joy, Passion and Life

CHICAGO – Kokandy Productions is one of the best in Chicago doing musicals, and scores again with “Head Over Heels,” through August 25th, 2019, at Theater Wit. For more details and tickets, click here.

Podtalk: Judith Helfand on 'Cooked: Survival by Zip Code,' in Chicago Thru July 25, 2019

Cooked: Survival by Zip Code

CHICAGO – In the Summer of 1995, there was extreme heat in the City of Chicago for seven days, with temperatures soaring over 100 degrees with high humidity. It hit the area like a tsunami, and left power outages and and an exposure of inadequate emergency responses in its wake. The death toll from the heat, when all the analysis was done, soared to 739 people. Director Judith Helfand chronicles that event, and events like it, in her new film, “Cooked: Survival by Zip Code.”

Film Review: Kumail Nanjiani is the Only Reason to See ‘Stuber’

Stuber

CHICAGO – Kumail Nanjiani is reaching the next level of stardom. Recently, he was the best thing in the rebooted “MIB: International” (as a cartoon sprite), and now he is the only reason to indulge in “Stuber.” Kumail portrays a nervy UBER driver named Stu (get it?), and upholds everything about the buddy movie that is enjoyable. The rest of it, including his buddy Dave Bautista, land with a dull thud.

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