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Naomi Watts

Slideshow: Maddie Ziegler’s New Book ‘The Maddie Diaries’ in Chicagoland

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Maddie Ziegler promotes ‘The Maddie Diaries’ for Anderson’s Book Shop.

CHICAGO – Maddie Ziegler is a shooting star right now, included in Time Magazine’s “30 Most Influential Teens” in both 2015 and 2016. The dancer, model and actress first gained attention as a child on “Dance Moms” in 2011, and has ascended since then to social media and online fame, including her featured roles in five music videos by the pop artist Sia. She was in Naperville (Ill.) – in an appearance sponsored by Anderson’s Book Shop – to promote her book “The Maddie Diaries: A Memoir,’ which has become a New York Times Bestseller. And if that wasn’t enough, she will make her film debut this summer opposite Naomi Watts in “The Book of Henry.”

Film Review: ‘Demolition’ Describes the Way They Treated the Story

CHICAGO – The attempt to make a European-style “journey of emotional morality” between four characters in New York City kept getting flatter and flatter as the tale emerged. It’s amusing that they called it “Demolition,” because as cinema, it’s basically a teardown.

Interview: Nadia Hilker & Bill Skarsgard for ‘The Divergent Series: Allegiant - Part 1’

CHICAGO – The “Divergent” series of films are coming to a conclusion, with a two parter adapted from the last book. The first film is “The Divergent Series: Allegiant - Part 1,” and there are some new kids in the mix, with two actors who have made their mark overseas – Nadia Hilker and Bill Skarsgard – joining the series.

Film Review: Shortage of Spark Makes ‘The Divergent Series: Insurgent’ a Second-String Effort

CHICAGO – “The Divergent Series: Insurgent” does nothing to change the “Divergent” series status as an off-brand Young Adult epic. As we’ve seen with “The Hunger Games,” these Young Adult franchises can be lots of fun and be faithful to their source material. But “Insurgent” has the same problem as the first two “Harry Potter” films – it’s too faithful, coupled with a dearth of inspiration behind the camera.

Film Review: Michael Keaton Soars in Mesmerizing ‘Birdman’

CHICAGO – There are parts of “Birdman” that are absolutely breathtaking, in dialogue, performance and visual acumen. Even its subtitle, “The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance” has a wonderful payoff. Michael Keaton provides an Oscar worthy performance as the title character.

Film Review: Phony ‘St. Vincent’ is Bill Murray’s Worst Choice Since ‘Garfield’

CHICAGO – “Garfield, maybe” was the sole utterance of regret that iconic actor/prolific movie-golfer Bill Murray expressed in 2009’s “Zombieland” before he died. Should the adoration for this cameo resurrect him for that film’s announced sequel, Murray will hopefully denounce “St. Vincent,” his most needless and perverse career choice since vocally birthing “Garfield” (and yes, that includes getting a handjob as Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 2012’s also terrible “Hyde Park on Hudson”).

Interview: Ted Melfi Directs Bill Murray in ‘St. Vincent’

CHICAGO – There are few better opportunities for a filmmaker than directing Bill Murray in a character role. Theodore “Ted” Melfi got that assignment, after pursuing Murray with his screenplay for the new film, “St. Vincent.” The effort to convince the veteran comic actor to take the title role paid off, and other notable actors joined in.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret

    CHICAGO – When faced with adversity, the best way around it is to somehow break into song. That is the feeling behind the Brown Paper Box Co.’s “Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret,” running April 7th and 8th at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. The event features company member Kristi Szczepanek as host, and presents song stylings by other company members, including Anna Schutz, plus some special guests. For details and ticket information, click here.

  • Kid Thing, The

    CHICAGO – Like the awesome Engine Who Could, the mighty Nothing Without a Company stage crafters have constructed another triumph at their new home in Berger Mansion on Chicago’s north side. “The Kid Thing” – written by Sarah Gubbins – is a terse, convincing and emotional play about fear, identity and breeding, and it is performed by its cast of five with utter authenticity. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Berger North Mansion through April 15th, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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