CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
Parks and Recreation
CHICAGO – The 52nd Chicago International Film Festival wrapped last week, but the Red Carpet presentations continued right up to that end date. The Chicago connections films, either made in the area or by Chicago filmmakers or actors, had two major Red Carpets, and HollywoodChicago.com was there to capture them. Actors and filmmakers from the new films “Middle Man” and “Imperfections” were there.
CHICAGO – Adam Scott has become familiar to audiences through his five year run as Ben Wyatt on TV’s “Parks and Recreation,” but he is also creating a presence on the big screen, with various supporting roles in big films (“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”) and his latest comedy, “The Overnight.”
CHICAGO – What began as an internet meme has become a celebrity sensation. “Grumpy Cat,” AKA Tardar Sauce the cat, has built a career for herself and her owners as a magazine cover girl and brand name. Aubrey Plaza (“Parks and Recreation”) has just been named as the voice of Grumpy Cat for an upcoming Lifetime TV Movie, “Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever.” The famous feline recently appeared at Barnes & Noble Old Orchard in Skokie, Illinois, to promote her new book “The Grumpy Guide to Life: Observations from Grumpy Cat.”
I’ve avoided saying it outright for a few years as it seems like an overwritten headline but one thing is too clear to ignore when looking back at this past year in television — we are currently in the most creatively vital time in the history of the form.
CHICAGO – The biggest column yet on What to Watch on DVD, Blu-ray, Netflix, Amazon, On Demand, and more is another seemingly random hodge-podge of offerings that you can use to guide your way through the new releases shelf at Best Buy, the On Demand section on Vudu, the store on iTunes, and maybe even Netflix and Hulu. Pick your favorites. This is the way we’d rank these new releases if you have a free night this weekend or money to burn next week.
CHICAGO – With Emmy ballots due this Friday and the natural human tendency to procrastinate, I’m betting a lot of you Academy members are still sweating some tough decisions this year. Let me help.
CHICAGO – When you’re in as much of a ratings struggle as NBC, it makes sense to shake things up and that’s exactly what they’re doing in the Fall with a new show or an old show in a new time every single night of the week. “Chicago Fire,” “Revolution,” “The Biggest Loser,” “Parks and Recreation,” and “Parenthood” are moving.
CHICAGO – At the start, I’ll admit to kind of hating Bob Byington’s truly unusual “Somebody Up There Likes Me,” playing this weekend at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago with local actor and “Parks and Recreation” scene-stealer Nick Offerman in attendance. It’s such a mannered, unique piece that it verges on grating.
CHICAGO – Zombies. Dragons. Gangsters. Meth dealers. David Lynch. It was a weird year for television. Was it a good year? Sorta. It was nowhere near the landmark year of 2011 but there was still a lot to like and it was easy to get to 30 shows worth mentioning.
CHICAGO – NBC/Universal released a wave of Blu-ray and DVD releases last week as four of their comedies came home with “30 Rock: Season 6,” “The Office: Season Eight,” “Parks and Recreation: Season Four,” and “Up All Night: Season One.” For some reason, “The Office” is the only NBC comedy available in HD (with an UltraViolet copy to boot) but all four sets are well-transferred and three of them feature impressive bonus material. Get your laugh on.