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Patrick McDonald

Slideshow: Comedian Richard Lewis on His New Book ‘Reflections From Hell’

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The new book from Richard Lewis is ‘Reflections From Hell.’

CHICAGO – The “Prince of Pain” was in Chicago recently. Richard Lewis, the overtly introspective and hilarious stand up comedian, has written a new book – “Reflections From Hell” – and appeared at Chicago’s City Winery, plus sold out two shows at the legendary Zanies comedy club.

Film Review: Life is Never Over in ‘I’ll See You in My Dreams’

CHICAGO – Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you, if you’re the main character in “I’ll See You in My Dreams.” Blythe Danner portrays a long-time widow whose routine is set, but life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. The series of extraordinary events are life lessons, at a point in life where class is dismissed.

Theater Review: People History is Revived in American Theater Company’s ‘The Projects’

The Projects

CHICAGO – The legacy of public housing is one of the strangest forces of karma in the City of Chicago. For example, sites that were once some of the roughest and most neglected housing for the poor now contain luxury condos. It is the people of those former hellholes that still remember the sorrowful history of what they once called home. The American Theater Company (ATC) have gathered these stories for the poignant and extraordinary “The Projects.”

Interview: Actor David Dastmalchian on His Remarkable Film ‘Animals’

CHICAGO – Sometimes you just need a break, that small window of opportunity to burst through and make the mark. Actor David Dastmalchian knows all about that phenomenon, as he produced and starred in his semi-autobiographical film “Animals,” and got the break of a lifetime landing a role in the film, “The Dark Knight.”

Exclusive Portraits: Brad Garrett of ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’

CHICAGO – The six foot, eight inch Brad Garrett is used to towering over the competition, but it is his comedic chops that got him the part of Robert Barone in the popular sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond.” Garrett was at Hollywood Palms Cinema, on behalf of Anderson’s Bookshop, both in Naperville, Ill., to promote his new book, “When the Balls Drop.”

Interview: Stage Director Gary Griffin on the Stratford Festival HD Movie ‘Antony and Cleopatra’

Antony and Cleopatra

CHICAGO – The romance of Mark Antony and Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, has fascinated sensibilities for centuries. William Shakespeare, no slouch when it comes to cultural commentary, wrote his version of the pairing in “Antony and Cleopatra,” the latest in the Stratford (Ontario) Festival of High Definition cinema adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays. Chicagoan Gary Griffin directed the stage production, that was rendered to HD. The screenings of “Antony and Cleopatra” will take place on May 21st, 2015, in various movie theaters across the country, including Chicago.

Film News: Chicago Filmmaker Prashant Bhargava of ‘Patang’ Dies at 42

Prashant Bhargava

NEW YORK – He was a Chicago-born director who explored his culture with a delicacy and poignancy that set his debut feature film “Patang” apart from any other experience, and within that art he sought to understand the world beyond his American birthplace. Prashant Bhargava passed away suddenly in New York City on May 16th, 2015, of undisclosed causes. He was 42 years old.

Film Review: Sequel’s Tune is Off Key in ‘Pitch Perfect 2’

Pitch Perfect 2

CHICAGO – “Pitch Perfect 2” wasn’t bad. There was the same off-kilter weirdness and funny lines of the first film, but in this sequel there were also stretches of boring, seemingly made-up stuff to slog through. I guess repeating a premise about college singing groups doesn’t offer much more to say.

Weekend Preview: 2015 Chicago Underground Film Festival

2015 Chicago Underground Film Festival

CHICAGO – One of the funkiest and offbeat film festivals is taking place in Chicago through Sunday, May 17th, 2015. The 22nd Chicago Underground Film Festival (CUFF) showcases independent, experimental and documentary films from around the world. This year’s festival takes place all at the Logan Theatre – 2646 North Milwaukee, Chicago – and the films are augmented by nightly parties and concerts.

Exclusive Portraits: Matt Dillon, M. Night Shyamalan of ‘Wayward Pines’

CHICAGO – The 2015 TV season just got a little more intriguing, with the premiere of “Wayward Pines” on the FOX network on Thursday, May 14th. The series features Matt Dillon, and the Executive Producer and Director of the first episode, filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan (“The Sixth Sense”).

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  • The Projects

    CHICAGO – The legacy of public housing is one of the strangest forces of karma in the City of Chicago. For example, sites that were once some of the roughest and most neglected housing for the poor now contain luxury condos. It is the people of those former hellholes that still remember the sorrowful history of what they once called home. The American Theater Company (ATC) have gathered these stories for the poignant and extraordinary “The Projects.”

  • Gambler, The 2

    CHICAGO – Browsing Dostoyevsky titles with consideration for proper roles for Mark Wahlberg, one might expect the Beantown hero to take on an adaptation of “The Idiot” before anything like “The Gambler.” After all, while Wahlberg has proven to be a diverse screen force - one who has well-grown past his Funky Bunch days - he often leans towards goofy men, or at least goofy men in goofy movies.

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