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.
Saturday Night Live
CHICAGO – The Most Valuable Player, in a film that is brimming with great performances, is Gillian Jacobs (“Community”) of “Don’t Think Twice.” The Mike Birblglia-directed film is in the midst of a run at Chicago’s historic Music Box Theatre, and Jacobs will make an appearance on behalf of the film starting at 7:30pm on Tuesday, August 9th, 2016. For more information, click here.
CHICAGO – Comedian/writer/director Mike Birbiglia is breaking out as a filmmaker, and he adds a deft and emotional touch to a story of an improvisation comedy troupe split apart by change they didn’t expect. That sounds a lot like life, and it’s best to “Don’t Think Twice.”
CHICAGO – When comedian/writer/director Mike Birbiglia is in his element, as during the interviews he conducted at The iO Theater in Chicago, he is relaxed and ardently philosophical. He has written and directed a new film, “Don’t Think Twice,” which is about a improvisation comedy troupe, but it’s also about life.
CHICAGO – While a musical stage play is known for its songs rather than dialogue or story, all has to be created. And the playwright for the opening-in-Chicago “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” is veteran actor, director and scribe Douglas McGrath. ‘Beautiful’ opens December 1st, 2015, at the Oriental Theatre in Chicago.
Interview: Director Douglas Tirola on ‘Drunk Brilliant Stoned Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon’Submitted by PatrickMcD on October 19, 2015 - 10:13am
CHICAGO – Before the days of 24/7 internet access to every form of entertainment that exists, there were eras of radical performance expression that changed the landscape of attitudes toward everything – think of The Beatles evolving music and also changing social culture. The roots of another evolution, especially in comedy, began with a modest humor magazine that brought together the right mix of anarchists and misfits. What they did would influence comedy for years afterward, and their story is told in “Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of National Lampoon,” directed by Douglas Tirola.
CHICAGO – Love, hate or maintain indifference to it, the TV dinosaur “Saturday Night Live” has and will continue to influence American culture as long as it may reign. To celebrate its 40th Anniversary, filmmaker Bao Nguyen takes a fresh look at the iconic television show in “Live From New York!”
CHICAGO – December 9th is the 2014 second season premiere of “Ground Floor,” the TBS workplace comedy featuring John C. McGinley (“Scrubs”), plus Skylar Astin and Briga Heelan (seen in the film “Pitch Perfect”). Chicago native Cindy Caponera is a writer and co-executive producer on the show.
CHICAGO – Live from the movies, it’s Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig! The two “Saturday Night Live” veterans are “The Skeleton Twins,” and both have more to do than just be funny. There are moments that sink or swim, depending on the “Twins,” and those parts are greater than the narrative sum.
CHICAGO – An authentic voice in the film category of “romantic comedy” has emerged, and it is represented by lead actress Jenny Slate (“Saturday Night Live”) and writer/director Gillian Robespierre. One night stands, its consequences and yes, love is explored in the excellent new rom-com “Obvious Child.”
CHICAGO – It was a cold Chicago day in May, typical of the endless winter. The coffee shop was warm and inviting, as I waited to interview the comedy icon, Cindy Caponera. She had written a book – “I Triggered Her Bully” – but as she walked in I was more interested in what she was wearing.