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The Hills

Exclusive Portrait: Happy Birthday to Lauren Conrad of ‘The Hills’

Lauren Conrad, photo by Joe Arce.

CHICAGO – Reality TV star Lauren Conrad turns 28 years old on February 1st. Best known for the MTV reality series, “The Hills,” Conrad recently wrote a book called “Infamous,” and was photographed for HollywoodChicago.com, during a promotional appearance at Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville, Ill., in June of 2013

DVD Review: ‘Jersey Shore Uncensored: Season Three’ Continues Reality Phenomenon

Jersey Shore S3

CHICAGO – When most people hear that I’m a TV critic, they usually make a snarky comment about the disaster of reality TV. While I agree that a vast majority of it is nearly unbearable, I don’t think it’s fair to lump the entire genre into one negative bundle. It’s not surprising that I love the critical darlings like “Survivor,” “The Amazing Race,” and “Top Chef” but jaws drop when I try to defend MTV’s massive hit “Jersey Shore,” the third season of which was just released in an uncensored, 4-disc set.

DVD Review: Ridiculous Yet Fascinating ‘Jersey Shore Uncensored: Season Two’

Jersey Shore S2

CHICAGO – There’s something about “Jersey Shore” that makes it unbelievably watchable. I’ll never understand why people have taken to the oversaturated “Real Housewives” franchise or the draw of “Hoarders,” but I totally get “Jersey Shore.” It’s difficult not to be entertained by personalities this larger-than-life and the bonus is that they feel as close to real as reality television has been in years. “Jersey Shore” never seems nearly as scripted as “The Hills,” reminding viewers of my generation of the “Real World” dramatics of the show’s first few years — back when it felt, you know, real.

DVD Review: MTV’s Controversial ‘Jersey Shore Uncensored: Season One’

Jersey Shore DVD

CHICAGO – Maybe I live under a rock, but I must admit to being unfamiliar with the world of “Jersey Shore” outside of the occasional tabloid news item about a cast member and Bobby Moynihan’s now-even-more brilliant portrayal of “Snooki” on “Saturday Night Live.” When “Jersey Shore Uncensored: Season One” showed up on my desk, I cautiously approached the 3-disc set.

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  • Merry Widow, The

    CHICAGO – Standing up at the Lyric Opera house in Chicago is unusual before a show. But in this case, it was the night after a tragedy, and the operetta “The Merry Widow” – set in Paris, France, in 1905 – was about to unfold. The orchestra struck up La Marseillaise, a reminder that we’ll always have Paris.

  • Black White Love Play

    CHICAGO – The love story of a prominent Chicago celebrity couple becomes the basis for a metaphoric and tuneful celebration about courage and coming together. “The Black White Love Play: The Story of Chaz & Roger Ebert” – written and directed by Black Ensemble Theater’s Jackie Taylor – portrays the film critic and the civil rights lawyer in their time, but also creates an atmosphere of emotion through song, sorrow and jubilation.


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