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The Second City

Slideshow, Audio: Red-Carpet Portraits from The Second City Roast of George Wendt

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Honoree George Wendt gets ‘roasted.’ Norm!

CHICAGO – On September 9th, 2017, it seemed like the whole of The Second City theater on Wells Street in Chicago let out a collective cry of “NORM!” The favorite barfly of TV’s “Cheers,” George Wendt, came back to his old comedy stomping ground at The Second City to participate in “I Can’t Believe They Wendt There: The Roast of George Wendt.”

Interview, Audio: Cindy Caponera, TV Writer for ‘I’m Dying Up Here’

CHICAGO – One of the great new premium channel TV series, which piggybacked on the “Twin Peaks” return on the Showtime Network, is “I’m Dying Up Here.” Set in the 1970s, it tells the stories of fictional stand up comedians in Los Angeles, and one of the Consulting Producers and series writers is Cindy Caponera.

Podcast Talk: Allison Tolman & Lucas Neff of ABC-TV’s ‘Downward Dog’

CHICAGO – From “Mr. Ed” to “Dog with a Blog,” talking animals have had their place on TV. The latest has origins as a web series, with the clever title “Downward Dog.” The show premieres on Wednesday, May 17th, 2017 (9:30pEST/8:30pCST), on ABC TV, and features Ned the Dog as Martin, and human companions portrayed by Allison Tolman and Lucas Neff.

Interview: Director Jack C. Newell on Digital Release of ‘Open Tables’

CHICAGO – Local filmmaking has always gotten a boost through director Jack C. Newell. His 2015 film “Open Tables,” shot in Chicago and Paris, will get it’s digital release on Tuesday, December 6th, 2016, on iTunes and Video-On-Demand. This coincides with his art project “The Wabash Lights,” and his continued production work.

Interview: Actress Lucy Butler of TV’s ‘The Last Ship’ on Her Character’s Demise

Lucy Butler

CHICAGO – The season finale of TNT Network’s “The Last Ship” was this previous Sunday (Sep. 11, 2016), and as finales tend to do, there were surprises. One of these shocks was the death of the character Roberta Price, the regional leader of the Deep South. The actress who portrayed her, Lucy Butler, was a surprised as anyone else, and talked to HollywoodChicago.com regarding the transition.

Film News: Gillian Jacobs at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre on Aug. 9, 2016 for ‘Don’t Think Twice’

Don't Think Twice Front

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.

Film Review: Comedy is Humanity in Magnanimous ‘Don’t Think Twice’

Don't Think Twice Front

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.”

Interview: Philosopher King Mike Birbiglia of ‘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.

Interview: Actor Paul Dooley on Getting to Portray Dad

Paul Dooley, Part Two

CHICAGO – After he reigned as the father in the classic 1979 film “Breaking Away,” actor Paul Dooley suddenly became everyone’s Dad – and by everyone that meant Molly Ringwald (“Sixteen Candles”), Julia Roberts (“Runaway Bride”) and Helen Hunt (“Mad About You”). He tells all in PART TWO of a comprehensive interview.

Interview: Actor Paul Dooley of ‘Breaking Away,’ ‘Sixteen Candles’

CHICAGO – If there ever was a quintessential “Dad” in movies of the last generation, it would have to be Paul Dooley. The comedian and character actor is best known for portraying the patriarch in “Breaking Away” (1979) and “Sixteen Candles” (1984), but was also in director’s Robert Altman’s ‘ensemble’ and has had a stellar career.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Bobby Pin Girls

    CHICAGO – The “breeder years” are difficult on everyone, as the biological imperative becomes overwhelming and the couplings that result yield both discovery and misadventure. Nothing Without a Company’s new play “Bobby Pin Girls” highlight two such Millennial women, roommates who are having man trouble, although the argument can be made that it’s eternally “boy trouble.” The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Chicago Mosaic School through December 10th, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Transformers 5 front

    CHICAGO – Knock me over with a feather kids, but I enjoyed “Transformers: The Last Knight.” Maybe it was in comparison to the others or maybe director Michael Bay has beaten me into submission, but this one had the right story elements and casting to make it work, with exceptions of course. It’s goofiness is its charm, and it was released on Blu-Ray/DVD on September 26th, 2017 (Digital HD already available).

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