assassination

Podtalk: Playwright Desiree Burcum Wishes You 'A Judy Christmas’

A Judy Christmas

CHICAGO – This year was the 100th anniversary for the birth of the classic movie star/singer/performer Judy Garland. In 1963, as part of her regular CBS-TV variety series, she presented a Christmas episode, featuring her family … including Liza Minnelli. Playwright Desiree Burcum has created a musical comedy about this historic moment in television, appropriately titled “A Judy Christmas.” The show, presented by FAMOUS IN THE FUTURE productions, will have three performances the week before Christmas, December 15th, 16th and 17th, at the Den Theatre in Chicago. For tickets and more information, A JUDY CHRISTMAS.

Interview: David Von Pein, Curator of his YouTube ‘JFK Channel’

CHICAGO – At 12:30pm Central Time on November 22nd, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was killed by an assassin’s bullet. The shots that echoed through Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas, has resonated for years, but beyond the actual event there was a treasure trove of TV and radio coverage that was recorded.

Via Zoom: Director Sam Pollard Revives the History of 'MLK/FBI'

CHICAGO – Sam Pollard has been a behind-the-scenes film editor/producer for most of his career, best known for his work with Spike Lee. But recently, after sporadic director assignments over the years, he has broken out with two major profile documentaries, one on Sammy Davis Jr. in 2017, and his most recent “MLK/FBI.”

Feature: TCM Host Ben Mankiewicz on His Father & 50 Years After Robert F. Kennedy’s Death

Robert F. Kennedy

CHICAGO – It was 50 years ago today – June 6th, 1968 – that Robert F. Kennedy died, struck down by an assassin’s bullet while in California on the presidential campaign trail. His press secretary, Frank Mankiewicz, delivered the news to the media, emphasizing that RFK was only “42 years old.” Frank Mankiewicz was the father of Ben Mankiewicz, the current host of Turner Classic Movies (TCM).

Podtalk: 50 Years Later, Jesse Jackson on Martin Luther King Jr.

CHICAGO – On April 4th, 1968, Reverend Jesse Jackson was already, at age 26, a civil rights leader. He joined Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee, on that April night to help with a sanitation workers strike. He was in the parking lot of the Lorraine Motel when the shots rang out that killed Dr. King on the balcony.

Film Review: ‘LBJ’ is Important American History Brought to Light

CHICAGO – The circumstances surrounding the John F. Kennedy assassination on November 22nd, 1963, put a man into the presidential spotlight who never thought he would get there… Lyndon Baines Johnson. The story of that strange time and the man who “would be king” is told in ‘LBJ.’

Film Review: Natalie Portman Embodies a Magnificent ‘Jackie’

CHICAGO – Capturing one of the most familiar woman of the last fifty years would seem impossible, except when focusing on one of the defining moments of her life. “Jackie” reveals Jacqueline Kennedy during the time of her husband John’s assassination, and when the nation lost a president.

Film Review: ‘Parkland’ Starkly Recreates November 22, 1963

CHICAGO – It’s been close to 50 years since 11/22/1963, the day when a certain American innocence was lost with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. In time for that anniversary, is the excellent film overview entitled “Parkland.”

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Trade Federation, Otherworld Theatre

    CHICAGO – Theatrical satires of the Star Wars Universe are like the number of TV series the universe has wrought … too many to figure out if anything is worthwhile. But “Trade Federation” (subtitled “Or Let’s Explore Globalization Through the Star Wars Prequels”), presented by Otherworld Theatre in Wrigleyville Chicago, gets it right on.

  • Omi Hopper, NEXT LEVEL CHEF

    CHICAGO – Omi Hopper is competing … and still survives … on the second season of “Next Level Chef,” the TV cooking show on FOX hosted by Gordon Ramsay. The social media viral star, who created a following with her approach to traditional Puerto Rican dishes, is still in play as the show winds down to the finale on May 11th.

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