News from Chicago Tribune:
Feeding Facebook every day is creating a big, fat content problem
Fri, 15 Apr 2016 17:39:00 +0200
Feeling creative today? Ready to pen something really smart and witty on Facebook? A poem based on your evening? A political essay or a literary rant? A saucy gossip column? A little play? "Sure," you say, starting toward the little box that asks "What's...
'Greatest living painter'? MCA shows life's work of Kerry James Marshall
Fri, 15 Apr 2016 16:20:00 +0200
For the forthcoming, 70-plus-painting retrospective of his work, the one that will open at the Museum of Contemporary Art and then travel to New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art and to the MCA Los Angeles, Kerry James Marshall had to put into the hands...
Smashing Pumpkins a creative - and nostalgic - force at same time
Fri, 15 Apr 2016 15:32:00 +0200
Smashing Pumpkins leader Billy Corgan last shared a Chicago stage with guitarist James Iha at the group's farewell concert at Metro in December 2000. Following a March reunion of the warring former bandmates in Los Angeles, the two teamed up again Thursday...
Louis C.K., 'Horace and Pete' and our fractured media landscape
Fri, 15 Apr 2016 14:31:00 +0200
The big entertainment news this week was that Louis C.K. is kinda-sorta up to his eyeballs in debt because he self-financed his Web show "Horace and Pete"- to the tune of $500,000 per episode, which he offered to the public for between $2 and $5 an episode...
Chicago singer successfully auditions for 'The Voice'
Tue, 08 Mar 2016 13:33:00 +0100
When Natalie Yacovazzi auditioned for "The Voice" last season, none of the mentors indicated they wanted her on their team. Yacovazzi, 28, went home to Chicago and worked on her performance skills. She returned to "The Voice" stage in Monday's episode...
Firefighter-writer Matthew Drew is driven by dual passions
Mon, 07 Mar 2016 21:27:00 +0100
Matthew Drew goes to work in a building in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. It is a firehouse and Drew is a firefighter, one of 4,800-some other dedicated people in Chicago who share this precarious profession. "I love my job," he says. "There is no job...
Big changes, notable names at Steppenwolf for 2016-17 season
Mon, 07 Mar 2016 19:23:00 +0100
New plays by Tracy Letts, David Rabe, Erika Sheffer and Antoinette Nwandu, the conceptual work of Young Jean Lee and a two-week appearance by the much-loved ensemble star Laurie Metcalf in an 80-seat theater highlight an expanded 2016-17 season for the...
True/False puts the 'festive' in film festival
Mon, 07 Mar 2016 18:49:00 +0100
Each year, on a freely lubricated Saturday night during the True/False film festival, several hundred moviegoers settle in at the Blue Note on Ninth Street, a onetime vaudeville-house-turned-music-venue-turned-temporary-screening emporium. They're there...
In Memoriam: Remembering everyone who died on 'Downton Abbey'
Mon, 07 Mar 2016 14:00:00 +0100
With "Downton Abbey" coming to an end on Sunday after six extremely entertaining, occasionally absurd and frequently very moving seasons, we decided to take a look back at the many, many characters, both human and otherwise, who've gone gently into that...
'Downton Abbey' series finale: The end of an era
Mon, 07 Mar 2016 13:25:00 +0100
Spoiler alert: Do not read until you've watched the series finale of "Downton Abbey," season 6, episode 9, airing March 6. Edith got married! Anna and Bates had a baby! Even Barrow got what he wanted -- the butler job at Downton Abbey. Happy endings abounded...
Review: 'Heathers' a scrappy musical take on teen angst
Sun, 06 Mar 2016 23:23:00 +0100
Kokandy Productions — one of several fairly new Chicago musical companies that mine hot young talent — likely will have a solid hit this spring with its edgy, raucous and snarky production of "Heathers: The Musical," the 2010 adaptation of Michael...
Kendrick Lamar's surprise 'Untitled, Unmastered' rarely sounds unfinished
Fri, 04 Mar 2016 23:02:00 +0100
Not bad for a bunch of leftovers -- not bad at all. In this era of surprise album releases, Kendrick Lamar dropped his latest project “Untitled, Unmastered” (Top Dawg/Aftermath/Interscope) on Thursday with little advance notice. He billed it on Twitter...
Despite late-night TV's turmoil, Conan O'Brien has never surrendered
Fri, 04 Mar 2016 21:21:00 +0100
The very first moments of Conan O'Brien's short reign as host of "The Tonight Show" were soundtracked by one of his favorite songs. That inaugural episode in June 2009 started with a taped segment - goofy, funny and random, in typical O'Brien fashion...
Donald Trump, Charlie Sheen and issues for the next GOP debate
Fri, 04 Mar 2016 19:27:00 +0100
The remaining Republican presidential candidates held a debate of sorts Thursday night in Detroit’s Fox Theatre. The Fox has a history of hosting braggadocious television stars. Charlie Sheen, at the height of his megalomania, began his concert tour...
A much younger Obama resurfaces on 'Check, Please!' season 15 finale
Fri, 26 Feb 2016 18:27:00 +0100
When President Barack Obama's "lost" episode as a panelist on the Chicago restaurant review show "Check, Please!" finally made it to air, right before his first presidential inauguration, I wrote this about his appearance: "Obama takes a bold and, perhaps,...
'Triple 9' review: Dirty cops plus heist equals all-too-familiar tale
Fri, 26 Feb 2016 13:44:00 +0100
A murky paradox, "Triple 9" takes turns being difficult to track or settling for obvious explication of what the audience already knows. This brings up the question of how much you need to care about the individuals caught up in a complicated dirty-cop...
Chris Rock is the perfect Oscars host for this controversial awards season
Fri, 26 Feb 2016 12:00:00 +0100
One of the biggest questions going into this year's Oscar ceremony isn't whether Leonardo DiCaprio will finally win a lead actor trophy or which one of the best picture nominees will score the night's big prize. It's WWCD (What Will Chris Do)? Speculation...
Did Chicago church worker make it to 'American Idol' Top 10?
Fri, 26 Feb 2016 03:47:00 +0100
The final "American Idol" won't be from the Chicago area. Chicago church worker Manny Torres, the last "Idol" contestant with local ties, was cut from the show Thursday after failing to secure enough votes from the viewers. Torres, 21, and three other...
Kim Barker: What it's like to have Tina Fey play you
Fri, 26 Feb 2016 00:10:00 +0100
Kim Barker was sitting at a restaurant table with a handful of old Chicago Tribune colleagues, making fun of her eyelashes. Nobody would have noticed but she pointed them out — fake eyelashes. The former Tribune war correspondent who wrote "The Taliban...
How TV deals with actresses' pregnancies, from 'I Love Lucy' to 'New Girl'
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 20:38:00 +0100
Childbirth is a miracle. It's also a pain in the butt for the entertainment industry. Long-running TV shows often have to find creative ways to handle an actress's pregnancy, given lengthy filming schedules and intersecting plotlines. "New Girl" went...
Review: Scenes from '50s suburbia in Porchlight's musical 'Far From Heaven'
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 20:05:00 +0100
Before "Mad Men," Todd Haynes' 2002 film "Far From Heaven" cornered the post-millennial market on the rotting underbelly of mid-century upper-middle-class suburbia. But while "Mad Men" took a gimlet-eyed (or martini-eyed, if you prefer) look at the secrets...
The thing about feelings: The radical notions of Annie Besant
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 19:51:00 +0100
What does explosive anger look like? It isn't hard to picture a narrative scene that corresponds, perhaps a burly man in a traffic jam screaming while pumping his fist out an open car window. But that's a person and a situation, not a feeling. More ambitious,...
Greg Kot's 2016 Grammy Awards predictions
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 16:10:00 +0100
At the 58th annual Grammy Awards on Monday (7 p.m. on CBS-TV) the Recording Academy will hand out the final handful of its awards in 83 categories. Each year, we play the futile game of trying to predict how the thousands of academy members will vote...
Polar air to stay through the weekend
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 04:10:33 +0100
After an extended period of above-normal temperatures, a major shift in jet-stream winds will steer polar air across the region into Sunday. Northwest-to-north winds will be tapping a reservoir of arctic air originating from northern Canada. The cold...
Maine South boys swimmers raise health concerns about school pool
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 03:37:00 +0100
One member of last season's Maine South boys swimming team was coughing so much during practice that he thought he was on the verge of coughing up blood. A senior on the Hawks this season had such a difficult time breathing at the pool that he was scared...
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