CHICAGO – When faced with adversity, the best way around it is to somehow break into song. That is the feeling behind the Brown Paper Box Co.’s “Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret,” running April 7th and 8th at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. The event features company member Kristi Szczepanek as host, and presents song stylings by other company members, including Anna Schutz, plus some special guests. For details and ticket information, click here.
Film Review: Michael Keaton is a Man with a Brand in ‘The Founder’
CHICAGO – Michael Keaton is the real reason to see “The Founder” – it’s a movie that probably wouldn’t work at all without him. Keaton portrays Ray Kroc, the man who turned McDonald’s into a multinational fast food behemoth. But “The Founder” is an origin story of both the man and the brand…and Kroc is not the genius of American business he’s been made out to be.
When the story opens, Kroc (Keaton) is a traveling salesman going from drive-in to drive-in peddling milkshake machines. You can almost see the sweat stains under his shirt as he tries to drum up a sale, but to no avail. He’s sold many things over the years, and is worried he’s about to run out of road on this particular trip, before he gets to the American Dream. He learns of McDonald’s when the small burger stand in California places an unusually large order for his mixers.
Kroc did not come up with McDonald’s, he didn’t create the restaurant’s fast food system, and he didn’t even come up with the name. Those honors belong to two brothers, Dick and Mac McDonald, played by Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch. But Kroc is the one who pushed them to franchise, and then wound up pushing the founders right out of the business and claiming it for himself.
Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton, center) Opens Another One in ‘The Founder’
Photo credit: The Weinstein Company