Al Madrigal

Film Review: ‘Night School’ Can’t Get to a Passing Grade

CHICAGO – “Night School” is the latest undistinguished product to come off the Kevin Hart assembly line. If you’re a fan of Hart’s motormouthed and hyperactive small time schtick, you’ll find that this will just barely passed the test. But if you’re not, this movie won’t change anyone’s mind.

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.

Slideshow: Bill Maher, Bob Newhart Perform at the 2013 ‘Just for Laughs Chicago’

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Bill Maher headlines ‘Just for Laugh Chicago’ at The Chicago Theatre.

CHICAGO – Two icons of comedy, one contemporary and one classic, took the stage during last month’s “Just for Laughs Chicago” festival – sponsored by the TBS Network – and brought down their respective houses. Political commentator Bill Maher and comic legend Bob Newhart both performed downtown at The Chicago Theatre.

TV Review: Neurotic, Annoying Characters Sink ‘Free Agents’

Free Agents

CHICAGO – Sitcoms need likable characters. We have to want to spend time with people to laugh at their insights or behavior (a lesson that the writers of “Entourage” forgot somewhere along the way) and comedies with people that are more annoying than humorous never last. Look no further than tonight’s debut of the awful “Free Agents,” a new NBC comedy with excellent actors given nothing entertaining to do.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Little Women: The Musical

    CHICAGO – The story of “Little Women,” by Louisa May Alcott, has been an American institution since its publication in 1869. The story of four girls-to-little-women during the American Civil War, with their indomitable mother holding down the household while their father is away in the war, was a perfect candidate to become a Broadway musical. The Brown Paper Box Co. (BPBCo) is currently presenting a brilliant adaptation of that musical for the storefront stage, and its emotion, music craft and energy is nothing sort of a triumph… this small theater company that could does it again. The show has various evening/matinee performances at the The Strawdog Theatre in Chicago through February 9th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Deadbeat2

    CHICAGO – Not many web series start out as music videos, but the new online (YouTube) drama “Deadbeat 2” was just that. Created, written and directed by Danny Froze, the made-in-Chicago story recently premiered episodes five and six in the series, which features actor Kiwaun Stoutmire in the lead role of Ronnie.

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