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

  • It's NOT ALL About You John Michael

    CHICAGO – John Michael epitomizes the art of the monologue. The Chicago transplant, by way of Dallas, is moving on (he says temporarily) from the city that inspired his last show, “Meatball Seance,” after notorious and successful runs of his other one-man shows, “John Michael and the Order of the Penix” and “Dementia Me.” His farewell performance is his latest, another laugh riot, “It’s NOT ALL About You John Michael,” and will take place at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood on March 1st, 2019. Click here for details, including ticket information.

  • Soccer Player in the Closet, The 2

    CHICAGO – Connecting to the theater collective Nothing Without a Company means a couple of things. One, you may visit parts of Chicago you’ve never seen before – in this case a plant store in an industrial area south of Humboldt Park – and two, you will see some daring and outside-the-box stagings. “The Soccer Player in the Closet” is their latest production – a World Premiere – and it provides what the title implies and beyond. The play runs through March 17th, 2019. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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