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Film News: Remembering Debbie Reynolds, in 2009 Interview

LOS ANGELES – The shocking news of the passing of Debbie Reynolds, hours after her daughter Carrie Fisher passed away, is still resonating in the 2016 atmosphere. Ms. Reynolds died of a massive stroke on December 28th, at her son’s home near Los Angeles, while making funeral arrangements for her daughter. She was 84.

Interview: Director Icon Peter Bogdanovich Honored at 52nd Chicago International Film Festival

CHICAGO – If Peter Bogdanovich had only been a film writer and critic, he still would have made a major contribution to cinema culture. But he also chose to direct, and besides producing arguably one of the best American films ever made (“The Last Picture Show”), he continues to work and fulfill his creative vision.

Interview: Brown Paper Box Co. Presents ‘Mary’z with a Z’ on May 5 & 6, 2016

Mary with a Z

CHICAGO – In 1972, an historic television special took place, featuring the top talents at the time at the top of their game. “Liza with a ‘Z’” featured Liza Minnelli, fresh from her Academy Award winning performance in the film “Cabaret.” The Brown Paper Box Co. will present “Mary’z with a Z,” at Mary’s Attic on May 5th and 6th, 2016, and will perform the songs from this TV special, in order and in (appropriately) cabaret style, with contributions from their ensemble and some of the biggest song talents in storefront theater in Chicago.

Theater Review: Revival of ‘Pippin’ Still Has Magic to Do

CHICAGO – It is the simple, timeless stories that work best when they are mounted again on Broadway, and the musical “Pippin” stays true to that assertion. Taking the concepts and the songs from a play that debuted in 1972, and featuring one of those original cast members in a key role, the National Touring revival of “Pippin” is being performed in Chicago at the Cadillac Theatre until August 9th, 2015.

Theatre Review: Marriott’s Too-Clean ‘Cabaret’ Conservatively Mutes Much-Needed Vulgarity

CHICAGO – It’s “Cabaret” for god’s sake. It’s not “Bambi”. You’re supposed to need to leave the kids at home watching their own Disney flick. You don’t go to McDonald’s to eat healthy just like you don’t go to “Cabaret” for good clean fun.

Interview: Actress, Activist Mariel Hemingway Navigates Life

Mariel Hemingway, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – The Hemingway name evokes an immediate visceral reaction, from the beginnings of Ernest “Papa” Hemingway’s powerful American literature to the Hollywood career of his granddaughter Mariel Hemingway. The actress was recently in Chicago to promote director Ed Brown’s documentary, “Unacceptable Levels.”

Blu-ray Review: Bob Fosse’s Beloved ‘Cabaret’ Gets Digibook Edition

Cabaret

CHICAGO – It’s easy to see why “Cabaret” was such a phenomenon when it was released in 1972. The film not only tackles issues of sexuality that the musical genre had largely ignored up to that point, it features the kind of evocative visual compositions and performances not often seen in the genre. It is a “serious musical.”

Interview: Debbie Reynolds Dishes on Her Lucky Star Career

CHICAGO – Debbie Reynolds, who began her movie star journey as a teenager during another show biz era, made her big splash in 1952’s “Singin’ in the Rain.” What followed was a long and varied career as a singer, dancer and respected film actress.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Kid Thing, The

    CHICAGO – Like the awesome Engine Who Could, the mighty Nothing Without a Company stage crafters have constructed another triumph at their new home in Berger Mansion on Chicago’s north side. “The Kid Thing” – written by Sarah Gubbins – is a terse, convincing and emotional play about fear, identity and breeding, and it is performed by its cast of five with utter authenticity. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Berger North Mansion through April 15th, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Wiz, The

    CHICAGO – When stage theater can cause outbreaks of elation, celebration and joy, then it must be due to Kokandy Productions’ revival of “The Wiz.” The urban reinterpretation of “The Wizard of Oz” story – told through tuneful euphoria and jubilant dance – is ecstatically produced, in every morsel of its stagecraft.

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