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.
LOS ANGELES – With the flourish of trumpets in “The Bullfighter’s Song,” a pugnacious man would strut on stage and launch a volley of hilarious insults on some unsuspecting targets. That act was Don Rickles, whose show business nicknames included “The King of Zing,” “The Merchant of Venom” and the magnificently ironic “Mr. Warmth.” Rickles died in Los Angeles on April 6th, 2017. He was 90.
ST. CHARLES COUNTY, MO – One of rock and roll music’s last living pioneers, Chuck Berry, was found dead in his home in St. Charles County, Missouri, on Mar. 18, 2017. He was the “Father of Rock ‘n Roll” for his hit songs in the 1950s, but Berry was also known for his controversies and live concert style. He was 90 years old.
LOS ANGELES – A shock occurred on Oscar Sunday when it was announced that popular actor Bill Paxton had died after complications during surgery. He had appeared in classic films like “The Terminator,” “Weird Science” “Aliens” “One False Move,” “True Lies,” “Apollo 13” and “Titanic,” and the HBO series “Big Love.” He was 61.
CHICAGO – The nature of dying, especially in process with a close loved one, is a testing ground for unwieldy and alien emotions. When, why and how we’re challenged does not have a timetable, nor a convenience. All of this is played out as fantasy in the vital “A Monster Calls.”
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.
CHICAGO – It’s a simple concept. A man is stuck on an island, and has run out of hope. A dead corpse washes ashore and starts farting. The farts are so frequent that the man rides the corpse like a jet ski. The man is “saved”? Oh yes, and the corpse is portrayed by Daniel “Harry Potter” Radcliffe.
CHICAGO – In what truly must be one of the most original and odd ideas for a movie in awhile, “Swiss Army Man” is opening in Chicago this week, and features Daniel “Harry Potter” Radcliffe as a dead corpse that helps a man survive. This scenario was concocted by writer/directors Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan.
LOS ANGELES – The loss of a up-and-coming actor at an early age is always a tragic event, and Anton Yelchin has been added to that roster. In a freak automobile accident at his home, Yelchin died on June 19th, 2016. He was best known for embracing the role of Pavel Chekov in the “Star Trek” film series reboot. He was 27 years old.
CHANCHASSEN, Minn. – One of rock’s most legendary and mysterious figures, whose full and real name was Prince Rogers Nelson, died on April 21st, 2016, after paramedics found him unresponsive at his Paisley Park home in Chanchassen, Minnesota. No cause of death has been given. The singer was 57 years old.
COEUR D’ALENE, IDAHO – She was a lesson in duality. One of her most famous roles was as “identical cousins” on “The Patty Duke Show,” and Anna Marie “Patty” Duke also made public her fight with bipolar disorder. She was also a talented actress, winning an Oscar as teenager for “The Miracle Worker.” Ms. Duke passed away on March 29th, 2016, at the age of 69, at her home in Idaho.