Theater, TV, DVD & Blu-Ray

Theater Review: Classic ‘West Side Story’ at Chicago's Lyric Opera

West Side Story

CHICAGO – “When you’re a Jet, you’re a Jet all the way … “ And there is no more appropriate way to lyrically pay tribute to a classic staging of the Leonard Bernstein/Stephen Sondheim musical, “West Side Story.” There is a new staging currently at Lyric Opera of Chicago, which runs through June 2nd, 2019. Click here for more details and tickets.

FLASHBACK Podtalk: Co-Creators, Actor of CBS-TV’s ‘The Red Line,’ Debuting April 28, 2019

View From Tall, The

CHICAGO – Chicago is again in the spotlight, due to the efforts of Caitlin Parrish and Erica Weiss, the creators of “The Red Line,” the based-in-the-Windy-City CBS TV series that debuts Sunday, April 28th, 2019. They even cast a veteran Chicago actor for the ensemble, Michael Patrick Thornton.

Theater Review: ‘It’s NOT ALL About You John Michael’ in Chicago

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.

Theater Review: Kicky ‘The Soccer Player in the Closet’ from Nothing Without a Company

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.

Digital TV Review: Chicago-Produced ‘Geek Lounge’ Premieres on Amazon Prime

Geek Lounge

CHICAGO – The comic book admiration society has been the fastest growing sub-culture in the last 25 years. Once thought a remnant of childhood is now a flourishing industry in show business, comic book shops and conventions. “Geek Lounge,” a TV series created by producer/director/writer Larry Ziegelman, explores the comic book/pop culture generation, and is now streaming on Amazon Prime. Click here for the details.

Theater News: Last Days of Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival, thru Jan. 27, 2019

Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival 2019

CHICAGO – They’ve got the world on a string – and other forms of bringing inanimate objects to life – at the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival, which is currently presenting shows all around the city through January 27th, 2019. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

Theater Review: Brown Paper Box Co’s Magnificent, Must-See ‘Little Women: The Musical’

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.

Podtalk: Creator and Lead Actor of Web Series ‘Deadbeat 2’

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.

TV News: Appreciation for Bill Daily of ‘I Dream of Jeannie’ and ‘The Bob Newhart Show’

Bill Daily, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – He was America’s sidekick in TV’s golden decades of the 1960s and ‘70s, and was a proud Chicago-born-and-bred performer. Bill Daily, better known as Major Roger Healey (“I Dream of Jeannie”) and the wacky neighbor Howard Borden (“The Bob Newhart Show”) died at his New Mexico home at the age of 91 on September 4th, 2018.

Podtalk: Cast of Netflix's ‘Orange is the New Black' on Season Six Download for July 27, 2018

Orange is the New Black

CHICAGO – Orange Day is Friday (July 27, 2018)… as in “Orange is the New Black.” That’s when Season Six will be available for download from Netflix, as the online series continues to showcase the women inmates at Litchfield Penitentiary, three of whom are played by Taylor Schilling (Piper), Kate Mulgrew (Red) and Dascha Polanco (Daya).

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