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.
GREENWICH, CONN. – She was the ideal woman for two generations of TV viewers, first in the 1960s as wife Laura to comedy writer Rob Petrie on “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” and then in the 1970s as feminist breakthrough Mary Richards on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” Ms. Moore died on January 25, 2016, near her home in Greenwich, Conn. She was 80.
CHICAGO – Travel buffs and soulful adventurers will get a taste of the upcoming year in wanderlust at the Travel & Adventure Show, returning to Chicago on January 21st and 22nd, 2017, at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois. The show features leading destinations, local experts, celebrity travel speakers and vendors that highlight everything you need to get to those special destinations.
CHICAGO – The year 2016 was a dangerous one to be a famous person. In the past twelve months, one dozen of my former photo subjects passed away, celebrities who at one time or another famously posed for my lens. However, on a positive note, at least photos are forever. Or to quote the immortal words of Pee Wee Herman – “Why don’t you take a picture, it will last longer!”
CHICAGO – It was a musical-oriented, high octane night at the 74th Golden Globe Awards on January 8th, 2017. Hosted by Jimmy Fallon of NBC-TV’s “The Tonight Show,” the Globes celebrated the best in TV and film in 2016, and selected Best Pictures “La La Land” (Comedy/Musical) and “Moonlight” (Drama), and honored the Best TV Shows with “Atlanta” (Comedy, FX) and “The Crown” (Drama, Netflix).
LOS ANGELES – Old time, 1950s television had its share of break out stars as the medium found its footing as new entertainment. Hugh O’Brian, who starred in the ABC-TV series “The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp,” was one of those stars. The actor, who was also known for his Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Foundation – nicknamed HOBY – died of natural causes at his home in Beverly Hills, California, on September 5th, 2016. He was 91.
CHICAGO – One of Chicago’s most popular pop culture gatherings is the Wizard World Comic Con, and the 2016 edition is building anticipation for the weekend of August 18th through the 21st. Besides the fan costumes, vendor booths and comic book legends, Wizard World has appearances from TV and movie celebrities, highlighted by Michael J. Fox (“Back to the Future”), David Duchovny (“The X-Files”) and Princess Leia herself, the one and only Carrie Fisher.
CHICAGO – The legend of “Avatar,” one of the most popular movies of all time, has expanded to the Cirque du Soleil creative universe. “Toruk: The First Flight” is the latest touring show for the iconic performance company, and tells the story of the flying creature from the original film. The show is at the United Center in Chicago, now through Sunday, August 7th. For more information, including ticket purchasing, click here.
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.