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John F. Kennedy

Feature: TCM Host Ben Mankiewicz on His Father & 50 Years After Robert F. Kennedy’s Death

Robert F. Kennedy

CHICAGO – It was 50 years ago today – June 6th, 1968 – that Robert F. Kennedy died, struck down by an assassin’s bullet while in California on the presidential campaign trail. His press secretary, Frank Mankiewicz, delivered the news to the media, emphasizing that RFK was only “42 years old.” Frank Mankiewicz was the father of Ben Mankiewicz, the current host of Turner Classic Movies (TCM).

Theater Review: American Theater Co.’s ‘We’re Gonna Be Okay’ Seeks Identity in Early 1960s

We're Gonna Be Okay

CHICAGO – The 1960s were a time of historical social transition. The movements – civil rights, feminist, gay rights – all had roots in that tumultuous decade. The Chicago premiere of Basil Kreimendahl’s “We’re Gonna Be Okay” echoes all of those movements in its characters, and collides them against the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the American Theater Company through March 4th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

Exclusive Photo: Legendary Broadcast Journalist Dan Rather

CHICAGO – From the JFK assassination, through Vietnam, Watergate and his days of anchoring the CBS Evening News, Dan Rather has influenced the media for six decades. He appeared in Naperville (Ill.) last November for his new book, “What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism,” sponsored by Anderson’s Bookshop.

Film Review: Ethereal ‘The Shape of Water’ Forms Cinema Magic

CHICAGO – This breathtaking morality and love story, set in a backward age, takes all of its major themes – passion, tolerance, symbolism and thrills – to the highest level. Writer/director Guillermo del Toro has created a masterwork that is part fairy tale, part adult desperation and all cinema magic.

Film Review: ‘LBJ’ is Important American History Brought to Light

CHICAGO – The circumstances surrounding the John F. Kennedy assassination on November 22nd, 1963, put a man into the presidential spotlight who never thought he would get there… Lyndon Baines Johnson. The story of that strange time and the man who “would be king” is told in ‘LBJ.’

Film Review: Brainiac Fulfillment is the Key to ‘Hidden Figures’

CHICAGO – In America, there is the history we have, and the history that we want to have happened. “Hidden Figures” falls into the second category, but it’s presented in such a way that it fulfills the goal – tell an amazing story about a group of African American women who helped launch men into space.

Film Review: Natalie Portman Embodies a Magnificent ‘Jackie’

CHICAGO – Capturing one of the most familiar woman of the last fifty years would seem impossible, except when focusing on one of the defining moments of her life. “Jackie” reveals Jacqueline Kennedy during the time of her husband John’s assassination, and when the nation lost a president.

Interview: Director Whit Stillman Celebrates ‘Love & Friendship’

CHICAGO – Say the name Whit Stillman in certain cinema circles, and a rush of admiration soon follows. The director made a name for himself with his debut film “Metropolitan’ (1990), and followed with the same emotional pallette in “Barcelona” (1994). He is back with an adaptation of a Jane Austin novel, entitled “Love & Friendship.”

Entertainment News: Film, TV Star & Oscar Winner Patty Duke Dies at 69

Patty Duke, Photo by Joe Arce

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.

Theater Review: ‘Assassination Theater’ Digs Too Many Rabbit Holes

Assassination Theater

CHICAGO – There are two dates in modern American History that ring in the heads of certain generations. Of course, there is September 11th, 2001, but the granddaddy of that date is November 22nd, 1963. That is when an American president, John F. Kennedy, was shot point blank in the head and killed on the street of an American city. The official proclamation from the government is that a lone assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, fired those shots. In a new Chicago play, “Assassination Theater,” subtitled “Chicago’s Role in the Crime of the Century,” the jury is still decidedly out.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • 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).

  • Everybody, Brown Paper Box Co

    CHICAGO – When is the last time a stage play, based in an intimate setting, made you think about your life, death, and the destiny inherent in both? “Everybody,” staged by Brown Paper Box Co. (BPBCo), is such a play, and the energetic aura and sense of surprise that the show contains is soul soothing wonder. The show has various evening/matinee performances at the Pride Arts Center in Chicago run through August 12, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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