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Tribeca 2018: Author Tawni O’Dell on the Screenplay Adaptation of Her Book, ‘Back Roads’

Tawni O'Dell of 'Back Roads'

CHICAGO – For a first book author, there is probably no greater literary blessing than their work becoming a “Oprah’s Book Club” selection. Tawni O’Dell experienced that honor in 2000, for her novel “Back Roads.” Fast forward years later, and O’Dell adapted that novel – with Adrian Lyne – into a screenplay that became the film “Back Roads,” which screened at the 17th Tribeca Film Festival on April 20th, 2018.

Film Review: ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ Can’t Smooth Its Bizarre Fabric

CHICAGO – Although I am an admirer of Oprah Winfrey, it’s unfortunate that the best way to describe “A Wrinkle in Time” – with her role as goddess problem solver – is Worst. Episode. of. Oprah. Ever. The film, based on a novel from 1962, caves into effects over cohesiveness or story.

Entertainment News: Awards Season Begins with 2018 Golden Globes

CHICAGO – It was basic black at the 75th Golden Globe Awards on January 7th, 2018, as attendees chose a fashion statement to define the year that Hollywood faced the realities of sexual harassment. Hosted by Seth Meyers of NBC-TV’s “Late Night,” the Globes celebrated the best of TV and film in 2017.

Exclusive Portrait: Holly Robinson Peete Promotes Book ‘Same But Different’ in Chicagoland

Holly Robinson Peete, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – Holly Robinson Peete is a notable television actor (“21 Jump Street,” “Hanging with Mr. Cooper”), but her true life’s work is as a national spokesperson for autism. Currently, her family is featured on the reality show “For Peete’s Sake,” on the OWN Network, and she has written a new book, “Same But Different: Teen Life on the Autism Express.” She recently appeared at Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville, Ill., to promote the book.

Interview: Actor Trai Byers of Film ‘Selma,’ TV’s ‘Empire’

CHICAGO – The excellent film “Selma” focuses on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But just as important as King were the marchers from supporting civil rights societies, such as the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and their leaders like James Forman, portrayed in the film by Trai Byers.

Interview: Actor David Oyelowo, Director Ava DuVernay of ‘Selma’

CHICAGO – One of the most vital – and contemporarily relevant – historical films is about to be released. “Selma” is the story of the titanic struggle to establish voting rights in Alabama in 1965, led by the iconic civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Actor David Oyelowo portrays King, and was directed by Ava DuVernay.

Film Review: ‘Selma’ a Powerful Reminder that History Does Repeat

CHICAGO – With exquisite timing, the historical docudrama “Selma” will ring in 2015, and adds to the race-oppression-in-America debate that everything old is new again. Set in 1965, it is the courageous story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the ordinary citizens that fought for the right to vote.

Film Review: ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’ Not Worth the Trip

CHICAGO – “The Hundred-Foot Journey” is as manufactured and flavorless as a frostbitten Lean Cuisine. However, as the impresario of a Michelin-starred Restaurant in the south of France, Helen Mirren implores her staff that food is not an old tired marriage, it is a passionate affair.

Interview: Co-Stars Michael Ealy, Regina Hall Tell ‘About Last Night’

CHICAGO – The path to this year’s remake of the 1986 film “About Last Night” starts right here in Chicago, based on the original 1974 stage version, “Sexual Perversity in Chicago” by David Mamet. Two co-stars in the remake – Michael Ealy and Regina Hall – visited the source city to talk about their version.

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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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