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Patrick McDonald

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.

Interview: Betsy West & Julie Cohen on Their Documentary ‘RBG’

CHICAGO – Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the notorious “RBG,” has been a steady and abiding voice on that high court since 1993. But how much do we really know about this unassuming and highly admired jurist? Co-directors Betsy West and Julie Cohen answer this question in their documentary “RBG.”

Theater Review: ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ is Supersonic at Lyric Opera of Chicago

Jesus Christ Superstar, Lyric Opera

CHICAGO – As a wee lad, I would often go into my parent’s record collection. One day, out of the blue, that brown double album with the gold embossed angels appeared, like a gift from the divine. “Jesus Christ Superstar” began as a record album “rock opera” in 1970, evolved to a Broadway show and film, and then was interpreted through a myriad of stage revivals over the years. The latest is an exciting piece of stagecraft at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. The show has a various evening/matinee run through May 20th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

Tribeca 2018: Producer Ron Perlman for New Film ‘To Dust’

NEW YORK CITY – The actor side of Ron Perlman has made his mark in films/TV like the “Hellboy” series and “Sons of Anarchy.” But he has put on a producer’s cap for the new film “To Dust,” which features Matthew Broderick. The film made its Red Carpet premiere at the 17th Tribeca Film Festival on April 23rd, 2018.

Film News: Midwest Independent Film Festival Presents Comedy Shorts Showcase on May 1, 2018

Midwest Independent Film Festival Logo

CHICAGO – It’s time to laugh, and the Midwest Independent Film Festival has just the ticket. The 2018 Comedy Short Film Showcase – an annual event – screens on Tuesday May 1st, 2018. at the Landmark Century Centre Cinema in Chicago. The ten films include sneak previews and premieres, in film and TV shorts. For more information, including ticket purchasing and the list of short films, click here.

Film News: 2018 Tribeca Film Festival Honors ‘Diane’ as Best U.S. Narrative Feature

2018 Tribeca Jury Awards, 'Diane'

NEW YORK CITY – The 17th Edition of the Tribeca Film Festival continues through April 29th, 2018, but the main jury awards were announced on April 26th at Awards Night ceremonies. “DIane,” directed by Kent Jones, was awarded Best U.S. Narrative Feature. “Smuggling Hendrix” took the honors for Best International Narrative Feature, and “Island of Hungry Ghosts” was Best Documentary Feature.

Film Review: Epic Comic Book Story in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’

CHICAGO – Coming off the multi-textured “Black Panther,” Marvel Studios now turns its assignment towards an Avengers movie, and man, everything is on the table. This overstuffed, somewhat overindulged journey of a tale never loses its flavor, and has surprises around every corner. Anticipate “Avengers: Infinity War.”

Podtalk: Brent Kado, Founder of Chicago Independent Film & TV Festival, April 28-29, 2018

ChicIndie2018 logo

CHICAGO – Another spring film festival is blossoming up in the Rogers Park neighborhood, the Chicago Independent Film & TV Festival (CIFF). This is the first one, and its goal is to highlight local, U.S. and international indie films from all styles of creators. The festival takes place on Saturday, April 28th and Sunday, April 29th, 2018, at The New 400 Theater and Damen (Loyola University) Cinema, and all the information regarding the weekend fest can be accessed by clicking here.

Tribeca 2018: Sarah Jessica Parker Shines in ‘Blue Night’

NEW YORK CITY – Although many people will never think of Sarah Jessica Parker in any other role than Carrie Bradshaw of “Sex and the City,” the actor makes a major breakout with her new film, “Blue Night,” which premiered (naturally for her) at the 17th Tribeca Film Festival in New York City on April 19th, 2018.

Podtalk: Verne Troyer in Memoriam, in Interview From 2012

Verne Troyer, photo by Joe Arce.

CHICAGO – Verne Troyer will always be one of the more intriguing breakout celebrities of the last 20 years. Always and forever known as “Mini Me” in the Austin Powers series of films, he also endured stereotyping and the health difficulties associated with his diminutive size. Troyer died on April 21st, 2018, at the age of 49. The cause of his death remains unknown.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • ThroatPunch

    CHICAGO – The provocative title of Nothing Without a Company’s new world premiere stage play, “ThroatPunch,” does not contain that particular fight technique. But it does have standout performances by the three person cast, as they make their way in Chicago, circa 1983, amid their emerging twentysomething punk rock attitude. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Chicago Mosaic School through June 3rd, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Jesus Christ Superstar, Lyric Opera

    CHICAGO – As a wee lad, I would often go into my parent’s record collection. One day, out of the blue, that brown double album with the gold embossed angels appeared, like a gift from the divine. “Jesus Christ Superstar” began as a record album “rock opera” in 1970, evolved to a Broadway show and film, and then was interpreted through a myriad of stage revivals over the years. The latest is an exciting piece of stagecraft at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. The show has a various evening/matinee run through May 20th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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