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Slideshow: Gateway for Cancer Research Gala Benefit in Chicago on Oct. 15, 2016

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Singer CeeLo Green at the Gateway for Cancer Research benefit.

CHICAGO – The search for the cure continues through the Chicago-based Gateway for Cancer Research, with their spectacular benefit that took place in October of 2016. Musicians and singers such as Peter Cetera, CeeLo Green, Michael Bolton and Carly Rae Jepsen were in attendance, as well as comedian Sinbad.

Film News: Remembering Debbie Reynolds, in 2009 Interview

LOS ANGELES – The shocking news of the passing of Debbie Reynolds, hours after her daughter Carrie Fisher passed away, is still resonating in the 2016 atmosphere. Ms. Reynolds died of a massive stroke on December 28th, at her son’s home near Los Angeles, while making funeral arrangements for her daughter. She was 84.

Exclusive Portrait: Carrie Fisher at the 2016 Chicago Wizard World Comic Con

Carrie Fisher, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – As the shock of Carrie Fisher’s passing – on December 27th, 2016 – still resonates, HollywoodChicago.com offers this Exclusive Portrait of the icon taken by photographer Joe Arce at the 2016 Chicago Wizard World Comic Con in August. Ms. Fisher made her first appearance at the Chicago event, greeting fans and signing autographs.

Film News: Carrie Fisher of ‘Star Wars’ Fame Dies at 60

LOS ANGELES – The force was always with Carrie Fisher to the day she passed away…Tuesday, December 27th, 2016. The actress and writer died of the heart attack she suffered on a flight from London to Los Angeles four days ago. Best known for her role as Princess Leia in the first “Star Wars” trilogy, she was 60 years old.

Film Review: ‘Assassin’s Creed’ Has Odd Breeding for a Movie

Assassin's Creed

CHICAGO – I’m not a gamer, but of course I’ve heard about “Assassin’s Creed.” The film based on the video game is a wild and undisciplined attempt to expand that particular universe, but does succeed in creating an oddball science fiction that has implications in geo-religious power and control.

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: Story Can’t Match Eye-Popping Visuals of ‘Passengers’

Passengers

CHICAGO – The use of science fiction for all kind of stories is one of the hottest go-to genres for Hollywood today. “Passengers” is a love story, and adds the visual glory of modern special effects…but the soapy tale of a star-crossed (literally) couple is problematic and cliché ridden, and breaks at the end with heroics that are shoehorned into the rest of the scenario.

Interview: Meiling Jin Premieres Made-in-Chicago ‘Chop Chop TV Show’ on Dec. 22, 2016

Meiling Jin of 'Chop Chop'

CHICAGO – Tenacity and purpose reaps benefits, and no one knows this more than hard-working Chicago journalist, actress, producer and model Meiling Jin. She is the producer and lead actress in the new made-in-Chicago sitcom, “Chop Chop TV Show” (AKA “Chop Chop”), premiering on December 22nd, 2016 (11pm CST), on Comcast, Xfinity, WOW and RCN broadcast systems Channel 25. The show combines Ms. Jin, her roommate, and her diverse friendships in a series of adventures and misadventures in the great city of Chicago.

Interview: Jovan Adepo & Stephen McKinley Henderson of ‘Fences’

CHICAGO – The film adaptation of a stage play by August Wilson, the late playwright known for his “Pittsburgh Cycle” of dramas, was aided by Denzel Washington, both portraying the lead role and directing “Fences.” Washington had done the play on Broadway, and recruited to the film his stage mate Stephen McKinley Henderson and newcomer Jovan Adepo.

Film News: Chicago Film Critics Association Names ‘Moonlight’ as 2016 Best Picture

Moonlight

CHICAGO – The poignant identity film “Moonlight” was named the 2016 Best Picture by the Chicago Film Critics Association (CFCA), in an announcement on December 15th. The film also took home the Best Director (Barry Jenkins) and Best Supporting Actor (Mahershala Ali) honors. “Manchester by the Sea” got the most honors, with four, from a voting survey of the CFCA.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Kid Thing, The

    CHICAGO – Like the awesome Engine Who Could, the mighty Nothing Without a Company stage crafters have constructed another triumph at their new home in Berger Mansion on Chicago’s north side. “The Kid Thing” – written by Sarah Gubbins – is a terse, convincing and emotional play about fear, identity and breeding, and it is performed by its cast of five with utter authenticity. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Berger North Mansion through April 15th, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Wiz, The

    CHICAGO – When stage theater can cause outbreaks of elation, celebration and joy, then it must be due to Kokandy Productions’ revival of “The Wiz.” The urban reinterpretation of “The Wizard of Oz” story – told through tuneful euphoria and jubilant dance – is ecstatically produced, in every morsel of its stagecraft.

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