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Podtalk: Joe Minoso for ‘Alonso, The Dream and the Call’

CHICAGO – He has portrayed the reliable firefighter Joe Cruz for six seasons on NBC-TV’s “Chicago Fire”… Joe Minoso both plays that role and actually lives in Chicago now. Before his stint on “Fire,” he had completed a short film for local filmmaker Ben-Hur Uribe, “Alonso, The Dream and the Call,” which has just been released for Amazon Prime download.

Podtalk: Christian Taylor on Origins for her Documentary ‘The Girl Who Wore Freedom’

The Girl Who Wore Freedom

CHICAGO – The era of World War II, now close to 80 years in the past, seems ever so farther in the rear view mirror of history. Movies have done their part to keep the memories and the spirit alive, so joining such works as “Band of Brothers” and “Saving Private Ryan” is a new documentary in development, “The Girl Who Wore Freedom,” now in pre-production by filmmakers Christian Taylor and Terry Jun of Reverse Negative Studios in Skokie, Ill.

Slideshow, Audio: Photos & Interviews at Chicago’s ‘a Night with Oscar’ on March 4, 2018

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Actor Tom Lenk on the Red Carpet at ‘a Night with the Oscar.’

CHICAGO – It was super finery and ultimate glam at the Park West in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood on Academy Awards night, March 4th, 2018, where “a Night with Oscar” took place. The event, which was a benefit for Center on Halsted and presented by Comcast/NBCUniversal, combined food, drink, Red Carpet and Oscar viewing revelry with information about the support that Center on Halsted provides for the LGBTQ+ community in Chicago. The event was co-hosted by variety of local notables, including Lee Ann Trotter, who covers entertainment for the local NBC5 news.

Oscar Week: Podtalk with Greta Gerwig, 2018 Oscar Best Director Nominee for ‘Lady Bird’

Greta Gerwig, "Lady Bird"

CHICAGO – One of the most fulfilled movies of 2017 was the sublime “Lady Bird,” the major film debut of actor Greta Gerwig. Nimbly shooting her own script, the achingly honest story about a teenager (portrayed essentially by Saiorse Ronan) going through her Senior Year of high school in Sacramento, California, was a breakout film of the year, and was nominated for Best Picture, as well as Best Actress for Ronan, Best Supporting Actress for Laurie Metcalfe (as the Ronan character’s mother) and Best Original Screenplay/Best Director for Greta Gerwig.

Oscar Week: Gary Oldman is Winston Churchill in ‘Darkest Hour’

CHICAGO – He has been cleaning up in the preliminary awards so far in 2018, and he’s an odds-on favorite to take the Oscar for Best Actor on Sunday, March 4th. Veteran actor Gary Oldman donned make-up and found the right accent to portray Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour” (also nominated for the Best Picture).

Interview: Vito Forlenza on Comcast’s Innovative Winter Olympic XFINITY X1 Viewing Experience

Xfinity X1 2018 Winter Olympics

CHICAGO – The 2018 Winter Olympics at Pyeongchang, South Korea, begin this week, with opening ceremonies on Friday, February 9th. NBCUniversal TV will be the broadcast source for the Games, but their parent company Comcast is upping the ante for their XFINITY X1 TV system subscribers, offering a viewing experience that is a more flexible and user friendly way to see virtually all aspects of the 2018 Winter Games, and Team USA. Vito Forlenza, Executive Director of Business Product Management – who helped developed the strategy for the viewing experience – stopped by in Chicago to promote the multi-platform system.

Podtalk: Michael Galinsky’s ‘All the Rage’ at Gene Siskel Film Center on Jan. 26 & 27, 2018

All the Rage

CHICAGO – Dealing with pain has become almost an obsession with Americans. Between over the counter sales of pain relievers, doctor visits and the prescription abuse of painkillers, a crisis has come about. Why are we hurting? Director Michael Galinsky, with co-directors Suki Hawley and David Beilinson, explore an alternative means of pain treatment in “All the Rage” The film returns to Chicago at the Gene Siskel Film Center on January 26th & 27th, 2018, and Galinsky will appear with Dr. John Strack, a local physician who practices the mind/body healing of the film’s subject.

Interview: Director Jack C. Newell Weighs in on ‘42 Grams’

CHICAGO – At this point in our civilization, the food culture is at its peak. “Foodies” devote themselves to TV networks, celebrity chefs and the latest taste sensations. Director Jack C. Newell explores a portion of this culture in his new documentary profile of Chef Jake Bickelhaupt, as he attempts to build the Chicago eatery ’42 Grams.’

Interview: Alexandra Dean of ‘Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story’

CHICAGO – Hedy Lamarr was tagged as “the world’s most beautiful woman” in movies during her brief run as matinee idol during the 1940s. While taking that on, she was also co-inventing a wireless guidance system during World War II. Director Alexandra Dean contrasts that double life in “Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story.”

Interview, Audio: Illeana Douglas on Directors & Female Spirit

Illeana Douglas of TCM

CHICAGO – The acting career of Illeana Douglas began with director Martin Scorsese and flourished in her first lead role for “Grace of My Heart” (1996). She is best known today for hosting the “Trailblazing Women” series on Turner Classic Movies, and in Part Three of a three part interview with HollywoodChicago.com, she talks about feminism, the essence of directors she has worked for, plus her grandmother Helen Gahagan, the third female Congress representative in U.S. history.

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  • Speech & Debate (stage play)

    CHICAGO – “Speech & Debate,” the latest production from the mighty Brown Paper Box Company, continues their tradition of thinking outside that “box” in presenting storefront theater that makes a statement and a difference. “Speech” goes inside America by showcasing the outsiders… those who create art because they can’t get it right in real life. This non-equity Chicago stage play premiere is finely tuned and wonderfully acted, and runs through March 4th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • 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.


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