Podtalk

Podtalk: Yvonne Elliman, Mary Magdalene in Rock Opera & Film ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’

Yvonne Elliman, photo by Joe Arce.

CHICAGO – To begin with, Yvonne Elliman’s vocal stylings have appeared on albums that have sold 50 million units. The singer was discovered by Andrew Lloyd Webber for his seminal “Jesus Christ Superstar” rock opera (approximately 10 million albums sold), portraying Mary Magdelene, and also had a monster hit – “If I Can’t Have You” – on the legendary “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack (40 million sold).

Podtalk: Alison Klayman on ‘The Brink,’ Her New Documentary Profiling Steve Bannon

Brink, The

CHICAGO – What does the title of Alison Klayman’s new documentary, “The Brink,” mean? On the surface, it is a fly-on-the-wall profile of right wing operative Steve Bannon, who worked for Donald Trump’s campaign in 2016 and was on his executive staff at the White House, until he unceremoniously resigned.

Podtalk: Midwest Independent Film Fest Screens ‘Same Boat’ on Apr. 2, 2019

Same Boat

CHICAGO – Combining time travel and a cruise ship has never been so hilarious. So describes this unique and magical “Same Boat” (directed by Chris Roberti and written by Roberti with Josh Itzkowitz), is a Chicago Premiere at the Midwest Independent Film Festival on April 2nd, 2019. Click here for tickets and details.

Flashback: John C. McGinley Remembers the Passing of John Candy on Mar. 4, 1994

Wagons East, John Candy John C. McGinley

CHICAGO – It was 25 years ago today – March 4th, 1994 – that comic actor John Candy died on the set of the film “Wagons East.” It was his 45th feature film, that extended back 21 years. One of his co-stars was John C. McGinley, best known as the irascible Perry Cox on the sitcom “Scrubs.” In a HollywoodChicago.com exclusive soundbite below, McGinley describes the atmosphere on the fateful day the cast was told of Candy’s passing.

Film News: Midwest Independent Film Fest Presents ‘Midwest Shorts’ on Mar. 5, 2019

2019 Midwest Shorts

CHICAGO – The art of the short film is catching up to our tech-laden short attention spans, but they also often serve as a calling card for the filmmakers of the future. The monthly Midwest Independent Film Festival will have their Spring “Midwest Shorts” on Tuesday, March 5th, 2019, at the Landmark Century Cinema in Chicago. For details and tickets, click here.

Oscar Week: Co-Directors Explain How ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’

Ralph Breaks the Internet

CHICAGO – The Best Animated Film category at the 91st Academy Awards honor both these visual treats and their status in the new Golden Age. The visual density of today’s animation reaches a new height in a rare Walt Disney Studio sequel, “Ralph Breaks the Internet.” This is a follow-up to “Wreck-It Ralph,” a huge animated hit film. Returning to guide the sequel, which has Wreck-It Ralph “inside” the internet, are co-directors Phil Johnston and Rich Moore.

Oscar Week: Podtalks with Nominated Best Director Adam McKay on His Filmmaker Philosophy

Vice, Adam McKay

CHICAGO – Director Adam McKay has come to the meatiest part of his long and successful career. He began with comedy in TV and film, and was first known for hilarious movies like “Anchorman,” “Talledega Nights,” and “Step Brothers.” Recently, he has moved into more complex filmmaking, like the highly touted (and Oscar nominated for Best Picture and Director) “The Big Short” in 2015, and this year’s “Vice,” nominated again for Best Picture, Best Director and for his Best Original Screenplay.

Oscar Week: Podtalk with Director Bing Liu of Oscar nominated Feature Doc ‘Minding the Gap’

Minding the Gap, directed by Bing Liu

CHICAGO – All through the 2019 Oscar Week, HollywoodChicago.com will rerun significant articles from 2018 that feature the nominees associated with Sunday’s Academy Award ceremony. Today is a Podtalk with director Bing Liu, who was the filmmaker behind a Best Documentary Feature nominee, “Minding the Gap.” The film seems to be a nostalgic profile of Liu’s youth in Rockford, Illinois, as he goes back to his hometown to explore the skateboarding culture that kept him balanced while growing up in a difficult home environment. What he found out about himself was an organic reveal in the film, both shocking and cathartic.

Podtalk: Midwest Independent Film Fest Opener is ‘An Acceptable Loss’ on Feb. 5, 2019

An Acceptable Loss

CHICAGO – Some extraordinary local and outside talent coordinated to produce the film “An Acceptable Loss” in 2018, including featured stars Jamie Lee Curtis and Tika Sumpter (“Southside with You”). Producer Colleen Griffen and writer/director Joe Chappelle, who hail from Chicagoland, helped to create this passionate thriller, with echoes of paranoid government oversight films like “All the President’s Men” and the recent “Vice.” The Midwest Independent Film Festival has made “An Acceptable Loss” the kickoff film for their 2019 season. Click here for tickets and details.

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  • It's NOT ALL About You John Michael

    CHICAGO – John Michael epitomizes the art of the monologue. The Chicago transplant, by way of Dallas, is moving on (he says temporarily) from the city that inspired his last show, “Meatball Seance,” after notorious and successful runs of his other one-man shows, “John Michael and the Order of the Penix” and “Dementia Me.” His farewell performance is his latest, another laugh riot, “It’s NOT ALL About You John Michael,” and will take place at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood on March 1st, 2019. Click here for details, including ticket information.

  • Soccer Player in the Closet, The 2

    CHICAGO – Connecting to the theater collective Nothing Without a Company means a couple of things. One, you may visit parts of Chicago you’ve never seen before – in this case a plant store in an industrial area south of Humboldt Park – and two, you will see some daring and outside-the-box stagings. “The Soccer Player in the Closet” is their latest production – a World Premiere – and it provides what the title implies and beyond. The play runs through March 17th, 2019. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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