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Raven Theatre’s ‘Laughter on the 23rd Floor’ Serves Justice to Neil Simon Masterpiece

Laughter on the 23rd Floor at the Raven Theatre in Chicago
HollywoodChicago.com Comedy/Tragedy Rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Part slapstick and part Henny Youngman-style one-liner schtick, “Laughter on the 23rd Floor” is a classic American comedy that still rings funny no matter how many times you’ve seen it.

Tepidly Paced ‘The Duchess of Langeais’ a Costume Drama Lacking the Dramatic

CHICAGO – Honoré de Balzac is a famous French writer from the post-Napoleonic age who focused on the societal mores with a sense of realism that hadn’t been seen in literature until that point. He reveled in the oblique moral ambiguity of the human condition.

Interview: Director Roger Spottiswoode Captures Spirit of China’s Past in ‘The Children of Huang Shi’

Guang Li, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, The Children of Huang Shi (1)

CHICAGO – The second Chinese/Japanese war, which was a 1937 prelude to the great conflict of World War II, is notable today mostly because modern China rose from its ashes. Largely forgotten except for the survivors, it is a backdrop for “The Children of Huang Shi,” which is a new film from veteran director Roger Spottiswoode.

Interview: Director Steve Conrad Elevates Chicago Setting, Sean William Scott in New Comedy ‘The Promotion’

Seann William Scott, John C. Reilly, The Promotion (1)

CHICAGO – Barring extreme wealth or hermetics, everyone uses the grocery store. It is the great equalizer – the marketplace where all socioeconomic groups can co-exist side by side – in pursuit of daily bread. Inspired by this reality, writer and director Steve Conrad turned it into his feature directorial debut.

Adam Sandler is White Ladies Man in Judd Apatow’s ‘You Don’t Mess With the Zohan’

CHICAGO – In the relatively anemic anthology of recent Adam Sandler flops, “You Don’t Mess with the Zohan” hangs above with comedic charm and a nonsensically amusing plotline. The story is divisively intermingled with racial and ethnic sensitivities between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Interview: Directors Mark Osborne, John Stevenson Create Balance Between Action, Zen in ‘Kung Fu Panda’

Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Kung Fu Panda (4)

CHICAGO – In this summer movie season of old men with whips, gals in stilettos and superheroes a go-go, you may ask: “Where’s the cartoon?” (“Speed Racer” doesn’t count.) Indeed, the most highly anticipated animation event of the summer is “Kung Fu Panda”.

New Millennium Theatre’s ‘Villains’ Scores Originality With Anti-Hero Plotline

New Millennium Theatre's Chicago production of Villains (3)
HollywoodChicago.com Comedy/Tragedy Rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

CHICAGO – In an unrevealed abandoned warehouse in the seedy underbelly of Chicago’s north side that is the Uptown neighborhood, a group of super villains met last Saturday night to plot and scheme their next attack against law-abiding society.

Relax, Float Upstream With Mike Judge’s ‘The Animation Show 4’

CHICAGO – This modern golden age of animation proceeds to entertain and astound with each passing year. Mike Judge – the preeminent creator of cartoon legends “Beavis & Butt-Head” and “King of the Hill” – presents his latest compilation of the worldwide best in animated short films.

Set in Tel Aviv, New Israeli Film ‘Jellyfish’ Shines With Virtue, Veracity

CHICAGO – It has been a banner year so far for the Israeli film industry. Following the American debuts of “The Band’s Visit” and “Beaufort,” we now have the stunningly composed and heart-rending “Jellyfish”.

Covering Up Sins a Harmful Decision For Catholic Church in ‘Constantine’s Sword’

James Carroll, Constantine's Sword (4)

CHICAGO – If there ever was an institution that has distressed itself through years of patriarchal rule, it is the Catholic Church. From examples of historical misdeeds through the recent priest scandals, the Catholic Church has done a dance around truth that would make Saint Vitus proud.

Actors Awkwardly Impersonate Marilyn Monroe, Charlie Chaplin in ‘Mister Lonely’

CHICAGO – The wonder of a filmmaker’s art and perspective is the ability to challenge and reflect the absurdity of our own nature back to us. Few filmmakers have done more to add provocation to that sensibility than Harmony Korine.

Chicago Native, Legendary Comedian Harvey Korman Passes Away at 81

CHICAGO – Legendary comedian and Chicago native Harvey Korman passed away on Thursday. He is best remembered from films such as “Blazing Saddles” and “High Anxiety” as well as a performer on the “The Carol Burnett Show”. Korman was 81.

Despite its Title, ‘The Strangers’ Actually a Familiar Repeat of Horror Film Conventions

Bryan Bertino, The Strangers (1)

CHICAGO – Poor Liv Tyler. She’s stuck in a remote vacation home with nothing but the blank-stare acting of Scott Speedman to “save” her. What’s a rock daughter who becomes an actress to do? First, she shouldn’t sign onto yet another version of the couple-in-terror cliché.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Cher Show, The

    CHICAGO – Cherilyn Sarkisian… yes, that is her birth name… is the redoubtable Cher, and it’s perfect timing for her to have a jukebox musical tribute. “The Cher Show,” covering three eras/songs of the six-decade career of Cher, opens for a Chicago preview before its Broadway run, from June 12th through July 25th, 2018.

  • ThroatPunch

    CHICAGO – The provocative title of Sharon Krome’s new 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 World Premiere of the show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Chicago Mosaic School through June 3rd, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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