A daily dose of arts and entertainment

December 2012 Archives

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More tickets for "Book of Mormon!"

The next block of tickets - with seats through Sept. 8 - are going on sale for the hit, heavily sold musical at the Bank of America Theatre (18 W. Monroe St.). It begins with a presale for American Express cardholders at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, running through midnight on Jan. 6. Tickets go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. Jan. 7.

Tickets are sold through Broadway in Chicago and Ticketmaster; contact 800-775-2000 and broadwayinchicago.com

The Chicago production of "The Book of Mormon" has been on sale through June 2, but houses through mid-March are all but sold out, and seats are becoming scarce later in the spring. It's expected to run, best guess, at least through Jan. 2014.

[Source: Chicago Tribune]


Chicagoan Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, or Kimye as they're sometimes referred to, are expecting their first baby.

On Sunday night, West "announced" that he and Kardashian are expecting a child together when he told the crowd at his Atlantic City concert to "Stop the music and make some noise for my baby mama," according to a fan on Twitter who was at the show, and then reportedly pointed to his girlfriend in the audience.

Kim - who is still married to her husband of 72 days, Kris Humphries - has yet to say anything to her nearly 17 million fans on Twitter, but her rep did confirm that the reality star is pregnant.

No word on whether this will help or hurt Kardashian's attempt to get a divorce from Humphries.

Read more here.

[Source: Omg! from Yahoo]


Chicago Sun-Times' Lori Rackl mourns the losses of the most loved or talked about this year in TV characters.

"Grey's Anatomy" pulled the plug on star-crossed lovers Dr. Mark "McSteamy" Sloan (Eric Dane) and Dr. Lexie Grey (Chyler Leigh). And "Gossip Girl" saw Bart Bass (Robert John Burke) take a plunge leading up to the series finale.

But it was these five TV characters that made the list.


By every measure, 2012 was an exceptionally good year for Chicago theater, Chicago Sun-Times' Hedy Weiss says.

"In fact, there were countless times during the past 12 months when I left a show feeling either so gobsmacked by its impact that I didn't want to speak to anyone until the magic had subsided, or so bedazzled I could only say: "Amazing; only in this city."" Weiss writes.

Read which Chicago theater shows were the best in 2012.


With the CIA hogging the spotlight these days -- think "Homeland" and the Petraeus scandal -- it seems only right to make time for the exhibition "Spies, Traitors and Saboteurs" at the Illinois Holocaust Museum.

As sexy as the name sounds, calling up images of Bond-style subterfuge and Aston Martins with ejector seats, the show's mission is deadly serious. This fact becomes clear upon arrival. The surrounding context of the Holocaust museum underlines the show's theme, which is the difficulty of balancing unquestioning loyalty to one's government, civil rights and national security.

Read more at Chicago Sun-Times about the new exhibit at Illinois Holocaust Museum in Skokie.


Despite a setback in his own life, Chicago Sun-Times' Roger Ebert was still able to make his annual picks of best films this year.

Check out his list for best movies of 2012 here.

"The Voice" is looking for would-be stars to appear on season four of the hit NBC singing competition.

Auditions will be held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 North River Road, in Rosemont on Saturday, Jan. 12 and Sunday, Jan. 13. Doors open at 7 a.m.

Artists need to register at http://www.nbc.com/the-voice/about/casting and then they will be given an "artist audition pass" with a day and time to show up to the open call.

Producers said they're looking for all musical styles. If selected, the artists will be mentored by music industry professionals and compete weekly on TV, with America ultimately deciding who wins the grand prize. Singers should be prepared to share their personal stories and "explain why they are a star in the making."

Applicants must be at least 15 years old and a legal U.S. resident. Nielsens.jpg


Actresses Natalie Portman and Kristen Stewart are Hollywood's most bankable stars and provide studios with the highest average returns for their films, according to Forbes.com.

Academy award winner Portman topped the list of best actors for the buck, providing about $42.70 for every dollar she earns.

"Black Swan," for which she won her best actress Oscar, was produced for an estimated $13 million and earned $329 million in global box office sales.

"We estimate that for every dollar Portman is paid by the studios, she returns $42.70. Compare that to Eddie Murphy, our most overpaid star, who returns $2.30 for every dollar he gets paid," Forbes.com said.

"Twilight" star Stewart was not far behind, bringing in $40.60. She also topped the Forbes list of highest-earning actresses with an estimated $34.5 million in salary in 2012.

"Stewart was able to earn a ton over the last three years and offer a healthy return thanks to 'Twilight,'" according to Forbes.com. "Even though she was paid $25 million to star in the last two films, she was clearly worth the money."

Forbes.com analyzed salaries, estimated box office grosses from the actor's last three films over the previous three years to calculate the studio's return on investment. The most bankable stars tended to be featured in the most profitable films.

Stewart's two co-stars in the "Twilight" films were also good investments for the studio. Robert Pattinson came in fourth with a return of $31.70 and Taylor Lautner was No. 6, making $29.50 for the studio for every dollar he was paid.

[Source: Reuters]

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Just in time for stocking stuffers, the Pitchfork Music Festival passes are up for grabs for $95. While the lineup won't be announced for months, past festivals have nabbed some great up-and-coming acts.

Single-day tickets are $50, and will be available once the 3-day passes are sold old. Snap them up now.

Richard Marx vs WBEZ

Richard Marx and WBEZ tussle over an appearance that wasn't.

Storified by Chicago Sun-Times· Thu, Dec 20 2012 16:46:35

So some guy on @wbez, Rick Kogan, is bashing me on the radio for not walking in pouring rain with bronchitis to do his show? Pussy move.Richard Marx
This is the first time I've ever heard Rick Kogan referred to as "some guy" but, hey, not everyone is a media nerd.
@wbez Be a man, Kogan. Get me on the phone. Say it to me! Your station couldn't even get me a PARKING spot. I apologized and offered to callRichard Marx
Here's the issue. There was no parking spot because the show was airing from the Christkindelmarket - assuming the show Marx was referring to was today - so the station wouldn't have had access to a parking spot. 
Rick Kogan surveys the scene at the Christkindelmarket before the #afternoonshif @ Christkindlmarket Chicago http://instagr.am/p/TeF4OTr-d1/WBEZ
So this airbag, Rick Kogan at @wbez, feels I owe him to walk in the rain with bronchitis to sit for his genius questions and rags me on air.Richard Marx
@retroradiogirl @WBEZ I said I'd go if I could get a parking spot close by (like at WGN today) or at least call in. They said no.Richard Marx
Just got a half-assed "I didn't have the right information" apology email from Kogan. But the coward wouldn't meet me face to face. Typical.Richard Marx
@richardmarx you did WGN TV with no prob. Cancel them all if u are sick. And u should know Kogan if u are from Chi.JustinKaufmann
@richardmarx They didn't mention the parking garage next to the station?Scott Smith
@richardmarx who the hell are you? Dude, you blew him off. Have fun on your TV rounds.JustinKaufmann
@JustinKaufmann You're ignorant of the facts. Talking right out of your ass.Richard Marx
@richardmarx Oh wait, they were at Daley Plaza today. Nevermind.Scott Smith
@ourmaninchicago Show wasn't at the station today.Richard Marx
@JustinKaufmann Factually incorrect, douchebag.Richard Marx
@richardmarx did u or did u not do WGN today and not WBEZ?JustinKaufmann
If @richardmarx is mad at @JustinKaufmann now wait until he finds out Justin once impersonated him wearing a modified Tina Turner wig.Scott Smith
FACT: Scott Smith once tussled with Richard Marx when Smith was at Chicagoist. It ended much better than this.
@richardmarx nice. Richard Marx is calling me a douchebag? And to think I bought your tapes.JustinKaufmann
Shoulda known better. RT @JustinKaufmann: @richardmarx nice. Richard Marx is calling me a douchebag? And to think I bought your tapes.Scott Smith
@JustinKaufmann Dude...learn the facts tar. Why would I get an APOLOGY if I did what you're saying? And we can't all be as accomplished as uRichard Marx
@JustinKaufmann Learn the facts TMR...but you'll still be a jerk.Richard Marx
Richard Marx is clearly not feeling the Christmas Spirit.
#MUSIC GET THE NEW @RICHARDMARX NEW CHRISTMAS EP http://tiny.cc/ic9apw RT PLZ http://pic.twitter.com/ZIy97RF5Mark Lane
@richardmarx I think u should learn facts. It's Daley Plaza, not Schaumburg. Man up. U weren't even performing. Park in a lot.JustinKaufmann
@richardmarx who's apologizing? Certainly not me. I'm defending Rick and the team who works hard to replace content when dudes like u cancelJustinKaufmann
I had to ask Justin to make sure of the timing of the show. (Full disclosure: I used to write for WBEZ and have appeared on Kogan's show multiple times.)
@JustinKaufmann he canceled on the show that was downtown today? wheere there is no station parking?Marcus Gilmer
@marcusgilmer yeah canceled on us because he was sick and it was raining. But didn't cancel other TV media.JustinKaufmann
Meanwhile, WBEZ didn't miss a beat without Marx, letting an obvious inner fan nerd flag fly.
Fred Armisen (@nbcsnl & @ifcportlandia) is live on #AfternoonShift. Watch the livestream: http://bit.ly/12sapWn #chicagoWBEZ
Fred Armisen is on live with Rick Kogan on the #AfternoonShift on #wbez @ Christkindlmarket Chicago http://instagr.am/p/TeQz4Er-X0/WBEZ
Did we mention that Fred Armisen is at the #afternoonshift Holiday Special? @ Christkindlmarket Chicago http://instagr.am/p/TeRlOgL-Yt/WBEZ
For now, the WBEZ crew probably remain at he Christkindelmarket, humming this...
Richard Marx - Right Here Waitingemimusic

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"Book of the Mormon" lives up to the hype, critics say.

Chicago's version of the satire by "South Park" and "Avenue Q" geniuses has all the comic heart, brilliant talent and zany musicality of the Tony-winning Broadway production, Sun-Times' Hedy Weiss says.

Read her full review.

The Chicago Tribune also gave it a rave.

For those who aren't planning to eat at home, for whatever reason, on Christmas Day, we've got good news: finding a good restaurant that's open isn't impossible, if you know where to look.

Sun-Times' has a list of some of the more noteworthy places that are open for business. Most, but not all, require reservations.


The Field Museum could be in for major changes.

A comprehensive plan being drawn up by museum officials could include changes to its hours of operation and the admission price for special exhibits, Chicago Tribune reports. Staff reductions would be aimed at curators and scientists, according to museum officials.

"Everything is on the table," Field President Richard Lariviere said Tuesday.

Lariviere said he and the board are launching a major examination of the Field's mission and purpose. Or put another way, to answer the critical question: why are we here?

Chicago Sun-Times' Kara Spak has more detail here.


Like many of their peers across the country, Von Steuben High School's class of 2012 grappled with teenage sex, pregnancy, parental problems and popularity contests.

Unlike their peers, 10 of those students at the North Side magnet school were followed by TV cameras to be broadcast on "High School Confidential," Sun-Times' Lori Rackl explains.

"High School Confidential" Season 2 premieres tonight at 8 p.m. on WE tv with the first two of eight back-to-back episodes.

Get more info here.


Cassadee Pope, who was country singer Blake Shelton's protege on the third season of NBC's "The Voice," has won the show's competition.

The 23-year-old singer is stepping out into a solo career after performing with a band called Hey Monday. Her victory over Scottish native Terry McDermott and long-bearded Nicholas David was announced at the end of a two-hour show Tuesday.

[Source: Associated Press]


More than 18,000 letters to Santa Claus have been collected at Chicago's main post office, officials said.

But it appears most of them will go unanswered.

Roughly 1,200 Chicagoans have stepped up to become one of Santa's Little Helpers and fulfill a child's Christmas wish, said Operation Santa spokeswoman Robin Anderson.

"We have a lot more letters than we have people," said Anderson, who has been dubbed the "Chief Elf Officer" at Chicago's main post office.

Those aspiring to help Santa can choose a letter from the facility, at 433 W. Harrison St., through Saturday.

This year marks the 100th year of Operation Santa. The Postal Service began receiving letters to Santa Claus more than 100 years ago, but its involvement was made official when in 1912 Postmaster General Frank Hitchcock authorized local postmasters to allow postal employees and citizens to respond to letters.

[Source: NBC]

More than a quarter of U.S. workers say their workplaces will close down during the holidays and even if they don't employees are likely to take time off, according to a nationwide survey released on Monday.

The Working the Holiday poll commissioned by the Workforce Institute, a think tank established by the management solution company Kronos Inc, found more employees planning to take Christmas Eve and/or New Year's Eve off -- 26 percent, compared with 18 percent in a similar study conducted in 2007.
Ads by Google

Joyce Maroney, director of The Workforce Institute, said that as many employers cut staff and merit increases, employees may be feeling more encouraged to use their paid time off.

Organizations may also be looking to reward their staff for weathering the storms of the past few years with an extended vacation.

Nearly 40 percent of workers plan to take Christmas Eve off, while 28 percent will take off the following Monday, which is New Year's Eve, according to the survey of 2,691 adults.

About 15 percent took those days off in 2007, the last time those dates fell on a Monday, when the previous survey was conducted.

[Source: Reuters]

Jailbreak! Seven great escapes -- on film

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Both men are bank robbers, one of them's called the Secondhand Bandit. Together, they patiently chipped away at a cinder-block wall at Chicago's downtown federal prison until it gave way. Climbing down a rope, the robbers made a break for it.

Sounds like a great escape movie, but it's real -- happened this morning.

Sounds pretty much like "The Shawshank Redemption," in fact, which is, of course, one of the greatest escape movies of all time. On this list, anyway, of great escape movies:

Elphaba 'Wicked' costume inducted into Smithsonian

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The iconic costume of Elphaba the Witch from the Tony Award-winning musical "Wicked" was inducted Monday into the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

Designed by Tony winning costumer Susan Hilferty, the dress, cape and iconic black hat worn by actress Mandy Gonzalez, who starred as Elphaba from March 2010-Jan. 2011, will be featured alongside costumes from such classic musicals as "The King and I," "Rent" and "The Lion King."


"Hilferty's designs bring the story of the witches of Oz prior to Dorothy's arrival, to life," said Marc Pachter, acting director of the museum, in a statement. "This donation is a significant addition to the museum's entertainment collection and shows the enduring cultural contribution of Broadway hits to American life."

The costume is on display in the "American Stories" exhibition.

"Wicked" is currently playing on Broadway at the Gershwin Theatre. For tickets, visit www.wickedthemusical.com


More movie and TV premieres have been put on hold in the wake of Friday's horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

The premiere of Quentin Tarantino's new movie, "Django Unchained," a violent western in which dozens of characters are brutally shot, was canceled on Monday. The Jamie Foxx and Leonardo DiCaprio-fronted pic was supposed to be feted at a red carpet screening and party tonight in Los Angeles.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., and in this time of national mourning we have decided to forgo our scheduled event," the Weinstein Co., the studio behind the movie, said in a statement. "However, we will be holding a private screening for the cast and crew and their friends and families."

Tarantino dismissed the idea that violence in movies leads to real-life massacres at a press junket for "Django Unchained" over the weekend. "I just think, you know, there's violence in the world, tragedies happen, blame the playmakers," he said, according to the BBC. "It's a western. Give me a break."

Meanwhile, TLC has postponed the premiere of "Best Funeral Ever," which centers on a Texas funeral home that throws a party after each service. The hour-long special, which could turn into a recurring series, was scheduled to premiere on Dec. 27. It will now air on Jan. 6, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

It's not just movies and TV: Ke$ha's latest hit song may be taking a hit on the airwaves. According to TMZ, "Die Young" reached 167 million U.S. radio listeners on Friday but fell to 148 million listeners by Monday, an 11 percent drop -- significant for a top 40 pop song -- from what had been relatively frequent airplay. Reps for Ke$ha and Clear Channel, which tracks radio airplay, did not immediately respond to ABCNews.com's requests for comment.

[Source: ABC News]


Leroy Brown of Chicago has been associated with the 1973 Jim Croce hit "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" most of his life.

"I will never forget Jim Croce," said Brown, 47. "I was first made aware of my name at age 13. It hasn't stopped. My grade school teacher [at Garfield Elementary in Maywood] loved that song. He sang it every morning. It hasn't stopped."

Brown is not a bad, bad guy, however.

He works in the engineering department at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center.

The Sun-Times walked through some of Croce's lyrics with Brown. Read the story here.


Feel like you're seeing more bogus news stories from Hollywood?

It's not your imagination.

Sources tell Sun-Times' Bill Zwecker that there's been a big increase in false tales about celebrities.

"Just in the past six months, I have noticed a big increase in hoaxes and totally false stories. That's always been a factor in the world of celebrities -- especially the past couple of decades -- but now it just seems worse," a source said.

One of the worst examples involved Oscar winner Morgan Freeman. He was falsely quoted in a detailed rant against the news media, including CNN and Fox News, for how they were reporting on the horrific tragedy in Newtown, Conn. The so-called statement particularly skewered the media for paying too much attention to the shooter.

Freeman issued no such statement, and his publicist said they are attempting to get to the bottom of the hoax -- and where it originated.

Read more here.


A mystery at the University of Chicago unfolded like the dotted lines on an old map in classic Indiana Jones movies.

Last week, the university posted photos of a package it had received, addressed to none other than Henry Walton Jones, Jr., better known to most as Indiana Jones. Inside was a replica of the fictional U. of C. professor Abner Ravenwood's journal from the "Raiders of the Lost Ark" film. With no explanation, the university reached out via Tumblr, asking visitors to the blog help solve the mystery. Was it a hoax? A clever admissions stunt? A misaddressed Christmas gift? Senior Admissions Adviser Grace Chapin found out the answer Monday morning, and it was none of the above.

The journal and packaging originated from Guam, where an Ebay seller who specializes in replica Indiana Jones props sent it off to the highest bidder who lives in Italy. On its way, the smaller package, addressed to Indy at U. of C., fell out of a larger package. Not realizing what had happened, USPS apparently inserted the correct zip code and shipped it to Chicago.

"What we can piece together, USPS honored the postage, which happens to be fake," she told RedEye, adding that the Ebay seller confirmed Monday he had received a letter from USPS explaining what happened.

But before the mystery was solved, the university received tons of suggestions and conspiracy theories as to the origin of the package (see photos of it here). It even made international news, with outlets from Norway to Spain to Germany asking for permission to use the photos.

[Source: Chicago RedEye]


Meet the Chicago artist David Lee Csicsko, who has the honor of decorating the White House for the Obamas this Christmas. Chicago Sun-Times' Mike Thomas interviewed him.

You might have spotted Csicsko's stained glass and mosaics around town at various churches, the Belmont L station and Loyola University's new Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, among other venues. His award-winning 1983 poster advertising Gilbert and Sullivan's opera "The Mikado" for Lyric Opera is still on display at the Civic Opera House.

Early on, his graphic designs appeared in Chicago magazine (where he illustrated the reviews of celebrated arts critic Claudia Cassidy) and the Chicago Tribune. Marshall Field's and Bloomingdale's also were clients.


"Zero Dark Thirty" leads this year's Chicago Film Critics Association annual awards, announced Monday. It won best picture, director (Kathryn Bigelow), actress (Jessica Chastain), original script and editing.

Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master," which had the most nominations, took four prizes: supporting actor (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and actress (Amy Adams), cinematography and original score.

Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" received honors for best actor (Daniel Day Lewis).

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Rapper Chief Keef, aka South Sider Keith Cozart, has his moments of ruminating on paths not taken. But for the most part, Chief Keef failed to up his game on "Finally Rich," Chicago Sun-Times' Thomas Conner says.

Read his full review here.

And in other bad news, Chief Keef is due in court Jan. 28 for violating his probation by pointing a gun at Chicago Police officers. Cook County prosecutors say they have a video that shows him holding a gun.


Filmmaker-actor Edward Burns is drawing inspiration from familiar ground and new sources, including Tyler Perry.

Burns' latest movie, "The Fitzgerald Family Christmas," stems from Perry's suggestion that Burns revisit the Irish-American experience central to his earliest works, "The Brothers McMullen" and "She's the One," from the mid-1990s.

Perry served as impromptu career counselor during production of his own change-of-pace crime drama "Alex Cross," which co-stars Burns.

Burns took the advice to heart and pounded out a first draft for "The Fitzgerald Family Christmas" in six weeks, a fraction of his usual six months.

He'll show clips from the new movie and some of his earlier ones in a sold-out event Tuesday at City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph. "The Fitzgerald Family Christmas" opens Friday at the Wilmette Theatre, 1122 Central Avenue, Wilmette, IL.

The film, also available from iTunes and video on demand, features Burns as the oldest sibling in a family abandoned two decades ago by dad Big Jim Fitzgerald (Ed Lauter). The cast also includes Anita Gillette, Connie Britton and Michael McGlone.

[Source: Associated Press]

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Old enough to remember one of Chicago's most popular and successful kids' show, WGN's "Bozo's Circus," here's a chance to see Bob Bell playing Bozo again.

A rare 1971 recording of WGN-TV's legendary "Bozo's Circus" will be broadcast as part of an hour-long special titled "Bozo's Circus: The Lost Tape" on Sunday, December 23 at noon on WGN 9.2 Antenna TV Chicago and Christmas Day at 12 p.m. on WGN-TV. The show will also be posted on WGNtv.com after the Christmas Day airing.

The special presentation will be hosted by WGN's Dean Richards.


It's an end of an era for veteran radio Don Wade and his wife and radio partner, Roma.

The Wades are stepping down from their morning show on WLS radio to focus on Wade's health, the couple announced.

Find out more here.

"A Klingon Christmas Carol," Comedia Beauregard's unique spin on the holiday classic is staged at Raven Theatre. The production is a heartwarming cross between the Charles Dickens' classic and the Klingon language and culture in which "SQuja' (Scrooge) has neither honor nor courage and is in peril of suffering eternal torment if he is not brought into line with his culture's values."

The show, which runs through Dec. 30, is directed by Eric Van Tassell, written by Written by Christopher Kidder-Mostrom and Sasha Walloch, and translated by Laura Thurston, Bill Hedrick, and Christopher Kidder-Mostrom.

Tickets, $20-$28. Call 800.838.3006 or visit CBTheatre.ort. The theater is located at 6157 N Clark.
-- Miriam Di Nunzio


Tired of hearing the same holiday music leading up to Christmas? Chicago Sun-Times' Kara Spak attempted to find out why certain songs, like "Happy Xmas (War is Over)," get more play than others. Read the story here.

And check out the Christmas selection here at WLIT-FM (93.9).

What song would you like to hear them play?

Wise move: The cable net Syfy said it will not air tonight's episode of "Haven," which contained scenes of fictitious violence in a high school.

If or when it the episode in question will air has not been decided, the network said.

Conflicting news reports about who pulled the trigger in today's deadly elementary school shooting in Newton, Conn., once again has pundits and those in the business calling for greater restraint by reporters rushing to get the story out.

NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik tweeted: ‏@davidfolkenflik
A terrible day. All the more reason for journalists to be last, and right, than 1st to air/post/publish specifics w anon sources & be wrong.

I don't know of any journalist who would agree with Folkenflik's sentiments. But anyone who's covered breaking news -- especially a story of this magnitude -- knows how difficult it can be to get things right in the wake of an unfolding tragedy.

That, of course, doesn't excuse reckless reporting. There's never an excuse for that. But part of me empathizes with the reporters who are out there busting their humps to give the public the information they want -- and they want it 10 minutes ago. Such is the nature of today's instantaneous news cycle. And until that demand dies down, which it shows no signs of doing, the pressure will be on to deliver the news at lightning speed. Mistakes will be made. Which is why Folkenflik's and others' reminders to reporters to put accuracy over speed bear repeating.

As for television's plans to address the shooting ...


The Chicago Film Critics Association weighed in on their nominations for 2012's best films, and The Master, with ten nods, is in the lead.

Buzz for Paul Thomas Anderson's opus has been building out of Chicago since an advance 70mm screening at the Music Box in August.

Winners are scheduled to be announced Monday.

[Source: Time Out Chicago]


Beasts of the Southern Wild
The Master
Zero Dark Thirty

Ben Affleck, Argo
Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master
Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty
Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
John Hawkes, The Sessions
Denis Lavant, Holy Motors
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
Denzel Washington, Flight

Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Naomi Watts, The Impossible

Jason Clarke, Zero Dark Thirty
Leonardo DiCaprio, Django Unchained
Dwight Henry, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Phillip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln

Amy Adams, The Master
Emily Blunt, Looper
Judi Dench, Skyfall
Sally Field, Lincoln
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables

Django Unchained by Quentin Tarantino
Looper by Rian Johnson
The Master by Paul Thomas Anderson
Moonrise Kingdom by Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola
Zero Dark Thirty by Mark Boal

Argo by Chris Terrio
Beasts of the Southern Wild by Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin
Lincoln by Tony Kushner
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Silver Linings Playbook by David O. Russell

Holy Motors
The Intouchables
Once Upon a Time in Anatolia
Rust & Bone

The Central Park Five
The Invisible War
The Queen of Versailles
Searching For Sugar Man
West of Memphis

The Secret World of Arrietty
Wreck-It Ralph

Claudio Miranda, Life of Pi
Janusz Kaminski, Lincoln
Mihai Milaimare Jr., The Master
Roger Deakins, Skyfall
Greig Fraser, Zero Dark Thirty

Alexandre Desplat, Argo
Dan Romer & Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Jonny Greenwood, The Master
Alexandre Desplat, Moonrise Kingdom
Alexandre Desplat, Zero Dark Thirty

Anna Karenina
Les Miserables
The Master
Moonrise Kingdom

Willian Goldenberg, Argo
Alexander Berner & Claus Wehlisch, Cloud Atlas
Leslie Jones & Peter McNulty, The Master
Stuart Baird, Skyfall
William Goldenberg & Dylan Tichenor, Zero Dark Thirty

Samantha Barks, Les Miserables
Kara Hayward, Moonrise Kingdom
Dwight Henry, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Tom Holland, The Impossible
Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Drew Goddard, The Cabin in the Woods
Nicholas Jarecki, Arbitrage
Colin Trevorrow, Safety Not Guaranteed
Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild

10 nominations--The Master
9 nominations--Beasts of the Southern Wild
8 nominations--Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty
5 nominations--Argo
4 nominations--Moonrise Kingdom
3 nominations--Les Miserables, Skyfall
2 nominations--Amour, Django Unchained, Holy Motors, The Impossible, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Sessions, The Silver Linings Playbook, Looper
1 nomination--Anna Karenina, Arbitrage, Brave, The Cabin in the Woods, The Central Park Five, Cloud Atlas, Flight, Frankenweenie, The Intouchables, The Invisible War, The Life of Pi Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, Paranorman, Queen of Versailles, Rust & Bone, Safety Not Guaranteed, Searching for Sugar Man, The Secret World of Arietty, West of Memphis, Wreck-It Ralph.


For many, this would be a nightmare. But not this man.

Tom Stuker, a Chicago-area man, was the first United Airlines customer to fly 1 million miles on the airline in a calendar year, the carrier said today.

Stuker, an automotive sales consultant who has a home in Bloomingdale near O'Hare airport, is United's most frequent flier and on Dec. 6 flew his millionth mile of 2012 aboard a United flight between London and Chicago.

"It has been a phenomenal year flying with United," Stuker said in a United news release. "Everyone at the airline, from the customer service agents to the flight attendants to the ramp workers, has made my travels feel effortless."

Of course, his experience isn't the same as most coach-class travelers; he qualifies for all the best upgrades and amenities at United.

[Source: Chicago Tribune]

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Some Chicago movie-goers were greeted by demonstrators from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Friday on the opening day of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey."

Animal wranglers involved in the making of the Peter Jackson movie claim that 27 animals -- including horses, goats, chicken and sheep that were being used in the movie -- were killed in farms surrounding the New Zealand set.

A handful of protestors held signs on the sidewalk outside of the AMC River East 21 around noon, handing out literature to people heading inside.

"We want to make sure that people who care about animals know that using animals behind the scenes means that they are going to suffer," PETA spokesperson Katie Arth said.

A spokesman for Jackson says the production company reacted swiftly after the first two horses died, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars upgrading housing and stable facilities in early 2011. He said he knew only of three goats, one sheep and about eight chickens that had died aside from the horses, and that two of the goats died in a cold snap but the third, like the sheep, was old and had likely died of natural causes. Chicken maulings by packs of dogs were blamed on careless staff oversight.

But PETA says the deaths were completely unavoidable.

PETA is holding similar demonstrations at movie premieres around the country.

[Source: Associated Press / NBC Chicago]


Chris Hardwick, from AMC's "Talking Dead," is bringing his standup comedy show to the Chicago area -- with two nights at the Zanies Comedy Club on Dec. 13 and 14. He will also appear at the Zanies other location in Rosemont on Dec. 15.

Get tickets and more information here.

"Talking Dead" recaps AMC's "Walking Dead" every week and has become a popular follow-up to the hit about zombies.

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Daily Candy has a list of places where you can shop, eat and laugh in Chicago starting this weekend. They include:

Winter Session
What: The Chicago accessories designers' revamped website is loaded with new, thoughtfully crafted handbags, wallets, and zip bags ($35-$285).
Why: The canvas and leather Garrison is a carryall for work or play.
When: You need to get a handle on your gift list.
Where: Available at winter-session.com.

Chicago Art Girls Holiday Pop-Up Shop
What: Shop handmade goods directly from more than 25 merry and bright lady artists.
Why: Chain jewelry from Rapt in Maille, beauty products from Soaphappy, stationery from Kinaloon, and other dazzlers.
When: Sat. & Sun., 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Helium Gallery, 4710 N. Ravenswood Ave., b/t Lawrence Ave. & Wilson St. Admission is free.

Berco's Popcorn
What: The artisan producer pops up with a walk-up serving window in a Lincoln Park alley.
Why: You never know when a white truffle popcorn craving will strike.
When: Daily, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Where: Just off Armitage Ave., b/t Dayton & Halsted Sts.

The Late Live Show
What: The after-hours talk show hosted by comedian Joe Kwaczala moves into prime time for a holiday episode of Christmas-inspired sketches, jokes, and entertainment.
Why: Erik Adams (The Onion's A.V. Club) chats about yuletide pop culture, and punk band The Nothingheads plays a holiday music set.
When: Sat., 8 p.m.
Where: Strawdog Theatre, 3829 N. Broadway St., at Sheridan Ave. Tickets ($5) at brownpapertickets.com or at the door.

Grand Avenue Design District Holiday Shop Crawl
What: Furniture and accessories makers, vintage and antique collectors, and home design boutiques stay open late with sales and good cheer.
Why: Warm up with hot cocoa and cookies from West Town Bakery.
When: Thurs., 6-9 p.m.
Where: Grand Ave., b/t Ashland & Western Aves.

[Source: Daily Candy]

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Has your TV seemed quieter than usual?

The CALM Act, which limits the volume of TV commercials, went into effect on Thursday.

CALM stands for Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation. The act is designed to prevent TV commercials from blaring at louder volumes than the program content they accompany. The rules govern broadcasters as well as cable and satellite operators.

The rules are meant to protect viewers from excessively loud commercials.

The Federal Communications Commission adopted the rules a year ago, but gave the industry a one-year grace period to adopt them.

Suspected violations can be reported by the public to the FCC on its website.

[Source: AP]

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FELA!," the stage musical based on the life of Fela Kuti, will return to Chicago for six performances, Feb. 19-23, 2013, at the Arie Crown Theater, 2301 South Lake Shore Drive. Directed and choreographed by Bill T. Jones, with a book by Jones and Jim Lewis, and music and lyrics by Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, the story -- about corrupt military dictatorships of Nigeria and Africa -- unfolds amid a pastiche of jazz, funk and African rhythm, harmonies and dance.

Tickets, $20-$70, are available by calling (800) 745-3000 or online at www.ticketmaster.com and at the Arie Crown Theater box office.

Photo via Univ. of Chicago Admissions Tumblr

No one in the University of Chicago admissions office thought much of the package they received that was addressed to "Henry Walton Jones, Jr." At least, not until one of their student workers realized Henry Walton Jones, Jr. is the given name of famed - yet fictional - archaeologist Indiana Jones. According to the department's Tumblr, inside the package were documents and photos that mystified admissions officials but also completely blew minds of Indiana Jones fans. To wit:

The package contained an incredibly detailed replica of "University of Chicago Professor" Abner Ravenwood's journal from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. It looks only sort of like this one, but almost exactly like this one, so much so that we thought it might have been the one that was for sale on Ebay had we not seen some telling inconsistencies in cover color and "Ex Libris" page (and distinct lack of sword). The book itself is a bit dusty, and the cover is teal fabric with a red velvet spine, with weathered inserts and many postcards/pictures of Marion Ravenwood (and some cool old replica money) included. It's clear that it is mostly, but not completely handmade, as although the included paper is weathered all of the "handwriting" and calligraphy lacks the telltale pressure marks of actual handwriting.

A few other interesting tidbits: the package had no official U.S. postage, was still delivered via a mail bin, and sent to Rosenwald Hall which at one point was the home of the school's Geology and Geography Departments, the sort of department Dr. Jones might have worked in to begin with.

For its part, the school insists it's not a hoax or prank on their part. They swear it's the work of a very awesome prankster and have even set up a new email for tips as to who may be responsible for the fun. As there's no recent movie or promotional event tied to the movies - the last release was the BluRay version of the series in September - it's unlikely a promotional package from the studio. More likely, though, is that it's the work of a student who has 1) a stellar mind for awesome stuff, 2) an immensely amazing eye for detail, and 3) way too much Red Bull left in their system from studying for finals.

[via Chicagoist]


Aziz Ansari, the noted food-loving standup comic and star of 'Parks and Recreation" has never had a shortage of good things to say about his favorite eats.

On Sunday, Ansari -- apparently running late for his flight out of Chicago's O'Hare International Airport -- took to Twitter to frantically find someone who could help him secure a torta from celebrity chef Rick Bayless' Torta Frontera, Huffington Post explains.

Ansari told his more than 2.4 million Twitter followers he would reimburse someone and offer them free tickets to his next Chicago show if a few tortas could be secured before takeoff. The hungry funnyman even tried to leverage his Executive Platinum status with American Airlines to get the pre-flight meal.

Read more here.


The "Radio City Christmas Spectacular," starring the Rockettes (which is turning 85 this year), returns to the Chicago area after a four-year break.

The holiday musical has new scenes, set designs and technological updates. What remains unchanged is the unparalleled combination of precision and glamour of a Rockettes performance.

The show will run Friday through DEc. 30 at Akoo Theatre, 5400 N. River Road, in Rosemont.

To buy tickets or get more information, call 800-745-3000 or go to ticketmaster.com


Nominations for the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards were announced this morning in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Steven Spielberg's historical drama 'Lincoln' topped all films with seven nods, including ones for Best Motion Picture Drama and stars Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field, E! reports.

Ben Affleck's 'Argo' and Quentin Tarantino's 'Django Unchained' picked up five each. And 'Les Miserables' is up for four awards, including Best Comedy/Musical and acting honors for Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway.

The Globes telecast is set for Jan. 13; Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are your scheduled hosts (and Globe nominees themselves for 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation, respectively).

See who else got a Golden Globe nomination here.


Charlie Trotter -- the notoriously temperamental chef -- didn't disappoint when it came time to auction off famed photographs and other items from his former world-renowned restaurant.

He ended the auction early. And also got testy with the media and the would-be buyers.

Only about 10 percent of the lots put up for bid -- which also included small sculptures, decorative items and framed photographs and menus -- actually sold. The restaurant's plates, stemware, pots, pans, and kitchen utensils and equipment never went on the block.

There were about 60 people present, with some bidders online, for an auction that listed more than 1,500 lots, Chicago Tribune reports.

"Just so you know," Trotter said in his introduction before bidding began, "if the things don't go for what I think they're going to go for, I will buy them myself. OK? That's how we work here."

Chicago Sun-Times' Tina Sfondeles has more of the scoop.

The League of Chicago Theatres, in partnership with ChooseChicago.com, is putting together the first-ever Chicago Theater Week, scheduled for Feb. 12-17, 2013, Chicago Sun-Times' Hedy Weiss explains.

Designed to encourage residents and visitors alike to attend a live show, the project will feature discounted tickets and added incentives such as talkbacks with artists, drink specials and hotel and restaurant discounts.

More than 100 shows at theaters throughout the city are expected to participate, with each theater offering $15 or $30 tickets during the specified period.

Starting Jan. 9, 2013, tickets will be available at a centralized website: www.chicagotheatreweek.com.


At long last, "Sesame Street" is tackling the sticky subject of divorce -- with baby steps.

A new "Sesame Street" video showing Muppet Abby Cadabby talk about her parents' divorce debuted this week online. But Sesame has no plans to air it on TV.

"Our strategy is much more effective when we do a targeted initiative," said Jeanette Betancourt, vice president for outreach and educational practices at Sesame Workshop, the non-profit group behind public television's popular children's show. "When we're creating something for TV programming, it's for all children. Those children who are not directly impacted [by divorce] start to wonder, 'Are my parents getting a divorce?'"

If Sesame seems gun-shy about the Big D, that's because it is.

Some of the 20,000 people who lost their homes in New York and New Jersey because of the Hurricane Sandy are being relocated to several of the Maryville Academy campuses in Illinois.

In an effort to raise money for these evacuees, the Laugh Factory is hosting an indie rock and comedy fundraiser featuring comedian Sara Benincasa and Dylan McDonald and the Avians.

All of the proceeds from this event will go towards the costs of running the temporary program. Tickets are $25.00 and can be purchased through the Laugh Factory website here.

The first group of evacuees arrives in Chicago on December 28th, and they will be present at the fundraiser, Laugh Factory says.


Chicagoan actress Elana Ernst Silverstein, who toured nationally with one of Broadway's biggest hits "Mamma Mia!", died Monday, leaving behind a grieving family in Berwyn, including a daughter, Maya, who turned one year old on Tuesday.

Her sister, Leah Ernst, said that Silverstein died "due to complications from the medication she was given following a minor surgical procedure." She was 29.

Chicago Tribune has an obituary for her here.


Dr. Doug Nordli, director of the epilepsy center at Lurie Children's Hospital, will be featured on the Monday episode of TLC's "Cake Boss," Chicago Sun-Times' Bill Zwecker reports.

Bartolina Faugno, the 17-year-old niece of the host Buddy Valastro, has been treated by Dr. Nordli since she was a baby.


Chicago artist Hebru Brantley had one of his paintings, called "Everyones Scared," picked up by Jay-Z for $20,000.

The very large scale portrait was sold at the Art Basel show in Miami.

Jay wasn't the only hip-hop star to do some spending at Basel last week. Rick Ross went home with a Richard Mosse photograph, Diddy took back an Ivan Navarro sculpture and Usher bought a Louis Vuitton waffle maker, Huffington Post reported.


Chicago native Michael Madsen has been charged with two misdemeanor DUI counts, Chicago Sun-Times' Bill Zwecker reports.

The misdemeanor counts are tied to a September arrest in Malibu, Calif.

Read more here.


Taking a page from Broadway in New York, Chicago's "Book of Mormon" will offer a limited number of $25 tickets every day. To enter, go to the Bank of America box office after it opens and fill out a card requesting one or two ticket to buy. You must be present, with valid identification, at a random drawing two hours before curtain. If you're name is called, you can purchase tickets for $25.

"The Book of Mormons" started its preview yesterday and starts officially on Dec. 19. It's playing at the Bank of America Theatre, 18 W. Monroe St.


Just like it sounds, Baconfest Chicago is a celebration of all things bacon-y.

This year's celebration will take place on April 20, 2013. Your first chance to get VIP tickets for the lunch and dinner shifts is Monday at 9 a.m. Baconfest officials plan to release just 175 VIP tickets per shift.

General-admission charges is $100. VIPs get shorter lines and more time to try the different bacon dishes prepared by more than 50 Chicago chefs.

General tickets should be available in February, though the exact day hasn't been announced.

You can find more information here.


There are candy canes. And then there are candy canes.

This is the latter.

Chef Alain Roby of All Chocolate Kitchen in Geneva set a Guinness world record for longest candy cane when he unveiled a 51-foot long candy cane as part of Geneva's Christmas Walk and House Tour.

It's the third time that Roby has made a Guinness world record. He also holds the title for cooked sugar building (12 feet, 10 inches) and chocolate sculpture (20 feet, 8 inches).

Roby, a regular guest on Food Network programs and The Martha Stewart Show, trained under renowned pastry chef Gaston Lenotre and celebrated the first anniversary of his shop's opening in August.

Chicagoist has an interview with Roby here.


W. Kamua Bell, host of FX's new late-night hit "Totally Biased," is coming to Chicago on Dec. 14 for his "The Kamua Mau Uprising Tour."

Bell and Janine Brito (also of Totally Biased) will be at Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln Ave., at 7 p.m. Get more information here.

Bell, who is a Hyde Park native, has an interview here where he talks about why he starting an "uprising" in Chicago.

Meanwhile, "Biased" will return to FX for its next season on Jan. 17.


Slain rapper Notorious B.I.G.'s murder may be one of the Los Angeles Police Department's highest profile cold cases.

After an autopsy report was unsealed and released Friday, the entertainer's lawyer says a former police detective has told him the case was solved years ago. Perry Sanders Jr. says a current member of the police force has also confirmed it, according to the Associated Press.

Notorious B.I.G.'s real name was Christopher Wallace. He was killed in a drive-by shooting 15 years ago after attending an Soul Train Awards after party hosted by Vibe magazine. The autopsy says he was killed by a single bullet that pierced several vital organs.

Los Angeles police spokesman Richard French declined to comment, saying the killing of Notorious B.I.G. remains an open investigation.

Sanders has sued the city over its investigation of the 24-year-old's rapper's shooting death.


Matt Damon said that he would consider playing Jason Bourne again, Sun-Times' Cindy Pearlman reports.
There are rumors he would team up with the character Jeremy Renner created in the last film.
Damon said he would only do so "if someone writes a good script."
He added that he wants to work with his "Bourne" director.
"I'm just tied to Paul Greengrass," Damon says.
Would he do another Bourne film - with or without Renner?
"If they could ever figure out a story. That's why I didn't do it the last time. They didn't figure out a story for my character."

Navy Pier offers celebratory discounts for 12-12-12

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Navy Pier is celebrating 12-12-12 and the 12th anniversary of its Winter WonderFest (already under way) with special offers and discounts.
Dec. 12 discounts include: $12 activity wristbands to Winter WonderFest; $12 parking before 5 p.m. (parking is $10 after 5 p.m.); and buy 1, get 2 free Ferris wheel rides (no expiration date!).
Patrons also can enter a contest to win round-trip airfare for two on American Airlines to Miami, Los Angeles or New York. Enter online through 12:12 p.m. on Dec. 12 at navypier.com or register at Winter WonderFest on Dec. 12. A winner will be announced every hour beginning at 12:12 p.m. and continuing until 4:12 p.m. on Dec. 12.
Navy Pier is located at 600 E. Grand.


An eclectic blend of local fashion, artisan food and wine all under one roof, the Dose Market at River East Arts Center promises to please Chicago shoppers looking for that perfect gift or holiday outfit not found in department stores, Natalie Hayes explains for the Sun-Times.
Similar to an upscale flea market, each month Dose Market features a different theme and a unique mix of vendors selling everything from gourmet food to locally-made art, clothing and home décor.
Shoppers get a more personal experience at Dose Market than they would shopping at traditional stores, and that" buying local" theme seems to be a major draw of the market for both vendors and consumers.
"People are becoming increasingly interested in learning more about where something came from, how it was made and who made it before they buy it," said Dose founder April Francis. "Buying locally is rewarding and it makes us feel close to the community we live in."
Francis started the market in 2011 with the idea to create a face-to-face connection between consumers and vendors, taking the shopping experience to a more personal level than shopping in department stores or online.
"The interaction you get between the maker and the consumer is invaluable," Francis said. "The immediacy breeds innovation and creativity and it's exciting."
Each set of vendors featured at Dose Market is hand-selected by Francis and her team, who seek out only the most serious of local artisans offering high-quality goods and foods.
"We put a ton of work into finding 'Dosers' and we're always selective," Francis said. "We're passionate about making sure everything is beautiful, well-made and high-quality, and we select each vendor because they're excellent at what they do."
But with a wide range of shopping markets vendors can choose to set up shop at during the holiday shopping season, what is it that makes Dose Market stand out from the others?
Trunk Club, a Chicago-based fashion service that provides stylist services for men across the U.S., will appear at Dose Market for the first time this month. Amy Weisenbach, vice president of marketing for Trunk Club, said Dose Market was unlike other shopping markets in the city because it focuses solely on fashion and shopping.
"You know people are coming here to shop--they're not listening to bands and just hanging around all day, but they're actually going in with shopping on their minds," said Amy Weisenbach, vice president of marketing for Trunk Club. "Dose is a great way for us to get in front of new shoppers who don't know about us and reach out to a new audience."
On the fashion side, Francis said this month shoppers will discover far-from-ordinary buys like architectural felted wool coats by local designer Andrea Reynders, a professor emeritus at The Art Institute of Chicago, and hand-woven shawls made from the pashmina goat by Chicago designer Atelier Azza.
"It's all about a potent dose of food and fashion for Chicagoans, and there's always this great energy at every market," Francis said. "We're gearing up for the holidays with this one, and will have plenty of entertaining ideas, party outfits and accessories."
Complimentary wines, beer and cocktails provided by 5 Rabbit Brewery, Femme du Coupe and Diamond Wine will be served at the event.
Pre-sale tickets are $8 until Sunday, December 9th from 10am - 5 pm at the River East Art Center. Event parking is in the garage at 456 E. Illinois St. for a discounted rate of $6 for four hours. For more information on Dose Market, go here.


Bret Easton Ellis -- who was already on the defensive for his comment about Kathryn Bigelow, saying she "would be considered a mildly interesting filmmaker if she was a man but since she's a very hot woman she's really overrated." -- is at it again.

In a series of tweet blasts today, Ellis started by saying, "I still believe that if The Hurt Locker had been directed by a man it would not have won the Oscar for best director," following up with: "The best movie Kathryn Bigelow has made so far--and by a long shot--is the deliriously campy Point Break but I'm afraid to watch it again."

Then he goes on to say: "The only time I felt a woman director deserved the Oscar was Sofia Coppola for Lost In Translation because it had a no bullshit female tone."

And this: "I hated Avatar."

Bigelow, meanwhile, is about to unleash Zero Dark Thirty, which hits theaters in limited release Dec. 19. The action thriller -- which chronicles the U.S. government's intelligence hunt for Osama bin Laden and the Navy SEALs raid leading to his death -- has received stellar reviews in advance screenings and earned best film awards from the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Board of Review.

She won the best director Oscar for 2009's The Hurt Locker, both a critical favorite and audience nail-biter. It also won best picture.

As for Ellis, the American Psycho scribe has been working on The Canyons, an indie film starring Lindsay Lohan and porn star James Deen.

His no-holds-barred social-media tirades often get him into trouble and are seemingly intended to shock.

In response to Ellis' initial anti-Bigelow slam, Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof joined the chorus of critics, tweeting: "I would be so much more successful if I was hot. #BretEastonEllisIsAnEffingMoron."

Ellen Barkin's tweet (hat tip: Jezebel) to Ellis referenced Mary Harron, who directed the 2000 film version of American Psycho starring Christian Bale: "@BretEastonEllis & if u were a 'very hot woman' youd still be a shit writer. Say TY to Mary Harron. That MOVIE was the best book u ever wrote."

Ellis tweeted: "Anyone Unfollowing me should have known better and never Followed me in the first place. Wise up: pussies and snowflakes. Get the F over it."

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An employee at the hospital that was duped by a prank call from two Australian radio DJs concerning Prince William's pregnant wife, Catherine, has apparently committed suicide, the hospital confirmed Friday.

The employee, a member of the nursing staff, "was recently the victim of a hoax call," King Edward VII Hospital said in a media statement, CNN reports.

The DJs impersonated Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles in the prank call, in which some details of the Duchess of Cambridge's condition and care were given.

Audio of the call posted online suggested a receptionist spoke briefly to the DJs, who host a show for the 2Day FM radio station in Sydney, before the call was put through to a nurse.

The nurse found dead was the one who first received the prank call and transferred it to the duchess's ward.

The radio show apologized for the call Wednesday, saying it "was done with light-hearted intentions."

The Duchess of Cambridge was discharged from the hospital Thursday after treatment for acute morning sickness.


Stephen Baldwin was arrested in New York on Thursday and charged with failure to file state income taxes for three years, LA Times reports.

Baldwin was arraigned for repeated failure to file tax returns for the years 2008, 2009 and 2010, according to the Rockland County district attorney, who said the youngest of the Baldwin Brothers owes more than $350,000 in taxes and penalties.

The 46-year-old "Celebrity Apprentice" alum and talk-radio host pleaded not guilty and was released on his own recognizance.

"Mr. Baldwin did not commit any crimes, and he's working with the district attorney's office and the New York State Tax Department to resolve any differences," said Baldwin's attorney, Russell Yankwitt.

Dist. Atty. Thomas Zugibe disagreed.

"We cannot afford to allow wealthy residents to break the law by cheating on their taxes," Zugibe said. "The defendant's repetitive failure to file returns and pay taxes over a period of several years contributes to the sweeping cutbacks and closures in local government and in our schools."

Baldwin filed for bankruptcy in July 2009, according to TMZ. He's due back in court Feb. 5, and could be looking at four years in prison if convicted of the felony.


Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady had a girl.

The Brazilian supermodel, 32, and the New England Patriots quarterback, 35, welcomed daughter Vivian Lake on Wednesday at their home in Boston, according to People.

The newborn joins big brother Benjamin, 2, and half-brother John, 5, who is Brady's son from his previous relationship with actress Bridget Moynahan.

"We feel so lucky to have been able to experience the miracle of birth once again and are forever grateful for the opportunity to be the parents of another little angel," Bundchen wrote on her Facebook page.

"She is healthy and full of life," she continued. "Thank you all for your support and well wishes. We wish you and your families many blessings."


Finally, a wedding actually happened, courtesy of The Bachelorette.

Ashley Hebert and J.P. Rosenbaum - who met on season 7 of The Bachelorette and got engaged on the season finale - show off a wedding photo here.

Hebert, 28, and Rosenbaum, 35, say that even though their wedding was filmed for TV (it will air Dec. 16 as a two-hour special on ABC) their love is as genuine as it comes.

"The ceremony was simple, sweet and personal," Hebert tells People in its new issue, on newsstands Friday. Adds Rosenbaum, "We didn't want it to be a circus."


The third season of "Downton Abbey" is premiering on PBS next month, and the network's executives are already looking ahead to the series' fourth season, Huff Post reports.

The network is assessing the possibility of airing Season 4 of "Downton Abbey" closer to the UK premiere date.

"The audiences for 'Downton' have been terrific," senior VP and PBS' chief programming executive John Wilson noted in an interview with THR. "So you can't say that [airing months earlier in the UK] has knocked the legs out from underneath 'Downton Abbey.' On the other hand, we can't know how much more terrific it might have been had it aired closer to the UK premiere."

Season 3 of "Downton Abbey" will premiere on Sunday, January 6 on PBS.


Perhaps it's not totally over between Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman after all.

The pair, married for 30 years and one of Hollywood's most enduring couples, separated this fall. But DeVito, 67, now says it's not that simple, People reports.

"We're working on it," the It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia actor says of his marriage in an interview with Extra.

Asked how he's adjusting to single life, DeVito replied: "It's not something you adjust to. Rhea and I are really close. Actually, still together - just separate, but together."

DeVito married Perlman, best know for her role on Cheers, in 1982. They have a son and two daughters, all in their 20s.


Rihanna has signed on to star in Styled to Rock, a new Style Network reality competition that challenges designers to create outfits for a group of celebrities, Reuters reports. The series is an offshoot of a British show with the same name, which Rihanna appeared on over the summer.

Premiering in the second half of 2013, Rihanna will handpick 12 up-and-coming designers who will dress a different guest celebrity on each episode, with the guest helping to determine who stays and who goes home.

Rolling Stone has all the info here.


The pregnant Duchess of Cambridge said she was feeling "much better" today as she left hospital.

She looked tired but happy after three days in the King Edward VII hospital in Marylebone, where she was admitted on Monday afternoon for treatment for acute morning sickness.

Read more here.


Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert has been hospitalized to repair a bone fracture in the hip area.

He felt a sharp pain in his leg earlier this week, said his wife, Chaz, and when it didn't subside, he underwent tests. His doctors then determined that he had a fracture.

Chaz said Ebert hopes to get back at the movies in a week or so.

"I am eager to see the remaining movies of the year," he said, "so I can complete my best films of the year list."


Six artists top the list with six nominations of Grammy Awards each: Chicago rapper Kanye West, hip-hop titan Jay-Z, Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys (five for the duo, plus a producer nod for Auerbach), British folk-rockers Mumford & Sons, and the night's two biggest success stories: pop-rock band fun. and R&B singer Frank Ocean.
Lacking a single headliner like Adele, the crop of honorees for the 55th annual Grammy Awards, announced Wednesday during a hourlong TV special, is a welcome mash-up reflecting a singles-driven, online-dominated music market, and a corresponding younger and more diverse talent pool.
Sun-Times' Thomas Conner has the details.
The Grammy Awards will be presented Feb. 10 on CBS.


The holiday season is upon us once more which means it's time to snatch up gifts for loved ones. One positive of living in this great city of ours is the number of quality books about the city (and, yes, its massive foibles) that get published every year. Whether for a gift or for yourself, there's no shortage of great Chicago books on shelves (or e-books) to read on long (delayed) transit rides, in coffee shops, or to unwind.

Here are 10 of our favorites from 2012 (and a few stragglers from 2011) but be sure to list your favorites we miss in the comments below. And if that's not enough for you, you can always order the Hot Doug's book, out next spring.

Only in Chicago by Natasha Korecki
Korecki, who currently covers politics for us here at the Sun-Times, has the first and best definitive look at the Rod Blagojevich scandal, ensuing court case, and the way it ensnared several other political heavyweights.

You Were Never In Chicago by Neil Steinberg
Yes, another book by another great Sun-Times writer. Yes, we're a bit biased. But it's another outstanding effort by Steinberg, a memoir of sorts that takes readers through the city's history as well as his own.

We Appreciate Your Enthusiasm: An Oral History of Q101 by James VanOsdol
From 1992 until 2011, Q 101 was a dominant force in Chicago radio and in the breaking of alternative rock across the nation in general. VanOsdol, a significant figure himself during those years, collects commentary and memories from a host of those involved to put together a definitive oral history of one of Chicago's legendary radio stations.

The Almighty Black P Stone Nation: The Rise, Fall, and Resurgence of an American Gang by Natalie Moore and Lance Williams
Chicago's gang problem was at the forefront of news in 2012 as increasing gang violence played a large role in an increased murder rate. But the city's gang problem goes back decades so Moore (of WBEZ) and Williams delve into the history of one of its most prominent gangs in this engrossing history book.

• Queue Tips: Discovering Your Next Great Movie by Rob Christopher
Having written about film for local blog Chicagoist for many years, Christopher is no stranger to cinema and puts his knowledge down in print in this collection. Offering capsules and recommendations, the book is a great addition to a budding cinephile's collection.

Fire on the Prairie by Gary Rivilin
Out of print for years, Rivilin's essential biography of former Chicago mayor Harold Washington, who died while in office 25 years ago, has been given new life with this new revision which also ties in the 2008 election of Barack Obama.

Hack: Stories from a Chicago Cab by Dimitri Samarov
A city like Chicago deserves to have every story told and that's where Samarov's collection comes in: a look at the overlooked, a collection of the everyday mundane and surprising, a Terkel-like perspective that only a cab driver who knows the web of the city can offer.

Vivian Maier: Street Photographer by Vivian Maier and John Maloof
When John Maloof purchased a collection of Chicagoan Maier's negatives from an auction house, he helped unveil to the world one of the great unsung street photographers of the 20th Century. Maier's stunning photos began making the rounds online shortly thereafter and are collected here in this wonderful collection.

Building Stories by Chris Ware
One of Chicago's great (and precocious) young artists, this graphic novel is a something of a head trip, comprising the story of the residents of a Chicago three-flat in a way that doesn't just challenge the way a story is told but blows it apart into a million - or in this case, fourteen - separate pieces.

Great American City: Chicago and the Enduring Neighborhood Effect by Robert Sampson
Sampson delves into a comprehensive look at Chicago's neighborhoods and the way those neighborhoods affect and influence the city as a whole.

BONUS: Groupon's Biggest Deal Ever by Frank Sennett
The story of Groupon is one that's gone worldwide - and one that continues to unfold. The story of the company's meteoric rise under founder Andrew Mason - and his turning down of a $6 billion deal with Google - is captured here by Sennett (editor-in-chief of TimeOut Chicago), a compelling read in light of the company's recent challenges.


Fairy tales, even more than the plays of Shakespeare, open themselves up to endless reinvention. And Jackie Taylor's hilarious, musically sophisticated, hipper-than-hip show, "The Other Cinderella" -- first produced in 1976, and remounted (and continually tweaked and updated on an every-other-year basis ever since) -- is a prime example of how to breathe fresh, and happily irreverent life into a familiar story, Sun-Times' Hedy Weiss explains.

See pictures from the event and the full review from Weiss.


Anderson Cooper said he is fine after an eye injury that left him blind for 36 hours.

Cooper said on "Anderson Live" that he was temporarily blinded on assignment for "60 Minutes" in Portugal. He had been doing a story at sea, and his eyeballs were burned by sunlight reflecting off the water.

"It was a freak thing," Cooper said on CNN. "I was on the water... and I burned my eyeballs, which i didn't even know you could. I'm an idiot." He added that the incident has become a much bigger story than he anticipated.

"This is what happens when I let you go around tand you're not chaperoned," HLN anchor Isha Sesay joked.

"That's very true," Cooper jokingly replied. "I was very lucky and I got medical attention and I can see. I'm just putting in a lot of drops. It'll be a week or so, but I'm doing alright."

Check out a video of Cooper here.


Two DJs from the Australian radio program 2DayFM called the King Edward VII Hospital in London. One of them pretended to be Queen Elizabeth II and asked for information on the Duchess of Cambridge's condition -- and got it, according to USA Today.

The hospital acknowledged today that the hoax call was made by Mel Greig and Michael Christian in the early hours Tuesday, reports AP. The person mimicking the monarch asked about Kate's morning sickness.

Christian told listeners: "If this has worked, it's the easiest prank call we've ever made."

A nurse who took the call said the duchess was about to be "freshened up," reports the Daily Mail, adding, "She's sleeping at the moment and she has had an uneventful night. She's been given some fluids, she's stable at the moment."

Neither the receptionist who put the call through nor the nurse treating the duchess suspected anything was amiss, reports The Telegraph, despite what the paper calls "distinctly amateur impersonations" of the queen's and Prince Charles' voices. One of the DJs even barked, pretending to be a corgi, while the "queen" wrongly referred to the duchess as "my granddaughter."

The nurse looking after the duchess gave confidential details of her treatment and of her condition, and even talked about what time it would be convenient for the "queen" to visit.

A spokesman for the hospital said it took patient confidentiality extremely seriously and was now reviewing telephone protocols.

Meanwhile, it's being reported that Kate Middleton is due in July, by Life & Style. And she and William are pondering these names.


Controversial "Seinfeld" actor Michael Richards has been cast in a new sitcom on TV Land, the network announced yesterday.

Richards, 63, nearly dropped out of sight after Nov. 17, 2006, when he inexplicably launched a racist diatribe at the Laugh Factory in LA.

Now, he'll back in front of the camera, shooting TV Land's "Giant Baby," alongside Kirstie Alley and Rhea Perlman.

"Giant Baby's" pilot will be shot next week, the network said.

The comedy will be about a Broadway star named Maddie Banks, played by Alley, her limo driver, Richards, and best pal and assistant, Perlman.

NY Post has the details here.


And then there were four.

Amanda Brown and Melanie Martinez were sent home last night in "The Voice," leaving six contestants in the race.

Martinez humbly expressed her surprise that she'd made it as far as she had and thanked the fans. The 17-year-old with her own quirky musical style had never stopped being interesting, even though vocally she was no match for her competitors.

Brown's elimination came after her results-show performance of "Let Me Love You" with Ne-Yo. Her voice was flexible and fluid and she was wonderful to watch lithely move around the stage. But her undoing was probably the fact that she sought to showcase her range, which, though impressive, may have confused voters unsure of where to categorize her, LA Times speculates.

Read the whole recap here.


In a stranger-than-fiction twist, Newt Gingrich filmed a cameo appearance on Parks and Recreation Monday--and the whole thing was totally unplanned.

The Los Angeles-based NBC comedy was on location in Indianapolis when the former Republican presidential candidate and House speaker unexpectedly walked into a restaurant where filming was taking place and was immediately welcomed by series co-creator Mike Schur, E explains.

"It was a completely random chance," Schur told the Indianapolis Star. "But you can't pass up an opportunity like that."

Which is why he quickly incorporated the politician into the episode's storyline, which finds Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott) living it up at his bachelor party before tying the knot with Leslie (Amy Poehler), the mayor of fictional Pawnee, Indiana. While Poehler wasn't present for the filming, co-stars including Rob Lowe, Nick Offerman, Aziz Ansari and Chris Pratt were all in attendance, as well as Indiana Pacers players Roy Hibbert and Miles Plumlee, who were already scheduled to film cameos.

According to Gingrich, the spur-of-the-moment guest shot is ultimately thanks to a lunch recommendation from his driver. "The driver said St. Elmo Steakhouse," the politician told ABCNews.com. "And when I walked inside, I saw Rob Lowe.

"It was great fun," added Gingrich, who was reportedly in town to meet with Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels. "It was especially great chatting with Rob. We have a mutual interest in General Grant and the Civil War."

Gingrich is not the first politician to make a Parks and Rec cameo, of course. Vice President Joe Biden and Senator John McCain have popped up in recent episodes as well.

Parks and Rec fans can check out Gingrich's acting when the episode airs in January.


Fleetwood Mac is getting back together and going on a North American tour starting April 4 in Columbus, Ohio.

Tickets for the first run of shows go on sale Dec. 14 at LiveNation.com.

The band, founded in 1967, is celebrating the 35th anniversary of its trailblazing Rumours, which sold 40 million copies worldwide, held Billboard's No. 1 spot for 31 weeks and spawned top 10 hits Dreams, Don't Stop, Go Your Own Way and You Make Loving Fun.

Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, who joined in 1975, and namesakes Mick Fleetwood and John McVie last toured in 2009 and haven't released a studio album since 2003's Say You Will.

Nicks insists this tour won't be their last time.

The tour is tentatively scheduled to come to Chicago on April 13 at the United Center.


Former child star Frankie Muniz is recovering from a "mini-stroke" that sent him to the hospital last Friday, People reports.

Muniz, who turns 27 on Wednesday, tells his Twitter followers that the experience was "not fun at all."

"Have to start taking care of my body!" he writes. "Getting old!"

Muniz provided no more details. But a "mini-stroke" is commonly used to describe a transient ischemic attack, or TIA, when blood temporarily stops reaching the brain, causing stroke-like symptoms for one to 24 hours.

Doctors believe a TIA can be a warning sign for a possible full stroke in the future without preventative measures.

Muniz grew up in front of TV audiences on Malcolm in the Middle from 2000 to 2006. He's moved on to racecar driving and music - he drums for the band Kingsfoil - though recently made a cameo on Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23.


Even though he hasn't sent a single tweet yet, Pope Benedict had some 370,000 followers on Twitter today, a mere 24 hours after the Vatican unveiled his handle: @pontifex, Reuters reported.

The Vatican said on Monday Benedict will start tweeting on mostly spiritual topics from 12 December.

But the pope, leader of some 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, won't be following anyone but himself, the Vatican said.

The tweets will come primarily from the contents of his weekly general audience, Sunday blessings and homilies on major Church holidays. They will also include reaction to major world events, such as natural disasters.

The Vatican, whose website has been taken down by hackers in the past, said it has taken precautions to make sure the pope's certified account is not hacked. Only one computer in the Vatican's Secretariat of State will be used for the tweets.


Eddie Murphy is this year's most overpaid actor in Hollywood, according to Forbes.

Forbes estimates that for every dollar Murphy was paid for his last three films, he returned $2.30 at the box office, the LA Times reports.

If you take out Murphy's voice role in the latest "Shrek" movie, "Shrek Forever After," the worldwide gross of Murphy's last three live-action films -- "Imagine That," "Tower Heist" and "A Thousand Words" -- is a combined domestic box office total of $196.3 million.

Compare that performance to his early '80s run of the hits "48 Hrs.," "Trading Places" and "Beverly Hills Cop," which collectively hauled in $316.3 million. And that was decades ago when movie tickets cost way less than $10 each!

Following Murphy on the list is Katherine Heigl, who has been dealing with flops such as "One for the Money," which failed to earn back its estimated $40-million production cost at the box office.

Oscar-winners Reese Witherspoon and Sandra Bullock came in at Nos. 3 and 4, respectively, on the list, with Jack Black rounding out the top five.

The next five are Nicolas Cage, Adam Sandler, Denzel Washington, Ben Stiller and Sarah Jessica Parker.

As winter takes hold, swing into the new year with Winter Dance 2013 and Wired Fridays DJ/dance series at the Chicago Cultural Center (77 East Randolph). Both events are free to the public.

Winter Dance 2013 will be held January 4 - 6 in the Yates Gallery located on the 4th floor of the Chicago Cultural Center. Presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Winter Dance will offer free, introductory one-hour dance lessons by professional instructors followed by music and dancing.

Friday, January 4, 2013
Swing Band: The Flat Cats
Dance Studio: Big City Swing - East Coast Swing
6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. Dance Instruction/ 7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Music and Dancing

Saturday, January 5, 2013
Salsa Band: Carpacho y Su Super Combo
Dance Studio: Latin Rhythms - Salsa
6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. Dance Instruction/ 7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Music and Dancing

Sunday, January 6, 2013
Ballroom Band: Teddy Lee Orchestra
Dance Studio: Fox Trot
12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. Dance Instruction/ 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. Music and Dancing

And check out the Wired Fridays, which debuts on January 4 at 12:15 p.m.

Wired Fridays is a series of LunchBreak concerts featuring DJs and electronic music in the Randolph Cafe. From ambient to dance, the world of DJs and soundscape artists will be uncovered each Friday through May. The LunchBreak Series will continue to feature music of all genres on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

For more information, please visit www.cityofchicago.org/DCASE or www.chicagoculturalcenter.org.

michael_jackson auction.jpg

When Michael Jackson's costumes hit the auction block Sunday, fans from all over the world came to raise their bidding paddles.

Lady Gaga was one of them, buying 55 items at the auction.

She tweeted that the clothes would be "archived & expertly cared for in the spirit & love of Michael Jackson, his bravery, & fans worldwide."

The auction included a jacket worn during Jackson's Bad tour, that went for $240,000 (£148,000) and two crystal gloves.

The private collection of Jackson's longtime costume designers Dennis Tompkins and Michael Bush was on offer by Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills, Calif. Fans placed bids for costumes and memorabilia from throughout the singer's career.

The auction brought in a total of $5 million.

Jackson died on June 25, 2009 from an overdose of the powerful anaesthetic propofol.


The Chicago History Museum for "Cocktails and Capone" tonight offers a look at America's most famous Prohibition-era gangster served up with some vintage cocktails.

A particular focus will be on Al Capone's personal life, Sun-Times' Kara Spak explains. Capone's great-niece, Deirdre Marie Capone, wrote "Uncle Al Capone" and will be at the history museum event to offer her take on "Public Enemy No. 1."

"Was Al Capone a mobster? Yes, he was," Deirdre Marie Capone said. "Was Al Capone a monster? He was not."

Deirdre Marie Capone's grandfather was Al Capone's oldest brother. She grew up with the last name Gabriel, but even that was not enough to shield her from the backlash of being a Capone after local Chicago newspapers covered the family gathering following her First Communion.

Find out more here.


Kate Middleton is pregnant.

The most eagerly awaited pregnancy was announced by St. James Palace on behalf of Middleton and her husband Prince William.

The child, whether boy or girl, will eventually be heir to the British throne according to new legislation awaiting final approval.

The duchess was admitted to a central London hospital where she'll spend the next few days getting over severe morning sickness.

Prince William is by his wife's side at the hospital, according to Britain's Press Association. Kate is not yet 12 weeks pregnant, according to a royal source close to the duke and duchess.

The couple decided to go public with the news of the pregnancy after the duchess was admitted to the hospital, according to a palace source.

angelina jolie wallpaper.jpg

Angelina Jolie says that she plans to quit acting.

"I have enjoyed being an actress," Jolie, 37, told Britain's Channel 4 News. "I am so grateful to the job and I have had great experiences and I have even be able to tell stories and be a part of stories that mattered and I have done things for fun, but..."

The mother-of-six gave her reasons for quitting her trade, adding, "I will do some films and I am so fortunate to have the job, it's a really lucky profession to be a part of and I enjoy it. But if it went away tomorrow I would be very happy to be home with the children. I wake up in the morning as a mum and I turn on the news like everybody else and I see what's happening and I want to be part of the world in a positive way."

Jolie is currently an ambassador for the U.N. and has been visiting and working with refugees for years now.

Chicago's Gilda's Club branch is located on N. Wells, and there are several other outposts of the cancer support community scattered around the U.S. and Canada. For those who don't know, they're named after the late comedienne Gilda Radner. She was among the first cast members on Saturday Night Live and died in 1989 (at age 42) after a years-long battle with ovarian cancer.

Recently, some Gilda's Club affiliates outside of Chicago announced they'd change handles so young folks who aren't familiar with Radner won't be confused about the services Gilda's offers. Or something like that. The backlash began almost immediately. In response, Chicago's own Second City -- whose Toronto branch helped launch Radner in the early 1970s following her run in the musical "Godspell" -- has assembled a panel to discuss "the enduring legacy and impact" of Radner's life and career.

It takes place Thursday, December 6 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at UP Comedy Club in Piper's Alley (230 W. North Ave., 3rd Fl.). Admission for "Celebrating Gilda" is free.

A few years back, Radner's former Second City co-stars talked about her for my oral history The Second City Unscripted: Revolution and Revelation at the World Famous Comedy Theater. Here's some of what they had to say:

Dan Aykroyd, cast member
She was sort of our den mother in Toronto when she was doing "Godspell" and we were all hanging around the back door. And she came into Second City with us and she fed us, she clothed us, she housed us. We were just living on the theater salary. She lent us her car. She gave us gas. She took us in. She nurtured and nursed our hearts and spirits, and she was just an amazing physical comedienne. Fantastic. You could throw her around excitedly, like a doll. And she had the biggest heart, and everybody fell in love with her. Joe [Flaherty] fell in love with her, I think. Brian [Doyle Murray], me, Bill Murray, Marty Short -- we all had massive crushes on Gilda.

Eugene Levy, cast member
Audiences just loved her. She could do no wrong onstage. She could laugh her way through a scene, and the audience would laugh longer and harder. They loved her personality, and Gilda onstage was totally just her. It's not like she could become another character. That's why she could not fail at an improvisation. Couldn't fail. Always managed to get out smelling sweet and getting laughs even though she might not have been doing that much.

Joe Flaherty, cast member
I only knew Gilda as a director/co-performer. I got a big kick out of her. But I think all the guys did. There was something appealing about her. And she played to that, too, by the way. She was funny. She had a great sense of humor. She knew Second City and had a good feel for it. I used to love working with her onstage. I found out later that some of the gals didn't particularly enjoy working with her. How can I say this? She was very competitive. She didn't like to be the "gal" in the show. It was as simple as that.
In closing, a classic clip of Radner as Roseanne Roseannadanna:


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