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  • A dark and dangerous ‘Don Giovanni’ Sep 29, 2014 6:09 AM
    Goodman Theatre artistic director Robert Falls plays up the dark side of the serial seducer "Don Giovanni" in a sleek and stylish 1920s-transported production that launches the 60th diamond anniversary season at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

  • Denzel Washington’s ‘The Equalizer’ debuts with $35M Sep 28, 2014 8:48 PM
    Flexing his star power, Denzel Washington led the thriller “The Equalizer” to a $35 million debut, according to studio estimates Sunday. The Sony-Columbia Pictures release dominated the weekend box office, surpassing some expectations for the film. Washington plays a former commando living a quiet life in Boston when the disappearance of a prostitute acquaintance (Chloe Grace Moretz) lures him into a battle with the Russian mafia.

  • Review: Samsung Alpha big on design, short on tech Sep 27, 2014 7:36 AM
    Apple filled a gaping hole in its product lineup with new iPhones boasting larger screens like Samsung’s flagship Galaxy smartphones. Now, Samsung is coming out with a smaller phone that looks and feels more like an iPhone.

  • The one big problem with the enormous new iPhone Sep 27, 2014 7:37 AM
    Just as I was getting ready to plunk down $399 for Apple's new iPhone iPhone 6, I freaked out. What if it's too big to fit in my pants? Turns out, that wasn't what I should have been worried about. There's another big flaw.

  • On the road: St. Louis Oktoberfest adding carnival to festivities Sep 27, 2014 6:00 AM
    The 2014 Oktoberfest in the Soulard neighborhood of St. Louis promises to be the biggest in its history, with internationally acclaimed music, award-winning polka rock and a full carnival (just like the traditional Oktoberfest in Munich). Taste Talks is a three-day food festival inChicago featuring panel discussions, underground dinners and an all-star barbecue starring some of the nation’s favorite chefs.

  • ‘Boxtrolls’ blends old-school, high-tech animation Sep 27, 2014 6:15 AM
    If the world of “The Boxtrolls” feels real to moviegoers, that’s because it is. From the cobblestone streets of Cheesebridge to the underground wonderland the boxtrolls call home, everything shown onscreen in the film really exists at Laika Studios just outside Portland, Oregon. But it takes a high-tech touch to really make “The Boxtrolls” come alive.

  • Brilliant new biography of Tennessee Williams Sep 27, 2014 6:30 AM
    The culmination of 12 years of work, John Lahr's “Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh” is a dazzling, deeply sympathetic and psychologically acute look at the life and work of a tortured genius who rocketed to fame after World War II with a new kind of play that reflected his “haunted interior”: dreamy and poetic, passionate and tender, sensual and spiritual, desperate for recognition and more than slightly tinged by the family madness. “On stage and off it,” Lahr writes, “hysteria was Williams’s idiom.”

  • DVD previews: ‘Transformers,’ ‘Chef’ come home Tuesday Sep 27, 2014 5:30 AM
    Michael Bay's loud, lumbering franchise moved on with “Transformers: Age of Extinction” this summer, featuring a new cast led by Mark Wahlberg. The movie comes out on DVD Tuesday.

  • Weekend picks: Scotty McCreery helps you get your country on Sep 27, 2014 6:00 AM
    Scotty McCreery, the season 10 winner of “American Idol,” performs country hits at North Central College's Pfeiffer Hall. Celebrate autumn with apple treats at the annual Long Grove Apple Fest. Comedian Nick DiPaolo takes a break from his Comedy Central appearances on celebrity roasts to perform standup this weekend. And if you're a fan of the “Dork Forest Podcast,” then check out contributing comedian Jackie Kashian performing this week at Zanies.

  • Clooney marries human rights lawyer in Venice Sep 27, 2014 2:58 PM
    George Clooney’s celebrity pals joined the couple to celebrate the ceremony in the luxury Aman hotel overlooking Venice’s spectacular Grand Canal. Clooney and friends had coolly sipped champagne before gliding up the majestic Grand Canal Saturday evening, waving to hundreds of well-wishers on shore and a flotilla of photographers chasing a glimpse of what presumably were his final public moments of bachelorhood.

  • Ways to hide, secure data on your smart devices Sep 27, 2014 7:00 AM
    Beyond setting up passcodes, some phones have additional tools for hiding or securing sensitive photos and documents stored on the phone, particularly if you need to lend or show your phone to someone.

  • Book notes: Diane Muldrow discusses her books in Libertyville Sep 27, 2014 6:30 AM
    Diane Muldrow, author of “Everything I Need to Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book” and “Everything I Need to Know About Christmas I Learned From a Little Golden Book,” discusses her books at an author event at 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3, at Cook Memorial Public Library in Libertyville.

  • Batavia play focuses on Mary Todd Lincoln’s life after the White House Sep 27, 2014 8:01 AM
    The life of Mary Todd Lincoln, widow of President Abraham Lincoln, is the subject of an original work by Batavia playwright Donna Latham. “The Haunted Widow Lincoln" will be presented by the Batavia Arts Council on Oct. 10, 11 and 12 at The Holmstad, 700 W. Fabyan Parkway, Batavia.

  • Fall Fest continues in Huntley Sep 27, 2014 6:54 PM
    Huntley’s three-day Fall Fest celebration will continue Sunday with three main stage concerts along with seasonal events that include everything from a scarecrow contest to pumpkin bowling. The festival opens at 11 a.m. and runs through 5 p.m. at 12015 Mill St.

  • Auto show in Des Plaines to benefit Scouting program Sep 26, 2014 5:51 PM
    The 2nd Annual Cool Cruisers & Hot Dogs Auto Show, a fundraiser for local Boy Scout programs, will be held Sunday in Des Plaines.

  • Clooney, fiancee arrive in Venice for wedding Sep 26, 2014 5:30 PM
    George Clooney and his fiancee Amal Alamuddin have arrived in Venice for their weekend wedding extravaganza. They were accompanied by Cindy Crawford and her husband, among the many celebrities arriving for the festivities. Among the other arrivals in Venice were actors Matt Damon and Miguel Ferrer.

  • Metropolis will close next month without more funding Sep 26, 2014 7:04 PM
    After years of subsidizing Metropolis, on Thursday the Arlington Heights village board will discuss two options to deal with the theater’s “imminent financial collapse” — whether to let the performing arts center dissolve or to pour an additional $450,000 in village money into it.

  • Vince Gill … punk-pop rocker? Sep 26, 2014 12:01 AM
    As I walked with Vince Gill on Main Street in St. Charles before a recent show, he stopped to say hi and take pictures with everyone who asked. He actually welcomed it, and boy, were the fans happy! This country music singer, songwriter and musician is also a true gentleman.

  • Grammy nominated blues guitarist Billy Flynn and Friends to perform Oct. 24 in Crystal Lake Sep 26, 2014 7:34 PM
    The blues icon Billy Flynn and Friends come to the Listening Room in Crystal Lake straight from the House of Blues to give a taste of authentic Chicago blues. The Lakeside Legacy Foundation presents Grammy nominated blues guitarist Billy Flynn and Friends and open jam session at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24.

  • Conductor Christopher Hogwood dies at 73 Sep 26, 2014 9:29 PM
    Conductor Christopher Hogwood, who pioneered the performance of music by 18th-Century composers such as Bach and Handel on historically authentic instruments, died Wednesday. He was 73.

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