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  • Final goodbye: Roll call of some who died in 2014 Dec 26, 2014 10:40 AM
    They each turned a moment of violence into a call to action. For James Brady, that moment was when he was shot and wounded by a would-be presidential assassin. For Chung Eun-yong, it was the killings of his two children during a Korean War massacre. Brady and Chung, who died within days of each other in August, are among the notables who left the world in 2014.

     
  • Ron Onesti: “It’s a Wonderful Life” … Behind the scenes Dec 26, 2014 10:29 AM
    This past weekend, I had a “wonderful” experience regarding one such classic — one I would like to share with you during this Christmas week. Karolyn Grimes, the actress who played “Zuzu” in the American film classic “It’s A Wonderful Life,” joined us for special screenings of the film.

     
  • Rosemont to be featured on ABC 7 New Year’s Eve broadcast Dec 26, 2014 1:08 PM
    Rosemont’s entertainment district will be one of the featured sites on ABC 7’s Countdown Chicago 2015 live New Year’s Eve broadcast.

     
  • Night life events: Live music, drink specials all weekend at Docks Dec 26, 2014 6:01 AM
    Get ready to head out this weekend when Docks Bar and Grill hosts live entertainment and drink specials. Plus, don't miss Peggy Kinnane’s December specials and Cooper’s Hawk’s spiced wines.

     
  • Jazz great Buddy DeFranco dies at age 91 Dec 26, 2014 5:31 PM
    Renowned jazz clarinetist Buddy DeFranco — who collaborated with Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday and other top singers and musicians of his era — has died at the age of 91, his family said Friday. DeFranco’s family told The Associated Press that the famed musician died Wednesday evening at a Panama City hospital.

     
  • Weekend picks: Hdynation Tour brings house music home Dec 26, 2014 2:35 PM
    Groove out with Chicago-based J2K and Autobot as Flosstradamus brings the Hdynation Tour home to the Aragon Entertainment Center. See 250,000 colorful LED lights choregraphed to a soundtrack recorded by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra as part of the annual Symphony in Lights holiday show at The Promenade Bolingbrook. Time is running out to catch the Joffrey Ballet's beloved take on the Tchaikovsky ballet “The Nutcracker” at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University in Chicago. The bands Stache, Your Villain My Hero and According to Sarah team up for an evening of pop and rock at H.O.M.E. Bar in Arlington Heights Friday.

     
  • Jazzy 'Whiplash' leads a most violent year of excellence in cinema Dec 26, 2014 5:45 AM
    The best film of 2014 should be one that speaks to a critic on a personal level, one that captures the eyes, ears, brain and heart in a way other movies almost do, but don't. That movie would be “Whiplash,” from first-time director Damien Chazelle. “Whiplash” explodes with the manic energy of a first-time filmmaker stoked to show the world what he can do. Every scene bristles with tension.

     
  • Theater events: Sasheer Zamata plays Zanies Rosemont Dec 26, 2014 10:48 AM
    End the year and begin 2015 with laughs at Zanies in Rosemont, Chicago Iimprov in Schaumburg and the Metropolis in Arlington Heights. Chicago's Annoyance Theatre hosts post-Christmas and New Year's Eve performances, so does iO Chicago and the Chicago Fringe Festival seeks applicants this week in Chicago area theater.

     
  • Some suburban theaters soar, but others take a final bow Dec 26, 2014 5:30 AM
    2014 proved to be a tumultuous year in Chicago theater, as suburban playhouses like the Paramount in Aurora and Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace soared in 2014, while others took their final bow.

     
  • New bars, restaurants go all out to ring in 2015 Dec 26, 2014 6:00 AM
    Tired of the same old New Year’s Eve party? Try something new by heading to one of these suburban bars or restaurants, which are all celebrating both the end of 2014 and their first year in business.

     
  • 5 things to do in the suburbs this weekend Dec 26, 2014 5:48 PM
    Keep the holidays in full swing as you rock out to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, or gather family and friends for music, comedy and other fun. Here are five great things to do this weekend, plus a link to our full events calendar.

     
  • 1990s TV star ‘Screech’ charged in bar stabbing Dec 26, 2014 5:14 PM
    Dustin Diamond, who played Screech on the 1990s TV show “Saved by the Bell,” was charged Friday with stabbing a man during a bar fight on Christmas. Diamond, 37, faces charges of felony second-degree recklessly endangering safety charge, disorderly conduct and carrying a concealed weapon.

     
  • Year's top album is Sam Smith's 'In The Lonely Hour' Dec 26, 2014 6:00 AM
    Up for a good long listen? Check out The Associated Press' top albums of 2014 list.

     
  • Wildfire in Lincolnshire reopens after Christmas fire Dec 26, 2014 4:06 PM
    Though a small kitchen fire canceled Christmas dinner at Wildfire Steaks, Chops & Seafood in Lincolnshire, the restaurant reopened in time for a normal Friday, Manager Greg Nemeth said. No one was injured and no structural damage was caused by the fire that began about 1:30 p.m. Thursday. But there simply were too many things to sign off on for Wildfire to recover in time for Christmas itself, Nemeth said.

     
  • No problems at sold out ‘Interview’ screenings Dec 25, 2014 9:29 PM
    Moviegoers seeking laughs or looking to make a political statement rushed to two of the suburban movie theaters that elected to show “The Interview” on Christmas. So many people came to see “The Interview” at midnight that owner Debbie Benjamin had to open an additional screen at Buffalo Grove Theatres.

     
  • Beethoven themed concert: Dec 25, 2014 5:33 PM
    Acclaimed musicians Pablo Mahave-Veglia and Seth Carlin perform at 4 p.m. Sun., Jan. 4 at the Byron Colby Barn, 1561 Jones Point Road in Grayslake.

     
  • Streaming release of ‘Interview’ test for industry Dec 25, 2014 6:05 PM
    Sony’s “The Interview” has been a hacking target, a punchline and a political lightning rod. Now, with its release online at the same time it debuts in theaters, it has a new role: a test for a new kind of movie release. “The Interview” stars Seth Rogen and James Franco as journalists tasked by the CIA with killing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Its Christmas Day release was canceled by Sony after threats of violence by hackers linked to North Korea. But after an outcry, the release was reinstated in some independent theaters and now, through a few online video services.

     
  • Small kitchen fire at Wildfire in Lincolnshire Dec 25, 2014 7:49 PM
    No one was injured but many Christmas dinner plans were altered by a small kitchen fire at Wildfire Steaks, Chops & Seafood restaurant in Lincolnshire at around 1:30 p.m. Thursday. Greg Nemeth, a manager at Wildfire, said the restaurant wasn’t able to reopen after the fire, which fire officials said was partially extinguished by the sprinkler system.

     
  • The Royal family sends message on Christmas Day Dec 25, 2014 8:58 AM
    Queen Elizabeth II will use her traditional Christmas broadcast to call for international reconciliation and to praise medical workers fighting Ebola in Africa.

     
  • Our picks for some of the year's best performances Dec 25, 2014 5:00 AM
    The best of the movies of 2014 are celebrated with a run-down of the actor and actress of the year and other notable honors, as selected by our film critic, Dann Gire.

     
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