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Articles filed under Sotonoff/Gire

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  • Music director from Arlington Heights on Broadway this holiday Dec 23, 2014 5:48 AM
    Broadway doesn't really take a Christmas break, so neither does music director and conductor James Moore, a native of Arlington Heights. Instead of celebrating in the suburbs with family, Moore will be working — directing and conducting one of 2014's biggest hit musicals, a revival of Leonard Bernstein's “On the Town” at New York's Lyric Theatre.

     
  • Deerfield ‘Family Guy’ mom now stars on HBO series Dec 8, 2014 7:48 PM
    Deerfield native Alex Borstein does such unique and funny voices on TV that fans often ask to record her speaking into their phones. “They’ll say, ‘Oh, do the voice!’” she said. “They’ll have me leave voice mails for their friends.” Borstein, who voices Lois on FOX’s “Family Guy” and Ms. Swan on MADtv, is also starring in the HBO series "Getting On." She plays a nurse in the dark comedy about a women's extended care facility.

     
  • ‘Innate sob’ signature sound of opera star from St. Charles Dec 2, 2014 5:27 AM
    “I always think of my father when I sing arias about loss and love and longing,” said international opera superstar Sondra Radvanovsky, a former St. Charles resident. “It gave me that definite deep sorrow that one can only get from life experience, you know?” Starting Saturday, she will sing the titular role in the tragic opera “Anna Bolena” at the Lyric Opera of Chicago through Jan. 16.

     
  • Sounds good: Jacobs grad records audio for TV’s top reality shows Nov 18, 2014 1:56 PM
    Adam Dobosz modestly describes himself as “the guy that puts all the microphones on everyone and records the dialogue.” But his job as a TV audio mixer and supervisor is not that simple. Dobosz, who grew up in Gilberts and West Dundee, has recorded sound on more than 80 TV shows including “The Hills,” “The Biggest Loser,” “Storage Wars” and “The Real Housewives of OC.”

     
  • Lombard native Rachel Melvin co-stars in ‘Dumb and Dumber To’ Nov 11, 2014 5:30 AM
    Lombard native Rachel Melvin’s acting career takes a quantum-leap into big-budget Hollywood movies Nov. 14 when she plays Jeff Daniels’ daughter in “Dumb and Dumber To,” the long-awaited (20 years) sequel to “Dumb and Dumber.” It took a long time to audition. “It felt like the longest yes of my life,” she said. “I actually had to take a job in a restaurant for the first time in 10 years.”

     
  • Horror films a ‘calling’ for monster-loving Elgin native Oct 28, 2014 5:30 AM
    Ryan Oliver, an Elgin native, grew up to become an independent filmmaker about to locally premiere his new movie “Restoration” on Thursday night, Halloween Eve, at Chicago’s Logan Theatre. Oliver talked to us by phone from the Housecore Horror Film Festival in Austin, Texas. “I can remember watching ‘King Kong’ on the edge of the bed,” he said. “I ran into the bathroom crying because the monkey died."

     
  • Leap of faith led Elgin native to 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show' Oct 21, 2014 11:32 AM
    Elgin native Bianca Alarcon might not have landed a job on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” if she hadn't taken what she describes as “a leap of faith.” The Larkin High School alumna had a good job on “Windy City Live” but decided to leave for Los Angeles. Now she works on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” as an executive assistant to the executive producer. “Sometimes you just have to take that leap of faith and go after what you want,” she said.

     
  • Elgin’s Emmy Award-winning ‘Shark Tank’ producer Oct 13, 2014 2:24 PM
    Before entrepreneurs pitch their products on ABC's "Shark Tank," they work with producer Heather Dreiling. Dreiling, 33, who grew up in Elgin, is an Emmy Award-winning producer on the show and just started her fourth season doing what she calls the best and most fun job she’s ever had. “I’ve done cop shows, dance shows, home makeover shows,” said Dreiling, who now lives in Los Angeles. “(This) job is cool because it changes all the time. But it’s the most rewarding to see these companies doing well.”

     
  • Larkin grad at 'hub' of 'Gone Girl,' other films Oct 7, 2014 6:09 AM
    Larkin High School graduate Meredith Humbracht has worked as production coordinator on many movies and TV shows during the past 20 years. She has survived earthquakes, set closings and a terrible car accident in Elgin near the Fox River, but neither man nor nature has stopped her from helping create movies such as “Gone Girl,” “Superman Returns,” “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” and TV shows such as “Lost” and “House of Cards.”

     
  • Former Naperville resident amazed to be a ‘Spider-Man’ on Broadway Sep 23, 2014 9:52 AM
    Naperville native Craig Henningsen turned his passion for martial arts into a career performing in TV shows, movies and even the Broadway musical "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark." He admits that musical was the toughest challenge of his showbiz career. “I’m still pinching myself because they could have hired much better performers than me at the time,” Henningsen said.

     
  • New trainer on 'Biggest Loser' grew up in Lisle Sep 9, 2014 8:51 AM
    Usually it's the contestants who cry on “The Biggest Loser,” but trainer Jennifer Widerstrom, who grew up in Lisle and attended Naperville North, was tearing up, too, during the first few days of filming. “There's so much emotion that surrounds them,” Widerstrom said of this season's contestants, who include Addison's Toma Dobrosavljevic. “There are going to be incredible results this season. That I can promise.”

     
  • 'Pretty Little Liars' stylist started her career in Lake County Sep 2, 2014 5:30 AM
    Gurnee native Kim Ferry has styled the hair of some of Hollywood's biggest stars, on some of the most popular TV programs. She's now the head of the hair department on ABC Family's “Pretty Little Liars.” Off the set, the Warren Township High School alumna and mother of two runs her own business, is active in the union, and volunteers for the St. Baldricks cancer charity in memory of her mother.

     
  • Zombie, minister, nerd: Actor from Arlington Hts. does it all Aug 25, 2014 4:03 PM
    Pat Healy, who grew up in Lake Zurich and Arlington Heights, built a career as a Hollywood actor with roles on TV shows like “NYPD Blue” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” plus movies such as “Cheap Thrills,” “Rescue Dawn” and “Magnolia.” “Versatility is important, but the most important thing in my career has been tenacity," he said. "You hang in, and things not only get better, but they’re better than they were before.”

     
  • Horrors! Des Plaines native goes for filmmaking revenge Aug 19, 2014 3:19 PM
    Michael Ojeda found the perfect secluded motel he’d been looking for. He asked the clerk if he could stay in the corner room. “Oh, I should tell you that the room you want,” the clerk said, “someone was murdered in it last year.” “Perfect,” Ojeda said. “I’ll take it!” That’s how this Des Plaines native wrote the horror film “Savaged,” which is premiering at Bruce Campbell’s Horror Film Festival this week in Rosemont.

     
  • Former St. Charles resident shell-shocked by 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' role Aug 13, 2014 5:26 AM
    Pete Ploszek was born in Hinsdale and graduated from St. Charles East High School before he took his first acting class during his sophomore year at Princeton University. “It was a real sort of synergistic Aha! moment when I started acting,” Ploszek said. “This was it!” Ploszek stars as Leonardo in the movie “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” an experience he said was physically challenging.

     
  • Once a movie extra, Wheaton grad now a movie director Jul 28, 2014 5:42 PM
    When she's not working as a production assistant on NBC's "Parks and Recreation," Karen Teune writes, directs and stars her own independent films. “I definitely call myself a filmmaker now,” said Teune, who grew up in Carol Stream and, later, Wheaton. “Being a production assistant is to help pay the bills, and it’s invaluable in terms of learning. A huge part of the business is meeting people . it’s definitely not glamorous stuff (to be a production assistant), but it’s huge to be a part of this ‘Parks and Recreation’ family.

     
  • Arlington Heights author digs up ‘Wizard of Oz’ history Jul 21, 2014 7:02 PM
    Longtime Arlington Heights resident David J. Hogan has written “The Wizard of Oz FAQ,” a highly detailed and exhaustively researched look at the classic, 75-year-old movie that has spawned inferior movie sequels and prequels, zillions of “Oz” conventions and a watershed industry of memorabilia. “There is a reason why, 75 years later, people still respond to it,” Hogan said.

     
  • Schaumburg native swaps Broadway dream for behind-the-scenes career Jul 14, 2014 5:13 PM
    Schaumburg native Natalie Bounassar, 23, starts her job as a production secretary on Lee Daniels’ new 2015 Fox network drama series “Empire.” She has been an associate talent booker at ABC 7’s “Windy City Live,” a post-production assistant at Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Productions, and writes a blog called “Entry Level Escapades,” an advice column for young people just entering the work force.

     
  • Elburn native dances to fame with Austin Mahone, Justin Bieber Jul 8, 2014 3:06 PM
    Aubree Storm, who grew up in Elburn, has criss-crossed the globe these past few years working as a choreographer and hip-hop dancer for some of the world's biggest teen pop stars, including Justin Bieber. She's now a contributing choreographer for singer Austin Mahone. “Every TV performance you see (of Mahone), I stage.”

     
  • Libertyville editor helped cut ‘Fault in Our Stars’ Jun 23, 2014 2:17 PM
    They filmed a scene in the movie, “The Fault in Our Stars,” where Hazel (Shailene Woodley) makes herself a cup of tea while talking to her mom. The tea-making part of the scene got cut in the editing process, creating a challenge for Libertyville native Greg Borkman. Borkman, 26, performed all sorts of film editing tricks while helping to edit the blockbuster movie, and the experience is opening doors for him to do other visual and creative work in Hollywood. “I don’t think it’s even set in yet. It’s very surreal,” said Borkman.

     
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