Articles filed under Sotonoff/Gire

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  • Suburban childhood experiences are comedy gold Feb 11, 2014 5:24 AM
    Every time the Benet Academy football team scored, Cameron Esposito got out in front of the crowd — dressed in the school’s redwing mascot costume — and flapped her wings once for every point. “I was dating the football team captain, so I had a vested interest ... and being a giant red bird was the closest I ever was going to get to being a cheerleader,” she said. Her suburban childhood laid the groundwork for a stand-up comedy career.

     
  • 'Aladdin' role on Broadway opens whole new world for Elgin native Feb 4, 2014 5:30 AM
    Six months after graduating from the Theatre Conservatory of the Chicago College at Roosevelt University, Elgin native Courtney Reed stood on 42nd Street about to go into her first rehearsal as a cast member in the Broadway musical “Mamma Mia.” Now, she will star as Jasmine in the Broadway launch of the musical “Aladdin” Feb. 26. “I still can't believe this!” she said of her good fortune.

     
  • How Barrington native landed regular ‘NCIS’ role Jan 29, 2014 3:06 PM
    People might openly mock the 2003 American Idol-inspired movie “From Justin to Kelly,” but actor Brian Dietzen, a Barrington native, thinks of the film fondly. That’s because it was his big-screen acting debut, and a steppingstone that ultimately led Dietzen to his current job, as Jimmy Palmer on the hit CBS drama "NCIS."

     
  • Schaumburg High grad glides into commercial success Jan 21, 2014 5:02 AM
    “Weird” and “cool” more or less sum up Schaumburg native Michael Carlson's brief acting career so far. He's clocked 12 television commercials and several more on the Internet, and he's already making a sustainable living at something he loves doing. And it all began five days after moving to California where a couple of his friends from Illinois State University had already paved the way.

     
  • Hoffman Estates native now a Hollywood VP Jan 16, 2014 2:07 PM
    Bill Wohlken didn’t spend much his time at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School in Hoffman Estates dreaming of becoming a Hollywood post-production supervisor as he actually did. He began as a production assistant on “Hollywood Squares.” Double Stuf Oreos for Rosanne Barr, a bra for Salt-N-Pepa, Jack Daniels for Bill Mahr. "It was outrageous! Super fun!”

     
  • No more risky business for suburban star of 'Stand Your Ground' Jan 7, 2014 5:30 AM
    Park Ridge native Francine Locke stars in a fact-based movie, “Stand Your Ground,” opening Jan. 17. It's a far cry from her debut as the “Shower Girl” in the 1983 Chicago-set “Risky Business,” a film she omitted from her resume and never told anyone about for years. “I was naive,” she said. “They told me that only my face would be seen. When I finally saw the movie, I couldn't believe it.”

     
  • Naperville native now hair stylist to the stars Dec 17, 2013 10:59 AM
    TV and movie hair stylist Sallie Ciganovich, a Naperville native, has had many famous people in her chair over the years, including Sarah Silverman, Seth Rogen, Dennis Quaid and Garcelle Beauvais. hat makes her privy to lots of celebrity gossip. "I hear everything,” she jokes, refusing to dish dirt on anyone because "I'd like to keep working." Her discretion, along with her artistic hair design, focus and speed, have led her to a successful Hollywood career. She's worked on sets of "X-Factor," "So You Think You Can Dance," "Glee," "22 Jump Street" and many others.

     
  • From wild child at Hersey to Hollywood actor Dec 11, 2013 7:44 PM
    After being the recipient of a few too many “paddles” at his private Jesuit high school in Wisconsin, Keith Szarabajka's parents enrolled him at Hersey High School in Arlington Heights, where he fell in with a wild, fast crowd. But he never cut drama class. Szarabajka became the school's star actor. Pursuing acting as a career not only led to a straightened out life, but led him to Hollywood.

     
  • Comical Carol Stream kid hits Broadway, and now TV Land Dec 3, 2013 5:30 AM
    When Carol Stream freshman Eric Petersen won a role in the Glenbard North High School play “The Hobbit,” he thought, “Wow! Maybe this is something I would really like to do for the rest of my life.” Since then, Petersen has acted in the Broadway productions of “Shrek” plus “Peter & the Starcatcher.” This week, he debuts as Kirstie Alley's son Arlo in TV Land's original sitcom, “Kirstie.”

     
  • Once an opera soloist, Hawthorn Woods singer happy in chorus at the Met Nov 27, 2013 3:59 PM
    Opera soprano Kate Mangiameli was willing to trade the soloist spotlight for a more stable life. The 35-year-old Hawthorn Woods native and Lake Zurich High School alumna sings with The Metropolitan Opera in New York City, holding one of the coveted full-time chorus positions. “I get to sing every day at the greatest opera house in the country, and arguably, the world. And the greatest joy is that, every night, I get to sleep in my own bed,” she said.

     
  • ‘Breaking Bad’ star called Naperville ‘Nowheresville’ Nov 12, 2013 5:24 AM
    Bob Odenkirk said that when he was a teen, Naperville "felt like a dead end, like Nowheresville. I couldn’t wait to move into a city and be around people who were doing exciting things.” He went on to find plenty of excitment as a co-star of the hit TV series “Breaking Bad.” We contacted Odenkirk to talk about his childhood, his upcoming "Breaking Bad" spinoff, and his role in "Nebraska," a film out Nov. 22.

     
  • History skits fed Odenkirk’s acting bug at Naperville school Nov 12, 2013 5:30 AM
    Mentors? Comedian/actor/writer Bob Odenkirk from LaGrange and Naperville has had a few, most notably Second City fixture Del Close. But reaching, way, way back, Odenkirk credited a social studies teacher at Jefferson Junior High School in Naperville with providing the pivotal moment that changed his life.

     
  • Des Plaines native’s writing just what doctor ordered Oct 29, 2013 5:30 AM
    Des Plaines native James Kahn wanted to be a writer, but figured the financial prospects weren’t good. So he followed in his dad’s footsteps by becoming a doctor. That didn’t stop him from writing novels, short stories, television screenplays and novelizations based on the screenplays to “The Empire Strikes Back,” “Poltergeist II,” “The Goonies” and “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.”

     
  • Emmy-nominated Chlumsky among suburban actors on 'Veep' Oct 23, 2013 9:11 AM
    Emmy-nominated actress Anna Chlumsky, of Broadview, is one of several actors on HBO's comedy series, "Veep" with ties to the Chicago area. "We've definitely got some kind of Second City vibe goin' on," she said.

     
  • Suburban outsider Diablo Cody sticks to the theme in her new film, 'Paradise' Oct 15, 2013 10:34 AM
    Diablo Cody, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of “Juno,” was born at Hinsdale's hospital, grew up in Lemont and graduated from the Roman Catholic Benet Academy in Lisle. All that time, she felt like a weirdo in the suburbs. She's fine being one as a movie director now. “The nice thing about being weird is that you have nothing to lose. You can just do your thing, be creative,” Cody said.

     
  • Winnetka native making his directorial debut Oct 8, 2013 11:34 AM
    After 20 years working in the New York theater scene — along with David Mamet and Arthur Miller — Winnekta native Jason Chaet has branched out into the movies. His directorial debut, the bittersweet story of “Putzel,” will have its local premiere at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, at the Wilmette Theatre in Wilmette. An encore showing will be presented at 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13.

     
  • Mount Prospect moms debut national family travel TV show Oct 1, 2013 6:17 AM
    Colleen Kelly and Tricia Fusilero, of Mt. Prospect, catapulted their family travel show from a local series to a national one. Starting this weekend, "Family Travel with Colleen Kelly" will air on PBS stations nationwide. It'll air locally on WTTW, at 10 a.m. Saturday.

     
  • Former suburbanite returns home for film premiere Sep 24, 2013 9:29 AM
    Former Mount Prospect resident Sam Logan Khaleghi comes from a family of high achievers, namely doctors and engineers. “I could be a doctor,” he said, “but only for a day. It would be acting.” Khaleghi broke from family tradition to become a filmmaker whose new movie “Approaching Darkness” will premiere Friday at the Wilmette Theatre. He wrote it, directed it, produced it and stars in it.

     
  • Arlington Heights journalist finds place in Aaron Sorkin’s ‘Newsroom’ Sep 17, 2013 2:52 PM
    It was a longshot, but Margaret Judson got the job as an NBC page in New York. And it was a longshot that, while there, she met Oscar-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin. The chance meeting changed her life. Sorkin eventually gave Judson, of Arlington Heights, a role on the hit HBO series, "The Newsroom." A Q&A with Judson.

     
  • Model from suburbs now flaunting animal advocacy Sep 10, 2013 6:17 AM
    Katie Cleary's a successful model and actress -- including four years as the beauty who held case number 11 on “Deal or No Deal” -- but the Glenview native always had other plans. Founder of the nonprofit animal welfare group Peace 4 Animals, Cleary just finished producing a celebrity-filled documentary, “Give Me Shelter.” “(Modeling and acting) was fun when I was young ... . But I always thought, 'What am I going to do with animals, my passion?'” said Cleary.

     
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