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  • Weekend picks: Local comedians share standup bill Jan 24, 2015 6:00 AM
    Chicago-area comedians Denise Ramsden and Nate Weatherup share a standup bill at Zanies at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles. See the classic 1939 Frank Capra film “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” starring James Stewart and Jean Arthur, at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago. And get some great new ideas for renovations around your home at the Home and Garden Expo at the Drury Lane Theatre and Conference Center in Oakbrook Terrace.

     
  • On the road: Cash dance, ‘Tulle’ premiere at Joffrey Jan 24, 2015 4:30 AM
    See the combination of ballet with classic Johnny Cash when The Joffrey Ballet premieres "The Man in Black," which riffs on line, square and step dancing. Also on the program is the U.S. premiere of "Tulle." Plan a weekend getaway at Le Méridien Chicago — Oakbrook Center with one of three Valentine's Day packages.

     
  • DVD previews: ‘Fury,’ ‘The Judge’ come to video Jan 24, 2015 5:30 AM
    The bloody World War II action film "Fury" takes its name from the sobriquet of a Sherman tank, emblazoned on its barrel. But the real action takes place inside the battered vehicle, among members of its tight-knit crew. The film, starring Brad Pitt, comes to DVD Jan. 20.

     
  • George Lucas hopes ‘Strange Magic’ will appeal to all ages Jan 24, 2015 7:01 AM
    George Lucas has been toying around with “Strange Magic” for almost 15 years. The animated musical fantasy about a fairy kingdom and true love, in theaters Friday, began as a pet project while he was working on the “Star Wars” prequels. Lucas started thinking about audiences and figured that if he’d created “Star Wars” as a “mythological adventure for 12-year-old boys,” maybe he could do one for 12-year-old girls.

     
  • Author appearances: Paula Hawkins joins authors at Anderson’s event Jan 24, 2015 7:01 AM
    A number of authors/novelists will be on hand for an adult author panel event at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 30, at Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville. Authors who will take part in the event include Paula Hawkins (“The Girl on the Train”), Cecilia Eckback (“Wolf Winter”), Elizabeth Blackwell (“While Beauty Slept”), Jacqueline Carey (“Autumn Bones”) and others.

     
  • Movie ‘Selma’ sparks interest in historic Alabama city Jan 24, 2015 7:15 AM
    The 50th anniversary of the civil rights marches in Selma and the movie that tells the story are expected to bring thousands of visitors to this historic Alabama city this year. Visitors can still walk across the bridge where voting rights marchers were beaten in 1965 and see the churches where they organized protests. "I think because of this film, Selma becomes one of the place names that stands as a significant milestone in American history,” Alabama tourism director Lee Sentell said.

     
  • YouTube to produce Super Bowl halftime show with online stars Jan 24, 2015 6:31 AM
    YouTube will offer a halftime show during the Super Bowl featuring some of its biggest online stars, part of a broader initiative to promote advertisements on the Google-owned video site. Harley Morenstein, the ringleader of food stunt group EpicMealTime, will host the program featuring musical performances and stunts.

     
  • App Reviews: SimCity BuildIt and Scannable Jan 24, 2015 6:55 AM
    Urban planners-in-training, your app is here. Based on the classic SimCity franchise, BuildIt gives players the chance to craft their own metropolis. And Scannable turns your smartphone into a scanner.

     
  • Review: Reading e-books on different devices tough Jan 24, 2015 7:31 AM
    While Amazon hasn't, other companies have embraced a format called EPub. In theory, that means books bought for one non-Kindle device can be read on another. But trying to move my EPub books around gets frustrating. Here are som examples.

     
  • Theater events: Chicago Children's Theatre remounts 'Selfish Giant' Jan 23, 2015 6:00 AM
    Chicago Children's Theatre remounts its 2008 production of “The Selfish Giant.” This retelling of the Oscar Wilde story concerns a grumpy giant who forbids the children in his neighborhood from playing in his garden. Court Theatre revives "Waiting for Godot"; Goodman Theatre presents the Chicago premiere of "Rapture Blister Burn"; and Oracle Productions begins its fifth season of free public-access theater with "Circle-Machine" this week in Chicago-area theater.

     
  • Ron Onesti: The ‘Yankee Clipper’ turns 100 Jan 23, 2015 12:00 AM
    Just a few weeks ago, Yankee legend Joe DiMaggio would have turned 100 years old. I know when it came to memorializing this legendary figure, it was the fans from Chicago who stepped up.

     
  • Pacific Crest Trail expects more hikers thanks to ‘Wild’ Jan 23, 2015 6:01 AM
    More hikers are expected on the Pacific Crest Trail this year thanks to the movie “Wild,” according to the Pacific Crest Trail Association, which preserves and promotes the trail. The book “Wild,” which has been a best-seller for nearly two years, led to a small increase in inquiries about the trail, “but the movie seems to have had a much bigger effect,” said Jack Haskel, trail information specialist for the Pacific Crest Trail Association. The PCT starts near Campo, California, outside San Diego at the Mexican border, and stretches 2,650 miles through California, Oregon and Washington.

     
  • Weekend picks: Country's Dan + Shay come to Genesee Jan 23, 2015 6:00 AM
    Dan + Shay, semifinalists for ACM New Artist Of The Year, perform their hit song “19 You + Me” and others tonight at the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan. The Mustangs take listeners back in time with Woodstock-era hits at Dock's Bar & Grill in Wauconda. Aurora University faculty perform chamber and solo music from a variety of French composers in the “La France” concert in the Crimi Auditorium at Aurora University in Aurora. And Chicago-area comedians Denise Ramsden and Nate Weatherup share a standup bill at Zanies at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles.

     
  • Northwest Symphony winter concert Sunday at Forest View Jan 23, 2015 4:10 PM
    The award-winning Northwest Symphony Orchestra will present its winter concert “Reveries” 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 25, featuring violinist Maria Storm performing the rarely heard “Winter Song” by Belgium composer Eugene Ysaye.

     
  • Former “Jersey Boy” travels from “Broadway to Obscurity” this Valentine’s Day at ECC Jan 23, 2015 7:07 PM
    The Elgin Community College Arts Center will travel “From Broadway to Obscurity” when former Broadway “Jersey Boy” Eric Gutman performs his hilarious and revealing musical confessional at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 14. It tells the story of how Gutman, at the peak of his career playing several roles in the Tony and Grammy-winning smash hit “Jersey Boys” on Broadway, made the decision to return to his hometown of Detroit so that he could raise his two young daughters closer to his family.

     
  • Pacino: If I wasn't an actor I'd probably be slinging hash Jan 23, 2015 1:03 PM
    Al Pacino says if he wasn't acting he thinks he'd be a good short order cook.

     
  • Sleater-Kinney, Decemberists look to add to their legacies Jan 23, 2015 6:00 AM
    The new album “What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World” sounds a lot like the old Decemberists, only slightly milder and with a just-visible sense of self-loathing. Two other vintage indie bands also dropped new albums this week that indirectly grapple with the same issues: the trailblazing Sleater-Kinney’s “No Cities to Love,” their first album in 10 years; and Scottish pop band Belle and Sebastian’s career rebooting “Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance,” their first since 2010.

     
  • Get caught up before ‘X-Files’ comes back to Earth Jan 23, 2015 6:01 AM
    Fox TV Group chairman Gary Newman confirmed last weekend that the network is hoping to bring “The X-Files” back to TV in some form. The prospect of a new “X-Files” season is exciting. If you want to revisit “The X-Files,” you can watch all 202 episodes with a Netflix or Hulu Plus subscription.

     
  • Journalist Bill Kurtis presents “Death by Food” at ECC Jan 23, 2015 6:07 PM
    Award-winning investigative journalist Bill Kurtis will give a presentation at Elgin Community College on Monday, March 16 about the effects of the American diet. His presentation, “Death by Food: How the American Diet is Killing You," will analyze the reasons the American diet is so high in fat, sugar and salts, the connection between processed foods and rising health problems, and offer a means of optimal nutrition as a solution to the nutrient-depleted foods found on the tables of American consumers.

     
  • '7th Heaven' actor Stephen Collins' divorce finalized Jan 23, 2015 7:33 PM
    Judge finalizes divorce of '7th Heaven' actor Stephen Collins in case marked by abuse claims

     
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