Secluded stars: Bill Murray faces off with Guy Fieri in nacho showdown
Who knew that a nacho smackdown could be so entertaining? Of course, it helps if Bill Murray is involved.
The Wilmette native famed for movies such as "Ghostbusters" and "Groundhog Day" challenged celebrity chef Guy Fieri for the Food Network's online "Nacho Average Showdown." Streamed on Facebook Live Friday, the odd father-son bout was dreamed up as a fundraiser for Fieri's Restaurant Employee Relief Fund, which aids struggling workers amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Murray served as online coach for his son, Homer, who runs the Brooklyn restaurant 21 Greenpoint. And the actor wasn't shy about calling out funny fouls for the team of Fieri and his son, Hunter.
Celebrity chef Carla Hall was host, while actor Terry Crews and retired NBA star Shaquille O'Neal were the judges. But since the judges and host couldn't actually taste the nachos, Fieri's win will always have an asterisk by it.
Celebrity storytime: Ever wondered how Oprah Winfrey would choose to voice a horse? Or a fox?
Winfrey is just one of the stars with local ties to participate in the weekday storytime for families in lockdown. Other notables have included Barack and Michelle Obama, Jeff Tweedy of the band Wilco and Dolton native and "Glee" star Jane Lynch. (You can find links to all of them on chipublib.org.)
"It's for people who are 80, or 8," said Winfrey about her storybook selection. "It teaches us to be grateful for what we have."
'Hairspray' helpers: If you're feeling down, then watch the new socially distant video of "You Can't Stop the Beat" on YouTube. The exuberant finale from the hit Broadway musical "Hairspray" is a five-minute guaranteed pick-me-up.
It's also fun to pick out the celebrities whirring by from various stage, screen and TV adaptations of director John Waters' campy 1988 film. "Will and Grace" star and Glen Ellyn native Sean Hayes is there (he was Mr. Pinkie in 2016's "Hairspray Live!"). So are former Chicago stage actors Chester Gregory and Jackie Hoffman.
The video is a fundraiser for The Actors Fund COVID-19 Emergency Financial Assistance Program.
Operatic masks: Former St. Charles resident Sondra Radvanovsky stars in Verdi's "Un Ballo in Mashera" ("The Masked Ball") from The Metropolitan Opera. It's available online for free for 24 hours starting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 20.
Director David Alden's angular and film noir-inspired production dates from 2012. So don't get worked up over the party masks failing to cover the singers' noses and mouths.