Tuesday, February 20, 2018


Chicago-based writer-director Michael Glover Smith’s second film Mercury In Retrograde wraps up its current run at the Gene Siskel Film Center with a 7:45 p.m. screening tomorrow night. The film’s humorous approach to the emotional entanglements that develop when three couples gather at a rural Michigan cabin drew praise and a three star rating from critic Richard Roeper in last Friday’s edition of the Chicago Sun-Times. It was named Best Narrative Feature at the 2017 Full Bloom Film Festival.

The cast features Shane Simmons (who also served as producer), Kevin Wehby, Jack C. Newell, Najarra Townsend, Alena Arenas, Roxane Mesquida, Duane Sharp, and Andrew Sensenig. Smith and Simmons will be on hand after the screening for a discussion with the audience. Tomorrow night’s screening will be moderated by film critic Ian Simmons of Kicking The Seat.

Joan Esposito, a veteran TV news anchor in the Chicago area and occasional guest morning news anchor on WXRT radio, is now working at WCPT 820 radio in Chicago.

Prop Thtr is promising audiences will encounter “unhinged, unpredictable, uninhibited entertainment” at its new late-night production The Uploose Odditorium coming up on Friday, March 9. The hour-long sketch comedy show starts at 10:30 p.m. and will feature Jessica Kearney, Dash Kidman, Kyra Leigh, Dylan McGorty, Matt Nikkila, Zoë Pike and Chloe Speschockrom, with Jamie Shriner as a musical guest. Some of those performer names already had me laughing. Admission is $10; Prop Thtr is located at 3502-04 N. Elston.

Celebrating David Bowie, the multi-act event that features Mike Garson, Earl Slick, Carmen Rojas, Gerry Leonard and others, comes to The Vic in Chicago this Friday, February 23. As rock critic Greg Kot pointed out in a fascinating feature story in this past Sunday’s Chicago Tribune, keyboards player Garson, guitarist Slick, and bassist Rojas had a long history of performing with Bowie.

The Jewish Film Festival will run on three weekends in March, starting on March 3, and ending on March 18. A total of 31 films will be screened at ArcLight Chicago, ArcLight Glenview, Century 12 Evanston/CineArts 6 and Century 16 Deer Park.

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