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items tagged with chicago

Stage (Dumb)Struck: Summer Theatre in the Quad Cities and Surrounding Areas
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2010-05-24 12:00:00
J. Adam Lounsberry, Tracy Pelzer-Timm, Jenny Winn, and Nathan Bates in Quad City Music Guild's Guys & DollsAs with summer movies, the area's summer-theatre scene - featuring, at last count, a whopping 68 productions scheduled by 22 organizations - is jam-packed with escapist fare: musicals, comedies, mysteries, musical-comedy mysteries. But like the random art-house release that manages to sneak into Hollywood's blockbuster-centric season, this summer will also feature occasional dramas and classical works, plus no less than four Pulitzer Prize-winners - five, if you count one of them being produced at two separate venues.
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Put Down the Remote, Pick Up the Mouse
Written By: Todd McGreevy
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Editorials

2009-04-29 11:50:00

When it comes to the latest hot topics of the day, one will not learn anything new by watching the talking heads on cable news or the networks. Fortunately, technology has come a long way, and all one has to do is browse the Web for perspectives and information that will most certainly raise the bar on the water-cooler dialogue at the office.

To that end, you will find ready-to-go video clips about the following stories that you won't find anywhere else:

April 15 Tea Parties

The Quad Cities hosted two Tea Party protests on the infamous Income Tax Day. More than 500 people attended the Davenport protest, and more than 300 people assembled that afternoon in Moline. The Reader was at both events and has posted a nine-minute video segment that includes interviews with seven people, including an 11-year-old.

The mainstream media picked up on the Tea Parties as a simple way to continue polarizing the masses along strict left/right and us/them party lines. No single outlet could help itself. As a guest on Keith Olbermann's show on MSNBC, Janeane Garofalo described the protest attendees as the "Klan demographic" and "tea-bagging racists who hate having a black man in office." To which Olbermann rhetorically asked, "What happens if at one of these things somebody hurts somebody?" And Fox Noise talk-show host Sean Hannity picked up the banner of the downtrodden tax payer and promoted the Tea Parties as if he had some solidarity with any disenfranchised citizens other than staunch neo-conservatives just like him. It was appalling. The really sad part is that many Americans fell for the "party baiting" hook, line, and sinker, and the only loser in that game was the level of discourse in America.

The bias in the media was no more apparent than when the reporter from CNN accosted a man holding a sign and his two-year-old child. The man's sign was about how his two-year-old was already in debt, and the reporter berated him, demanding whether he knew he was entitled to a check for $400 under the new regime. She wouldn't let him answer her questions, and things got worse from there when she finally claimed, "It is clear this crowd is anti-CNN and anti-government." The clip went viral for a short period, then CNN forced YouTube to take it off the air over copyright issues. Fortunately, FoundingBloggers.com was on-site in Chicago and filmed the dialogue that happened after the CNN cameras were off, and a suburban small-business owner takes the reporter to task, pointing out that CNN failed to show signs such as "Republican's Suck Too. End the Fed."

The reporter keeps trying to pigeonhole the woman as part of a group, and finally the woman explains that both the Democrats and Republicans are to blame for all our ills and that they "all need to go." Too bad that didn't make it to CNN's broadcast. You can watch the clip that CNN had YouTube pull and the off-camera fun below here.

In Minnesota, the blogger "The Grace Kelly" posted this account on the decidedly liberal Daily Kos Web site: "At a protest, normally, one sees the very hardcore support. However, what I saw was widespread disillusionment. In the video, notice how people are blaming politicians on both sides. Note that even though we now have President Obama, there is still acknowledgment that the problems started in the President Bush administration. So unlike other reports, talking to people at the Minnesota tax tea party gave me hope that these people value 'fiscal responsibility' and are actually open to persuasion." You can watch her insightful interviews about fair tax and the Federal Reserve at our Web site.

The SHA (Swine Human Avian) Flu Virus

The front page of the Wall Street Journal on Monday read, "The federal government is releasing 12.5 million courses of its emergency stockpile of potentially effective antiviral drugs to states that need them." Since when does anyone "need" something that is "potentially effective," especially when the risks of the drugs may be higher than the virus? To the WSJ's credit, they refrained from referring to this latest scare as "swine flu," but they did give us unique insight into what the future may hold for you at your airport. Pictured was "Scanning for feverish passengers at an airport in South Korea," showing bio-scans of passengers by their body-heat index. One can imagine the abuse and fear such a vetting process could engender. But don't take my word for it; listen to Dr. Ron Paul, an 11-term congressman from Texas and an MD. He and a Georgia congressmen, Larry McDonald (also an MD), were the only two "no" votes back in 1976 when the government ramped up a similar "swine flu" pandemic scare and mass-vaccinated thousands of people, including military, by force, resulting in 25 deaths and hundreds becoming sick ... from the cure no less. You can watch Paul question why Homeland Security is getting involved in medicine at our Web site.

As always, your feedback about what you read in these pages and online is encouraged. Write us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .



Summer’s Stock: May through August with the Area’s Seasonal Theatre Troupes
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2008-12-16 15:39:15

Andy Koski and Aisha Ragheb in Romeo and Juliet More than a third of the area productions I attended this year - a whopping 35 of them - I saw in the 91-day span from May 17 to August 15. And more than half of those shows - 19 in all - were produced by a combined five theatre organizations: Rock Island's Genesius Guild, Eldridge's Countryside Community Theatre, the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre (CAST), Mt. Carroll's Timber Lake Playhouse, and Davenport's newly established Riverbend Theatre Collective. My experiences with this quintet formed a fascinating theatrical journey, one boasting plenty of highs, occasional lows, randomly bitchy Web-site comments ... .


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Sweet Corn: "High School Musical 3: Senior Year," "The Secret Life of Bees," and "Saw V"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-10-29 08:14:35

Vanessa Hudgens and Zach Efron in High School Musical 3: Senior YearHIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3: SENIOR YEAR

Sure, its storyline is simplistic and its romantic ballads are pretty dull (and compose half of the film's soundtrack), but in nearly every other way High School Musical 3: Senior Year is fantastic - a supremely spirited, candy-colored pop extravaganza that sends you out of the cineplex on an exultant high.


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Break a Leg! Wait! Don’t!: "Vaudeville," at the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse through August 28
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2008-08-13 08:48:53

The Circa '21 Bootleggers Dear Sarahjayne:

So it's August 7, I'm at work, and I'm excited about seeing Vaudeville at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse that evening. More specifically, I'm excited about seeing the performing wait staff in their first full-length musical revue in two years, and can't wait to write about my Bootlegger pals Jennifer Diab, Brad Hauskins, Tom Lawrence, Adam Michael Lewis, Amanda McGill, Liz J. Millea, Andrea Moore, Sara Nicks, Sunshine Ramsey, Jan Schmall, Bryan Spies, Rodney Swain, and, of course, Sarahjayne Snow.

And then, late that morning, Jan calls, and tells me that you just broke a leg.

On the day of the show's opening.

Sarahjayne, that is not the funny kind of irony.


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