Category Archives: Arts & Entertainment

Documentary Film Workshop at Chicago Filmmakers

Think you’ve got the idea for the next great documentary? Or maybe you’re just looking to make that Kickstarter video pop.

Chicago Filmmakers, at 5720 N. Ridge in Edgewater, is hosting a two-day workshop in the genre March 15 and 16.

Students will learn from professional teachers working in the industry, and will “develop the foundational skill-sets necessary to continue crafting content on their own that looks and sounds professional regardless of production budgets,” according to an announcement from the organization. “Whether creating a crowdfunding campaign video for an independent project or piecing together a testimonial video to demonstrate a company’s new product or event, this course will provide students from all professional backgrounds and filmmaking experience levels the opportunity to master new lucrative skills under the guidance of seasoned professionals.”

The cost of the workshop is $300 for members, $315 for non-members.

Chicago Filmmakers is a not-for-profit arts organization dedicated to helping people acquire the tools they need to become a filmmaker.

To learn more about the upcoming workshop or others go to the co-op’s website.

It’s All Musicals This Month As Edge Theater Presents Annual Festival

If you’re a fan of musicals, Edge Theater is the place to be this month.

Nine shows in all will take the stage at the theater, at 5451 N. Broadway, part of its fifth annual Chicago Musical Theater Festival.

OH HI JOHNNY: The Roomsical, kicks off the month. Remaining shows are Feb. 14, 17 and 23. It’s described as “unauthorized musical parody” of Tommy Wiseau’s The Room, the Citizen Kane of bad movies,” according to the Edge Theater’s website.

Showings of An Artist and the Ember: A Self-Love Story, are also underway. Remaining shows are Feb. 17, 19, and 22. It’s billed as the story of Eve, a composer who struggles with anxiety and wishes to create a beautiful piece of work, but just can’t.

My Dear Watson, a Sherlock Holmes musical, has shows remaining Feb. 15, 20, and 23. The dramatic musical revolves around Sherlock Holmes and John Watson’s many adventures, but also explores their friendship and love for one another through the perspective of  Watson, according to the Edge Theater’s website.

Then there is Unison, with remaining shows Feb. 15, 21, 23. It is described as a story that tells the tale of a tight-knit high school wind ensemble that struggles to find its groove after the infection of senioritis, with a mixing pot of rehearsal preparation, partying, essays, and personal problems. They’ll need to pull through together if they want any chance at sticking to post-graduation plans that won’t lead to the demise of the group’s friendship.

On Feb. 14, 16, 17, 19, 23, there will be a showing of INCREDIBLE SIX THOUSAND-FOOT LADDER TO HEAVEN: A New Musical Fairy Tale. After the passing of Hadley Breaker’s father, many adults in her life were quick to offer their condolences and offered some not-so-pleasant piece of advice: Move on. Instead, Hadley Breaker and her friend, Spider, decide to build a six thousand-foot ladder to meet Hadley Breaker’s father in Heaven.

On Feb 6, 10, 16, 22, 24, there will be showings Cancerman, about a man with cancer wishes to reconnect with his granddaughter by writing a song, before it’s too late.

On Feb 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, and 24, there will be showings of Moonshiner: A Musical Fabulism. Set in Chicago during the 1950s, Selene Orb goes to private eye detective Nicodemus Silver to try to find out where her missing husband has gone. 

On Feb. 13, 17, 22, there will be showings of Lucky: A Musical. It is described as a story about a girl whose whole understanding of the universe is based off of a copy of “The Care and Keeping of You,” a book given to her by her absent mother. Upon entering college, she realizes that every problem that she faces can’t be solved by her trusted book.

Finally, Brooke Astor’s Last Affair takes the stage Feb. 13, 16, and 20. Based on the true story of Brooke Astor, it tells the tale of her rise and fall in New York City life.

If you want to learn more about the festival, go to https://www.cmtf.org/ to learn more.

Onward Looking to Elevate Rogers Park Dining Scene

Rogers Park foodies have been getting to know the newest addition to the neighborhood’s fine dining scene, with the recent opening of Onward Chicago.

Located at 6580 N. Sheridan, in the same building as the Hampton Inn, Onward will offer a top-notch culinary experience, with a friendly neighborhood vibe, according to Executive Chef Patrick Russ.

“We’re going to be the restaurant for everyone,” Russ said in a recent interview.

The restaurant currently offers lunch and dinner seatings, with a weekend brunch coming in the new year. The cocktail lounge features a more casual “bar food” menu.

The dinner menu strays from the traditional appetizer and entrée breakdown, instead offering a selection of individual smaller plates, larger shareable dishes, and snacks.

With plans to change the menu seasonally and frequently offer new specials, don’t expect to get bored of their selection, Russ said.

Onward Chicago also plans to work closely with Loyola University Chicago to create a positive impact on the Rogers Park community, Russ said. Staying true to Loyola’s environmental sustainability mission, they have partnered with WasteNot Compost in an effort to keep their environmental footprint to a minimum.

Russ said he also hopes to host Rambler events for students and alumni.

With ownership ties to the former three-Michelin-starred Grace, Onward Chicago likely will attract diners from all over the city. But Russ said they want to be part of the neighborhood.

“We’re in Rogers Park because we wanted to be in Rogers Park,” he said.

Russ said he and the Onward staff are focused on building a welcoming community restaurant.

“We’ve been welcomed in, we just want to give back to the neighborhood really,” he said.

Edge Theater Crosses New Frontier – A Christmas Carol … in Klingon

The classic tale of Ebenezer Scrooge – a mean and frugal man wishing nothing to do with the world until he is changed when three spirits come to him the night on Christmas Eve – is a holiday theater staple.

The Edge Theater is taking a different approach, however, presenting “A Klingon’s Christmas Carol,” a Star Trek space-alien version of the Dickens classic. And this isn’t just a slight reworking of the play, with all the characters dressed as Klingons. The play is entirely spoken in their language. (Don’t worry: There will be English sub-titles projected on the stage.)

The show runs for two weeks, from Thursday, Nov. 29 to Thursday, Dec. 16. The Edge Theater is located at 5451 N. Broadway.

Theater-goers can expect a story close to the original, except, you know, with Klingons acting like Klingons and speaking Klingon.

Director John Gleason Teske said it is the interpretation of Klingon culture that sets this work apart from the original. He described Klingons as “a warrior race” that is “way more about honor, righteousness, and ultimately connection,” than the Dickensian characters in the original.

He noted, for example, that fighting is a major part of the Klingon lifestyle. So a famous party scene that features a big dance number is reinterpreted as a bar fight. In another party scene, “little quippy word games” are replaced by “more fights,” he said.

Actor Matt Calhoun, who plays the Klingon version of Bob Cratchit, described his reimagined relationship with Klingon Scrooge.

“Cratchit is more of a dutiful soldier,” he said. The character “is going to follow him tooth and nail, really based on whatever he tells him to do.”

Dickens’ Cratchit follows Scrooge out of fear of losing his job. For the Klingon version, it’s a matter of duty and honor.

The play is a production of E.D.G.E. of Orion. The acronym stands for “Esteem Development Through Greater Expectations,” and the program uses theatre arts “to educate and entertain to foster the tools of social change,” according to the program’s website.

“EDGE of Orion has a goal of finding every participant’s personal best and holding them accountable to it.  EDGE of Orion’s main thrust is developing theatre for marginalized communities and to bring a message of non-violence, civic, and social change through exploration of the theatre arts,” according to the website.

The play won’t be the only slice of Klingon life offered to viewers, at least during the opening week.

“We have Klingon Pop Warrior doing a small concert on our gala night (Thursday, Nov. 29),”E.D.G.E of Orion instructor Orion Couling said. “On Friday the 30th we have Rax Geek who is doing a really awesome Star Trek-inspired dance.”

The Saturday, Dec. 1, performance will feature Dr. Jeremy Cowen, a linguistic expert, who will teach how to swear in Klingon, Couling said. And Couling himself will talk before Sunday’s show about the bat’leth, a Klingon fighting weapon.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly referred to the name of the actor playing Bob Cratchit. He is, as the story now correctly states, Matt Calhoun. We regret the error.

New Rogers Park Eatery, Onward, Will Open in Mid-November

It looks like Onward, the long-awaited addition to the Rogers Park dining scene, will open in mid-November. A Nov. 9 date had been set, but General Manager Morgan Olszewski said the finishing touches are still falling into place.

“We won’t open until everything is flawless,” she said during a recent visit to the restaurant, which appeared close to ready for customers.

The restaurant, described as “a fun and playful take on new American in an elevated neighborhood setting,” will be located in the ground floor of the Hampton Inn, at 6580 N. Sheridan.

Part of the ownership team is Loyola University alumnus Michael Olszewski, former owner of the now-shuttered, three-Michelin-starred Grace.

Leading the Onward team will be Executive Chef Patrick Russ, formerly of Seven Lions, The Dawson, and Next. He’s also an Edgewater resident.

 

 

Netflix and Scream? Here are Five Scary Movies That Should Do the Trick

It’s Halloween movie season. And while Rogers Park’s own the New 400 is offering a nice selection, there are a lot of other good choices out there. We put the question to one of the movie buffs among our student staffers, who didn’t disappoint. So here, for your consideration, is the first-ever, official, RogersEdgeReporter “Best Scary Movies” list.

It’s late October, which is the perfect time for anyone with a love of scary movies to get the word about their personal favorites out there before Halloween. Below are five horror movies I love that fit the season, and won’t disappoint anyone looking for something scary to watch.

“Raw” (2016) Directed by Julia Ducournau: Gruesome body horror, dark comedy, and coming-of-age charm intersect in this impressive feature debut about a vegetarian forced to eat meat during a veterinary school hazing. On a technical level, the movie’s bold coloration and haunting score perfectly complement Ducournau’s refreshing direction. Still, what makes “Raw” special is the perfect union between the movie’s tone, atmosphere, and subtext. A plot that seems like surface level gross-out material doubles as a metaphor about the effect familial relationships have on young people’s development. Be warned, this movie does not shy away from realistic gore.

“You’re Next” (2011) Directed by Adam Wingard: Probably the most fun slasher of the last ten years, “You’re Next” starts enthusiastically and only ramps things up from there. The Davison family reunion barely gets to begin before they’re attacked by a mysterious gang of killers who appear to have the house surrounded, leaving the family no option but to fight their way out. An aggressive pace and constantly increasing stakes make the movie thrilling to watch, and easy to love.

“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2” (1986) Directed by Tobe Hooper: The original “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” is dark, oppressive, and downright cruel, all of which makes it one of the scariest movies ever. Its sequel, however, shares all of the same descriptors while being an unabashed slapstick comedy simultaneously. Buoyed by a bonkers Dennis Hopper performance, this sequel uses decapitations, car chases, and masks made of human skin as comedic material, a feat that perhaps only Tobe Hooper could pull off. It’s not for everyone, but it is a spectacle.

“Wish Upon” (2017) Directed by John R. Leonetti: This movie inspired some brutally bad reviews, but I found it to be a lot of fun to watch. It’s a campy movie about a cursed music box that grants any wish, with the caveat that someone must die for it to come true. The plot is a little thin, but the joy of watching Joey King and a cast of young actors try their hardest to sell some ridiculous dialogue makes it all worth it. This movie provides a lot of laughs and a genuinely endearing cast, even if it’s no masterpiece.

“Inferno” (1980) Directed by Dario Argento: A companion, if not direct sequel to “Suspiria,” Inferno arguably ups the visual ante compared to its predecessor, which is a masterwork in its own right. The opening set piece of “Inferno” is beautiful and scary, and the movie doesn’t let up from there. Argento is aggressive with the camera, and the editing and score follow suit. “Inferno” is similar to “Wish Upon” (that might be the first time that’s ever been said seriously) in that it doesn’t rely on its narrative for entertainment. Every frame of this movie is uniquely gorgeous, with insane texture, a diverse palate of colors, and perfect set design to be found throughout. Argento is one of the best “giallo” directors out there, and “Inferno” is one of his best.

A Comic Twist on Halloween for RogersEdge Trick-or-Treaters

Rogers Park’s own Third Coast Comics is getting in the Halloween Spirit once again, offering free comics for trick-or-treaters.

The shop, located at 6443 N. Sheridan, is participating in Halloween Comic Fest this Saturday, Oct. 27, from 12-4 p.m.

Owner Terry Gant said this is the sixth year his store has participated.

“Kids are going to be trick-or-treating, getting candy anyways so it’s a way to get comic books in the hands of kids that are maybe Halloween themed or a little on the spookier side,” Gant said.

There isn’t a specified age limit for the event, according to Gant.

“If you’re old enough to trick or treat, you’re probably in the right age group for the comics we’re giving away,” Gant said. “Everything we give away is pretty much going to be age-appropriate.”

Halloween Comic Fest is a national promotion, and Gant said other Chicago-area comic book shops will be participating.

You can find out more about the event here.

 

 

Senntoberfest Offers Brats, Beer, Games, and Music

Senn High School will host the school’s second annual Senntoberfest Saturday, from noon to 4 p.m. All are welcome.

The student-run event will take place at Senn Park, located at Ridge and Clark, behind the school.

The festival, in the spirit of a German Octoberfest, will over food like brats and pretzels. A beer garden will also be available for adults.

The Senn High School Band will also provide live music. And hayrides, a haunted house, and other games will be offered.

Donations of $5 per person or $10 per family are suggested at entry.

 

 

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