Dwight Casimere

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Goodman Theatre: Father Comes Home From The Wars

Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Park's Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2, and 3) clocks in at a whopping 3 hours and 15 minutes (including two 10-15 minute intermissions), but audiences will find themselves preening their ears to hear every word, with unwavering attention. The play tells the story of Hero, a Texas slave during the time of the Civil War (played with resounding conviction by Chicago theatrical favorite Kamal Angelo Bolden (Court Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Victory Gardens, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre), who is faced with a dilemma; join his master as his servant during the Confederate army with the (alleged) promise of freedom, or stay behind as a slave on the plantation. Not much is said in the history books about the role of slaves who served on the side of the Confederacy, but it is a fact that many were brought into the war by slave holders, some as man servants to their masters and others who fought willingly and vigorously, many with promise of freedom once the war was over.

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Goodman Theatre-Having Our Say through June 2

Goodman Theatre veteran Resident Director Chuck Smith's revival of Emily Mann's Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years, is the triumph of the Chicago theatrical season. The play, starring Ella Joyce (Goodman's Jeff Award-winning Crumbs from the Table of Joy) as Bessie. and Marie Thomas (Broadway's Don't Bother Me I Can't Cope, TVs L.A.Law, Amen, Knots Landing) as Sadie, is an historical time-travelogue, narrated by the two sisters who speak to the audience from a magical set by 30 year Goodman veteran Set Designer Linda Buchanan. It recreates the living room and kitchen of the Delaney's Mount Vernon, N.Y. home. The back story of how they managed to purchase the home in 1957 in the then-segregated lily-white suburb is one of the play's many narrational gems. Goodman's veteran Costume Designer Birgit Rattenborg Wise also deserves praise for her spot-on designs as does the creative work of Lighting Designer John Culbert and Sound Designer Ray Nardelli. The artful use of historic photographs projected on screens above and around the stage, by Projection Designer Mike Tutaj, further enhances and advances the story-telling.

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In Praise of Greek Wine-Greek Wine Producers In U.S. Tour with New summer Wines

For Greece to be one of the oldest wine producing regions in the world and the first to introduce wine and winemaking to most of Europe, it is mind-boggling how little today's wine drinking public is familiar with wines from that country. Perhaps the popularity of Retsina, a saccharin-sweet wine that became the national beverage of Greece in the 1960s, cemented the perceptions of Greek wines in the public mind. It has been an uphill effort ever since to reshape the image of Greek wines as being those of unique character and exceptional quality. Greek wines have their own distinct flavor profile and are made from indigenous grapes with names unfamiliar to most wine lovers; Assyrtiko, Roditis, Malagousia, Debina, Moschofilero, Robola, Savatiano, Lagorthi to name but a few of the hundreds of locally grown grape varieties that comprise the universe of Greek Wine. Currently, several groups of winemakers from all of t he Greek wine growing regions are touring the United States, conducting tastings at venues in all of the major cities, introducing their latest vintages. The wines are exciting. Their unique flavors are perfect for today's ever-changing culinary scene with its emphasis on ethnic and fusion cuisines and current trends for lighter and more flavor inhanced fare, which incorporates a kaleidoscope of new flavors from the Mediterranean and beyond.

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MOUNTAIN, the sweeping cinematic and musical journey among the world's highest peaks, opens this weekend in theaters everywhere and is available on all video platforms. Narrated by three-time Academy Award winning actor Willem Dafoe and directed by British Academy Award (BAFTA) nominated director Jennifer Peedom, renowned for her documentaries SHERPA, MIRACLE ON EVEREST, LIVING THE END and SOLO, it also features a musical "narration" scored and played by the Australian Chamber Orchestra. Showing in IMAX and other large screen formats in a number of theaters, MOUNTAIN is a complete sensory immersion in the world of big-league mountain climbing. Large screen format is the most-recommended form of viewing for this particular film. The film had its North American Premiere at the Australian International Screen Forum in New York City.

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Wine of the Week – Arnaldo Caprai Montefalco Rosso 2015-$25

Bordering on Tuscany and right above Rome is the lesser-known and lesser-traveled region of Umbria. It’s Italy's best kept secret and its been hiding all along in plain sight! Home to some of the country’s most delightful, yet undervalued wines, the region is starting to get some respect thanks to its flagship grape Sagrantino.

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Wine of the Week – Chateau Belingard Rouge 2015 - $9

Love Bordeaux wine but not the price? Let me be among the first to introduce you to the wines of Southwest France, deemed the Wine Region of the Year by Wine Enthusiast.

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Goodman: “Until The Flood” lays bare the soul of Ferguson and the nation - now

Dale Orlandersmmith's Until The Flood, playing in the intimate Owen Theatre at Goodman Theatre now though May 12 is exactly what the Greeks had in mind when they invented theater.

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Tribeca Film Festival 2018-Momentum Generation Wins 2nd Place Audience Award Documentary


From an Executive Producing team led by Robert Redford comes one of the best sports movies in a generation, Momentum Generation, which is screening in the final days of the 17th edition of the Tribeca Film Festival. The film tells the story of a rag-tag group of surfing enthusiasts from some of the unlikeliest coastal backwaters and socio-economically starved communities and some of the unlikeliest places (try Chicago) to spawn an interest in the then-unlikely sport of surfing. Their various backgrounds were all but ideal. In fact, most of them grew up on the wrong side of the tracks. More than one of the subjects might well have spent a lifetime of dodging the law or in jail, were it not for the love of surfing. Surfing is probably one of the most dangerous endeavors you can engage in, but it has spawned a following of cult-like enthusiasts around the world. All that's needed to participate is a wooden surf board, not much bigger than an ironing board, and a steel-willed daring to brave the elements and possible death at the hands of an unforgiving sea. Using archival footage, much of it shot by the participants themselves, the film traces the rise of the sport from a mere personal interest into the big moneyed international phenomenon it has become today, complete with sponsorship, corporate endorsements and big money.

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Tribeca Film Festival 2018-Blue Note Records: Beyond The Notes-World Premiere/Feature Documentary

The history of American Jazz, social movements and evolving cultural landscapes are inextricably twined in the carefully constructed Feature Documentary Blue Note Records; Beyond the Notes by Director Sophie Huber. The film had its World Premiere screening at Tribeca Film Festival with a post performance by Common and some of the movie's principals Robert Glasper, Kendrick Scott and Derrick Hodge at Spring Street Studios. Blue Note Records was born in the maelstrom of the Holocaust. Founders Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff fled their native Berlin as German-Jewish refugees and arrived in New York. The two had already developed an early interest in jazz and set about recording the stride piano and early jazz artists such as Sidney Bechet, Albert Ammons and Meade Lux Lewis. That trend continued for a while until Blue Note musician, and Alfred Lion's confident Ike Quebec took Lion on a trip up to Harlem in 1947 to meet a young pianist named Thelonius Monk. His music was like nothing heard before. It was unorthodox, to say the least, but with a captivating and haunting power to enthrall the listener. It was indefinable, yet it inspired other musicians to reach for their creative heights. Interview subject Robert Glasper describes Monk as "the first Hip Hop pianist" in the film. His words are prescient as we will later see the socio-musical thread that would later spawn the burgeoning form in Blue Note's later years.

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Tribeca Film Festival-The Gospel According to Andre-New York Premiere


Andre Leon Talley is a giant in the fashion industry, both literally and figuratively. Standing regally at some six feet, seven inches tall, he is best known for his flamboyant entrances at the Museum of Modern Arts annual costume ball and in numerous TV appearances as the long-time creative director of Vogue Magazine. Considered an arbiter of fashion and style and one of the industry's most ardent promoters of African American designesr and a proponent of designers including more Black models on the runaway, little is known about his humble beginnings. The superb documentary, The Gospel According to Andre, directed by Kate Novack, who with her husband, fellow-director Andrew Rossi, was nominated for a 2012 Emmy for their work on the documentary Page One: Inside The New York Times, unfolds the story of Andre Leon Talley from his humble beginnings in Jim Crow Durham, North Carolina, to the fast-paced trend-setting world of New York's fashion scene. The grandson of a sharecropper who was influenced by his fastidious grandmother, Bennie Francis Davis, who worked as a domestic, his earliest influences came from the pages of Vogue magazine, which he purchased religiously as a Sunday treat. As a teenager he would walk to the newsstand in the white part of town, the only one open on Sundays, and then spend hours poring over its pages with Talmudic fervor.

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