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Dwight Casimere

Stories by Dwight

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Wine of the Week – 1000 Stories Gold Rush Red 2016 - $19.99

Share the big, bold spirit of the California Gold Rush in this seasonal wine that is just for summer. 100 Stories Gold Rush Red 2016 is under $20 (listed at $19.99-it's also been selling online for as low as $15.99), the wine is made from grapes selected from the finest hill and valley vineyards of the Golden State, blended and then aged in new and old Bourbon Barrels to give a unique, robust flavor to a wine that is already bursting with big jammy flavors of ripe fruit, candied dark cherries, cinnamon sticks and hints of ripe peppercorns. Get the grill smoking with copious amounts of Applewood or pecan wood and toss a marinated skirt steak over the coals for just a couple of minutes on each side while you savor the first sips of this expressive wine that summons up all the courage and boldness of the California Gold Rush. Fajitas with all the fixin's is my first choice for a meal, but buy an extra bottle for sippin' with some flavorful cheese like Humboldt Fog or Danish Blue or a nice chunk of Stilton.

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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, NARRATED BY WILLEM DAFOE, OPENS EVERYWHERE IN THEATRES

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

MOMENTUM GENERATION CHRONICLES THE RISE OF SURFING FROM A DANGEROUS HOBBY TO A WORLD CLASS EVENT

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

VOGUE MAGAZINE FASHION TITAN BATTLES RACISM, HOMOPHOBIC STEREOTYPES IN

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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17th Edition of Tribeca Film Festival Opens with Premiere of SNL's First and Most Famous Star

Tribeca Film Festival's 17th Edition could not have opened with a more appropriate film, the exuberant portrait of Emmy and Grammy-winning comedian Gilda Radner, Love, Gilda. Director Lisa D'Apolito, best known for Goodfellas (1990) and Gynotician (2013) carefully constructs a documentary tracing the brilliant performers' rise from a Jewish middle-class upbringing in boom-time Detroit to her destiny-changing matriculation in Toronto, where she failed to complete studies at the University, but found her real calling in the burgeoning comedy scene. Largely told in her own words from rediscovered audio tapes, diary excerpts and archival footage of comedy sketches, the film also includes the words of her collaborators from her earliest days in Toronto,where she cut her comedic teeth at Second City, to her ground-breaking days at Saturday Night Live.

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Wine of the Week: Miner Napa Valley Chardonnay Napa Valley 2016 - $32

Spring is finally here. It's time to welcome a wine that ushers in the season with style. Miner Napa Valley Chardonnay 2016 ($32) is a perfect example of everything you'd expect in a Napa Valley Chardonnay and more.

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Bright fruit and balanced acidity make it perfect for spring

Bursting with the flavors of spring; sweet cherries and luscious ripe strawberries, Anna de Codorniu Brut Rose ($12.95) is the perfect Spanish Cava to welcome spring. With its composition of mostly Pinto Noir (70%), with the rest Chardonnay (30%), the flavor balance is perfect.

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Wine of the Week: Harper Voit Willamette Valley Pinot Noir – Strandline - $36

Oregon's Willamette Valley, at 150 miles, is the longest valley in the Pacific Northwest region, and that state's largest wine producing region. Its rich alluvial soils, caused by Ice Age flooding, produce some of the most luscious grapes imaginable. Chief among them is the delicate Pinot Noir grape. Finicky and hard to grow in most environs, the grape is right at home here in the cool, mineral rich terroir of the Willamette Valley.

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Spring in NYC-Hotel Elysee/Il Gattopardo Restaurant

Spring is finally here! Its a terrific time to take a spontaneous weekend trip to the Big Apple to stroll its brownstone lined streets, enjoy a cup of cappuccino at a sidewalk cafe, spend a weekend at a lovely boutique hotel and dine in a fine continental restaurant. There are just as many blossoming trees to be viewed while meandering through many of the city's charming neighborhoods as there are in Georgetown. Contrary to stereotype, there are a number of quiet, cozy areas of the city ticked away along the side streets, where you can find a lovely English-styled hotel with complimentary buffet breakfast and a delightful complimentary evening cocktail with an intimate library and expansive views of the charming surroundings.

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Wine of the Week: Volcanic Wines Heat Up The Wine World

Volcanic Wines are heating up around the globe!

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Winnie Mandela dies in South Africa on heels of documentary Winnie release

The announcement that the "Mother of South Africa"--Winnie Mandela--has died at age 81 comes just weeks after her legacy was honored with the release of the Sundance Best Director Award winning documentary "Winnie" across the country.

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Winnie Mandela Dies in South Africa at 81 as new documentary Winnie is released

The announcement that the "Mother of South Africa." Winnie Mandela has died at 81 comes just weeks after her legacy was honored with the release of the Sundance Best Director Award winning documentary "Winnie" across the country. "The U.S. was given a very sanitized version of the transition of power to Nelson Mandela," French director Pascale Lamche said of the film, " and a rather confusing and conflicted portrait of Winnie Mandela, which either presented her as a saint or drug her down to the level of sinner in the days after the fall of apartheid," Instead, the film gives a rather complex and nuanced portrayal of the actual events that surrounded Nelson Mandela's incarceration, and the concurrent movement, led by Winnie Mandela, that kept her husband's memory, legacy and cause alive and which led to the firestorm that swept him into power. Her thanks was a humiliating public trial for sedition, which was played out in cringe-inducing detail in the film. Chief among those who betrayed her was her closest friend, Bishop Desmond Tutu, an act which elicited both tears and the subsequent ire of Winnie Mandela. The vicious attacks led by her enemies and the subterfuge of the ANC are all explored in depth in the film.

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Wine of the Week: Grgich Estate Posip - $23

One of Napa Valley's most famous winemakers, Mike Grgich, founder of Grgich Hills Estate and credited with creating the wine that won the Paris Competition in 1974, which put California wine on the map, has reached back to his cultural roots to create an outstanding portfolio of wines from Croatia. Not a great deal is known about Croatian wine, but the country has been producing wine for two thousand years, after grapes were introduced by the Phoenicians and Ancient Greeks. Located just across the Adriatic Sea from Italy on the Dalmatian Coast, the region has ideal climate and soil conditions for growing wine grapes. Much of the white wine is made from the native Posip grape or the dry Grasevina grape and reds from Malvasia of Piavac Mali.

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Wine of the Week: A Goldmine of Planet Bordeaux wines arrive

Bordeaux, France, the world capitol of fine wine, is one of the most progressive regions in the world in terms of its commitment to creating sustainable wines.

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Wine of the Week: Champagne Henriot: A powerful statement from an early woman winemaker

Vinexpo brought a host of new and old wine favorites including a selection of Champagne from the house of Henriot, which was founded by a woman. The House of Henriot was officially founded by Apoline Henriot in 1808.

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Wine of the Week: Frescobaldi Remole 2016 from Tuscany - $9.99

The recent Food Network South Beach Food and Wine Festival was a showcase for some of the world's greatest wines and an opportunity for members of the public to taste the newest wines to come to their favorite wine shop this spring and summer.

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Wine of the Week: Simply Italian Great Wines Americas Tour 2018

The much anticipated Simply Italian Great Wines Americas Tour 2018 descended on Downtown Miami's architecturally stunning Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts to present a symphony of wine aromas and flavors from Italy's great winemakers, who were on hand in person to pour their wines, and tastes from a collection of Miami's most outstanding Italian chefs and restaurants.

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Wine of the Week Brunello Di Montalcino

The palatial Gold Ballroom of Chicago's historic Drake Hotel was the setting for Benvenuto Brunello, the first tasting of the 2013 Brunellos for 2018.

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Dianne Reeves at Jazz at Lincoln Center

Despite an enthusiastic sellout audience in JALCs acoustically challenged Rose Theatre, Dianne Reeve's highly anticipated Valentine's Weekend concert amounted to nothing more than a truncated exercise in lackluster vocalese. Backed by a stellar roster of musicians, including pianist and Music Director Peter Martin, the sole standout of the evening, the esteemed bassist and heir-apoarent to the great Ray Brown, Reginald Veal, drummer Terreon Gully, who was allowed little more than time keeping duties and Brazilian acoustic guitar master Romero Lubambo, the entire program lacked focus and Reeve's customary energy. Save for "The Twelfth of Never" and perhaps one other tune, there was a marked paucity of love songs for what had been billed as a Valentine's Weekend concert, Even a tepid rendition of Richard Roger's musical anthem "My Funny Valentine" would have been more welcome than Reeve's meaningless vocal meanderings, Wayne Shorter's jazz classic "Infant Eyes" should have been stricken from the program entirely as it maintained intonation problems throughout and was devoid of any real momentum. Perhaps the announcement that the evening's performance would proceed without intermission should have been a warning as Reeves seemed to falter at times and struggle to gain solid vocal footing in the barely one hour prrformance.

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2018 Chicago Auto Show Feb. 10-19 is 110th Edition

The nation's oldest and largest auto show, the Chicago Auto Show, is now underway at McCormick Place now through Feb. 19. Featuring a healthy list of debuts, concept cars and high-performance vehicles, the show has a dazzling array of debuts that will fit every need and desire. This year's cars do everything but drive themselves, with innovations in performance and handling.  There are even opportunities to experience the thrill of performance driving with indoor tracks featuring the Camry Thrill Ride and Camp Jeep indoor performance track. Ironically, this 110th edition of the show mirrors the main attraction of the very first show held at the old Chicago Coliseum back in 1901 with the aforementioned performance track as the centerpiece of what was then a 10 car display. This this year hundreds of vehicles are on display, spanning McCormick Place's massive North and South Halls.

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Wine of the Week Day Owl Rose - $15

Valentine's Day is just around the corner. It's a perfect opportunity to select a wine that perfectly complements a romantic evening.

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Wine of the Week: Chateau Prierre – Lichine Margaux – 2015 -$48

The Union Des Grand Crus De Bordeaux presented a spectacular collection of wines from this French capital of winemaking during a national tour that included Chicago, New York, Denver and San Francisco.

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Wine of the Week: Yarden Galilee Gewurztraminer 2016 - $16

From Israel's Golan Heights in the northernmost region known as the best wine-growing area in the country, comes this beautifully crafted white wine that is perfect for drinking for all occasions and with a wide variety of foods.

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Wine of the Week: Bervini 1955 Rose Extra Dry 2017 - $18.99

Bervini 1955 Rose Extra Dry 2017 ($18.99) is one of the best tasting and most complex and elegant sparkling Rose wines you could imaging.

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The Shape of Water Nominated for Six Golden Globes

Director Guillermo del Toro (Pacific Rim, Pan's Labyrinth) has struck genre-laden gold with his latest film, The Shape of Water, currently in theaters, which was nominated for a Golden Globe in seven categories. The film was presented as the Closing Night Presentation in the 2017 Chicago International Film Festival, with Red Orchid Theatre and Steppenwolf Theatre alum, Joseph Jefferson Award winner and Academy Award nominee Michael Shannon, who plays the film's government issue bad guy, in attendance. Nominated for both Best Motion Picture Drama and Best Screenplay (Guillermo del Torro, Vanessa Taylor), the film is also nominated for Best Original Score (Alexandre Despla)t, Best Supporting Actress (Octavia Spencer), Best Supporting Actor (Richard Jenkins), Best Actress (Sally Hawkins), and Best Director (Guillermo del Toro). The film is a genre cross-breed, somewhere between the horror suspence of Creature From The Black Lagoon and the romance of Beauty and the Beast. There's even a small song and dance number thrown in to lighten things up with a campy feel. The story takes place in a drab Baltimore government laboratory during the Cold War. A human-like sea monster is transported from the Amazon rain forest and kept in a tank. The creator is subjected to all varieties of inhumane torture and probing, not the least of which is a cattle prod (evoking the Bull Connor antics of Civil Rights era), wielded liberally by the square headed lab supervisor Richard Strickland (played by Shannon). Richard Jenkiins plays the gay neighbor Giles who, along with Zelda, the lab assistant, played by Octavia Spencer, form a circle of sympathy with lab assistant Elisa (Sally Hawkins), who bonds with the creature and eventually falls in love with it.

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Wine of the Week: Murrieta’s Well Dry Rose 2016

Step into 2018 with a new wine attitude! Try a brilliantly elegant Dry Rose from Murrieta's Well from California's Livermore Valley.

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2018 BRINGS THE WORLD'S FIRST FRANCO-JAPANESE SAKE, HEAVENSAKE

One of the world's oldest alcoholic beverages takes a dramatic new form in the New Year of 2018. HEAVENSAKE, the first Franco-Japanese sake brand of its kind will come to the US. This innovative marriage combines the Champagne making expertise of Regis Camus, one of the grand masters of France's world famous Champagne region, with the art of sake as practiced by the House of Dassai in Japan. 

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Wine of the week: Celebrate the Holidays with Emblem wines

The Mondavi name is legendary in the world of wine. It follows that what wine the Mondavi family will share around the holiday table is a subject of keen interest.

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Wine of the Week-Mionetto 130th Anniversary Brut Nature Prosecco-$29.95

It's not everyday that you find this special a sparkling wine for such an unbelievable price, Mionetto is offering one of the finest bone dry Proseccos to come out of the Valdobbiadene this year in its 130th Anniversario Brut Nature.

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Wine of the Week: 1955 Millesimal Prosecco

From the Veneto of northern Italy comes a dry, yet fruity delight of a sparkling wine that can only be described in one word-culpable. Bervini 1955 Millesimato Prosecco DOC 2016 has that dry yet fruity flavor that has you wanting to drink more.

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Irving Berlin's White Christmas, An Early Christmas Card from Broadway in Chicago

Forget the ugly reindeer sweaters and gifted boxed sox and matching shirt and tie sets this year and buy everyone you know a ticket to see Irving Berlin's White Christmas, The Musical from Broadway In Chicago, now through Dec. 3 at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph. This holiday classic, based on the 1954 film starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney is completely reworked into a brand new production produced by Work Light Productions with a book by David Ives (author-All In The Timing, Is He Dead?-adapted from Mark Twain) and Paul Blake (Tony, Grammy and Olivier Award winning Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Sunset Boulevard revival with Glen Close), seamless direction and pulsating choreography by Randy Skinner (nominations for Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics, Astaire Awards for Dames at Sea and 42nd Street), Christmas candy colored Original Set Designs by Anna Louizos (three Tony nominations for In The Heights, The Mystery of Edwin Drood and High Fidelity), and eye-popping costumes by Carrie Robbins (30 plus Broadway credits, including Class Act and Grease with John Travolta) with scenic supervision and adaptation by Kenneth Foy, lighting design by Ken Bellington and sound design by Peter Fitzgerald and Eric Bechtel. The national tour is produced by R and H Theatricals with Imagem Company.

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Goodman Theatre 40th Anniversary " Carol" A Christmas Card to Chicago

Goodman Theatre celebrated its 40th Anniversary production of its beloved Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol with an onstage finale featuring more than 40 cast alumni, including Bill Norris, who originated the part for t he Goodman in 1978. This year's production is, as in years past, a carefully crafted Christmas card to the City of Chicago and to the more than 1.5 million theatre goers who have delighted in its charms. Starring veteran Goodman thespian Larry Yando, who marks his 10th year as Scrooge and directed by Goodman Artistic Associate Henry Wishcamper, Ron Rains returns for his 11th appearance in the show as the beleaguered Bob Cratchit. The production also features young Paris Strickland in her Goodman debut as the theater's first female Tiny Tim. In another casting gender-switch, Ali Burch, as Frida, the wife of Scrooge's nephew Fred, initiates the original confrontation over Scrooge's Bah Humbug denial of the Christmas Spirit, rather than nephew Fred, as in the original script. Goodman pioneered the concept of color-blind casting and it is practiced liberally here, with 15 year old Cameron Goode, a young African American actor with impressive theatrical credits across the city, as a young Scrooge, 9 year old Kei, in his professional stage debut as Kei Cratchi and the Turkey Boy ("The one as big as me!!" Scrooge lovingly intones in the play's denouement), a dazzling Penelope Walker as Mrs. Fezziwig and the explosive Lisa Gaye Dixon as Ghost of Christmas Present.

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Wine of the Week: Barrel Road Red Blend 2015 - $16.99

If you're planning the menu for an upcoming party or the Holiday feast, the type of wines to serve can often leave you in a quandary, especially with the myriad variety of foods and flavors that will wind up on the buffet or dinner table.

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Broadway In Chicago Escape to Margaritaville

Broadway In Chicago's Escape to Margaritaville, at the Oriental Theatre now through Dec. 2, is exactly as the title implies, the perfect escape from Chicago's infamous "Hawk" and the winter chill and all of the holiday shopping madness of State Street and the Magnificent Mile. Based on the beloved slacker-inspired song classics of Jimmy Buffet, who made a surprise appearance to reprise the musical's title song during the curtain calls, its a lighter than froth on a Ramos Fizz musical comedy tropical retrreat. Set in a mythical, tropical paradise with a dormant volcano, the musical brings together a Gilligan's Island grouping of misfits and world-weary escapees from society's humdrum in search of their inner drunk. With cartoonish sets and a likeable roster of life-sized cutout characters and a breezy score dominated by Buffet's beloved classics (the titled Wastin' Away in Margaitaville, Come Monday, Cheeseburger in Paradise, Volcano, and more), the evening goes down easy like a well-crafted umbrella drink at the swamp bar.

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Wine of the Week just in time for the Holiday

Beaujolais Nouveau 2017

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School of Rock Broadway In Chicago thru Nov. 19

You almost don't want this delightful, upbeat musical to go away, its so perfect for a family-friendly fun night of theatre. Especially when audiences are about to be flooded with Holiday treacle for the foreseeable future, its a Godsend that Broadway In Chicago's School of Rock breezed into the Cadillac Palace through Nov. 19. Irving Berlin's classic White Christmas takes over the stage from Nov. 21 through Dec. 3. For information visit BroadwayInChicago.com.

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Wine of the Week - Wine For Your Holiday Table

Murrieta’s Well Estate, The Spur 2014 - $30

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Wine of the Week – Line39 Excursion Red Blend 2016

The smell of fall leaves burning in the distance might inspire one last foray on the backyard grill, with Hickory Smoked Ribs in a hot/sweet Texas Chili Sauce, Rosemary Lamb, Sausage Pizza or Jumbo Quail marinated in Ghost Peppers and allowed to smoke slowly on the side of the grill away from the coals making perfect companions for the newest addition to the Line39 wine portfolio, Excursion Red Blend 2016 ($14.99).

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Alfre Woodard wins Career Achievement Award at 53rd Chicago Intl Film Festival

Award winning actress Alfre Woodard received the 53rd Chicago International Film Festival's Career Achievement Award at its Black Perspectives Tribute. The event was hosted by TVs Robin Robinson and featured a conversation with Woodard with award-winning playwright, actress and director Regina Taylor.

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Chicago International Film Festival:Jane

A documentary by Oscar-nominated director Brett Morgen-playing Monday, Oct. 23, 6:30pm and Tues. Nov. 245, 3pm. Chicago International Film Festival

If you do nothing else this week, you owe it to yourself to see the documentary Jane, playing at the 53rd Chicago International Film Festival. Directed by Oscar-nominated director Brett Morgen (The Kid Stays in the Picture, Chicago, Kurt Cobain:Montage of Heck). the footage had been thought lost in the archives of National Geographic, but was discovered after 50 years. Morgen combed through 140 hours of footage to create a thoroughly comprehensive cinematic portraits of one of the most enduring figures and true superheroes of the conservation front, primatologist Jane Goodall. At 83 years old, she remains a tireless fighter for the conservation of wildlfe and criss-crosses the globe 300 days a year lecturing and raising money for her cause. In the film, much of it lovingly captured buy her late husband, Baron Hugo van Lawick, the famed National Geographic photographer, we see a ravishingly beautiful young Jane Goodall take her first tentative steps in the remote jungles of Gombe, camera in hand, eager to capture her first glimpse of the illusive chimpanzee. A disciple of pfamed primatologist and archeologist Louis Seymour Leakey,, Goodall set out to prove his theory that the study of primates in their natural habitat held the key to understanding the development of early man and human evolution.

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Black Cop

Director Cory Bowles of Canada presents the searing World Cinema competition entry Black Cop which has its next screenings Saturday, October 21 at 12:30pm and Monday, October 23 at 2pm, all at the AMC River East 21, 322 E. Illnois St., Chicago. Visit chicagofilmfestival.com for ttickets and information. Black Cop is a dark satire on what it means to be a black cop in modern society. Although shot in Nova Scotia, the film could have occurred anywhere; Chicago, Detroit, Ferguson, you get the idea. Only in director Bowles deft hands, the topic takes a darker and more sinister approach, 'what if a black policeman, completely conscious and aware of the burdens placed upon him by both the community and society is pushed over the edge to the point where his sense of duty not only endangers the lives of his own people, but society at large? We see him take a Charles Bronson, vigilante stance against every type of situation, no matter how big or small. It is the 'broken windows' policy of law enforcement taken to the absurd.

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Sammy Davis Jr.; I've Gotta Be Me

"I'm Black, Puerto Rican and a Jew. Man, when I move into a neighborhood, I wipe it out!" The begins the documentary Sammy Davis Jr.:I Gotta Be Me. Award winning director Sam Pollard delivers one of the most heart-felt and thorough documentaries of the festival, profiling one of the entertainment world's most complicated subjects, Sammy Davis Jr., who was both celebrated and reviled with equal vigor over a more than 60 year career that spanned the world's of black-faced minstrel vaudeville, to the Golden Age of Television, Las Vegas and the film industry. " The film had its World Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and is presented as part of Black Perspectives; Documentary at the Chicago International Film Festival Friday, October 20 at 5:30pm. Sammy Davis Jr. was a meteor that burned much too quickly," were the words of writer Todd Boyd, one of the interview subjects and chronicler of Davis' controversial career near the end of the film. Fellow comedians Whoopi Goldberg, Billy Crystal and Jerry Lewis weigh in among a raft of song and lyric collaborators, producers, historians and just plain folk, who were all touched by the lives of this at once pathetic and heroic figure in American entertainment history.

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Chicago International Film Festival: 'Can't Turn Back/Edith and Eddie/'63 Boycott

On October 22, 1963 more than 200,000 Chicago public school students, their parents and residents led the largest single protest and boycott ever of a public school system. The march and ongoing protest is credited as the prelude to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s arrival in Chicago as his bellwether assault on housing segregation in the north a few years later. The film, by documentarian Gordon Quinn (Golub) and Chicago-based Kartemquin Films (the critically acclaimed and award-wiinning Hoop Dreams) is paired with Laura Checkoway's Edith and Eddie, the story of America's oldest interracial newlyweds, whose union was threatened by the effects of racism and a family feud. Among those featured in '63, is Timuel Black, a long-time historian and Black Labor activist,legendary political consultant Don Rose, who was deeply involved in the movement to elect Chicago's first and only black mayor Harold Washington, Bob Lucas, an influential southside Chicago activist, and Rosie Simpson,,the parent and organizer of young mothers and community activists who literally threw themselves in front of bulldozers to prevent the construction of make-shift prefab classroom trailers, dubbed "Willis Wagons," after then Chicago public schools superintendent Benjamin Willis and his racist school policies.

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