Category: Entertainment

Dramatic Sunday evenings with PBS

It’s Sunday evening, almost 7 p.m. My excitement grows as I get cozy on the couch, pick up the remote, and turn on Chicago public television station WTTW. An episode of my favorite show, Call the Midwife, is about to start. The program will be recorded on my TiVo and available on the WTTW website.... Read more »

Reading the book after watching the adaptation

All Creatures Great and Small topped WTTW’s viewers poll this year. No surprise there. Everyone I know who watched the series loved it. We’re looking forward to two more seasons on Masterpiece — it has been renewed through 2024 — and maybe more.  The series is the latest adaptation of James Herriot’s eight books about... Read more »

Remembering the power of spectator sports

My niece Alex moved to Cincinnati in August with a new college degree and a chip on her shoulder about the location. She was happy about starting her career at Procter & Gamble but had hoped to go to a city bigger than her hometown of Indianapolis. Her best friend and roommate is working in... Read more »
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Major museums aren’t the only game in town

Before this year I hadn’t gone to galleries much, thinking them showcases of contemporary art I wouldn’t appreciate and places rich people go to buy art. This year my friend JoAnn invited me to join her on two gallery walks and at the 21c Hotel Museum in her River North neighborhood and at Gallery 400... Read more »

Check out these nontouristy local gems

About one-half of Chicagoans are fully vaccinated, and we’re satisfying our pent-up desire to get out and explore. If, like me, your 2021 excursions will be close to home, you may be looking for local attractions you haven’t visited and ones less crowded. I particularly like to check out nontouristy places that teach a Chicago... Read more »

Visit an unfamiliar museum and pretend you’re traveling

Favorites like the Impressionist paintings at the Art Institute and everything at the Chicago History Museum are always a pleasure to revisit, but as the new normal loomed, seeing unfamiliar museums allowed me to indulge the pretense of traveling. 21c Hotel Museum I had never heard of the 21c Hotel Museum until my friend JoAnn... Read more »
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Fiction's newest genre: up lit

Five weeks ago I blogged about my favorite television series, Call the Midwife, and lamented that literary novels don’t share its mix of realism and uplift. “Qualities that I think are hard to find in a literary novel — such as hope, warmth, gladness, and change for the better — are present in spades in... Read more »

Why can't novels be more like my favorite TV show?

No surprise in a recent WTTW announcement that Call the Midwife is viewers’ favorite show. As was clear when I wrote about it in 2017, it’s an all-time favorite of mine. When I started rewatching Call the Midwife a few weeks ago, it was going to be one episode a day. That quickly grew to... Read more »

An overdue list of pandemic diversions

Since we’re in month 12 of the pandemic, a post suggesting diversions is more than a little late. But until recently, I had not felt bored. Perhaps it’s not only the pandemic but also the usual February doldrums that have me looking for newness now.  Listmaker that I am, I came up with some ideas... Read more »
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Is Hamilton on screen as good as on stage?

I’m one of the few among my acquaintances who haven’t seen Hamilton on stage. I wouldn’t pay the extravagant ticket price, contending that nothing is a must see. Besides, I expected there would be a movie eventually. Now there is a screen version — not an adaptation but a film of the actual 2016 New... Read more »