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Paul Lisnek Behind the Curtain Profile

Paul Lisnek Behind the Curtain

English, Arts, 1 season, 163 episodes
Paul Lisnek Behind the Curtain on WGN Plus from WGN Radio in Chicago.
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‘Zac Efron’ is about a lot more than a movie star! Humor, comedy and message meets to promote AAPI Community

For whatever reason, society harbors feelings of discrimination against certain communities, one of which is the Asian-American and Pacific Islander community. Token Theatre is a relatively new player in the Chicago Theater world which presents Asians in the positive light they deserve with an emphasis of casting the community in meaningful stories which need to […]
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Legendary actor Laurence Luckinbill recounts his life and career in ‘Affective Memories: How Chance and the Theater Saved My Life’ [PART TWO]

The two part podcast continues as actor/Playwright Laurence Luckinbill recounts his life and career (“Boys in the Band,” Star Trek V: the Final Frontier). Nearing 90 and still going strong, Larry was asked nightly by his daughter Kate to “tell me another story, Daddy.” And finally, he decided it was time to put many of those […]
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Legendary actor Laurence Luckinbill recounts his life and career in ‘Affective Memories: How Chance and the Theater Saved My Life’

This two part podcast recounts the life and career of actor/Playwright Laurence Luckinbill (“Boys in the Band,” Star Trek V: the Final Frontier). Nearing 90 and still going strong, Larry was asked nightly by his daughter Kate to “tell me another story, Daddy.” And finally, he decided it was time to put many of those life […]
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Emmy Award-winning comic Lea DeLaria will crack you up at Venus Cabaret July 19-21st

Lea DeLaria was the first openly gay comic on television in America but did you know she is also an accomplished Jazz performer who has performed worldwide? In this new podcast, you will hear the irreverent Lea talk about her SAG award winning role as “Big Boo” in Orange is the New Black, her Broadway and film experiences….so […]
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Magician and puzzle master David Kwong amazes audiences at Chicago Shakes with ‘The Enigmatist’ through June 30th

Many magicians come to our town and they are really amazing and fun. But David Kwong is different…he’s a master magician but also a New York Times crossword puzzle constructor and puzzle solver! From the moment you arrive at the theater, you are greeted with challenges in the Puzzle Garden to be solved even before you enter […]
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‘SIX’ is electric at the Nederlander Theatre through July 14th!

The exhilarating Broadway musical SIX (see my Review below)  returns to Chicago at the Nederlander Theatre through July 14th. Joining in this new podcast conversation are Cassie Silva (who plays Anne Boleyn) and Alize Cruz (who plays Katherine Howard). If you have never seen the show, this is NOT any kind of traditional telling of history. It’s […]
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3 SNL stars (James Austin Johnson, Andrew Dismukes and Devon Walker) bring their Summer Jobs Tour to the Den on July 5th and 6th

This new podcast brings you three of SNL’s brightest stars!  Saturday Night Live is about to begin its 50th season on TV and still shows it has staying power! Now, three of its top stars: James Austin Johnson (who plays both Trump and Biden),, Andrew Dismukes and Devon Walker (who plays Sen. Tim Scott) come to the […]
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The risk of being gay in the military detailed in new book ‘Hiding For my Life’

In this new Pride month podcast Paul chats with Karen Solt, now retired U.S. Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer who served in the Navy from 1984 to 2006. Those service dates mean she began her service before “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and continued after the adoption of that policy. Growing up in a small conservative town, […]
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Master magician amazes the entire family while being “Ridiculous” at The Rhapsody Theater through June 30th

In this podcast, we enter the world of magic again! Dr. Ricardo Rosenkranz (the Physician Magician) owns The Rhapsody Theater and never ceases to amaze and entertain with the performers he brings to this “north of the Loop so avoid congestion” magic venue. David Williamson is regarded as one of the top magicians in the world with […]
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‘Turret’ starring Michael Shannon at Chopin Theatre is gripping audiences through June 22nd

“Turret” is Levi Holloway’s stunning new play making its World Premiere with A Red Orchid Theatre, and playing at The Chopin Theatre thru June 22nd. This is a stunning, futuristic, science fiction-esque story that will have you gripping at the edge of your seat from beginning to end. Two men, Green and Rabbit, survive an […]
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They’re just too good to be true! The Jersey Boys is amazing at Mercury Theater Chicago through July 28th

Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons created the soundtrack of a generation that still lives today. And Mercury theater Chicago makes the magic happen with its production of the Jersey Boys after a decade long wait for the rights to be released. Joining in the conversation are all four of the “boys:” Joining the conversation are Michael Metcalf […]
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Magician Ondrej Psenicka’s ’52 Lovers’ wows at Chicago Magic Lounge, Wednesdays through June 26th

Chicago is home to close- up magic and the latest magician to “wow” audiences at the Chicago Magic Lounge every Wednesday night at 7pm (through June 26th is the amazing Ondrej Psenicka who comes to Chicago from the Czeck Republic! He fooled Penn & Teller THREE times on their popular show “Fool Us,” so odds are he will fool […]
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It’s a musical, it’s theater, It’s an evening at the neighborhood pub “The Choir of Man” at the Apollo Theater through May 26th

It’s unlike any theatrical experience. Attending The Choir of Man is like going to the neighborhood pub (in Ireland or England, for sure) complete with beer, snacks, music and a really great time! Joining in the conversation are 5 of the 9 cast members all of whom can sing, dance and play a myriad of instruments: Chicago’s own RJ Griffiths (Playing “Hardman”), Shane McDaid (playing […]
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Victor Wong Fellowship offered at Second City for growing improv comedians

Second City is truly a jewel in the crown of Chicago’s comedy scene attaining international recognition and respect. Many of the greats have come from Second City including Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Gilda Radner, Chris Farley and the list goes on and on. This interview brings together one of Second City’s […]
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‘Death Becomes Her’ set to ‘slay’ audiences at the Cadillac Palace through June 2nd

It’s always exciting when a pre-Broadway show comes to Chicago to test the waters and learn from our sophisticated audiences what will make a show a smash hit on Broadway! “Death Becomes Her” is the next and current production treat for Chicago audiences. Based on the classic cult movie starring Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn, this new […]
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Mean Girls star Daniel Franzese doing stand-up at Venus Cabaret June 7-9th!

Who didn’t love the movie Mean Girls? It’s became a part of our cultural experience and history. Among the movie’s stars is Daniel Franzese who played the gay character, Damian, and who appears at the Venus Cabaret to do stand-up the weekend of June 7th – 9th. But this interview illustrates that there is so much more to […]
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‘Single, Out’ Australian coming of age series Available on Here-TV

There are many popular TV series these days (certainly among the younger crowd) which can be labeled “coming of age,” with focus on character, family and the challenges of growing older. These series have strong appeal for viewers young and older. But things have evolved a bit in society and now, a new series (that […]
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The Marx Brothers: Meet Groucho’s grandson Andy, Marx biographer Robert S. Bader, and America’s Groucho Frank Ferrante

Paul goes behind the curtain with an interview that will charm Marx Brothers fans in a big way. Joining in the conversation about the legendary comedic brothers and geniuses is Groucho’s Grandson, Andy Marx who is an award-winning photographer, writer and musician in his own right. Not only was Groucho his grandfather, but his other grandfather was […]
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Mamma Mia brings the 25th Anniversary tour to the Nederlander Theatre through May 19th

It’s back! The incredibly popular jukebox musical, Mamma Mia brings it’s 25th Anniversary tour to Chicago’s Nederlander Theatre ONLY through May 19th! This new podcast presents a conversation with the production stars: Chicago native Christine Sherrill (who plays Donna Sheridan) and Jalynn Steele (playing her friend Tanya) who chat about the plot of the show and why […]
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The Simon & Garfunkel Story returns to Chicago’s CIBC Theatre April 30-May 5th!

Who is not a huge fan of the music of the legendary Simon & Garfunkel? No one! This immersive concert-style show truly brings back the magic of Simon & Garfunkel in a way that will have you thinking you are listening to the amazing duo once again. The show features nearly 30 songs including their biggest hits and […]
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Stage is set for spectacular Porchlight concert version of ‘Sunday in the Park With George’ only on May 11 and 12

Paul goes behind the curtain with the stars and director for the upcoming in-concert performances of the Sondheim/LaPine classic: “Sunday in the Park with George,” to be presented by Porchlight Music Theatre at the Studebaker Theater ONLY on Saturday, May 11th and Sunday, May 12th. Joining in the conversation are the show’s stars: Sean Allan Krill (Broadway’s […]
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‘Purpose’ at Steppenwolf, a show NOT to be missed plays through May 12th

Purpose is a powerful new work by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, directed by the legendary Phylicia Rashad (who played Claire Huxtable on “The Cosby Show”).  The story revolves around the politically and culturally influential Jasper family which has for decades been a pillar of Black American Politics including in civil rights. But like every family, there are cracks […]
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Magic and sleight of hand ‘card cheating’ techniques of Harry Milas wow audiences at Steppenwolf Garage Space through April 21st

Paul goes Behind the Curtain with Magician and Card Cheating expert Harry Milas who discusses his amazing show playing through April 21st at Steppenwolf’s Merle Reskin Garage Space. Milas brings his highly acclaimed show from Australia for this U.S. debut. “The Unfair Advantage” discloses the sleight of hand techniques utilized by those who cheat at cards. The hour-long show is […]
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A very personal look at Sondheim: A Tribute Review playing at Theo Ubique Theatre Plays through April 28th

Sondheim is the best and these days Tribute Reviews are the thing to do especially since the Sondheim estate has allowed theater companies to craft individualized reviews (unlike the Pre-existing Side by Side by Sondheim, for example), subject to certain restrictions (Sondheim must have written both music and lyrics, no more than 3 songs from any one show and no show dialogue […]
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Chicago landmark business Architectural Artifacts heads to Texas; meet owner Stuart Grannen

Paul goes behind the curtain with the owner of the legendary business, Architectural Artifacts, Stuart Grannen. Located in Chicago for 37 years, Stuart chose to leave our cold winters for the temperate climate of Round Top, Texas (located about an hour from Austin or Houston, TX). Grannen is an archaeologist by training, loved spending his childhood weekends […]
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Ronnie Marmo returns to Chicago with ‘Bill W. and Dr. Bob,’ and ‘I’m not a Comedian, I’m Lenny Bruce’ at the Biograph Theater

In this new podcast, Paul visits with actor/director/playwright Ronnie Marmo who became a fixture in Chicago with the play, “I’m Not a Comedian, I’m Lenny Bruce.” He returns to the city but now performing that role in rep with a new show: “Bill W. and Dr. Bob” which is a gripping and true story about the founders […]
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The Band’s Visit at Writer’s Theatre is timely, moving and fantastic!

In this new podcast, Paul chats with the cast and director of The Band’s Visit about the power of this musical now playing through March 24th. Joining in the conversation is Director Zi Alikhan, along with cast members Armand Akbari (Haled), Sophie Madorsky (Dina) and Rom Barkhordar (Tewfiq). It’s the story of an Egyptian military […]
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Billy Elliott is pure electricity at Paramount Theatre in Aurora through March 24th

In this new podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with the cast and director of “Billy Elliott” the amazing musical currently playing at Paramount Theatre in Aurora through March 24th. Joining in the conversation are Trent Stork (Director) and cast members: Michelle Aravena (Mrs. Wilkinson), Spencer Davis Milford (playing Billy’s brother Tony) and Ron E. Rains (playing Billy’s […]
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Queer Eye’s Jai Rodriguez Cabaret performance at Venus Cabaret – ONE WEEKEND ONLY: March 15-17

In this new podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with Jai Rodriquez, best known as the Culture Guy (one of the Fab Five) from the original “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” on Bravo. The EMMY Award winner played Angel in the Broadway Musical “Rent” and has been seen in shows including Grey’s Anatomy, Bones, The Rookie […]
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Broadway hit Pretty Woman the Musical returns to Chicago for one week March 12-17th!

In this new podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with the star of Pretty Woman the Musical, Chase Wolfe (who plays Edward Lewis). The classic Julia Roberts/Richard Gere film was brought to the musical stage by theater legend Jerry Mitchell and boasts of a score by the comic genius Garry Marshall and a new score […]
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Lin Manuel Miranda’s Tony-winner ‘In the Heights’: A joy to experience at Marriott Lincolnshire through March 17th

In this new podcast, Paul chats with the cast of Lin Manuel Miranda’s wonderful and heartwarming show, “In the Heights” playing at the Marriott Lincolnshire through March 17th. Joining the chat are Paola Hernandez (Vanessa), Crissy Guerrero (Abuela Claudia), Yasir Muhammad (Benny) and Jordan Arredondo (Sonny). The story takes place in Washington Heights, a community […]
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Tom Skilling bids farewell to 45 years at WGN-TV with retirement… but not before talking with Paul Lisnek

Paul goes behind the curtain for a very special “exit” interview with Tom Skilling, the undeniable G.O.A.T (greatest of all time) among meteorologists worldwide! Chicago has never seen such extensive tributes and honors for anyone in media who has entered retirement…but then again, Chicago has never seen the likes of Tom Skilling! Paul asks Tom the questions that […]
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Chef Art Smith shares magical American Southern cuisine at his latest: Reunion Restaurant at Navy Pier

In this new podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain for an informal and informational chat with one of Chicago’s and the country’s most famous chefs: Art Smith. How did Chef Art hit the big time while so many chefs dream of having the life and career that he has created in his own life. Well beyond the menu items […]
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The story of Joe Papp’s creation of the legendary Public Theater with Gail Papp, author of ‘Public/Private’

Paul goes behind the curtain with Gail Papp, widow and partner of the legendary Joseph Papp, Founder of The Public Theatre. Gail joined Joseph Papp’s New York Shakespeare Festival in 1965, became Director of New Works Development for the Public Theater and was responsible for some of theater’s greatest productions: The Normal Heart, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Angels in America, […]
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Dot-Marie Jones stars with Dana Delany in ‘Highway Patrol,’ at Goodman Theatre ONLY through February 18th

Paul goes behind the curtain with actress Dot-Marie Jones (yep, Coach Beaste in Glee) to discuss the play, “Highway Patrol” playing now at the Goodman Theatre through Feb 18th. It’s the story of a 13-year old fan named Cam dealing with a serious medical condition who catches the attention of Emmy Award winning  actress Dana […]
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‘Anything Goes’ brings raves from audiences at Porchlight through March 10th

Theater lovers looking for a fantastic time will NOT want to miss “Anything Goes” with a phenomenal Porchlight Music Theatre cast and music by the legendary Cole Porter. Joining in the conversation are the incredible Meghan Murphy (playing Reno Sweeney), Luke Nowakowski (playing Billy Crocker), Steve McDonagh (playing Moonface Martin) and Jackson Evans (a riot […]
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‘Golden Girls: The Laughs Continue’ plays a limited run at BIC’s Broadway Playhouse: February 6th – 25th

Thank you for being a friend! Paul goes behind the curtain with two of the stars of “Golden Girls: The Laughs Continue,” a parody and uproarious stage show that is unique among Golden Girls tribute shows. Ryan Bernier who plays Dorothy and Jason Bowen who plays both Dorothy’s ex-husband Stan and a character called Burt) […]
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Award-winning comedian Alex Edelman brings his acclaimed Broadway solo show to Steppenwolf, February 15-25

Paul goes behind the curtain with award winning comedian/actor/writer Alex Edelman who brings his acclaimed solo show “Just for Us” to Steppenwolf Theatre for two weeks only: February 15-25th in the Downstairs Theater. Edelman has appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Late Night with Seth Meyers and Conan. The New York Times calls it “belly-laugh funny!” As Edelman talks about […]
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HBO star of Somebody, Somewhere’s Jeff Hiller at the Den Theatre on Sunday, February 4th for one show only  

Paul goes behind the curtain with the co-star of the HBO hit series: ‘Somebody, Somewhere.” Jeff also created the iconic character/murderer Mr. Whitely on American Horror Story, and as Jeff would say, you’d recognize him as the waiter in every sitcom you’ve ever watched…. He comes to the Den Theatre with his stand-up act for […]
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The amazing, surprising and sometimes forgotten buildings and locations in ‘Amazing Chicago’

Paul goes behind the curtain with the author of “Amazing Chicago: The City of Big Shoulders, Murder and Mayhem,” written by David Anthony Witter. The book uncovers the fascinating and often strange but true stories of Chicago’s architectural splendor, creativity and famous folks. From gangsters and murderers to the beginnings of deep dish pizza, tacos and Italian […]
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Meet the newly renovated Fine Arts Building and Studebaker Theatre, a Chicago crown jewel

Paul goes behind the curtain with the Managing Artistic Director of the Fine Arts Building and Studebaker Theater, Jacob Harvey. The renovation of the structure for its recent 125th Anniversary is truly stunning and a must-see historic site in Chicago. Who knew that the history of this site included performances by Bob Hope, Vincent Price, Yul Brenner, Henry […]
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‘STOMP’: Bringing music to everyday objects

Musician and one of the many talented performers in the hit show ‘STOMP’ Declan Hayden joins Paul Lisnek, in for Lisa Dent, to talk all things STOMP. Listen in while Hayden shares how they bring music to everyday objects and how STOMP bring dance, music and theatrical performance together in one electrifying rhythm. To get […]
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Where theater meets circus: A magical evening of ‘Love, Chaos and Dinner’ at Teatro ZinZanni

Paul goes behind the curtain with two of the stars of the longtime Chicago mainstay hit: “Teatro Zinzanni: Love, Chaos, and Dinner” now playing on the 14th Floor of the Cambria Hotel in the heart of the Loop Theater District. Known from her powerful work on The Voice, Sa’Rayah and renowned magician Carisa Hendrix (known on […]
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Hamilton continues to amaze at Nederlander Theatre through January 28th

Paul goes behind the curtain with Jared Howelton who plays the incredibly challenging roles of Marquis de LaFayette AND Thomas Jefferson in the now classic and legendary show Hamilton. Jared talks about playing various roles he’s played in the show over the years as he was part of the extended sit down of the Chicago […]
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The amazing magic of Jamie Allan at Rhapsody Theater through January 7th

Paul goes behind the curtain with master magician Jamie Allan, who brings his world renowned show “Amaze” to the Rhapsody Theater through January 7th. This is more than a magic show; it’s a production…. a story from open to close that weaves warmth, emotion and family in the presentation of fantastic magic. Playing at the Rhapsody Theater […]
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Boop: The Betty Boop Musical comes alive at the CIBC through December 24th

Paul goes behind the curtain with the director/choreographer of Boop, Jerry Mitchell (“Kinky Boots,” Pretty Woman”) and legendary composer David Foster about the creative process behind making this world premiere musical. Based on the popular cartoon of almost a century ago, this magical musical travels from the black and white page to full colors of today. […]
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Legendary composer Paul Williams creates magic in ‘Jim Henson’s Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas’ at Studebaker Theater through December 31st

Paul goes behind the curtain with legendary composer and lyricist Paul Williams who has written the score for “Jim Henson’s Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas.” Williams known for a myriad of classics thru the decades (“”Rainbow Connection,” “Evergreen,” We’ve Only Just Begun,” Rainy Days and Mondays,” An Old Fashioned Love Song,”….and SO many more classics)…has been awarded an Academy Award, multiple Grammys, […]
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Beautiful: The Carol King Musical is indeed beautiful at the Marriott Theatre through January 7th

Paul goes behind the curtain with the cast of Beautiful: The Carol King Musical which tells the story of Carol’s amazing career and the larger than life star who never sought the spotlight of the stage. Joining in the conversation is Kaitlyn Davis (who plays Carol King), Andrew Mueller (who plays Carol’s husband Gerry Goffin) and […]
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Timeline Theatre’s Lifespan of a Fact is a must see but only until December 23rd!

Paul goes behind the curtain with the cast of Lifespan of a Fact at Timeline Theatre. The play, which had a Broadway run in 2018, addresses the relationship between truth and facts… Is it ever ok to embellish when it means manipulation of the truth? The play is thought-provoking and also hilarious as it is superbly performed […]
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Sarah Siddons Society and Tony Award winning Stephanie J. Block releases new Christmas CD!

Paul goes behind the curtain with Tony Award winning actress Stephanie J. Block to talk about her recent honor as the recipient of the Sarah Siddons Society Award. The society which is dedicated to funding scholarships to promising theater arts students at top Chicago area universities honored Block with hits 2023 Award. Then, along with […]
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Steppenwolf’s POTUS brings the house down in laughter with every performance through Dec 17th

Paul goes behind the curtain with the cast of “POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive.” Joining the conversation are Steppenwolf Ensemble members: Celeste M. Cooper (Chris), Sandra Marquez (Harriet), Caroline Neff (Stephanie) Karen Rodriguez (Jean) and making her Steppenwolf debut: Chloe Baldwin (Dusty). This American farce is […]
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The award-winning and longest-running Magic Parlour is still magical in its new Goodman/Petterino’s location

Paul goes behind the curtain with master magician Dennis Watkins. After years of sharing his magic at The House Theatre of Chicago and a decade housed in the historic Palmer House Hotel, the new home of The Magic Parlour now offers warmth, intimacy and a great close-up view of the magic being performed right before […]
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We Love Lucy!! And Groucho! Gregg Oppenheimer talks new projects about these beloved legends (with a surprise guest!)

Paul goes Behind the Curtain with Gregg Oppenheimer, son of Jess Oppenheimer, the creator of I Love Lucy, the most popular sitcom of all time. Dad Jess wrote the book, “Laughs, Luck…and Lucy: How I Came to Create the Most Popular Sitcom of All Time,” with the assistance of son Gregg. And now, Gregg has produced, directed and edited the Audiobook […]
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Young Frankenstein has them rollin’ in the aisles at Mercury Theater through December 31st              

In this new podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with cast members of “Young Frankenstein,” a Mel Brooks classic. Joining the conversation are Sean Fortunato (Dr. Frederick Frankenstein), Andrew MacNaughton (The Monster) and Mary Robin Roth (Frau Blucher). The classic Frankenstein story picks up a generation later when Frankenstein Grandson believes that his grandfather never […]
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‘American Psycho the Musical’ excites Audiences at Chopin Studio Theatre through November 26th

Paul goes Behind the Curtain with the star and director of “American Psycho The Musical,” which has been exciting audiences at the Chopin Studio Theatre and plays until November 26th. Kyle Patrick’s portrayal of Patrick Bateman (played by Christian Bale in the movie) has received RAVE reviews from critics. His performance is so iconic that […]
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Sondheim’s reimagined ‘Company’ at Cadillac Palace through Nov 12th!

In this new podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with two cast members from the hit revival of Company, a new production of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s classic. This version re-imagined by director Marianne Elliott (War Horse and Angels in America) brings us Bobbie’s 35th birthday party except this time around, the character of Bobbie […]
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‘The Lehman Trilogy’ at Broadway Playhouse through Nov 26th – an amazing drama

In this podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with the 3 stars of The Lehman Trilogy. This 2022 Tony Award winner for Best Play is discussed by Mitchell Fain (who portrays Henry Lehman) Joey Slotnick (playing Mayer Lehman) and Anish Jethmalani (playing Emanuel Lehman). The story weaves together 146 years of a family history from […]
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‘Sex and the City’ author Candace Bushnell comes to City Winery on November 11th for 2 stage shows!

In this podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with New York Times Best Selling author Candace Bushnell. You know her book, “Sex and the City,” plus there are many more which followed including the current bestseller: Is There Still Sex in the City?” And yes, it is Candace’s work that led to the creation of the classic iconic […]
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‘A Wonderful World’ – The life of Louis Armstrong at the Cadillac Palace Theater until October 29th 

In this new podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with two of the stars of “A Wonderful World” providing a look at the legendary jazz legend, Louis Armstrong. This Broadway bound musical stars James Monroe Iglehart (Genie in Aladdin) and chatting with Paul are Jennie Harney-Fleming who plays Armstrong’s wife Lil, and DeWitt Fleming, Jr who plays […]
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Legendary ICON Ben Vereen on his life, career, and the issues facing society today

In this podcast, Paul Goes behind the Curtain with the legendary Ben Vereen. The Tony award winning actor is known for his roles in Pippin, Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, Wicked, and so much more. He created the unforgettable role of Chicken Little in “Alex Hailey’s Roots” and portrayed Louis Armstrong in a biographical film on […]
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Chicago Firehouse Restaurant: Where city history meets great food

In this new podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain, with Shannon Tauschman, General Manager and Resident Historian, for the landmark Chicago Restaurant, Chicago Firehouse. This landmarked location was actually a Firehouse built in 1905 as Engine Company 104 to protect the well-to-do home owners of Prairie Avenue such as The Pullman Marshall Field Families among others. The interior […]
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Michael Feinstein, Protector of the Great American Songbook and Hollywood Museum President present: ‘From Hollywood to the World: Rediscovered Recordings and Career of Jose Iturbi’

In this new podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with legendary protector of the American Songbook, Michael Feinstein, and Hollywood Museum Founder and President Donelle Dadigan to discuss the amazing career of Jose Iturbi. Feinstein does not do many interviews was happy to join in this important discussion to bring a name back to the […]
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NYT best selling author Luke Russert on his book: ‘Look for Me There, Grieving My Father, Finding Myself’

In this new podcast, Paul chats with the NYT best selling author of “Look for Me There: Grieving My Father, Finding Myself,” Luke Russert. Luke is the son of legendary political analyst and host of NBC’s Meet the Press, Tim Russert who died so young and unexpectedly in the heat of the 2008 election. The book chronicles Luke’s […]
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‘Laugh In’ creator George Schlatter’s new book, ‘Still Laughing’, plus, a surprise guest, Lily Tomlin, joins in!

In this special new podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with the legendary creator of “Laugh In,” and so much more, George Schlatter. Schlatter, now 93, has related his many stories and memories in a new book, “Still Laughing: A Life in Comedy.” Filled with amazing accounts, he shares the history of how Laugh In came to […]
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NYT best selling author Miles Taylor on his latest book, ‘Blowback,’ tracking his time in the Trump years and beyond, and his new podcast, ‘The Whistleblowers: Inside the Trump Administration’

In this new podcast, Paul chats with the NYT best selling author of “A Warning,’ Miles Taylor about his latest book: “Blowback: A Warning to Save Democracy From The Next Trump.” Taylor is an expert on national security and public policy and served as Chief of Staff with the US Department of Homeland Security. His […]
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New definitive biography: ‘King: A Life’ by Jonathan Eig now available

On this podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with author Jonathan Eig to discuss his latest book, “King: A Life,” truly the definitive biography of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. With its vivid language and extensive research, King: A Life offers a complete and new portrait of this true American legend. But Eig shows […]
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Ronnie Marmo brings his tour de force on Lenny Bruce back to Chicagoland for one day only: Sept 9th!

In this new podcast, Paul visits with the star of “I’m Not a Comedian, I’m Lenny Bruce,” directed by multi-award winner Joe Mantegna. Ronnie transforms into Lenny Bruce in this one man show which played in Chicago for 6 months at the Royal George (until Covid stepped in) and returned for another 6 months at […]
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‘Dinner with the President’ – A new book looking at the food, politics and history of breaking bread at the White House

In this new podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with author Alex Prud’homme a freelance writer and author about this new book on what Presidents ate from the time of Washington until today. Prud’homme is the nephew of famed “French Chef” Julia Child and likely related to cajun chef Paul Prud’homme so he comes from […]
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Magician/Mentalist Henok Negash will amaze you at Chicago Magic Lounge through Sept 27th

In this new podcast, Paul chats with an amazing and talented magician, mentalist, and performer, Henok Negash appearing every Wednesday on the Main Stage at Chicago Magic Lounge. Henok is truly different from the typical magician or magic act. He has a warmth and connection with the audience that builds strong trust as his presentation proceeds through a series […]
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‘Kinky Boots’ kicking up its heels at Highland Park Players through August 27th

In this new podcast, Paul chats with the cast of 6 time Tony Award Winning “Kinky Boots” produced by the Highland Park Players. The leading players are all here: Anania Williams (Lola), Ben Frankart (Charlie) and Hannah Kip (Lauren) talk about starring in this Broadway classic story of a shoe factory that is about to shut […]
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Harold Pinter’s ‘No Man’s Land’ – A fine way to close the season through August 20th

In this new podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with the cast of Harold Pinter’s “No Man’s Land” now playing through August 20th at Steppenwolf’s Downstairs Theater. Steppenwolf Co-Founder Jeff Perry (playing Hirst), Mark Ulrich (playing Spooner), and Samuel Roukin (playing Foster) talk about the challenges of performing in a Pinter production. What’s the plot? […]
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Mel Brooks’ classic ‘The Producers’ keeps ‘em laughing at Music Theater Works through August 20th, celebrating 150th production

In this new podcast, Paul chats with the cast of Mel Brooks’ “The Producers” presented at Music Theater Works from August 10th -20th. Discussing the production are leads Thomas M. Shea (Max Bialystock) and David Geinosky (Leo Bloom). Also joining the conversation is Music Theater Works Producing Artistic Director Kyle Dougan who discusses the history of the theater […]
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It’s a Thriller: M.J. The Musical comes to Chicago; Meet Roman Banks who plays The King of Pop through September 2nd

On this new podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with the star of M.J.: The Musical, Roman Banks who plays the legendary Michael Jackson. Roman was the first African American cast as Evan Hansen on Broadway and also starred in High School Musical: The Series, as Howie. But as Michael Jackson, Banks is realizing a […]
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‘White City: An Audible Exhibition on H. H. Holmes’ is like old-time radio

In this new podcast, Paul goes Behind the Curtain with stars Ethan Carlson and Keenan Odenkirk, as well as Rick Kinnebrew, playwright of “White City: An Audible Exhibition on H. H. Holmes.” It is like a return to old time radio when the magic was created through voice and sound. If you are a fan of […]
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Oscar Wars: A History of Hollywood in Gold, Sweat and Tears

In this interview, Paul goes behind the curtain with Michael Schulman, author of “Oscar Wars: A History of Hollywood in Gold, Sweat and Tears.” From the early days of the Oscars to the shift from old Hollywood to New Hollywood, the role of race through the years, the Blacklist years when the Oscar went to…a […]
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The Who’s Tommy is STUNNING; best show on any stage in Chicago, through August 6th at the Goodman Theatre

In this new podcast, Paul chats with the stars of the Goodman’s Runaway hit, “The Who’s Tommy” now playing at the Goodman Theatre through August 6th. Ali Louis Bourzgui (Adult Tommy), Adam Jacobs (Captain Walker) and Alison Luff (Mrs. Walker) talk about their roles in this incredible production. Also joining the conversation is Des McAnuff […]
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Theo Ubique’s ‘Passing Strange’ is perfect in their intimate performance space

In this new podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with the cast and director of: “Passing Strange”: now playing at Theo Ubique Theater in Evanston through July 30th. Joining the conversation are Jordan DeBose (playing Stew the narrator), Jenece Upton (playing Mother) and director Tim Rhoze. This Broadway show is reimagined in an intimate way that only […]
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World premiere of Lucy and Charlie’s Honeymoon is one of the best plays with music in town!

In this new podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with the cast and playwright for Lucy and Charlie’s Honeymoon now playing at Lookingglass Theatre through July 16th. Joining the conversation are playwright/actor Matthew C. Yee (who plays Charlie), Aurora Adachi-Winter (who plays Lucy) and Wai Ching Ho (who plays Grandma and steals the show….in a good way!). […]
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Want to have dinner in the Golden Girls’ home? Here’s your chance. An evening or brunch full of fun! Running through August 6th

On this new podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with Derek Berry, the creator of the Golden Girls Kitchen, doing blockbuster business thru the summer as it immerses fans into the home of the Golden Girls along with the meals that go along with it.  Enter the building and you are welcomed by a neon […]
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Who knew that legendary boxer Gene Tunney and famed playwright George Bernard Shaw were friends? Shaw v. Tunney now playing through July 8th at Theater Wit

On this new podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with the stars of Shaw v Tunney, Richard Henzel who plays George Bernard Shaw and Gene Tunney played by Sam Pearson. Also joining in is Jay R. Tunney, the son of Gene Tunney and author of the book “The Prizefighter and the Playwright,” the subject of the play. Hear Tunney tell the story of […]
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The play that could not be more timely: What the Constitution Means to Me comes to the Timeline Theatre now through July 2nd

On this new podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with the star of What the Constitution Means to Me, Beth Lacke, who plays Heidi Schreck, and the play’s director, Helen Young. The relevance of this show in today’s world could not be more powerful. Beth talks about her background and how she handles having to […]
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Mentalist Mark Toland wows ‘em at Chicago Magic Lounge through June 28th

In this new podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with the amazing Mark Toland, a mentalist who will be first to tell you that what he does is not real! A show filled with humor and audience interaction that will truly have everyone in the room in complete amazement. Mark is talented in so many […]
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‘Tango,’ the perfect play for AAPI and Pride Month at Pride Arts through June 11th

In this new podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with the cast of “Tango” playing at Pride Arts through June 11th. When a waitress in Singapore refuses to serve a gay married couple and their son, it sends shock waves through their family and the community. Joining the conversation is Rainey Song (who plays the […]
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West Side Story returns to the Lyric Opera June 2nd-25th

On this new podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with the starts of the Lyric Opera’s production of “West Side Story,” playing June 2 – 25th. Ryan McCartan (Tony) and Kanisha Marie Feliciano (Maria) talk about playing these iconic shows from one of the most beloved musicals of all time and on the most legendary […]
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Famed forensic expert Dr. Michael Baden on his new book: ‘American Autopsy,’ an insightful and revealing new work

In this new podcast, Paul goes Behind the curtain with Dr. Michael Baden known nationally for his work in pretty much every case you see appearing in the news headlines. Dr. Baden is a physician, former Chief Medical Examiner of New York City and former Chief Forensic Pathologist for the New York State Police. He […]
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‘Damn Yankees’ is a joyous musical playing the Marriott Lincolnshire Theatre until June 4th

In this new podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with the cast of “Damn Yankees” playing at Marriott Lincolnshire Theatre until June 4th. This classic story is about baseball, but it’s also about hopes and dreams and so it’s no wonder the story has remained popular and performed continuously ever since the 1950s. Audiences love […]
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New production of Joe DiPietro’s ‘Ernest Shackleton Loves Me’ at Porchlight through June 1st

In this new podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with Joe DiPietro, the book writer of Ernest Shackleton whose catalogue of work is stunning: from Diana (Broadway production about Princess Diana), to Memphis, All Shook Up, and I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. Joining the conversation is the entire cast of the show (all […]
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Steppenwolf’s ‘Last Night and the Night Before’ is amazing and plays through May 14th

In this new podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with the playwright and cast of Steppenwolf’s “Last Night and The Night Before.” Playwright Donnetta Lavinia Grays weaves a story involving LGBTQ+ issues, racially based stereotypes and expectations and so much more in this story of family facing challenges and obstacles as they thrive to be […]
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Original Broadway Cast for Into The Woods is in Chicago through May 7th

On this special podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with Broadway and Tony Award winning star Gavin Creel who plays Prince Charming and the Wolf in “Into the Woods.” This is a hugely acclaimed and beloved Broadway production that has brought the original cast with it on a 10 city tour. The Stephen Sondheim and […]
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Tina: The Tina Turner Musical Premieres at the Nederlander Theatre from March 14th – April 2nd

In this new podcast, Paul goes Behind the Curtain with the two actresses who share the role of Tina Turner (each performing four times a week). Naomi Rodgers and Zurin Villaneuva discuss the challenges of portraying a living legend and icon of Rock and Roll who has given her blessing to this production. Tina plays […]
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Lady Day at Emerson Bar & Grill: An unforgettable evening of Billie Holiday at Venus Cabaret through March 26th

In this new podcast, Paul goes Behind the Curtain with the star of “Lady Day at Emerson Bar & Grill,” Alexis J. Roston, to discuss her incredible one-woman performance as Billie Holiday appearing now at the Venus Cabaret at the Mercury Theater (3745 N. Southport in Chicago) through March 26th. Turn back the clock to […]
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World of Chocolate Benefits AIDS Foundation Chicago at Union Station on February 17th with WGN Radio discount code!

In this podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with Maddie Miley, the Senior Manager of Development and Communications Of AIDS Foundation Chicago. World of Chocolate 2023 is an evening of the most fantastic chocolate in every imaginable form, all set out in the iconic setting of Union Station in the Grand Hallway on Friday, February 17th from […]
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“Chicago The Musical” plays the CIBC through January 29th! 

In this podcast, Paul goes Behind the Curtain with the stars of “Chicago the Musical.” Katie Frieden, who plays Roxie Hart, and Logan Floyd, who plays Velma Kelly, talk about the wonderful production of this 25th Anniversary Tour. With classic Kander and Ebb songs including “All that Jazz,” “Razzle Dazzle,” and “Mr. Cellophane,” and Ann Reinking […]
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Family Affair’s Kathy Garver talks about her illustrious career with Paul Lisnek

Legendary actress and one of the stars of the classic American sitcom Family Affair Kathy Garver joins Paul Lisnek Behind the Curtain to talk about her illustrious career. Listen in while Kathy reminisces on her time playing the beloved character of ‘Cissy Davis’. To learn more about what Kathy is up to and to sign […]
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Reflections from former Alderman Helen Shiller told in her new autobiography

In this new podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with former Alderman Helen Shiller who represented uptown for nearly a quarter of a century fighting the people’s battle on housing, human rights and so much more. Rich with stories about Mayor Harold Washington and those who followed, Shiller is candid and direct as she talks […]
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‘Starstruck’ tells the no-holds-barred history of the creation of The Chicago International Film Festival

On this podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with author and the founder of the Chicago International Film Festival, Michael Kutza. This Chicago institution has humble roots and the founder of the festival almost 60 years old shares stories involving any and every movie star and director that you can think of. It’s a real […]
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King Tut Immersive takes a unique look at a story not-well-known on Germania Place

In this new podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain to discuss the new Immersive King Tut: Magic Journey to the Light, now playing at Lighthouse Artspace on Germania Place. As creative consultant Richard Ouzounian explains, in the tradition of its predecessors (the Art of Van Gogh, Kahlo, Monet) this exhibit is a 360 degree immersive […]
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‘CLUE’ has audiences laughing all night at the Mercury Theater Chicago

On this podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with the director and two of the stars of CLUE, currently playing at the Mercury Theater Chicago.  Mercury Theater’s Executive Director and Director of CLUE, L. Walter Stearns is joined by cast members Mark David Kaplan (who plays Wadsworth) and Jonah D. Winston (who plays Colonel Mustard). […]
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Trouble in Mind is Timeline Theatre’s Latest Thought Provoking Play

In this new podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with the cast of Timeline’s Latest thought provoking production; “Trouble in Mind.” Here is his review of the show published at 5/5 stars….  “Trouble in Mind,” by Alice Childress is troubling and difficult to watch. Not because it isn’t an amazing production with incredible performances, because […]
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‘A Paige in Time’ presents a Magical Evening at the Magic Lounge through December 21st

In this new podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with Magician extraordinaire Paige Thompson and the co-owner/CEO of the Magic Lounge Joey Cranford to discuss the current main stage show and an evening of fun that awaits you! Paige Thompson appears in “A Paige in Time,” allowing her to exhibit the skills and fun that […]
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The Jazz-Gospel Messiah, Too Hot to Handel plays two performances only at Auditorium Theatre on Dec 3-4

On this podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with the stars of “Too Hot to Handel,” the Jazz-Gospell Messiah which plays at the Auditorium Theatre for two performances Oonly! Soprano Alfreda Burke and Tenor Rodrick Dixon talk about this unique version of Handel’s Messiah that incorporates Jazz, gospel, blues, choir, orchestra, jazz band, scat and […]
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Chicago has fallen in love once again with WICKED!

In this new podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with cast members from the Broadway musical hit “Wicked” currently playing at the Nederlander Theater. Kimberly Immanuel (who plays Nessa Rose) and Jacob Pedersen (who plays Boq) join to talk about why Wicked resonates so strongly and has for so long with audience members. This Stephen […]
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Black Ensemble’s ‘Blue Heaven’ brings music greats to the concert stage the BET way

In this new podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain to discuss Black Ensemble Theater’s current production: “Blue Heaven.” Writer/Director Daryl Brooks and actor Billy Rude talk about the music and story that bring together:  Howlin’ Wolf, Big Mama Thornton, Muddy Waters, Stevie Ray Vaughan and B.B King to tell their stories and jam for the […]
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You can see Stephen Schwartz’s ‘Children of Eden,’ ONE day only in Chicago: October 15th at the Cadillac Palace Theater

In this new podcast, the legendary Stephen Schwartz talks about the one day only (Saturday, Oct 15th at 3pm and 8pm) performances of his “Children of Eden,” performed in concert and the Cadillac Palace Theater. This one day limited special engagement brings Michelle Williams (Destiny’s Child), Grammy winner David Phelps, Internet singing Sensation Sam Tsui all […]
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Fiddler on the Roof ‘wows’ audiences at the Lyric Opera House through October 7th

On this special podcast, Paul talks about the incredible and powerful production of “Fiddler on the Roof” currently playing at the Lyric Opera House through October 7th. Joining in are the lead actors playing Tevye (Steven Skybell) and Golde (Debbie Gravitte). This is a production of Fiddler like you’ve never seen before. In many ways […]
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Broadway Legend Donna McKechnie to be honored with Porchlight Music Theatre’s ICON Award on Friday Sept 23rd

On this special podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with Broadway legend and icon Donna McKechnie recipient of this year’s ICON Award from Porchlight Music Theatre being presented on Friday Sept 23rd at the Ritz Carlton. It will be an evening of music, song and dance, including performances by Ms. McKechnie herself! It is a DON’T […]
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Award-winning film ‘A Sexplanation’ goes where other films have not gone before; Meet filmmaker Alex Liu

On this new podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with filmmaker Alexander Liu (@alexanderxliu) to discuss his new multi-award winning film: “A Sexplanation.” Having grown up in a family and culture where the discussion of sex was taboo, and acknowledging his own homosexuality, Alex decided it was time to document the realities of what is […]
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Former Republican strategist Tim Miller on his NYT Best Seller: ‘Why We Did It’

On this podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with Tim Miller, MSNBC analyst and writer-at-large at The Bulwark to discuss his new best-selling book, “Why We Did It: A Travelogue From the Republican Road to Hell.” Tim was a republican political operative who was the communications director for Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign and the spokesman […]
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‘Undelivered:’ Never-heard speeches that may have changed history with author Jeff Nussbaum

On this podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with author and professional speech writer Jeff Nussbaum, author of “Undelivered: the Never-Heard Speeches that would have Rewritten History.” And amazing review of important speeches never given. For example, Martin Luther King, Jr. and John Lewis had planned very different and more fire-up type speeches for that […]
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Priscilla Queen of the Desert is here at the Mercury Theater Chicago

On this podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with the leading stars of Priscilla Queen of the Desert, the Musical now playing at the Mercury Theater Chicago through September 11th. The story of three drag performers making their way through the Outback of Australia and filled with the greatest music of a generation! From It’s […]
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The Devil Wears Prada dressing up the Nederlander Theater in high fashion through August 21st

On this podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with one of the leads of The Devil Wears Prada, Tony Award Winning actress Beth Leavel who plays Runway Magazine Editor-in-Chief Miranda Priestly, a role made iconic by Meryl Streep in the 2006 film. The music is by the legendary Sir Elton John who notes that this […]
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New book says female comedians are ‘In On the Joke’

On this podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with entertainment authority and author Shawn Levy (“Rat Pack Confidential,” “The Castle on the Sunset” and “King of Comedy”) to discuss his latest book, “The Original Queens of Stand-Up Comedy: In On the Joke.” Today, women in stand-up comedy are nothing unusual and many are successful. But […]
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Dick Simpson’s new and critically important book: Democracy’s Rebirth

In this interview, Paul goes behind the curtain with former 44th Ward Alderman and now Professor Dick Simpson to discuss his new book: “Democracy’s Rebirth: The View from Chicago.” In the most important book written by Simpson among his many writings, he talks about how fragile democracy is not just around the world but in our […]
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‘Simply Barbra’ star Steven Brinberg appears at The Acorn Theater on July 31st at 8pm

Paul goes behind the curtain with actor/singer Steven Brinberg to talk about his one performance only appearance on July 31st at 8pm at the Acorn Theater in Three Oaks, MI (just 70 miles from Chicago). Bringberg IS Barbra in appearance, voice and song. No, he is not lip syncing and yes, he’s got her down […]
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Legendary Hollywood Squares host Peter Marshall looks back on a long career

On this podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with legendary host of the TV game show Hollywood Squares, Peter Marshall. Now 96 years old, Peter has so many stories to share about the very popular game show and he doesn’t hold back! Who he liked, who he did not like, he talks about it all. […]
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DemonHuntr: The new series about a group of queer friends who hunt down demons

On this podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with the creative team and cast of the series “Demonhuntr” now available to stream on HERE-TV, Amazon Prime, and all streaming options. DemonHuntr is a campy, fun, a little bit scary series bringing the hero demon hunters to wipe out evil in each new episode. The five-part […]
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‘My Fair Lady’ returns to Chicago in all its classic grandeur through July 10th at the Cadillac Palace Theatre

In this podcast interview, Paul goes behind the curtain with Professor Henry Higgins, played by Laird Mackintosh in the touring classic Lincoln Center production of Lerner & Loewe’s “My Fair Lady”.  The production is directed by Barteltt Sher. Based on the classic George Bernard Shaw play “Pygmalion,” this story has been told in musical form since […]
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Second City offers a new main stage show and brings back a classic: Queer Eye: A Musical Parody

Paul goes Behind the Curtain with two Second City stars who appear in the current main stage production: “Do the Right Thing, No Worries if Not,” Evan Mills and Julia Morales. One of the funniest main stage shows in years, the show addresses the power of using proper pronouns, but with great humor and sensitivity, […]
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Don ‘Barney Fife’ Knotts’ daughter Karen’s new book: ‘Tied up in Knotts!’

In this podcast interview, Paul goes Behind the Curtain with the daughter of legendary comedian Don Knotts, who will forever be remembered as Deputy Sheriff Barney Fife. But Knotts was so much more than that role and made movies and had a vast career on TV and stage that you might not be as familiar […]
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Watergate’s 50th Anniversary gets definitive treatment in new book by Garrett Graff

Paul goes behind the curtain in this interview with journalist Garrett Graff, author of the new book: “Watergate:  A New History.” In this new and definitive account of one of top political scandals of all time,  Graff tells us that while no book has been written on Watergate for 25 years, it was time to […]
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World premiere of new musical ‘Skates’ stars American Idol stars Diana DeGarmo and Ace Young now playing at the Studebaker Theatre

This week, Paul goes behind the curtain with the stars of “Skates” a new musical enjoying it’s world premiere at the historic Studebaker Theatre on South Michigan Avenue.  Written by Chicago native Christine Rea, the show recounts her early days growing up in Chicago and the fun times young people had at the local roller […]
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Steve Pieters: From the fight of a Lifetime to TV with Tammy Faye Messner

In this podcast interview, Paul goes Behind the Curtain with Rev. Steve Pieters. You may know him from the scene featuring him in the Oscar Award winning Movie “The Eyes of Tammy Faye.” Steve contracted AIDS in the early 1980s when it was an almost certain death sentence. But he has survived decades and used […]
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‘Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man’ comes to Chicago!

On this podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with the entire cast and playwright of ‘Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man,” now playing at the Greenhouse Theater Center. An uproarious comedy which attracts singles, couples, and bachelorette parties, the show is a hilarious look at true suggestions about creating stronger relationships and […]
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Chicago Tribune’s Ray Long discusses his new book on former speaker Mike Madigan

This week, Paul goes behind the curtain with Pulitzer Prize finalist and Chicago Tribune investigative reporter Ray Long to discuss his incredibly timely book: “The House that Madigan Built: The Record Run of Illinois’ Velvet Hammer.” In this book, Long does not write the biography of Mike Madigan; far from it. He presents a series […]
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Spring Awakening – A powerful and moving production plays Porchlight Music Theatre thru June 2nd

This podcast goes behind the curtain of the powerful musical Spring Awakening now playing at the Porchlight Music Theatre. Joining in are the leads of the show: Maya Hlava (who plays Wendla) and Jack DeCesare (who plays Melchior) along with Director/Choreographer Brenda Didier. Although written over 100 years ago, the message of the challenges facing […]
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Fiddler On the Roof returns to Chicago May 17-22nd at Cadillac Palace Theater

This podcast takes you behind the curtain with the stars of Fiddler on the Roof playing at the Cadillac Palace Theatre from May 17 – 22nd. Meet the actors who play Tevye (Yehezkel Lazarov) and Golda (Matie Uzal) who discuss the lasting impact of this long running show. What makes Fiddler on the Roof so […]
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To Kill a Mockingbird comes to Chicago with Richard Thomas and the original Scout, May 17-29th at Nederlander Theatre

This podcast takes you behind the curtain with the star of To Kill a Mockingbird, Richard Thomas (yes, John-Boy from the Waltons…he’s all grown up now!). Playing the role of Atticus Finch, the cast also includes the actor who played Scout as a child, Mary Badham. Richard discusses the power of Mockingbird in today’s world […]
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Chicago’s historic Motor Row – A new book about a lesser known part of Chicago’s rich history

This week, Paul goes behind the curtain with the authors of a new book called “Chicago’s Motor Row.” John Hogan and John Maxon discuss this period in Chicago history that may be new to many listeners south on Michigan Avenue and also on nearby streets in the early 1900’s. In this book, which is part […]
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Jersey Boys returns to Chicago May 3rd-8th at Cadillac Palace Theater

In this edition of behind the Curtain, Paul chats with Jersey Boy Jon Hacker, who plays Frankie Valli in the upcoming Chicago tour stop of the Jersey Boys. Jon talks about his history with this show, meeting Frankie Valli, and why the show has such staying power. The show runs May 3rd-8th at the Cadillac Palace […]
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My Big Fat Italian Wedding Murder! comes to The Reveler for dinner and a show

On this podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with actor/director/producer Jimmy Ferraro on his production of My Big Fat Italian Wedding Murder, playing at The Reveler Restaurant in Roscoe Village through May 15th on Saturdays (at 6pm) and Sundays (at 4pm) only. It’s an evening of immersive fun with crazy characters, a murder to solve…and you […]
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VIDEO: Entertainer Joe Posa as Joan Rivers performs at Davenport’s on May 5th and 6th

On this podcast, Paul goes behind he curtain with actor/entertainer Joe Posa who transforms into the legendary Joan Rivers for two nights only at Davenport’s on May 5th and 6th. If you were a fan of Joan’s or somehow are not familiar with her work, then this is the night to check out. It is like […]
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Victory Gardens’ ‘In Every Generation’ raises issues and challenges faced by families since time began

In this episode, Paul goes behind the curtain with cast members of “In Every Generation,” along with Victory Gardens Artistic Director Ken-Matt Martin to discuss the powerful show playing through May 1st. Each Passover, for millennia, the question gets asked: why is this night different from all other night? And for generations, families have struggled […]
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VIDEO: ‘Good Night, Oscar’ playwright Doug Wright discusses his illustrious career

On this podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with multi-award winning Playwright Doug Wright.  Of current interest because of his acclaimed production “Good Night Oscar” which has been enjoying a sold-out run at The Goodman Theater, Doug discusses the inside scoop of creating this new work and the steps to develop it along the way. […]
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VIDEO: The Prom plays the Cadillac Palace from April 19 – 24th: An evening of fun and a message

This week, Paul goes Behind the Curtain with the cast of The Prom playing at the Cadillac Palace Theater from April 19th-24th.  The story of Emma, a high school student who is not being allowed to take her girlfriend to the Prom, is aided by a group of self-obsessed theater stars who think they can […]
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‘Good Night Oscar’ starring Sean Hayes plays at Goodman Theatre thru April 24

This week, Paul goes behind the curtain with cast members from Douglas Wright’s “Good Night Oscar.” The Plot:   It’s 1958, and Jack Paar hosts the hottest late-night talk-show on television. His favorite guest? Character actor, pianist and wild card Oscar Levant (played by Will and Grace’s Sean Hayes). Famous for his witty one-liners, Oscar has […]
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VIDEO: Joyce Bulifant recounts her career and life in her new autobiography, ‘My Four Hollywood Husbands’

This week, Paul goes behind the curtain with an actress whose extensive credits on stage and screen belong to a face familiar to everyone. You know her as Marie Slaughter, writer Murray’s wife on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” but she also appeared in almost every other sitcom or drama you can think of over […]
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Moulin Rouge’s ‘Satine’ Courtney Reed on opening the national tour in Chicago

In this BONUS podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain with one of the lead stars on Moulin Rouge. Courtney Reed plays Satine (the Nicole Kidman part in the film version) who talks about the excitement of the national tour starting in Chicago. Reed is a Chicagoland born actor who loves her home town. She was […]
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VIDEO: Chicagoland theater continues its return with the world premiere of BET’s ‘It’s Just Like Coming to Church,’ and Theo Ubique’s ‘Once Upon a Mattress’

This week Paul goes behind the curtain with two great Chicago area shows. Leading off the show is Black Ensembles Theater’s current production: Jackie Taylor’s “It’s Just Like Coming to Church.” This show is unlike the traditional grand often biographic shows presented by BET. This show kicks off a season of healing and joy by […]
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VIDEO: Austin Miller, award-winning star of ‘Hairspray’ and ‘Trade,’ is working on another project

This week, Paul goes behind the curtain with actor/director, singer, dancer, and even consultant Austin Miller. Chicago first fell in love with Austin in the role of Link Larkin in Hairspray, but went on to play a myriad of roles on stage and screen, including his recent Win for Best Actor for the FFTG Award […]
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VIDEO: ‘King James’ playing at Steppenwolf Theatre though April 10th

Playing at the Steppenwolf Theater’s Downstairs Theater thru April 10th is the hit (and money that it gets to Broadway) show, “King James.” Discussing the play which reflects the path line of the career of LeBron James is Steppenwolf Ensemble Member and an Artistic Director for Steppenwolf, Glenn Davis. You’ll want to listen in to […]
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Tony Award Winning musical ‘La Cage Aux Folles’ takes center stage in Skokie

More theatre in Chicago! The magical and uplifting Tony Award Winning musical “La Cage Aux Folles” now playing at Music Theater Works in Skokie, takes center stage. Joining in the conversation is the fabulous Ginger Minj (star of RuPaul’s Drag Race) who plays the lead Albin/Zaza, and Music Theater Works’ artistic director and stage director […]
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Windy City Playhouse: Sons of Hollywood playing through April!

Paul goes behind the curtain with a look at great theater now playing in Chicagoland. Meet the cast and playwright of Sons of Hollywood, now playing at the Windy City Playhouse. Joining in the conversation is Carl Menninger (co-writer and Windy City Playhouse Associate Artistic Director), actor Adam Jennings (who plays the role of Billy […]
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Video: Medium Tyler Henry on Netflix’s ‘Life After Death’ and his latest book ‘Here and Hereafter’

In this BONUS VIDEO podcast episode, Paul goes behind the curtain with the star of one of Netflix’s biggest hit shows, “Life After Death.” Tyler Henry is a medium who for many seasons on another network, channeled readings for a host of celebrities. In this new series, Tyler reads for ordinary people, giving comfort and […]
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CNN’s John Avlon on his new book: Lincoln: The Fight for Peace

This week, Paul goes behind the Curtain with CNN Senior Political Analyst John Avlon to discuss his latest book called: “Lincoln: The Fight for Peace.” Not just another book about Lincoln but rather an in-depth look at how Lincoln worked to win the war and win the peace (which Avlon calls his unfinished symphony). Avlon […]
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‘The Big Cheat,’ by author and investigative journalist David Cay Johnston

This week, Paul goes Behind the Curtain with investigative journalist and author David Cay Johnston about his latest book: The Big Cheat: how Donald Trump Fleeced America and Enriched Himself and his Family. It’s the last in a trilogy of books about the Trumps and their financial conduct. Johnston is a frequent guest on a […]
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Renee Elise Goldsberry headlines Auditorium Theatre Gala on April 9th; Hadestown starring Tony Award-winner Levi Kreis comes to the CIBC in March

This week, Paul goes behind the curtain with two exciting theater stars who are coming to Chicago. First, Tony, Grammy and Drama Desk Award winner Renee Elise Goldsberry comes to town for a gala benefit for the gorgeous building known as the Auditorium Theatre! Known for her iconic creation of the role of Angelica Schuyler […]
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When There are Nine at Pride Arts; and Blues of the Night at Porchlight ‘wows’ Chicago audiences

This week, Paul goes behind the curtain with the creative team and lead actor in the world premiere of “When there are Nine,” currently playing at Pride Arts until March 13th. Joining in the conversation are playwright Sally Deering, actress Talia Langman (playing the lead: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg) and director Sam Hess. The terms […]
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‘Come From Away’ returns to Chicago; Classic TV stars Renee Taylor (The Nanny), Robert Wuhl (Arli$$), and producer David Levin present: ‘Laughter During Lockdown’

This week, Paul goes behind the curtain with James Earl Jones, II, star of “Come from Away” which returns to Chicago at the Cadillac Palace Theatre from February 22nd – March 6th. The show is about 9/11 but as James makes clear, it’s really about 9/12 and the wonderful people of Gander, New Foundland who took […]
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‘The Strategy of Denial’ by author/former Assistant secretary of Defense Elbridge Colby

This week Paul goes behind the curtain with author and former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Strategy and Force Development from 2017-2018 (under the Trump administration) Elbridge Colby. They discuss Colby’s new book: The Strategy of Denial: American Defense in An Age of Great Power Conflict.” The book is about war and how it should be […]
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‘Days of Our Lives’ long-time stars Bill Hayes and Susan Seaforth Hayes share the secrets of a successful marriage

This week Paul goes behind the curtain with the long time stars of “Days of Our Lives,” Bill Hayes and his real life (and reel-life) wife and co-star Susan Seaforth Hayes. Having played the couple Doug and Julie Williams on “Days” for over 50 years, their initial casting led to a real life romance. But […]
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‘Free the Press’ – The intersection of journalism and politics

This week, Paul goes behind the curtain with author and journalist Brian Karem author of “Free the Press.” This veteran reporter talks about the sad state journalism finds itself in today, why and what needs to be done. One would think the problems began with former President Trump calling the media the enemy of the people […]
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Hairspray, Oklahoma and Simon & Garfunkel Story take to Chicago stages!

This week, Paul goes behind the curtain with the casts of three great shows playing as part of Broadway in Chicago’s current season. First up: Hairspray and its great character “Corny Collins” played by Chicago’s own Billy Dawson talks about the national tour coming to Chicago. This classic musical (which began as a cult film […]
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8-Track at Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre, The Play that Goes Wrong at Broadway Playhouse, and Wellesley Girl at Compass Theatre

This week, Paul goes behind the curtain for three great shows going on right now in Chicagoland. First, re-live the 1970’s (or at least experience them if you weren’t around in that decade) with “8-Track: The Sounds of the ‘70s” at Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre in Evanston. These great songs of the 1970s cover 50 […]
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Second City are Together At Last on stage; Blue Man Group is back!

This week Paul goes behind the curtain with cast members and the director of Second City’s current Mainstage review: “Together at Last.” Cast members Adam Schreck and Sarah Dell’Amico talk about the fun of doing improvisation and what it is like to be back on stage with a live audience after nearly two years. Director […]
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Disney’s Frozen Warms up Chicago; ‘I’m Not A Comedian, I’m Lenny Bruce’ Playwright/Actor Ronnie Marmo

This week, Paul goes behind the curtain with Elsa of Disney’s Frozen. Actor Caroline Bowman is blowing the roof off of the Cadillac Palace Theatre with each performance in this iconic role. She discusses working with her husband in the show, the magic that Disney brings the show, and how her dog Kodak is loving […]
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Music Theater Works Announces 2022 Season of Great Musicals and Buying Someone Special a Broadway Song Written and Recorded Just for Them!

This week, Paul goes behind the curtain with the staff of Music Theater Works. Producing Artistic Director Kyle Dougan and Director of Marketing and PR, Aaron Ozee provide a look ahead to a fantastic and exciting 42nd Season. The theater company once known as Light Opera Works is now at home at the North Shore […]
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‘Here, Right Matters’ – Lt Col. (ret) Alexander Vindman speaks out about his new book and experience in the Trump administration

This week, Paul goes behind the curtain with now-famous Lt. Col (ret) Alexander Vindman who stunned the nation when he testified about what he heard in Former President Trump’s infamous telephone call with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky. There is SO much more than that day to Lt. Col. Vindman’s life, a life he sees divided […]
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BONUS PODCAST: Christopher ‘Peter Brady’ Knight talks about a new Lifetime Brady Christmas movie, ‘Blended Christmas,’ premiering on Dec 12th

On this bonus episode, Paul Goes Behind the Curtain with Christopher Knight, who played Peter on the classic and iconic TV series, “The Brady Bunch.” A new Lifetime movie called “Blended Christmas” premieres on December 12th at 7pm central on Lifetime, and Christopher talks about what it means to bring back several Brady kids who […]
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New Yorker’s Evan Osnos discusses his new book, ‘Wildland: The Making of America’s Fury’

This week, Paul goes behind the curtain with author and staff writer at the New Yorker, Evan Osnos to discuss his new best-selling book, “Wildland: The Making of America’s Fury” (winner of the National Book Award). Osnos moved to Washington, DC in 2013 after a decade away outside the United Sates, including years as the […]
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When Harry Met Rehab: Frasier’s Dan ‘Bulldog’ Butler and Little House on the Prairie’s Melissa Gilbert come to town!

This week, Paul goes behind the curtain with the beloved stars of a new World Premiere: When Harry Met Rehab. Written by Chicago’s Very Own Harry Teinowitz and Spike Manton, a comedy based loosely on the real-life experiences of the Chicago sports radio personality. The show stars Dan Butler, best known as Bob “Bulldog” Briscoe […]
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The power of social media from those who live as social influencers

This week, Paul goes behind the curtain for a really interesting and insightful conversation about social media and social influence. How did this area develop, what do those who do it right to gain the followers. And a variety of insights that you will find really fascinating as these folks reflect on what they do […]
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Legendary actress Ruta Lee spills it all on Classic Hollywood in a new autobiography tell-all!

This week, Paul goes behind the curtain with legendary actress Ruta Lee. Starring in the classic movies “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” and “Witness for the Prosecution,” appearing in countless classic TV shows from The Lucy Show and Andy Griffith to Gomer Pyle and Twilight Zone as well as game shows from High Rollers to […]
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Meet the stars of Paradise Square playing at the Nederlander Theater until December 5th

Paul goes behind the curtain with the cast of the pre-Broadway production of “Paradise Square,” currently playing at the Nederlander Theater through December 5th. The time is 1863, the location is Five Points in New York, and the cultures of the Irish escaping the famine in Ireland meeting the world of newly freed slaves and […]