New York Comedy Festival Lineup Includes 2 Dope Queens, Conan + More

The New York Comedy Festival has announced the first round of its lineup, featuring a number of big-name comedians and podcasts, including Chris Hardwick, Kevin Smith, Nick Offerman, and Iliza Shlesinger. 2 Dope Queens, the podcast created by Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson, will headline the event with a live show at The Bell House. Produced by Carolines on Broadway and TBS, the six-day festival brings more than 200 comedians together for over 60 shows across New York City. Acts range from TruTV’s “The Impractical Jokers” to former Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett performing his “Lovett or Leave It” podcast to Ron White at the Beacon Theater. The 14th annual event will also feature a comedy hub at the Public Hotel. Here, festival goers will be able to see curated programming and appearances such as a taping of “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.” As an extension of the TBS hub, Conan O’Brien
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Interviews: Red Carpet Premiere of Made-in-Chicago Film ‘Landline’

Chicago – Local Chicago filmmaking got a major debut last weekend with the premiere of “Landline,” written, directed and starring Matthew Aaron. Appropriately, he got the World Champion Chicago Cubs involved, as the plot includes a PR agency pitching a new campaign to the team. The Red Carpet walk had a couple of featured performers in the film who both are Chicago natives – Jim O’Heir (“Parks and Recreation”) and comedian Jay Washington. “Landline” has a one week run at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre (details below), and on Tuesday, April 4th, 2017, the film will be released digitally through most TV and internet providers.

Ted Gout (Matthew Aaron) is happily married to his husband Jack (Patrick Hartigan), but is suffering anxiety because he needs to land the Chicago Cubs account for his PR company. Unfortunately, his work rival Barry (Chad Michael Singer) is fighting him for it, and his boss Fiona
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5 Places You Can See Thomas Middleditch, Besides Silicon Valley

5 Places You Can See Thomas Middleditch, Besides Silicon Valley
Thomas Middleditch is up for his first Emmy Award this year, for his role in HBO's lauded Silicon Valley. The show's cast is by and large made up of the kind of salt-of-the-Earth, journeyman comedians who have been plugging away in the trenches before landing starring roles on pay cable, and Middleditch is no exception. He has a long history in the comedy scene that includes stints at Chicago's Second City and the odd pilot that never got picked up. So if you're a Middleditch fan, here are five places beyond the Valley you can see your favorite lanky Canadian comedian.
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Interview: Actress Lucy Butler of TV’s ‘The Last Ship’ on Her Character’s Demise

Chicago – The season finale of TNT Network’s “The Last Ship” was this previous Sunday (Sep. 11, 2016), and as finales tend to do, there were surprises. One of these shocks was the death of the character Roberta Price, the regional leader of the Deep South. The actress who portrayed her, Lucy Butler, was a surprised as anyone else, and talked to regarding the transition.

The Last Ship” is a popular action-drama show on TNT, and has been renewed for Season Four in 2017. The premise is in the title, when a worldwide epidemic has wiped out 80% of the world’s population, a lone naval destroyer floats with 218 souls on board, working on a cure. “The Last Ship” features Eric Dane as Captain Tom Chandler, Rhona Mitra as Dr. Rachel Scott and Adam Baldwin as Captain Mike Slattery. Lucy Butler portrayed tough-as-nails regional director Roberta Price on the ship, a politician with an agenda.
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Interview: Actor Paul Dooley of ‘Breaking Away,’ ‘Sixteen Candles’

Chicago – If there ever was a quintessential “Dad” in movies of the last generation, it would have to be Paul Dooley. The comedian and character actor is best known for portraying the patriarch in “Breaking Away” (1979) and “Sixteen Candles” (1984), but was also in director’s Robert Altman’s ‘ensemble’ and has had a stellar career.

The former “Paul Brown” was born in West Virginia, and studied acting at West Virginia University, before heading to New York City and a new career as Paul Dooley. He did stage work, stand-up comedy and the New York City version of The Second City (story below), before getting his big break in the original stage version of “The Odd Couple” in 1965, directed by the legendary Mike Nichols. While working the stage, he appeared in a number of commercials, eventually moving to Los Angeles to “be where the action is.”

The Dad: Paul Dooley, with Dennis Christopher,
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20 Years Post-Finale: Where Are The Full House Characters Now?

20 Years Post-Finale: Where Are The Full House Characters Now?
It's been 20 long years since we bid adieu to San Francisco's favorite family on Full House, but this decades-long hiatus may be coming to a close. Last week, TV Line reported that the classic California-set series would be making a reappearance in a modern-day revival – on Netflix.

The Full House reboot isn't a for-sure thing just yet, but according to TVLine, Netflix is very close to ordering a continuation of the '90s classic. Fuller House would follow the eldest Tanner daughter, D.J. (Candace Cameron Bure) and her longtime best friend Kimmy (Andrea Barber), as they tackle the ups
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Interviews: Women in Film Chicago 2014 Focus Award Honorees

Chicago – Women in Film (Wif) Chicago is a advocate group for women filmmakers, on-set professionals and executives in the creative arts, and every year they present their Focus Awards to significant contributors in those arenas. The honorees in 2014 were Shira Piven, Susan Credle, Erin Sarofsky and Christina Varotsis.

The event took place on November 5th, 2014, at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago, and was hosted by marketing executive Melissa Thornley. Each of the recipients were feted with a video tribute, and each told their stories when they accepted the award. spoke with three of the honorees, with a diversity of voices for women in the film and creative industries.

Shira Piven, Film and Theater Director

Shira Piven is part of theater royalty in Chicago, as her parents Byrne and Joyce founded the Piven Theatre Workshop in Evanston, Illinois, and her brother Jeremy is a notable film, theater and television actor.
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Interview: ‘Joel Murray & Friends’ at the New iO Chicago Venue

Chicago – iO Chicago continues the Grand Opening at its new venue with one of its most famous alumni – the illustrious Joel Murray. Besides opening the seventh season of “Mad Men” with a brilliant monologue as Freddy Rumsen, Murray brings his “Joel Murray & Friends” show to the new iO Chicago on August 30th.

Murray is the youngest of the famous “Murrays of Wilmette, Illinois,” which includes brothers Brian-Doyle, Bill and John, plus sister Nancy. He is also one of the earliest members of the former Improv Olympics – now called iO – which grew from its modest beginnings in Chicago with founders Del Close and Charna Halpern to their latest multi-theater venue on Kingsbury Street. Joel Murray comes back to his roots with “Joel Murray & Friends” in The Mission Theater at the venue, which will feature some other famous iO alumni including Jack McBrayer (“30 Rock”), Mitch Rouse (“According to Jim”), Kevin Dorff (“Conan
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Watch: Chicagoans In Hollywood Celebrate Far From Home

Watch: Chicagoans In Hollywood Celebrate Far From Home
Santa Monica, Calif. — A hungry Chris O'Donnell arrived straight from the set of "NCIS: Los Angeles" and polished off a piece of pizza. Joe Mantegna, Dennis Farina and Roger Ebert's wife were craving their favorite Chicago foods, too.

Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts felt right at home, with "Mr. Cub" Ernie Banks resting on a stool and Harry Carey's widow Dutchie standing at the bar.

There was a Midwest feeling in the air Monday night, even if everyone was almost 2,000 miles from the Second City. It was the 25th Windy City West bash, bringing together expatriate Chicagoans from film, television and sports for a taste of home on the West Coast.

"It's unlike any other Hollywood party. People are actually looking each other in the eye and talking," said O'Donnell, who grew up in the Chicago suburb of Winnetka. "There's nobody looking over anyone's shoulder. That's the difference.
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