Casting: It’s time for YOU to Pick the Actors!

CASTING Episode # 1 A ROOM FOREVER The Audition – Voting Begins 9/8/13.

An episodic series where short plays are performed after you the viewer have VOTED on which actors should play the roles in them. Viewers may submit up to THREE votes per episode for one actor and one actress via the comments section on this video’s site or by sending their votes to:

Casting votes for A ROOM FOREVER by Lisa Dahlborg may be made till 9/21/13.

Featuring auditioning actors Beka, Tim Blewitt, Mary-Jo Brown, Catherine Dennis, Dylan Cinti and Jennifer Mayberry.

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The Laugh Factory in Chicago: Dom Irrera

374016_336139059767302_925329843_nSaturday night’s adventure proved to be a great night out in Chicago for comedy — I went to see legend Dom Irrera at the Laugh Factory. This was my first time ever to see him in person and my first visit to the Laugh Factory as well.

(I am sharing a detailed summary of the venue because Dom Irrera began his show by asking  who was new to the Laugh Factory. Almost the entire audience raised their hand! Even he seemed surprised.)

So, for the adventurous newbies driving from the burbs, street parking can be a challenge.  I opted to pre-purchase a parking spot at a nearby garage. There are plenty of discount, prepay sites online but purchase a spot early since the less expensive and close garages go fast. If you are in the city and can take the train, the Belmont& Broadway stop. 

I got there early for the 10 pm show and had to wait outside until the 8 o’clock audience cleared out. (Note to self: bring an umbrella to avoid chia pet looking hair.)  The wait was not long and “people watching” is always an entertaining pastime in Chicago.

Also, if you want to enjoy the area and grab dinner before or after your show, there are a great variety of restaurants by the club, the parking garages and by the train stop. 

The only tricky part of the night occurred when trying to get into the building – avoid being hit by the camouflaged exit door as people are leaving.

A welcoming, upscale tone is set once entering the lobby. Nice interior, dim lights, comedy artifacts tastefully displayed.  As I was escorted past a small but sleek  looking bar area, I entered a room that seemed to expand right before my eyes.

Seating in the back part of the club has the lower ceiling because there is the balcony above it. (This used to be a theater prior to the Laugh Factory). Stepping down into the main floor, the ceilings soars about 3 stories up creating a festive vibe.

Seating is first come first served so if you want to be near the stage, don’t be late. Wear deodorant since seating is tight and ask to sit at the end of a row if you have very long legs. Also, hit the bathroom if needed right away. Common sense, but once seated, your drink order is taken the show starts promptly.

11941976_oriDom began his show with his casual and friendly manner, getting to know the audience. He spent time reacquainting himself with a fellow lady passenger from his flight and handling a young adult fan that had had too much libation prior to coming to the show. 

Once into his material, Dom delivered! The audience loved his trademark Italian accent and jokes regarding eating, water, traveling and having strangers pack his bag, for example.

As expected, his ability to overstate the obvious in a very simple, yet direct manner connected with this crowd of Laugh Factory newbies. I cannot wait to attend another show at this club, now that I am a pro.

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Ferris Bueller Rides Again …

Anyone old enough to remember this classic will LOVE this video. What if they agreed to do a remake?!

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Woodfield Mall Shoppers get a BIG Surprise December 1st!

We live about 15 minutes from Woodfield Mall here in the Chicago suburbs so you can imagine our surprise when this YouTube video showed up in an email today from a friend.

Check out all the local singing actors and EXTRAS!

With Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon and Musical Director Paul Mirkovich at the helm, T-Mobile surprises shoppers at the Chicagoland area’s Woodfield Mall with a surprise performance and updated spin on the holiday classic, “(There’s No Place Like) Home For The Holidays.”

Cast and Crew:
Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Music Director: Paul Mirkovich
Vocal Director: Robin Da Silva
Director of Photography: Dariusz Wolski
Opening soloist: Zoe Mirkovich
Closing soloist: Robin Da Silva

Link:  YouTube Video Link

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My Interview with the Cake Boss–Buddy Valastro

For Buddy Valastro, 33, mixing eggs, sugar, butter and flour mean a lot more than “making a cake.” As a fourth generation baker, it’s a constant source of pleasure, pride and creativity. Creating amazing cakes connects Buddy with the memory of his father Buddy Sr. and his extended Italian family history. His talent and passion for the family business, Carlo’s Bakery, has earned the straight-talking cake expert the moniker, and TLC TV show, Cake Boss.

At age 11, Buddy began his career at the family business Carlo’s Bakery, alongside his father. While his initial responsibilities were washing pots and pans he soon realized he had inherited the family gene and a passion for baking. At 17, his father passed away and Buddy took over daily operations of the bakery. As the head of Carlo’s Bakery he continued to further his father’s dream of making the bakery a household name. Looking for ways to help the bakery stand out against the competition he mastered fondant icing techniques and introduced the art of designer cakes. It was his magnificent cake creations that caught the media’s attention, and after several appearances on Food Network Challenge, Buddy was approached by executives at TLC and Cake Boss was born. The reality show now in its’ third season centers on behind the scenes working of Carlo’s Bakery and the Valastro family and became an instant hit. Buddy is also in production for his new reality show competition series. Next Great Baker, airing on TLC in December.

Buddy lives in New Jersey with his wife Lisa and their four children.

This story was aired on November 26th, 2011 on DuPage News Network, LLC. Check out all the DuPage News on the DNN website or our Facebook page.        

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