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Dwight Casimere

Stories by Dwight

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

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

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The Shape of Water Nominated for Six Golden Globes

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

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

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

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

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

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Wine of the week: Celebrate the Holidays with Emblem wines

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

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

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

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Wine of the Week: 1955 Millesimal Prosecco

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Broadway In Chicago Escape to Margaritaville

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

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Wine of the Week just in time for the Holiday

Beaujolais Nouveau 2017

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School of Rock Broadway In Chicago thru Nov. 19

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

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Wine of the Week - Wine For Your Holiday Table

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

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Wine of the Week – Line39 Excursion Red Blend 2016

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

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

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

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Chicago International Film Festival:Jane

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

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

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Black Cop

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

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Sammy Davis Jr.; I've Gotta Be Me

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

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

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

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Wine of the Week: Freixenet Casa Sala

Much has been written about comparisons between French Champagne and Spanish Cavas, their word for sparkling wines.

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Marshall opens the Chicago Intl Film Festival – A Black legal super hero

On June 13, 1967, when President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed Thurgood Marshall as the 96th Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, he said, "it was the right thing to do."

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Wine of the Week – Bodegas Prado Rey Crianza 2014-$12

One of the current best values in Spanish red wines is the fabulous 2014 Crianza from Bodegas Prado Rey.

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Wine of the Week Fidora Organic Prosecco DOC from Venice

From a 600–year-old Benedictine estate near the Lagoon of Venice in the Veneto wine growing region of northeastern Italy comes a rare organic Prosecco that rivals any sparkling wine from France.

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Wine of the Week – Les Dauphins Cotes du Rhone Villages Red and White Reserve

ummer seems to be lingering into fall. Its terrific to have a refreshing French wine from the Rhone Valley, in both Red and White incarnations, made from organic grapes that is both flavorful and affordable.

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Wine of the Week – Zonin Prosecco $12

Warm summer weather is lingering well into the early days of fall.

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Goodman Theatre 2017 Season opener- A View From The Bridge

Goodman Theatre of Chicago opened its 2017 season with the Arthur Miller classic, A View From The Bridge.

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Wine of the Week: Hail Niro! Pecorino Wine from Abruzzo, Italy ($18)

A terrific wine for under $20 that is an expression of everything that the indigenous grapes of central Italy are all about. Niro Pecorino 2014 is made from the Pecorino grape; an ancient, native grape that is so named because it is the first to ripen and attracts the attention of grazing sheep, called Pecora in Italian. This wine is made in a region that has been famous for winemaking since the time of the Romans, and the current winemakers take advantage of both traditional and modern techniques to create a stunning wine that is full of tropical fruit and herb flavors. Think pineapple, white grapefruit, hints of Meyer lemon and touches of fresh sage or wild oregano, with a hint of the rich mineral soil in which the grapes are grown, and you have the complete flavor profile of Niro Pecorino.

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Wine of the Week: Vado Prosecco Superiore-$21.49

Labor Day 2017 is just a few days away (Monday, Sept. 4). It's a great opportunity to both toast the end of summer and great your best friends and family members to a real treat; Valdo Prosecco Superiore ()$21.49), straight from the birthplace of Prosecco, the Valdobbiadene located near the city of Treviso, in the Veneto wine growing region, located in the Alpine-Dolomite mountain range. If  you were to fly there, you'd probably land in Venice and get there by train or car through some of the most beautiful mountainside vineyards imaginable. The sparkling wine is made from %100 Glrea grapes, the white wine variety that is native to the region. Once called the prosecco grape, it was changed back to its original name Glera, to avoid all confusion. So many countries were claiming the name prosecco and using any number of local and international grape varieties in the process, that government officials in the Italian region decided to clarify things once and for all. Prosecco is from northern Italy and the true processo grape is the Glera grape.

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Toast the sun’s Eclipse with a final taste of summer – Sicilian style

Donnafugata SURSUR 2016 ($20) is a spirited, delicious way to celebrate the final, waning days of summer and toast the Solar Eclipse. SURSUR is a youthful, fruity wine, called Grillo. It has the smell of a bouquet of elderflowers and has the taste of a basket of ripe peaches and a hint of rosemary. Grillo is an ancient Sicilian grape variety. The name also is the nickname for the cricket, a cute little animal that is supposed to bring good luck. The name SURSUR also means cricket in the classical Arabic language that was once spoken in Sicily when the early North African settlers inhabited the land as the first winemakers.

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Wine of the Week – Ferarri Rose Trento DOC-$28

Summer vacation time is here and if, for some reason, you've had to opt for a staycation instead of jetting off to an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean or booking a week at that timeshare you've owned for years, but never had time to visit, why not treat yourself to a liquid vacation retreat. Ferrari Rose Trento DOC NV-$28.

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Wine of the Week: Two wines from Italy answer grill wine riddle

What wine do I serve with barbecue and grilled meats and other grilled foods? It turns out two wines from very different regions of Italy have solved the riddle.

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Wine of the Week: Miner Family Napa Valley winery delivers great summer barbecue wines

Look no further than California's famed Napa Valley and Miner Family Winery for some terrific summer barbecue wines that are sure to set your garden party head and shoulders above all others. The wines are complex, but designed to please with lush fruit flavors, a nice balance of natural acidity and intense concentration that allows the flavors to really shine through and complement just about everything that comes off the grill. Grilled meat dishes, such as grass fed beef burgers with blue cheese or grilled bison steak brushed with olive oil and rosemary are the perfect pairings with 2014 Miner Winery Emily's Cabernet Sauvignon ($50). This decidedly Bordeaux-style red combines 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Cabernet Franc and 5% Merlot in a highly expressive and elegant blend that honors the wine's muse, Miner Family Winery co-founder Emily Miner. Founded in 1998 by Dave and Emily Miner along the eastern hills of Oakville appellation in the heart of Napa Valley, Miner crafts reserve-style wines using only fruit sourced from the Napa Valley.

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Wine of the Week – Voga Italia Pinot Grigio - $9.99 from Italy with style

They say that first impressions are everything. Voga Italia Pinot Grigio is a wine that is not only dressed for success, but delivers with bright fruit flavors and delicate floral aromas, all packaged in a bottle that says the word STYLE in capitol letters. VOGA Italia is a contemporary wine created especially for today's palate. Light and crisp, it is a wine that can be enjoyed on its own or with a wide variety of cuisines. Its perfect for summertime. Bring it to your next garden party and it’s sure to garner attention, not only for its sleek, elegantly designed bottle, but also for the terrific wine that’s inside.

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Wine of the Week: Lynfred Winery in Roselle, IL - A Local legend in the making

Illinois has a thriving wine industry and, thanks to Fred E. Koehler, founder of Lynfred Winery in Roselle, the wines have garnered national attention and several prestigious awards. Perhaps you’re already familiar with Lynfred Winery's tasting rooms, Tasting deVine, which originated in Wheaton in 1999, followed by the Tasting deVine Cellars in the basement at 21 W. Jefferson Ave in Naperville, which opened in 2004, followed by a new tasting room in Wheeling in 2008. Lynfred Winery in Roselle is an impressive facility. The grapes are imported from California, then vinified and cellared in a state-of-the-art facility that has expanded by leaps and bounds. With a complete line of red, white, sparkling, fruit wines, ports and ice wines, there's no end to the dynamic range of tasting experiences at Lynfred. The story began in 1975 when Fred and his late wife Lynn began making wine in the basement of their home. What began as a hobby quickly grew out of hand, and the Koehler's decided to go commercial, establishing the first winery in Illinois in 1975. What began with just 7 varieties and 5,000 gallons of wine has grown to more than 80 varieties and 100,000 gallons of wine a year.

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Wine of the Week – 2015 Wente Eric’s Small Lot Chardonnay - $25

Went 2015 Eric's Small Lot Chardonnay is a tribute to the art of winemaking. The grapes for the Small Lot wine are hand harvested from selected blocks of estate grown and certified sustainable vineyards. Influenced by the warm days and cool nights of t he San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean, the grapes are picked at their optimum and sorted at harvest to ensure premium quality. Fermented at cold temperatures in stainless steel tanks in order to retain the optimal fruit character, aromatics and flavor, the wine is then aged for four months in stainless steel tanks. No oak touches this wine, therefore the pristine flavor of the grapes and their juice is preserved. The resulting wine is a masterpiece. Eric Wente is a Fourth Generation Winegrower. Founded in 1883, Wente is the nation's oldest continuously operated family-owned winery. Owned and managed by the Fourth and Fifth Generations of the Wente family, the winery draws from nearly 3,000 acres of sustainably farmed estate vineyards in some of California's prime wine producing areas; Livermore Valley, San Francisco Bay, Arroyo Secco, and Monterey.

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96 Souls in select theaters and on VOD

dcasimere@thetimesweekly.com What if you could see people's inner souls and discern their true thoughts and intentions? That's exactly the premise of winter/director Stanley Jacob's 96 Souls now playing in selected theaters around the country and available on all VOD platforms May 30. Research scientist Dr. Jack Sutree (Grinnel Morris) has a lab accident while developing a compound that allows one to see smells, which can somehow be used in the fight against malaria and other deadly diseases. Exposed to his creation, he can suddenly visualize smells. He is further impacted when the ashes of his dead dog are blown into his eyes and he suddenly develops the superhuman power to see people's inner lives. The results are wacky and make for an entertaining hour and fifty some-odd minutes of viewing. It t makes a while to get into the concept, but its just kookie enough to gram your attention long enough to be a willing participant in the madcap ride. Dr. Sutree sets about patching up things with his estranged wife, helping a homeless woman find her lost mother, and screening the jury members in an upcoming trial against his research lab's corrupt corporate founders.

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Wines of Greece Kissed by the Summer Sun

wine@thetimesweekly.com Greece is one of the oldest wine producers in the world. In fact, it was the Greeks who brought wine to Rome. Therefore, its somewhat surprising that when wines of Greece presented its Grand Tasting at City Winery is New York and Chicago in advance of a national rollout, they were being greeted by both the public and the media as "something new." After tasting some 40 of the latest vintages from producers representing all of the country's wine growing regions, it was evident that Wines of Greece are well crafted, with a unique flavor profile that is both fun and food friendly. Tasting Greek wines is an instant education in the country's unique terroir and grape varieties. Names such as Moschofilero (mo-sko-feel-ero) from Mantinia located the high plains of the Peloponnese peninsula, where this pink-skinned grape reigns supreme, or Agiorginko (a-yor-gee-tiko), which translates to St. George, in Greek.

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Wine of the Week – LeBolte Dail’

A "Super Tuscan" for under $20? No way, you say. But that's exactly what is happening with Le Volte Dell' Ornelliaia 2015 ($15). The wine is nearly perfect in every way. It has a nice structure and rich fruit. It is the direct beneficiary of one of the best growing years in Tuscany's recent wine history. 2015 was a year that saw a warm, sunny summer, followed by a cool, dry harvest in the fall. The resulting wine had a deep Ruby red color with flavors of ripe blackberries and dark cherries with a hint of black peppercorn and sage.

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Goodman Theatre World Premiere Objects In The Mirror

Times Weekly gives it 4 stars

If someone told you the harrowing story of African-born actor Shedrick Yarkpai, you would probably not believe it. Yet, here it is as the subject of a fully staged World Premiere production at Goodman Theatre, Chicago, Objects In The Mirror, by Chicago native playwright Charles Smith and directed by the Goodman's own esteemed Resident Director Chuck Smith (no relation).  Playwright Smith first encountered Yarkpai in 2009 while traveling to the idyllic city of Adelaide, Australia in 2009 for a production of his play A Free Man of Color (the play later premiered on Broadway with the Golden Globe, Tony, Emmy and Drama Desk Award-winning actor Jeffrey Wright in the lead). A young Liberian actor, Shedrick Yarkpai, was slated to play the title role. Over the time of their close working relationship, Yarkpai began to unravel the story of his more than decade-long journey from a refugee campin war-torn Liberia, through the unimaginable brutality, starvation and cruelty of the refugee camps in Guinea and Cote d'Ivoire to finally gaining asylum in Adelaide.

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Wine of the Week: Frescobaldi Alie 2016, The Perfect Rose Wine for Mother’s Day

Frescobaldi Alie 2016 ($18.99) is the perfect wine for Mother's Day Brunch. She, and the rest of your family and guests will absolutely love it. First of all the look is very appealing, coming in an elegantly shaped bottle with a luminous panel pink color that reminds one of coral pearls. It is a wine that has style, not only in appearance, but it its taste as well. Any IGT from Tuscany, it is a different kind of blend of Syrah and Vermentino, grape varieties that benefit greatly from being grown close to the sea, where the wine derives its scents of wildflowers, wild strawberries and a hint of lemon zest with just a wisp of the mineral-laced sea breeze. Served well chilled, it’s the perfect way to start the meal.

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Former Joliet Native Makes Good in Hollywood

Joliet may claim an up-and coming filmmaker as its own. Producer, Director, Writer and Editor Cory Grant was born in Joliet. He has just released his latest film, "Illicit," in the Chicago area. It is currently playing at the Studio Movie Grill, 210 West 87th Street in Chatham Chicago. This isn't Grant's first film outing, but it is certainly his most adventurous. An avowed fan of the horror film genre, "Illicit" is a frank look at the ins and outs of romantic relationships, marriage and the impact of deceit and extra-marital affairs. Illicit takes it to the extreme, and shows what happens when a couple strays apart and winds up teetering on the precipice.

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Wine of the Week: Natura Chardonnay Un-Oaked 2016

Outdoor dining and grilling season is finally here. What better way to celebrate than with a light, fruity un-oaked chardonnay that is both easy to drink. goes with almost anything, and is easy on the pocket. Try Natura Chardonnay Un-Oaked 2016 from Emiliana Organic Vineyards in the Valle del Bio-Bio Chile. At just $9 a bottle, its probably one of the best bargains out there. The flavor is delightful and awesome. Possessing notes of Meyer Lemons, ripe Melons and hints of pineapple in Green Apples, it’s the perfect wine to usher in the spring and summer al fresco dining season. Think summer salads, blending organic vegetables, fresh peas, asparagus and slices of mandarin orange, pineapple and avocado for accents.

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Wine of the Week: Eroica Riesling 2015 - $19 from Washington State’s Chateau St. Michelle

Eroica Riesling ($19) combines Old World technique with modern American attitude. The product of the combined efforts of two winemaking legends, Dr. Ernst Loosen and Washington State's oldest winery, Chateau St. Michelle, the wine has all the finesse and sophistication of a European Riesling with the added dimension of bright, Washington State fruit. The wine is crisp, clean and flavorful with an abundance of ripe pears, fragrant white flowers and hints of tarragon and subtle notes of mandarin orange slices. This is the perfect wine for summer meals on the patio or outdoor cafe.

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Wine of the Week: Spring into Loire Valley Wines of France

A welcome sign of spring is the arrival of new releases of the magnificent wines of the Loire Valley, France. They’re light, flavorful and refreshing. Perfect for spring, with just the right ripe fruit, melon and apple and pear flavors that are perfect with the soft cheeses, salads, seafood and charcuterie spreads that make dining al fresco this time of year so much fun. Ever tasted an Anjou pear? Well, this is where those delicious beauties originated, and there are plenty of wines that share its delightfully crisp, unctuous flavor. Love ripe melons or ripe wild strawberries? There are a number of wines from the Loire valley that embody those luscious flavors. Loire Valley's place in fable and in history is secure. This is where Joan of Arc led French troops to victory in there Hundred Years War and where the French language was born. It is the birthplace of the French Renaissance writer Rabelais. The hillsides are dotted with some of the most magnificent castles to be found in all of France.

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Faure's Requiem Soars with CSO and Charles Dutoit On Easter Weekend

Conductor Charles Dutoit and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in a program of Gabriel Faure's Requiem, Op. 48, Richard Wagner's Good Friday Music from the opera Parsifal and Arthur Honegger's Symphony N

There could not have been a more perfect Easter Weekend program than that which was presented by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with the esteemed conductor Charles Dutoit at the podium with the superb Chicago Symphony Chorus under the direction of Duain Wolfe. Wagner's Good Friday Music from Parsifal brought forth a finely crafted reading of Wagner's superlative music that charts the emotive spiritual journey of a young knight grown to maturity in his search for the Holy Grail. The more restless and war-torn Symphony No. 3 (Liturgique) from 20th century French composer Arthur Honegger seemed stripped right from the weekend's headlines, with North Korea's threatened nuclear tests and the possibility of war-like retaliation from the U.S. and the barely settled fumes of U.S. bombs over Syria still lingering in the air. Dutoit's handling of this epic piece was a testament to his use of restraint in building tension through use of tonal color and texture to create a heightened sense of drama. The long, slow second movement, De proudness clamavi: Adagio, became the central heartbeat of this absorbing piece and set the stage for the finale, which begins with the unrelenting march of war and ends in a peaceful benediction.This was Charles Dutoit and the CSO at their best with their masterful display of contrast.

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Austerity Wines: Exceptional California wines for under $20

Austerity Wines of California is partnering with FeedFeed, a unique online community that connects home cooks, chefs and wine and food bloggers reflecting the latest kitchen trends, to host and series of Chef and Winemaking dinners in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. The dinners all featured high-quality, locally sourced ingredients prepared by innovative local chefs, all paired with Austerity Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet, all priced from $13.99 to $16.97 at you local wine shop. The Chicago edition of the FeedFeed/Austerity Wine Dinner featured Chef Joanna Stachon of Ada St. 1664 American Bistro in Chicago. A native of Chicago's South Side, Chef Stachon cut her culinary teeth as a chef at Chicago's Greek diners and as a butcher at Artisanal and Publican Quality Meats following graduation from the culinary school at the Illinois Institute of Art. She joined the Ada St. team immediately after its opening in March 2012 and rose from Sous Chef to Executive Chef after two years under Executive Chef Zoe Schor.

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Wine of the Week: Chateau Miravel Cotes de Provence Rose 2015 - $19.98

Spring is the perfect time of year to image yourself walking along banks of the Loire River and heading to a little, out of the way chateau to enjoy a glass of the crisp, cool elegant dry Rose wines that the French have been enjoying in this storied region in the South of France for centuries. Millennials have been driving the wine market toward these delightful 'blush' wines for almost the past decade because of their versatility, easy drinkability and affordability. Perfect with exotic and ethnic foods, vegetarian dishes, spicy foods or a myriad of soft, creamy cheeses, they are the perfect wines to pair with a spring buffet or light brunch. On the outdoor grill, get adventurous with some grilled giant asparagus or char grilled Romaine lettuce spears. Chateau Miravel Cotes de Provence Rose 2015 ($19.98).

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Wine of the Week: Celebrate the 45th Anniversary of Dry Creek Vineyards 2014 Cabernet and Merlot $26

Dry Creek Valley on northern California's Sonoma Valley has a wine making history that goes all the way back to the days of the California Gold Rush California Gold Rush of 1849. By the late 1880s, the valley had nine wineries and 883 acres of vineyards. Prohibition ended the wine boom and the area became known as primarily a growing region for prunes and pears. Enter David Stare. With a degree from MIT and a background of working B and O railroad, Stare quickly realized that his passion was for wine. He made his way west, and with a degree from the famed winemaking program at UC Davis, he spent his weekends searching for the perfect place to plant grapes, specifically Sauvignon Blanc, like the storied vineyards of the Loire Valley, which he coveted.

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Wine of the Week: Chateau Cambon La Pelouse 2012 – Haut – Medoc $17

Imagine a Bordeaux from the Haut Medoc on Bordeaux's coveted Left Bank for under $20 that reflects all of the skill and laborious work in the vineyards and much of the complexity, roundness and fruity aromas and the allure of wines costing far more and you have the essential components and drawing cards to Chateau Cambon La Pelouse Haut Medoc 2012. A steal at a mere $17.99, this is a wine worthy of your best dry aged Porterhouse, cooked over hot coals, laced with chunks of hickory or, even better, apple or cherry wood and a few branches of fresh thyme or rosemary thrown on for aromatic good measure. Add a touch of crushed garlic, a dab of butter or a slab of fresh Gorgonzola to melt down into the sizzling meat as it rests off the grill. Grill a couple of spears of romaine brushed with garlic and lemon infused olive oil or pair it with a nice arugula and walnut salad drizzled with balsamic and you have a match made in heaven.

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