RSSOffBeat With Phil Potempa

OFFBEAT with PHIL POTEMPA: Little Orphan Annie visiting Dick Tracy for comics return

OFFBEAT with PHIL POTEMPA: Little Orphan Annie visiting Dick Tracy for comics return

When Tribune Syndicate and flagship The Chicago Tribune decided to end their long-running distributed comic strip "Little Orphan Annie" in 2010, there were many unanswered questions.

The cancellation came after the number of newspapers carrying the comic strips dwindled. Fortunately, Annie's newspaper neighbor on the comics pages (primarily The Chicago Tribune) Dick Tracy has continued to be distributed by Tribune Syndicate. And now, the square-jawed detective who rose to fame during the same era as the launch of Annie's trademark red curly-top, is helping solve the mystery of the missing comic strip favorite of so many generations.

When the 86-year run of the Annie comic strip ended, many story and plot lines were left unresolved.

Continue reading

OFFBEAT with PHIL POTEMPA: Marriott's 'On the Town' celebrates life in the Big Apple

OFFBEAT with PHIL POTEMPA: Marriott's 'On the Town' celebrates life in the Big Apple

Anyone longing for New York City of yesteryear, as showcased by song, dance and comedy on stage as a musical classic, you need go no further than Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire for "On the Town," playing until Oct. 12.

It's a stage story not so often produced, which includes the song favorite "New York, New York," as part of the score by Leonard Bernstein with book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green.

First on Broadway in 1944, it starred Comden and Green in lead roles, along with Nancy Walker, John Battles, Cris Alexander and Sono Osato in this hilarious and entertaining story of three American sailors on a whirlwind 24-hour leave in New York City. The 1949 MGM film version starred Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Ann Miller, Betty Garrett, Jules Munshin, Vera-Ellen and Bea Benaderet.

Continue reading

OFFBEAT with PHIL POTEMPA: Earnhardt car, Doctor Who, Shatner, Nimoy, Elvira, Tiegs here this weekend

OFFBEAT with PHIL POTEMPA: Earnhardt car, Doctor Who, Shatner, Nimoy, Elvira, Tiegs here this weekend

Publicist Daphne Ortiz is always surrounded by fun, excitement and fame.

Ortiz, the daughter of Rebecca and Richard Ortiz, of Griffith, grew up in Northwest Indiana and is a 1990 graduate of Lowell High School.

This week, she is busier than ever, with a parade of Hollywood's who's who in Chicago to meet and greet fans, sign autographs and pose for photos while promoting their latest projects at Wizard World Comic Con 2014.

Continue reading

OFFBEAT with PHIL POTEMPA: Broadway in Chicago season preview includes 'Carole King'

OFFBEAT with PHIL POTEMPA: Broadway in Chicago season preview includes 'Carole King'

Broadway in Chicago announced Monday that "Beautiful — The Carole King Musical" will play in Chicago for a 12-week limited engagement opening Dec. 1, 2015.

Earlier this year, Chicago actress Jessie Mueller won the Best Performance by an Actress Tony for her leading role in the Broadway musical portraying King, and even joining the singing legend on stage at the 68th Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York.

However, the casting for the Chicago run has not yet been announced, and tickets will go on sale at a later date.

Continue reading

OFFBEAT with PHIL POTEMPA: 'Godzilla' gets special silly fun screening in Portage

OFFBEAT with PHIL POTEMPA: 'Godzilla' gets special silly fun screening in Portage

Last week, headlines roared that Godzilla is returning for a sequel after this summer's success with the towering lizard crowned as a smashing hit at the box office.

According to Warner Bros., "Godzilla 2," with Gareth Edwards once again directing, will stomp into theaters June 8, 2018, after the summer 2014 blockbuster captured $507.7 million at the global box office.

This news makes Godzilla a force even more frightening and intimidating.

Continue reading

OFFBEAT with PHIL POTEMPA: Lookingglass 'Cascabel' hottest, most delicious ticket in town

OFFBEAT with PHIL POTEMPA: Lookingglass 'Cascabel' hottest, most delicious ticket in town

It's the ages old saying, so easy to recall: "The way to a man's heart, is through his stomach."

And certainly, the same can be true for the taste and sensory factors of the female species.

I've always been a fan of dinner theater, since it was one of my first stage experiences, courtesy of my parents, when I was a youth and I saw "The Music Man" in seventh grade as an afternoon matinee served with lunch at Canterbury Playhouse in Michigan City.

Continue reading

OFFBEAT with PHIL POTEMPA: Robin Hood getting stage send-up in Chesterton in September

OFFBEAT with PHIL POTEMPA: Robin Hood getting stage send-up in Chesterton in September

Zachary Gipson, 26, a 2006 graduate of Chesterton High School, is returning to his region roots next month and bringing a fantastic, fun and entertaining spoof of "Robin Hood" to the stage to his hometown.

Gipson, who has been living in Chicago for the past few years, is a familiar face to Northwest Indiana audiences. They know his work from set design and stage roles for many of the popular summer run productions at Star Plaza Theatre, ranging from "Disney's High School Musical" in 2008 to "Annie" in 2010.

And in recent months, his set design work for larger Chicago stage runs also is getting great critical notice, including from my own pen in some of my recent reviews.

Continue reading

OFFBEAT with PHIL POTEMPA: Wiseguys Liquor Superstore ribbon-cutting includes Elvis and Marilyn

OFFBEAT with PHIL POTEMPA: Wiseguys Liquor Superstore ribbon-cutting includes Elvis and Marilyn

Friday's WiseGuys Liquor Superstore opening day event included a line waiting outside for the official ribbon-cutting.

And among the excited guests: Elvis and Marilyn Monroe.

Located at 1634 W. 80th Ave. along U.S. 30 and Mississippi Street across from Southlake Mall in the strip of stores landscape that is home to Toys 'R' Us, the store is 16,000 square feet. You could fit up to six 'normal' size liquor stores into this place.

Continue reading

OFFBEAT with PHIL POTEMPA: Legendary Lauren Bacall gone at 89, not forgotten

OFFBEAT with PHIL POTEMPA: Legendary Lauren Bacall gone at 89, not forgotten

Besides accomplished actress of film, Broadway and television, Lauren Bacall was also every definition of a true "movie star."

Bacall, 89, died Tuesday, as announced by her son, Stephen Humphrey Bogart. She was pronounced dead at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center at 5:21 p.m. Tuesday, according to Kathleen Robinson, the hospital's media relations director as provided to The Associated Press.

Her AP wire obituary, as pre-written by AP's late Bob Thomas summed her up perfectly: "A fashion model and bit-part New York actress before moving to Hollywood at 19, Bacall achieved immediate fame in 1944 with one scene in her first film, 'To Have and Have Not.' Leaving Humphrey Bogart's hotel room, Bacall — a lanky figure with flowing blond hair and a stunning face — murmured: 'You don't have to say anything, and you don't have to do anything. Not a thing. Oh, maybe just whistle. You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow.' "

Continue reading

OFFBEAT with PHIL POTEMPA: Wiseguys Liquor Superstore ready for grand opening and 'Waltons' memory

OFFBEAT with PHIL POTEMPA: Wiseguys Liquor Superstore ready for grand opening and 'Waltons' memory

At our family farm, we make homemade wine, both dandelion (in the spring) and purple concord grape (in the fall), in the large stone crocks in our cellar.

It's a long and involved process, which my late Uncle Swede was especially practiced at, for refining the needs to create the perfect fermentation process. Besides being a specialized craft, it's an exact science to balance the sugar and yeast.

During wine-making season, it always reminds me of a running theme in episodes of the popular CBS television series "The Waltons," which ran from 1971 to 1981 and always has ranked as a favorite in our family, especially for my Grandma Potempa.

Continue reading

Movies & Theater

Movies

Enter your Zip code below to see local movie listings:

TV Listings

Enter your ZIP code below to see local listings.
Get weekly ads via e-mail

Latest Local Offers

Featured Businesses