Shepard artists chosen for collection

Shepard artists chosen for collection

  Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn recently selected works by Shepard High School art students Sarah McIntyre and Amanda Potenberg for its permanent collection.
  Advocate sponsored a competition titled ‘Art from the Heart’ for local high school students. Selected submissions now will appear in the hospital on permanent display.
  Students could submit drawings, paintings, photographs, and sculptures. McIntyre won second place overall. Both McIntyre and Potenberg study with Shepard art teacher Donna Hughes.
  Shown is the work of Shepard High School art student Sarah McIntyre, who won second place overall in the ‘Art from the Heart’ contest. Her painting now will appear on permanent display at the hospital.

Submitted image

Top Country Albums

  1. Red, Taylor Swift, Big Machine Records
  2. Two Lanes of Freedom, Tim McGraw, Big Machine Records
  3. Here’s to the Good Times, Florida Georgia Line, Universal Republic
  4. Hunter Hayes, Hunter Hayes, Atlantic
  5. Tornado, Little Big Town, Capitol
  6. Set You Free, Gary Allan, MCA Nashville
  7. Blown Away, Carrie Underwood, Sony Nashville/Arista
  8. Night Train, Jason Aldean, Broken Bow
  9. Tailgates & Tanlines, Luke Bryan, Capitol
  10. Chief, Eric Church, Capitol

Smith Village Players perform

Submitted photo. Smith Village players are Ede Iversen (from left), Sig Erber, Sue Delves, Mary Jane Porcelli, Bill Porcelli, Jim Hickey, Mary Christianson and Phil Carlin, with their mentor Amanda Mauceri, associate executive director of Smith Village.

The Smith Village Players, a theatrical group composed of continuing care retirement community residents in Beverly, last month put on a lively variety show for prospective residents, one packed with musical and comedic talent.

Resident Carol Kamp provided piano for the program at 2320 W. 113th Place. Among the eight who performed was Bill Porcelli, a violinist for the Southwest Symphony for 43 years, playing a solo rendition of “Danny Boy,” and his wife Mary Jane, who sang “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend.” Sig Erber, a local actor and singer, and Ede Iversen, another vocalist, sang a duet. Other residents told jokes or performed in skits, including Phil Carlin, Jim Hickey, Sue Delves and Mary Christianson.

The group concluded its program by singing “Thanks for the Memories.”

“What better way to convince people this is a great place to live than to show off the great talent of our residents,” says Ashley Swint, marketing coordinator for Smith Village. “They are creative, active and vibrant, and make the very best ambassadors for our community.”

For more information about Smith Village, call (773) 474-7300 or visit

Videoview by Jay Bobbin

(NOTICE: Ratings for each film begin with a ‘star’ rating — one star meaning ‘poor,’ four meaning ‘excellent’ — followed by the Motion Picture Association of America rating, and then by a family-viewing guide, the key for which appears below.)

“LIFE OF PI”: Director Ang Lee’s stunningly visual version of the Yann Martel novel earned him a recent Oscar nomination for the film, which also was in the best picture race. A young man (played in his teen years by Suraj Sharma) and a Bengal tiger become wary lifeboat mates after a shipwreck, then develop into partners in survival as their unique adventure evolves. Gerard Depardieu and Rafe Spall also appear, but Sharma, Lee and the visual-effects team clearly own the film. *** (PG: AS, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“HITCHCOCK”: Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren are typically credible as legendary “master of suspense” Alfred Hitchcock and his wife, Alma, in director Sacha Gervasi’s docudrama, but the bigger interest is the movie’s detailing of the complications — financial and emotional — the famed filmmaker ran into while making his classic “Psycho.” Scarlett Johansson plays actress Janet Leigh, she of the shower scene. Jessica Biel appears as “Psycho” co-star Vera Miles, with Michael Wincott as killer Ed Gein, whom Hitchcock envisions himself engaging in conversation. *** (PG-13: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“RISE OF THE GUARDIANS”: The title guardians are some of the most famous characters ever, who band together to save the world’s children from an overdose of fear aimed by the so-called Bogeyman (voice by Jude Law), in this enjoyable fantasy. Santa Claus, Jack Frost, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy — respectively voiced by Alec Baldwin, Chris Pine, Hugh Jackman and Isla Fisher (“Wedding Crashers”) — try to prevent the intended fright from taking hold. *** (PG: AS) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“SMASHED”: A young couple, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Emmy winner Aaron Paul (“Breaking Bad”), struggle to get a handle on their drinking in this well-played drama honored at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. The wife has an especially hard time making the journey toward sobriety, which forces her to come to terms with personal and professional dilemmas. The impressive cast also includes Oscar winner Octavia Spencer (“The Help”), Mary Kay Place, and spouses Megan Mullally (“Will & Grace”) and Nick Offerman (“Parks and Recreation”). DVD extras: “making-of’’ documentary; audio commentary by Winstead and director and co-writer James Ponsoldt; deleted scenes; Toronto Film Festival footage. *** (R: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“THIS MUST BE THE PLACE”: It didn’t get as much theatrical distribution as most of his films, but Sean Penn remains a singular acting force in this unusual mix of personal drama and revenge tale. The star plays a retired rock music legend who decides to patch things up with his father, but after traveling from Ireland to New York on that mission, he finds his dad has died ... before completing his targeting of a former Nazi war criminal, which the son then takes up. Frances McDormand, Judd Hirsch, Eve Hewson (daughter of U2’s Bono) and music icon David Byrne also star for director Paolo Sorrentino. *** (R: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

“THE MOB DOCTOR: THE COMPLETE SERIES”: Rarely is an entire television show available on video before the end of the season in which it’s aired, but that’s an indication of the short life of this Fox drama about a surgeon (played by Jordana Spiro) indebted to a Chicago underworld leader (William Forsythe). That forces her to take on some assignments she’d prefer not to have. Zach Gilford (“Friday Night Lights”) and Zjelko Ivanek also are in the regular cast. ** (Not rated: AS, P, V)

“BADLANDS” (March 19): Director Terrence Malick’s much-revered 1973 drama of young lawbreakers (Martin Sheen, Sissy Spacek) on the run gets Criterion Collection treatment. (PG: AS, P, V)

“THIS IS 40” (March 22): Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann reprise their “Knocked Up” roles as spouses now coping with reaching what, to them, is a milestone age in director Judd Apatow’s comedy. (R and unrated versions: AS, P)

“THE COLLECTION” (March 26): In this equally gruesome follow-up to “The Collector,” Josh Stewart reprises the role of a serial killer’s almost-victim enlisted to help save the felon’s latest captive. (R: AS, N, P, GV)

“KILLING THEM SOFTLY” (March 26): Brad Pitt stars as an underworld “fixer” called in after novice thieves make the mistake of robbing mobsters. James Gandolfini and Ray Liotta also appear. (R: AS, P, V)

“PARENTAL GUIDANCE” (March 26): Billy Crystal and Bette Midler play a couple who get a firsthand education in modern generational differences by baby-sitting their grandchildren. (PG: AS)

“RIZZOLI & ISLES: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON” (May 14): As the start of the TNT series’ fourth season nears, Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander play the Boston detective and medical examiner in the most recent episodes. (Not rated: AS, P, V)

FAMILY-VIEWING GUIDE KEY: AS, adult situations; N, nudity; P, profanity; V, violence; GV, particularly graphic violence.

Variety by Brian Lowry

Journalists are heroes in latest TV dramas

For journalists, the yawning gap between the romance surrounding their jobs and harsh reality appears to be growing. This month two primetime dramas will premiere where investigative journalists play heroic roles: “Zero Hour,” a decades-spanning ABC serial, with Anthony Edwards as a magazine editor trying to rescue his wife; and “Cult,” CW’s spooky addition to conspiracy lore, with a reporter probing a TV show tied to nefarious doings.

They join “Touch,” a Fox series in which Kiefer Sutherland’s former newspaperman now re­ceives help from an ex-Los Angeles Times reporter (sadly, there are a lot of those around) who operates an investigative website; HBO’s little-seen “Enlightened,” where facilitating a Times expose against her company becomes the protagonist’s driving motivation; and the D.C.-set Netflix drama “House of Cards,” where a news­paper reporter portrayed by Kate Mara occupies a pivotal role, albeit more notably for her influence over events — by carrying water for a ruthless politician — than her ethics.

Yet if Hollywood still sees journalists as viable heroes, this image-boosting vote of confidence comes as actual jobs have dis­appeared faster than guest stars in many of these programs. Moreover, the profession’s esteem in the public’s eyes remains under siege. Watching scripted TV, reporting still looks like a fairly glamorous occupation. Write for a newspaper or work in broadcast news, and the trend lines are considerably less reassuring.

Recently, for example, New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan wrote about senior staff members taking buyouts in the paper’s latest cost-cutting initiative, and the significant loss those decades of experience and “institutional memory” entails. As for TV, recent exec changes at CNN and NBC News reflect the tenuous state of journalistic priorities as such organizations pivot to face an uncertain digital future. NBC News Prez Steve Capus resigned, roughly six months after an exec with little experience related to news, Pat Fili-Krushel, took charge of the NBC Universal News Group, overseeing the network news division and its sister cable channels. Meanwhile, to find its new chief CNN turned to Jeff Zucker, who established his career at the “Today” show, true, but also had been away from hands-on journalism for more than a decade, since heading west to run NBC’s entertainment division in 2000.

By that measure, Zucker has something in common with ABC News topper Ben Sherwood, a former “Good Morning America” producer who had given up broadcast news to write books and be a web entrepreneur before being tapped as a surprise choice to succeed David Westin (himself a lawyer by training) two years ago. If there’s an aggregated message it’s the paramount importance of showbiz values in guiding TV journalism, while print - from which television traditionally takes its lead — is diminished in its resources and ambition.

As usual, “The Daily Show’s” Jon Stewart neatly summarized the latter’s diluted state Monday in discussing reports Chinese computer hackers had attacked the New York Times, saying, “Why would you target our print media? It’s like trying to starve us by disrupting our vegetable supply.” Hey, it only hurts when you laugh. Frankly, it’s understandable why dramatic storytellers would be drawn to journalism. Although it’s a long way back to “All the President’s Men,” reporters still convey the ideal of searching for truth, at a time when the cacophony of voices can make it especially elusive. Besides, not every TV show can be built around cops and doctors, even if it sometimes feels that way.

Nevertheless, what amounts to this mini-wave of fictional journalists representing a vanguard against sweeping conspiracies and existential threats plays as an oddly dated framework at a moment when investigative endeavors have dwindled and many in the field are understandably preoccupied with merely saving themselves. In his farewell memo to staffers, NBC’s Capus — who, incidentally, hired such credential-free cor­respondents as former First Daughters Chelsea Clinton and Jenna Bush Hager during his tenure — wrote, “Journalism is, indeed, a noble calling.” In its purest form, it truly is. But if you’re looking for happy endings from stories involving journalists, currently the best advice would be to skip reality, and wait for the Hollywood version.