Articles by Andrew DeCanniere

"No Baggage" - In Conversation with Clara Bensen

"No Baggage" - In Conversation with Clara Bensen Recently, I stumbled upon Clara Bensen’s well-written, engaging memoir, No Baggage: A Minimalist Tale of Love & Wandering (Running Press, 2016), in which she chronicles the 21-day trip that she and her boyfriend, Jeff — who she had just...

Artist Profile: Markus Reuter of "Stick Men"

Artist Profile: Markus Reuter of "Stick Men" Earlier today, I had the opportunity to chat — via e-mail — with Markus Reuter, who is in town with the Stick Men for two performances at Reggie’s (2105 S. State Street in Chicago). Read on to learn more about Markus, their new album "Midori"

"The Art of Risk" - In Conversation with Kayt Sukel

"The Art of Risk" - In Conversation with Kayt Sukel Of all the books that I have read lately, one of the most undeniably interesting, engaging and eye-opening has to be Kayt Sukel’s most recent book, "The Art of Risk" (National Geographic, 2016). In it, she takes a closer look at just what risk...

Celebrating Independent Bookstore Day with Author Favorites

Celebrating Independent Bookstore Day with Author Favorites It may be hard to believe, but it’s that time of year again — Independent Bookstore Day is almost here. This year I had the opportunity to ask a few of my favorite authors about some of their favorite books and independent bookstores...

Exploring the DARK Act & GMO Labelling - In Conversation with chef Tom Colicchio

Exploring the DARK Act & GMO Labelling - In Conversation with chef Tom Colicchio Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with chef and co-founder of Food Policy Action, Tom Colicchio, regarding the Senate’s new version of the DARK Act, which aims to prevent the transparency in labeling of food that contains Genetically...

Local Spotlight: Luft Studio - In Conversation with Founder & Creative Director Crystal Hodges

Local Spotlight: Luft Studio - In Conversation with Founder & Creative Director Crystal Hodges In the summer of 2012, I had the privilege of interviewing Crystal Grover (now Crystal Hodges) and Linsey Burritt (now Linsey Rosen), the extraordinarily talented duo behind INDO, a company that was located in Chicago’s West Loop that created...

"Mothers & Sons" Review - An Excellently Written Must-See

"Mothers & Sons" Review - An Excellently Written Must-See This weekend, I had the opportunity to see a play that has been on my radar since Northlight Theatre announced their 2015-2016 season, Mothers & Sons, written by Terrence McNally and directed by Steve Scott. The play is centered around Katharine...

"Maybe in Another Life" - In Conversation with Taylor Jenkins Reid

"Maybe in Another Life" - In Conversation with Taylor Jenkins Reid A little while ago, I came across Taylor Jenkins Reid’s latest novel, Maybe in Another Life (Washington Square Press, 2015). The book is centered around 29-year-old, cinnamon roll loving Hannah Martin, who after graduating college has...

Chicago Book Expo 2015 Preview - A Must-See With Something for Everyone

Chicago Book Expo 2015 Preview - A Must-See With Something for Everyone This coming Saturday, November 21st, will mark the fourth Chicago Book Expo, which will take place from 11 AM until 5 PM at Columbia College Chicago (1104 S. Wabash Ave. in Chicago). The Expo first got its start in 2011, as a way to highlight...

"Saint Mazie" - In Conversation with Jami Attenberg

"Saint Mazie" - In Conversation with Jami Attenberg A little over a week ago, I had the opportunity to speak with Jami Attenberg, author, most recently, of Saint Mazie (Grand Central Publishing, 2015, which is centered around Mazie Phillips-Gordon (a.k.a. “The Queen of the Bowery”), who devoted...

The Usher Syndrome Coalition - In Conversation with Chairman Mark Dunning

The Usher Syndrome Coalition - In Conversation with Chairman Mark Dunning Last week, I had the opportunity to speak with Mark Dunning, Chairman of the Usher Syndrome Coalition, an amazing organization dedicated to connecting with and providing support and information to those who have been diagnosed with Usher syndrome...

"Wondering Who You Are" - In Conversation with Sonya Lea

"Wondering Who You Are" - In Conversation with Sonya Lea Last week I had the opportunity to speak with Sonya Lea, author of the outstanding recently published memoir Wondering Who You Are (Tin House Books, 2015). In it, she recounts her family’s journey in dealing with the aftermath of...

"Among the Ten Thousand Things" - In Conversation with Julia Pierpont

"Among the Ten Thousand Things" - In Conversation with Julia Pierpont Last month, I stumbled upon Julia Pierpont’s outstanding debut novel Among the Ten Thousand Things (Random House, 2015). The book is centered around the Shanleys and what happens when their children, eleven-year-old Kay and...

"Music for Wartime" - In Conversation with Rebecca Makkai

"Music for Wartime" - In Conversation with Rebecca Makkai Last week, I had the opportunity to speak with local author Rebecca Makkai regarding her wonderful new short story collection, Music for Wartime (Viking, 2015), Read on to see what she had to say about how the collection of short stories...

"Run You Down" - In Conversation with Julia Dahl

"Run You Down" - In Conversation with Julia Dahl Ever since I read Julia Dahl’s debut novel, Invisible City (Minotaur Books, 2014), last year and learned that there would be more books in the series, I’ve been eagerly awaiting Run You Down (Minotaur Books, 2015). The book, which takes place...

"Shining Lives: A Musical" Review - A Highly Recommended, Poignant, Relevant Must-See

"Shining Lives: A Musical" Review - A Highly Recommended, Poignant, Relevant Must-See Yesterday, I had the opportunity to see Shining Lives: A Musical (book and lyrics by Jessica Thebus, music by Andre Pluess and Amanda Dehnert, based upon the play These Shining Lives by Melanie Marnich) at Northlight Theatre in Skokie...

Celebrating Independent Bookstore Day - A Sampling of the Chicago Area's Independent Bookstores

Celebrating Independent Bookstore Day - A Sampling of the Chicago Area's Independent Bookstores With Independent Bookstore Day fast approaching, I recently had the opportunity to speak with a number of owners of local independent bookstores — some of which have been a part of their community for many years, and others which are...

The Usher III Initiative - In Conversation with Co-Founder Cindy Elden

The Usher III Initiative - In Conversation with Co-Founder Cindy Elden Earlier this month I had the opportunity to speak with Cindy Elden, Co-Founder of the Usher III Initiative, which I first learned of from Rebecca Alexander who chronicles her own experience with the condition in her wonderful, recently published...

Autoimmune Encephalitis Alliance - In Conversation with Leslie McDow

Autoimmune Encephalitis Alliance -  In Conversation with Leslie McDow Ever since I learned of the Autoimmune Encephalitis Alliance from Susannah Cahalan, who recalls her own harrowing 2009 battle with a then little-known condition called “Anti-NMDA receptor autoimmune encephalitis” in her 2012 book Brain on Fire...

"Almost Famous Women" - In Conversation with Megan Mayhew Bergman

"Almost Famous Women" - In Conversation with Megan Mayhew Bergman This week I had the opportunity to speak with Megan Mayhew Bergman, author of the intriguing new short story collection, Almost Famous Women (Scribner, 2015). In her new book, she imagines the stories of all-too-little-known women...

In Conversation with Kerry Hughes - President & Founder of Harmony 4 Hope

In Conversation with Kerry Hughes - President & Founder of Harmony 4 Hope Last week, an e-mail from Allegra Montanari, Founder & Director of the Chicago-based Sharing Notes, landed in my inbox, telling me of another wonderful local organization, Harmony 4 Hope, and their upcoming “Play This Forward” initiative...

"The Mousetrap" Review - A Well-Acted, Engaging, Edge-of-Your-Seat Classic

"The Mousetrap" Review - A Well-Acted, Engaging, Edge-of-Your-Seat Classic Last week I had a chance to see The Mousetrap, a classic Agatha Christie play, directed by Jonathan Berry at Northlight Theatre (9501 Skokie Blvd.) in Skokie. The play, which is set in 1952 at Monkswell Manor in East Midlands, England...

"Not Fade Away" - In Conversation with Rebecca Alexander

"Not Fade Away" - In Conversation with Rebecca Alexander Of all the books that I have read this year, one that stands out from the crowd — and one that will stay with me for a long time to come — is Rebecca Alexander’s brilliantly written, undeniably important, and thoroughly inspiring memoir...

"The Commons of Pensacola" - Midwest Premiere Launches Northlight Theatre's 40th Anniversary Season

"The Commons of Pensacola" - Midwest Premiere Launches Northlight Theatre's 40th Anniversary Season This weekend I had the chance to see a play that I have been anticipating since the 2014-2015 season was announced, The Commons of Pensacola, written by Amanda Peet and directed by Robin Witt, at Northlight Theatre in Skokie. The play is centered...

"Box Girl: My Part-Time Job as an Art Installation" - In Conversation with Lilibet Snellings

"Box Girl: My Part-Time Job as an Art Installation" - In Conversation with Lilibet Snellings Of all the books I’ve read this year, one of my favorites is Lilibet Snellings’ Box Girl: My Part-Time Job as an Art Installation (Soft Skull Press, 2014), a smart, engrossing, eminently readable, thoroughly enjoyable and utterly relatable...

"Unfriending My Ex" - In Conversation with Kim Stolz

"Unfriending My Ex" - In Conversation with Kim Stolz Recently, while at my local bookstore, I stumbled upon Kim Stolz’s Unfriending My Ex (Scribner, 2014) -- a particularly relevant read given our hyper-connected, social media-centric times. Last week, I had the opportunity to speak with Stolz...

"The UnAmericans" - In Conversation with Molly Antopol

"The UnAmericans" - In Conversation with Molly Antopol Last week I had the opportunity to speak with Molly Antopol, author of The UnAmericans (W.W. Norton, 2014), a smart, engaging, well-written and wide-ranging collection of short stories — a collection that, if you’re anything like me, will have...

"The Hundred-Year House" - In Conversation with Rebecca Makkai

"The Hundred-Year House" - In Conversation with Rebecca Makkai Last week, during the Printers Row Lit Fest, I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Rebecca Makkai, author of The Borrower (Viking, 2011), about her forthcoming novel The Hundred-Year House (Viking, 2014) which is set on Chicago’s...

"Ask Aunt Susan" Review - A Smart, Witty & Well-Acted Play for Our Times

"Ask Aunt Susan" Review - A Smart, Witty & Well-Acted Play for Our Times Earlier this week I finally had the opportunity to see a play that I have long been anticipating, Ask Aunt Susan, written by Seth Bockley and directed by Henry Wishcamper at the Goodman Theatre in Downtown Chicago. The play, which is based upon...

"Invisible City" - In Conversation with Julia Dahl

"Invisible City" - In Conversation with Julia Dahl Though I don’t ordinarily gravitate toward murder mysteries, from the moment I picked up Julia Dahl’s debut novel, Invisible City (Minotaur Books, 2014), I was hooked. The novel, which centers around a murder in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish...

"The Word Exchange" - In Conversation with Alena Graedon

"The Word Exchange" - In Conversation with Alena Graedon This week I had the opportunity to speak with Alena Graedon, author of The Word Exchange (Doubleday, 2014), one of my favorite books of 2014. The book is set in a future where books have been replaced by digital devices known as Memes, through...

In Conversation with Jeanne Nolan - Founder of The Organic Gardener

In Conversation with Jeanne Nolan - Founder of The Organic Gardener Last week, I finally had the opportunity to speak with Jeanne Nolan, founder of Glencoe-based “The Organic Gardener” about the Organic Garden at Westfield Old Orchard shopping center in Skokie, Illinois. Read on to see what she had to say...

In Conversation with Chicago - Based Playwright Laura Jacqmin

In Conversation with Chicago - Based Playwright Laura Jacqmin Last week, shortly after Ghost Bike wrapped up it’s World Premiere at Buzz 22 Chicago, I had the opportunity to speak with Chicago-based playwright Laura Jacqmin. Read on to see what she had to say about her influences, writing for the stage...

"Chapatti" Review - A Meditation on the Importance of Human Companionship

"Chapatti" Review - A Meditation on the Importance of Human Companionship This weekend I had the opportunity to see Chapatti (written by Christian O’Reilly, directed by Artistic Director BJ Jones, and co-produced by the Galway Arts Festival) at Northlight Theatre. The play, a meditation on the importance of human...

"Hell-Bent" - In Conversation with Benjamin Lorr

"Hell-Bent" - In Conversation with Benjamin Lorr My first read of the year was Hell-Bent (St. Martin’s Press, 2012) by Benjamin Lorr. The book, which was just released as a paperback, offers an informative, eye-opening and engaging look into the world of Bikram Yoga, as the author dives in...

In Conversation with Allegra Montanari: Founder and Executive Director of Sharing Notes

In Conversation with Allegra Montanari: Founder and Executive Director of Sharing Notes Recently, while on Twitter, I stumbled upon Sharing Notes, a wonderful organization based in Chicago that brings together musicians who want to give of their time and talent to perform for patients at local hospitals...

Mary Gordon Interview - Founder and President of "Roots of Empathy"

Mary Gordon Interview - Founder and President of "Roots of Empathy" When I turned on the TV on Friday, December 13th, I was absolutely blindsided, horrified to learn of yet another school shooting, this time at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, CO. When I learned that a student there, 17-year-old Claire Davis...

"This Is How You Say Goodbye" - In Conversation with Victoria Loustalot

"This Is How You Say Goodbye" - In Conversation with Victoria Loustalot Every so often, if you’re really lucky, you’ll come across a book that grabs you as soon as you pick it up, leaves you wanting to recommend it to every fellow reader you know, and stays with you long after the story has ended...

"The Lonely End of the Rink" - In Conversation with CBC Radio host and author Grant Lawrence

"The Lonely End of the Rink" - In Conversation with CBC Radio host and author Grant Lawrence From the time I heard about Grant Lawrence’s second book, The Lonely End of the Rink: Confessions of a Reluctant Goalie,” I had been eagerly anticipating it’s release, and this summer I finally had the opportunity to read it. Last week...

In Conversation with Chad Eschman & Erin Austin of Living Room Playmakers

In Conversation with Chad Eschman & Erin Austin of Living Room Playmakers Earlier this summer, while browsing the web, I stumbled upon a new theatre company, Living Room Playmakers. Intrigued by the company’s work and their choice of venues in particular, I wanted to know more. A couple of weeks ago

"4000 Miles" Review - An Engrossing Play Certain to Appeal to All Ages

"4000 Miles" Review - An Engrossing Play Certain to Appeal to All Ages Last Friday, I saw a play that I’ve been eagerly anticipating all summer, 4000 Miles, written by Amy Herzog and directed by Kimberly Senior, at Northlight Theatre. The play is centered around a twenty-something named Leo Joseph-Connell (Josh Salt)

"Belleville" Review - An Absorbing, Must-See, Edge-of-Your-Seat Thriller

"Belleville" Review - An Absorbing, Must-See, Edge-of-Your-Seat Thriller Last week I finally had the chance to see a play that I’ve been anticipating from the time I first heard about it last year, Belleville (written by Amy Herzog and directed by Anne Kauffman), which also is easily the single best production...

Introducing Divvy - The City of Chicago's Bike Sharing System

Introducing Divvy - The City of Chicago's Bike Sharing System In late April, I learned of the City of Chicago’s plans to launch a new bike share program called Divvy. Aware of how this kind of system has already taken off in other major cities around the world, I was eager to learn more...

"Stella & Lou" Review - An Intimate Look at Second Acts

"Stella & Lou" Review - An Intimate Look at Second Acts Recently I had the opportunity to see a play that I’ve been anticipating for some time now, Stella & Lou (written by Bruce Graham and directed by BJ Jones) at Northlight Theatre, located at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts...

"Stones in His Pockets" Review - When Hollywood Comes to County Kerry

"Stones in His Pockets" Review - When Hollywood Comes to County Kerry Last week I had a chance to see another play that has been on my radar for some time now, Stones in His Pockets (by Marie Jones; directed by J.R. Sullivan). The story is centered around a former video rental store owner, Charlie...

The Chicago Green Office Challenge: Encouraging Sustainability in Business

The Chicago Green Office Challenge: Encouraging Sustainability in Business Earlier last month I found out about the City of Chicago's "Chicago Green Office Challenge," designed to engage the City of Chicago's business community and encourage them to consider what they could do to operate in a more environmentally conscious

"Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness" - In Conversation with Susannah Cahalan

"Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness" - In Conversation with Susannah Cahalan Late last year, I came across what is, in my opinion, one of the most important books of 2012, Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan (Free Press, 2012). In it, the New York Post reporter chronicles her harrowing battle with a rare...

"Other Desert Cities" Review - A Must-See If Ever There Was One

"Other Desert Cities" Review - A Must-See If Ever There Was One Last week I finally had the chance to see a play I’ve been anticipating since last summer, when I was first made aware that Other Desert Cities (written by Jon Robin Baitz and directed by Henry Wishcamper) would be a part of the Goodman Theatre's

"Sweet Bird of Youth" Review - An Engaging Classic

"Sweet Bird of Youth" Review - An Engaging Classic Last week I finally had the opportunity to see a play I have been anticipating for quite some time, Tennessee William's "Sweet Bird of Youth" at the Goodman Theatre

In Conversation with Crystal Grover & Linsey Burritt of Indo

In Conversation with Crystal Grover & Linsey Burritt of Indo Last week I had the opportunity to speak with Crystal Grover and Linsey Burritt, the design duo behind Indo, a company in Chicago’s West Loop that creates window displays and installations out of reclaimed materials. Read on to learn more

French Market at Westfield Old Orchard Review - Old Orchard's Newest Addition

French Market at Westfield Old Orchard Review - Old Orchard's Newest Addition Last Thursday I had the opportunity to stroll through the newest addition to Westfield Old Orchard, the French Market, operated by Bensidoun USA, located between the north entrance of Macy’s and the Old Orchard Professional Building

Northlight Theatre: "Ten Chimneys" Review

Northlight Theatre: "Ten Chimneys" Review Sorry, but this article is not available yet. Please check back soon!

World Environment Day at the Chicago Botanic Garden Review - Unite for a Sustainable Chicago

World Environment Day at the Chicago Botanic Garden Review - Unite for a Sustainable Chicago Recently, I had the opportunity to join in activities at the Chicago Botanic Garden for World Environment Day (June 2nd), the theme of which was “Unite for a Sustainable Chicago”

"[title of show]" Review - Original, Innovative, Engaging

"[title of show]" Review - Original, Innovative, Engaging Last week I had the opportunity to see what I feel is easily the best show of Northlight Theatre’s 2011-2012 season, [title of show]

"Ten Chimneys" Review - An Up Close and Personal Look at the Lives of Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne

"Ten Chimneys" Review - An Up Close and Personal Look at the Lives of Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne Continuing Northlight Theatre’s 2011-2012 season is Ten Chimneys (written by Jeffrey Hatcher and directed by Artistic Director BJ Jones) at the center of which are Broadway legends Alfred Lunt (V Craig Heidenreich), Lynn Fontanne (Lia D. Mortensen)

Uncommon Ground Review - The Greenest Restaurant in America

Uncommon Ground Review - The Greenest Restaurant in America If you are looking for a great place to grab a bite to eat, complete with warm atmosphere and eco-conscious practices, look no further than Uncommon Ground, with it’s two Chicago locations: 1401 W. Devon Avenue (Edgewater) and 3800 N. Clark St. ...

"Season's Greetings" Review - Northlight Theatre's Holiday Offering

 "Season's Greetings" Review - Northlight Theatre's Holiday Offering Just in time for the holiday season comes Sir Alan Ayckbourn’s "Season’s Greetings" at Northlight Theatre, directed by Artistic Director BJ Jones. Though the play, centered around an English family’s Christmas get together...

"Snapshots" Review - Can this Marriage Be Saved?

"Snapshots" Review - Can this Marriage Be Saved? "Snapshots" with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, book by David Stern and directed by Ken Sawyer opens Northlight Theatre's 2011-2012 season

Primrose Valley Farm and The ARK Review - Sharing the Earth's Bounty

Primrose Valley Farm and The ARK Review - Sharing the Earth's Bounty Primrose Valley Farm, an organic farm in Wisconsin and The ARK, a social service agency in Chicago have a connection that is win-win for all

Jordan Margolis Interview - EXCUSEMAN

Jordan Margolis Interview - EXCUSEMAN If you knew me, then you'd probably know that while I have an interest in film, somehow none of what I've watched thus far (with the exception of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World) has been based on a comic book. And, while I love to read...

"Chinglish" Review - Witty and Fascinating

"Chinglish" Review - Witty and Fascinating At the center of Chinglish (written by David Henry Hwang and directed by Leigh Silverman), currently running at the Goodman Theatre is Midwestern businessman Daniel Cavanaugh (James Waterston), who sets off to China, hoping to save his family's...

"The Last Act of Lilka Kadison" Review - A Powerful Performance

"The Last Act of Lilka Kadison" Review - A Powerful Performance In The Last Act of Lilka Kadison, Holocaust survivor Lilith Fisher (Marilyn Dodds Frank) is haunted by her past -- or, more accurately, ghosts from her past, those of her then-boyfriend Ben Ari Adler (Chance Bone) and her younger self (Nora Fiffer).

"Life Rules" Review - An Interview with Author Ellen LaConte

"Life Rules" Review - An Interview with Author Ellen LaConte We all hear about climate change on a seemingly daily basis, but just how can climate change really impact us? How did these environmental crises come to be? Is there anything we can and should be doing to assure a sustainable future?

"The Outgoing Tide" Review - An Important Subject for Our Time at Northlight Theatre

"The Outgoing Tide" Review - An Important Subject for Our Time at Northlight Theatre While I have seen a number of enjoyable plays lately, I can’t really think of one that is more timely than The Outgoing Tide, currently running at the Northlight Theatre...

"Stage Kiss" Review - Sarah Ruhl's Exploration of Fantasy, Reality and the Impact Each Has Upon the Other

"Stage Kiss" Review - Sarah Ruhl's Exploration of Fantasy, Reality and the Impact Each Has Upon the Other In Sarah Ruhl’s latest play, Stage Kiss, two ex-lovers are thrust together after not having seen each other for two decades, when they both audition for -- and get a starring role in -- a long-forgotten 1930s melodrama, The Last Kiss.

Grant Lawrence Interview - CBC Radio 3's Grant Lawrence on "Playlist for the Planet"& "Adventures in Solitude"

Grant Lawrence Interview - CBC Radio 3's Grant Lawrence on  "Playlist for the Planet"& "Adventures in Solitude" As many of you already know, not only was April 22nd Earth Day, but the entire month is Earth Month, the perfect time to take a moment and really think about the impact that we all have on the planet we all share -- and that we all rely on...

Circle Mirror Transformation Review - Clever and Engaging

Circle Mirror Transformation Review - Clever and Engaging From the time I first heard about Annie Baker’s "Circle Mirror Transformation" when it premiered in New York City, I have been eagerly awaiting it’s Chicago arrival. This past week I had the chance to see the Chicago premiere

826 Chicago Review - An Interview about the "Boring Store" and More

 826 Chicago Review - An Interview about the "Boring Store" and More I was fascinated when I learned about "The Boring Store" and "826 Chicago", which it houses and I wanted to know more

In Conversation with Ian Hanington - Sharing Additional Information About Our Earth

In Conversation with Ian Hanington - Sharing Additional Information About Our Earth Following an article I wrote about davidsuzuki.org, the official website of The David Suzuki Foundation, I had the chance to pose questions to Ian Hanington, the foundation's Communications & Editorial Specialist

The David Suzuki Foundation Review - Spotlight on Climate Change

The David Suzuki Foundation Review - Spotlight on Climate Change With all of the information (and, unfortunately, some misinformation)out there regarding climate change, which is arguably one of the more serious issues we currently face, how can one to find information that is certain to be reliable?

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