Articles by Andrew DeCanniere

"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

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