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Behind the Curtain with Paul Lisnek

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Behind the Curtain with Paul Lisnek on WGN Plus from WGN Radio in Chicago

Behind the Curtain with Paul Lisnek on WGN Plus from WGN Radio in Chicago
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Behind the Curtain with Paul Lisnek on WGN Plus from WGN Radio in Chicago




Political strategist Richard Gordon on whether Immigrants will be transported to Sanctuary Cities by the Trump Administration; Tap Dogs cast members A.J. Russo and Justin Myles talk about their Upcoming Chicago Stop beginning on April 16th

This week, Paul goes Behind the Curtain to discuss the political issues of the week with attorney and nationally respected political strategist Richard Gordon. The discussion includes the President saying he may order migrants who cross the border to be transported to sanctuary cities, AG Wm Barr’s testimony before Congress and whether he is representing the people or the President, and the rise in Dem polls of South Bend Dem Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Then, (starting exactly at the 20 minute...


AGT Finalist and Comedian Taylor Williamson comes to Chicago; Casts of “The Bridges of Madison County” and “Bright Star” Play Locally in Superb Productions

This week, Paul goes behind the curtain with Americas Got Talent finalist and comedian Taylor Williamson. This hilarious comic endeared himself to audiences nationwide and recently returned to AGT for its Champion competition. He’s coming to Zanie’s on April 23rd (Old Town) and April 24th (Rosemont) and you won’t want to miss him (tickets at Then, the cast of Theo Ubique Cabaret Theater’s current production of “The Bridges of Madison County” (starting at 26:42 into the show)...


Anastasia’s “Dowager Empress” Joy Franz; Americas Got Talent’s Comedian Vicki Barbolak comes to Chicago; Meet Anti Cruelty Society’s New President Tracy Elliott

This week, Paul goes behind the curtain with a star of the national touring cast of Anastasia. Actress Joy Franz (Dowager Empress) talks about the beautiful production that plays the Nederlander Theater thru April 7th. Then, the very funny Vicki Barbolak who made the phrase “Trailer Nasty” famous on America’s Got Talent last season comes to Chicago performing at the Den Theatre for ONE Night Only on Sunday, April 7th. Vicki talks about her “overnight success” (which was years in […]


The WHOLE New World of Alan Menken-legendary Composer and Songwriter Plus, The Cast of Little Shop of Horrors at Mercury Theater; and Richard Pryor, Jr. the son of the legendary comedian on his new book

The WHOLE New World of Alan Menken – legendary Composer and Songwriter of Aladdin/Newsies/Bronx Tale in Concert at Auditorium Theatre on March 30th; the Cast of Little Shop of Horrors at Mercury Theater; and Richard Pryor, Jr. the son of the legendary comedian on his new book This week, one of the most exciting looks behind the curtain ever! First, a chat with legendary composer/songwriter/pianist Alan Menken (Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, Little Mermaid, Little Shop of Horrors,...

TOPIC: Fake News vs. Real News: A New Book takes a Satirical Look at Life in the Age of Trump, asks: What If these Events Happened?

This week Paul goes behind the curtain with author and newspaperman “John Bernard Ruane” to discuss his new book, “The Real News: The Never Before Told Stories of Donald Trump & Fake News.” A series of stories that make you wonder if they actually happened, from a young child offering up the solution to the gun issue, to Oprah Winfrey’s decision on whether to run for President, Ruane’s compilation of events that never happened actually provides an inside look into […]


Chazz Palminteri on ‘A Bronx Tale,’ and the cast of ‘A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder’

This week, Paul goes behind the curtain with noted actor/writer/director Chazz Palminteri to chat about “A Bronx Tale.” The show is autobiographical, even moreso than many people realize; Chazz talks candidly of the shooting he witnessed as a child, his resulting friendship with a mobster and romance with an African American woman in the 1960s when such things were frowned upon…the one-man show turned popular movie turned Broadway musical goes in-depth about this amazing and wonderful show...


TOPIC: The New Chicago Way: Lessons from Other Big Cities Digs deep into the culture of Chicago Politics, with Co-Authors: Ed Bachrach and Austin Berg

This week Paul goes behind the curtain with the authors of a new book that looks at the reasons behind Chicago’s financial, educational and political challenges through a comparison and analysis to life in many other big cities. Co-authors Ed Bachrach and Austin Berg teach us in “The New Chicago Way,” that the power structure, corruption level, and financial strains don’t have to be the way they are in this city, if we just look to the alternatives modeled by […]


Singer Roslyn Kind releases new song to “Save the Country,” and The Disco King of Skokie Carey Weiman shares his incredible story recently captured in a documentary seen on PBS

This week, Paul goes behind the curtain with Roslyn Kind…yes, she is Barbra Streisand’s sister but a force in her own right with an incredible voice and a passion for trying to replace the negativity in our country today with love and peace. The story beyind her newly recorded “Save the Country, “ now available on I-Tunes, Amazon, CD Baby, etc. is discussed as well as her plans for the future. And yes, you will hear a beautiful duet sung […]


The Week in Politics: Walls, Shutdowns and Deals, Oh my, with Political strategist Brad Bannon; and Powerful New Show called “Pipeline” looks at life in Inner City Schools Playing at Victory Gardens Theatre

This week Paul goes Behind the Curtain to look at the political issues of the day including the crafting of a proposed deal by Congressional negotiators to end the border wall vs. shutdown showdown. Political strategist Brad Bannon of Bannon Communication Research opines about who he thinks the winners and losers are, and a look to what the democratic strategy to win needs to be in 2020. Brad also chimes in on the Chicago Mayoral Contest for his view of […]


Hilarity ensues in the Immersive Production of “Noises Off” at Windy City Playhouse; “Friends: A Musical Parody” takes the Stage at Broadway Playhouse

This week, Paul goes behind the curtain with a visit to two great shows on the stages of Chicago. First, Windy City Playhouse presents: “Noises Off,” a British farce that plays with great hilarity pleasing audiences every night. WCP is becoming known as the theater of immersive productions, ones which take the audience INTO the action or behind the scenes, literally. It’s a fantastic niche and this production takes the audience behind the scenes of a production where everything that […]


Challenges of Parenting whether Gay or Straight – a funny new play called “Dada Woof, Papa Hot;” and A Play Series to Combat Racism sponsored by the Partnership of Black Ensemble Theater and Northeastern Illinois University

This week, Paul goes behind the curtain to discuss two theatrical productions that address issues facing so many people today. First, the cast of the funny and meaningful play “Dada Woof, Papa Hot,” produced by About Face Theatre and playing at Theater Wit thru Feb 16th. Parenting is challenging for straight couples as well as gay couples. This play, set in the period just after the US Supreme Court ruling finding same sex marriage constitutional, highlights the stress of raising […]


Kinky Boots Comes Back to Town – Say hi to Lola! (Kenneth Mosley); Woman in Black Scaring the Audience at the Royal George, Interview with the Cast and Director

This week’s podcast is all theater! Paul talks with the star of Kinky Boots, Kenneth Mosely (Lola). Kenneth, who appeared in Chicago as Berry Gordy in Motown the Musical now steps into this iconic role from the fun uplifting show playing at the Cadillac Palace theater through January 27th. Then both members of the two-person cast of Woman in Black, and the director talk about how the play came to be and the secret to the 30 year and running […]


Vote her In…Getting Women in positions of political Leadership; “Too Hot To Handel: The Jazz Gospel Messiah” at the Auditorium Theater over MLK weekend; “The Lightening Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical” –meet the writer of the Hit Musical!

This week, Paul goes behind the curtain to discuss the need to increase the role and success of women in politics and government. Rebecca Sives, the author of “Vote Her In” and “Every Day is Election Day,” presents the game plan for giving women a larger voice in government. Then the incredible musical experience “Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz Gospel Messiah” presents its annual concert with full orchestra and chorus at the Auditorium Theatre over MLK weekend….two of the […]


All Theater in Chicago Podcast: Fiddler on the Roof, Stomp, The Full Monty and Familiar

This week readies for the holidays by going behind the scenes of the hottest shows playing in Chicago this season. First up, “Fiddler on the Roof,” one of Paul’s all time favorite shows. He visits with Maite Uzal (Golde) and Natalie Powers (Chava) to discuss the everlasting appeal of this huge Broadway hit. Then the percussion-filled “Stomp” is explored with performer Artis Olds who is on his third national tour with the production. The Theo Ubiquet Theater opens in a […]


Helping Veterans in interesting and unique ways is natural for the Grandson of General George S. Patton, Benjamin Patton and Former Marine Officer (and son of actor Gregory Peck) Stephen Peck

Paul goes Behind the Curtain to discuss amazing efforts to assist Veterans in need. First, Benjamin Patton (the grandson of decorated WWII General George S. Patton and the son of another decorated General) has created the Patton Veterans Project…a filmmaking venture with vets called “I was There” Film Workshops. A fascinating story to get vets therapeutic help thru the art of telling their often difficult stories on film. Then former Viet Nam Marine officer Stephen Peck (who happens to be...


A new Look at Leopold and Loeb: The Not-So-Perfect Crime of the Century; The Book of Merman: A Musical; and Blues/Jazz Diva Lynne Jordan performs as part of Navy Pier’s Sequence Chicago

This week, Paul goes behind the curtain to take a new look at one of the most infamous crimes in history. Two young promising University of Chicago students, Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb decide they want to commit the perfect murder, but that was not to be. Represented by the legendary attorney Clarence Darrow. Captured in word, documents, photos, the story is told in a fascinating new intimate look thru the book “The Leopold and Loeb Files by Nina Barrett.” […]


Behind the Curtain of Miss Saigon with The Engineer, and Ken Ludwig’s ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

This week, Paul goes behind the curtain of Cameron Macintosh’s Dynamite Revival of Miss Saigon. Nearly 30 years old, this show is a classic that continues to “wow” audiences with it’s gorgeous score and powerful story. Paul is joined by Red Concepcion who plays “The Engineer,” the lead character of Miss Saigon who shares some insights about how this production continues to thrive after so many years. Then, Ken Ludwig’s “Twas the Night Before Christmas” playing at the Broadway Playhouse […]


World AIDS Day Focus: World of Chocolate Fundraiser for The AIDS Foundation of Chicago, and “The Last Session” Award Winning Musical by Refuge Theatre

This week, Paul goes behind the curtain with attention to World AIDS Day. First the upcoming annual World Of Chocolate Fundraising event takes place on Nov 30th at Revel Fulton amazing experience…Dustin Erikstrup provides all the details you need to know to join in! Then, an AIDS theme musical called “The Last Session” plays at Atlas Arts Studio by Refuge Theatre….a fascinating backstory and show details from the director Chris Pazdernik and principal cast member Liz Bollar...


The Master behind the Puppets of Avenue Q and The Grinch Himself Go behind the Curtain!

This week, Paul goes behind the curtain with the creator/trainer/performer of the incredible puppets who star in Avenue Q, Rick Lyon. A rare treat to hear from the master himself. Also joining is in is Daniel Smeriglio (who plays Nicky and “part” of Trekky Monster) and director Walter Stearns. The show is on extended run at Mercury Theater Chicago and if you think this show is for kids, you are wrong! It’s a fabulous night of adult fun performed by […]


Big Week in Politics: Elections, Firing of the US Attorney General and President Trump takes on the Media

This week Paul goes behind the curtain in the world of politics. Only hours after the midterm elections, President Trump fires his attorney general, takes on the Press, and the landscape in the world of the Russia investigation seems to be taking on a different shape. Author/TV/radio commentator Bill Press (author of the new book “Trump Must Go”) chimes in with his take on the impact of democrats taking over the House of Representatives, what the firing of Attorney General […]