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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




Journalist and professor Stan Goldman’s new book “Left to the Mercy of a Rude Stream,” the story of his mother’s experiences in death camps and how she survived

This week, Paul goes behind the curtain with law Journalist (CNBC, Fox) and Professor Stanley Goldman who wrote a book on his Mother’s experiences and struggle to survive a life in the death camps of Nazi Germany. In “Left to the mercy of a Rude Stream,” Goldmans mother’s life was spared by Nazi Heinrich Himmler and her getting saved lead to the suicide death of Adolph Hitler. How does Stan feel about Holocaust deniers, FDR’s failure to bomb the tracks […]


2016 Cubs celebrated in new musical ‘Miracle,’ the incredible Tempel Lipizzans show, and 58th Annual Chicago Book and Paper Fair

This week, Paul goes behind the curtain with the creative team and cast of “Miracle: A Musical 108 Years in the Making,” that celebrates the Chicago Cubs’ 2016 World Series Victory! More than that amazing magical season though, it’s also a story of family, the tough decisions we face and must make, and the traditions we hold so close. Joining the conversation is producer Billy Marovitz, music composer Michael Maher, and show stars Brandon Dahlquist and Gene Weygandt who play son […]


Cuddle Clone of your Pet; Meet the Cast of Falsettos: Nick Adams and Max Von Essen

This week, Paul goes behind the curtain of a company called Cuddle Clones, that makes a stuffed clone of your pet! You send them several photos of your pet from various angles, and they make a real-life look alike stuffed figure that will amaze you! Learn how its done. A great way to remember a pet who has passed or double up on the ones still around! You can also learn about them at Then, (STARTING AT 25:34 INTO […]


West Side Story at the Lyric – Meet Tony and Maria; “Next to Normal” lights up Writers Theatre; “You Shop, We Give” campaign to Fight ALS

This week, Paul goes behind the curtain with the cast of “West Side Story” which is knocking everyone’s socks off at The Lyric Opera (thru June 2nd) . Corey Cott (Tony) and Mikaela Bennett (Maria) talk about starring in this legendary show performed in an historic grand theater. Critics have called this the best production since the original and one of the best Chicago has seen in years…..Then (starting at 20:55 into the show) the stars of “Next to Normal,:” […]


“Djembe!” Makes the Audience part of the Show at Apollo Theater; Meet Cast leads Ben Hope and Rashada Dawan

This week, Paul goes behind the curtain with the cast of “Djembe!” a show which introduces the audience to the development of music thru time and across the world. But where this show is like no other, is that every audience member is greeted with a Djembe (African drum) waiting at their seat. The audience, both young and old, are taught to play the instrument thru the course of the show…to become part of the show! Emcee Ben Hope (“Once” […]


MASH Star Loretta Swit (Hot Lips) reflects on her Career and her Efforts to Assist Animals in Need with her New Art book: Switheart

In this week’s podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain for an extensive conversation with Actor Loretta Swit who played Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan on the classic TV series MASH. Swit reminisces about her years on the series (only she and Alan Alda were with the show from its inception to its final episode) and why and how the show was so successful during its 11 year run. Many memories of MASH are shared during this conversation. Plus, Loretta’s memories of Chicago and […]


“A Chorus Line” shines at Porchlight Music Theatre; Scott Gryder’s One Man Performance in “Buyer & Cellar”at Pride Arts Center

“and 5,6,7,8”…as Paul goes behind the curtain with the cast of “A Chorus Line” at Porchlight Music Theatre. This ground-breaking iconic show is as fresh today as it was in it’s 1975 Broadway debut. It is truly theater magic for anyone who has ever auditioned or wanted to audition for the stage. Joining the conversation are Director Brenda Didier and actors Laura Savage (who plays Cassie Ferguson), Alejandro Fonseca (playing Paul San Marco), and Drew Tanabe (as Bobby Mills). The […]


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 […]