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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




Paul Lisnek’s – “Behind the Curtain”: Philanthropy in the holiday season, Shrek

Holiday season is here and Paul goes Behind the Curtain to talk about helping those in need during the season. From donations to time, philanthropist advisor Lisa Dietlin offers ways to give back to those in need. Then, a double theatre segment as Paul chats with Eric Petersen (“Shrek”), star of “Escape to Margaritaville” talks about the fun evening of Jimmy Buffet musical set to the stage! Then, “Significant Other,” a new play by Joshua Harmon (“Bad Jews”) which talks […]

Duration: 00:41:35

Paul Lisnek’s – “Behind the Curtain”: Illinois Policy Institute, World of Chocolate

This week, Paul goes behind the curtain to look at the state of the job climate in Illinois. Politicians claim all is well, but studies show an alternative condition that makes Illinois undesirable for businesses to locate here, thrive or even survive. Austin Berg, Director of Content Strategy at the Illinois Policy Institute, says that small businesses are critical to the health of our state and they are struggling their way out of business. Austin discusses the reasons for the lack of […]

Duration: 00:34:32

Paul Lisnek’s – “Behind the Curtain”: Driving while sleepy and “School of Rock”

While driving while drunk or texting has always been known as a serious risk to life and safety, a less known but very serious risk is driving while drowsy or tired. How often have you gotten behind the wheel when exhausted and perhaps fallen asleep behind the wheel? The risk is real and the number of deaths and illnesses are staggering. Paul is joined by actor and singer turned businessman Anson Williams (who played the beloved character Potsie Weber on […]

Duration: 00:31:36

Paul Lisnek’s – “Behind the Curtain”: Special Counsel Robert Mueller, The Black Renaissance: A Muscal Resistance Against Racism

Paul goes behind the curtain to explore the legal and political aspects of the indictments and plea agreement announced by the office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Attorney Gal Pissetzky discusses the legal aspects of the actions and what it means for the White House, and then political strategist Richard Gordon discusses the political implications and addresses whether Congress can go anywhere with other agenda items such as tax reform. Then, a turn to theater as Paul talks to the...

Duration: 00:39:48

Paul Lisnek’s – “Behind the Curtain”: Meet Gubernatorial Candidate J.B. Pritzker, a magician and Dracula

This week, Paul goes behind the curtain with another in his “Meet the Candidates for Governor” series. JB Pritzker gives his vision for the state economy and explains his socially progressive values and how they will impact state policy. Then, a turn to theatre highlights “The Magic Parlour,” in open run at the Palmer House. An evening of magic by wonderful magician Dennis Watkins (“Penn and Teller Fool Us”) is explored as a great evening for date night, tourists, or anyone. Finally, […]

Duration: 00:49:59

Paul Lisnek’s – “Behind the Curtain”: Les Miserables, Billy Elliot, Bewildered, Golden Girls

Paul devotes this week’s podcast by going Behind the Curtain in three of Chicago’s great theater experiences. First, Paul takes a look at the Cameron Mackintosh classic Les Miserables, currently running at the Cadillac Palace Theater, with Josh Davis playing Javert. Then, Paul focuses on Billy Elliott: The Musical, playing at Porchlight Music Theatre’s new space at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts. Paul visits with Director/Co-Choreographer Brenda Didier, and Actors Sean Fortunato (“Dad”)...

Duration: 00:44:17

Paul Lisnek’s “Behind the Curtain”: Chicago Architectural Foundation, Sheba the Comedian

This week, Paul goes Behind the Curtain with the Chicago Architectural Foundation and the upcoming Open House Chicago! Visit Chicagoland’s greatest architectural wonders by getting inside buildings not typically open to the public. It’s this weekend, so learn how to navigate and find the buildings you want to see. Then, comedian Jackie Mason had a child out of wedlock named Sheba. He denied her…until he didn’t, and now Sheba is a comedian in her own right. She performs in a musical about […]

Duration: 00:34:18

Paul Lisnek’s – “Behind the Curtain”: Chris Kennedy, “The CiviliTy of Albert Cashier”

The Illinois governor’s race continues to heat up and Paul continues his “Meet the Candidates” series with an interview of Democratic Candidate Chris Kennedy. They discuss violence in the wake of the Las Vegas tragedy, the economic stability of the state and Governor Rauner’s support of HB40, the abortion related bill. Then, Paul talks with Actors Dani Shay and Katherine Condit, and with Playwright Jay Paul Deretany of “The CiviliTy of Albert Cashier.” That’s the true story of a...

Duration: 00:45:08

Paul Linsek’s – “Behind the Curtain”: North Korea, the National Anthem and “Perfect Arrangement”

North Korea, the economy and the tax code are all front burner issues, but somehow football players kneeling during the National Anthem took front and center in this week’s politics when the President railed against it during a rally in Alabama. Paul talks with Professor Phillip Beverly of the Dept of Political Science at Chicago State University to explore the week in national politics. Then, an intriguing show called “Perfect Arrangement” set in the 1950’s but addresses social issues...

Duration: 00:37:57

Paul Lisnek’s – “Behind the Curtain”: Illinois Gubernatorial race and “United 232”

The race for Illinois Governor is underway and lots of democrats are seeking the nomination to challenge incumbent Governor Bruce Rauner. Paul begins a Meet the Candidates series on this edition of Behind the Curtain. The series is designed to let candidates set out their plans and policies for the state so YOU can decide who you want to support. This week, Paul interviews State Senator Daniel Biss, a former mathematician and professor who has been serving in Springfield for nearly 8...

Duration: 00:42:08

Paul Lisnek’s – “Behind the Curtain”: The Blue Man Group 20th anniversary and hurricanes

Blue Man Group is a Chicago institution (not to mention its presence in numerous other cities and countries) that celebrates 20 years in our city. Paul visits with original Co-Founder Phil Stanton and current Blue Man Brian Tavener. They reflect on how Blue man got started, how it has evolved and what it takes to be a Blue Man! Then, WGN-TV Meteorologist Demetrius Ivory joins Paul to discuss the seemingly frequent occurrence of “once in 500 years” hurricanes and storms. […]

Duration: 00:36:06

Paul Lisnek’s – “Behind the Curtain”: Congress and DACA, Ron Hawking, “Bonnie and Clyde”

President Trump calls for the end of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and gives Congress six months to take action. Absent Congressional action, 800,000 young people will face deportation in the next couple of years. Paul is joined by Michael Golden, author of the book Unlock Congress, to look ahead at what dreamers can expect. Then, Paul is joined by Chicago’s very own singer, impressionist and performer Ron Hawking who brings his “The Men and Their Music,” (featuring...

Duration: 00:42:04

Paul Lisnek’s “Behind the Curtain”: A mayoral race and comedic impressions

The mayoral runoff race between Rahm Emanuel and Jesus Chuy Garcia made Chicago history. Now, a new book written by political insider Mike “Houli” Houlihan sheds light from inside the Garcia campaign. What kind of man is Garcia and what kind of man is Mayor Emanuel? Houli pulls no punches in casting a light on the dynamics of the race and what might happen in Chicago mayoral politics next time around. Then, sit back and enjoy the comedy and celebrity […]

Duration: 00:36:27

Paul Lisnek’s – “Behind the Curtain”: A falling approval rating and “Hair”

Paul discusses with political strategist Richard Gordon the president’s new strategy for addressing the war in Afghanistan, in the light of some recent polls displaying a decline in approval in states he won. Those include Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. Then, Paul goes behind the curtain of the musical “Hair” playing at the Mercury Theater Chicago with legendary director Brenda Didier, and lead cast members Matthew Keffer (Berger) and Michelle Lauto (Sheila). The musical celebrates...

Duration: 00:40:44

Paul Lisnek’s – “Behind the Curtain”: Illinois budget and superhuman math whiz

Money makes the world go round, but Illinois doesn’t have much of it. Paul is joined by John Tillman, President of the Illinois Policy Institute, to discuss how and whether the Governor’s budgetary philosophy has any chance of getting implemented. In addition, can any progress be made now that election season is underway for 2018? Then, Paul talks with Superhuman Mike Byster, a man whose mind can process numbers and calculations fast enough to boggle your mind. And Mike demonstrates how...

Duration: 00:34:56

Paul Lisnek’s – “Behind the Curtain”: Gatekeepers of the White House, Greenhouse Theater Center

The most powerful person in the world is the President of the United States, but the second most powerful person is arguably his chief of staff, the person who controls access to the President, has his ear and has to have the guts to tell the President “no.” Filmmaker and Author Chris Whipple joins Paul to discuss his new book, The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency. It’s a fascinating look at the role of the chief, […]

Duration: 00:37:55

Paul Lisnek’s – “Behind the Curtain”: Anthony “The Mooch” Scaramucci, Disney’s Aladdin on Broadway

This week, Paul discusses all things Trump, including whether the president drafted that explanatory note for his son about the meeting with Russians, the impact of a new chief of staff and the ouster of Anthony Scaramucci, as White House communications director, with democratic strategist Brad Bannon. Then, Paul takes a look at Disney’s Aladdin currently playing at the Cadillac Palace Theatre with one of the big stars, Anthony Murphy, who plays Genie!

Duration: 00:24:25

Paul Lisnek’s – “Behind the Curtain”: YouTube Star Rick NineG on TV classics

Paul takes a breather from politics this week, and will put a smile on your face with a focus on the longevity of the classic TV shows, “I Love Lucy” and “The Three Stooges,” with Rick NineG. Rick is a nationally recognized YouTuber who has created videos highlighting the bloopers only the keenest of eyes will catch from classic television. Paul and Rick talk about the power of social media in introducing new generations to the classics....

Duration: 00:34:12

Paul Lisnek’s – “Behind the Curtain”: Former neo-Nazi Christian Picciolini comes out of darkness

You will likely find this week’s “Behind the Curtain” truly riveting, as Former neo-Nazi and Skinhead Christian Picciolini joins Paul to talk about how his early years as a bright and well-loved child from a good family got lost in extremist ideologies. He grew up in Chicagoland, where his story of violence and hatred eventually resolves into regret and seeking forgiveness. Now, he tries to turn the lives of others around for the good, but he has paid a heavy price along […]

Duration: 00:37:00

Paul Lisnek’s – “Behind the Curtain”: Donald Trump Jr. meeting and a new Illinois budget

Donald Trump, Jr. meets with Russian government representatives to gain intel against Hillary Clinton. How bad is it? Does it cost him support among his loyal followers? And on the state front, Governor Rauner loses the budget battle to Speaker Mike Madigan and the Democrats. Can the Governor recover? Paul explores those issues from the perspective of WGN Republican Strategist Chris Robling. Chris is a Republican, but some of his answers might just surprise you....

Duration: 00:37:59

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