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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”: Cook County Clerk David Orr speaks his Mind and the talent behind Timeline Theatre’s moving Production “Boy”

Paul goes Behind the Curtain with Cook County Clerk David Orr who “lets loose” on the battle for the future of the Democratic party, why he has remained in office for over 30 years and what he thinks about some current office holders. That includes his take on next year’s Mayor’s race. Enlightening, candid and direct is Clerk David Orr like you haven’t heard him before. Then, Paul is joined by the cast and director for Timeline Theatre’s masterful production […]


Paul Lisnek’s – “Behind the Curtain”: Comedian Mike Toomey lowers his Guard and shares candid thoughts on the state of comedy today and how he does his thing on WGN Morning News

Paul goes behind the curtain with WGN Morning News announcer and professional comedian Mike Toomey. More than just being a funny guy, Mike opened up about how he creates comedy, what works today and what does not, whether insult comedians can make it today, and even his own limitations. Rising comedian Justin Fullerton joins the conversation to ask Mike questions from one professional comedian to another....


Paul Lisnek’s – “Behind the Curtain”: Politics meets Theatre in “We the People: The Anti Trump Musical,” Sondheim’s Classic “Merrily We Roll Along” at Porchlight and Project Onward’s Tribute to African American Artists Exhibit

This week, politics meets theatre in a big way as Paul goes Behind the Curtain with the co-creator and cast members of We the People: the Anti-Trust Musical, Leo Schwartz (music & lyrics), and cast members Elizabeth Rentfro and Timothy Swaim, to discuss the impetus for creating a musical about the 2016 election. Pro-Trump folks might find the show a bit difficult to watch, but anti-Trump people will love what they hear. How do cast members deal with their personal […]


Paul Lisnek’s – “Behind the Curtain”: Shutdown Aftermath: Who won, who lost; will there be a DACA deal and where is US Trade Policy headed after International Tarde meeting

Paul goes behind the curtain this week to look at the brief shutdown that stopped the government in its tracks. Who won? Did Democrats cave? Do Republicans deserve a victory lap? And will there be a DACA deal in the coming weeks? Also, a look to the impact on US trade policy after the international meeting in Davos, Switzerland. Paul is joined by democratic strategist Brad Bannon for insight and a lively discussion....


Paul Lisnek’s – “Behind the Curtain”: Trump vs. the Media, Republicans stand behind Trump and Bannon gets a Subpeona

This week, Paul goes Behind the Curtain with democratic strategist and attorney Richard Gordon. They discuss the president’s ongoing attacks on the media, called out by Arizona Senator Jeff Flake on the floor of the U.S. Senate. We learn the dangers to our society when the media undergoes sustained attack by the administration. We ask about the impact of the president’s alleged use of charged language in the immigration meeting last week, and about Steve Bannon’s refusal to answer...


Paul Lisnek’s – “Behind the Curtain”: A Cast of Thousands….All in the Person of Legendary Impersonator Rich Little

This week brings you a special “Behind the Curtain,” as Paul talks one-on-one with legendary impersonator Rich Little. The man of a thousand voices, Rich tells many stories about some of the greatest celebrities of our times. Those include George Burns, Jack Benny, Johnny Carson, Dean Martin and more. In more than a biography, Rich shares his life through the stories – that means the good, the bad and the ugly. He tells Paul his view on politics as performed on stage, […]


Paul Lisnek’s – “Behind the Curtain”: Bombshell book pits Steve Bannon against the Trump clan, and 150 Years of NEUI celebrated in a new book

This week Paul goes Behind the Curtain to discuss breaking news about a new book that details many allegations of treason and money laundering amidst members of the Trump campaign. These attacks from former Chief Strategist Steve Bannon are causing turmoil in the White House. Then, a new book details the 150 year history of Northeastern Illinois University. The book celebrates the sesquicentennial by sharing a much unknown history of a university many think got its start in the 1960s. […]


Paul Lisnek’s – “Behind the Curtain”: New Documentary on the Life of Singer/Actress/Comedienne Rose Marie (of the Dick Van Dyke Show)

She is best known for portraying the role of comedy writer Sally Rogers in the iconic classic, “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” but the career of Rose Marie is far more extensive than most people realize. From Vaudeville, where she turned heads as Baby Rose Marie, to nightclubs, Broadway, television and films, Rose Marie’s career has spanned across the spectrum of entertainment history in the 20th Century. She knew mobsters (yes, even Al Capone) and worked with every classic performer of […]


Paul Lisnek’s – “Behind the Curtain”: Fields and Butler Let the Good Times Roll, Wicked returns and the traditional performance of Christmas Schooner at the Mercury lives on

This week in theatre, Paul talks to Felicia Fields, star of The Color Purple on Broadway, who leaves her role for its national tour, and E. Faye Butler, an award-winning theatrical treasure of Chicago. They join forces for Lettin’ the Good Times Roll at Victory Gardens Theater, for a night of jazz, blues and fun. Plus, Wicked stars Mary Kate Morrissey (Elphaba) and Ginna Claire Mason (Glinda) join Paul to discuss the classic musical now playing at the Oriental Theatre. And, the Chicago […]


Paul Lisnek’s – “Behind the Curtain”: Julia Child Photography portrait, Navy Pier’s Winter Wonderfest and Jess Godwin’s Performance to help CPS

This week, Paul goes behind the curtain to look at a new photographic book about the life of Paul and Julia Child. In addition to Julia’s fame as a chef, Paul was quite the photographer, capturing their early years together. Then, the fun of Winter Wonderfest at Navy Pier along with heated gondolas in the Ferris Wheel, and then an exciting performance schedule this week by Singer/Songwriter/Actress Jess Godwin at the Athenaeum Theatre in the City, with an amazing performance […]


Paul Lisnek’s – “Behind the Curtain”: Former Alderman Dick Simpson’s “The Good Fight,” and Wine Selection tips for the Holidays”

This week, Paul goes Behind the Curtain with Former 44th Alderman Dick Simpson to discuss his new autobiography, “The Good Fight: Life Lessons from a Chicago Progressive.” A progressive from his early years, Simpson lived through the turbulent 1960s, working for presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy, dealing with Mayor Richard J. Daley and playing a key role in the transition to Mayor Harold Washington. Simpson tells his story in a candid way but also with life lessons learned that...


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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...


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, […]


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”)...


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 […]


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...


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...


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