| May 9, 2014
| 9:46 AM
Books become TV series. Amusement park rides become movies. Pop songs become Broadway musicals. But how do you adapt a city into a video game? How do you digitize the essence of a major American metropolis within the framework of a playable experience?...
| Apr 11, 2014
My last semester of college I took an oil painting class for students whose major was not art. I was an abstract expressionist by default because my ability to draw is roughly the equivalent of a 4-year-old working with his nondominant hand.
| Jan 17, 2014
At some point in my early teens, I ran out of age-appropriate books.
Today, most of the book culture excitement is in young adult literature. There's something for everyone: "Harry Potter" for fantasy lovers and "Twilight" for romance. The "Hunger...
| Dec 19, 2013
| 9:53 AM
Back in October, I wrote about books that just seem to resonate with us, as though they are custom-pitched to our own unique frequencies. I equated the feeling to how my dog, Oscar, ignores everything on television except the "Double Jeopardy" "pchoo...
| May 8, 2014
| 12:17 PM
Films about drug addiction tend to have a punishing quality. Even the good ones. I'm thinking of "Drugstore Cowboy" and "Requiem For a Dream," "Trainspotting" and "The Man with the Golden Arm." Full-blown drug addiction is bleak. Why would an honest movie...
| Oct 2, 2013
Mark Fajardo's first weeks in the very public job of Los Angeles County coroner coincided with the deaths of two TV actors — one from "That '70s Show" and another from "Rizzoli & Isles" — and the toxicology report from the car-crash death of...
| Feb 5, 2014
When you've been working since you were 8, as Alyssa Milano has, it takes a special kind of role to get you really excited. Using your birthday to raise money for clean water in Ethiopia, for instance. Or hunkering down with the beleaguered in Kosovo...
| May 9, 2014
| 11:00 AM
The state of Megan and Don's marriage, the return of Bad Mom Betty Draper, the advent of the Computer Age and the new tyrannical Peggy have been the subject of much communal handkerchief-twisting as "Mad Men" begins its extended-version swan song....
| Feb 16, 2013
Is there anything more unctuous than a 20-year-old celebrity? Heck, is there anything more unctuous than a 20-year-old, period — all angst, eyelashes and silly stilettos?
Yet give them time, and 20-year-olds will eventually grow, like sycamore...
| Jun 1, 2014
| 3:21 PM
The title the Chicago Symphony Orchestra has attached to its ongoing festival — "Truth to Power" — would apply far better to the contrasting political satires Chicago Opera Theater is staging for its spring season at the Merle Reskin Theatre...
| May 19, 2014
| 8:40 AM
Give Coldplay this: After its biggest-selling album and most successful tour, a $110 million jaunt across the world’s arenas and stadiums with big anthems to match, the quiet, insular “Ghost Stories” (Atlantic) was hardly expected....