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Excellent! EXOR Studios Presents X-Morph: Defense on Xbox One (Also available on PC and PS4)

X-Morph Defense is a tower defense game similar to Defense Grid. However, it also has the quality of being a top down shooter as you control a flying spaceship during the battles. In the game, you play invading aliens trying to take over the world. You battle everywhere across the globe including Hawaii, Mexico, Japan, and more. Before the battle begins, you strategically place your defense towers and fences to make the enemy take the hardest path possible. You can also knock over buildings and blow up bridges to block their path in the responsive urban environment!

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The game is extremely fun game to play. Most strategy games don’t translate well to the Xbox as a mouse and a keyboard are needed to precisely and quickly build (aka Warcraft and StarCraft). However, in this game, building is quite simple and the majority of time you are attacking the enemies with your very powerful spaceship. Having two joysticks is the ideal way to control the ship. Also, after completing the game, you can play again in Local co-op mode.

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You may also recognize Michael McConnohie as the voice of the Earth’s leader. He was also the voice of the Agency in Crackdown and many other games.

On March 26th, a free update will add a Survival Mode to the game. On the same day, European Assault will  also be released, which is a brand new mini-campaign!

Buy X-Morph: Defense now in the Microsoft Store!

Quinn Delaney

 

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Excellent! Las Guitarras de España at City Winery (February 19, 2018)

Las Guitarras de España is a band that plays much more than just Spanish music. They explore music from all over the world. For example, tonight they play “Galloping Horses” as a tribute to the Chinese New Year. They also play “Su Sueño… My Reality” which is half in Spanish and half in English. It’s a Chicago Spanish blend that is unique and works really well. Also included is some excellent flamenco dancing. The crowd really gets into it by clapping along and shouting “Ole!”

 

All 13 musicians are having a great time. They are almost always smiling and truly enjoying playing the City Winery stage to a full house. Here is the full lineup:

Patricia Ortega – Vocals

Chiara Mangiameli – Dance/Vocals

Carlo Basile – Guitar

Diego Alonso – Guitar

Colin Bunn- Electric Guitar/Tres

Greg Nergaard – Bass

Kassandra Kososhis – Percussion

Javier Saume Mazzei – Percussion/Drum Kit

Ronnie Malley – Oud/Vocals

Victor Garcia – Trumpet

Guests:

Gerald McCelndon – Vocals

Chihsuan Yang – Violin/erhu

Here is the full setlist too:

Set 1:

Cada Dia (Patty/Carlo)

Zahma (Ronnie)

Maria La Mariposa (Colin)

Alameda (Diego)

Esperanza (Patty/Carlo)

Hanoi Pho (Carlo/Chihsuan)

Reality (Gerald/Carlo)

Alegrias (Dance- Chiara and GOS)

 

Set 2:

Mejor Me Voy Mañana (Carlo/Patty)

Mi Pulguita (Diego) *concert debut

Sevilla (Carlo/Alfonso Cid)

Nice Piece/Donde Esta Paco? (Ronnie/Carlo)

Mudanzas (Diego) *concert debut

Cejilla (Carlo/Patty)

——–

Quinn Delaney

 

 

An Excellent Experience! Intro to Climbing at Brooklyn Boulders Chicago

Have you never climbed before or only a climbed a few times? Then the Intro to Climbing class is for you. Plus, it’s only $10 more than a regular day pass with gear rental. First, the instructor will teach you how to boulder. You’ll learn about the color coded holds that create specific routes.

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Secondly, you’ll be introduced to the auto-belay machine. This is a fantastic machine that will handle the ropes for you. Just attach the carabiner to your harness and climb up. When you push off to go down (or fall), the rope will catch you and slowly lower you down to the ground. They have about eight of these machines which allow you to climb all the way to the ceiling, 50 ft high!

After the lesson, you are free to stay in the facility. Climb a few more walls and you are sure to be exhausted. It’s quite a workout. They also have a yoga room, a workout room with weights, and a lounge area with free WiFi. It’s a great atmosphere throughout the unique space.

Sign up for a class now!

Quinn Delaney

Quinn Delaney

Fantastic! The Joffrey Ballet Presents Modern Masters at the Auditorium Theatre (February 16, 2018)

The Four Temperaments

Choreography by George Balanchine

This is the most classical of the pieces on the evening. However, there are currents of modern movement as well. The choreography excellently matches the challenging and complex music by Paul Hindemith. It’s a difficult piece to perform and the talents of the Joffrey dancers are truly showcased in this ballet.

2_The Four Temperaments_Jeraldine Mendoza and Edson Barbosa_Photo by Cheryl Mann

 

Body of Your Dreams

Choreography by Myles Thatcher

12_Body of Your Dreams_The Joffrey Ballet_Photo by Cheryl Mann

The music for this piece uses a bunch of infomercials about fitness programs cut and pasted together in an electronic sounding piece. The dancers are wearing a style that is a mix of workout clothes and tight ballet outfits while performing a mix of those two styles of movement. While at first it seems to be a form of pop art and fun look at exercise, it turns into a critical look at the current fitness industry.

 

Beyond The Shore

Choreography by Nicolas Blanc

Beyond The Shore is composed of six short stories. The third one, Gemini in the Solar Wind, is the re-imagination of the first American space walk in 1965. Excerpts from the audio of this walk are featured in the song. It gives a fully outer space feeling that matches a female dancer being held up and carried across the stage just like she is in space. The choreography fantastically captures the inspiration.

 

Glass Pieces

Choreography by Jerome Robbins

This piece gives the feeling of a dense urban intersection in a large city. People are moving in all directions in a sort of chaos, but yet at the same time all with a sense of order. It’s a full company piece set to the music of Phillip Glass that is full of beauty and makes for a fantastic close to the night.

21_Glass Pieces_Valeriia Chaykina (center) and The Joffrey Ballet_Photo by Cheryl Mann

Get tickets for The Joffrey Ballet’s next show, Midsummer Night’s Dream, now!

Quinn Delaney

Grand! Broadway in Chicago Presents Love Never Dies at the Cadillac Palace Theatre (February 15, 2018)

In 1910, Le Fantôme de l’Opéra was published. In 1986, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, Phantom of the Opera, based on this novel, opened in London’s West End. The musical continues to run as Broadway’s longest running show with 12,502 performances to date. In 2010, Love Never Dies opened in the West End. And now, in 2018, Love Never Dies makes it’s Chicago debut!

The Phantom of the Opera lives! Apparently his death was all a lie, and now he has followed Catherine to America. She has traveled to perform at a renowned opera house. In the ten years that have passed, she has since had a child with her husband. However, this does not deter the Phantom as he attempts to win her back by having her sing his song, Love Never Dies, at his theatre.

Love Never Dies Utica, NY

Love Never Dies Utica, NY

Fans of the original will not be disappointed in this production. It is equally grand and spectacular. The costumes are excellent, especially those of the performers in the circus. The singing is so emotional and strong. It’s not quite opera, but it’s very close. Although there is no giant falling chandelier, the staging is very impressive. Huge sets smoothly slide on and off, completely changing the scene. It all combines for a truly engrossing experience that leads to a very exciting climax.

Get tickets now for Love Never Dies through March 4th!

Quinn Delaney

World Class! You Got Older at Steppenwolf (February 11, 2018)

Mae returns home to the Pacific Northwest to care for her father, who has just been diagnosed with cancer. She is able to do this because she just broke up her with boyfriend and lost her job. She wonders if it is convenient that all these things are happening at once, or, is her life completely falling apart? The play follows her emotional journey as she expresses her feelings and sexuality very openly with the people in her life.

Music is used very well in this show. In one scene, Mae and her father sit and listen to the Regina Spektor song, “Firewood”, in its entirety. Her dad says it is the theme song for his treatment. It’s a very touching moment. Also, “Timber” by Pitbull and Kesha is used for a dancing scene very well. However, the abrupt transition to this scene received mixed responses from the audience.

The acting in this production is absolutely world class. Caroline Neff (Linda Vista, The Fundamentals, and The Flick) is outstanding as Mae. It’s an incredibly impressive performance as she is on stage for the entire show. Gabriel Ruiz (The Rembrandt and Native Gardens at Victory Gardens Theatre) is outstandingly hilarious as the Cowboy. He absolutely has the charm required to play this great character. Francis Guinan (The Minutes, The Rembrandt, Hir) is solid as well as Dad. With his talent, he makes his performance look effortless.

Get tickets now for You Got Older through March 11th!

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Quinn Delaney

 

Independent Theatre at its Best! The New Colony Presents The Light at The Den Theatre (February 9, 2018)

A Chicago couple are planning to celebrate the anniversary of their first date. The guy, Rashad, was able to secure tickets to one of the biggest concerts of the year featuring one of his girlfriend’s favorite artists. However, one of the artists on the bill truly offends her, and she refuses to go. She starts by saying it is just the lyrics, but slowly it unravels into something much deeper as very serious issues arise.

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The acting in this production is absolutely fantastic. Jeffery Owen Freelon Jr. was excellent as Rashad. He plays Rashad as so loving and real towards his girlfriend.  Tiffany Oglesby is superb as Genesis. The torment on her face is clear as she struggles to deal with her past and how it will affect her future. At the curtain call, they are both still shaken up from the emotional roller coaster of the play.

TheLight-8

Loy A. Webb has written an expert piece.  The plot perfectly evolves as it slowly releases more and more information about the characters. As their histories are revealed, it makes the situation that much more complicated and interesting. The issues are brought up and face head on. This is independent theatre at its best and everyone in the theatre gets out of their seat at the end for a full standing ovation.

Get tickets now for The Light now through February 25th!

Quinn Delaney