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Elysabeth Alfano
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Elysabeth Alfano is a culture and entertainment journalist, and a TV and stage producer and host. She has been bridging the gap between chefs, entertainers, celebrities and the public for over 20 years.

In 2009, Alfano started her production company, Fear No ART Chicago, which launched its first show, Fear No ART on PBS’ WTTW, with Alfano as its Creator, Executive Producer and Host. The success of the show was remarkable and, with the gaining momentum of the internet, it branched out into a very popular, bi-weekly web series.

Alfano launched a reimagined celebrity talk show, entitled, The Dinner Party with Elysabeth Alfano, on January 30, 2012. The Dinner Party is a celebrity, round table TV talk show in which Alfano invites 3 celebs to a dinner created by a guest chef. Over food, wine and a few impromptu performances, the conversations flow! Filmed live in front of a live audience, the show streams live on The Chicago Sun Times before being edited for Chicago’s Ch. 19, TiVO, Youtube, and iTunes. Viewers can participate in the show by asking celebs questions via Twitter and winning prizes if their tweet is picked live during the show. The Dinner Party is both popular and interactive, offering an up-close with celebrities experience. You can view the show sizzle reel at . In 2014, Elysabeth began a podcast version of The Dinner Party, which was picked up by WGN Radio’s WGN Plus in August of 2015.

In addition, Elysabeth blogs for The Huffinton Post. She has done voice-overwork for Kurtis Productions and took the “Improv for Actors” series with Second City. She has done countless TV interviews and has produced and hosted interviews for NPR’s WBEZ. Often, The Dinner Party with Elysabeth Alfano is also a radio show on WGN Radio.

Alfano is the winner of the following awards for The Dinner Party: Telly Award, Best Web-based TV show, Alliance for Community Media Excellence Award, Best of the Midwest Video Fest Excellence Award.

Entries by Elysabeth Alfano

Seinfeld Writer Peter Mehlman on Life During and After Seinfeld and His Book, It Won't Always Be This Great

(1) Comments | Posted February 4, 2016 | 5:21 PM

It isn't often that my conversation on The Dinner Party with Elysabeth Alfano results in my guest explaining that he sees himself as a french fry. However, maybe this isn't too much of a stretch when my guest is also the creator of such phrases as "spongeworthy", "shrinkage",...

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Up-and-Coming Artists Dish on Breaking Into the Entertainment Business

(0) Comments | Posted February 3, 2016 | 1:12 PM

How do you break into the entertainment biz? Whether it is the silver screen or the rock 'n' roll stage, getting there is an incredibly hard journey and many more make the trip than those who arrive.

Up-and-coming actors Maura Kidwell (Sirens, Chicago Fire) and Cole Doman (Henry Gable's...

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Michael Moore on Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, The Extreme Right, God and His New Movie, Where To Invade Next

(1) Comments | Posted December 28, 2015 | 9:44 AM

Even in short a conversation with documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, things quickly turn to politics. Long before anyone was really acknowledging Bernie Sanders, from a bustling red carpet of the Chicago International film Festival, Michael Moore was predicting Sanders as a force to contend with. In addition, he told me...

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Indie Filmmaker, Kris Swanberg, on Her Film, Unexpected, and Finding Balance

(2) Comments | Posted December 17, 2015 | 6:21 PM

There has been a lot of talk lately about the lack of female directors in Hollywood. For indie director Kris Swanberg, the pressures in filmmaking center more around finding the balance between directing and motherhood. Kris is a mother of 4-month-old, Abby, and 4-year-old, Jude. She is also married to...

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Author Bill Natale on His New Book and Race Relations in Chicago

(1) Comments | Posted December 8, 2015 | 11:39 AM

Is it possible to see people for who they are and not the color of their skin? Will we ever learn from our bloodied past of events like 1968 in Chicago, or are we destined to repeat our actions in ignorance? Can we truly accept other people and still speak...

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Bagels and Coffee With 'James White' Director Josh Mond and Actor Christopher Abbott

(0) Comments | Posted December 3, 2015 | 4:12 PM

Imagine you direct your very first film and it gets the Best of Next Award at Sundance and the Emerging Artist Award for both director and actor at the Chicago International Film Festival. That's exactly what happened for first-time director Josh Mond and actor Christopher Abbott with the emotional, moving...

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Renee Fleming on Life as a Cross-Over Opera Diva

(0) Comments | Posted November 20, 2015 | 3:11 PM

Famed opera singer Renee Fleming joined me on my most recent podcast of The Dinner Party on WGN Radio's WGN Plus. In a funny, natural and easy-going interview, Renee talks about fitting her enormous gowns on a plane, her love of Jazz, being an ambassador for music, and...

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Movie Producer, Gigi Pritzker, Dishes on the Movie Biz

(0) Comments | Posted November 13, 2015 | 10:06 AM

What does it mean to be a movie producer? More specifically, what exactly does a movie producer do?

In the podcast below, movie producer and CEO of Oddlot Entertainment, Gigi Pritzker, joins me in the WGN Studios. Over Beet Bruschetta with black kale, smoked pecans, red onions, and whipped...

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Vanessa Carlton Talks About Her Newest Album, Liberman

(0) Comments | Posted November 6, 2015 | 6:28 PM

Imagine starting out as a singer-songwriter and the first song you put out commercially goes to the top five and you have a Grammy nomination for Best Song of the Year.

Such was the case for singer-songwriter Vanessa Carlton. She was signed to A&M records by the incredible age...

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Rookie Founder Tavi Gevison on Feminism and Facing Your Fears

(0) Comments | Posted November 3, 2015 | 10:50 AM

Before there was Lenny Letter and the show, Girls, on HBO, there was Rookie magazine, the online publication geared towards teenage girls about love, life, friends, fashion and pop culture founded by Tavi Gevinson. Giving high school women a voice and the encouragement to embrace their questions, fears...

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Actor Michael Shannon on Chicago Theater

(0) Comments | Posted October 30, 2015 | 1:27 PM

Ever wonder what your life might have been like if you dropped out of high school? Well, for actor Michael Shannon, it put him on the path to being nominated for an Academy Award by the age of 34.

Shannon was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting...

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Wrigley Scoreboard Operator, Darryl Wilson and Hot Doug's, Doug Sohn, Dish on Life at Wrigley

(0) Comments | Posted October 21, 2015 | 1:19 PM

I am fascinated with the scoreboard at Wrigley Field. It is made of sheet steel, as are the numbers that are manually adjusted by operator Darryl Willson to reflect the scores of the games going on at any one time in the National and American Leagues during Cubs baseball games....

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David Baldacci's Never-Ending Love of Writing

(0) Comments | Posted October 15, 2015 | 6:17 PM

David Baldacci has to be one of the most prolific writers writing today. He published his first novel, Absolute Power, in 1996. A major motion picture adaptation followed, with Clint Eastwood as its director and star. Including his book coming out next month, David has published 36 novels for adults...

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Want To Feel Good? Gratitude Might Just Be the Answer

(1) Comments | Posted October 8, 2015 | 12:08 PM

According to a national study on gratitude, funded by the John Templeton Foundation, it seems that 94% of Americans believe that people who are grateful are more fulfilled and lead a richer life, but less than half of us express gratitude on a regular basis. That makes no sense! Particularly...

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Nate Bargatze: Clean-Cut and Funny

(0) Comments | Posted October 2, 2015 | 4:19 PM

You may not know his name yet... but you will. Nate Bargatze is gaining audiences in the comedy world for his rare kind of funny: the clean-cut kind!

With surely more to come, Nate has already had two specials on Comedy Central Presents, and has appeared multiple...

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Famed Rock 'N' Roll Photographers Tell Their Stories

(0) Comments | Posted September 23, 2015 | 11:25 AM

What does it really mean to party like a rock star?

On The Dinner Party podcast, I turned the WGN Radio A1 studio into a British pub to welcome Pattie Boyd (photographer, author and first wife to both George Harrison and Eric Clapton), Carinthia West (Rolling Stones...

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Falls Kicks Off With an Incredible Visual Arts Lineup

(0) Comments | Posted September 10, 2015 | 2:44 PM

Fall is always culturally rich in Chicago. However, beginning September 14, the city comes alive with an unprecedented lineup of nationally interesting exhibits and performances centered around the visual arts. Many of these are curated by or connected to the fourth annual Expo Chicago, the international exposition of...

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What It Means To Be Authentic: Chef Michael Taus

(0) Comments | Posted September 8, 2015 | 10:17 AM

I often wonder what is more important to chefs these days. Is it the food or is it stardom?

With the proliferation of food festivals, social media blitzes and reality TV deals, it seems that being a celebrity might be the highest priority. However, with Chef Micheal Taus of

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Chicago's State of Culinary Affairs

(0) Comments | Posted July 15, 2015 | 11:01 AM

Something new took place at Taste of Chicago this year. In the city's on-going efforts to promote our stellar foodie community, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events put on the Food For Thought Podcasts tent, designed to stimulate on-going communication regarding the Chicago foodie scene through...

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Gloria and Emilio Estefan's "On Your Feet" Renews Faith in the American Dream

(0) Comments | Posted June 22, 2015 | 10:43 AM

On Your Feet!, the musical of the life and music of Gloria and Emilio Estefan now playing at the Oriental Theatre through July 5, reminds me of one of my favorite lessons: You are never going to be any better than yourself. And the moment you change who...

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