Stagioni Shines on South Side; ‘Ricki and the Flash’ Still Jamming on Local Screens (Tues., 9/1/15)

1) Local and seasonal—from the antipasti to the house cocktails, that’s chef-owner Stephen Felder and co-owner Cara Delsignore’s approach to Italian cooking at Stagioni. On Tuesdays through Fridays, Stagioni, like any truly authentic Italian restaurant, closes at 2 p.m. after lunch. In Italy, they call this a “riposo” (think Spanish siesta). It reopens at 5 p.m. for dinner, where patrons can expect the finest pasta, polenta, and salad dishes, along with “piatti principali” (translated, “main dishes”), like duck breast and hanger steak. To ensure regulars never get bored, Stagioni promises a menu that changes as much as three to four times a week. On Saturdays, the restaurant is open strictly for dinner; Sundays, brunch only, but what a brunch it is. To name but a few items off the menu: steak and eggs; pistachio waffles; eggs in purgatory, the last made with spicy marinara and polenta. Stagioni also hosts events, like their Monthly Sunday Supper—four courses, served family-style. These suppers sell out quickly, so those interested should call to make reservations. 2104 E. Carson St., South Side. (CM)

2) Ricki and the Flash – From the pen of Diablo Cody (the writer of Juno and United States of Tara) comes the latest Meryl Streep vehicle. The three-time Oscar winner plays a woman who, years ago, left her husband and children to pursue a career as a rock star. And now, several years on, her estranged daughter is facing a personal crisis and Ricki (Meryl) goes home to try to make things right. The film is directed by Jonathan Demme and features Kevin Kline (Streep’s co-star from Sophie’s Choice) as her ex-husband, 80’s heartthrob Rick Springfield as her bit-on-the-side and, playing her daughter, is her daughter-in-real-life Mamie Gummer. This isn’t the first time that mother and daughter have played mother and daughter – in the 1986 film Heartburn Mamie played Meryl’s 3 year old daughter. Check Fandango for screens and times. (TH)

3) Grandma – Lily Tomlin in her first leading role in 27 years. Written and directed by Paul Weitz (American Pie and About a Boy), Grandma is the story of Elle Reid, a misanthropic, lesbian poet grieving the death of her partner … when one day her 18-year-old granddaughter shows up at her door. Sage, the granddaughter, has a big problem and is hoping Grandma can help her out – and the two set off for a day trip with some major consequences. Advance word is extremely positive and there’s already talk of Tomlin scoring an Oscar nom for her performance. Julia Garner, Marcia Gay Harden, Sam Elliot, Judy Greer, and Laverne Cox also star. (TH)

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Rick Handler

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