By Luis Gomez
2:40 PM CST, November 18, 2012
What does Oscar-nominated actor and former Evanston Township High School student Michael Shannon plan on doing as the most high-profile film of his career, "Man of Steel" — which co-stars Russell Crowe, Amy Adams, Kevin Costner and, in the role of Superman, Henry Cavill — hits theaters June 14?
He plans on taking the stage in "Simpatico" at the 80-seat A Red Orchid Theatre in the Old Town neighborhood.
The production is scheduled to begin June 13 and run through July 28, but the dates could change due to Shannon's "Man of Steel" press obligations. Shannon, who plays the villainous General Zod in the Superman reboot and can be seen on HBO's "Boardwalk Empire," is an original ensemble member of A Red Orchid Theatre. He fondly remembers scrubbing the stage with Comet on a nightly basis because the cast of "The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial" was always scuffing the white tile.
"It's very much important to point out that I don't come back because of a sense of duty or obligation," said Shannon Nov. 12 at Red Orchid's 20th anniversary party at The Underground. "I come back because there's a high being on stage that doesn't come from any of the other work I do. … I really never felt as an artist more potential than I have in that theater. There's an unlimited potential for imagination, for storytelling and for variety."
Shannon has appeared in films such as "8 Mile," "Pearl Harbor," and "Revolutionary Road," the latter of which earned him a best supporting actor Oscar nomination in 2009. He filmed "Man of Steel" in the summer of 2011 in the Chicago area.
"One of the wildest things for me about doing 'Man of Steel' was shooting at Union Station," Shannon said. "I've been to Union Station a lot, mostly when I'm taking the train somewhere. We were in the same room where they shot that amazing sequence in 'The Untouchables.' I would look over at the staircase and see the baby carriage coming down the stairs."
Because of the secrecy surrounding "Man of Steel," some of the film's stars were asked to cover up their costumes when walking to and from the set so that no photos would leak online. Shannon said the extra measures were successful — for the most part.
"They had us wear these big plastic parkas to cover up our uniforms," Shannon said. "It's interesting because I've run into people who have pictures they want me to sign from 'Man of Steel.' And they have images that look nothing like what I'm going to look like in the movie. I don't even know where they came from. I guess we were pretty successful, but I did see one picture of me wearing the costume leak on the Internet."
Celebrity dish: Giordano's Pizza added the D-Rose Special pizza — inspired by investor and Bulls star Derrick Rose — to its new menu this month. Rose can be seen holding a slice of the thin-crust pizza, which features sausage and roasted red peppers, on Giordano's menus, and he is featured on the restaurant's billboards around the city.
Lights, camera, action: "King Without a Crown" singer Matisyahu filmed the music video for his new song, "Happy Hanukkah," Nov. 12 at Gramaphone Records in Lakeview while in town for his show at Viper Alley. The video is expected to be released some time next week. "We were driving around Chicago looking for a record shop and saw Gramaphone from the car," director Jungle George said by email. "When we walked in, the place had the look and vibe I was trying to get for Matis's video with a ton of cool vinyl and great people."
Help wanted: A new NBC adventure reality series hosted by former "Man vs. Wild" star Bear Grylls will hold a casting call Dec. 1 at XSport Fitness on South State Street. Casting producers are looking for teams of two willing to be dropped out in the wilderness. Go to nbcbearshow.com for details.
About this week: WWE Superstar and Lockport native CM Punk will serve as the grand marshal of the McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade Thursday on State Street. Punk was also the grand marshal at the 2008 parade. … Comedians Paul Rodriguez and Tom Dreesen will host Thanksgiving dinner Thursday at Laugh Factory Chicago in Lakeview. The dinner is open to the public and will include a comedy show.
Sightings: Talk show host Craig Ferguson had dinner Wednesday at Nellcote before heading to Drumbar in the Raffaello Hotel. Ferguson dined Thursday at Chicago Cut Steakhouse. … Former reality TV star Kristin Cavallari dined Nov. 8 at Prasino in the Wicker Park neighborhood. … Actor and comedian Kevin Pollak dined Wednesday at Joe's Stone Crab. … While in town filming Showtime's "Shameless," co-stars Jeremy Allen White and Justin Chatwin hung out Nov. 10 at Underground Wonder Bar. … The Bulls' Joakim Noah had dinner with his family Nov. 8 and 10 at Mercadito. Also spotted there Nov. 10 was New York Yankees centerfielder Curtis Granderson. … Former NFL Pro Bowler Donovan McNabb was on hand for Def Squad's performance Friday at The Shrine. … Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau dined Nov. 12 at Roka Akor. … The Boston Celtics' Rajon Rondo and Jason Terry partied Nov. 11 at The Underground.
For more celebrity news and sightings in Chicago, go to chicagotribune.com/luis
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