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updated: 7/1/2011 6:52 AM

The Hemmens outlines new season of entertainment

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  • Dennis DeYoung

    Dennis DeYoung


The Hemmens Cultural Center in Elgin has a season anchored by comedy and classic rock with Elgin Summer Theatre and a short film festival to round out the performance list.

Cultural Center director Butch Wilhelmi said lining up the season is a balance between cost and timing -- The Hemmens functions primarily as a rental facility and needs to schedule performances around its other engagements.

"We try to make sure every season has a little something for everybody," Wilhelmi said.

Wilhelmi predicts the major draw this year will be Dennis DeYoung: The Music of Styx. The performance will showcase the band's greatest hits from the '70s, '80s and '90s.

Different this year will be a collaboration between the Elgin Symphony Orchestra and classic rock. Jeans N' Classics will perform the songs of Earth, Wind and Fire; Blood, Sweat and Tears; and Chicago, all supported by Elgin Symphony Orchestra.

An Evening With Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood, stars of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" is also bound to draw a crowd. The pair will perform improv similar to what was seen in the popular television show.

Kathleen Madigan, set to perform "R-rated" standup, as the third anchor performer.

Local improv will add even more to the comedy lineup as Green Room Improv comes to The Hemmens the first Saturday of each month from September to March, excluding January. The group started at Judson University in 1999 in response to the cancellation of the school's theater program but most recently has been performing in Huntley.

Two standards for The Hemmens are Elgin Summer Theatre performances and the Elgin Short Film Festival.

"Annie" will open July 15 with shows continuing throughout the month. If you arrive early for the 3 p.m. July 17 and 24 shows, you'll get to meet McGruff the Crime Dog and get a free child safety identification kit.

The film festival will be a showcase for filmmakers. The top five films from various genres will be screened, with winners selected by a panel of judges and the audience.

Sprinkled throughout the season will be shows for young people including "Are You My Mother?" and "A Christmas Carol."

Visit for a complete list of events as well as time and price information.

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