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updated: 7/18/2011 1:51 PM

Elgin Walkabout celebrates the arts

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Submitted by Elgin Cultural Arts Commission

The Elgin Cultural Arts Commission continues its fourth annual "Walkabout: Theater on Your Feet" in downtown Elgin Saturdays, July 23 and 30.

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Tour guides will lead groups of people to downtown locations where they will see one play performed by three different theater companies. The characters will stay the same, but the actors will change as the play reaches its conclusion.

This year's theme is "The Art of Friendship" and will feature the Tony-Award winning comedy "Art" by Yasmina Reza. The tour will also feature artwork from local artists. The event is sponsored by the Elgin Cultural Arts Commission and the City of Elgin.

"Walkabout: Theater on Your Feet" starts with a group of people at the Elgin Public House. A guide will lead them to downtown Elgin's favorite places, where theater will be presented in nontraditional spaces.

"This year we'll be adding to last year's success by having three theater groups perform an act from one play," said Walkabout creator Sean Hargadon. "As the audience goes from place to place, the actors will become younger as the play reaches its comic conclusion."

It will feature one play performed by three different theater companies. The play is "Art" by Yasmina Reza, which asks the question: What would you do if your best friend purchased a white painting for $200,000? The play puts friendship to the test in this comedy about art.

The Janus Theatre, Nothing Special Productions, Guild Theater will each perform one act of the play at spaces like the Elgin Art Showcase, Ravenheart Cafe and Villa Verone.

"With the coming of Artspace next year, we thought it would be fun to present a play about art and friendship," Hargadon added. "This also is an excellent chance for audiences to see how three different theater groups tackle one play with their own actors and directors.

Al's Cafe will be the final destination of Walkabout this year and they'll be offering free malts to everyone who takes the tour. There also will be a limited amount of free Walkabout T-shirts available to people who attend the walk. Free water will be available as well.

Elgin Public House, 219 E. Chicago St., will be the starting spot and will be open for lunch before the Walkabout.

The show runs Saturdays, July 23 and 30, starting at 1 p.m., with tours approximately every 20 minutes until 2:20 p.m.

Admission is $15. Tickets can be purchased by paying cash only at the door. Call (847) 841-1713 to reserve your spot. Reservations are essential. To learn more about Walkabout, visit www.elginwalkabout.blogspot.com.

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