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updated: 2/5/2012 9:54 AM

Fox Valley Repertory puts on excellent shows

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  • Dennis Grimes, from left, Weston Blakesley and Stef Tovar star as filmmakers working during Hollywood's golden age on its biggest blockbuster in Ron Hutchinson's backstage comedy, "Moonlight and Magnolias," running through March 11 at Fox Valley Repertory at Pheasant Run in St. Charles.

    Dennis Grimes, from left, Weston Blakesley and Stef Tovar star as filmmakers working during Hollywood's golden age on its biggest blockbuster in Ron Hutchinson's backstage comedy, "Moonlight and Magnolias," running through March 11 at Fox Valley Repertory at Pheasant Run in St. Charles.
    Courtesy of Fox Valley Repertory


A reader informed me she had been trying to find out why Oscar front-runner "The Artist" was not playing at theaters in the Tri-Cities. Charlestowne Mall officials told her the theater complex, after some delays, finally had the film last weekend.

Hopefully she liked the film. My wife and I didn't have a chance to see it last weekend because movies weren't on our radar.

I told the reader we were going to see Fox Valley Repertory's "Moonlight and Magnolias" at Pheasant Run. She wasn't too familiar with the productions at Pheasant Run, which gave me a chance to tell her excellent shows unfold there on a regular basis.

And "Moonlight and Magnolias" falls into this category. The show is a hilarious, high-energy tale of movie producer David O. Selznick's harried effort to get "Gone With the Wind" ready for filming with last-minute replacements in the key roles of screenwriter and director.

If you've ever worked for a high-energy, half-crazy boss, you'll get a kick out of Bartlett resident Stef Tovar's role as Selznick. In fact, it will wear you out. Plus, he looks a little like Selznick.

It's great that the local movie theaters are finally showing "The Artist" because it's always a good idea to take a look at the movie that industry experts predict will win Best Picture.

With great movies and live theater options all around us, who can complain about entertainment choices in the Tri-Cities?

No smoke, no problem: Area residents may be at least mildly surprised to hear McNally's Irish Pub in St. Charles now serves breakfast from 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays and Sundays.

The thought of going into a bar early in the morning a few years ago would not sit well with me. The smell of stale beer and cigarette stench permeating the place from the night before does not create a pleasant morning atmosphere.

But now that smoking is not allowed in bars, why not offer breakfast? Plus, when warm weather comes our way again, if McNally's opens its back patio in the morning, that could be a nice breakfast spot in the First Street Plaza.

Limestone building revival: Batavia city officials talked confidently about a restaurant moving into the 15 E. Wilson St. corner location downtown soon after Limestone Coffee closed its doors.

They were right.

Batavia resident Tina Miles will open The Rhino Room at the location, offering light breakfast items, sandwiches in the afternoon and tapas and wine in the evening.

The building will have even more activity, as Geneva resident Paula Adams plans to operate a catering business called Maevey Cakes in that location as well. The business honors her daughter Maevey, who died from a heart ailment when only 21 months old.

Another new tenant: As noted last week, DeGeo's Burgers and Gyros has opened in St. Charles' east side location where Slider Franks had a short run.

DeGeo's owner Louie Niforos, a Schaumburg resident who formerly operated Pete and Johnny's Tap and Grill in Lisle for 12 years, opened his new restaurant at 2704 E. Main St. two weeks ago and is hoping for the word to spread even before he starts advertising.

The first weeks of business went pretty well, he said.

While the restaurant title tells you burgers and gyros are prominent menu items, Niforos tells me the Rueben sandwich is a popular choice as well.

For the animals: With all of my talk the past few weeks about wildlife and what area residents should or shouldn't do when encountering creatures on their property or in their homes, it is worth mentioning that a fundraiser is taking place for people who actually know what to do with injured or sick animals.

The Fox Valley Wildlife Center's 10th annual Winter Dinner Auction will be held from 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday at Fox Valley Country Club in North Aurora.

Money raised will go toward helping the injured and orphaned animals that are brought to the wildlife center in the Elburn Forest Preserve this year.

Anyone interested in wildlife and helping animals that can't help themselves may want to consider supporting the center at this event. Tickets are $45 and can be reserved by calling (630) 365-3800 to leave name, phone number and the number of seats needed.

Some talented teens: Last year I wrote a feature story about two St. Charles teens, Rachael and Jonathan Cruz, who were cast members in the TV show "Good Time Kids" on the National Religious Broadcasting network.

The show was nominated in the category of "Most Talented Teens" at the recent 31st annual Chicago Music Awards, but came up short when winners were announced.

Still, the young actors had a wonderful time at the awards night.

"Unfortunately, they did not win, but what a fantastic experience they had," mother Marie Cruz said. "They walked the red carpet, were interviewed by a number of members in the news media, and were also the opening act for the entire show.

"Win or lose, it was truly an honor just to be nominated, and a memory that they will have forever," Cruz added.

Rachael is a junior at St. Charles East, and Jonathan is an eighth-grader at Wredling Middle School.

Maybe Super Saturday?: Super Bowl Sunday has long been a significant day for friends and family to gather for laughter, food and drink. As such, count me among those who are starting to hint at the notion that the Super Bowl might be better off as Super Bowl Saturday Night.

Why? Because this nation has not yet declared the Monday after Super Bowl a national holiday. Who wants to go to work the next day?

I understand Saturday night offers a ton of other entertainment options, and high school events, so there would be plenty of conflicts. That means I remain totally open to the thought that the Monday after Super Bowl should be a national holiday.

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