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posted: 4/22/2012 6:00 AM

On the road: Springing into ballet

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  • Dancers Fabrice Calmels and Victoria Jaiani will perform in "Age of Innocence" with the Joffrey Ballet.

      Dancers Fabrice Calmels and Victoria Jaiani will perform in "Age of Innocence" with the Joffrey Ballet.
    Courtesy of Herbert Migdoll

 
 

Chicago

Spring fever

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Spring is when a young man's desire turns to … ballet? The Joffrey Ballet's season concludes with a repertory program of three sensual, neoclassical works in "Spring Desire." Presented in 10 performances, the program heralds the return of Edward Liang's "Age of Innocence" set to the music of Philip Glass and Thomas Newman. Also featured is Jerome Robbins' "In the Night" danced to Frederick Chopin's piano nocturnes.

Wednesday to Sunday, April 25 to May 6, at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Pkwy. Get a complete performance schedule at joffrey.org. Single tickets range from $25 to $149. (800) 982-2787 or ticketmaster.com.


Take the 'A' train

Meet more than 70 culinary artisans from around the globe and sample their products at the Pastoral's Artisan Producer Festival. The free event features cheesemongers from the British Isles, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Croatia, a potato chip producer from Virginia, and caviar and truffle oil artisans from Italy. Tasty events include a cheese-wrapping contest, an avocado tasting for kids with the Good Food Project, and a Best of the Fest competition with food industry luminaries voting on their favorite featured artisans and products.

11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 28, at the Chicago French Market, 131 N. Clinton St., Chicago. Free admission and sampling. (312) 575-0306 or www.pastoralartisan.com.

A jewel of a package

Moms can enjoy the "Diamonds are a Mom's Best Friend" package at the JW Marriott Chicago. Moms can explore Chicago's historic Jewelers' Row Diamond District at dimend SCAASI with a personalized VIP shopping experience and special hotel amenities. Available Mother's Day weekend, the package includes: accommodations at the hotel, breakfast for two, in-room flowers, complimentary valet parking and a visit to dimend SCAASI.

Friday to Sunday, May 11-13, at JW Marriott Chicago, 151 W. Adams St., Chicago. Rates begin at $309. Reserve 48 hours in advance at (312) 660-8200 or online at www.jwmarriottchicago.com with the promotional code P91.

Midwest

Beer, wine, cheese and trees

Combine a visit to the Great Mississippi River Region with samplings of Wisconsin's cheese and beer at the annual Between the Bluffs Beer, Wine & Cheese Festival in La Crosse, Wis. Enjoy an afternoon of sampling with more than 40 beer, wine and cheese vendors.

2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, April 28, at the Oktoberfest grounds on 2nd Street in downtown La Crosse, Wis. Tickets cost $30 in advance, $35 at the door. www.betweenthebluffsbeerfest.com or www.explorelacrosse.com.

A bloomin' weekend

How about an excuse to get out of town and back to nature during the 27th annual Wildflower Foray? The Foray, set in the forests of southern Indiana, is an engaging combination of collecting spring wildflower data and discovering new species in bloom plus bird walks, lake boat trips, nature photography, learning about edible and medicinal plants and nature-themed art and crafts. There also will be hikes and activities in Brown and Monroe counties.

Friday to Sunday, April 27-29. All programs and hikes are free. (800) 753-3255 or fs.usda.gov/detail/hoosier/news-events/?cid=fsbdev3_017504

Jazz it up

Wisconsin's capital city becomes the jazz capital of the Midwest when fans from all over the country converge on Madison, Wis., to hear nonstop jazz at the annual Capital City Jazz Fest. Sponsored by the Madison Jazz Society, this year's event features jazz artists performing a broad range of styles from the San Francisco sound to swing.

7 to 11 p.m. Friday, April 27; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 28; and 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, April 29, at 2969 Cahill Main in Madison, Wis. Single session tickets cost $32 for adults ($35 at the door) and $10 for children 12 to 18, free for kids 11 and younger. Call (608) 850-5400 or www.madisonjazz.com.

Worth the trip

Downtown Helena, Ark., hosts hordes of motorcycles, wall-to-wall music and delicious food during the 12th annual Wild Hog Musicfest and Motorcycle Rally. The three-day event features food and vendors lining historic Cherry Street in downtown Helena, live music at the Cherry Street Pavilion and an escorted bike parade through Helena and West Helena, beginning and ending in the historic downtown district.

Thursday to Sunday, April 26-29, in downtown Helena, Ark. General admission is $15. Registration is $30 for one rider and one bike. www.WildHogMusic.org.

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