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Article posted: 8/1/2013 3:03 PM

New theater performances highlight annual art show

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Inspiration can come from anywhere and Cathleen Ann of Palatine got hers after her friend Taryn Hettlinger-Parise recently complained about the lack of girls toys that weren't pink.

"I wanted to have a play about a princess that wasn't your typical princess," said Ann, Elgin's Vex Theatre Company writer. "Her dream is to live a life of action and adventure."

Co-starring Ann's friend and inspiration Hettlinger-Parise and Hettlinger-Parise's husband, Tony, both of Elgin, the fractured fairy tale, "Ninja Pirate Princess," will debut at Elgin's 5th annual Art & Soul on the Fox.

Running 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at DuPage Court and South Grove Avenue, and throughout downtown Elgin, the annual art show has expanded this year to include a greater variety of art forms, like theater performances, said Sandy Kaptain of Elgin, chair of Elgin's art nonprofit Art for All, which hosts the event.

Music will fill the air at the Kaleidoscope Music Festival from 12 to 7 p.m. Saturday, including the Jazz Consortium Big Band, My Lazy Elephant and more.

From 12 to 6 p.m. Sunday at the main stage, the lineup features performances by the Jukebox Heroes and a gospel group, and a salsa lesson.

The Kid's Stage and activity area will host "Ninja Pirate Princess" performances at noon, 1 and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Activities from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days will include dancing, tumbling, a graffiti wall, face painters, martial arts and more.

For adults, two plays will highlight the festival.

"Muse," performed by Vex Theatre Company, will use different comedic skits to illustrate the creative -- and sometimes frustrating -- process of producing art. Shows are 6 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 4 and 6 p.m. Sunday at the Elgin Art Showcase, 164 Division St., and cost $5.

Join "Walkabout: Jumpers, Thieves, Cops and Spies" put on by Janus Theatre Company for a tour through the downtown area showcasing different scenes. Tours leave every 15 minutes from 7 until 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 until 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, from the Elgin Public House, 219 E. Chicago St. Tickets are $18 in advance and $20 at the door.

About 75 artists representing a variety of media will display their work for the juried show.

Photographers, painters, sculpture artists, jewelers, woodworkers and more will display their work and reproductions of their original work to increase the price range.

"It's their artwork -- they have figured out a way to produce it at a lower price to make it a little more affordable, so it's a little more available to the general public," said Bob Almotti, the fair's treasurer.

The Elgin resident will also be presenting his paintings in the Art for All tent, which will host about 12 local, up-and-coming artists looking to tap into the art scene.

Increasing the variety of art is "part of Elgin's new focus to do multipurpose events," Kaptain said.

Almotti agreed, and he hopes the show will draw a larger, more diverse crowd into the downtown area by offering something for everyone, he said.

As for Ann, she's looking forward to having her company be a larger part of this year's fair.

"I hope that when people come downtown, they will also take time to sample some theater and see all the different facets of the arts going on in the area in this unique town," she said.

For more information, visit http://artforall-elgin.com/art_soul_fox.asp

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