Sunday picks: Pumpkins aplenty in Sycamore
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If you've loved comedian Alonzo Bodden on public radio's "Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me" and on NBC's "Last Comic Standing," then don't miss him in person at the Improv Comedy Showcase, 5 Woodfield Road, Schaumburg. $19-$22 plus a two menu-item purchase. (847) 240-2001 or improv.com. 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27
Those lovable llama-like animals compete and are on display at the 2013 Illinois Alpaca Show this weekend at the Lake County Fairgrounds, 1060 Peterson Road, Grayslake. No admission charge. (847) 680-7200 or (815) 482-1298 or illinoisalpacashow.com. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27
Smashing pumpkin fest
The 52nd Annual Sycamore Pumpkin Festival's theme is "Pumpkin Adventures," and the adventurous squash fest features more than 1,000 entries in the Lions decorated pumpkin display on the courthouse lawn, two carnivals, two huge indoor craft shows, tons of vendors, a pie-eating contest and a 90-minute parade on Sunday. Take advantage of free pumpkins, ghost stories in the park, the teen carnival, zombie mini-golf, historic homes walk, Halloween party, scary stories in the cemetery and lots of country cooking. See sycamorepumpkinfestival.com. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27
Say 'Howdy' to fall
Point the vehicle northwest to Union to enjoy the Fall Festival at Donley's Wild West Town, 8512 S. Union Road. More than the average McHenry County pumpkin patch, the fest offers rides on the C.P. Huntington train for a spooky journey through the old mine tunnel. Stop at the pumpkin painting station — the most creative pumpkins get prizes. Visit Clayton's Sasparilla Saloon and sing Halloween classics, then indulge in fresh pies, muffins and cookies. Tickets cost $16 and include admission, rides, shows and attractions; free for kids 2 and younger. (815) 923-9000 or wildwesttown.com. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27
Daley Plaza becomes Franken Plaza
Visit Chicago's Daley Plaza, at Washington and Dearborn streets, as it becomes Franken Plaza for Halloween from Friday through Sunday, Oct. 25-27. The Midnight Circus performs throughout the weekend with a variety of stars. A Monster Bash includes trick-or-treating, hayrides and the kids' costume contest (for children ages 12 and younger). Other highlights include arts and crafts, a Harvest Marketplace and a "Wicked" singalong. Free. Visit chicagoween.us. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27
'The Legend of Sleepy Hollow'
Steel Beam Children's Theatre presents "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" at the Steel Beam Theatre, 111 W. Main St., St. Charles. Washington Irving's classic tale focuses on schoolmaster Ichabod Crane, who searches for a wife in the town of Sleepy Hollow — and discovers the Headless Horseman. $10-$15. (630) 587-8521 or steelbeamtheatre.com. 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27
Illinois Brass Band
Hear a wide variety of music — everything from classical pieces to Irish music and songs from feature films — as the Illinois Brass Band performs at Cutting Hall, 150 E. Wood St., Palatine. Admission is $12 adults; $6 for kids ages 18 and younger. Visit illinoisbrassband.org. 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27
Williams Street Rep's 'Sweeney'
Williams Street Repertory conjures Fleet Street London in its production of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's "Sweeney Todd." The musical thriller is about an unjustly imprisoned barber seeking revenge on the judge who framed him and ruined his young wife, and the avaricious pie shop owner who teams up with him to exact vengeance. See it at the Raue Center for the Arts, 26 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake. $25. (815) 356-9212 or wsrep.org or rauecenter.org. 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27
Singer and songwriter Laury Shelley performs in the Jazz Vespers service at the St. Lawrence Episcopal Church, 125 Church St., Libertyville. Shelley has toured as a vocal soloist and has recorded with five-time Grammy and three-time Academy Award-winning composer Michael Legrand ("Brian's Song," "Yentl," "The Summer of 42"). Free. (847) 362-2110 or stlawrencechurch.org. Doors open at 6 p.m.; performance at 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27
Chicago's murky past
Mix Halloween, the Chicago River and architecture and you've got a Seadog Haunted Tour, a nighttime cruise that includes information about the city's fabulous buildings while learning ghostly secrets about the city itself. Costumed tour guides highlight infamous incidents and supernatural sightings from Chicago history and reveal the lingering stories that plague famous buildings along the Chicago River. Board at Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago. Cost is $29.95 plus tax for adults; $18.95 plus tax for children 3-12; $1 for ages 3 and younger. Walk-ups are welcome or make reservations at www.seadogcruises.com/Chicago/chicago-haunted-tours or (888) 636-7737. 6:15 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27
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