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“Dee Snider’s Rock & Roll Christmas Tale” features a satanic blood pact, an exorcism and lots of headbanging heavy metal music. Yet, this world premiere musical at Chicago’s Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place is family-friendly through and through. You might think this a paradox. But it’s no stranger than the notion that Snider, frontman of metal band Twisted Sister, would parody all of that by writing and starring in a good-hearted Christmas show.
Weekend picks: Country star Hunter Hayes plays Hoffman Estates
Country star Hunter Hayes brings Dan + Shay and The Railers to the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates for a Friday night show. See a screening of the 2013 Thanksgiving-themed family film “Free Birds” at the Ackerman Sports & Fitness Center in Glen Ellyn. Or catch everyone's favorite Christmas curmudgeon in “Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical,” in a limited run at the Chicago Theatre.
Northlight delivers polished revival of Christie's 'Mousetrap'
Mystery aficionados may not rank Agatha Christie's “The Mousetrap” among her greatest works. As theatrical whodunits go, it's not especially challenging, especially to anyone familiar with the genre's conventions, which Christie helped establish. Northlight Theatre's entertaining revival is exactly the sort of polished production we expect from this suburban stalwart.
Emotion, spontaneity lacking in 'Annie'
There are plusses and minuses to the non-Equity national tour of "Annie." Original director and lyricist Martin Charnin returns to stage the beloved 1977 Broadway classic with strong supporting ensemble performances but disappointingly mechanical performances from most of the kids.
Brooke Shields writes of life with her mother
Brooke Shields, the iconic model-actress-Princeton grad, entered the literary scene in 2005 with her memoir about postpartum depression. This time, she sheds light on the relationship she shared with her mother, and it’s a well-crafted and insightful read from beginning to end. It would be a shame to dismiss “There Was a Little Girl” as a celebrity tell-all. Instead, it’s a thoughtful, poignant and provoking story about a girl and her mom prompted by a New York Times obituary written shortly after Teri Shields’ death in 2012.
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full story »Hooked on … B.J. ThomasHaving grown up absolutely loving music, I have so many memories of just simply hanging out in my room staring at album covers and listening to the pop/rock stars of the Seventies. One of those distinctive voices for me was that of B.J. Thomas, and his recent performance at my Arcada Theatre gave me another bucket-list experience.
full story »John Denver … Thank God he was a Country BoyJust past the 17th anniversary of the fateful plane crash that took the life of John Denver, the American folk-pop icon was immortalized Hollywood-style with a star on the town’s Walk of Fame.
full story »Kansas comes home … to St. Charles!Stepping into the limelight as a bona fide rock star is a one-in-a-million shot — a musician’s lottery, if you will. Just ask Ronnie Platt.