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  • Clapton says thank you to Cale with ‘The Breeze’ Jul 27, 2014 5:30 AM
    For Eric Clapton, the early 1970s were filled with drug addiction, personal difficulties and growing dissatisfaction with music. Singer-songwriter JJ Cale rescued him and gave him a direction, though the man known as the main architect of the highly influential Tulsa Sound didn’t know Clapton at the time. Cale died a year ago this week at 74. Cale’s music continues to inspire and push Clapton in powerful ways, something Clapton marks with the release this week of “The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale,” a 16-track thesis study in Cale’s career.

     
  • In Chicago, colorful Pilsen broadens its palate Jul 27, 2014 5:45 AM
    Today, a stroll through the Chicago neighborhood of Pilsen brings a wondrous sense of cultural whiplash, both artistic and culinary. Creativity thrives here, especially between 6 and 10 p.m. on the second Friday of each month, when most small businesses — plus studios and galleries — stay open late. While here, explore the expanded National Museum of Mexican Art and Thalia Hall, where you can sip a punch cocktail in the basement bar, eat in the ground-floor restaurant and enjoy live music upstairs.

     
  • Book notes: Meet ‘Twilight’ screenwriter Chris Weitz in Naperville Jul 26, 2014 6:30 AM
    Meet author and screenwriter (“The Twilight Saga: New Moon”) Chris Weitz as he discusses and signs copies of his teen novel “The Young World” at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 1, at Anderson’s Bookshop, 123 W. Jefferson Ave., Naperville.

     
  • Compelling characters populate Atkins’ ‘The Forsaken’ Jul 26, 2014 5:45 AM
    Sheriff Quinn Colson has been working to clean up corruption and injustice in Ace Atkins’ compelling crime fiction series, but he can’t change the past of Jericho, Mississippi, when he’s faced with a decades-old crime that leads to scrutiny of his own past in “The Forsaken.”

     
  • Arlington Hts. library reveals book for community to read Jul 27, 2014 12:56 PM
    Not an overly literary book, but not a fluff piece either. A book with plenty of themes for discussion, appealing to teens — and definitely a page-turner. In a nutshell, that's “Ordinary Grace” by William Kent Krueger, the book picked by the Arlington Heights Memorial Library for its inaugural “One Book One Village” community read initiative unveiled Saturday, said library deputy director Daisy Porter-Reynolds.

     
  • Actor crosses color barrier in off-Broadway ‘Fantasticks’ Jul 25, 2014 6:00 AM
    Not long ago, Kevin R. Free went to an audition for a part in the longest-running musical in history. Yet, all the other actors vying for the same part were at least 10 years older and he was the only African-American. “I just felt like, ‘Why am I here?'" But Free pulled himself together enough to do a monologue and sing a song, It worked: He got both the job and a chance to make history. Free has taken over the role of Bellomy in “The Fantasticks,” the first time a black man has played the role in the New York show’s more than 20,000 performances over 54 years.

     
  • Theater events: Jedlicka brings 'Big Fish' to the stage Jul 25, 2014 9:00 AM
    Jedlicka Performing Arts Center presents the first local production of Andrew Lippa's "Big Fish"; American Blues Theater remounts its hit musical, "Hank Williams: Lost Highway"; and celebrated chef Rich Bayless returns to Lookingglass Theatre in the dining and theatrical venture "Rick Bayless in Cascabel: Dinner-Daring-Desire" this week in Chicago-area theater.

     
  • Wheaton World Tour celebrates city’s diversity Jul 25, 2014 5:30 AM
    Hundreds of people had a chance to learn more about the various cultures that are present in Wheaton during the second annual Wheaton World Tour Thursday. “The event is intended to acknowledge and celebrate the diversity of our great city of Wheaton, acknowledging that we came from many different places no matter how long we may have lived in town,” said Renee Webb, former chairwoman of the city’s Community Relations Commission.

     
  • Mount Prospect native tackles challenges of Beckett in 'Half-Light' Jul 25, 2014 6:10 AM
    If you haven't seen Kathrynne Wolf on stage, you may have heard her anyway — in commercials, pinball games, video games and public service announcements. And her vocal experiences come in handy with her latest show, especially as she takes on one character who is just a head in an urn. The Mount Prospect native plays three different characters in “Hellish Half-Light: Shorter Plays of Samuel Beckett” being staged by Mary-Arrchie Theatre. “It's a challenge in a good way,” Wolf said.

     
  • Fred Fest concert in Port Barrington Aug. 17 Jul 25, 2014 6:54 PM
    Fred Fest, an annual reunion concert of well-known, Barrington-trained musicians, will be held from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 17, at the Fox River Forest Preserve on Roberts Road in Port Barrington. Admission is $20. The concert benefits the Preservation Foundation of the Lake County Forest Preserves.

     
  • Garth Brooks fans snap up tickets to 10 Rosemont shows Jul 25, 2014 6:36 PM
    One tour-launching Garth Brooks Allstate Arena show turned into four Friday. Then five. And then there were 10 — which the country singer was selling out quickly.

     
  • Audience moved by Mundelein teen’s performance Jul 26, 2014 12:43 AM
    Cast and audience shared an emotional performance of “The Secret Garden” Saturday night at Mundelein High School. Senior Monica Tipperreiter debuted in the role she had been meant to play one of the leads in the high school musical last spring.

     
  • An A-to-Z guide to enjoying the rest of summer Jul 25, 2014 6:12 AM
    If back-to-school sales and talk of fall have you thinking that summer is slipping away, don't despair. We still have a few weeks left to take in outdoor concerts, al fresco dining and blockbuster movies at the multiplex. So here's a quick A-to-Z primer on enjoying the last weeks of summer in the suburbs.

     
  • Genesee concert will be tribute to late Johnny Winter Jul 24, 2014 4:23 PM
    Due to the recent death of blues guitarist Johnny Winter, who was slated the appear at the upcoming Rock N' Blues Festival Concert at the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan, the show at 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 10, has instead been reconfigured to be a tribute to the late musician.

     
  • Mundelein teen gets second chance at play after surgery to remove brain tumor Jul 24, 2014 3:06 PM
    Mundelein High School senior Monica Tipperreiter had her heart set on playing one of the leads in the school's spring musical until the discovery of a brain tumor dashed her hopes. Now the school is restaging the production Friday night to give her another go at the role of a lifetime. “I'm very grateful for the second chance,” she said.

     
  • ‘Weird Al’ on his weirdly successful week in music Jul 23, 2014 5:30 AM
    Attention pop stars: If “Weird Al” Yankovic shows up at your concert or has tracked down your personal email address, you’re likely his next parody conquest. Such was the case for artists like Pharrell and Iggy Azalea, who are covered by Yankovic on his latest album, “Mandatory Fun,” released last week.

     
  • Streamwood Summer Celebration is this weekend Jul 23, 2014 9:34 AM
    Streamwood’s Summer Celebration 2014 will take place July 25-27 at Hoosier Grove Park, 700 W. Irving Park Road, Streamwood. Hours are 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. This year’s theme is “A Roaring Good Time – Celebrating 20 Years of Summer Celebration.”

     
  • Kitten’s debut album is synth heaven Jul 23, 2014 11:56 AM
    The debut album from rising band Kitten will have you purring. The Los Angeles-based group’s self-titled release is full of synth pop anthems, dance jams and punk-rock tracks that mesh together seamlessly.

     
  • Geneva Arts Fair: an interactive gallery Jul 23, 2014 3:15 PM
    If you want to know the story behind a piece of artwork before purchasing it, the Geneva Arts Fair offers many such opportunities.The fair, which runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 26-27, in downtown Geneva, will provide a venue for more than 155 artisans to sell their original work to thousands of art enthusiasts, while allowing patrons to meet and talk to the artists.

     
  • Palatine hosts Arts in the Park on Saturday Jul 23, 2014 3:59 PM
    While another part of downtown Palatine rocks this weekend with the annual Rockin’ the Blocks fest, residents seeking a calmer cultural experience can head to nearby Towne Square for Saturday’s Arts in the Park event.

     
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