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  • Theater events: Drury Lane stages comedy whodunit ‘Game’s Afoot’ Aug 29, 2014 7:00 AM
    Drury Lane Theatre presents the Chicago-area premiere of the comedy whodunit "The Game's Afoot" and Writers stages the Midwest premiere of Lucas Hnath's "Isaac's Eye" about a young Isaac Newton this week in suburban Chicago theater.

     
  • Bands come together to Jam for Autism Sept. 6-7 in Round Lake Beach Aug 28, 2014 1:57 PM
    Live Chicago Music is bringing top Chicago bands together on Saturday, Sept. 6, and Sunday, Sept. 7, for the Jam for Autism at the Round Lake Beach Cultural and Civic Center, 2007 N. Civic Center Way.

     
  • Shakespeare in the Park returning to Wheaton for second year Aug 28, 2014 5:57 PM
    William Shakespeare's work will come to life again this weekend in Wheaton's Memorial Park for the second annual Shakespeare in the Park event. This year's play, "Love's Labour's Lost," will begin at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. “It’s definitely a professional level of theater," said Kristina Nemetz, the Wheaton Park District’s superintendent of marketing and special events.

     
  • Tickets on sale for Capitol Steps Aug 28, 2014 6:54 PM
    Tickets for the Capitol Steps comedy troupe's performance at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 22 at the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan, go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 29.

     
  • 23 bands to take the two stages at Naperville’s Last Fling Aug 28, 2014 11:01 AM
    As Last Fling Entertainment Chairman James Bernicky readied the lineup for this year’s festival, he thought not about booking his favorite bands, but about providing what “99 percent of people” would want to hear. “We’re definitely looking for bands that can appeal to the whole family, that a wide variety of people can enjoy,” Bernicky said.

     
  • Temptations Review coming to Genesee Aug 28, 2014 6:54 PM
    Tickets for the Temptations Review Featuring Dennis Edwards at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 8, at the Genesee Theatre, 203 N. Genesee St., Waukegan, go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. Friday, Augut 29.

     
  • Billy Corgan goes solo acoustic for his Ravinia debut Aug 29, 2014 6:11 AM
    Ravinia might not be the most incongruous place Billy Corgan has ever played. That gig would most likely be the appearance of the Smashing Pumpkins' leader on the final taping of “Bozo's Circus” in 2001. Yet Ravinia has to be right up there when Corgan makes his solo acoustic debut there Saturday, Aug. 30, especially as he readily acknowledges he'll be playing before the “wine-and-cheese crowd.”

     
  • Fringe Fest gives Arlington Heights' theater troupe chance to shine Aug 27, 2014 10:07 AM
    The annual Chicago Fringe Festival celebrates the "untried and weird." In fact, the performance arts festival prides itself on being different, on offering “boundary-pushing performing artists paired with daring audiences,” organizers say. Rally Theatre Production of Arlington Heights is premiering a new show during the fest, which runs Aug. 28-Sept. 7 in Chicago's Jefferson Square neighborhood.

     
  • Harper director takes on final play in ‘Atlanta Trilogy’ Aug 27, 2014 10:31 AM
    The Harper College Theatre Department will complete its staging of playwright Alfred Uhry’s “Atlanta Trilogy” with a production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning “The Last Night of Ballyhoo” that begins Friday, Aug. 29. Tickets are $15.

     
  • Trisha Yearwood re-emerges twice as busy Aug 27, 2014 5:45 AM
    Once intent on scaling back her career to focus on family, country singer Trisha Yearwood now has two careers: platinum-selling musician and emerging kitchen mogul. She’s releasing a new album titled “PrizeFighter,” which coincides with the comeback tour with her husband, Garth Brooks, which has them playing 11 shows at Rosemont's Allstate Arena starting Sept. 4. “I kind of feel like Rocky in the first movie,” Yearwood said.

     
  • ZZ Top cancels Ravinia concert after injury Aug 27, 2014 4:20 PM
    Due to a hip injury suffered by ZZ Top's bassist and co-lead vocalist Dusty Hill, the ZZ Top and Jeff Beck concert, scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 28, at Ravinia Festival, has been canceled.

     
  • End the season at Lake in the Hills’ Summer Sunset Festival Aug 27, 2014 12:04 PM
    An expanded wine tasting, a combined business and craft showcase and additional unlimited carnival ride times are some of the changes to Lake in the Hills’ Summer Sunset Festival. The 14th annual festival, which runs Friday, Aug. 29 through Sunday, Aug. 31 at Sunset Park in Lake in the Hills, is “a great way to end the summer,” according to co-chairman Denise Wasserman.

     
  • What Septemberfest has in store for you Aug 26, 2014 3:51 PM
    The area’s largest Labor Day festival returns to Schaumburg this year, with its blockbuster list of entertainment options and family-friendly atmosphere. From the Taste of Schaumburg, packed with 23 local restaurants, to its three stages of live entertainment, a craft fair with 250 vendors, fireworks on Sunday, a Labor Day parade and 18 carnival rides all three days, it all adds up to summertime fun. Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 30; 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 31; and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, Sept. 1. Admission is free. Septemberfest takes place across the rolling grounds of the 40-acre Robert O. Atcher Municipal Center, with its weeping willow trees wrapped around a scenic pond, and winding trails that weave patrons through the different festival locations. Historians note that it was Atcher, Schaumburg’s former mayor, who started the festival back in 1970 when the village received a $5,000 donation from the builders of Woodfield Mall. Atcher decided the money should be used for a hometown celebration, and the former country music star even offered to provide some of the entertainment. The seeds for the festival were sewn, and the tradition of bringing the community together for a last celebration of summer became entrenched. “Septemberfest is one of the largest fests in the suburban Chicago area, which is due in large part to having enjoyed a long and successful history of more than 40 years,” said Betsy Armistead, director of Schaumburg’s cultural services department. This will be Schaumburg’s 44th annual Septemberfest, and village officials expect 250,000 people to converge on the festival grounds over its three-day run. Shuttles replace on-site parking Despite the crowds, free shuttle bus routes make getting to and from the grounds fairly easy. Remote lots are located at Schaumburg and Conant high schools, Jane Addams Junior High School, and at street corners in various neighborhoods. Detailed information can be found on the village website, www.ci.schaumburg.il.us. New this year is a drop-off site at the festival grounds. It is located on Lambert Drive, between Summit Drive and Ashcroft Court. “We added a drop-off site in response to past requests from patrons,” said Roxane Benvenuti, special events director. “But it is drop-off only. There is no parking on the festival grounds.” One-of-a-kind arts and crafts Many festivalgoers make the fest a full day of activities, starting with the expansive craft fair, located on the southern edge of the fairgrounds. Arts and crafts vendors sell everything from Halloween decor to Christmas ornaments and furniture, but seasoned visitors like to search out the handmade jewelry, home décor, woodworking and sculpture, as well as unique gifts, such as porcelain Santa Claus figures, ornaments made of recycled cans and ornate bird baths made out of stone. Perusing homemade craft items can build an appetite, and the restaurants serving up local specialties in the dining tent have the answer. Taste of Schaumburg specialties Patrons may choose from traditional entrees such as burgers, sub sandwiches and pizza; to more eclectic options, including orange chicken, pulled pork sandwiches and chicken and steak quesadillas. They also will find several vegetarian selections, fish tacos, crab Rangoon and pad thai tofu. “Area residents look forward to the diversity of restaurants in the Taste,” Armistead said. Live music on three stages Entertainment is always a big draw, and with bands playing the Miller Lite stage, the Prairie Center Music Stage and inside the dining tent — not to mention strolling musicians — fans will not be disappointed. The three headliners this year include pop singer Taylor Dayne at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, with her top 10 hits “Tell it to My Heart,” “I’ll Always Love You,” and “Love Will Lead You Back.” Brian Howe takes the main stage at 8:30 p.m. Sunday night. Howe is a former lead singer with Bad Company, singing their lead vocals from 1985 to 1995. His set will be followed by the traditional fireworks show. The Liverpool Legends, a Grammy Award-winning Beatles’ tribute band, closes the fest, playing from 8:30-10 p.m. Monday night. They have played Fab Four favorites around the world and now have their own show in Branson, Missouri. Area’s only Labor Day parade After creating “parade shows” for the Schaumburg High School marching band to play in Septemberfest parades, former band director Kevin Miller — now retired — finds himself the parade’s grand marshal. He will ride in style down the two-mile parade route, while high school bands from Schaumburg, Hoffman Estates and Conant, as well as other musical groups, will carry on the show without him. The parade steps off at 10 a.m. and proceeds down Summit Drive from Wise Road to Stock Port Lane. In keeping with tradition, Schaumburg Mayor Al Larson and members of the village board will precede the parade units, distributing candy to children and families along the route.

     
  • Music notes: Barrington's Wild Belle to play North Coast Music Fest Aug 26, 2014 6:12 AM
    Wild Belle, an indie-pop band with roots in Barrington, will perform this weekend as part of the North Coast Music Festival in Chicago. Next week, country-music superstar Garth Brooks and his wife, Trisha Yearwood, launch a massive new tour with a series of shows at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont.

     
  • 5 Seconds of Summer, One Direction to rock Soldier Field Aug. 29-30 Aug 26, 2014 2:19 PM
    5 Seconds of Summer fit the boy band mold: a quartet of young men with a feverish female fan base. But the Australian pop-rock group identifies more with Pete Wentz than Harry Styles. Currently they're touring with megastars One Direction. The tour stops at Chicago's Soldier Field Friday and Saturday, Aug. 29-30.

     
  • Steel Beam Theatre announces 2014-2015 season Aug 26, 2014 7:06 PM
    Steel Beam Theatre in St. Charles begins its season Sept. 12 with "Almost, Maine." Also on tap: "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," "Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol," "Veronica's Room" and more.

     
  • Conlon to step down as Ravinia music director next year Aug 26, 2014 1:19 AM
    Ravinia Festival's James Conlon will step down as music director after the 2015 season. He's held the job since 2005 and is known, among other things, for his leadership in reviving works by composers whose music the Nazi regime suppressed.

     
  • Elk Grove banning blankets at summer concerts Aug 27, 2014 10:26 AM
    Don’t expect to plop down tarps, blankets or tables next year to reserve your spot for one of Elk Grove Village’s popular summer concerts. “We had one tarp that was 10 feet by 20 feet,” Mayor Craig Johnson said. “It’s taking up too much space.”

     
  • Weekend picks: Mark Normand brings comedy to Zanies Aug 28, 2014 2:39 PM
    Comedian Mark Normand takes a break from his TV stints on NBC's “Last Comic Standing” or Comedy Central's “@Midnight” to bring his standup to Zanies in Rosemont. If you grew up adoring Donny & Marie Osmond, now's your chance to fulfill a lifelong fantasy, catching a series of performances at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora. The Chicago Jazz Festival is jumping at the Chicago Cultural Center through Sunday. And Naperville's Last Fling says goodbye to summer, while Union Park's North Coast Music Festival keeps the music scene hot for one more weekend.

     
  • G Unit surprises fans, digitally releases 6 songs Aug 25, 2014 8:44 AM
    G Unit surprised fans when its members reunited earlier this summer at the year’s biggest hip-hop concert, and they have another surprise: they digitally released six new songs Beyonce-style early Monday. The rap group dropped “The Beauty of Independence” extended play at midnight, mirroring Beyonce’s successful surprise release of her self-titled album last year. The 50 Cent-led group disbanded over the years and last released “T.O.S: Terminate on Sight” in 2008.

     
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