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  • Gire: 'Strange' more a human drama than a love story Aug 28, 2014 5:30 AM
    Ira Sachs directs “Love is Strange' with great perception about the benefits and drawbacks of family relationships. Sachs writes “Love is Strange” not as a gay relationship movie, but a human relationship drama invested in all of its characters, each of whom is granted time and dialogue to establish an identity and earn our understanding.

  • Clunker spelunker Underground found-footage horror tale should get lost Aug 28, 2014 5:30 AM
    “As Above, So Below” is hardly credible, even for a film claiming that the gates of hell lie a few hundred feet below Paris. This low-budget, found-footage, underground experience from director John Erick Dowdle and writer-producer-brother Drew Dowdle provides a few late scares after plenty of eye-rolling setup, with said scares due more to the heavy sound design than the action itself.

  • Gire: 'Yves Saint Laurent' not as inspirational as it should be Aug 28, 2014 5:30 AM
    If you'll excuse the wording, Jalil Lespert's bio-drama “Yves Saint Laurent” is ill-suited to tell the story of the French fashion wunderkind who, at 21, took over Christian Dior's Paris empire soon after his death in 1957.

  • Gire: Blue Whiskey series presents 'When Harry Met Sally' Aug 28, 2014 5:30 AM
    The Blue Whiskey Cinema Series presents its fall season, kicking off with "When Harry Met Sally." Dann and Raymond take a look at some of the greatest sex symbols in cinema at the Schaumburg Township District Library.

  • Dining events: Get your tea fix at new DAVIDsTEA Aug 27, 2014 5:30 AM
    Stop in and check out the vast tea selection at Naperville's new DAVIDsTEA; Stonewood Ale House has slabs of ribs for Labor Day; Hugo’s offers specials for its 10th anniversary.

  • Allegro Adult Choir to Begin Rehearsals September 3 Aug 27, 2014 7:48 AM
    Allegro Adult Choir is a group for adults who love to sing.

  • Irish Days return to Long Grove this weekend Aug 27, 2014 10:26 AM
    Annual Irish Fest returns to Long Grove this weekend featuring food, music and contests.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Charlie’s Center for the Arts event to featured art galleries, video presentation Aug 27, 2014 7:05 PM
    The St. Charles Arts Council is presenting the latest in their series of pop-up art galleries. Two new neXt galleries at Charlie’s, part of the Charlie’s Center for the Arts – ALL of the ARTS, ALL over TOWN Event. For the Charlie’s event, the neXt galleries will be joined by the Yellow House Artists plus a video installation project.

  • 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.

  • Niche chef continues tradition of unfussy fine dining in Geneva Aug 27, 2014 8:48 AM
    If you think four-star dining has to include caviar and white tablecloths, then make your way to Niche in downtown Geneva for an attitude adjustment. Here, chef Chris Ayukawa, manager/wine director Vince Balistreri and their top-notch staff provide a stellar experience in a ruggedly elegant space that has distinguished itself as the pinnacle of fine dining in the Fox Valley.

  • Superheroes for sale: Product placement gets bigger and bolder Aug 27, 2014 5:45 AM
    Sean Stangland recently caught up with Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah.” While he didn’t enjoy the movie as a whole, he did like one aspect: no product placement. It's become the norm, from movies to TV to video games. But should we, as consumers, just blindly accept it?

  • 6 tips for navigating Naperville’s Last Fling Aug 27, 2014 3:24 PM
    Naperville-area residents can expect traditional contests, races, carnival rides, business booths and concerts at this year's Last Fling Labor Day festival, and they should come to explore, festival organizers say. "A lot of interesting businesses come out with all sorts of things to offer," Last Fling Coordinator Chad Pedigo said.

  • 'The November Man' more James bomb than Bond Aug 28, 2014 12:55 AM
    Good thrillers don't always have to make sense, but they cannot cause viewers to break into laughter during action sequences, as Roger Donaldson's “The November Man” did during a recent screening. At least Pierce Brosnan's performance as a CIA agent is a work of cool maturity and calm confidence, the sensible sort of seasoned spy his fussy, jumpy James Bond 007 never was.

  • Late columnist's spy novel hits silver screen Aug 28, 2014 5:03 AM
    A newspaper man who wrote novels, the late Daily Herald columnist Bill Granger clearly would have something to say about one of his books being made into a movie starring Pierce Brosnan. But what? “He would have just loved this,” Lori Granger says. “It would have been a kick.”

  • Seth Meyers kept Emmycast pleasant, brisk Aug 26, 2014 6:48 AM
    Cheery, brisk and efficient — the Emmycast seemed to fall in step with the style of host Seth Meyers. There were few if any surprises in Monday’s awards. (In this respect, the show often seemed a rerun from the past several years.) This, of course, wasn’t Meyers’ call. Nor did he deliver surprises of his own. That’s not his way. He’s a steady-freddy TV presence, reliably droll without rocking the rafters, and the Emmycast reflected that, too.

  • 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, 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.

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