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  • Arlington Heights actress embraces role in campy 'Evil Dead' musical Sep 21, 2014 6:15 AM
    Arlington Heights resident Julie Baird makes her national touring debut in "Evil Dead — The Musical," a blood-soaked musical comedy inspired by the horror film franchise that plays the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place from Tuesday, Sept. 23, through Sunday, Oct. 12. Baird plays Linda, the girlfriend of the hero, Ash, and promises plenty of singing, dancing and a "crazy zombie bloodbath."

  • McKenzie is the real hero of ‘Gotham’ Sep 21, 2014 6:15 AM
    Subtle, “Gotham” is not. Fox's Batman prequel -- set when Bruce Wayne was just a boy -- is the most anticipated show of the fall season. Yet, its first episode, airing Monday, Sept. 22, is problematic, especially considering the strengths of its premise and its star.

  • Robert Plant sets aside rambling ways on new LP Sep 21, 2014 6:00 AM
    Robert Plant has been a lifelong rambler with almost no interest in returning home to Great Britain. These days, though, he’s as snug as a hobbit in his hole in his native country after returning to record his latest album, and he doesn’t plan on changing his home base soon.

  • Adam Driver shifts into hyper drive Sep 21, 2014 5:15 AM
    It comes as something of a shock to be talking with Adam Driver and hear so little cursing. Nothing is thrown. Lena Dunham’s “Girls,” has obviously colored impressions of the 30-year-old actor, as has the kind of language often used to describe his performances — words like “primal,” “animalistic” and “raw.” But the gulf between Driver and his “Girls” character (also named Adam), is surprisingly — and impressively — vast.

  • Theater events: Gift Theatre premieres ‘Bethany’ Sep 21, 2014 11:28 AM
    Libertyville native Marti Lyons reunites with playwright Laura Marks for The Gift Theatre’s Chicago premiere of Marks’ “Bethany.” Theatre at the Center postpones its "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" to Sept. 21; Theo Ubique salutes composer Kurt Weill; Goodman Theatre remounts its 2013 premiere of Noah Haidle's "Smokefall"and "Evil Dead: The Musical" settles in for a brief run this week in Chicago area theater.

  • Elk Grove author publishes cookbook with 100 pumpkin recipes Sep 21, 2014 4:16 PM
    “For the Love of Pumpkins,” a new cookbook by Marilyn Alice Tuckman, has been released by Dorrance Publishing Co., Inc.

  • CLC international film series Sep 21, 2014 4:22 PM
    College of Lake County in Grayslake will host a free international film series on Friday nights.

  • Sugar Grove teen’s advocacy gives her direction Sep 21, 2014 7:30 AM
    Sarah Feltes of Sugar Grove was just looking for a way to score free tickets to One Direction concerts when she signed up for She read a few articles and watched some videos about topics such as povertyto earn points for a prize drawing. It drew her in and now she's getting a free trip to a concert in New York City and being featured in a video.

  • ‘Runner’ outpaces ‘Tombstones’ with $32.5M box office haul Sep 21, 2014 10:21 PM
    The young-adult adaptation “The Maze Runner” raced to the top of the box-office with $32.5 million, giving a budding franchise a quick start out of the gate. The 20th Century Fox release easily outpaced the $13.1 million debut of Liam Neeson’s hardboiled private eye thriller “A Walk Among the Tombstones” and the $11.9 million opening for the ensemble-cast dramedy “This Is Where I Leave You,” according to studio estimates Sunday.

  • Sunday picks: Soprano Karen Slack takes on 'Tosca' Sep 21, 2014 2:52 AM
    Soprano Karen Slack, soon to star in the Lyric Opera of Chicago's upcoming production of “Porgy and Bess,” takes on the title role of Puccini's melodramatic tragedy “Tosca” in a concert performance with the New Philharmonic and the Northwest Indiana Symphony Chorus this weekend at College of DuPage's McAninch Arts Center.

  • Fest offers glimpse at decades of farm life in Lake County Sep 21, 2014 6:07 PM
    Visitors to the Lakewood Forest Preserve near Wauconda this weekend had a chance to step outside of their suburban lifestyles. The 22nd annual Farm Heritage Festival offered visitors a chance to learn about farm life over the decades.

  • Polly Bergen, versatile actress, singer dies at 84 Sep 20, 2014 2:28 PM
    In recent years, she played Felicity Huffman’s mother on “Desperate Housewives” and the past mistress of Tony Soprano’s late father on “The Sopranos.”

  • Local, global wines showcased at Wheaton festival Sep 20, 2014 8:32 PM
    More than 70 local and global wines flowed freely in Memorial Park Saturday afternoon during the 2nd annual Wheaton Wine and Cultural Arts Festival. Ticket holders were given a chance to sample 12 vinos while exploring art from community artisans and enjoying food from nearby restaurants.

  • Women in politics: Gillibrand and Davis memoirs Sep 20, 2014 6:45 AM
    Two prominent women in politics, New Yorker Kirsten Gillibrand, who replaced Hillary Clinton in the U.S. Senate, and Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, who shot to fame in pink sneakers with an abortion-rights filibuster, are out this month with memoirs. “Forgetting to Be Afraid” chronicles Davis’ hardscrabble journey from teen mom in a trailer park to Harvard Law School. Gillibrand’s “Off the Sidelines” is a “Lean In”-style exhortation about women in a man’s world.

  • Fey, Bateman have off-screen chemistry, too Sep 20, 2014 6:15 AM
    In the new big-screen adaptation of the best-selling Jonathan Topper novel “This Is Where I Leave You,” Tina Fey and Jason Bateman portray siblings with tight ties that bind. Just minutes after sitting down with the actors recently as they promoted the sprawling ensemble dramedy, opening Friday, it was clear that Fey, 44, and Bateman, 45, had developed a real-life rapport, as well.

  • Book notes: Jim Peterik signs new book in Glen Ellyn Sep 20, 2014 6:15 AM
    Singer, songwriter and author Jim Peterik signs copies of his book "Through the Eye of the Tiger" at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 26, at The Bookstore in Glen Ellyn.

  • DVD previews: ‘Neighbors,’ ‘The Rover’ Sep 20, 2014 6:30 AM
    A young couple copes with rowdy frat boys in "Neighbors," a couple of Aussies journey across a post-apocalyptic outback in "The Rover" and a young soon-to-be Polish nun must face her forgotten past in "Ida." All three films come to DVD Tuesday.

  • On the road: Catch a groove at Hyde Park Jazz Fest Sep 20, 2014 6:00 AM
    South Side Hyde Park hosts two days and nights of dazzling grooves and improvised tunes during the eighth annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival, featuring nearly 40 jazz acts, including world-class headliners and local emerging artists. West Town’s thriving art scene takes over the hip neighborhood for the fourth annual West Town Art Walk.

  • Weekend picks: Prepare to swoon as Marc Anthony croons Sep 20, 2014 6:00 AM
    Grammy Award-winning singer and actor Marc Anthony brings his “Cambio de Piel” tour Saturday to the Allstate Arena in Rosemont. Chicago native and comedian Ralphie Roberts continues his run of standup performances this weekend at Zanies at Pheasant Run Resort. And comedian Jo Koy plays a two-weekend standup run at the Improv Comedy Showcase in Schaumburg.

  • Oculus unveils new prototype VR headset Sep 20, 2014 2:12 PM
    Oculus’ headset covers a user’s eyes and can create immersive worlds that react to head movement.The original prototype of the Oculus Rift headset was unveiled in 2012.

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