Weekend picks: Bill Engvall comically blue collar at Genesee

  • Comedian Bill Engvall performs at the Genesee Theatre on Thursday, Sept. 29.

    Comedian Bill Engvall performs at the Genesee Theatre on Thursday, Sept. 29.

  • Courtesy of NBC"Last Comic Standing" finalist Joe Machi returns to Zanies locations in Chicago and St. Charles.

    Courtesy of NBC"Last Comic Standing" finalist Joe Machi returns to Zanies locations in Chicago and St. Charles.

  • Singer-songwriter John Hiatt performs at multiple suburban locations this weekend.

    Singer-songwriter John Hiatt performs at multiple suburban locations this weekend. Courtesy of Jim Mcguire

  • Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys appears at the Chicago Theatre on Saturday, Oct. 1, for the "Pet Sounds 50th Anniversary World Tour."

    Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys appears at the Chicago Theatre on Saturday, Oct. 1, for the "Pet Sounds 50th Anniversary World Tour." Associated Press, 2012

  • Richard Marx performs at North Central College's Wentz Concert Hall in Naperville on Saturday, Oct. 1.

    Richard Marx performs at North Central College's Wentz Concert Hall in Naperville on Saturday, Oct. 1.

  • Washington singer-songwriter Danny Barnes plays Troubadourium 2016 at Mackey's Hideout Saturday, Oct. 1.

    Washington singer-songwriter Danny Barnes plays Troubadourium 2016 at Mackey's Hideout Saturday, Oct. 1. Courtesy of Danny Barnes

  • Everclear is joined by fellow post-grunge rockers Vertical Horizon at Elgin's Rocktoberfest Saturday, Oct. 1.

    Everclear is joined by fellow post-grunge rockers Vertical Horizon at Elgin's Rocktoberfest Saturday, Oct. 1.

  • Lou Gramm from Foreigner performs at the Arcada Theatre Saturday, Oct. 1.

    Lou Gramm from Foreigner performs at the Arcada Theatre Saturday, Oct. 1. Associated Press file photo

  • Rita Moreno appears at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles on Sunday, Oct. 2.

    Rita Moreno appears at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles on Sunday, Oct. 2. Courtesy of Mark Hill

 
 
Updated 9/28/2016 10:20 AM

Proudly blue collar

Famed "blue collar" comedian Bill Engvall (CMT's "Country Fried Videos," "Lingo") performs an evening of standup Thursday at the Genesee Theatre, 203 N. Genesee St., Waukegan. $40.50-$53.50. (847) 263-6300 or geneseetheatre.com. 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Much of Machi

Catch up with comedian Joe Machi ("Late Night With Jimmy Fallon," "Red Eye") when he returns this week to two Zanies locations: first at 1548 N. Wells St., Chicago, (312) 337-4027; then at Pheasant Run Resort, 4051 E. Main St., St. Charles, (630) 524-0001 or zanies.com. $25 plus a two-item purchase. 8:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 28 and 29, in Chicago; and 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30, in St. Charles

Broadway hoofer

Hear plenty of anecdotes from theater veteran George Zima, whose Broadway credits include "Gypsy," "The Most Happy Fella" and "Milk and Honey." Zima performs Thursday at the Wheaton Park District Community Center, 1777 S. Blanchard Road, Wheaton. $5. (630) 665-1415 or wheatonparkdistrict.com. 1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29

Percussive passion

Chicago's own Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater celebrates the conclusion of its 40th anniversary season with a special repertory concert called "Flamenco Passion" Thursday at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 E. Congress Parkway, Chicago. $29-$68. (800) 982-2787 or auditoriumtheatre.org or ensembleespanol.org. 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29

The horror!

Get ready to be frightened when the interactive horror event Disturbia: Screams in the Park returns for another season starting Friday at MB Financial Park, 5501 Park Place, Rosemont. New theme areas this year include Dark Swamp and Sewers of the Underworld. $25-$30; $40 VIP tickets. (847) 349-5008 or disturbiascreams.com. 7 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday; 7 to 11 p.m. Sunday and select weekdays through Halloween; starting Friday, Sept. 30, through Saturday, Nov. 5

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Hear Horton and more

Dr. Seuss fans won't want to miss Big Noise Theatre's "Seussical The Musical," the Broadway show by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty ("Ragtime," "Once on This Island") that features such beloved characters as Horton, Miss Gertrude McFuzz and The Cat in the Hat. The community theater production runs at the Prairie Lakes Theatre, 515 E. Thacker St., Des Plaines. $30; $25 seniors/students; $16 kids ages 12 and under. (847) 604-0275 or bignoisetheatre.org. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; through Sunday, Oct. 16

Hiatt unplugged

Share An Acoustic Evening with John Hiatt this weekend when the famed singer-songwriter performs at multiple suburban locations: first at the Genesee Theatre, 203 N. Genesee St., Waukegan, $48-$58, (847) 263-6300 or geneseetheatre.com; then at Elgin Community College's Blizzard Theatre, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin, $48-$53 (sold out), (847) 622-0300 or elgin.edu/arts; then at College of DuPage's McAninch Arts Center, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, $45-$60, (630) 942-4000 or atthemac.org. 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30, in Waukegan; 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, in Elgin; 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2, in Glen Ellyn

Rising comics

Sample up-and-coming Chicago comedians at Comedy Shrine's Cranked Up Comedy Showcase this weekend at 4034 Fox Valley Center Drive, Aurora. $20 plus a two-drink minimum. (630) 585-0300 or comedyshrine.com. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Sept. 30 and Oct. 1

Autumn at Cosley Zoo

Stock up on pumpkins, apples, gourds, corn stalks and bales of hay during Pumpkin Fest at Cosley Zoo, 1356 N. Gary Ave., Wheaton. Kids can walk through a cornstalk tunnel, see a straw pyramid and hop on rides. Festival is included with regular $4-$5 zoo admission; free for members and kids 17 and younger. cosleyzoo.org. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, from Saturday, Oct. 1, through Monday, Oct. 31

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Back to school

Spend time as a "student" in a one-room schoolhouse (built in 1846) at a Fall Open House at the historic Churchville Schoolhouse, 3N784 Church Road, Bensenville. The Battlefield Balladeers perform songs from the Civil War. Take part in old-fashioned games, dancing, crafts, food and more. Free. elmhursthistory.org. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1

Magical trek

"James and the Giant Peach," based on the classic Roald Dahl children's book, will be brought to life by the College of Lake County's theater department in the James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts, 19351 W. Washington St., Grayslake. The story focuses on young James Henry Trotter, who takes a magical journey in a giant peach, along with his insect friends -- a grasshopper, a centipede, a ladybug and others. The show is for kids in pre-K to fourth grade and their families. $8. (847) 543-2300 or clcillinois.edu/tickets. Note: There are no reserved seats for this production. 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2

Elgin's Rocktoberfest

Portland's Everclear gave the national music scene a buzz in 1995 with the lighter-on-grunge-heavier-on-rock "Sparkle and Fade," featuring the feel-good summer hit "Santa Monica." They followed it up with 1997's "So Much for the Afterglow," which hit heavy and hard with anthems of discontent "Everything to Everyone" and "Father of Mine." These hits are sure to make the set list Saturday when Everclear and Vertical Horizon ("Everything You Want," "You're A God") play Rocktoberfest, Grand Victoria Casino's beer and music festival in Elgin. 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Grand Victoria Casino, 250 S. Grove Ave., Elgin. $15-$20. (847) 468-7000 or grandvictoriacasino.showare.com.

Ring renewal

The eyes of the opera world will be focused on the Windy City for the start of director David Poutney's new approach to Richard Wagner's epic four-opera Ring Cycle. "Das Rheingold" is the first of the four Norse mythology-inspired works, which will be introduced each season piecemeal before three full cycles in 2020. "Das Rheingold" opens the Lyric Opera of Chicago's 2016-17 season Saturday at the Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Drive, Chicago. Sung in German with projected English translations. $17-$299. (312) 827-5600 or lyricopera.org. 6 p.m. opening night Saturday, Oct. 1; five subsequent performances at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 5, 13, 22, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9 and 16

Get charmed at Troubadourium 2016

Troubadours of old traveled the countryside, composing songs and entertaining the masses with poetry of love and adventure. Modern-day troubadours get their time in the spotlight when Mackey's Hideout presents the fifth annual Troubadourium Saturday. Washington folk/alternative artist Danny Barnes headlines the night, which features sets from Algonquin blues rocker Althea Grace, singer-songwriter Kendra Swanson, Rebel Soul Revival's lead guitar and vocalist Matt Keen and guitarist Josh Mihalovic from Wonder Lake. 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, at Mackey's Hideout, 2601 S. River Road, McHenry. $12. (815) 363-7040 or mackeyshideout.com.

Classical pop

The Elmhurst Symphony plays pop for its season-opening concert "The Beatles and Friends." Conductor Stephen Alltop leads the ensemble on Saturday at Elmhurst Christian Reformed Church, 149 W. Brush Hill Road, Elmhurst. $32; $30 seniors; $9 students. (630) 941-0202 or elmhurstsymphony.org. 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1

Foreigner frontman

British-American rock band Foreigner rode the wave to stardom in the late '70s and early '80s with hits such as "Cold as Ice" and "I Want to Know What Love Is." The band's success sprung, in part, from the songwriting talents of lead singer Lou Gramm. Hear his solo hits when he visits the Arcada Theatre Saturday. 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, at Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles. $49-$79. (630) 962-7000 or arcadalive.com.

A Beach boy

Celebrate an American pop music landmark when Brian Wilson performs as part of the "Pet Sounds 50th Anniversary World Tour" Saturday at the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., Chicago. $38.50-$153.50. (800) 745-3000 or thechicagotheatre.com. 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1

Chicago hitmaker

Catch up with Richard Marx, the Chicago performer/songwriter/producer famous for such hits as "Hold on to the Nights" and "Don't Mean Nothing," when he appears Saturday at North Central College's Wentz Concert Hall, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville. $55-$65. (630) 637-7469 or finearts.northcentralcollege.edu. 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1

On your feet

Learn how to line dance, square dance and more at the Old Time Barn Dance at the Two Way Street Coffee House, 1047 Curtiss St., Downers Grove. A caller will guide guests through dances; no dancing experience is necessary. The Plank Road String Band provides music. $5. twowaystreet.org. 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1

Brass From The Past

The horn band Brass From The Past performs a tribute to legendary rock and soul artists, including The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Billy Joel and others, at Austin's Fuel Room, 481 Peterson Road, Libertyville, $15. fuelroom.com. 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1

The Last Straw

Make a scarecrow, meet a bee keeper, decorate pumpkins and pan for minerals and "gold" at the Westmont Historical Society's ninth annual The Last Straw at the Gregg House Museum, 115 S. Linden Ave., Westmont. This family event includes an animal show, crafts, a bake sale, an antique vehicle display and more. Free admission. There is an $8 fee per family to make a scarecrow; $5 per person for panning. Participants should bring clothing for the scarecrow and any special items for decoration. Proceeds benefit the Gregg House Museum. In case of inclement weather, activities will take place inside the museum and in the Westmont Park District Senior Center, at 55 E. Richmond St. (630) 969-8080, Ext. 104, or westmontparks.org. Noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2

EGOT legend

Spend an afternoon with longtime stage and screen star Rita Moreno as she shares anecdotes and songs from her career. The Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award-winner appears on Sunday at the Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles. $49-$89. (630) 962-7000 or arcadalive.com. 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2

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