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NCC, Paramount, Rialto and ECC give best recommendations

Bill Cosby will be North Central College this season.  | FILE PHOTO

Bill Cosby will be at North Central College this season. | FILE PHOTO

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Local performing arts centers are gearing up their new seasons, and we asked four area theaters to talk about three acts on their calendars.

These could be three acts that fans are excited about, three acts they personally can’t wait to experience or three acts that could use some extra buzz.

Here’s what they had to say.

North Central College

30 N. Brainard St., Naperville.

(630) 637-7469

Northcentralcollege.edu/showtix

1. KC and the Sunshine Band, Nov. 23

KC and Sunshine Band offers cross-generational appeal with music that’s accessible to everyone, said Fine Arts director Brian Lynch.

“It’s like any song that anybody has ever heard at halftime of a Super Bowl game – that’s KC and the Sunshine Band,” he said. “They still have the same sound, they still have the same excitement, they still have the same attitude that they did. Every song they play people go, ‘Oh yeah, I know that.’ We’re going to have a hard time keeping people from dancing in the aisles at this one.” (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

2. Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, Dec. 6.

“He was the first artist to perform at the Wentz Concert Hall Sept. 30, 2008. The first one to create music on that stage,” Lynch said. “This is our fifth anniversary season and we wanted to get him back. The entire team building the building pushed with everything they had to get the building done in time for him. I remember the construction manager saying, ‘We’ve got to get this done because the man is going to blow his horn.’”

That concert wasn’t open to the public, but this one – fortunately – is.

“It will be terrific to have him back.”

3. Bill Cosby, March 29.

Legendary comedian and actor Bill Cosby’s 8 p.m. show sold out in six weeks, and Lynch was able to book a second show at 2 p.m.

“It’s everything anyone can remember about this brilliant human being,” he said. “It’s all of his routines, there’s a camera on him so you get a close-up shot of those incredible facial reactions that he has…we’re honored to have him perform on campus twice.”

Here’s the full season lineup:

Stephanie Mills, 8 p.m. Sept. 21; Tickets, $45-$60

The Official Blues Brothers Revue, 8 p.m. Oct. 5; Tickets, $20-$35

“Speech and Debate,” 7:30 p.m. Oct. 10-12; Tickets, $3-$5

Blood, Sweat & Tears, 8 p.m. Oct. 19; Tickets, $30-$45

Amy Grant, 8 p.m. Oct. 24; Tickets, $65-$75

“Macbeth,” 7:30 p.m., 9 p.m., 2 p.m. Oct. 24-27; Tickets, $8-$10

The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band, 6 p.m. Oct. 27; Tickets, $45-$60

Richard Marx, 8 p.m. Nov. 1; Tickets, $30-$40

“Into the Woods,” 8 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 2 p.m. Nov. 7-10; Tickets, $10

Foreigner, 6 p.m. Nov. 17; Tickets, $70-$85

KC & the Sunshine Band, 8 p.m. Nov. 23; Tickets, $60-$75

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, 8 p.m. Dec. 6; Tickets, $100-$125

“The Sound of Christmas” featuring Elisabeth von Trapp and the Carolian Brass, 3 p.m. Dec. 8; Tickets, $30-$35

Organic Theater Company: “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol,” 7:30 p.m. Dec. 12-15; $20-$30

Marianne Murphy Orland, Beckie Menzie and Laura Freeman, 6 p.m. Dec. 15; Tickets, $30-$35

Kenny Rogers, 8 p.m. Dec. 21; Tickets, $70-$85

“Somebody/Nobody,” 7:30 p.m. Jan. 16-19; Tickets, $8-$10

Jim Peterik and World Stage, 8 p.m. Jan. 18; Tickets, $45-$50

The Show Biz Kids featuring Becca Kaufman and Dick O’Day, 6 p.m. Jan. 26; Tickets, $30-$35

The Cat’s Pajamas Vocal Band, 8 p.m. Feb. 1; Tickets, $20-$25

Suzanne Petri, 6 p.m. Feb. 9; Tickets, $30-$35

“The Importance of Being Earnest,” 7:30 p.m. Feb. 13-15; $3-$5

The Irish Rovers, 3 p.m. Feb. 23; Tickets, $20-$30

“Urinetown,” 7:30 p.m. Feb. 27-March 2; Tickets, $10-$15

Ramsey Lewis and John Pizzarelli, 8 p.m. Feb. 28; Tickets, $50-$60

Kathy Kosins, 6 p.m. March 2; Tickets, $30-$35

“ABBA Mania,” 8 p.m. March 8; Tickets, $25-$45

“Chords for Kids,” 7 p.m. March 8; Free

Organic Theater Company: “The Diviners,” 7:30 p.m. March 6-9; $20-$30

Spider Saloff, 6 p.m. March 16; Tickets, $35-$40

Bill Cosby, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. March 29; Tickets, $50-$75

Gregg Edelman, 6 p.m. April 6; Tickets, $35-$40

Ben Vereen, 8 p.m. April 12; Tickets, $30-$45

“4.48 Psychosis,” 7:30 p.m. April 24-27; Tickets, $8-$10

Dave Mason Trio, 8 p.m. April 26; Tickets, $35-$45

The Moscow Festival Ballet, “Cinderella,” 8 p.m. May 2; Tickets, $20-$35

“Iphigenia and Other Daughters,” 7:30 p.m. May 8-11; Tickets, $8-$10

Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, 7:30 p.m. May 10; Tickets, $50-$60

Erlkonig, 7:30 p.m. May 22-24; Tickets, $3-$5

Rialto Square Theatre

102 N. Chicago St., Joliet

(815) 726-6600

Rialtosquare.com

1. The Priests, Nov. 9

The Priests are three actual honest-to-goodness priests hailing from Ireland. They are embarking on their inaugural North American tour, and the Rialto is their first stop, said Rialto marketing manager Annette Parker.

“They were just in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the fastest-selling classical debut ever,” she said.

The Priests had their own PBS special recently. The show is part of the Sights and Sounds Series.

“They kind of take classical music and make it more modern,” she said. They sing classical and secular music intended to appeal to a broad audience, she said.

2. Max and Ruby: The Nutcracker Suite, 4 and 7 p.m. Dec. 6

Bunny-rabbit siblings Max and Ruby are the lovable stars of a popular children’s book and television series. The characters come to life on the Rialto stage in a Christmas show for the whole family, she said.

“It will be the Nutcracker story starring Max and Ruby, and they will be with other dancers,” she said.

3. Green Day’s American Idiot, April 23.

“That show will appeal to our typical Broadway audience,” she said. “People are real excited about this show. It’s going to appeal to a much different, younger audience as well.”

Single tickets for “American Idiot” go on sale today.

The play is based on the music of Green Day and is a two-time Tony-award winning musical.

Here’s the full season lineup:

“Rocky Mountain High: A John Denver Tribute,” 8 p.m. Oct. 4; Tickets: $30-$45

Frank Caliendo, 8 p.m. Oct. 5; Tickets, $32.50-$65

”Weird Al” Yankovic – The Alpocalypse Tour, 8 p.m. Oct. 12; Tickets, $35-$75

Gregg Allman, 8 p.m. Oct. 19; Tickets, $35-$95

Gordon Lightfoot, 8 p.m. Oct. 30; Tickets, $45-$75

George Lopez, 8 p.m. Nov. 1; Tickets, $41-$61

“Whose Live Anyway?,” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 2; Tickets, $35-$55

James Van Praagh, 8 p.m. Nov. 8; Tickets, $20-$49.75

The Priests, 8 p.m. Nov. 9; Tickets, $28-$55

Air Supply, 3 p.m. Nov. 10; Tickets, $38.50-$78.50

Doc Severinsen Big Band Show featuring Vanessa Thomas, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14; Tickets, $20-$55

“Spank! The Fifty Shades Parody,” 7 p.m. Nov. 17; Tickets, $36

Brian Setzer Orchestra, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 21; Tickets, $39.50-$89.50

ComEd Festival of Trees Opening Night Celebration, 5:30 p.m. Nov. 25; Tickets, $40

ComEd Festival of Trees Holiday Lunch Break, 11 a.m. Nov. 25; Tickets, $12-$15

ComEd Festival of Trees Festival of the Vine ­– Wine Tasting, 6 p.m. Nov. 26; Tickets, $30-$35

Joliet Area Community Hospice Lights of Love, 5 p.m. Nov. 27; Tickets,$0

ComEd Festival of Trees Teddy Bear Tea, 9:30 a.m. and 12 p.m. Nov. 29; Tickets,$17.50-$22.50

Jim Brickman: The Magic of Christmas, 8 p.m. Nov. 30; Tickets,$35-$100

“Von Heidecke’s Chicago Festival Ballet – The Nutcracker,” 2 p.m. Dec. 1; Tickets, $20.50-$38

“Max & Ruby Nutcracker Suite,” 4 and 7 p.m. Dec. 6; Tickets, $16-$53

Joliet American Legion Band “The Sounds of Christmas,” 2 p.m. Dec. 8; Tickets, Canned food or other staple item

“It’s A Wonderful Life” Live Radio Broadcast, Dec, 13; Tickets, $10

“A Christmas Carol,” 7:30 p.m. Dec. 19; Tickets, $20-$48

Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra “The Magical Music of Disney,” 8 p.m. Dec. 20; Tickets, $20-$59

Bridal Expo 2014 at the Rialto Square Theatre, 11 a.m. Jan. 19; Tickets, $20-$59

“Hello, Dolly!” Starring Sally Struthers, 8 p.m. Jan. 23; Tickets, $40-$50

The Nureyev State Ballet “Sleeping Beauty,” 8 p.m. Jan. 24; Tickets, $28-$58

Church Basement Ladies: “A Mighty Fortress Is Our Basement,” 2 p.m. Feb. 9; Tickets,$20-$48

Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra – Copland Clarinet Concerto and Tchaikovsky’s 6th Symphony, 6 p.m. Feb. 16; Tickets, $20-$59

“Sweet Charity,” 8 p.m. March 4; Tickets, $40-$50

“The Fantasticks,” 3 p.m. March 9; Tickets, $20-$48

Get the Led Out (Led Zeppelin Tribute), 8 p.m. March 14; Tickets, $25.50-$49.50

“Memphis,” 8 p.m. April 7; Tickets, $45-$50

San Jose Taiko, 7:30 p.m. April 8; Tickets, $20-$55

Chanticleer, 6 p.m. April 13, Tickets, $20-$55

Green Day’s “American Idiot,” 7 p.m. April 23; Tickets, $40-$50

“Organ Extravaganza XVIII – Music of Your Life,” 7 p.m. April 26; Tickets, $30

Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, 8 p.m. May 16; Tickets, $20-$59

Paramount Theatre

23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora

(630) 896-6666

ParamountAurora.com.

1. Terry Fator, Oct. 12

Terry Fator, a multi-talented ventriloquist, won season two of “America’s Got Talent,” and now he is a headliner at the Mirage in Las Vegas.

“He packs houses six days a week,” said Jim Jarvis, vice president of marketing and sales at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora. “It was one of those where people were looking for one of those throwbacks to the old days where you had this multi-talented person who could do the comedy and the singing and that kind of stuff. We were lucky because Terry Fator doesn’t really tour a lot because of his schedule in Vegas.”

He has 16 puppets and does more than 100 voices, and he’s grossed more than $100 million in ticket sales since hitting the Mirage.

“He sings songs full on and has great comedy that goes with (the puppets), and each one of those puppets is like a comedic partner for him,” he said. “The show changes and adapts every time, and he’s got this beautiful voice.”

It’s a fun, high-energy show that attracts people of all ages, and it’s a show like nothing the Paramount has hosted in a long time, Jarvis said.

“It’s a true, cool Las Vegas act,” he said.

2. “Miss Saigon”, Oct. 30-Nov. 24

“’Miss Saigon’ has been selling like wild fire, and I think ‘Miss Saigon’ has become one of those truly iconic Broadway shows,” he said.

Created by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil, who created “Les Miserables,” “Miss Saigon” is the story of a doomed love affair between an Asian woman and an American GI set against the Vietnam War.

“It’s an amazing show. It’s powerful, it’s beautiful and the songs will blow people away,” he said. “It’s the 12th-longest running show in Broadway history. That’s another one people are excited to see. It’s going to be a true, giant Broadway production. It’s right in our wheelhouse; we have the stage for it.”

It’s a musical you don’t see a lot of because it’s not the easiest to do, he said, because of the grandeur and power of the show.

“You’re either in or you’re not when you start doing shows like that,” he said.

3. Voca People, April 19

The premise is these are aliens who have landed on earth when the spaceship breaks down. The only way to energize it is through music.

“It is six amazing a cappella singers, one person who is a scratcher, and one person who does the beat box,” he said. “They dress in white suits and gloves and paint their faces white. It’s a combination of cool music – and they do everything from their own music to U2 and Frank Sinatra – and tons of audience interaction. It’s one of those that is a great family show. It’s fun and funny. It’s pretty mind-blowing that they can create this music … without any instruments. They have a cool take to it and it’s just a really fun show.”

Here’s the Paramount’s complete season:

“In the Heights,” Sept. 11-Oct. 6; Tickets, $36.90-$49.90

Terry Fator, 8 p.m. Oct. 12; Tickets, $79-$99

“Funny Fictions,” 3 p.m. Oct. 13; Tickets, $25

“Momtourage” Starring Caroline Rhea, Carol Leifer and Kym Whitley, 8 p.m. Oct. 18; Tickets, $35

Larry The Cable Guy, 5 and 9 p.m. Oct. 18; Tickets, $65-$85

“Miss Saigon,” Oct. 30-Nov. 24; Tickets, $36.90-$49.90

Garrison Keillor, 8 p.m. Nov. 19; Tickets, $40-$55

Ballet Folklorico, 8 p.m. Dec. 6; Tickets, $18-$25

“A Christmas Carol,” Dec. 7-9; Tickets, $25-$35

“Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis,” 4 and 8 p.m. Dec. 14; Tickets, $59-$69

“Christmas with the Celts,” 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18; Tickets, $30-$35

Bill Blagg, 2 and 6 p.m. Dec. 28; Tickets, $25-$35

“Piano Men: A Tribute to Elton John & Billy Joel,” 6 and 10 p.m. Dec. 31; Tickets, $55

“42nd Street,” Jan. 15-Feb. 9; Tickets, $36.90-$49.90

“The Midtown Men – Special Valentine’s Day Performance,” 1:30 and 8 p.m. Feb. 14; Tickets, $45-$55

“The Peking Acrobats,” 5 p.m. Feb. 16; Tickets, $25-$35

“RENT,” March 12-April 6; Tickets, $36.90-$49.90

“Voca People,” 8 p.m. April 19; Tickets, $35 and $40

3 Redneck Tenors, 8 p.m. May 16; Tickets, $40

“The King, The Killer & Cash: A Tribute to Sun Studios,” 4 and 8 p.m. May 17; Tickets, $35-$45

“Imagination Movers,” 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. May 18; Tickets, $20-29

Elgin Community College Arts Center

Building H, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin

(847) 622-0300

elgin.edu/arts

1. Marc Cohn, Sept. 29

Marc Cohn, songwriter of hits such as “Walking in Memphis,” “True Companion” and “Silver Thunderbird,” will appear Sept. 29.

“He’s an amazing songwriter and just a brilliant musician,” said Susanne Kepley, marketing manager at Elgin Community College. “He’s been on our list for years and it’s exciting to finally have him here.”

His latest CD is called “Listening Booth 1970.

“It’s almost a mix-tape of songs that inspired him in the year 1970, so he covers all these different artists that inspired him when he was younger and becoming a musician – people like Cat Stevens, Paul Simon and Creedence Clearwater Revival,” she said. “So it will be a really cool evening of Marc’s original music and the songs that shaped him.”

What’s more, he is bringing with him singer-songwriter Rebecca Pidgeon as his opening act.

“We’re really excited to have both of those musicians here,” she said.

2. John Lithgow: Stories By Heart, Nov. 2

ECC has been trying to book this show for about two years, she said.

“John Lithgow is an amazing actor and to see him onstage is going to be amazing,” she said. “The show is his own memoir of him telling stories that were told to him as a child and then (him) weaving them into his own stories. It’s funny and touching and emotional. It’s going to an amazing evening of theater and I can’t wait for the audience to experience it from such a world-class actor.”

3. The Milk Carton Kids, Nov. 9

The L.A.-based folk duo has been compared to Simon and Garfunkel and The Everly Brothers.

“They have this classic folk sound, but then they put their own stamp on it and the guitar playing is just amazing and their two-part harmonies are just beautiful,” she said. “Their songs are just achingly beautiful. So I’m really excited to see them. And their live shows are supposed to be hilarious. They’re supposed to have kind of a stand-up act.”

The guitar-duo folk sound has made a comeback with bands like The Lumineers and Mumford and Sons.

“I think The Milk Carton Kids will appeal to a wide range of audiences. People who want to hear good music will love them.”

Here’s the full season lineup:

“The Things They Carried,” 7:30 p.m. Sept. 28; Tickets, $25

Marc Cohn, 6 p.m. Sept. 29; Tickets, $36

“Cocktails with Larry Miller with Jake Johannsen,” 7:30 p.m. Oct. 12; Tickets, $35

“Thank You Party Featuring Mike Toomey’s TV & Me,” 7 p.m. party; 8 p.m. show Oct. 25; Tickets, $5

Lizz Wright and Raul Midón, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 26; Tickets, $34

“John Lithgow: Stories by Heart,” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 2; Tickets, $65

“The Milk Carton Kids,” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 9; Tickets, $33

“Stella!,” 7 p.m. Nov. 23; Tickets, $25

“A Klingon Christmas Carol,” 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7; Tickets, $32

“Michael Johnson: A Down-Home Holiday,” 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14; Tickets, $25

American Grands XIX, 1, 4, and 7 p.m. Jan. 25; Tickets, $15-$24

Shaun Hopper, 7 p.m. Feb. 1; Tickets: $25

“Broadway’s Next H!T Musical,” 7 p.m. Feb. 1; Tickets, $32

Naturally 7, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 5; Tickets, $33

American English: February 1964, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8; Tickets, $35

Old Town School on the Road, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 15; Tickets, $34

Mark Bettcher and Friends, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 15; Tickets, $25

Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, 7 p.m. March 1; Tickets, $26

Jeffrey Foucault, 7 p.m. March 15; Tickets, $25

ERTH’s Dinosaur Zoo, 7 p.m. April 1-2 Tickets, $15-$24

Bonnie Koloc and Dala, 7:30 p.m., May 10; Tickets, $33



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