Latest news from The Southtown Star Online en-us Wed, 28 Jul 2010 14:10:16 PDT Southtown Star logo 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ A ‘Midsummer’ treat from Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks ]]> Lead story image

Chicago Shakespeare Theatre created Shakespeare in the Park to bring admission-free, family-friendly productions of the Bard’s plays to parks throughout the city. ]]> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 21:04:02 -0500 <![CDATA[ David Suchet wraps up ‘Poirot’ series ]]> Lead story image

British actor David Suchet has spent a quarter-century bringing to life a certain fussy Belgian sleuth with a mustache as impeccable as his intellect and crime-solving skills. For Suchet’s dedication to Hercule Poirot through 70 television adaptations of Agatha Christie’s works, he has been rewarded with the sort of critical praise — “miraculous” and “splendid” are among the applied adjectives — that any fellow classically trained actor would envy. Fan reaction can be similarly fervent. “The most extreme example happened to me in Newfoundland in Canada,” Suchet recalled recently. He was there taking a coffee-shop break during production of a … ]]> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 18:26:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Wilde’s ‘Earnest’ wit has sparkle to spare in Oak Park ]]> Lead story image

If you like your humor dry and your comedy subversive, you’ll want to make your way to Austin Gardens to see Oak Park Festival Theatre’s witty and well-paced staging of Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest.” It takes a few moments for the show to start firing all cylinders; early on, some of Wilde’s dazzling satirical quips wit doesn’t quite land. But under the able hand of director Kevin Theis, “Earnest” is mostly delightful. Set in late 1890s London and the nearby Woolton countryside, the plot is classic rom-com: Algernon Moncrieff (Jude Willis) and his best mate John Worthing … ]]> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 17:20:31 -0500 <![CDATA[ in the spotlight Matthew Sweet ]]> Lead story image

Fans of finely tuned power-pop rejoice when Matthew Sweet comes around. After gaining national attention with his breakthrough third album “Girlfriend” in 1991, Sweet earned the luxury of charting his own course. Sweet’s knack for crafty confections remained in evidence when he released “Sick of Myself,” a beautiful slice of self-loathing from 1995’s “100% Fun” album and a #2 Modern Rock hit. Sweet indulged a penchant for Anglophilia in Ming Tea with comedian Mike Myers and The Bangles’ Susanna Hoffs. The group recorded the cheeky “BBC” for the soundtrack to Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. The semi-band recorded “Daddy … ]]> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 17:20:34 -0500 <![CDATA[ Dan + Shay riding a tidal wave of success, but staying true to their music ]]> Lead story image

Dan Smyers of Dan + Shay is a real smart guy. A boy from Pennsylvania that was always good at math, Smyers attended Carnegie Mellon University as a finance major. He worked hard to graduate in three years so he could get back to his teetering career in Christian music. Today he seems to still know as much about numbers and branding as he does about singing and songwriting. It’s only natural to think he was the one who came up with the “plus sign” in the band’s moniker. “It was definitely a collaborative effort,” laughs Smyers, of the symbol … ]]> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 21:03:55 -0500 <![CDATA[ IN THE MUSIC SPOTLIGHT: Phish ]]> Lead story image

If Phish sells out one night of a multi-night stand, you can expect the entire run to follow suit. That’s because the band is the focus of a community that observes Phish dates like joyful family reunions. It’s easy to get caught in the crowd’s free-spirited chaos. As long as you know the words to deep tracks like “Possum” and new standards like “Sing Monica,” you’ll probably be shoulder-to-shoulder with your new best friend — just be careful not to bump the tapers. The band’s four virtuoso musicians have cultivated their broad-based following since collegiate roots in Vermont during the … ]]> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 21:04:03 -0500 <![CDATA[ IPO summer series concert set for July 23 at Ravisloe ]]> Lead story image

In the third Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra Summer Music Series concert at 7 p.m. July 23, New Comma Baroque will take audience members “Bach” in time with a program of Baroque dances by composer Georg Philipp Telemann, according to a release about the concert. New Comma Baroque, a Chicago-based ensemble formed by IPO double bassist Phillip Serna, is part of the Historically Informed Performance movement, the release said. “This is a growing movement in Chicago and definitely not as prevalent here as on the East and West coasts,” Serna said in the release. However, his ensemble is “dedicated to reengaging modern … ]]> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 20:46:35 -0500 <![CDATA[ First Folio Theatre stages ‘Merry Wives of Windsor’ ]]> Lead story image

Don’t mess with “The Merry Wives of Windsor.” That’s what Falstaff learns in Shakespeare’s comedy, at First Folio Theatre’s outdoor stage. Brian McCartney plays that rascally Sir John Falstaff. Taking that role fulfilled a long-time goal for McCartney, who played the part of one of Falstaff’s cronies during his freshman year of college in what was his first Shakespeare play. “I distinctly remember sitting back watching this grad student play Falstaff and I thought, ‘That’s what I want to do someday.’ I finally get my chance.” The actor described Falstaff as, “a legend in his own mind. He has to … ]]> Fri, 11 Jul 2014 02:16:29 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sarah McLachlan celebrates new beginnings with ‘Shine On’ ]]> Lead story image

‘I started to write breakup songs again, but this time it felt boring to me.” Sarah McLachlan is throwing us all for a loop on her latest album. Since the beginning, the Canadian singer-songwriter behind such tearjerkers as “Angel” and “I Will Remember You” has built a 25-year career on pulling at listener’s heartstrings with her vulnerable ballads and that ethereal voice (not to mention the inescapable ASPCA commercials). Yet her own emotional struggles during the past four years started to shake the Canadian singer-songwriter’s foundation. Within a matter of months in 2010 she lost her father, ended her marriage, … ]]> Fri, 04 Jul 2014 02:14:26 -0500 <![CDATA[ Thorn Creek Nature Center offers July programs ]]>

Officials at Thorn Creek Nature Center believe they have the solution for keeping kids busy this summer. The center offers hikes, and several exhibits, including a children’s fossil find, mammal and amphibian displays, a bird-viewing window and much more, according to a release from the center. Thorn Creek Woods allows hikers to view wildlife such as deer and their fawns over 31/2 miles of trails. The center is at 247 Monee Road, near Park Forest, and is open from noon to 4 p.m. Fridays through Sundays — though it will be closed on the Fourth of July — while the … ]]> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 06:15:10 -0500 <![CDATA[ GSU’s performing arts center kicking off new season ]]> Lead story image

Governors State University’s Center for Performing Arts is kicking off another season of live entertainment unlike any other in the Chicago area, according to a release from the university. The 2014-15 season will feature provocative theater, musical favorites, contemporary dance and family entertainment, the release said. The full slate is divided into series packages. The Mainstage series features “Raisin’ Cane: A Harlem Renaissance Odyssey,” starring Jasmine Guy and the Avery Sharpe Jazz Trio. Opera Up Close puts audiences on stage in an intimate cabaret-style seating arrangement that will give them a new appreciation for the art, according to the release. … ]]> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 06:15:07 -0500 <![CDATA[ Ringo Starr’s simply mad about drumming — but loving his painting, too ]]> Lead story image

Music legend Ringo Starr arrives in Chicago June 28 not only with his All Starr Band in tow, but with a bevy of artwork that just might give us the clearest view of the man as he stands today. ]]> Mon, 28 Jul 2014 06:15:07 -0500 <![CDATA[ The Sitdown: Feminist filmmaker Jennifer Reeder tackles the tough teenage years ]]> Lead story image

Jennifer Reeder is about to make her 44th film. And this one’s her most ambitious, she says. “Blood Below the Skin,” a short film about three high school girls who bond over an unanticipated incident, is Reeder’s most expensive and dialogue-heavy project. The Hammond resident is using Kickstarter for the first time and has already hit the $8,000 goal of her crowdfunding campaign, which ends Sunday. Other successes for the feminist filmmaker include recent awards at the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen in Germany, Vienna Independent Shorts and the Chicago Underground Film Festival. But for Reeder, a film professor at … ]]> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 06:38:04 -0500 <![CDATA[ Get Up and Go! ]]>

Harpeth Rising Hits Homewood: Harpeth Rising, a Nashville-based folk band that is touring to promote the release of its fourth album, “Tales From Jackson Bridge,” will perform at 8 p.m. June 20 in the Listening Room at Twisted Q Barbeque, 2053 Ridge Road, Homewood. “Tales From Jackson Bridge” reached No. 6 on the Folk DJ Charts, according to a release from the band, which bills itself as a “classically trained group of women with influences in folk, rock and roots music.” The band features three vocalists, plus the violin, banjo, cello and foot percussion instruments. Admission is $10. For reservations, … ]]> Sun, 15 Jun 2014 15:44:12 -0500 <![CDATA[ IN THE SPOTLIGHT — ROBBIE FULKS ]]> Lead story image

As a devoted practitioner of country music in a blues town, household name status has proven elusive for Chicago’s Robbie Fulks. Nonetheless, the attention generated by last year’s exceptional “Gone Away Backward” album has continued to grow. “I think this last year has seen more steps ahead than the ten before it,” he says. “That’s exciting.” OnJune 2, Fulks’ intimate residency at The Hideout takes a night off. Instead, he’ll launch the Downtown Sound series’ tenth season with a free concert in Millennium Park. (Fulks also performs at Ravinia on June 21 for A Prairie Home Companion.) “Gone Away Backward” … ]]> Tue, 01 Jul 2014 06:12:59 -0500 <![CDATA[ The mix Some cool things to do this weekend and beyond. ]]> Lead story image

Prom Night >> Girl Group Chicago presents its 2014 prom, “The Last Night on Earth,” 9 p.m. May 25 at Mayne Stage, 1328 W. Morse. The Dyes and The Revelettes open. $15 (18+over). Visit Wheels in motion Chicago’s annual Bike the Drive takes place May 25. Ride your bike along Lake Shore Drive from Bryn Mawr to 57th Street beginning at 5:30 a.m. $15-$100. You must register/purchase tickets at Honor our veterans Chicago’s Memorial Day Parade steps off at noon May 24 at State and Lake and heads south to Van Buren. Free. Visit … ]]> Tue, 24 Jun 2014 07:19:56 -0500