Thursday, January 7, 2010


captions, top to bottom: A night at the museum. Actually these boys are checking out the mummy in the Egyptian rooms at Field Museum during a family overnight. 
Theatre at Western Springs presents the Oscar Wilde classic, "Lady Windemere's Fan." Julie Knoch and Rob Cramer are Lady and Lord Windemere.
Paul Anthony Stewart and Sara Sheperd as Fanny Brice star in Drury Lane Oakbrook's "Funny Girl."

Dear Readers,
    Yes, you're hearing it everywhere but once more: Can you believe it is 2010?? 
   Well, here we are and this promises to be an exciting year for arts and entertainment. And it's getting easier for Joe and Jane ArtsLover to keep up with the offerings. Most museums and many other venues provide a place on the homepage to sign up e-newsletters. This is a great way to find out what is going on at some of your favorite venues as so many theaters, galleries and especially the museums do have those e-updates.
    Once again, please let me know if you spot an errors, factual or typographical as I get to those as soon as possible. Also, if you do not find your favorite venue here it's because I do not have it. So please continue to e-advise me of whom to contact and/or just send me the info you would like in the next blog. My e-mail is
    My 2010 blog plan will provide updates every two or three weeks. The next one will be out towards the end of the month as I will be visiting the grandchildren, ages 2 and 31/2, (their parents as well) for much of January and those little guys keep me blissfully very busy.
   My wish is that each of you has a happy and healthy 2010!  --- Myra 


'JOE' RETURNS TO SOUTHLAND:  Curtain Call Community Theatre presents the beloved musical, "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat" Jan. 8-10 at Lincoln-Way East High School201 Colorado Ave., Frankfort. Tickets are $19, $17 students and seniors, (708) 699-2228 and

THE DRAMA GROUP talent tackles the 1941 Tennessee Williams classic "The Glass Menagerie" Feb. 4-14 at the Studio Theatre, 330 W. 202nd St., Chicago Heights. Tickets are $17-$18 at (708) 755-3444 and Also at 2 p.m, Jan. 23 will bring the second reading with song of a musical in workshop stage, "And the Moral Is.". Anyone can attend and there is no charge. 

DRURY LANE OAKBROOK TERRACE, 100 Drury Lane, closes out the 2009-2010 season with the Ziegfield girl musical, "Funny Girl, now through March 7,  starring Sara Shepard, directed by Gary Griffin and William Osetek. Show only tickets $29-$38 (discount for students, seniors); dinner packages available, (630) 530-0111 and

H-F PARK DISTRICT 'SHOES': The Homewood-Flossmoor Park District's Stage Theatre presents "The Shoes" on Jan. 17 at the Auditorium, 2010 Chestnut, Homewood. Tickets are $7 adults, $5 children, senior; $1 off ticket price for three canned goods. Details at (708) 957-7275 and

MARRIOTT THEATRE, 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire,  opens the 2010 season with "Fiddler on the Roof," Feb. 17- April 25, starring Ross Lehman, directed by David H. Bell. The season's complete lineup and ticket information are at and at (847) 634-0200. Now playing through Feb. 14, "My Fair Lady." Review at end of blog.

PALOS VILLAGE PLAYERS bring their "Leading Ladies" to the stage Feb. 19 - 27 at Little Theater of Palos South Middle School, 131st Street and 82nd Avenue, Palos Park. Tickets are $15, $12 seniors and students; (708) 787-2010 and at

SPOTLIGHT THEATRE shines the light on "Play It Again, Sam," the Woody Allen comedy that will warm up your winter nights Jan. 29-Feb.6 at Sherman Recital Hall, Governors State University, University Park. Tickets are $14, $12 students and seniors, (708) 941-8294 and

STEPPENWOLF THEATRE COMPANY, 1650 N. Halsted St., presents "The Brother/Sister Plays: In the Red and Brown Water, The Brothers Size and Marcus, Or the Secret of Sweet." The trio of ensemble dramas by Tarell Alvin McCraney, performed in repertory in the upper theater from Jan. 21- May 23, take the audience to the bayou for dramas of love, sexuality and coming-of-age influenced by lively Afro-Caribbean folklore." Tickets are $20-$70 at (312) 335-1650 and

Meanwhile, the David Mamet classic, "American Buffalo," continues through Feb. 14 in the downstairs theater. Review at the bottom of this blog update.

THEATRE OF WESTERN SPRINGS into action for 2010 with the Oscar Wilde classic, "Lady Windemere's Fan," Jan, 21-30. "Lady ..." has provided the foundation for a number of stage and film scripts, including the 2005 film, "A Good Woman." Wilde's wit and flair for character development are evident in this play about suspected marital infidelity. TWS is at 4384 Hampton Ave. Tickets are $18 and $20 at (708) 246-3380 and


CENTER FOR PERFORMING ARTS at Governors State University, University Park, presents Teatro Lirico D'Europa performing "Die Fledermaus" at 4 p.m. Jan. 17. Tickets are $26 - $46 A free pre-performance talk starts at 3 p.m. in Engbretson Hall. Then at 8 p.m. Jan 23, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago returns to the Center stage. Tickets are $33-$53 at (708) 235-2222 and at

The ILLINOIS PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA looks to the works of Richard Wagner and Johannes Brahms for, "Romantic Rivals," an 8 p.m. Jan. 30 concert at Lincoln-Way North Performing Arts Center, 19900 S. Harlem Ave., Frankfort. Tickets are at (708) 481-7774 and at

JAZZ-GOSPEL MESSIAH: A swinging, jazzing "Too Hot to Handel: Jazz-Gospel Messiah' heads to Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 E. Congress Parkway, Chicago on Jan. 16 and 17. Ticket to this tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. start at $30 at Ticketmaster and at

MOJO AT THE MAC: The phenomenal Zydeco and magic of Mojo and the Bayou Gypsies return to the McAninch Center at College of DuPage, Fawell and Park Blvds., Glen Ellyn, at 8 p.m. Feb. 13. Tickets are $30, $28 seniors, and are close to being sold out so order yours now, (630) 942-4000 and at   

NEVERLY BROTHERS in concert with their acclaimed rock 'n' roll evolution production at 8 p.m. Jan. 16 at Prairie Center for the Arts, 201 Schaumburg Court, Schaumburg. Tickets are at (847) 895-3600 and at Check out the Neverly Brothers at


DEPAUL UNIVERSITY ART MUSEUM, 2350 N. Kenmore Ave., Chicago, features "The Breathing Factory," an exhibition of photographs and videos by Mark Curran, Jan. 14-March 19. An opening reception is 5-7 p.m. Jan. 14, free and open to the public. The exhibit looks at the effects of globalization and economic swings at a Hewlett-Packard plant in Ireland. Gallery hours and more information are at (773) 325-7506 and at

MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART, 220 E. Chicago Ave., features,"Italics: Italian Art between Tradition and Revolution, 1968-2008" and also "Italics Film Series," several classic Italian films, all on rare 35 mm and seldom screened. Most of the films are in Italian with English subtitles. The series runs through Jan. 31.The MCA launches its spring performance schedule with the Akram Khan Company Feb. 26-28. and continues with a Filmless Festival. More dance, theater and music continue through April. All the MCA schedules and other information are at

SPERTUS INSTITUTE, 610 S. MICHIGAN AVE., opens its doors for a tour of this ultra modern architectural gem. The 4 p.m. Jan. 31 tour will include details of the building's green architecture, its relationship to its historic neighbors and how ideas central to Judaism are woven into structure. Admission/reservations are $5 for Spertus members, $15 for adults, $10 students and seniors, (312) 322-3773 and at

TALL GRASS ARTS ASSOCIATION FILM SERIES presents the dark science fiction film "Moon," as the closer for this season. The screening is 6:30 p.m. Jan.10 at Marcus Theatre, 1301 Hilltop Ave., Chicago Heights (immediately north of Lincoln Highway). Tickets are $8. Information at  (708) 748-3377 and at The film's release coincided with the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing and stars Kevin Spacey as a computer voice, and Sam Rockwell, as an isolated miner on the moon. Rockwell is about to have his life radically altered. Now at Tall Grass Art Gallery, 367 Artists Walk, Downtown Park Forest, through Jan. 21, "The Sacred, the Spiritual and the Sensual." Gallery hours are 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, contact details above.

UNION STREET GALLERY, 1527 Otto Blvd., Chicago Heights, (708) 754-2601, focuses on photography Jan. 15 - Feb. 26 with "The Positive Image," a juried exhibit of regional contemporary photography. The gallery is open from 2-3 p.m. Monday - Saturday,


ADLER PLANETARIUM AND ASTRONOMY MUSEUM, 1300 S. Michigan Ave. (at the east end of Solidarity Drive on the Museum Campus), (312) 922-7827 (STAR).  I volunteer at Adler about twice a month in the amazing Space Visualization Lab (SVL). Here you will see the universe in new and exciting visualizations, talk with astronomers involved in current research on such topics as cosmic rays, black holes and other exotic structures -- all in an intimate classroom-size setting with interactive computer stations. The SVL is open from 2-3 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. All the details you need for an Adler visit are at And be sure to check out Adler After Dark, a new feature for the 21 and older group with cocktails and appetizers against the magnificent Chicago skyline (inside, of course) and a special program the third Thursday of each month starting Jan. 21.

HERBERT TRACKMAN PLANETARIUM:  If you live in the Southland and never heard of Joliet Junior College's Trackman Planetarium, 1215 Houbolt Road (be sure to get directions to the planetarium), you are missing a real treat. It's one of the best kept secrets out here. The Sunday afternoon show series, which starts at 2 p.m., and the Thursday series that starts at 6:30 p.m. are geared to the younger set. Coming up --  Thursday Jan. 21, "Winter Skies for Kids"Sunday Jan. 10, "Our Solar System." Tuesday Sky shows for the junior high set and older are at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays. Coming up:  Jan. 12, "Comets and Asteroids," Jan 26, "Skies of February," and Feb. 9, "There Fermi Paradox. All shows are free so all you have to do is show up. For directions and further information, (815) 729-9020 or go to and search Trackman.

ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO: The Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan Ave., Daniel Burnham's Plan of Chicago leaves on Jan. 21 and many other exhibits close this month too. In collaboration with the museum's opening Modernism in America, a special exhibit, "Modern in America: Works on Paper: 1900s-1950s" features an extraordinary collection of media by stellar American artists. The Art Institute's current and future exhibits as well as all the information needed for a visit are at and at (312) 443-0849.

CHICAGO HISTORY MUSEUM: Chicago History Museum (formerly Chicago Historical Society), 1601 N. Clark St., (312) 642-4600. In addition to ongoing exhibits and media about Chinatown as well as the extraordinary tenures of President Abraham Lincoln and Mexican President Benito Jaurez, the the museum has special activities to commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Jan. 18. All the details are at

FIELD MUSEUM, 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive (on the Museum Campus), (312) 922-9410. Have you ever thought about what the huge Field Museum would be like at night, exploring exhibits by night? Well, on Feb. 12, from 5:45 p.m.-9 a.m., the museum sponsors "Dozin with the Dinos (including Sue)," an overnight family program that includes snacks at night, continental breakfast in the morning and get this, visiting some exhibits with flashlights at night. All the details are at Click on Calendar of Events, then Family Programs. OK, so it's a couple of clicks but it sure sounds like fun. Too bad they don't have a something like this for the senior set.

MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY57th Street and Cornell (off Lake Shore Drive). If you have not seen it, you only have until Feb. 15. "White House: A Look Inside" is a 60-by-13-foot large scale replica of the White House has involved more than 600,000 hours of labor, a labor of love. And if you have not seen the phenomenal U-505 exhibit since the special exhibit hall was built and opened, then it's time to visit this extraordinary gallery focused around the times and the actual capture of the German U-boat. Black Creativity opens Jan. 14. More on this next blog.

SHEDD AQUARIUM, 1200 S. Lake Shore Drive (on the Museum Campus),  (312) 939-2438. With such a vast array of exotic exhibits, as well as the legendary new, improved "Fantasea" Oceanarium show, preparing a visit really requires an online visit to Videos and links to interactives, another video to help plan your visit and even photos and a video of the baby beluga will help you decide what to see while you're there.


Marriott's 'My Fair Lady' -- 'loverly'
 One of the great Broadway classics, Lerner and Loewe's "My Fair Lady," continues its winter run through Feb. 14 at Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire. The production, starring Heidi Kettenring as Eliza Doolittle and Kevin Gudahl as Henry Higgins, delighted the opening night crowd which responded with a huge standing ovation. 

     Based on George Bernard Shaw's 1913 play, "Pygmalion," the storyline is a take on the Cinderella theme. One Professor Henry Higgins, a linguist, agrees to turn a street flower girl he sees at Covent Garden into a lady no one would ever  recognize as a former 'guttersnipe.' He succeeds beyond any level he could have imagined.
    Kettenring and Gudahl handled their roles with panache and warmth as well as tremendous stage chemistry. With his energy, humor and stage presence, Don Forston stole the stage during his numbers as 'common dustman' Alfred Doolittle, Eliza's father. Catherine Lord as Higgins' housekeeper, Mrs. Pearce, and Ann Whitney as Higgins' mother, also deserve special mention.
     Nancy Missimi's costume designs, especially Eliza's gown for the ball and the ladies' hats and dresses at the Ascot races, are absolutely gorgeous.
     "My Fair Lady" is delightful holiday fare for the entire family, a beautifully wrapped present topped with the phenomenal Lerner and Loewe score. Tickets are $45-$55 at (847) 634-0200 and at

         'American Buffalo' roars
    "American Buffalo," an early David Mamet play that crowned him as possibly America's foremost living playwright, opened at Chicago's Goodman in 1975. As the calendar heads into 2010, the Mamet script reiterates the mastery of Steppenwolf Theatre's company and casting. 
     Under Amy Morton's superb direction, Patrick Andrews (remember this name) along with Company members Francis Guinan and Tracy Letts, morph into compelling Mamet characters in a word perfect script that revolves around the trio's hackneyed plan to steal valuable coins. 
     Mamet's characters are both pathetic and comic as they stumble through the day trying to make their little plot happen. Guinan, Letts and Andrews become these oddball personalities; it seemed as if I were watching three genuinely inept would-be thieves whose flaws intensify as their grand theft plans evolve. 
     Raw language, Mamet's extraordinary three-dimensional characters and the Steppenwolf mastery combine for an phenomenal production.
    "American Buffalo" runs through Feb. 14 at Steppenwolf, 1650 N. Halsted St., Chicago. Tickets are $20 to $77 at (312) 335-1650 and at

You've reached the end of this blog entry.


photo by sarah gross

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Tinley Park, Illinois
As a longtime newspaperwoman who left the business to freelance, I want to keep in touch with the world. This is my place to reach out with words.