Lifestyles

  • Chubby Checker still doin', lovin' 'The Twist'

    Chubby Checker still doin', lovin' 'The Twist'

    Chubby Checker said his performance Dec. 30 at the Genesee Theatre will be one of the most exciting he's done in years. That's because he'll be sharing the stage with Mary Wilson of the Supremes and Martha Reeves and the Vandellas — and he'll be coming to Jack Benny's old stomping grounds, he said....

      • Just add snow

        Just add snow

        Whether you prefer sledding down a hill, cross-country skiing or snow shoeing through a quiet woods or doing figure 8s on the ice, you can find a venue in Lake County to enjoy those outdoor winter activities. There's even a place to toboggan in the county — and trails are open throughout the region...

          • Join the icy adventure Jan. 1 in Waukegan

            Join the icy adventure Jan. 1 in Waukegan

            Whether you head to bed before the midnight hour Dec. 31 or spend the evening imbibing perhaps a bit too much — Waukegan officials say the best way to start off 2018 is to participate in the city's annual Polar Bear Plunge on Jan. 1 at the beach. For the past 18 years, local residents dressed in...

              • Step into the past at High Tea with Gerri

                Step into the past at High Tea with Gerri

                Rhett Butler, when he left Tara at the end of "Gone with the Wind," said he wanted to see "if somewhere there isn't something left in life of charm and grace." He would find kindred spirits at High Tea with Gerri in Long Grove, where they party — in British style — like it's 1842. Here, bedecked...

                  • Great Train Show chugs into Grayslake

                    Great Train Show chugs into Grayslake

                    Young children can hop aboard Thomas the Tank Engine and take a ride during the Great Train Show Dec. 30 and 31 at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Grayslake. Thomas, the riding train, is usually reserved for the largest exhibition show held every three or four years in Schaumburg by Train Show, Inc.,...

                  • Lipizzan fans get up close to stallions, trainers during winter tours

                    Lipizzan fans get up close to stallions, trainers during winter tours

                    Visitors to Tempel Farms for a behind-the-scenes tour of the place that houses and trains the famous Lipizzan horses will first walk through the unique, horseshoe-shaped barn built in the mid-1930s. But even more exciting, according to Emily Riccio, is the chance to pet the stallions, and later...

                  • Ring in the new year with fun

                    Ring in the new year with fun

                    Looking for a unique activity to ring in the new year in the Lake County area and can be enjoyed by adults, couples or families? There's still time to make plans to join in the merriment. For example, skirting up against Gander Mountain Forest Preserve in Lake County is Wilmot Mountain ski resort,...

                  • 'Sleeping Beauty' enlightens, engages young audiences

                    'Sleeping Beauty' enlightens, engages young audiences

                    Amber is not your typical princess. That's what actress and singer Elizabeth Telford discovered when she auditioned for "Sleeping Beauty," a musical now playing at Marriott's Theatre for Young Audiences through Dec. 30 in Lincolnshire. Performing as the lead female character since the musical opened...

                  • Five things to do in Lake County Dec. 15-17

                    Five things to do in Lake County Dec. 15-17

                    Looking for something to do this weekend? Here are five things to do in Lake County from Dec. 15-17: You'll shoot your eye out: PM&L Theatre presents "A Christmas Story" to Dec. 17. Tickets are $13-18. At 877 Main St., Antioch. Call 847-395-3433 or go to pmltheatre.com. Festive concert: The Navy...

                  • Galati Football Pizza takes up the whole table

                    Galati Football Pizza takes up the whole table

                    Galati Pizza in Round Lake Park is known for its big 30-inch Football Pizza. So large the pizza box covers a table for four, the pizza can feed six to seven. "We had to get a special paddle made for these pizzas," said owner Frank Galati. "It was our famous pizza passed down from family members....

                  • Tricia Alexander brings new versions of holiday songs to folk club

                    Tricia Alexander brings new versions of holiday songs to folk club

                    Decades ago, Tricia Alexander and a fellow folk singer wondered what it would be like to take the words from one Christmas song and sing it to the melody of another Christmas song. Think the words of "Deck the Halls" sung to the tune of Handel's Hallelujah Chorus, for example. "It started as a joke,"...

                  • 98 Degrees on tour to promote new Christmas album

                    98 Degrees on tour to promote new Christmas album

                    In "This Gift," from the 1999 platinum album "This Christmas," the band 98 Degrees harmonizes to the words, "The moment is right." Now, 20 years after the male quartet released its first single with Motown Records, the moment is right, they say, for a new Christmas album and their first Christmas...

                  • Inclusive holiday sing-along led by Dan Zanes at CLC

                    Inclusive holiday sing-along led by Dan Zanes at CLC

                    While performing with Dan Zanes Holiday Show Sing-Along last year, Claudia Eliaza noticed a girl about age 12 sitting in a wheelchair. "She was rocking and loving the show. She had the biggest smile. She had the friendliest face," Eliaza recalled. Eliaza later learned from the girl's mother that...

                  • Waukegan musicians celebrate 10 years of Do-It-Yourself Messiah

                    Waukegan musicians celebrate 10 years of Do-It-Yourself Messiah

                    Directing the annual Joseph A. Favero Do-It-Yourself Messiah presented by the Waukegan Symphony Orchestra and Concert Chorus will be particularly poignant for Stephen Blackwelder. This is the 10th year the concert has been presented at First United Methodist Church of Waukegan, said Blackwelder,...

                  • Vocalists bring medieval Christmas music to Colby Barn

                    Vocalists bring medieval Christmas music to Colby Barn

                    When William Hudson was taking voice lessons in college, a professor suggested he research early baroque music. "That music spoke to me in a way that at the time Schubert and Schuman (romantic era composers) didn't," said Hudson, founder of LIBER: Ensemble for Early Music, which performs Dec. 10...

                  • Breuer blends real family life with comedy on road tour

                    Breuer blends real family life with comedy on road tour

                    Comedian Jim Breuer remembers two moments early in his life when he knew making others laugh was his calling. The first was when his best friend suggested he do an impression of Eddie Murphy on Noah's Ark for the annual sketch night at Valley Stream Central High School in Long Island. The theme...

                  • Get in the spirit at Libertyville sing-along concert

                    Get in the spirit at Libertyville sing-along concert

                    Children will be helping children at Making Spirits Bright: A Holiday-Sing-a-Long Concert on Dec. 10 at Highland Middle School in Libertyville. Students from the David Adler Music and Arts Center and Highland Middle School will perform holiday classics from around the world with proceeds benefitting...

                  • Merlo's offers a neighborhood place for pizza or fine dining

                    Merlo's offers a neighborhood place for pizza or fine dining

                    The fundamental things apply at Merlo's Italian Restaurant in Highland Park's Ravinia neighborhood. "The food is good, it's local, and it's got a very nice atmosphere," observes Highland Park resident Meryl Auslander, who dined there recently with her husband. "It's more than a quick meal place....

                  • Five things to do in Lake County from Dec. 8-11

                    Five things to do in Lake County from Dec. 8-11

                    Looking for something to do this week? Here are five things to do in Lake County from Dec. 8-11: Brass band: There will be a holiday concert featuring the Navy Band Great Lakes Brass Ambassadors at 2 p.m. Dec. 8 at the National Museum of the American Sailor. Admission is free. At 610 Farragut Ave....

                  • CLC offers holiday-themed concerts

                    CLC offers holiday-themed concerts

                    While rehearsing "'Twas The Night Before Christmas," with the College of Lake County Concert Band, conductor John Mojziszek wondered aloud who would be the perfect person to narrate the piece. He had to have a great speaking voice and be able to read music. His friend Wayne Messmer came to mind...

                  • Lake County Symphony Orchestra to present Christmas classics in Gurnee

                    Lake County Symphony Orchestra to present Christmas classics in Gurnee

                    The Lake County Symphony Orchestra will present on Dec. 17 in Gurnee what artistic director Ron Arden calls television's first opera, "Amahl and the Night Visitors." "It's the most charming, deeply spiritual lush romantic Christmas piece of music you'll ever want to hear," Arden said. "It's just...

                  • Nostalgia fuels 'Carpenters Christmas' concert at Metropolis

                    Nostalgia fuels 'Carpenters Christmas' concert at Metropolis

                    Lisa Rock and her band have been traveling the country sharing the music of The Carpenters with a show called "Close to You." Rock's love of the acclaimed duo takes a holiday turn with her new show, "A Carpenters Christmas," for two performances on Dec. 5 at Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in...

                  • Santa is back to conquer the Martians at Three Brothers

                    Santa is back to conquer the Martians at Three Brothers

                    "'Santa Claus Conquers the Martians' is consistently rated one of the worst movies," said Josh Beadle, founder and executive director of Three Brothers Theatre. And that presented a perfect challenge for Beadle, who rewrites movies for the stage. Several years ago, he adapted the 1964 movie about...

                  • Twisted Burger offers unusual combos

                    Twisted Burger offers unusual combos

                    Twisted Burgers in Grayslake offers way-out-there combinations you've never heard of before. Like the Heart Attack, a bacon cheeseburger between two grilled cheese sandwiches. Or the Mac Attack, with a burger smothered in mac 'n' cheese and bacon. Or the Al Capone, topped with Italian beef, giardiniera...

                  • 'Nutcracker' manager has been involved for years

                    'Nutcracker' manager has been involved for years

                    Emily Malkowski was in second grade the first time she saw "The Magic of Nutcracker" ballet. "I went to see my best friend perform in the Nutcracker (in Libertyville) and I said, 'Mom, I need to do that,'" she said. "To me it was such a magical production between the sets, the back drops, the costumes,...

                  • Gurnee singers blend old and new tunes in holiday concert

                    Gurnee singers blend old and new tunes in holiday concert

                    Rita Byrd, who has directed the Viking Park Singers for 22 years, is especially excited about directing a new piece, "The Chanukah Song: We Are Lights," at the annual holiday concert Dec. 3 in Gurnee. "It's a beautiful piece with the blending of the voices, the way the parts come in and one sustains...

                  • Midtown Men share holidays with '60s-style songs at Genesee

                    Midtown Men share holidays with '60s-style songs at Genesee

                    Michael Longoria admits that "All Alone At Christmas," one of the songs he and the rest of the Midtown Men will perform Dec. 1 at Genesee Theatre, has special meaning for him. He knows what it's like to be all alone at Christmas. "It was when I was playing Frankie Valli (in 'Jersey Boys' on Broadway)....

                  • Garfield takes stage with Odie and the gang Dec. 2

                    Garfield takes stage with Odie and the gang Dec. 2

                    "A Garfield Christmas" is back after a 10-year hiatus, with updated music and script but the same old feisty feline whose favorite part of the holidays is getting presents and eating, especially lasagna. The musical features 20 holiday and original classic songs and dance numbers. "A Garfield Christmas"...

                  • Healthy eating is the focus at Be Market

                    Healthy eating is the focus at Be Market

                    To Be or not to Be? That was never the question for Vade Sankar, who spent three years researching and operating a test kitchen before opening the Be Market in Lake Bluff in the space formerly occupied by Wisma. He describes it as "a place you can get diverse healthy gourmet foods from different...

                  • Cyr wheel takes center stage at annual dance concert

                    Cyr wheel takes center stage at annual dance concert

                    The cyr wheel weighs about 25 pounds and is made of steel or aluminum. But when the dancer steps inside and begins moving with the wheel, it looks as if it's as light as a feather. "It's aesthetically so beautiful to watch," said Valerie Alpert, dance instructor at CLC. "It puts you in a trance...

                  • Tree lighting ceremonies kick off Christmas season

                    Tree lighting ceremonies kick off Christmas season

                    To usher in the holiday season, Lake County residents can participate in a variety of tree-lighting ceremonies for the next two weekends after Thanksgiving. In addition, residents can view illuminated parades in Antioch, Fox Lake and Lindenhurst, floodlights on a Victorian home in Libertyville,...

                  • Director can relate to Ralphie in 'A Christmas Story'

                    Director can relate to Ralphie in 'A Christmas Story'

                    When Tom Hausman was 12 years old growing up on a farm near Hayward Wis., he asked for a BB gun for Christmas. And he got one. Sound like a Christmas story you've heard of before? Truth is, Hausman, who directs "A Christmas Story," opening Dec. 1 at PM&L Theatre, can relate to the plot of the 1983...

                  • Have yourself a quaint little holiday in Long Grove

                    Have yourself a quaint little holiday in Long Grove

                    The historic village of Long Grove offers an alternative to the traditional Black Friday shopping rush at malls and large stores. On the day after Thanksgiving, folks are invited to take a free horse-drawn carriage ride through the cobblestone streets of Long Grove while listening to strolling carolers...

                  • Five things to do in Lake County from Nov. 17-19

                    Five things to do in Lake County from Nov. 17-19

                    Looking for something to do this weekend? Here are five things to do in Lake County from Nov. 17-19: Choo choo: Lake County Model Railroad Club will host an open house from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 18 and 19 in Wauconda. Admission is free. At 107 S. Main St. Call 815-388-5031 or go to www.lcmrr.org. Funny...

                  • Saxophonist Mindi Abair is living her dream

                    Mindi Abair knew what she wanted to do with her life before she was even middle school and she never looked back. Abair is a two-time Grammy award-nominated saxophone player who will appear at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 17 at the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan. She's opening for R&B singer Jeffrey Osborne. Abair's...

                  • Milwaukee Avenue restaurant focuses on unique food

                    Milwaukee Avenue restaurant focuses on unique food

                    545 North Bar & Grill is on Milwaukee Avenue in Libertyville and yes, that is the address of the restaurant. "There was another restaurant in Telluride, Colorado, where we have a second home that was named after the address of the place," said co-owner Andrea Cenar. "It was a nice, catchy name."...

                  • Madigan includes her greatest hits, on purpose

                    Madigan includes her greatest hits, on purpose

                    Comedian Kathleen Madigan is coming off a relaxing summer of playing golf and bass fishing. She's recharged and ready to dive into touring again. Madigan will appear for a 7:30 p.m. show Nov. 9 at the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan. If you have seen one of her specials, such as "Bothering Jesus," which...

                  • World premiere musical of Dickens classic opens Nov. 17 at Citadel

                    World premiere musical of Dickens classic opens Nov. 17 at Citadel

                    Scott Phelps, founder and executive director of Citadel Theatre, and Douglas Post, award-winning playwright, talked for several years about setting the classic Dickens tale about a miserly old man into a musical. It's finally done and ready to be seen by the world. Post's original musical, "Scrooge...

                  • World-class jazz drummer to perform with CLC music group

                    World-class jazz drummer to perform with CLC music group

                    Percussionist Jeff Hamilton has performed with many great artists over the years, including Oscar Peterson, Tommy Dorsey and Woody Herman as well as Ella Fitzgerald, Rosemary Clooney and most recently jazz singer Diana Krall. This month, he adds another group to the list of jazz musicians with whom...

                  • Five things to do in Lake County from Nov. 10-16

                    Five things to do in Lake County from Nov. 10-16

                    Looking for something to do this week? Here are five things to do in Lake County from Nov. 10-16: Santa's coming: Deerfield will host Santa's Arrival and Fireworks Extravaganza at 6 p.m. Nov. 10 at Deer Park Town Center. Admission is free. At 20530 N. Rand Road. Call 847-726-7755 or go to shopdeerparktowncenter.com...

                  • A meal and a cooking adventure at King Shabu Shabu

                    A meal and a cooking adventure at King Shabu Shabu

                    Do you shabu shabu? The term derives from the Japanese onomatopoeia for "swish, swish." It defines a style of Japanese hot pot dining in which diners customize their own entree, which diners cook themselves at their tables. Ryan Johnson, general manager of King Shabu Shabu in Riverwoods, calls it...

                  • Brown brings 'shenanigans' to Waukegan all in the name of food

                    Brown brings 'shenanigans' to Waukegan all in the name of food

                    Alton Brown is looking for suggestions on where to eat while he's in Waukegan in mid-November to present Eat Your Science at the Genesee Theatre. It's part of his tour — getting recommendations on where to have a great cup of coffee, breakfast, doughnut and lunch. Alton Brown will appear in a presentation...

                  • Five things to do in Lake County Nov. 3-9

                    Five things to do in Lake County Nov. 3-9

                    Looking for something to do this weekend? Here are five things to do in Lake County Nov. 3-9: Thing Called Love: John Hiatt and Lyle Lovett will perform together at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 3 at the Genesee Theatre. Tickets are $45-$97.50. At 203 N. Genesee St., Waukegan. Call 847-782-2366 or go to www.geneseetheatre.com...

                  • Director: Timing is right to present 'Street Scene'

                    Director: Timing is right to present 'Street Scene'

                    The first show Thomas Mitchell designed for a play when he was in high school was the Pulitzer Award-winning "Street Scene." As Mitchell prepares to retire after working in the College of Lake County theater department, he is directing "Street Scene," plus helping with the design. "At some point...

                  • Folk duo to harmonize on original songs at heritage center

                    Folk duo to harmonize on original songs at heritage center

                    LJ Booth and Chris Kokesh were seasoned folk musicians when they met at the Texas Kerrville Folk Festival in 2010. Both have released separate albums. Within a year, they began touring together — and now are married and raising a 3-year-old son. They'll perform Nov. 19 in Grayslake, doing cover...

                  • Waukegan eatery gets its moniker from famous son Ray Bradbury

                    Waukegan eatery gets its moniker from famous son Ray Bradbury

                    Science fiction author and native son Ray Bradbury wrote about 1920s Waukegan as "Green Town" in three books, "Dandelion Wine," "Something Wicked This Way Comes" and "Farewell Summer." Bradbury died in 2012. A park, two arts festivals, and a tavern downtown bear his name. Robert Sobol, owner of...

                  • Third Coast Baroque offers 21st century perspective to period music

                    Third Coast Baroque offers 21st century perspective to period music

                    One of the best parts of a performance by Third Coast Baroque is when artistic director Ruben Dubrovsky talks with the audience, according to the group's co-founder and classical vocalist Angela Young Smucker. She, Dubrovksy and Nathalie Colas co-founded the group a year ago — and it's already earned...

                  • Lake Forest Symphony features guest soloist at two venues

                    Lake Forest Symphony features guest soloist at two venues

                    The Lake Forest Symphony's A La Baroque concert featuring Vivaldi's Four Seasons Nov. 11 and 12 celebrates the organization's 60th anniversary, as well as its return to its roots. The orchestra performs with guest soloist Philippe Quint Nov. 11 at the Cressey Center for the Arts in Lake Forest...

                  • Five things to do in Lake County Oct. 27-29

                    Looking for something to do this weekend? Here are five things to do in Lake County Oct. 27-29: Take a hike: Long Grove will host a Scary Ghost Walk at 6-9:30 p.m. Oct. 27 downtown. Tickets are $5-$10. Call 847-634-0888 or go to longgrovehistory.org/. All Over the Road: Easton Corbin will perform...

                  • BBQ Pit offers old-school barbecue in Highland Park

                    BBQ Pit offers old-school barbecue in Highland Park

                    The BBQ Pit Rib House & Grill in Highland Park was barbecue before it was cool — or to be more accurate, hot. Entering its fifth decade, the BBQ Pit is emblematic of the two Cs — customer service and consistency. "Very rarely will you walk into a restaurant and be greeted by your first name," notes...

                  • Debbie Gibson celebrates 30 years of music at Genesee

                    Debbie Gibson grew up sitting around the piano with family and friends, singing, playing and making music. By the time she was 16, she had already written and released her debut song, "Only in My Dreams," which soon reached the top of the charts. Since then, she's sold more than 16 million albums...

                  • Austen classic comes to CLC with fresh approach

                    In "Sense and Sensibility," Jane Austen explores class, money and making decisions based on the heart versus the head. Published in 1811, "it's a classic work, because it has the potential to resonate with anyone," said Desiree Sanchez, director of the play that comes to College of Lake County Nov....

                  • Antioch hosts beer and barbecue, champagne and chocolate events

                    Ladies gravitate toward champagne and chocolate, while guys go for beer and barbecue, according to Barbara Porch, executive director of the Antioch Chamber of Commerce. That's why the chamber sponsors two annual fundraisers to support its holiday season programs — one for the guys and one for the...

                  • British illusionists bring acts to Waukegan

                    The British are coming. British illusionists, that is. Five Brits form Champions of Magic and have performed worldwide — but when they come to the Genesee on Thursday, it will be the first time they've been in the U.S. They don't plan to do anything differently from what they do elsewhere, said one...

                  • Waukegan Orchestra performs familiar Italian tunes

                    Stephen Blackwelder challenges anyone who thinks they don't like classical music to come to the Waukegan Symphony Orchestra concert Sunday. Blackwelder, who is the orchestra's conductor, thinks guests will gain appreciation for the music when they hear delightful Italian tunes that sound familiar....

                  • Five things to do in Lake County Oct. 20-22

                    Looking for something to do this weekend? Here are five things to do in Lake County Oct. 20-22: Musical youth: Baroque to Baby, a baby-friendly concert, will be held at 10 a.m. Oct. 20 at the David Adler Center in Libertyville. Admission is $10 per family. At 1700 N. Milwaukee Ave. Call 847-367-0707...

                  • Get your fill of Halloween fun

                    As darkness falls across the land, it comes to mind that Halloween is close at hand. Clear your calendars. Here are some upcoming Halloween events happening in the area. Prepare to get your fright on. Antioch Treat the Street and Monster Mash, Oct. 21: Little monsters can trick or treat at downtown...

                  • Family serves as foundation for Hillside

                    Brothers John and Gus Loukopoulos opened Hillside Family Restaurant in Grayslake 25 years ago after years of working at various restaurants. "My dad and uncle loved being with people," said Mary Lazariotis, daughter of John and niece of Gus. Along with her brother, John, she works as a hostess part...

                  • Renowned Chicago cover band comes to area for first time Saturday

                    When he was about 3 years old, Mason Swearingen was riding in the car with his parents when "Saturday in the Park" by Chicago began to play. That's one of his earliest musical memories, he said, and today, he's the leader and member of the band Beginnings that travels the nation doing Chicago covers....

                  • Lake House Lake Bluff offers supper club vibe

                    Family-owned Lake House Lake Bluff is proudly "old school," said Christian Khayat, who manages and operates the nearly four year-old establishment that recalls the heyday of the supper club. "Most of our staff are 20-year veterans (with the longtime restauranteurs)," Khayat said. "We know our customers'...

                  • Nelson twins remember father in multimedia show in Waukegan

                    Twins Gunnar and Matthew Nelson were 18 years old when their father, rock legend Ricky Nelson, died in a tragic plane accident. Now 50 years old, after having made a name for themselves as Nelson the band, they present Ricky Nelson Remembered Oct. 19 at Genesee Theatre. "It's not a mere concert,"...

                  • Agatha Christie classic opens on Waukegan stage

                    It's Agatha Christie. "You really can't go wrong with that," said Jim Behr, who's directing the classic whodunit "And Then There Were None," opening Friday at Three Brothers Theatre Upstage. Mystery author Agatha Christie wrote the best-selling novel in 1939. More than 100 million copies have been...

                  • Food with heart at Reflections

                    Anna and Jack Krupka opened Reflections on Deep Lake in Lake Villa 18 years ago because she saw a demand for Polish food outside Chicago. If the idea didn't work out, they would build four houses on the land next to their Jack and Lydia's Resort. So did it work out? "Jedzcie, pijcie I popuszczajcie...

                  • Five things to do in Lake County Oct. 13-14

                    Looking for something to do this weekend? Here are five things to do in Lake County Oct. 13-14: Spooky: "The Ultimate Paranormal Experience," featuring drinks, hors d'oeuvres and suspence, will take place at 6, 8 and 10 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Genesee Theatre. Tickets are $35. At 203 N. Genesee St.,...

                  • Dolenz, Lindsay bring summer love to Genesee

                    Micky Dolenz and Mark Lindsay have performed together before — but for their 50 Summers of Love concert Oct. 15 at Genesee Theatre, they're doing something different. Dolenz, singer and drummer for the Monkees, said he didn't want to do the typical compilation show "where one act comes out, and...

                  • Fox Lake wine walk adds more vino, food

                    Typically the wine walks held in spring and fall in Fox Lake feature about 11 or 12 businesses serving about 20 wines. But at this year's harvest wine walk on Oct. 14, participants can visit 20 businesses and sample up to 40 types of wine, according to Renee Evans, president of the Fox Lake Chamber...

                  • Hills shares poignant points of view through her folk music

                    With three decades of material, singer-songwriter Anne Hills has much to choose from when playing live. She travels from Pennsylvania to perform Oct. 6 at Front Porch Music in Valparaiso and Oct. 15 at the Lake County Folk Club at Grayslake Heritage Center in Illinois. "I always do a wide variety....

                  • Williams Street stages 'Little Shop of Horrors'

                    Joe Lehman is thrilled that he's finally a part of one of his favorite musicals. Lehman, of Chicago, is directing "Little Shop of Horrors" for the Williams Street Repertory Theater. Performances are Oct. 6-29 at the Raue Center for the Arts in Crystal Lake. "I've seen it many times. I've never...

                  • Five things to do in Lake County Oct. 6-7

                    Looking for something to do this weekend? Here are five things to do in Lake County Oct. 6-7: They can do magic: America with Al Stewart will perform at 8 p.m. Oct. 6 at the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan. Tickets are $39.50-$97.50. At 203 N. Genesee St. Call 847-782-2366 or go to geneseetheatre.com...

                  • Blue Oyster Cult to rock out in Waukegan

                    Eric Bloom doesn't mind a well-placed "More cowbell!" Just know your moment, advised the lead singer of Blue Oyster Cult. "The place it gets kind of lame is on Facebook, where people think they're clever by saying something like that," he said. "Like, I will post something on Facebook about any...

                  • Country legend Ronnie Milsap comes to Waukegan

                    Ronnie Milsap says he's old, blind and maybe a little bit deaf. That doesn't stop him from tickling the ivories and crooning one of 40 No. 1 country music hits on a regular basis; songs like "Smokey Mountain Rain," "It Was Almost like a Song," "I Wouldn't Have Missed It for the World" and "There's...

                  • Craft beer festival features new breweries, wine, cigars

                    Mike Marr, owner of Buffalo Creek Brewing Long Grove, is determined to make Long Grove's Craft Beer day one of the top festivals in town, if not the county. Long Grove had its first beer festival last year, but it wasn't done right and it was 95 degrees outside, so there were not a lot of people,...

                  • Seriously scary

                    Something wicked this way comes … it's the cold chill down your spine, the little hairs on your arms suddenly standing at attention, the throb of terror in your veins. With Halloween approaching, area haunted houses are creaking open their doors and letting loose the tortured souls that have lain...

                  • Get some fresh food at Strawberry Field

                    The name Strawberry Field Pancakes & Cafe naturally evokes instant association with the classic Beatles song, but co-owner Gus Romas says that the two are not related. Rather, he says, Strawberry Field, is a reference to the guiding philosophy of the Lincolnshire establishment, which celebrated...

                  • Wilson Phillips to sing, reminisce at Genesee Theatre

                    Carnie Wilson and her sister Wendy Wilson have known Chynna Phillips since their moms took them to a park in southern California when they were still in strollers. Carnie and Wendy's parents are Marilyn Rovell and the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson. Chynna's parents are Michele Phillips and John Phillips,...

                  • Five things to do in Lake County Sept. 29-Oct. 2

                    Looking for something to do this week? Here are five things to do in Lake County Sept. 29-Oct. 2: Huff and puff: CLC Children's Theatre presents "The True Story of the Three Little Pigs" will be performed Sept. 28-Oct. 1 at the James Lumber Center at College of Lake County. Tickets are $4-$6. At...

                  • 'Songs for a New World' at PM&L revolves around life's challenges

                    When Nicole Heyl-Horst, who has served as music director for many PM&L Theatre productions, was asked to work on a small-scale musical that wouldn't require a large set or lots of costuming, she immediately thought of "Songs for a New World." "That's a show I've always really loved. We can do it...

                  • Puddles Pity Party brings humor, baritone voice to Genesee

                    Nearly 7 feet tall, wearing a lopsided gold crown on his head and a white face painted to show a sad, not a happy, clown, Puddles Pity Party, will entertain in his deep baritone voice at Genesee Theatre Sept. 30. He'll be dressed in white gloves, white shirt and poufy pants with black stitching,...

                  • Kristin Chenoweth to sing selections from 'Wicked' in concert

                    Kristin Chenoweth said she grew up singing in church knowing that's what she wanted to do the rest of her life. In college, her teacher and mentor Florence Birdwell helped her fine tune her soprano voice, helping her earn a master's degree in opera performance. Classical music "was part of my DNA,"...

                  • Jim Belushi returns for improv show at Raue Center

                    Chicago comedy royalty returns for a night of improvisational comedy. Jim Belushi brings his show, Jim Belushi and the Board of Comedy, to the Raue Center for the Arts in Crystal Lake Sept. 22 for an 8 p.m. show. Belushi is an alumni of "Saturday Night Live" and Chicago's famed Second City. He...

                  • Jam with the Jack O'Lanterns

                    At the very top of everyone's fall bucket list is "visit a pumpkin farm." The good news is, you're in the right place. Illinois is known for its pumpkin production, according to the University of Illinois Extension Service. "The volume of pumpkins grown in Illinois makes us one of the top contenders...

                  • Mama K's offers Greek, Italian, American dishes

                    "Hey, how ya doin'?" "How ya doin' today, bud?" Greeting, plus some back slapping, hugs and handshakes are given to those walking through the door at Mama K's. The restaurant's proximity to the Six Flags entrance in Gurnee means customers from throughout Illinois and beyond can stop in for some...

                  • Farm heritage festival adds music, more activities

                    After more than two decades at the Lakewood Forest Preserve in Wauconda, the Lake County Farm Heritage Association is taking its annual fall festival to the Lake County Fairgrounds in Grayslake Sept. 23 and 24. The event will feature new activities such as square dancing, live entertainment, food...

                  • Five things to do in Lake County Sept. 22-28

                    Looking for something to do this week? Here are five things to do in Lake County Sept. 22-28: Tasty treats: Long Grove's Apple Fest will take place Sept. 22-24 in downtown Long Grove. Tickets are $5 per day; kids 12 and under are free. At 308 Old McHenry Road. Call 847-634-0888 or go to longgrove.org/festivals/apple-fest/...

                  • Ensemble features regional music, instruments of Mexico

                    Juan Dies grew up in Mexico learning the regional music of San Luis Potosi where he lived. He played guitar and sang in the style that was special to that small region and included a type of yodeling. "It wasn't the pop music you would hear on the radio but the music people grew up with at home...

                  • Five things to do in Lake County Sept. 15-21

                    Looking for something to do this week? Here are five things to do in Lake County Sept. 15-21: After Sundown: The legendary Gordon Lightfoot will perform at 8 p.m. Sept. 15 at the Genesee in Waukegan. Tickets are $45-$85. At 203 N. Genesee St. Call 847-782-2366 or go to geneseetheatre.com. Party...

                  • Gurnee beer fest to offer new breweries, VIP ticket

                    Jack Linehan loves craft beer — and this year he's looking forward to new breweries and cider makers at the annual Legions of Craft Beer Fest at Gurnee Mills. One of them, Scorched Earth, will join more than 60 other breweries Sept. 16. "They're awesome," said Linehan. "They do a good chocolate...

                  • PM&L takes on pirate lore with 'Treasure Island'

                    Adam Armstrong is directing "Treasure Island," opening Sept. 15 at PM&L Theatre in Antioch with a mix of fantasy, bravado and realism. The fantasy part comes from the story of the 1883 Robert Louis Stevenson novel about a 14-year-old boy who goes out to look for treasure and gets caught up with...

                  • Highland Park grill will bring the party to you

                    The Chicago Bulls had an historic run in the 1990s, winning six NBA championships — with two three-peats — between 1991 and 1998. Players Grill in Garrity Square shopping center in Highland Park, owned by Jerry Nudelman, has itself scored an impressive victory in its own right: almost 30 years...

                  • Bands from Mexico to perform at Fiestas at the Harbor

                    At the Lake Michigan harbor in Waukegan on Sept. 15, folkloric dancers will perform in brightly colored costumes to celebrate Mexican's Independence Day as well as to kick off the three-day Fiestas at the Harbor sponsored by the Greater Waukegan Development Coalition and The Harbor's Edge. An El...

                  • CLC emphasizes the multicultural for 2017-18 season

                    Audiences can experience Japanese drummers, humorous and daring African acrobats and Celtic dancers performing Las Vegas style, all without leaving Lake County. These are just some of the many cultural experiences offered by the James Lumber Center's 21st professional touring season, which opens...

                  • R-Dogs aims to keep stellar reputation

                    Some friends of mine moved to Lake Villa last month and told me I needed to visit R-Dogs, that it had great food. Owner Juan Dominguez said he's heard this every day for the past 17 years. "Ninety-five percent of customers come in from the neighborhood. They come in and tell me 'I'm new and my neighbor...

                  • Five things to do in Lake County Sept. 8-10

                    Looking for something to do this weekend? Here are five things to do in Lake County Sept. 8-10: A concert in the park featuring The DuPage Band will be held at 7 p.m. Sept. 8 at Veterans Park. Admission is free. At 332 W. State Road, Island Lake. Call 847-526-8764 or go to villageofislandlake.com/...

                  • Fox Lake starts up new fishing fest

                    Ask most fishermen to tell you their best stories and you might hear about some kind of record-setting fish. Nick Warrner's best fishing memory is sharing the hobby he loves with his child. "My daughter's 3 and I took her fishing for the first time this summer," he said. "I was teaching her to cast...

                  • A cappella group Naturally 7 aims to surprise

                    A group that can make beautiful music with only their vocal chords will bring their a cappella harmonies to Waukegan this weekend. The New York City-based group Naturally 7 perform with special guest Blue Jupiter at 8 p.m. Sept. 8. Naturally 7 is comprised of seven men who together make up a full...

                  • Cemetery walk hearkens to founding of park district

                    At the Oakwood Cemetery in Waukegan on Sept. 9, Marian Upton, who is buried there, will come to life to talk about her struggles to create a park district in town. It won't be scary and it's not meant to be a haunted tour, said Ty Rohrer, supervisor of the Waukegan History Museum. Rather, the annual...

                  • Fun in the fall

                    The summer is over, the kids are back in school and pumpkin spice everything is everywhere. It's time to celebrate fall and the harvest, and one doesn't have to look very far to find a fall festival. From arts and craft fairs to Oktoberfests, there is plenty of weekend fun to be had. Watch for upcoming...

                  • Air show to honor veterans, demonstrate war tactics

                    As the National Anthem rings out at noon on Sept. 9 across Waukegan National Airport, skydiving parachutists will descend from the sky to begin the annual show of aerial maneuvers. Trailing behind them will be smoke and the American flag — and if that doesn't tug on the heart strings, the opening...

                  • These spots will bowl you over

                    Traditionally, bowling alleys were created for competitive league bowlers concentrating on their games. The only sounds heard were the thud of the ball and the crack as it struck the pins. But now bowling offers a fuller entertainment experience — with upscale decor, loud music, black and neon...

                  • A-maze-ing fall fun

                    Planning a corn maze starts way before the first seed of corn is planted. Take the Richardson family in Spring Grove, for example. They take about a week off after the last Christmas tree is sold and then it's time to plan the coming fall's corn maze. Every year they try to think of a theme that's...

                  • Seek out the Otherdoor for great Mexican cuisine

                    You can be forgiven if it takes you a couple of passes on East Center Avenue in Lake Bluff to find the Otherdoor, John des Rosiers' taqueria. There is no signage to identify it, nor a posted address on the front door. The awning over the dining room window displays the name of the neighboring business,...

                  • Huey Lewis: Upcoming album contains 'our best work'

                    When Huey Lewis "bummed" around Europe after graduating high school, he took along a harmonica. "I played on the side of the roads in North Africa, Spain, Britain. During that year I just played harmonica," Lewis said. The impromptu performances helped pay for his trip and when he returned home,...

                  • Three Brothers explores homelessness in world premier play

                    Caitlin DiGiacomo admitted when she was growing up in Waukegan and saw homeless people near the train station, she sometimes felt fearful. Today, though, after writing an original play about the homeless, she said she has come to realize that homeless people "have as much fear looking out as we...

                  • Zion fest ends with Labor Day Parade

                    For more than three decades, Richard Walker has been billing the annual Jubilee Days parade in Zion as "Illinois' largest Labor Day parade." "So far, no one has called me on it," said Walker, executive director of Jubilee Days, and former superintendent of parks for the Zion Park District. He's been...

                  • Wauconda Street Dance rocks on for another year

                    Summer is ending soon, and that means it's time for the annual Wauconda Street Dance, when local businesses, musicians, food vendors and folks from nearby towns participate in an outdoor fling while collecting food for those in need. "We encourage people to bring canned goods in front of the Chamber...

                  • Five things to do in Lake County Sept. 1-4

                    Looking for something to do this Labor Day weekend? Here are five things to do in Lake County Sept. 1-4: Fun in the sun: Buffalo Grove Days 2017 will be held Aug. 31-Sept. 4 at Mike Rylko Community Park, 951 McHenry Road. Admission is free. Call 847-459-2500 or go to bgdays.com. Luck o' the Irish:...

                  • Buffalo Grove company makes products stand out

                    Merchandising Inventives Inc. in Buffalo Grove started back in the 1940s in the heyday of Chicago advertising as the S.J. Berger ad agency. "Mr. Berger believed the ceiling, shelf and floor all centered around retail for point of purchase (or POP)," said Ethan Berger, chief executive officer and...

                  • Port Clinton Art Festival replete with couples melding art, life

                    Eight years ago, Dan and Frances Hedblom of Minnesota couldn't have imagined they'd be working as professional artists or traveling to shows like this weekend's Port Clinton Art Festival in Highland Park. Dan was a carpenter and woodworker who'd seen the construction industry collapse. Frances...

                  • Fairgrounds transform into dinosaur land Labor Day weekend

                    The first thing you'll hear is the low grumble of dinosaurs. Soon after, you might see a 40-foot tall Apatosaurus turning its head to look at you. That's how dinosaur trainer Johnel Acosta describes the scene at the entrance to Jurassic Quest, which is coming to Lake County Sept. 1-4. They're not...

                  • A little slice of Vegas in Antioch

                    Step into The Vegas Cafe and it's like a little piece of Sin City in Antioch. It may not be open round the clock like Las Vegas itself, but with its themed breakfast dishes, colorful murals and twinkling lights, diners can get a taste of Glitter Gulch. The Chiappetta family scaled back the 24-hour...

                  • Five things to do in Lake County Aug. 25-27

                    Looking for something to do this weekend? Here are five things to do in Lake County Aug. 25-27: Jagged little pill: Alanis Morissette will perform at 8 p.m. Aug. 25 through Sunday at Ravinia Festival, 200 Ravinia Park Road, Highland Park. Tickets are $38-$115. Call 847-266-5100 or go to www.ravinia.org...

                  • Fox Lake Venetian Night rescheduled for Aug. 26

                    When Gordy's Lakefront Marine owners learned Venetian Night in Fox Lake was rescheduled from Aug. 5 to Aug. 26, the same day the company sponsors an annual raft-up for its customers, they modified the day's itinerary so they could participate. "We went for the first time last year and we decided...

                  • Pick a peck at local apple orchards

                    You can thank the Pilgrims for planting the first apple tree in the United States. Before they hit Plymouth Rock, the only apple native to North America was the crabapple. Not exactly a best-selling Mott's flavor. There are many apple orchards in Northern Illinois that are opening the gates and...

                  • Pow wow introduces public to Native American culture

                    Understanding a culture requires experiencing it, according to Native American Bill Brown. The public can experience Native American culture by attending the 24th annual Potawatomi Trails Pow Wow at Shiloh Park in Zion Aug. 26 and 27. "It's important that people see and experience the drumming and...

                  • Balloon festival takes off for fifth year

                    Weather permitting, hot air balloons in all colors of the rainbow will bring life to the sky on Aug. 26 in Grayslake for the fifth annual Color Aloft Balloon Festival. "People like to come and see the balloons up close and personal," said Karen Christian Smith, executive director of the Grayslake...

                  • Stop at ArrivaDolce for a meal or gelato

                    "Cheers" without the alcohol. That's how Amy Touchette describes ArrivaDolce Gelato & Coffee Bar, which she opened in Highland Park in June 2011 with partner Jill Gross. Actually, it started out as a gelato and coffee bar, but over the years it has morphed into more of a cafe, she said. "It's a...

                  • 'It's mesmerizing': Free lakeside yoga classes in Waukegan awaken spirit, calm minds

                    Men, women and teenagers lifted their hands to the sky facing Lake Michigan on a cool, sunny, August Saturday morning as Marlene Runyard guided them through calming yoga poses. The sky was brilliant blue. The sun was shining. The lake water was calm, and a gull cried from a distance. "Let the sun...

                  • Vintage Days features folk music, ice cream, hay rides, unicyclists

                    The Village of Long Grove becomes a street market Aug. 19 and 20 as vendors set up tents displaying vintage, antique, reclaimed, repurposed, recycled and handmade items such as chairs made out of an old wooden barn. During the Second Annual Vintage Days, visitors can hitch a ride on a hay-filled...

                  • Ribfest all about local blues, local sauces

                    Whatever your barbecue pleasure, you'll likely find it at the seventh annual Little Bear Ribfest held Aug. 18 and 19 next to Little Bear Lake at Century Park in Vernon Hills. Six local barbecue vendors will be grilling ribs and cooking pulled pork, beef brisket, beef tips and other dishes that...

                  • Briar Road sings original tunes Aug. 20 in Grayslake

                    Dan Zahn and Kate Moretti of Island Lake got bitten by the folk music bug when they were in high school. They both picked up guitars and started singing and learning other instruments — and at one time, they both hosted separate folk festivals in Lake County. But they didn't meet until Moretti attended...

                  • Vehicles for kids — large and small — at Beach Park Fest

                    While the big kids will be walking among the vintage vehicles at the annual Beach Park Fest and Car Show, the little kids will be racing to get a ride on the trackless train that will puff around Founders Park Aug. 19. Those are two of the most popular attractions, said Tracy Miracle, assistant...

                  • Grayslake fest has evening parade, go-kart races and pig-kissing

                    Grayslake likes to think outside of the box when it comes to planning its summer days — for example, a parade kicks off not during the day but at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. It's also one of the few festivals in Lake County that sponsors an annual go-kart race. Kissing a pig will also be part of the event...

                  • Italian beef wishes and ice cream dreams

                    This is a story about dreams. Round Lake Olando's carryout restaurant was destroyed by fire in 1987, less than a year after its opening in Round Lake Beach. Owners Diana and Rich Hemauer were devastated. "Would people come back when we opened?" Diana Hemauer wondered as they lived off credit cards,...

                  • Blues on the menu at Waukegan harbor festival

                    Samantha Reyes is expecting another big crowd for the Blues on the Water Fest at Lake Michigan's harbor in Waukegan on Aug. 12 and 13. "It was very popular last year. Everybody likes blues, I think. That's why it's one of the most popular festivals we have," said Reyes, marketing associate for the...

                  • Gurnee Days all set to 'play ball'

                    For years, the Gurnee Days committee has wanted to feature a softball game between the police and fire department for the annual festival. "It's always challenging to get those agencies together — they're so busy. But this is the year. We're excited about it," said Sue McDougle, a park district...

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