Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Take time to read and laugh together! These children's books will get the giggles rolling.
Everybody loves to laugh! Here are some recently published books I’ve enjoyed sharing with kids. In Animal Masquerade by Marianne Dubuc, all the animals are invited to a costume party, but Lion can’t decide what to wear. The next page reveals him with a trunk. Now Elephant wants to come too, but what will he dress up as? Pretty soon preschoolers will catch on to the pattern of one animal disguised as another, followed by the real animal wondering what to wear. There are some wacky surprises, like when little Red Riding Hood dresses up as a birthday cake. The pictures here are the real treat. Imagine a mouse in a flamingo costume and a bear in a snail disguise. The book is quite long, but there is no need to finish it. At any point you can …
Monday, May 20, 2013
Set in Italy's Eternal City, Woody Allen's recent effort harkens back to the artistic risk-taking he took earlier in his career, lending more creativity and dynamism to 'To Rome With Love.'
Woody Allen once again hits the right notes to capture both the essence of humanity and the wonders of a miraculous city…this time Rome. As Allen did in Midnight in Paris, where he allowed Paris to be a main character in his story, he makes Rome an equal part in To Rome with Love, becoming essential to the characters' tales. Though the story is not as strong as Midnight in Paris, this is still a fun, lively film that will keep young and old entertained…through humor, romance and history. And at the start of the summer vacation season, this may whet your travel appetite. Ever since Allen left the streets of New York for Europe (London first, then Paris and Barcelona and now Rome), his material seems to have been revitalized with the …
Monday, May 13, 2013
The author of 'Plainsong' and 'Eventide' now spins a tale of a man, who has had fallouts with some relatives but is devoted to others, facing a shocking medical diagnosis.
Book Review: Benediction by Kent Haruf Reviewed by Greta Ulrich Benediction begins with a shocking medical diagnosis for an older man and his devoted wife. But this lyrical novel truly shows the cycle of life as Dad Lewis and Mary navigate many of life’s trials in their long and loving marriage. Dad Lewis owns the hardware store in the small town of Holt, Colorado. Haruf has written about Holt in his novels Plainsong and its sequel, Eventide. It has been nine years since Eventide was published and Haruf’s beautifully written novel shows his painstaking work. His characters are well-drawn and authentic. There is sadness in the story and there are disappointments. Dad Lewis had a falling out with his son, Frank, who left home …
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Books to help stir your child's imagination and give rise to a sense of creativity and play just for the joy of play.
One of the great pleasures of childhood is engaging in imaginary play, without having to worry about deadlines, goals, or expectations. Here are four books, each with a different approach, which may stimulate children’s sense of play. How many times have you heard parents say, “My child wasn’t crazy about the toy, but she loved the box”? In Not a Box by Antoinette Portis, an unseen narrator asks a little rabbit what’s he doing with that box, and the rabbit asserts each time, “It’s not a box.” Children will soon be chanting the phrase along with rabbit and telling you what the box has become – a car, a mountain, a building on fire, a robot. Not a Box cries out for follow-up play – with an actual box, scarf cushion, or pot, or wherever your …
Monday, May 6, 2013
The HBO film 'The Girl' shows the Master of Suspense as a sadist, rapist. But are its merits as a film on par with any of Hitchcock's work?
After watching two films about the life and work of Alfred Hitchcock (Hitchcock and The Girl), my love of the Master of Suspense has been severely tested. The Girl is a HBO movie set around the filming of both The Birds and Marnie, both of which star blonde model Tippi Hedren. Now, I know Hedren has never shied away from claiming Hitchcock was mean to her and a spiteful, nasty person…depicting Hitch as someone who controlled every aspect of Hedren’s life…on and off camera. But, this movie takes “mean and spiteful” to new levels. Hitchcock here is depicted as a sexual deviant and even as a rapist. Most books about Hitch do not portray him as an innocent, kind soul when it comes to ladies, but to make accusations like the ones in this…
The starmaker, who as a recording industry exec has discovered and promoted such talent as Alicia Keys, Whitney Houston, Bruce Springsteen, Aerosmith and many more, auditioned a Park Ridge singer and signed copies of his book.
When music industry legend Clive Davis pulled up in a sparkling black Audi Saturday afternoon, Park Ridge was ready for him. A line of people formed out the door of Menchie's Frozen Yogurt waiting for Davis to autograph their copies of his book, The Soundtrack of My Life. Inside, singer-songwriter Kim Schaefer of Park Ridge was all set to audition for him, and Brian Kerwin of Glenview, who had read the book, was looking forward to a chat with him. Both Schaefer and Kerwin had won a raffle for a chance to spend 15 minutes with Davis; Schawfer was the winner from the Park Ridge Menchie's and Kerwin won at the Glenview location. Davis was visiting the frozen yogurt shop because he's a good friend of Randy Sturges, the owner. Sturges gave …
Saturday, May 4, 2013
Tickets for most shows are still available, but you might want to buy them soon.
Thursday, May 2, 2013
See who's performing this summer at the North Shore's biggest music festival. Most concerts still have tickets available.
Tickets went on sale last week for all shows at Ravinia in Highland Park this summer. From classical to pop to '90s rock, this season is overflowing with the acts you expected to see again at Ravinia and ones you never saw coming. Below is a list of the bands playing at Ravinia Festival during the 2013 season. Tickets will be available for purchase on the Ravinia Festival website. June Thursday, June 6, 7:30 p.m.—Bennett Gordon Hall $10 BGH Series Ruth Page Festival of Dance Concert Dance, Inc. Tickets: $10/No Lawn Sales/Park opens at 5 p.m. Thursday, June 6, 7:30 p.m.—Pavilion Judy Collins and Don McLean Tickets: $55-$45/Lawn $22**/Park opens at 5 p.m. Friday, June 7, 7:30 p.m.—Bennett Gordon Hall $10 BGH Series Ruth Page …
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Skokie Patch goes one on one with 'Invasion of Skokie' playwright Steven Peterson. 'Invasion' will be playing at the Mayer Kaplan Jewish Community Center in Skokie this May.
Enjoy a sneak peek from ShPIeL’s upcoming North Shore premiere of The Invasion of Skokie, an original play by Steven Peterson, at the Mayer Kaplan JCC on May 22 at 7:30 p.m. The program will include insights from the playwright, performers, artistic directors of ShPIeL; and Todd Whitman, director of the recent documentary film, "Skokie: Invaded, But Not Conquered." The Invasion of Skokie tells the story of a struggling Jewish shopkeeper Morry Kaplan who is faced with a "double invasion" of his home during the days of the attempted 1978 neo-Nazi march on Skokie. While plotting to "borrow" a rifle for self-defense, the likeable but misguided Morry is faced with the dilemma of how to come to terms with his home's second invader: a Gentile …
Monday, April 29, 2013
Marianna Veneri of Maine East High School is a finalist in the Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards.
A Niles resident and Maine East High School student is among 24 finalists in the 2013 Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards, the Daily Herald reports. Marianna Veneri of Niles will audition today at Broadway Playhouse in Chicago. One actor and one actress will then be selected to head to the national finals in New York this summer, the newspaper reports. The Illinois High School Musical Theater Awards (IHSMTA) began in 2012 to recognize outstanding student achievement in musical theater.