Doug Deuchler has been reviewing local theater and delving into our history for Wednesday Journal for decades. He is alsoa retired teacher and school librarian who is also a stand-up comic, tour guide/docent and author of several books about Oak Park and surrounding communities. Here's your chance to tap into Doug's knowledge of local theater, film and history.
Opening night of Oak Park Festival Theatre's Amadeus was threatened by impending predicted showers but the rain held off until literally the last lines of dialogue were being delivered. Talk about a show-biz miracle! This classy, riveting production was savored by a large, receptive audience; not one person left early despite the ominous distant rumblings of thunder.
Local restaurateur Charlie Robinson learned his 200-year-old barbecue recipe from his grandfather while growing up in the Mississippi Delta. It's been passed down in his family for, he estimates, 14 generations.
The current production at Open Door Theater, Superior Donuts by Tracy Letts, premiered at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre four seasons ago. This entertaining cross-racial, cross-generational comedy celebrates the power of love and friendship. It is also definitely a Chicago play with an unmistakable local feel and mood. Insightful director Mary Pat Sieck and her cast of nine actors bring out the realism and the humor in this bittersweet comedy.
It starts out as a jolly ethnic sitcom. Living Large in a Mini Kind of Way at 16th Street Theater opens with lots of one-liners that spring from assorted zany family squabbles. But it's quickly obvious that this is more than just some Latino laugh fest. It's deeper, richer, more focused and incisive.
The award-winning tour in which costumed interpreters portray assorted "residents" of the 140-year-old Forest Home Cemetery in Forest Park at their grave sites has been a very popular event for two decades.