Best of the weekend around Oak Park, River Forest and Forest Park

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By Shawn Gilley

Contributor

Reinvigorated Madison Street Theatre launches with Animal Farm adaptation

Madison Street Theatre's inaugural production of Animal Farm left theater reviewer, Doug Deuchler, impressed by the tightly directed, energetic show. Formerly known for five decades as "Village Players," Madison Street Theatre launched under its new identity with an adaptation of George Orwell's Animal Farm.

During the performance, six actors assume the role of barnyard characters who conspire a revolt against their oppressive master and establish a "perfect" society. The production is set up somewhat like a radio broadcast with cast members reading from scripts in an intimate setting.

Click here to read Doug Deuchler's review, then head over to Madison Street Theatre, 1010 W. Madison, to enjoy one of this weekend's performances, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., or Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the door: $12/students and seniors, $15/adults. Call 524-1892 for more information or visit www.village-players.org.

Author discussion and signing with OPRF alum Marian L. Thomas

Don't miss this unique opportunity to meet Marian L. Thomas, one of Amazon.com's best-selling rhythm and blues authors this Friday. Thomas, a former student at Oak Park and River Forest High School, will be discussing her second novel, My Father's Colors¸ a sequel to her first novel, Color Me Jazzmyne, released in February of 2009. Click here to read the recent Wednesday Journal profile of Thomas and her newest book.

Held on Friday from 5-7 p.m., this event is located at Afri-Ware, 440 S. Ridgeland. For more information, call Afri-Ware at 708-524-8398 and be sure to stop in for an intellectually stimulating start to your weekend.

Quench your thirst for music this weekend with Collector's Crawl

Whether you're a vinyl collector who prefers the authenticity of music on your record player, a music lover looking for unique finds or just a thrifty shopper, this weekend's Collector's Crawl is an event too great to pass up.

Hosted by five local record stores, the Collector's Crawl will last from Noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday and will offer shoppers great deals. Each store is offering 20 percent off all CDs, DVDs and LPs and if you purchase something from all five stores, you'll be entered for a chance to win a $60 gift card ($15 per store).

Stores participating in this self-described "fully wired hi-fi stereo event" are: Val's Halla, 239 Harrison, Oak Park; Old School Records, 7466 Madison, Forest Park; Oak Park Records, 179 S. Oak Park Ave, Oak Park; Cyklopx 7511 Madison, Forest Park; and Chicago Digital, 905 S. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park. Click here to visit the Collector's Crawl facebook page.

Oak Park Cycle Club hosts its Second Sunday Ride

Before you know it, we'll be raking leaves, brewing hot cider and donning sweatshirts again here in Oak Park so don't miss your chance for a beautiful bike ride with the Oak Park Cycle Club.

From 8-10 a.m., riders will meet at Whole Foods Market, 7245 Lake in River Forest, for snacks to get you energized and coupons for a well-earned cup of coffee upon your return. There are two spaces available ranging from moderate (about 12 mph) and training (about 17 mph). The traveled distance is about 15-20 miles and helmets are required. For more information, visit www.oakparkcycleclub.org.

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