The dream that has become Music Box Records started 10 years ago in a makeshift basement studio. Manases Rivera and John Mautner were using a candle for heat when they decided to start a real studio. In the face of a sour economy and increasingly sophisticated home-recording technology, they boldly launched Music Box at 7433 W. Roosevelt Road in Forest Park.
So many Oak Park homes have great basics but need a little tweaking to make them suit the way people live today as opposed to the lifestyles of people in the early 20th century. One brick four-square on Marion Street embodied all that was great and not so great about older homes.
Seascape by Edward Albee, Oak Park Festival Theatre's current production playing at the Madison Street Studio Theatre, is fascinating on so many levels. The play failed at the box office in 1975 yet the absurdist comedy won a Pulitzer Prize for its playwright.
Scott Fisher, 52, is a carpenter, general contractor and jazz trombonist from Oak Park who says he has an intuitive sense of how to seamlessly blend new and old construction in vintage buildings, as if what he has done had always been there.
It must be a left-brain, right-brain thing," says Roger Finnell, by way of explaining the long-running connection between the Fenwick Math Department and the Blackfriars Guild (the school's theater department).
There is no formal designation as an "estate section" in Oak Park, but the term is commonly held to encompass an area north of Lake Street between Forest and Ridgeland avenues. A home on the corner of Augusta and East, which just hit the market, is a prime example of what sets this section apart from the rest of the village.
This year the Historic Preservation Commission chose one of John Van Bergen's houses at 743 Columbian Avenue to be designated as a Historic Landmark. The property owners, Cathie and Steve Fuglsang were delighted to receive this coveted distinction. Cathie had long "wanted a plaque house in Oak Park."
At 7:30 p.m. this Sunday at the Arts Center of Oak Park, 200 N. Oak Park Ave. (in the auditorium upstairs from the Hemingway Museum), the Oak Park Area Lesbian and Gay Association (OPALGA) will present 8, a staged reading of the play by Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (Milk), based on the transcripts of Perry v. Schwarzenegger, challenging California's Proposition 8, which rescinded the legality of same-sex marriage in that state.