The drums started calling me a block away from the Athenaeum Theatre, drawing audience members and curious onlookers like bells to a church. Six men stood in a circle, three West African Djembe drums setting the rhythm, supported by three bass drums called Doununs.
The Oak Park Arms Retirement Community held its annual Polka Party in the ballroom of the Oak Park Arms on April 22. Undeterred by rainy weather and road-closing construction on Oak Park Avenue, avid polka fans gathered for a live broadcast of Jerry Obrecki's WPNA noon radio program, "from the beautiful ballroom in the Oak Park Arms."
The clients of Accolade Adult Day Service in Oak Park created and donated two large, colorful pieces of collage art for a silent auction to benefit Amate House, a young adult volunteer program for the Archdiocese of Chicago. The benefit, Amate Magic, was held at Navy Pier in April.
Heralded by critics as "the world's hippest singer" and "beyond the cutting edge," internationally renowned jazz vocalist Kurt Elling will perform at 7 p.m. this Saturday, May 7, at The Arts Center, in Jazzin' Oak Park.
Leopard Woman, the new play by Oak Parker David Gilbert currently being presented by Open Door Repertory Company, is an exciting portrait of a strong, complicated woman. Charlotte Hackett is a fictional up-and-coming Hollywood actress whose blossoming career gets trashed by the McCarthy "witch hunt" of the Cold War 1950s. The title refers to her leading role in one of those campy B-movies like Wasp Woman and Cat Women of the Moon.
Enjoying the privilege of writing this column each week compels me to keep current with the latest trends in culinary arts. It's an ever-expanding field that continues to fascinate and entice a growing number of novices, all eager and hopeful of finding their niche.
On April 19, over 200 young volunteers were honored at Oak Park Village Hall at the Eighth Annual Applauding Our Youth Volunteers celebration. Over 200 volunteers, ranging in age from 4 to 19, received dinner, certificates from the State of Illinois signed by Gov. Rod Blagojevich and a recognition gift from the organization for which they donate their time.
School's out for the day, but a large, boisterous bunch of kids are packed into a third-floor classroom at Oak Park and River Forest High School. If teenage energy could move concrete, the walls would be pulsing. It feels like chaos to adult eyes, but there's real work happening here.