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Summer symphony tunes swing from light classical to cinematic melodies

Variety is the spice of life. It also is what drives the musical menu that will be served up by the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra at the South Shore Summer Music Festival. “My philosophy has been do what people have loved in the past and …

Interesting books for kids


Let’s look at some machines that we either use or depend on every day to move us and our stuff from place to place. Think about what it would be like to have to go back to humans and horses to travel.

Mike Lemanski brings …

Hand: Have to hand it to the Hueys


I have fallen in love with the Hueys.

What can I say? These funny little egg-shaped creatures tell great tales.

In “It Wasn’t Me,” by Oliver Jeffers, we learn that the Hueys usually get along. At least most of the time.

Just like other groups, …

A ‘Midsummer’ treat from Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks


Chicago Shakespeare Theatre created Shakespeare in the Park to bring admission-free, family-friendly productions of the Bard’s plays to parks throughout the city.

Dan + Shay riding a tidal wave of success, but staying true to their music


Dan Smyers of Dan + Shay is a real smart guy.

A boy from Pennsylvania that was always good at math, Smyers attended Carnegie Mellon University as a finance major. He worked hard to graduate in three years so he could get back to his …

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‘Rock the House’ fundraiser for Valpo Memorial Opera House set for July 13

“The challenges of running a 120-year-old building are many, both fiscally and creatively,” said Scot PJ MacDonald, artistic director for Valparaiso’s historical Memorial Opera House. Built by the Grand Army of the Republic in 1893 as a commemoration to Civil War veterans, the Opera House …

Neverly Brothers to perform at Taltree on Friday


NORTHWEST INDIANA Nature Benefit Concerts: The summer concert series to benefit Taltree Arboretum & Gardens continues Friday when the Neverly Brothers play the greatest hits from the 1950s, American rockabilly, rock ‘n’ roll, and rhythm-and-blues pioneers up through the 1964 British Invasion. All concerts start …

Kicking it up a notch


Dubbed the Comedy Exposition of 2014, Katie McVay’s brainchild takes place July 11 through 13 in several venues and neighborhoods on the city’s North Side.


Whitney Stewart brings us a fresh new look at the old fairy tale about the farmer’s wife in “A Catfish Tale.”

We join Jack and his …

Naperville’s Ribfest and Lisle’s Eyes to the Skies offer fun for the whole family


Naperville Ribfest returns next week with bands, beer, rides and of course, the ribs.

And if you’ve got an iPhone, getting around Ribfest just got a whole lot easierthanks for a newly created Ribfest app. In addition to a map of the Ribfest grounds, the …

Reasons to Read: It’s a girls’ world today


We all know that girls are best.

I’m just a little biased because I am one, I know. Let’s meet some other neat and nifty girls.

“Vision Of Beauty,” by Kathryn Lasky, is the story of Sarah Breedlove Walker. Sarah was born in 1867, just …

Hand: These farm tales will grow on you


Now that summer is really here, I am thinking about (and visiting) farm stands.

What would we do without our farmers? Obviously, we would starve. Not my druthers, that’s for sure.

One of the most famous farmers of history is Old MacDonald. Have you ever …

Life these days is ‘Heaven’ for Tim McGraw


At 47, Tim McGraw is seven years sober, in the best shape of his life, in the midst of a 30-city tour, and excitedly anticipating his 13th studio album, “Sundown Heaven Town.”



Early in the first hour of the mind-numbing hammer to the senses that is the fourth “Transformers” movie, the old-timey operator of a shuttered movie theater in Texas says nobody wants to come to a specialty movie house any more because it’s all about sequels …

Sting’s “The Last Ship” gets magnificent Chicago launch


Sting’s musical is an old-fashioned grand opera of the most eloquent sort — awash in both turbulent emotions and intimate dramatic gestures.

Ringo Starr’s simply mad about drumming — but loving his painting, too


Music legend Ringo Starr arrives in Chicago June 28 not only with his All Starr Band in tow, but with a bevy of artwork that just might give us the clearest view of the man as he stands today.