Post-Tribune Latest news from Post-Tribune Online en-us (Editor) Post-Tribune 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ ‘Amazing Grace’ stage musical the biography of the iconic song and its composer ]]> Lead story image

This is the story of how Christopher Smith, a self-taught writer-composer-lyricist who has spent much of his career working as a police officer and Youth Outreach and Education Director in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, was not only driven to write a grand-scale musical, but is now watching as it makes its way to Broadway. Call it beginner’s luck, or the stuff of storybook legend. Either way, it is a rare phenomenon, and you really have to ask: How did it all happen? The show in question is “Amazing Grace,” which opens Oct.19 in its pre-Broadway tryout at Chicago’s Bank of America … ]]> Fri, 17 Oct 2014 02:09:23 -0500 <![CDATA[ Hand: These books all about finding the right words ]]> Lead story image

I have always enjoyed writing. Obviously, it is “easy” for me. I simply “talk” to the screen or paper. Reading and words are of greatest importance as well, again, obviously. One of the challenges of writing is finding “The Right Word.” No one helps us do that as well as Peter Mark Roget, whose story is brought to us by Jen Bryant in the book of that title. Roget was born in 1779 and died in 1869. He was very young when his family moved after his father died. They moved often, and he didn’t have many friends so he … ]]> Sun, 19 Oct 2014 02:09:44 -0500 <![CDATA[ Science-meets-symphony in ‘Northern Lights’ ]]> Lead story image

Summer in Chicago is an odd time to see the northern lights. We’re thousands of miles from the frigid northern lands where those dazzling, color-filled displays, also known as the aurora borealis, periodically light up the skies. This weekend the Grant Park Music Festival brings images of the northern lights to the warmth of a late summer night in Chicago. On Friday and Saturday the Grant Park Orchestra will give the world premiere of “The Legend of the Northern Lights,” a piece by composer Christopher Theofanidis for narrator, orchestra and accompanying video. Carlos Kalmar, the festival’s artistic director and principal … ]]> Tue, 09 Sep 2014 06:17:30 -0500 <![CDATA[ Hand: These books mix color, creativity ]]> Lead story image

What would our world be without art? No color, no form. Everything has a beauty; we just don’t always see it. I used to try to get my kids in school to understand that everything we use is made by someone from something. Color is, of course, a primary part of art as used in painting and fabrics and other decorative arts. I love to see all the colors of floss and yarn and quilting material. A few weeks ago, I told you about the spectacular use of color in “Press Here.” Herve Tullet brings us another equally spectacular look … ]]> Sun, 12 Oct 2014 02:12:26 -0500 <![CDATA[ Hand: Read these tales; time won’t be draggin’ ]]> Lead story image

Where do dragons come from? They have been around in myth and folklore for centuries, but I don’t remember any stories about how they came about. In “Have You Seen My Dragon?” by Steve Light, we watch as our small boy looks all over town for his pet dragon. The inside front cover has a map of what looks like Manhattan, marked with numbers and colors. Our boy is asking a doorman if he has seen the dragon, and we know the dragon is right there. There is a label on the page, “1 Dragon,” and on the next page, … ]]> Sun, 05 Oct 2014 02:11:10 -0500 <![CDATA[ Hand: Some books are worthy as reruns ]]> Lead story image

I read somewhere that there are about 5,000 children’s books published each year. Obviously, I do not get or read that many. It has occurred to me, though, that if the book publishers stopped publishing new books for some weird reason, but kept the old book lists available, it wouldn’t really matter. The kids are new. And there is a reason the old books are called “classics”: They stand the test of time. When I talk to kids about what they are reading, I mention authors and books from the past, and kids usually are not familiar with them. I … ]]> Sun, 28 Sep 2014 02:08:24 -0500 <![CDATA[ As the weather cools, fall festivals dot the landscape ]]> Lead story image

Pumpkins and scarecrows. Hot chili and cold beer. These are all wonderful components of autumn. Fortunately, plenty of more fall fun awaits at area festivals. Here’s a list of some of the fests across Chicagoland ready to entertain the masses this season. Always check the websites for up-to-the-minute information and scheduling changes before heading out. Autumn Fest and Chili Cook Off: Sept. 26, North Riverside Village Commons, 2401 S. Des Plaines Ave., Riverside. Visit Antioch’s Fall Wine Walk: Sept. 26, downtown Main Street, Antioch. Antioch. Visit Oktoberfest Chicago: Sept. 26-28, St. Alphonsus Church, corner of Lincoln, Southport and … ]]> Fri, 26 Sep 2014 02:08:58 -0500 <![CDATA[ Hand: Dance tales have twists and turns ]]> Lead story image

Many years ago, I had, like so many little girls, a dream of being a ballerina. Needless to say, I didn’t have the body type, or, of course, the talent to achieve this goal. I have always loved to watch the grace and beauty that ballet brings to a stage, though. In “Frances Dean Who Loved To Dance And Dance,” by Birgitta Sif, Frances loves to dance. She dances all the time. When we see her in school, she is dancing with her fingers on the desk and wistfully looking out the window. Outside, she dances. On the park bench. … ]]> Sun, 21 Sep 2014 02:06:56 -0500 <![CDATA[ Hand: A lot about little ]]> Lead story image

Let’s look at some little things and at some things for little ones. I have trouble understanding that there are plants and animals that I can’t even see. Nicola Davies tells us about “Tiny Creatures — ­The World Of Microbes.” She begins by telling us that there are creatures so tiny that millions could fit on the antenna of an ant. The antenna would have to grow as big as a whale for us to see them. Now, really? Yes, I know, but I just wonder. Actually, they are not even plants or animals but a separate thing called microbes. … ]]> Wed, 15 Oct 2014 06:26:37 -0500 <![CDATA[ Hand: These tales are on the go, and in the know ]]> Lead story image

What would we do without modern transportation? Kay Winters gives us a look at how it used to be in “Voices from the Oregon Trail.” I had the pleasure of “finding” the western end, as well as living in Kansas. I truly marvel at how they did it. We join a group of pioneers, each one introduced and telling his or her own tale of the trip. Beginning with the son of the wagon train captain, we go on to meet a wife and mother who is reluctantly leaving her dead child. It is so hard to realize that they … ]]> Wed, 08 Oct 2014 06:26:42 -0500 <![CDATA[ Hand: Page after page of animal antics ]]> Lead story image

I love word plays. “Animal House,” by Candace Ryan, is chock full of them. We meet Jeremy in school, who tells his teacher, Mrs. Nuddles, that he lives in a gorvilla. Mrs. Nuddles doesn’t buy any of his stories. Not the one about the snailbox eating the class plant or the one about the shrewler gnawing on his Statue of Liberty project. She declares that it is time for a home visit. She can’t miss his house, as it is the biggest condoor on the block. We watch as Mrs. Nuddles is astounded at all of the weird animal creations … ]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 06:44:37 -0500 <![CDATA[ Hand: ]]> Lead story image

I have never done this before. If fact, I have been very careful not to, but this time, I just couldn’t resist. A third-grade teacher introduced me to one of the funniest read-a-louds for that age group many years ago. Bill Brittain’s “All The Money In The World” unfortunately is no longer in print. I investigated and it is available used (cheap, too!) at both Amazon and AbeBooks. In this delightful story, Quentin Stowe is an ordinary boy who likes to fish and bike and play with his friends. One day, he catches a leprechaun by mistake. This leprechaun, Flan, … ]]> Fri, 26 Sep 2014 13:33:13 -0500 <![CDATA[ Hand: These books present the facts of life ]]> Lead story image

Let’s face it: For us old-timers, sex education was often a difficult subject to discuss with our kids. Books help. I gave my son a book after our “talk” and he took it to school. It came back wrapped in plain brown paper with a note from the teacher. I wonder what would happen now. “It’s Perfectly Normal,” by Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley, is a classic. Specifically written for kids age 10 and up, the 20th anniversary edition is out, subtitled “Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex and Sexual Health.” This uses a kooky bird and bee to help … ]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 06:14:57 -0500 <![CDATA[ Hand: Open up these clothes books ]]> Lead story image

How did pink become the color associated with girls, and blue the color associated with boys? I remember before a baby’s gender was known before birth that we had to be so neutral in buying for baby showers, but I have no idea where these customs come from. In “Puzzled by Pink,” by Sarah Frances Hardy, we meet sisters Rose and Izzy. Rose is into all things pink. Her birthday party is coming and she is doing it all in pink. Izzy, on the other hand, doesn’t share this love of pink and is not happy when Rose says that … ]]> Thu, 11 Sep 2014 06:33:16 -0500 <![CDATA[ All you need is love of the Beatles ]]> Lead story image

It started out small, but an annual salute to the Beatles in downtown Hammond has bounced to lofty heights with its British beat. Now in its ninth year, Beatles Fest draws large crowds after being born as a quaint indoor gathering in Northwest Indiana that attracted about 75 people. Organizer John Vezmar says last summer’s edition of the live-music blowout had an attendance of around 2,500. “Every year it just got bigger and bigger and bigger,” said Vezmar, president of The Blue Room Cafe and president of Hammond-based Vezmar Media Group. This year, a hefty slate of bands will roll … ]]> Tue, 09 Sep 2014 06:16:57 -0500 <![CDATA[ Summer symphony tunes swing from light classical to cinematic melodies ]]> Lead story image

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 what people react to really strongly,” said Kirk Muspratt, conductor and music director of the orchestra. “It seems that over the many years, the people seem to love the mix that I’ve come up with — light classical, something that’s maybe Broadway or musicals. This year I’m going to do cowboy tunes.” In regard to … ]]> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 06:23:40 -0500