The Grammy-winning outfit Switchfoot launches crowds into a layered rock soundscape that the band's three guitarists build during energetic live shows. At North Central College, the San Diego fivesome tours in the wake of last year's release, Vice Verses, continuing the new chapter the group began with Hello Hurricane, 2010's Grammy winner for Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album. "On this record," says frontman Jon Foreman, "we let a little bit more out." Some soul grooves and Motown flavors infuse several new tracks, including "Selling the News," in which Jon's spoken-word rap hopscotches over hip-hop beats. But the band doesn't stray too far from its SoCal rock roots. In "Dark Horse" it cranks out the tight riffs and poignant lyrics of a single destined to brew over time into a rock anthem that unites generations of people and centaurs. Downstate rockers Bottle of Justus open up the show, steering their melodies into the party-rock atmosphere in which they thrive.
Downers Grove Choral Society’s accomplished singers present classic choral works and contemporary masterpieces during concerts in Chicago’s western suburbs. Helmed by new music director Dr. Amy Weller, the choir will explore Rossini’s 149-year old Petite Messe Solennelle, a whimsical mass more playful than a beagle puppy wearing a propeller beanie. An award-winning lineup of guest artists, including soprano Christine Steyer and alto Laura Sauer, will fill each performance with pitch-perfect notes and rich vocal textures. A pair of vintage reed organs also joins the Society's lineup, with an 1884 Mason and Hamlin accompanying the performance in LaGrange and a Story and Clark organ backing the performance in Naperville. The Sunday matinee unfolds in a 13,000-square-foot concert hall designed by the Talaske Group, which perfected the acoustics at Millennium Park’s Pritzker Pavilion. Here, sound ricochets off of two massive chambers and motorized curtains designed to help tune concerts, filling up to 1,210 ears and 650 trick-or-treat baskets with crisp, delicious melodies.
As the reigning Midwest Collegiate League champions, the CrackerJacks pour onto the diamond at Brennan Field set to defend their title while showcasing some of the country's top collegiate ballplayers. A year ago—during the inaugural season for both the team and the league—the CrackerJacks established themselves as a spring of talent, sending nine recruits to the league's first-ever all-star game. During 23 home games this season, including five Sunday matchups, fans can scout the club's refreshed roster of up-and-comers, who will remain with the 'Jacks until they head back to their university programs or until they grow too big to fit into Brennan Field's dugouts.
Formed by a pack of game-changing new comedians, The Comedy Studio's casual laugh lab hosts both acclaimed funny people and fresh faces. The jam-packed schedule ensures plenty of opportunities to take in a show. The 8 p.m. shows break up the monotony of a chaotic workweek but end early enough (10 p.m.) to curb next-day exhaustion. Seating is determined on a first-come, first-serve basis. The all-ages facility provides a funny-bone-fondling venue for blind dates, out-of-town visitors, or disgruntled neighbors.
Premeditated comedy is the same thing as premeditated crime—both would be more hilarious if spontaneous. Seat yourself before a scene of utter unpredictability with today's delightfully inconsistent deal: for $9, you get one ticket to an improv show at Manhattan's National Comedy Theatre (a $15 value), plus free popcorn (a $2 value) to satisfy your late-night, comedy-induced cravings. Watch as NCT's talented players face off in a hilarious improvised competition at 9:45 p.m. on Friday or Saturday nights. NCT's show is completely different every time and funny for all ages, so grab your 2.5 children and 8.7 grandnieces. You haven't had a family laugh this good since that time the dog fell down the stairs and was basically fine.
As part of their Shakespeare-Under-the-Stars series, First Folio Theatre will perform Romeo and Juliet, the Bard’s timeless tale of love, betrayal, and teenage angst. The play centers around two young lovers, born into bitterly feuding families, who risk their lives and their families’ wraths in order to launch a joint space program. As the plot progresses, smitten eyes give way to fighters leaping and lunging across the stage with swords drawn to defend loyalty and avenge loss. Audiences behold the saga in general admission arrangements on a scenic, sloping lawn. Set beside a Tudor revival manor and an Italian-replica chapel, the outdoor theater evokes the essence of Verona, complete with that region's legendary poison vendors.
Bursting with two fully equipped dance studios and a philosophy of noncompetitive learning, Dance Center of LaGrange brings skilled teachers and a miscellany of dance types to the feet of dancers both young and old. Tykes can twirl toward the 45–60 minute summer-session classes to introduce tentative toes to preballet and creative movement (ages 3–4), learning new moves and gaining confidence while composing a rhythmic symphony with their 10-toed orchestra. The Storycise class (ages 3–5) combines storytelling and exercise to produce a hybrid fitness adventure filled with heart-pumping moves and poses that spell entire novel chapters. Teens can hit up the modern/jazz class for a medley of Broadway-style shimmying, and grown-up steppers can twist into adult tap, lacing up specialty shoes to conquer rapid routines and drum out grocery lists onto the hardwood floor.