The Stained Glass Coffeehouse's concerts immerse audiences in the soothing euphonies of local and nationally known musicians in an intimate space. Tangleweed weaves a bluegrass twang into original songs and traditional ditties, getting feet stomping with old-timey aplomb. Guests take home a copy of the band's fourth album, Please Punch Richard for Me, keeping concert-formed memories alive or training a flock of parrots to imitate the singers' voices. Annie and Rod Capps couple the former's winsome vocals with the latter's deft instrumental accompaniment, and Kim and Reggie Harris caress ears with a songbook of folk music and African-American spirituals. Irish-American guitarist and singer Joe Jencks opens up hearts with soulful lyrics and crystalline vocals, and local artists open every concert, warming up audiences and melting heckling snowmen before headlining acts take the stage. The proceeds from each event will be donated to local and international charities.
At the historic Highland Park Theatre, families and film buffs happily munch handfuls of fresh popcorn as spine-tingling thrillers, uproarious comedies, and rich, moving dramas play out on the big screen. The venerable North Shore movie house dates back to 1925, when it operated as the 1,200-seat Alcyon Theatre, which had a single screen that showed silent footage of cowboys racing on horseback, swashbucklers crossing swords, and complex romance plots communicated through drawn-out games of Pictionary. Today, powerful sound systems in the building's four theaters broadcast the dialogue of crowd-pleasing Hollywood blockbusters, as well as critically acclaimed independent films and imported foreign masterpieces.
The Music Theatre Company's production of Merrily We Roll Along, a Stephen Sondheim composition based on the 1934 Kaufman and Hart play, weaves a show biz success story in reverse. The musical begins with Franklin Shepard’s wild fame as a film producer before unraveling nearly 20 years of his past to uncover countless love affairs, missed opportunities, and humble dreams.
Up to 1,200 fans can dance and sway to the legendary sounds at Durty Nellie's. Planted across the street from the Palatine Metra station, the venue is easily accessible by public transit or private piggyback, the better to explore a 30-tap, 120-bottle beer list full of potions from Three Floyds and Goose Island as well as from France and Germany.
Classic Albums Live takes every hook, cranny, crackle, and pop of the world’s greatest classic-rock albums and meticulously recreates them live on stage. Uniting seasoned professional musicians and golden-throated club singers in a mission of authenticity, Classic Albums Live rocks entire seminal LPs from start to finish, finally giving audiences the chance to catch shows that they missed due to band break-ups, moon landings, or simply being in utero.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studio, which was cofounded by legendary toe tapper Fred Astaire himself, shepherd students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or mambo. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the Summer Dance Open House provides a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking. During the event, guests sip complimentary glasses of white wine and nibble on snacks as they take mental notes during rumba and swing classes. Professional performances will set a fleet-footed example as guests practice steps with new and familiar partners and shimmy the night away. Apprentice foot flashers can develop their skills and confidence in three group classes, during which they'll trip the light fantastic with fellow students without tripping on the light itself.