During Loyola University’s #3USHAK3SF3ST, three theater departments from three Illinois universities explore a wide Shakespearean spectrum with renditions of a comedy, a history, and a fantasy. In Measure for Measure, the hosting thespians uncap a comedy about the hypocrisy of a corrupt judge the Duke of Vienna tasks to tidy the city’s lax moral code of conduct. On Saturday night, Western Illinois condenses the history plays of Henry IV into a single show, chronicling the perilous years in English history when British soldiers fended off the thorns that pricked royal fingers. For Sunday’s finale, a Prospero from Bradley’s Peoria campus casts a stormy spell over the city’s north lakeshore in Shakespeare’s last play, The Tempest. The theater groups will produce all three works using the same innovative set structure, lighting design, and spells for summoning stagehands, enabling the triad to smoothly reconstruct itself at the other two campuses after the inaugural Chicago festival.
The Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric has a deep history that stretches back to the 1890s, when frequent polkas filled the air on summer evenings and the walls were decked out in beer-garden fashion. Throughout the following century, acts ranging from demonstrations of electric cooking to performances by Ella Fitzgerald and Robin Williams have inspired awe and given cause for recent restoration.
Atlantic Ballroom's esteemed faculty of trophy-touting toe tappers serve casual and competitive cavorters of all ages and backgrounds. Aspiring Astaires can trip their way through several styles, including Latin, American Smooth and Rhythm, and club-ready dances such as salsa, the hustle, and the awkward head-nod. Group classes are held once a week over the course of a month. Unlike TV crime dramas, each week builds upon the last, with every measured step nudging its way into malleable muscle memories that eagerly anticipate the next installment. Consult the schedule for class times.
The faculty members at the School of Rock believe that immersion is the best way to learn any new skill, which is why they don’t just teach students how to traverse the notes and rhythms of guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, and vocals in isolation. In addition to teaching students the technical skills during one-on-one lessons, the professional music instructors push them to fuse their individual parts into songs during full band practices with fellow beginner rockers. This combination of one-on-one attention and cooperative group learning helps kids of all skill levels hone their craft while overcoming common pitfalls such as stage fright or playing off-tempo. As kids learn to shred riffs, pound out drum solos, and summon Ronnie James Dio by hitting the correct vibrato atop a silver mountain, the classes build their confidence and kick-start a lifetime of loving rock 'n' roll.
Glass Mind Theatre's cast and crew turns the fairy tale of Cinderella on its head with their latest production, Adapting Cinderella, which interweaves elements from the story's countless retellings in films and books to create a unique plotline that questions what constitutes an ideal Prince Charming. With the same enthusiasm for thought-provoking live production that earned the company honors of Best New Theater from City Paper in 2010, Artistic director Andrew Peters guides an ensemble cast as it flutters and fights in sync with Sarah Ford Gorman's choreography and Quinn S.'s original music.