Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Donley’s Wild West Town a return to yesteryear ]]> Lead story image

Go west, young Chicagoans. Go west. Direct your parents to load up the family car and head on Interstate 90 past Barrington, past Elgin, and through Hampshire. Go west to Union, Ill., the small-town (pop: 579) home of Donley’s Wild West Town, a museum and low-key amusement park geared for children ages 3 to 11 that opens for the season May 18. “Real small kids get swallowed up in big theme parks,” said Randy Donley, one of the four-member Donley family running the park. “They come here dressed as cowboys and cowgirls.” Donley’s Wild West Town is an easy day … ]]> Thu, 06 Jun 2013 16:57:29 -0600 <![CDATA[ The Mix — Cool Things to Do 05.17.13 ]]> Lead story image

Our picks for cool things to do this Weekend and beyond what the hecht? Six works of legendary Chicago Daily News columnist Ben Hecht comprise a new radio play presented by Strawdog Theater and Access Contemporary Music. 7 p.m. May 21, $8-$20, at Architectural Artifacts, 4325 N. Ravenswood. Visit   WRESTLE UP SOME SUSHI The ‘Sumo+Sushi Tour’ invites you to sample two of Japanese culture’s greatest ambassadors. A three-course sushi/sake tasting and a live Sumo match, $69-$89 (21+over), will be a feast for the eyes and the tastebuds, May 17-19, 108 W. Germania Place. Times vary. Visit CLASSIC … ]]> Thu, 16 May 2013 12:16:00 -0600 <![CDATA[ Dwight Twilley perfectly content to churn out CDs ]]> Lead story image

A documentary is in the works about Dwight Twilley, and in addition to featuring songs from the pop-rocker’s four-decade career (including his pair of No. 16 hits, “I’m on Fire” in 1975 and “Girls” in 1984) the film features several new autobiographical songs Twilley wrote and recorded for the occasion. But you know how film projects go — slowly. With no wrap date in sight for the film, Twilley went ahead and released the songs last year as “Soundtrack.” “This film doesn’t seem to be speeding down the track, that’s for sure,” Twilley says. “I have no control over it. … ]]> Thu, 30 May 2013 20:36:31 -0600 <![CDATA[ Tate Stevens proving he has staying power ]]> Lead story image

It’s been more than five months since up-and-coming country crooner Tate Stevens heard his name announced as the winner of season two of FOX’s “The X Factor.” From sharing the stage with country music icons such as Alan Jackson to recording his first self-titled album with a handful of his country music heroes, 38-year-old Stevens has been living a reality show champ’s whirlwind. Heck, he even had a 160-foot-tall water tower named after him in his hometown of Belton, Missouri. Yet, on the day Stevens found out his debut album had found its way toward the top of the Billboard … ]]> Mon, 20 May 2013 19:54:59 -0600 <![CDATA[ Star power — Adler technology revolutionizes Sky Show ]]> Lead story image

As a pulsing nebula races toward the watchful audience, a hand shoots up to touch it. More hands follow suit, straining skywards. For the kids taking in the Adler’s newest show, “Cosmic Wonder,” outer space is just out of reach. It’s an illusion created by the latest technology: The Crab Nebula or stars in Orion seem to graze heads, when in fact they’re projected on a dome nearly 40 feet above the audience. As the image gets larger, it appears closer and flatter—“or like the objects are dropping on top of you,” says Mark SubbaRao, Adler astronomer and show creator. … ]]> Mon, 20 May 2013 19:55:00 -0600 <![CDATA[ Theaster Gates MCA exhibit his first major solo effort ]]>

Several years ago, Theaster Gates was becoming a hot name on the Chicago art scene, but he had yet to gain much of a profile outside the city. But all that changed last summer in Kassel, Germany, when the 39-year-old artist emerged as one of the stars of “dOCUMENTA (13),” the latest edition of one of the most influential international art exhibitions in the world. “If you would have mentioned his name before ‘dOCUMENTA,’15 percent of the people you talked to would know who he was, so this has been a meteoric rise in the last year. And that was … ]]> Thu, 16 May 2013 12:12:00 -0600 <![CDATA[ Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra set to perform ‘Space Odyssey’ ]]> Lead story image

Mention a youth orchestra concert, and what likely comes to mind is a nice, safe program of easy-listening favorites by Mozart or Gershwin. But the truth, at least, when it comes to the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, is often exactly the opposite. Sure, the ensemble of 121 top young musicians plays the standards by Tchaikovsky and Beethoven, but music director Allen Tinkham likes to mix in lesser-known works past and present as a way to challenge his aspiring players and expand their notions about what music can be. In that spirit, the youth symphony’s May 19 program (which will be … ]]> Mon, 20 May 2013 19:55:00 -0600 <![CDATA[ Eifman Ballet finds inspiration in Rodin’s figures ]]> Lead story image

The Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg, Russia has visited Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre on a regular basis since 2000. With its astonishing company of more than 50 dancers backed by lavish, almost cinematic design, it is a grand showcase for the unique vision of its founder and choreographer, Boris Eifman, now 66, whose full-length ballets invariably examine the tormented psyches of artists (Tchaikovsky, Cervantes, Moliere, the ballerina Olga Spessivtseva), as well as historical and literary characters (Anna Karenina, Eugene Onegin and the Hamlet-like son of Catherine the Great). In his latest work, “Rodin” — to be performed here May 17-19 — … ]]> Fri, 17 May 2013 15:22:27 -0600 <![CDATA[ Amina Figarova in a New York state of mind ]]> Lead story image

A thick mane of black hair often thrown back as she gazes upward with closed eyes, Amina Figarova from Azerbaijan cuts a striking figure at the piano, but it’s far from show. Her empathy for the world around her has lead to a flood of compositions over a dozen recordings. Her originals channel people, places and things but with rare equilibrium, given her hectic life in New York City. Figarova, usually in the company of a sextet, presents her new trio with bassist Joe Sanders and drummer Justin Brown, May 17 at Mayne Stage. We caught up with her at … ]]> Tue, 18 Jun 2013 07:04:36 -0600 <![CDATA[ Stingrays easy to handle in Shedd Aquarium’s new exhibit ]]> Lead story image

“Stingray Touch,” opening to the public May 17, gives visitors a chance to feel the scratchy, silky creatures swimming by. “It’s a really cool way to see the animal,” says a Shedd expert. ]]> Mon, 20 May 2013 19:54:59 -0600 <![CDATA[ The Mix — Celebrate Mother’s Day 05.10.13 ]]> Lead story image

The mix Celebrate all things mom with these suggestions  for Mother’s Day revelry: Fine and dandy “The Ladies of Cuneo: The Martha  Weathered Fashion Collection” focuses on the styles of Weathered, whose Michigan Avenue boutique operated from 1922 until 1971. (1350 N. Milwaukee, Vernon Hills; $10) « more than flowers Spend the day with mom at the Morton Arboretum, which spans more than 1,700 acres comprised of gardens of various plant types and collections of trees from around the globe, as well as native woodlands. (4100 Illinois Route 53; $6-$12) ‘With Love’ Black Ensemble Theater is hosting a special Mother’s … ]]> Wed, 08 May 2013 18:02:00 -0600 <![CDATA[ James Cotton harmonious as ever these days ]]> Lead story image

THOMAS CONNER: Playing “country blues” of Memphis and the slicker “big-city blues” of Chicago, the harmonica legend made friends who join him on a new album he calls “the best thing we ever did.” ]]> Fri, 10 May 2013 12:41:41 -0600 <![CDATA[ Rhea Perlman: Everybody knows her name ]]> Lead story image

HEDY WEISS: The “Cheers” star bellies up to a new bar for “Stella & Lou” at Northlight Theatre. ]]> Thu, 09 May 2013 19:19:19 -0600 <![CDATA[ ‘Miss Neo Pageant’ explores what it means to be feminine, successful ]]> Lead story image

Women studies scholars will tell you that there are three feminist movements. The first began with the suffragettes and the right to vote; the second, of course, was the women’s liberation movement of the ’60s and ’70s and the third rallied the young women of the ‘90s via the Girl Power phenomenon. Megan Mercier came of age during feminism’s third chapter with strong female role models in her life. But despite all this, now at 29, she looks around and feels she’s “ended up in this weird limbo.” “It feels like being a teenager never stopped in some ways,” Mercier … ]]> Wed, 08 May 2013 18:00:00 -0600 <![CDATA[ Martha Weathered fashion collection lands at Cuneo ]]> Lead story image

Combine the wealth and lifestyle of “Downton Abbey” with the ’60s fashion of “Mad Men,” and you get the exhibit of Martha Weathered fashions at Cuneo Mansion. “The Ladies of Cuneo: The Martha Weathered Fashion Collection” opens May 12 at Loyola University Chicago’s Cuneo Mansion and Gardens in Vernon Hills. The exhibit focuses on the styles of Weathered, whose upscale boutique on Michigan Avenue operated from 1922 until 1971. “Weathered was a pioneer in the boutique fashion world,” said Emilie Stallman, curator of the exhibit as well as a senior at Loyola University. “She was an importer, not a designer. … ]]> Thu, 09 May 2013 13:39:54 -0600