SouthScene Arts Round-up: Brits, Baseball, Bogosian and Black Oak Arkansas

Find your town in our alphabetic breakdown of the best arts and entertainment hitting the Southland.


Alsip Park District kicks off its free, family and all-ages summertime Concerts on the Green series tonight with the Girls Next Door, billed as the fun, friendly, female rock cover band.

Bring chairs or blankets but no outside food or beverages. The Club House bar and restaurant at the club will be open during the concert.

When: 7:30-9:30 p.m., June 24
Where: Fountain Hills Golf Club, 12601 S. Kedzie Ave., Alsip
Cost: Free
Information: Alsip Park District online and 708-389-1003 

Chicago - Mount Greenwood

Saint Xavier University presents the Roy Vombreck Orchestra in a free concert on the front lawn of the campus. It's open to all the public, not just students. Picnickers are welcome and several food vendors also will be present selling a variety of yummy food and beverages.

The sounds of the summer will conclude with a brilliant fireworks display at dusk and a patriotic finale.

When: 7 p.m., June 26
Where: Saint Xavier University, 3700 W. 103rd St., Chicago
Cost: Free
InformationSaint Xavier University Special Events and 773-297-3748 

Chicago - Beverly

Beverly Arts Center has a double dip six days ahead. Black Oak Arkansas, with Jim "Dandy" Mangrum and his band " heat up the stage with country rock sounds tonight.

Then on June 30, singer-songwriter Dave Mason, founder of the 1960s rock group Traffic and a solo artist as well no doubt will thrill fans with a night of great music. Songs from the Traffic years and Mason's solo hits will electrify the stage. Josh & the Empty Pockets open for Mason.

When: 8 p.m., June 24 for Black Oak Arkansas; 8 p.m., June 30 for Dave Mason
WhereBeverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St. (corner of Western Avenue), Chicago
Cost: $18 members, $20 non-members
Tickets and informationBeverly Arts Center and 773-445-3838 

Evergreen Park

Attention baseball fans. How many of you would love to visit every Major League Baseball stadium? Well, three guys took five years and hit them all — including of course, the U.S. Cellular Field and Wrigley Field.

Todd Franiuk, Matthew Hart and Sofoklis Nikiforos pulled their stadium and travel notes together and hit a home run with his book, A bLISTful Five Years: The Baseball Stadium Tour.

Franiuk visits the Evergreen Park Library for an evening of fun, facts and front row seats to lots of stories, stadium details and generous helpings of humor; that is, an insider's view of the five-year saga.

When: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., June 30
Where: Evergreen Park Public Library, 9400 S. Troy Ave., Evergreen Park
Cost: Free but registration is required by noon on event day.
InformationEvergreen Park Public Library and 708-422-8522 


The Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra and Dr. Charles Amenta and Marie Grass Amenta host A Midsummer Night's Dream Musical Feast. Acclaimed concert pianist David Schrader is joined byBenjamin Amenta for an evening for selections from Felix Mendelsson's Midsummer Night's Dreamand other pieces. The evening includes cocktails and a full gourmet meal. 

When: 5 p.m., June 25
Where: Amenta home, address provided with reservations
Cost: $100 per person
Tickets and information: 708-481-7774 and Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra


Hey there, Dancing Queens (probably older than 17) and all ABBA fans. Get ready to pay tribute to the hottest quartet ever to come out of Sweden. ABBA Salute brings those memorable sounds of the 1970s into the 21st century with a very cool production. Check out the band on this video for just a taste of ABBA Salute.

Bring chairs and/or blankets to the free event in the summer Concerts on the Green series.

When: 6:30-8 p.m., June 28
Where: Breidert Green Community Park, downtown Frankfort at Kansas and Ash streets; in case of rain concert moves to Frankfort Park District Founders Center, 140 Oak St.
Cost: Free
InformationFrankfort Chamber of Commerce and 815-469-3356 


CD & ME presents Final Say, an energizing, all-events, get-everyone-up-and-moving cover band that plays your kind of music — whatever it is. This slick, professional fivesome will keep the songs coming and the audience dancing with it nonstop sounds and smooth transitions.

When:  Doors open at 6 p.m., band goes on at 8 p.m. rain or shine, June 30
Where: CD & ME, 23320 S. La Grange Road, Frankfort 
Cost: $7
Tickets and information: 815-469-7315 and CD & ME online 


The legendary Buckinghams return to Homewood for the 25th anniversary season of the Homewood-Flossmoor Park District's Starry Nights Concerts. Guitarist and current lead vocalist Carl Giammarese was just a teenager in 1966  when the Bucks first hit the charts big time with Kind of a Drag, followed by several chart-toppers throughout the rest of the 1960s and early '70s including Mercy, Mercy, Mercy, Don't You Care and Susan, among the many.

Giammarese and bassist Nick Fortuna, the two original Buckinghams, continue to carry on the fabulous hits of then and now with the rest of the current lineup including veteran keyboardist Bruce Soboroff, drummer Rocky Penn and vocalist Dave Zane.

"We're reaching back with our high energy show," Giammarese said last week in an interview with SouthScene. "The audiences embrace our songs on the charts, and we take people down memory lane."

SouthScene has seen the Bucks perform recently, more than once, and their show is not a drag, not even kind of a drag. In fact, the band keeps the pace moving forward with their own hits and those of other '60s and '70s bands. In short, the Bucks are loads of fun. 

When asked how he and Fortuna are different now than when they started out, Giammarese did not miss a beat.

"We're much better musicians, better entertainers who tell stories and kibbutz with the audience," he said. "When we started out we were nice-looking boys who sang to screaming girls."

As it happens, Giammarese and Fotuna could play a crosstown game when it comes to baseball loyalty.

"I'm a diehard Cubs (and Bears) fan," the big G said.

As for Fortuna, if he's at any ball park, it's the Cell.

When: 7 p.m., June 24
Where: Irwin Park Bandshell 18120 S. Highland Ave. (at Ridge Road), Homewood
Cost: $10, $5 for children
Tickets and informationHomewood-Flossmoor Park District and 708-957-0300. In case of rain, ticket-holders are asked to call 708-957-8152, ext. 19 for an alternate location. Be sure to bring lawn chairs and blankets.

New Lenox

Spotlight Theatre, in its all-new home in , continues its production of with Eric Bogosian's dark comedy, , focused on Barry Champion, described as a "wild card, a maverick" talk radio host. Barry's often outrageous commentary triggers the gamut of reactions from callers, all the way from supportive to genuinely threatening.

The night before his program is picked up by stations across the continental U.S., Barry's boss cautions him to go easy on the air so sponsors do not drop the show before its national debut. What happens? Only the audiences will know.

Spotlight's Jeff Gamlin directs.

"It's a well-written script that rings even truer now than it did when first written (1987)," Gamlin said. "Barry tells listeners, 'Your own lives have become your entertainment.' This is exponentially more true now when you consider the tidal wave of reality shows television currently is awash in..."

"Barry's exchanges with with callers are dramatic, moving, sometimes frightening and often hilarious," Gamlin said. "The play has everything you could want from a night at the theater."

When: 7:30 p.m., June 24 and 25; matinees at 3 p.m., June 26
Where: 22032 Howell Drive, New Lenox
Cost: $14 adults, $12 students and seniors, $10 for New Lenox residents with ID.
Tickets and information: 708-941-8294 and www.spotlight-theater.com

Oak Forest

Oak Forest's Oak Fest 2011, June 30 to July 4, brings Chicago's own Maggie Speaks to the mainstage for one of the many concerts during the four-day celebration. The inspired energetic foursome performs timeless favorites of memorable music in a roller coaster ride through five decades.

When: 9:30 p.m. to midnight, June 30
Where: Oak Fest, 159th Street and Central Aveue, Oak Forest
Cost: Admission free
Information: Oak Fest online 

Oak Lawn

Oak Lawn's free 2011 Summer Concert series continues with the sounds of country music Chicagoland-based Suburban Cowboys on the Village Green. Bring blankets or chairs and enjoy the music.

When: 7-9:30 p.m., June 26
Where: Village Green, 95th Street and Cook Avenue, Oak Lawn
Cost: Free
Information: Oak Lawn Park District and 708-857-2200 

Orland Park 

Mystery writer Helen Osterman brings a bit of the unknown and of course, her characters, to Orland Park Public Library. Osterman's visit takes place in advance of her fall release, The Elusive Relation, another volume in the Emma Winberry series.

When: 6:30 p.m., June 28
Where: Orland Park Public Library, 14921 S. Ravinia Drive, Orland Park
Cost: Free
InformationOrland Park Public Library and 708-428-5100 

Palos Hills

Original watercolors, oils, prints, sculptures, photographs, mixed media and more fill the Robert F. DeCaprio Art Gallery as artists from throughout the region display works in this juried show. This free summer show spotlights the broad spectrum and striking talents of community artists.

When: Through Aug. 3; gallery hours 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Thursdays
Where: Robert F. DeCaprio Gallery, Moraine Valley Fine and Performing Arts Center, 9000 W. College Parkway, Palos Hills
Cost: Free
Informationwww.morainevalley.edu/fpac and 708-974-5500 

Palos Park

To jest impreza! is long gone but all things Polish remain among the ethnic favorites in the metro area ... and that includes Palos Park where McCord Gallery & Cultural Center will celebrate with this summer's Art-B-Que.

Polish food, music and entertainment bring Poland to the McCord hilltop for one all-family evening of food and fun. Headliner Dori Kaz, an acclaimed singer from Poland, and her backup band will perform a variety of contemporary and traditional Polish favorites. Guest musicians include Daren Dziarski and Mirek Krajewski.

Added to all the food and fun, guests will have the opportunity to view the current exhibit by professionals from the Town & Country Art League based in Palos Heights. 

When: 5-8 p.m., June 25
Where: McCord Gallery & Cultural Center, 9602 W. Creek Road (the big white house on the hilltop at W. Creek Road at La Grange Road), Palos Park
Cost: $30, $15 for children 12 and younger
Tickets and information: 708-671-0648 and McCord Gallery online 

Park Forest

Shouts and Whispers, a lifetime in photography retrospective exhibition by Donald W. Kouba, continues at Tall Grass Gallery.

In his artist's statement, Kouba says, "A (photographic) shot is a public proclamation, an emphatic call to a mass audience, a bold outburst of emotion ...

"A whisper, on the other hand, is intended as an intimate, private communication between two friends ..."

When: Exhibit runs through July 17, and gallery hours are 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Where: Tall Grass Gallery, 367 Artists Walk, Park Forest
Cost: Free
Informationwww.tallgrassarts.org and 708-748-3377 

Tinley Park

The Nuclear Jazz Quarktet returns to the Vogt Visual Arts Center for another jazz concert night. So why Quarktet? Well, two members are nuclear physicists at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and another member is an electrical engineer at Fermi. So this quintet is, indeed, quite quarky!

When: 7 p.m., July 1
Where: Vogt Visual Arts Center, 17420 67th Court, Tinley Park
Cost: Free
InformationTinley Park Park District and 7088-633-9129 

Tinley Park

They're baaack. The phenomenal nationally recognized Southland-based Neverly Brothers return with their 1950s-American-Rockabilly-Meets-1960s-British-Invasion show. The Nevs generate musical electricity with their one-of-a-kind style. Stage antics can get to off-the-wall (watch stand-up double bassist Craig Gigstad) but the music and beat just don't quit. 

Ride with the band from Memphis to Liverpool with many stops in between - starting in Tinley Park of course.

When: 7 p.m., June 30
Where: Bettenhausen Receation Center Gazebo Stage, 8125 W. 171st St., Tinley Park
Cost: Free
InformationVillage of Tinley Park and 708-444-5678 

Tinley Park

Downtown Tinley Park summer concerts begin with Eleventh Hour rock and cover band based in Chicago. Bring chairs and blankets.

When: 7-10 p.m., June 25
Where: Oak Park Avenue Metra Station, 173rd Street and Oak Park Avenue, Tinley Park
Cost: Free
InformationVillage of Tinley Park and 708-444-5678 


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