Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category


The 2021 Barrington Art Festival is scheduled for May 29th & 30th.

Area town officials are considering how – or even if – popular summertime festivals may be held this year after being halted in 2020 due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The village of Barrington kicked off its special events season with two drive-in concerts scheduled and is making plans for its annual Memorial Day weekend art festival.

American English, a Beatles cover band, took the stage March 26, and a second drive-in concert is scheduled for April 24 featuring the Shagadelics.

Additional planning for the village’s annual art festival is expected after trustees approved a contract with Amdur Productions Inc. The annual festival is scheduled for Memorial Day weekend.

The festival features 120 juried artists, musical entertainment and food vendors, officials said. It’s hosted by the Barrington Cultural Commission. An outdoor reception for artists is expected to be held on the last night of the festival.

Officials explained that events are also being planned at Barrington’s White House, and activities are being scheduled around the village.

Read more here.

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Dennis Walega

According to TV blogger Reality Steve, Dennis Walega is a 26-year-old police officer for the Village of Barrington Hills, in Chicago, Ill. If his Instagram bio — which reads “Chicago-ish | Mówimy po polsku” — is to be believed, he is fluent in Polish. (Per Google Translate, the phrase literally translates to “We speak Polish.”)

Read more here.

Related:Meet All Of ‘The Bachelorette’ Katie Thurston’s Possible Contestants

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Arlington 1

Arlington International Racecourse will open its gates Friday, April 30 for what’s expected to be its last season. Tickets for the first month of the 68-date schedule go on sale online at noon Thursday.

Tickets for the first month of Arlington International Racecourse’s expected final season go on sale at noon Thursday.

Single tickets are being sold only a month in advance online, with capacity initially capped at 4,500. But track officials say those pandemic-related state restrictions could change as the 68-date race season moves forward.

Horses will enter the starting gates Friday, April 30, with the track’s 94-year run reaching the finish line Saturday, Sept. 25, amid owner Churchill Downs Inc.’s plans to sell the Arlington Heights racing oval.

Prices vary, depending on the date and type of seating. For a standard bench seat for four people, it’s $40, but that goes up to $80 on Kentucky Derby Day and closing day, and $100 on fireworks night July 3.

For a standard picnic table for four, it’s $100, and more on premium days. Park tents for four go for $120 and up, and prices for six-person grandstand box seats start at $120.

The cost includes admission, reserved seating, preferred parking and a race program for each guest. Children 3 and under are free.

Read more here.

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The Capital Grille’s Easter to-go package includes a whole rack of bone-in filet. – Courtesy of The Capital Grille

If there’s one thing suburban restaurants have learned during the pandemic, it’s to diversify. And many eateries are doing just that for Easter by offering dine-in options (with COVID-19 protocols in place) and meal kits to-go. While things aren’t back to normal yet, there are now more ways to celebrate with family and friends on Sunday, April 4. But make reservations soon as dine-in is limited and ordering deadlines are strict.

Bonefish Grill

1604 Randall Road, Algonquin, (847) 658-9268, and 180 S. Roselle Road, Schaumburg, (847) 534-0679, bonefishgrill.com/. If you’re feeding up to five on Easter, consider the special Mahi and Shrimp Family Bundle ($49.90) featuring a choice of salad, plus garlic mashed potatoes, veggies, bread and cookies. Order ahead for pickup Friday through Sunday, April 2-4.

The Capital Grille

87 Yorktown Center, Lombard, (630) 627-9800; 5340 N. River Road, Rosemont, (847) 671-8125; 2000 E. Golf Road, Schaumburg, (847) 969-0290, thecapitalgrille.com/home. Dine-in Easter brunch features a choice of berries and honey yogurt, clam chowder or a salad; one entree (lobster frittata, shrimp and grits, wagyu strip steak and eggs, filet mignon or sea bass); and a dessert (flourless chocolate espresso cake or cheesecake) for $49 per person. The children’s brunch is $15. Mimosas run $9 each. Reservations required. The three-course Easter at home dinner, which starts at $155, includes salad, whole rack of bone-in filet, grilled asparagus, Sam’s Mashed Potatoes and flourless chocolate espresso cake. Preorder online for pickup from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 3, or 10 a.m. to noon Sunday, April 4.

Cooper’s Hawk

Locations in Arlington Heights, Burr Ridge, Downers Grove, Naperville, South Barrington, St. Charles, Wheeling and more; chwinery.com/. Bring your Easter feast for four home. The $119.99 heat-and-serve meal includes pretzel bread, spring salad, smoked glazed ham, an entree (soy ginger salmon, braised short ribs, Dana’s Parmesan-crusted chicken), Mary’s potatoes, grilled broccoli and carrot cake. Order ahead for pickup on Saturday or Sunday, April 3-4.


Locations in Arlington Heights, Barrington, Bolingbrook, Elmhurst, Lake Forest, Naperville, St. Charles and more; miafrancesca.com/. Bring Francesca’s prime rib dinner home this Easter. It includes Caesar or asparagus salad, prime rib, two sides (mashed red potatoes, string beans, rigatoni pomodoro) and tiramisu. To feed two, it’s $119.95, and to feed four, it’s $224.95. Order by noon Thursday, April 1, for pickup between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday, April 4.


Locations in Barrington, Bartlett, Chicago, Crystal Lake, Fox Lake, Hoffman Estates, Lake in the Hills, Mount Prospect, Rosemont, Schaumburg; morettisrestaurants.com/. Make Easter easy this year with an individual meal or family-style four pack for carryout. The $19.99 per person options include a ham dinner with mashed sweet potatoes, harvest vegetables and a Caesar or garden salad or the Italian Combo Dinner with lasagna, chicken Parmesan, garlic bread, and Caesar or garden salad. Preorder for pickup on Easter.


1150 Willow Road, Northbrook, (847) 480-2323; 7 Oakbrook Center Mall, Oak Brook, (630) 575-8700; 100 W. Higgins Road, South Barrington, (847) 844-9300; pinstripes.com/. Besides the a la carte brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, April 3-4, Easter specials include slow-roasted prime rib ($29), smoked salmon flatbread ($17) and bunny waffles topped with fresh fruit, chocolate chips and a whipped cream “cotton tail” ($10).

Shaw’s Schaumburg

1900 E. Higgins Road, Schaumburg, (847) 517-2722, shawscrabhouse.com/events/easter-at-shaws-schaumburg/. Available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, April 4, the family-style Easter brunch features French toast bread pudding, caramelized bacon, hash browns, broccoli quiche, Caesar salad, oysters on the half shell, lobster bisque, mashed potatoes, premium Bairdi crab, petite filets, peach crisp and a choice of mini dessert. It’s $70 per person. Reservations strongly recommended. The to-go brunch for two features the same items and is $140. Order carryout by 10 a.m. Friday, April 2, for pickup on Saturday or Sunday, April 3-4.

A more extensive list can be found here.

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Saddle Room

The Saddle Room at the Anvil Club

In December — after 65 years as a private club — the Anvil Club opened its doors to the general public. And, with COVID-19 pandemic dining restrictions easing, more and more people soon will be able to enjoy the historic surroundings while feasting on the many menu items headlined by the steaks and seafood.

Owner Tom Roeser, a local developer who owns several buildings in East Dundee and runs OTTO Engineering in Carpentersville, and Anvil Club General Manager Joe Robinson made the decision to open to the public as they navigated the tricky COVID-19 dining landscape.

“We’re a club for everyone now,” Robinson said. “The reaction has been wonderful. The members understand why we made the decision. I’ve heard from many of them that they’d rather have an Anvil Club open to the public than no Anvil Club at all.”

Read more here

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In a 2017 interview when he was 95, Dick Duchossois said he planned to retire at 100 (May 5, 2017 Daily Herald).

“Even Dick Duchossois, now 99 years old, has made peace with the track’s sale. Arlington Park’s phoenixlike ascent following the 1985 fire never would have happened without Duchossois’ resolve. The Barrington Hills billionaire and former principal owner of the track insisted that year’s Arlington Million would be held, just 26 days after the blaze. A photo that hangs in Arlington’s grandstand shows tractors readying the track for the Million, while rubble still smoldered nearby. Written on the photo: ‘Quit? Hell NO!’”

Somehow, Arlington Park survived the inferno in 1985 that reduced one of America’s revered horse racing venues to 21,000 tons of blackened rubble. Just three weeks later, hastily constructed bleachers and betting operations welcomed the running of the annual Arlington Million.

By 1989, a rebuilt and renamed Arlington International Racecourse had risen from the ashes more spectacular than before. Track announcer Phil Georgeff’s call, “Here they come, spinning out of the turn!” once again bellowed across the grandstand.

That was then. Today, Arlington faces the peril of casino competition. It’s a reality that the near-century-old bastion of Midwest horse racing likely won’t survive.

Arlington’s up for sale. Illinois expanded gambling in 2019 to allow horse racing venues to add casino operations, but Arlington’s owners, Churchill Downs Inc., called “financially untenable” a state measure that would require the track to pay extra taxes on gaming revenues to fund horse racing purses, if Churchill pursued a casino there.

Officials in Arlington Heights, a suburb that for decades has seen the racetrack as integral to its identity, have said they’re ready to move on from the “sport of kings.”

“We already have our planning department working on what we could do to encourage something that could put this unique property to its highest and best use,” Arlington Heights Mayor Tom Hayes said last month.

Read the complete Chicago Tribune editorial here.

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Double feature of ‘Jaws,’ ‘Twister’ will kick off the season on April 30 and May 1

Last year, people from McHenry County and beyond flocked to the McHenry Outdoor Theater as a safe, fun way to reconnect with pre-pandemic life while outbreaks and capacity limits endured through the summer and fall months.

The drive-in theater business always has been about nostalgia and unearthing childhood memories, but providing that kind of comforting experience has taken on a whole new meaning in the past year, McHenry Outdoor Theater owner Scott Dehn said Monday.

“Some people bring their sons and daughters who have never even seen movies like ‘Jaws,’ and they say this is how we’re going to experience it, we’re going to see it on the big screen,” Dehn said. Going to the drive-in “is a unique event. Once everyone’s parked, it’s like a big block party.”

As spaces for community to come together dwindled in the age of social distancing, the McHenry Outdoor Theater was one of the few remaining. People lined up down Chapel Hill Road as early as 11 a.m. last May for the chance to line their trunks or truck beds with blankets and snuggle up for a movie under the stars.

This year, Dehn said, he and his staff plan to offer the same comfort to more people, as the theater no longer is restricted to half-capacity and can fill all 800 spaces in its lot. Moviegoers still will be asked to maintain social distancing and to wear masks while inside the theater’s concession stand, he said.

The 2021 season will kick off April 30 and May 1 with a double feature of Steven Spielberg’s “Jaws” and the 1996 film “Twister” in an event that Dehn is calling “Sharknado Weekend.”

Read more hereThe McHenry Outdoor Theater Facebook page can be found here.

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Dennis is a contestant ABC producer deem husband material for Bachelorette Katie Thurston.

Big news in Bachelor Nation: Matt James’ historic journey as The Bachelor has concluded, and two new Bachelorettes have been crowned, along with the first set of husband hopefuls. Oh yeah, and the network finally announced who’s actually hosting the next series. Drum roll please…. Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe are co-hosting The Bachelorette. Like I said, there’s some major news.

The tea is so piping hot, it’s already filtering out via Reality Steve. ABC released all the contestants for the next Bachelorette on Facebook on March 18. “The digging has already started. A couple questionable guys in this crop. We’ll see who makes it,” the Bachelor spoilers blogger shared on Twitter. Not all of them may get on the show to compete, but they’ve all got a chance to meet Katie Thurston, the next Bachelorette and fight for her love.

TBD if producers took a gander at Katie’s social media to see what she’s looking for in a spouse. If they did, you can expect multiple Seattle Seahawks football fans. (Perhaps a former player or two?) And, of course, more than one dude with a topnotch sense of humor. Katie is always cracking jokes on TikTok, and he’ll definitely need to keep up.

The possible contestants are looking a lot like the usual Bachelorette cast. They range in age from 25 to 36 with a lot of dudes in their twenties. Will they be ready for the 30-year-old Bachelorette-to-be who seems serious about getting hitched? She’s already on the season ticket waitlist for the Seattle Seahawks with her future hubs in mind and owns her house in Seattle, after all.

Read the full Women’s Health Magazine article including all the contestants here.

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“The Ravinia Festival plans to reopen in July for the 2021 summer season, presenting our signature mix of genres: classical, popular, and chamber music. The health of our audiences, artists, community, and staff is our priority, and our decisions have been supported by guidance from state and local health officials as well as consultation with Northwestern Medicine.

All of our performances will take place outside in our open-air Pavilion, with reserved-in-advance, distanced seating offered in the Pavilion, on the Lawn, and al fresco at our dining spaces. There will be reduced audience capacity and reduced numbers of artists onstage at all concerts this season to maintain a healthy environment for all.

We are delighted that the Chicago Symphony Orchestra will return in July to its summer home here at Ravinia for its annual six-week summer residency. Our anticipation is doubled with Marin Alsop set to lead seven concerts with the orchestra in her first season as our Chief Conductor and Curator.

Our full lineup of 2021 concerts will be announced in late April along with the protocols for attendance.

We look forward to sharing inspirational live-music moments with you in person this summer, and until then, we’re counting on your forethought and support to help ensure the healthy revival of the Ravinia experience.”

Visit the Ravinia Festival website here for further updates.

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Five dancers from the Midwest Dance Collective — Dancewerks perform to organ music by Nicholas Renkosik during Sanfilippo Foundation’s “Valentine’s Day Virtual Concert,” which is available through March 31. (Sanfilippo Foundation)

Valentine’s Day is having a longer stay at the Sanfilippo Estate in Barrington Hills. A “Valentine’s Day Virtual Concert,” featuring acclaimed organists Zach Frame and Nicholas Renkosik, with special guests Midwest Dance Collective — Dancewerks, is available through March 31.

Frame’s numbers include, “Cheek to Cheek,” “Let Me Call You Sweetheart,” “Besame Mucho,” “That’s All,” and “My Funny Valentine.”

“We wanted it to be love songs and Valentine’s Day-related music,” Frame explained.

He has performed several virtual concerts on the Sanfilippo organ this past year. Frame described the organ as “truly one of the largest and best in the world. The possibilities with the instrument are truly endless. There are very few that even get close to the quality of that instrument anywhere in the world.”

Frame performs five nights each week at Organ Piper Pizza in a Milwaukee suburb.

Renkosik’s selections include “I’m in Love with a Wonderful Guy” from South Pacific, and George Gershwin’s, “Our Love is Here to Stay.” He is joined by dancers from the Midwest Dance Collective for “Ten Cents a Dance.”

Read more here.

Valentine’s Day Virtual Concert

  • When: Available through March 31
  • Where: Virtual from the Sanfilippo Estate in Barrington Hills
  • Tickets:Minimum $20 donation
  • Information: sanfilippofoundation.org

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