downtownauroran

Free, Local Playwright Festival on Sept. 20

In Culture, Events on September 18, 2014 at 9:04 pm

The Fox Valley Park District will spotlight its local performing arts talent with a day-long dedication to playwrights on Saturday, Sept. 20, from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Prisco Community Center (150 W. Illinois Ave., Aurora).

The Premiere Theatre Company’s New Works Playwright Festival will feature all levels of playwrights, from experienced adults to first-time child writers with active imaginations. In all, 14 new plays written by eight playwrights from throughout the Chicago area will be presented, ranging from 10-minute plays and short works to full-length staged readings.

“Romantic comedies, thought-provoking dramas and reflective monologues – they’ll all be on the program,” said performing arts supervisor Kyle Donahue.  Panel discussions with a professional feedback panel are part of the program as well.

The morning performances will consist of interactive plays for children. Audience members are encouraged to dress up as their favorite monster or fairy tale creature. Adult performances begin at noon, with 12 new works being presented throughout the afternoon and evening.

The all-ages event is open all day, allowing visitors to come and go. A $5 donation is suggested but not required. Refreshments will be available for purchase throughout the day.

For a detailed schedule of plays, visit www.foxvalleyparkdistrict.org/drama. To contact the Prisco Center, call 630-859-8606.

One Paragraph Review: CATS at Paramount Theatre

In Art, Culture, Downtown News, Events, Music on September 15, 2014 at 12:04 pm
"Cats" runs through Oct. 12 at Paramount Theatre in Aurora.

“Cats” runs through Oct. 12 at Paramount Theatre in Aurora.

“What does it mean, mommy?”
“I don’t know dear. Go ask T.S. Eliot.”

If you spend too much time interpreting Cats, based on Old Possom’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot, then you’ve likely missed the point. Even if there is a point, and if Andrew Lloyd Webber was inscrutably conveying a message through the musical, then I’ll tell you right now that you just don’t get it. Cats is otherworldly; it’s beyond us. It’s Jellicle. And to understand Jellicle, you need to get to the Paramount now and catch Shawn Stengel’s beautifully spectacular production of Cats. You will encounter the likes of Jennyanydots, an old gumbie cat whose costume is incredibly impressive, and Mistoffelees, cleverly played by Terrance Martin. Of course, two performances stand out in Paramount’s Cats: Lauren Villegas as Grizabella and Sawyer Smith as Rum Tum Tugger. Villegas plays Grizabella so well that we don’t even bother questioning the need of a back story as to why the glamour cat was cast out of the tribe in the first place (OK. Maybe I was curious.) and her rendition of “Memory” was so deep and sorrowful that you just want to rub her belly. As far as Smith goes, he is quickly becoming an Aurora favorite. After putting depth and sass into last season’s production of RENT, Smith once again adds humor, hip thrusts, and great dance moves to the stage. As with every Paramount production under the artistic direction of Jim Corti, Cats is incredibly choreographed and from silks to bungies to two acrobatic cats, the show brings non-stop excitement with every musical number. Cats introduces us all to the magical world of cockroach training and midnight dances, and we get a primer on the principal feline characters that make up the fantastical world of the Jellicles. It’s weird, but you’ll love it.

Cats is now showing at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora, Ill. through Oct. 12. Call (630) 896-6666 for tickets. Cats is rated G for all audiences.

Lil Bub Comes to Aurora

In Uncategorized on September 6, 2014 at 9:34 am
Lil Bub visits The Yetee during First Fridays in Downtown Aurora in September.

Lil Bub visits The Yetee during First Fridays in Downtown Aurora in September.

Lil Bub! If you haven’t heard of Lil Bub, then you’ve been missing out on oodles of cuteness for the last several months. Lil Bub is a spectacular cat who has received worldwide fame. We are lucky that she took the time to visit us in Aurora. Thanks Lil Bub, and thanks Yetee! For more photos, visit our Facebook page. Just CLICK HERE!

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