Primo Jazz, Saucy Improv, Battlefield Ballads, Buffett Tribute Shape Stages in Southland

Chicago Heights Jazz Fest, Battlefield Balladeers, sex in Palos and much turn South Suburbs into huge stage.

Chicago Heights

It’s hot. Maybe it’s way cool. Definitely it’s phenomenal. The Prairie State College Annual Jazz Fest Concert returns this month for its 23rd year.

In addition to the superb PSC Jazz Band directed by Valerie Nicholson, this jazzapalooza brings five mega jazz stars to the intimate PSC auditorium.

Chicago’s legendary Orbert Davis on trumpet, stand-up bass player extraordinaire Larry Gray (passionate about and with his double bass), PSC’s pianist-professor- jazz celebrity Nicholson, New Orleans sax star Ed Petersen and Chicagoland’s Joel Spencer on killer drums come together for this once-a-year performance on a stage so close you can almost touch it.

I’m not exaggerating, and only death would keep me away from this event.

If you enjoy jazz, treat yourself to a most inexpensive ticket, then sit back and enjoy. If you do go, please let me know what you think.

When: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18
Where: , 202 S. Halsted St. West side parking provides easy access.
Cost: $12, $8 for students and seniors
Tickets and information: 708-709-3500 and at the door

Tinley Park

At some point in their lives, many people suddenly sense they are unfulfilled, and a local artist has tackled that discovery in her exhibit aptly titled Unfulfilled.

Chicago Heights-based Diane McGarel’s artist’s statement notes, “While working on the exhibition Journey to Fulfillment, I began to realize one can never be completely fulfilled.”

McGarel will talk about her exploration of the concept of fulfillment next week and how she has focused her gallery exhibit on the concept.

Her program originally was scheduled for earlier this month, but the blizzard got in the way. Weather should not be troublesome this weekend.

When: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Feb. 20
Where: , 7851 Timber Drive (meeting rooms A and B)
Cost: Free, reservations suggested.
Tickets and information: 708-532-9160, ext. 3

Orland Park

It’s unofficial, but SouthScene discovered the last weekend of February celebrates the joys of improv and skit comedy in Orland Park. It all starts in the heart of town with the homegrown Orland Park Comedy Improv Group performance. Parents note: Show recommended for 16 and older.

When: 8 p.m. Feb. 25
Where: , 14413 Beacon Ave.
Cost: $6 at the door
Tickets and information:  708-403-7275 and www.orland-park.il.us


Battlefield Balladeers perform music from the Civil War, including songs written for the war, popular music of the time, Stephen Foster favorites and more in a most unusual concert/history event at the Mokena Public Library.

Veteran acoustic folk artist and Civil War re-enactor David Corbett of Battlefield Balladeers said, "We decided to combine twin passions of history and music to create a musical act that would fill a void for history-related events.

"We introduce each song with a historic quote or reason why the song was important and/or popular," Corbett said.

He said the balladeers want audiences to involve themselves in the program as they listen to and pay tribute to American music.

Corbett said he has a "core group" of co-artists but added, "I never know who might show up."

When: 1 to 2 p.m. Feb. 19
Where: , 11327 W. 195th St.
Cost: Free
Tickets and information: 708-479-9684 and www.mokena.lib.il.us

Palos Hills

A musical trip through the 1970s pays tribute to two of the 20th century’s most accomplished singer-songwriters, Billy Joel and Elton John.

The Piano Men starring Jim Witter and his band perform gargantuan hits by Elton, including Your Song, Rocket Man and Candle in the Wind as well as Joel’s Just the Way You Are and My Life and many more. Unforgettable images from the 1970s add another dimension to this look at a memorable decade and two of its music legends.

When: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18 and 19
Where: Dorothy Menker Theater, Fine and Performing Arts Center, , 9000 W. College Parkway
Cost: $25, $20 seniors and $15 students
Tickets and information: 708-974-5500 and www.morainevalley.edu/pfac

Oak Lawn

Don’t look for any golfers at the clubhouse, but musicians Vince Clark & Friends return for a night of jazz at the Oak Lawn Park District facility.

When: 7 p.m. Feb. 19
Where: , 5850 W. 103rd St.
Cost: $5
Tickets and information: 708-857-2433, ext. 2301

Oak Lawn

Hercules will rule on Feb. 20. That is, this week’s Lyric Opera discussion will focus on the George Frederic Handel (1685 to 1759) opera, Hercules, set to open on March 4 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

When: 1:30 p.m. Feb. 20
Where: , 9420 S. Raymond Ave.
Cost: Free
Tickets and information: 708-422-4990 

Orland Park

The legendary Second City tour company continues the unofficial improv and skit comedy weekend with its often biting and always satirical but oh-so-funny look at the world in Fair & Unbalanced at Carl Sandburg High School.

Amos Alonzo Stagg High School senior Micki Burton, a Second City Teen Ensemble member, will perform with the pros at the end of the performance.

Tickets have been on sale for weeks so if you plan to go, SouthScene suggests you act quickly.

When: 7 p.m. Feb. 26
Where: , 13300 S. La Grange Road
Cost: $20, $15 students and seniors
Tickets and information: 708-745-5222 

Palos HILLs

Think about what little tricks help you remember how to spell difficult words. Did you ever try to “write” the word on the floor with your big toe? One character in delightful, fast-paced 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee finds the toe technique works for him.

Moraine Valley Community College presents the fun-for-all award-winning musical, opening this week.

When: Feb. 24 through March 6; show times 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday  
Where: John and Angeline Oremus Theater, Fine and Performing Arts Center, , 9000 W. College Parkway
Cost: $12, $10 seniors and students
Tickets and information: 708-974-5500 and www.morainevalley.edu/pfac

Palos Park

The Palos Village Players continue romping around for one more weekend in Sex Please, We’re Sixty by Michael and Susan Parker.

The action (hmm) takes place in the Rose Cottage Bed and Breakfast, a hotspot for single seniors where someone’s menopause medication gets mixed up with a male guest’s Viagra.

Founded in 1942, this community theater company has loads of fun with its shows, and the mood always is contagious.

When: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18 and 19.
Where: , 131st Street and 82nd Avenue.
Cost: $15 and $12 for seniors and students
Tickets and information: 877-PVP-TIXS or 877-787-8497 and www.palosvillageplayers.com 

Palos Park

Chicago artist Beth Leahy exhibits a collection of graphite drawings, Crossing the Arno, at McCord Gallery and Cultural Center through Saturday’s public reception.

When: Reception for artist, open to all, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Feb. 19; exhibit concludes after reception.
Where: , 9602 W. Creek Road (big white house on hilltop, east side of La Grange Road at West Creek Road)
Cost: No charge
Tickets and information: 708-671-0648 and www.mccordgallery.org 

University Park

A 1940s-style cabaret evening, right onstage, features sax artist Frank Catalano and his quartet with program of jazz and blues.

When: 8 p.m. Feb. 19
Where: Center for Performing Arts, Governors State University, 1 University Parkway, University Park
Cost: $37
Tickets and information: 708-235-2222 and www.centertickets.net

Chicago (Beverly)

Billed as a “high energy show exploding with style and attitude,” the World Famous Afrodisiacs take over the Beverly Art Center stage this weekend with music, dance, humor and for sure, a tribute to the disco era.

When: 8 p.m. Feb. 19
Where: Beverly Art Center, 2407 W. 111th St.
Cost: $20
Tickets and information: 773-445-3838

Chicago (Beverly)

Beverly Theatre Guild presents Cadillac, a new play by Chicagoan Bill Jepson. The drama focuses on ethical struggles a car salesman faces on the last business, as in sales, day of the month.

When: 8 p.m. Feb. 18 and 19, 2 p.m. Feb. 20
Where: Morgan Park Academy Arts Center, 2153 W. 111th St.
Cost: $20
Tickets and information: 773-284-8497


Attention Parrotheads!

Parrots of the Caribbean bring their Jimmy Buffett and Coral Reefer Band tribute to Joliet, with all the flip-flop trimmings, party included. All that and more are just a short ride from Interstate 80 in downtown Joliet.

When: Party starts at 5 p.m., show at 7 p.m., Feb. 19
Where: Rialto Square Theatre, 15 E. Van Buren St., Joliet
Cost: $40 to $50
Tickets and information: 815-726-7171 and www.rialtosquare.com


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