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Donley’s Wild West Town a return to yesteryear

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 …

The Mix — Cool Things to Do 05.17.13


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, …

Dwight Twilley perfectly content to churn out CDs


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 …

Tate Stevens proving he has staying power


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 …

Star power — Adler technology revolutionizes Sky Show


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 …

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 …

Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra set to perform ‘Space Odyssey’


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 …

Eifman Ballet finds inspiration in Rodin’s figures


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 …

Amina Figarova in a New York state of mind


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 …

Stingrays easy to handle in Shedd Aquarium’s new exhibit


“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.

The Mix — Celebrate Mother’s Day 05.10.13


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; …

James Cotton harmonious as ever these days


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.”

Rhea Perlman: Everybody knows her name


HEDY WEISS: The “Cheers” star bellies up to a new bar for “Stella & Lou” at Northlight Theatre.

‘Miss Neo Pageant’ explores what it means to be feminine, successful


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 …

Martha Weathered fashion collection lands at Cuneo


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 …