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McGuinn, Starship, More Music Rock Venues Across Southland

Authors tackle Booth family in Lincoln assassination and the wonders of fatherhood while art, a cappella, 'Monologues' and motet take center stage from Chicago Heights to New Lenox.

Chicago (South Side)

Gifted with a soft, rich tenor voice, Roger McGuinn, legendary vocalist with the 1960s folk-rock band The Byrds, returns to the Beverly Arts Center tonight with songs, stories and his original seven-string guitar.

(correctly pronounced McGwinn), I mentioned this week’s column would reveal a Peter Fonda anecdote, the story behind McGuinn's seven-string guitar and how the McGuinns go green.

McGuinn will share many tales with his audience tonight but will not disappoint musically. In addition to songs from his ongoing online Folk Den project designed to rescue folk music from obscurity, McGuinn will return to familiar Byrds megahits including Turn, Turn, Turn (There is a season), Hey, Mr. Banjo Man and others.

His casual, conversational 21st century concerts reflect his fascination with a Pete Seeger concert from about 1990.

"(Seeger) was very conversational, connected with the audience and made people feel as if they were in his living room," McGuinn said.

When McGuinn takes the stage and sits down, he effectively brings his own audience into his home for an evening of music and chit-chat.

A Chicago native, McGuinn developed an interest in electronics during the many trips he and his grandfather took to the Museum of Science and Industry. Today the singer’s fascination extends to cyberspace and all its wonders, and he has turned his iPhone into "the greatest pocket computer ever."

"I just got an iPhone 4 and have no Internet service provider, no wireless carrier," he said.

However, he legally uses the phone in all ways possible with a 4G Internet device.

Back in the 1970s, he was into the CB radio craze.

"Peter Fonda and I used to drive all around Laurel Canyon (southern California) and talk on our CBs," McGuinn recalled.

McGuinn's interest in science extends beyond electronics, however. He and wife Camilla have gone green to the max.

"Our entire home is powered by solar panels and, in fact, we have extra power to sell back to the electic company.

"I ride an electric motorcycle that is popular in Asia, we recycle everything, do not use a lot of paper and right now, Camilla is cooking outside in our solar oven."

Musically, McGuinn's interest in science led to his seven-string guitar design. When he could not find the sounds he wanted for the opening bars of Mr. Tambourine Man, he developed a guitar with that extra tone one can hear not only on that hit but also Turn, Turn, Turn and others.

McGuinn still records and his online Folk Den project, which keeps growing, is accessible for free on the Internet with many tracks available on the four-CD boxed Folk Den collection.

Those in the audience tonight will probably hear about McGuinn's next project so SouthScene will not reveal what the legendary rocker plans for the future. However, it will be another step in the preservation of musical history.

When: 8 p.m., June 3
WhereBeverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St., Chicago (southwest corner of Western Avenue and 111th Street)
Cost: $30; $27 for members
Tickets and informationwww.beverlyartcenter.org and 773-445-3838 

Chicago Heights

Eve Ensler's acclaimed and controversial production, The Vagina Monologues, heads to the south suburbs for two performances this weekend. 

South Suburban Family Shelter presents Monologues for the V-Day campaign, "a global movement to end violence against women and girls through benefit productions of Ensler's award-winning play," show director Brigid McCormick says.

Yes, this script absolutely is geared for adult and contains strong adult content, SSFS spokeswoman Vicki Meilach says. 

When: 7:30 p.m., June 3 and 4:30 p.m., June 5
Where: Prairie State College, 202 S. Halsted St., Chicago Heights

Cost: $15, two tickets for $25

Tickets and information: Contact Vicki Meilach at SSFS, 708-794-2140, ext. 303

Chicago Heights

American playwright Neil Simon finds the humor in life's toughest times, including the struggles of basic training for soldiers heading off to the Allied battlefields of World War II. 

Set at the mid-1940s Biloxi Army base, Biloxi Blues is the second in Simon's semi-autobiographical trilogy that also includes Brighton Beach Memoirs and Broadway Bound.

Eugene Jerome, Simon's protagonist, heads to boot camp in Biloxi and along with the other recruits, serves under one brutal drill sergeant. The play follows Jerome and his bunkmates through the days of basic training with all its trials and tribulations.

And yes, Simon, now 83, did enlist in the Army in 1945 at 18. The war ended shortly after he joined the military and while he did not see combat, Simon did serve his nation.

When: 7:30 p.m., June 10, 11, 17, 18, and matinees at 2 p.m., June 12 and 19

Where: Drama Group Studio Theatre, 202 W. 202nd St., Chicago Heights

Cost: $18, $17 seniors and students

Tickets and information: 708-755-3444 and the Drama Group online.

Frankfort

The full story behind the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln has never been told, according to author Nora Titone, who reveals the intrigue she uncovered while researching the Booth family. Titone is set to talk at the Frankfort Public Library about the investigation into Booth family letters and diaries and her new evidence in this mystery.

My Thoughts Be Bloody, brings to light another character in addition to Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth. Edwin, four years older than brother John, surfaces as a key figure in what could be the 19th century's most controversial assassination case.

When: 7 p.m., June 6

WhereFrankfort Public Library, 21119 Pfeiffer Rd., Frankfort
Cost: Free, registration required
Information: 815-469-2423 and at Lincoln assassination discussion 

Homewood

At 25 years and counting, the Homewood-Flossmoor Park District's Starry Nights Summer Concert Series kicks off with the Stanley Paul Orchestra. A Chicagoland favorite, this orchestra boasts a repertoire of just about every kind of music -- though probably not metal.

Singer Phallon Antionette opens the show.

When: 7 p.m., June 10
Where: Irwin Park Bandshell 18120 S. Highland Ave. (at Ridge Road), Homewood
Cost: $8, $5 for children
Tickets and information: Homewood-Flossmoor Park District and 708-957-0300. In case of rain, ticket-holders are asked to call 708-957-8152, ext. 19 for alternate location.

New Lenox

Patch editors have unraveled a music mystery in advance of Starship's upcoming concert in New Lenox, the first of the Triple Play Summer Series.

It turns out two legendary rock bands have rights to Starship the name.

Plain Starship evolved from Jefferson Starship. Following us? Both bands rocked the airwaves with megahits in the latter part of the 20th century. 

So which Starship will land in New Lenox next week? Mickey Thomas and Starship — no Jefferson.

Starship hit the charts in the late 1970s into the 1980s with several tracks, including  No Way Out, We Built This City and Sara.

Southland favorites Bernie Glim and Country Roads along with M&R Rush will open for Starship. 

Bring blankets and chairs. Outside food and beverages are prohibited but will be sold on the premises.

When: Gates open at 5:30 p.m., concert at dusk, June 4.

Where: Village Hall Performing Arts Pavilion, 1 Veterans Parkway, New Lenox

Cost: $60 covers all three concerts including Cheap Trick on Aug. 6 and REO Speedwagon, Sept. 3. Separate tickets not available at this time.

Tickets and information: 815-462-6400 and at Village Hall

Oak Lawn

How sweet it is ... the Oak Lawn Park District Theatre presents Sugar, the musical version of the classic 1959 Billy Wilder comedy Some Like It Hot (which starred Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis). With a stellar cast of Southland actors, Sugar opens June 3 and runs for two consecutive weekends.

So here's the setup. Joe and Jerry, two unemployed musicians, unfortunately happen to witness the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. Now mob targets themselves, Joe and Jerry need to get out of town before Spats Palazzo and his thugs find them.

There is a temporary solution. Dressed in drag, the guys join up with an all-women's band hopping a train for a gig at a Miami Beach Hotel. Needless to say, the escapade becomes ... well, you need to see this for yourself.

When: 8 p.m., June 3, 4 and 10, 11; matinees 3 p.m. June 5, 12
Where: Oak View Center, 4625 W. 110th St., Oak Lawn

Cost: $21 ($20 for seniors and children)

Tickets and information: 708-857-2200 

Orland Park

Photographer Michelle Shinners, guest speaker at an upcoming event at Orland Park Public Library, will reveal the secret behind her images and how she captures "the extraordinary from the every day minutia of our world to create vignettes that intrigue and amuse." The library press release adds, Shinners sees the "fleeting quality of life" in nature and in objects that have outlasted their original purpose.

When: 7 p.m., June 3
Where: Orland Park Public Library, 14921 S. Ravinia Drive, Orland Park
Cost: Free
InformationOrland Park Public Library and 708-428-5100 

Park Forest

South suburban-based nationally recognized author John W. Fountain and the Park Forest Public Library celebrate dads with a special program. Fountain will talk about the memories many acclaimed authors and columnists share with readers in the author's newest book, Dear Dad: Reflections on Fatherhood.

Fountain will have copies of the book available for sale following the program.

When: 10 a.m., June 11
Where: Park Forest Public Library, 400 Lakewood Blvd., Park Forest
Cost: Free

InformationPark Forest Public Library and 708-748-3731

Park Forest

The Midwest Motet Society presents its spring concert, The MMS Goes POP! in early June under the direction of founder Marie Grass Amenta. Technically a form of sacred music, the motet is a rather obscure form of vocal music.

Amenta takes the concert program away from authentic motet form with Shakespeare songs by Matthew Harris followed by madrigals and choir pieces by Johann Sebastian Bach and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

When: 4 .m., June 4

Where: Trinity Lutheran Church, 2901 Western Ave., Park Forest

Cost: $5 in advance, $7 at the door

Tickets and information: 708-206-0380, Midwest Motet Society, P.O. Box 706, Flossmoor, IL 60422 

Tinley Park

Valerie Craft Kitover,an art collector for more than 40 years, will bring several pieces from her collection to the Tinley Park Public Library this month and shed light on some of the works that will remain on display through June.

A self-taught art aficionado, Kitover's collection includes paintings, seragraphs and sculpture.

When: 7 p.m., June 8
Where: Tinley Park Public Library, 7851 Timber Drive, Tinley Park
Cost: free
Information:  and 708-532-0160 

Tinley Park

AC*Rock, billed as "one of America's greatest a cappella quartets," kicks of the Summer Reading Program with a rocking and rolling music concert as AC*Rocks brings songs from the 1950s through '80s to the stage.

When: 7:30 p.m., June 10
Where: Tinley Park Public Library, 7851 Timber Drive, Tinley Park
Cost: Free, registration not required.
Information:  and 708-532-0160 

Tinley Park

OK. So the village appears to have dueling bands on June 10 as the Nuclear Jazz Quarktet performs jazz standards, Latin music and up-tempo big band bebop tunes at Vogt Visual Arts Center.

And no, Quarktet is not a typo. Rather, band members include nuclear physicists and an electrical engineer from not-too-distant Argonne National Laboratory.

When: 7 p.m., June 10

Where: Vogt Visual Arts Center, 17420 S. 67th Court, Tinley Park
Cost: Free
Information: Tinley Park Park District, 708-342-4200

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