Willie Nelson, “the redheaded stranger,” performs at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora on April 11-12.

Events at a Glance: Arts & Entertainment Calendar

There’s so much to see in our area this season! Here’s just a sample of what’s coming up.

Willie Nelson, “the redheaded stranger,” performs at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora on April 11-12.


Exhibit: Capturing the Spirit of Land and Nature
Through March 30. The beauty of conservation district sites, in the art of McHenry County Plein Air Painters. Prairieview Education Center, 2112 Behan Road, Crystal Lake, mccdistrict.org.

The Wizard of Oz
March 16-17, F-Sat 7 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. From DeKalb Children’s Community Theatre: A live stage production of the 1939 Judy Garland film, with all the classic songs. O’Connell Theatre, Stevens Bldg., Northern Illinois University campus, DeKalb. Tickets: cctonstage.com.

March 14-April 1, see website for times. The radical ’60s musical, with hits like “Aquarius,” “Good Morning Starshine,” “Easy to be Hard.” Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora (630) 896-6666, paramountarts.com.

“Clifford the Big Red Dog Live!”
March 16, 6:30 p.m. Celebrate the timeless values of sharing, playing fair, believing in yourself and more. Raue Center For The Arts, 26 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake, (815) 356-9212, rauecenter.org.

Dennis DeYoung: The Music of Styx
March 16, 8 p.m. Hear the Styx founder and his band play hits like “Lady,” “Grand Illusion,” “Come Sail Away.” Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way, Elgin, (847) 931-5900, hemmens.org.

Flanagan’s Wake
March 16-17, 8 p.m. From Fox Valley Repertory (FVR): Dear ole Flanagan has died, and in this hilarious interactive show, you’ll join his closest friends on the Emerald Isle, to grieve as only the Irish can. Pheasant Run, St. Charles, (630) 584-6342.

One Night of Queen
March 17, 8 p.m. As performed by Gary Mullen and the Works, the show is so authentic it almost fools audiences into thinking they’re watching the real thing. Raue Center, Crystal Lake, (815) 356-9212.
FVR: Annie Jr.
March 17-18, Sat. 10:30 a.m.; Sun. 2 p.m. From FVR Youth Ensemble, the popular comic strip heroine takes center stage in this beloved musical. Pheasant Run Resort, 4051 E. Main St., St. Charles, (630) 584-6342, pheasantrun.com.

The Pink Floyd Experience
March 20, 7:30 p.m. This authentic two-hour show includes six musicians and $2.5 million of production equipment with a laser light show. Paramount, Aurora, (630) 896-6666.

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella
March 22-25, 29-April 1, Thurs.-Sat. 7:30 p.m.; Sun 2 p.m. Live stage production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s musical adaptation of one of the world’s most enduring love stories – the first ever written specifically for television. Stage Coach Players, 126 S. 5th St., DeKalb, (815) 758-1940, stagecoachers.com.

“Stinky Cheese Man & Other Fairly Stupid Tales”
March 23, 6:30 p.m. In these deconstructed traditional fairy tales, Cinderella rebuffs Rumplestilskin and Goldilocks meets the Three Elephants. Raue Center, Crystal Lake, (815) 356-9212.

Reely Dan: Steely Dan Tribute Band
March 24, 8 p.m. This group has perfected a sound that is a dead-on match, with hits like “Do It Again,” “Reelin’ in the Years,” “Hey Nineteen.” Pheasant Run, St. Charles, (630) 584-6342.

Tournées French Film Festival
March 27-29, check website for times. Presented by Northern Illinois University Film Society, the festival screens five important French films with English subtitles. Egyptian Theatre, 135 N. 2nd St., DeKalb, (815) 758-1215, egyptiantheatre.org.

FVR: Breaking Up is Hard to Do
March 29-May 20, check website for days/times. A musical featuring the music of Neil Sedaka tells the story of a jilted bride in the 1960s who takes her best friend on her Catskills honeymoon to find adventure and romance. Pheasant Run, St. Charles, (630) 584-6342.

Crimes of the Heart
March 30-April 22, Fri.-Sat. 8 p.m.; Sun. 3 p.m. (No show April 8.) Three sisters with different personalities reunite in their Mississippi hometown after the youngest has just shot her husband. An off-beat comedy. Steel Beam Theatre, 111 W. Main St., St. Charles, (630) 587-8521, steelbeamtheatre.com.

Arts and Ideas: Thomas Pandolfi
March 31, 7:30 p.m. Known for his passionate artistry and amazing technique, the pianist plays works of Liszt and Chopin. Reservations required. Aurora University, Crimi Auditorium, 407 Calumet Ave., Aurora, (630) 844-4924, AUartsandideas.com.

Alex de Grassi: A Story of Floating Weeds
March 31, 7 p.m. This innovative performer/composer for solo steel-string guitar was commissioned by the New York Guitar Festival to compose an original score for this Yasujiro Ozu 1934 silent film, which he performs live during a screening. Woodstock Opera House, 121 Van Buren St., Woodstock, (815) 338-5300, woodstockoperahouse.com.

Soul Salvation with Ruthie Foster, Paul Thorn
March 31, 8 p.m. These two successful, innovative artists come together to perform a blend of traditional blues, rock, gospel, folk, R&B and country music. Prairie Center for the Arts, 201 Schaumburg Court, Schaumburg, (847) 895-3600, ci.schaumburg.il.us..

ESO: Headliners: Bach, Mozart, Mendelssohn and Laredo
March 31-April 1, Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 3:30 p.m. Jaime Laredo, conductor & violin. Hemmens, Elgin. Tickets: ESO, (847) 888-4000, elginsymphony.org.

The Princess and the Magic Pea
March 31-April 29, check website for days/times. Children’s Theater production. Steel Beam Theatre, 111 W. Main Street, St. Charles, (630) 587-8521, steelbeamtheatre.com.


Route 66
April 11-June 10, see website for times. Rowdy Chicago service station attendants on a comedic westbound road trip, filled with dance and hits like “King of the Road,” “I Get Around,” “Route 66.” Paramount, Aurora, paramountarts.com.

Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters
April 4, 9:30 a.m. & noon. Dallas Children’s Theater presents this Caldecott Award-winning Cinderella tale set in Zimbabwe and filled with traditional chanting and African song. Paramount, Aurora, paramountarts.com.

Willie Nelson
April 11-12, 8 p.m. This living legend has sold over 40 million albums and won 37 music awards. Hear hits like “On the Road Again,” “Always on my Mind,” and selections from his newest release. Paramount, Aurora, paramountarts.com.

Sleeping Beauty
April 12-14, 7:30 p.m., April 15, 2 p.m. Presented by the Children’s Theatre of Elgin. Hemmens, Elgin, (847) 931-5900.

April 13-14, 18-21, 7:30 p.m. Following the death of her brilliant but mentally unstable father, a caretaking daughter deals with unsympathetic visitors and faces fears of her own genius or madness. AU Theatre Dept., Perry Theatre, Aurora Foundation Center, 407 S. Calumet Ave., Aurora, (630) 844-4924, aurora.edu.

Annie Get Your Gun
April 13-May 5, Fri-Sat 8 p.m., Sun 3 p.m. Irving Berlin musical about sharpshooter Annie Oakley, with hits “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” “Anything You Can Do.” Woodstock Musical Theatre Co., Woodstock Opera House.

Nothin’ Up My Sleeve 10
April 14, 6 p.m. Some of the Midwest’s finest magicians and entertainers combine tricks, sleight of hand, amazing illusions and juggling. Raue Center, Crystal Lake, (815) 356-9212.

Pilobolus Dance Theatre
April 15, 8 p.m. Known for its nontraditional, imaginative and athletic dance exploration. Prairie Center, Schaumburg, (847) 895-3600.

An Evening With Groucho
April 20, 7 p.m. Frank Ferrante as the legendary comic, with the best Groucho one-liners, anecdotes, songs, stories and inspired audience interaction. Paramount, Aurora, paramountarts.com.

Run to the Capulets, Raise Up the Montagues
April 21, 3 p.m. A unique, interactive production of Romeo & Juliet, from Williams Street Repertory, where interested parties submit videos of themselves as their favorite Shakespeare character for possible inclusion in the show. See website for info. Raue Center, Crystal Lake, (815) 356-9212, rauecenter.org.

Burn The Floor
April 21, 4 & 8 p.m. Tango, waltz, foxtrot, cha-cha, more. It’s “Ballroom. Reinvented” in this theatrical dance extravaganza with lavish costumes. Paramount, Aurora, paramountarts.com.

Manya: A Living History of Marie Curie
April 21, 8 p.m. This one-woman drama shows the struggles and triumphs of this impassioned scientist, mother and teacher. Fermilab, Ramsey Auditorium, Kirk Road & Pine Street, Batavia, (630) 840-2787, fnal.gov/culture.

ESO: The Magical Music of Disney
April 21-22, Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 3:30 p.m. Hemmens, Elgin. Tickets: ESO, (847) 888-4000.

Rainbow Fish
April 22-23, 3 p.m. & 10 a.m. When Rainbow Fish, the most beautiful creature in the ocean, is asked by other fish for some silver scales, how can she sacrifice the one thing that makes her unique? Paramount, Aurora, paramountarts.com.

Lucy’s Cafe, An Evening of Music
April 27, 8:30 p.m. Musical entertainment in an intimate cabaret setting. Raue Center, Crystal Lake, (815) 356-9212.

JSB Follies: Tube Time
April 27-28, 8 p.m. The Junior Service Board’s 29th Biennial Follies covers a host of popular television program theme songs, new and old, at lightning speed. Hemmens, Elgin, (847) 931-5900.

The Trip to Bountiful
April 27-29, May 4-6, 11-12, Fri.-Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. Set in 1940s Houston, an aging widow strikes out alone to revisit her hometown again before she dies. Albright Theatre Co., 100 N. Island Ave., 3rd Flr., Batavia, (630) 406-8838, albrighttheatre.com.

KSO’s Spring Concert: “Roman Impressions”
April 28, 7:30 p.m. Debussy: Petite Suite; Brahms: Double Concerto for Violin and Cello, Op. 102, Elisa Barston, Violin, Amy Barston, Cello; Ottorino Respigh: Pines of Rome. Boutell Memorial Concert Hall, NIU Music Bldg., DeKalb, 815-756-3728, kishorchestra.org.

Brian Regan
April 29, TBA. With a balance of sophisticated writing and physicality, this comedian’s humor spans generations. Egyptian Theatre, DeKalb, egyptaintheatre.org.


Nate the Great
May 2, 10 a.m. The pint-size detective is on the case as he searches for his neighbor Annie’s missing painting. Presented by TheatreworksUSA. Grades K-4. Dellora A. Norris Cultural Arts Center, 1040 Dunham Road, St. Charles, norrisculturalarts.com.

Much Ado About Nothing
May 3-5, 10-12, 7:30 p.m.; May 13, 2 p.m. Rumors, gossip, malapropisms and misinformation almost derail two love affairs, in Shakespeare’s classic. Stage Coach Players, DeKalb, (815) 758-1940.

Monroe Crossing
May 5, 8 p.m. This five-member band plays a blend of classic bluegrass, gospel and original songs. Sandwich Opera House, 140 E. Railroad St., Sandwich, (815) 786-2555, sandwichoperahouse.org.

ESO: One Thousand and One Nights
May 5-6, Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 3:30 p.m. Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way, Elgin, (847) 931-5900, hemmens.org.

Leading Ladies
May 11-June 3, Fri-Sat 8 p.m.; Sun 3 p.m. Two down-on-their luck Shakespearean actors decide to pose as the long-lost nephews of an ailing rich widow in Amish country. Turns out, it’s nieces. Steel Beam Theatre, 111 W. Main St., St. Charles, (630) 587-8521, steelbeamtheatre.com.

3 Blonde Moms
May 12, 8 p.m. This high-energy comedy reveals three women with wildly different points of view on being a mom, having a mom, kids, schools, husbands, in-laws, more. Raue Center, Crystal Lake, (815) 356-9212.

James Sewell Ballet
May 12, 8 p.m. This professional Minneapolis company of eight dancers has delighted audiences across the country for two decades. Fermilab, Batavia, (630) 840-2787.

May 12-June 3, check website for days/times. Children’s Theater production. Steel Beam Theatre,
St. Charles, (630) 587-8521, steelbeamtheatre.com.

The Orion Ensemble
May 13, 7-9 p.m. This mainstay on the Chicago classical scene performs. Fox Valley Presbyterian Church, 227 East Side Dr., Geneva. Info: (630) 628-9591, orionensemble.org.

Elton John & The Rocket Band
May 18, 8 p.m. Musician Craig A. Meyer sings hits like “Benny and the Jets,” “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me,” “Crocodile Rock,” “Candle in the Wind.” Paramount, Aurora, paramountarts.com.

Lucy’s Cafe, An Evening of Comedy
May 18, 8:30 p.m. A night of comedy with tables onstage in an intimate nightclub setting. Raue Center, Crystal Lake, (815) 356-9212.
Born British, Died American … Reflections
May 18-19, 8 p.m. Premiere performance from Patriot Players of Illinois, of this original play about Benjamin Franklin, who talks about scenes from his life as they are acted out. Woodstock Opera House, (815) 338-5300.

Letters Home
May 25-26, 8 p.m. Local musicians and actors weave together music with letters written by soldiers from the Fox Valley Area to friends and family during their time of service. Portion of proceeds benefit local vets organization. Pheasant Run, St. Charles, (630) 584-6342, pheasantrun.com.

25th Annual Prairie Arts Festival
May 26-27, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. An outdoor fine art show & sale featuring artists, food vendors, live entertainment, children’s activities. Free admission, parking. Robert O. Atcher Municipal Center grounds, 201 Schaumburg Court, Schaumburg, (847) 923-3605, prairiecenter.org.

St. Charles Fine Art Show
May 26-27, 10 a.m. This annual juried art show features 100 fine artists, live music, demonstrations, artist’s awards and student-centered interactive art endeavors. Free admission/parking. Downtown St. Charles, (630) 513-5386, st.charlesfineartshow.com.

The Music of Rodgers & Hammerstein
May 31-July 22, check website for days/times. Chicago’s hottest revue, featuring songs from shows like Carousel, The King & I, Oklahoma!, more. Presented by FVR. Pheasant Run, St. Charles, (630) 584-6342. ❚