Season Roundup: Diversions, Delights & Distractions

An exciting season of high-quality arts and entertainment events await! Here’s a preview of a few local venues and the acts they’ll welcome this season.


Each season, our northwest suburbs offer up a cornucopia of fantastic live entertainment.

From world-renowned classical musicians, international dancers and pop and country singers to hit shows straight from Broadway, popular touring performers and live local theater, high-caliber live entertainment is alive and well in our region.

Here, Northwest Quarterly presents a glimpse of upcoming seasons at some of our favorite venues, located in communities that offer great shopping, first-rate dining experiences and a bustling nightlife to complement the superb live entertainment. Check out our Arts & Entertainment calendar for a complete listing of more great shows at other fantastic suburban venues.

Elgin Symphony Orchestra

Office: 20 DuPage Ct., Elgin, (847) 888-4000,

This award-winning professional orchestra draws some of the finest musicians from around the region to present a full season of world-class programs of classical music.

After an extensive two-year search, ESO last year named Andrew Grams as its new conductor and musical director.

ESO performs at Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way, Elgin, and Prairie Center for the Arts, 201 Schaumburg Ct., Schaumburg. Concerts begin at 7:30 for evening performances and 2:30 p.m. for matinees.
Purchase tickets from ESO, (847) 888-4000,

Hemmens Cultural Center
Andrew Grams is Back!
Sept. 13-14

Nature’s Soundscape
Oct. 11-12

America’s Musical Treasures
Nov. 15-16

Magical Disney Experience
Nov. 29, 1:30 & 6:30 p.m.

Magical Holiday Concerts
Dec. 13-14

Passionate Drama
Jan. 10-11, 2015

Much Ado About Music
Feb. 7-8

A Night at the Oscars
Feb. 21-22

Sounds of Shakespeare
March 7-8

Mozart & Beethoven
March 28-29

Full Sound…Full Joy!
May 2-3

Prairie Center for the Arts
Nature’s Soundscape
Oct. 10

A Night at the Oscars
Feb. 20, 2015

Mozart & Beethoven
March 27

Raue Center for the Arts

26 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake, (815) 356-9212,

This vaudeville and movie palace, called El Tovar when it opened in 1929, was a hub of social activity during its first few decades. But by the late 1990s, the beautiful building was a ghost of its former self.
An endowment from the estate of lifelong resident Lucile Raue allowed the City of Crystal Lake to purchase and renovate it into the Raue Center for the Arts. Today, it hosts world-class entertainers as well as local performance groups and community events.

Garrison Keillor
Sept. 22, 7 p.m.

Elsten Torres
Oct. 4, 8 p.m.

Julie Fowlis
Oct. 11, 8 p.m.

Jo Dee Messina
Oct. 16, 8 p.m.

The Neverly Brothers
Oct. 18, 8 p.m.

Corky Siegel
Oct. 25, 8 p.m.

American English
Nov. 1, 8 p.m.

Wings of Courage
Nov. 5, 12:15 p.m.

An Irish Christmas
Nov. 8, 3 & 8 p.m.

Hands on a Hardbody
Nov. 21, 8 p.m.

Northwest Indiana Symphony
Dec. 12, 8 p.m.

Sing-Along Messiah
Dec. 14, 4 p.m.

The Nutcracker Ballet
Dec. 20-21, 3 & 7 p.m.

New Year’s Eve Comedy Show
Dec. 31, 7 p.m.

Mike Toomey’s TV and Me
Jan. 10, 2015, 8 p.m.

Tribute to The Carpenters
Jan. 17, 8 p.m.

Married Alive
Feb. 6, 8 p.m.

Crystal Lake Strikers
Feb. 21, 7 p.m.

The Ugly Duckling
Feb. 24, 6:30 p.m.

Pink Droyd
March 7, 8 p.m.

Tartan Terrors
March 14, 8 p.m.

April 24, 8 p.m.

Leon Hughes’ Coasters
May 16, 8 p.m.

Paramount Theatre

23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora, (630) 896-6666,

This 1931 Art Deco theater, built by a division of Paramount Studios, once packed the seats for Hollywood films and hit vaudeville acts. The Aurora Civic Center Authority purchased the run-down building in 1976 and authentically restored it. Today, the landmark theater features top national and international performers, along with children’s programming, community events and private functions. Unless noted, visit webite for days and times of performances.

Through Oct. 12

We The People
Oct. 15, 9:30 a.m. & noon

Penn & Teller
Oct. 17, 8 p.m.

Jim Brickman
Oct. 18, 8 p.m.

Home Free
Oct. 19, 5 p.m.

Spank! The Fifty Shades Parody
Oct. 24, 8 p.m.

Jerry Lewis
Oct. 26, 3 p.m.

Recycled Percussion
Nov. 1, 8 p.m.

Brooks & Wine
Nov. 8, 6:30 p.m.

Under the Streetlamp
Nov. 9, 3 p.m.

Ballet Folklorico Quetzalcoatl
Nov. 14, 8 p.m.

Chicago Comedy Tour
Nov. 22, 7 & 9:15 p.m.

Mary Poppins
Nov. 26-Jan. 4

The Second City Holiday Revue
Dec. 5-21

Jan. 14, 2015-Feb. 15

Vicki Lawrence & Mama
Feb. 22, 3 p.m.

The Lightning Thief
March 6, 9:30 a.m. & noon

John Lithgow
March 7, 8 p.m.

Defending the Caveman
March 13-29

Les Miserables
March 18-April 26

Junie B. Jones
April 10, 9:30 a.m. & noon

David Sedaris
April 28, 8 p.m.

April 30, 8 p.m.

Menopause the Musical
May 6-June 28

Woodstock Opera House

121 Van Buren St., Woodstock, (815) 338-5300,

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this venue was built in 1889 and housed the town’s fire department, council rooms, library, courtroom and a second-floor auditorium. Beginning in 1890, as the opera house began to attract more vaudeville and touring acts, it became an important social hub. In the 1930s and ’40s, its stage became a testing ground for young up-and-coming actors, among them Orson Welles, Paul Newman, Tom Bosley and Geraldine Page.

In the 1970s, funds were raised to finance a two-year restoration, and in 1977, the opera house reopened; following years of additional projects, in 1999 it was deemed completely restored. Today, Woodstock Opera House remains a top venue for performers like Leo Kottke, Bonnie Koloc, Ed Asner, and touring shows and acts.

Leo Kottke
Sept. 26-27, 8 p.m.

Little Shop of Horrors
Oct. 3-19, see website for days/times

An Evening with John Astin
Oct. 25, 7 p.m.

Duo Del Sol
Nov. 1, 8 p.m.

The Mikado
Nov. 7-23, see website for days/times

A Christmas Carol
Nov. 28-Dec. 7, see website for days/times

Ed Hall’s Christmas Guitar Night
Dec. 23, 8 p.m.

Arcada Theatre

105 E. Main St., St. Charles, (630) 587-8400,

This vaudeville and movie palace, built in 1926, once hosted stars like George Burns and Gracie Allen, Will Rogers, and Burl Ives. Purchased in 2004 by Ron Onesti, the Arcada is once again drawing quality performers back to St. Charles.

Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals
Sept. 20, 8 p.m.

The Time Jumpers
Sept. 21, 5 p.m.

Faces of Elvis
Sept. 26, 8 p.m.

Sept. 27, 8 p.m.

Slaughter/Eleven Deep
Oct. 3, 8 p.m.

Al Stewart Wine & Song
Oct. 5, 5 p.m.

Oct. 9, 7:30 p.m.

Eighties Night
Oct. 10, 8 p.m.

The McCartney Years
Oct. 12, 7 p.m.

Bill Medley
Oct. 16, 7 p.m.

Tower of Power
Oct. 17, 8 p.m.

Slaughter with E11ven Deep
Oct. 18, 8 p.m.

Rhythm on the River
Oct. 19, 3:30 p.m.

Gary Wright
Oct. 22, 7:30 p.m.

The Fifth Dimension
Oct. 24, 8 p.m.

Tommy James & The Shondells
Oct. 25, 8 p.m.

A John Denver Celebration
Oct. 26, 5 p.m.

Ghosts of Mary Todd Lincoln
Oct. 29, 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 1, 8 p.m.

The Glenn Miller Orchestra
Nov. 2, 5 p.m.

BJ Thomas with guest Exile
Nov. 7, 8 p.m.

Bronx Wanderers Sock Hop
Nov. 8, 8 p.m.

Burton Cummings
Nov. 14, 8 p.m.

Nov. 15, 8 p.m.

Little River Band
Nov. 16, 7 p.m.

Buddy Guy
Nov. 21, 8 p.m.

The Spinners
Nov. 22, 8 p.m.

The Patti Page Story
Nov. 23, 5 p.m.

Holiday on Ice
Nov. 30, 5 p.m.

John Tesh Christmas
Dec. 4, 5 p.m.

The Nelsons & The Cowsills
Dec. 5, 8 p.m.

Ronnie Spector Christmas Party
Dec. 7, 5 p.m.

Ho! Ho! Hoey with Gary Hoey
Dec. 11, 8 p.m.

Sinatra’s 99th Birthday Party
Dec. 12, 8 p.m.

Jim Peterik & The Ides of March Christmas Show
Dec. 13, 8 p.m.

LeAnn Rimes: One Christmas
Dec. 18, 8 p.m.

The BoDeans
Dec. 27, 8 p.m.

Metropolis Performing Arts Centre

111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights, (847) 577-2121,

The Metropolis Performing Arts Centre is a $22 million live entertainment and arts education facility, with a 350-seat theater, ballroom, four classrooms and 13 music studios. Metropolis offers a diverse array of Chicago’s most talented performers and performance troupes, as well as national acts spanning a variety of genres.

Performing Arts at Metropolis is a nonprofit theater management company dedicated to providing quality entertainment and education to the northwest suburbs. It does this by producing and presenting exceptional productions, developing a superior educational program and collaborating with the community of Arlington Heights.

Dial “M” For Murder
Sept. 25-Oct. 19, Thurs.-Sun., see website for days/time

Love and the Outcome
Oct. 1, 7:30 p.m.

Soiree 2014 with Lipstick Mom
Oct. 5, 5 p.m.

Dann Gire Presents The Movies at Metropolis
Oct 8-29, Wed. 7:30 p.m.
The General
Groundhog Day
Searching for Bobby Fisher
The Shining

Comedy Sportz
Oct. 25, 7:30 p.m.

Death at the Doo-Wop
Oct. 30, 7:30 p.m.

An Evening with Bonnie Koloc
Nov. 1, 7 p.m.

Domažlice Bagpipe Band
Nov. 2, 3 p.m.

Veteran’s Day Concert
Nov. 9, 3 p.m.

My Baby Just Cares for Me
Nov. 14, 8 p.m.; Nov. 15, 7 p.m.

Brit Beat
Nov. 21, 8 p.m.

The Kingston Trio
Nov. 22, 5 & 8 p.m.

A Christmas Carol
Nov. 29-Dec. 24, Fri.-Sat., see website for times

Second City’s “Holiday in the Heights”
Dec. 4-31, Thurs.-Sat., see website for times

The Lakeside Singers
Dec. 8, 8 p.m.

Irish American Heritage Singers
Dec. 9, 7:30 p.m.

Guy Lombardo’s Royal
Canadians with Al Pierson
Dec. 15, 7:30 p.m.

George Winston
Dec. 16, 7:30 p.m.

Chicago Comedy Tour
Jan. 2, 8 p.m.

Denny Diamond
Jan. 3, 7 p.m.

Fleetwood Mix
Jan. 9, 8 p.m.

Mary Mack’s Holiday Recovery Comedy Show
Jan. 10, 7 p.m.

Private Lives
Jan. 15-Feb. 15, Thurs.-Sun., see website for times

Creole Stomp
Feb. 17, 7:30 p.m.

Etta May: Not Just Another Pretty Face
Feb. 19, 7:30 p.m.

Michael Johnson & John Gorka
Feb. 20, 7 p.m.

Maxwell Street Klezmer Band
Feb. 21, 7 p.m.

Bible Bingo
Feb. 26, 8 p.m.

Reely Dan
Feb. 27, 8 p.m.

Peter Yarrow: A Night of Conversation & Song
Feb. 28, 8 p.m.

Chicago A Cappella: American Songbook
March 6, 8 p.m.

Start Me Up: A Tribute to the Rolling Stones
March 7, 7 p.m.

An Evening with C.S. Lewis
March 13-April 12, Thurs.-Sun., see website for times.

Saints & Sinners
March 17, 8 p.m.

March 31-April 10, see website for days/tiimes

The Diary of Anne Frank
April 13-24

Tsuksasa Taiko
April 23, 7:30 p.m.

Bidding You a Fond ‘I Do’
April 24, 8 p.m.

The Drowsy Chaperone
May 14-June 14, Thurs.-Sun., see website for times

July 13-18, see website for days/times