BTG hopes ‘Firecracker Contest’ is red hot

  “The Miss Firecracker Contest” is a play by Beth Henley which will be performed by the Beverly Theatre Guild May 16 through May 18 at the Morgan Park Academy Arts Center’s Baer Theater.
  Fred Eberle, a lifelong resident of Beverly/Mt.Greewood and Jeff Ortmann of Oak Lawn are the producers of this Southern Gothic comedy/tragedy. The director, Beth Lynch-Giddings from Blue Island, captures this play’s quirky characters while producing a positive message about self-confidence, courage, perseverance, and compassion with warmth and humor.
  It takes place in a small Mississippi town in the 1980’s on the 4th of July weekend during the town’s annual holiday celebration. Pageants, particularly in the South, are important events and truly exemplify all the qualities one would expect to find in a Southern woman, as well as stressing the importance of class and community. Often in Southern pageants, the winner is chosen not because of her beauty or merit, but simply because of her family connections, social standing, and the values of her community. This is where these characters of Miss Firecracker give us the humor and what the perception of how important, or not, a pageant is like in their small town.
  Carnelle, played by Kathy Oliva (Crestwood), is an orphan with more than just a spotty reputation around town. She has entered the pageant which she has been talking about for years. Her pampered first cousin Elain, Laura Wolframski (Chicago), has come to town to deliver a speech for the Miss Firecracker Contest which she won 14 years earlier and made her a local celebrity. Elain’s brother Delmount, played by Brian Whitlock (Beverly), shows up unexpectedly, determined to sell the family home his mother left him and start a new life following a stint in a mental institution.
  Elaine Cosgrove Casey (Alsip) is playing the sweet and quirky seamstress, Popeye, who is a new comer to town and falls in love with Delmount instantly. While Tessy, Katy Franklin (Oak Park), who has a past with Delmount, runs the contest backstage. At the contest, Carnell meets an old boyfriend, Mac Sam played by Jason Taylor (Pullman), a carney who is sickly but still gets a kick out of life.
  A Dinner/Theatre Promotion from Jenny’s Steakhouse 111th Street (11041 Menard Ave, Chicago Ridge) for all three shows for $39. For more information and to make reservations for this package deal call Jenny’s Steakhouse at 708-229-2272.
  All performances will at the Baer Theater located at Morgan Park Academy Arts Center, 2153 W. 111th Street in Chicago. The May 16 and 17 performances at at 8 p.m. and the May 18 matinee is at 2 p.m.
  To reserve tickets call 773-284-8497 or order on line at Tickets are $20 and discounted Group Sale Tickets are available.
— Submitted by Beverly Theatre Guild

Guest Whatizit?

  • Written by Jeff Vorva

One person hopped down the bunny trail.DR-WHAZ-4-24Photo by George and Theresa Rebersky.
Some went another route and met a dead end.
Those who guessed last week’s end of Easter photo of an Easter bunny’s cotton tail were few and far between. When we said the end of Easter, we meant the hind end.
Worth’s Laura Kozicki was first with the right answer. She was also the only one with the right answer.
Incorrect guesses were the end of a spiral ham, a seashell, a nylon scrubby on a kitchen towel, a ladies’ straw sun/beach hat, an Easter hat, a dish scrubber, an Easter bonnet and an empty Easter basket.
This week we have a guest photo sent from the camera of Worth’s George and Theresa Rebersky from a recent vacation. Friends and family of the Reberskys are disqualified from this week’s competition although we don’t know how on earth we will enforce that. You are all on the honor system. (Uh, oh)
The clue is that it sounds like longtime WHATIZIT? contestant Gene Sikora should definitely play this week.
Send those guesses to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with WHATIZIT? in the subject line by Monday night. Don’t forget your name and hometown.

Oak Lawn Library LEGO train event draws 2,000

More than 2,000 adults and children Page-5-3-col-trains-1A group of children and adults view the buildings and scenes set up by the Northern Illinois LEGO® Train Club on April 13 at the Oak Lawn Public Library. Submitted photo.visited the Oak Lawn Public Library, 9427 S. Raymond Avenue, on April 12-13 to view the display created by the Northern Illinois LEGO® Train Club.
Guests were entertained by an intricate display that spanned 4,080 square feet and featured a Medieval Village and Castle with tournament grounds, a European-inspired Village Hall, a farm with a windmill, railroads, skyscrapers and much more. Trains connected the layout, which included replicas of gas and fire stations, an opera house, a bike shop, and various fast food staples such as Starbucks, White Castle and Culver’s.
“Even to this day, we’ll have people come in and think it’s going to be a couple ping pong tables with a couple LEGO sets with a little train going around it; and it’s not,” PAGE-5-3-col-trains-2Bryce (bottom) and Brenton (top) Dortch view the Northern Illinois LEGO® Train Club’s Medieval Village display at the Oak Lawn Public Library. Submitted photo.said Jamie LeBlanc, president of the Northern Illinois LEGO® Train Club.
The Northern Illinois LEGO® Train Club – formed in 2002 – participates in seven to eight shows each year around the Chicagoland area. Each club member has their own display space and the opportunity to focus on a genre of their choice.
“We all have sections we take off, and you can see a lot of differences in architectural styles,” LeBlanc said of the 20-member club. Each show requires more than seven hours of set-up time. “The fun part is really seeing what everyone else has created and what techniques they’ve used. We almost inspire each other.”
The group’s love of LEGOs and the opportunity to be creative is what keeps them participating in shows.
“You build something and that next show you can put it out and get immediate feedback or adulation,” LeBlanc said. “And that’s pretty cool.”
—Submitted by Oak Lawn Library

WHATIZIT? 4-17-14

  • Written by Jeff Vorva

Happy Easter to all the friends and family of WHATIZIT.DR-WHATIZ-4-17Photo by Jeff Vorva.
Last week’s photo was of a carrot-shaped package of Reese’s Pieces, a gift that some lucky kids and adults will be receiving on Easter morning.
We had some folks get it right – including the correct name of the candy. Those people get their names in all capital letters, which is the greatest Easter gift of all. Others who came close and missed the Reese’s part get regular credit, which is still pretty special.
Worth’s CATHY CORDOVA was the first to ring in with the correct answer
Evergreen Park’s VINCE VIZZA, HENRIETTA MYSLIWIEC, Willow Springs’ HARRISON DEBRE, Worth’s NATHAN MARSZALEK and ROBERT SOLNER and Chicago Ridge’s BELLA ZAHER and DANA OSWALD got all of it right.
Worth’s Linda and Russ Martin and Oak Lawn’s Jane Foley, Evergreen Park’s Jan Merchantz and Jim Cap from parts unknown were also correct except for the Reese’s part.
Incorrect guesses were of oranges, tomatoes and hot cross buns.
Someone also guessed something called EGGA. Whatiz an EGGA?
This week’s clue is that this item could be considered the end of Easter.
Send guesses to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with WHATIZIT? in the subject line. Provide your name and hometown and guess by Monday night and don’t eat too many Reese’s Pieces on Sunday.

Focus on Seniors from 4-10-14

Senior Center Offer Programs
  Seniors at the Oak Lawn Senior Center, 5330 W. 95th St., will play host to a number of events in April and May. For more information, or to register for a program, call 499-0240.
  • April 11: The seniors are hosting Kathleen Farrell, who will make a presentation on the new Oak Lawn Bank.
  • April 17: The Oak Lawn Chamber of Commerce is presenting a health fair and outreach screening at the senior center.
  • April 24: The monthly box lunch will be served. Ticket reservations are needed. Tickets are $4.
  • May 7: A trip to see the “Wizard of Oz” play. Ticket reservations are needed.

Smith Village Residents To Strut Their Stuff For Fun, Fashion And Fundraising
  Smith Village will present its annual fashion show and luncheon from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, April 24, at 2320 W. 113th Pl., in the continuing care retirement community’s Community Hall.
  The cost is $10 per person and includes lunch. All proceeds benefit Emilie’s Fund, which provides for Smith Village residents who have outlived their means. For more information and reservations, call 773-474-7300.
  Smith Village residents will model brands Sympli, Tribal, Color Me Cotton, Erin London, BKG, Adrianna Papell and Habit, carried by Annie’s, a clothing and gift shop in Oak Lawn.

Double Nickel
  The Double Nickel Plus Chorus meets at the Community Center, 3450 W. 97th St. in Evergreen Park, every Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. in Room 111. Newcomers are welcome. For more information call 422-8776.

Meals on Wheels
  The Evergreen Park Office of Citizens’ Services offers a Meals on Wheels program for village residents 60 years and older who are unable to prepare their own meals. Meals are delivered Monday through Friday. For more information call 422-8776.

  The Worth Senior Pinochle club is seeking new members. Membership is free. Visit the group at the Worth Park District Terrace Centre, 11500 Beloit Ave., every Monday and Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Games begin at noon. Call 448-1181 for information.