Dance showcase at Stagg H.S.

Stagg High School Dance 1 students presented the annual end of the semester dance showcase. The dances were choreographed by the students as a part of their final physical education grade for the semester. The students made music selections, came up with choreography and designed costumes for the performance.

Above, students rehearsing are Paolo Jimenez, Lauren Vernola, Daniela Quezada, Cindy Ibarra, Courtney O'Farrell, Charlotte Clark, Laquesha Wright, Brianna Jenkins, Mariah Michels, Alex Pendleton, Jennifer Bochenek, Gerda Mainelyte, Agnes Czernik, Olympia Wojnik, Samantha Ferguson, Dorota Brzuchacz, Demetra Fotopolous and Nataly Quezada.

Stagg High School Dance 1 students Alex Pendleton and Paolo Jimenez prepare their piece for the semester dance showcase.


by Jay Bobbin

(NOTICE: Ratings for each film begin with a 'star' rating - one star meaning 'poor,' four meaning 'excellent' - followed by the Motion Picture Association of America rating, and then by a family-viewing guide, the key for which appears below.)

STARTING THIS WEEK: "TAKEN 2": It's a case of role reversal as ex-CIA man Bryan Mills has to be saved by his daughter in the sequel to Liam Neeson's action hit that redefined his career. The espionage veteran and his ex-wife (Famke Janssen) are kidnapped by a vengeful relative of one of the abductors Mills killed in the course of rescuing his offspring (Maggie Grace) ... and the rescuee has to turn rescuer to save her parents. As with the first round, it's fun to watch a confident and gritty Neeson even the score, and the overseas locale - Istanbul this time - adds much. DVD extras: "making-of" documentary; alternate ending. *** (PG-13 and unrated versions: AS, V) (Also on Blu-ray)

"TO ROME WITH LOVE": Woody Allen has had considerable success using foreign locales, certainly recently with "Midnight in Paris," and he takes that approach again with this enjoyable comedy that set several stories in Italy. Writer-director Allen himself plays an opera director who unexpectedly starts a new chapter, while Jesse Eisenberg ("The Social Network") plays a young man who falls for his girlfriend's friend (Ellen Page, "Juno") as an architect (Alec Baldwin) advises him. Judy Davis, Alison Pill ("The Newsroom"), Penelope Cruz - who was helped to an Oscar by Allen in "Vicky Cristina Barcelona - and fellow Oscar winner Roberto Benigni also star. DVD extra: "making-of" documentary. *** (R: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray)

"WON'T BACK DOWN": This earnest drama benefits from strong performances by Maggie Gyllenhaal, as a parent who worries her daughter isn't getting the best educational experience, and Viola Davis, as a teacher who puts her career on the line to improve standards at her school. There's no doubt that real-life instructors will be a natural, and naturally satisfied, audience for the film. Holly Hunter and Rosie Perez also star. DVD extras: theatrical trailer; two "making-of" documentaries; audio commentary by director Daniel Barnz; deleted scenes. *** (PG: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray)

"THE INTOUCHABLES": Based on a true story, this seriocomic French film by writerdirectors Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano earned international raves for its two stars ... veteran actor Francois Cluzet as a rich aristocrat suddenly incapacitated while paragliding, and Omar Sy (who won the Cesar, France's equivalent of the Oscar, as best actor for this) as the much younger and more street-wise fellow hired to care for him. Though others are in the cast, the picture very much belongs to those actors, and their unlikely yet fabulous teamwork justifies it. *** (R: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray)

"THE POSSESSION": It's time again to look in the Yellow Pages under "Exorcist," as a youngster falls prey to an ancient demon in this allegedly factinspired melodrama that benefits from having Kyra Sedgwick and Jeffrey Dean Morgan ("Magic City") as the victim's parents. The girl (Natasha Calis, "The Firm") buys an antique box at a yard sale, and the spirit it contains soon has a drastic effect on her and those around her. Sam Raimi is among the film's producers. DVD extras: "making-of" documentary; audio commentary by director Ole Bornedal and writers Juliet Snowden and Stiles White. *** (PG-13: AS, V) (Also on Blu-ray and Movies on Demand)

"LED ZEPPELIN: GOOD TIMES, BAD TIMES - THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION": As Jack Black noted recently when surviving members Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones received the Kennedy Center Honors, it only took Led Zeppelin nine studio albums to cement its place among the all-time-great groups in music. This five-DVD documentary details how it happened by tracing the history of the band (which also included drummer John Bonham), expectedly with a generous dose of the related music. *** (Not rated: AS, P)

COMING SOON: "END OF WATCH" (Jan. 22): Police officers (Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Pena) find themselves in big trouble when they unexpectedly cross paths with a dangerous cartel. (R: AS, P, V)

"FOR A GOOD TIME, CALL ..." (Jan. 22): Two college "frenemies" (Lauren Miller, also the film's co-writer, and Ari Graynor) unite years after graduation to start a phone sex business. (R: AS, P)

"THE COLD LIGHT OF DAY" (Jan. 29): After some of his loved ones are abducted while vacationing in Spain, a stock trader (Henry Cavill) learns of his father's (Bruce Willis) secret life. (PG-13: AS, P, V)

"HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA" (Jan. 29): Dracula (voice of Adam Sandler) operates a resort for other monsters in this animated comedy-fantasy. Kevin James and David Spade also are in the voice cast. (PG: AS)

"CELESTE AND JESSE FOREVER" (Feb. 5): Rashida Jones (also the film's co-writer) and Andy Samberg play a divorced couple trying to remain friends as their love lives move on. (R: AS, P)

"CLOUD ATLAS" (Feb. 5): Several stories of different eras suggest that all people are connected through time and space. Stars including Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and Hugh Grant have multiple roles. (R: AS, N, P, V)

FAMILY-VIEWING GUIDE KEY: AS, adult situations; N, nudity; P, profanity; V, violence; GV, particularly graphic violence.

Top DVD Rentals

  1. Men in Black III, Sony Pictures, PG-13
  2. The Dark Knight Rises, Warner Bros., PG-13
  3. The Amazing Spider-Man, Sony Pictures, PG-13
  4. The Expendables 2, Lionsgate, R
  5. The Bourne Legacy, Universal Pictures, PG-13
  6. Resident Evil: Retribution, Screen Gems/Sony Pictures, R
  7. Ted, Universal Pictures, R
  8. The Odd Life of Timothy Green, Walt Disney Pictures,

Broaden Your Horizons

This week

Orland Theatre Troupe plans 'Annie' auditions

The Orland Park Theatre Troupe will hold auditions for its spring musical, "Annie," on Sunday and Monday, Jan. 20 and 21.

Children age 6 and older are invited to audition and must sing 16 measures of a prepared piece from the show, be dressed to learn and perform a dance and be able to read from the script. A large ensemble show, "Annie" calls for up to 50 children and more than 20 adults.

Auditions for children, primarily girls, will be held on Jan. 20, from noon to 6 p.m., at Orland Park's Old Village Hall, 14413 S. Beacon Ave.

Adults are invited to audition from 7 to 10 p.m. on Jan. 20 and 21, also at the Old Village Hall. If necessary, call backs will be held Jan. 22. Once cast, participants must pay a $35 registration fee.

Rehearsals will be Sunday afternoons and Monday and Thursday evenings, Feb. 3 through April 25. Performances are April 26- 28 at the Sandburg High School Performing Arts Center.

For more information call 403- PARK.

Luncheon Radio Days

The early years of radio will be featured at a luncheon program on Tuesday, Jan. 22, from noon to 2 p.m., at The Center, 12700 Southwest Highway, Palos Park.

Steve Darnall, host of Those Were the Days on WDCB, will share sound clips and stories of popular early radio shows and stars, and explain how radio became America's great source of news and entertainment, it's first mass medium, transforming the country into a united listening community.

The luncheon begins at noon, costs $16 and requires reservations. Call The Center at 361- 3650.

Nature photography forum

Camera and nature enthusiasts are invited to a Nature Photography Forum this Sunday afternoon, Jan. 20, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., at The Center, 12700 Southwest Highway, Palos Park.

Films of outstanding nature photographers are shown. Nature photography instructor Rick Steffen, of Orland Park, facilitates the program.

The public is invited and there is no fee for the program, but reservations are requested. For further information, call The Center at 361-3650.


Meditation opportunities are offered every Tuesday evening at 5:30 p.m. and both Monday and Thursday mornings at 9 a.m. at The Center, 12700 Southwest Highway, Palos Park.

Pastoral Director Chris Hopkins organizes these 20 minute periods of silent meditation, offers guidance to those new to the practice of meditation and welcomes anyone to join. The Monday morning group meditates specifically for the intention of peace in the world. Call 361-3650 for information.


Mom, I'm Bored!

Creativity fights the winter blues on Friday, Jan. 25, when Mc- Cord Gallery & Cultural Center instructor Beth Leahy will entertain children ages 8 and up with recipes for homemade slime, silly putty and will send them home with an art box. The class will be from 4:30 to 6 p.m. and costs $30 for members of McCord and $35 for non-members.

McCord Gallery & Cultural Center is at 9602 W. Creek Road (129th and La Grange Road), Palos Park. For more information, call 671-0648 or visit

Introduction to Reiki

An introductory Reiki experience will be offered on Sunday, Jan. 27, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at The Center, 12700 Southwest Highway, Palos Park.

Reiki is a gentle form of energy healing, reported to be especially beneficial for those suffering from physical or emotional pain. Reiki practitioners led by Sharon Butler will offer their healing services to participants, asking a donation of $10 per participant. Registration is necessary, as the monthly Reiki program is limited to 10 participants each month. Interested persons should call The Center at 361-3650.

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