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Local actor living a dream on stage

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When he steps onto the Peoria Civic Center Theatre stage on Saturday, Eddie Urish figures he will finally realize the feeling he's thought about for nearly 30 years — to have people he knows watching him perform professionally in his home town.

In that respect, he is "living a dream" as part of the cast of the Tony Award-winning musical "Memphis," which is on a national tour that stops in Peoria for two shows on Saturday.

"I...

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Locally written ballet to make world premiere at Five Points

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A new ballet featuring a score and choreography written by local artists will be performed this weekend in the Caterpillar Theatre at Five Points in Washington.

"The Changeless Mover" will make its world premiere at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 11 and 12 by The Peoria Ballet. Tickets are $24 at the door, online at www.PeoriaBallet.com or by calling (309) 690-7990.

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'The Foreigner' opens Friday at Corn Stock

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One might think that directing a show at a community theatre with a Broadway veteran in the cast would be a snap.

That isn't so, said Jeff Sloter, who is director of "The Foreigner," the next offering of Corn Stock Theatre's summer season under the tent at Upper Bradley Park.

TheForeigner reduced"The Foreigner," written by Larry Shue, opens...

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'Barefoot in the Park' ready to open at Peoria Players

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So can a marriage between two complete opposites work? In Neil Simon's world, at least as a playwright, yes it can once a few speed bumps are navigated.

The speed bumps he put into his classic comedy "Barefoot in the Park" when it debuted on Broadway 50 years ago are still relevant today, said Liz Landes Reed, who is directing the production at Peoria Players Theatre.

"The human element in this show is timeless, really. Some of...

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Broadway, film vet comes home to perform in Peoria

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Steve Vinovich gives the kind of advice that matters most, that which comes from experience. That's why he tells wanna-be professional actors to be willing to work hard, sell themselves and learn to take rejection and keep coming back for more.

"It all comes down to how much you want it. If you're ambivalent about it then don't bother. The real work in acting is getting the job. The job is the cookie," said Vinovich, a Peoria native and...

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'Evil Dead: The Musical' to open Corn Stock's winter season

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Ingrid Peelle loves Halloween. She and her husband Brian have hosted themed Halloween parties in the past and she has been known to start making her own costume many months ahead of time.

It would seem, then, she was the logical choice to direct "Evil Dead: The Musical," the opening show of Corn Stock Theatre's winter season.

evildead-0171"I do...

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Peoria Players celebrates 95 years

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In 1957-58, Peoria Players produced only one show and did it as a traveling show while the company's current theatre on North University Street was under construction.

95thLogo2It may not have seemed all that significant at the time, but it is today as Peoria Players Theatre celebrates 95 consecutive years of entertaining the Peoria area with musicals, dramas,...

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'Les Miserables' set to open Peoria Players season

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We've all heard the issues, the complaints that our education system is not what it should be, that we need to do a better job of taking care of our poor and even that the prison system in unjust.

For one man, the audacity of voicing these complaints in his writings forced him into exile from his native country. Victor Hugo eventually returned to France, but his beliefs about the above mentioned social issues made him one of that country's...

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Conklin's offers 'Life Could Be a Dream'

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The musical "Life Could Be a Dream" will make its central Illinois debut when it plays at Coklin's Barn II Dinner Theatre, starting Thursday, June 6.

The musical, written by Roger Bean, is listed as a "1960s Doo Wop musical" and it will run Thursdays through Sundays for six weeks, July 14.

DREAM-no-photoIt stars Conklin's veterans Dan and Tamra...

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'Greater Tuna' has five-week run at Barn II

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The quick-change comedy "Greater Tuna" opens a five-week run at Conklin's Barn II Dinner Theatre beginning Thursday, Aug. 29 and continuing through Sept. 29.

Starring Barn II favorites Pat Gaik and Dan Challacombe, it will be the Barn premiere of "Greater Tuna", which was the first of four comedies featuring the "outrageous residents of Tuna, the third smallest town in Texas where the Lion's Club is too liveral and Patsy Cline never dies."

The...

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'Music Man' to open Corn Stock summer season

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It seems like many people have a personal reason for loving the musical "The Music Man" and for wanting to be part of it whenever a local community theatre stages it.

That's the case with the timeless musical that will open Corn Stock Theatre's 60th season under the tent at Upper Bradley Park on Friday.

For director Peggy Hupp, it was during an earlier production of "The Music Man" that she began dating her husband Ken Hupp.

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'Company' by Stephen Sondheim to wrap Corn Stock summer season

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Of the challenges that faced Nate Downs, who directed the musical "Company" at Corn Stock Theatre, the Stephen Sondheim music was not among them.

company-0182"The music is wonderful; it's pure Sondheim. These aren't the best known songs is musical theater, but they are songs you can sing while you walk around clean your house. Audiences will appreciate...

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Philharmonic spring concert scheduled

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The Philharmonic Chorale, now in its 89th year, will present its spring concert at 3 p.m. Sunday in the Illinois Central College Performing Arts Center on the East Peoria Campus. One of the oldest choral groups in the area, the Philharmonic Chorale is an in-residence group at Illinois Central College.

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'The Wiz' eases into Corn Stock Theatre

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Of all the words that could be used to describe the character Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz," it's doubtful that "funky" would be one of them.

But in "The Wiz," the Motown Productions version of the classic L. Frank Baum story told from the African American experience, that word pretty much sums up Dorothy and the rest of the cast, said Peoria community theatre veteran Bryan Blanks.

"The tone of the music is certainly more funky,...

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Corn Stock tent is up, 60th season nearly here

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It's like watching an old-fashioned barn raising, with men pulling on ropes or attaching them to a vehicle to slowly pull a wall up and into place.

In this case, it's the annual raising of the tent at Corn Stock Theatre in Upper Bradley Park. With the theatre company's 60th season just about a month from starting, the tent was erected on Thursday, with the company's scads of volunteers set to converge this weekend to put everything else...

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'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' premieres Friday at Eastlight Theatre

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Ian Fleming stories are known for their gadgetry, their cool cars capable of doing everything short of flying.

There is one story written by the well-known author of the James Bond stories in which the car does fly and in fact, is one of the heroes. It is even a musical.

The car in question takes flight starting at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Eastlight Theatre in East Peoria when the production of "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" opens a seven-show...

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'Dreamgirls' at Eastlight Theatre

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When Anthony Jumaane Hendricks got the opportunity to direct one of his all-time favorite musicals at Eastlight Theatre, he jumped at the opportunity.

dreamgirls"Dreamgirls" was a show he'd appeared in several times in the past and he'd directed a concert version of the show once before. Now he was going to get to direct it on stage.

Well,...

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'Anything Goes' under the tent at Corn Stock

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As the title of the show suggests, it was "Anything Goes" when it came to staging the next musical at Corn Stock Theatre's tent in Upper Bradley Park.

From an elaborate set to a wood floor in the pit to period costumes and wigs, Corn Stock made sure director Travis Olson and his cast of 36 people have been able to put on a top notch show for audiences that are already snatching up tickets for the nine-show run that begins at 7:30 p.m....

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Checking in at a Hotel of Hilarity at Conklin's

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"Out of Order," a comedy by master farce writer Ray Cooney, opens a lseven-week run Thursday at Conklin's Barn II Dinner Theatre in Goodfield.

Bob Lane Jr., a favorite at Conklin's Barn II, stars in the play that runs Thursdays through Sundays from April 18 through June 7.

out-of-order-2013"Out of Order," from the...

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'Jekyll & Hyde The Musical' opens Friday at Eastlight

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Perhaps the most famous fictional story about split personalities takes the stage at Eastlight Theatre on Friday in the form of "Jekyll & Hyde The Musical."

Jekyll-and-Hyde-630x3201-620x320The musical, which expands on the well-known novella written by Robert Louis Stevenson and published in 1886, blends the horror and mystery of...

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Barn II set to open 2013 season

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barnlogoDinner theater season will include a premier followed by a couple classics and musicals 

Conklin's Barn II Dinner Theatre is hauling out a couple classic comedies during the 2013 season, including "Harvey" and "The Odd Couple, Female Version.

The season will also...

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