Out and About

A preview of the upcoming weekend's arts activities in Central Illinois with your hosts, Peoria Public Radio's Nathan Irwin and Jennifer Gordon of Arts Partners of Central Illinois.

Made possible in part by

Prairie Center of the Arts

We're joined this week by Dawn Gettler, Program Manager at the Prairie Center of the Arts, about their Summer Maker's Market Bazaar. The event featured local artists and their work, activities for kids, and entertainment. We talk about the kind of work that will be available for sale, about the history of the Prairie Center, and about how the bazaar ties in to the Center's other activities.

The bazaar runs Saturday from 1:00 to 5:00 at the Prairie Center of the Arts.

This week, we're talking with Cindy Hoey, Manager of Corn Stock Theatre. Their new production, "Seussical the Musical" opens tonight at the Tent in Upper Bradley Park in Peoria. The show is based on the works of children's author Doctor Seuss, and features many of his beloved characters. With a cast of 80, this production provides plenty of opportunities for new performers of all ages, and for family members to be on stage together.

Wheels O' Time Museum

This week, we're talking with Bobbie Rice, from the Wheels O' Time Museum. She talks about some of the items in the museum's permanent collection, and the rotating exhibits that are featured in July and August. The latter include a collection of tractors, and a set of three military vehicles. She also talks about ongoing restoration efforts at the museum, and about how they make decisions about new acquisitions.

Corn Stock Theatre

In this week's Out and About podcast, Cindy Hoey gives us a taste of what to expect with "Cheaper By The Dozen", now playing under the Corn Stock Theatre tent this weekend.

Eastlight Theatre

This week, we're joined by Travis Olson. He's directing "Disney's Beauty and the Beast," which opens tonight at Eastlight Theatre. He talks about his previous experience with the show -- as both performer and designer, about the creative team he's put together for this production, and about what makes the show an audience favorite. "Disney's Beauty and the Beast" runs thorugh July 2nd at Eastlight Theatre, at East Peoria High School.

We're talking with sculptor Nikole Cooney, and with the Contemporary Art Center's William Butler. An exhibit of Conney's work is on display through June 24. Cooney talks about some of the pieces in the exhibit, about the process of creating her work, and the stories she envisions behind each of her creations.

Pekin Civic Chorus

We're talking with Marcia Jansen from the Pekin Civic Chorus, about their concert, "Hooray for Hollywood." Jansen talks about the history of the chorus, and some of the work that goes into the concerts they present every other year. She also talks about the repertoire in this year's concert, and about the chorus's rehearsal process as they get closer to performance week.

"Hooray for Hollywood" continues with performances Friday night, Satuday night and Sunday afternoon in the F. M. Peterson Theater at the Pekin Community High School.

Heartland Festival Orchestra

We're talking this week with David Commanday, Artistsic Director of the Heartland Festival Orchestra. They're finishing their 7th season by joining forces with the Peoria Area Civic Chorale to perform Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana." The program also includes music by Dvorak and Arvo Part. Commanday talks about all three works, about the logistics of bringing the orchestra and chorus together, and about the community partner featured in this concert. The performance is tomorrow night at 7:30 at Five Points Washington.

This week, we're talking with Mike Reams. He's directing the production of "Sugar" which opens Corn Stock Theatre's summer season. The musical is an adaptation of the 1950s movie, "Some Like It Hot." Reams talks about his cast, the show's story and score, and why he thinks it's a good show to open the new season.

"Sugar" runs June 3rd through the 11th, under the Corn Stock tent in Upper Bradley Park in Peoria

The Great Work Begins Theatre Troupe

We're joined this week by Jess Hemmis and Rebekah Dentino. Hemmis directs, and Dentino performs in, The Great Work Begins Theatre Troupe's production of "Seascape with Sharks and Dancer." They talk about the play itself, about how their production has changed since a previous performance last year, and about moving the show into a different performance venue.

Performances of "Seascape with Sharks and Dancer" are tonight and tomorrow in the Broadway Lounge at the Waterhouse in downtown Peoria.

This week, we're talking with sculptor Matt Matheney, His piece "Eternal Flame" is featured in the inaugural Sculpture Walk Peoria. He talks about that piece, about his choice to work in stone, and about his experiences as a participant in the event's first year. Next year's Sculpture Walk begins on June 4th.

This week's episode of Out and About takes us to the Central Illinois Jazz Orchestra and Peoria Area Civic Chorale's concert titled "Swing Into Spring". Nathan and Jenn talk with Carl Anderson about the collaborative effort to bring a little boogie-woogie to central Illinois. 

The "Swing Into Spring" concert runs at the Performing Arts Center at Five Points Washington Friday and Saturday, May 6 and 7 at 7:30 P.M., and Sunday May 8 at 3:00 P.M.. 

Guest: 

Jim Dwyer / Peoria Riverfront Museum

We're talking with the Peoria Riverfront Museum's Kristan McKinsey, about Peoria artist Nita Sunderland. Last year, Sunderland made a donation of art to the museum, and many of those pieces are featured in the current exhibit, "Figures of Strength." McKinsey recaps Sunderland's career, her history with the museum, and what makes her work distinctive.

"Figures of Strength: Artworks by sculptor Nita Sunderland" is on display through July 10th at the Peoria Riverfront Museum.

This week, we're talking with Tengku Irfan. The young pianist is  the featured soloist in the Peoria Symphony Orchestra's concert this weekend. Called "American Classics," the program features works by George Antheil, Aaron Copland, and Leonard Bernstein. We talk a little bit about the three pieces, each of which incorporates elements of jazz. We also talk about balancing a busy concert schedule with academic commitments, and about Irfan's double interest in performing and composing.

Peoria Journal-Star

This week, we're talking with Brent Goken from Illinois Central College. He's the coordinator of the event "ICC Presents: Jim Maloof's Legacy of Love for the Arts in Central Illinois," now in its fourth year. He talks about the history of the event, which began as a tribute to the late Peoria mayor, and about moving the performance to ICC this year. He also talks about Maloof's long ties to the central Illinois arts community and the St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.

Jefferson Street Studio & Gallery

We're joined this week by Rose Hubbard, owner of the Jefferson Street Studio and Gallery in Morton, IL. The Gallery, a converted residential home, provides studio space for three artists, and a gallery that features the work of other artists. Hubbard talks about her own art, about opening the studio four years ago, and about some of the events they have in store for First Friday.

The Jefferson Street Studio and Gallery is located at 206 Jefferson Street in Morton. Their First Friday event runs tonight from 5:00 to 9:00.

This week, we talk with Dennis 'Boz' Bosley and Danny Meyers, the founding members of the Rooster Alley Band. First formed in 1992, the band has been playing their original, rock-infused style of blues in central Illinois for almost twenty-five years. Bosley and Meyers talk about the origins of the band, their approach to writing music, and about playing upwards of 100 gigs each year -- in venues large and small. The Rooster Alley Band is performing tonight at 5:30 at the Contemporary Art Center, at 305 SW Water Street in Peoria.

HFO makes it swing with 'Suite Journey'

Mar 18, 2016
Heartland Festival Orchestra

 Today on Out and About Nathan and Jenn talk with Heartland Festival Orchestra Artistic Director David Commanday about the orchestra's upcoming concert titled "Suite Journey: From Bach to Jazz". The pairing makes sense, according to Commanday, who explains the parallels between Baroque music and jazz. 

This week, we hear from  Scott Ramsay and Allyson Herman, two of the soloists featured in this weekend's concert with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra. The PSO is presenting a concert verision of Mozart's opera, "Cosi fan tutte." We talk about how this concert differs from a full opera performance, about the plot and themes of Mozart's opera, and about how the performers are hoping this concert will introduce some patrons to the operatic art form in a new way.

The Peoria Symphony Orchestra presents Mozart's "Cosi fan tutte," Saturday night at 8:00 at Grace Church in Peoria.

Peoria Players Theatre

This week, we're talking with Laura Garfinkel. She's directing Peoria Players Theatre's production of "To Kill a Mockingbird." The story has been much in the news lately -- A prequel novel was published last fall, and author Harper Lee died earlier this year. Garfinkel talks about the effect that news has had on ticket sales. She also says that the show addresses persistent issues of race and justice in America. And she talks about how the play is staged to maximize the impact of the courtroom scenes at the core of the show.

Bradley University Theatre

This week, we're talking with Susan Felder, from the Bradley University Theatre Department. She's directing their production of Anton Chekhov's "The Seagull."

She talks about how the characters and conflicts in the play make it a good fit for younger actors, and about how Chekhov writing style. His works profoundly changed both the way characters are written, and how actors today try to interpret those characters.

"The Seagull" runs through Sunday, March 6th, at the Hartmann Center on the Bradley campus in Peoria.

Barry Cloyd

Barry Cloyd is back this week. The singer/songwriter is performing tonight, as part of the Forest Park Nature Center's "Songs from the Woods" concert series. Cloyd talks about his long association with the Nature Center, the band he has put together for this concert, and about his songwriting process.

The concert is tonight at 7:00 at the Peoria Park District's Noble Center on North University in Peoria (the former location of the Peoria Riverfront Museum).

This week, we're talking with soprano Marisa Buchheit, and with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra's George Stelluto. Buchheit is the featured soloist in their concert, "Romance." Along with works of Rachmaninoff and Ravel, the concert features a selection of love songs from opera and musical theatre. Buchheit also performed with the PSO at its outdoor concert on the Peoria Riverfront back in September.

The concert is Saturday night at 8:00 at the Peoria Civic Center Theatre.

Corn Stock Theatre

This week, we're talking about "Of Mice and Men" with director Paul Gordon, and actor Chris Peterlin. The production opens Friday, February 12th at the Corn Stock Winter Playhouse. Gordon, who describes himself as a fan of author John Steinbeck, says he eagerly accepted the opportunity to direct this play. Peterlin , who plays Lennie in the show, is returning to community theatre after a long absence for this production. He talks about how he approached the challenging role.

Peoria Riverfront Museum

Kristan McKinsey from the Peoria Riverfront Museum joins us to talk about the exhibit, "Stitched for Pleasure and Purpose: Quilts and Samplers." The quilts are drawn from the museum's permanent collection, and span the late 19th and early 20th centuries. We talk about the history of quilting in America, and its functions -- both practical and social.

"Stitched for Pleasure and Purpose" continues through March 20th at the Peoria Riverfront Museum.

Contemporary Art Center

This week, we're talking with the Contemporary Art Center's William Butler, and with artist Larry Jon Davis. Davis is one of two artists featured in the exhibit "Inspired by Nature." Davis' works have been described as "earthscapes" -- abstract, impressionistic images inspired by the natural world. In this exhibit, his work is paired with sculptures by Dwight Crane. Butler talks about the process of selecting artists in the CAC's exhibits, and finding the best way to display their work in the Center's gallery space.

The Penguin Project

This week, we're talking with Andrew Morgan, from The Penguin Project. He's directing their 2016 production, "Singin' in the Rain, Jr." The Penguin Project aims to provide opportunities for children with special needs to participate in the performing arts. It's now expanded, with a program for older performers at Illinois Central College, and similar productions around the country. Morgan talks about those developments, and about the unique mission of The Penguin Project.

Performances are Friday night through Sunday afternoon at Eastlight Theatre in East Peoria High School.

Heartland Festival Orchestra

This week, we're talking with David Commanday, Music Director of the Heartland Festival Orchestra. The HFO kicks off the new year with a concert called "New Year's Greeting - Broadway Rhythm." Broadway performers Bev and Kirby Ward will be featured in selections from the Great American Songbook. We talk about the repertoire in the concert, the parallels between American musical theatre and Viennese waltzes, and about the orchestra's community partners -- Crittendon Centers.

The concert is Saturday night at 7:30 at Five Points Washington.

Peoria Area Civic Chorale

This week, we're talking with Dr. Joseph Henry, conductor of the Peoria Area Civic Chorale. They're presenting their holiday concert, "An American Family Christmas" this weekend at Five Points Washington. We talk about the Chorale's repertoire of sacred and secular works -- including John Rutter's "Gloria." We also talk about the history and development of the concert, the rehearsal process, and Henry's recent return to PACC after a few years' sabbatical.

Performances are tonight, tomorrow night, and Sunday afternoon.

'Skazz at the Speakeasy' Sets Holiday Mood

Dec 11, 2015
The Original Skazz Band / Facebook

The holidays call for music and celebration, and that includes a fusion of Ska and Jazz music from The Original Skazz Band. We talk with founder / drummer Casey Doremus and Shannon Cox of the Speakeasy Arts Center about the group's upcoming performance this Saturday from 4 to 6 P.M.

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