Join us Saturday for Project Playbill, an original play written for all ages & performed by local teens!  A magical coloring book is stolen from the museum, causing all  colors to disappear.  Detective Scarlett Redd & her assistant Pinky Periwinkle are on the case.  Can you spot the culprit before they do?


When: 11:00 am Saturday, July 31
Where: Large Meeting Room, 6960 Oakton St.

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This is a film that honestly brings Shakespeare to life…literally and figuratively. A brilliant movie that utilizes many of the Bard’s plays for dialogue and antidotes, but most notably Romeo and Juliet, the ever-tragic saga of Italian star-crossed lovers. The tragic lover story is key to this film…the movie follow Romeo’s plot, in a lot of ways, and even takes quite a few scenes directly from the play. But, then again, that is the gimmick here. Will Shakespeare, in the film, is supposed to be suffering writer’s block…longing for a muse to get him back in the creative spirit. Just when all hope is lost, he meets Viola, the well-to-do daughter of a wealthy family. As she becomes his muse, their story, verse for verse, scene for scene, mimics what Shakespeare is writing. So, Viola’s and Will’s love is really Romeo’s and Juliet’s as well. So, when I say that this film TAKES scenes from Romeo, that is how it’s supposed to work…since the story of the film inspired the play. And, boy, does it all come together with passion. It might sound confusing, but worry not, it’s just a bit hard to explain. All will make sense. Even if you are not a fan of the Bard, or you are not familiar with Romeo (how could you not be?), the story still plays well and is ever-entertaining. Though, it does help some if you are able to catch the nuances between the film story and the play. How art not seen the play? For shame, for shame. A plague on your house.

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Another Oscar Wilde play comes to life…this time in one that is funny and charming and lively and sometimes even wicked… Set in late 19th Century London, the story revolves around an up-and-coming young politician who gets blackmailed by a “lady” into changing his opinion on an upcoming parliamentary bill. She has some evidence of how he got his early influence…and is willing and ready to use it if he doesn’t meet her demands. OK, so that’s the main plot, but as Wilde always does, the plot is only the beginning of the story. The best parts here are the supporting players and the smaller storylines about romances and the search for husbands, etc. Those are the juicy parts that offer the best snippets of Wilde-esque dialogue, innuendo and puns. One of the leaders in this smaller storylines is Rupert Everett, who plays a cad who has made it is goal in life never to marry. His story interweaves perfectly with the main storyline about the blackmail (he is friends with the politician and used to date the lady who is blackmailing him) but on its own, Everett’s story is a perfectly solid work. His entire character could be pulled out and turned into a full-length play or film, since there is so much meaty dialogue and so many stories to tell about him. If you have liked Wilde’s work in the past (such as A Woman of No Importance, Lady Windemere’s Fan’s, and most notably The Importance of Being Earnest), An Ideal Husband is guaranteed to please and if you’ve never seen anything written by Wilde, this is the one to start with. Trust me…you will want to see them all!

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Why is this considered a love story? The two main characters hardly even touch until the VERY ending…so doesn’t that make it the antithesis of a romance? Based on Tennessee Williams’ drama, the dialogue says it all here. These two characters, Brick and Maggie, have so much passion…so much desire inside of them, it seems to be eating them alive. Yet, they also cannot be more distance to each other. Their passion is brooding… brewing…boiling under the surface… patiently waiting to explode. It’s more of a simmering romance than we’re used to today and that simmering element, I feel, increases the desire in the audience as well. We are not thrown right into a loving, uncomplicated relationship. We have to get to know these characters and understand them first. And this is fine with us, because they’re Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor and we don’t mind having to spend time with them. So, grab a sweetie and pull up a chair for this one. Something just might boil inside of you…

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Annette Bening is just plain classy…as a woman, as an actress, as a working mother, etc. Her role in Being Julia is about a classy stage actress in 1930s London. Does the character resemble the real life woman? Well, honestly I don’t know since I am not on personal terms with Ms. Bening. But, I’m assuming, just on the basis that both are famous, well-respected actresses, that there are some parallels. Bening plays Julia Lambert, a spoiled, middle-aged West End (London’s “Broadway”) goddess used to getting her way. She is in a sexless marriage with her husband, played by Jeremy Irons, who also is her stage producer. Their marriage is more of a matter of convenience and business than one of love. So, when she takes up with a younger man, the void of love in her life is filled. Or is it? I know—sounds boring and more like an installment of Masterpiece Theatre than a captivating film. But, boring is the last thing this film is. Trust me. And, that’s mostly due to Bening and her marvelous performance. She brings light and air into Julia…humor when necessary and a sense of doom when called for. In the film, Julia is questioned on whether she is being true to her emotions or if she is just “acting.” I, for one, never knew the answer to that and really didn’t care. Bening is so convincing as Julia that the lines become intertwined between “real life” and “the stage.”

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When a wealthy and ultra-conservative banker’s son (James Stewart) falls for his secretary (Jean Arthur)…a stable girl from a flighty yet fun family…comedy ensues. Lionel Barrymore steals the show as Arthur’s happy-go-lucky grandfather. Based on the Pulitzer-Prize-winning play, this film won Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director (Frank Capra). Not Capra’s best work but a fun film to watch for good, entertaining amusement.

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A great movie that actually makes its audience think. I know — THE HORROR, THE HORROR. We have to THINK! A tough, hard film, Doubt is superbly acted and scripted. Why is it hard? Well, it deal with one of our most taboo subjects — priests and young boys and doing more than sipping the alter wine together. Meryl Streep places a nun running a school in the early 1960s. Philip Seymour Hoffman plays the attached church’s priest. There is some suspicion about him with the alter boys, but Streep doesn’t have any proof. She just has her doubts. I walked out of the theater thinking I had just seen a good movie and that would be the end of it…but it stuck with me. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Did he or didn’t he? Did Streep’s nun do the right thing? What would have been a better solution? Etc… Sadly, most movies today don’t even make your brain click on. So, when one comes around where it keeps your thought processes going for days…it’s a keeper!

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00 pm on Saturday, July 19Everyone is invited to a free performance at the library this Saturday, July 19!  Local teens will be performing “Danny and the Fableworld” an original play that they’ve written and rehearsed over the past five weeks.  The show begins at 2:00 pm in the large meeting room, and will last approximately 30 minutes.

We hope to see you there!

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Perform inCasting Call! the original comedy Fairy Tales: Abridgedthe play where the director goes nuts!  We’re preparing for a free performance at the library on July 19.  We need three more actors to play small but important roles including Cinderella and Prince No. 7.  Rehearsal and performance time can be counted towards community service requirements.  Anyone who is interested should contact Donna at 847-663-6434, or just show up at any of the rehearsals!  We meet every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 1-3 pm.  On Mondays and Fridays we’re in the large meeting room, and on Wednesdays in the board room.

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Theater MasksWe need you (yes, you!) to help with our annual summer theatre project.  Writing, acting, designing and decorating, putting on makeup, running sound fx and lights – whatever your talents and interests, there is a role for you!  Beginning Monday, June 16, earn volunteer hours (and have fun!) at the library.

When? 1:00-3:00 pm Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays June 16 – July 18 (with a performance on July 19).
Where? Niles Public Library, in the large meeting room
What? Create an original play for children & families
Why? It’s fun & a good deed!

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