OFFBEAT: Smokey Robinson headlining this month's Hammond Fest of the Lakes

Phil Potempa's daily entertainment news column
2013-07-07T00:00:00Z OFFBEAT: Smokey Robinson headlining this month's Hammond Fest of the LakesBy Philip Potempa, (219) 852-4327

Smokey Robinson is a favorite of Times readers.

For Black History Month in 2006, Don H. Barden and his Majestic Star Casinos hosted "An Up Close and Personal Fireside Chat with Smokey Robinson," a free event, at the South Shore Events Center at the Buffington Harbor casino pavilion.

And in addition to his Star Plaza Theatre performances throughout the decades, in 2008, Ameristar Hotel and Casino in East Chicago brought Robinson back for another free concert, as one of the highlights of an outdoor summer concert series that also included later concert dates with other greats like Lionel Richie and Reba McEntire.

Robinson, 73, whose real name is William and is a singing legend who contemporary Bob Dylan once called "America's greatest living poet," is coming back to Northwest Indiana for another free concert.

Last week, Mayor Thomas M. McDermott, Jr. and Hammond Parks & Recreation announced Robinson will headline the 10th Annual Festival of the Lakes music talent lineup for the main stage at Wolf Lake Memorial Park Pavilion, 2938 S. Calumet Ave. in Hammond.

The exciting week of entertainment starts on Wednesday, July 17 with a performance by our Region reality competition singing claim-to-fame Nicole Jamrose, before Robinson takes the stage. 

Then on Thursday, July 18, it's the group Evolution, doing their Journey tribute, followed by Bruce in the USA, promising a tribute to Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band.

For Friday, July 19, it's Better Than Ezra, a staple of New Orleans and Mardi Gras followed by the night's headlining talent Lifehouse.

On Saturday, July 20, the opening act is Rakim, followed by headliner LL Cool J.

The festival week wraps up on Sunday, July 21 with opening act Jesus Enriquez Orchestra and headline act La Original Banda El Limon.

All shows begin at 7 p.m. with free admission and $15 parking. FYI: (219) 853-6378 or

Movie matters

For our Illinois editions readership, Summit Entertainment is in search of background talent for their movie project "Divergent," starring Golden Globe nominated Shailene Woodley, Theo James and Academy Award winner Kate Winslet, and directed by Neil Burger. Based on author Veronica Roth's New York Times bestseller, the movie is currently filming in Chicago, with heavy shooting dates throughout this holiday weekend. Summit Entertainment, a Lionsgate company, is scheduled to release the film theatrically in North America in on Friday, March 21, 2014. The production is looking to hire local adults to work as extras in the film, who are available in July in Chicago. Recruitment for participants in this production continues as costume fittings are ongoing, BUT you MUST be a resident of Illinois.

I'm told the production is looking for:

• Males/Females, all ethnic backgrounds, ages 38 - 55

● People with a "rural" farm hand look

● People with blunt, sharp edge haircuts

● People with clean cut, sharp, polished appearance

● People with severe/unique/fun hair styles – funky colors are a plus (punk rock)

● People with severe/fierce/intimidating appearance – athletic or body builder a plus

● People with a sweet disposition, hippie, mother earth type vibe or Bohemian look - Longer hair preferred (both men and women)

As I mentioned earlier, only Illinois residents are eligible to participate, with proof of your Illinois issued driver's license or state ID is required. Send an email to, and make sure to include a recent photo in a jpeg format, along with name, age, height, weight, phone number and email address. Please write "New Submission" in the Subject Line of the email. For more information about the project and other fun items regarding extras on "Divergent," visit

The futuristic action adventure has Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher as producers under their Red Wagon Entertainment banner along with Pouya Shahbazian. Red Wagon's Rachel Shane is executive producing, alongside John J. Kelly. I'm told "Divergent" is a thrilling action adventure set in a future world where people are divided into distinct factions based on their personalities. Tris Prior, played by Woodley, is warned she is "divergent" and will never fit into any one group. When she discovers a conspiracy to destroy all such "divergents," she must find out what makes being different so dangerous before it's too late.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at or (219) 852-4327.

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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