Hip Hop musical presented in Chicago
"Death Boogie," a Hip Hop musical, will be performed Sept. 5 to 7 at The Auditorium Theatre's Katten Landau Studio. The production, which won an award for Best New Music at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, is written and performed by actor/poet Darian Dauchan. The storyline of the show revolves around the fictional Victor Spartan, an average blue collar employee who becomes a revolutionist. "Death Boogie" combines multi-media elements and focuses on music, comic book illustrations and more to tell a story. The show, directed by Jennifer McGrath, is also the winner of a Musical Theatre Matters Award for Best Innovation in Musical Theatre. The Auditorium Theatre is located at 50 E. Congress Parkway, Chicago. Tickets are $12 to $20. FYI: (800) 982-2787 - Eloise Marie Valadez
Harper joins 'Dancing With the Stars' competition
Busy cancer patient Valerie Harper leads a class of 12 amateur hoofers in the upcoming 17th season of "Dancing With the Stars." The cast was revealed Wednesday on ABC's "Good Morning America." For a show that has reached an increasingly older audience, ABC added an injection of youth with reality stars Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi of "Jersey Shore" and Ozzy's kid Jack Osbourne. Harper has defied odds with her survival since being diagnosed earlier this year with brain cancer. She recently filmed a movie role and joined a Nick at Nite reunion of "The Mary Tyler Moore" cast. A brain scan last month showed improvement for the 74-year-old former sitcom star, whose doctors say her cancer is getting close to remission. She will have her next scan in October. In an interview with The Associated Press, Harper said that so far, she's not taking any precautions when she's rehearsing. "He (pro partner Tristan MacManus) says, 'Do you want to get water?' Which is great because I don't drink enough water but (that's) not to do with the cancer ... (it's) not an impediment to dancing and I just try to stay healthy and continue to lose weight so I look halfway decent in the costumes," she said with a laugh. Harper said of her decision to join the show: "There's a (Lee Ann Womack) country song (with the lyrics) 'when you get the choice you sit it out or dance/ I hope you dance.'" Other contestants on the new season of "Dancing," which premieres Sept. 16, are Bill Nye, the "Science Guy"; "Pretty Little Liars" actor Brant Daugherty; former NFL wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson; singer-actress Christina Milian; actress Elizabeth Berkley; "High School Musical" actor Corbin Bleu; "Glee" actress Amber Riley; country comic Bill Engvall; and "King of Queens" actress Leah Remini.
Ribbon-cutting event for new restaurant
BlackStone Woodfire Grill, 7311 Mallard Lane, Schererville, will have a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 5:30 p.m. today. The restaurant specializes in wood fire grilling using a blend of oak, hickory and apple woods. During today's event, guests will have the opportunity to sample the menu, taste wines in the eatery's Oak Room and win door prizes. RSVP to info@BlackStoneWoodfiregrill.com or call (219) 769-0000 if you'd like to attend. - Eloise Marie Valadez