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Of Notoriety with Philip Potempa

From play and restaurant openings to premiere parties and red carpet movie screenings around Chicago and Northwest Indiana, columnist Philip Potempa reports on celebs and notable names from near and far.

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OF NOTORIETY: Barn Theatre in Mich. launching world premiere musical 'Raunch and Roll'

OF NOTORIETY: Barn Theatre in Mich. launching world premiere musical 'Raunch and Roll'

The Barn Theatre in Augusta, Mich. describes this week's stage event as: "An audience opportunity to be a part of history as a brand new work hits the Barn Theatre stage."

Playing for one week only, now through Labor Day Monday, Sept. 2, is the Barn's exciting 66th Season finale "Raunch and Roll," and I can't wait to check it out on Sunday.

Dreamed up as "an exciting new format," part drama, part rock concert, it features book by the Barn's own legendary founding family heir Brendan Ragotzy, with music by Troy Benton, Grammy Award-winner Richard Marx, Fee Waybill of The Tubes and Gary Cherone of Van Halen and Extreme.

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OF NOTORIETY: Campagna Academy opens doors and beautiful grounds to guests

OF NOTORIETY: Campagna Academy opens doors and beautiful grounds to guests

It's always great to have an excuse to stop by Campagna Academy in Schererville to find out what's new.

On Thursday, Aug. 2, the staff at Campagna hosted their annual "Business After Hours" using an "Italian Cook-Out" theme.

This is a theme that makes perfect sense. For years, pasta was a regular featured evening meal menu staple decades ago, when the property was still known as Hoosier Boys Town.

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OF NOTORIETY: Writers Theatre run of 'The Blonde, the Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead' a great season finale

OF NOTORIETY: Writers Theatre run of 'The Blonde, the Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead' a great season finale

I had a great drive up to Writers' Theatre along Chicago's North Shore Neighborhood in Glencoe on Tuesday to catch one of the finale performances of a fantastic production.

Just an hour's drive away, Writers' Theatre is concluding its 20th Anniversary Season with "The Blonde, the Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead" by Robert Hewett, directed by Joseph Hanreddy and featuring the out-of-this-world talented Deborah Staples.

The seating space is intimate, just 50 seats and this production is currently running through Sunday at the Writers' Theatre space in the back of a quaint bookstore at 664 Vernon Ave. in Glencoe.

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OF NOTORIETY: South Shore Arts Beaux Arts Ball attracts record number of guests

OF NOTORIETY: South Shore Arts Beaux Arts Ball attracts record number of guests

Good news and it's thanks to the kind generosity of our supporters of the arts from around the region.

South Shore Arts met this year's fundraising goal, netting more than $172,000 at this month's Beaux Arts Ball black tie charity dinner and dance gala.

The 19th annual event, held June 1 at the Center for Visual and Performing Arts in Munster, sported the fun 2012 theme "Show Me the Monet!" and a record 447 guests attended this year.

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OF NOTORIETY: HBO's 'Treme' rules while showcasing soul of New Orleans

OF NOTORIETY: HBO's 'Treme' rules while showcasing soul of New Orleans

I receive countless books and media to review and it can be tough to find the time to give each the thorough write-up they deserve, instead of just a mention.

So when HBO sent along the DVD release of their original television "Treme," it was the perfect assignment for my intern this semester to check out and write up his thoughts.

Ross Blankenship, 22, of Schererville is a senior who just about to graduate from Valparaiso University.

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OF NOTORIETY: Steppenwolf Theatre announces 2012-13 stage season of surprises

OF NOTORIETY: Steppenwolf Theatre announces 2012-13 stage season of surprises

Steppenwolf Theatre Company Artistic Director Martha Lavey announced Wednesday the 2012-13 stage subscription season, including a Steppenwolf-commissioned world premiere and the work of 15 ensemble members.

The season begins in Steppenwolf's Downstairs Theatre with David Lindsay-Abaire's "Good People," directed by ensemble member K. Todd Freeman.

Up next, ensemble member Anna D. Shapiro directs "The Motherf**ker with the Hat" by Stephen Adly Guirgis. In The Upstairs Theatre, ensemble member Austin Pendleton will direct "The Birthday Party" by Harold Pinter.

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Of Notoriety: Hyatt Regency Chicago New Year's Eve Bash Entertaining Elegance

Of Notoriety: Hyatt Regency Chicago New Year's Eve Bash Entertaining Elegance

When selecting the perfect party landscape to spend New Year's Eve, picking the Chicago hotel property that boasts "the longest freestanding bar in North America" seems like the natural space to gravitate to for fun and excitement.

And did I mention that this socializing watering hole, which is the focal point of the lush atrium area in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency Chicago at 151 E. Wacker Drive along the Chicago River, is also famed for featuring "colossal size cocktails?"

But actually, when it comes to hosting its annual New Year's Eve party, the main event at the Hyatt Regency Chicago unfolds in the ballrooms where more than 2,400 party guests welcome the new year.

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OF NOTORIETY: Elegant and Intimate Four Winds Casino Hartford worth a visit

OF NOTORIETY: Elegant and Intimate Four Winds Casino Hartford worth a visit

Sunday marks the two-month anniversary for the grand opening of the latest casino to our gaming landscape of Lake Michigan.

The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians opened their new casino, Four Winds Hartford, at 68600 Red Arrow Highway in Hartford, Mich., just 45 miles northeast of sister property Four Winds Casino Resort in New Buffalo, Mich., on Aug. 30. The New Buffallo property opened in 2007.

"Hartford is an area that is home to a large number of Pokagon Citizens and we are extremely proud to open a new Four Winds Casino here," said Matt Wesaw, chairman of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians.

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Of Notoriety: DJ Pauly D of MTV's 'Jersey Shore' fame reschedules Chicago club date

Of Notoriety: DJ Pauly D of MTV's 'Jersey Shore' fame reschedules Chicago club date

There's no denying the cast of MTV's "Jersey Shore" have made it past their collective "15 minutes of fame," to quote the one-and-only Andy Warhol.

Okay, so maybe they might be on their 16th minute, but only time (and talent) will tell.

Chicago media maven and publicity wiz Michelle Molise tells me the hot and ever-crowded place-to-be-seen nightclub Enclave, 220 W. Chicago Ave., has rescheduled the previously postponed appearance date for DJ Pauly D, one of the beefcake stars of "Jersey Shore."

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Of Notoriety: Memories of the midwest an easy recall for VU grad student

Of Notoriety: Memories of the midwest an easy recall for VU grad student

It's no secret how proud I am of my Midwest roots.

And I'm glad I'm not alone.

One of the best aspects of writing this blog feature for the past five years is the interaction with readers and their chance to share their own stories, comments and experiences.

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