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Steppenwolf's Garage Theatre (1624 N. Halsted St.) is debuting their take of Shakespeare's historical tragedy Richard III tonight, Thursday 3/10, which will then run through May 1st. Not only does Garage Theatre intend to expose a modern audience to this great piece of theatrical work but also to the technology of a robotic exoskeleton that will allow wheelchair-bound actor, Michael Patrick Thornton, to stand upright and walk in some scenes. Thornton plays the title character of the disabled wannabe king. Thornton himself suffered two spinal cord strokes 13 years ago which rendered him unable to walk and speak until the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago helped him regain speech abilities and return to acting. The company hopes to expose the audience to this amazing apparatus created by ReWalk Robotics and it will add a raised element of drama to the already thrilling tale. Thornton is also co-founder and art director of The Gift Theatre (4802 N. Milwaukee Ave.) in Jefferson Park and had a recurring role in ABC's "Private Practice" from 2009 to 2011. Tickets for Richard III can be purchased online at

Norwood Park

The Northwest Side Irish community organization is hosting its 13th annual St. Patrick's Day Parade this Sunday, 3/13. The organization has been preserving and promoting American Irish Celtic & Gaelic traditions over the past decade and contributes to the community with fundraisers such as raffles, corporate sponsorship donations, and food drives. This year's parade will kick off at 12:00pm at Onahan School (6634 W. Raven St.) and will run south up Neola Ave. to Northwest Highway then north to Harlem Ave. The Official Northwest Side After Party begins at 1:00pm at Immaculate Conception Recreation Center (7211 W. Talcott Ave.). Tickets are $5 for children under 12 and $10 for everyone over 12 years of age for the Danny Boy Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner, Eli's cheese cake, beer, wine, soda, and live entertainment. Contact for ticket information.


There's nothing better than enjoying good food and wine for the benefit of a great cause. Vera Restaurant at 1023 W. Lake St. is hosting Wine & Dine with Taylored Wines to benefit the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana. The event begins at 6:00pm on Tuesday, 3/15. $150 tickets will grant you a five course dinner by Chef Mark Mendez that includes wine pairings and desserts concocted with Girl Scout Cookies. The wine pairings have been curated from a collection of female winemakers to further appreciate the Girl Scout Mission to build girls' "courage, confidence, and character (to) make the world a better place." Follow this link to RSVP or make donations.


Those of you familiar with the prolific author Mary Pope Osborne who has penned over 80 children's books including her popular Magic Tree House series will be delighted that she'll be introducing the 54th book of the series, Balto of the Blue Dawn, which weaves her main characters, Jack and Annie, into the story of the Alaskan husky on his historic journey to save lives from diphtheria by delivering the antitoxin serum from Anchorage to Nenana, Alaska. The booksigning will take place at Anderson's Bookshop at 123 W. Jefferson Ave. next Friday, 3/18, at 5:00pm. Due to Osborne's popularity this is expected to be a busy affair so here are the rules. To secure a place in line you must purchase a Magic Tree House book directly from Anderson's and will be given a number that reserves your spot. Additionally there is a limit of 2 books you can bring from home for Osborne to sign.


Get ready for a pie in the sky reality this summer with the announcement that Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits will be opening its second location at 4947 N. Damen Ave. in May. Owner Michael Ciapciak used to frequent the location when it was Dolce Casa Cafe and admired its comfortable, rustic atmosphere. Ciapciak quickly made a bid for the location when it became available earlier this year and is excited for the growth of his successful business with some staff members being promoted from the Logan Square location to assist with the expansion. The new location will be larger but something tells me that, like the quaint-sized Logan Square location at 2051 N. California, we'll still have to contend with lines of hungry customers for weekend brunches. I, for one, will not mind since this location is much closer than Logan Square so my calendar is marked.


Posted: Thursday, March 10, 2016 1:41 PM by Dean's Team


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