Previews of upcoming arts events

‘Real’ American Girls of the Ridge 

 By Carol Flynn 

The Ridge Historical Society (RHS) is wasting no time putting to use the five American Girl dolls recently donated by Beverly/Morgan Park resident Joan O’Connor. Beginning Mar. 1, just in time for Women’s History Month, they will form the nucleus of a new exhibit, “Real American Girls of the Ridge.” 

The award-winning line of 18-inch dolls was started in 1986 by Pleasant Thiele Rowland. The original dolls represent girls about 10 years old from various periods in American historyAccompanied by books that tell stories from the girls’ perspective, the goal was to encourage reading and an interest in history through age-appropriate play. The dolls became enormously popular and Rowland sold the company to Mattel in 1998. 

In the RHS exhibit, the dolls will be paired with “real” American girls, actual women connected to the Ridge from the same time period  

Addy, the African-American U.S. Civil War-era doll, will be paired with Cornelia Reeves. “Mother Reeves,” as she was known, was an ex-slave who moved to the Ridge with her children and their families in the late 1880s. As a young girl in Virginia, her family was separated and sold, and she never knew what happened to her parents and siblings. According to the Chicago Defender newspaper in 1936, Mother Reeves and her descendants were the first African Americans to settle in Morgan Park. They were very active with the Beth Eden Baptist Church. RHS Historian Linda Lamberty is researching this family and looking for descendants who are still in the area. 

Samantha, the doll from the late Victorian/Edwardian era, the early 1900s, will be paired with Margaret Gear Lawrence, whose family moved to the Ridge when she was three years old. Lawrence was involved in many activities and organizations, such as the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Morgan Park Baptist Church,  and served as the RHS presidentHer involvement with the new Girl Scouts organization that began in 1912 will be explored in the exhibitRHS has memorabilia, including her uniform, from her many years as a local Scouts leader. RHS Secretary Carol Macola, very active in scouting, is working on this exhibit. 

Molly, the World War II-era doll, is being paired with a living “real” American girl, RHS President Elaine Spencer. Born in 1932, Spencer grew up on the Ridge during the war years, attending Barnard and Clissold Schooland later Morgan Park High School. She has many stories to share, including listening to the radio with her parents and brothers in 1941 when President Franklin Roosevelt addressed the country about the bombing of Pearl Harbor right as the Christmas season was beginning.  

Said Spencer, who now lives in Smith Village retirement community, “I don’t remember feeling afraid, but the adults seemed worried. We were hearing reports about the war in Germany, and it was terrible because most of our grandparents came from Europe. Because of Pearl Harbor, it appeared inevitable that America would have no choice but to get involved in the war. 

The exhibit will also feature information on Pleasant Thiele Rowland who lived in West Beverly as a youngster from 1947 to 1951. For at least four decades, her paternal grandparents, Edward and Maude Thiele, lived in Beverly/Morgan ParkRowland used to go antique hunting with her grandmother and credited this for her interest in history. 

The grand opening reception for “Real American Girls of the Ridge,” free and open to the public, will be Sun., Mar. 1, 2 to 5 p.m., at RHS, 10621 S. Seeley Ave. Info: 773/881-1675 or ridgehistory@hotmail.comFollow RHS on Facebook.  

March Arts & Entertainment

American Girls of the Ridge: Sun., Mar. 1, 2-5 p.m.  An opening reception for an exhibit of original American Girl dolls and accessories, and stories about three women from the Ridge whose lives paralleled the fictional stories of Addy and Samantha, Ridge Historical Society, 10621 S. Seeley Ave. Free.  773-881-1675 or 

BACinema. “Dark Lies the Island,” Weds., Mar. 4, 7:30 p.m. Based on short stories by Kevin Barry, the film painstakingly showcases the realities of life in small-town Ireland with dark humor and beauty; not rated. “Extra Ordinary,” Weds., Mar. 18, 7:30 p.m. An exciting and quirky new release from Ireland, this horror comedy follows a rural driving instructor with supernatural powers who just wants to lead a normal life; rated R. Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St. $6/$5 BAC members. or 773-445-3838.  

An Evening of Irish Music with Liz Carroll and Special GuestsFri., Mar. 6, 8 p.m. Just in time for St. Pat’s, world-renowned fiddler Liz Carroll performs with Maeve Gilchrist, Nic Gareiss and Open the Door for Threeplaying tunes that will transport you to the grassy fields and blue skies of Ireland. Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St. $28/ $25 BAC members. or 773-445-3838. 

5th Annual South Side Irish Parade Film FestSat., Mar. 7. Family Matinee, 3 p.m., “The Secret of the Kells,” a young boy is beckoned to adventure when a master illuminator arrives with an ancient book, brimming with secret wisdom and powers; $6/ $5 BAC members. Feature, 7 p.m., “Odd Man Out,” stars James Mason as a wounded Irish nationalist leader who attempts to evade police following a failed robbery in Belfast. The short film, “The Space Between Us,” will be screened before the feature. A reception precedes the screening at 6 p.m., and a post screening party featuring A Week Back follows. Tickets $18/ $16 BAC members (includes after-party)Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St. or 773-445-3838. 

Féile Music Fest, Sat., Mar. 7, 2 p.m. – 3 a.m., and Sun., Mar. 8, 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. Celebrate Irish culture and heritage with music, dance, food and drink, and Beverly/Morgan Park’s tradition. Barney Callaghan’s Pub, 10618 S. Western. or773-233-6829. 

BAC Star Productions: Theatre students perform in Romeo & Juliet.” Thurs., Mar. 12, Fri., Mar. 13and Sat., Mar. 14, 7 p.m., and “The Wizard of Oz,” Fri., Mar. 20, 7 p.m., Sat., Mar. 21, 12 and 6 p.m., and Sun., Mar. 22, 3 p.m.  Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St. $12/ $10 BAC members. or 773-445-3838. 

Women’s Work” exhibit opening, Fri., Mar. 13, 6to 8 p.m., featuring pieces from nine female artists; exhibit continues through Apr. 26. Beverly Arts Center,  Simmerling Gallery, 2407 W. 111th St. Free. or 773-445-3838. 

The New Deal, Sat., Mar. 14, 7 p.m. The Concerts at the Castle series hosts a Gypsy jazz concert, Givins Beverly Castle, 10244 S. Longwood Dr. Proceeds fund restoration of the historic Castle. Doors open 6:30 p.m. Wine, cheese and r refreshments available at intermission.  $27.50 suggested donation. or 773-466-9339. 

Open Mic Night, Thurs., Mar. 19, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Givins Beverly Castle, 10244 S. Longwood Dr. The acoustic open mic is every third Thursday of the month; sign up to perform music, poetry, stand up, storytelling and more. Free. 773-466-9339. 

Heartache Tonight, Sat., Mar. 28, 8 p.m. A tribute experience for Eagles fans featuring the timeless classic songs from all eras and incarnations of the American rock powerhouse. Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St. $30/ $27 BAC members or 773-445-3838. 

BAC Announces Cast for Love Letters 

BAC Announces Cast for Love Letters 

The Beverly Arts Center’s upcoming production of Love Letters will feature a pair of Chicago theatre veterans. In the two-person play, Debra Rodkin will perform the role of Melissa and Rob Frankel the role of Andy. The play runs Thurs.Feb. 13 through Sun., Feb. 16 in the Beverly Arts Center Studio Theatre, 2407 W. 111th St. 

“Love Letters” is the story of two childhood friends whose lifelong correspondence begins with birthday party thank-you notes and summer camp postcards. Romantically attached, they continue to exchange letters from their school years through the twilight of their lives. Each letter makes it clear how much they really meant and gave to each other over the years—physically apart but spiritually as close as only true lovers can be. 

Debra Rodkin is a long-time member of Redtwist Theatre, appearing in “Six Degrees of Separation, “The Realization of Emily Linder,” “Equus, and “Cripple of Inishmaan” and more. Other Chicago credits include “Crossing Delancey” (MadKap), “The Rose Tattoo” (Shattered Globe), “Vieux Carre” (Raven), “Eleemosynary” (Aston Rep), “Beau Jest” (Big Noise Theatre), “Rabbit Hole” (Buffalo Theatre Ensemble), “Cat On a Hot Tin Roof” (NightBlue Theatre), and “The Brother” (Hancock Productions/Film Acres). Debra has also done a zany Webisode for True Blood” (HBO). 

Rob Frankel is a native Chicagoan but has performed in New York, New Jersey, Minnesota, North Carolina and Michigan. He works by day as a tutor teaching test prep, English and speech. By night, he is a veteran actor of over 90 plays. Chicago area credits include “Bloomsday” (Remy Bumppo), “For the Loyal” (Interrobang Project), “Laramie Project” (Aston Rep), “Moon Over Buffalo” (Brightside Theater), “The Rainmaker” (BoHo Theatre), “True West” (Shattered Globe), “Light Up the Sky” (Citadel Theatre), “A Christmas Carol” (Metropolis Performing Arts), “Be My Baby” (Steel Beam Theatre), and more. Most recently he performed as the Narrator for the Lake Forest Symphony Orchestra’s production of “Peter and the Wolf.  

The second production of the BAC’s Season of Inclusion series, “Love Letters” explores the values of diversity and equity on stage. The production is part of Chicago Theatre Week 2020, a celebration of the rich tradition of theatre-going in Chicago during which visitors and residents can access value-priced tickets.  

Tickets to Love Letters are $24 ($22 for BAC members). Also available is the Theatre Season Flex Pass for $120 which provides theatre-goers six tickets to use any way they like over the course of the Season of Inclusion. Purchase tickets by phone at 773-445-3838 or online at 

New Exhibit Decodes Hidden Messages 

By Grace Kuikman 

What could hip hop writes and quilting have in common? Each of these art forms can convey hidden messages. Hidden Messages: Decoding Secrets, a new exhibit opening Fri., Feb. 7, 6 p.m. at the Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St., will reveal through paint, dance and fabric, how the secret languages of symbols, letters and movement connect these wildly different genres 

American history quilts by Beverly/Morgan Park artist Dorothy Straughter and dance and hip hop writes (commonly called graffiti) by Chicago artist Poppin Chuck Bledsoe tell stories using symbols. They first met about three years ago at the Stony Island Arts Bank, and soon after, both artists had their work in a show at the Dorchester Art & Housing Collaborative. “From that grew the realization that our art forms worked together and shared hidden messages,” Straughter said.  

A member of the Beverly Arts Center’s Diversity Committee, Straughter proposed an interactive exhibit, showcasing one art form that people think of as a homey folk art and another that many people think of as an urban street culture. Both are strongly rooted in African American traditions. 

According to Straughter, the symbols stitched into quilts that were used to guide runaway slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad can be linked to centuriesold Andikra symbols from West Africa that held and conveyed special meanings 

When first introduced to the hidden messages in Underground Railroad quilts, Straughter was inspired to research this history. Through the symbols sewn into quilts and painted like simple decorative elements on barn and buildings, valuable information was shared to keep people safe and help them on their journey to freedom. 

A self-taught quilter, Straughter combines her passion for African American history with her remarkable skill to create quilts rich in symbols and stories. The large quilts depict images often steeped in negative stereotypes, yet beautiful because they are crafted in saturated colors and intricate patternsStraughter’s Underground Railroad quilt will be on exhibit at the BAC, and Straughter will provide detailed information on the history connected to each pieceHer quilts have been exhibited throughout Chicago at galleries and art centers as well as museums. 

Poppin Chuck has been in the hip hop world since the 1970s, and is a master of the hidden messages painted into the colorful, explosive tagging known as hip hop writes, as well as hip hop danceAccording to Straughter, the people who built the hip hop culture were outliers who used dance and art to express themselves, create identities and communicate with other outliers.  

There’s a difference between “writes” and “graffiti,” Straughter said. “The word ‘graffiti’ has a bad connotation,” she said. “[‘Writes’} is just a style of writing their name so friends knew they were there.” Bledsoe’s impressive work can be enjoyed and interpreted in the exhibit.  

The unique movements in hip hop dance evolved from a variety of dance forms including the soft shoe, tap dance and even the Lindy Hop. As part of the exhibit, people will view videos of various dances, get a sense of the physical art hip hop, and try to follow some moves using footsteps on the floor as their dance instructor. 

As part of the exhibit experience, the BAC will host two special events. “Decoding the Secrets,” a free artist talk by Dorothy Straughter and Poppin Chuck Bledsoe, will be held Fri., Feb. 21, 6 p.m., and will include a “quilt flip” (Straughter’s American history quilts have related images on both sides). BAC hip hop instructor Chris Nasadowski will lead a Hip Hop Workshop and Dance Battle Fri., Feb. 28, 6:30 p.m.$10.  “Hidden Messages” continues at the BAC through Mar. 8.  



January Nightlife

BACinema: All is True,” Weds., Jan. 8, 7:30 p.m. Judi Dench and Ian McKellen co-star in this story of an aging Shakespeare’s, played by director Kenneth Branagh, return to his hometown after his beloved theater burns to the ground in a catastrophic accident. Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St., Tickets $6/ $5 BAC members, 773-445-3838 or 

Concerts at the Castle: Larry Gray & John Moulder, Sat., Jan. 11, 7 p.m. The Castle Concert Series benefiting the restoration of Beverly Givins Castle, 10244 S. Longwood Dr., continues with a performance from Chicago native and jazz bandleader, Larry Gray and his trio, accompanied by John Moulder.  Tickets $27.50 at 

Baffes TheaterHeartsfield –– Rockin‘ the Country, Sat., Jan. 11, 8 p.m. Country rock legends Heartsfield make a stop at the Beverly Arts Center, bringing the foot stomping, vocal rocking, music they’ve been playing for nearly 50 years to town. Tickets $22/ $19 BAC members, 773-445-3838 or 

The Frunchroom, Vol. XX: Twenty to Start 2020 edition; Thurs., Jan 16, 7:30 p.m.  The Frunchroom quarterly reading series hosted by Scott Smith and  the Beverly Area Arts Alliance features five stories about the South Side from talents throughout Chicago who’ve experienced all that this part of the city has to offer. Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St. Information: 

BACinemaLoving Vincent,” Weds., Jan. 22, 7:30 p.m. This acclaimed 2017 portrait of Vincent Van Gogh was created by a most fittingly idiosyncratic method; with 65,000 oil paintings painted by more than one hundred artists over a nine-year time span. Chronicling, in a structure that moves between a year after Van Gogh’s suicide to his final days, the film provides artistic insights in to the mysterious impressionist painter. Film contains adult themes involving mental illness, suicide,  sexual situations and violence. Tickets $6/ $5 BAC members, 773-445-3838 or 

BACinema Matinee: E.T. The Extra Terrestrial,” Sun., Jan. 22, 2p.m. Stephen Spielberg’s first movie for young audiences managed to form a moving, tight-knit story about Elliot, a lonely boy who encounters an alien called E.T. trying to make it back to his mothership. Part of the Beverly Art Center’s new Sunday Funday series, the movie will be accompanied by a family activity. Tickets $6/ $5 BAC members, 773-445-3838 or 

Concerts at the Castle: Jamie O’Reilly, Sat., Feb. 1, 7 p.m. With her distinctive lilting voice and broad vocal range, O’Reilly approaches folk music with the passion of a theater artist and the attention of an art song interpreter. O’Reilly will be lending her voice to the Castle Concert Series benefiting the restoration of Beverly Givins Castle, 10255 S. Seeley Ave. Tickets $27.50, 

Baffes Theater: Marrakesh Express –– A Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Experience, Sat., Feb. 1, 8 p.m. Featuring four harmonizing vocalists backed by a top-flight band, Marrakesh Express delivers a unique and energetic concert, performing the classic acoustic and electric CSNY hits, deep cuts, and fan favorites. Tickets $30/ $27 BAC members, 773-445-3838 or 

Give the gift of a great night out 

By Talie Leeb 

Declutter your gift-giving this holiday season with by giving tickets to one – or all — of the upcoming offerings from the Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St. Maybe throw in a gift certificate to a local restaurant to make it a full-on night on the town, neighborhood style!  

The Second City: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly Sweater, Dec. 28: Laughter is the best medicine, and nothing chases away the holiday blues quite like The Second City! This is the perfect gift for just about anyone, aspiring comedians and holiday grumps alike.   

Heartsfield, Sat., Jan. 11. These popular performers are a little bit country, a little bit rock ‘n roll, and a whole lot of fun! At $22 a ticket, this is the perfect stocking stuffer for the classic rock aficionado in your life.  

Marrakesh Express, Sat., Feb. 1: Is there someone in your life who remembers fondly the long, wet weekend they spent at Woodstock? They can capture some of that magic with a performance by Marrakesh Express, the premier Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young cover band.  

Love Letters, Feb. 13-16: The BAC theatrical season kicks off with this poignant epistolary love story, and what better gift for a theatre lover or budding thespian than the BAC Theatre Season Flex Pass? Pass recipients will choose six performances from the BAC’s upcoming season, with shows like “Next to Normal, Shakespeare’s “a Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Mothers and Sons” and more. 

Get information and purchase tickets at the BAC, by calling 773-445-3838 or online at 


Give the gift of a great night out 

By Talie Leeb 

Declutter your gift-giving this holiday season with by giving tickets to one – or all — of the upcoming offerings from the Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St. Maybe throw in a gift certificate to a local restaurant to make it a full-on night on the town, neighborhood style!  

The Second City: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly Sweater, Dec. 28: Laughter is the best medicine, and nothing chases away the holiday blues quite like The Second City! This is the perfect gift for just about anyone, aspiring comedians and holiday grumps alike.   

Heartsfield, Sat., Jan. 11. These popular performers are a little bit country, a little bit rock ‘n roll, and a whole lot of fun! At $22 a ticket, this is the perfect stocking stuffer for the classic rock aficionado in your life.  

Marrakesh Express, Sat., Feb. 1: Is there someone in your life who remembers fondly the long, wet weekend they spent at Woodstock? They can capture some of that magic with a performance by Marrakesh Express, the premier Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young cover band.  

Love Letters, Feb. 13-16: The BAC theatrical season kicks off with this poignant epistolary love story, and what better gift for a theatre lover or budding thespian than the BAC Theatre Season Flex Pass? Pass recipients will choose six performances from the BAC’s upcoming season, with shows like “Next to Normal, Shakespeare’s “a Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Mothers and Sons” and more. 

Get information and purchase tickets at the BAC, by calling 773-445-3838 or online at 

RHS Exhibit Features Fashion as Art 


“Threads of Imagination,” an exhibit exploring fashion as an art form through the creative work of five Beverly/Morgan Park artists, one of whom was an historical figure, continues at Ridge Historical Society, 10621 S. Seeley. Info: 773-881-1675 or 

Alla Ripley Bannister (1867-1948) was a famous fashion designer who lived at 1620 West 102nd Street in the early 1900s. She used the professional name “Madame Ripley” and had a studio on Michigan Avenue. She was a savvy businesswoman and marketer. Through her organization, the Fashion Art League of America, she promoted “American designs for American women,” helping to establish U. S. designers in the global fashion industry. The RHS exhibit profiles Ripley, her family and career. 

Ripley’s husband was architect George S. Bannister, who designed and built the Dickey-Harris House at 10856 S. Longwood Drive, where Paul P. Harris, the founder of Rotary International lived for many years.  Bannister also designed the American Craftsman-style home for his family on 102nd Street.  

Contemporary artist Judie Anderson worked as a fashion illustrator for Chicago’s American newspaper in the 1960s, and work from this period of her career is on display at RHSAnderson and her husband, the late Bill Anderson, started the first school of the arts at the Beverly Arts Center in 1972. Anderson had a 20-year career with the Chicago Tribune, retiring as director of design. Today she continues watercolor painting, teaching and exhibiting. 

Maggie O’Reilly grew up on the Ridge and now raises her own family here. The RHS exhibit features pieces from her two companies, Maggy May & Co., a girls’ clothing line; and the MAYTA Collection, which works with artisans in Morocco and Peru to create handcrafted fashion and household accessories. MAYTA is a member of Chicago Fair Trade, a coalition to increase support for fair trade practices.     

Two of Sandra Leonard’s “sculptural costumes,” fashions she creates that turn the human form into sculpture, are on display. Her costumes appear internationally in performance art productions, improvised theater, alternative fashion shows and installation projects. She has designed interactive costumes for children for the Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum and Art Institute of Chicago.   

Nicole Burns of Ni Bu Design is also a Ridge native now raising her own daughter here. She incorporates vintage fabrics and fashions into new art forms. Her work in the exhibit includes clothing, bags, dolls and sculptures. She also collects vintage sewing items and some of these are on display, bringing viewers back full circle to 100 years ago when Madame Alla Ripley was producing fashions.     

Another historic feature of the exhibit is a section on the “silk connection.” Prominent silk merchants connected to the Belding and Brothers silk business made their homes in North Beverly beginning in the late 1800s. Vintage silk items as well as information on the families are displayed. 

Carol Flynn is guest Curator for the exhibit, and researcher/writer for the Alla Ripley Bannister section. 

Linda Lamberty, RHS Historian, is the designer of the exhibit. She reached out to Alla’s family through the website, and great-niece Lanora Harris King has shared family photographs and information for the exhibit. 

RHS is located at 10621 S. Seeley Ave. Open hours for the exhibit will be posted on the RHS Facebook page and RHS website at 

On Sun., Nov. 17, 2 p.m. at RHS, Judie Anderson will discuss her career in the newspaper industry, and will demonstrate a fashion illustration, which a lucky member of the audience will win to take home. Admission is $10Reservations: 773881-1675 or 

Nightlife & Entertainment

BACinema: Chicagoland Shorts, Weds., Sept. 4, 7:30 p.m. The Chicagoland Shorts Film anthology comes to the Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St., this month with an all new collection of short films spanning genres and worlds to celebrate the diversity of the Chicagoland experience.  $6/ $5 BAC members,  

Up in Smoke: Sat., Sept. 7 & Sun. Sept. 8. Live music, BBQ and more at Americano’s 1st annual Up in Smoke BBQ festival. Swing by the Americano’s parking lot, 11060 S. Western, for tacos, margaritas, cervezas and performances from local rock bands.  The fest promises to bring a scorching good! $10 for both days. Info: Americano’s Facebook page.  

Friday Night Lites at Cork & Kerry. Every Fri., Sept 6- Oct. 25, 6-9 p.m. Don’t miss the game of the week! The Cork & Kerry will be hosting Friday Night Football watching parties as they cheer on all their favorite local high school teams. $12 buckets of light beer and free pizza at halftime for all those watching.  Family Friendly. Info: @CorkandKerryChicago on Facebook. 

Beverly POV Documentary Screening: Thurs., Sept. 12, 1:30 p.m.  Beverly Branch Library, 1962 W. 95th St., hosts a screening of “306 Hollywood” from filmmakers Elan and Jonathan Bogarin. The film follows the magical-realist excavation of their late grandmother’s home and the things left behind. Free.  

Great Moments in Vinyl: Paul Simon’s Graceland. Fri., Sept. 13, 8 p.m. Join the Beverly Arts Center and Great Moments in Vinyl as they bring the music of Paul Simon to the stage. The evening will feature songs from Simon’s early career in the opening set, and then all the tracks off Graceland” accompanied by a chorus of voices designed to capture the vibrant sounds of Ladysmith Black Mambazo.  $30/ $27 BAC members, 

BACinema: Eleven P.M. Weds., Sept. 18, 7:30 p.m. A medley of “sentimentality, spirituality and the supernatural,” and a rare surviving work from pioneering African American independent filmmaker Richard Maurice, this 1928 silent film survives as a surreal melodrama and a love letter to 1920’s Detroit. Co-presented with South Side Projections, this screening at the Beverly Arts Center will feature live musical accompaniment from organist Jay Warren. $6/ $5 BAC members, 

BAC: World Music Festival. Thurs., Sept. 19, 7 p.m. The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events brings this free music festival to the Beverly Arts Center with performances by the Yandong Grand Singers, a choir from China’s Guizhou province, and Lankum, a contemporary folk quartet from Dublin, Ireland.  Free.  Info: 773-445-3838,  

Cork & Kerry Comedy Showcase. Thurs., Sept 19, 8 p.m. The Cork and All That Good Stuff Comedy are bringing local jokes to a local audience with their South Side comedy showcase! Kick back with cold beers, white claws and great laughs. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., seating is first come first served. Free. Info: @allthatgoodstuffshow on Facebook. 

BAC Stand Up Comedy Night. Fri., Sept. 27, 8 p.m. Chicago comedy stars take the stage at the Beverly Arts Center for a night full of hilarity. Join WGN’s Steve Cochran, host of Chicago’s #1 morning radio talk show, John DaCosse, as seen on NBC and Comedy Central, and host Tim Benker as they captivate with comedy for one night only. $30/$27 BAC members, 

Midnight Circus In the Park. Sat., Sept. 28 & Sun., Sept. 29, 2 and 5 p.m. The Midnight Circus returns to Ridge Park, 9625 S. Longwood, with a wildly eclectic ensemble of acrobats and eccentrics that will defy gravity, tickle the funny bone and tug at the heartstrings. Presented as a part of the City of Chicago’s Year of Chicago Theatre. $25, 

Documentary Film: The Area. Sat., Sept 28, 7:30 p.m. PullmanArts presents their 2nd annual documentary film screening at the Beverly Arts Center with “The Area,” the five-year odyssey of a South Side Chicago neighborhood where more than 400 African-American families are being displaced by a multi-billiondollar freight company. Screening followed by a Q&A with filmmakers Deborah Payne and Brian Ashby. $6/$5 BAC members, 

BoundaryDavid Heo Opening Reception. Sat., Sept. 28, 6-9 p.m. Boundary Art Space, 2334 W. 111th Pl., hosts the opening reception for Chicago painter David Heo’s installation “Leviathan,” which explores the complexity of Asian-American identity within American culture and the misunderstood human interactions that one experiences during the night. Exhibit runs through Oct. 26. 

Roy DIblik Garden of Living Art to Be Dedicated at BAC 

When Roy Diblik spoke at a meeting of the Garden Club of Morgan Park/ Beverly Hills in spring, the Baffes Theatre at the Beverly Arts Center was teeming with people eager to hear what he had to say. Diblik wrote the book on perennial gardening, and avid gardeners throughout Chicagoland know him for that book  “The Know Maintenance Perennial Garden” — as well as for his work planning and planting some of the city’s most beautiful gardens. Diblik is the plantsman for the Lurie Garden at Millennium Park, and the gardens at Shedd Aquarium and the Art Institute of Chicago. 

Now, at the invitation of the Garden Club, the plant expert has designed and helped to plant the Roy Diblik Garden of Living Art at the Beverly Arts Center. The garden will be dedicated Wed., Sept. 18, 10 a.m., in the BAC courtyard, 2407 W. 111th St. Diblik will attend the dedication.  

“We were astonished when he accepted [the club’s speaking invitation] and he was astonished with our turn out to hear him speak,” said Barbara Gyarmathy of the Garden Club of Morgan Park/Beverly Hills. “He was so taken by the warmth and enthusiasm . . . he offered to design and help us plant the new garden that is now at the BAC.  It is beyond imaging that someone of his caliber would do this!” 

Diblik returned to the BAC in early August to work alongside members of the garden club to plant the garden that he designed around the core ideal of sustainability.  

“We planted everything based on Roy Diblik’s advice, making sure that the garden has four-season interest,’” Gyarmathy said. “We will be planting something new every season and maintaining the garden throughout the year.”  

The garden was designed using all perennials and native plants that were selected for sustainability in an urban setting as well as for their beauty beauty. BAC patrons will enjoy watching this garden grow! The plants are all relatively mature, about three years old, and include hydrangeas, alliums, echinacea, salvia and sesleria, a perennial grass. 

With 35 years of knowledge growing traditional and Midwest native perennials, Diblik specializes in visually appealing and sustainable gardens that are easy to maintain and provide interest during all seasons. He is a partner in Northwind Perennial Farm, Burlington, Wisc., and according to his bio on the website, “believes that gardens should be thoughtful, ecologically directed emotionally outreaching and yet very personal.”  

The Garden Club of Morgan Park-Beverly Hills was established in 1926 as a way for community members to share a passion for gardening. Over their club history, members have helped to establish many community gardens and develop a love of planting and nature among area gardenersClub volunteers have tended Beverly Arts Center gardens as part of the BAC’s ground beautification initiative since 2012.