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COD offers summer shows, gears up for 2023 Andy Warhol exhibit ticket sales starting Aug. 6 – Chicago Tribune

The McAninch Arts Center presents a summer of free programming that and includes a pop music series, a jazz series and a family series.

Programming runs select dates from July 15 to Aug. 5 and kicks off with “Through the Years” featuring Don Gatlin with the Kenny Rogers’ original band.

All shows in the pop music series start at 7:30 pm, which continues with “The Greatest Piano Men” July 22. The show celebrates piano men from Beethoven and Liberace to Elton John, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder and more.

On July 29, the “Magic of Motown” celebrates the Temptations, the Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Earth, Wind and Fire. On Aug. 5, New Philharmonic, under the musical direction of Kirk Muspratt, presents an evening of pops, marches and movie scores.

Diana Martinez, director of the McAninch Arts Center at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, said the college plans to do a Lakeside summer concert series every other year, alternating with an art exhibition.

“We wanted to do something to make up for the fact that it’s been a while with COVID, so that’s why we added the Sunday family series,” she said.

The artists coming this summer are all top-notch crowd pleasers, she said.

“On a personal level, I’m very excited to bring Kenny Rogers’ band here because I used to work with them years and years ago,” she said. “I used to work with Kenny doing his Christmas shows. After he passed away, his band was devastated and wanted to … keep his legacy going. This band has been with him for 30 years. I think it will be a really nostalgic, fabulous show. And it’s the first time they’ve played in this area since Kenny passed away.”

She said “The Greatest Piano Men” show is another show people will be excited about.

“It’s a phenomenal show. If you like Billy Joel and Elton John and Stevie Wonder, you’ll love this show,” she said. “The guy who plays Billy Joel is a Broadway star … you could confuse him for Billy Joel. He happens to look like him but he really is an amazing piano player and an amazing singer.”

She called the “Magic of Motown” show a “crazy crowd pleaser.”

“That show has not only the guys, the typical Motown singers, it also has a Diana Ross who is just spectacular,” she said. “It’s a very fun show. It’s one of our biggest shows. It’s hard not to get up and dance because it’s just so good. It’s a huge, huge party.”

The jazz series is at 7:30 pm Thursdays and is curated by WDCB-FM 90.9 radio.

“They always pick really solid musicians,” she said.

July 21, the Chicago saxophone supergroup Altoizm with special guest Antonio Hart performs. July 28 it’s Kenny Garrett, a Grammy award-winning saxophonist who was a member of the Duke Ellington Orchestra as well as Miles Davis’ band.

The Sunday family series replaces the two family-friendly movies the college showed in the past, Martinez said, in the hopes of helping kids grow to appreciate live entertainment.

“So we thought, ‘What if we try something different instead of the movies?’ Because everybody does a movie for kids. We thought of doing something live, so we’re trying it this year.”

The first will be “Ralph’s World” by Glen Ellyn native, indie rocker and children’s book author Ralph Covert at 2 pm July 17. “Family Fiesta!” featuring performances by Mariachi Monumental and Ballet Folklorico-Quetzalcoatl is at 2 pm July 24; and “Artrageous!” a high-energy, live art, rock-and-comedy concert is at 4 pm July 31.

“‘Artrageous!’ will be a nod to Andy Warhol … to kick off going into Andy Warhol (exhibit at the college) next year,” Martinez said. “Those are artists who paint and sing at the same time. They’re really cool. It’s super high energy.”

The College of DuPage College Theater presents two family-friendly productions this summer: “The SpongeBob Musical,” based on the long-running Nickelodeon series at 7 pm Thursdays-Sundays July 8-17 (added 2 pm matinee July 17; no performance July 15); and “Ocean 911: Big Blue Rescue,” with performances at the Lakeside Pavilion at 5 pm July 16-17. “Ocean 911: Big Blue Rescue” is a free, hourlong, interactive, family-friendly show aimed at children ages 5-10.

“It’s a nice family show but it’s got a lot of adult humor in it too, which makes it fun for the parents,” she said of the “SpongeBob” musical.

The Lakeside Pavilion events will be moved to the Belushi Performance Hall in case of inclement weather, she said. Large blankets and large coolers are not allowed nor is outside alcohol. You can bring your own picnic.

“I think the other thing that’s big and fun this year is our food vendors,” she said. Those include Nothing Bundt Cakes, Heavenly Hot Dogs, A Toda Madre, Joliè Charcuterie, 302 Wheaton, Noble House and North American Pizza and Culinary Academy.

The concerts are all free, as is parking.

“It’s our way of giving back to the community and infusing arts and culture into the community.”

Tickets for the 2023 Andy Warhol exhibit, which will feature 94 works from “Andy Warhol Portfolios: A Life in Pop/Works from the Bank of America Collection,” go on sale Aug. 6. Single event tickets go on sale in person at the Mac’s box office for the 2022-23 season that day as well.

“Since Aug. 6 is Andy Warhol’s birthday, we’re going to have a birthday party for him,” Martinez said.

Lakeside Pavilion Outdoor Summer Series

When: selected dates July 15-Aug. 5

Where: McAninch Arts Center at the College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn

Tickets: Concerts are free; “SpongeBob SquarePants” $14-$16

Information: 630-942-4000; atthemac.org

Annie Alleman is a freelance reporter for the Naperville Sun.

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