Happy New Year! Year of the Monkey. My Chinese friends have all moved away so I don’t know the actual Chinese year. But we are a bit closer to spring, so that’s good news.
We said good-bye to January with a most enjoyable concert by the Daedalus Duo, Diana Schmuck and Bonnie Campbell right here at St. John Lutheran Church. This duo has been heard all over the world and locally on WFMT and at the Cultural Center in downtown Chicago. We are indeed fortunate to have St. John Church in Forest Park where excellent music performances are a regular happening. On Feb. 24 at 7 p.m., the church will offer traditional sacred music and scripture reading for the observance of Lent.
Mark your calendar for March 6 at 4 p.m. for the local Opus Three Piano Duo of Dr. Daniel Gasse, cello; Sarah Gasse, violin; and Hulya Alpakin Luethi, piano. The theme of this concert will be Argentine/Spanish music, including colorful nationalistic works by Ginastera, Piazzolla, de Falla, Turnia, Gaito and others. Proceeds from the free-will offering will support the Gasse School of Music. That school is located right here in Forest Park. The concert will also be at St. John, 305 Circle Ave.
This first week of February is quite a musical week as well. Mendelssohn’s birthday was Feb. 3, 1809. The premier of Verdi’s Othello, Feb. 5; Feb. 10 was the premiere of Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffman, 1881. Verdi’s Falstaff premiered on Feb. 5, 1893. It gets better as the month goes on.
The musical, The Man Who Murdered Sherlock Holmes, is playing at the Mercury Theater in Chicago, 3745 N. Southport. For tickets, call 773-325-1700. It’s a “battle of wits between the author and his character who demands to be revived.” You can visit mercury.theaterchicago.com This show has received excellent reviews and, for Holmes fans, it’s a must.
Looking ahead: Pet fans will be anxious to attend “PetExpo,” March 18-20, at the Arlington International Racecourse, 22 W. Euclid Ave. in Arlington Heights. Show hours are Friday, 1-9; Saturday, 9-6; and Sunday 10-5. There are more than 200 booths of pet products, and services. There will be entertainment, adoptable pets, and lots of shopping. Hundreds of pets to see and touch. There is an admission charge of $9 for adults; Friday night special: buy one admission, get one free. Parking is $7, $5 for children 3-12, free under 3. Visit www.PetChicago.com for more information.
February birthdays this week: Aiden Grant, Beccy Lauris, Sally Cody, Rosemary Krieger, Ashley Mendez, Ashley Lisenby, Stacy LoCascio, Ann Spence, Jacquinete Baldwin, Cherice Stewart. (Sorry if I missed yours.)
Last but not least, Happy 100th Birthday to the Forest Park Public Library. Does anyone remember the quintessential librarian Josephine Austin? Miss Austin read every book that came into the library and she seemed to know everyone’s taste. If she found you browsing around, possibly mutttering to yourself, she would come up to you and say, “Here, I think you’d like this one” And she was always right We have had several excellent librarians since Miss Austin, but there was just something so special about that great lady.
Jackie is a former Chicago and Elmwood Park schoolteacher with an undying love for music, friendly pets and a host of life’s other treasures too numerous to list. She was born on the far southwest side of Chicago in a great neighborhood when it was a great time to be young.