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Chicago Is Talking About . . .
Michael Henderson At City Winery
BRASS TRANSIT, the Toronto-based band that many observers consider to be the premier interpreters of the music from Grammy Award-winners Chicago, thrilled a jam-packed crowd at the College of DuPage’s Lakeside Pavilion during its summer concert series. The group, founded 11 years ago to play tribute to Chicago’s immense songbook, delighted devoted Chicago fans with memorable songs such as “Make Me Smile,” “Just You ‘n’ Me,” “Saturday in the Park,” “If You Leave Me Now,” “I’m A Man,” “Searchin’ So Long,” “You’re The Inspiration,” “Hard to Say I’m Sorry” and “Beginnings.” And that was just the first half. The concert series continues through August 9. 
Auditions For Two, Classic Christmas Shows
The Brass Transit Performance At College of DuPage 
A CASTING call has gone out to talented youngsters who want to perform in two, classic Christmas presentations, A Christmas Carol (above) at the Goodman Theatre and The Nutcracker at the Auditorium Theatre. At the Goodman’s auditions on September 21, the spotlight will be on actors from ages 5-17 for the roles of Tiny Tim, Boy Scrooge, Peter Cratchit, Emily Cratchit, Belinda Cratchit and Turkey Child. Aspiring performers should be prepared to deliver a one-minute-or-less, memorized poem or monologue, sing one verse of a song a cappella (preferably a holiday song or Christmas carol). You should bring a photograph, address, contact information and a résumé to indicate previous theatrical and related experience/training. Prior experience is not required, and all potential actors are encouraged to audition. Day-of, in-person registration takes place from 8:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. at the Goodman. Participants must be available for rehearsals October 22-November 15 and for performances from November 16 through December 29. For more information, go to or call 312/443-5586. In another set of open auditions on September 12 and September 15, The Joffrey Ballet will be looking for performers to be a part of the children’s cast in The Nutcracker (below). The auditions at Joffrey Tower, 10 E. Randolph, will include all young dancers from any studio or school, whether they have participated in The Nutcracker or not. All participants must bring an audition form, 4x6 headshot (ladies with hair in a bun), and proof of age (ID, passport or copy of birth certificate, etc.). The audition form and RSVP links are available online at Females should be ages 8 to 18 and not taller than 5-foot-5; males should be ages 10-18, with a maximum height of 5-foot-8. The age and height parameters are strict and participants who do not fall within the guidelines will not be admitted into the audition. Dancers must be available for rehearsals in September, October, November and December. The Nutcracker performances take place November 30 through December 29 (no performance on December 25). For more information, go to
FOUR-time Grammy Award-nominated composer, producer, bassist and vocalist Michael Henderson showcased much of his repertoire during a performance at City Winery that brought back memories to some and introduced others to a big-time entertainer who worked with many of the legendary performers before he was an adult, including Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin and Marvin Gaye. Henderson, who was at the height of his solo career in the '70s and '80s, performed a number of his biggest hits, including “Wide Receiver,” “At The Concert,” “Take Me I’m Yours,” “Be My Girl,” “Can’t We Fall in Love Again,” “In The Nighttime,” “Be My Girl,” “Valentine” and “You Are My Starship.” He also did a medley of tunes from performers he worked with over the years, including Johnnie Taylor (“I Believe in You”), The Dramatics (“Hey You! Get Off My Mountain,” “Get Up,” “In the Rain,” “What You See Is What You Get”), Aretha (“Oh Me, Oh My”) and Jr. Walker & The All-Stars (“Shotgun”).