Planit 5
December 23, 2013 • 09:21:06 a.m.

Check out select events in Planit 5

Kirk Muspratt conducts New Philharmonic. (Photo provided)

Looking for something to do this week? We have suggestions ranging from a wildlife program to classic rock and roll.

Events span Viennese Pops concerts christening the newly renovated McAninch Arts Center on New Year's Eve to operatic vocals and Shakespeare at Navy Pier featuring a young suburban talent.

POPS AT MAC
WHERE:
College of DuPage campus, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn
WHEN: 4 and 9 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 31
COST & INFO: $60, $58 for seniors, $50 for youth; 630-942-4000, www.AtTheMAC.org
ABOUT: New Philharmonic and Maestro Kirk Muspratt celebrate New Year’s Eve by bringing Viennese Pops concerts back to the newly renovated McAninch Arts Center, which won't officially reopen until February. Guest soprano is Emily Birsan of Lyric Opera’s Ryan Opera Center, singing favorites including Adele’s “Laughing Song” from “Die Fledermaus” in an evening topped off with surprise encores and a champagne toast. “I and all the members of the critically acclaimed NP orchestra are thrilled to return to our home at the MAC,” Muspratt said.

BIG DEBUT
WHERE:
Courtyard Stage at Navy Pier in Chicago
WHEN: Through Jan. 19
COST & INFO: $48 to $78 or "CST for $20"; 312-595-5600, www.chicagoshakes.com
ABOUT: Michael Semanic of Streamwood, seventh-grader at Canton Middle School, is featured in "The Merry Wives of Windsor," set in the late 1940s by Chicago Shakespeare Theate. Making his debut at CST, Michael will act, sing and dance in the role of Robin Page, Falstaff’s mischievous page. He's played Oliver Twist in "Oliver!" with Light Opera Works, recently performed in two operas, and was a featured soloist with the Wheaton Symphony. Michael also enjoys singing in the Elgin Children’s Chorus, playing violin at school, and writing stories on his blog at michaelsnews.wordpress.com.

FLASH BAXTER
WHERE:
Manhattan's American Bar and Grill, 300 S. Schmale Road, Carol Stream
WHEN: 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 28, until 1 a.m.
COST & INFO: $10 minimum; www.manhattansamericanbarandgrill.com, 630-871-2991
ABOUT: Featuring five vocalists, Flash Baxter will transport listeners back in time with classic rock hits from the '60s, '70s and '80s. Billing the show as the “After Christmas Special” are Jorge Baeza (pictured from left) on lights; Rick Valone, guitar; Val Esrig, keyboards; Al Esrig, bass; Betty Esrig, keyboards; and Ken White, drums. Not shown is sound engineer Patrick Egan of Wheaton. The kitchen will be open until 11 p.m. To learn more, visit www.facebook.com/flashbaxterband.

SOIREE LYRIQUE
WHERE:
St. Mary Church of Elgin, 397 Fulton St.
WHEN: 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 29
COST & INFO: Suggested donation $10 to $30, with no reservations needed; www.solangesior.com, 224-595-1526
ABOUT: Soirée Lyrique, in collaboration with St. Mary Church, presents “Hear the Angel Sing!” – a concert of religious and secular music for the holidays performed by soprano Solange Sior and St. Mary's organist, pianist and music teacher Vilma Dydas. Sior is a former winner of the Canadian Music Competition and winner of the National Bel Canto Competition, as well as finalist of The Metropolitan Opera National Council. The French-Canadian artist maintains a voice and piano studio in Elgin.

SAVING WILDLIFE
WHERE:
Willowbrook Wildlife Center, 525 S. Park Blvd., Glen Ellyn
WHERE: 2 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 28
COST & INFO: $3; open to ages 12 and older; adult must accompany youth ages 12 to 15; register at 630-942-6200; www.dupageforest.org
ABOUT: The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County presents a special program on the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Endangered Species Act, designed to prevent the extinction of wildlife and to support populations' recoveries. Participants will learn about the history and legacy of the act and then head outside to take a close look at two species that represent conservation success stories. They’ll also get a chance to interact with Zeus, the center’s resident peregrine falcon.


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