All Hail The Queen(s)
How doth one appropriately recommend SIX, the latest North American premiere offering at Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST)? Let us count the ways. First, it’s the most unexpected, dance-in-your-seats, crazy fun show we’ve seen at the CST in many years. Second, if you loved Hamilton, and love a good dose of estrogen-infused power pop, you will adore this wildly popular import from the West End of London. The wives of Henry VIII join forces for an electrifying concert spectacle—shining a spotlight on these six women as has never been done before (yes, there’s even a little history lesson embedded in the rap). The queens (“divorced … beheaded … live”) take the mic to reclaim their identities out of the shadow of their infamous spouse—remixing 500 years of historical heartbreak into a power-packed celebration of 21st century female empowerment. Written by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, SIX opened at The Yard at CST in late May to rave reviews, prompting an unprecedented five-week extension. Don’t miss your chance to see this one-of-a-kind show, playing now through August 4. For more information, visit chicagoshakes.com.
In 1942, the Allies were losing, Germany seemed unstoppable, and every able man in England was on the front lines. To “set Europe ablaze,” in the words of Winston Churchill, the Special Operations Executive (SOE) was forced to do something unprecedented—recruit women as spies. Thirty-nine answered the call, leaving their lives and families to become saboteurs in France. In D-Day Girls, a new book by Chicago author Sarah Rose, the thrilling story of three of these remarkable women unfolds. Rose conducted extensive research in Britain, France, and the United States, reviewing diary entries and recently declassified documents as well as interviewing SOE veterans to piece together their incredible stories. “Thirty-nine women of SOE went to war, and 14 of them never came home. These women broke barriers, smashed taboos, and altered the course of history,” says Rose. “They were sent undercover, so they never expected glory, and their story was classified for almost 70 years after the war. With the 75th anniversary of D-Day, it is an honor to tell their story now.” Copies of the book are available at Lake Forest Bookstore, lakeforestbookstore.com.
Lake Forest’s McKinlock Post 264 of the American Legion is observing its 100th year of supporting veterans and our local community with a celebration that is expected to last throughout the year, Lake Forest Post 264 was chartered on October 28, 1919, and is part of the nation’s largest wartime service organization with 2 million members at 12,875 posts. This month’s Independence Day holiday is the perfect time to honor these veterans and remember those who have fallen. Post 264 was named after Lake Forest’s Lieutenant George Alexander McKinlock Jr., who died at the Fields of Flanders during World War I. McKinlock, who was with a machine gun group in France, was believed to be the first Lake Forester killed in action during World War I. His mother, Marion, visited the battle site to find his body, and wandered the rows of burial sites without success. As she later recounted, she was tired and sat down near a cross with an Army helmet on top. She turned over the helmet, and found her son’s name inside. George Alexander McKinlock Jr., Harvard Class of 1916, died in France on July 21, 1918. He is buried at Lake Forest Cemetery. For more information about the McKinlock post and upcoming events, visit americanlegionlakeforest.org.
Art in the Round
Now is the perfect opportunity to attend an event at the latest Ragdale Ring performance venue in Lake Forest. The Centro Social/Social Club showcase of music, visual culture, contemporary art, and entertainment will begin at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 10—with pre-show and Ragdale open studio tours beginning at 6 p.m. The historic artists’ residency in Lake Forest selected Houston architects David Costanza and Piergianna Mazzocca to design the inventive constellation of three round discs (stages) that reimagine the Ragdale Ring garden theatre designed by architect Howard Van Doren Shaw in 1912. Get your tickets ($20 per person; $15 for students and seniors; 12 years and under free) to experience a performance where underground cool meets the nightclub vibe—curated by artist/DJ Sadie Woods. Bring your family and friends, lawn chairs, and picnics. Special tastings and beverages will also be available for purchase. For tickets and parking information, visit ragdale.org.