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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Art Talk – Camps, concerts, comedy: A summer trifecta


With a new renaissance upon us, arts leaders and event planners are vigorously scheduling activities, encouraged by increased levels of audience confidence. Julie Kornak, co-founder and executive director of BrightSide Theatre, is among those working overtime to bring performances back to Naperville stages. Six outdoor concerts, four summer camps, and a megahit play are on the roster – more than doubling BrightSide’s offerings from the previous year.

First up is Mamma Mia!, the beloved jukebox musical based on the songs of ABBA, the influential Swedish sensation from the 70s. Coming to the Theatre at Meiley-Swallow Hall at North Central College, 31 S. Ellsworth in Naperville, the play will run Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, June 3 through 19, with tickets ranging in price from $28 to $33.

Kornak, eager to welcome attendees back, stated, “After twice postponing the production due to COVID, we are thrilled to bring 24 cast members, eight musicians, and several artistic designers to light up the stage with the music and dancing.”

BrightSide Theatre also is hosting four summer camps for aspiring young thespians. Noting last year’s success, Kornak expanded the program to accommodate students in two age groups at two locations. Six- to ten-year-olds will work on Lion King, Kids, June 13 through 24, in the mornings at Naperville’s Frontier Park, 3109 Cedar Glade Drive. Eleven to eighteen-year-olds will study Lion King, Jr. on concurrent dates in the afternoon at Frontier Park. The routine will be repeated July 18 through 29 at the Downers Grove Swim & Racquet Club, 5560 Fairview Avenue, Downers Grove, July 18 through 29. Each session will culminate in a performance for family and friends on the evening of the final day of camp. Tuition is $400.

Additionally, BrightSide Theatre, in partnership with Naperville Park District, will round out the season with the Golden Age of Broadway, this year’s outdoor summer concert series. Free, family-friendly one-hour revues are on the calendar for 7 to 8PM on Wednesday evenings, June 29, July 13, and July 27 in Naperville at the 95th Street Community Plaza, 3109 Cedar Glade Drive, and on Thursdays, June 30, July 28, and August 11 at Naperville’s Millennium Carillon Amphitheatre, 443 Aurora Avenue. Talented singers and live musicians will present selections from memorable shows like My Fair Lady, South Pacific, West Side Story, and The Sound of Music. Attendees are advised to bring lawn chairs or blankets and enjoy a wonderful evening of music.

For full details, ticket purchases, and workshop enrollment, visit BrightSide Theatre’s website at brightsidetheatre.com and start making your summer plans now!

Debbie Venezia
Debbie Veneziahttp://www.artsdupage.org
Debbie Venezia is the Director of Arts DuPage, a DuPage Foundation initiative. Contact her at debbie@dupagefoundation.org or visit www.artsdupage.org.