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‘The Princess Diaries’

[SEPT. 12, 2001]  The Princess Diaries," by Meg Cabot. Harper Collins Publishers, 2000, 238 pages.

Mia Thermopolis is an insecure 14-year-old who goes to private school in New York City and lives in Greenwich Village with her artist mother. She worries about passing algebra, growing breasts and if Josh Richter, the most popular boy in school, will ever "look into her soul," as she expresses it. She has a best friend named Lilly who has her own weekly cable show. She is also pretty sure that she is the only one at her school without a date for the Cultural Diversity Dance. To top everything off, her mother begins dating her algebra teacher, Mr. Giannini. All this is to say she is basically a happy teenager, but that is about to change.


Mia’s parents met in college and never married. She has spent summer vacations with her father and grandmother in France and never had a clue about their royal status.

When her father shows up unexpectedly in New York to talk to her about something, she still doesn’t have a clue. She is aware that her father had testicular cancer but was not aware that it meant he couldn’t have any more children. It is this fact that changes Mia’s life forever.

He finally tells her at the Plaza Hotel that he is the prince of Ginnovia and she is his sole heir to the throne of Ginnovia, making her the princess. He expects her to leave everything she has known behind and move to Genovia and assume her duties.


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She doesn’t take it well; in fact she really freaks out. She is angry with her parents for keeping it from her, and she doesn’t want anyone to know about it, not even Lilly. To further interrupt her life, her grandmere, the dowager princess of Genovia, arrives in New York for "princess lessons" and a makeover.

Eventually Mia’s cover is blown — by her grandmere, we later find out — and the press shows up at her high school one morning. She now goes from invisible to highly visible with her bodyguard, Lars, and her limousine.

She also attracts the attention of the before-unattainable Josh, who suddenly breaks up with his longtime girlfriend, Lana, and asks Mia to the Cultural Diversity Dance. Of course, this turns out to be a royal disaster, and Josh reveals his true self. The good thing to come out of the dance disaster is the she discovers that the loyal friend, whom she mostly ignores, turns out to be the real "Mr. Right."


Teens will enjoy the diary format because they will relate to her fears, insecurities, failures and triumphs. It is like reading your best friend’s journal. Cabot has a good grasp of the teen dialect. Her off-the-wall humor will have you laughing out loud.

The Disney movie that is based on the book is rated G, but the book is more of a PG-13, because of language and sexual innuendo. This book is recommended for age 13 and up.

For more information, visit the library at 725 Pekin St. or call (217) 732-5732.

[Linda Harmon, Lincoln Public Library]

Logan County Arts Association will join the celebration of Illinois Arts Week

[SEPT. 7, 2001]  Joining an annual statewide celebration of the arts, the Logan County Arts Association will host Classic Film Night on Thursday, Oct. 11, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Lincoln Theater. Classic Film Night will feature "Casablanca," courtesy of George Kerasotes Corporation. The film is to be shown in its entirety, without commercial interruption, on the big screen.

Gov. George Ryan has proclaimed Oct. 7-13 as Illinois Arts Week 2001. "To reach out to the community and beyond, Classic Film Night will be included in the Illinois Arts Council’s statewide campaign to promote Illinois Arts Week," said Marshall Jacobs, president of the local arts association.

"The Illinois Arts Week theme, ‘The arts are all around us,’ captures the important message that the arts are present every day, in some way, in our lives. Arts Week helps to focus our attention on all the arts activities and programs that surround us in our communities," said Illinois Arts Council Chairman Shirley R. Madigan.

"Logan County Arts Association is pleased to be able to join the Illinois Arts Council to be part of this statewide initiative," said Jacobs. "We hope that the entire community and surrounding area will take the opportunity to attend Classic Film Night and join the exciting statewide celebration. "

Admission to the local event is $5 per adult and $2.50 for children.

[Logan County Arts Association news release]

Theatre 7 announces ‘Moon Over Buffalo’  auditions

[SEPT. 5, 2001]  Theatre 7, Decatur's Community Theatre, will be having auditions for the first show of its 38th season, the comedy "Moon Over Buffalo." Auditions will be at Theatre 7 headquarters, 131 N. Water St. in Decatur, on Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 11 and 12, at 7 p.m.

Director Jayson Albright and assistant director Rick Smith will be casting four men and four women ranging in age from 20 to 60-plus. For more information on the specific characters, check's.htm.

Those auditioning will be asked to read from a provided scene from the script.

Performance dates are Nov. 2-4 and 9-11.

Producer Jerry Johnson will also be accepting volunteers for a variety of production jobs.

For more information, call 423-2107 or send e-mail to

[Theatre 7 news release]

[Click here for previous LDN posting about the production.]

Arts in Logan County

Upcoming events and logo contest

[SEPT. 1, 2001]  The Logan County Arts Association is a newly formed organization dedicated to introducing all disciplines of the arts to our area. From hands-on programs for children to classical music for adults, the spectrum is broad and entertaining. Though it is still very new and in the setting-up stages, the association has already scheduled several events. 

"Music, Magic, and More" by Mr. Tone, a professional clown, is geared to children's activities and set for Sept. 29. Classic Movie Night featuring "Casablanca" will open on Oct. 11. An afternoon performance of classical Spanish guitar by Spanish-trained Chris Culleton is scheduled for Dec. 16.

"What we don’t have," says Marshall Jacobs, director of the association, "is an identifying logo that graphically shows who we are! Here's where we hope you can be of help and have fun in the process."

The association is sponsoring a contest in Logan County schools for a logo the arts group can adopt. Jacobs says this challenge can be an exciting art project for students in middle school and high school.

The winner will be publicly recognized and receive a cash award and a free membership to the association’s first-year activities.

Entries should be sent to:

Logan County Arts Association

303 S. Kickapoo St.

Lincoln, IL 62656

Entries should be postmarked no later than Oct. 10 to be considered in the judging. For more information, please contact Jean Gossett, (217) 732-7542.

Artists at weekend fair receive awards

[AUG. 28, 2001]  Eighty-one artists had works on display Aug. 25 and 26 at Lincoln’s 28th annual Art Fair. Artists came from eight states, and the weather was very nice both days. The artists have always been pleased with Latham Park setting and none said they would not be returning. As usual, survey sheets were given to the artists. The responses are yet to be fully evaluated, but there did not seem to be any major problems. Co-chairpersons managing the fair were Debra Short and Shirley R. Bartelmay. 


Three-dimensional class

Sally Foster of Springfield — Wood

Daphne Davies of Osage City, Kan. — Jewelry

Mila Aciro of Palos Park — Art in sawdust.

Two-dimensional class

Sue Scaife of Springfield — Pastel

Connie Glowacki of Janesville, Wis. — Watercolor

Dennis Rosen of Wind Lake, Wis. — Photography

Special awards

The Janet Harris Memorial Award to the most creative painter was awarded this year to Julie Purdum of Hanna City for her pastels.

Alice Jaeger-Ashland of St. Ann, Mo., received the Best of Show award for her printmaking. This award was sponsored by Lee Dowling of Lincoln.


Comedy, mystery and musical to be on Decatur stage

[JULY 31, 2001]  Season tickets are now on sale for the 38th season of Theatre 7 — Decatur’s Community Theatre. Call the Decatur Civic Center box office, 422-6161, for more information. All shows will be performed at the Decatur Civic Center Theatre. The following shows will be presented as part of the coming season.

•  "Moon Over Buffalo" (comedy)

Written by Ken Ludwig

Nov. 2-3 and 9-10, 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 4 and 11, 2 p.m.

A backstage farce about an acting couple in the 1950s who have one last shot at stardom as a famous movie director is on his way to Buffalo, N.Y., to see them perform. Misunderstandings and mistaken identities pile up for loads of laughs. Written by the author of "Lend Me a Tenor."

Sponsored by Bodine Electric, Miles Chevrolet, Romano Company and Skeff Distributing

•  "Deathtrap" (mystery)

Written by Ira Levin

Feb. 8-9 and 15-16, 2002, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 10 and 17, 2002, 2 p.m.

A successful writer of Broadway thrillers is struggling to overcome a "dry" spell when he receives a script from a student. Suspense mounts steadily as the plot begins to twist and turn with devilish cleverness that will hold you enthralled until the final, startling moment of the play.

Sponsored by Behnke and Company


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•  "Anything Goes" (musical)

Music and lyrics by Cole Porter

Book by Guy Bolton, P.G. Wodehouse, Howard Lindsay and Russell Crouse

April 12-13 and 19-20, 2002, 7:30 p.m.

April 14 and 21, 2002, 2 p.m.

A deliriously witty festival of songs and rollicking humor unfolds on a luxury ship making the Atlantic crossing in 1934, with a society girl caught between her finance and her boyfriend, a nightclub queen, a bevy of Times Square sirens and a slightly nervous gangster. Songs include "I Get A Kick Out of You"; "Blow, Gabriel, Blow"; and "You’re the Top."

Sponsored by Doug and Peg Schmalz and ADM Foundation


[Theatre 7 news release]


Lincoln Community Theatre website

Lincoln Community Theatre’s website is up and available. The site serves a number of functions, from providing information on becoming a season ticket holder to showing what new productions are being planned. Pictures from last season's productions are also posted.

If you are interested in joining a performance or just going to see one, visit LCT’s website at, e-mail LCT at, or write to Lincoln Community Theatre, P.O. Box 374, Lincoln, IL  62656.


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