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Play board games at Lincoln Public Library

[JAN. 18, 2002]  Bored with winter? Lincoln Public Library presents "Board Games Rodeo" from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. every Saturday through March 23 in the Pegram Community Room.

If you are high school age through adult, you are invited to come and compete against your fellow "boardmeisters" in games of Monopoly, Risk, Scrabble, chess, checkers, Chinese checkers, backgammon, Trivial Pursuit and Yatzee. Remember to bring your gameboard so everyone can participate.

Tri-County AmeriCorps volunteers serve as referees.

Light snacks are served.

For more information about this program, visit the library at 725 Pekin St. or call (217) 732-8878 or 732-5732.

‘The Other Side of Truth’

[FEB. 9, 2002]  "The Other Side of Truth," by Beverly Naidoo. HarperCollins Publishers, 2000. 252 pages. Grade 7 and up.

Beverly Naidoo has written a very thought-provoking, gripping novel about the harrowing experiences of an eighth-grade girl, Sade, and her fifth-grade brother, Femi, who have been smuggled out of Nigeria. Their father is a journalist who has written several articles critical of the government. Sade is the narrator of the events, and she describes the murder of her mother on the very first page.

"Sade is slipping her English book into her schoolbag when Mama screams. Two sharp cracks splinter the air."

With this abrupt beginning the reader is drawn into the lives, thoughts and inner feelings of the children. Armed with fake passports, a small bag of personal items and the company of an unknown woman, Sade and Femi are smuggled into London. The uncle who is supposed to meet them has disappeared, and they are left to take care of themselves.

After being falsely accused of stealing from a store, they are picked up by the police and then handed over to the immigration authorities. The children want to protect their father, so they provide false last names and cities of origin. From there they are taken to a series of foster homes and eventually land at the home of "Uncle Roy" and "Aunt Gracie" King.

The Kings ask Sadie and Femi to call them aunt and uncle. Even though the Kings try to make them feel at home, Sadie and Femi are afraid to share any personal information. Femi does not talk at all.



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School is the next frightening experience for the children, especially Sade. From the first minutes in Room 8B she wonders why everyone instantly dislikes her. Marcia and her bully friends confront Sade after an English homework assignment has been given… "No one does it. No one. Not unless I say so." Marcia and the others continue to taunt and harass her to the point she feels "like a small creature whose eyes and ears are always in a state of alarm."

Sade ponders all that her mother and father have taught her about dealing with bullies and being truthful, and at the same time must base her decisions on continuing to protect her father.

The day she learns her father is being held in a detention center because of illegally coming to London, she begins to formulate a plan to reunite the family. She will tell "Mr. Seven O’Clock News" her father’s story. Shortly after the story airs, Papa is released, but everyone knows it would have been a very different ending without the public support generated by the news story.

Naidoo has included an author’s note at the end, giving information about three political figures in the story who are real people. There is also a glossary of unfamiliar words. She has also written "Journey to Jo’burg" and the sequel, "Chain of Fire."

[Pat Schlough, Lincoln Public Library]

Community Concert review

Rhythm Brothers jazz up Logan County

By Gina Sennett

[FEB. 11, 2002]  Alison England was from California; the Pasadena Roof Orchestra was from England; and the Rhythm Brothers are not related, to paraphrase their introduction. The Rhythm Brothers is a quartet consisting of — at various times — two guitars, a banjo, a fiddle, a bass, a sousaphone and four silky voices. If that isn’t enough, add in "the music of Raul Reynoso and the humor of Doug Mattocks," and you get one entertaining show.

The Rhythm Brothers have played everywhere from Carnegie Hall to the Grand Ole Opry to Disneyland. And now they have graced Lincoln with their talented "plucking and strumming" as this month’s feature in the Lincoln Land Community Concerts series, at the chapel of Lincoln Christian College.

The band consists of Raul Reynoso, Doug Mattocks, Paul Shelasky and Lee "Westy" Westenhofer.


Reynoso is an extremely talented guitarist and songwriter. His songs have been described as "True World Music," since they come from his mixed background of Latin American culture, Los Angeles society and luegrass guitar. The band played a few of them, including "Matelot" and "Waneta’s Waltz."

Mattocks, a comedian and guitarist, also plays all three of the major styles of banjo: four-string tenor and plectrum and five-string bluegrass. As the unofficial leader of the band, his quick tongue keeps the show moving.

Shelasky is an accomplished fiddle player. His talent has taken him from the California State Fiddle Championships to international tours in North America and Europe. He also is a songwriter. The band performed one of his Discovery Channel-inspired love songs as an encore, "I Don’t Want a Praying Mantis Love Affair."

Westenhofer plays the upright bass for the band. His playfully driving rhythms give their songs, for lack of a better word, oomph. His renditions of "Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring" and "Dueling Banjos" played on the sousaphone are experiences no music lover should miss.



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For their sets at Saturday’s concert, the band chose a wide variety of tunes from all the ages of American string music. Traditional banjo tunes included "Oh! Susanna" and "Foggy Mountain Breakdown." The band’s smooth harmonies came out in the jazz tunes "What a Little Moonlight Can Do," "Chicken Ain’t Nothing but a Bird" and "Girl in the Little Green Hat." Bluegrass fans were delighted by "Rolling in my Sweet Baby’s Arms" and "Orange Blossom Special." Selections also included some Spanish favorites, such as "Malagueña."

Wonderful music was not the only gift given to the audience. Many of the song introductions included brief music history or music appreciation lessons. For example, the guitars played by Reynoso and Mattocks were reproductions of traditional French guitars used by early jazz players. Reynoso played the "petite bouche" or "little mouth" guitar, which describes the opening in the body. Mattocks’ guitar, the "grande bouche" or "large mouth" version had a much wider opening, allowing a different sound.

Music appreciation teachers or new style of string quartet, the Rhythm Brothers provided an entertaining and educational concert for Logan County residents.

For more information, go to

[Gina Sennett]

‘Deathtrap’ to be performed at Theatre 7

[FEB. 7, 2002]  Performances of "Deathtrap," by Ira Levin, begin this weekend at the Decatur Civic Center Theatre. Curtain time will be at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8, 9, 15 and 16 and at 2 p.m. on Feb. 10 and 17. This is the second show of Theatre 7’s 38th season.

In the play, 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 holds audiences enthralled until the final, startling moment of the play.

Cast members are Peter Kareotes as Sidney Bruhl, Mary Wilking as Myra Bruhl, Jeff Cowgill as Cliford Anderson, Missy Grohne as Helga Ten Drop and Lonn Pressnal as Porter Milgrim.

Anne Thompson is the director, and the assistant director is John Dunn.

Tickets are on sale to the public at the Decatur Civic Center Box Office, 422-6161.

The production is sponsored by Behnke and Company, Inc.

[Theatre 7 news release]

‘Sylvia’ playing at Richland next week

[FEB. 7, 2002]  Merely Players, in cooperation with the Richland Community College Forensicaturs (for EN sic ay ters), present the two-act adult comedy "Sylvia" in Shilling Auditorium on Feb. 14, 15, 16, 22 and 23. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. for each performance. Tickets are available at the door or by calling 875-7211, Ext. 342.

All proceeds from the production will benefit the Richland speech and debate team.

Sylvia is actually a dog who speaks — and watch out when she does! A stray taken in by a couple in the midst of empty nest syndrome (among other hilarious complications), Sylvia chews on shoes and hearts with equal fervor.

The opening performance, on Valentine’s Day, features a "non-blue night" with special and free admission to students with current photo IDs. The adult language will be modified for this performance only.


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The cast is composed of Richland’s four speech team coaches: Carrie Foxx as Sylvia, Joe Straka as Greg, Sam Straka as Kate, and Mike Huff as Tom, Phyl and Leslie.

Karen Becker is the producer and director. Assistant director is Vicky Sue Gilpin, and technical director is David Gilpin.

Running time is approximately two hours.

For further information, or to enter your dog as the canine equivalent as star of the show, or for group ticket discounts, contact Sam Straka of Merely Players at 848-0045.

[News release from Merely Players]

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Theatre 7 offers workshop leading up to auditions

[FEB. 7, 2002]  Theatre 7 in Decatur announces an audition workshop along with auditions for the musical comedy "Anything Goes."

Want to be on stage... but afraid to try?

"Auditioning Conditioning" is a workshop offered by Theatre 7’s director, Mike Redlinger, to help nervous potential performers cope and provide them with helpful hints for better tryouts. The workshop will be on Saturday, Feb. 16, from 1 to 3 p.m., at T7’s headquarters, 131 N. Water in Decatur. Reservations are not required and there is no charge.

This will be an excellent opportunity to become familiar with the music, history, highlights, cast requirements and rehearsal schedule for Theatre 7 upcoming production of the musical comedy "Anything Goes." The cast consists of 26 male and 26 female roles, ages 16-80.


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Auditions for "Anything Goes" are scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 18 and 19, at 6:30 p.m., at the Decatur Civic Center Theater. Those participating should be prepared to read script, sing and dance.

For more information about both the workshop and the auditions, call director Mike Redlinger at 864-2482.

[Theatre 7 news release]

Lincoln Community Theatre information

Lincoln Community Theatre’s website is at Pictures from past productions are included.  The LCT mailing address is Lincoln Community Theatre, P.O. Box 374, Lincoln, IL  62656.  E-mail:

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