Places To GoBook LookMovie & VideosThe Arts,

Calendar, GamesCrossword

Book Reviews Elsewhere  (fresh daily from the Web)

 Movie Reviews Elsewhere  (fresh daily from the Web)

Places To Go

Lincoln Community Theatre productions

Lincoln Community Theatre's summer productions are "Nuncrackers," presented June 13-21; "Steel Magnolias," July 11-19; and "1776," Aug. 1-9. The box office at the Johnston Center for Performing Arts on the Lincoln College campus is open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday; call (217) 735-2614. For more information, visit

'Into Africa: The Epic Adventures
of Stanley and Livingstone'

[JUNE 11, 2003]  "Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley and Livingstone.” Martin Dugard, Doubleday, 2003, 340 pages

Review by Richard Sumrall

"Doctor Livingstone, I presume?"

With those immortal words, newspaperman-turned-African-adventurer Henry Morton Stanley ended one of the most extraordinary expeditions in history: the search for legendary explorer Dr. David Livingstone.

In his new book "Into Africa," author-adventurer Martin Dugard has written a fascinating "truth is stranger than fiction" account of the lives of these two men and the events leading up to their improbable meeting on Nov. 10, 1871. On that fateful day Livingstone, presumed lost in Africa for approximately five years, was finally located in the Lake Tanganyika shore town of Ujiji.

Although Stanley's motives were unknown to the world during the search for Livingstone, he was actually looking for the famed explorer while serving as a reporter under the auspices of the New York Herald newspaper. This expedition was concocted by the Herald's brilliant yet unpredictable publisher James Gordon Bennett Jr. Serving at the behest of Bennett's scheme to obtain the story of the decade, Stanley dutifully assembled an expedition in Zanzibar in January 1871 to ascertain the fate of the missing Livingstone.


Livingstone's earlier African expedition was one of many conducted in the latter half of the 19th century with one goal in mind: to be the first person to locate, identify and map the source of the mighty Nile River. The strenuous nature of such exploration was the primary reason Livingstone's 1866 expedition exhausted itself of money, barter, porters and supplies and left him abandoned in the heart of the African continent.

As worldwide concern grew regarding Livingstone's fate, several rescue attempts were launched, most notably those of the Royal Geographic Society in London. These failed attempts partly fueled Bennett's desire to scoop the British press and find Livingstone. It is this subsequent expedition and Stanley's account of his search that makes for an incredible tale of adventure.

Stanley, a failure in several previous career attempts, was a rather mediocre newspaper journalist who had no training in leading an expedition into the uncharted wild. Despite this inexperience he assembled a caravan and set out in search of the missing explorer.


[to top of second column in this review]

During his search Stanley encountered hostile native tribes, ferocious beasts, poisonous plants, disease, Arab slave traders and near starvation. In spite of insurmountable odds the man who began as an American news reporter evolved into a determined expedition leader who finally achieved the success that had eluded so many before him.

In a final ironic twist Livingstone refused to return with Stanley, still determined to discover the Nile's source.

As Stanley returned to the West with Livingstone's journals and letters (the proof that he had found the explorer), Livingstone pressed on with his search. Regrettably his failing heath, combined with a lack of funding, again brought his quest to a halt. Livingstone died in Africa on May 1, 1873, from complications related to his adventurous life.


Stanley, transformed by his own African experience, returned to the continent in 1874 to fulfill a promise made to Livingstone to seek the source of the Nile River. Like Livingstone he was unsuccessful, and, following an illustrious career as an explorer, he died on May 10, 1904.

According to the author it would be almost a century later that the true source of the Nile River was discovered. Using satellite photography it was finally determined that the Nile's waters emanate from the ground high in the mountains of Burundi between Lakes Tanganyika and Victoria.

"Into Africa" is part history, part biography and all adventure. Dugard's meticulous research captures the history of the two expeditions and the respective men who led them. His vivid description of an Africa that is both beautiful and terrifying documents the awe-inspiring grandeur of the world's last great unexplored land. This book is highly recommended for anyone who enjoys history, biography or adventure.

[Richard Sumrall,  Lincoln Public Library District]

LCT 'Nuncrackers' opens

[JUNE 10, 2003]  Lincoln Community Theatre's first production of the season, the hilarious musical "Nuncrackers," will open Friday, June 13, at 8 p.m. at the Johnston Center for Performing Arts, 300 Keokuk, Lincoln. Performances run through Saturday, June 21. The Tuesday through Saturday shows are at 8 p.m., and the Sunday production will be a 2 p.m. matinee. There is no performance on Monday.

With a somewhat ridiculous premise, the saga of the Little Sisters of Hoboken that began with "Nunsense" and "Nunsense II" continues as the madcap singing nuns attempt to stage "The Nutcracker" as a holiday fund-raiser. They incorporate audience participation while delivering two hours of groaner puns and snappy musical numbers, while attempting to tape the pageant for the Hoboken cable access station. Assisted in their efforts by the kindly Father Virgil and the kids who won the talent contest at Mount St. Helen's School, things go awry… to put it kindly. The Christmas pageant ends up as a hilarious comedy of errors sprinkled with witty barbs on Catholic and Protestant life, home-shopping networks, Julia Child and the "Nutcracker" ballet. This show is (our apologies) habit-forming. It will make you laugh and perhaps will tug at your heartstrings.


[to top of second column in this article]

LCT box office hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday and one hour before each performance. The box office, phone (217) 735-2614, is located in the Johnston Center on the Lincoln College campus. Tickets are $9 for adults and $6 for children through eighth grade.

Season tickets, now priced at $24 for adults and $15 for children through eighth grade, are still available for the 2003 summer series. The season tickets also include the July production of "Steel Magnolias" and the August musical "1776."

Further information is available at

[Judy Rader, LCT publicity]


Classic films return to Lincoln Cinemas

The Logan County Arts Association, in conjunction with GKC Cinemas Corporation, has brought the classic film night series back to the Lincoln Cinemas. The next set of films is scheduled for every second Thursday through October, with shows at 7 p.m.

Classic films lined up for the 2003 season:

  • "My Fair Lady," June 12
  • "Old Yeller," July 10
  • "The Apartment," Aug. 14
  • "Wuthering Heights," Sept. 11
  • "War of the Worlds," Oct. 9

Tickets are $5.50 for adults and $4.50 for senior citizens and children 12 and under. The tickets are available at GKC Lincoln Cinemas.

Anyone wanting more information may call the Logan County Arts Association at (217) 735-4422.

[Press release from the
Logan County Arts Association]

Lincoln Community Theatre information

Lincoln Community Theatre's box office, phone 735-2614,  is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday for the summer season. The office is located in the lobby of the Johnston Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of Lincoln College.

Performances of "Dearly Departed" are scheduled for July 12-20, and "The King and I" will be presented Aug. 2-10. Show times are 2 p.m. on Sundays and 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

The LCT mailing address is Lincoln Community Theatre, P.O. Box 374, Lincoln, IL  62656; e-mail:

Visit the LDC website at Pictures from past productions are included.

Back to top


News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries

Community | Perspectives | Law & Courts | Leisure Time | Spiritual Life | Health & Fitness | Teen Scene
Calendar | Letters to the Editor