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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


[JUNE 18, 2003]  "Marika," by Andrea Cheng. Front Street, 2002, 163 pages.

Review by Linda Harmon

This story is a debut novel for Ms. Cheng and is loosely based on her mother's life. It begins in Budapest in December of 1939 with Marika's father, Apa, and her uncle Lipot asking Marika to forge some documents for the family. She is 12 but her handwriting is exceptional. She has no idea why they are making this request of her, but as the story unfolds, the reason becomes very apparent. The story covers a 10-year period in Marika's life, from age 6 to age 16, when the Nazis take over the country until the end of World War II.


In 1934, when Marika is 6 years old, she returns from vacation with her mother and older brother Andras to find that her father has built a wall in their duplex, making it into two apartments. The larger of the two apartments is for the three of them and the smaller for him. Even though she sees her father daily, she still longs for the way things used to be when the family lived together. At this age, the situation with her parents and beginning school are the biggest worries in her life.

In 1935, when Marika starts school, she meets a girl named Zsofi. While the rest of the class attends Mass, Zsofi sits in the hall and studies her "Israelite religion." Marika's family is Jewish, but they don't practice their faith; instead they celebrate Christmas and Easter and attend Mass like Christians. Marika wants to tell Zsofi that she is also Jewish, but she knows that her father would be very angry with her, so instead she offers to teach her Latin. Marika is very envious of Zsofi's working-class, ordinary family that all live together. In contrast, her father is wealthy, her parents are separated, and her mother has emotional problems that often embarrass her children.


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In February of 1944 Marika and Andras take the train to visit Uncle Lipot and Aunt Ila. When they arrive back in Budapest things have changed. Andras shows a man a piece of paper and tells him that he is a college student on vacation with his little sister. Marika asks about the paper, but Andras won't tell her anything. They arrive at the apartment, and it is obvious that their parents have been very worried about their safety.

At this point Marika still does not understand what this is all about, but by April she understands completely. The radio announces that all Jews are to report to a central office to pick up their yellow stars. The Nazis now occupy Poland.

The rest of the story chronicles Marika's family's struggle to survive as their ordinary life disintegrates and they are separated, detained and forced into hiding.


This book reads more like a journal than a novel, and it gives a child's perspective of a very terrible situation. The reader feels the pain and confusion as Marika's world is shattered. The epilogue gives interesting closure to the story. The book is recommended for grades four to eight.

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

[Linda Harmon,  Lincoln Public Library District]



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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.


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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:

  • "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.

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