Ron Onesti will talk about everything from rock stars to growing up in the Italian community on Chicago’s Taylor Street on the podcast and radio program “It’s Showtime with Rikki Lee,” which will be broadcast at 3 p.m. July 21.
Proud of his Italian heritage, Onesti is president of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans, a news release stated. His growing entertainment projects including Chicago-area restaurants, concert venues and cultural festivals under the Onesti Entertainment banner.
He will talk about his entertainment ventures including the Arcada Theatre and the Des Plaines Theatre.
The top of the episode includes a nod to Laura Orrico of Laura Oricco Public Relations, and a vice president of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans, for suggesting the interview and putting the two Chicago personalities in contact with one another. Recently, Orrico and Travolta were interviewed by NTD News on how the SAG-AFTRA and Writers Guild of America strikes are affecting Hollywood.
In Friday’s radio interview, Onesti discusses his childhood in Chicago, and how his parents’ encouragement led him to go into business at an early age and eventually turn the focus of his business interests to entertainment.
The Arcada Theatre in St. Charles and the Des Plaines Theatre in Des Plaines were once on the verge of demolition. Since acquiring the two former vaudeville-era playhouses, Onesti has helped beautifully restore them and turn them into the home of must-see touring acts.
Upcoming events at the two venues include Frankie Avalon on his final tour, Robby Krieger of The Doors, comedian Andrew Dice Clay, Lita Ford, Joss Stone, Buckcherry, Digital Underground and Sugarhill Gang, and Crystal Gayle.
Because Travolta is publicist for Steven Adler, who has performed the hits of “Appetite for Destruction” from his Guns N’ Roses days in shows at the Arcada Theatre, the conversation turned to Onesti’s own secret-recipe meatballs. Onesti’s meatballs are a favorite of Adler when he comes to the area.
Onesti also oversees the cuisine of his Club Arcada Speakeasy and Restaurant, Bourbon ‘N Brass Speakeasy, Rock ‘N Za pizza experience, Rock ‘N Ravioli Italian restaurant and Des Pizza. And it all stems from the Italian cooking he learned growing up on Taylor Street.
Although he wasn’t raised in Chicago, Travolta is well acquainted with Taylor Street, where he immersed himself in local Italian culture after arriving in town to prepare for his title role in “Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding.” Travolta and Onesti compare notes during the interview.
“It’s Showtime with Rikki Lee” is a half-hour, weekly interview show about the entertainment industry, with guests ranging from local personalities to celebrities from the worlds of film, television, theater, music and literature. It airs at 3 p.m. Fridays on 101.5 FM out of Huntley.
The interview is also available as a podcast on Spotify and all major apps.
For information on upcoming events at the Arcada Theatre and the Des Plaines Theatre, visit www.oshows.com.