The Scene

Local Scene: ‘Tootsie,’ Civil War-era ball debut, alongside Taylor Swift tribute in the Illinois Valley

Mini-golf and flute concert among other weekend activities

Taylor Swift fans who attended the event received a gift bag at the Taylor Swift fan party hosted by the Lockport Township Park District on Feb. 10, 2024 in Lockport.

Here are five things to do this weekend:

1 “Tootsie – The Comedy Musical”: The show starring students and community members opens Thursday for a two-weekend run in the Illinois Valley Community College Cultural Centre on the Oglesby campus. Playing April 11-21, “Tootsie” will be performed 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Based on the 1982 Dustin Hoffman movie, the show contains adult themes and frequent, coarse language and might not be suitable for children. Tickets now available by visiting Tickets are $20 for adults, and $15 for high school students and younger.

2 A Taylor Experience!: “Are You Ready For It? A Taylor Experience?” is a live tribute show for all ages filled with Taylor Swift’s best hits. The concert is scheduled 3 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday at the Starved Rock Lodge and Conference Center inside the park. Traci has been a professional singer/performer for more than a decade and opened for national touring artists and even sang backing vocals for Felix Cavaliere of The Rascals. There will be a meet-and-greet after the show. The cost is $64. Go to for tickets.

3 Shadows of the Blue and Gray Ball: The inaugural ball is scheduled 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the Bureau County Fairgrounds in Princeton. Enjoy a night of dancing, a silent auction, a 50/50 raffle and music from the 1860s. All dances will be taught and called by Kimberli and Tom Grant of Historical Merriments. Dress clothes requested, period dress is encouraged but not required. Tickets cost $25 or $40 per couple. Tickets for individuals 18 and younger are available for $20. Email for tickets. For information, find the Blue and Gray Ball on Facebook.

4 Library mini-golf: To celebrate National Library Week, the Putnam County Library District branch in Hennepin, 214 N. Fourth St., will host library mini-golf from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday. The library is opening after hours for a fun activity for the whole family. All ages are welcome. For information, go to

5 Inspired by Starved Rock: The Illinois Valley Flute Ensemble and Bloomington-Normal Flute Club will present the Inspired by Starved Rock concert at 3 p.m. Sunday at Zion United Church of Christ, 1521 Sixth St., Peru. The Illinois Valley Flute Ensemble under the direction of Sue Gillio and the Bloomington-Normal Flute Club under the direction of Rachel Bailey, an Illinois Valley Flute Ensemble alumna, will present the concert including pieces by Phyllis Louke, composer/flutist from Oregon that depict nature and conger up images of eagles soaring over Starved Rock or Native Americans singing in the canyons, such as “As Eagles Flew, Canyon Dreams, Echoes in the Wind” with additional music by Ann Arbor, Michigan composer, Catherine McMichael. A free will offering will be accepted.

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Shaw Local News Network

Shaw Local News Network

Shaw Local News Network provides local news throughout northern Illinois