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James Lumber Center announces 2017-18 Professional Touring Series

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Jul 06, 2017

Subscription tickets go on sale July 17 for the 21st Professional Touring Series season at the James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts (JLC) at the College of Lake County in Grayslake. The 2017-18 season will offer an incredibly wide array of national touring artists, performing everything from political comedy by The Capitol Steps to displays of cultural heritage featuring Mexican dance, an African circus, Japanese drumming, Irish music and more.

Subscriptions will be on sale from July 17 to Sept. 30 at the JLC Box Office. Single tickets go on sale Aug. 21. Visit or call (847) 543-2300 for information.

2017-18 Professional Touring Series, James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts:

  • The Capitol Steps: Sunday, Sept. 17
  • Sones de México Ensemble: Friday, Sept. 22
  • “Beginnings” – The Ultimate Chicago Concert Experience: Saturday, Oct. 21
  • Aquila Theatre “Sense & Sensibility”: Friday, Nov. 3
  • Dan Zanes’ Holiday Sing-Along: Sunday, Dec. 17
  • Cirque Zuma Zuma: Saturday, Feb. 17
  • Animaniacs Live! Sunday, March 4
  • Rockin’ Road to Dublin: Friday, March 16
  • Taikoza: Sunday, March 25
  • “Cool Heat of Peggy Lee” starring Spider Saloff: Friday, May 11

“It’s so important to keep live performing arts accessible and available in our communities,” said Gwethalyn Bronner, executive director of the James Lumber Center. “The JLC professional touring series offers quality events of artistic and cultural diversity, with subscription prices providing the greatest discount all season. Our 21st season will be fun, so don’t miss it!”

The Capitol Steps: Sunday, Sept. 17 at 7 p.m., Mainstage. More than 30 years ago, The Capitol Steps began as a group of Senate staffers who set out to satirize the very people and places that employed them. Today, most cast members have worked on Capitol Hill, using their day-to-day experiences and the headlines of the day to create satirical song parodies and skits. No matter who or what is in the headlines, this hysterical show will tackle both sides of the political spectrum and all things equally foolish! Performer website:

Sones de México Ensemble: Friday, Sept. 22 at 8 p.m., Studio. Chicago’s preeminent folk music organization, Sones de México Ensemble, returns to the JLC for an evening of authentic music and storytelling, sharing their unique artistry and colorful heritage. Performing Mexican “son,” the acclaimed musicians perform with more than 40 Mexican folk instruments, interweaving song, dance, story and improvisation to create a rich, cross-cultural banquet of regional Latin-American music and featuring a traditional fandango (dance fiesta). Don’t miss “Beyond the Music: A Musical Geography of México,” a free lecture/demo on Mexican music with Sones de México Ensemble prior to the performance, followed by a pre-show mingle in the JLC lobby with food concession sales. This program is sponsored in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Performer website:

Beginnings musicians“Beginnings” – The Ultimate Chicago Concert Experience: Saturday, Oct. 21 at 8 p.m., Mainstage. “Beginnings” was born out of love and respect for the music of one of the greatest America rock bands of all time, recent Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee – Chicago –  a group whose songbook spans more than 50 years. What began as a collaboration by individually talented musicians has evolved into an incredible musical odyssey of musicianship and multiple lead vocalists, all combining to create timeless classics that define generations. Performer website:

Aquila Theatre “Sense & Sensibility”: Friday, Nov. 3 at 8 p.m., Mainstage. Take one of the most popular authors along with one of her most popular novels and you have Jane Austen’s “Sense & Sensibility.” Performed by the critically acclaimed Aquila Theatre, this bold and exciting production illustrates the effect of economic uncertainty brought about by the common practice of the first-born male inheriting entire family fortunes. Performer website:

Dan Zanes’ Holiday Sing-Along: Sunday, Dec. 17 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., Studio. This holiday-inspired song-and-dance party led by Grammy® Award-winning artist Dan Zanes is the perfect musical fare for family audiences. In this festive show, Zanes creates a relaxed, inclusive and inviting atmosphere designed to entertain children and/or families with autism or other special needs. Featured on Sesame Street, Playhouse Disney, Nickelodeon and HBO, Zanes’ music combines folk, rock-and-roll and soul, creating a magical, musical experience where the doors are open wide and everyone is invited! Performer website:

Dancer from Cirque Zuma ZumaCirque Zuma Zuma:  Saturday, Feb. 17 at 7 p.m., Mainstage. The ultimate African circus is one way to describe the spectacle that is Cirque Zuma Zuma. After enjoying sell-out seasons around the globe, this amazing ensemble continues to wow audiences as they perform never-before-seen talents mixed with a unique variety of African visual arts. The audience will witness mesmerizing dance, balancing acts, juggling, contortionist acts and much more in an action-packed show filled with awe-inspiring, incredible feats. Performer website:

Animaniacs Live! Sunday, March 4 at 4 p.m., Mainstage. The hilarious, 1990s animated series starring the wacky Warner Brothers (and the Warner Sister, Dot) is back in live form in Animaniacs Live! This zany, effervescent show mixes wit, wordplay, slapstick, pop culture and music with iconic voices and characters, along with an original score for every cartoon. With an Emmy® Award-winning theme song and the reuniting of voice actor Rob Paulsen with original songwriter Randy Rogel, this rollicking show comes to life to delight adults and children alike. Animaniacs and all related characters and elements © and ™ Warner Bros. Performer website:

Rockin’ Road to Dublin: Friday, March 16 at 8 p.m., Mainstage. Irish dance meets rock and roll in Rockin’ Road to Dublin, a fusion of concert and stage show, complete with 14 Irish dancers, male and female lead vocals and an eight-piece band. World Champion Irish Dancer Scott Doherty joins forces with Celtic rocker Chris Smith in this unique, energetic production that showcases Irish dance with highly original choreography, incredible technical mastery and Broadway flourish. Performer website:

Taikoza performersTaikoza: Sunday, March 25 at 4 p.m., Mainstage. Roughly translated, Taiko means “big drums,” and that’s exactly what Taikoza brings to the stage in this exhilarating show. This exciting group draws from Japan’s rich tradition of music and performance to create a highly visual, energetic performance. The show’s sound is derived from a variety of instruments, including drums of assorted sizes, the shakuhachi and fue (both bamboo flutes) and the Koto (a 13 string instrument). Performer website:

“Cool Heat of Peggy Lee” starring Spider Saloff: Friday, May 11 at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., Studio. In this intimate performance, the dynamic, Chicago-based jazz vocalist Spider Saloff performs her one-woman show, “The Cool Heat of Peggy Lee.” Acclaimed as one of the great interpreters of the Great American songbook, Saloff is both a gifted song stylist and actress, renowned for her inspired, introspective performances. In this show, she pays homage to the smoldering style of Peggy Lee, from her humble beginnings through the glamour and chart-breaking recordings of the 1950s and ‘60s. Performer website:

Shows for School Groups

The James Lumber Center will also present several children’s shows created especially for school groups:

The CLC Theatre department will present “The True Story of the Three Little Pigs” Sept. 28-30 and Oct. 1.

Lyric Opera of Chicago’s 2017 Opera in the Neighborhoods production of “The Scorpions’ Sting” Oct. 24 and 25. 

The acclaimed Virginia Repertory Theatre, a regional theatre with national standing, will present two performances each of “Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad” on March 14 and “The Three Little Pigs” on April 20.

For more information and group tickets for the JLC’s children’s shows, call (847) 543-2431 or email


Subscriber ticket prices for JLC Professional Series shows range from $24 to $44, with two price levels available for most events. When purchased with an adult subscription, subscriptions for teens ages 12-17 are available at a discount. CLC student subscriptions are also available.

The deadline to purchase Professional Touring Subscriptions (three or more events) is Sept. 30, 2017. Subscribers can also purchase additional tickets throughout the 2017-2018 season at the low subscriber rate, in addition to getting the best seats available. Subscribers also receive personalized assistance creating their subscription, handling and exchange fees waived and ticket exchanges up to 24 hours prior to the event during regular Box Office hours.

A dedicated subscriber line is available at (847) 986-1800. A $2 per ticket JLC facility fee will be added to each ticket at the time of purchase. Subscription tickets can be purchased at the Box Office in the James Lumber Center, Room P112, on the Grayslake Campus, 19351 W. Washington St., or by phone. Subscriptions are not available for online purchase, but patrons can learn more about the 2017-2018 season by visiting

For more information on JLC subscriptions, call the Box Office at (847) 543-2300 (option 5). During CLC’s Summer Session, the Box Office is open Monday through Thursday, noon to 5 p.m. Starting Aug. 21, the Box Office is open Monday through Friday, 12-6 p.m. On that day, single tickets for all JLC professional events (not part of a subscription of three or more events) will go on sale.