October is the month of spooks and ghouls and all things mysterious … but in Jacksonville, it also means tons of diverse and varied artistic venues bringing their best to the community.
The Jacksonville Theatre Guild (JTG) continues this weekend with their production of the raucous and riotous comedy, “The Complete History of America” (abridged) by Adam Long and Reed Martin. Director Carly Holmes is using the talents of Illinois College’s Drew Stroud, Lucas Chamberlain and Nick Hummowun to take the audience from Washington to Watergate, the Bering Straits to Baghdad and from the New World to the New World Order. The ninety-minute comedy utilizes the talents of its three actors to portray every historic character in our history books. If you haven’t seen this production that will leave you with a new and comic perspective of our history, make sure you get there this weekend before it closes. Play times are Oct. 1-3 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 4 at their new matinee time of 4 p.m.! Then, on October 17, JTG will host its first ever golf tournament. Tee time is 8 a.m. and the cost is $50 per person for a foursome. For more information or to register, contact Katie McDannald at (217) 371-1600 or the Links at (217) 479-4663. Finally, to help you get into the Halloween spirit and to look like one, the JTG costume department hosts a “Halloween Costume Spooktacular” on October 24. Folks are invited to come and search the “spooky” upper floors of their historic funeral home space to find “that perfect costume for all of your haunting events!” A nominal fee will be charged for rental of costumes. For more information for all of the above, contact JTG at (217) 245-1402 or by visiting their website at jaxtg.weebly.com.
On October 3, they will open the 53rd season for the Jacksonville Symphony Society by welcoming two virtuoso soloists who have connections to Jacksonville. Percussionist Luke Rinderknech and euphoniumist Gabriel Hart will perform works by Paul Creston and Alexandre Guilmant. Then, on October 31, the symphony brings back its popular Halloween concert, “Creepy Connections.” Musicians and audience alike are invited to come in their Halloween finest! Both concerts will be held at Rammelkamp Chapel and are at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 17, the second offering from Illinois College’s Fine Arts Program brings to Jacksonville the Khasma Piano Duo. Formed in 2012 by Ashlee Mack and Katherine Palumbo, the Khasma Piano Duo is dedicated to the performing dynamic dual piano works from the 20th and 21st centuries. In 2014-2015 they embarked on a call-for-scores project that led to performances around the nation and culminated in January 2015 with the world premiere of Robert Morris’ “Forty Fingers” for 8 hands at the Eastman School of Music. This thrilling concert is sure to please every age of audience. The concert is at Rammelkamp Chapel on the Illinois College campus and is at 7:30 p.m.
The Imagine Foundation continues their Gallery Hop on the first Friday of every month and will also host its second Kid’s Art Club on October 15, from 5-6 p.m., at the Asa Talcott house. Cost is $2 per child. Live Model Night at the Soap Co. Coffee House repeats on Oct. 21 from 7-9 p.m. The medium is open to all: painters, sketchers, photographers, or even just the curious who’d like to observe. Admission for artists is $10 ($5 for students of all ages) or $5 for people who just want to watch the process. October 31 will be Imagine’s first Halloween progressive party starting at 6:30 p.m. This will be a four course buffet at four different settings! Wear your costume and enter a special art raffle! $25 per person.
Over at Playhouse on the Square, Ken Bradbury brings Jacksonville another brand new musical called “Pearl’s Place.” The cast includes: Sylvia Burke, Sherri Mitchell, Carrie Carls, Stephanie Soltermann and Hope Cherry. Come enjoy the Bradbury touch on a musical comedy about a family diner that has to compete with the opening of a Hooters Bar and Grill right across the street! Mayhem is sure to ensue! Performances are Oct. 2-4 and 9-11. Then, on Oct. 16-18 (for one weekend only), Playhouse brings back the beloved radio characters of “The Battling Bickersons,” starring Rich and Laurie McCoy, and directed by Sean-Edward Hall. To close out the month, Laurie McCoy and Kim Shafer are bringing a children’s play to about the train that connected orphans with new homes and families during the late 1800s, called “The Orphan Train.” It performs one weekend only, as well, on Oct 22-25. Tickets are always available in advance at Our Town Books and The Soap Co. Coffee House, or by making reservations at (217) 491-3977.