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Wednesday, July 23, 2008 10:27 pm

IT Picks

IT's picks for what to do this week

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Star treatment

There really is no business like show business, and when you add an overly ambitious mother with a talented kid to the mix, well, things can get downright bizarre. Loosely based on the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, the famous striptease artist, Gypsy chronicles Lee's mother's over-the-top efforts to push her children up the ladder to stardom. Sullivan's Little Theatre on the Square presents the musical through Aug. 3. The Broadway classic features such memorable tunes such as "Let Me Entertain You," "You Gotta Get a Gimmick," and "Everything's Coming Up Roses.

Thu.-Wed.July 24-30

(Ending Aug. 3)

Gypsy

Little Theatre on the Square, Sullivan

217-728-7375

www.thelittletheatre.org

$28; seniors & kids $26

All that jazz

The Dana-Thomas House Foundation throws open the doors to the Springfield architectural gem this weekend for the annual "Jazz in Bloom" celebration. The Dana-Thomas House, a regular party palace when it was owned by the woman who commissioned it, Susan Lawrence Dana, covers 12,000 square feet and houses original Frank Lloyd Wright-designed art glass, furniture, and fixtures. Visitors can walk the grounds to the sound of homegrown jazz by John Crisp's Chahrm: The Band with Ada Louand nosh on a tasty spread from Johnny Oh's.Bid on such silent-auction items as entertainment tickets, baseball-game packages, and art. Advance registration is required to attend the event.

SaturdayJuly 26

Jazz in Bloom

Dana-Thomas House, Fourth & Lawrence

www.dana-thomas.org

6-9 p.m.

$60

War time

Sit back in your lawn chair at Union Park and watch 21 singing performers portray soldiers, civilians, and politicians, both Union and Confederate, in the historical production The Civil War: A Musical. Beginning, as the war did, at Fort Sumter, the musical — penned by Frank Wildhorn, Gregory Boyd, and Jack Murphy — spins personal letters and diaries, as well as the poetry of Walt Whitman and the words of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, into a series of songs that question the purpose, celebrate the victories, and mourn the human loss of the Civil War. The production features a live orchestra.

Thu.-Sun. July 24-27

The Civil War: A Musical

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum, 212 N. Sixth St.

www.alplm.org

8 p.m.

$12; members $10, kids $8

Art works

On Wednesday, the Robert Morris Gallery opens an exhibition by Brooklyn-based illustrator and children's author Javaka Steptoe, whose first book, In Daddy's Arms I Am Tall: African Americans Celebrating Their Fathers, won wide acclaim, including a nomination for the NAACP Image Award. Steptoe works in the medium of collage, using such found objects as buttons, scraps, and even pocket lint. Along with the exhibit, Steptoe will host art workshops and a story session at the Boys and Girls Club of Springfield on July 31 from 4 to 6 p.m. Copies of Steptoe's book will be available for purchase at the gallery during the opening reception. The exhibition closes Sept. 13.

Wednesday July 30

Javaka Steptoe Opening Reception

Robert Morris Gallery, 607 E. Adams St.

www.javaka.com

5-7 p.m.

Free

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