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Four C Notes to host a very Valli Christmas bash

The Four C Notes will pay tribute to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons at a special holiday concert presented by Navarro Catering & Events on Dec. 17 at the Knights of Columbus Lodge in Elmhurst. Backed by a live band, the C Notes are led by John Michael Coppola, who appeared in Chicago’s long-running production of “Jersey Boys” after serving as understudy for the role of Frankie Valli during the show’s Broadway run. Titled “Season’s Greetings,” the Dec. 17 performance will feature the greatest hits of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons plus holiday classics made famous by artists ...

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Pompeii to celebrate season with song

In keeping with the spirit of the season, the Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii will host its 17th annual Mary and Christmas celebration on Dec. 2. Maestro Paul French will once again lead the William Ferris Chorale through a diverse program of Christmas favorites. A pre-concert reception at 6 p.m. will feature an elegant buffet, and after the concert, guests are invited to attend a champagne and pastry reception. Individual tickets are $175, and sponsorship packages ranging from $825 to $1,500 are available. (312-421-3757, www.ourladyofpompeii.org)

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Ballet Légere to stage 33rd “Nutcracker”

  Now in its 33rd year, Ballet Légere’s production of “The Nutcracker” is the longest running version of this popular holiday classic in the Chicago area. Slated for Dec. 7 to 11 at the Dominican University Performing Arts Center in River Forest, it’s a labor of love for founder and artistic director, Donna Vittorio. For one week in December, young and old alike can relive the holiday magic while joining Clara and her friends on their journey to the Land of Sweets. The production features more than 120 local dancers plus guest artists from around the country who perform the ...

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New theater troupe stages stirring debut

One of the most stirring moments in “Piano Piano: Stories From My Father,” comes when an Italian-American man tells how his immigrant father went in search of food during the Great Depression. The church’s food pantry ran out before he could get any, but on his way home, he saw a “for lease” sign and leased a grocery store, which helped get his family get through the Depression. The play takes place as a conversation between Rocco Chrisfotano, played by Antonio Brunetti, and his daughter Roxanne Christofano Pilat. She plays herself in the Italian American Theatre of Chicago’s debut production, ...

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Unity yields Christmas gift at the Casa

  There is strength in numbers, the old adage goes, and nowhere is that more apparent than at Casa Italia in Stone Park, where more than a dozen organizations will join forces to stage the Casa’s fourth annual Christmas Village. The complimentary open house is slated for Dec. 3. The following organizations had signed on to participate at the time of publication: the Americans of Italian Descent of DuPage County, Associazione Regionale Siciliani in America, Calabresi in America Organization, Associazione Regionale Pugliesi in America, Chicago West Suburban UNICO, Chicagoland Italian American Charitable Organization, Columbian Club of Chicago, Italian American Executives ...

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CIAP whips up second annual Cuccidati Fest

The Chicagoland Italian-American Professionals organization will present its second annual Festa Dei Cuccidati at Casa Italia on Dec. 10. The event will run from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Chandelier Room in the Community Center. Awards will be presented for the best homemade, locally-baked and available online cuccidati. The event will also feature a baking demonstration and a presentation about the cookie’s history and origins. Cuccidati is a traditional Sicilian Christmas treat with a crumbly, butter pastry dough filled with figs, honey, nuts and spices. The event was launched to recognize individuals who have preserved the tradition of making ...

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Tuminello crowned Columbus Day Queen

Gianna Tuminello was crowned queen of the Columbus Day Parade at an intimate pageant in September at the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame. Sponsored by the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans and chaired by Ron Onesti, the pageant featured in-depth conversations with each contestant. “I wanted to focus on the girls’ personalities and public presence,” Onesti said. Tuminello credited the love and guidance of her Italian-American mom with making her the young woman she is today. Tuminello will take part in the parade and other events in the community in the company of her court: Giuliana Bartucci, ...

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Maywood pays tribute to heroes of Bataan

On Sept. 10, 2017 the Maywood Bataan Day Organization unveiled a new tribute in Maywood Park to those who served at Bataan in the Philippines. The date marked the 75th commemoration of the annual Remember Bataan Memorial Services. The ceremony has been taking place on the second Sunday in September every year since 1942. I had the honor of representing the Navy at the wreath-laying portion of the program.   Those in attendance included members of the Illinois Army National Guard, veterans’ organizations, representatives of the Philippine government and the families of survivors from the 33rd Tank Company, 33rd Infantry Division ...

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Casa wraps up another standout bocce tourney

Casa Italia sponsored another standout bocce tournament this summer, fielding 14 teams that competed for honor and glory over the course of nine weeks of regular play and two weeks of playoffs. Team Columbian Club battled its way to a first-place finish with Nonno’s Team coming in second and No Stress taking third. Everyone brought food and wine to share and Italian American Executives of Transportation member Andy Tegtmeier earned a trophy for his skills at the grill. MVP honors went to 92-year-old Leno Santacaterina. The tourney was ably chaired by Casa Vice President Peter Volpe.

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Inaugural Indiana festa attracts large crowd

Cesare Battisti Lodge at Villa Cesare in Schererville spread Italian cheer across Northwest Indiana in August at its first annual Festa Italiana. Roughly 4,000 festival goers were serenaded by traditional and non-traditional Italian music as they made their way to food, craft and beer and wine vendors. They enjoyed non-stop live entertainment, played bocce at their leisure and in tournaments, watched pasta- and pizza-making demonstrations, participated in an entertaining spaghetti-eating contest, and learned from the experts at a wine-and-food pairing. For the rest of the story, visit. On the food front, there was pizza, Italian beef, Italian sausage, meatball and ...

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