Artists’ Ensemble presents laughs with Arty-Joke

“A little song, a little dance, a whole lot of comedy,” is what is promised from the Artists’ Ensemble (AE) fund-raising event, Arty-Joke, Feb. 10. The cast includes Linda Abronski, Patte Armato-Lund, Todd Bonzi, Carolyn Cadigan, Betsy Kaske, Rod MacDonald, Dorothy Paige-Turner and Stephen F. Vrtol III. Riley O’Neil will be the charming host for the evening. Judging from the list of performers, it is sure to be a side-splitting experience.

“It’s really going to be fun,” said Paige-Turner, who is no stranger to the stage. When I spoke with Dorothy, she was having a great time explaining the production and how audiences will most definitely be entertained.

The performance is in the Maddox Theatre at Rockford College, where AE resides for its third season. The evening starts off with a cocktail reception and silent auction in the lobby at 6:30 p.m. The show starts at 8 p.m.; then, there is an intermission to allow for more bidding on the cool auction items. Act two hits the stage, and then there is an afterglow reception with all the stars in the lobby. I think they will be available for autographs, too.

Tickets are $25 and can be ordered at 226-4100 or You may also purchase tickets for the remainder of the season.

March 16, Tuesdays with Morrie opens with MacDonald and Richard Raether. I’m predicting Kleenex will be necessary. Vrtol will be directing this production, based on the best-selling book by Mitch Albom. The last play of the season for Artists’ Ensemble is Red Herrin, sex murder and commie spies. Both these shows will be in the Cheek Theatre.

This will be a great way to see talented performers you know and love and help raise funds for a great arts organization.

See you there!

Anne E. O’Keefe is executive director of the Rockford Area Arts Council.

From the Feb. 7-13, 2007, issue

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