Enrich Your Spring: Oakton College Unveils May Performing Arts Program

String Ensemble Concert attendees will watch a tango performed by Frank Nero (left) and Karina Kavanaugh (right).

Catch the pinnacle of performing arts before students head off for summer break

Des Plaines, Ill. (April 29, 2024) - Are you interested in attending a concert or a play but feel too weary to make the journey into the city? Don't let fatigue dash your hopes. Instead, attend one of Oakton College’s May performing arts events — which includes a unique string ensemble concert.

No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre, A Staged Reading
May 4, at 7:30 p.m. and May 5, at 2 p.m.
In this absurdist classic, first performed in Nazi-occupied Paris in 1944, two women and one man are locked up together for eternity in one hideous room in Hell. The characters slowly come to realize that their torture does not involve fire and brimstone. Instead, their misery comes from an unanticipated source. $8 general admission; $6 students and seniors

String Ensemble Concert
May 6 at 8 p.m.
The concert will open with Telemann's concerto for two violas. The selection will include Mozart's “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik,” a beautiful minuet by Puccini, “Danzas de Panama” by William Grant Still, two famous tangos from Argentina, “Oblivion” and “Por una Cabeza,” and “Satin Doll” by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn.

Attendees will watch a tango presentation choreographed by Oakton's own Frank Nero, which he will perform with a professional dancer, Karina Kavanaugh. In addition, Ava Barruffi, a very talented student in Oakton's music department, will sing the iconic "This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)” by Talking Heads.

A Palatine resident, Nero works as a Business Analyst in the Student Financial Assistance department and has been dancing socially and professionally for 18 years. He specializes in ballroom, Latin, and swing dance styles, which he also teaches. Kavanaugh, a Chicago-resident, is a professional ballroom dancer and dance instructor. She competes professionally around the U.S. in the American Smooth and West Coast Swing categories.

Barruffi recently graduated from Maine South High School, where she has been involved in many productions. She studies voice and piano at Oakton and is excited to continue her education at Carnegie Mellon University, where she will pursue a bachelor's degree in music. $8 general admission; $6 students and seniors

Speaker Showcase
May 7, 7:30 p.m.
Don't miss Oakton's best speech students and Speech Team members as they present the finest of the semester's public speaking. The students will showcase their presentation skills on topics ranging from enlightening to inspiring to comical. Free admission

Guitar Ensemble Concert
May 8, 8 p.m.
The Oakton Guitar Ensemble will perform a wide-ranging program that spans time and the globe. Attendees will hear familiar favorites alongside new sounds, celebrating the guitar's diversity. $8 general admission; $6 students and seniors

Choral Concert
May 9, 8 p.m.
Join the Oakton Choir for “Melodies of the Earth,” an evening of eclectic choral music celebrating the Earth and nature. This concert features the fabulous singing of the Oakton Choir and select soloists, combined with the sounds of piano, percussion and violin. $8 general admission; $6 students and seniors

Jazz Invasion
May 10, 8 p.m.
The big band and smaller combos will delight you with jazz classics and big band hits. There’s no better way to welcome spring! $8 general admission; $6 students and seniors

OMG Improv and Speech and Debate
May 11, 7:30 p.m.
Enjoy side-splitting laughter with Oakton’s student improvisational comedy troupe. Experience the energy of powerful Speech and Debate teams performances of rhetoric, poetry and prose. The combined fundraising performance will allow you to witness firsthand why Oakton’s Speech Team is nationally ranked and why, OMG! Improv frequently performs at some of Chicago’s most popular comedy venues. $10 general admission

Tickets are available for purchase in person at Oakton’s office, online or by calling 847.635.1900. For more information about the performing arts or other events at Oakton, go to events.oakton.edu.