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Afternoon Edition: Oct. 11, 2021

Today’s update is a 5-minute read that will brief you on the day’s biggest stories.

Rob Holt, who’s earned the nickname “Cane Guy”, will be at Game 4 between the White Sox and Astros.
FOX Sports: MLB via Twitter

Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. It’s about a 5-minute read that will brief you on today’s biggest stories.

This afternoon will be windy with thunderstorms likely and a high near 79 degrees. The National Weather Service says the storms could bring damaging hail, wind and tornados to the area. Tonight the storms are expected to continue with a low around 60. Tomorrow will be mostly cloudy with a high near 71.

Top story

Meet ‘Cane Guy,’ the lifelong White Sox fan who worked his magic in Game 3 win

Rob Holt doesn’t exactly remember when it happened. He believes it was around the second inning of Game 3 of the American League Division Series Sunday evening.

The White Sox were trailing the Houston Astros 3-1. Fans were growing increasingly worried that their beloved team — on the brink of elimination after dropping the first two games in the best-of-five series — was quickly falling into a hole it couldn’t climb out of.

After watching a Sox player struggle at the plate, Holt pointed his wooden cane and told the player to hit the ball into left field.

Miraculously, it worked.

A man sitting near Holt cheered him on, saying: “Oh, dude. Way to go!”

“Actually, it was utterly ridiculous,” Holt recalled.

And the rest is history.

What started as a joke quickly turned into a silly superstition of sorts.

Holt, 71, did it for the next batter, and sure enough, it worked again.

Read the full story from Madeline Kenney, who spoke with Holt before he attends the now-postponed Game 4 of the series tomorrow.

More news you need

  1. A woman died early Sunday after her car fell off the Dan Ryan Expressway and landed in a parking lot in the Armour Square neighborhood. The woman’s car went airborne and flew over the highway’s concrete barrier after hitting crash barrels separating local and express lanes, police say.
  2. Three people were killed and at least 39 others wounded in shootings across Chicago since Friday evening. Our staff has more on the weekend gun violence.
  3. For the first time in its history, Northwestern University has named a woman to lead the institution. Rebecca M. Blank will become the school’s 17th president when she takes over the gig in summer 2022, the school announced today.
  4. Not long after her husband made a stop in the Chicago area, First Lady Jill Biden is scheduled to be in Chicago on Tuesday and Wednesday to honor National Hispanic Heritage Month. Lynn Sweet has the latest on what the first lady plans to do during her trip.
  5. “Dopesick,” the new A-list Hulu miniseries that aims to tell the story of painkiller addiction from multiple angles, feels like “a missed opportunity to be something great,” our Richard Roeper writes. Read Roeper’s full review before the series premieres Wednesday on Hulu.

A bright one

Bethany Thomas soars in ‘Songs for Nobodies’ one-woman show

There are five iconic, globally famous somebodies and five titular “nobodies” onstage in Northlight Theatre’s return to live performance, each one embodied with exquisite nuance by veteran Chicago actress Bethany Thomas.

Director Rob Lindley cast the roughly 100-minute, one-woman musical by Joanna Murray Smith well. Thomas is equally powerful belting alto-fueled, blood-in-the-water blues and piercing the soprano stratosphere with the most delicate of operatic arias. “Songs for Nobodies” gives her a chance to stretch every last vocal and acting muscle in that formidable range.

Bethany Thomas stars in “Songs For Nobodies” at Northlight Theatre.
Michael Brosilow

As Judy Garland, Billie Holiday, Patsy Cline, Maria Callas and Edith Piaf, Thomas shines in the production running through Oct. 31 at the Skokie venue. As five not-famous women whose lives briefly intersected with those luminaries, Thomas provides intriguing insight into the formative impact great music can have on people, no matter how famous or (seemingly) forgettable.

In Lindley’s minimalist staging, Thomas transforms with each new story of a starry encounter, not so much impersonating Judy, Billie et al, so much as capturing their energy and the myriad emotions that defined their music. We’re listening to the sound of secrets, as divulged by some of the greatest female vocalists of all time.

And while it’s not exactly mimicry, if you close your eyes during “Lady Sings the Blues” or “Come Rain or Come Shine” — or any of the other dozen or so numbers playwright Smith packs in amid the dialogue — you’d swear you hearing the originals.

Read the rest of Catey Sullivan’s highly positive review of “Songs for Nobodies” here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

Thousands of people completed the 26.2-mile Chicago Marathon yesterday. What’s the greatest athletic accomplishment of your life?

Send us an email at newsletters@suntimes.com and we might feature your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

On Friday, we asked you: What’s the best way to avoid rush-hour traffic in Chicago? Here’s what some of you said...

“Honestly, there is no way to ‘avoid’ rush-hour traffic, it will always be there. The only thing you can do is avoid being in the rush-hour traffic. Good luck with that.” — Mike Czmil

“Find a job outside the city. I dreaded seeing a single snowflake or drop of rain, knowing my commute would double.” — Jason Briski

“If you must drive use side streets. Public transportation has ALWAYS been a safe and economical way to travel.” — Tajan Harris

“Take public transportation. Between the Metra, Pace, and CTA buses & trains it’s the easiest way.” — Becca Cleeland

“Embrace the CTA and METRA!” — Dragan Stevanovic

“Leave to work before 6 a.m. and leave Chicago before 2:30 p.m.” — Judy Bellinder Potilechio

“Take public transportation. It kills two birds with one stone: traffic and pollution.” — Debra Ricobene

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