Agenda action: Kiernan Shipka, Laury Shelley, Ta’Rhonda Jones
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In honor of Women’s History Month, Chicago native and actress Kiernan Shipka (“Mad Men”) brings to life the story of legendary Chicago social worker and activist Jane Addams by reading a critically acclaimed children’s book about Addams, “The House that Jane Built,” written by Tanya Lee Stone. Shipka’s performance is part of the “Storyline Online” video series produced by the SAG-AFTRA Foundation of the national union representing both actors and actresses and on-air broadcasters on TV and radio.
To access this latest video, go to storylineonline.net or subscribe to youtube.com/storylineonline. The site previously has featured readings by such stars as Kevin Costner, Annette Bening, James Earl Jones and Rita Moreno.
Addams founded the Hull House settlement house to help the poor in Chicago in 1889 and dedicated her life to being an activist for the disadvantaged in the inner city. She became the first American woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931.
Shipka concludes her video reading with a personal message: “Reading is magical for so many reasons. It can bring you to amazing, magical places that are beyond your wildest dreams, but it can also give you amazing, valuable and inspiring information.”
Shipka also plays the daughter of Bette Davis (Susan Sarandon) on “Feud,” a limited series premiering Sunday on FX.
• Popular Chicago recording artist Laury Shelley is staging a concert Sunday — paying homage to her mentor, Oscar, Emmy and Grammy-winning composer Michel Legrand. It’s all focused on honoring Legrand’s 85th birthday and will take place at 6 p.m. Sunday at the Madden Theatre of North Central College, 171 E. Chicago Ave. in Naperville. Shelley’s long history as a local singer dates back to her teen years — right out of high school — when she met Legrand while he was performing at the famous Mr. Kelly’s nightclub on Rush Street, the current home of Gibsons Steakhouse. Shelley convinced the famed composer to let her sing two of his songs for him — “Pieces of Dreams” and “You Must Believe In Spring.” That led Legrand to immediately signed her to tour with him as his concert soloist for more than five years — also recording with him on two of his albums.
Shelley recently reunited with Legrand for his final U.S. tour, and her March 5 concert will also celebrate the release of her new single of Legrand’s Oscar-winning “Windmills of Your Mind.” Among the highlights of Legrand’s award-winning career are his compositions for “Brian’s Song,” “Yentl,” “Summer of ’42” and “The Lady Sings the Blues.”
For ticket information for the Sunday concert, go to tickets.noctrl.edu or at the North Central College box office at the theatre.
• “Empire” star Ta’Rhonda Jones is hosting “Game On — To Prevent Gun Violence,” a celebrity basketball game from 1:30 to 4 p.m. Saturday at her former high school, Simeon Career Academy. The actress, rapper and Chicago native is challenging her fellow “Empire” castmates and other local notables to go head-to-head on the basketball court to help raise awareness of Chicago gun violence epidemic. The event is being staged in collaboration with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, founded by the late James Brady, President Ronald Reagan’s press secretary who was severely injured when shot by John Hinckley Jr. in his assassination attempt on the president in early 1981.