Report: Our First Pizza Showdown Results and other Echoes of Pompeii Fun

We had a great time last weekend hosting our first “Pre-show Pizza Showdown” before Echoes of Pompeii: Tribute to Pink Floyd.  Thank you so much to Danny’s Pizza and White Cottage Pizza for participating! Both pizzerias brought their A game as evidenced by the extremely close results: Danny’s Pizza won by just 3 votes! You know what that means? We smell a rematch (and it smells delicious)!

In addition to the yummy pizza, we also had lots of other fun going on in our lobby on Saturday. Kiss the Sky Records of Batavia was here spinning some Floyd vinyl for us and they also brought records to share and sell (and made a great case for the sound of vinyl over mp3).

But wait-there was more! ECC art student Angel Mendoza shared her Pink Floyd-inspired art as well as some of her other paintings with the audience.

Thanks to everyone who came out to see Echoes of Pompeii and to all the vendors for participating. We hope to see you all again very soon.

Danny's Pizza

Sandy of Danny’s Pizza, the Pizza Showdown Champion

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Pre-show Pizza Showdown at Echoes of Pompeii!

Pizza!This Saturday, the Arts Center is going to be an extremely happy place. Why? A few reasons:

  1. Pink Floyd’s classic album The Dark Side of the Moon will be performed LIVE by Echoes of Pompeii.
  2. We’ll be eating pizza!

Why the pizza? (drum roll) We’re hosting our first ever “Pre-show Pizza Showdown” prior to the performance! We say “first ever” because we hope there will be many more  to follow (we really like pizza).

The concept is this: local pizzerias bring their delicious pies to the Arts Center, happy patrons sample the pizzas, those now even happier patrons vote on their favorite pizza, and then we announce the showdown champion.

This Saturday’s contenders are Danny’s Pizza and White Cottage Pizza, both of Elgin. They’ll be bringing pizzas for patrons to try free of charge. We recommend arriving at 6:45 p.m. to make sure you get a slice. The show starts at 7:30 p.m.

Thank you in advance to White Cottage and Danny’s for participating. See you Saturday for some pizza and Floyd!

Echoes of Pompeii: Tribute to Pink Floyd will perform The Dark Side of the Moon LIVE and more Floyd favorites Saturday, December 15 at the ECC Arts Center. For tickets and information, visit or call 847-622-0300.

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This just in: Clara and Chocolate Mice (super cute ones) to appear at Clara’s Tea party!

For the past two years, our amazing Culinary Arts and Hospitality program has been  hosting Clara’s Tea Party before the Ruth Page Civic Ballet performances of The Nutcracker here at the Arts Center. This season, we’re excited to announce some new additions to the holiday tea.

First exciting addition: Clara herself will be making an appearance at both Clara’s Tea Parties to greet and take photos with guests!

Second exciting addition: Pastry chef, Julie Pierce, has crafted some new desserts (in addition to the yummy scones and cookies usually served) including adorable chocolate mice! They’re filled with chocolate ganache and have almonds for ears. The big question is: are they too cute to eat? Check out the photos below and let us know your thoughts.

Clara’s Tea Party and the Ruth Page Civic Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker are Saturday, December 8 and Sunday, December 9. Check out the full menu for Clara’s Tea Party. For more information and to get tickets to The Nutcracker and Clara’s Tea Party, visit

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Our blog got a makeover!

Hello Arts Center friends,

We decided to give our blog a bit of a makeover! Unfortunately, we forgot to film a makeover montage but we’re still pretty happy with how it turned out. Our hope is that it’s easier for you to read, find info, and join us in the conversation. What do you think?

One reason we like the new look so much is it makes it easier for us to post awesome videos and pictures.  Check out this video of Paige & the Reverent Few covering Etta James below (They’re one of the bands that will be performing at this season’s Thank You Party). Enjoy and thank you for supporting the Arts Center!

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Behind the Play: ECC Theatre’s “Machinal” and the amazing Sophie Treadwell

ECC Theatre will present Sophie Treadwell’s Machinal November 2 through 18. Written by journalist and playwright Sophie Treadwell (1885-1970), the play was inspired by the infamous 1927 murder trial against Ruth Snyder (the same sensational ‘20s trial that inspired the classic Double Indemnity) in which housewife Ruth Snyder was convicted of colluding with her lover to murder her husband.

While attending that trial sparked Treadwell’s writing process and heavily informs the plot of the play (a young woman’s journey from marriage to murder), Treadwell’s own experiences as a woman trying to navigate society in the 1920’s influence Machinal just as much.

Which leads us to our next point: you should come see Machinal because Sophie Treadwell was a truly fascinating woman and you don’t want to miss your chance to experience her work. Here’s just a snapshot Sophie Treadwell’s bold and adventurous life:

  • In 1908, Sophie launched her career in journalism. Some of the stories she covered throughout her career include:
    • An expose on homeless women (She went undercover and wrote an 18-part serial on the experience).
    • WWI—They wouldn’t allow her near the front because she was a woman so Sophie volunteered as a nurse and wrote about the war’s effect on women. (How’s that for gumption?!)
    • Pancho Villa. Treadwell secured an exclusive interview with Mexican Revolutionary Pancho Villa in 1921. (What a scoop!)
  • Sophie was married to sports journalist and humorist William McGeehan for 23 years (until his death in 1933 from heart disease). A feminist who marched for women’s suffrage, Treadwell kept her name and even maintained her own separate residence after marriage. The 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote wasn’t passed until 1920 when Sophie was in her 30s.
  • Sophie had 3 plays produced on Broadway, including Machinal in 1928. It was a critical hit and a young Clark Gable was in its cast. The play continues to be performed 84 years after its first performance. In the past 25 years, Machinal has been produced by the National Theatre of London, New York’s The Public Theatre, Chicago’s The Hypocrites, many universities and colleges, and now by ECC Theatre. Don’t miss your chance to see the work of this pioneering playwright!

Machinal will be playing in the SecondSpace Theatre at the ECC Arts Center from November 2 through November 18. Visit for tickets and information or call the ECC Arts Center box office at 847-622-0300.

Want to learn more about Sophie Treadwell? Visit the “Sophie Treadwell Collection” on the University of Arizona’s library website.

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5 Reasons you HAVE to see LEO (and a very surprising promise from our director)

We are so excited to be presenting LEO, a new, mind-boggling (in a very good way) physical theatre show this October.

Here are five reasons you absolutely HAVE to see this show:

5. It needed a passport to get to Elgin. LEO was created by Berlin-based production company Circle of Eleven and stars German acrobat/actor Tobias Wegner who also created the original idea for the show PLUS it’s directed by Montreal director/actor Daniel Briere.

4.  It’s an international hit. LEO won the Best of Edinburgh Festival Fringe (the first ever Fringe Festival located in Edinburgh, Scotland) award in 2011, sold out at the Spoleto Festival in South Carolina, and received raves from Time Out New York, Broadway Baby, and The Village Voice.

3.   It’s ONLY playing in Elgin. LEO is making it’s Chicago-area premiere right here in Elgin on October 26-27. The show leaves for Canada and then moves onto Australia right after our performances.

2. ECC Arts Center Director of Performing Arts, Steve Duchrow, saw this show in New York last January and immediately knew he had to bring to Elgin. He’s so sure of this show that Steve has said, and we quote: “If you don’t love this show; I’ll give you your money back.” He’s never made an offer like that before so we’re pretty sure you’ll love it.

1. This video. It does a much better job of describing the magic and joy of the show than we ever could. Click to enjoy! We hope to see you at LEO October 26-27.

LEO plays the Elgin Community College Arts Center Blizzard Theatre October 26 and October 27 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available by calling the ECC Arts Center box office at 847-622-0300 or by visiting

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The Streetlamp guys recorded a special message just for us!

The guys from Under the Streetlamp were kind enough to record a special message just for us! Check out their video below. Thanks, guys. We can’t wait for October 18!

Under the Streetlamp will be at the Elgin Community College Arts Center on Thursday, October 18. For more information visit or call the ECC Arts Center box office at 847-622-0300.

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