Spending date night at a high school might sound a little odd. But, thousands of adults are expected to flock to Carmel Catholic High School in Mundelein this weekend where the classrooms and hallways will be converted to a party with food, drinks and entertainment, including a student show.
This is the 40th year for Carmel Catholic High School's Street Scenes -- an event for adults (over 21) which raises more than $300,000 for the school, said Dawn Jenich, a volunteer for Street Scenes.
"There's live entertainment in the majority of the rooms. There are live bands with all different styles and different performers putting on skits," said Dan Kerkman, event chair. "It's a good time of year. People are getting a little cabin fever with all the snow and cold. It's an opportunity to do something a little different."
Along with the live bands, there will be comedy shows and a casino night on Saturday. This year, there will also be a car raffle and silent auction to raise money for a new tuition assistance fund. Tickets are $25 per person per night and include admission and entertainment. Food and drinks are sold separately.
"It's the thing to do in February," said Dick Jacob, electrical director.
The event began when Carmel was divided into a girls' school and a boys' school. The parents and students were looking for a way to raise money and decided to host a big event and convert all the classrooms to entertainment venues.
"They put the whole thing together. It was four nights of shows and drew 1,200 people," Jacob said.
Each year, Street Scenes features a different theme. This year's is "Salute the Troops," with the student show's musical numbers revolving around wars -- from World War I to Iraq and Afghanistan.
"It's very emotional and very patriotic. It has a great message. It's a message of hope," said Denise Sebastiano, writer and director for the show "The Spirit of Hope." "It's kind of a history lesson."
About 75 students are involved in the show (cast, crew and musicians), and there are dozens of volunteers. Planning starts a year in advance when the theme is set. Students audition in the spring for the show the following year and Sebastiano writes the show over the summer.
Besides this weekend, students performed for senior citizens.
"It's a tremendously entertaining event by all facets of Carmel and the community," said Sister Mary Frances McLaughlin, Carmel's interim president.