Afternoon edition: October 11, 2021

Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. It is about a 5-minute reading that will inform you about today’s greatest stories.

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

Top story

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

Rob Holt does not exactly remember when it happened. He thinks it was around the second inning of Game 3 of the American League Division Series on Sunday night.

The White Sox were 3-1 behind the Houston Astros. Fans became increasingly concerned that their beloved team — on the verge of elimination after losing the first two games of the best-of-five series — quickly fell into a hole it could not climb out of.

After seeing a Sox player fight against the plate, Holt pointed his wooden stick and told the player to hit the ball into the left field.

Miraculously, it worked.

A man sitting near Holt cheered him on and said, “Oh, man. Well done! ”

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

And the rest is history.

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

Holt, 71, made it to the next dough, and it definitely worked again.

Read the full story from Madeline Kenney, who spoke with Holt before participating in 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 Armor Square neighborhood. The woman’s car went into the air and flew over the highway’s concrete barrier after hitting crash barrels that separated premises and express lanes, police said.
  2. Three people were killed and at least 39 others injured in shootings in Chicago since Friday night. Our staff has more on this weekend’s gun violence.
  3. For the first time in its history, Northwestern University has named a woman to head the institution. Rebecca M. Blank will be the school’s 17th president when she takes over the concert in the summer of 2022, the school announced today.
  4. Not long after her husband stopped in the Chicago area, First Lady Jill Biden is scheduled to be in Chicago Tuesday and Wednesday to honor National Hispanic Heritage Month. Lynn Sweet has the latest on what the first lady plans to do during her journey.
  5. “Dopesick,” the new A-list Hulu miniseries that aims to tell the story of painkillers from multiple angles, feels like “a missed opportunity to be something big,” writes our Richard Roeper. Read Roeper’s full review before the series premieres Wednesday on Hulu.

A light one

Bethany Thomas hovers in the show ‘Songs for Nobodies’ with a woman

There are five iconic, globally famous somebodies and five titular “nobodies” on stage at the Northlight Theaters’ return to live performance, each with an exquisite nuance by veteran Chicago actress Bethany Thomas.

Director Rob Lindley cast the approximately 100-minute musical with one woman by Joanna Murray Smith well. Thomas is just as powerful with the belt of all-burnt, blood-in-water blues and piercing soprano stratosphere with the most delicate of opera arias. “Songs for Nobodies” gives her a chance to stretch every single vocal and functioning muscle in the formidable area.

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

Like Judy Garland, Billie Holiday, Patsy Cline, Maria Callas and Edith Piaf, Thomas shines in the production, which runs through October 31 at the Skokie venue. Like five non-famous women whose lives briefly crossed these lights, Thomas provides intriguing insights 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 star-studded encounter that does not so much resemble Judy, Billie et al, as much as capturing their energy and the countless emotions that defined their music. We listen to the sound of secrets, as revealed by some of the greatest female vocalists ever.

And while it’s not exactly an imitation, if you close your eyes during “Lady Sings the Blues” or “Come Rain or Come Shine” – or one of the other dozens of tracks that playwright Smith wraps up in the dialogue – you will swear you hear the originals.

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

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

Thousands of people completed the Chicago Marathon 26.2 km yesterday. What is the greatest athletic achievement in your life?

Send us an email at and we can show your answer in the next afternoon issue.

Friday, we asked you: What is 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 rush hour. Good luck with that.” – Mike Czmil

“Find a job outside the city. I was afraid to see a single snowflake or a drop of rain, knowing that my commute would double. ” – Jason Briski

“If you need to drive, use side streets. Public transport has ALWAYS been a safe and economical way to travel. ” – Tajan Harris

“Take public transportation. Between Metra, Pace and CTA buses and trains it is the easiest way. ” – Becca Cleeland

“Embrace CTA and METRA!” – Dragan Stevanovic

“Let work at work before noon. 6 and leave Chicago before 6 p.m. 14.30 ” – Judy Bellinder Potilechio

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

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