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Young: Watch history come to life when “Jackie Kennedy” speaks

Published: Thursday, April 18, 2013 11:49 a.m. CDT
Barbara Rinella

With her regal bearing, couturier wardrobe, and youthful vitality, Jacqueline Kennedy was one of the most stylish of First Ladies. Yet she was an intensely private woman, committed to protecting her family’s normalcy as well as securing her husband’s legacy.

Now with the release of taped conversations conducted with presidential confidant and historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., in the wake of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the innermost thoughts and feelings of this strong but enigmatic woman are revealed in new and dramatic ways.

Renowned academic entertainer Barbara Rinella brings Jackie Kennedy to life as she reenacts these and other critical junctures in Mrs. Kennedy’s life. Based primarily on the 2011 book, Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy by Caroline Kennedy, Rinella transports her audience back more than fifty years as she relives those hopeful but ultimately tragic days.

One of the youngest first ladies ever to occupy the White House, Jackie Kennedy brought a level of elegance, sophistication and culture previously unknown in government circles. As the mother of two young children, she also emphasized the “house” in White House, working hard to keep her childrens’ lives private yet humanizing the presidential mansion with their delightful antics. As an eyewitness to history, Mrs. Kennedy was uniquely situated to observe her husband and other world leaders throughout some of the most tumultuous events of our time.

With her sleeveless sheath, white gloves and signature pillbox hat, Rinella embodies Jackie Kennedy at her best, sharing her insight, wit and emotions as she focuses on the amazing history Jackie Kennedy shared as the wife of one of our most beloved presidents.

Rinella, a Chicago-area actress, motivational speaker, and dedicated volunteer, has been creating one-woman shows for more than thirty years, inspired by current literature and profiling such notables as diverse as Katharine Hepburn and Erma Bombeck, Andrew Jackson and Winston Churchill.

Rinella’s “Jacqueline Kennedy” profile will draw not only upon the Schlesinger interview transcripts but will also weave information gleaned from other publications celebrating the Kennedy years, such as Mrs. Kennedy and Me by Clint Hill; Jack Kennedy, Elusive Hero by Chris Matthews; The Pleasure of His Company by Paul B. Fay; and Farwell, Jackie and Just Jackie by Edward Klein.

This program will take place on Thursday, May 9 from 11am to 1pm in the Baker Community Center, 101 S. Second Street. The fee for Park District residents is $25; $37.50 for non-residents. Advance registration is required. For more information, call Lara Pinter at 630-513-4330.
Erika Young, is public relations and marketing manager for the St. Charles Park District.

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