Stages are the theme this weekend in Evanston — with Center Stage a musical block party downtown on Saturday and BackStage Evanston offering a sampler of theatrical events on Sunday.

Center Stage sponsored by Downtown Evanston, is new this year and will fill Maple Avenue with music from seven different bands from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. between Church and Clark streets.

BackStage Evanston will showcase 17 local performing arts groups from 3:30 to 7 p.m. on Sunday at the Ethel M. Barber Theater on the Northwestern University campus.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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