Enjoy Lunch or Dinner at Art on the Square and Catch Melissa McCarthy in “Life of the Party"

If you travel four hours north of St. Louis, you will find the town of Plainfield Illinois, which is where Melissa Ann McCarthy’s story began. Born into a Catholic home, and raised on a farm, this girl’s Midwestern roots are strong and deep.

Deciding to leave the nest to head to Southern Illinois University in Carbondale for college, McCarthy soon decided the college life wasn’t for her and headed off to do stand-up comedy in New York City and Los Angeles. She is an alumna of The Groundlings, an improv and sketch comedy troupe which she was a part of for over 10 years. 

Then, when the small screen came calling, she didn’t miss a beat, performing opposite her cousin Jenny McCarthy in the short-lived NBC comedy “Jenny.” But you probably remember her best from her role on the small screen, playing Sookie St. James, the super-friendly and very klutzy friend of Lorelai in “Gilmore Girls” from 2000-07. And who hasn’t loved seeing her playing funny girl Molly Flynn on the CBS Sitcom “Mike & Molly) (2010-16), which garnered her an Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series.

Lucky for all of us, the woman deemed the fourth highest-paid actress in 2017 manages to keep up with the roles that keep coming her way on the big screen too, including the breakout role that brought an Academy Award nomination and a Screen Actors Guild nomination for best supporting actress—playing Megan Price in 2011’s “Bridesmaids.”

This beautiful, talented and high-powered 47-year-old comedian, actress, producer, wife and mother has been running on overdrive ever since, forming her own production company, On the Day, with hubby Ben Falcone, and continuing to bring her comedic genius to the big screen in films like “Identity Thief” opposite Jason Bateman, and “The Heat” opposite Sandra Bullock. In 2014, she decided to write with Falcone, and take direction from him too, playing opposite Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates, and Allison Janney in her production company’s first film, “Tammy,” while also playing opposite Bill Murray in “St. Vincent.” 

Coming into her own in the lead actress role, McCarthy soon after took on the action-packed thriller “Spy,” receiving a nomination for a Golden Globe for best actress in a motion picture comedy or musical for the role. In 2016, McCarthy starred in “The Boss” and “Ghostbusters.” She returned to television in 2017 to take on the role of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer for a few episodes of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” bringing her rousing acclaim in this role too.

So, what’s up next for this producer, actress and funny girl? McCarthy and Falcone are joining forces yet again, putting pen to paper and creating their next comedic adventure, “Life of the Party.” McCarthy plays Deanna, a dedicated mother and housewife whose husband abruptly dumps her, so she decides to head back to college, and subsequently experiences all that college life has to offer—with her daughter by her side no less! “Life of the Party” is rated PG-13 and hits a theater near you on Friday, May 11.

Well, May is finally here, and the weather is perfect for those excursions with the entire family in tow. A great place to enjoy exquisite food while also getting the opportunity to view fine art from all over the world is at the 17th Annual Art on the Square, May 18th-20, in Belleville Illinois. 

Once you’ve strolled around the public square filled with artists showing in 12 different mediums, you can also enjoy fabulous culinary creations from the award-winning Beast Craft BBQ or delectable sushi from St. Louis’ own Drunken Fish. You might also want to indulge that sweet tooth of yours with homemade German pastries from Oma Gisi’s German Bakery or dive into some hand-made ice cream from the White Cottage Ice Cream Parlor.

Once your tummy’s full, you can enjoy live music, a childrens’ area and so much more all weekend long. 

For more information about the show and the culinary creations throughout the food court, visit ArtOnTheSquare.com.