John Kelly Connolly, 56, for whom Chicago theater was a gift

Chicago News USA

In Connolly’s case, that meant the Gift Theatre of Jefferson Park, a company where he acted from its very foundation. The Gift was Connolly’s local theater, located right where he grew up and just a few paces down Milwaukee Avenue from the Holiday Ballroom, where his parents, both recent immigrants from Ireland, met in the late 1950s. They would marry in 1960 and have five children in six years. Born in Chicago in 1963, John Kelly Connolly, Johnny Connolly to his family, was the second oldest of the five.

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