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Monday, July 21, 2014

Gone Phishin' Thanks To The Illinois Lottery Anything’s Possible® Music Series! #APMusicSeries

I seriously felt like I WON The Illinois Lottery when we got the e-mail asking ChiIL Mama & ChiIL Live Shows if we'd like to partner up with Illinois Lottery and cover the Phish Concert Saturday night! My friend, D'Arcy, and I got the VIP treatment courtesy of The Illinois Lottery Anything’s Possible® Music Series! The view from the VIP deck at First Merit Bank Pavilion, Northerly Island was fabulous and we had a rockin' good time.


Disclosure:  Thanks to The Illinois Lottery Anything’s Possible® Music Series for providing me with 2 VIP tickets. As always, all opinions are my own.





Of course I couldn't get my pro camera in, so I made do with the kids' point n shoot and my phone, so the photos don't do the experience justice. If you follow ChiIL Mama on Instagram, Twitter, and/or Facebook you've already had a real time sneak peek. 

It was truly a night to remember! Here's our Full Slide Show and we've embedded favorites below.





We had both ends of the continuum represented. My +1 D'Arcy had never seen a Phish show, so it was an incredibly fun way to see a first show. 




And I've been seeing Phish for 20+ years.
I've traveled to see them at The Gorge in Washington State, Las Vegas, Alpine Valley, Deer Creek, NYE 2000 in The Everglades and every Chicago show possible...UIC Pavilion, Northerly Island (back to the early days when they fit in Aragon Ballroom and even further back to the tiny Cubby Bear!)  

My kids both heard Phish in utero (and jumped around, kickin' to Fishman's drums) and then saw a bunch of shows in jogging strollers and baby backpacks. Phish is a great, family friendly show with all ages appeal. In fact, we saw quite a few kids and babies in slings. There were numerous pregnant women on the VIP Deck.

The last time I caught them before this, my now 13 year old son went with me to Northerly Island for Phish's last tour. I've lost count of how many shows I've seen, but even my kids (11 & 13 have seen 17 & 27 Phish shows respectively).  VIP is just 18+, though, so this time was a well deserved and much needed Mamas' Night Out.

Phish fans have somewhat of an undeserved reputation for being homeless hippie nomads. Phish attracts a wide range of ages and types of fans and many are intellectuals with advanced degrees and well paying jobs (despite fashion sense that includes renditions of drummer Fishman's infamous red doughnut dotted MuMu that he wears at EVERY show.)



Their fans are some of the kindest, most colorful & creative folks out there. Phish are hilarious, accomplished musicians who really know how to bring out the energy in a crowd and create a microcosm of magic and wonder. They truly shine live. 

We lounged around on pillowed chairs (cushy & down to earth) with candle light for most of the first set, with a great, front on view of the stage. Then we went to our actual seats Section A--Row 1--Seats 1 & 2!! which were pretty rockin' awesome too. 





The whole set was phenomenal, but I was stoked to hear "Carini", one of their darker, more intense songs and a favorite of mine. I also loved the geeky & glorious "Grind", where they do an acapella, Barbershop Quartet(esque) piece in which they sing their individual actual and combined ages broken down by days they've been alive! I was also happy they began the show with "Moma Dance", a sailing song and a play on word "The Moment Ends"-- a great choice for Northerly Island's lake side digs. It was especially amusing to me because I had JUST finished telling D'Arcy about Moma Dance as a primo example of classic Phish style, humor, wit... when they launched right in and played it. 

They've always had that type of energy around the shows. It's the same magic way we walked right up and found a whole group of my friends (even some in from other states for the shows), in the lot outside, among thousands, without using cell phones or even looking for them! 




Watching the light show with the Chicago city skyline as a back drop and Chinese Lanterns launching was a breathtaking immersion. Chris Kuroda, Phish's lighting designer, improvs the lights along with the evolving set, and has a devout following of his own! Unlike most arena shows on tour, where every night is more or less the same and the lights are a predictable cycle, Phish create an utterly unique show every night, and Kuroda steps up to feature them in the best possible light!




One of the high points of our evening was running into Jim Pollock, one of Phish's renowned poster artists on the VIP deck. He's a great guy, super personable and immensely talented. I've met him (and his wife and son) a few times over the years and he's very down to earth. His ties with Phish go way back to college days at Goddard when he roomed with Page McConnell. Since then he's done numerous t-shirt designs and highly coveted, numbered collector posters that have become crazy valuable.




He's also married to an amazing children's author, Esme Codell, which impressed my Montessori teacher friend D'Arcy more. I think her exact quote was, "Oh WOW. Cool! I love her books. I'm waaaay more impressed you're married to her. No offense, but I don't really know anything about you." That said, I'm impressed with Pollock's prints, and I'm lucky to have seen his studio where he hand prints his carvings. Collectors the world over agree! It was a treat to bump back into him Saturday and it's all thanks to our smokin' VIP seats via The Illinois Lottery. 

We'd hoped to meet some of the AP Music Series people, to thank them in person and shoot a few photos, but Phish was on a 3 night run and they worked the night before we were there, but not Saturday. 

Still, we're nothing but ecstatic at the opportunity, and thrilled to be chosen. It was a stellar experience.  Want to find out more about the Illinois Lottery Anything’s Possible® Music Series? Click here for all the details.  You too could have a lucky live show experience!


ChiIL Mama's Phone Favs:
(highlights from our real time social media blitz during the show on FB, Twitter & Instagram)

Carini -- one of Phish' darker, heavier songs and a long time favorite of mine!




ChiIL Mama ChiILin' in Chi, IL with Jim Pollock, Phish artist, and musician, Christopher Ferrer!! 


Cobalt blue nails, or as D'Arcy said, "Tardis blue". Goes great with a Kuroda light show!!


VIP Selfie!




Section A... Row 1... Seat 1... Feeling #1 special thanks to The Illinois Lottery Anything’s Possible® Music Series! 



 Rock Star Seats!!



Thanks again Illinois Lottery Anything’s Possible® Music Series. You made my summer!

Disclosure:  Thanks to The Illinois Lottery Anything’s Possible® Music Series for providing me with 2 VIP tickets. As always, all opinions are my own.


Monday, July 14, 2014

FREE Readings: Victory Gardens announces lineup for 2014 IGNITION Festival of New Plays July 24-27th


Victory Gardens Theater announces the complete lineup for the 2014 IGNITION Festival of New Plays, including Where Did We Sit on the Bus? by Brian Quijada; Lack and Lack by April Fools (Kristiana Colón & Damon Williams); Sender by Ike Holter; Slingshot by Kia Corthron; Hillary and Clinton by Lucas Hnath; For Tomorrow, Please Prepare by Paul Downs Colaizzo; and Cocked by Sarah Gubbins. The festival will take place July 24-27, 2014. The IGNITION festival creates a productive environment for both emerging and established playwrights to explore and develop their new work. 




"At Victory Gardens, we bridge communities through challenging, bold, and innovative new plays that are representative of the diverse voices in this city and beyond. So, for the first time since the Festival's inception, we have invited not only writers of color under 30, but have opened our festival to include all playwrights," comments Artistic Director Chay Yew. "IGNITION has consistently been an essential part of Victory Gardens’ new play development programming since 2008, and Ignition 2014 will be no exception."
“We are proud to announce our lineup of playwrights for our fourth edition of Victory Gardens' IGNITION Festival of New Plays. With a record of more than 1,000 submissions for our festival this year, we welcome seven remarkable playwrights from Chicago and from around the country. With themes ranging from race to class, gender to gun violence, Ignition will give these veteran and emerging playwrights the opportunity to develop their newest plays," comments Literary Manager Isaac Gomez.

INGITION’s seven selected plays will be presented in a festival of readings scheduled for summer 2014 and will be directed by leading artists from Chicago. Following the readings, two of the plays may be selected for intensive workshops during Victory Gardens 2014/15 season, and Victory Gardens may produce one of these final scripts in an upcoming season.

COMPLETE FESTIVAL LINEUP:

Where Did We Sit on the Bus? by Brian Quijada and Lack on Lack by April Fools (Kristiana Colón & Damon Williams)
Thurs July 24 | 7:00pm | Richard Christiansen Theater
We are starting IGNITION with a bang! Performed back-to-back, this double bill of rap and spoken word performances pieces explore growing up in a world where things aren't always as they seem:

During a 3rd grade lesson on the Civil Rights movement and Rosa Parks, a Latino boy raises his hand to ask "Where did we sit on the bus?" and his teacher can't answer the question. Told through rap, hip-hop, spoken word, and live looping, Brian Quijada’s autobiographical Where Did We Sit On The Bus? looks at what it means to be Latino in America.
  
In their theatrical debut, brother/sister hip hop duo April Fools (Kristiana Colón & Damon Williams) fuse music, spoken word, and humor in Lack on Lack, a journey through Chicago to plan a surprise birthday party for their mother April. Damon and Kristiana navigate the neighborhoods of Chicago, childhood memories, and the turns of their new grown-up relationship in this city of practical jokers.

Thursday July 24 | Victory Gardens Theater Lobby | 9:00 p.m.
IGNITION Festival Opening Night Reception

Sender by Ike Holter
Fri July 25 | 7:00pm | Richard Christiansen Theater
Over a year after faking his death in a sensational fashion, a young man returns to his former apartment: alive, well, and with a new found ambition to fix what went wrong. What starts as a miracle reunion turns into a catastrophic disaster as the past begins to catch up with the present and old debts return, expecting payment in full.

Friday July 25 | Victory Gardens Theater Lobby | 9:00 p.m.
Artist Night: Meet & Greet

Slingshot by Kia Corthron
Sat July 26 | 3:00pm | Richard Christiansen Theater
After suffering a terrible work accident as a result of a negligent manufacturing defect, Malik must live with the inevitable consequences. In a nation where lawsuits have been equated with greed, how can Malik’s father Gid attain compensation and justice comparable to human life?

Saturday July 26 | Richard Christiansen Theater | 6:00 p.m.
Panel Discussion | New Plays in Chicago
As one of the leading centers of new play development, Chicago is home to some of the richest and boldest new plays premiering across the country. In a city where audiences are hungry for new theatre work, what is the current state of new play development and its future? What should we be doing more to nurture the artists, audiences and the field?

Hillary and Clinton by Lucas Hnath
Sat July 26 | 7:00pm | Richard Christiansen Theater
In 2008, a woman named Hillary is trying to become the president of a country called the United States of America, but she's not doing well in the polls and needs more money to keep the campaign going. She calls her husband for help and he offers her a deal, but it's a deal that ends up costing a lot more than either of them had reckoned.

Saturday July 26 | Fiesta Mexicana | 9:00 p.m.
IGNITION Festival Cocktail Hour at Fiesta Mexicana

For Tomorrow, Please Prepare by Paul Downs Colaizzo
Sun July 27 | 2:00pm | Richard Christiansen Theater
Racial tensions in the suburban south reach a boiling point when a white student at a public high school in Georgia makes an inflammatory comment during a lesson on The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  The school's disciplinary process is threatened when hidden agendas are revealed, proving that when it comes to how we should teach our country's racial history, the issue is anything but black and white.

Sunday July 27 | Richard Christiansen Theater | 5:00 p.m.
Panel Discussion | From Script to the Stage
From the first draft to opening night, new plays are changing and evolving as new elements are introduced. With IGNITION Festival as a catalyst for developing new work, how does a rehearsal room shift when a living playwright is in the room? What are the best practices and collaborations? How do we better support and produce new plays and playwrights?


Cocked by Sarah Gubbins
Sun July 27 | 6:00pm | Richard Christiansen Theater
Taylor and her girlfriend, Izzie have always been staunchly opposed to gun ownership. But when Taylor’s brother shows up unannounced one afternoon, that position slowly corrodes as new discoveries surface and the lines between safety and protection are blurred.

Sunday July 27 | Victory Gardens Theater Lobby | 8:00 p.m.
IGNITION Festival Closing Night Celebration

ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Brian Quijada is a New York based, Chicago born actor and musician. Some of Brian’s acting credits include: The Realness (The Kennedy Center) Victory Jones and The Incredible One Woman Band (The Denver Theatre Center) How We Got On (Actor’s Theater of Louisville) Beat Generation (Merrimack Rep) The Solid Sand Below, Hype Hero, and Orange Julius (The Eugene O’Neill’s National Playwright’s Conference) Other credits: (New York) Playwright’s Realm, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Repertorio Espanol, Page 73, Playwrights Horizons, TerraNova, LAByrinth (Chicago) Steppenwolf (TV) Blue Bloods.

April Fools is a brother/sister rap duo fusing poetry & hip-hop. Kristiana & Damon have rocked the mic at Grinnell College, Bottom Lounge, the Silver Room Block Party, the Chicago Westside Music Festival, the Englewood Music Festival & have been heard on Vocalo radio, WHPK, and WIIT. April Fools gets their name from their mother, April, whose birthday is April Fool’s Day. April Fools delight audiences with poetic, buoyant lyrics, vocal interplay, and storytelling.

Kristiana Colón is a poet, playwright, actor, educator, Ensemble member at Teatro Luna, and Cave Canem Fellow. Her play Octagon is the winner of Arizona Theater Company's 2014 National Latino Playwriting Award and was a finalist in Polarity Ensemble Theater's Dionysos Festival of New Work. In February and March 2013, she toured the UK with her collection of poems promised instruments published by Northwestern University Press. In autumn 2012, she opened her one-woman show Cry Wolf in Chicago while her play but i cd only whisper had its world premiere in London at the Arcola Theater. Her poetry was nominated for a 2011 Pushcart Prize and has appeared in a number of journals and anthologies, including MTV Publishing’s forthcoming Chorus: A Re(Mixtape) edited by Saul Williams.  Kristiana appeared on Season 5 of HBO's Def Poetry Jam.

Damon Williams is a rapper, actor, poet, public speaker and social activist. Damon recently graduated from Grinnell College where he majored in Economics and Sociology. As the son of a comedian, the south side native believes deeply in the powers of laughter, satire and performance. Williams intends for his artistic expression to intersect with his financial background to serve his community's needs. Damon is excited to make his Chicago theatre debut with his big sister.

Ike Holter’s work has been produced at The Steppenwolf Garage, LiveWire Chicago, Theater 7, The Greenhouse Theater, Theater on The Lake and The Inconvenience, where he is a founding member and resident writer.  He's received fellowships and commissions from The Goodman Theater, The Kennedy Center and The Playwrights Center.  His show Hit The Wall played at Steppenwolf Garage and Off-Broadway at The Barrow Street Theater in New York.  This May, Jackalope Theater produced his new play Exit Strategy, which played to sold-out houses and moves to Michigan for the 3oaks Festival in July before another month-long run at the Broadway Armory. His monologues have been published in The New Yorker and several editions of Applause Books.  

Kia Corthron was awarded in 2014 a Windham Campbell Prize for Drama and GPTC’s Simon Great Plains Playwright Award as Honored Playwright. She is a contributing writer of SITI Company’s Steel Hammer developed through Actors Theatre of Louisville/Humana 2014. Other plays have been produced in New York by Playwrights Horizons, Ensemble Studio Theatre, NY Theatre Workshop, Atlantic, Manhattan Theatre Club, American Place; in London by the Royal Court and Donmar Warehouse; and regionally by Minneapolis’ Children’s Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Alabama Shakespeare, Yale Rep, Huntington, NY Stage & Film, Baltimore's Center Stage, Goodman, Hartford Stage and elsewhere. Lee Reynolds Award, Bellagio Residency (Italy), Dora Maar Residency (France), MacDowell Colony, Siena Art Institute Visiting Artist (Italy), McKnight National Residency, Wachtmeister Award, Columbia/Goodman Fellowship, MacLean Foundation Award, Daryl Roth Creative Spirit Award, Fadiman, NEA, Kennedy Center Fund, New Professional Theatre Award, Callaway. Writers Guild and Edgar awards for The Wire. Dramatists Guild Council, New Dramatists alumnus.

Lucas Hnath’s plays include The Christians (2014 Humana Festival), Red Speedo (Studio Theatre, DC), A Public Reading of an Unproduced Screenplay About the Death of Walt Disney (Soho Rep), nightnight (2013 Humana Festival), Isaac's Eye (Ensemble Studio Theatre), Death Tax (2012 Humana Festival, Royal Court Theatre), and The Courtship of Anna Nicole Smith (Actors Theatre of Louisville).Lucas has been a resident playwright at New Dramatists since 2011 and is also a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre. He won the 2012 Whitfield Cook Award for Isaac’s Eye and the 2013 Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award Citation for Death Tax. Lucas is also a recipient of commissions from the EST/Sloan Project, Actors Theatre of Louisville, South Coast Repertory, Playwrights Horizons, Royal Court Theatre, and New York University’s Graduate Acting Program. Lucas received both his BFA and MFA from NYU's Department of Dramatic Writing. His plays are published by Dramatists Play Service.

Paul Downs Colaizzo's first play Really Really sold-out a twice-extended run Off-Broadway at MCC Theater, starring Zosia Mamet and Matt Lauria, directed by David Cromer. The play was awarded the 2013 Helen Hayes Award for Best New Play and an Outer Critics Circle nomination for Best New Play.  Paul’s most recent play, Pride in the Falls of Autrey Mill premiered in 2013 at the Signature Theatre, VA starring Christine Lahti. He recently developed a one hour pilot for ABC, Executive Produced by Shonda Rhimes through ABC studios, along with writing a pilot for ABC Family, and is currently writing on the staff of Ryan Murphy’s new drama Open, in development at HBO. In 2013, Entertainment Weekly listed Colaizzo as one of their Next Wave, New Hollywood writers to watch.  

Sarah Gubbins’ plays include Fair Use, In Loco Parentis, The Drinking Problem, The Kid Thing (Jeff Award and Edgarton Foundation New American Play Award), fml: how Carson McCullers saved my life, I am Bradley Manning, A Sense of Things and Cocked. Her plays have been produced at the Steppenwolf Theatre, Actor’s Express, Next Theater, About Face Theater and Chicago Dramatists among others. Her plays have been developed at the Public Theater, New York Theater Workshop, The Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theater, The Plawrights’ Center, Center Theatre Group, O’Neill Theatre Center, and Berekely Rep’s Ground Floor among others. She’s has been a Carl J. Djerassi Fellow and Jerome Fellow. She is a member of the CTG 2013-14 Writers’ Workshop, the Playwrights’ Union, and is an Artistic Associate at About Face Theater. She holds an M.F.A. from Northwestern University.

The IGNITION Festival of New Plays was conceived to support the theater’s mission of new plays and diversity. In the spring of 2010, 120 writers of color from around the United States submitted new scripts for the first phase of IGNITION. In its inaugural season, IGNITION developed, premiered and launched both Year Zero and Kristoffer Diaz’ The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity onto the American theater scene; both productions have subsequently been remounted at Second Stage in New York City. Victory Gardens produced We Are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as Southwest Africa, From the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884-1915 by Jackie Sibblies Drury and Appropriate By Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. Other notable IGNITION plays receiving their world premieres include Mala Hierba by VG Ensemble Playwright Tanya Saracho, playing at Second Stage in New York City this summer and Samsara by Lauren Yee, playing at Victory Gardens in the Spring of 2015.

The IGNITION Festival of New Plays receives major support from The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust and Southwest Airlines, Victory Gardens' official travel sponsor. Berghoff Catering Group is the official catering partner of Victory Gardens.

Performances are at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, in the heart of Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. Admission to all festival readings and events is free, though an RSVP is required. For more information or to RSVP, visit www.victorygardens.org/also-playing/ignition/ or call the Victory Gardens Box Office at 773.871.3000.

About Victory Gardens Theater
Under the leadership of Artistic Director Chay Yew and Managing Director Chris Mannelli, Victory Gardens is dedicated to artistic excellence while creating a vital, contemporary American Theater that is accessible and relevant to all people through productions of challenging new plays and musicals.  With Victory Gardens’ first new Artistic Director in 34 years, the company remains committed to the development, production and support of new plays that has been the mission of the theater since its founding, continuing the vision set forth by Dennis Zacek, Marcelle McVay, and the original founders of Victory Gardens Theater.

Victory Gardens Theater is a leader in developing and producing new theatre work and cultivating an inclusive Chicago theater community. Victory Gardens’ core strengths are nurturing and producing dynamic and inspiring new plays, reflecting the diversity of our city’s and nation’s culture through engaging diverse communities, and in partnership with Chicago Public Schools, bringing art and culture to our city’s active student population.  

Since its founding in 1974, the company has produced more world premieres than any other Chicago theater, a commitment recognized nationally when Victory Gardens received the 2001 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. Located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, Victory Gardens Biograph Theater includes the Zacek-McVay Theater, a state-of-the-art 299-seat mainstage and the 109-seat studio theater on the second floor, named the Richard Christiansen Theater.

In 2012, Victory Gardens Victory Gardens appointed new Ensemble Playwrights Philip Dawkins, Marcus Gardley, Samuel D. Hunter and Tanya Saracho, for seven-year residencies. The Playwrights Ensemble Alumni includes Claudia Allen, Lonnie Carter, Steve Carter, Gloria Bond Clunie, Dean Corrin, Nilo Cruz, Joel Drake Johnson, John Logan, Nicholas Patricca, Douglas Post, James Sherman, Charles Smith, Jeffrey Sweet and Kristine Thatcher.

Click here for more information about Victory Gardens.  Follow up on Facebook and Twitter @VictoryGardens.


Victory Gardens Theater receives major funding from Alphawood Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, The Joyce Foundation,The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Allstate Insurance, Polk Bros. Foundation, Crown Family Philanthropies,The Leo S. Guthman Fund, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The William and Orli Staley Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, The REAM Foundation, and the Leo S. Guthman Fund. Additional funding is provided by: Abbot Downing & Wells Fargo, Alliance Bernstein, Berghoff Catering, The Charles H. and Bertha L. Boothroyd Foundation, a City Arts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, The Conant Family FoundationThe Edgerton Foundation, Exelon, John R. Halligan Charitable Fund, Illinois Arts Council (a state agency),  Illinois Tool Works, Italian Village Restaurants, James S. Kemper Foundation, Mayer Brown LLP, The McVay Foundation, Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg, LLP, The Prince Charitable Trusts, The Seabury Foundation, Charles & M.R. Shapiro Foundation, Southwest Airlines, The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable TrustVenturous Theater Fund of the Tides Foundation,and Wrightwood Neighbors Conservation Association.

INCOMING: LePercolateur Gypsy Jazz and Americana at Skokie Theatre 8/15

Shows on Our Radar

Chicago’s LePercolateur will bring its unique take on gypsy jazz and Americana to the Skokie Theatre on Friday, August 15:

8:00 pm
Tickets: $25







Gypsy-jazz ... alt-folk ... come discover this unique blend.




The Story of lePercolateur

As the railyard bled into dark warehouses, the stranger found himself alone. Street after street he walked with night taking control of his senses until his ears perked at the music of sirens. The dulcet tones of violin, bass, and the female voice spiraled through the darkness from the sole source of warmth in sight. Helplessly drawn in, he found the last lit trailer in camp that seemed to have sprung forth from another time, and there--in the form of three women--was both the past and the future in one.

He introduced himself as Sam Random and explained that his path and his name were inextricably linked. Sensing a kindred spirit, they proffered their names: Marielle de Rocca-Serra held the violin, Stacy McMichael propped up the bass fiddle, and it was Candace Washburn's voice that had beckoned him. As Sam sat at their fire and opened up his tattered guitar case, another man, his elder, stepped forth from the darkness having been drawn in from afar. Armed too with a guitar, he announced himself as Kevin Rush and sat with no concern as to whether he'd been invited - simply knowing he was home. Fueled by coffee black as the night they found themselves in and so dark it could have been wartime, they played through 'til the sun began painting the eastern horizon red.

Winding their caravan through the windiest of cities, lePercolateur has spent the time since this fateful night sweeping in to transport concert-goers to a time where music was a liberating and cathartic respite from persecution-- where the frenetic energy of struggling to simply 'be' coalesced with the unbridaled spirit of gypsy music and burgeoned into swing dancing. The troupe transforms Katerina's into a sold-out Parisian dance hall circa 1937 on a monthly basis. 

Their high-energy sideshow has made Percolateers of attendees of the Jazz Institute of Chicago's 2011 & 2012 Jazz Tours, Andy's Jazz Club, Hard Rock Cafe Chicago, 2013 All Souls Jazz Festival, City Winery, the Mayne Stage, Jazz Showcase, Martyrs, Schubas, the 2012 Deer Park Jazz Festival, the 2010 and 2011 Chicago Cultural Center's "Music Without Borders" series, and Purdue University's Swing Dance. They were Featured Artists in both 2009 and 2011 in the Windy City Lindy Exchange, through which they flaunted their uncanny ability to seamlessly fuse two different eras via their reinterpretations of modern pop through the medium of hipster gypsy jazz. Along the way, these temporally displaced merry-makers were victorious at the Chicago Bluegrass and Blues Festival's "Last Banjo Standing" contest.



ACT OUT CLOSING: Victory Gardens Death and the Maiden Through July 20th

LAST CALL. If you haven't seen Victory Gardens Theater's acclaimed production of Death and the Maiden by Ariel Dorfman, directed by Artistic Director Chay Yew, don't delay. Death and the Maiden must end July 20th. Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue. Tickets are available at victorygardens.org or by calling 773-871-3000.



Regular performances run through July 20, 2014: Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30 pm; Saturday at 4 pm; Sunday at 3 pm. Tickets begin at $20.

Performances are at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, in the heart of Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood.  For tickets and information, call the Victory Gardens Box Office, 773.871.3000, email tickets@victorygardens.org, or visit www.victorygardens.org.  Ask the Box Office about student tickets, senior, Access, $20 under 30, and rush discounts.  For group discounts, call 773.328.2136.

A full and updated schedule of special events, post show discussions and presentations centered around performances of Death and the Maiden is available at www.victorygardens.org.  All events are free unless otherwise noted, and a reservation is required. To RSVP, call (773)871-3000 or visit the Victory Gardens website. 

AFTERWORDS
After every performance of DEATH AND THE MAIDEN (unless otherwise noted)
Join us for one of our intimate post show conversations. Led by members from the Victory Gardens community—subscribers, Artistic staff, Teen Arts Council members, and community partners— reflect on what you’ve seen and share your response.

Regular run:    $40 and up
Extension:       $42 and up
Rush discounts are available an hour before curtain.
Box Office:                  The Box Office is located at 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago.
773.871.3000; victorygardens.org

The cast of Death and the Maiden includes Raúl Castillo, John Judd and Sandra Oh.

“I’m thrilled to join the theater scene again under the direction of my long-time friend Chay Yew,” says Sandra Oh“Victory Gardens Theater is doing some amazing work and it’s very exciting to be a part of it. I have always been an advocate for local theaters and it’s wonderful to be able to support one with such an important mission of new work.”

Ariel Dorfman’s explosively provocative, award-winning political thriller is set in a rocky new democracy. Gerardo has just been chosen to head the commission that will investigate the crimes of the old regime when his car breaks down and he is picked up by a kind doctor. Gerardo’s wife, Paulina, thinks she recognizes the doctor as the man who tormented her as she lay blindfolded in a military detention center years before. Death and the Maiden is a riveting play about revenge, trauma and forgiveness.

Raúl Castillo most recently garnered accolades for his turn as Richie in the HBO series Looking. Raúl is a member of LAByrinth Theater Company in NYC and author of the play Knives and Other Sharp Objects. Acting credits include: Jose Rivera’s Adoration of the Old Woman (Intar), Fish Men (Goodman Theater), Smoke (Signature Theater), A Lifetime Burning (Primary Stages), School of the Americas (LAByrinth/Public Theater), and Flowers (Ensemble Studio Theater). Film credits include: Amexicano, Cold Weather, Don’t Let Me Drown, My Best Day, The Girl and the screen adaptation of Rudolfo Anaya’s seminal novel Bless Me, Ultima. Raúl studied theater at Boston University's School for the Arts before making a name for himself on both stage and screen as actor and writer

John Judd makes his Victory Gardens debut with Death and the Maiden. He has appeared at the Goodman in Measure for Measure, Sweet Bird of Youth, The Iceman Cometh, A Christmas Carol, Magnolia, and Shining City. Other Chicago credits include: Three Sisters, Clybourne Park, Last of the Boys, The Dresser, Orson’s Shadow and The Butcher of Baraboo at Steppenwolf Theatre Company; Romeo and Juliet and The Feast: an intimate Tempest at Chicago Shakespeare Theater; The Price, Crime and Punishment and Othello at Writers Theatre; The Cripple of Inishmaan and The Lieutenant of Inishmore at Northlight Theatre; Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde and Lettice and Lovage at Court Theatre; Gagarin Way at A Red Orchid Theatre; Execution of Justice at About Face Theatre; Come Back, Little Sheba at Shattered Globe Theatre and Great Men of Science Nos. 21 and 22 at Lookingglass Theatre Company. Mr. Judd’s New York credits include Orson’s Shadow and An Oak Tree at Barrow Street Theatre and Crime and Punishment at 59E59 Theaters. His regional and international appearances include American Buffalo at McCarter Theatre; Orson’s Shadow at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Westport Country Playhouse and the Beaver Creek Theatre Festival; Shining City at the Huntington Theatre Company and Long Day’s Journey into Night at Town Hall Theatre in Galway, Ireland.

Sandra Oh began her career as the title role in the CBC television film The Diary of Evelyn Lau for which she received a Gemini nomination and a 1994 Cannes FIPA d’O, both for Best Actress. She won her first Genie for her leading role in Double Happiness and won a Cable Ace award for Best Actress in a Comedy for her work on Arli$. She has recently appeared on film in Rabbit Hole, Under the Tuscan Sun, and Sideways, which was nominated for 5 Academy Awards and won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. Currently, Sandra is continuing her work with “Grey’s Anatomy” as Dr. Cristina Yang for which she’s been nominated for five Primetime Emmy’s and won a Golden Globe. Her previous theater experience includes the world premieres of Jessica Hagedorn’s Dogeaters at La Jolla Playhouse, the New York ensemble of The Vagina Monologues, and Diana Son’s Stop Kiss at Joseph Papp’s Public Theater in New York where she received a Theatre World award.

Chay Yew joined Victory Gardens in July 2011. For Victory Gardens, he directed The Gospel of Lovingkindness, Mojada, Oedipus el Rey, and Universes’ Ameriville at Victory Gardens. His other Chicago credits include Dartmoor Prison and Black N Blue Boys/Broken Men at the Goodman, and Po Boy Tango at Northlight Theatre. In New York he directed at The Public Theater, Playwrights Horizons, New York Theatre Workshop, National Asian American Theatre Company, and Ma-Yi Theatre Company. Regionally, he has directed at the Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, The Kennedy Center; Mark Taper Forum, American Conservatory Theater, Huntington Theatre Company, Long Wharf Theatre, Denver Center Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Empty Space Theatre, Portland Center Stage, Cornerstone Theatre Company, Singapore Repertory Theatre, Boston Court, East West Players amongst others. His opera credits include world premieres of Osvaldo Golijov’s and David Henry Hwang’s Ainadamar (co-production with the Tanglewood Music Center, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic); and Rob Zuidam’s Rage d’Amours (Tanglewood Music Center.) Chay is a recipient of the Obie Award and DramaLogue Award for Direction. As a playwright, his plays include Porcelain, A Language of Their Own, Red, A Beautiful Country, Wonderland, Question 27, Question 28, A Distant Shore, 17, and Visible Cities. His other work includes adaptations, A Winter People (based on Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard) and Lorca’s The House of Bernarda Alba, and a musical Long Season. His performance works include Vivien and Her Shadows and Home: Places between Asia and America. His plays have been produced at the Public Theater, Mark Taper Forum, Manhattan Theatre Club, Long Wharf Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Intiman Theatre, Wilma Theatre, Dallas Theatre Center, Portland Center Stage, amongst many others. Overseas, his plays have been produced by Royal Court Theatre (London), Fattore K and Napoli Teatro Festival (Naples, Italy), La Mama (Melbourne, Australia), Four Arts (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), Singapore Repertory Theatre, Toy Factory, Checkpoint Theatre, and TheatreWorks (Singapore). He is also the recipient of the London Fringe Award for Best Playwright and Best Play, George and Elisabeth Marton Playwriting Award, GLAAD Media Award, Made in America Award, AEA/SAG/AFTRA Diversity Honor, and Robert Chesley Award. His plays Porcelain and A Language of Their Own and The Hyphenated American Plays are published by Grove Press. He recently edited Version 3.0: An Anthology of Contemporary Asian American Plays for TCG Publications. He was the founding director of the Taper’s Asian Theatre Workshop and producer of Taper, Too. Chay is also an alumnus of New Dramatists and serves on the Executive Board of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.

The William and Orli Staley Foundation is the Lead Production Sponsor of Death and the Maiden.  Additional production sponsors include Abbot Downing, the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, Al and Pamella Capitanini Family & the Italian Village Restaurants, and Charles E. Harris II and Mayer Brown LLP.




About Victory Gardens Theater
Under the leadership of Artistic Director Chay Yew and Managing Director Chris Mannelli, Victory Gardens is dedicated to artistic excellence while creating a vital, contemporary American Theater that is accessible and relevant to all people through productions of challenging new plays and musicals.  With Victory Gardens’ first new Artistic Director in 34 years, the company remains committed to the development, production and support of new plays that has been the mission of the theater since its founding, continuing the vision set forth by Dennis Zacek, Marcelle McVay, and the original founders of Victory Gardens Theater.

Victory Gardens Theater is a leader in developing and producing new theatre work and cultivating an inclusive Chicago theater community. Victory Gardens’ core strengths are nurturing and producing dynamic and inspiring new plays, reflecting the diversity of our city’s and nation’s culture through engaging diverse communities, and in partnership with Chicago Public Schools, bringing art and culture to our city’s active student population.  

Since its founding in 1974, the company has produced more world premieres than any other Chicago theater, a commitment recognized nationally when Victory Gardens received the 2001 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. Located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, Victory Gardens Biograph Theater includes the Zacek-McVay Theater, a state-of-the-art 299-seat mainstage and the 109-seat studio theater on the second floor, named the Richard Christiansen Theater.

In 2012, Victory Gardens Victory Gardens appointed new Ensemble Playwrights Philip Dawkins, Marcus Gardley, Samuel D. Hunter and Tanya Saracho, for seven-year residencies. The Playwrights Ensemble Alumni includes Claudia Allen, Lonnie Carter, Steve Carter, Gloria Bond Clunie, Dean Corrin, Nilo Cruz, Joel Drake Johnson, John Logan, Nicholas Patricca, Douglas Post, James Sherman, Charles Smith, Jeffrey Sweet and Kristine Thatcher.
  
Victory Gardens Theater receives major funding from Alphawood Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Allstate Insurance, Polk Bros. Foundation, Crown Family Philanthropies, Leo S. Guthman Fund, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, William and Orli Staley Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts and REAM Foundation. Additional funding is provided by: Illinois Arts Council (a state agency), The Edgerton Foundation, Charles & M.R. Shapiro Foundation, Venturous Theater Fund of the Tides Foundation, McVay Foundation, The Seabury Foundation, Wrightwood Neighbors Conservation Association, The Charles H. and Bertha L. Boothroyd Foundation, John R. Halligan Charitable Fund, Illinois Tool Works, Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust,  Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg, LLP, Abbot Downing, James S. Kemper Foundation, The Prince Charitable Trusts, Southwest Airlines, a City Arts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, The Irving Harris Foundation and The Saints.

For more information about Victory Gardens, www.victorygardens.org.  Follow up on Facebook at Facebook.com/victorygardens and Twitter @VictoryGardens.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

NEW RELEASE: DEVO The Men Who Make The Music / Butch Devo & The Sundance Gig available on DVD and Digital Formats on August 12

What We're Watching:

       Classic DEVO live in 1978-79 
philosophy and more!

Click here to see Rolling Stone premieres "Too Much Paranoia" clip



Here at ChiIL Live Shows we dig DEVO. We grew up with their music and they were still fanstastic when we saw them tour with Blondie on the Whip It To Shreds Tour.  This new DVD/digital release is a must have for any serious music collector. Why?

It's in demand: The original VHS it's based on goes for hundreds of dollars! 

It's subversive:  Originally shelved by Time Life due to concerns about its anti-music industry content.

It's a slice of music history:  Some of the earliest professionally shot footage of DEVO And Bonus film: 1996 Sundance Film Festival live show featuring early DEVO songs

The Men Who Make the Music combines concert footage from DEVO's 1978 tour with music videos and interstitials featuring a vague story about DEVO's rocky relationship with "Big Entertainment." 

As for the bonus program, Butch Devo and the Sundance Gig, Jerry Casale says, "In January of '96, we closed Sundance Film Festival. We wore 20s style prison suits and dished out classic DEVO songs to an unsuspecting audience of Hollywood elite."



Track Listing
  • Jocko Homo (Music video, taken from "The Truth About De-evolution")
  • General Boy 1
  • Wiggly World (Live)
  • General Boy 2
  • The Day My Baby Gave Me A Surprise (Music video)
  • Roll Out The Barrel (AKA "Rod Rooter's Big Reamer")
  • Praying Hands (live)
  • General Boy 3
  • Uncontrollable Urge (Live)
  • (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction (Music video)
  • General Boy 4
  • Jocko Homo (Live, partial performance)
  • Secret Agent Man (Music video, take from "The Truth About De-evolution")
  • Smart Patrol / Mr. DNA (Live)
  • Come Back Jonee (Music Video)
  • General Boy 5
  • Red Eye (Live)
  • Devo Corporate Anthem


Product Details
  • Format: DVD
  • SKU: MVD6055D
  • UPC: 760137605591
  • Street Date: 08/12/14
  • PreBook Date: 07/08/14
  • Label: MVD VISUAL »
  • Genre: Alternative/Punk
  • Run Time: 144 mins
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Audio: 5.1 SURROUND
  • Year of Production: 1981
  • Box Lot: 30
  • Territory: WORLD
  • Language: English


HELP OUT: Inaugural Family Gala on July 12 Seussapalooza at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre


Chicago Shakespeare Theater Producers’ Guild hosts
Inaugural Family Gala on July 12
Seussapalooza
Benefitting Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks
Chicago—June 26, 2014—Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s (CST) 

Come ChiIL out with Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and ChiIL Mama. We can't wait to experience both Seussical AND Seussapalooza this Saturday! And all this fun will funD another true treasure, Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks. Break out your funkiest Dr. Seuss attire and help out. You can say you were there at the FIRST CST Family Gala EVER. Tickets start at a reasonable $45 and the event is family friendly, with stage combat demos, crafts, hands on activities, and more!



CST’s inaugural Family GalaSeussapalooza on July 12, 2014, 11:00 a.m. at the Theater’s home on Navy Pier. This family-friendly event invites guests to enjoy the summer musical production of Seussical in CST’s Courtyard Theater, followed by a lively reception with hands-on activities and crafts for all ages. In keeping with the Producers’ Guild’s mission to support access to Shakespeare for all, funds raised will benefit the celebrated Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks program, which brings a free Shakespearean production to neighborhood parks across Chicago in the summer. 







Click here for Shakespeare in the Parks 2014 dates/locations and ChiIL Mama's photo filled review of the show.



Seussapalooza guests will first be treated to a performance of Seussical in CST’s magnificent Courtyard Theater. This 75-minute Broadway musical comedy brings the humor and magic of Dr. Seuss to life onstage. Playful, energetic and full of whimsy, Seussical engages the imagination with clever lyrics and melodies, unforgettable characters and the vibrant rainbow of Dr. Seuss’s colorful world.







The Cat in the Hat (Alex Goodrich) shows JoJo (Emily Chang) that, through the power of her imagination, anything can happen in the song “It’s Possible” in Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Seussical, directed by Scott Weinstein, in CST’s Courtyard Theater now through August 17, 2014. Photo by Michael Brosilow.

Following the performance, attendees will proceed to a whimsical reception taking place throughout the Theater’s 6th floor lobbies and performance spaces, featuring a delicious luncheon, vivid décor and soaring views of the city’s skyline. Hands-on activities for children of all ages will include stage combat demonstrations by professional fight choreographers, a photo booth with theatrical props and artful face painting, as well as crafts and other games. A silent auction with exclusive family fun packages will further support Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks.


Proceeds from Seussapalooza will fully fund a designated park on this summer’s Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks tour of the wildly popular A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which will travel to 18 neighborhood parks across the city, July 18–August 17, 2014. Since its inception in July 2012, this annual summer tradition has touched over 27,000 audience members on the north, south and west sides of the city. At each stop on the citywide tour, families and neighbors come together to share in the delight of a professional Shakespearean production.









CST’s Producers’ Guild, led by Rachel Bronson and Justine Jentes, is a dynamic auxiliary board for emerging leadership in Chicago’s cultural community that advocates and supports CST’s work on the Theater’s stages, in the community and abroad. The Family Gala is co-chaired by Karen and Tuey Connell and Robin and Timothy Sheehan.


Seussapalooza Lead Sponsors include Beecken Petty O’Keefe & Company, Biagio Events, the Butler Family Foundation and Make It Better Magazine.


Tickets for the Seussapalooza event begin at $45. To join Chicago Shakespeare Theater in celebration of Seussapalooza, please contact Margaret Reeder at 312.667.4951 or mreeder@chicagoshakes.com.








A musical adventure through the world of Dr. Seuss


Seussical


Directed by Scott Weinstein




Chicago Shakespeare Theater brings the humor and magic of Dr. Seuss to life onstage this summer for young audiences and their families in the Broadway musical comedy Seussical. Playful, energetic and full of whimsy, this 75-minute musical adventure engages the imagination with clever lyrics and melodies, unforgettable characters and the colorful world of Dr. Seuss. Every performance features special opportunities for audiences to interact with the actors for one-on-one conversations and photos. On Wednesdays and Thursdays, CST partners with the Chicago Children’s Museum (CCM) to offer hands-on craft activities in CST’s Lobby. Seussical is being presented in CST’s Courtyard Theater now through August 17, 2014.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

ACT OUT: OPENING A Horse of A Different Color Presents the World Premiere of Fairytales: Not Suitable for Children August 2014

Fairytales: 
Not Suitable for Children 
Directed by Morgan Ashley Madison 
Musical direction and composition by Anthony Sanders

Hysterical and heartwarming, this immersive and irreverent musical experience turns the myths of yesteryear completely on their heads.

Three Week Run ONLY

A Horse of A Different Color is proud to present the world premiere of Fairytales: Not Suitable for Children, created by Morgan Ashley Madison, at Emerald City Theatre Company’s The Little Theatre, 2933 N. Southport Ave. in Chicago. The opening is Saturday, August 9 at 8pm, and the show will run Fridays at 10:30PM and Saturdays at 8PM with a special discounted Restaurant and Artist Industry night on Monday, August 18 at 10:30pm. The show runs from August 9-23.





“With this production I harken back to what folks must have felt like when they saw Steppenwolf or Lookingglass for the first time,” Ernie Nolan, Emerald City’s Artistic Director, says, “Something that is so unique and so intrinsically Chicago. Fairytales has all the things I love when I go to the theater: laughs, entertainment value, but I also think of an amazing amount of heart and that’s what Fairytales really leaves you with at the end.”

*Due to some adult content and humor, Fairytales: Not Suitable for Children is, in fact, not recommended for children.*


The cast features Isabella Karina Coelho, Casey Morris, Alex Seeley, and Erik Strebig.

The design and production team of Fairytales: Not Suitable for Children includes Katrina Dion (Assistant Director), M.E. Barker (Choreographer), Daniel Friedman (Lighting Designer), Jacob C. Shuler (Dramaturg), Mina Slater (Stage Manager), Morgan Greene (Assistant Stage Manager), and Dean Corrin (Artistic Consultant).


About the Play

This immersive musical spectacle propels audiences back into the joyful and carefree days of childhood. While audiences watch their most beloved tales go to new extremes they can leave “happily ever after” at the door and say hello to uproarious musical numbers, confetti canons, fairies in drag, magic, out of this world circus tricks, often inappropriate humor, and some good old fashioned catharsis.


Tickets:
$10 general admission
$8 students and seniors
$6 Industry night and preview
Available at:







Photos by Morgan Madison. Erik Strebig, Isabella Karina Coelho, Casey Morris, Alex Seeley



WHAT: A Horse of A Different Color presents the World premiere of Fairytales: Not Suitable For Children created and directed by Morgan Ashley Madison

WHERE: Emerald City Theatre Company’s The Little Theatre, 2933 N. Southport Ave. in Chicago. A short walk from the Wellington Brown Line Stop and Ashland Bus (#9).

WHEN: THREE WEEKS ONLY: August 9-23
Fridays at 10:30PM, Saturdays at 8:00PM, and a discounted Industry Night performance on Monday, August 18 at 10:30 PM

TICKETS:
$10 general admission
$8 students and seniors
$6 Industry night

Cast:
Isabella Karina Coelho, Casey Morris, Anthony Sanders, Alex Seeley, Erik Strebig

Production Team:
Composer/Music Director: Anthony Sanders
Choreographer: M.E. Barker
Assistant Director: Katrina Dion
Stage Manager: Mina Slater
Lighting Designer: Daniel Friedman
Assistant Stage Manager: Morgan Greene
Artistic Consultant: Dean Corrin


 

Photos by Morgan Madison. Isabella Karina Coelho, Casey Morris, Erik Strebig, Alex Seeley



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