Sunday, April 23, 2017

1 Night Only Withnail & I With Post-Show Q&A With Star Richard E. Grant at Music Box Theatre This Monday 4/24

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

Film star Richard E. Grant appears at Music Box Theatre
one night only for 30th anniversary screening of cult film
Withnail & I and 
post-show Q&A with audience

Monday, April 24 at 7 p.m.

Grant currently in Chicago for Lyric Opera’s My Fair Lady

l-r: Richard E. Grant; Paul McGann and Richard E. Grant in Withnail & I.

TV and film star Richard E. Grant (Logan, Jackie, Girls, Game of Thrones) appears at the Music Box Theatre on Monday, April 24 for a special one-night-only 30th anniversary screening of the cult classic film Withnail & I, which launched Grant’s career in 1987. The British black comedy follows two unemployed young actors during what is supposed to be a relaxing getaway weekend to a country cottage. The film will be screened on 35mm, and immediately following Grant will participate in a Q&A with the audience about the film, his career, and first time performing in Chicago for Lyric Opera’s My Fair Lady.

The one-night-only 30th anniversary screening of Withnail and I at the Music Box Theatre (3733 N. Southport Avenue) is Monday, April 24 at 7 p.m. with a Q&A with Richard E. Grant immediately following. Tickets are $12 and available now at

Withnail & I is a British black comedy about two “resting” actors – living off a diet of booze and pills in a squalid Camden Flat – who decide to take a trip to a country house (belonging to Withnail’s uncle) to “rejuvenate.” Faced with bad weather, altercations with the locals, and the unexpected arrival (and advances) of Uncle Monty, the pair’s wits and friendship are tested.

Richard E. Grant is currently in Chicago for Lyric Opera’s grand-scale company premiere of My Fair Lady, starring as Henry Higgins alongside Lisa O’Hare as Eliza Doolittle. The cast also includes Bryce Pinkham (Freddy Eynsford-Hill), Nicholas Le Prevost (Colonel Pickering) and Donald Maxwell (Alfred Doolittle). My Fair Lady plays April 28-May 21, 2017, at Lyric’s Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Drive. Tickets start at $22 and are available now at or at 312-827-5600.

Richard E. Grant has proven to be one of the great character actors of his generation since appearing in his first film as the perpetually inebriated title character in Withnail and I. Some of his most memorable credits include Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Henry & June, L.A. Story, The Player, The Age of Innocence, The Portrait of a Lady, Spice World, Gosford Park, and The Iron Lady. He has countless television credits, including featured roles on Girls, Downton Abbey, and Game of Thrones. In 2008, Grant performed the role of Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady with Opera Australia. Following the recent releases of the acclaimed films Jackie and Logan, he has several other films scheduled for release, including the romantic comedy Their Finest and the dark comedy Can You Ever Forgive Me? with Melissa McCarthy.

Music Box Theatre
For the last two decades, the Music Box Theatre has been the premiere venue in Chicago for independent and foreign films. It currently has the largest theater space operated full time in the city. The Music Box Theatre is independently owned and operated by the Southport Music Box Corporation. SMBC, through its Music Box Films division, also distributes foreign and independent films in the theatrical, DVD and television markets throughout the United States.

Follow The Music Box Theatre on Instagram @musicboxchicago and Twitter @musicboxtheatre

Lyric Opera of Chicago
Lyric Opera of Chicago’s mission is to express and promote the life-changing, transformational, revelatory power of great opera. Lyric exists to provide a broad, deep, and relevant cultural service to Chicago and the nation, and to advance the development of the art form.

Founded in 1954, Lyric is dedicated to producing and performing consistently thrilling, entertaining, and thought-provoking opera with a balanced repertoire of core classics, lesser-known masterpieces, and new works; to creating an innovative and wide-ranging program of community engagement and educational activities; and to developing exceptional emerging operatic talent.

Under the leadership of General Director, President & CEO Anthony Freud, Music Director Sir Andrew Davis, and Creative Consultant Renée Fleming, Lyric strives to become The Great North American Opera Company for the 21st century: a globally significant arts organization embodying the core values of excellence, relevance, and fiscal responsibility.

To learn more about Lyric, go to You can also join the conversation with @LyricOpera on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. #Lyric1617 #LongLivePassion

Friday, April 14, 2017

SEASON ANNOUNCED: Chicago Shakespeare Theater's 2017-18 Season To Include 3rd Stage, The Yard

Chicago Shakespeare Theater announces
2017/18 Season
Including the introduction of innovative third venue:

The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare

Here at ChiIL Live Shows and ChiIL Mama, we're elated about Chicago Shakespeare Theater's new season and new stage, a third Navy Pier performance venue, The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare! We can't wait to check it out.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater announces nine productions of the 2017/18 Season—which will engage audiences with timeless stories in transformational settings. The season also marks the introduction of the Theater's new and innovative third performance venue, The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare. Additional productions are to be announced this summer.

Artistic Director and Carl and Marilynn Thoma Endowed Chair Barbara Gaines said, "On the heels of the Theater's 30th Anniversary and the yearlong Shakespeare 400 Chicago festival, we have curated a season that reflects upon historic moments with radically fresh eyes—and at the same time blazes a trail forward by reimagining Shakespeare’s plays for today’s audiences. These works give voice to our collective soul, and serve to unite us in a time when the world feels more divided than ever.”

Regarding the opening of The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare, Executive Director Criss Henderson shared, "We are thrilled to introduce audiences this season to The Yard—a forward-thinking venue that is one-of-a-kind in terms of its flexibility and artistic vision. In concert with our existing spaces in the Courtyard Theater and Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare, The Yard allows us to best serve our artists and audiences with a dynamic range of spaces that will be responsive to theater-makers for generations to come."

Opening in the 2017/18 Season,The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare redefines the traditional, fixed relationship between artist and audience—offering a radically versatile theatrical platform. Repurposing the footprint of Navy Pier's former Skyline Stage with an enclosed, year-round theater space, this third performance venue connects to Chicago Shakespeare's two existing spaces—the Courtyard Theater and the theater Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare—through expanded lobbies. The innovative design features a series of mobile towers that allow the space to be configured in a variety of shapes and sizes with audience capacities ranging from 150 to 850. The new space allows the Theater to expand its programming, host a wide range of international productions, and double its service to students and teachers.

Kicking off the season, Barbara Gaines re-examines Shakespeare's notorious "battle of the sexes" in The Taming of the Shrew (September 16–November 12, 2017; Courtyard Theater) with an all-woman company. Gaines partners with playwright Ron West (CST's The Comedy of Errors, 2008) to frame Shakespeare's story as a performance by a group of Suffragettes in 1919—on the eve of the passing of the 19th Amendment.

In The Yard is James Thierrée's The Toad Knew (September 19–23, 2017; The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare), presented by his La Compagnie du Hanneton from France as part of CST’s World’s Stage series. Blending together the artistry of dancers, contortionists, and high-wire artists with Thierrée's extraordinary physical prowess, this spectacle premiered at the Edinburgh International Festival, where it was called "flamboyant, hallucinatory and ravishingly beautiful" by The Guardian. Thierrée returns to CST after his magnificent Farewell Umbrella (2007) and Bright Abyss (2005). Tickets for The Toad Knew will go on sale later this summer; CST subscribers and donors will have early access to this limited engagement.

Chicago Shakespeare then partners with the Chicago Latino Theater Alliance (CLATA) in its inaugural International Latino Theater Festival (Fall 2017; Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare) with a Latin American production as part of the World’s Stage series to be announced. Founded through an alliance between the National Museum of Mexican Art, Puerto Rican Arts Alliance, and the International Cultural Center, CLATA aims to celebrate and amplify the voices of Latino theater artists in Chicago.

A theatrical revolution comes to the stage in Red Velvet (December 1, 2017–January 21, 2018; Courtyard Theater), staged by leading Broadway and Chicago director Gary Griffin. The award-winning play by Lolita Chakrabarti chronicles the seldom-told, true story of Ira Aldridge, an African-American actor who challenged convention by taking the London stage as the first black Othello in 1833—sending shockwaves through the city at a time when anti-abolition protesters rioted in the streets.

In 2018, the abridged Short Shakespeare! A Midsummer Night's Dream (January 24–March 10, 2018; The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare) introduces Shakespeare's mystical comedy to family and student audiences in a new production in The Yard, where its extended run will serve thousands of additional students and teachers next year.

Two resolute rulers—Queen Elizabeth I of England and Mary, Queen of Scots—face off in a struggle for the faith of the nation in Schiller's Mary Stuart (February 21–April 15, 2018; Courtyard Theater), with an electric adaptation by Peter Oswald. The production is staged by acclaimed director Jenn Thompson, former artistic director of The Actors Company Theater (TACT), which was named "Company of the Year" by The Wall Street Journal during her tenure.

Celebrated director and playwright Aaron Posner and Teller (of famous duo Penn & Teller) join forces with a new production of Macbeth (April 25–June 24, 2018; The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare), returning after their Jeff Award-winning production of The Tempest at Chicago Shakespeare in 2015. This supernatural thriller dives into the psyches of the power-hungry Macbeth and Lady Macbeth with astounding magic to immerse audiences in the storytelling.

Featured as part of Chicago Shakespeare's World's Stage series is Samuel Beckett's masterpiece Waiting for Godot (May 23–June 3, 2018; Courtyard Theater), presented by Ireland's Druid Theatre and staged by Tony Award-winning director Garry Hynes. The Irish Times called it, "the freshest, funniest and most affecting production of the play in at least a quarter of a century." This production marks the company's third return to Chicago Shakespeare following The Cripple of Inishmaan (2011) and The Walworth Farce (2009).

Touring to neighborhood parks across the City in Summer 2017 in partnership with the City of Chicago, Chicago Park District, Boeing and production sponsor BMO Harris, Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks presents FREE performances of Shakespeare's timeless Romeo and Juliet (July–August, 2017; neighborhood parks across Chicago) in a gripping 75-minute production, adapted and directed by Marti Lyons.

These productions join the previously announced summer family musical, Madagascar – A Musical Adventure (July 13–August 27, 2017; Courtyard Theater). Based on the DreamWorks Animation motion picture, this wild new musical is directed and choreographed by Matt Raftery at the Theater's home on Navy Pier.

For information on purchasing tickets, visit or call the CST Box Office at 312.595.5600. A variety of flexible packages start at just $180—offering savings over single tickets, and guaranteeing your seat at every production you choose to see. Discounted tickets are also available for groups of 10 or more; Access Shakespeare patrons; and anyone under age 35 through the CST for $20 initiative.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater's 2017/18 Season (at press time)
Madagascar – A Musical Adventure
in CST's Courtyard Theater
July 13–August 27, 2017
based on the DreamWorks Animation Motion Picture
book by Kevin Del Aguila | original music and lyrics by George Noriega & Joel Someillan
directed and choreographed by Matt Raftery

Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks
Romeo and Juliet
in neighborhood parks across Chicago
July–August, 2017
by William Shakespeare
adapted and directed by Marti Lyons

The Taming of the Shrew
in CST's Courtyard Theater
September 16–November 12, 2017
by William Shakespeare
adapted and directed by Barbara Gaines
additional dialogue by Ron West

from FRANCE | La Compagnie du Hanneton
The Toad Knew
in The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare
September 19–23, 2017
by James Thierrée

International Latino Theater Festival
Title to be announced
Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare
Fall 2017

Red Velvet
in CST's Courtyard Theater
December 1, 2017–January 21, 2018
by Lolita Chakrabarti 
directed by Gary Griffin

Short Shakespeare! A Midsummer Night's Dream
in The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare
January 24–March 10, 2018
by William Shakespeare

Schiller's Mary Stuart
in CST's Courtyard Theater
February 21–April 15, 2018
in a new version by Peter Oswald
directed by Jenn Thompson

in The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare
April 25–June 24, 2018
by William Shakespeare
adapted and directed by Aaron Posner and Teller

from IRELAND | Druid Theatre
Waiting for Godot
in CST's Courtyard Theater
May 23–June 3, 2018
by Samuel Beckett
directed by Garry Hynes

Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) is a leading international theater company and a recipient of the Regional Theatre Tony Award®. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Barbara Gaines and Executive Director Criss Henderson, CST is dedicated to creating extraordinary production of classics, new works and family programming; to unlocking Shakespeare's work for educators and students; and to serving as Chicago's cultural ambassador through its World's Stage Series. Through a year-round season encompassing more than 650 performances, CST attracts 225,000 audience members annually. One in four of its audience members is under eighteen years old, and today its education programs have impacted the learning of over one million students. CST is proud to take an active role in empowering the next generation of literate, engaged cultural champions and creative minds. Throughout 2016, CST spearheaded the international arts and culture festival, Shakespeare 400 Chicago, a yearlong, citywide celebration of the playwright's 400-year legacy.

Monday, April 10, 2017

OPENING: Into The Empty Sky at Trap Door Theatre 5/11-6/17

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

THE TRAP DOOR THEATRE is proud to present...
Into the Empty Sky
Based on the poetry collection, MAP, by Wislawa Szymborska 
Translated by Clare Cavanagh and Stanislaw Baranczak 
Devised and Directed by Monica Payne

Cast: Maryam Abdi, Tiffany Addison, Marzena Bukowska, Rashida Curtis, Halie Ecker, Mike Mazzocca, Kelsey Shipley 

Into the Empty Sky, devised and directed by Monica Payne, draws from a selection of Wislawa Szymborska’s poems as the catalyst for this new work. Szymborska, a beloved Polish poet and Nobel laureate, tended to view her subjects, both large and small, from an unusual, pragmatic, and wry perspective. Into the Empty Sky features six women trapped in a purgatorial landscape; unsure of their surroundings, haunted by the past, and trying desperately to escape.

Opens: Thursday May 11, 2017 at 8PM 
Closes: Saturday June 17, 2017 at 8PM
Runs:  Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 8PM
Admission: $20 on Thursdays, Fridays, $25 on Saturdays, 2 for 1 Admission on Fridays 
Where: TRAP DOOR THEATRE 1655 West Cortland Ave. Chicago, IL 60622

For Information/Reservations: 773-384-0494 To purchase online

Wisława Szymborska (Playwright) was born July 2nd, 1923 in Kórnik, Poznań province. Between 1945 and 1948 she studied Polish, Literature, and Sociology at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków. She made her debut in March 1945 with the poem Looking for Words published in a supplement to the daily newspaper "Dziennik Polski". From 1953 to 1981 she worked on the Krakow-based weekly magazine "Życie Literackie", where she ran the poetry column and the book review column "Lektury nadobowiązkowe" (later resumed as "Gazeta o Książkach" in the supplement to Gazeta Wyborcza). 

Szymborska published 13 collections of poetrythat has been translated into over forty languages. She also translated poetry herself, mainly from French and German. In 1991 she received the Goethe Prize. In 1995 she won the Herder Prize, and in May of that same year, she was awarded the honorary degree honoris causa by Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. In 1996, Wisława Szymborska received the Polish PEN Club award and the Nobel Prize for Literature. In 2001 she became an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and in 2011 she was awarded the highest Polishnationaldecoration, the Order of theWhite Eagle. Wisława Szymborska died on February 1st, 2012 in Kraków.

Monica Payne (Director) is a freelance director who last worked with Trap Door in the spring of 2016, staging a reading of the award-winning Polish play Trash Story by Magda Fertacz, for the International Voices Project. She directed full productions of the same play in New York (Kulture+ Productions) and Los Angeles (UCLA TFT) and has traveled to Krakow twice through the Adam Mickiewicz Institute to study Polish theatre. Payne has also directed at UCLA, The Pittsburgh Playhouse, Theatre Lumina (LA), Point Park University, and The Artistic Home. As an assistant director, she has worked at Steppenwolf, The Goodman Theatre, Theatre Y, The Latino Theatre Company, and La Mirada Center for the Performing Arts. As a former actress, Payne has worked with Steppenwolf, The Artistic Home, The Hypocrites, The Journeymen, and Famous Door, among others. Payne has taught for several universities, including UCLA, Carnegie Mellon, and Point Park University. She has been a Meisner teacher for 16 years and has taught for The School at Steppenwolf, The Artistic Home, The Audition Studio, Steppenwolf Classes West, and independently. She earned her M.F.A. in Directing from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television and is a member of both the NY and LA Directors' Labs. www.monicapaynedirector. com.

Set Designer Eleanor Kahn/ Lighting Design Richard Norwood/ Costume Design Rachel Sypniewski/ Sound Design/Composer Mike Mazzocca / Make-Up Design Zsófia Ötvös / Graphic Design Michal Janicki/ Dramaturg Milan Pribisic / Stage Manager Kristin Davis

Sunday, April 9, 2017

OPENING: Artemisia Presents The World Premiere of Visiting at The Edge Theater 4/14 - 5/7

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:


Written by Ed Proudfoot and Directed by Carrie Lee Patterson, Visiting, an Exploration of Bipolar Disorder, was chosen by Audiences for a Full Production during Artemisia’s Fall Festival 2015

Here at ChiIL Live Shows, we're eager to catch opening night. Quite a few of our friends and extended family members struggle with bipolar disorder. Check back soon for our full review. 

Artemisia, a Chicago theatre, is proud to announce the world premiere of Visitingby Ed Proudfoot and directed by Carrie Lee Patterson, April 14 – May 7, at The Edge Theater, 5451 N. Broadway. The opening night is Friday, April 14 at 7:30 p.m. The performance schedule is Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 2 and 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 6 p.m. Tickets for all performances are $25 and are available at or by calling 312.725.3780. Group and VIP Passes* are also available.

Featured as one of six plays in Artemisia’s 2015 Fall Festival, Visiting, was the undisputed audience favorite and chosen to receive a full production. Visiting is an unflinching exploration of the impact of bipolar disorder on four generations of women and the life-affirming discoveries a young woman makes about herself and her future.

Visiting by Ed Proudfoot- Artemisia Theatre from KBH Media on Vimeo.

The cast of Visiting includes Maggie Cain, “Carol;” Caitlin Cavannaugh, “Penny;” Millie Hurley, “Rachel,” Julie Proudfoot, “Lauren;” and Carin Silkaitis, “Holly.” Understudies are Jean Marie KoonSherry LegareJustine Serino and Sarah Wisterman.

The production team is Carrie Lee Patterson, director; Nicole Lewter, stage manager; Eric Luchen, set designer; Rebecca A. Barrett, lighting designer, Stefanie Johnsen, costume designer and Brandin Hurley, props and technical director.

Ed Proudfoot is a Chicago-based playwright and screenwriter. His play Chewing on Beckett was produced as a world premiere at Artemisia in 2016 and won accolades from audience and critics. Proudfoot’s plays Companion Piece and The Man in the Chair were produced in Los Angeles. He has had two screenplays optioned and has a number of stories for both stage and screen in the works. 

A member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, Carrie Lee Patterson returns to Artemisia Theatre, where she has directed and performed in the last three Fall Festivals. She was recently awarded an individual artist grant to create All Access: An Equity Library Theatre Reading Series (ELT), which introduces new plays featuring characters that are women, people of color, LGBTQ and differently-abled.  ELT directing credits include Come Back, Any Other Name, and The Goldilocks Zone. Patterson has directed Phoenix (Nomades Theatre), Year of the Rooster (Red Theatre Chicago), I Hate Hamlet (Attic Playhouse), I Do, I Do (Peck Theatre), Lady Windermere’s Fan, Taming of the Shrew (University of Nebraska and On the Verge, She Stoops to Conquer (Graceland University). She is a graduate of Willamette University and earned her MFA from the University of Arizona.

Maggie Cain recently reprised her appearance as Mrs. Claus in Barney the Elf with The Other Theatre Company. Other credits include Men Should Weep (Jeff Award for Best Play), Kin and Stage Door (Griffin Theatre), The Glass Menagerie (Broadway World Award for Best Ensemble) (Mary-Arrchie Theatre), Pornography and Moment (Steep Theatre), Good Boys and True, Stop Kiss, and Book of Days, (Raven), The Consultant  (Signal Ensemble) and Troll (Fraud and Phony).

Caitlin Cavannaugh returns to Artemisia again, she was previously C in Circular as part of Artemisia’s 2016 Fall Festival.  Recent credits include Juliet in Romeo and Juliet (Texas Shakespeare Festival) and Die Fledermaus (Light Opera Works). International credits include Sabanci International Theatre Festival in Adana, Turkey and Moscow Art Theatre School. She is a proud graduate of Northern Illinois University (BFA Acting) and is represented by Shirley Hamilton Inc. Her next performance is Harvey at Purple Rose Theatre Company.

Millie Hurley is honored to be back with Artemisia where she played the “Old Woman” in Chewing on Beckett.  Hurley was last seen as “E.M. Ashford” in Wit (The Hypocrites). Other roles include “Mrs. Garland” in Good for Otto (The Gift Theatre), “Office Randy Osteen” in Superior Donuts (Mary-Arrchie) and in two Horton Foote plays at Raven where her role as “Maggie” in Dancing At Lughnasa garnered her a Jeff Award. She has worked with numerous theaters over the years and is a proud company member of Erasing the Distance.  She also pursues voice over, commercial and film work. 

Julie Proudfoot is the founder and executive artistic director of Artemisia, A Chicago Theatre and a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA.  Proudfoot was last seen in Image, which was one of six plays featured in Artemisia’s 2016 Fall Festival.  She holds an MFA in theatre and has 20 years of experience as a professional actor, director and dramaturge performing in, developing and producing new work.  Proudfoot won critical and audience acclaim for her portrayal of “Viola” in Artemisia’s world premiere of Chewing on Beckett, directed by Steve Scott. 

Carin Silkaitis makes her Artemisia Theatre debut in Visiting. She is the founding artistic director of The Other Theatre Company where her credits include I Do Today, The Realm and Other Letters 9 (actor) and OTHERS: A 24 Hour Play Festival, Daughters of Ire, Barney The Elf (director). Notable TV/film credits include: “Chicago Fire,” “Unexpected” and “Blood And Water.” Notable theatre credits include: Lips Together, Teeth Apart (Eclipse Theatre), Sons Of The Prophet (American Theatre Company), Richard III (Oak Park Festival Theatre), Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England (u/s Theater Wit), Distracted (u/s American Theatre Company), and Rabbit Hole (u/s Goodman Theatre). Favorite regional credits include: Love Letters, Dangerous Liaisons and A Comedy Of Errors. Silkaitis is a graduate of the School at Steppenwolf, and received her MFA in acting from the Theatre Conservatory at Roosevelt University. She is a proud member of AEA and equally proud to be represented by Gray Talent in Chicago.

Artemisia produces plays that empower women, gives playwrights career-altering opportunities and brings groundbreaking new theatre to Chicago audiences, who are engaged as a vital part of Artemisia’s play selection process.

Artemisia offers a VIP Pass for $25. The VIP Pass allows audiences reserved seating to all performances including Visiting, the Feminist Play Revival, Her Story is Our Story Fall Festival, invitations to post-show receptions, seminars taught by Artistic Director Julie Proudfoot and more. Passes are available at

Artemisia is sponsored by The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly Foundation Gen Ops Strategy, The MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Steve Robinson at New Media Productions and Candice Wu, Self Love + Healing.

OPENING: World Premiere of King of the Yees at Goodman Theatre Through April 30th

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:



Tonight, ChiIL Mama will be ChiILin' at The Goodman Theatre, one of our favorite venues, for the press opening of King of the Yees. Check back soon for our full review. We're looking forward to the world premiere of this Goodman Theatre-commissioned work!

**Tonight Only: Retired ABC-7 anchor and Chicago’s first Asian American broadcast journalist, Linda Yu, moderates an “Artist Encounter” discussion with Yee and Brody on Sunday, April 9 at 5pm; tickets are $10 for the public and $5 for Donors, Subscribers and students.**

Explore the vivid history of America’s largest Chinatown through the eyes of a new generation in Lauren Yee’s King of the Yees, developed in the 2015 New Stages Festival. Yee’s longtime collaborator Joshua Kahan Brody directs her offbeat and electric joy ride about living in the contemporary world while honoring one’s rich ancestral heritage—and the conflict that ensues. The production will debut at A Contemporary Theatre and Canada's National Arts Centre later this year. 

“We are thrilled to welcome one of our country’s most gifted young writers Lauren Yee to the Goodman with her truly original take on the age-old tale of a daughter’s quest for acceptance—at once ambitious, charming and imaginatively idiosyncratic,” said Artistic Director Robert Falls. “One of the most arresting new works I’ve experienced, King of the Yees is a meta-theatrical and infectiously rambunctious odyssey, sprinkled with wit, irreverence and surprising wisdom.”

The affable Larry Yee (Francis Jue) remains a driving force in the San Francisco Chinese American community as the head of the Yee Fung Toy family association—a seemingly obsolescent men's club dedicated to the preservation of the Yee line. His daughter Lauren (Stephenie Soohyun Park), however, is dismissive of its patriarchal culture, despite her father’s dedication. When Larry suddenly goes missing, Lauren’s desperate search drops her into a foreign but familiar world where she will have to embrace the past in order to get her father back. Actors Daniel Smith, Angela Lin and Rammel Chan round out the cast, appearing in a variety of roles throughout the two-act play. The design team includes William Boles (set), Izumi Inaba (costumes), Heather Gilbert (lighting), Mikhail Fiksel (sound) and Mike Tutaj (projections). Tanya Palmer is the dramaturg and Donald E. Claxon is the production stage manager. Visit for artist bios.

King of the Yees is only kind of true—just like the stories your father once told you as a child,” said playwright Lauren Yee of the play in which she and her father, Larry, are central characters. “Growing up, I never understood what the Yee Fung Toy—a club of Yees—was, or why people were a part of it. With this play, I’ve been able to explore not only my own self-consciousness within my community, but it’s also shed light on how that is a universal experience. With every generation, there is a feeling of being unworthy and being unprepared to take up the cultural mantle. In a way, this play is a hero’s quest that celebrates those feelings of inadequacy.”

Yee’s other plays include Cambodian Rock Band (upcoming at South Coast Repertory’s Pacific Playwrights Festival), Ching Chong China Man (Pan Asian Repertory Theatre and Mu Performing Arts), The Great Leap (Denver Center for the Performing Art's New Play Summit), The Hatmaker’s Wife (Playwrights Realm and Moxie), Hookman (Encore Theatre, Company One and an upcoming production at Steep Theatre), In a Word (San Francisco Playhouse, Cleveland Public Theatre, Strawdog Theatre Company and an upcoming production at Lesser America), Samsara (Victory Gardens Theater, Single Carrot Theatre and the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center’s National Playwright Conference) and The Tiger Among Us (MAP Fund and Mu Performing Arts). Yee is a member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab and has received commissions from the Denver Center of the Performing Arts, Lincoln Center Theater/LCT3, Mixed Blood Theatre, Portland Center Stage, South Coast Repertory and Trinity Repertory Company. She received her BA from Yale University and MFA from University of California, San Diego. She was born and raised in San Francisco and currently lives in New York.

“I’m so grateful to Lauren for bringing me on this incredible journey that is King of the Yees, which we’ve worked to fine-tune over the past three years,” said Director Joshua Kahan Brody, a longtime collaborator and friend of Yee, whom he met 14 years ago as Yale University undergrads (they later attended graduate school together at UC-San Diego). “It’s an extraordinary gift to return to the Goodman after developing this play in the 2015 New Stages festival; the support, the enthusiasm and joy of premiering it here in Chicago is a dream come true.” 

Brody’s directing credits include The Last Tiger in Haiti at La Jolla Playhouse and Berkeley Repertory Theatre and Fourteen Flights at the New York International Fringe Festival (Award for Excellence in Directing). He has developed work all over the country including at Atlantic Theater Company, New York Theater Workshop, Ojai Playwrights Conference, Playwrights Horizons and South Coast Repertory. He is a Princess Grace Award winner and received his MFA from University of California, San Diego and his BA from Yale University. 

The Goodman is grateful for the generosity of its sponsors: ITW is the Corporate Sponsor Partner and Winston & Strawn LLP is the Contributing Sponsor.

Tickets ($10-$40); 312.443.3800; Fax: 312.443.3825; TTY/TDD: 312.443.3829
Box Office Hours – 12noon - 5pm; on performance days, the box office remains open until 30 minutes past curtain
MezzTix – Half-price day-of-performance mezzanine tickets available at 10am online (promo code MEZZTIX) 
$10Tix – Student $10 advance tickets; limit four, with valid student ID (promo code 10TIX)
Group Sales are available for parties 10+; 312.443.3820 (restrictions apply)
Gift Certificates – Available in any amount;

ARTIST ENCOUNTER – April 9 at 5pm| The Alice Center for Engagement and Education at Goodman Theatre
Tickets are $10 for public; $5 for Donors, Subscribers and students. Join Yee and Brody for an in-depth conversation about the play with ABC-7’s Linda Yu.

Touch-Tour,  April 23 at 12:30pm – A presentation detailing the set, costume and character elements
Audio-Described Performance, April 23 at 2pm – The action/text is audibly enhanced for patrons via headset
ASL-Interpreted Performance, April 29 at 2pm – Professional ASL interpreter signs the action/text as played 
Open-Captioned Performance, April 30 at 2pm – An LED sign presents dialogue in sync with the performance
Visit Goodman for more information about Goodman Theatre’s accessibility efforts.

About Goodman Theatre
America’s “Best Regional Theatre” (Time magazine) and “Chicago’s flagship resident stage” (Chicago Tribune), Goodman Theatre is a not-for-profit organization distinguished by the quality and scope of its artistic programming and civic engagement. Founded in 1925, the Goodman is led by Robert Falls—“Chicago’s most essential director” (Chicago Tribune), who marks 30 years as Artistic Director this season—and Executive Director Roche Schulfer, who is celebrated for his vision and leadership over nearly four decades. 

Dedicated to new plays, reimagined classics and large-scale musical theater works, Goodman Theatre artists and productions have earned hundreds of awards for artistic excellence, including: two Pulitzer Prizes, 22 Tony Awards, nearly 160 Jeff Awards and more. Over the past three decades, audiences have experienced more than 150 world or American premieres, 30 major musical productions, as well as nationally and internationally celebrated productions of classic works (including Falls’ productions of Death of a SalesmanLong Day’s Journey into NightKing Lear and The Iceman Cometh, many in collaboration with actor Brian Dennehy). In addition, the Goodman is the first theater in the world to produce all 10 plays in August Wilson’s “American Century Cycle.” For nearly four decades, the annual holiday tradition of A Christmas Carol has created a new generation of theatergoers. 

The 2016 opening of the Alice Rapoport Center for Education and Engagement (“the Alice”) launched the next phase in the Goodman’s decades-long commitment as an arts and community organization dedicated to educating Chicago youth and promoting lifelong learning. Programs are offered year-round and free of charge. Eighty-five percent of the Goodman’s youth program participants come from underserved communities.

Goodman Theatre was founded by William O. Goodman and his family in honor of their son Kenneth, an important figure in Chicago’s cultural renaissance in the early 1900s. The Goodman family’s legacy lives on through the continued work and dedication of Kenneth’s family, including Albert Ivar Goodman, who with his late mother, Edith-Marie Appleton, contributed the necessary funds for the creation of the new Goodman center in 2000.

Today, Goodman Theatre leadership includes the distinguished members of the Artistic Collective: Brian Dennehy, Rebecca Gilman, Henry Godinez, Dael Orlandersmith, Steve Scott, Chuck Smith, Regina Taylor, Henry Wishcamper and Mary Zimmerman. Joan E. Clifford is Chair of Goodman Theatre’s Board of Trustees, Cynthia K. Scholl is Women’s Board President and Justin A. Kulovsek is President of the Scenemakers Board for young professionals. 

Visit the Goodman virtually at—including OnStage+ for insider information—and on Twitter (@GoodmanTheatre), Facebook and Instagram.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Celebrate Chicago Dance Month With CDI/Concert Dance Inc. And More at The Ruth Page Center for the Arts

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

Additional Performances throughout the month by Ruth Page Center 
Artists In-Residence include Hedwig Dances, April 21 – 29, and 
Dance Work Chicago, April 23

The Ruth Page Center for the Arts is proud to announce programming for Chicago’s upcoming April Dance Month. CDI/Concert Dance Inc. continues sharing its piece, “The Chicago Project,” Sunday, April 30 at 7:30 p.m. This work in progress makes its official debut this summer at Ravinia Festival. Also programmed at the venue in honor of this month-long citywide celebration of dance is be Hedwig Dance, April 21, 22, 28 and 29,and DanceWorks Chicago, April 23. These two companies join CDI/Concert Dance Inc. as Artists In-Residence at The Ruth Page Center for the Arts. Performances take place at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn St. Detailed information on each performance is below. For more information on Ruth Page and its Artists In-Residence, please visit

CDI/Concert Dance Inc. presents
Works In Progress Showing of “The Chicago Project” 
Sunday, April 30 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $25 for adults/$15 for seniors and children and includes a post-performance reception with the artists

For additional information or to purchase tickets visit
In 1985,  Artistic Director Venetia Stifler choreographed the critically acclaimed “The Chicago Project,” a work combining contemporary dance, original music and photography that used Chicago's architectural landscape as a backdrop. Her goal in 2017 is to reimagine this dance favorite using today’s technology, and with the eyes of a choreographer whose creative process and point of view have evolved. Come see how this evocative work has progressed as well as a sneak peak at the other dances that will be performed at this summer’s Ravinia Festival, followed by a reception and an answer session and reception with Stifler.

About CDI/Concert Dance Inc.
Founded in 1981, CDI/Concert Dance Inc. is the official contemporary dance company and an Artist In-Residence of the Ruth Page Center for the Arts. CDI creates and presents contemporary works that evolve from a choreographic collective under the artistic direction of Emmy Award-nominated choreographer, Venetia Stifler, often using live music, video and other media to enhance the process and product. This approach to dance and choreography drives the company’s artistic vision and sets an example of artistic collaboration. CDI has evolved from a repertory company into a dance collective and artistic incubator; a unique community of collaborators within a growing organism that changes with every new dance that is made. The choreography that is currently presented by CDI comes out of this creative process. Because the dancers are both highly trained technically and active in the development of the movement vocabulary, their skills of improvisation and ability to create visual imagery results in work that is not only of the highest caliber, but also artistically proficient and emotionally satisfying.

Additional programming at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts during April Dance Month include:

Hedwig Dances presents
2017 Spring Season – “Of Time and Tide”
Friday, April 21 and Saturday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, April 28 and Saturday, April 29 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $25 for adults/$15 for seniors and children
For additional information and to purchase tickets visit

DanceWorks Chicago presents
Sunday, April 23 at 3 p.m.
Tickets are $20 in advance/$25 at the door.
For additional information and to purchase tickets visit

About the Ruth Page Center for the Arts
The Ruth Page Center for the Arts has for more than 46 years committed its resources to creating a dance destination in Chicago. Located at 1016 N. Dearborn Street, The Center serves the Chicago dance community by being an incubator, providing a home, office space, rehearsal space, performance opportunities, professional dance training, and marketing support for the up-and-coming companies and artists of Chicago's vibrant dance scene. 
The Ruth Page Center for the Arts carries forward the mission and vision of its founder, international dance icon Ruth Page (1899-1991), to be a platform for developing great artists and connecting them with audiences and community.  With a primary focus on dance as a critical art form, its programming ensures that children and dance artists have a place to train, work and perform at the highest level of excellence. Under the aegis of The Ruth Page Foundation, a 501(c) 3 non-profit charitable organization, The Ruth Page Center nurtures the art form of dance through a unique combination of artistic programs that impact over 40,000 children and adults. The Center’s mission not only serves artistic development but also community development.

Emanating from the Illinois heartland, the visionary work of Ruth Page influenced the growth of theater design, opera-ballet, and dance. She achieved worldwide recognition as a true pioneer of dance in America by creating at the forefront of social, political and artistic issues.

About the Ruth Page Artist In-Residence Program
Central to the Ruth Page Center for the Arts’ programming is the Artist In-Residence program, which is designed to serve organizations looking for a home base while they grow or expand their artistic and organizational capabilities. The Center is committed to nurturing and assisting dance and other performing artists, allowing for exchange and collaborative relationships to develop within this artist community. The Ruth Page Center for the Arts is a destination for quality performing arts, accessible to a wide community regardless of race,
gender, age, education or disability. 

Current Artists In-Residence are CDI/Concert Dance, Inc., DanceWorks Chicago, Porchlight Music Theatre, Ruth Page Civic Ballet, ShawChicago Theater Company and Hedwig Dances. Previous residents of the Ruth Page Center include Chicago Children’s Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and Lookingglass Theatre Company.

OPENING: Casting And Unique Seating Announced For Parade at Writers Theatre 5/24 - 7/2

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

Writers Theatre announces casting for
Book by Alfred Uhry
Music and Lyrics by Jason Robert Brown

Co-conceived by Harold Prince
Music Direction by Michael Mahler
Choreography by Ericka Mac
Directed by Gary Griffin

May 24 – July 2, 2017

Writers Theatre, under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Halberstam and Executive Director Kathryn M. Lipuma, concludes its 2016/17 season with the musical Parade, with book by Alfred Uhry, music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown, and co-conceived by Harold Prince.  The Writers Theatre production of Parade is directed by Gary Griffin and features musical direction by Michael Mahler and choreography by Ericka Mac.  Parade runs May 24 – July 2, 2017 in the Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols Theatre at 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe. 

The cast of Parade includes: Larry Adams (Old Soldier/Judge Roan/Ensemble), Patrick Andrews (Leo Frank), Brianna Borger (Lucille Frank), Jonathan Butler-Duplessis (Jim Conley), McKinley Carter (Mrs. Phagan/Sally Slaton), Devin DeSantis (Britt Craig/Young Soldier/Ensemble), Kevin Gudahl (Hugh Dorsey/Ensemble), Derek Hasenstab (Governor John Slaton/Ensemble), Nicole Michelle Haskins (Minola "Minnie" McKnight/Angela), Caroline Heffernan (Mary Phagan/Essie/Ensemble), Zoe Nadal (Monteen/Ensemble), Jake Nicholson (Frankie Epps/Ensemble), Jeff Parker (Tom Watson/Ensemble), Leryn Turlington (Iola Stover/Ensemble), and Jonah D. Winston (Newt Lee/Riley).

This stirring, Tony Award-winning musical explores the endurance of love and hope against seemingly insurmountable odds, telling the true story of Leo Frank, a Brooklyn-born Jewish man falsely accused of murder in 1913 Atlanta. Innovative and daring, and filled with soaring music, Parade is a moving love story, a riveting murder mystery, a gripping courtroom drama and a powerful exploration of innocence and naïveté coming face-to-face with ignorance and prejudice.

Acclaimed director Gary Griffin, who directed the original Broadway production of Jason Robert Brown’s Honeymoon in Vegas and the world premiere of his The Trumpet of the Swan at the Kennedy Center, stages an intimate revival of this celebrated musical. With a book by playwright Alfred Uhry (Driving Miss Daisy) and a score by Brown (The Last Five Years, The Bridges of Madison County) that combines folk, rock, R&B and gospel, Parade ends WT’s 25th Anniversary Season with spectacular impact.

Single tickets for Parade, priced $35 - $80, are available online at, by phone at 847-242-6000, or in person at the box office at 325 Tudor Court in Glencoe.

PARADE On-stage Seating
For adventurous theatre goers who want to be part of the action, Writers Theatre is offering a limited  number of special on-stage seats for every performance of Parade!

These special on-stage seats, reachable via curved staircases, will be on a raised platform at the back of the stage so that the audience will fully surround the action on stage. This exclusive vantage point provides audience members an immersive experience of Parade, as the area will be located near the orchestra and will also be used by actors during the performance.

Some restrictions apply.  Visit for more information.

For 25 years, Writers Theatre has captivated Chicagoland audiences with inventive interpretations of classic work, a bold approach to contemporary theatre and a dedication to creating the most intimate theatrical experience possible.

Under the artistic leadership of Michael Halberstam and the executive leadership of Kathryn M. Lipuma, Writers Theatre has grown to become a major Chicagoland cultural destination with a national reputation for excellence, being called the top regional theatre in the nation by The Wall Street Journal. The company, which plays to a sold-out and discerning audience of more than 60,000 patrons each season, has garnered critical praise for the consistent high quality and intimacy of its artistry—providing the finest interpretations of both classic and contemporary theatre in its two intensely intimate venues. 

In February 2016, Writers Theatre opened a new, state-of-the-art facility. This established the company's first permanent home—a new theatre center in downtown Glencoe, designed by the award-winning, internationally renowned Studio Gang Architects, led by Founder and Design Principal Jeanne Gang, FAIA, in collaboration with Theatre Consultant Auerbach Pollock Friedlander. The new facility has allowed the Theatre to continue to grow to accommodate its audience, while maintaining its trademark intimacy. The new facility resonates with and complements the Theatre’s neighboring Glencoe community, adding tremendous value to Chicagoland and helping to establish the North Shore as a premier cultural destination.

Find Writers Theatre on Facebook at, follow @WritersTheatre on Twitter or @Writers_Theatre on Instagram. For more information, visit

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