Saturday, March 17, 2018




For the first time in its history, Aurora’s Paramount Theatre will present a brand new musical.

August Rush, a world premiere co-production with Arlington Virginia's Signature Theatre, was announced today as the thrilling finale of Paramount’s 2018-19 Broadway series.

Internationally acclaimed director John Doyle, who earned a Tony Award for Sweeney Todd and also staged the Broadway revival of The Color Purple starring Jennifer Hudson, will direct this new live stage adaption of the Oscar-nominated Warner Brothers film about a musically gifted orphan and his search for his birth parents. The movie August Rush starred Robin Williams, Keri Russell and Freddie Highmore and earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song.

August Rush, debuting April 24-June 2, 2019 at the Paramount, press opening Saturday, April 27 at 8 p.m., will be preceded in the theater’s 2018-19 Broadway series by three more blockbuster productions: Legally Blonde (September 5-October 21, 2018), The Wizard of Oz (November 14, 2018-January 6, 2019) and The Producers (February 6-March 17, 2019).

Just as it has since it launched its first Broadway Musical Series in 2011, Paramount will offer the same “Buy Two Shows, Get Two Shows Free” subscription offer, with 2018-19 four-play packages starting as low as $72.

Renewals begin today, Monday, February 5 at 10 a.m., with current subscribers given first chance to secure their seats for all four shows.

During the renewal process, new subscribers can pre-order before the general public to get in line for seats. Pre-order reservations can be made online only at for the first week. Starting Monday, February 12 at 10 a.m., new subscribers can pre-order over the phone or in person as well.

Single tickets go on sale in June.

For information, visit, call (630) 896-6666, or visit the Paramount Theatre box office, 23 E. Galena Blvd. in downtown Aurora.

More about Paramount’s first world premiere musical 
August Rush

“When our Broadway Series began in 2011, we had big dreams for what it could become. Over the years, those dreams have been brought to life again and again. And now, one of our biggest dreams is finally becoming a reality,” said Jim Corti, Artistic Director, Paramount Theatre. “August Rush, the first major project from our New Works Development Program guided by my colleague Amber Mak, represents the next step in Paramount’s evolution into one of the nation’s preeminent regional theaters. What does this mean to our subscribers? It means they could be the first ever to see this production before it goes anywhere else, perhaps even to Broadway!”

“I’m excited about the development of this new and unique musical,” said director John Doyle. “August Rush centers on the emotional and musical journey of a young boy – a lost boy. Through music he reunites with the parents he otherwise may never have found. The ‘hope’ that the story highlights is powerful. That, more than anything, is what attracted me to the material, and I’m honored to be a part of its journey.”

August Rush is the story of Evan Taylor, an 11-year-old orphan who believes in music like some believe in fairytales. In a cruel twist of fate, Evan’s mother, an accomplished classical cellist, and his father, the lead singer of a rock band, don’t even know of his existence. From one foster home to the next, Evan refuses to give up hope in finding his parents. On this relentless search, he surrenders himself to the symphony of sounds in the city and follows the music, discovering his own genius along the way. In this inspiring love story, music is everywhere, but will it lead Evan home?

Working closely with Paramount and Signature is Mark Mancina, the celebrated composer of the film’s platinum selling soundtrack, who continues as composer and co-lyricist for the new stage version of August Rush. Mancina arranged and produced many songs for The Lion King and contributed music to Pixar’s hit film Moana.

The creative team includes Emmy Award-winning bookwriter and co-lyricist Glen Berger, who co-wrote the book for Broadway’s SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark.

Orchestrations and additional music are by Dave Metzger, who orchestrated the films August Rush, Training Day and Tarzan and received a Tony nomination for his work on Disney’s The Lion King.

The film August Rush was written by Paul Castro and Nick Castle.

Like Paramount’s Million Dollar Quartet earlier this season and Once still to come, the actors in August Rush will replace the orchestra and play all instruments live on stage, creating the beautiful symphony of this moving, inherently musical story.

The cast, TBA, will be shared by both productions, first at Signature, February 5-March 3, 2019, and then at Paramount, April 24-June 2, 2019. Paramount’s press opening is Saturday, April 27 at 8 p.m. August Rush is rated PG for some adult themes and language.

Paramount Theatre’s 2018-19 Broadway series also includes:

Legally Blonde
September 5-October 21, 2018  
Press opening: Saturday, September 8 at 8 p.m.
Directed by Trent Stork
Music and Lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin
Book by Heather Hach
Based on the novel by Amanda Brown and the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer motion picture

OH MY GOD. Oh my God, you guys! Paramount is kicking off its 2018-19 Broadway season in high fashion with the one and only Elle Woods.

A member of UCLA’s Delta Nu sorority, Elle has a seemingly perfect life and perfect future. All she needs is her boyfriend Warner to cement it with a proposal. But her dream life turns into a nightmare when Warner decides to break it off because she’s not serious enough for him. As if! Heartbroken and in despair, Elle hatches a near-impossible plan to win him back: get into Harvard Law School. What? Like it’s hard? A story of rising to a challenge and defying expectations, all while looking fabulous, Legally Blonde is the perfect way to push Paramount’s eighth season into high gear and never let up.

Trent Stork, a veteran of 16 productions and casting director at the Paramount, will make his Aurora directorial debut with Legally Blonde. A big heart, bigger dance numbers, comedy, devastating ballads and more are all in store for Stork’s fresh take on the 2007 film starring Reese Witherspoon, bringing Blonde into 2018 and exploring what it’s like for a young woman to defy expectations and achieve her dreams. Legally Blonde is rated
PG-13 for some profanity and sexual references.

The Wizard of Oz
November 14, 2018 – January 6, 2019
Press opening: Saturday, November 17 at 8 p.m.
Directed by Amber Mak
By L. Frank Baum
With Music and Lyrics by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg
Adapted by John Kane for the Royal Shakespeare Company
Based upon the classic motion picture owned by Turner Entertainment Co. and distributed in all media by Warner Bros.

You may have been to Oz before, but never like this.

Stuck on a Kansas farm with her aunt, uncle and dog Toto, Dorothy Gale wishes for a better and more exciting life. When a twister hits, Dorothy is whisked away to the wonderful world of Oz, a fantastical place full of munchkins, a cowardly lion, a tin man without a heart, a living scarecrow…and a wicked witch who will do whatever it takes to stop Dorothy.

Director Amber Mak absolutely dazzled audiences with Disney’s The Little Mermaid. She made kids of all ages believe in Santa again with Elf The Musical. Next she’s taking audiences over the rainbow in what is sure to be one of Paramount’s most talked about musicals yet.

Thousands of families come through the Paramount’s doors each holiday season, and with its two-story Christmas tree and fully-decorated lobby, everyone can celebrate the season by reliving their cherished memories of this classic movie, live on stage at the beautiful Paramount Theatre. Just remember, my pretties, The Wizard of Oz is rated PG for some scary moments.

The Producers
February 6 – March 17, 2019
Press opening Saturday, February 9 at 8 p.m.
Directed by Jim Corti
Music and Lyrics by Mel Brooks
Book by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan
A New Mel Brooks Musical

Under the right circumstances, a producer could make more money with a flop than he could with a hit. And so begins one of the most hilarious cons in musical theater history.

Max Bialystock used to be the king of Broadway, but after producing one too many flops, he’s now just a has-been forced into seducing little old ladies for money. After an off the cuff comment from his accountant Leo Bloom, dollar signs go off over his head (as well as “beautiful girls wearing nothing but pearls.”) With reluctant help from Bloom, Max goes in search of the worst musical ever. Will it be a flop? It better, or they might find themselves in prison.

Who doesn’t adore the original, uproariously funny 1967 film starring Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder? Or the 2001 live stage version starring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, which got its start in Chicago and went on to win a record 12 Tony Awards? Or the 2005 major motion picture that had audiences laughing out loud? All three were the true definition of farce: “a comic dramatic work using buffoonery and horseplay and typically including crude characterization and ludicrously improbable situations.”

Of course, nobody does comedy like Mel Brooks. And nobody does shows like the Paramount, particularly when helmed by Artistic Director Jim Corti, director of Chicago’s past three consecutive Jeff Award winners for Best Production-Musical-Large (Les Misérables, West Side Story and Sweeney Todd-The Demon Barber of Fleet Street), and Best Director of two (Les Misérables and Sweeney Todd.)

“Who doesn’t love a backstage musical comedy, and nowadays we all sure could use a laugh,” said Corti. “The Producers is outrageous and over the top. No stereotype is spared!”

Audiences can expect a really big show that looks spectacular, moving from the office, to the street, to the theater, and brings the hustle and bustle of Broadway New York right to the Paramount stage. Reminder to little old ladies: The Producers is rated PG-13 for strong language, sexual humor and adult content.

Subscribe now to Paramount’s 2018-19 Broadway Series for as little as $18 per ticket

The rewards of subscribing to Paramount’s 2018-19 Broadway Series are ample – four amazing, Broadway-quality musicals at one of the most glamorous Art Deco theaters in the Midwest, all for less than the price and hassle of seeing just one show downtown.

In addition to the lowest major theater subscription prices in Illinois, exclusive benefits for Paramount Broadway subscribers are first choice of the same seats for all four shows, free ticket exchange privileges and first notice of added shows and special events, all delivered with a smile by Paramount’s Subscriber Services Staff. Broadway subscribers also receive first notice and exclusive pre-sale discounts of 10% off single tickets for Broadway performances and other select shows at the Paramount, including concerts by internationally acclaimed music artists, comedy, dance, holiday shows, movies and family presentations.

Look for an announcement of the balance of the Paramount’s 2018-19 season in the summer.

About The Paramount Theatre
The Paramount Theatre (, 23 E. Galena Blvd. in downtown Aurora, is the center for performing arts, entertainment and arts education in the second largest city in Illinois.

The Paramount opened on September 3, 1931. It was designed by renowned theater architects C.W. and George L. Rapp, and is graced with a beautiful Venetian decor with a strong 1930s Art Deco influence. It also was the first air-conditioned building outside of Chicago. From silent films to the first “Talkies,” from Vaudeville to Bobby Vinton, from Dionne to Donny and Marie, the Paramount Theatre has provided Aurora and the Fox Valley the best of entertainment for generations.

In 1976, the Aurora Civic Center Authority (ACCA) restored the Paramount to its original grandeur. The Paramount Arts Centre reopened in 1978, offering a variety of touring theatrical, musical, comedy, dance and family programming. In 2006, a 12,000-square-foot, two-story Grand Gallery lobby was added including a Grand Staircase, new box office, café and art gallery.

In 2010, ACCA hired Tim Rater as President and CEO of the Paramount Theatre. Rater’s mission was to boost the theater’s programming and audience base by transforming the Paramount into one of Chicago’s top self-producing, professional Equity musical theaters. Rater hired award-winning Chicago director Jim Corti as the Paramount’s first-ever artistic director. In 2011, the Paramount introduced its inaugural four-play Broadway Musical Series with Corti’s critically acclaimed production of My Fair Lady.

In just six blockbuster seasons since, Paramount has leapt to the top of Chicago’s musical theater scene, winning unanimous audience and critical acclaim, and an unprecedented number of Joseph Jefferson nominations and awards, including Best Musical-Large for the past three seasons.

Today, the 1,888-seat Paramount Theatre remains nationally renowned for the quality and caliber of its presentations, historic beauty and superb acoustics. More than 36,000 subscribers from throughout the city and suburbs enjoy Paramount’s Broadway-quality productions at highly affordable prices, making Paramount the third largest subscription house in the nation.

In addition to its Broadway series, Paramount continues to present an eclectic array of internationally known comedians, music stars, dance events and family shows, and on most Mondays, screens a classic movie for just $1.

The Paramount Theatre is one of three live performance venues programmed and managed by the ACCA, which also oversees the Paramount’s “sister” stage, the intimate, 173-seat Copley Theatre located directly across the street from the Paramount at
8 E. Galena Blvd., as well as RiverEdge Park, downtown Aurora’s summer outdoor concert venue at 360 N. Broadway.

Additionally, Rater and his team are preparing to open the new Paramount School of Performing Arts in the John C. Dunham Aurora Arts Center, now under construction directly adjacent to the Paramount. Registration opens in the fall for a full roster of classes, private lessons and camps in acting, music and dance to launch in early 2019. Courses for children as young as six months will be offered with opportunities for adults and seniors, as well. Paramount’s new school will encourage and train young actors, dancers and musicians for a culture-filled life, nurture the arts in Chicago’s western suburbs and add to the excitement, cultural and economic activity in downtown Aurora.

The Paramount Theatre continues to expand its artistic and institutional boundaries under the guidance of Tim Rater, President and CEO, Aurora Civic Center Authority; Jim Corti, Artistic Director, Paramount Theatre; a dedicated Board of Trustees and a devoted staff of live theater and music professionals.

For more, visit or call (630) 896-6666.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

REVIEW: Near Death Experience starring Neil Tobin, Necromancer Select Dates Through May 6, 2018

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:

Near Death Experience starring Neil Tobin, Necromancer
By Catherine Hellmann, guest writer 

Photos by Jonathan Cohon, Prism Studios, unless otherwise noted

“Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we shall die.”

As Neil Tobin opens his fascinating one-man show with this line, he poses the question, ”You were expecting light, escapist entertainment? Did you read the program?” Immediately, the audience expects a theater-going experience unlike any other.

The location for this limited-run show certainly sets the stage, literally. Held at the beautiful Rosehill Cemetery, the largest cemetery in Chicago at 350 acres, many prominent Chicagoans are laid to rest here. (My friend and I also saw six deer among the tombstones on our walk prior to the show.)

Performances are presented at Rosehill Cemetery in historic May Chapel, built by noted architect Joseph Lyman Silsbee in 1899 and rarely open to the public. (Photo: Jonathan Cohon)

While this may sound morbid, well, okay, it kind of is, Tobin’s point is to celebrate the life we have and make the most of our time here on earth. By having his performance truly “close to death,” the audience is reminded that we can be whisked away from this world at any time; we must appreciate this life and make a resolution to live it fully.

The unusual locale for this unique show is a treat. The May Chapel
is exquisite and rarely opened to the public. Built in 1899, the mosaic floors, carved oak-beam ceilings, and glorious sun streaming through the lovely stained-glass windows remind us that there are so many undiscovered places to explore in our beloved city. Go just to see the Chapel and the “bonus time” is a show. (Tobin has a curious routine that encourages us to make the most of our “bonus time” in this world.)

Just what the heck is a “necromancer”? According to Merriam-Webster,
it is the “conjuration of the spirits of the dead for purposes of magically revealing the future or influencing the course of events.” Don’t worry---it is not a creepy seance you will be witnessing. No Ouija Boards are involved in the making of this show, either.

Tobin has routines on every day cultural references to death, like the kids’ game “Hangman,” horror movies, ghost-hunter stories on television, and the ubiquitous fortune cookies at Chinese restaurants which can predict our futures. (Tobin addresses the fortunes in cookies with gravitas, but we know how silly they can be. For instance, my favorite was my teen daughter recently had the hilarious fortune: “Keep your expectations reasonable.” While I told her this
is true, she felt ripped off by her lame future.) 

Tobin raises very thought-provoking observations on society, and our denial of death. In Victorian times, cemeteries were treated like parks, with families having picnics while honoring their ancestors. (Imagine telling your kids today that instead of Montrose Beach, you are taking them to Graceland…there is so much great Chicago history just north of Wrigley Field.) People began to fear death instead of accepting it; hence, the striking change in grave markers from monuments to flat headstones. Tobin also asked how many audience members have a will. There was a small scattering of hands, and he said that was typical of most Americans to not be prepared about the inevitable.

Being a magician, Tobin does have some tricks up his sleeve. (ba dum ching!) It doesn’t seem fair to reveal all of his material and ruin the surprises. While the subject matter and locale may suggest morbidity, Tobin’s message is to be life-affirming. 

Near Death Experience starring Neil Tobin, Necromancer is recommended.

Neil Tobin’s Near Death Experience has a limited run (as do all of us!) at May Chapel: Sunday March 11, Saturday April 14, Sunday April 15, Saturday May 5, and Sunday May 6. All shows begin at 3:00 and last an hour. Tickets are $25-$30 and are available at

Carpe Diem! 
(“This message brought to you by Latin, the official language of death.”--Neil Toban.) 

"RECOMMENDED ... Neil Tobin weaves magic into the show as he guides us on a journey to understanding our views on death and what could come from reshaping them. Most of the magic will leave even the most skeptical among us pondering what they just experienced ... Near Death Experience is perfect for adults who love interactive and site-specific theatre that makes you think. " — Picture This Post

"Tobin doesn't give us The Answers, but perhaps better questions ... meanwhile, we get to marvel at sleight of hand and sleight of mind, delivered with appropriately dark humor. Recommended ... your bravery will be rewarded." — Plays With John And Wendy

SAVE THE DATES: Remy Bumppo Theatre Company’s 2018-2019 Season

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:

Remy Bumppo Theatre Company, in its 22nd Season, will present three stories that explore the fears preventing us from reaching out, the infinite mystery of the mind, and the heartbreaking love that spans space and time. 

Producing Artistic Director Nick Sandys speaks to the exciting and diverse lineup of the upcoming season: “This season we are thrilled to present three Chicago premieres that travel the length and breadth of style and substance, yet all examine the divisions and dualities within us in uniquely theatrical ways—a chilling science- fiction classic told from a startlingly new viewpoint, an award-winning mystery that takes you inside a crumbling mind, and a charming Irish-American literary romance that plays with time.” 

From October 11 to November 11, 2018, Remy Bumppo will be celebrating the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s famous novel, Frankenstein, in a fresh, new adaptation by Nick Dear directed by Remy Bumppo Artistic Assistant Ian Frank. As in the Royal National Theatre’s premiere, the duality of human nature will be embodied by two actors who will alternate the roles of the creator and his creature every other performance. Producing Artistic Director Nick Sandys and Core Ensemble Member Greg Matthew Anderson will tackle this thrilling feat this fall, alongside Core Ensemble Member Eliza Stoughton. 

The Father, a multi-award-winning hit from Paris, London, and New York, comes to Chicago for the first time from January 31 – March 3, 2019. Directed by Kay Martinovich and featuring Core Ensemble Members David Darlow and Linda Gillum, Florian Zeller’s tragi-comic mystery is a deeply poignant, unsentimental look at the cruelties of love, the limits of patience and the unsettling process of mental decay. 

Remy Bumppo’s 22nd season will conclude with the heartfelt, wistful (and might we add, very Irish) Bloomsday, directed by J.R. Sullivan and starring Remy Bumppo Core Ensemble Members Annabel Armour and Shawn Douglass, from May 16 and closing on Bloomsday itself, June 16, 2019. Steven Dietz’s lyrical new love story, set against the backdrop of Joyce’s groundbreaking Ulysses, transports us into a compassionate world of history, humor, and heartache, in a magical celebration of the present and nostalgic acceptance of the past. 
“As our world becomes more polarized, it is crucial for each of us to examine the faultlines within our own characters and the fears that prevent us from reaching out to each other,” explains Sandys, “The collaborative crucible of theatre, dares us to take an imaginative journey towards greater empathy. These three stories will thrill, chill and cheer our hearts through the intrepid questioning of these amazing characters, and help us to understand the dualities that all of us battle every day.” 

All productions in Remy Bumppo Theatre Company’s 2018-2019 season will be performed at the Greenhouse Theater Center at 2257 N. Lincoln Ave in Chicago. Visit for more information on subscription and single ticket sales. 


Frankenstein adapted by Nick Dear based on the novel by Mary Shelley October 11 – November 11, 2018 

The Father by Florian Zeller January 31 – March 3, 2019 

Bloomsday by Steven Dietz May 16 – June 16, 2019 

Remy Bumppo Theatre Company is an ensemble based theatre company that believes in the power and beauty of language, and we know that conversation is an agent of change. As our motto think theatre suggests, the plays we produce will make you think - actively - about the complex issues we face as people, as a community, and as humankind. 

Since its inception in 1996, the Company has been in residence at the Greenhouse Theater Center in Lincoln Park (formerly Victory Gardens Theater). Remy Bumppo currently serves 1,200 subscribers, plus thousands of single ticket buyers, who come to the theatre from all over Chicago and its suburbs. 

OPENING: U.S. Premiere of Hang Via Remy Bumppo 3/21-4/29/18

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:

Remy Bumppo Presents the U.S. Premiere of hang by debbie tucker green 

Three people. One room. One woman’s unspeakable decision in the balance. As words break down in the face of human suffering, an unnamed woman is ushered into a strange government office in order to make a devastating decision in the U.S. Premiere of debbie tucker green’s hang at Remy Bumppo Theatre Company. The show runs from March 21 through April 29, 2018. Press Opening is Monday, March 26, 2018 at 7:00 pm at the Greenhouse Theater Center and stars Patrese D. McClain, Eleni Pappageorge, and Remy Bumppo Core Ensemble Member Annabel Armour. 

This darkly humorous and shatteringly poetic 2015 hit from London’s Royal Court places us on the raw knife-edge between justice and retribution, and will make you ask, “what will she do?” 

Armour speaks to her excitement on her role in this production: “As an actor, I would say I am about as excited as I am scared to work on this, more than I ever have been. The dialogue has short, sharp shocks, and it is a very complicated through line for each character.” 

Tackling the playwright’s poetic language was one of the reasons that Producing Artistic Director Nick Sandys was also drawn to the script: “debbie tucker green is one of those rising playwrights who not only deep dives into our current culture to emotionally investigate painful psychological truths with a clear gaze but also employs some of the most gorgeous, muscular, poetic language. Her plays – born bad, dirty butterfly, truth and reconciliation—have all seared me when I read them and stuck in my mind, intense, oblique, unwavering, topical; and hang is no different.” 

“I am so excited that Remy Bumppo is producing the U.S. premiere of this play by this important black British voice, and am excited to see this cast and director, Keira Fromm, dig into this rich, dark play that promises to stick in your mind long after,” says Sandys. 

The U.S. Premiere of hang by debbie tucker green will be performed March 21 through April 29, 2018 at the Greenhouse Theater Center at 2257 N. Lincoln Ave in Chicago. Single tickets are now on sale at or by calling the Greenhouse at 773.404.7336. 

Remy Bumppo Theatre Company’s 2017/2018 Season Sponsors are Geoffrey A. Anderson, Nancy and Gene DeSombre, and Brenda and James Grusecki. 
Remy Bumppo Theatre Company’s Executive Sponsor for hang is Martin Treu. 

Annabel Armour*+ Patrese D. McClain* Eleni Pappageorge 

Production Team: 
Direction by Keira Fromm++
Assistant Direction by Matt Dominguez
Stage Management by Mara Filler*
Scenic Design by Linda Buchanan
Costume Design by Christine Pascual
Lighting Design by Chris Binder
Assistant Lighting Design by Andrei Borges
Sound Design and Original Music by Christopher Kriz Properties Design by Amanda Herrmann Dramaturgy by Danielle Taylor
Dialect Coaching by Eva Breneman
Assistant Dialect Coaching by Vahishta Vafadari 
+Denotes Remy Bumppo Theatre Company Core Ensemble Member
*Denotes member of Actors’ Equity Association, the union of professional Actors and Stage Managers ++Denotes a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society 

Greenhouse Theater Center Box Office, 773.404.7336 or Online at Previews: $32.50 - $37.50
Opening Night: $57.50
Regular Run: Wed-Fri $42.50 - $47.50, Sat-Sun $47.50 - $52.50 
Between the Lines: $57.50
AD/TT Tickets: $27.00
Industry Tickets: $15.00 all performances except Opening Night Student Tickets: $10.00 all performances except Opening Night
Group Discounts: Available for parties of 10 or more, call 773.404.7336 

The Greenhouse Theater Center is fully accessible with automatic exterior doors, elevator access to the second floor, and reserved ADA seating in each theatre upon request. To request ADA seating, please contact the Box Office at 773.404.7336. 

Parking and Transportation: 
Accessible via the CTA Red, Purple, and Brown Lines from the Fullerton Stop and the #8 Halsted, #74 Fullerton, and #73 Armitage Bus lines. 
The Former Children's Memorial Hospital Parking Garage, Now the Lincoln Garage
. The new parking costs for the Lincoln Garage are based on an hourly rate. Do not park in spaces that are designated for DePaul, or your car will be towed. The current cost is $10 for 2- 4 hours. 

ATTENTION: Please read all signs in the garage carefully. You must display your parking receipt in the dashboard at all times, otherwise your car may be subject to towing. Helpful Tip - Because construction has started, construction workers will be using the parking garage. While the garage will still be accessible to the public at any time of day, the garage may be especially crowded until after 6:00 pm. 

Street Parking 
There is zoned parking (and 2” snow restriction) on most streets surrounding the theatre. There is NO PARKING on Lincoln Avenue on Friday or Saturday nights after 10pm. There is FREE parking on Webster and Larrabee Streets, along Oz Park, and on Orchard north of Belden. Always read and follow the instructions on posted street signs to ensure that your car will not be towed. 

SE Corner of Webster and Lincoln
There is a LAZ parking lot located on the SE corner of Webster and Lincoln. (555 West Webster Ave.). Parking prices do change based on events in the area. To reserve your spot or check parking costs, please visit LAZ website here. Payment is by Credit Card only. 

Thursday, March 8, 2018


Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:


Michael Weber, artistic director of Porchlight Music Theatre, is proud to announce Porchlight Music Theatre’s 24th season that includes the 2018 – 2019 Mainstage, Porchlight Revisits and New Faces Sing Broadway seasons. Porchlight’s Mainstage and Porchlight Revisits return to the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn Street.  

A variety of subscriptions for the Mainstage and Porchlight Revisits are on sale to the general public beginning Friday, March 9 at 10 a.m. at or by phone at 773.777.9884. Single tickets for all performances go on sale Friday, June 1 at 10 a.m.

The 2018 – 2019 Mainstage Season

Gypsy, starring E. Faye Butler as “Rose,” is the legendary musical telling the heart wrenching story of a mother who raises her daughters to assume the heights, whether they want to or not, and featuring one of the gold-standard musical scores, October 12 – November 25;

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, starring Matt Crowle as “The D’Ysquith Family” and winner of the 2014 Best Musical Tony Award, is the uproarious story of Monty Navarro, an heir to a family fortune who sets out to jump the line of succession by eliminating the eight pesky relatives who stand in his way, January 25 – March 10, 2019 and

A Chorus Line, directed and choreographed by Brenda Didier, is the winner of nine Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize, is the story of Broadway dancers who put their lives on the line for the opportunity to do what they have always dreamed of doing, April 10 – May 26, 2019. 

The 2018 – 2019 Porchlight Revisits Season

Porchlight Music Theatre continues Porchlight Revisits in its 2018 – 2019 season. This hugely popular “lost musicals” in fully staged concert series offers classic productions that have been rarely seen in Chicago and includes a fun, fact-filled multmedia “Behind the Scenes Backstory” presentation before each performance created and hosted by Weber.

The sixth season of Porchlight Revisits includes: 

1776 (1969) 
Music and Lyrics by Sherman Edwards, Book by Peter Stone 
Wednesday, Nov. 14 and Thursday, Nov. 15
This 50th Anniversary production of the story of America’s birth includes Benjamin Franklin, Abigail Adams, Thomas Jefferson and others brought to life with their eternal challenges, impassioned arguments and world-changing vision fought over in Philadelphia in those sweltering days of summer nearly 250 years ago.

Can-Can (1953)
Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter, Book by Abe Burrows 
Wednesday, March 6 and Thursday, March 7, 2019 
Set in Paris in 1893, it’s the story of La Môme Pistache, a café owner who decides to feature the then-scandalous and illicit dance, the Can-Can, on the stage of her establishment. Such an action in defiance of the law could result in disaster for both her business and her love life 

Minnie’s Boys (1970)
Book by Arthur Marx and Robert Fisher, Music by Larry Grossman and Lyrics by Hal Hackady
Wednesday, May 22 and Thursday, May 23, 2019
A joyful and loving look at the young Marx Brothers as they chart their journey from vaudeville toward Hollywood and their invention of the greasepaint mustache, the honking horn and the tickling of those famous piano keys.
The 2018 – 2019 New Faces Sing Broadway Season

New Faces Sings Broadway takes you in a musical time machine from the start to the finish of one full season on Broadway. A celebrity host introduces audiences to the next generation of music theatre artists while serving as guide to the stars, songs and stories of that season. Peppered with photos and films of the era in an exciting multimedia presentation, trivia games with prizes, sing-alongs and more, the 2018 – 2019 season will be performed at locations to be announced and features:

New Faces Sing Broadway 1964, hosted by WGN’s Paul Lisnek
Monday, Oct. 29 and Tuesday, Oct. 30
Songs from Funny Girl, Hello, Dolly!, Fiddler on the Roof and other productions from 1964 are included in this New Faces Sing Broadway.

New Faces Sing Broadway 1941 
Monday, Feb. 25 – Wednesday, Feb 27, 2019
Songs from Lady in the Dark, Pal Joey, Cabin in the Sky and other productions from 1941 are included in this New Faces Sing Broadway.

New Faces Sing Broadway NOW 
Monday, June 3 – Wednesday, June 5, 2019
Songs from Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, The Band’s Visit and other productions from Broadway’s current season. 
New Faces Sing Broadway is generously sponsored by Elaine Cohen and Arlen Rubin.

Full production artistic leadership, actors, and location will be released at a future date.

Porchlight Music Theatre’s 2018 – 2019 season includes, in chronological order:

Starring E. Faye Butler
October 12 – November 25
Music by Jule Styne
Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by Arthur Laurents
Previews: Friday, Oct. 12 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 13 at 8 p.m.; Sunday, Oct. 14 at 
2 p.m. and Monday, Oct. 15 at 7:30 p.m.
Opening Night: Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 7:30 p.m.
Regular Run: Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 4 and 8 p.m.
and Sundays at 4 p.m. 
Weekday Matinee: Thursday, Nov. 8 at 1:30 p.m.
Chicago’s E. Faye Butler adopts the mantle of Broadway’s legendary “stage mother” in this heart wrenching story of a woman who raises her daughters to assume the heights, whether they want to or not, and featuring one of the gold-standard musical scores including “Let Me Entertain You,” “Together (Wherever We Go),” “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” and others.

Ms. Butler’s performance is sponsored by Michael and Mona Heath.

New Faces Sings Broadway – 1964
Monday, Oct. 29 and Tuesday, Oct. 30 
Hosted by WGN’s Paul Lisnek, featuring songs from the shows Funny Girl, Hello, Dolly!, Fiddler on the Roof and others.
New Faces Sings Broadway takes you in a musical time machine from the start to the finish of the 1964 Broadway season. Peppered with photos and films of the era in an exciting multimedia presentation, trivia games with prizes, sing-alongs and more, a celebrity host introduces you to the next generation of music theatre artists while serving as your guide to the stars, songs and stories of a season past on the Great White Way. Location TBA. 

Porchlight Revisits
1776 (1969)
Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 7:30 and Thursday, Nov. 15 at 1:30 and 7:30
Music and Lyrics by Sherman Edwards
Book by Peter Stone 

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Tony Award-winner, Porchlight Music Theatre brings to Chicago the impassioned arguments and world-changing visions that were fought over in those sweltering summer days in Philadelphia nearly 250 years ago. The historic players will be present in the characterizations of Benjamin Franklin, Abigail Adams, Thomas Jefferson and others, showcasing the compelling debate of what are we willing to compromise to build a new country will ring out louder than the toll of the Liberty Bell.

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder
Starring Matt Crowle
January 25 – March 10, 2019
Music by Steven Lutvak
Lyrics by Robert L. Freedman and Steven Lutvak
Book by Robert L. Freedman
Previews: Friday, Jan. 25 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, Jan. 26 at 8 p.m.; Sunday, Jan. 27 at
2 p.m.; Monday, Jan. 28 at 7:30 p.m. 
Opening Night: Tuesday, Jan. 29 at 7:30 p.m.
Regular Run: Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m. 
Weekday Matinee: Thursday, Feb. 28 at 1:30 p.m.

Winner of the 2014 Tony Award as BEST MUSICAL, it’s the uproarious story of Monty Navarro, an heir to a family fortune who sets out to jump the line of succession by—you guessed it—eliminating the eight pesky relatives who stand in his way. All the while, Monty has to juggle his mistress (she’s after more than just love), his fiancée (she’s his cousin but who’s keeping track?), and the constant threat of landing behind bars! Of course, it will all be worth it if he can slay his way to his inheritance…and be done in time for tea. Here’s a show that will have you dying with laughter which the The New York Times called “Among the most inspired and entertaining new musicals."

New Faces Sing Broadway – 1941
Monday, Feb. 25 – Wednesday, Feb.  27, 2019 
Featuring songs from the shows Funny Girl, Hello, Dolly!, Fiddler on the Roof and others.
New Faces Sings Broadway takes you in a musical time machine from the start to the finish of the 1941 Broadway season. Peppered with photos and films of the era in an exciting multimedia presentation, trivia games with prizes, sing-alongs and more, a celebrity host introduces you to the next generation of music theatre artists while serving as your guide to the stars, songs and stories of a season past on the Great White Way. Location TBA.

Porchlight Revisits 
Can-Can (1953)
Wednesday, March 6 at 7:30 p.m. and Thursday, March 7 at 1:30 p.m. and 
7:30 p.m., 
Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter
Book by Abe Burrows                  
Set in Paris in 1893, it’s the story of Pistache, a café owner who decides to feature the then-scandalous and illicit dance, the Can-Can, on the stage of her establishment. Meanwhile, Aristide Forestier, a young, newly-appointed and over-zealous magistrate, decides to undertake a reform movement and sets his sights to clean up the city, starting with a prohibition of the titillating dance. Will Pistache’s defiance of the law end her business—and her love life? Featuring the hit Cole Porter songs “I Love Paris,” “C’est Magnifique” and “It’s All Right with Me,” Can-Can is a romantic, dancing, musical classic.

A Chorus Line
Directed and Choreographed by Brenda Didier
April 10 – May 26, 2019
Music by Marvin Hamlisch
Lyrics by Edward Kleban
Book by James Kirkwood, Jr. and Nicholas Dante
Previews: Wednesday April 10 at 7 p.m.; Thursday April 11 at 7:30 p.m.; Friday April 12 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, April 13 at 8 p.m.
Opening Night: Sunday, April 14 at 6 p.m.
Regular Run: Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m. 
Weekday Matinee: Thursday, May 16 at 1:30 p.m.
Winner of nine Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize, this landmark work has electrified audiences around the world. In an empty theatre, on a bare stage, casting for a new Broadway musical is almost complete. For seventeen dancers, this audition is the chance of a lifetime. It's what they've worked for with every drop of sweat and every hour of training, putting their lives on the line for the opportunity to do what they've always dreamed of doing: to dance. Featuring an incomparable score including “What I Did for Love,” “One” and “Dance Ten, Looks Three,” you won't want to miss this singular sensation!

Porchlight Revisits
Minnie’s Boys (1970)
Wednesday, May 22 at 7:30 p.m. and Thursday, May 23 at 1:30 p.m. and 
7:30 p.m.
Book by Arthur Marx and Robert Fisher
Music by Larry Grossman
Lyrics by Hal Hackady
Before they became Groucho, Chico, Harpo, Zeppo and Gummo, they were simply Julius, Leonard, Adolph, Herbert and Milton—The Marx Brothers of 110th Street in New York City. Their rise to stardom became legendary and their famous stage mother, Minnie Marx, was driving them every step of the way. Originally a starring vehicle for the great Shelley Winters, Minnie’s Boys is a joyful and loving look at one of the craziest families in American show business as they chart their journey from vaudeville toward Hollywood and their invention of the greasepaint mustache, the honking horn and the tickling of those famous piano keys.

New Faces Sing Broadway NOW
Monday, June 3 – Wednesday, June 5, 2019
Featuring songs from the shows Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, The Band’s Visit and others.
New Faces Sings Broadway takes you in a musical time machine from the start to the finish of this year’s Broadway season. Peppered with photos and films of today in an exciting multimedia presentation, trivia games with prizes, sing-alongs and more, a favorite Chicago theatre host introduces you to the next generation of music theatre artists while serving as your guide to the stars, songs and stories of the current season on the Great White Way. Location TBA.

Porchlight Music Theatre is proud to be a member of the vibrant Ruth Page Center for the Arts community and an Artist In-Residence. Central to the Ruth Page Center for the Arts’ programming is the Artists 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 the artistic 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. An incubator of artistic energy and excellence, the Ruth Page Center for the Arts carries forward the vision of its founder, legendary dance icon Ruth Page, to be a platform for developing great artists and connecting them with audiences and community. 

As the home for music theatre in Chicago entering its 24th season, Porchlight Music Theatre is nationally recognized for reimagining classic productions, developing new works and showcasing musical theatre’s noted Chicago veterans and rising stars. Porchlight elevates the genre by providing intimate and powerful theatrical experiences of music theatre through the lens of the “Chicago Style.” The 2017–2018 year marked a milestone for Porchlight as the company became an Artist In-Residence at the historic Ruth Page Center for the Arts in Chicago’s Gold Coast. Porchlight’s rich history includes the staging of more than 60 productions with 15 Chicago premieres and five world premieres. Through Porchlight’s “Off the Porch” new works program, the musicals of the next generation are developed and given a first audience. The School at Porchlight is Chicago’s center for music theatre training in the areas of performance, writing and appreciation including the launch of a youth “Write Your Own Musical” Summer Camp in 2017. The company’s many accolades include 22 Black Theatre Alliance nominations and seven awards, as well as a total of 139 Joseph Jefferson Awards.

Two Nights Only: LUCKY PLUSH Is Back With DANCE, THEATER, HUMOR at HARRIS With TAB SHOW, 4/26 - 4/27/18

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:



Here at ChiIL Mama and ChiIL Live Shows, we've been fans of Lucky Plush's unique brand of modern dance for years. Past shows we've seen have had a compelling mix of polished production with glimpses of process as performance art. We're excited to catch TAB Show at Harris Theater. Don't miss this 2 night only event. 

Lucky Plush Productions returns to Chicago’s Harris Theater in Millennium Park Thursday and Friday, April 26 and 27, with Tab Show, featuring two works - Rink Life and Curb Candy - that highlight the company’s signature blend of layered choreography, witty dialogue, and socially relevant storytelling. 

Tab Show takes its name from an early 20th century short - or “tabloid” - version of a musical comedy, usually performed alongside other sampler-style entertainment as part of a traveling road show.

About Lucky Plush Productions from Lucky Plush Productions on Vimeo.

Tab Show opens with Rink Life, a dance theater work loosely inspired by classic roller rink culture, where people seamlessly move between anonymity and community, individual stylings and group dynamics, movement and song. The sound design is entirely generated by the performers and builds upon disparate fragments of information - partially overheard conversations, musical scales, and pop-song earworms. Rink Life builds upon Cadence, a work that Lucky Plush artistic director Julia Rhoads created for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in 2017 with music collaborator Bethany Clearfield (Grant Park Chorus, Chicago Symphony Chorus, and the band Outertown).

The second act features Curb Candy, which includes re-mixed excerpts from Lucky Plush repertory presented in an entirely new work. Look for favorite moments from the Lucky Plush dance theater canon including Surrelium, Endplay and Punk Yankees, performed by Lucky Plush ensemble members Kara Brody, Michel Rodriguez Cintra, Elizabeth Luse, Rodolfo Sánchez Sarracino, Aaron R. White and Meghann Wilkinson. Guest performers Enid Smith, Jacinda Ratcliffe, and Ethan Kirschbaum join the company for this special performance.

Tab Show begins at 7:30 p.m. both nights. Tickets are $25-$70. The Harris Theater for Music and Dance is located at 205 E. Randolph St. in Chicago’s Millennium Park. Purchase tickets online at, or call the Harris Theater Box Office,
(312) 334-7777.

On Friday, April 27, in conjunction with Tab Show, Lucky Plush will host its annual benefit bash, PLUCKY LUSH 2018. Long-time friends and new fans of Lucky Plush will enjoy a pre-show cocktail (6:30-7:30 p.m.), performance (7:30-9 p.m.) and mingle with the artists in the Level 1 Lobby for heavy appetizers and bottomless drinks (9-11 p.m.) Tickets to PLUCKY LUSH 2018 are $150 and $200 and include the best seats for the show.

For tickets, visit or call Kim Goldman, Managing Director, Lucky Plush Productions, (917) 903-5783.

Rink Life is supported by a project grant from the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation and production residency support from Door Kinetic Arts Festival (Bailey’s Harbor, WI).

Additional support for Lucky Plush’s 2017-18 season is provided by Arts Work Fund for Organizational Development, Grover Hermann Foundation, Alphawood Foundation, MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Martha Struthers Farley & Donald C. Farley Jr. Family Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, Illinois Arts Council Agency, The
Peter G. & Elizabeth Torosian Foundation, City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Grosvenor Capital Management, L.P., Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, LinkedIn, and Melaleuca.

About Lucky Plush Productions
Reinventing contemporary dance with humor and storytelling

Now in its 18th season, Lucky Plush Productions ( is a Chicago-based dance theater company led by founder and artistic director Julia Rhoads and managing director Kim Goldman.

Lucky Plush is committed to provoking and supporting an immediacy of presence – a palpable liveness – shared by performers in real-time with audiences. A unique hybrid of high-level dance and theater, Lucky Plush’s work is well-known for carefully crafting dramatic and rhythmic arcs, pushing its artists to move beyond the predictable by earning the exciting slippage between – and surprising coherence of – pedestrian action, realistic dialogue, abstract choreography and humor. Though rigorously composed, much of the company’s work feels like it is generated spontaneously.

Since its founding in 2000, Lucky Plush has created 30 original dance-theater works including 12 evening-length productions. In addition to regularly performing in Chicago, the company has presented in over 40 US cities from Maine to Hawaii, and its international partners span from New Zealand to Cuba. Commissioners include the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, Krannert Center at the University of Illinois, Flynn Center for the Performing Arts (VT), Links Hall Chicago, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (MD) and Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Lucky Plush has also collaborated with Lookingglass Theatre, Redmoon, Walkabout Theater and M5. Most recently, Lucky Plush presented the world premiere Rooming House last fall at Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre, where it ran for three weeks with 12 sold out performances.

Lucky Plush Productions is the first and only dance company to receive the prestigious MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, a recognition of the company’s exceptional creativity and impact. Other awards include creation, residency, and touring awards from National Endowment for the Arts, National Dance Project, and National Performance Network; exchange awards from the MacArthur Foundation International Connections Fund; a presentation award from MetLife Foundation; and an achievement award from the Lester and Hope Abelson Fund for the Performing Arts at The Chicago Community Trust.

Press features include the Boston Globe's "10 Best Dance Performances of 2013," Chicago Public Radio's "Best of 2011"; the Chicago Reader's "Best of Chicago 2010"; Time Out Chicago's "The Decade's 10 Best Original Dance Works"; the Chicago Tribune's "Best of Dance 2008"; Chicago Sun Times' "Lasting memories in Dance" for 2005 and 2007, and a Time Out Chicago cover story "5 reasons to love dance in Chicago," among others. 

Lucky Plush Productions is a Harris Theater for Music and Dance resident company.

Lucky Plush Productions Tab Show biographies

Julia Rhoads (founding artistic director) has created more than 25 original works for Lucky Plush, several of which have toured extensively throughout the U.S. Additional choreography credits include Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Steppenwolf Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre, Walkabout Theater, Redmoon and River North Dance Chicago, among others. Rhoads is the recipient of an Alpert Award in Dance, a fellowship from the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography, a Chicago Dancemakers Forum lab award, a Cliff Dwellers Foundation choreography award, two Illinois Arts Council choreography fellowships, a Jacob K. Javits fellowship for graduate studies, and a 2014 Fractured Atlas Arts Entrepreneurship Award for spearheading Creative Partners, an innovative nonprofit financial model shared by Lucky Plush Productions, Eighth Blackbird and Blair Thomas & Company. Rhoads is a former member of San Francisco Ballet and ensemble member of XSIGHT! Performance Group. She received her BA in History from Northwestern University, her MFA in Performance from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and she has taught in the dance and theater programs of several Chicago-area colleges and universities. She is currently a part-time lecturer and dance advisor at the University of Chicago’s Department of Theater and Performance Studies.

Kara Brody is in her second season with Lucky Plush Productions, where she joined the touring company of Trip the Light Fantastic: The Making of SuperStrip, and is an originating member of Rooming House. She is a native of Detroit, Michigan and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Wayne State University in 2016 with a BFA in Dance. As an undergraduate student, she performed works by Doug Varone, Dwight Rhoden, Trey McIntyre, Steffanie Batten Bland, and Ron de Jesus. In 2014, she was nationally recognized for her performance in Rhoden's Hissy Fits by ACDA/Dance Magazine. Brody recently performed in Brendan Fernandez's Art by Snapchat at the Museum of Contemporary Art. She is currently in a project with Khecari under the direction of Jonathan Meyer and Julia Antonick and is working with the Cambrians for their new project, Chicago Dances.

Michel Rodiriguez Cintra joined Lucky Plush as a touring member of The Better Half, and is an originating ensemble member for The Queue, Trip the Light Fantastic: The Making of SuperStrip, and Rooming House. Born in Havana, Cintra is a former principal member of Danza Contemporanea de Cuba, and also danced with Hedwig Dances, and Concert Dance Inc., and as a guest artist with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. As a founding member and co-choreographer with The Cambrians, Michel was named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 To Watch” in 2014. Choreography credits include works for Hedwig Dances, one of which was a finalist in the A.W.A.R.D Show 2010, Visceral Dance Chicago’s Solus and Dance in the Parks, among others. Cintra was named one of “The Men of 2010” by Time Out Chicago, and is the recipient of the 2013 3Arts Award in Dance. In addition to being an ensemble member of Lucky Plush Productions. Cintra is an adjunct faculty member at Columbia College Chicago and has taught master classes nationally and internationally.

Elizabeth Luse is originally from Orlando, Fl and began dancing at The School of Performing Arts. She holds a B.S. in Ballet Performance from Indiana University where she studied with Leslie Peck, Violette Verdy, and Guoping Wang. Since moving to Chicago, Luse has danced with Winifred Haun and Dancers, Nomi Dance Company, Dance in the Parks, and Lyric Opera of Chicago. She has worked as a guest artist with Ballet Quad Cities, Madison Ballet, Ron de Jesus Dance, and Emily Stein Dance. In addition to performing, she has taught for Visceral Dance Center, The Actors Gymnasium, and is currently on faculty at the Joffrey Academy of Dance. 

Rodolfo Sánchez Sarracino was born in Cuba where he graduated from the National School of Arts Instructors and studied at the University of Arts. He was a principal dancer with Danza Teatro Retazos from 2007-2016 during which time he toured internationally to Italy, Sweden, the U.K., the U.S., Uruguay and Argentina. He has danced in choreography by Isabel Bustos, Stéphane Boko, Miguel Azcue, Pepe Hevia, Venetia Stifler, among others. In addition to working with Lucky Plush, Sarrancino is a member of Concert Dance Incorporated.

Aaron R. White, a Chicago native, earned his MFA from New York University Tisch School of the Arts and his BFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, both in Dance Performance and Choreography. White’s performance experience includes the Sean Curran Company, Project 44, and Trainor Dance, along with a host of other choreographers primarily based in New York City. As a choreographer, he has created work with Opera Lafayette of Washington D.C, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Theater Department, Dance Africa Pittsburg, and for a variety of summer programs. As a master instructor, he has taught at The American Dance Festival, New York University Tisch School of the Arts, Point Park University, Barnard College at Columbia University, University of Hawaii – Manoa, Towson University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Gibney Dance and Dance New Amsterdam. Most recently, White participated in the prestigious SpringBoard Danse Montreal, which invites 120 dancers from 36+ countries to work with various international dance companies and choreographers. As a Reiki Master-Teacher, White wishes to be a beacon of Light to support others, illuminate fears, and facilitate healing through Reiki, education, dance, and dialogue.

Meghann Wilkinson has been an ensemble member with Lucky Plush Productions since 2004, where she has originated roles in Lulu Sleeps, Cinderbox 18, The Sky Hangs Down Too Close, Punk Yankees, The Better Half, Cinderbox 2.0, The Queue, Trip the Light Fantastic: The Making of SuperStrip and Rooming House, among others. She has also been a recurring ensemble member of The Arrow with The Neo-Futurists. She is a former company member of Mordine and Company and has performed in Chicago with Smith/Wymore Disappearing Acts and Peter Carpenter Performance Project. Wilkinson has been a guest teacher and choreographer for Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, Cecchetti Council of America, and Evanston Dance Ensemble. She was Assistant Choreographer for Lookingglass Theatre’s The Great Fire and movement director for Walkabout Theater’s Crow. In 2016, she was a participant in Urban Bush Women’s Summer Leadership Institute and completed a certificate in Permaculture Design with Midwest Permaculture. Wilkinson has organized for the Chicago Seminar on Dance and Performance and the Society of Dance History Scholars. She has taught at Northwestern University, Dance Center Evanston, Thodos Dance Chicago, and Visceral Dance Chicago, as well as national and international master classes with Lucky Plush Productions. She is currently a part-time faculty member in the dance and theater programs at Columbia College Chicago.

Originally from Oakland, CA, Ethan Kirschbaum (guest performer) began his dance career as an apprentice with the Savage Jazz Dance Company while still in high school. Travelling to New York City to attend the Ailey School/Fordham University B.F.A. program, Kirschbaum graduated summa cum laude with departmental honors in dance performance. While in his junior year, he joined Hubbard Street 2, dancing and teaching workshops around the globe while concurrently completing his degree. He has performed with the Santa Fe Opera, and danced internationally including Canada, Mexico, Holland, Germany, Israel, Switzerland, Luxembourg, France, and Russia. In 2011, Ethan moved to Saarbrücken, Germany to dance with Donlon Dance Company at the Saarländisches Staatstheater under the direction of Marguerite Donlon. He is currently on faculty at the Lou Conte Dance Studio. After completing five seasons with River North Dance Chicago, Kirschbaum is a freelance artist performing at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, choreographing locally, and teaching nationally as a guest to dance studios and university programs alike.

Jacinda Ratcliffe (guest performer) graduated from Northwestern University with a BA in Dance and Psychology, then trained on scholarship at Lou Conte Dance Studio under Claire Bataille. She has received additional training through intensives at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, Washington School Of Ballet, and Ballet Híspanico. While living in Chicago, she danced as an apprentice with Project Bound Dance in addition to working freelance. Most recently, she performed in Frankenstein AI: A Monster Made By Many at Sundance Film Festival. She is currently based out of New York City.

Enid Smith (guest performer) earned her BFA in contemporary dance from the North Carolina School of the Arts. In New York City, she performed with Ivy Baldwin Dance, The Merce Cunningham Repertory Understudy Group, Anita Cheng Dance, and MAC Cosmetics among others. Since moving to the Chicago area in 2007, she has presented her own work under the name enidsmithdance, collaborated with The North Shore Choral Society and the artists of Articular Facet, and worked extensively with The Evanston Dance Ensemble and ede2. She can be seen in The Retreat: One Week with Khecari in June of 2018. She currently teaches advanced modern at Dovetail Studios and Dance Center Evanston and maintains a massage therapy practice.

Bethany Clearfield (music collaborator, Rink Life) earned a masters degree from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow, then she returned home to Chicago to quickly become a fixture on the vibrant choral scene. Specializing in early and new music, Clearfield performs as both soloist and ensemble member with the Grant Park Chorus and Orchestra, Music of the Baroque, and the William Ferris Chorale, and is also a member of the Chicago Symphony Chorus. Clearfield also holds a jazz studies degree from Roosevelt University and remains in demand as a jazz, folk, and session singer, performing her original compositions with the band Outertown.

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