Tuesday, February 9, 2016

NOW PLAYING: Pop Waits at the Neo-Futurists Through March 12th

Pop Waits
FEBRUARY 4 - MARCH 12 2016 


Price: $10 – $20 & Pay-What-You-Can-Thursdays
or call us at
Running Time: 90 minutes

Who are you? What are we? Do I repeat the chorus or hit the bridge?

Partners and performers Malic White and Molly Brennan both struggle with depression and rely on music to yank themselves out of despair. With the help of a live band and the audience (that’s YOU), White and Brennan summon the sacred powers of their heroes, Iggy Pop and Tom Waits, to write a song of their own.

Through monologues, movement pieces and performance of their rock heroes’ most influential songs, Brennan strips away her penchant for theatricality, while White discovers that building a larger-than-life persona might be the key to survival.

POP WAITS contains loud noises, haze, strobe effects and nudity…because it’s awesome. 
If you don’t like either of those things, just let us know. 


Want to rock on? Molly and Malic want to jam with you and are teaching a Two-Week Pop Waits Devising Workshop called WE COULD BE HEROES.

Molly Brennan
(Co-creator of POP WAITS) is an actor, singer and clown, playing the Red Queen in Lookingglass Theatre’s Lookingglass Alice, an Accessible Lesbian in The Second City’s American Mixtape and as Madam Barker in Red Tape’ Theatre’s The Life and Death of Madam Barker. Other credits include The Second City’s Guide to the Opera at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Peter Pan: A Play at Lookingglass Theatre, Animal Crackers at Goodman Theatre,Theatrical Essays at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and 500 Clown Macbeth and 500 Clown Frankenstein in multiple venues in Chicago and the United States. On the variety/cabaret/storytelling front, Molly has appeared at the Chicago Humanities Festival, MCA Chicago, Salonathon, Davenport’s, Followspot, The Paper Machete, and You’re Being Ridiculous. She has hosted The Moth Chicago and is a co-creator/curator of The Kinky Butch Witching Hour. Molly served as Artistic Director of Barrel of Monkeys for three years. Molly was named Chicago’s “Queen of Mischief and Make Believe” by American Theatre Magazine, February 2015. She’s also got a couple Jeff prizes for being an acting winner.

Malic White
Malic White joined the Neo-Futurist Theater Ensemble in October 2012. Malic assistant directed The Miss Neo Pageant and performs in Too Much Light. Malic’s storytelling, dance and performance work has been featured at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Pritzker Pavilion, the Logan Square Auditorium, Tour de Fat and Chances Dances. Malic’s writing has appeared in Bitch Magazine, Windy City Times and the Huffington Post, plus all over Twitter and Facebook.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

INCOMING: Wolfmother At Metro Supporting Their Victorious Release Out On February 19th

Here at ChiIL Live Shows we've been fans of the Grammy Award-winning rock band WOLFMOTHER, since their first album in 2005, and we've caught them live in an iconic Chicago venue and at Lollapalooza as well. We highly recommend giving their new material a listen and catching them live if at all possible. Their Victorious Tour runs February 24th through April 1.

February 19th is the release date for their highly anticipated new album, VICTORIOUS (Universal Music Enterprises) and they're coming our way, playing Metro in Chicago the 2nd night of their tour, February 25th. Fans around the world can already catch a sneak preview of the album since WOLFMOTHER premiered two tracks – "Victorious" and "City Lights" –which can be heard via Spotify HERE.

Fans can get "Victorious" and "City Lights" as instant downloads by clicking HERE to pre-order VICTORIOUS. The CD is also available for pre-order through Amazon HERE and pre-orders and exclusive merch bundles are also available at

Wolfmother will support VICTORIOUS with a headline tour of North America set to kick off February 24th at First Avenue in Minneapolis(see full itinerary below). On November 30th at 10am, fans that have signed up for Wolfmother email updates (at will receive a special code to purchase tickets before they are available to the general public. On December 4th, tickets go on sale to the general public. For more information, please visit

Wolfmother recently teamed with popular enhanced colouring book app Recolor to give fans the opportunity to create their own colorized version of the VICTORIOUS album art. Fan submissions can be viewed HERE.  Recolor was created by premium photo app developer Sumoing.

The follow-up to 2009's Cosmic Egg and 2014's New Crown, the much-anticipated VICTORIOUS is an electrifying testament to the range and depth of songwriter/vocalist/guitarist Andrew Stockdale's artistry. Recorded at Henson Studios in Los Angeles with 2X Grammy winning producer Brendan O'Brien (Pearl Jam, AC/DC, Chris Cornell, Bruce Springsteen), the songs are edgy, inventive and uncompromising and rank among the band's best ever.

Stockdale began working on the record this past January at his Byron Bay studio in New South Wales, writing on every instrument and embracing the same creative approach he used on the band's debut album a decade ago.
"Back in the early days, I'd play guitar, bass, and drums and then present the ideas to the band and we'd work on the arrangement together," he says. "I thought it would be cool to get back to demoing ideas by myself and playing everything. It's a good way to do things because it can make the style more cohesive."

In addition to vocals, Stockdale played guitar and bass and brought in Josh Freese (Nine Inch Nails, Bruce Springsteen, A Perfect Circle) and Joey Waronker (Air, Beck, REM) to split drum duties. "We wanted to get back to that big sound," says Stockdale. "The album is a balance of garage-y energy and big production. It's wild, energetic and," he muses, "perfect for a festival main stage."

Wolfmother first made its mark in 2005 with an eponymous debut that was exactly what rock & roll needed: a meaty, beaty, big and bouncy genre resuscitator that not only broke through to the mainstream, but broke big. The album was certified Gold in the States, UK & Canada and 5x-Platinum in the band's Australian homeland. Lead single "Woman" hit top ten on the Hot Modern Rock Tracks Chart and won a Grammy for "Best Hard Rock Performance." Their songs became ubiquitous, appearing in films (Shrek, Jackass, Due Date,The Hangover I, II & III), video games (Need For Speed, MLB: The Show, Saints Row) and television commercials (Apple, Mitsubishi).Rolling Stone named it one of the best albums of the year, Q Magazine called it "immense fun," NME said it ticked "the requisite boxes for all great rock & roll" and called it "utterly, utterly thrilling" and Pitchfork praised the songs for striking "a balance between meaty vintage metal and crisp, stoner-rock melodies."

Led by Stockdale, Wolfmother have amassed a global fanbase, played to packed-house crowds around the world, delivered show-stealing sets at star-studded festivals like Coachella, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Isle of Wight, Rock am Ring and Reading and Leeds, and have been invited to share stages with rock icons Aerosmith and AC/DC. For their induction into the UK Music Hall of Fame, Led Zeppelin personally invited Wolfmother as their guests (the band showed their appreciation by delivering an electrifying cover of "Communication Breakdown").

Ten years after their arrival, Wolfmother have returned with what could arguably be called their best work to date. With VICTORIOUS, Stockdale once again arrives right on time: in an era dominated by single-song downloads, this is an album worthy of repeat listens from top to bottom.

Don't miss your chance to catch Wolfmother live. Tour dates are as follows:

Feb 24 – Minneapolis, MN – First Ave
Feb 25 – Chicago, IL – Metro
Feb 26 – Detroit, MI – St. Andrews Hall
Feb 27 – Toronto, ON – Danforth Music Hall
Feb 29 – Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club
Mar 2 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
Mar 3 – New York, NY – Webster Hall
Mar 4 – Philadelphia, PA – Trocadero Theatre
Mar 5 – Raleigh, NC – The Ritz
Mar 7 – Atlanta, GA – Center Stage
Mar 8 – Nashville, TN – Marathon Music Works
Mar 9 – Memphis, TN – Minglewood Hall
Mar 11 – Lawrence, KS – Granada Theater
Mar 12 – Oklahoma City, OK – Diamond Ballroom
Mar 14 – Dallas, TX – Granada Theater
Mar 15 – Houston, TX – House of Blues
Mar 21 – El Paso, TX – Tricky Falls
Mar 22 – Tempe, AZ – The Marquee
Mar 23 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues
Mar 25 – Santa Ana, CA – The Observatory
Mar 26 – Los Angeles, CA – The Fonda Theatre
Mar 28 – San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore
Mar 30 – Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom
Mar 31 – Seattle, WA – The Showbox
Apr 1 – Vancouver, BC – Commodore Ballroom

SOURCE Universal Music Enterprises

Monday, January 25, 2016

OPENING: Theatre at the Center Presents Alfred Hitchcock’s 39 Steps

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar: 
Alfred Hitchcock’s 39 Steps
Delightfully Dizzy, Indomitably Funny!  Ben Brantley, NY Times

A hit on Broadway and in London’s West End, the thrilling comedy, Alfred Hitchcock’s “The 39 Steps” kick starts Theatre at the Center’s 26th season beginning February 18 and continuing through March 20, 2016.  This comedic spoof offers non-stop action and features four actors playing more than 150 different characters.  The show is filled with an incredible series of lightning fast costume changes that make for a great deal of laughter and excitement. 

© Theatre at the Center, photo by Guy Rhodes
Pictured are Matt Mueller portraying Richard Hannay,  Linda Gillum as Annabella, Norm Boucher and Kevin McKillip as the mysterious men in Alfred Hitchcock's "The 39 Steps" which opens at Theatre at the Center in Munster on February 18.

Adapted from the 1935 Alfred Hitchcock film and the 1915 novel by John Buchan, the story follows Englishman Richard Hannay, who inadvertently embarks on a chaotic adventure full of narrow escapes and mishaps after trying to help a female spy. When he wakes up to find her dead in his apartment, he flees from the police and an espionage organization, desperately trying to find the truth. 

This whirlwind story is directed by David Perkovich with Matt Mueller (“Shining Lives: A Musical” at Northlight Theatre) as Richard Hannay.  Linda Gillum (“A Christmas Story” and “The Fox on the Fairway” at Theatre at the Center) plays several roles including Hannay’s romantic interests.  And Norm Boucher (“Big Fish” and “On Golden Pond” at Theatre at the Center) and Kevin McKillip (“Making God Laugh” at Theatre at the Center) each play more than 30 characters ranging from men, women, children, heroes, villains and even the occasional object. 

“The 39 Steps” production team includes Ann Davis, scenic designer, Brenda Winstead, costume designer, Michael McNamara, lighting designer, Barry G. Funderburg, sound designer, and Brittney O’Keefe, props designer. Matt McMullen is the stage manager. Richard Friedman is general manager and Linda Fortunato is Theatre at the Center’s new artistic director. 

Linda Fortunato has been nominated for five Joseph Jefferson Awards for her work as a choreographer and director. She received both the Equity and Non-Equity Jeff Award for Outstanding Choreography in the 2013-2014 season, garnering Theatre at the Center their first award for her Choreography of 42nd Street.  In addition to her award-winning work on 42nd Street, Fortunato has been involved with over a dozen shows at Theatre at the Center, including choreographing Spamalot, Big Fish, A Christmas Carol, Guys and Dolls, Crazy for You, Fiddler on the Roof; performing in Lend Me a Tenor, The Diary of Anne Frank, and directing A Christmas Story. Fortunato settled in Chicago directly after college and now lives in Evanston with her husband, actor Sean Fortunato, and their seven year old son.

Founded in 1991, the 410-seat Theatre at the Center is a year-round professional theater at its home, The Center for Visual and Performing Arts, 1040 Ridge Road, Munster, Indiana.  Theatre at the Center is the only professional theater company in Northwest Indiana, offering downtown caliber performances in an accessible venue with plenty of free parking.  Theatre at the Center is located off I-80/94, just 35 minutes from downtown Chicago.

The 39 Steps is recommended for adults and children 11 years old and up. Performances are 2 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 2:30 p.m. Sundays; and select Thursday and Sunday evenings and Saturday matinees. Individual ticket prices range from $40 - $44. To purchase individual tickets call the Box Office at 219-836-3255 or at 800-511-1552. Group discounts are available for groups of 11 or more and gift certificates are also available. For more information on Theatre at the Center, visit

Sunday, January 24, 2016



Here at ChiIL Live Shows and ChiIL Mama we can't wait to check this one out!

Nell Benjamin, Tony Award™-nominated co-composer and lyricist of Broadway’s Legally Blonde, penned this madcap physical comedy, animated by lightning-quick dialogue, daredevil stunts, precision acrobatics and onstage snakes and guinea pigs. The prolific David H. Bell, currently developing the English-language version of La Révolution Française in Chicago, directs with stunts and precision choreography staged by Max Fabian.

The antics, uproarious barbs and rejoinders of The Explorers Club are propelled by Phyllida Spotte-Hume (Cristina Panfilio) who believes Luigi, the blue NaKong tribesman she’s brought to London from a newly discovered race of Spoon worshipers, is her entree into the society as its first woman member. Goofy admirer Lucius (Alex Goodrich), a botanist and the Club’s acting president, sponsors Phyllida, while intrepid explorer Percy (Ryan Imhoff), returning from his expedition to the East Pole, vies for Phyllida’s affections even though he can’t take seriously the notion of a woman scientist. Neither can the Club’s resident zoologist (Matt Browning), herpetologist (Zach Shornick) and “archeo-theologist” (Dan Rodden). Chaos ensues in The Explorers Club after Luigi inadvertently insults the Queen, possibly setting the British Empire at war with the world.

Windy City Playhouse, Chicago’s newest professional theater, launches 2016 with the Chicago premiere of Nell Benjamin’s slapstick farce The Explorers Club, set in a Victorian-era scientific gentleman's club. David H. Bell directs Cristina Panfilio (Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Pericles) as a female anthropologist vying for membership. 

Alex Goodrich (Elf: The Musical), Ryan Imhoff (Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Matt Browning (Redtwist’s Incident at Vichy), Graham Emmons (Prologue’s Porcelain), Dan Rodden (Theater at the Center’s On Golden Pond) and Zack Shornick (MPAACT’s Ghosts of Atwood) make up the Club members, while Colin Morgan (Oracle’s No Beast So Fierce) is Queen Victoria’s private secretary and Wesley Daniel (Chicago Shakes’ Pericles) is a blue-skinned primitive. Previews for The Explorers Club begin Wednesday, January 27, 2016 at Windy City Playhouse, 3014 West Irving Park Road. Press performances are Thursday, February 4 at 7:30 pm. and Friday, February 5 at 8 p.m. Tickets, $15-$55, are available by calling the box office at 773-891-8985 or visiting

By Nell Benjamin
Directed by David H. Bell
Previews begin: January 27, 2016

The Explorer’s Club has enough to deal with. One member has lost nearly all his guinea pigs, another can’t seem to locate the East Pole, the bartender is missing and, on top of all that, a woman wants to join. Before the British Empire crumbles under the weight, these good old boys must grapple with the approach of modernity, save the world from an international war and, for God’s sake, find a new bartender — but not until after brandy and cigars.

The Windy City Playhouse performance schedule is: Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30pm; Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm; and Sundays (consult website for Sunday times).

Single tickets range from $15-$55 and are available by calling 773-891-8985 or visiting Flexible subscription packages are available for 2016.

The Explorers Club is part of Chicago Theatre Week 2016. Select performances, between February 11 and 21, are available for $15 and $30 via

About Windy City Playhouse

Windy City Playhouse is a new theater at 3014 West Irving Park Road. Opened in March 2015, the Playhouse is a professional theater meant to entertain through exceptional contemporary, relevant and approachable art. Combining relatable material with high quality artistry, Windy City Playhouse seeks to create work accessible by audiences of all kinds. With a full service bar and light snacks, the Playhouse is not a traditional theater, rather a fun, relaxing and entertaining environment. With amenities such as swivel club chair seating, the Playhouse is designed as a space for audiences to linger before and after the performance—a place to decompress with art.



Casting is complete for Henry Wishcamper’s contemporary take on Thornton Wilder’s The Matchmaker—the inspiration for the musical Hello, Dolly!, praised as “one of the sweetest and smartest romantic farces ever written” (The Wall Street Journal)—revealing social truths through mistaken identity, outrageous misbehavior and spontaneous romance. 

Tony Award nominee Kristine Nielsen is Dolly Gallagher Levi, the vivacious matchmaker who is recruited to find a wife for the wealthy yet prickly widower, Horace Vandergelder, portrayed by Chicago favorite Allen Gilmore. Little does Horace know that Dolly is plotting to become the next Mrs. Vandergelder herself! 

Joining Nielsen and Gilmore are a cast of acclaimed talents and rising stars, including Theo Allyn (Ermengarde), Behzad Dabu (Barnaby Tucker), Larry DiStasi (Cabman/Rudolph), Marilyn Dodds Frank (Flora Van Huysen), Sydney Germaine (Minnie Fay), Marc Grapey (Malachi Stack), Anita Hollander (Cook/Gertrude), Ronobir Lahiri (Ambrose Kemper), Elizabeth Ledo (Mrs. Malloy), Postell Pringle (Cornelius Hackl) and Ron Rains (Joe Scanlon). The creative team includes: Neil Patel (sets), Jenny Mannis (costumes), David Lander (lights) and Richard Woodbury (sound). Alden Vasquez is the Production Stage Manager. 

The Matchmaker appears in the Goodman’s 856-seat Albert Theatre, March 5 – April 10, 2016. Tickets ($25-$82, as well as a special $10 ticket price for students) go on sale Friday, January 22; visit, call 312.443.3800 or purchase in person at the Box Office at 170 N. Dearborn. For images and bio information for the company, visit Ernst & Young LLP and Interactive Health are the Corporate Sponsor Partners.

“I’m thrilled to collaborate with this diverse group of extraordinary artists on the play Thornton Wilder called ‘a farce with social implications’—and what I believe is his most unappreciated major play,” said Director Henry Wishcamper, who has earned critical acclaim for his productions of classic plays, including Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes, among others. “Effortlessly charming, funny and romantic, The Matchmaker also touches on many issues—economic inequity, diversity and the search for the authentic self—that feel relevant to our current cultural moment. Like the play, I hope our production will capture both levity and emotional depth.”

Broadway star Kristine Nielsen makes her Goodman debut.

“This will be my first time back in Chicago since I graduated from Northwestern University 30-odd years ago, and I can't wait to unleash ‘Dolly Gallagher Levi’—crossing fingers for hijinks and hilarity results,” said Nielsen, who previously appeared as ‘Sonia’ in the Broadway sensation Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike by Christopher Durang, earning her the 2013 Tony Award Nomination for Best Lead Actress in a Play.

On the heels of his appearance in Wishcamper’s production of A Christmas Carol, Allen Gilmore joins Nielsen to lead the 13-member cast.

“I'm happy to return to the Goodman for this exciting reimagining of Thornton Wilder’s iconic play and am likewise overjoyed to reunite with Henry, Theo Allyn and Ron Rains, my buddies from A Christmas Carol,” said Gilmore, the 2015 recipient of the 3Arts Award, whose past Thornton Wilder credits include Our Town at Seattle’s Intiman Theater.

OPENING: Neil LaBute’s Vices and Virtues at Profiles Theatre

 Profiles Theatre presents
Neil LaBute’s Vices and Virtues
two full evenings of new short works in rotating repertory

Profiles Theatre continues its 27th season with Vices and Virtues, two full evenings featuring eleven short plays by Resident Artist Neil LaBute, performing in rotating repertory. Each evening features Midwest and World premieres of some of LaBute’s newest shorts, staged by individual directors and featuring an ensemble cast of twenty performers. Profiles’ production runs at The Alley Stage, 4147 N. Broadway, January 14 - March 6, 2016.

Vices will play Thursdays at 8pm, Saturdays at 4pm (new time) and Sundays at 7pm.  Virtues will play Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 3pm (new time).

An Evening of Vices. An Evening of Virtues. Running in rotating repertory, Profiles presents two full evenings of short works by Neil LaBute, each filled with many surprises, both virtuous and otherwise. Each evening features stories of lust and hate, humor and sadness, virtue and depravity. Through them all, “love” will be the dominant theme--what it is, what it's not and how far it can be stretched.

The first evening, Vices, contains the World premieres of LaBute’s "I'm Going to Stop Pretending That I Didn't Break Your Heart" and "Totally,” as well as the Midwest premieres of "Happy Hour," “The Great War” and “Lovely Head.”
The second evening, Virtues, provides LaBute's World premiere of "Swallowing Bicycles," the Midwest premieres of "Good Luck (in Farsi)," "Romance" and "10-K," as well as the Chicago premieres of "Kandahar" and "Mulberry Bush."
“It’s so great to be working on another project with Profiles Theatre and it’s especially nice to have it be two evenings of short works,” says playwright Neil LaBute. “I love writing in this form and it’s always hard to find a home for this kind of piece. Thankfully, my collaboration with Profiles allows for this type of experimentation and creates a home for so many artists to work on this project at the same time. This is a really terrific way to start the new year!”
This marks Profiles Theatre’s thirteenth collaboration with Resident Artist Neil LaBute. Previous productions include the American premiere of In a Forest, Dark and Deep and acclaimed Midwest premieres of Wrecks, reasons to be pretty, The Mercy Seat and Fat Pig as well as the World premiere of his revised stage version of In the Company of Men, recipient of a Joseph Jefferson Nomination for Best New Adaptation.

The directors for Vices and Virtues include Bradley Bartolo, Tara Branham, Profiles ensemble member Eric Burgher, Brianne Duncan Fiore, Profiles Artistic Associate Jeff Gamlin, Profiles Artistic Director Joe Jahraus, Miles Mabry, Kay Martinovich, Andy Root, Benjamin Thiem and Scott Wolf. The ensemble cast includes many performers returing to Profiles, including Marilyn Bass (Dream of the Burning Boy), Betsy Bowman (The Jacksonian),Tamara Chambers (Hellcab), Tim Curtis (The Jacksonian), Rob Grabowski (Hellcab), Drew Halliday (Hellcab), Nik Kourtis (Cock), Eleni Pappageorge (Cock), Brennan Roche (In the Company of Men), Steve Silver (The Other Place), Adam Soule (Bachelorette) and Laura Berner Taylor (The Jacksonian). Making their Profiles Theatre debuts are Elizabeth Birnkrant, Sarah Brooks, Patrick Gannon, Brian Goodman, Brookelyn Hebert, Tom McGregor, Sarah Ruggles and Marie Weigle.

The designers are Greg Pinsoneault (set), Mike Rathbun (lights), Brandon Reed (sound), and Uriel Gomez (costumes). Amber R. Dettmers serves as production stage manager.

Profiles’ 2015-16 season continues with the Midwest premieres of Jerusalem by Jez Butterworth, opening in March and The Village Bike by Penelope Skinner.

Tickets for either evening of Vices and Virtues are $40 each. Patrons who purchase tickets to one evening may purchase a discounted ticket to the second program for $10 off regular price. Tickets are available by phone, (773) 549-1815, or online,

NEIL LABUTE (Playwright) is a Resident Artist at Profiles Theatre and has been working with them since their 2006 production of Autobahn. His World premiere adaptation of his original play and film In the Company of Men (New York Critics’ Circle Award for Best First Feature and the Filmmakers’ Trophy at the Sundance Film Festival) had its debut at Profiles in 2013 and received a Jeff Nomination for Best New Adaptation. He received his Master of Fine Arts degree in dramatic writing from New York University and was the recipient of a literary fellowship to study at the Royal Court Theatre, London and also attended the Sundance Institute’s Playwrights Lab. His films include Your Friends and Neighbors, Nurse Betty, Possession, The Shape of Things (a film adaptation of his play by the same title), The Wicker Man, Lakeview Terrace, Death at a Funeral, Some Girl(s), Some Velvet Morning and Dirty Weekend. LaBute made his television debut with a new series for DirecTV entitled Full Circle. His plays include Bash: Latter-Day Plays, The Mercy Seat, The Distance From Here, Filthy Talk for Troubled Times, Autobahn, Fat Pig, Wrecks, Some Girl(s), Things We Said Today, This is How it Goes, In a Dark Dark HouseThe Break of Noon, In a Forest, Dark and Deep, The Money Shot, Lovely Head, Miss Julie and The Way We Get By. Reasons to be Happy, a follow-up to his acclaimed play reasons to be pretty, opened at MCC in May 2013. reasons to be pretty premiered off-Broadway in 2008, receiving three Drama Desk Award nominations including Outstanding Play. It became Neil LaBute’s first play ever to be staged on Broadway when it opened in 2009 and was nominated for three Tony Awards, including Best Play. LaBute is also the author of several fictional pieces including “Seconds of Pleasure,” a collection of his short stories published by Grove Atlantic.

Profiles Theatre, founded in 1988 by Artistic Director Joe Jahraus, joined shortly thereafter by Artistic Director Darrell W. Cox, was formed as an actor-driven theatre ensemble dedicated to creating provocative and emotionally truthful productions. Passionate about shaping an original vision for new works, they focused on performing World, American and Midwest premieres as well as rarely performed plays. Critically acclaimed hits, such as BLACKBIRD, FAT PIG, GRACELAND and the multiple Jeff Award-winning KILLER JOE, established Profiles as a destination for challenging and edgy theatre. Their unique collaboration with playwright Neil LaBute led the ensemble to perform an entire season of his plays in 2007-2008. Now a Resident Artist at Profiles, LaBute remains an unequivocal artistic influence on the ensemble.

After performing at 4147 North Broadway for more than two decades, Profiles acquired an adjacent theatre at 4139 North Broadway in 2012. Profiles’ new theatre, The Main Stage, with its larger seating capacity, increased performance space and higher ceilings, accommodates more ambitious and technically demanding productions. Their long-time venue, renamed The Alley Stage, continues as the home for plays strengthened by a more intimate staging. Driven by an undiminished appetite for creating honest and resonant theatre, Profiles still seeks to present work that illuminates the determination and resiliency of the human spirit.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Der Rosenkavalier returns to Lyric Opera Monday, February 8

Chi, IL Live Shows On Our Radar:

Romantic comedy, sublimely beautiful music…
plus love triangles and double-cross-dressing!
to Lyric Opera
Monday, February 8

 Photo: Robert Kusel

Lyric Opera of Chicago presents the perfect midwinter getaway: a beautiful production of Richard Strauss’s delectably bittersweet romantic comedy Der Rosenkavalier, which opens on Monday, February 8 for eight performances.

The opera stars Sophie Koch (Feb. 8-20) and Alice Coote (Mar. 4-13) in the title role as the teenaged “Rose Cavalier,” Octavian, who is amorously involved with a woman twice his age, Princess von Werdenberg, a.k.a. the Marschallin, sung by Amanda Majeski. Her cousin, the boorish Baron Ochs (Matthew Rose/debut), plans to marry Sophie (Christina Landshamer/American debut) for her family’s money. Sophie, however, falls hard for the betrothal messenger Octavian instead, and he with her. Much merry confusion ensues – including Ochs pursuing a chambermaid who’s really Octavian in disguise – before the rapturous trio and duet that conclude this musically divine comedy, when the Marschallin releases her young lover and Sophie and Octavian are united.

Edward Gardner conducts the production directed by Martina Weber (both debuts). Sets and costumes are designed by Thierry Bosquet with lighting by Duane Schuler. Michael Black is chorus master.

“Edward Gardner is marvelous – I’m so happy he’s coming to conduct Strauss’s most popular opera,” says Sir Andrew Davis, Lyric’s music director. “He’s a real hot property, and he’ll make a wonderful Lyric debut.”

“The cast is really superb,” says Anthony Freud, Lyric’s general director. “Amanda Majeski triumphed here as the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro to open our season and recently sang her first Marschallin in Frankfurt. Sophie Koch and Alice Coote are two of today’s most remarkable interpreters of Octavian. Christina Landshamer is a brilliant young German soprano who gave one of the most exciting auditions I’ve ever heard, and Matthew Rose is a tremendous young bass with a major international career, both of whom will be making their Lyric debuts.”

Performance dates are February 8, 13, 16, 20, March 4 and 7 at 6:30pm; and March 10 and 13 at 1pm. For tickets and information call (312) 827-5600 or go to

Lyric’s presentation of Der Rosenkavalier is generously made possible by an Anonymous Donor and Mr. & Mrs. Dietrich M. Gross.

About Lyric
Founded in 1954, 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.

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 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.

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