Wednesday, April 16, 2014

ACT OUT: Look Back in Anger at Redtwist #OnSaleNow

Look Back in Anger
By John Osbourne 
Directed by Jonathan Berry 
Opens Saturday, May 17, at 3pm 

The seminal British drama of the 20th century, Look Back in Anger, exploded onto London's post-war theatrical landscape in the midst of silly comedies and splashy musicals. It took no prisoners and gave no quarter, mercilessly skewering the leftover relics of the Edwardian class system while blazing a trail for every British dramatist who followed. In a recent Entertainment Weekly poll, it was voted #17, among the 50 Greatest Plays of the Past 100 Years.

Opens: Sat, May 17, 3pm (there is no evening performance on this date)
 Runs: Thu, Fri, Sat, 7:30pm; Sun, 3pm
Closes: Sun, June 15 
Running Time: Approximately 2:20 minutes, which includes one intermission
Previews: $15; Wed, Thu, Fri, May 14, 15, 16, at 7:30pm
Tickets: Thursdays, $30; Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, $35 (seniors & students $5 off)

Call: 773-728-7529 

This is the post-war British drama that started it all, said it best, and influenced every British playwright who came after it. In the play, Jimmy Porter, a bright, educated young man of working-class roots, is railing incessantly against the status quo and the vestiges of the desiccated social strata of the Edwardian ethic. When his long-suffering, upper-middle-class wife, Alison, has had her fill of his diatribes, things explode in every direction. The teetering couple, estranged and in extremis, flanked by his best buddy and her best friend, realize that amidst the despair and anger, they have one last thing that may save their souls. This is the long-awaited revival of a post-war classic...directed by post-modern maestro, Jonathan Berry.

Japhet Balaban (Cliff Lewis), Larry Baldacci (Colonel Redfern), Baize Buzan (Alison Porter), Lucy Carapetyan (Helena Charles), Joseph Wiens (Jimmy Porter)

Nick Freed (Jimmy Porter), Rachel Griesinger (Helena Charles), Jerry M. Miller (Colonel Redfern), Mickey O'Sullivan (Cliff Lewis), Annie Sauter (Alison Porter) 
Jonathan Berry (Director), Kristen Johnson (Assistant Director), Allison Queen (Stage Manager), Joe Schermoly (Set Designer), Izumi Inaba (Costume Designer), Eric J. Vigo (Lighting Designer), Chris Kriz (Sound Designer), Ryan McCain (Props Designer), Elise Kauzlaric (Dialect Coach), Chris Rickett (Violence Designer), Kevin McDonald (Dramaturg), Sara Dickey (ASM Intern), Felicia Soler (Production Assistant), Jessie Chappe (Casting Director), Jan Ellen Graves (Graphic Design, Marketing), Charles Bonilla (Box Office Manager), E. Malcolm Martinez (Box Office Associate), Johnny Garcia (Box Office Associate/Associate Producer), Michael Colucci & Jan Ellen Graves (Producers)

Redtwist is located at 1044 W Bryn Mawr, 2 blks W of LSD, 2 blks E of the Red Line El station. Street parking (paybox/meters until 10pm, Free on Sundays) is available on Bryn Mawr, side streets, and Broadway. Please reserve 48 hours in advance. Credit cards accepted by phone and online to guarantee seating.  

Sunday, April 13, 2014

ACT OUT OPENING: Mud Blue Sky at A Red Orchid


Here at ChiIL Live Shows we've long turned to A Red Orchid for consistently cutting edge, world class productions.

Regular Run: April 18 – May 25, 2014
Schedule:     Thursdays: 8:00 p.m.
Fridays8:00 p.m.
Saturdays: 8:00 p.m. (4pm matinee added on Saturday, April 19)  
Sundays: 3:00 p.m. (No performance on Easter Sunday, April 20) 
Location: A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells Ave.
Tickets: $25-$30 regular run.  ($25 Thurs, $30 Fri-Sun)
Box Office: Located at 1531 N. Wells Ave, Chicago, (312) 943-8722; or online 

A Red Orchid Theatre presents the Chicago Premiere of Mud Blue Sky written by Marisa Wegrzyn and directed by Ensemble Member Shade Murray. The production will feature AROT Ensemble Members Natalie West, Mierka Girten and Kirsten Fitzgerald, and will run April 9 – May 25, 2014 at A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells.

A high school pot dealer abandons his prom night to crash the hotel room reunion between three flight attendants (all old enough to be his mother). Booze is poured, herb is smoked, the room blurs and futures, careers, and kindness snap sharply into focus. We suggest that you keep your seat belt fastened throughout the performance, as you are certain to experience turbulence. Local Playwright Marisa Wegrzyn's profoundly compassionate and fiercely witty play makes its Chicago Premiere. 

Mud Blue Sky is both fierce and compassionate,” comments Artistic Director Kirsten Fitzgerald. “I find these two qualities at the core of Marisa’s work and am thrilled to be collaborating with her and with my fellow Orchids to bring it to Chicago. The previous work we have all done together allows us to challenge each other and the play all the more.”

Mud Blue Sky features Ensemble Members Kirsten Fitzgerald (Angie), Mierka Girten (Sam) and Natalie West (Beth), with Matt Farabee (Jonathan). Fitzgerald, Girten and West were last seen together at A Red Orchid together in the Company’s smash-hit production of Abigail’s Party, also directed by Shade Murray. West, Fitzgerald and Murray also collaborated on Wegrzyn’s Butcher of Baraboo in 2012.

The creative team for Mud Blue Sky includes Jackie Penrod (scenic), Ensemble Member Karen Kawa (costumes), Ensemble Member Mike Durst (lighting), Brando Triantafillou (sound), Corinne Bass (props), Stephanie Heller (stage manager), Jessie Roth (assistant director) and Brian Sauer (technical director).

Marisa Wegrzyn (playwright) Productions include The Butcher of Baraboo (A Red Orchid Theatre & Steppenwolf Theatre's First Look Rep); Diversey Harbor; Killing Women; The Chicago Landmark Project: State & Madison; The Grid (Theatre Seven); Hickorydickory; Ten Cent Night (Chicago Dramatists); Psalms of a Questionable Nature (Rivendell Theatre).Her plays have been produced Off Broadway at Second Stage, at Actors Theatre of Louisville's Humana Festival, Moxie Theatre (San Diego), The Road Theatre (Los Angeles), CENTERSTAGE Baltimore. She's been commissioned by Yale Repertory Theatre and Steppenwolf Theatre. Chicago Reader named her Best Playwright in the 2008 "Best of Chicago" issue, and she received the 2009 Wendy Wasserstein Playwriting Prize. She was a writer for the TV drama "Mind Games" on ABC, a contributor to The Paper Machete Live Magazine, a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists, and a founding company member of Theatre Seven of Chicago.

Shade Murray (Director) directed Annie Baker’s The Aliens and Nick Jones’ Trevor at A Red Orchid as well as The Butcher of Baraboo, Abigail's Party (Jeff Nomination, Director) and Kimberly Akimbo.  He recently had the pleasure of directing Annie Bosh is Missing for Steppenwolf Theatre’s First Look.  Other credits include End Days at Next Theatre, The Chosen (Jeff Nomination, Director), The Subject Was Roses at Writers' Theatre, Fatty Arbuckle... at Second City, The Petrified Forest, The Good Soul of SzechuanR.U.R., Marathon '33 (Jeff and After Dark Awards, ensemble), Detective Story (Jeff Award, Production, Director, Ensemble), WRLS #5, and Our Country's Good at Strawdog Theatre, Stupid Kids (Jeff Nomination, Director), Some Explicit Polaroids, Santaland Diaries, Never Swim Alone at Roadworks as well as productions at the MCA, Shattered Globe, About Face, Colbalt, Shakespeare's Motley Crew, Timberlake Playhouse and dance theatre in collaboration with MK and Birgitta Victorson. Shade is an MFA candidate in directing at Northwestern University, an associate artist with A Red Orchid and Strawdog Theatre Companies and has taught at Northwestern University, DePaul University, Act One Studios, National Louis University, National High School Institute, Piven Workshop and the Actor's Gym.

Matt Farabee (Jonathan) Chicago credits include:  punkplay (Steppenwolf Garage); Skylight (Court Theater); MilkMilkLemonade (Pavement Group); Elizabeth Rex (Chicago Shakespeare); Tigers Be Still (Theater Wit); The Shadow Over Innsmouth(WildClaw Theatre); The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek (Eclipse Theatre Company).  Off Broadway: A Bright New Boise (Partial Comfort). Regional: Lord of the FliesOne Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Round House Theatre).  He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Kirsten Fitzgerald (Angie) is a member of the Artistic Ensemble at A Red Orchid and the current Artistic Director.  Her performances here at home include The Butcher of BarabooThe New Electric Ballroom, Abigail's PartyThe Sea Horse [Jeff Award], PumpgirlWeapon of Mass ImpactMr. Bundy, The Killer and more. Other Chicago credits include Appropriate (Victory Gardens), Clybourne ParkThe Elephant Man, and A Streetcar Named Desire (Steppenwolf Theatre); Major Barbara (Remy Bumppo); Romeo and Juliet (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre); Flaming Guns of the Purple Sage (Defiant Theatre);  A Moon for the Misbegotten (Circle Theatre) in addition to work with Next, Goodman, Shattered Globe, Famous Door, Plasticene and the Utah Shakespeare Festival among others. Kirsten teaches acting at DePaul University and Columbia College.  She can be seen on TV right now in Sirens (USA- Thursdays 9:00c) and has worked on Chicago Fire (NBC), ER (NBC) and Underemployed (MTV).

MIERKA GIRTEN (Sam) was last seen in Trevor and in Simpatico at A Red Orchid Theatre where she is an ensemble member. Off-Broadway, she was seen in Mistakes Were Made with Michael Shannon and Sam Deutsch, after doing the world premiere right here at home. Also at A Red Orchid: Abigail’s Party, Weapon of Mass Impact, The Meek, Kimberly Akimbo and The Treatment. Other Chicago credits include:  her one woman show With or Without Wings, The Walls at Rivendell Theatre Company, A View From The Bridge at ATC, The Book Of Liz with Roadworks, The Danube, Edmond, Marat Sade and A Blood Wedding with The Hypocrites, Into The Woods at Porchlight, Marathon 33 and Subterranean Love Story at Strawdog Theatre, in addition to work with Appletree, Circle Theatre, Livebait, Illinois Theatre Center, Provision, and Cobalt Ensemble.  Mierka toured the country in The Secret Garden and has been heard nationally, as an announcer and jingle singer on many radio and television commercials. Film credits include: The Manson Family, The Lake at Evening and The Drunk. Mierka is the founder of The Mookie Jam Foundation, benefiting artists with Multiple Sclerosis - because she is a daily warrior against the disease. Perseverance furthers. 

Natalie West (Beth) is a member of the ensemble at A Red Orchid. She most recently appeared in Sons of the Prophet at American Theatre Company. Previous productions include Side Man (Steppenwolf), The Man Who Came to Dinner (Steppenwolf and The Barbican in London), House and Garden (Goodman), How I Learned to Drive (Northlight), God of Hell (Next), The Guys (Piven), and several shows with Remains Theatre where she was an ensemble member for many years. Natalie was a regular on the television show Roseanne as Crystal. Films include Nate and Margaret, Poker House, Life Sentence and Bushwhacked. Natalie is the recipient of three Jeff Awards for supporting actress for Butcher of Baraboo and Abigail's Party at A Red Orchid and Life and Limb at Wisdom Bridge. She holds a MSW from Loyola University Chicago and a BA in Theatre from Indiana University. She also attended Webber Douglas Drama Academy in London.

About A Red Orchid 
Since 1993 A Red Orchid Theatre has been an artistic mainstay of the Chicago theatre community; known and praised for its powerful ensemble, creative design and its gripping, intimate productions.  It was named Best Theatre of 2010 by Chicago Magazine. The resident Ensemble maintains the conviction that live theatre is the greatest sustenance for the human spirit, and the 2013-2014 subscription season promises to bring Ensemble and audience even closer together.

A Red Orchid Theatre is: Lance Baker, Kamal Angelo Bolden, Dado, Mike Durst, Jennifer Engstrom, Kirsten Fitzgerald, Joseph Fosco, Steve Haggard, Mierka Girten, Larry Grimm, Karen Kawa, Karen Kessler, Danny McCarthy, Shade Murray, Brett Neveu, Michael Shannon, Guy Van Swearingen, Doug Vickers, Natalie West and Craig Wright.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

WIN a 47 Ronin iTunes Digital HD Code #giveaway #movie #ad

Disclosure: We're thrilled to partner up with Universal Home Entertainment again and have been given a blu-ray combo to review and a 47 Ronin iTunes Digital HD code for our readers.

47 Ronin is now available on Blu-ray/DVD from Universal Home Entertainment.  To celebrate, ChiIL Mama/ChiIL Live Shows is giving away one (1) 47 Ronin iTunes Digital HD code.  

ENTER HERE through midnight April 15th for your chance to win. The iTunes code is only for US residents. 

47 Ronin is available now on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD. 

Sure, 47 Ronin may not make it to the epic, elite of the marshal arts classics, but this movie is a visual feast and a lot of fun. We've long been fans of the genre and the PG13 rating means our tween & teen could watch, too, without too much gratuitous gore.  And the mythical beasties are well worth a look. It's a modern take on a classic story, and this plot line has stood the test of time. The final dragon battle is definitely cool. This is a fun one to own, and great for a lazy night of mindless popcorn gorging on the couch. 







Keanu Reeves (The Matrix trilogy, The Day The Earth Stood Still) stars in a reimagining of one of Japan’s timeless tales, 47 Ronin, available on Blu-ray™ 3D and Blu-ray™ Combo Packs, DVD, DIGITAL HD including UltraVioletand On Demand on April 1, 2014, from Universal Studios Home Entertainment.­­­

Based on an epic story, this extraordinary tale of inspiring courage has its origins in the early 18th century. After a treacherous warlord kills their master and banishes their kind, 47 leaderless samurai vow to seek vengeance and reclaim their honor. Transformed into a thrilling, visually stunning 3D film by director Carl Rinsch, 47 Ronin tells the story of a small group of warriors, or ronin, on a quest to avenge the death of their master. Battling across a savage world of mythical beasts, shape-shifting witches and wondrous terrors, the ronin must seek help from kai (Reeves), an enslaved half-breed they once rejected – in their ultimate fight for redemption.

Keanu Reeves leads an international cast that includes Hiroyuki Sanada (Sunshine, The Last Samurai) as Oishi, the leader of the ronin; Tadanobu Asano (The Wolverine, Thor: The Dark World) as Lord Kira, the treacherous villain who will stop at nothing to destroy his enemies; Academy Award®-nominated actress Rinko Kikuchi (Babel, Pacific Rim) as the Witch, a siren who executes Kira’s deadly plans; and Ko Shibasaki (The Lady Shogun and Her Men, One Missed Call) as Mika, the forbidden love of Kai’s life.

The Blu-ray™ Combo Pack includes a Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital HD with UltraViolet
·           BLU-RAY™ disc unleashes the power of your HDTV and is the best way to watch movies at home, featuring 6x the picture resolution of DVD, exclusive extras and theater-quality surround sound.  
·           DVD offers the flexibility and convenience of playing movies in more places, both at home and away.
·           DIGITAL HD with UltraViolet lets watch movies anywhere, on any device. Users can instantly stream or download movies to watch on iPad®, iPhone®, Android, smart TVs, connected Blu-ray players, game consoles and more.

·           KEANU & KAI — Keanu Reeves embodies one of cinema’s most richly imagined heroes as Kai, the outcast who leads a small band of rebels against an army and supernatural enemies. Along with Reeves, director Carl Rinsch and other key voices from the filmmaking team reveal how this adventure would not be possible without Reeves’ mastery of martial arts and total immersion in the role.
·           STEEL FURY: THE FIGHTS OF 47 RONIN — This featurette explores the intense research, choreography and rehearsals that went into creating the film’s unique action sequences, including Kai’s epic battle against the silver Samurai and the heart-stopping Kirin hunt sequence. 
·           MYTHS, MAGIC & MONSTERS:  THE FX OF 47 RONIN — 47 Ronin’s world-class creative team reveals the technological magic it used to bring to life the creatures of ancient Japanese folklore, including The Kirin (a giant hybrid beast with the head of a dragon and the body of a deer), the Kitsune witch, the Oni troll and the demonic Tengu Monks.
·           RE-FORGING THE LEGEND — The story of 47 Ronin is one of Japan’s most time-honored legends. The filmmakers talk about how they brought this “dream world” to the big screen, from script to costumes, visual design, and culture.

·           DELETED SCENES

Cast: Keanu Reeves, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tadanobu Asano, Rinko Kikuchi, Ko Shibasaki
Directed by: Carl Rinsch
Screenplay by: Chris Morgan, Hossein Amini
Story by: Chris Morgan, Walter Hamada
Producers: Pamela Abdy, Eric McLeod
Director of Photography: John Mathieson
Production Design by: Jan Roelfs
Editor: Stuart Baird
Costumes by: Penny Rose
Original Music by: Ilan Eshkeri

Street Date: April 1, 2014
Copyright: 2014 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.
Selection Numbers: 61131766 (U.S), 61131767 (CDN)
Running Time: 1 Hour 59 Minutes
Layers: BD-50
Aspect Ratio: Widescreen 2.40:1
Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some disturbing images, and thematic elements
Technical Info: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1/DVS 2.0 Dolby Digital2, DTS Digital Surround 5.1 (Spanish, French)
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish and French

Street Date: April 1, 2014
Copyright: 2014 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.
Selection Numbers: 61130457 (U.S), 61131189 (CDN)
Running Time: 1 Hour 59 Minutes
Layers: BD-50
Aspect Ratio: Widescreen 2.40:1
Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some disturbing images, and thematic elements
Technical Info: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1/DVS 2.0 Dolby Digital2, DTS Digital Surround 5.1 (Spanish, French)
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish and French

Street Date: April 1, 2014
Copyright: 2014 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.
Selection Numbers: 61119170 (U.S), 61131190 (CDN)
Running Time:  1 Hour 59 Minutes
Layers: Dual Layer
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some disturbing images, and thematic elements
Technical Info: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1/DVS 2.0 Dolby Digital2, DTS Digital Surround 5.1 (Spanish, French)
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish and French

Below is a look at 47 Ronin’s amazing cast! 

Keanu Reeves (Kai)

Reeves is a Canadian actor that has starred in many popular, fan-favorite movies such as Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Speed, and The Matrix trilogy. In 47 Ronin, Reeves plays the role of Kai, an outcast half-Japanese, half-British man who longs to be accepted. Due to unforeseen circumstances, he gets his chance to prove he has what it takes to be a samurai.

Hiroyuki Sanada (Ôishi)

Born in Tokyo, Sanada is a critically acclaimed actor who has starred in various films such as The Wolverine and The Last Samurai, as well as hit TV shows like “Lost.” In 47 Ronin, he portrays the dedicated samurai leader Ôishi.

Ko Shibasaki (Mika)

Ko, the rising Japanese star was born in Tokyo, and started her career at 14 when she was discovered. Her rise to fame was launched in the cult favorite films Battle Royale, and One Missed Call. Shibasaki portrays Mika in 47 Ronin, Kai’s love interest.

Rinko Kikuchi (Witch)

Global star Rinko Kikuchi has stolen her way to our hearts with her outstanding performances in independent films like The Brothers Bloom and Norwegian Wood, as well as award-winners like Babel, and blockbuster hits like Pacific Rim.  Kikuchi plays the Witch in 47 Ronin who uses her spells to manipulate fate.

About Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Universal Studios Home Entertainment is a unit of Universal Pictures, a division of Universal Studios ( Universal Studios is a part of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, world-renowned theme parks, and a suite of leading Internet-based businesses. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.

47 Ronin, now available on Blu-ray™ 3D and Blu-ray™ Combo Packs, DVD, DIGITAL HD including UltraVioletand On Demand from Universal Studios Home Entertainment.

Disclosure: We're thrilled to partner up with Universal Home Entertainment again and have been given a blu-ray combo to review and a 47 Ronin iTunes Digital HD code for our readers.





**Tickets to This Is Our Youth ($20 – $82) go on sale to the public on Friday April 25 at 11amand can be purchased online at or through Audience Services (1650 N Halsted St) at 312-335-1650.**

Steppenwolf Theatre Company is pleased to announce the addition of This Is Our Youth by Kenneth Lonergan to this summer’s line-up. Directed by ensemble member Anna D. Shapiro, the production features Michael Cera (Arrested Development, Juno), Kieran Culkin (Igby Goes Down, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World) and Tavi Gevinson (Enough Said) in the Upstairs Theatre (1650 N Halsted St), June 10 – July 27, 2014. Tickets ($20 - $82) go on sale to the public on Friday April 25 at 11am, and can be purchased online at or through Audience Services (1650 N Halsted St) at 312-335-1650.

The Steppenwolf Theatre Company production of This Is Our Youth will be produced on Broadway by Scott Rudin, with performances beginning Monday August 18 at the Cort Theatre, and an opening night scheduled for Thursday, September 11th.

Set in New York in 1982, This Is Our Youth follows forty-eight hours in the lives of three very lost young souls: Warren, a dejected nineteen year old who has just stolen $15,000 from his abusive, tycoon father; Dennis, his charismatic drug-dealing friend who helps Warren put the stolen money to good use; and Jessica, the anxiously insightful young woman who Warren yearns for. Funny, painful and compassionate, This Is Our Youth is a living snapshot of the moment when many young people go out into the world on their own, armed only with the ideas and techniques they developed as teenagersfar more sophisticated than their parents realize, and far less effectual than they themselves can possibly imagine. 

Artistic Director Martha Lavey vividly remembers the first time she saw This Is Our Youth in New York. “The play speaks so eloquently of its time,” Lavey notes, “that moment when the children of the ‘60s were parents themselves and had landed in Reagan’s America, and of a time in one's lifethat confusing period of early adulthood before one has made a mark in the world. Kenny Lonergan has captured, with great wit and pathos both the timeless generational struggle and a moment in our country’s history that continues to affect our sense of who we are.”

Anna D. Shapiro is currently directing Of Mice and Men, (opening April 16, 2014) at Broadway’s Longacre Theatre. She was nominated for a 2011 Tony Award® for her production of Stephen Adly Guirgis’ award-winning play, The Motherf**ker with the Hat, and was awarded the 2008 Tony®, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Direction of a Play for her production of Tracy Letts’ August: Osage County. Anna has been a Steppenwolf Ensemble member since 2005. Her Steppenwolf directing credits include A Parallelogram and Tracy Letts’ adaptation of The Three Sisters, among others. Other recent directing credits include Domesticated (Lincoln Center Theatre), A Parallelogram (Mark Taper Forum), A Number (American Conservatory Theatre) and The Drawer Boy (Paper Mill Playhouse). Shapiro is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama and Columbia College. She is a full-time professor in Northwestern University's Department of Theatre and has served as the Director of the Graduate MFA Directing Program since 2002.

Kenneth Lonergan’s plays include The Starry Messenger, Lobby Hero (Drama Desk Best Play Nominee), and The Waverly Gallery (2001 Pulitzer Prize finalist). Lonergan has also garnered critical acclaim for his screenplays, including Gangs of New York (2002 Academy Award Nominee for Best Original Screenplay), You Can Count on  Me (2001 Academy Award Nominee for Best Original Screenplay) and Analyze This.

Pre-sale tickets are currently available to 2014/15 season Subscribers. Call Audience Services at 312-335-1650 for more information. 20 for $20: twenty $20 tickets are available through Audience Services beginning at 11am on the day of each performance (1pm for Sunday performances). Rush Tickets: half-price rush tickets are available one hour before each, show pending availability. Student Discounts: a limited number of $15 student tickets are available online. Limit 2 tickets per student; must present a valid student ID for each ticket. For additional student discounts, visit Group Tickets: all groups of 10 or more receive a discounted rate for any performance throughout the season. For additional information, visit

Accessible performances include a touch tour and audio description on July 26 at 3pm; closed captioning on July 19 at 3pm; and American Sign Language interpretation on July 18 at 7:30pm. For more information, visit

Steppenwolf Theatre Company is America’s longest standing, most distinguished ensemble theater, producing nearly 700 performances and events annually in its three Chicago theater spaces—the 515-seat Downstairs Theatre, the 299-seat Upstairs Theatre and the 80-seat Garage Theatre. Formed in 1976 by a collective of actors, Steppenwolf has grown into an ensemble of 43 actors, writers and directors. Artistic programming at Steppenwolf includes a five-play Subscription Season, a two-play Steppenwolf for Young Adults season and two repertory series: First Look Repertory of New Work, and Garage Rep. While firmly grounded in the Chicago community, nearly 40 original Steppenwolf productions have enjoyed success both nationally and internationally, including Off-Broadway, Broadway, London, Sydney and Dublin. Steppenwolf has the distinction of being the only theater to receive the National Medal of Arts, in addition to numerous other prestigious honors including an Illinois Arts Legend Award and 12 Tony Awards. Martha Lavey is the Artistic Director and David Hawkanson is the Executive Director. Nora Daley is Chair of Steppenwolf’s Board of Trustees. For additional information, visit, and

Currently on stage are The Way West by Mona Mansour, directed by ensemble member Amy Morton (through June 8, 2014) in the Downstairs Theatre; Russian Transport by Erika Sheffer, directed by ensemble member Yasen Peyankov (through May 11, 2014) in the Upstairs Theatre; and Garage Rep 2014, featuring The New Colony’s reWILDing Genius, Prologue Theatre Company’s Saturday Night/Sunday Morning and Walkabout Theater Company’s The Wild (through April 20, 2014) in the Garage Theatre.

The 2014/15 Subscription Season includes The Night Alive by Conor McPherson, directed by Henry Wishcamper (September 18 – November 16, 2014) in the Downstairs Theatre; Airline Highway by Lisa D’Amour, directed by Joe Mantello (December 4, 2014 – February 8, 2015) in the Downstairs Theatre; Marie Antoinette by David Adjmi, directed by Robert O’Hara (February 5 – May 10, 2015) in the Upstairs Theatre; and The Herd by Rory Kinnear, directed by ensemble member K. Todd Freeman (April 2 – June 7, 2015) in the Downstairs Theatre. One remaining title will be announced at a later date.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

HOZAC BLACKOUT FEST! 3 Day Passes Sold Out/ Single Day Available

Chi, IL Live Shows on Our Radar:

We've got UNBELIEVABLE headliners at this year's HoZac Blackout Fest! This will be THE BOYS (UK) first show in America in over six years and only their fourth ever US gig! Legendary protopunk band THE DICTATORS NYC are hitting the Bottle for the first time since the year 2000 and their debut album, Go Girl Crazy!, was recently named #1 in Uncut Magazine’s  “50 Greatest American Punk Albums!” Thursday's Art Show headliner, COUNTER INTUITS, features Columbus, OH punk hero RON HOUSE, formerly of THOMAS JEFFERSON SLAVE APARTMENTS, and ADAM ELLIOTT of TIMES NEW VIKING.
Also playing this year's fest is FIRST BASE (Toronto, HoZac), SHOCKED MINDS (ex-CARBONAS, NYC, HoZac), 999999999 (ex-TUNNEL OF LOVE, MA, HoZac), A GIANT DOG (members of OBN III's/Bad Sports, TX), NONES (debut LP release show on HoZac), TOUPEE (Rotted Tooth, Chicago), THE MAN (debut EP release show, HoZac), and RAINBOW GUN SHOW (Chicago, HoZac).

Three Day Passes are already SOLD OUT, but you can still get individual show tickets RIGHT HERE!


Save the Dates:

The Cult Hit and Critics’ Darling Returns to Chicago Featuring the Original Off-Broadway Cast

The hilarious send-up of 1950s cold war repression and kitsch culture, “5 Lesbians Eating Quiche” was an original critically-acclaimed creation by The New Colony.  This remount featuring the original off-Broadway cast is presented by the Chicago Commercial Collective, running May 1 to June 8 at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division Street.  Tickets ($15 - $40) are on sale now.  The press performance will be Tuesday, May 6, at 7:30 p.m.

5 Lesbians Eating Quiche,” co-written by Andrew Hobgood and Evan Linder and directed by Sarah Gitenstein, finds five women assembled in a church basement (along with the audience) for the 1956 annual meeting of the Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein’s annual quiche breakfast.  The normally idyllic gathering, where the motto is “no men, no meat, all manners,” is upended when the Society’s matriarchs must confront the startling revelation that an atom bomb may be falling on their fair city.   As fears are confronted and confessions fly, the chipper ladies stay firm in their commitment that the quiche is a mighty thing and that one must “respect the egg.”

Following the upward trajectory from its debut as a short play presented at Collaboraction’s Sketchbook Festival in 2010 to a full production during The New Colony’s 2011 season, “5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche” enjoyed a meteoric rise with audiences and critics.  Reviewing for the Chicago Tribune, Kerry Reid said, "The New Colony's show dishes up high-spirited theatrical comfort food with a bit of a saucy kick."  After wowing Chicago where Time Out Chicago called it “smart, sharp and hysterically funny,” the comedy went on to play a sold-out engagement at the 2012 New York International Fringe Festival, winning a “Best Overall Production” award.  This was soon followed by a successful off-Broadway run at New York’s SoHo Playhouse.  The New York Times said the work’s “raw and magnetic dementia seems destined to attract a cult following.”

“Giving new attention and life to successful productions like ‘5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche’ is what the Chicago Commercial Collective is all about,” said Collective Producer Brian Loevner.  “The show had an incredible following here and then brought Chicago’s raucous take-no-prisoners brand of live theater to New York.  We look forward to bring a great cast to Chicago so that an even larger audience can enjoy this wonderful show.”

The titular “5 Lesbians” are played by Caitlin Chuckta (Ginny), Rachel Farmer (Lulie), Kate Carson Groner (Dale), Megan Johns (Wren) and Thea Luxe (Vern).

Performance Schedule and Ticket Information
“5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche” will be performed at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division Street, Chicago.  Previews run May 1 at 7:30 p.m, May 2 at 7:30 p.m., May 3 at 7:30 p.m. and May 4 at 2 p.m.  Following the opening night performance on Tuesday, May 6, at 7:30 p.m., shows will run May 8 – June 8 on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Ticket prices range from $15 - $40, with 15 for $15 rush tickets available for each performance and 20% off for groups of 10 or more.  They are on sale now at or 773.404.7336 (open 12 noon to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays through Saturdays and 12 noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays).

About Playwrights Andrew Hobgood and Evan Linder
Andrew Hobgood is the founding artistic director of The New Colony where his work includes writing and directing the new musicals “Tupperware: An American Musical Fable,” “That Sordid Little Story,” and “Rise of The Numberless.”  His directing credits include “Amelia Earhart: Jungle Princess;” the original and commercial productions of “FRAT;” “Hearts Full of Blood,” which won Outstanding Script at the 2010 New York International Fringe Festival, and “B-Side Studio,” a four-episode sitcom produced in collaboration with The Inconvenience and the University of Chicago TAPS program.  His most recent play “reWILDing Genius” was commissioned by the University of Chicago and made its world premiere as part of the 2014 Steppenwolf Garage Rep Series.

Evan Linder is a founding member and co-artistic director of The New Colony. A playwright and actor, Linder teaches playwriting at the University of Chicago and has had the pleasure of working with Victory Gardens, The Inconvenience, Collaboraction, Bailiwick Chicago, the side project and Bohemian Theater Ensemble since moving to Chicago. Other works include “FRAT,” “11:11,” “The Warriors,” “The Bear Suit of Happiness” and “B-Side Studio.” He was recently listed in Chicago Magazine’s 2013 Power List of Theater Scene-Stealers.

About Director Sarah Gitenstein
Sarah Gitenstein is the associate artistic director at The New Colony and company member at Collaboraction Theater. She is a native of Washington, DC, and a Cum Laude graduate of Kenyon College with a degree in theater. She is the former casting director at Collaboraction where she worked on “The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow,” “Jon” and the Sketchbook Festival.  Gitenstein has directed for various theaters in Chicago, including Curious Theater, American Theater Company (Big Shoulder's Festival), The Mammals, Pavement Group (Amuse Bouche), and Victory Gardens Theater (One Minute Play Festival). Gitenstein directed the Off-Broadway and national tour of “5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche,” and most recently she directed the Jeff Recommended production of The New Colony's “Kate and Sam Are Not Breaking Up.”

About the Chicago Commercial Collective
The Chicago Commercial Collective is a commercial theater company focused on producing Chicago theater of incredible quality and commercial appeal, thereby helping Chicagoans discover the finest of their city’s vibrant theater scene and worthy Off-Loop productions find larger commercial success.   Recent projects include the successful commercial remount last fall of TimeLine Theatre Company’s “To Master the Art” at Chicago’s Broadway Playhouse. The Collective is also presenting The Off-Loop Tour, which will export some of the best of Chicago theater throughout the Midwest in 2014-15. Productions on the tour include “there is a happiness that morning is” by Mickle Maher (originally produced by Theater Oobleck), “A Steady Rain” by Keith Huff (originally produced by Chicago Dramatists), “Unveiled” by Rohina Malik, “Honeybuns” by Dean Evans and “Crime Scene: A Chicago Anthology” by Anthony Moseley (both originally produced by Collaboraction).

The Collective’s goal is to support a thriving small and mid-sized commercial theater scene. The Collective focuses on producing theater with proven popularity and builds upon the interest already generated during their original production runs. For investors, the Collective provides opportunities to partner on exciting projects with reasonable financial returns on their investments, while non-profit theater companies enjoy the benefits from their original successful productions that, due to scheduling issues or theater availability, may end before they have reached the audiences they deserve. Further, artists who question if Chicago’s theater job market can provide stability and fair wages can rely on the Collective to transform the local industry with the development of mid-sized commercial theater and consistent employment opportunities.

The Chicago Commercial Collective is also presenting The Inconvenience’s “Hit the Wall” at the Greenhouse Theater, 2257 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, April 22 to June 29. Tickets ($20 -$55) are on sale now at, 773.404.7336 or the Greenhouse Theater Box Office (open 12 noon to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays through Saturdays and 12 noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays).

Chicago Commercial Collective is located in the historic Fine Arts Building, 410 S. Michigan Ave, Suite 525, Chicago, IL  60605. For more information call (312) 724-7604 or visit

About The New Colony
The New Colony, the 2011 recipient of the Broadway In Chicago Emerging Theater Award, strives to contribute original material to the American artistic canon and develop a new kind of theater going audience. Through collaboration with emerging artists of all disciplines, The New Colony continually develops new work and fresh perspectives. With the goal of exploring enticing subject matter and the common language of experience, The New Colony will cultivate the next generation of arts supporters.  More information at

ACT OUT EXTENDED: The Sound of Music at Lyric Opera

Four additional weekend performances announced for
Lyric Opera of Chicago’s
new production of the beloved Broadway musical

Tickets are selling FAST, so get yours in advance! New extension dates announced. Don't miss this grand-scale Lyric production.  ChiIL Mama will be there... will YOU?!

Performances added on May 23, 24, and 25 for

Memorial Day Weekend

All-star cast includes
Film star Billy Zane as Captain von Trapp
Broadway star Jenn Gambatese as Maria
TV/Stage veteran Edward Hibbert as Max Detweiler
with international opera stars
Christine Brewer as Mother Abbess and
Elizabeth Futral as Elsa Schraeder

Lyric Opera of Chicago General Director Anthony Freud announced today four additional performances due to popular demand for Lyric Opera of Chicago’s new production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's beloved Broadway musical The Sound of Music, April 25-May 25, 2014, at the Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Drive. Additional performance dates are Friday, May 23 at 7 p.m., Saturday, May 24 at 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Sunday, May 25 at 1:30 p.m. Tickets start at $29 and are available now at or at 312-827-5600.

The production’s all-star cast is led by Billy Zane, star of James Cameron’s international blockbuster Titanic and critically acclaimed for his portrayal of Billy Flynn in Broadway’s Chicago, as Captain von Trapp and Broadway star Jenn Gambatese as Maria. Also featured are Broadway and TV star Edward Hibbert as impresario Max Detweiler, renowned operatic sopranos Christine Brewer as the Mother Abbess and Elizabeth Futral as Elsa Schraeder, and local talents Betsy Farrar (Liesl), Brady Tutton, (Friedrich), Julia Schweizer (Louisa), Michael Harp (Kurt), Isabelle Roberts (Brigitta), KyLee Hennes (Marta), Nicole Sciemeca (Gretl), and Zach Sorrow (Rolf).

The new production will be conducted by Rob Fisher (Lyric debut), directed by Marc Bruni (Lyric debut), designed by Michael Yeargan, choreographed by Denis Jones (Lyric debut), with lighting by Duane Schuler and costumes by Alejo Vietti (Lyric debut). Michael Black is chorus master.

In addition to the stellar cast, 37 members of the Lyric Opera Orchestra will perform with a 25-member choral ensemble (including 12 members of the Lyric Opera Chorus). This company premiere is the second work in Lyric’s American Musical Theater Initiative, which launched last season with a new production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!

The new Lyric Opera production of The Sound of Music is generously made possible by Exclusive Corporate Sponsor Northern Trust. Cosponsors: An Anonymous Donor, Brent and Catherine Gledhill, Robert S. and Susan E. Morrison, Mrs. Herbert A. Vance and Mr. and Mrs. William C. Vance, Mr. and Mrs. W. James Farrell, Jim and Vicki Mills/Jon and Lois Mills, and The Neundorf Trusts in Memory of Maynette V. Neundorf and John K. Neundorf.

For more information on the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music, please visit