Wednesday, February 27, 2013

REVIEW: Jack the Giant Slayer 3D #original photos #review

ChiILin' out with ChiIL Mama & Jack the Giant Slayer Giveaways at CircEsteem Circus Arts School Monday

We've been eagerly anticipating the press preview of Warner Brothers' latest, Jack the Giant Slayer 3D, and we finally got to see it last night!   It was truly epic and the whole family loved it.   This show combines all the elements of great cinema, action packed battles with mythical creatures, unique costumes, brave underdogs, evil underlings, visually stunning scenery, romance, and a princess who kicks butt instead of staying home and being prissy.    

Sagezilla, my 9 year old daughter, was so jazzed to have another strong, female role model instead of the comatose princesses of my childhood, sleeping their lives away, awaiting a kiss from a prince.   Isabelle is a rockin' role model who longs for adventure and sneaks out often incognito.  She's even got a cool mom who gets it, and encourages her to have adventures as a child, and see how the world works, so she can better govern later as a queen.

Sure, the whole premise of man eating giants descending on mankind is pretty intense, and if you have younger kids and you're in doubt, read up, check out on line previews and reviews or see it yourself first.  We've found some sensitive tweens have trouble with extreme action films and some younger kids are just fine.  Everyone knows their own children's limits best.  Jack the Giant Slayer is rated PG13, but we were confident our 9 & 11 year olds could handle it just fine.   Jack the Giant Slayer is no more creepy or scary than Harry Potter, Star Wars, or the Lord of the Rings films.

The kids were enthusiastic in their praise for the movie.   Sure, it's based on the classic Jack and the Beanstalk fairy tale and has other familiar elements.   My kids noted the "farm boy" and kids in bed hearing stories nod to Princess Bride, and the very gollum like mini head on the creepiest giant.   Yet, Jack the Giant Slayer is an entirely new tale as well, and one that's sure to become a family favorite for generations.

Sage looked at me with a huge grin as the movie ended and said "I may have nightmares for a month, but it was worth it!"  She slept just fine last night without a giant nightmare in site.  Jack the Giant Slayer is entertaining, enchanting and highly recommended.

Bean Stalk Scalers & CircEsteem Shows

WORLDS COLLIDE ALERT:  Two shows are opening in Chicago this Friday, that we're super stoked about, here at ChiIL Mama.... Jack the Giant Slayer 3D movie and CircEsteem's Performing Troupe Show, Circus Symphony, for two shows only.   

If a plague of giants descended on us, I'd want these super climbers on my side!   These confident kids don't flinch at heights, could scale a bean stalk with ease, and rock the aerial arts and acro...useful life skills whether you're battling oversized, man eating bullies or keeping fit and entertaining your friends.

We gave away 400 Jack the Giant Slayer 3D movie preview tickets to our readers and they were gone in a matter of hours.  When Warner Brothers offered us Jack the Giant Slayer show swag, too, we instantly thought of the CircEsteem circus stars.   Who better to show off the Next Big Thing T's than Chi-town's larger than life circus troupe?!    

One of the Circus Troupe kids is even named Jack!

These kids have some super sized skills and they're the most likely to actually be able to scale a bean stalk and take on a race of giants with panache. 

CircEsteem Proudly Presents

The CircEsteem Teen Ensemble!
Don't miss 'Circus Symphony'- the 4th annual youth created, directed, and produced circus show presented by the 'CircusTeens' of CircEsteem.

Circus Symphony is a fusion of circus arts and music that explores two seemingly separate worlds as one by combining the unique talents of the CircusTeen group.

CircEsteem's CircusTeen program engages young performers by offering participants  employment in the arts. CircEsteem hires the most talented and skilled teens to teach, perform, and mentor younger students and collectively have performed hundreds of shows around Chicago, the United States, and the Globe.

Showtimes are Friday March 1st and Saturday March 2nd at 7pm and tickets are sold on a sliding scale between $7 and $20.

For more info please visit our website!

2 Mar 2013 - 7:00 PM
4730 N Sheridan Road
Chicago, IL 60640

The troupe show is entirely written, produced and publicized by the kids themselves.   Come check 'em out.   We caught up with them at rehearsal Monday, and they were digging the Jack swag!

Sagezilla & other girls of action need great role models like Jack & the Giant Slayer's Princess Isabelle, who is not only pretty & passionate, but adventurous, active, brave, smart and kind, too. 

We adore mighty girls, and know they have a nurturing space at CircEsteem, where boys & girls from toddlers to teens can embrace their strength and climb, flip, roll, and fly.

We adore CircEsteem for their mission statement, too.   They're a non profit and keep classes sliding scale.  They also offer free tutoring, college scholarships, and work programs to keep circus arts accessible and affordable to all Chi-town's kids, which is a giant sized task, especially in tough economic times when corporate donations are down!   

The team kids encompass a huge variety of races, income levels, and areas of town, and form lasting friendships with kids they'd otherwise never cross paths with.   If you're in a position to support them by seeing their shows or kicking in some monetary support, we highly recommend it.

If you're looking for circus arts classes for kids or adults or a rockin' summer camp, check them out.   Our family has been personally involved with CircEsteem for close to 3 years and couldn't be happier with the experience.   Our kids have grown physically, mentally and emotionally, in stunning ways, all while laughing, playing, and having too much fun.  

Even my son who was firmly on the shy side, has become a seasoned, confident performer.   I've never seen him grin so much and have such a great time as he does at CircEsteem.

Coming THIS Friday.....March 1st!

Disclosure:   Thanks to Warner Brothers, Gofobo, and the Jack the Giant Slayer movie for tickets and goodies to review and give away to our readers.  You rock!   Check out the Jack and the Giant Slayer movie opening 3/1/13.  All opinions are our own.

Jack the Giant Slayer Fun At Beat Kitchen #originalphotos #review #gofobo #warnerbros

Jack the Giant Slayer fun at Beat Kitchen's Concerts for Kids last weekend With ChiIL Mama

Beat Kitchen is THE place to beat the winter blahs, beat drums, and as of last weekend... BEAT GIANTS!

We rocked the Jack goodies at two of the Beat Kitchen's Concerts for Kids where all ages were happily sporting "I'm a giant slayer stickers".   ChiIL Mama's proud to be the press sponsor for the kids' series again this year.  

Last weekend we were proud to present The Boogers, Ramones style punk for your punk kin, and Apples Peaches Lemonade, sweet songs for little folk, with kids in the band as well as the audience.   Here at ChiIL Mama we give away free family 4 packs of tickets to EVERY Beat Kitchen concert for kids, so enter weekly for your chance to win tickets to some rockin', live all ages shows.   Shows are every Sunday at noon and now we're adding some Saturdays at 3:30 as well!


Our Jack the Giant Slayer giveaway table was a huge hit there on Saturday and Sunday.  


People especially dug the eco-friendly bags, hats, tees, temp tattoos, screen cleaners, posters, book marks and even creative bean shaped ear buds (perfect for Jack The Giant Slayer apps and free video games on line here)!

The giants are coming...  Jack the Giant Slayer opens THIS Friday.....March 1st!

Disclosure:   Thanks to Warner Brothers, Gofobo, and the Jack the Giant Slayer movie for tickets and goodies to review and give away to our readers.  You rock!   Check out the Jack and the Giant Slayer movie opening 3/1/13.  All opinions are our own.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

SXSW Send Off For Chi-Town's Future Laureates at Quenchers 3/2

Chi, IL Live Shows on our radar:  Quenchers will be throwing a send-off party for The Future Laureates, who have two Red Gorilla fest shows in Austin, Texas during the week of SXSW! The evening will feature performances by The Future Laureates, The Big Deep, River Rising and Kate Quimby!

The Laureates are working on setting up a selection of Texas-style snacks and some drink specials.  The party starts at 8PM on Saturday, March 2.

Save the Date:

INCOMING: The Chris Greene Quartet at City Winery 3/10

Chris Greene Quartet

City Winery is a sweet place to see a show.  We've shot everything there from the lightning fast gypsy brass of Fanfare Ciocarlia, to PlayCHIC, the Chicago Toy and Game Fair's fashion show!

Long, communal tables and assigned seats pair you up with new friends, the sound is great, and the libations even better.  Check it out.     

Chi, IL Live Shows on Our Radar: 

Chris Greene Quartet

5:30 doors/ 7:30 start

1200 W Randolph St
Chicago , IL 60607


Chris Greene Quartet

When the Chris Greene Quartet takes the stage, jazz and rock audiences alike notice something different – something besides the fact that they’re seated next to each other. Jazz fans can’t help but sense the charisma and electricity, not always seen in a jazz band, that emanates from the quartet even during the saxophonist’s most committed solos. And fans accustomed to rock’s high energy and loose hi-jinks suddenly find themselves diving deeper into improvised music than they might have thought possible.

At a time when jazz continues to seek new audiences, CGQ sits poised on the future’s cusp. In much the way that classical composers have historically used native folk elements as the basis for their art, the CGQ uses familiar modern materials – the funk and hip-hop a a youth – as a bridge between jazz and other genres. It’s that ability to retain that tradition, expanding it at the same time, that makes the Chris Greene Quartet something different on the modern jazz scene.

Chris Greene on saxophones, Damian Espinosa on piano, Marc Piane on bass, Steve Corley on drums.

Other City Winery Shows of Note:
Click links for details

February 27th 

Jayson (JC) Brooks, Andy Rosenstein, Ben Taylor of The Uptown Sound - Steely Dan wine pairing event - includes 5 wines or music only tickets

March 3rd 

Maxwell Street Klezmer Band Quartet - Kids Buffet & Music - 3/3

March 5th & 6th

March 11th

Circus Now! A Celebration of Contemporary Circus and The Ordinary Acrobat - 3/11


Think you know the circus? Think again. Whether it's your first time in a long time, you're a fan, or a successful circus professional, come out to celebrate the diversity & artistry of today's circus.

On Monday, March 11, 7pm with Book Cellar. Circus Now: an evening celebrating contemporary American circus and THE ORDINARY ACROBAT, hosted by Duncan Wall with presentations and performances from the circus community. Local support from Midnight Circus, Aloft Loft, Circesteem, Chicago Boyz Acrobatics Team, Trapeze Chicago, Aerial Dance Chicago, 500 Clown, and Mucca Pazza.

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