Friday, March 29, 2013

Badfish Engagement on Stage at Cubby Bear #originalHDvideo

Romance is alive and well.   Check out this rockin' surprise wedding proposal ON STAGE the last time Badfish played Chi-town!!   Luckily Vanessa said yes.   Are you a bad fish too?   Come on out and rock out this Saturday at The House of Blues.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

INCOMING: Badfish at HOB THIS Saturday 3/30 #originalphotos

Photo credit:  Bonnie Kenaz-Mara for ChiIL Live    Badfish Cubby Bear, Chicago 11-16-2012

We've been promoting this show for months, but if you still haven't gotten your tickets for this Sat, what are you waiting for?!   Go already.   These boys put on a smokin' live show.   Doors 7/ Show 8pm 17+/ Shrub & Makeshift open.

Badfish - A Tribute to Sublime

, ChicagoIL

SatMar 30, 2013 07:00 PM
Details: Badfish - A Tribute To SublimeMakeshiftShrub
Please Note: Performance begins at 8PM.This show is for AGES 17 AND OLDER.

Dig Sublime?   Come on out and see Badfish rock all your fav Sublime tunes this Saturday at House of Blues.   Highly recommended.   We've shot them at House of Blues before and a few months back at Cubby Bear as well, where we even caught an on stage marriage proposal!!   



Click here for Tickets and full show details.

Check back with ChiIL Live Shows like we vote in Chi, IL...early and often.   We'll have original footage of Badfish LIVE in concert leading up to their Sat show.

Click here for ChiIL Live Shows' past reviews and pit photos from Badfish, Scotty Don't, and Midwest Hype at House of Blues 2/4/12.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

ACT OUT EXTENDED: Writers’ Theatre adds two weeks to its hit production of Sweet Charity

Book by Neil Simon
With music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by Dorothy Fields
Musical direction by Doug Peck
Choreography by Jessica Redish
Directed by Artistic Director Michael Halberstam

Now playing through April 14, 2013

Writers’ Theatre Executive Director Kathryn M. Lipuma and Artistic Director Michael Halberstam announce the two-week extension of Writers’ Theatre production of Sweet Charity, book by Neil Simon with music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by Dorothy Fields, directed by Artistic Director Michael Halberstam with musical direction by Doug Peck and choreography by Jessica Redish. The production now runs through April 14, 2013, at Writers’ Theatre, 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe, IL.

How many times can a girl make the same mistakes? Charity Valentine’s problems aren’t unique—a dead end job, a string of dates with identically flawed men and a knack for making the wrong choices. Of course, in her case the job is as a dance hall “hostess” and her dates all seem to end with her being pushed into the lake— but that won’t shake her belief that great things lie just ahead. And perhaps they do…

Artistic Director Michael Halberstam gives Charity reasons to sing and dance on the gritty streets of New York, and Musical Director Doug Peck re-imagines the score for a live jazz combo.

The cast includes: Tiffany Topol (Charity), Jarrod Zimmerman (Oscar/Ensemble), JeffParker (Vittorio/Ensemble), Ericka Mac (Helene/Ensemble), Karen Burthwright (Nickie/Ensemble), James Earl Jones II (Daddy Brubeck/Herman/Ensemble), Katie Spelman (Rosie/Ensemble), Emily Ariel Rogers (Ursula/Ensemble), Adam Estes (Ensemble), Travis Porchia (Ensemble) and Liam Quealy (Ensemble).

The creative team includes: Collette Pollard (Scenic Designer), David Hyman (Costume Designer), John Culbert (Lighting Designer), Joshua Horvath (Sound Designer), Nick Heggestad, (Properties Designer), Eva Breneman (Dialect Coach), Tom Vendafreddo (Piano/Conductor), David Castellanos (Production Stage Manager) and Michael Holtzman, (Assistant Director).

Performances began January 22, 2013.  The production is now running through April 14, 2013.  Curtain times are Tuesdays at 7:30pm; Wednesdays at 2:00pm (March 6, March 20 and March 27); and 7:30pm (except March 6); Thursdays and Fridays at 8:00pm; Saturdays at 4:00pm and 8:00 pm; Sundays at 2:00pm and 6:00pm (no 6:00pm show March 24 or March 31).  Tickets are $35-$75 and are available at the Box Office, 376 Park Avenue, Glencoe; 847-242-6000 or online at

Writers’ Theatre is thrilled to announce the expansion of their post-show discussions. Throughout the season they will be offering post-show discussions on select Wednesday evenings following the performance in our Tudor Court space. In the Books on Vernon space they will be offering post-show discussions every other Wednesday evening.
Post-show discussions provide a forum for audience members to ask questions of the artists in the production and gain new insight into the work.
Post-show discussions for Sweet Charity are every Wednesday evening following the performance, excluding extension dates.
Visit for more information.

Follow Writers' Theatre on Twitter ( and by 3:00pm, when available, Writers' will Tweet a code that can be used to purchase remaining seats for that day’s performance at a discount. When available, Tweet Seats may be purchased only through the Writers' Theatre website at  

Writers' Theatre is pleased to welcome back BMO Harris Bank as Season Sponsor of its 2012/13 Season.

Northern Trust joins as the Corporate Sponsor Partner of Sweet Charity

Writers' Theatre welcomes back Winnetka’s award-winning Restaurant Michael as Restaurant Partner and Event Sponsor. Writers' Theatre patrons receive 10% off their guest check when they present their ticket stub when ordering. Just 10 minutes from the theater at 64 Green Bay Road, Restaurant Michael is the perfect fit for any dining occasion. Call 847-441-3100 to make your reservation.

For more information about Writers' 2012/13 Season Restaurant Partners and offer restrictions visit

Over the past twenty seasons, Writers' Theatre has become a major Chicagoland cultural destination with a national reputation for excellence. Under the artistic leadership of Michael Halberstam and the executive leadership of Kathryn M. Lipuma, Writers’ Theatre has been deemed the “best drama company in the nation” by the Wall Street Journal and achieved twenty years of surplus operations. The company, which plays to a sold-out and discerning audience of 35,000 patrons each season, has garnered critical praise for the consistent high quality and intimacy of its artistry. Prized for the finest interpretations of classic and contemporary theatre in its two intensely intimate venues, Writers’ Theatre’s acclaimed work includes Artistic Director Michael Halberstam’s world premiere in Glencoe and subsequent production of A Minister’s Wife at Lincoln Center Theater; David Cromer’s productions of A Streetcar Named Desire and Picnic; and the commissioning, world premiere and New York premiere of Crime and Punishment, which has received more than 30 subsequent regional theater productions.
In July, 2011, Writers’ Theatre announced the hiring of the award-winning, internationally renowned Studio Gang Architects, led by principle Jeanne Gang, FAIA to design a new home for the Theatre in downtown Glencoe which will once again allow the Theatre to grow to accommodate its audience, while maintaining its trademark intimacy. The new facility will resonate with and complement the Theatre’s neighboring Glencoe community and will add tremendous value to Chicagoland and the North Shore as a premier cultural destination.
You can find Writers’ Theatre on Facebook or follow Writers' Theatre on Twitter at For more information, visit

Title:                             Sweet Charity
Book by:                      Neil Simon
Music by:                      Cy Coleman
Lyrics by:                      Dorothy Fields
Based on the Film by:   Federico Fellini, Tullio Pinelli and Ennio Flaiano
Produced for the
Broadway Stage by:      Fryer, Carr and Harris
Conceived, Staged
and Choreographed by: Bob Fosse

Creative Team:             Michael Halberstam, Director
                                    Doug Peck, Music Director
Jessica Redish, Choreographer
                                    Tom Vendafreddo, Piano/Conductor
                                    Collette Pollard, Scenic Designer
David Hyman, Costume Designer
John Culbert, Lighting Designer
Joshua Horvath, Sound Designer
Nick Heggestad, Properties Designer
Eva Breneman, Dialect Coach
David Castellanos, Production Stage Manager
Michael Holtzman, Assistant Director

                                                Dates:              First performance: January 22, 2013
                                                Closing performance: April 14, 2013
            Schedule:         Tuesdays: 7:30pm
                                    Wednesdays: 7:30pm (additional 2:00pm matinee March 6,
                                    March 20 and March 27; no 7:30pm show March 6)
            Thursdays & Fridays: 8:00pm
                                                Saturdays: 4:00pm and 8:00pm
            Sundays: 2:00pm and 6:00pm (no 6pm show March 24 and March 31)
                        Location:          Writers’ Theatre, 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe
                        Prices:              Prices for all performances range from $35 - $75
                                                Purchase early for best prices   
Box Office:       The Box Office is located at 376 Park Avenue, Glencoe;

Notes of Interest:

  • Writers’ Theatre has produced its fifth musical with Sweet Charity. Previously, the company produced A Minister’s Wife, which Michael Halberstam later directed at Lincoln Center Theatre; She Loves Me, featuring Jessie Mueller; A Little Night Music and Oh Coward! 
  • With the exception of Adam Estes, who worked with Writers’ on A Minister’s Wife, the cast is new to Writers’ Theatre.  Writers’ is thrilled to have an opportunity to work with these talented artists for the first time.
  • Sweet Charity, based on Federico Fellini’s 1957 Italian romantic drama film Nights of Cabiria, premiered on Broadway in 1966, where it was nominated for 12 Tony Awards. The continuing popularity of the musical inspired Broadway revivals in both 1986 (when it won 4 out of the 5 Tony Awards it was nominated for) and 2005 (nominated for three Tony Awards).
  • The American film adaptation premiered in 1969 with Shirley MacLaine as Charity and John McMartin recreating his Broadway role as Oscar Lindquist. Bob Fosse directed and choreographed this film.

ACT OUT: Northlight Theatre announces the first selections of its 2013-14 season

 Northlight Theatre announces the first selections of its 2013-14 season

including a World Premiere by Christian O’Reilly, featuring John Mahoney,
Amy Herzog’s 4000 Miles and
Neil Simon’s Pulitzer Prize winner Lost in Yonkers

Northlight Theatre, under the direction of Artistic Director BJ Jones and Executive Director Timothy J. Evans, announces three of the five productions of the 2013-14 season: Amy Herzog’s award-winning play 4000 Miles; the World Premiere of Christian O’Reilly’s Chapatti, featuring John Mahoney; and Neil Simon’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Lost in Yonkers. Two additional titles will be announced soon.

Northlight's connection to its audience is deep and powerful, and we hear, repeatedly, that one of the reasons for that strong relationship is the play choices,” says BJ Jones.  “Year after year our subscribers return to enjoy our work, joined by an increasing number of single ticket buyers from all over Chicagoland.  It is a season that examines intergenerational relationships with joy and keen insight, through fresh new work like 4000 Miles and Chapatti and classics like Lost in Yonkers.  And, of course, we are thrilled that our frequent collaborator John Mahoney joins us for the World Premiere of Chapatti.”

The 2012-13 season includes:
4000 Miles
by Amy Herzog
September 14 – October 20, 2013
At the end of an arduous cross-country bike trip, a rudderless 21 year-old seeks refuge in his elderly grandmother’s West Village apartment.  These two outsiders face ideological differences, but ultimately find their way together in “a beautifully rendered portrait” (The New York Times) of a cross-generational relationship.

4000 Miles was named Time Magazine's #1 Play of 2012; the winner of the Obie Award, Best New Play (2012) and received The New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award (2012).

The World Premiere of
by Christian O’Reilly
featuring John Mahoney
March 7 – April 13, 2014
Romance is a distant memory for two lonely animal-lovers living in Dublin.  When forlorn Dan and his dog Chapatti cross paths with amiable Betty and her nineteen cats, an unexpected spark begins a warm and gentle story about two people re-discovering the importance of human companionship. 

John Mahoney returns to Northlight for this World Premiere play by the acclaimed Irish playwright Christian O’Reilly.
Lost in Yonkers
by Neil Simon
May 2 – June 8, 2014
This nostalgic memory play takes us back to the summer of 1942 – WWII is on, and Eddie, flat broke, has no alternative but to leave his sons with their grandmother while he struggles to pay off his debts.  The boys are left to contend with an ill-tempered Grandma, the sweet but damaged Aunt Bella, and Uncle Louie, a small-time hoodlum in a strange new world called Yonkers.

Lost in Yonkers won the 1991 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play.

Curtain times are: Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m.; Wednesdays at 1:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.; Fridays at 8:00 p.m.; Saturdays at 2:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.; Sundays at 2:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Subscriptions to the 2013-14 Northlight Season are available through the box office, 9501 Skokie Boulevard in Skokie, by phone at 847.673.6300 or online at  Renewals are currently available.  New subscriptions will be available beginning in May 2013.  With its wide range of ticket prices, discounted subscription packages and complimentary parking, Northlight remains of one of the best theatrical values in Chicagoland. 

Subscriptions range in price from $105-$235.  A limited number of season subscriptions for the Opening Night performances (also includes a reception with the cast) are available for $300, subject to availability.  Northlight subscribers will have the first chance to purchase additional tickets before they go on sale to the general public. For more information, visit

Northlight Theatre aspires to promote change of perspective and encourage compassion by exploring the depth of our humanity across a bold spectrum of theatrical experiences, reflecting our community to the world and the world to our community.

Now in its 38th season, the organization has mounted nearly 200 productions, including over 40 world premieres.  Northlight has earned 151 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations and 28 Awards.  As one of the area’s premier theatre companies, Northlight is a regional magnet for critical and professional acclaim, as well as talent of the highest quality.

Northlight is supported in part by generous contributions from The Allyn Foundation; Arts Midwest; Blackman Kallick Bartelstein, LLP; BMO Harris Bank; Draft FCB; the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation; ComEd, An Exelon Company; Edgerton Foundation for New American Plays Award; Ernst & Young; Evanston Community Foundation; Gand Music & Sound; The Homestead Hotel; Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; The Irving Harris Foundation; The Joyce Foundation; Kirkland & Ellis Foundation; The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Madison Dearborn Partners; Melvoin Award for Playwriting; Modestus Bauer Foundation; North Shore Center for the Performing Arts Foundation; Nuveen Investments; The Offield Family Foundation; The Pauls Foundation; Pioneer Press; Quince at the Homestead; Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation; Room & Board; Sanborn Family Foundation; Shubert Foundation; Skokie Fine Arts Council; Sullivan Family Foundation; Target; and Tom Stringer Design Partners.

ACT OUT EXTENDED: Columbinus at ATC #review

Columbinus aims a lens at teen behavior, from normal angst and achievement to the murderous, real life rampage of a budding psychopath and his accomplice.



ChiIL Live shows caught opening night of Columbinus and highly recommend it.  This timely and timeless production is thought provoking and opens necessary dialogue about gun violence in our schools and our society.  Actual families of survivors of the Columbine massacre were there for the opening, insuring the actors made a tactful and truthful portrayal.   

We've seen a number of productions in this genre, regarding the twin towers tragedy and the beating death of a gay college student among others.  Unlike ad nauseum news reports and exposes, documentary tragedy theatre acts as a memorial, and art.   Mostly it makes people think instead of tuning out, because they've made a conscious choice to be there.

Columbinus is a tasteful and compelling must see.   The staging and acting combine into a powerful piece that will stay with you long after the  light come on.   Book your tickets now, before the final weeks of Columbinus sell out.


American Theater Company (ATC) announces new performance dates for its world premiere production of the revised version of columbinus, written by Stephen Karam and PJ Paparelli, with dramaturgy by Patricia Hersch, and conceived and directed by Artistic Director PJ Paparelli. The production is now extended through Sunday, April 7, 2013 at American Theater Company, 1909 W Byron St, Chicago, IL. columbinus has garnered rave critical reviews of its new third act, which premieres material devised from recent interviews with survivors of the Columbine High School Shootings, families of victims and residents of Littleton, Colorado. The new material includes never-before-released information on the shooters and their families and first-hand accounts of both the Columbine and Aurora shootings. 

Production photo credit:   Michael Brosilow 

Written by Stephen Karam and PJ Paparelli 
Directed by PJ Paparelli 
American Theater Company, 1909 W. Byron (map) 
thru March 10  |  tickets: $33-$43   |  more info 
Check for half-price tickets  

Tickets for the extension are now on sale through the box office, and 773.409.4125.

Littleton, Colorado. 1999.  Two teenagers devastate a community and shock the country when they walk into their suburban high school and kill twelve students and one teacher.  Based on interviews with teenagers across the country and survivors and community members in Littleton, this haunting drama takes a hard look at modern teenagers through the lens of the most infamous high school shooting in American history. 

ATC further announces that its musical production, a restored & revised Hair, will be moved from its current position to the spring 2014 spot.  The ambitious revival, to be directed by Paparelli, will now close out the Company’s 29th season. In its place, a revised remount of Stephen Karam’sSpeech & Debate will run from May 13 – June 10, 2013, also directed by PJ Paparelli.  Speech & Debate made its Chicago Premiere at ATC in 2008 to critical and popular success; the limited-engagement production will feature original cast member Sadieh Rifai reprising her original role, as well asWill Allen in his ATC debut. 

“We are so pleased to offer Chicagoans a longer run of columbinus.  When looking at a shorter extension and a compromised production of Hair, we decided it was so important to run columbinus as long as possible and allow audience to experience this revised version of Hair as author Jim Rado and I envision it,” says Artistic Director PJ Paparelli. “Audience members have asked me so many times if we were ever going to remount Speech & Debate, and I always have said no.  However, this unique situation allows us to bring this show back to Chicago with some script revisions and a new production design.  I’m thrilled that Stephen and I will be working together again on this wickedly funny play.”

Speech & Debate is a quick-witted and timely comedy that tells the story of three misfits who team up to expose their teacher's online secrets while forming their high school's first Speech and Debate club.  With a searing script by columbinus co-writer Stephen Karam, Artistic Director PJ Paparelli remounts this hysterical yet touching tale of three teens' quest for fame and free speech.

American Theater Company is an ensemble of artists committed to producing new and classic American stories that ask the question, “What does it mean to be an American?” We provide a truly intimate home for the community to experience meaningful stories.  We foster a nurturing environment for artists to take risks and create essential work. 

American Theater Company is supported by a CityArts Program 2 Grant and a Cultural Outreach Program Grant from the City of Chicago Office of Tourism & Culture, the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, Illinois Arts Council, Illinois Humanities Council, Polk Bros. Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, and Prince Charitable Trusts.

ACT OUT EXTENDED: Million Dollar Quartet extends through the end of its fifth year in Chicago #review #discount

Du-Jay (11) and Sagezilla (9) were elated to meet the Million Dollar Quartet cast back stage after the show.   The actors we're totally cool with the kids and asked them about the instruments they're starting to learn (drums & guitar respectively) and about their circus arts performing!  

New block of tickets on sale through September 1, 2013

ChiIL out with ChiIL Mama and Million Dollar Quartet.   They make our ChiIL Picks List for our favorite long running shows you can take you kids and/or your parents to.    This awesome rockin' ride of a show will be a nostalgia trip for your elders and another brick in the wall of your littles' rock education.    All ages will adore this bass climbin', piano poundin',  hip grindin', riff rockin', jam session of the greats.    I challenge you to keep your butts in the seats.   It's nearly impossible.   I bet you'll find yourself dancing and at the very least clapping and head boppin' along, if not belting out the lyrics right along with the band.

Du-Jay, Sagezilla and I caught Million Dollar Quartet and a meet n greet/ sneak peek back stage.   We all completely dug the show.   We went on Family Night and the kids got some seriously sweet FREE swag bags with a show CD, calendars, tattoos, fridge magnets, guitar picks, and more!    I'm sure the content varies monthly, but we were impressed.   And, as if that's not cool enough, on family nights, one child under 17 is admitted free with each adult ticket purchase.   So what are you waiting for?   Go already.

We didn't roll video on formal interviews, but we had a chance to casually chat with the cast back stage after the show, and they were all enthusiastic about their work.   It's an exceptionally talented cast, as the script requires musicians who can handle the acting elements of a long running stage show, or actors who are excellent enough musicians to cover the infamous greats with style.    All of the actors picked up instruments when they were young.   And Elvis (Brandon Bennett) was already making a living as an Elvis impersonator before he auditioned for and found a permanent gig with Million Dollar Quartet.

None of the actors have been there for the whole 5 year run.   I believe they said the longest hold out has been there over 3 years, though, which is entirely impressive in the theatre world!   There was an influx of newbies about a year ago, when some of the Chicago cast was tapped for the touring production.    They have an excellent rapport with each other and look like they're thoroughly enjoying themselves on stage.

I asked how they keep it fresh and new night after night.   Back in the day, my theatre friends in long running professional shows used regale me with stories on how they'd mess with each others' props/food/written note props etc. in an attempt to mix it up and see how far they could push it without someone breaking character.    This cast laughed at that and said they're not that evil to each other.   However, lots of improv dialogue goes on under the music and as the songs start and finish, so they said there's plenty of opportunity to verbally mess with each other and throw in new surprises nightly.

If you haven't made it out to see Million Dollar Quartet, we highly recommend it.   Sometimes it's easy to get lazy about long running shows, and put off going to see them for other short runs.  My advice....don't.   When you live in a vital and amazing theatre town like Chicago, the sheer number of excellent productions can be overwhelming.   But there's a reason Million Dollar Quartet has been running 5 years.   Don't miss this must see.

Million Dollar Quartet will offer special family discounts on select Sundays.  Family nights have extended through the summer of 2013, and are currently scheduled for April 14, May 19, June 23, July 28 and August 19 at 6:30 p.m. 
Tickets to Million Dollar Quartet Family Nights are buy one, get one free.  (One child under 17 will be admitted free with each adult ticket purchase.)  The evenings will feature giveaways with special gifts from Million Dollar Quartet.  Check for information about upcoming Family Nights.

Million Dollar Quartet is a 90-minute, family-friendly production.  Audience members of all ages are invited to laugh, clap—and even dance—during the show. 

For more show information, visit


Million Dollar Quartet, now in its fifth year in Chicago, continues performances through September 1, 2013 with cast membersBrandon Bennett (Elvis Presley), Shaun Whitley (Carl Perkins), Lance Lipinsky (Jerry Lee Lewis), Chris Damiano (Johnny Cash), Tim Decker(Sam Phillips), Whitney Kraus Jones (Dyanne), Marc Edelstein (Jay Perkins/Bass player) and Dan Leali (Fluke/Drummer). The Tony-nominated musical inspired by the famed 1956 recording session that brought together legendary rock ‘n’ roll icons Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley, celebrates its long run in Chicago, a multiple Tony-nominated New York run, a long-running London production, a newly-opened production in Las Vegas, and a national tour that kicked-off in October 2011. 

The Chicago production continues to break box office records at the Apollo Theater, 2540 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago.  Tickets are now on sale through September 1, 2013 at the Apollo box office, phone (773) 935-6100, and online through Ticketmaster,   For more information, visit

Million Dollar Quartet features a treasure trove of the greatest rock ’n’ roll, gospel, R&B and country hits from these music legends, including “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Fever,” “Sixteen Tons,” “Who Do You Love?,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Riders in the Sky,” “Whole Lotta’ Shakin’ Goin’ On,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “I Walk the Line,” and “Hound Dog.”  Million Dollar Quartet captures the infectious spirit, freewheeling excitement and thrilling sounds of a singular moment when four of the music industry’s most extraordinary talents, all in their creative prime, came together for one of the most memorable nights in music history. 

Directed by Eric Schaeffer and Floyd Mutrux, with a book by Colin Escott and Floyd MutruxMillion Dollar Quartet is produced by Relevant TheatricalsJohn Cossette Productions and Northern Lights Inc.

Million Dollar Quartet had its world premiere at Florida’s Seaside Music Theatre, and was subsequently staged at the Village Theatre in Washington, breaking box office records.  In Chicago, the production moved to the Apollo on November 5, 2008, following its sold-out, limited engagement at the Goodman’s Owen Theatre.  The Broadway production garnered three Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical and Best Featured Actor in a Musical, Levi Kreis; three Drama League Award nominations; and an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination.  Million Dollar Quartet is currently playing in New York at New World Stages, London at the Noel Coward Theatre and it recently began a national tour.

Million Dollar Quartet tickets are on sale through September 1, 2013.  Tickets to Million Dollar Quartet at the Apollo Theater are available through the Apollo Theater box office, 2540 N. Lincoln Ave, (773) 935-6100.  Tickets are available online through Ticketmaster, 

Tickets are $25-$85. (Standard ticketing fees apply.)
Rush student tickets for select performances (Wed-Fri and Sun evenings only) are available 2 hours prior to curtain at the box office with valid Student ID. Student rush tickets are subject to availability.

The Apollo performance schedule is as follows: Wednesdays at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.; Fridays at 8:00 p.m.; Saturdays at 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.; and Sundays at 3:30 and 6:30 p.m.   (Book your tickets early for the best seats.)

Producer Gigi Pritzker comments, “It’s a thrill to extend, once again, through the end of our fifth year in Chicago.  Since the beginning, Chicago has embraced Million Dollar Quartet and we are grateful for the continued and enthusiastic support of our home town audiences.  It’s been a hit in Chicago, New York, London, Japan, on the national tour, and is now open in Las Vegas, as well.  The show remains as fresh, energetic and engaging as always—partially due to the more than 20 rock ‘n’ roll hits in the show and the tremendous talent on stage.”


Brandon Bennett (Elvis Presley) a native of Ponchatoula, Louisiana, has performed with legendary stars like The Jordanaires, DJ Fontana and The Sweet Inspirations. Brandon has been honored with several international awards, including prestigious honors from Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.  He joins the cast of MDQ after performing for the past two years with the stage production The Elvis Story in Quebec, Canada.   Brandon recently appeared on Late Show with David Letterman.

Shaun Whitley (Carl Perkins) is a musician, actor, composer, and Jeff nominated music director. Some
Chicago credits include: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Flute/Thisbe) with Chicago Shakespeare Theater; PumpBoys and Dinettes (Jim) with Drury Lane Theater; Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (Tommy, u/s Buddy Holly) with Drury Lane Theater; Uncle Vanya (Telegin) with TUTA; and Cotton Patch Gospel (Bass/Mandolin) with Provision Theater. He studied acting at RADA in London.

Lance Lipinsky (Jerry Lee Lewis), a Texas native, grew up studying his dad’s record collection of Elvis, Roy Orbison, and his hero, Jerry Lee Lewis.  These influences never left him and now, at age 24, he combines these styles in his own original music similar to early Rock & Roll, classic Country and even a touch of 1960’s pop.  His energetic live shows have led him all over the world, even to making his national television debut at the original Ryman Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN.  

Chris Damiano (Johnny Cash) is an Atlanta native, whose Chicago credits include Sugar at Drury Lane Oakbrook, Theo Ubique’s productions of Evita(Che, Jeff Award Non-Equity) and Jacques Brel’s Lonesome Losers of the Night (Man 1, Jeff Award Non-Equity). Damiano played guitar for Lil’ Buds Children’s Theatre productions of Those Silly Reindeer and Still Life with Iris. He currently plays with the bluegrass band Groundspeed and with the Italian folk/jazz group I Monelli monelli.

Tim Decker (Sam Phillips), a longtime Chicago actor, has appeared at Chicago Shakespeare, Goodman, Next, Milwaukee Rep, Touchstone, Shattered Globe, Stage Left, Famous Door, American Theatre Company, and American Blues (where he received a Principal Actor Jeff Award for his work in Toys in the Attic), among others.

Whitney Kraus Jones (Dyanne) is making her Chicago debut in Million Dollar Quartet. Jones recently graduated from Ball State University and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Past credits include Syncope (Short Film), Brighton Beach Memoirs, Beauty and the Beast, Dancing at Lughnasa, and Godspell.

Dan Leali (Fluke, Drummer) a native of the Chicago area, has performed with jazz trumpeter Randy Brecker; songwriters Jewel, Liz Phair, Peter Himmelman and Robbie Fulks; Poi Dog Pondering; Fareed Haque; bluesman John Primer; and Liquid Soul. He has performed on television and radio jingles, as well as arcade and video game soundtracks, and maintains a private teaching practice. Dan is also a founding member of the band Tributosaurus.

Marc Edelestein (Jay Perkins, Bassist) Devoted to American roots music, Marc has avidly promoted and
performed internationally in rockabilly, bluegrass, country, and folk projects. Performances include altcountry’s Robby Fulks Band; 7 years with Special Consensus Bluegrass Band; musical revue Women In My Life with singer-songwriters Bob Gibson and Michael Smith; Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s country & western auxiliary CSOakies; and numerous recordings. Marc made his theatrical debut as string bassist and vocalist in the Jeff Award winning Woody Guthrie’s American Song (Northlight, Briar Street Theater), and performed in Shakespeare’s As You Like It (Goodman Theater).

On December 4, 1956, an auspicious twist of fate brought Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley together. The place was Sun Records’ storefront studio in Memphis.  The man who made it happen was Sam Phillips, the “Father of Rock ’n’ Roll,” who discovered them all. The four legends-to-be united for the only time in their careers for an impromptu recording that has come to be known as one of the greatest rock jam sessions of all time. 

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Director Eric Schaeffer is the acclaimed co-founder and artistic director of the Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA, where his work has been honored with numerous Helen Hayes Awards including Outstanding Direction.  He directed Putting it Together and Glory Days on Broadway, the first national tour of big, The Musical, and the West End debut of The Witches of Eastwick.  He also served as artistic director for the Kennedy Center’s recent Sondheim Celebration.

Floyd Mutrux is also the co-author of the book to Million Dollar Quartet, sharing writing credits with noted Grammy® Award-winning author and music historian Colin Escott.  Mutrux has written, directed or produced numerous films, including the classic biopic of early rock ’n’ roll American Hot Wax, Dick Tracy and Mulholland Falls.  Escott, the author of numerous books including Good Rockin’ Tonight – Sun Records and the Birth of Rock ’n’ Roll, was awarded a Grammy® for producing The Complete Hank Williams, and was nominated for a Grammy for producing B.B. King – King of the Blues.

Musical Director Chuck Mead, with multiple hit records, has stood at the forefront of the alternative country music explosion as founder and lead singer of BR549, the three-time Grammy® Award nominated country band.

Relevant Theatricals (Producer) is a commercial production company headed by Gigi Pritzker and Ted
Rawlins, dedicated to developing new work for the stage. Current projects include: Snapshots, a new musical with book by David Stern and music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, creator of WickedPippin and Godspell; and a new musical version of Dennis The Menace, scheduled to open in Seattle later this year.  Relevant’s sister company, Odd Lot Entertainment, develops and produces outstanding new film properties. Current productionsinclude the feature Rabbit Hole, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by David Lindsay-Abaire, starring Nicole Kidman and Dianne Wiest, and directed by John Cameron Mitchell.  Relevant Theatricals is proud to be part of the producing team that developed Million Dollar Quartet.

John Cossette Productions (Producer) was founded by John Cossette whose 30 year career in the music industry as an innovative producer of large scale events was legendary.  John produced the Grammy’s, the BET awards, the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta and a star-studded concert in Central Park.  He was deeply involved with MusiCares and the EJ Jackson Foundation which helps to feed the homeless in Los Angeles. Under the direction of Rita Cossette the company will continue to develop and produce music related entertainment.

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