Tuesday, November 26, 2013

ACT OUT HOLIDAY: “A KLINGON CHRISTMAS CAROL” at The Raven 11/30-12/29 & ECC 12/7 Only

DEC. 7 AT 7:30 P.M.

Want a truly unique holiday treat?   How about dinner and a Klingon Christmas Carol?!

Commedia Beauegard brings their new production of “A Klingon Christmas Carol” written by Christopher Kidder-Mostrom and Sasha Walloch and translated into Klingon by Laura Thurston, Bill Hedrick, Chris Lipscombe, and Christopher Kidder-Mostrom, to the ECC Arts Center, on the Elgin Community College Campus, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin, for one performance only, Saturday, Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m. For more information visit  In addition to this special performance at the ECC Arts Center, “A Klingon Christmas Carol” runs Nov. 30-Dec.29 at The Raven Theatre. For more information visit

 “A Klingon Christmas Carol,” directed by Kidder-Mostrom, adapts Dickens’ classic tale of ghosts and redemption into a story of Klingon SQuja' (pronounced SKHOO-jah) overcoming cowardice to reclaim his honor. Performed in Klingon with English supertitles and a Vulcan narrator, Trekkies and non-Trekkies alike will love this inspired take on a holiday classic. “Those of you who can’t wait for ComiCon to break out that red shirt costume or your forehead ridges will undoubtedly find this a most honorable way to get into the holiday spirit…3 Stars,” says Chicago Theater Beat.

Kidder-Mostrom and Walloch’s “A Klingon Christmas Carol” was first performed in  St. Paul, Minn. in 2007.  2013 marks the 8th time that Commedia Beauregard has produced the play (four times in St. Paul, Minn.; four times in Chicago; 2010 had shows in both cities).  The exciting new 2013 production features a new multi-level set, new costumes that blend Victorian England with Klingon aesthetics and a 15-person cast with Elizabeth Richards as Narrator, Clark Bender as SQuja’ (Scrooge), Colin Fewell as QachIt (Bob Cratchit). For a complete list of the cast and design team, visit

The mission of Commedia Beauregard is “to translate the universal human experience to the stage: to expand our horizons and share knowledge of all cultures, translating between languages and between arts to create theater that is beautiful in expression.” Commedia Beauregard was founded 1999 in St. Paul, Minn., by Christopher Kidder-Mostrom (then, Christopher O. Kidder).Commedia Beauregard has been headquartered in Chicago since 2011 and recently became a resident company of the West Stage of the Raven Theatre Complex in Chicago.

Tickets for the ECC Arts Center Saturday, Dec. 7, 7:30 p.m. performance of “A Klingon Christmas Carol” are $32. A three-course, pre-show dinner prepared by ECC’s award-winning Culinary Arts and Hospitality program can be purchased online for an additional $29. The menu includes a Mixed Green Salad with Pickled Red Beets (inspired by the Klingon dish Gagh), Sliced Beef with Horseradish Sauce accompanied by Roasted Shallot and Garlic Shipped Potatoes (inspired by the Klingon dish Heart of Targ), and Cranberry Panna Cotta (inspired by a favorite Klingon beverage, Bloodwine).  Dinners are served at 5:30 p.m. in the Spartan Terrace Restaurant, located in the lobby of the ECC Arts Center. Dinners must be ordered on or before Monday, Dec. 2.

Tickets for the ECC Arts Center performance and pre-show dinner can be purchased online at or at the ECC box office located in the Arts Center. Box office hours are noon to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, noon to 5 p.m. Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday. To purchase tickets by phone, call 847-622-0300. All major credit cards are accepted.

In addition to this special performance at the ECC Arts Center, “A Klingon Christmas Carol” also runs Nov. 30-Dec.29 at The Raven Theatre, 6157 N Clark St. For tickets and more information, visit or call 773-338-2177.

The ECC Arts Center, located in Building H on the Elgin Community College Campus, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin, presents amazing artists in intimate theater settings. Delicious dinners prepared through a partnership with the ECC's award-winning culinary arts program often accompany events. Parking is plentiful and free.

For more information about the ECC Arts Center, visit or call 847-622-0300. The arts center also can be followed on Twitter at Become a fan of the arts center on Facebook at

INCOMING: King of Soul: Acoustic Otis Redding tribute at City Winery December 9th

King of Soul: Acoustic Otis Redding is a tribute that presents the Stax Records icon’s most memorable songs as performed by vocalist Gerald McClendon, guitarist Carlo Basile (Las Guitarras De Espana) and violinist Chihsuan Yang (Matt Santos’ band), alongside some of Chicago’s top players from the realms of soul and world music.   

Here at ChiIL Live Shows, City Winery is one of our favorite small, live music venues with plentiful seating and a stellar lineup crossing many genres of music.   Think date night, or a chance to meet new friends at the long, communal tables.

King of Soul - Acoustic Otis Redding AND Spanish Guitar Duo (featuring members of Las Guitarras de España) - 12/9

Wednesday, November 20, 2013




Othello: The Remix Featured at Sydney Festival January 2014

ChiIL out with Jeff Award winning Chi-town favorites, The Q Brothers!  They've infused Shakespeare and other classics with fresh new breath and engaged a younger audience with edgier productions, hip-hop and comedic genius.   We can't wait to see their take on A Christmas Carol!

Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) and hip-hop sensations the Q Brothers are back at it again turning up the volume with a fresh take on a beloved classic. The Q Brothers and CST Creative Producer Rick Boynton have come together to develop A Q Brothers’ Christmas Carol—a hip-hop reinterpretation of the perennial holiday favorite by Charles Dickens. Now, alongside Chicago theaters’ familiar renditions of this heartwarming tale, audiences will participate in the creation of an energized, reinvented tradition. Work-in-progress performances of A Q Brothers’ Christmas Carol will run in the theater Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare, November 30–December 22, 2013.

A Q Brothers’ Christmas Carol is being created between stops of the Q Brothers’ international whirlwind tour of the award-winning Othello: The Remix, which will travel to Australia in January to be featured in the line-up of the highly regarded Sydney Festival 2014. Premiering at Shakespeare’s Globe for the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad’s ‘Globe to Globe’ festival, Othello: The Remix has toured to festival venues around the world, playing to sold-out houses of multi-generational and culturally diverse audiences in Edinburgh, Germany, South Korea and London. Its extended five-month Chicago engagement broke records for Chicago Shakespeare’s longstanding CST for $20 program for patrons under 35 years of age. 

Written and performed by GQ, JQ, Jackson Doran and Postell Pringle, A Q Brothers’ Christmas Carol takes on the cherished holiday tale and wrestles it from its sacred roots with irreverence, an array of music styles, and a lot of heart. Just as hip-hop borrows from many genres, the story will be underscored with beats spun live by DJ Super Nova at the turntables, mashing up everything from reggae and dancehall music, to futuristic dubstep and epic rock ballads. Audiences will recognize familiar characters like Ebenezer Scrooge with his erotic passion for money, a Jamaican Jacob Marley, and the most pitiful Cratchit, Lil’ Tim. The time-traveling Ghosts take Scrooge on a voyage through the hip-hop ages–decade by decade from past to present to future–documenting the still-evolving musical art form. This new holiday treat will prove to be as cheeky, intelligent and street smart as audiences have come to expect from the Q Brothers.

A Q Brothers’ Christmas Carol design team includes Scenic and Costume Designer Scott Davis, Lighting Designer Jesse Klug and Wig and Make-up Designer Melissa Veal. Properties Master Amy Peter and Choreographer Anacron complete the creative team. Written by GQ, JQ, Jackson Doran and Postell Pringle and developed with Rick Boynton, A Q Brothers’ Christmas Carol is presented in association with Richard Jordan Productions Ltd.


November 30–December 22, 2013

Tuesdays–Fridays @ 7:30 p.m.

Saturdays @ 6:00 p.m. & 8:30 p.m.

   (on 11/30, 8:30 p.m. only)

Sundays @ 3:00 p.m.

Ticket Prices

Tickets on sale now for $20-$35

CST for $20 tickets for patrons under 35 years old.

All patrons receive a 40% discount on guaranteed parking in Navy Pier garages.
Recommended for audiences age 12 & up.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Box Office: 312.595.5600

Programming in the Carl and Marilynn Thoma Theater Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare

is made possible through generous support from Hyatt Hotels Corporation

Saturday, November 16, 2013

MONSTER MAGNET TONIGHT at Bottom Lounge (17+) Premiere Bonus Track From Last Patrol on the "Deciblog"

"Wyndorf's songs are like sci-fi adventures in the brain of an LSD-gobbling hippie"
-Decibel Magazine-

"Dave Wyndorf and company dial back into what made the band counterculture legends in the first place."

MONSTER MAGNET released their critically acclaimed new album Last Patrol this past October via Napalm Records.  Last Patrol is available as a Limited Edition Digipak, which contains two bonus tracks, standard CD, 2LP and digital format.  The album is available to order on Amazon and iTunes.

MONSTER MAGNET will be hitting the road beginning in Grand Rapids, MI for their first North American tour in over 10 years!  The tour will run through December 14th in New York, NY.  Support on the tour will be come from Royal Thunder and Anti-Mortem.  (Zodiac who were originally part of the tour have been denied visas and will not be on the bill)  A complete last of dates can be found below.

Decibel Magazine's "Deciblog" is hosting an exclusive premiere of one of the bonus tracks from Last Patrol.  The song "One Dead Moon" is only available on the Limited Edition Digipak, LP and deluxe digital versions of Last Patrol. Check out the exclusive premiere of "One Dead Moon" HERE.

MONSTER MAGNET's video for the song "Mindless Ones" was directed by Tom Scharpling and can be seen HERE.

MONSTER MAGNET North American Tour With Royal Thunder and Anti-Mortem:
11/14: Grand Rapids, MI @ Intersection
11/15: Detroit, MI @ St. Andrews
11/16: Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge
11/17: Minneapolis, MN @ Mill City Nights
11/19: Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater
11/20: Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
11/22: Seattle, WA @ Neumos
11/23: Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw Theater
11/24: Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theater
11/26: San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
11/27: Los Angeles, CA @ House of Blues
11/29: Tempe, AZ @ Club Red
11/30: Albuquerque, NM @ Launch Pad
12/2: Austin, TX @ Red 7
12/3: Houston, TX @ Fitzgeralds
12/4: Dallas, TX @ Trees
12/6: Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
12/7: Charlotte, NC @ Amos Southend
12/8: Baltimore, MD @ Baltimore Sound Stage
12/10: Toronto, ON @ Lee's Palace
12/12: Boston, MA @ Sinclair
12/13: West Chester, PA @ The Note
12/14: New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom

For More Info Visit:

Friday, November 15, 2013

REVIEW: A'Musing Myths at Actors Gymnasium Highly Recommended #ChiILPicksList #agyouthcircus

A'Musing Myths
Fall Youth Circus

ChiIL Mama, Du-Jay and Sagezilla caught opening night and highly recommend checking out A'Musing Myths at Actors Gymnasium.   It's a great, family friendly, all ages show, with a cast completely comprised of kids. The plot does work better if the audience has at least a rudimentary knowledge of Greek Mythology, so young kids might be a bit lost on the story line.   But the colorful, creative circus arts make this a fun production for the whole family.

We're huge fans of shows that have a fleshed out plot instead of just free standing circus skills demos, and The Actors Gym excels at productions like that. A'Musing Myths doesn't have quite as much live music as past shows we've seen there, but it's still well worth checking out.   We were particularly impressed with the multiple simultaneous silks and Spanish Web ropes in some of the bigger group aerial acts!   Don't be surprised if your kids are inspired to enroll in Actors Gym classes once they see how much fun these kids are having and what stellar skills they've developed.

We love the melding of the classics and these familiar character archetypes with circus skills.  The Greek Myths are given a vibrant, new twist with the introduction of aerial arts, unicycle and more.   It's a small space so we highly suggest you get tickets in advance to guarantee seats.   These show are very likely to sell out!

For group reservations and general questions call 847-328-2795.  If online sales are sold out, a limited number of tickets will be available at the door.
Final 2 days! 
November 16 & 17, 2013
Saturdays at 4:30 pm and 7:30 pm
Sundays at 3:00 pm  
$15 for adult tickets!
$12.50 for children, students and seniors!  

A young girl who sacrifices love for the sake of the world.  A fierce seamstress who dares flaunt her talents before the goddess of Arts & Crafts. That angry one with the snakes for hair.  The gift of fire and the origin of man himself. Join us as Prometheus, our favorite Titan, recounts the origins of some of his favorite characters from mythic Greece. 

The Members of The Actors Gymnasium's Fall Youth Circus Ensemble combine skills in circus, dance, clowning, and drama to delight us on adventures that span the heights of Mount Olympus, the depths of the Underworld, and every strange and imaginary place in between.  
A'Musing Myths: Fall Youth Circus is written and directed by Chris Mathews with circus choreography by Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi, dance choreography by Topeka Ellis, and assistant directed by David Corlew. Tickets will go quickly - so get yours today!

Tickets are available ONLINE only.  Once online sales are closed, 1.5 hours prior to the show start time, the on-location box office will be open.

Go early.   Things are a bit confusing due to building construction.   Actors Gym tickets are on the far left side of the lobby as you enter and their performance space is on the far right.   They have simplified things with actual tickets now.


Take part in our hashtag contest!  Whoever has the most #agyouthcircus comments on Facebook and/or Twitter before November 19 will win a free black AG jacket OR $50 off their next session of classes (Your choice!).  Posts must be relevant and on-topic. 

ACT OUT HOLIDAY: About Face Theatre Presents The Return of the Hit Holiday Musical WE THREE LIZAS

New Book and Expanded Score!
About Face Theatre Presents
The Return of the Hit Holiday Musical

Book & Lyrics by AFT Artistic Associate Scott Bradley
Music & Additional Lyrics by Alan Schmuckler
Directed by AFT Artistic Associate Scott Ferguson
Musical Direction by Aaron Benham
November 27, 2013 – January 5, 2014 at Stage 773

Feeling "Mary" and Gay this holiday season?   You'll be in good company at We Three Lizas!   Embrace your inner diva and come on out for a fabulous night.

WeThreeLizas-5 (left to right) Danielle Plisz and Scott Duff in a publicity image for About Face Theatre’s production of WE THREE LIZAS with book & lyrics by Scott Bradley, music & additional lyrics by Alan Schmuckler and directed by Scott Ferguson.  Photo by Cheryl Mann.

About Face Theatre’s sparkly, queer holiday hit musical WE THREE LIZAS is back and better than ever – with a new book and expanded score!  Featuring book and lyrics by Scott Bradley*, music and additional lyrics by Alan Schmuckler, direction by Scott Ferguson*, music direction by Aaron Benham and choreography by Patrick Andrews*WE THREE LIZAS will play November 27, 2013 – January 5, 2014 at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are available online at or, in person at the Stage 773 Box Office (1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago) or by calling (773) 327-5252.  The press opening is Thursday, December 5 at 7:30 pm.

WE THREE LIZAS will feature many of the original cast members including Scott Duff*John Francisco*Sharriese Hamilton, Danielle Plisz (Jeff Award-nominated), Dana Tretta and Andrew Swan in addition to newcomers Mark David KaplanJames Nedrud and Bethany Thomas. Musicians include Aaron Benham (piano/conductor), Jed Feder (drums) and Debra Johnson (bass).  *Denotes AFT Artistic Associates.

Box maker Conrad Ticklebottom’s life has hit a block. Once, Conrad and his purple box ignited an entire movement in art and design, but now he finds himself alone, forgotten and teetering on ruin. The holidays bring three magical figures to his door – a trio of Liza Minnellis to escort him on a fabulous journey through what-was, what-could-be and what-the-f*?!, redeeming his lost promise and re-inventing a brand-new Conrad Ticklebottom.  It’s a quirky holiday musical tale of hope, transformation… and the power of Liza!

“Liza’s back and she’s better than ever! After having played to sold-out audiences in 2012 at the Steppenwolf Garage and in concert at Joe’s Pub in New York this summer, I’m thrilled to bring back this hilarious and moving holiday musical,” comments About Face Artistic Director Andrew Volkoff. “In this year of development at About Face, we are proud to support the continued growth of this project and the artists who’ve created it.  Artistic Associate Scott Bradley and composer Alan Schmuckler have developed a sensational new book and score and we’re delighted to share it with Chicago audiences.  If you missed it last year, get your tickets now: it’s bound to sell out again this year!  And if you saw it last year, you’ve got to see this fantastic new version and make We Three Lizas your new holiday tradition!” adds Volkoff.

The production team for WE THREE LIZAS includes: Jerre Dye (set design), Mieka van der Ploeg and Robert S. Kuhn (costume design), Mac Vaughey (lighting design), Josh Horvath (sound design), Eleanor Kahn (properties design), Davis McCarty (projections design) and Helen Lattyak (stage manager).

Book and Lyrics:  AFT Artistic Associate Scott Bradley
Music and Additional Lyrics: Alan Schmuckler
Director:  AFT Artistic Associate Scott Ferguson
Musical Director: Aaron Benham
ChoreographyAFT Artistic Associate Patrick Andrews
Featuring:  Featuring AFT Artistic Associates Scott Duff and John Francisco with Sharriese Hamilton, Mark David Kaplan, James Nedrud, Danielle Plisz, Bethany Thomas, Dana Tretta and Andrew Swan.
Musicians: Aaron Benham (piano/conductor), Jed Feder (drums) and Debra Johnson (bass).

Location:  Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago

Dates:  Previews: Wednesday, November 27 at 7:30 pm, Friday, November 29 at 7:30 pm, Saturday, November 30 at 7:30 pm, and Sunday, December 1 at 3 pm

Regular run:  Friday, December 6th, 2013 – Sunday, January 5, 2014
Curtain Times:  Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 pm; Saturdays at 3 pm & 7:30 pm; Sundays at 3 pm
Tickets:  Previews: $20 adults/$10 students. Regular run: $45 adults/$20 students. Group discounts available. Tickets are available online at or, in person at the Stage 773 Box Office (1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago) or by calling (773) 327-5252.  Additional processing fees apply for phone and internet orders.

WeThreeLizas-3 (left to right) Scott Duff and Danielle Plisz in a publicity image for About Face Theatre’s production of WE THREE LIZAS with book & lyrics by Scott Bradley, music & additional lyrics by Alan Schmuckler and directed by Scott Ferguson.  Photo by Cheryl Mann.

About the Creative Team:
Scott Bradley (Book & Lyrics) is co-founder of Chicago's The Scooty & JoJo Show, for which he wrote and developed the critically-acclaimed musical works Alien Queen, Carpenters Halloween, Rosemary Clooney’s Baby, Mollywood, Tran: The Atari MusicalThe Scooty & JoJo Variety Hour, Thank God! It’s the Scooty & JoJo Show and Diva Brunch.  As a writer, director, designer and performer, he has collaborated in the development of new works at New York's PNBC/HERE (Fiona Apple Kwaanza Explosion), New Works Project (Atlantis City, RSVP), adobe theater company (The Eight, Tracker), Next Stage Theater (Adventures of Bobbi & Vaughan), HOME for Contemporary Theatre & Art (No Shame), BACA Downtown (A Child is Being Beaten) and CBGB's Galleria (I’ll Go On); Chicago's About Face Theatre (We Three Lizas, The Homosexuals), Walkabout Theatre Company (Crow), BigTop JoJo (Phenomenal Phantasmagoria), Hell In A Handbag Productions (The Birds, Caged Dames); Washington, D.C.'s Washington Shakespeare Company (Romeo & Julius Caesar); Seattle's UMO Ensemble (Maldoror), Open Circle Theater (Ballyhoo, Poona the F*ckdog, ETA: Phoenix, Little Boy, Return to the Garden of Allah) and Bald Faced Lie (Slow Children). He is an Artistic Associate with About Face Theatre, former Artistic Director of Seattle's Open Circle Theater, and served as Associate Artistic Director at BACA Downtown, Brooklyn, NY. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild, AEA and SAG/AFTRA.

Alan Schmuckler (Music and Additional Lyrics) will see his new musical Days Like Today (book by Laura Eason) premiere at Chicago's Writers' Theatre in 2014. His musical The Emperor’s New Clothes (book by David Holstein) enjoyed a critically acclaimed premiere production at the Tony-winning Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and received its international debut at the Stage Artz Theatre Company in Sydney, Australia. He and Michael Mahler co-wrote book, music and lyrics for Chicago Shakespeare’s How Can You Run with a Shell on Your Back?, which premiered and remounted in 2007, and has since been produced nationwide, including at the Chicago Humanities Festival, the National Alliance for Music Theatre’s 21st Annual Festival of New Musicals, and at theaters and schools nationwide. His concert credits include Alan Schmuckler: I Miss The City (Joe’s Pub, NYC); and, with Mahler, the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage (Washington, D.C.), and numerous Chicago gigs with their band, the Lincoln Squares, whose debut EP, The Lincoln Squares!, is available online. Alan’s music and lyrics have been featured in the Fourth Annual Broadway in South Africa Gala; the York Theatre Company’s NEO6 Benefit Concert; the Chicago “Monday Nights, New Voices” series; and the National Alliance for Music Theatre’s New Works Summit and Songwriters’ Showcase. Alan is a three-time Joseph Jefferson-nominated actor and recently appeared in Nikolai and the Others, (Lincoln Center Theater). He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and the School at Steppenwolf, and a member of AEA and ASCAP.

Scott Ferguson (Director) is the Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Theatrebam Chicago where he wrote and created the hit shows, Schoolhouse Rock Live!, Schoolhouse Rock Live Too! and The Main Street Kids’ Club: A MathStart Musical. Scott has directed the SRLive! National Tours (’99-’01) with Troupe American, Inc., the Off-Broadway productions at The Atlantic and the Lamb’s Little Theatre, as well as many productions across the country. Scott is a proud Artistic Associate of About Face Theatre, where he directed Xena Live! Episode One, the Jeff Nominated Xena Live! Episode Two, Xena Lives! The Musical and Say You Love Satan and last year's We Three Lizas. As a Founding Collective Member of Bailiwick Chicago, he directed the critically acclaimed Aida and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. Scott has also directed for Hell in a Handbag, Filament, Chicago Children’s Theatre, Drury Lane Oakbrook and Watertower. For the former Bailiwick Repertory, Scott directed the Non-Equity Jeff Nominated A Man of No Importance as well as The Cousins Grimm. Regionally, he has directed for Playhouse On The Square in Memphis, The Fulton Opera House in Lancaster, PA, The Wohlfahrt Haus Theatre in Wytheville, Virginia, Rhodes College and New Trier High School. Favorites include; The Rocky Horror Show, Return To The Forbidden Planet, The Mystery Of Irma Vep, Evita, Bat Boy The Musical, Jekyll & Hyde, Floyd Collins, Disney’s Aida, Beauty And The Beast, Saucy Jack & The Space Vixens, Year With Frog And Toad, Big River, Altar Boyz, Xanadu and Pippin. 

Aaron Benham (Musical Director) is a local music director, conductor, arranger and composer. Chicago credits: A Cole Porter Songbook and Time After Time: The Songs of Jule Styne, Theo-Ubique; Anyone Can Whistle and Putting it Together, Porchlight Music Theatre; Sweet Charity and Days Like Today, Writer's Theatre; Avenue Q and Spamalot, NightBlue; RockShow(Tunes) and The Rise of the Numberless, Bailiwick Chicago.  He is a member of the Improvised Sondheim Project, and has performed locally and aboard the Norwegian Epic cruise ship with Second City.  Up next: The Sweet Smell of Success, Kokandy Productions, and the Chicago premiere of Carrie with Bailiwick Chicago.  BFA, Emerson College.

About Face Theatre (Andrew Volkoff, Artistic Director) is one of Chicago’s most acclaimed theatre companies, and is a national leader in the development of new work exploring gender and sexual identity.  Since its founding by Kyle Hall and Eric Rosen in 1995, the company has premiered more than 48 world premieres by writers and directors who have been recognized with several Tony Awards, The Pulitzer Prize for Drama, The MacArthur Fellowship and dozens of Joseph Jefferson Awards.

WeThreeLizas-1 (pictured) Danielle Plisz (above) and Scott Duff (below) in a publicity image for About Face Theatre’s production of WE THREE LIZAS with book & lyrics by Scott Bradley, music & additional lyrics by Alan Schmuckler and directed by Scott Ferguson.  Photo by Cheryl Mann.

ACT OUT SAVE THE DATES: Interrobang Theatre Project Continues Fourth Season: THE PITCHFORK DISNEY Feb 6th-March 2

By Philip Ridley
Directed by Co-Artistic Director Jeffry Stanton
February 6 – March 2, 2014

Here at ChiIL Live Shows, we were blown away by Interrobang Theatre Project's excellent production of Terminus.   The trio of actors killed it with a creepy and compelling rendition of the entwined, lyrical, Irish tales.   We can't wait to check out their next offering!   Dark comedies are one of our favorite genres.   We also dig their name... INTERROBANG.  POW?!   This name makes my inner word nerd happy and is an excellent description of this troupe's on stage persona. 

What’s an interrobang?
An interrobang is the combination of a question mark and an exclamation point, joining the Latin for “question” (interro) with a proofreading term for “exclamation” (bang). Punctuation expresses an attitude, an idea, an attempt to make things clearer. Through the plays we produce, Interrobang Theatre Project poses muscular questions. Navigating through the dark together with our audience we attempt to arrive at new understandings and fresh perspectives of who we are and the world in which we live.

Following its critically-acclaimed, Jeff Award-nominated production of TerminusInterrobang Theatre Project is pleased to continue its 4th season with Philip Ridley’s dark comedy THE PITCHFORK DISNEY, directed by Co-Artistic Director Jeffry Stanton, playing February 6 – March 2, 2014 at The Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport in Chicago, where it is now a resident company.  Tickets for THE PITCHFORK DISNEY are on sale through the Athenaeum Theatre Box Office at or by calling (773) 935-6875.  

THE PITCHFORK DISNEY features Andrew Goetten, Aislinn Kerchaert, Mark Lancaster and Kevin Webb.

“How easy it is to stop living. Not to die, but to stop being alive.”

Ten years ago, something dreadful happened to Presley and Haley. Ever since, the grownup siblings have hid in their dead parents’ flat keeping the big bad world at bay on a diet of chocolate, drugs, fractured memory and fantasy. But one night their feral isolation is threatened by the arrival of the sinister cockroach-munching Cosmo Disney and his mute mate Pitchfork Cavalier.

The 1991 debut of Philip Ridley’s gothic fairytale is the stuff of legend sparking debate, horror and a renaissance of British playwriting. At its heart, THE PITCHFORK DISNEY is the story of two innocents, a modern day Hansel and Gretel, staring down a cruel, chaotic world in which money is all, fear sells, truth lies and existence is survival of the sickest.

23 years after it came kicking and screaming into the world, director Jeffry Stanton takes on this contemporary classic revealing THE PITCHFORK DISNEY has finally come of age. Or perhaps our age has simply come to reflect Ridley’s prophetic nightmare.

A spine-chilling pitch black comedy for our anxiety-ridden era!

The production team for THE PITCHFORK DISNEY includes: Stephen Carmody (Scenic Designer), Noël Huntzinger* (Costume Designer), Claire Chrzan* (Lighting Designer & Production Manager), Christopher LaPorte* (Sound Designer), Josh Hurley (Props Master), Lindsay Bartlett (Dialect Coach), Julia Rohed* (Stage Manager) and Justin Snyder (Technical Director).  *Denotes Interrobang Theatre Project Artistic Associate


Playwright:  Philip Ridley
Director:  Co-Artistic Director Jeffry Stanton
Featuring:  Andrew Goetten (Presley Stray), Aislinn Kerchaert (Haley Stray), Mark Lancaster (Pitchfork Cavaliere) and Kevin Webb (Cosmo Disney). Understudies: Eric Feltes (Cosmo Disney) and Matthew Dealy (Presley Stray).

Location:  The Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport in Chicago
Dates:  Previews: Thursday, February 6 and Friday, February 7, 2014 at 8 pm
Press performance: Saturday, February 8, 2014 at 8 pm
Special understudy performance: Saturday, February 22 at 3 pm
Regular run: Sunday, February 9 - Sunday, March 2, 2014. Note: there will be added 3 pm performances on Saturday, February 15, 22 and March 1
Curtain Times:  Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm; Sundays at 3 pm
Tickets: Previews: $12. Regular run: $20 Fridays and Saturdays evenings, $18 Thursdays, Saturday and Sundays matinees. $12 students and industry tickets (with ID).  Tickets are available through the Athenaeum Theatre Box Office at or by calling (773) 935-6875.  Note: all ticket prices include a $2 Athenaeum Theatre restoration fee.

About the Playwright
Philip Ridley was born in the East End of London where he still lives and works. In addition to three books for adults and the highly acclaimed screenplay for the The Krays feature film (winner of The Evening Standard Best Film of the Year Award), Ridley has written eight adult stage plays: The Pitchfork Disney, the multi-award-winning The Fastest Clock in the Universe, Ghost from a Perfect Place, Vincent River, the highly controversial Mercury Fur, Leaves of Glass, Piranha Heights and, most recently, the hugely successful Tender Napalm (nominated for the London Fringe Best Play Award), plus several plays for young people: Karamazoo, Fairytaleheart, Moonfleece, Sparkleshark and Brokenville. He has also written many books for children, including Scribbleboy (shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal), Kasper in the Glitter (nominated for the Whitbread Prize), Mighty Fizz Chilla (shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book of the Year Award), ZinderZunder, Vinegar Street, Zips’Apollo and the bestseller Krindlekrax (winner of both the Smarties Prize and WH Smith’s Mind-Boggling Books Award), the stage play of which, adapted by Philip himself, was premiered at the Birmingham Rep Theatre in the summer of 2002. He has also directed three feature films from his own screenplays: The Reflecting Skin (winner of eleven international awards, including the prestigious George Sadoul Prize), The Passion of Darkly Noon (winner of the Best Director Prize at the Porto Film Festival) and, most recently, Heartless (winner of The Silver Meliers Award for Best Fantasy Film), starring Jim Sturgess and Noel Clarke. Philip has won both the Evening Standard’s Most Promising Newcomer to British Film and Most Promising Playwright Awards; the only person ever to receive both prizes. He also studied painting at St. Martin’s School of Art and his work has been exhibited widely throughout Europe and Japan.

About Interrobang Theatre Project
Founded in 2010, Interrobang Theatre Project (Jeffry Stanton and James Yost, Co-Artistic Directors) produces visceral and timely plays that are not readily seen on other Chicago stages. Interrobang upholds live theatre and the act of collective imagining as a powerful means to change our world one play at a time. Interrobang is not recommended for audiences who prefer theatre to be benign or familiar.

Interrobang Theatre Project’s third season opened with the “scintillating revival” (Time Out Chicago) of Paula Vogel’s Hot ‘N’ Throbbing. The Chicago Tribune hailed Interrobang “a company to watch,” Time Out Chicago’s 5-star review claimed, “as the production barrels to its shocking finale, it’s clear (Jeffry) Stanton and his impeccable cast are in complete control,” and Newcity Stage exclaimed, “Interrobang Theatre Project, guns ablaze, dives headfirst into the play’s challenging themes, and offers a rare production in which every element onstage is as robust and capable as every other.”  Other Interrobang Theatre Project productions include the one-man Here Lies Henry by Daniel MacIvor, the Midwest premiere of The Argument by Gregory Moss, Orange Flower Water by Craig Wright, a co-production with BareBones Theatre and most recently, Mark O’Rowe’s critically acclaimed Irish drama Terminus.

For more information on Interrobang Theatre Project, visit or



Here at ChiIL Mama & ChiIL Live Shows, we've been avid admirers of David Catlin's work on stage and behind the scenes for years, and we're eagerly awaiting the opening of The Little Prince.   Our daughters went to pre-school together waaaay back in the day, about 8 years ago and we're hoping to catch him again for a video interview in the near future.   Click below to check out our prior interview with him for our series on How Creatives Parent and How Parents Create (5/11/13 Elephant & The Whale at Chicago Children's Theatre).   David is a fixture on the Chicago Theatre scene and Dad to two daughters.

Continuing its 26th Season, Lookingglass Theatre Company presents The Little Prince, produced in Association with The Actors Gymnasium, by Rick Cummins and John Scoullar, based on the book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, and directed by Ensemble Member David Catlin. The Little Prince runs December 5, 2013 – February 2, 2014 at Lookingglass Theatre Company, located inside Chicago's historic Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave. at Pearson. 

Stuck, thirsty and alone. A pilot stranded in the Sahara Desert meets an enigmatic, charismatic young prince fallen from the sky who regales him with tales of life among the stars: tales with earthly importance.  In this visually arresting, fully immersive theatrical interpretation of the beloved French novella, director David Catlin (creator of Lookingglass Alice) illustrates the story with fantastic characters and gravity-defying, awe-inspiring physical feats.

The Little Prince speaks – in breathtaking splendor – to the castaway in all of us: challenging our perspective, opening our eyes and bringing us back to the heart of what truly matters.

"Everyone who saw and thrilled to David's Lookingglass Alice will remember his penchant for creating stories that are full to bursting with spectacles of pure delight and inventiveness, “ says Artistic Director Andrew White. “He'll be bringing all of that unmatched creativity and passion to this internationally beloved story, creating a show that truly will appeal to audiences of all ages -- to parents as well as their kids, to grandparents and grandchildren, to anyone who, as David puts it, has found themselves at some point in their lives stuck, thirsty and alone - and who hasn't?."

“I love The Little Prince because it has something for everyone.  Kids will dig the strange characters and the intergalactic story.  Teens and college kids will connect with the impending responsibility of becoming a grown-up.  And grown-ups will identify with our lonely Aviator who crashes in the Sahara Desert a thousand miles from anyone and anywhere with barely enough water for a week,” comments director David Catlin. “In this crisis, our Aviator needs the wisdom of a child—a Little Prince-- to remember that ‘what is essential is invisible to the eye’ and the importance of cultivating ties with others.”  

The cast includes Ensemble Member Raymond Fox (King), Artistic Associates Lauren Hirte (Desert Rose) and Louise Lamson (Rose) with Ian Barford (Aviator), Amelia Hefferon (Little Prince), Kareem Bandealy (Snake), Adeoye (Lamp Lighter) and Kasey Foster (Fox).
The design team includes Artistic Associates Rick Sims (sound) and Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi (acrobatic/circus choreography) with Courtney O’Neill (set), Salley Dolembo (costumes), William Kirkham (lighting), Maria DeFabo (Properties), Lee Brasuell (rigger), Tess Golden (Stage Manager) and Kelsey Lamm (Assistant Stage Manager).

The production sponsor for The Little Prince is Allstate, which is also the sponsor of the Education Programs for the production.

Lookingglass Theatre is located in the heart of the Magnificent Mile shopping district inside Chicago's historic Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave. at Pearson.  Discounted parking is available for Lookingglass patrons at the nearby Olympia Centre Self Park (161 E. Chicago Ave.).

David Catlin (Director/Ensemble Member) Recent Lookingglass directing credits include:  Icarus, Lookingglass Alice, and Black Diamond (with Nicky Brooks).  Regional directing credits include: McCarter (Princeton, NJ),  Arden (Philadelphia), The New Victory (NYC), Syracuse Stage, Actors Theater of Louisville, the Alliance (Atlanta) and the Getty Villa (Los Angeles).  Other recent directing credits include:  The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley (NU), The Little Prince (NU), and The Monster Under the Bed (Depaul).  David teaches acting with Northwestern University’s theatre department and will direct Moby Dick there in April 2014. David lives in Chicago with his wife Kerry and their two daughters Emerson and Saylor.

Adeoye (Lamp Lighter) returns home to Chicago and to Lookingglass with The Little Prince. He most recently appeared in Optimism! Or Voltaire’s Candide at Spooky Action Theater in Washington DC. Other DC credits: All’s Well That Ends Well and The Atheist’s Tragedy at The Academy for Classical Acting at The Shakespeare Theatre and The George Washington University, where he earned his MFA.  Previous Lookingglass credits: Peter Pan, Lookingglass Alice, Icarus and Black Diamond. Other Chicago credits: The Unmentionables (Steppenwolf Theatre), The Lost Boys of Sudan (Victory Gardens Theater). Regional credits: A Raisin in the Sun (Guthrie Theatre/Penumbra Theatre,) Intimate Apparel (Clarence Brown Theatre). Television credits: “Detroit 1-8-7,” “Leverage,” “Prison Break.” Film credits: #Vengeance is Mine.

Kareem Bandealy (Snake) has appeared previously at Lookingglass in Big Lake Big City, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, The Last Act of Lilka Kadison, and Peter Pan (A Play). Chicago: Rock ‘N’ Roll, Gas For Less, King Lear (Goodman Theatre), The Wheel (Steppenwolf Theatre Company), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Edward II, Romeo & Juliet (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), The Illusion (Court Theatre), Hamlet, The Caretaker, Heartbreak House (Writers’ Theatre), Blood and Gifts (TimeLine Theatre), and The Real Thing (Remy Bumppo). Regional: The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Three Musketeers, The Tempest (Illinois Shakespeare), Love’s Labour’s Lost (Notre Dame Shakespeare), Stuff Happens, Julius Caesar (Pittsburgh Irish & Classical), and four seasons at Orlando Shakespeare Theater. Film credits include The Merry Gentleman (Michael Keaton, director). In 2011, he received a 3Arts Artist Award.

Ian Barford (Aviator) makes his debut with Lookingglass Theatre.  Most Chicago appearances have been with Steppenwolf where he is an ensemble member.  Some favorites there include: August: Osage County (original company, Broadway and the National Theater in London), The March (Jeff nom. for best supporting actor), Endgame, The Libertine, As I Lay Dying and The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (Broadway, Outer Circle critics nom.) and many others. Love Song at 59E59 in NYC.  Originated the role of Dr. Khassan Baiev, a Chechen surgeon, in The Oath based upon his autobiography.   In Los Angeles, The Weir, God’s Man in Texas and Take Me Out at the Geffen Playhouse. Dead End at the Ahmanson. All The Rage and Design for Living at the Goodman. Othello at Chicago Shakes. National Tour of Picasso at the Lapin Agile.  Soon to be released films include: Shreveport, Return to Sender. Other Films: Road to Perdition, 13 Going on 30 and others. Numerous TV appearances.

Kasey Foster (Fox) has performed with Chicago Children’s Theatre, Redmoon, Dog n Pony, Trap Door, Theater Wit, Red Tape, and Collaboraction. She sings with local bands: This Must be the Band, Grood, and Old Timey. Foster co-produces The Monthly Visit with Kevin O’Donnell, and has choreographed and directed over thirty original works since her Chicago arrival in 2004. One of her favorite projects to produce and choreograph is a series called Dance Tribute, which takes place twice a year at Martyrs’ on Lincoln Ave.
Raymond Fox (King) is a Lookingglass Ensemble Member and recently appeared as Simon Craig in Blood and Gifts with TimeLine Theatre.  His numerous Lookingglass credits include Metamorphoses (original 1998-1999 premiere and 2012-2013 revival), a play he originally performed across the country including its Off Broadway and Broadway productions. Additional regional credits: Goodman Theatre, Court Theatre, Remy Bumppo, Tectonic Theatre Project/About Face Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Next Theatre, First Folio, Meadow Brook Theatre, Arden Theatre, Arena Stage, Mark Taper Forum, McCarter Theatre, Berkeley Rep., Seattle Rep., American Repertory Theatre, Hartford Stage, and Canada’s Stratford Festival. Mr. Fox is a graduate of Northwestern University and the A.R.T. Institute at Harvard University.

Amelia Hefferon (Little Prince) makes her professional debut with The Little Prince. Amelia is a Michigan native and a recent graduate of Northwestern University where she studied theatre and art history.

Lauren Hirte (Desert Rose) is an Artistic Associate returning to Lookingglass with The Little Prince, where her credits also include: Alice in Lookingglass Alice, Icarus, Fedra, Hephaestus, and Hard Times. Regional credits: Actors Theatre of Louisville, Arden Theatre, McCarter Theatre, The New Victory, and most recently as the title character in Milwaukee Rep’s The Diary of Anne Frank. She has studied, taught and performed at the Piven Theatre, and at the Actors Gymnasium. Recently, Lauren has been living in LA, and spent the summer with Steppenwolf West at CSU Summer Arts in Monterey Bay, CA.
Louise Lamson (Rose) is an Artistic Associate of Lookingglass Theatre where she has been seen in The Idiot, Hard Times, The Secret in the Wings, The Wooden Breeks, Icarus (at the Getty Villa, L.A.), The Brothers Karamazov, Our Town, The Arabian Nights, Ethan Frome, and most recently Metamorphoses. Some other Chicago credits include: About Face Theatre’s Bash (After Dark award and Jeff nomination); The Odyssey (Goodman); and The Adventures of Herculina (Next Theatre). New York credits include: Metamorphoses (Second Stage and Broadway) and The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci (Second Stage). Louise is a graduate of Northwestern University.

About Lookingglass Theatre Company
Inventive.  Collaborative.  Transformative.  Lookingglass Theatre Company, recipient of the 2011 Regional Theatre Tony Award, was founded in 1988 by eight Northwestern University students.  Now in its 26th season, Lookingglass is home to a multi-disciplined ensemble of artists who create story-centered theatrical work that is physical, aurally rich and visually metaphoric. The Company has staged 61 world premieres, received 101 Joseph Jefferson awards and nominations, and work premiered at Lookingglass has been produced in New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle, Berkeley, Philadelphia, Princeton, Hartford, Kansas City, Washington D.C., and St. Louis.  Lookingglass original scripts have been produced across the United States.

The Lookingglass Theatre in Chicago's landmark Water Tower Water Works opened in June 2003.  In addition to developing and presenting ensemble work, Lookingglass Education and Community programs encourage creativity, teamwork and confidence with thousands of community members each year.

Lookingglass Theatre Company continues to expand its artistic, financial and institutional boundaries under the guidance of Artistic Director Andrew White, Executive Director Rachel Kraft, Producing Artistic Director Philip R. Smith, Artistic Director of New Work Heidi Stillman, a 24-member artistic ensemble, 15 artistic associates, 11 production affiliates, an administrative staff and a dedicated board of directors led by Chairman Joe Brady of Jones Lang LaSalle and President John McGowan of Northern Trust Chicago. For more information, visit

FACT SHEET/The Little Prince

Title:                The Little Prince
Written by:      Rick Cummings and John Scoullar
Based on the
Book by:          Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Directed by:     Ensemble Member David Catlin
Produced in Association with The Actors Gymnasium

Dates:              Previews:                     December 5 – 13, 2013
                     7:30 PM
Regular run:                 December 15, 2013 – February 2, 2014
Times:             Tuesdays:                    3:00 p.m. (Dec. 31 only)
7:30 p.m. (except Dec. 24, Jan. 7 and 21)
Wednesdays:               7:30 p.m. (except Dec. 25 and Jan. 1)
Thursdays:                  3:00 p.m. (Dec. 26, Jan 2, 9 and 23 only)
7:30 p.m.
Fridays:                       7:30 p.m.
Saturdays:                   3:00 p.m. (except Dec. 7); 7:30 p.m.
Sundays:                     3:00 p.m.; 7:30 p.m.
Performances: Touch tour/Audio described performance, January 19 at 1pm prior to curtain;
Open captioned performance, January 26 at 3:00pm. Partial support for open captioning provided by Theatre Development Fund.

Location:         Lookingglass Theatre Company, located inside Chicago's historic
Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave. at Pearson.  
Prices:             Previews are $35 - $45
Regular Run is $45 - $75
Prices are subject to change.
Target Saturday Matinees offer a limited number of buy one, get one free tickets which are available to all 3:00 p.m. Saturday matinees.
This program is made possible with the generous support of Target, working with Lookingglass to make the arts accessible to all.

A limited number of student tickets are available the day of the show for $20 with valid student ID.

Groups of 8 or more patrons save up to 20%. Call the box office for details.

Box Office:      Buy online at
or by phone at (312) 337-0665
The Lookingglass box office is located at Water Tower Water Works,
821 N. Michigan Ave.

ACT OUT HOLIDAY: HoliDAZE by Step Up Productions at The Athenaeum Theatre

Step Up Productions presents HoliDaze, a gift-wrapped line-up of original Christmas one-acts showcasing the dysfunctional chaos and joyous celebration the holidays bring.  ChiIL Live Shows will be reviewing opening night.   In the mean time, book your tickets in advance to guarantee your choice of dates.   Theatre tickets make excellent gift ideas that take up little space and make lasting memories.

HoliDaze features works by Lisa Dillman, Tate Geborkoff, Nambi E. Kelley, Joshua Rollins and Steve Simoncic and plays November 30 – December 22, 2013 at The Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are available online at  and  or by calling The Athenaeum Box Office at (773) 935-6875.  

Five talented playwrights explore the holiday season and the experiences of love, happiness, craziness, sadness, magic, anger, loss and disappointment. Join a fool and wench for a light hearted Christmas in a royal palace; an engaged couple wanting to have the best Christmas ever; a family’s experience of loss and larger-than-life love; a first date over coffee with a special gift; and an unexpected visitor on Christmas Eve for this festive line-up that truly reveals the difficulties and joys of relationships during the holiday season.

HoliDaze is directed by Tara Branham, Daniel Bryant, Adrianne Cury, Laura Hooper and Vincent Teninty and features Elizabeth Antonucci, Nadirah Bost, Jake Carr, Greg Geffrard, Jennifer Glasse, David Goodloe, Andy Luther, Eric Lynch, Connor McNamara, Ashley Neal, Nick Polus, Amanda Powell and Gina Taliafero.

We were so impressed recently with Step Up Productions' fall show, The BenchMark.   It was thought provoking, expertly executed theatre with a social conscience.   They not only raised awareness and compassion for the homeless, they raised money for the homeless, too!  Once again, they will be turning a portion of their profits to philanthropy.   The Winter show will benefit the following:

Step Up Productions will be collecting donations and non-perishable goods for Lakeview Pantry at each performance. Proceeds from HoliDaze will also benefit LINDEN OAKS @ Edward Hospital, which treats Seasonal Affective Disorder.  As part of its mission, Step Up Productions donates a portion of its proceeds to organizations in and around Chicago that support issues often highlighted in its productions.

The full HoliDaze line-Up includes:

Christmas is Made for Fools by Lisa Dillman
Directed by Adrianne Cury
Featuring Eric Lynch, Ashley Neal and Nick Polus
A depressed court jester, tasked with creating a holiday pageant for the king, gets a lesson in love and the art of merrymaking from a quick-witted palace wench. 

And The Snow Came Down by Tate Geborkoff
Directed by Tara Branham
Featuring Jake Carr, Greg Geffrard and Gina Taliafero
Recently engaged, Stuart and Phillip are busy trying to unite their families during “the best Christmas ever.” In a moment’s reprieve, Stuart and his future mother-in-law, Karen, escape the party and their slow-burning hostility comes to blows over love, marriage, family and Phillip. And the Snow Came Down reflects on how families can lovingly be at each other’s throats with charming rancor and razor wit.

For My Brothers Whenever I May Find Them by Nambi E. Kelley
Directed by Daniel Bryant
Featuring Nadirah Bost, Jennifer Glasse, David Goodloe and Eric Lynch 
What happens to a family when it loses its matriarch just before the holidays?  Will they come together in love or allow their loss to separate them? For My Brothers Whenever I May Find Them tells the story of family and asks the question: will love triumph over fear in the face of loss?

The Intruder by Joshua Rollins
Directed by Laura Hooper
Featuring Elizabeth Antonucci and Connor McNamara
The holidays are a time for family to come together – but what happens when all flights are cancelled and a couple is left to spend the time together – whether their relationship is ready for it or not?  Oh, and there's a squirrel loose in the apartment.  And he's hungry.  And evil. 

The Space Behind Your Heart by Steve Simoncic 
Directed by Vincent Teninty
Featuring Andy Luther and Amanda Powell
The story of Connor and Sloan, two 40-somethings on a first date brokered by the online dating service, Christian Mingle. A gift is exchanged, an understanding is achieved, and there is a moment of possibility for people simply trying to find a moment of dignity and genuine human connection after life has convinced them that might not be possible.

The production team for HoliDaze includes: Sarah JHP Watkins (set design), Raquel Adorno (costume design), Becca Jeffords (lighting design), Steve Baldwin (sound design), Haley Borodine (props design), Dorthea Walstrom (makeup design), Adrienne Bader (production stage manager) and Catherine Allen (production manager).

Title:  HoliDaze
Playwrights & Directors: Lisa Dillman & Adrianne Cury, Tate Geborkoff & Tara Branham, Nambi E. Kelley & Daniel Bryant, Joshua Rollins & Laura Hooper and Steve Simoncic & Vincent Teninty.

Cast: Elizabeth Antonucci, Nadirah Bost, Jake Carr, Greg Geffrard, Jennifer Glasse, David Goodloe, Andy Luther, Eric Lynch, Connor McNamara, Ashley Neal, Nick Polus, Amanda Powell and Gina Taliafero.

Location:  The Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave. in Chicago
Dates:  Previews: Saturday, November 30 at 8 pm, Sunday, December 1 at 2 pm and Monday, December 2 at 8 pm

Regular run:  Thursday, December 5 – Sunday, December 22, 2013
Curtain Times:  Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm; Sundays at 2 pm
Tickets: Previews: $15. Regular run: $30. Discounts: $17 students (with current ID), $25 seniors, $16 rush tickets (one hour before curtain).
Industry Night: Monday, December 16 at 8 pm. $15 with code “SPIND.”

Benefit Performance:  For Lakeview Pantry and LINDEN OAKS @ Edward Hospital. Includes appetizers, one drink and cash bar.  $30 – no discounts for this performance.

Tickets are available online at  and  or by calling The Athenaeum Box Office at (773) 935-6875. Group rates available.

About the Playwrights:  

Lisa Dillman is a Chicago-based playwright whose plays have been produced at Steppenwolf Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, American Theatre Company and Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, where she is playwright in residence. She has received new play commissions from the Goodman Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, the Chicago Humanities Festival and Rivendell.  Her work is published by Samuel French, Smith & Kraus, Playscripts, Inc., Heinemann and Dramatic Publishing. 

Tate Geborkoff is proud member of Chicago Dramatists and the Dramatists Guild of America and has worked as a playwright and poet for over 12 years. Tate’s work is heavily influenced by the Meisner Technique and the study of human behavior. He studied extensively with Amy Morton and at Black Box Acting, where his full-length plays Minotaur and It Rained all Night are used throughout the text analysis courses. Most recently, his poetry was published by Burningword and he participated in the ACT UP! FIGHT AIDS! play festival where his piece, You Haven’t Even Seen My Bad Side Yet, received rave reviews.

Nambi E. Kelley has penned plays for Steppenwolf Theatre, Goodman Theatre, and Court Theatre in Chicago, Lincoln Center in New York, and internationally. Most recently, Kelley returned to Singapore to perform in her co-adaptation of The Book of Living and Dying that will be published in an anthology of plays in Singapore in 2014. Recent playwriting honors include: Goodman Theatre Playwright’s Unit where she penned For Her As A Piano for which she received an award for mental health advocacy, Xtigone (American Theatre of Harlem workshop production) and Harlem 9’s 48 Hours in Harlem Playwright 2013. 

Joshua Rollins' play Concealed Carr ywas selected for the 2013 Seven Devils' Playwrighting Conference with ID Theatre.  His play A Girl With Sun In Her Eyes debuted in Chicago in 2011 with Pine Box Theater. It is in development for production in Los Angeles, New Orleans and New York. Other works include American Rex, which premiered with Chicago Street Theatre and was a finalist for the Eugene O'Neill Playwrights Conference; Darlin' which will debut early 2014 in Chicago with Step Up Productions and 25 Saints, which completed a run at Victory Garden’s Greenhouse Theatre in Chicago in 2013 and will be produced in Seattle and LA later this year.  His one acts have been produced by Pine Box, American Theatre Company, the Artistic Home, and many others. Joshua is also an actor and has appeared with companies including The Blue Man Group, Steppenwolf Theatre, The Gift Theatre, About Face Theatre, Commonwealth Shakespeare and the Huntington Theatre. Film credits include Batman: The Dark Knight, Contagion, Living Hell, Killshot, Awake and The Lake House, among others. He is a graduate of the School at Steppenwolf.

Steven Simoncic’s past theatrical productions include Once Upon a Time in Detroit, Broken Fences, Toxic Donut, Maraschino Red, Heat Wave, Water Fight, Words with C, Black Coffee, Day Care, The Space Behind Your Heart, A Moderate Threat, Something Blue and Discovery Channel.  His plays have received productions, readings and workshops at The Goodman Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, The Second City, Pegasus Players, The Baruch Center for the Performing Arts, Stageplays Theatre New York and The Soho Theatre in London. Steven is currently a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists and the Writer in Residence at 16th Street Theatre. He has written several short films, been nominated for a Pushcart prize, and has recently won an Emmy.  

Partner Charities for HoliDaze

Lakeview Pantry’s mission is to eliminate hunger in the community by providing food to fill the basic need of hungry people; increasing clients’ independence through self-help initiatives and other innovative programs; and raising awareness of hunger and poverty while working towards solutions to eliminate them.

LINDEN OAKS @ Edward Hospital specializes in treating behavioral and emotional health disorders, including Seasonal Affective Disorder, a type of seasonal depression. Step Up Productions will donate five light therapy lamps ($300 each), which are used to help patients during SAD therapy sessions.

About Step Up Productions
Step Up Productions is a non-profit theater company with a mission to communicate stories authentically, inspiring audiences to identify and embrace their own personal truths. 

Step Up became a non-profit, in part, to better serve other non-profit organizations in and around Chicago that are committed to helping others become self sufficient.  As part of its mission, Step Up Productions donates a portion of its proceeds to organizations in and around Chicago that support issues often highlighted in its productions. “The need in our own backyard is tremendous,” comments Founder and Artistic Director Elizabeth Antonucci.  “We believe theatre is a medium that transcends generation, race, social status, ethnicity – and it is our hope that by presenting theatre that portrays authentic stories, we can inspire others to help too.  Giving back to community organizations helps us do our part in helping creating equal opportunities for all.”

Recent Past Productions:

The BenchMark
by Richard A. Roberts
Directed by: Tara Branham
Based on a true story, this poignant play chronicles the life of Mark, a charming, eloquent homeless man who calls a lonely, little Chicago park bench his home. As he journeys through the summer, autumn and winter seasons, he seeks solace in alcohol and literature in order to escape the harsh realities of his life and world around him. Combining social commentary, pathos and biting humor, this bittersweet satire is an elegy to the misfit in all of us.

*Proceeds to benefit the Chicago Alliance to End Homelessness

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