Tuesday, January 28, 2014



Hofbräuhaus Chicago, the first and only German micro-brewery, beer hall and restaurant in the Chicago area, celebrated its one-year anniversary Friday, January 24 in MB Financial Park at Rosemont.   We had a press opening already, so sadly we couldn't make it out in person for the festivities, but plan to visit soon.   I'm half German, and although my relatives have been born in America for 4 generations, I still have a soft spot for German beer, food and culture.

Located at 5500 Park Place, the custom- built 20,000-square-foot restaurant and brewery began its anniversary celebration at 5 p.m. last Friday. A traditional keg tapping ceremony, led by Hofbräuhaus Chicago owners Mike Matuschka, Joe Matuschka and Ted Wynn, took place at 7 p.m. 

In its first year of business, Hofbräuhaus Chicago guests enjoyed a plethora of celebrity keg tappings, with guests including professional football player Patrick Mannelly and comedian Gilbert Gottfried, live entertainment and deliciously authentic brews and fare. 

In 2013, guests enjoyed 217,637 liters of Hofbräuhaus Chicago’s freshly-brewed beers, 34,614 jumbo German pretzels, 41,520 schnitzel dishes and 13,697 apfelstrudel desserts.

“We are so grateful that the Chicago community has embraced Hofbräuhaus Chicago with such enthusiasm,” says Mike Matuschka. “Hofbräuhaus Chicago brings an authentic experience to Chicagoland and we look forward to celebrating many more years of live music, delicious fresh beer, traditional cuisine and German fun.”

Anniversary celebration festivities also featured live music from an authentic “Oompah” band all the way from the Alps, a parade led by a lively German bugle corp., delicious Bavarian fare and, of course, Hofbräuhaus Chicago beer, brewed onsite using 400-year-old-techniques.

Hofbräuhaus Chicago is located at 5500 Park Place in Rosemont, in the MB Financial Park at Rosemont. Valet parking is available for a minimal charge, and parking is also available in the nearby parking garage (free with validation). An on-site gift store is filled with unique gift items, apparel and traditional beer steins. Reservations are available. For more information, call (847) 671-BREW (2739) or visit

Hours of Operation
Sunday – Wednesday: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Thursday: 11 a.m. – midnight Friday & Saturday: 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.

Live Entertainment Schedule
Sunday: Noon – 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. Monday – Wednesday: 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. Thursday: 5 p.m. – 11 p.m. Friday: 6 p.m. - 1 a.m.
Saturday: Noon – 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. – 1 a.m.

A Brief History of the Hofbräuhaus
In 1589, Wilhelm V, Duke of Bavaria, dissatisfied with the beer that was being brewed locally, retained brew master Heimeran Pongratz to create a rich brown ale that both suited his palate and followed the rigorous “Bavarian Beer Purity Law” of 1516 that stated that only natural ingredients could be used in the brewing process. Beer (like bread) was considered a basic foodstuff at the time, as well as a beauty treatment for the ladies of the court, who typically consumed seven liters daily. Beer from the Hofbräuhaus (which means official brewery for the Duke’s court), quickly grew in popularity and in 1602 a wheat beer was developed at the request of Wilhelm’s son and successor Duke Maximilian I.

By 1607, the need for 38,000 gallons each year necessitated a move to larger brewing quarters, so Munich’s Hofbräuhaus was erected in its current location. In 1828, responding to complaints from Munich's ordinary citizens that they were not permitted to enjoy the Hofbräuhaus beer from the royal brewery like the public employees, Ludwig I issued a decree granting a license for the beer and cuisine to be served publicly in the Hofbräuhaus am Platzl, giving commoners the opportunity to lift steins at the same table as the gentry. Thus, the Hofbräuhaus Inn that attracts millions each year was opened.
Hofbräuhaus Chicago Brings Classic Bavarian Specialties to the Park in Rosemont.

Today, Hofbräuhaus is an iconic symbol of Bavaria with indelible ties to the Munich’s history. During the Thirty Years War when the Swedes occupied Munich, they struck a deal with city leaders: in exchange for not pillaging and plundering the city, they would leave peacefully if given 362 buckets of Hofbräuhaus beer. In 1780, Mozart credited the Hofbräuhaus with providing him the strength to write his opera “Idomeneo.”

On October 12, 1810, the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen involved all the citizens of Munich; the celebration grew into the Oktoberfest, an annual festival now so closely associated in the minds of many with the Hofbräuhaus. In January 1823, Hofbräuhaus beer was used to extinguish a fire at the Munich Opera House when firefighters discovered their water supply frozen. In 1935, composer Wiga Gabriel and lyricist Klaus Siegfried Richter wrote the famous Hofbräuhaus song - "In München steht ein Hofbräuhaus - oans, zwoa, g'suffa!" (“In Munich there's a Hofbräuhaus - one, two, and down the hatch!”).

Monday, January 27, 2014

Best Buy and yurbuds Get You Motivated With A 20% Discount, And A Gift Card Too

Disclosure:  The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

As a music blogger & music fanatic, I'm highly motivated by the bands whose music I love.   So I jumped at the opportunity to work with Best Buy and the WOLF Bloggers again, on a new campaign.  I've always worked out to music, and I write to music, do housework to music, and drive the kids all over town to music.  Best Buy and yurbuds want to motivate our readers with a 20% discount, so there's an extra incentive for YOU to get motivated by music too!

**ChiIL Out with ChiIL Live Shows and get 2 cool offers from yurbuds & Best Buy:

1.  20% off all yurbuds products at Best Buy both online and in-store. Online yurbuds coupon code is yurbuds20off:**     

2. Also enjoy a $5 Best Buy Gift Card when you purchase a qualifying Health and Fitness product at a Best Buy Mobile Specialty Store: Both offers are valid 1/19/14 - 2/22/14.

Every year a zillion people vow to get fit, and flood the gyms in January, then fall off to "pizza on the couch land" by February 1st.  That's why I've begun to start my fitness resolutions then!   If you slacked off or cynically don't make resolutions, or if you did and things are flagging... this one's for you.

Music is a major part of my 2014 fitness plan.  I have a cool treadmill desk and an Android app, "Walking Mate".   I've been known to keep on exercising and go beyond my original goals when the music's great, sometimes without even noticing.  

No Strings Attached:

While blogging and jogging, I have been known to entangle my treadmill tether, my laptop and external drive power cords & firewire, and my head phones into a gordian knot as I shuffle things around my work space.   So, I'm particularly stoked to try out yurbuds NEW Wireless Earphone!

Studies have shown that music can increase the intensity and duration of a workout by as much as 15%.  Unfortunately, most people miss out on those benefits because their earphones hurt and fall out during active use.  *Anyone else notice the multiple ear monitors that fell out during rigorous dance numbers at the Grammys last night?!

yurbuds was founded in 2008 by an Ironman Triathlete and a 24-time marathoner in response to that problem. Our products are ergonomically designed for comfort and exceptional fit, while providing best-in-class audio quality and durability.  yurbuds is passionate about serving our customers and our community.  We listen to and learn from our athletes to produce solutions to their needs.  We are dedicated to innovating and creatively changing the industry of sport audio.  Our goal is to empower athletes through exceptional products and services to help them to push past their barriers, reach new personal bests, and #neverstop.

I'll be tweeting about my progress to @BestBuyWOLF #GetMotivated so feel free to jump in and add your own inspiring fitness/music story to the mix.

“Get Motivated through Music” 

Best Buy is your best bet for Health and Fitness gadgets.   Find Best Buy’s large selection of yurbuds on and Check out their sweet selection of Health & Fitness at Best Buy right here

yurbuds headphones are the headphone of choice for adding music to your workouts. 

I can't wait to "Get Motivated" while incorporating music into my routine through the #1 selling sport earphone company – yurbuds! 

yurbuds launch their new Wireless Earphone--you benefit

Cut the cords and unleash your inner athlete with the Inspire Limited Edition Wireless Sport Earphones. These Stereo-Bluetooth® earphones lock in place comfortably so they never hurt and never fall out. The 15mm drivers provide the biggest sound available, providing the motivation you need to #neverstop. These sweat and water resistant earphones feature full track & call control with a wind-blocking microphone designed for call clarity. The athlete tested battery lasts up to 6 hours and provides visual and audible indicators when running low. This is sound with no strings attached.

#1 Selling Sport Earphone Company, yurbuds®, Introduces Wireless Product for a Seamless Workout Experience

Key Features:
·         With yurbuds TwistLock™ Technology and FlexSoft Comfort Fit, these Stereo-Bluetooth® earphones lock in place comfortably and are guaranteed never to hurt or fall out.

·         Bigger Sound for music and calls provided by 15mm drivers
·         Smart Battery powers a week's worth of workouts and provides visual             and audible indicators when running low.
·         Dedicated Pairing Button for simple 1-touch pairing.

·         Compatible with all Bluetooth® devices.

·         Earphones that never hurt and never fall out.

yurbuds®, the #1 selling sport earphone company in the United States, is transforming the athlete experience with its new Inspire Limited Edition Wireless earphones to get you motivated through music. 

Launching at CES 2014 in Las Vegas this January, athletes and tech enthusiasts will be able to enjoy the first-ever Stereo-Bluetooth® wireless earphones guaranteed to never hurt and never fall out.

 “We’ve cut the cords so fitness enthusiasts have less in the way of achieving the perfect workout,” said Daniel DeVille, Director of Marketing for yurbuds. “Designed based on user feedback, we are excited to deliver best-in-class wireless earphones that solve the needs not currently met by other wireless earphones and meet the rigorous standards of even the top professional athletes.”

Disclosure:  The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

ACT OUT OPENING: Luna Gale at Goodman Theatre Kicks Off Great Women At Play Series

JANUARY 18 – FEBRUARY 23, 2014 


Who best determines an infant’s fate among differing values concerning drugs, religion and child rearing? Pulitzer Prize finalist Rebecca Gilman asks this question and more in her latest play, Luna Gale, directed by Goodman Theatre Artistic Director Robert Falls in their fourth collaboration. Gilman’s seven Goodman productions—six of which were world premieres, including five commissions—make her one of the most-produced contemporary playwrights in the theater’s history. 

Appearing in her 16th Goodman production, Chicago stage favorite Mary Beth Fisher—who also originated roles in Gilman’s Spinning Into Butter and Boy Gets Girl—stars as veteran social worker Caroline, who is charged with making tough decisions about the future of Luna Gale, a vulnerable child. The recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New American Plays Award, Luna Gale is part of the Goodman’s “Great Women at Play” subscription package, featuring works written and/or directed by Rachel Rockwell (Brigadoon), Joanie Schultz (Venus in Fur), Jessica Thebus, Tracey Scott Wilson (Buzzer) and Mary Zimmerman (The White Snake). 

Luna Gale runs January 18 – February 23 in the Albert Theatre (opening night is Monday, January 27). Tickets ($25 - $81; subject to change) are available at, by phone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 North Dearborn). 

The Goodman Women’s Board is a Major Production Sponsor and Mayer Brown is a Corporate Sponsor Partner. Ogletree Deakins and U.S. Bank are the Opening Night Sponsors. 

“I have worked with a variety of playwrights, but none whose work I admire more than Rebecca Gilman’s. From her first major work, Rebecca has proven to be one of the most eloquent and most accomplished contemporary voices, and has tackled some of the most elusive and problematic social issues with honesty, courage and profound humanity,” said Falls. “She has created an enormously complex world in Luna Gale, and we have enlisted the remarkable Mary Beth Fisher as Caroline, whose previous collaborations with Rebecca have established her expertise at capturing the ambiguities, uncertainties, and overwhelming humanity of Gilman’s central characters.”

Over the past two decades, Gilman has become known for her unflinching works about contentious social issues—such as race in Spinning Into Butter; violence against women in Boy Gets Girl; class in Blue Surge; and whether to have a child or remain child-free in The Crowd You’re in With, to name a few. 

“Part of the feeling behind Luna Gale is an observation that when we fail people because we haven’t taken care of them, we turn our anger on them, and it’s because we know we’re at fault. That dynamic drove the emotional heart of the play,” said Gilman. “It’s thrilling that Bob, Mary Beth and I can collaborate together for the first time.”

Veteran social worker Caroline (Fisher), thinks she has a typical case on her hands when her boss Cliff (Erik Hellman) assigns her to Peter and Karlie (Colin Sphar and Reyna de Courcy), two drug-addicted teenagers accused of neglecting their infant daughter. But when she places their baby in the care of Karlie’s mother (Jordan Baker), who is strongly influenced by her pastor (Richard Thieriot), Caroline sparks a family conflict that exposes a secretive past and—after the outcome of a previous case (Melissa DuPrey)—forces her to make a risky decision with potentially life-altering consequences.

“Rebecca has a dark sense of humor with a serious edge; she is very serious about addressing social ills,” said Fisher. “There is a lot to consider with Luna Gale, and I think my character is really exploring what it means to have faith—spiritual faith, faith in yourself, faith in your intuition, faith in other people and faith in an unpredictable future. I find that really beautiful.”

Robert Falls first encountered Rebecca Gilman—“one of Chicago’s hottest playwrights” (Chicago Tribune)—when he read her 1998 play The Glory of Living (a 2002 Pulitzer Prize finalist that was first produced at Circle Theatre). Soon after, Falls commissioned Gilman to write a new play for the Goodman; she responded with Spinning Into Butter (premiered in the Goodman Studio in 1999, directed by Les Waters, subsequently produced at Lincoln Center Theater in 2000, and most recently made into a feature film starring Sarah Jessica Parker). The show’s run was extended three times and led to Gilman’s next Goodman commission, Boy Gets Girl (premiered at the Goodman in 2000, directed by the late Michael Maggio), which transferred to New York’s Manhattan Theatre Club and was named by Time magazine as one of the “Best Theatre Productions of the Decade.” Falls later directed both Blue Surge (2001) and Dollhouse (2005)—a modern interpretation of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House. The Crowd You’re In With, directed by Wendy C. Goldberg, made its Chicago debut in 2009 at the Goodman, followed by A True History of the Johnstown Flood, a Goodman commission that had its world premiere at the Goodman in 2010 under Falls’ direction.


Enjoy pizza, pop and the opportunity to mingle with other students and Goodman artists before a performance of Luna Gale
Wednesday, January 22, 6pm | Goodman Theatre | $10 with promo code COLLEGE (must redeem with valid student ID)

A discussion with playwright Rebecca Gilman and director Robert Falls.
Sunday, January 26, 5pm | Goodman Theatre | FREE for Subscribers, Donors and students with ID; $5 general public 
Reservations are required. Call 312.443.3800 to reserve your seats.

A pre-show reception for social work and family law professionals, with remarks from a Luna Gale artist before that evening’s performance. 
Wednesday, January 29, 6pm | Goodman Theatre | $40 with promo code PROFESSIONAL

Arrive early or stay late for discussions about the play with members of the artistic team  
Goodman Theatre | FREE Pre-show (7pm): Jan 31, Feb 7, 14 and 21 | Post-show: Wednesdays and Thursdays

Host Mark Bazer welcomes director Robert Falls to this monthly variety talk show.
Friday, February 7, 6:30-7:30pm | MCA Chicago | $14 advance/$18 general admission at

A discussion about the system designed to support our most vulnerable children.
Monday, February 3, 6:30pm | Goodman Theatre | FREE, visit to reserve tickets

Good Women Getting Seen and Heard at The Goodman

At Goodman Theatre this season, girls rule!   Of course talent knows no gender bounds, but sometimes even in this century, talented women have to prove themselves and break those good ol' boy networks to gain access and have their voices heard at the top of their fields.   Well, women are being seen and heard loud and clear in 2013/14 at the inimitable Goodman.

It’s a DREAM lineup at Goodman Theatre: four works authored and five directed by women, three world premieres (two direct from the New Stages new play development series), two Goodman commissions and a major large-scale musical event comprise Goodman Theatre’s 2013/2014 eight-play line-up. 

It was our great pleasure here at ChiIL Live Shows, to catch Cheryl L. West’s Pullman Porter Blues —a Chicago premiere featuring original and classic blues songs and our annual favorite A Christmas Carol which somehow managed to be simultaneously funnier and scarier than in years' past.   As always, the set design was pure genius and the acting was a joy to behold.   The door knocker collaboration with Redmoon was a character in and of itself, with an intense, scene stealing little cameo, that will be remembered for years to come. 

Next is the world premiere of Luna Gale by Rebecca Gilman, directed by Robert Falls; Joanie Schultz directs the Chicago premiere of David Ives’ Broadway smash Venus in Fur; and Mary Zimmerman directs her latest work, The White Snake, based on the classic Chinese fable. Finally, Rachel Rockwell directs a major revival of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe’s 1947 musical Brigadoon, with permission from the Lerner and Loewe estates to revise the book. 

We also caught The Owen Theatre season opener in October, Smokefall by Noah Haidle, a Goodman commission directed by Anne Kauffman in a world-premiere co-production with South Coast Repertory.

We're eagerly anticipating the opening this month off Tracey Scott Wilson’s Buzzer directed by Jessica Thebus, and concludes with Ask Aunt Susan, Seth Bockley’s Goodman commission directed by Henry Wishcamper.

INCOMING: Nick Waterhouse at Lincoln Hall 2/21 #FreeStreaming #NewRelease

Nick Waterhouse is one of our current top favorites here at ChiIL Live Shows.   So we're eagerly awaiting the March release of his new album, Holly.   He'll be playing Lincoln Hall on February 21st in celebration of his latest release, as part of a nationwide tour.

We had the great pleasure of catching him twice last year, and shooting stills at Lincoln Hall.   Click here to check out our prior coverage and more live Nick Waterhouse show shots.




“A timeless talent…”—NPR’s “World Café”

“The real deal…”—GQ

“…he’s a tightly wound, meticulous rock & roll scholar who commands up to a dozen musicians onstage beside him with the authority of a seasoned bandleader.”—LA Weekly

The video for “This Is A Game,” the lead single off Nick Waterhouse’s latest album Holly (due March 4 on Innovative Leisure), is now streaming at Esquire The new record, which follows Waterhouse’s 2012 debut Time’s All Gone, has received early critical acclaim—Rolling Stone explains “Nick Waterhouse is a soul man, through and through,” while Paste Magazine praises the music as a “…cohesive selection of work that, presented together, tells a story.” To celebrate the release, Waterhouse will embark on a nationwide tour. See below for details.

Holly was produced by Waterhouse and Kevin Augunas (Cold War Kids, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros) and includes song writing collaborations with friend Ty Segall, as well as covers of tracks by Young Holt Trio and Mose Allison among others. Of the new music, Waterhouse notes, “Thematically this record feels more like a novella, or poem with sections, or even a film, than a collection of songs. It is a work of fiction, with a protagonist, but also a floating omniscient narrator, and fragments of conversation from other characters. I was heavily influenced by my surroundings in young Los Angeles, as well as the concept of fate.”

Waterhouse grew up in Huntington Beach, CA. He established his musical sensibilities in the middle of the burgeoning Southern California psych-garage scene, while retaining his unique perspective on the spirit of American rhythm & blues and rock & roll. Waterhouse started performing as a teenager. “I found it had the same feeling I got racing motorcycles as a kid, which is a fight-or-flight feeling of things happening in ‘real time’…I felt like that was the most focusing thing about playing music versus other forms of art. You have to live with what you do in an immediate moment,” he explains.

February 19                                     Pittsburgh, PA                                                             Club Cafe
February 20                                        Detroit, MI                                                           Lager House
February 21                                       Chicago, IL                                                           Lincoln Hall
February 22                                      Toronto, ON                                                 Horseshoe Tavern
February 23                                      Montreal, QC          Montreal Highlights Festival @ Club Soda
February 25                                       Boston, MA                                              Brighton Music Hall
February 27                                     New York, NY                                                 Bowery Ballroom
February 28                                   Washington, DC           Bulldog Alley @ Georgetown University
March 1                                         Philadelphia, PA                                        First Unitarian Church
March 7                                         Los Angeles, CA                                             Hollywood Legion
March 8                                        San Francisco, CA                              Great American Music Hall
March 10                                         Vancouver, BC                                                               Biltmore
March 11                                           Seattle, WA                                                                  Neumos
March 12                                          Portland, OR                                                               Doug Fir
March 13                                             Reno, NV                                                      Knitting Factory
March 14                                    San Luis Obispo, CA                                             Downtown Brew
March 15                                       Pioneertown, CA                                               Pappy & Harriets

Holly Tracklist
1. High Tiding
2. This Is A Game
3. It no. 3
4. Let It Come Down
5. Sleeping Pills
6. Holly
7. Dead Room
8. Well It’s Fine
9. Ain’t There Something That Money Can’t Buy

10. Hands On The Clock

Photo Credit: Naj Jamai

WIN 4 Tickets to Monster Jam at Allstate Arena #OriginalVideo #Giveaway

Chicago Fans Revved Up for Annual 
Monster Jam® Event!
FIVE World Champions to Appear at Allstate Arena, Feb. 7- 9!!

ChiIL out with ChiIL Mama & ChiIL Live Shows at Monster Jam.   We've got our tickets... do YOU?!  The world’s premier monster truck series, Monster Jam®, is weighing in with more than 100,000 pounds of super-charged star power for its annual hometown appearance, Feb. 7 - 9, at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, IL.  Be there.

Check out our original video footage from Monster Jam 2013-opening night at Allstate Arena right here:

**Click here for your chance to win a family 4 pack of tickets from ChiIL Mama for opening night, February 7th at 7:30pm at Allstate Arena.  Entries accepted through midnight February 4th.**

**All our readers are winners.  We've got a rockin' 30% discount on Monster Jam adult tickets for you with the code MOM1!  Click here to purchase yours.**

Discount does not apply to Front Row VIP or Gold Circle seats.  No double discounts.  Service charges, handling, and facility fees may apply.   All tickets $2 more day of show.

Five World Champions:
Among the field of 10 Monster Jam trucks competing at this year’s event will be a record-setting five World Champions, including the sport’s marquee machine, the best known monster truck of all time, Grave Digger®, driven by versatile veteran Carl Van Horn, and the Monster Jam truck many have called the fastest machine in the sport, six-time World Racing Champion Max-DSM, driven by Neil Elliot. 

In a nod to her celebrity appeal, the “Queen of Carnage,” former WCW and WWF star Madusa, returns to Rosemont after a multi-year absence in the only truck in the history of Monster Jam to be named after its driver. Madusa, also known as the “First Lady of Monster Jam,” was the first woman ever to win a Monster Jam World Finals, claiming the World Freestyle title in 2004 and, in a rarely duplicated feat, the World Racing championship the very next year.

The two remaining World Champions on the roster are the wildly popular “crazy bull,” El Toro Loco® with driver Chuck Werner of Paxton, Ill., and 2011 World Freestyle champion Avenger, driven by “Mr. Excitement” Jim Koehler. 

Making their Chicago-area debuts are the Spark Industries-inspired Iron ManTM, driven by Lee O’Donnell, cult favorite Metal Mulisha, driven by former off-road star and rising Monster Jam driver Todd LeDuc, and arguably the most futuristic machine ever to hit the Monster Jam circuit, New Earth AuthoritySM, a.k.a. N.E.A. Police. Unveiled just a few weeks prior to its arrival here, the chrome-plated New Earth Authority, driven by police officer Norm Miller, commands order, seeking out and destroying those who stand in the way of peace. 

Rounding out the elite line-up are Monster Jam’s 2013 “Fans Choice,” the unmistakable and hauntingly hard-core Zombie, driven by Sean Duhon, and the aptly named Wrecking Crew, driven by Steve Koehler.

Produced by Aurora, Ill.-based Feld Motor Sports®, Monster Jam events attract more than 4 million fans annually at the most prestigious arenas and stadiums throughout the world. Monster Jam trucks are custom-designed machines that average 12 feet tall by 12 feet wide, sit atop 66-inch-tall tires and weigh a minimum of 10,000 pounds. Built for short, high-powered bursts of speed, Monster Jam trucks generate 1,500 to 2,000 horsepower and are capable of speeds of up to 100 miles per hour. They can fly up to 125 to 130 feet (a distance greater than 14 cars side by side) and up to 35 feet in the air.

Allstate Arena Monster Jam shows are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 7, and 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 8, and Sunday, Feb. 9. Tickets are available at the Allstate Arena Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, online at, and by phone at (800) 745-3000. There are a limited number of premium-priced Gold Circle and VIP seats available for every show. All opening night tickets, with the exception of Gold Circle and VIP, are $12.
Two pre-show pit parties – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 8, and Sunday, Feb. 9 –afford fans (with a pit pass and 2 p.m. show ticket) the chance to see their favorite Monster Jam trucks up close, meet drivers, take pictures and get autographs. Pit passes are available for $10 at all Ticketmaster locations, while supplies last.
For additional information, visit Fans can also follow Monster Jam on Facebook, Twitter, and, or subscribe to the Monster Jam YouTube channel

Thursday, January 23, 2014

INCOMING: Monster Jam at Allstate Arena 2/7 #TicketDiscount #ChiMonsterJam #OriginalPhotos #Video

Check back with ChiIL Mama like we vote in Chi, IL... early and often.   We've got more smokin' original video footage from last year's Monster Jam at Allstate Arena coming soon.   For now, check out our full set of stills in the slideshow below and our favorites imbedded at the bottom of this post.  

**All our readers are winners.   ChiIL out with ChiIL Mama and a rockin' 30% discount on Monster Jam adult tickets with the code MOM1!  Click here to purchase yours.**

Discount does not apply to Front Row VIP or Gold Circle seats.  No double discounts.  Service charges, handling, and facility fees may apply.   All tickets $2 more day of show.

Here's our fun, original Monster Jam Video From 2012.

Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam 2012--opening night at Allstate Arena in Chicago. Check out for more original content including event videos, photo filled features, live show clips, original band video interviews, great giveaways and more. Like the music? It's Red Fang's tune, Dirt Wizard. Check 'em out.

Monster Jam is THE most exciting form of family motorsports entertainment on the planet.  The stars of the show are the biggest performers on four wheels: the Monster Jam trucks! The twelve-feet-tall, ten-thousand-pound machines will bring you to your feet, racing and ripping up a custom-designed track full of obstacles to soar over - OR smash through. The 2014 touring season brings more Monster Jam excitement providing entertainment tailored perfectly for your family's budget, and these colorful, larger-than-life beasts are sure to capture the hearts of both young and old.

ChiIL Tips:
Advanced tickets save $2 over day of show, so buy your tickets now!  Pit Passes are limited get those in advance or you may miss out.   Got decent seats?!  Ear protection is highly recommended for all and necessary for kids.   They do sell over the ear, muff style earplugs for the kids there that look like Monster truck tires. Cute for the littles, but I'm not sure how much sound they block.  

As we wrote last year...helpful hint:   Bring ear protection.   Eh, what was that?    I said, you'll be regretting not throwing in earplugs for everyone.   What?! I can't hear you over the deafening roar of those powerful truck engines.   I SAID....BRING EARPLUGS!  YOU CAN BUY SOME FUN TIRE SHAPED ONES ON SITE FOR $20, BUT IF YOU'D RATHER SPEND THE CASH ON A COOL SHIRT YOU CAN WEAR MORE OFTEN OR A CREEPY SNO CONE CUP, THEN BRING YOUR OWN EARPLUGS.

Allstate Arena in Rosemont, IL. Feb 7-9, 2014
You can purchase tickets online at now!
Show Dates: Feb 7-9, 2014 at Allstate Arena

Ticket Prices:
Ticket prices may vary.  Please refer to for more details.

Friday, Feb 7 – 7:30pm
Saturday, Feb 8 – 2pm & 7:30pm
Sunday, Feb 9 – 2pm & 7:30pm

11am – 1pm prior to each 2pm performance.  Walk the track, meet the drivers, grab autographs!  Pit Passes available for $10 online and at the Allstate Arena box office.

More than 100 productions expected to participate in Chicago Theatre Week 2/11-16 #ChicagoTheatreWeek

More than 100 productions expected to participate in
Chicago Theatre Week 2014
FEBRUARY 11-16, 2014

We may not be able to escape the polar vortex or rush spring along, but here in Chicago, we can engage in escapism with the best of them.   World class theatre makes winter a lot more fun.   So stop hibernating.   Theatre Week is back and better than ever!

Theatre Week adds partnerships with local hotels
and welcomes the return of the Storefront Playwright Project

Tickets now on sale!

Chicago Theatre Week 2014, which celebrates the rich tradition of theatre-going in Chicago, is returning for its second year after beating expectations in its inaugural season.  Over 100 productions are expected to participate.  New to this year’s Theatre Week is a partnership with area hotels, which will be offering Chicago Theatre Week packages to include a hotel room and a pair of tickets to one of ten productions.  Chicago Theatre Week is presented by the League of Chicago Theatres in partnership with Choose Chicago.

Chicago Theatre Week ticket and hotel offers will be listed on a centralized website, starting at 9:00am on January 7, 2014.  In its inaugural year, 97 shows offered value-priced tickets to over 330 performances in one week. Visitors and residents will again have the opportunity to sample the extraordinary range of theatrical offerings throughout Chicagoland.

The hotel packages, on sale January 7 – February 5, include a hotel room for a stay between February 13-15, 2014, and a pair of tickets to one of ten participating productions.  Participating hotels include Essex Inn, Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park, Park Hyatt Chicago, PUBLIC Chicago, Renaissance Blackstone Chicago, Thompson Chicago, and W Chicago City Centre.  

Participating productions include Blue Man Group, Briar Street Theatre; The Golden Dragon, Sideshow Theatre Company; The How and The Why, TimeLine Theatre Company; Luna Gale, Goodman Theatre; Million Dollar Quartet, Apollo Theater; The Phantom of the Opera, Broadway In Chicago; Rose and the Rime, The House Theatre of Chicago; Russian Transport, Steppenwolf Theatre Company; The Second City’s 102nd Revue, The Second City; and Strangers, Babies, Steep Theatre. Additional information and booking instructions will be available at

A new feature of Chicago Theatre Week,  the Storefront Playwright Project, will offer passers-by a look into part of the theatre process February 11-16, 2014. It will take place at Expo 72, located at 72 E. Randolph St.  Emerging and established playwrights will once again take center stage in a window space at Expo 72 to work on a current writing project in view of the public. From a large screen in a window facing the sidewalk, the public will be able to read what the playwright is writing and watch the creation of the next great Chicago play in real time. The Storefront Playwright Project aims to support the playwriting community, increase awareness of emerging and established playwrights, and encourage audiences to engage more deeply with Chicago theatre and the creative process of writing a new play for the theatre.    For more information about the Storefront Playwright Project:

“After a successful inaugural Chicago Theatre Week in 2013, the League of Chicago Theatres is presenting Chicago Theatre Week 2014, celebrating Chicago theatre by offering patrons special incentives and encouraging participation throughout all Chicago neighborhoods.  The remarkable results last year showed a heightened visibility for the theatre industry as people all over Chicago experienced a new theatre or revisited an old favorite.  Theatre Week met its ticket sales expectations, had a digital reach of 1.6 million through email, Facebook and Twitter; over 51,000 unique website visitors; and almost 7,000 Theatre Week email subscribers.  We plan to continue that reach for the upcoming season and we are thrilled with the level of expected participation in this year’s events,” comments Deb Clapp, Executive Director of the League of Chicago Theatres.
 “Theatre Week supports the effort to expand the visibility of theatre as a vital industry in Chicago.  Theatre is an important part of what attracts visitors to this city and Choose Chicago is honored to participate in the development and promotion of the week-long event,” says Melissa Cherry, Choose Chicago's Vice President for Cultural Tourism and Neighborhoods.  “As we continue our work with the League of Chicago Theatres to make this year’s week-long celebration even better, we are pleased that several Chicago hotels will be participating with theatre packages, making Chicago an ideal and affordable destination for theatre lovers.”

Kate Lipuma, Executive Director of Writers Theatre and Chair of the League of Chicago Theatres adds, “We are looking forward to another spectacular Theatre Week, which proved itself last year as being a motivator for people to experience a great afternoon or evening out in theatres across the Chicago area.  We hope that Chicagoans and tourists, alike, will take note of all of the productions happening on Chicago stages—downtown, in neighborhoods and in the suburbs--and will purchase tickets for their favorite theatres, or try something brand new.”

About Chicago theatre
Chicago theatre is a leader in the U.S. with more than 250 theatres throughout Chicagoland, comprising a rich and varied community ranging from storefront, non-union theaters to the most renowned resident theatres in the country, including 5 that have been honored with Regional Tony Awards, and the largest touring Broadway organization in the nation. Chicago’s theatres serve 5 million audience members annually and have a combined budget of more than $250 million. Chicago produces and/or presents more world premieres annually than any other city in the nation. In 2012-13 alone, Chicago theatre companies produced more than 130 world premiere productions and adaptations. Each year, Chicago theatres send new work to resident theatres across the country, to Broadway, and around the world. 

About the League of Chicago Theatres
The League of Chicago Theatres is an alliance of theatres which leverages its collective strength to promote, support, and advocate for Chicago's theatre industry locally, nationally, and internationally. The League of Chicago Theatres Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the art of theatre in the Chicago area through audience development and support services for theatres and theatre professionals.

Additional information about Chicago Theatre Week is available at For a comprehensive list of Chicago productions, visit the League of Chicago Theatres website,  Half-price tickets are available each week at

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

ACT OUT OPENING: Buzzer at The Goodman's Owen Theatre Space 2/8

"A study of sex and the city in post-racial times" (Minneapolis Star Tribune), Buzzer follows three young people as they move into a newly-rehabilitated building—one with broken buzzers—in a lower-class, urban neighborhood that is grappling with the effects of gentrification and can be dangerous. 

February 8 - March 9, 2014 In the Owen

Love. Race. Fear. Money. This dark comedy from Tracey Scott Wilson pushes every button.
Jackson is a young, successful African American attorney determined to build a life in the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood of his youth. When he returns “home” with his girlfriend and troubled best friend—both white—in tow, the trio are soon forced to confront the simmering racial and sexual tensions that exist both inside their home, and outside their apartment.

Groups of 10+ can reserve specially priced tickets for Buzzer. Learn more on our Groups page or email for details.


Love, race and class take center stage in Buzzer, Chicago native Tracey Scott Wilson’s intimate, darkly comic 21st-century exploration of the effects of a changing neighborhood on three cohabitating twenty-somethings—“a study of sex and the city in post-racial times” (Minneapolis Star Tribune). The trio is forced to confront the racial and sexual tensions that exist both inside their home and outside their apartment in a changing Brooklyn neighborhood. As previously announced, the cast of director Jessica Thebus’ Chicago-premiere production includes Eric Lynch (Broken Fences at 16th Street Theatre, Blacktop Sky at Theatre Seven, part of Steppenwolf’s Garage Rep); Lee Stark (The Iceman Cometh, Disgraced at American Theater Company); and Shane Kenyon (Big Love at Strawdog Theatre Company, Trainspotting USA with Book and Lyrics Theatricals). 

Buzzer runs February 8 – March 9 in the Owen Theatre; opening night is Tuesday, February 18. Tickets ($10 - $40; subject to increase) are available at, by phone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 North Dearborn). Bank of America is the Owen Season Sponsor, the Goodman Scenemakers Board is a Sponsor Partner and Heidrick & Struggles is a Contributing Sponsor. 

“Tracey has made a name for herself through her incisive, explosive dramas that deal with issues surrounding the contemporary African American experience. Her terrific new play, Buzzer, opens the door for thoughtful discourse about the conversations we have—or don’t have—about race, class and how best to treat each other,” said Artistic Director Robert Falls.

Hailed a "singular new voice" by the New Yorker, Wilson's work has been seen at venues across the country; the Goodman has produced The Story (2005) and The Good Negro (2010), both directed by Chuck Smith, and Buzzer was included in the 2012 New Stages festival, directed by Thebus. A co-commission of Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theater and Pillsbury House Theater, Buzzer made its world premiere at the Pillsbury House in 2012; critics unanimously endorsed the play as timely, important and simultaneously hilarious and tragic. It was remounted in a sold-out run at the Guthrie in 2013, directed by Marion McClinton.

“I have lived in neighborhoods that have been gentrified, and I have gentrified neighborhoods; the issue is always there,” said Tracey Scott Wilson. “The characters in Buzzer are of a generation that has been raised on the Disney Channel, in a very multicultural world where Beyoncé and Jay-Z are considered the biggest stars. It’s very different from someone who grew up when there were not many black characters on TV. Especially in the ‘post-racial Obama age’ we’re entering, there are the things we are supposed to say, the things we actually say and the things we really believe.”

Buzzer follows three young people as they move into a newly-rehabilitated building—one with broken buzzers—in a lower-class, urban neighborhood that is grappling with the effects of gentrification and can be dangerous. Jackson (Eric Lynch), a successful African American attorney who grew up in this neighborhood, has returned home, determined to enjoy its renaissance and build a life there. Having attended Exeter, then Harvard and Harvard Law School, Jackson managed to avoid much of the neighborhood’s strife in his younger years. Suzy (Lee Stark), his girlfriend and a teacher at a tough inner-city school, and his troubled boyhood best friend Don (Shane Kenyon)—both white, and who have a history of their own—move in with him. Don hails from a privileged background, but has extensively battled drug addiction; as a result, he is more street-smart than Jackson. The neighborhood and its newest residents’ emotional entanglement take a toll, and the apartment becomes a kind of crucible in which the ever-present urban landscape has devastating results.

Director Jessica Thebus, who previously directed Sarah Ruhl’s The Clean House and Stage Kiss for the Goodman, works with Wilson for the first time. “Tracey challenges our assumptions; we’re surprised and invigorated by her argument, and we’re illuminated by the intimacy of this story. The economy of just these three very real people invites you to ask yourself, who am I judging and why? Who’s doing what? Whose side am I on? And you’re not sure quite where to position yourself as the story unwinds.”

The design team for BuzzerWalt Spangler (set), John Culbert (lights), Mikhail Fiksel (sound) and Birgit Rattenborg Wise (costumes)—incorporates elements of Wilson’s former Brooklyn neighborhood to create a realistic setting. Added Thebus, “Don, Jackson, and Suzy are always dealing with the outside, which feels a little unstable. From the cars driving by—questioning, ‘was that a car backfire or was that a gunshot?’—to the guys on the corner to the radio, we have extraordinary designers who will make us feel like the presence of that neighborhood is there.”


Following each Wednesday performance of Buzzer, stay for a discussion about the play with members of the artistic team.
Goodman Theatre | FREE
Enjoy pizza, pop and the opportunity to mingle with other students and Goodman artists before a performance of Buzzer.
Tuesday, February 12, 6pm | Goodman Theatre | $10 with promo code COLLEGEBUZZ (must redeem with valid student ID)
A discussion with playwright Tracey Scott Wilson and director Jessica Thebus.
Sunday, February 16, 5pm | Goodman Theatre | FREE
Reservations are required. Call 312.443.3800 to reserve your seats.
Mingle with cast members and Goodman artists in the theater’s rehearsal space before and after a performance of Buzzer.
Thursday, March 6, 6pm Reception / 7:30pm Performance| Goodman Theatre | $60

Google Analytics