Friday, February 28, 2014

ACT OUT KIDS: CLOSING Mr. Chickee's Funny Money (6+) #KidsReview

Last call for one of our favorite fam friendly shows currently running!

ChiIL Mama's ChiIL Picks List: 
Family Friendly Theatre Favorites  

We had a chance to catch Mr. Chickee's Funny Money waaaay back on opening night, and we've been raving about it ever since.  We loved it. Chicago Children's Theatre has long been one of our favorites, for family friendly shows for toddlers to tweens.  We're excited that they're cooking up plans for productions skewed toward older kids now too.  Click here for ChiIL Mama's prior Mr. Chickee review, video, and full show details.

**Mr. Chickee's Funny Money is suggested for kids six and up.** 
The run time is 75 minutes with no intermission--so make sure your kids can handle it, if you're considering bringing the littles. 

We highly recommend you check out Mr. Chickee's Funny Money. Read below for the tweens' take on the show. 

Sage & Du's Reviews
(a kids' eye view)
Mr. Chickee's Funny Money
Chicago Children's Theatre

Reviewed by 
Sage and/or Dugan (10 & 12)

Basic Story:

Chicago Children’s Theatre is not just for little kids.  Mr Chickee’s Funny Money has action, big numbers, big dogs and government agents, and appeals to older kids and adults too.  Little kids might not know who James Brown is… but they should.   

Photo credit for all:  Charles Osgood unless otherwise noted 

The original book was funnier—the humorous parts were better.  But this play really helps you visualize the story and brings it to life on stage.  We liked the giant, shaggy dog costume, and that the girl is the smartest kid in the play, and even more of a major character than in the book.  We were sad they didn’t include the funny, talking dictionary.  They had a live band and the music was good.  They played a huge variety of styles.

Our Take:  

Mr. Chickee’s funny money is a lesson about money and greed making people crazy.  Friends are important to everyone.  Get to know your neighbors and help them out.  They might have a quadrillion dollar bill for you, or at least some interesting stories.

Children would find Mr. Chickee funny… well everyone would find it funny actually.  We greatly liked it and highly recommend it.  

Photo credit:  Tyler Core 

About Sage & Du's Reviews Launch
My kids have been immersed in the Chicago theatre scene their entire lives. Now at 10 & 12 they're still able to enjoy our city's stellar children's theatre offerings, but they've also become my go to +1's for big budget Broadway in Chicago spectacles, edgy storefront fare, and thought provoking dramas at Goodman, Steppenwolf and beyond.

Though they've been my silent partners for years, they've recently been inspired by Ada Grey to speak up and take an active role in our reviews for ChiIL Mama.   I'll still be writing reviews, too, but they will have space for their own unique voices too.   So check back with ChiIL Mama like we vote in Chi, IL... early and often.   Sage & Du's Reviews (a kids' eye view) will be a regular feature!

About Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money 
Via Chicago Children's Theatre
This world premiere R&B musical is adapted from the best selling young adult book Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money by Christopher Paul Curtis, who also penned Bud, Not Buddy, the Newbery Award-winning book and critically acclaimed CCT world premiere earlier this season. The story follows 10-year-old Steven, a self-proclaimed spy and president of the “Flint Future Detectives Club.” At the heart of this whimsical story is a highly intelligent, out-of-the-box thinker and entrepreneurial boy who discovers that family, friends, imagination and determination are the true keys to success; and sharing the spotlight with others can make one even richer.

This all new rhythm and blues musical grooves to original songs by Motown legend Lamont Dozier (who wrote or co-wrote hits like “Stop! In the Name of Love,” “How Sweet It Is,” “Reach Out I’ll Be There,” “Where Did Our Love Go,” and more) with additional music and lyrics by his son Paris Dozier.  Director Derrick Sanders staged CCT’s recent world premiere hits Bud, Not Buddy and Jackie and Me.

-The run time is approximately 75 minutes with no intermission.
-If you have special seating accommodations, please inform the Box Office 72 hours before the performance.
-Tickets can be purchased at the Box Office one hour prior to performances with no additional fees.
Ruth Page Center for Arts
1016 North Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL 60610

Cast: Yaw Agyeman, Bear Bellinger, Jonathan Butler-Duplessis*, Sam Deutsch, Elena Marisa Flores*, Brian Grey, Ashley Elizabeth Honore*, Alexis J. Rogers*, Travis Turner*
Production team: Courtney O’Neill (Scenic Design); Becca Jeffords (Lighting Design); Ray Nardelli (Sound Design); Christine Pascual (Costume  Design); Margaret Goddard-Knop (Properties Design); Cat Wilson (Projection Design); Dennis J. Conners* (Production Stage Manager); JoHannah Hail*, Jeri Frederickson*, Andi Sturtevant

*Denotes member of Actors’ Equity, the union of professional  actors and stage managers in the United States.

If you are not reading this on ChiILLiveShows or your RSS reader, then it's been plagiarized and stealing sucks!

HELP OUT: Indiegogo for Chicago's Aria Women's Chorus video for LGBTQ Russian Youth

Here at ChiIL Live Shows & ChiIL Mama we're all about lots of genres of alternative music, art, culture, food, theatre and urban living. We're a straight, but not narrow minded family, and we're outspoken allies for our friends fighting for social justice and equality. We're happy to count many gay friends and families in our circle of friends. We're also more than willing to spread the word for great causes and interesting events.

The following Indiegogo Campaign was brought to our attention by a long time Chicago friend of ours who is a mom to 2 girls and she has this to say:

As you all already know, I sing in the Aria Women's Chorus, a group very special to me which uses music to leverage support for a myriad of social justice issues.  

Currently, we are focussing on the new legislation in Russia which prohibits youth (and all other individuals) from identifying as LGBTQ.  

We are making a music video which will be disseminated to Russian youth by  Our Artistic Director has written a song for the project, which says (in Russian): You are beautiful just the way you are.  

We are having an indiegogo campaign to support the video production.  I have a personal goal of having 10 friends donate to the campaign.  Can you contribute $10 or $15 to kids who need to hear the sound of hope?  Pretty please?  

Click the link below to add your voice to the song. 

Thanks everyone! 

IndieGoGo Campaign link: You Are Beautiful

Monday, February 24, 2014

Thodos Dance Winter Concert at Harris Theatre #dance

Winter Concert 2014


A world premiere collaboration 
Jeanne Gang
Founder and Principal
Studio Gang Architects 
Melissa Thodos
Founder and Artistic Director
Thodos Dance Chicago 

The return of
A Light in the Dark, the story of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan
co-choreographed by 
Melissa Thodos 
Broadway legend 
Ann Reinking

The world premiere of
by Lucas Crandall 
Ballet Master
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago

And TDC  New Dances 2013 standout 
Panem Nostrum Quoditianum
("Our Daily Bread")
by Ahmad Simmons
River North Dance Chicago



Thodos Dance ensemble members at one of Studio Gang's signature Chicago structures,  
the Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo (photos by Katie Graves.) 

Melissa Thodos                                             Jeanne Gang 
Photo by Cheryl Mann                                   © Sally Ryan Photography, Courtesy of Studio Gang Architects



Pictured:  Thodos ensemble members Alissa Tollefson as Anne Sullivan and Jessica Miller Tomlinson as Helen Keller; Melissa Thodos with Ann Reinking.  Photos by Cheryl Mann



Leading artists from Chicago's culture scene, Melissa Thodos and Jeanne Gang, have combined their singular talents to create a cross-disciplinary, world-premiere dance that explores the fascinating worlds of-and intersections among-dance, architecture and physics.

The program also boasts the return of TDC's acclaimed story ballet A Light in the Dark, the story of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan, co-choreographed by Melissa Thodos and Broadway legend Ann Reinking; Tsuru, a world premiere by Hubbard Street Dance Chicago's Lucas Crandall; and Panem Nostrum Quoditianum (Latin for "our daily bread") by Ahmad Simmons of River North Dance Chicago.

Two shows only at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 East Randolph Street, Chicago, on Saturday, March 8 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 9 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20-$60; half off for students, seniors and industry. Purchase tickets at the Harris by calling (312) 334-7777 or visiting

More about the Thodos Dance Chicago/Studio Gang Architects collaboration 


(Photo on right, from left) Thodos Dance Chicago Artistic Director Melissa Thodos and Jeanne Gang at an initial meeting at Studio Gang Architects (photo on right, from left: Jeanne Gang and Melissa Thodos; photos by Claire Cahan). 
Melissa Thodos, founder and artistic director of Thodos Dance Chicago, is the only female choreographer in Chicago to have helmed her own mid-sized, contemporary dance company for more than two decades with the unique mission of providing her ensemble dancers a platform to pursue dance as a performer, choreographer and educator.   

Jeanne Gang is founder and principal of Studio Gang Architects, recognized as one of architecture's most innovative, well-regarded, and closely watched firms - and one uniquely interested in projects aimed at connecting, enhancing, and restoring urban and natural landscapes. 

Studio Gang Architects is designing an interactive structure that combines art and science, tapping into cutting-edge research being performed by physicist Sidney Nagel and the Nagel Group at the University of Chicago.This new process, informally called "jamming," is being used to create vacuum-supported membrane structures with load-bearing properties. Responding to movement and other stimuli, the structure, stage set and dancers will transform into a live study of motion, material, shape, composition and light. 

According to Gang, "Studio Gang Architects has long admired the work of Thodos Dance Chicago and its mission to inspire expression. As architects we are interested in how TDC uses the body's physicality and the mechanism of performance to catalyze community and creative discovery. We are thrilled to collaborate with Thodos Dance Chicago on this unique project exploring parallels between the worlds of audience and performer, art and science, movement and stasis."

"Jeanne and her Studio Gang colleagues are true visionaries, and we've so enjoyed bringing our different but not altogether dissimilar creative worlds together with this project," Thodos added. "This collaboration reinforces many facets of Thodos Dance Chicago's mission of inspiring expression through performance, education and creation. This work will reflect the transformative power of dance and design as we blend our visions, fueled by cutting-edge science and the body, light and atmosphere, form and function, and create a brand new environment for our audiences to experience."

More about A Light in the Dark, the story of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan, back by popular demand

Back by popular demand, Thodos Dance Chicago's Winter Concert 2014 will also boast a revival of the company's critically acclaimed smash hit A Light in the Dark, the story of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan. This full-length story ballet, co-choreographed by Melissa Thodos and Broadway legend Ann Reinking, tells the intimate family story of Helen Keller, the extraordinary woman who was deaf and blind yet went on to become a world-famous writer, political activist and inspiration to all, and her teacher Anne Sullivan, who led Helen into a world of education, activism and intellectual celebrity. 
A Light in the Dark features original music by composer Bruce Wolosoff, and was created in collaboration with dance legend Gary Chryst, rehearsal and stage direction; Nathan Tomlinson, TDC's resident lighting designer; and Nathan Rohrer, TDC's resident costume designer.  

Hedy Weiss, dance critic with the Chicago Sun-Times, named the 2013 debut of A Light in the Dark one of the "Top 10 Dances of 2013," calling it "a feast for the senses...a powerful portrait of the meaning of communication, movement, independence, freedom and love." The Chicago Tribune hailed it as "a visceral illustration of the power of dance to enlighten." Dance Magazine wrote "the choreography weaves a tale with an almost mythic tone that gives us great new insight into Helen Keller's world." 

The making of A Light in the Dark was the subject of Shine, a half-hour documentary captured through the lens of Emmy Award-winning Chicago filmmaker Christopher Kai Olsen. The documentary, which debuted on WTTW-TV, Channel 11 last September, will be rebroadcast on Channel 11 on Sunday, February 2 at 2:30 p.m., less than three weeks before the dance is reprised in Skokie and again at the Harris in March.    

Thodos Dance Chicago is conducting extensive outreach to Chicago's vision- and hearing-impaired communities by offering complimentary tickets, discounted tickets, and special services including pre-show Touch Tours of the set, live audio description of the performance via two-way headsets, and braille and large-print programs. These services, piloted with great success last year, allow this critically important audience to experience contemporary dance, many for the first time, and in particular this creative retelling of the story of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan through dance.

In addition, Thodos Dance has created Connections, an experiential education outreach component targeting school and community groups that will link the story of Helen Keller, A Light in the Dark and contemporary dance to spur discussions about disability awareness.

Enjoy excerpts a performance of 
A Light in the Dark, the story of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan

Also on Thodos' Winter Concert 2014 program

Internationally established choreographer Lucas Crandall, Rehearsal Director at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, was tapped by Thodos Dance Chicago to set a new work that also will premiere at Winter Concert 2014. Titled Tsuru, this new full-company work embodies the search to find inner freedom amidst an environment full of adversity, and embraces the idea of the liberation of the soul. 

Crandall has been creating works since 1982, and his pieces have been performed in the United States and abroad. Prior to re-joining Hubbard Street earlier this year, Crandall most recently  served as a guest teacher for the Ballet du Grand Theatre de Geneve, guest Ballet Master for Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal and Rehearsal Director for Northwest Dance Project.  

Making the jump from TDC's New Dances series last summer to the company's official repertoire at Winter Concert 2014 is Panem Nostrum Quoditianum (Latin for "our daily bread") by guest choreographer Ahmad Simmons, a dancer with River North Dance Chicago. 

Simmons first caught Melissa Thodos's eye back in 2006 when he was her student at the Broadway Theatre Project in Florida, so they have enjoyed a special connection even prior to his arrival on Chicago's dance scene. 

Panem Nostrum Quoditianum is a spiritual, lyrical piece which explores the roots of Ahmad's learning; the dancers experience trust, community and freedom as they challenge their bodies to move beyond the mind. The Chicago Tribune called it "robust in technique and thought-provoking in theme, a sincere, straightforward exploration of spiritual matters in dance, a recitation of 'The Lord's Prayer' boldly part of its accompaniment."
About Thodos Dance Chicago 

In 1992, Melissa Thodos, a young Evanston-born, Chicago-based dancer and choreographer, was frustrated with the lack of opportunities for local dancers to work in what in her mind was the obvious environment for any well-rounded dance professional:  A place to perform.  A place to create. And a place to educate. Fast-forward 20 years, and Thodos is the only female choreographer to have helmed her own mid-sized, contemporary dance company in Chicago for two decades with this unique mission.

Today, Thodos Dance Chicago (TDC) is an ensemble of twelve versatile dance artists with a captivating style that uses a variety of dance forms. The company's unique mission of inspiring expression through dance education, dance creation and dance performance has established Thodos Dance Chicago as an innovative presence in American contemporary dance.  Thodos Dance Chicago features the American voice in contemporary dance and has created two critically acclaimed story ballets.  In addition to performing works by Melissa Thodos and resident artists, TDC performs a diverse array of works created by other reputable choreographers: Bob Fosse, Ann Reinking, Lar Lubovitch, Shapiro & Smith, Jon Lehrer, Michael Anderson, Zachary Whittenburg, Amy Ernst, Ron De Jesús, Gustavo Ramírez Sansano and KT Nelson. TDC ensemble members themselves also create highly-charged, illuminating world premieres every year in the company's acclaimed New Dances choreography series.  

Thodos Dance Chicago ensemble members, who each teach, choreograph and perform with innovative flair, include veterans John Cartwright, Annie Deutz, Elizabeth Dickson, Alissa Tollefson, Kyle Hadenfeldt, Joshua Manculich, Jessica Miller Tomlinson, Jon Sloven and Diana Winfree.  New ensemble members this season are Tenley Dorrill, Brandon Harneck and Laura Zimmerer. Laura Gates is the company's rehearsal director and ballet mistress.  

Thodos Dance Chicago continues to expand its artistic and institutional boundaries under the guidance of Founder and Artistic Director Melissa Thodos, Executive Director Gail Ford, Grants and Booking Director Rick Johnston, Board President Elaine Rosenfeld Margulis, a dedicated board of directors and administrative staff, and the support of thousands of contemporary dance enthusiasts both in Chicago and nationwide.    

The company is supported by the Illinois Arts Council-a state agency, Target, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, The Arts Work Fund, The Morrison-Scherer Foundation, The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, The Saints and many individual and corporate sponsors.      

For more information, visit

About Studio Gang Architects

MacArthur Fellow Jeanne Gang is the founder of Studio Gang Architects, a Chicago-based collective of architects, designers, and thinkers practicing internationally. Jeanne uses architecture as a medium of active response to contemporary issues and their impact on human experience. Her work with Studio Gang is designed to resonate with its specific site and culture while addressing larger global themes such as reuse and sustainability.

With this approach, Studio Gang has produced some of today's most innovative and visually compelling architecture. The firm's projects range from tall buildings like the Aqua Tower, whose façade encourages building community in the vertical dimension, to the Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo, where fourteen acres of biodiverse habitat are designed to double as storm water infrastructure and engaging public space.

Honored and published widely, Studio Gang's work has been exhibited at the Venice Architecture Biennale, the Museum of Modern Art, the National Building Museum, and the Art Institute of Chicago.

For more information, visit

Screen excerpts of Thodos Dance Chicago's 2013-2014 Repertoire

ACT OUT OPENING: Griffin Theatre's Golden Boy at Theater Wit

Tonight we'll be back at Theater Wit, one of our favorite multistage spaces in the city.  Check back shortly for our full review.

Griffin Theatre Company Presents Revival of
By Clifford Odets
Directed by Jonathan Berry
Through April 6, 2014

Griffin Theatre Company is pleased to present a revival of Clifford Odets’ Tony Award-nominated drama of life, in and outside the boxing ring, GOLDEN BOY, directed by ensemble member Jonathan Berry, playing February 15 – April 6, 2014 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are available at, in person at the Theater Wit Box Office or by calling (773) 975-8150.  

Featuring Nate Santana in the title role, GOLDEN BOY’s 15-member ensemble cast also includes Jerry Bloom, David Cady Jr., John Connolly, Laura Lapidus, Jason Lindner, Morgan Maher, Niall McGinty, Connor McNamara, Johnny Moran, Nina O'Keefe, Paul Popp, Mark Pracht, David Prete and Norm Woodel

Clifford Odets’ masterpiece of American drama is set in the gritty world of prize fighting. Joe Bonaparte is a young gifted violinist, who defies his family and gives up a career as a classical musician for a chance at immortality in the boxing ring. GOLDEN BOY is a blistering and powerful look at fame and fortune corrupted, and the seductive promise of the American dream.  

The Lincoln Center’s 2012 revival of Golden Boy garnered eight Tony Award nominations, including Best Revival. Initially produced on Broadway in 1937, Odets’ hit was made into the 1939 film of the same name, starring William Holden in his breakout role. Golden Boy received its second Broadway revival in 1952.

The production team for GOLDEN BOY includes: Dan Stratton (set design), Mieka Van der Ploeg (costume design), Rebecca Barrett (lighting design) and Rick Sims (sound design), Amanda Herrmann and Christopher Neville (props design), Joe Schermoly (production manager/assistant director) and Jon Ravenscroft (stage manager). 


Playwright:  Clifford Odets
Director:  Jonathan Berry
Cast:  Nate Santana (Joe) with Jerry Bloom (Carp), David Cady Jr. (Mickey), John Connolly (Roxy), Laura Lapidus (Anna), Jason Lindner (Tokio), Morgan Maher (Siggie), Niall McGinty (Frank/Sam), Connor McNamara (Pepper), Johnny Moran (Lewis/Barker), Nina O'Keefe (Lorna), Paul Popp (Drake/Driscoll), Mark Pracht (Moody), David Prete (Eddie) and Norm Woodel (Bonaparte).

Location:  Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago

Regular run: Thursday, February 27 – Sunday, April 6, 2014
Curtain Times:  Thursdays & Fridays at 7:30 pm; Saturdays at 2:30 pm & 7:30 pm; Sundays at 3 pm
Tickets:  Regular run $33. Students/seniors $28. Tickets are available at, in person at the Theater Wit Box Office or by calling (773) 975-8150.

About the Playwright
Clifford Odets is an American playwright, screenwriter and director. His other stage works include Waiting for Lefty, Awake and Sing!, Till the Day I Die, Paradise Lost, I Can't Sleep, Sarah Bernhardt (radio) The Silent Partner, Rocket to the Moon, Night Music, Clash by Night, The Russian People, The Big Knife, The Country Girl and The Flowering Peach.  His screenwriting credits include The General Died at Dawn, Golden Boy, None but the Lonely Heart, Humoresque, Notorious, Deadline at Dawn, Clash by Night, The Big Knife, The Country Girl, Sweet Smell of Success, The Story on Page One and Wild in the Country.

About the Director
Jonathan Berry has been working with The Griffin since 1998, first as an actor in Shake Your Groove Thing, Romeo and Juliet, Loving Little Egypt and Stairs to the Roof and then as a director, with productions includings: Miller/Tysen’s The Burnt Part Boys, Sheik/Sater’s Spring Awakening, the North American premieres of Simon Stephens Punk Rock (Jeff award–Director, Lead Actor and Ensemble) Port, and On the Shore of the Wide World, Stephen Sondheim’s Company, William Inge’s Picnic, JB Priestely’s Time and the Conways (Jeff nomination– director/ensemble), Sidney Kingsley’s Dead End, Brendan Behan’s The Hostage and R.C. Sheriff’s Journey’s End. He is an Artistic Associate at Steep, where his productions include: John Donnelly’s The Knowledge, David Eldridge’s Festen, Deirdre Kinahan’s Moment, Howard Korder’s The Hollow Lands and Brecht’s The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. Steppenwolf productions include the SYA production of A Separate Peace, and the world premiere of Melinda Lopez’s Gary, as well as the staged reading of Suicide, Incorporated. Goodman Theatre: The World of Extreme Happiness, and The Solid Sand Below.  Roundabout (NY) Suicide, Incorporated. Other work includes: Gift Theatre: the world premiers of both Andrew Hinderaker’s Dirty and Suicide, Incorporated, Chicago Dramatists: I am Going to Change the World, Remy Bumppo: The Marriage of Figaro, Theatre Mir: Bond’s The Sea and Brecht’s Caucasian Chalk Circle, Lifeline Theater: The Piano Tuner (After Dark Award–Best Production). Jonathan pursued his MFA in directing from Northwestern University. He has taught acting, directing,and viewpoints at University of Michigan, Northwestern University, University of Chicago, Act One Studios, Columbia College and The School at Steppenwolf.

About Griffin Theatre Company
Established in 1988 and celebrating its 25th season, the mission of the Griffin Theatre Company is to create extraordinary and meaningful theatrical experiences for both children and adults by building bridges of understanding between generations that instill in its audience an appreciation of the performing arts. Through artistic collaboration the Griffin Theatre Company produces literary adaptations, original work and classic plays that challenge and inspire, with wit, style and compassion for the audience.

The Griffin Theatre Company is partially supported by grants from a City Arts Program II grant through the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs; and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

For additional information, visit

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Shows On Our Radar: The Hypocrites Tennessee Williams Project Closing & Into The Woods Just Opened

One of our favorite troupes for consistently creative, fabulous fare is The Hypocrites.  They've currently got one show closing and one that just opened that are high on our must see list. Both are Jeff Recommended.

Two shows now playing from The Hypocrites
Tennessee Williams Project, now-March 2nd Chopin Theater

Into the Woods, now-March 30th Mercury Theater.

Tennessee Williams Project
Three One Acts Directed by Matt Hawkins
Only two weekends left--Must end March 2nd

"HIGHLY RECOMMENDED...Hypocrites' Tennessee Williams Project is ticket to trio of rare sidetrips" Chicago Sun-Times

"The terrific ensemble...morph into multiple roles for this Tennessee Williams' showcase...THE TENNESSEE WILLIAMS PROJECT is three plays for the price of one. It's a unique opportunity to experience TW from three rarely produced angles. Highly Recommended" Fourth Walsh

"Director Matt Hawkins provides a deft touch" NewCity

"Intoxicating journey through modern master's lesser-knowns" Chicago Theater Beat

"The Tennessee Williams Project will appeal to all types of theatergoers with its unique three-stage setup and certainly spur a number of conversations among Williams' fans both casual and well acquainted." Windy City-Times

Remaining 7 Performances at Chopin Theater:
Friday 2/21/2014 7:30 PM
Saturday 2/22/2014 7:30 PM
Sunday 2/23/2014 3:00 PM
Monday 2/24/2014 7:30 PM

Friday 2/28/2014 7:30 PM
Saturday 3/1/2014 7:30 PM
Sunday 3/2/2014 3:00 PM  

Book your Tennessee Williams Project tickets here    

Into the Woods
Mercury Theater now-March 30th

 "ambitious, inventive, remarkably 
fresh take on Sondheim..." 

"clever...delightful...high-pitched energy"
Chicago Sun-Times

"laudably ambitious, hugely enthusiastic and admirably sung...The commitment is full and the stakes high."
Chicago Tribune  

"ten talented, personable actors perform the hell out of a great work of theatrical art, supported by a sharp offstage band." Chicago Reader

"A revelatory 'Into the Woods'"  

"...sounds great, looks great, and is overflowing with imagination and resourcefulness. It's the kind of production that will make you want to listen to the soundtrack immediately so you can relive The Hypocrites' bold choices, because once upon a time isn't enough."

"...In the hands of a wonderfully talented cast and a whiz of a director - The Hypocrites theater company has cobbled together a magical production" On the Aisle  

"Anyone that questions the creative force of Chicago storefront theaters have to look no further than The Hypocrites ingenious re-imagining of Stephen Sondheim's 1986 musical Into The Woods...That incredible vision and talent is what makes The Hypocrites part of the fabric the makes Chicago theatre a beacon for others to follow." ShowBiz Chicago   

"The Hypocrites have found a way to change a story as we know it and turn it upside down on its head. They continue to be one of the most exciting companies in Chicago theatre. The show is inventive, wildly funny and unlike any other journey 'Into the Woods' you are likely to take."

"a joyous, splendid revival by the very talented folks of The Hypocrites." Chicago Theatre Review

"The Hypocrites' 'Into the Woods' is a wonder...with some terrific voices and a small but sturdy cohort of behind-the-scenes musicians-that never loses sight of the Hypocrites' signature sense of humor."  NewCity 

"People who would like this show are people who like catchy songs about Giants, feeling a lot of different feelings at the same time, and people disappearing behind balloons. People should go see the show because the acting is great and so is the set... It is funny and it makes you feel like you are part of a fairy tale that has gone wrong, but you know that you won't actually get hurt." Ada Grey, Age 9

Performance schedule now-March 30th:
Thursdays at 7:30pm
Fridays at 8pm
Saturdays at 2pm and 8pm
Sundays at 3pm

or call 773-325-1700 for tickets for

Into the Woods

Thursday, February 20, 2014

ACT OUT OPENING: Cock at Profiles Theatre

COCK by Mike Bartlett

Profiles Theatre continues its 25th Anniversary Season with the Midwest premiere of Cock by Mike Bartlett, directed by Artistic Director Darrell W. Cox. The production runs February 14 – April 6, 2014 at The Main Stage, 4139 N. Broadway

In this tense comedy about sexual identity, Cock explores one man's choices about which path of love to pursue. When John takes a break from his longtime boyfriend, the last thing he expects is to fall in love with a woman. Trapped between two lovers, John feels the physical and emotional tug as neither party wants to lose the battle for his heart. John must make a choice as he navigates his sexuality, selfhood, and the intersection of the two.

Cock received its World premiere at London’s Royal Court Theatre, selling out its entire run in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs before opening in November 2009. Directed by James Macdonald, it won the 2010 Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre as well as a nomination for Best Play at the 2010 Evening Standard Theatre Awards. The American premiere, also produced by Royal Court and staged by Macdonald, opened off-Broadway in May 2012 and received a nomination for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play from the Outer Critics Circle Awards and Outstanding Play for the 2013 Lucille Lortel Awards. Mike Bartett won the Old Vic New Voices Award for Artefacts at the Bush Theatre while Contractions at Royal Court received a nomination for the TMA Best New Play Award. Bartlett, a Pearson Playwright in Residence at the Royal Court in 2007, currently works as Associate Playwright at Paines Plough.

Directed by Profiles Co-Artistic Director Darrell W. Cox, the cast of Cock features Guest Artists Larry Neumann, Jr., Eleni Pappageorge, Christopher Sheard and Jake Szczepaniak.

"I'm thrilled that Profiles Theatre is producing Cock this season,” says playwright Mike Bartlett. “It's about sex and sexuality, fighting, falling in love, and getting things wrong. It needs four clever actors, and an audience with a bold imagination, a big heart, and a capacity to laugh out loud when required. From what I've heard about Profiles, it'll have no trouble finding that audience, and they'll encounter a fantastic production of a play I care a huge amount about."

The designers for Cock are Katie-Bell Springmann (set), Mike Durst (lights), Jeffrey Levin (sound and original music), and Raquel Adorno (costumes), with Kaylie Honkala serving as stage manager and Scott Wolf as assistant director.

Profiles Theatre concludes its 25th Anniversary Season with the Midwest premiere of Hunter Gatherers by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, also at The Main Stage. Their Midwest premiere of Gidion’s Knot by Johnna Adams is now playing at The Alley Stage, 4147 N. Broadway, through March 9, 2014.

Tickets for Cock are $35 for Thursdays, $40 for Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets are available by phone, (773) 549-1815, or online, Performances are Thursdays and Fridays at 8:00 p.m., Saturdays at 5:00 and 8:00 pm, Sundays at 7:00 p.m.


MIKE  BARTLETT (Playwright) is currently Associate Playwright at Paines Plough. In 2011 he was writer-in-residence at The National Theatre and in 2007 he was Pearson Playwright in Residence at the Royal Court Theatre. His play Love, Love, Love won Best New Play in the 2011 Theatre Awards UK, and his play Cock won an Olivier Award in 2010 for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre; he won the Writer's Guild Tinniswood and Imison prizes for Not Talking and the Old Vic New Voices Awards for Artefacts. Additional theatre credits include 13 (National Theatre), Decade (co-writer), Earthquakes in London, Contractors and My Child. His radio credits include: "The Core," "Heart," "Liam," "The Steps," "Love Contract," "Not Talking," and "The Family Man," all on BBC. Mike’s screen credits include "Earthquakes in London" and "Hometown." His directing credits include Honest by DC Moore. Mike is currently under commission from Headlong Theatre, Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, Hampstead Theatre and The Royal Court Theatre.

DARRELL W. COX (Director) is the Co-Artistic Director of Profiles Theatre and most recently directed the holiday season revival as well as last year's 20th Anniversary productions of Hellcab by Will Kern. Prior to that, he directed the Midwest premiere of Bachelorette by Leslye Headland, the American premiere of The Wonderful World of Dissocia by Anthony Neilson, Profiles’ Midwest premieres of This is How it Goes, “Coax” and the titular piece from Things We Said Today and Profiles’ long running hit, Autobahn, all by Neil LaBute. Mr. Cox has directed numerous productions for Profiles over the years including the Midwest premieres of The Radiant Abyss by Angus MacLachlan and Wonder of the World by David Lindsay-Abaire. Other directorial credits for Profiles include The Water Engine, How the Other Half Loves and The Twilight Zone: The Series.

LARRY NEUMANN JR. (F) has performed in over 75 productions in his career. A native Chicagoan, audiences have seen Larry most recently in Goodman Theatre’s A Christmas Carol. Profiles audiences will remember him as Mitch in their production of In God’s Hat. Larry will reprise his role of Ed Mosher in Robert Falls’ award-winning production of The Iceman Cometh with Nathan Lane and Brian Dennehy at BAM in January 2015. At Lookingglass Theatre, Larry portrayed baseball icon Branch Rickey in the critically acclaimed production Mr. Rickey Calls a Meeting, as the title role in The Richard Nickel Story and as Austin Shagg in the music-infused production, The Shaggs.  Mr. Neumann received Jeff awards for performances in A Moon for the Misbegotten as Phil Hogan at First Folio Theatre, in the epic, two-part production of The Cider House Rules as Dr. Larch and for his portrayal of the Dali Lama in Hitting For The Cycle both at Famous Door Theater. Other Chicago performances include The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe (First Folio), The Puppetmaster of Ludz (Writer’s Theatre) and Underneath The Lintel (Noble Fool). He has appeared regionally at Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Madison Repertory Theater and Kansas City Repertory. His film credits include Merry Gentleman, Stranger Than Fiction and Stir of Echoes. Larry is a member of Actors’ Equity.

ELENI PAPPAGEORGE (W) is makes her Profiles Theatre debut in Cock. She is a Waltzing Mechanics company member focusing these past few years on developing and performing original documentary theatre including EL Stories and Over My Dead Body. She’s also had the pleasure of working with Northlight, The Chicago Dramatists, Remy Bumppo, Second City, Chemically Imbalanced Comedy, North Carolina Shakespeare Festival, Circle Theatre and The Pre-Post Humanists. She is a graduate of the Second City Conservatory and holds a BFA in Acting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

CHRISTOPHER SHEARD (John) is makes his Profiles Theatre debut with Cock. He was last seen in Chicago in SS! Romeo and Juliet with Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and A Christmas Carol for Metropolis PAC. His regional credits include Skylight, Troilus and Cressida, Les Liaisons Dangereuses  and Antony and Cleopatra with American Players Theatre as well as Henry IV Part One and A Midsummer Night's Dream with the Great River Shakespeare Festival. He is a graduate of Florida State University with a BA in Theatre and received his MFA from The University of Illinois PATP.

JAKE SZCZEPANIAK (M) appears with Profiles Theatre for the first time. He was last seen in Unwilling and Hostile Instruments with Theater Seven, Burn This with Shattered Globe, Changes of Heart with Remy Bumppo and Girl You Know It’s True with Pavement Group. He has also worked with Baliwick Chicago, Circle Theater, Red Tape Theater, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Pride Films and Plays and (re)Discover theater. Jake is a graduate of the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana acting program and an artistic associate with Pavement Group. 


Title:                 Cock
            Playwright:        by Mike Bartlett
Directed by:      Darrell W. Cox
Featuring:            Guest Artists Larry Neumann, Jr., Eleni Pappageorge, Christopher Sheard, Jake Szczepaniak
            Dates:              Previews:                     February 14, 15, 18, 19 at 8 pm
                                                                        February 16 at 7 pm
                                    Press Opening:            Thursday, February 20 at 8 pm
                                    Regular Run:                February 20 – April 6, 2014

Schedule:         Thurs., Fri.:                  8:00 p.m. 
                        Saturday:                     5:00 p.m. and 8:00p.m.
Sunday:                       7:00 p.m.

Location:          Profiles Theatre, The Main Stage, 4139 N. Broadway
                        Parking is available for $14 - $20 at 4100 N. Clarendon
(One block east of the theatre at the corner of Clarendon and Belle Plaine)

Ticket prices:    Previews:         $20
Regular Run:    Thursdays are $35, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are $40; Students and Senior Citizens receive a $5 discount on all performances; Group rates are available.
Box Office:       Buy online at
or call (773) 549-1815

Also now playing:


Profiles Theatre, founded in 1988 by Artistic Director Joe Jahraus, joined shortly thereafter by Artistic Director Darrell W. Cox, was formed as an actor-driven theatre ensemble dedicated to creating provocative and emotionally truthful productions. Passionate about shaping an original vision for new works, they focused on performing World, American and Midwest premieres as well as rarely performed plays. Critically acclaimed hits, such as BLACKBIRD, FAT PIG, GRACELAND and the multiple Jeff Award-winning KILLER JOE, established Profiles as a destination for challenging and edgy theatre. Their unique collaboration with playwright Neil LaBute led the ensemble to perform an entire season of his plays in 2007-2008. Now a Resident Artist at Profiles, LaBute remains an unequivocal artistic influence on the ensemble.

After performing at 4147 North Broadway for more than two decades, Profiles acquired an adjacent theatre at 4139 North Broadway in 2012. Profiles’ new theatre, The Main Stage, with its larger seating capacity, increased performance space and higher ceilings, accommodates more ambitious and technically demanding productions. Their long-time venue, renamed The Alley Stage, continues as the home for plays strengthened by a more intimate staging. Driven by an undiminished appetite for creating honest and resonant theatre, Profiles still seeks to present work that illuminates the determination and resiliency of the human spirit.

Google Analytics