Saturday, May 31, 2014

TONIGHT: My Gold Mask at Hideout (5/31) #DarkPop

Chi, IL Live Shows on Our Radar

Chicago's breakthrough dark-pop trio, My Gold Mask, plays The Hideout this Saturday. For fans of Crystal Castles and Karen O, My Gold Mask have climbed the ranks to be one of Chicago's most alluring and exciting live acts. Have a listen to their latest single, "Battles" on Noisey!

My Gold Mask
Oshwa, Savage Sister
Sat, May 31, 2014
Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm
The Hideout
Chicago, IL

My Gold Mask Plays Chicago At The Hideout This Saturday 

Press Quotes
"they've been amassing a cultish following for their signature sound, which blends Rochelle's Siouxsie-esque vocal melodies with driving percussion and dark riffs that simultaneously recall the Cocteau Twins and look toward "futuristic gypsy tribe shit," as their bio aptly describes." -- Huffington Post

“a period homage that avoids sounding dated thanks to the band’s raw primordial stomp.” -- Pitchfork

"They didn’t skimp on dramatics, with Rochelle’s pleading vocals, Armondo’s spiraling guitar riffs and lyrics that grapple with psychosis and reference Gothic literature and Italo horror flicks. The result achieves a spellbinding emotional intensity that’s easy to inhabit." -- eMusic

"[they] exhibit enough emotional variation to hold a better audience, from a variety standpoint at least, than the majority of the hundreds of EP's that get sent to me each week." -- Earmilk

"...the smart and cynically bleak overtures are accompanied by enough captivating sounds and artistry to ensure a dedicated fan-base come next release. Don't say I didn't warn you." -- Altsounds
"My Gold Mask gets mega sounds and emotion out of two instruments" -- FADER
"...dark-pop purveyors who cut their thick, smoky atmospherics with buoyant rhythms and elevated melody." -- SPIN

"Gretta Rochelle's vocals paired with the bubbly synths and heavy-hitting percussion on "Battles" shows just how versitile the band's sounds have become." -- Noisey


(One of our fav small venues here at ChiIL Live Shows!)

Before we get into this weeks events, if you didn't hear the news yesterday we've released the line-up for the Hideout Block Party / Onion & AV Fest!  We've got another fantastic bill with Death Cab for Cutie, The War On Drugs, The Dismemberment Plan, funky METERS, Mac DeMarco, The Handsome Family, Sylvan Esso, Valerie June, Bad Luck Jonathan and Plastic Crimewave Vision Celestial Guitarkestra!  Get all of the details here and get your tickets now!  Our limited $65 day passes will not last for too long.  More bands to be announced as well so stay tuned!
On to this fabulous week! 

Saturday, at the crossroads of underground and over the top, zoned in and plugged out, raw and riotous, lives Chicago’s My Gold Mask. The goth pop band’s exotic gypsy spells and murderous garage rock ballads have built a unique wall of sound that some have likened to a metallic symphony.  Oshwa and Savage Sister are kicking things off.
At midnight we start dancing, with the venerable Chances Dances throwing a benefit dance party for Chicago Dyke March.  The Chicago Dyke March Collective is a grassroots mobilization and celebration of dyke, queer, bisexual, and transgender resilience.  Get your dancing shoes on because Chances always knows how to throw down.

Sunday, for the second installment of Get Off the Couch, the singer-songwriter showcase is giving us a headlining set from Miles Nielsen & the Rusted Hearts, Vivian McConnell (of Grandkids & Santah), Daniela Sloan and Sonny Apollo.  It was beautiful two weeks ago and we're happy they have landed on their regular first Sunday of every month here at the Hideout.
Monday we are closed.

Tuesday, we welcome back First Tuesdays with Mick & Ben.  Come and watch the Chicago Reader writers, Mick Dumke and Ben Joravsky, square off with some of the local movers and shakers in local politics.  Tonight they are joined by some of the youngest pols like state rep Christian Mitchell, AFSCME lobbyist Adrienne Alexander and recently elected state rep Will Guzzardi.

Later, we welcome Theatre Oobleck on the first night of the Toosday Night Residency for all of Joon!  Tonight they present 
One Up, a showcase of short solo work -- spoken, musical, and miscellaneous -- by Oobleck regulars and associates Kristin Basta, Martha Bayne, Emmy Bean (Baudelaire in a Box), Robin Cline, Barrie Cole, Kat McJimsey (Spirits to Enforce, Strauss at Midnight), Heather Riordan (Letter Purloined, Spukt), and Diana Slickman (Spirits to Enforce, Letter Purloined). Featuring new work by 
Oobleck ensemble member Mickle Maher (as performed by Kat McJimsey) and most likely an accordion or two. Ronnie Kuller, of Mucca Pazza DJs before and after.

At the crossroads of underground and over the top, zoned in and plugged out, raw and riotous, lives Chicago’s My Gold Mask. The band’s exotic spells and murderous ballads have built a unique wall of sound that some have likened to a metallic symphony - pretty impressive when you consider My Gold Mask has, until recently, been a duo.

Lead vocalist and percussionist Gretta Rochelle first met guitarist Jack Armondo at a rooftop party; their first words to each other were about music, and ever since the conversation between the two principal songwriters of MGM has stayed there, resulting in two well-received EPs in 2010: A Thousand Voices and A Million Miles (From Where We Were Last) , which had Pitchfork calling them “a band to watch”, as well as a self-titled debut LP and the band’s latest: 2013’s Leave Me Midnight.
Part of My Gold Mask’s success is that they have always been a band of versatility. From the beginning, the duo was synced by Rochelle’s expressive, genre-hopping vocals, and Armondo's reverb-soaked guitar riffs. But that hasn’t stopped the pair from evolving around those core staple elements. In both tone and structure, they’ve managed to transcend their earliest influences into modern atmospheric components from styles and nuances you can’t exactly pinpoint. 

When they needed percussion, Rochelle taught herself how to play; when they wanted to fill out the textured nuances of their sound, they commissioned drummer  James Andrew (now a full-fledged member of the band). Andrew brings forth both traditional and electronic drums - triggering synth pads and basslines - for  much denser arrangements and synthetic layers, that compliment the band’s core songwriting.“My Gold Mask has always been a vehicle for our ever evolving artistic impulses,” says Armondo on the band’s evolution.  “From day one we established that the very identity of the band could change at our whims, hence the name”.
“We like to explore those darker feelings that sometimes get left behind in pop music,” adds Rochelle, and the band has successfully found that balance by working on heavy-handed remixes with the likes of The Hood Internet and Crystal Castles’ engineer Alex Zelenka, who re-rendered the band’s biggest single to date, “Violet Eyes.” The song also caught the attention of fashion designer Phillip Lim who used My Gold Mask’s music in his 2010 Fashion Week shows and hosted the band for an in-store performance, which led Vogue to name it one of the “Ten Best Music Shows of Fashion’s Night Out.”

In the summer of 2013, My Gold Mask returned to the forefront with a new Daytrotter session, a first-ever national headlining tour and joined Metric at Red Bull Sound Select’s inaugural concert, building on their roster of supporting acts like Twin Shadow, The New Pornographers, Blonde Redhead, and Waaves.

The year also marked the debut of the band’s song "Some Secrets" on MTV's hit show "Awkward" (previously, "Ghost in Your Bed" and "All Up in the Air" appeared in episodes of "Gossip Girl"). Following suit, the enchanting number “Never Go Home” will air on Syfy’s hit supernatural show, “Being Human,” in January 2014.

In 2014, the trio continues to create new material, having just released digital-only singles of “Dangerous” followed by “Severed,” the hauntingly beautiful ballad premiered saying the band is “already looking to push their sound further.” With the latest release of the bouncy synth hit, “Battles”, which premiered on Noisey, and  remix by electro Goth artist Mr. Kitty, MGM  is proving them right.

Look for the anthemic dance-rock single, “Dissipate”, produced by Sanford Parker, (producer, recording engineer, and musician at Corrections House), to be released in late May.

For a band that started with a nylon string guitar, simple drums and the frontwoman of A Thousand Voices (“Gretta could have been a voiceover talent,” admits Armondo) to a now fully-realized trio with new releases already in the works for this year, My Gold Mask is edging for the spotlight they’ve been waiting for. But perhaps music magazine Pretty Much Amazing summed it up best in their review, saying the band “infuses some heart into the mundane and makes it beautiful.”

OPENING: World Premiere Ask Aunt Susan at The Goodman



Seth Bockley’s 21st century satire of the internet era, Ask Aunt Susan, directed by Henry Wishcamper is now in previews and opening on June 2 in the Owen Theatre.  Ask Aunt Susan tells the story of “Aunt Susan”, a 20-something man moonlighting as an internet advice columnist, dispensing advice for women’s everyday woes.



A discussion with playwright Seth Bockley and director Henry Wishcamper about the themes of Ask Aunt Susan, moderated by Director of New Play Development, Tanya Palmer
Sunday, June 1 at 5pm | FREE for Subscribers, Donors and students with ID; $5 for general public |Reservations are required. Reserve by calling the Box Office at 312.443.3800 or online at

CONTEXT Discussion: Authentic Artifice and Crafting Identity Online

Join social media leaders Dan Fietsam (@fietstweets; former creative director of BBDO and a current University of Chicago instructor in Creativity Branding and Technology), Shannon Downey (@shannondowney; owner of Pivotal Chicago) and Alex Mohr (@alexophile; formerly of Ketchum Inc.) to learn how people tasked with creating and maintaining false personas hold the line between their creation’s identity and their own identity. These “real life Aunt Susans”—leading professionals in search engine optimization, social media and digital marketing—discuss the creation of content versus identity and the space that lies between them.
Monday, June 16 at 6:30pm │ FREE, online reservations required at

About Ask Aunt Susan 

Inspired by Nathanael West’s 1933 novella Miss Lonelyhearts—a Great Depression-era commentary of urban alienation through the eyes of an eponymous male newspaper advice columnist—Ask Aunt Susan begins with a young man working on the fringes of the burgeoning internet industry as a writer and coder. When an ill-conceived scheme to swindle lands him in hot water, Steve, his brash, entrepreneurial boss, decides to create and advises the young man to moonlight as the online advice guru, “Aunt Susan.” The scheme begins as a joke, allowing Steve to make a quick buck and Aunt Susan to keep up with his student loans—but Aunt Susan’s followers become incredibly loyal and the constant, desperate requests from readers spark a “need to be needed” in Aunt Susan. As his internet reputation mushrooms, so does Aunt Susan’s web of deceit—and soon the phenomenon is much larger than anyone could have imagined. 

As previously announced, the ensemble cast includes Alex Stage as Aunt Susan; Marc Grapey as Steve; Meghan Reardon as Betty; Jennie Moreau as Lydia; and Robyn Scott as Jill. Ask Aunt Susan runs now through June 22 in the Owen Theatre (opening night is Monday, June 2). Tickets ($10 - $40; subject to change) are on sale now and can be purchased at, by phone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 North Dearborn). Bank of America is the Owen Season Sponsor. Edelman Worldwide is the Corporate Sponsor Partner. Baxter, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Studley, Inc. are Contributing Sponsors.

Friday, May 30, 2014

TIDES Flamenco This Friday Through Sunday at Vittum Theatre #ChiILPicksList #Multicultural #Dance #FamilyFriendly

ChiIL Mama's ChiIL Picks List for This Weekend:

Chiara Mangiameli, founder of Studio Mangiameli and female lead in Rick Bayless's acclaimed Cascabel, will be presenting her annual show at the Vittum Theater, May 30-June 1. 

ChiIL Mama has an exclusive video interview with Marina Claudio, one of the Flamenco dancers who is a friend of ours. She is not only a dancer, but also a doctor and a mom!  Hear her take on the show and also how she balances all of her roles. We're adding her interview to our long running series on How Creatives Parent and How Parents Create.

Check it out right here:

Tides will feature more than 40 dancers, of all ages and from various backgrounds, addressing the events that changed their lives through flamenco dance and song forms with live accompaniment by musicians including Carlo Basile (Las Guitarras de Espana) and percussionist Bob Garrett, soon to appear in Sting’s new musical, The Last Ship.  

ChiIL Mama will be there... will YOU?!

May 30th and 31st at 7:30pm
June 1st at 4:30pm
Tides - Studio Mangiameli Annual Show
Vittum Theater
1012 N Noble St in Chicago

Tides, directed and created by Chiara Mangiameli, is not only Studio Mangiameli's third annual student showcase but an exploration of the moments that leave indelible marks on human lives and alter the landscape of identity.

Mangiameli, whom the Chicago Tribune hailed as a "formidable flamenco dancer" for her work alongside Rick Bayless in the Lookingglass Theater production of Cascabel, has assembled over 40 dancers including a children's “Mini Flamencas” group. (*WORLDS COLLIDE ALERT:  We just found out the child of an old friend of mine is in the Mini Flamencas group too! Chicago's 6 degrees of separation is FAR closer than you think.)

Tides will also feature original live music from some of Chicago's most recognized flamenco and world music players, including Carlo Basile (Las Guitarras De España), guitarist Diego Alonso and percussionist Bob Garrett, soon to appear in Sting’s new musical, The Last Ship. World-renowned flamenco singer Vicente “El Cartucho” Griego (pictured below) will be this year’s very special guest.

Tickets $25, $15 for children 12 and under.
Free parking.

Tides - Promo Video from Chiara Mangiameli on Vimeo.


July 30th through August 24th, 2014
Cascabel with Rick Bayless featuring Chiara Mangiameli
Goodman Theater

ChiIL Mama was elated to be included in a private press breakfast with Rick Bayless & Chiara Mangiameli,when the Cascabel remount was first announced, and we can't wait to see it this summer!  Check back early and often for our original content, video interviews, stills and write ups leading up to the show.  Check back soon for our photo filled recap of TIDES.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

INCOMING: Ex-Cult at Empty Bottle TONIGHT 21+ #Punk

Chi, IL LIVE Shows on Our Radar:

Returning to the Bottle for their first show here since opening for MAC DEMARCO at last Summer's Pitchfork After Party are Memphis punks EX-CULT, a band we've come to know and love since we came across their debut record in 2012. Released on the esteemed Goner Records and produced by eventual tour partner TY SEGALL, that album was one of the best, most under-appreciated punk releases of the year and you can bet your ass they've outdone themselves with their second LP, Midnight Passenger, out April 29th on Goner. Formerly known as SEX CULT, this seasoned five-piece play ripping punk rock like none other, incorporating angular post-punk, flying saucer fuzz guitar, layers of psychedelic slime and snotty vocals with a bash-your-head-in energy that needs to be seen live to be believed. 

Thu May 29 2014
9:00 PM 21+


Chicago noise-punks RUNNING are a band that give very few fucks (if any fucks at all). Their second full length LP, Asshole Savant, released last year via Captcha, is a mess of reverbed-to-heck vocals, pummeling drum and bass, and abrasive, feedback-heavy guitar. RUNNING caught the ears of JOHN DWYER, hunky frontman of THEE OH SEES, and his own Castle Face Records put out the band's third record, Vaguely Ethnic, at the end of last summer. The LP continues RUNNING's path of destruction in and around Chicago, shriveling the tits and testicles of any sniveling boners who try to stand in their way. The trio has a brand spanking new 7-inch out, courtesy of the fine folks at Drag City. Pick it up tonight or at one of your local record stores. 

Local Freak-punk duo EARRING return to the Bottle tonight to open this punk explosion and they've been creating quite a stir around the city the past few months. Luca from the Chicago Reader selected them as one of the Top Chicago Bands of 2013, saying "Their lean, simple pop hooks, blasted through a tower of warm guitar amps and drenched in a droney, melancholy vibe, make for the year's prettiest, most irresistible collection of songs from a young local band." Included in Luca's list were some other local favorites DISAPPEARS and OOZING WOUND, so these fellas are in damn fine company.

Memphis' Ex-Cult are one of the most exciting punk bands in the US. Their latest record Midnight Passenger 
is the result of a never ending obsession with the open road.

While touring with the likes of Ty Segall and the OBN III's, Ex-Cult perfected their own brand of psych tinged 
proto-punk, helmed by wild eyed, sneering frontman Chris Shaw. Pitchfork: Advance streamed the band's latest LP 
"Midnight Passenger" noting, "The production opens up the band's sound exponentially. 
Nothing's remotely muffled, so the guitars jump out a little faster, and Shaw's voice is given more of a spotlight.
" You can check out Ex-Cult's Ty Segall produced Record Store Day version of "Ties You Up" on Pitchfork here!

Ex-Cult Stream "Midnight Passenger" LP 
On Pitchfork Advance
Out April 29th On Goner Records 
On Tour This Spring

05-02 Memphis, TX - Hi-Tone *
05-16 Nashville, TN - The End
05-17 Atlanta, GA - 529
05-18 Durham, NC - The Pinhook
05-19 Richmond, VA - Strange Matter
05-20 Washington, DC - DC 9
05-21 Philadelphia, PA - Black Box
05-22 New York, NY - Mercury Lounge ^
05-24 Beacon, NY - Quinns
05-26 Cambridge, MA - Middle East Upstairs
05-28 Cleveland, OH - Happy Dog
05-29 Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle #
05-30 Iowa City, IA - Firecracker 500 Festival 
* w/ Sector Zero and Gimp Teeth
^ w/ Pampers
# w/ Running

Praise For Ex-Cult:
"'The album suddenly feels vital and electric" --Pitchfork

"Not A Threat” is also crisp and streamlined, its guitar tracks locking into mechanical combustion fits while Chris Shaw barks with swaggering unhinged authority" --Stereogum

"It's all about the live show, and, without a doubt, Ex-Cult has that blindfolded, on one-leg and with their arms tied behind them." --NOISEY

"[Midnight Passenger's] title track, a relentless mix of propeller-chop guitar, churning noise-rock squall, and monotone taunts.” – SPIN

“Singer Chris Shaw is a classic punk frontman, wild-eyed and always on the edge" --Brooklyn Vegan

“Memphis punk outfit Ex-Cult is twisting the genre into new shapes on their self-titled debut.” – MTV Hive

Ex-Cult's Midnight Passenger is the result of a never ending obsession with the open road. It's the sound of five people spending the last year in countless dive bars, disgusting motel rooms and on dozens of dirty floors.  Since recording with Ty Segall in 2012 the band hasn't come up for air, putting four US tours and tons of weekend trips under their belt with the likes of OBN III's, Captive and Ty Segall.
It was in these dive bars across the USA that Ex-Cult truly found their sound. While some of the songs were played for audiences as early as January of 2013, it wasn't until a West Coast tour in June that the blue print for Midnight Passenger really started to take form. Taking pieces of every tour back home with them, the band began to hone a sound that captured the desperation of the first record, while being careful to integrate new techniques of negative noise.
Recorded by Doug Easley in January of 2014, Midnight Passenger is comprised of ten songs that were meant to be heard together, each one following a different, damaged storyline. The buzz-saw guitars, kraut rock rhythm section and sneering vocals are all still present, but with Midnight Passenger, Ex-Cult has added a few layers of psychedelic slime to their sound.

"Midnight Passenger" Track Listing:

Side A

Shattered Circle
Ties You Up
Midnight Passenger
Confusion Hill
Catholic Entries

Side B
Flickering Eyes
Venice Illusion
Sid Visions
Not A Threat
Lights Out Club


Midnight Passenger is out on Goner Records on April 29th 2014.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

OPENING: Cirque Shanghai is Back at Navy Pier With New Warriors Theme for 2014


ChiIL Mama can't wait to see “CIRQUE SHANGHAI: WARRIORS” at the press opening this Wednesday. We'll be back shooting stills once again, for the 5th year in a row! Check back like we vote in Chi, IL... early and often for our reviews, news, giveaways and features. We're your source for photo/video filled original content on Chi, IL and beyond!

Click here to check out 4 years of our exclusive photo filled Cirque Shanghai recaps!  Then book your tickets and see them LIVE. (We've also included more of our favorite original stills from last year at the end of this post. Loads of favorite acts from last year will be back again, with a hot, new warrior twist!)

Tickets now on Sale for 
“Cirque Shanghai: Warriors” 
with New Acts Including 
the Martial Prowess of Chinese Kung Fu 
and Wu Shu Masters

Cirque Shanghai” is proud to return this summer to Chicago’s Navy Pier with a brand new show, “Cirque Shanghai: Warriors.” Performances begin Wednesday, May 21 and run through Monday, Sept. 1 at the Pepsi® Skyline Stage, a 1,500-seat, canopied, open-air theater on Navy Pier® (600 E. Grand Ave).

Tickets are on sale NOW and will be available via Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000 or

Now in its ninth consecutive summer season at the Pepsi® Skyline Stage, this latest installment of “Cirque Shanghai” combines the impressive acrobatics audiences have enjoyed in the past with the martial prowess of Chinese Kung Fu and Wu Shu masters. The result is powerful display of athleticism and the mastery of disciplines that formed the backbone of military might in ancient China for thousands of years.

This summer’s production of “Cirque Shanghai: Warriors” brings an extraordinary line-up of thrilling acts to the stage, including The Kinetic Poles, the powerful Water Meteor and the heart-pounding Pageant of Arms. Returning to the production from last year is the fate-tempting “Wheel of Destiny,” and China’s premier daredevil steel-globe motorcycle troupe, “Imperial Thunder”.

Directed by Miao Miao Chen, “Cirque Shanghai: Warriors” is presented in this exclusive U.S. engagement by Navy Pier in conjunction with International Special Attractions, Ltd. (ISA) production headquarters in Shanghai, China. 

“Cirque Shanghai” will perform May 21 – September 1. Performances will be held at 10:30 a.m. May 21 and 29. Beginning May 23 the regular performance schedule is:
  • Wednesday at 2, 6 and 8 p.m. 
  • Thursday at 2 and 8 p.m.
  • Friday at 2, 7 and 9 p.m.
  • Saturday at 2, 6 and 8 p.m.
  • Sunday at 2 and 4 p.m.

Tickets are on sale NOW via Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000 or Tickets are $19.50- $39.50 for adults and $15.50 for children ages 3 to 12. Discounted tickets for groups of 10 or more are also available by calling GroupTix at 773.327.3778 or visiting

  • Special Packages for summer 2014 include: The Navy Pier Fun Package containing, a Emperor’s Court “Cirque Shanghai: Warriors” ticket, a 40 min Skyline boat cruise, a Ferris Wheel voucher, a Pepsi Skyline Stage $5 concession voucher and a 20% off RIVA coupon for $43, with a children’s version available for $28. 

  • In addition, the Navy Pier Nightlife package combines a “Cirque Shanghai: Warriors” Emperor’s Court ticket, a Landshark Beer garden $10 voucher and a Hagen Daas double scoop cone/cup voucher for $36.50.

ChiIL Tips:   Go on a Wednesday or Saturday night and catch a free Navy Pier fireworks show every week!   We also recommend buying the glossy, photo filled program.   The performers will sign it after the show and it'll be a fun keepsake for the kids to reminisce over.

International Special Attractions (ISA) was established in 1996 and over the past two decades has become a world leader in the production of large scale special attractions, events and theatrical productions. In addition to presenting Cirque Shanghai, ISA was the first company to bring Chinese acrobats to Broadway.  For the past two years, ISA has presented The Ice Kingdom, a 14,000 square foot experience made entirely of ice, at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA.  ISA’s other ICE! attractions are mounted annually at four Gaylord Hotel locations throughout the United States, and are enjoyed by over 1 million people each year. ISA also produces Luminasia, the larger-than-life lantern attraction, which was seen last year at the Washington State Fair, and for the past four years at The Galt House Hotel in Louisville, KY.  In 2014, ISA is adding two additional Luminasia locations, one in Blackpool, England, and another in conjunction with the LA County Fair.  ISA clients have included The Walt Disney Company, Gaylord Entertainment, The Queen Mary, The New Victory Theatre in New York, Navy Pier Chicago, The Galt House Hotel, Busch Entertainment Corp and Six Flags, Inc.  Featured Television coverage has aired internationally, on networks including NBC, CBS and ABC to name but a few.

Drawing from his classical music background, Haiping Ge was one of the earliest producers serving in the Shanghai government’s Office of Cultural Exchange Affairs. From that office, he hosted many of the first Western entertainers performing in China.

For the last two decades, Haiping Ge has been producing shows with ISA for the world’s premium venues. His current productions include: Cirque Shanghai for New Victory Theatre on Broadway; ICE! Attractions in Dallas, Nashville, Orlando and Washington D.C. in association with Gaylord Resorts; Luminasia at The Galt House in Louisville, KY, USA. Haiping also produced a Chinese acrobatic show for Disney World, Florida which will run through the end of this year.

Miao Chen is a second-generation performer as well as the show’s director.  She studied with the internationally famous Shenyang Performing Arts Academy beginning at age five, and joined the acclaimed Shenyang Acrobatic Troupe, one of the top ten troupes in all of China, at age 13.  Chen is the recipient of a Gold Lion Award from the International Acrobatics Competition in France, and received the top award for Best Innovative Performance in Uruguay. Chen has performed throughout the USA, Canada, Europe and Asia. In 2006 and 2007, Chen worked as a choreographer for “Le Grand Cirque” which has toured in cities across Australia, the United Kingdom and United States. Chen previously directed hit productions of “Cirque Shanghai” in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Located on Lake Michigan, just east of Chicago’s downtown, Navy Pier is the most-visited tourist and leisure destination in the Midwest, welcoming nearly 9 million annual visitors.  Originally opened in 1916 as a shipping and recreation facility, it is now one of the country’s preeminent recreation and exposition facilities, showcasing 50 acres of parks, gardens, restaurants, shops, attractions, sightseeing and dining cruise boats, exhibition facilities and more.

Friday, May 23, 2014

FESTS ON OUR RADAR: Art Meets Science at Pivot Arts Fest May 28-June 14

“Art Meets Science” themed festival brings adult shows & family friendly fun to Chicago

Pivot Arts Festival is an amazing and affordable celebration of improvisation, film, dance, theater, music and much, much more compacted into two-and-a-half weeks starting May 28. 

ChiIL Mama will be there... will YOU?!  Book your tickets today! Full schedule is below.

2 Fab Fam Friendly Picks:

*Storytown is presenting an improv show at Lickity Split Custard and Sweet Shop specifically for kids dubbed “Ice Cream & Science Improv” on June 1st at 12 p.m. 

Mmmmm.  Here at ChiIL Mama, we came from an improv background and founded a troupe at Miami University in Oxford that lasted over 20 years!  So, we dig improv. It also doesn't get much more chill than custard & ice cream. We are SO there.

*Next is The Dance COLEctive’s 13, which explores the authentic and hilarious transition from childhood to teenage years through character based dance. The show is recommended for kids ages 10 and up with a parent/guardian. This plays May 31st and  June 1st at 3 p.m. at Swift Elementary school.

I used to joke about life with toddlers and young kids as endless theatre in the round. Now with 11 & 13 year olds, we're living this scenario -- the authentic and hilarious transition from childhood to teenage years. Can't wait to check out The Dance COLEctive's 13!


The Performance Festival Features Numerous Companies/Artists Including BAATHHAUS, the dilettantes, Gashlycrumb Orphanage, The Honeypots, Jon Langford, The Seldoms and More, with Range of Science Themes and Events

Pivot Arts launches its second annual celebration of innovative performance events, May 28 – June 14, throughout Chicago’s Uptown, Edgewater and Rogers Park neighborhoods. The PIVOT ARTS FESTIVAL serves to bring audiences together for unique performance events. This year the festival’s focus highlights the intersection between the performing arts and science. Tickets are currently on sale for “Art Meets Science” with a range of free events and entrance fees no higher than $15 per event. To purchase tickets and for complete festival information, visit or call 773.609.0782. 

Over three weeks, audiences have the opportunity to attend inventive performances and events curated around science themes as diverse as acoustics, climate change and chaos theory.  Programming includes: live music, theater, dance, a House music dance party, a participatory science experiment, discussions and performances for children.

Participating groups/artists in the 2014 Pivot Arts Festival include: 
The artists lineup looks amazing. We've highlighted some of ChiIL Live Shows top picks and long time favs in red.

6018NORTH, About Face Theatre, Greg Allen, Ayako Kato/Art Union Humanscape, BAATHHAUS, Seth Bockley, Chicago Architectural Foundation, Chicago Filmmakers, The Dance COLEctive, the dilettantes, Lisa Dillman, Gashlycrumb Orphanage, High Concept Laboratory, Andrew Hinderaker, The Honeypots, Knife and Fork, Kristina Isabelle, Jon Langford, Ruth Margraff, Shannon Matesky, Bonnie Metzgar, Brett Neveu, The Seldoms, Chuck Smith, Storytown, Tanya Palmer and Vanessa Valliere.*

The 2014 Pivot Arts Festival “Art Meets Science” takes place throughout Uptown, Edgewater, and Rogers Park including: Alternatives, Inc., FLATSstudio, Francesca’s Bryn Mawr, Lickity Split Custard and Sweet Shop, and Loyola University’s Mundelein Center for the Fine and Performing Arts.

*Artists and venues subject to change.

“We founded Pivot Arts last year as a home for innovative performance on the far north side of Chicago. Our festival continues as a celebration of unique performance events that bring people together and enhance our community. The exploration of ‘art meets science’ this year builds off our focus on innovation and discovery,” said Julieanne Ehre, director of Pivot Arts.

A Kick-Off Celebration
Francesca’s Bryn Mawr • $30
1039 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue • 6 p.m.
The festival’s opening celebration includes a special drink in beakers, silent auction, food, wine, beer, performances, and science-themed fun. 

Alternatives, Inc. • $15
4730 N. Sheridan Road • 7 p.m.
Two shows about food and the stories of Chicagoans whose voices often go unheard.

Pivot Arts presents We Gotta Eat 
Written and Performed by Shannon Matesky
Directed by Chuck Smith
Actress Shannon Matesky (Hit the Wall) weaves together a potluck of humorous and moving stories about the underclass that will engage your heart in the practice of understanding.

Knife and Fork presents Worthy
Created and Directed by Dani Bryant. Devised by Knife & Fork
The empowering stories of Uptown’s Alternative Youth teens inspire this newly devised piece.

The Dance COLEctive presents 13
Swift Elementary School • $10
5900 N Winthrop Avenue • 3 p.m.
Through movement and text, 13 creates an authentic and humorous exploration of the transition from childhood to the teenage years.  Recommended for ages 10 years and older and their parents/guardians.

Alternatives, Inc. • $15
4730 N. Sheridan Road • 7 p.m.
Two shows about food and the stories of Chicagoans whose voices often go unheard.
(See descriptions of We Gotta Eat and Worthy from Friday, May 30.)

Chicago Filmmakers presents GROWING CITIES
Chicago Filmmakers  • $8 suggested donation
5243 N. Clark Street • 8 p.m.
A documentary film that examines the role of urban farming in America and asks how much power it has to revitalize our cities and change the way we eat.

Pivot Arts presents The Acoustics Of House!
Recreating the House music scene of the 1980s, this unique event is part performance, part dance party.  Food and drinks available for purchase. 
FLATSstudio • $15 must be 21+ with valid ID to enter. 
1050 W. Wilson AvenueDoors open at 8 p.m.
Performances include:
8 p.m. DJ with live music

8:30 p.m. The Honeypots present Juke Cry Hand Clap
A House music-inspired dance performance by the Honeypots.
9:30 p.m. DJ with live music
The queer-performance-art-group-band combines popular music with glitter and gore – creating an electrifying performance.

Storytown presents Ice Cream & Science Improv
Lickity Split Custard and Sweet Shop - $7
6056 N. Broadway • 12 p.m.
Enjoy traditional custard and a hilarious, science-themed improv show for kids.

The Dance COLEctive presents 13
Swift Elementary School • $10
5900 N Winthrop Avenue • 3 p.m.
(See descriptions above of 13 from Saturday, May 31.)

Alternatives, Inc.  • $15
4730 N. Sheridan Road • 7 p.m.
Two shows about food and the stories of Chicagoans whose voices often go unheard.
(See descriptions above of We Gotta Eat and Worthy from Friday, May 30.)
Special Event: On The Table. You are invited to share dinner with the artists of Knife & Fork and engage in lively conversation following the 7 p.m. performance.

6018NORTH, Pivot Arts and Sustain Edgewater present Art, Architecture And Energy: What Is To Be Done? 
6018 N. Kenmore Ave. • 7 p.m.
A free panel discussion on the arts, architecture and energy efficiency. Three fields with the potential to shape and transform our world will move across issues from recycling as art to the local impact of climate change to large scale energy initiatives.

Loyola University’s The Mundelein Center for the Fine and Performing Arts • $15
1020 W. Sheridan Road • 8 p.m.
Two shows combine for an exhilarating evening of original theater.

Gashlycrumb Orphanage
Devised by Lacy Katherine Campbell and Jeff Trainor. 
Directed by Halena Kays. 
Inspired by Tim Burton and Edward Gorey, this macabre clown show has the orphans running the orphanage.  A thrilling, theatrical ride that plunges into questions of identity and origin through dance, music, rhyme and a whirlwind of styles.

Pivot Arts presents Mystery. Science. Theatre.
Curated by Julieanne Ehre and Tanya Palmer, director of new plays from the Goodman Theatre, these shorts include premiere playwrights, writers, and performers responding to a variety of science themes.  Confirmed writers as of press: Greg Allen, Seth Bockley, Lisa Dillman, Andrew Hinderaker, Ruth Margraff, Bonnie Metzgar and Brett Neveu.  Full line-up TBA.

Loyola University’s The Mundelein Center for the Fine and Performing Arts • $15
1020 W. Sheridan Road • 8 p.m.
Two shows combine for an exhilarating evening of original theater.
Gashlycrumb Orphanage and Pivot Arts presents Mystery. Science. Theatre.
(See descriptions above of Gashlycrumb Orphanage and Writers on Science from Thursday, June 5.)

Chicago Architectural Foundation presents UPTOWN WALKING TOUR • $15 or FREE for members
Wilson Avenue Theater 1050 W. Wilson Avenue • 10:30 a.m.
A special two-hour walking tour in the heart of Uptown includes the artistry of terra cotta ornamentation and Jazz Age entertainment venues.

Loyola University’s The Mundelein Center for the Fine and Performing Arts • $15
1020 W. Sheridan Road • 3 p.m.
Two dance/theater pieces combine for an exhilarating promenade afternoon as art and science collide.
Ayako Kato explores the ripple effect of chaos theory as well as mirror combinations of Euclidian geometry in her stunning dance work that highlights necessity vs. chance.

THE SELDOMS present Exit Disclaimer: Science And Fiction Ahead

A dance theater work that surveys our rancorous national debate over climate change, and divergent positions ranging from denial to urgency. The Chicago Reader said of its 2012 premiere, "[Artistic Director Carrie] Hanson’s satirical, deadly serious piece bursts a lot of bubbles on a high-stakes subject.”
THE DILETTANTES present Science Night
Loyola University’s The Mundelein Center for the Fine and Performing Arts • $15/$10
1020 W. Sheridan Road • 3 p.m. & 5p.m.
Is it life or is it art? Audiences participate in a game of science and strategy set inside a competitive laboratory.  Players compete for the title of “Pre-Eminent Scientist of the Lab” and experience first-hand the exhilaration of discovery.  Play or observe the game in action!

Loyola University’s The Mundelein Center for the Fine and Performing Arts • $15
1020 W. Sheridan Road • 8 p.m.
Two shows in Loyola’s Underground combine for an exhilarating evening of original theater.
Gashlycrumb Orphanage and Pivot Arts presents Mystery. Science. Theatre.
(See descriptions above of Gashlycrumb Orphanage and Writers on Science from Thursday, June 5.)

Loyola University’s The Mundelein Center for the Fine and Performing Arts • $15
1020 W. Sheridan Road • 3 p.m.
Two dance/theater pieces combine for an exhilarating promenade afternoon as art and science collide.
THE SELDOMS present Exit Disclaimer: Science And Fiction (See descriptions above of The Incidents and Exit Disclaimer: Science and Fiction from Saturday, June 7.)
THE DILETTANTES present Science Night
Loyola University’s The Mundelein Center for the Fine and Performing Arts • $15/$10
1020 W. Sheridan Road • 3 p.m. & 5p.m.
(See description above from Saturday, June 7.)
Loyola University’s The Mundelein Center for the Arts • $15
1020 W. Sheridan Road • 7 p.m.
Two shows in Loyola’s Underground combine for an exhilarating evening of original theater.
Gashlycrumb Orphanage and Pivot Arts presents Mystery. Science. Theatre.
(See descriptions above of Gashlycrumb Orphanage and Writers on Science from Thursday, June 5.)
About Face Theatre presents LESBIANS AND LITERATURE
Curated by Paul Oakley Stovall
Location TBA • 7 p.m. • $15
Lesbians have had a lasting, but often unsung, impact on English literature.  About Face Theatre, led by Artistic Associate Paul Oakley Stovall, hosts a panel discussion/performance exploring Sappho; the lesbian couple behind James Joyce's Ulysses; and beyond.

the dilettantes present SCIENCE NIGHT
Location TBA • 9 p.m. • $15
A late night game of science and strategy set inside a competitive laboratory.  Players compete for the title of “Pre-Eminent Scientist of the Lab” and experience first-hand the exhilaration of discovery.

Loyola University’s The Mundelein Center for the Fine and Performing Arts • $15
1020 W. Sheridan Road • 8 p.m.
Performers defy physics in these two exciting shows.
Vanessa Valliere presents NICE TRY/THE SISTERS: A Vaudeville, Clown Teaser
Everybody has problems: sometimes your parasitic twin wants her own solo career and sometimes your toys are really critical of your artwork. This hilarious clown show by Vanessa Valliere (Mucca Pazza) will warm you up giggling before Kristina Isabelle’s stunning LEVELS AND LINES.

Kristina Isabelle Dance Company presents Levels And Lines
The festival culminates in a weekend of performances by esteemed Julliard Dance Graduate, Kristina Isabelle, whose company performs an elegant dance work – on stilts!

Performers defy physics in two exciting shows.
Vanessa Valliere presents NICE TRY/THE SISTERS: A Vaudeville, Clown Teaser
Kristina Isabelle Dance Company presents Levels And Lines
Loyola University’s The Mundelein Center for the Fine and Performing Arts • $15
1020 W. Sheridan Road • 8 p.m.
(See description above of Nice Try/The Sisters and Level and Lines from Friday, June 13.)

Pivot Arts develops new work and presents performances throughout the year culminating in a multi-arts festival. Their vision is that of a vibrant community where unique collaborations between artists, businesses and organizations leads to the support and creation of innovative performances.  Pivot Arts was founded in September 2012.

Pivot Arts Board includes Alyssa Berman-Cutler, Uptown United; April Browning, Loyola University Chicago; Julieanne Ehre Pivot Arts; Dr. Mark E. Lococo, Loyola University Chicago; Gretchen Halpin, Hewins Financial Advisors; Summur Roberts, Loyola University Chicago and Kathy Van Zwoll, marketing consultant.

The Pivot Arts Advisory Board includes Alderman James Cappleman, 46th Ward; Sarah Gabel, chair of Department of Fine Arts, Loyola University Chicago; Peter Kuntz, arts consultant; Kristin Larsen, executive director, Stage 773; Jay Michael, chief creative officer, FLATS Chicago; Alderman Harry Osterman, 48th Ward; Michael Rohd, artistic director, Sojourn Theatre and Steve Scott, associate producer, Goodman Theatre.

Premiere Pivot Arts Festival 2014 “At Meets Science” Sponsors as of press release include FLATS Chicago, Francesca’s Bryn Mawr, Loyola University Chicago and Uptown United.

Social Media:
Facebook: /pivotarts
Twitter: @PivotArts

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