Wednesday, September 24, 2014

OPENING: Evil Dead The Musical at Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place


ChiIL Live Shows will be there... will YOU?! Want a musical that'll send chills up your spine? Want to have a bloody good time in the splatter zone?! Of course you do. Come on out for some kitschy blood bath fun. We'll be there to review opening night so check back like we vote in Chi, IL... early and often. (Not recommended for the 12 & under set).

Broadway In Chicago is thrilled to announce the cast and creative team for Evil Dead - The Musical, winner of the 2007 Dora Audience Choice Award as Toronto’s favorite show, which will bring mayhem and fun to the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place (175 E Chestnut) for a limited three-week engagement Sept. 23 through Oct. 12, 2014. 

“We’re excited to showcase a cast full of Chicagoans at the Broadway Playhouse,” said Corey Ross, president of Starvox Entertainment.  “Don’t miss this show to see an unforgettable, hilarious transformation splattered with evil fun.”

Evil Dead – The Musical will feature a cast full of Chicagoans including Julie Baird, Callie Johnson, Ryan McBride, David Sajewich, Creg Sclavi, Demi Zaino and Toronto native Andrew Di Rosa.

Evil Dead - The Musical, the hilarious, record-breaking Canadian musical, George Reinblatt (Book & Lyrics), Frank Cipolla (Music), Melissa Morris (Music) and Christopher Bond (Direction & Music), tells the outrageous story of five college friends spending the weekend in an abandoned cabin in the woods after accidentally unleashing an evil force that turns them all into demons.

The production is choreographed by Stacey Renee Maroske with music direction by Aaron Eyre, and features scenic design by Lindsay Anne Black, costume design by Claudia Kada, lighting design by Gareth Crew and sound design by Michael Laird.  Evil Dead – The Musical is produced by Starvox Entertainment in association with Jeffrey Latimer Entertainment.

Those familiar with Evil Dead - The Musical will remember that audience members sitting in the designated “Splatter Zone” (the first four rows) get covered in fake blood as the production incorporates some fun ‘real-life’ effects during certain scenes. In addition to some dismembered limbs, demons telling bad jokes, and catchy tunes (“Look Who’s Evil Now”, “All the Men in My Life Keep Getting Killed by Candarian Demons”), the show features a saucy combination of wit and sexual innuendo that keeps audiences laughing out loud.

Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m.
Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m.
Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.
Fridays at 7:00 and 10:30 p.m.
Saturdays 7:00 and 10:30 p.m.
Sundays at 3 p.m.
Tickets to Evil Dead - The Musical are on-sale now with additional seating in the Splatter Zone.  Tickets are available now for groups of 10 or more by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710.  Tickets are available at all Broadway In Chicago Box Offices (24 W. Randolph St., 151 W. Randolph St., 18 W. Monroe St. and 175 E. Chestnut), the Broadway In Chicago Ticket Line at (800) 775-2000, all Ticketmaster retail locations and online at
For more information, please visit or

About Evil Dead - The Musical
This musical first glimpsed the light of day in Toronto, where early workshop engagements played to capacity and beyond. While local mainstream theatre audiences flocked to the show, diehard fans of the Evil Dead film series made pilgrimages from across North America to witness the birth of a new cult hit. The popular workshop production enjoyed two sold-out runs at Toronto’s Tranzac Club in 2003 before heading off to Montreal in 2004 as part of the 22nd Just For Laughs Festival.  It opened off-Broadway at New World Stages in November 2006 and was produced by Jenkay LLC, Jeffrey Latimer Entertainment and Just for Laughs Live. Evil Dead - The Musical returned to Toronto in 2007 for a record-breaking run of more than 300 performances at the now defunct Diesel Playhouse. The production enjoyed a hugely successful remount at Toronto’s Randolph Theatre in the fall of 2013. This production is now on its latest American tour. 

About Starvox Entertainment
Founded in 2005 by Corey Ross, Starvox Entertainment is ranked number 17 on Profit Magazine's list of Toronto's top 50 growth companies in 2013. Starvox produces, manages, represents and promotes cross-over performing arts shows that tour across Canada and the United States, as well as México, China, the Middle East and Europe.  In 2013, Mr. Ross was a producer on the Canadian production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's CATS and remounted Evil Dead-The Musical to record-breaking sales in Toronto and Philadelphia. Starvox is also the producer of HAIR - which toured throughout the United States. Starvox is the producer of the successful Harry Potter themed off-Broadway sensation Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience which continues to tour and experience sold-out engagements across the United States during its' 2013-2014 tour. Potted Potter launched its first tour in México in February 2014 with a second Canadian tour planned for the winter of 2014. Starvox has presented three productions written and directed by Woody Harrelson, John Malkovich in Giacomo Variations, and nationally broadcast concerts for the Stephen Lewis Foundation featuring Alicia Keys and Annie Lennox.  Starvox is currently working with Beyoncé’s creative team, to produce the multi-million dollar reboot of the classic Las Vegas revue show Jubilee for Caesars Entertainment.

JULIE BAIRD (Linda) is from the suburbs of Chicago and is thrilled to be a part of this bloody production!  Recent credits include Elle Woods in Legally Blonde (Kalamazoo Civic Theatre, Riverside Center, and Cape Fear Regional Theatre), Elly May in The World Premiere of the Beverly Hillbillies: The Musical! (Theatre at the Center) and Amber in Hairspray (Summer Repertory Theatre).  She also has spent several summers at Six Flags Great America as a singer in their main stage shows. She has a BFA in Musical Theatre Performance from Western Michigan.

RYAN CZERWONKO (Swing/Fake Shemp) is so excited to be on his first national tour!  Based in Chicago, recent credits there include Broken Fences (16th Street Theater), Cymbeline (First Folio Theatre) and Dozens of Cousins (Trap Door Theatre). Regionally, he has worked with Livermore Shakespeare, Orlando Shakespeare, and the Monomoy Theatre.  Independent films: The Glass House, Wiggah. Ryan holds a BFA in Theatre Performance from Ohio University.

ANDREW DI ROSA (Jake) is thrilled to join the company of Evil Dead – The Musical!  Andrew hails from Toronto, Ontario, where he graduated from the University of Toronto and Sheridan College Specialized Bachelor of Arts Joint Program. Andrew's past performances include Danny Zuko in Grease, Gaston in Beauty and the Beast, Laurie in Little Women, the Scarecrow in Wizard of Oz and most recently the title role in Shrek: The Musical.  He also stars in the feature film “Fragile Minds” which is slated for release next summer.  

CALLIE JOHNSON (Annie/Shelly) is a Chicago-based actress and is thrilled to be a part of Evil Dead - The Musical!  Recent Chicago credits include Pal Joey (Porchlight Music Theatre, Jeff Award: Cameo Performance); Next to Normal (Drury Lane Oakbrook, Broadway World Award: Best Musical Revival).  Callie recently finished playing Carrie White in the Chicago premiere of Carrie the Musical.  She is a 2012 BFA graduate of Columbia College Chicago's musical theatre program, a proud player of the Peninsula Players in Door County, and is originally from Genoa, IL. 

JESSICA KINGSDALE (Swing) Jessica Kingsdale is thrilled to be part of the Evil Dead team!  A Chicago-based actor, she has worked at such theatres as Chicago Shakespeare, BoHo, Paramount Theatre, Lookingglass, Griffin Theatre, and The Music Theatre Company.  Some favorite roles include Rizzo in Grease (Paramount), Marta in Kiss of the Spider Woman (BoHo), and her recent cover of Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream (Chicago Shakespeare).

RYAN McBRIDE (Ed/Moose) is so excited to be touring with Evil Dead - The Musical!  Chicago credits include: the national touring production of Letters Home (Griffin Theatre); Damn Yankees, Annie Get Your Gun (Light Opera Works); Fair Maid of the West (Chicago Shakespeare Project); Julius Caesar (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); Sita Ram (Lookingglass Theatre); Fallow (Steep Theatre).  Regional Theaters include Bucks County Playhouse, Pocono Playhouse, and Open Air Theatre. Proud graduate from the Chicago College of Performing Arts.

DAVID SAJEWICH (Ash) is excited to be going on this ass kicking adventure!  Based out of Chicago, he’s performed in Les Miserables (Drury Lane Oakbrook); The Pajama Game, The Baker’s Wife, and Do I Hear a Waltz? (The Music Theatre Company); Fiddler on the Roof (Paramount Theatre); Romeo and Juliet (First Folio Theatre); The Baker’s Wife (Circle Theatre); Man of La Mancha (Light Opera Works), and The True Story of the Three Little Pigs (Lifeline Theatre). Regionally, he’s performed in Once Upon a Mattress and Legally Blonde (Fireside Theatre); Little Women (Hope Summer Repertory Theatre) and Evita with St. Louis’ New Line Theatre.

CREG SCLAVI (Scott) is absolutely thrilled to be playing the role of Scott in the US National Tour of Evil Dead - The Musical!  He enjoys spending his time playing guitar, hanging out with friends, and doing his best to NOT be dismembered or possessed by demons (particularly of the Candarian persuasion).  Based in Chicago, Creg was most recently seen on the 2014 National Tour of HAIR as well as in the Bleecker Company’s production of A Streetcar Named Desire in Wellsboro, PA.  Chicago area credits include Bobby Strong (Jeff Nominated) in Urinetown:The Musical (Circle Theatre), Sonny LaTierri in
Grease (Paramount Theatre), Ensemble in Miss Saigon (Paramount Theatre), Sir Robin in Spamalot! (NightBlue), Gabe Green in Breaking Up is Hard to Do (Fox Valley Rep.) and Charlie in The Pajama Game (TMTC). 

DEMI ZAINO (Cheryl) is overjoyed to be joining the cast of Evil Dead the Musical!  Theatre Credits include: Seussical (Chicago Shakespeare), Hairspray (Marriott Lincolnshire). Educational Credits include: Emma Goldman (Ragtime), Radio (Caroline or Change), Dr. Scott (Rocky Horror Picture Show), Tracy Turnblad (Hairspray), Mrs. Lovette (Sweeney Todd), Lorna Moon (Golden Boy) and Bee-Bee (Suburbia).

                                                                                                                                               THE CREATIVE TEAM
GEORGE REINBLATT (Book and Lyrics, Co-Composer) is a comedy writer whose credits are so varied, he literally needs a bio to list them all. Luckily for you, this is that bio. George has written jokes for the last six Comedy Central Roasts including the “Roast of James Franco” and the highly rated “Roast of Charlie Sheen.” George was a writer for two seasons on Comedy Central’s “The Burn with Jeff Ross.” He has also written comedy for the likes of Steve Martin, Tina Fey, John Cleese, Craig Ferguson, Andre-Philippe Gagnon, and even Kelly Ripa.  George was the head writer for two “MuchMusic Video Awards” writing for LMFAO, Psy, Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson, Flo Rida and many more.  He was a contributing writer for “The Arsenio Hall Show.”  He has also worked as a writer on “Rick Mercer’s Monday Report,” “Canada’s Walk of Fame,” “Match Game” and “George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight.” Evil Dead – The Musical is George’s first stage production.

CHRISTOPHER BOND (Director, Co-Composer, Additional Lyrics) is best known as the director, co-creator and co-composer of the hit show, Evil Dead, The Musical.  He developed and directed Evil Dead since 2002, including the show’s US debut Off-Broadway (nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award for Best New Musical) and its return to Canada at the Diesel Playhouse (Winner of the 2007 Dora Mavor Moore Audience Choice Award) which also received a Dora nomination for Outstanding Direction of a Musical.  Christopher most recently co-wrote and directed the official stage version of Night of the Living Dead Live at Theatre Passe Muraille, which was executive produced by George A. Romero.  Christopher’s screenwriting credits with his co-writer Trevor Martin include “A Little Bit Zombie” starring Stephen McHattie & Shawn Roberts.  “ALBZ” won the Best Feature Film awards at the 2012 Canadian Film Festival and Fantaspoa Film Festival in Brazil and is currently being distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment. Their second feature film “Patch Town” also garnered the Best Feature Film at the Canadian Film Festival in 2013 and is being distributed through Kino Lorber.  Chris and Trevor are currently writing music for an upcoming musical kids TV series called “Acting Up” with the Chorus Network.  Christopher is thrilled to direct Evil Dead for a lucky eighth time!

FRANK CIPOLLA (Co-Composer, Music Supervision).   I'm one of those people who always have a song in my head.  As a kid, I was constantly banging pencils or forks to some cerebral rhythm, until my parents bought me a drum set (and ear plugs for themselves).  I loved making up songs for my dog.  Then one day I got a blank canvas to unload all of these sonic nuggets that had been brewing in my head for decades. No idea was too ridiculous; no chord change too strange.  And what came out was Evil Dead-The Musical. And the catharsis was complete.  I hope you enjoy listening to the show as much as I loved making it. BTW – my dog really likes the show.

MELISSA MORRIS (Co-Composer) has a BAH in Music and Drama from Queen’s University.  She is an actor, singer, writer, composer and teacher. She has written five plays/musicals; The Fred Astaire Story, an adaptation of Alice in Wonderland with Dr. Craig Walker, Maid for a Musket with Lucia Frangione, Asylum by the Lake with Dana Fradkin, and of course, Evil Dead-The Musical.  Melissa has also written original music for productions of A Winter’s Tale and The Passion for Theatre Kingston, Othello and Midsummer Night’s Dream at the St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival.  As a performer, she has worked with such theatre companies as Port Hope Festival, Toronto Chamber Opera, Shakespeare in the Square, Sunshine and Company Festival, Thousand Islands Playhouse, Vaughan City Playhouse, Acorn Theatre, Possible Arts, Metaphysical Theatre, St Lawrence Shakespeare Festival and Theatre Kingston.

LINDSAY ANNE BLACK (Scenic Design) has designed sets and costumes for theatre and dance of all sizes, independent and commercial, both scripted and devised. Selected projects include: Dinner at Seven-Thirty (Theatre Rusticle), Night Of The Living Dead Live (Nictophobia Films), Chile Con Carne (Alameda Theatre), Laws Of Motion (Small Elephant), This Must Be The Place: The CN Tower Project (Theatre Passe Muraille); HOMEbody (Shannon Litzenberger Dance), Saucisse: A Foo Musical
(Foo Productions); Sia (Cahoots Theatre Projects); The Atomic Weight of Happiness (Stand Up Dance); Macbeth (Driftwood Theatre Group); and My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish-Wiccan Wedding (Mirvish).  She has led workshops at Tarragon Theatre and Canadian Stage, as well as in high schools and at drama festivals. Two of her costumes have been on display at the Design Exchange, and she was the recipient of the 2007 Pauline McGibbon Award, as well as five Dora Award nominations, though never a bride.

CLAUDIA KADA (Costume Design) is thrilled to yet again resurrect her costume design for Evil Dead-The Musical.  Claudia began her costume career with Evil Dead – her first costume design was the Evil Dead production at the Tranzac Club in 2003.  A Toronto-based designer for theatre and television, she has designed sets for Joan Rivers, Isaac Mizrahi and Suzanne Somers for broadcast (Rogers Media).  Theatre credits include Night of the Living Dead Live (Nictophobia Films), Evil Dead-The Musical (Jeffrey Latimer Entertainment/Just for Laughs) and Mein Kampf (U of T).  Claudia is a graduate of York University’s Theatre Program and the University of Toronto's Graduate Drama Program.

GARETH CREW (Lighting Design) Back in 2003, Gareth had the privilege of lighting an off-beat cult musical work shopping in a small bar in Toronto.  It's been eleven years, and since then he's lit Assassins (BirdLand/TIFT), the Canadian Premiere of Jerry Springer: The Opera (Hart House), Sweeney Todd (Theatre Sheridan), and, of course, The Rocky Horror Show (Fallen Rock).  Needless to say, he is beyond ecstatic to be coming home to Evil Dead - The Musical.  Gareth has been nominated for two Dora Awards, in 2014 for Marry Me a Little (Tarragon), and in 2011 for Madhouse Variations (Eldritch).  Gareth is designer in residence at Toronto's premiere Lovecraftian punk horror-comedy puppetry troupe, Eldritch Theatre.  Gareth is a proud member of the Associated Designers of Canada.

MICHAEL LAIRD (Sound Design) Selected Sound Design credits:  Once On This Island (Acting Up Stage); Annie, Cinderella, A Year with Frog and Toad, The Princess and the Handmaiden, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, The Wizard of Oz (YPT); Seussical (YPT/Citadel Theatre); Romeo & Juliet, Spamalot!, Sound of Music, Little Women (Citadel Theatre); God of Carnage, Clybourne Park, Stuff Happens (Studio 180/Mirvish);  Our Class, The Overwhelming, Blackbird (Studio 180); Great Expectations, Barber of Seville (Soulpepper); Speaking in Tongues, Through the Leaves, Festen, Marion Bridge (Company Theatre); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Canadian Stage); A Synonym for Love (Volcano Theatre); Evil Dead: The Musical (Off B’way & Toronto); A Beautiful View (da da kamera).

AARON EYRE (Music Director) is thrilled to be once again returning to the cabin! He is a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University with degrees in Composition and Theatre, and is the recipient of the NUMUS Award for Composition for The Poison Tree.  Selected credits as Music Director include Let the Sunshine In (Welcome Wood), Central Park Tango (Theatre Sheridan/CMTP), Opening Doors (Theatre Sheridan), The Last Five Years (Angelwalk), Evil Dead - The Musical (Latimer Entertainment) and BoyGroove (M.Rubinoff Productions).  Also an accomplished choral conductor and vocal arranger, Aaron conducted the Note by Note Singers in a tribute concert for Canadian choral composer Alfred Kunz.  Aaron arranged music for The Nick Drake Project and composed new material for Trey Parker's Cannibal! The Musical.  He records with and acts as Music Supervisor/Accompanist for 2Divine.

STACEY RENEE MAROSKE (Choreographer) is a Toronto based performer, singer, dancer, musician, teacher, adjudicator and award-winning choreographer. A York University graduate, Stacey is the director of her own company: “The Next Level Entertainment” which previously produced the Next Level Dance Convention, featuring famous choreographers from “So You Think You Can Dance,” and “Dancing With The Stars.” Stacey’s company also produces live shows, entertainment and musical acts/ bands for corporate events and theme parks across North America including Ontario Place, Canada’s Wonderland and Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada.  Stacey has had the opportunity to choreograph for numerous music videos, commercials, television and live shows including George Romero's Night of The Living Dead Live, and the 2013/14 national tour of Evil Dead- The Musical.

STARVOX ENTERTAINMENT/COREY ROSS (Producer), Founded in 2005 by Corey Ross, Starvox Entertainment is ranked number 17 on Profit Magazine's list of Toronto's top 50 growth companies in 2013. Starvox produces, manages, represents and promotes cross-over performing arts shows that tour across Canada and the United States, as well as México, China, the Middle East and Europe.  In 2013, Mr. Ross was a producer on the Canadian production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's CATS and remounted Evil Dead-The Musical to record-breaking sales in Toronto and Philadelphia.  Starvox is also the producer of HAIR - which toured throughout the United States.  Starvox is the producer of the successful Harry Potter themed off-Broadway sensation Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience which continues to tour and experience sold-out engagements across the United States.  Potted Potter launched its first tour in México in February 2014 with a second Canadian tour planned for the winter of 2014. Starvox has presented three productions written and directed by Woody Harrelson, John Malkovich in Giacomo Variations, and nationally broadcast concerts for the Stephen Lewis Foundation featuring Alicia Keys and Annie Lennox.  Starvox recently produced a multi-million dollar reboot of the classic Las Vegas revue show Jubilee for Caesars Casino, with pop mega-star Beyoncé’s creative team.

JEFFREY LATIMER (Producer) has produced and managed live theatre, musical productions, artists, events and sponsorships in North America for the past 20 years.  His company, JLE, is based in Toronto and currently has various projects in production.  Jeffrey’s shows include Forever Plaid, Stomp, Forever Tango, Forever Swing (with Michael Bublé), Grease, Cookin At The Cookery (with the legendary Bea Arthur), An Evening with George Burns, Defending the Caveman and many more.  Jeffrey worked with Second City and Just for Laughs in business development.  He is currently producing and developing shows such as Evil Dead-The Musical, Queen For A Day: The Musical, as well as many other projects. Jeffrey manages the International Juno Award winning, Platinum selling recording artists, The Tenors, as well as the young pop rock group Neverest, The amazing Lisa Ray and Juno Award winning soul sensation Sean Jones.

Friday, September 19, 2014

TONIGHT: Nick Waterhouse at Lincoln Hall 21+ #ChiILPicksList

Chi, IL Live Shows On Our Radar
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Tonight we'll be shooting stills at the Nick Waterhouse concert at Lincoln Hall. Highly recommended. We catch his fantastic live shows every time he comes through Chicago, and have also shot 2 of his concerts before. Check out some of our past coverage and photo filled features here. 


$18 Doors
Friday, September 19 2014
10:00 PM | 21+

Nick Waterhouse’s art springs from a simple idea: everybody wants to be somebody else. One of his heroes, Van Morrison, got his start covering Bobby Bland, whose own musical idol was Nat “King” Cole. In Waterhouse’s view, emulation is a journey; you never truly succeed, but as the singer, guitarist and songwriter puts it, “You become something on the way there.”

Nick was born in 1986 and grew up in Huntington Beach, a place known predominantly for its tanning salons, commercial surf culture, and UFC fighters. In his early teens, he established his musical sensibilities in the midst of the burgeoning Southern California DIY scene (Burger Records, Ty Segall, McHugh’s Distillery studio), through which he refined his own idiosyncratic perspective on the spirit of American Rhythm & Blues and Rock & Roll.

Waterhouse started performing as a teenager. “It was really motivated by fear,” he recalls. “I’m kind of an introvert, so it was an uncomfortable situation. It was a way to force a crisis.” The young artist experienced an exhilaration he’d never felt before, and hasn’t found anywhere else since. “It’s a feeling of heightened awareness that goes beyond pleasure,” Waterhouse explains. “It has something to do with seeing ahead in time and behind in time all at once. You don’t just get the immediate reward; you get the potential that rewards you the same way.” Check out his main site here and catch him LIVE if you can. Click here for current tour dates.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger and Carrie go back to high school in new Common Shiner video

Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger and Carrie White are just some of the ghouls that populate Wes Craven’s Slasher High School in the new music video by Chicago’s Common Shiner: 

The video, directed by Zoran Gvojic and presented by his Chicago-based comedy group, features the Common Shiner track “Social Mediasochist” from the 2013 release Before They Sold Out: Part 2:

CLOSING: Babes With Blades Witch Slap!

Act Out:
Chicago Theatre openings, closings, reviews, giveaways, ticket sale dates and more. Chi, IL Live Shows on stage and on our radar.

FALL 2014: Witch Slap!
by Jeff Goode

We've been promoting this show since the first read through and have heard great things. Sadly, we've been shooting travel features out of state and we've been swamped since they opened and haven't made it over there to review. Still, check it out if you can. We are long time fans of Babes With Blades and so stoked that they call Chicago home. We've seen them tackle some amazing works over the years.

Like Hunger Games and women as protagonists who don't just lay around like the Disney coma princesses, waiting to be rescued?   Come check out some real life women who kick booty with sword fights & stage combat.  

Here at ChiIL Live Shows, Babes With Blades have been favorites of ours for years.   Their shows are aimed at adults, but my tweens adore them, too!

“Under Delia Ford’s direction, the actors take on their roles with distinction…Kimberly Logan (Crone) anchors the show with cackling wisdom…(Stefanie) Johnsen nails the physical comedy…Jennifer L. Mickelson garners laughs from her stoic presence…Loren Jones charms as the high-strung-witch-in-training” – Katy Walsh, The Fourth Walsh

Mass hysteria grips a colonial town as public witch hunts pit brother against brother. But when local witches attempt to band together to stop the madness, they quickly discover that sister against sister can be far more wicked.

Directed by Delia Ford*
Violence Design by Maureen Yasko*

“…The cast assembled by Delia Ford for this Babes With Blades production swaps vaudeville chat with precision timing…” – Mary Shen Barnidge, Windy City Times

RUN: 8/17 – 9/20, Thurs – Sat at 8pm, Sun at 3:30pm

On the West Stage at the Raven Theatre Complex
6157 N. Clark St., Chicago

Get your tickets HERE! Or call to reserve: 773-904-0391
Check out our Promos & Events page for special deals!

CAST: Alison Dornheggen* (Jezebella), Stefanie Johnsen (Minerva), Loren Jones (Novella), Kimberly Logan* (Crone), Morgan Manasa* (Goody Blunt), Jennifer L. Mickelson* (Widow), Patti Moore (Sylvia)

STAFF: Kimberly Morris* (Costume Design), Justin Castellano (Lighting Design), Lindsey Miller (Stage Manager), Kait Mikitin (Production Manager), Claire Nelson (Props Design), Mason Absher (Sound Design), Nicci Schumacher (Scenic Design/Technical Director)
* denotes Babes With Blades company member

Witch Slap is the winner of the 2013-14 Joining Sword & Pen competition, sponsored since its inception by Fight Master David Woolley, SAFD. 

**(COINCIDENCE ALERT: We just saw David Woolley in the audience and spoke with him at the after party last night at the press opening of King Lear at Chicago Shakespeare. You may recognize him from The Swordsmen, frequent favorites on the Bristol Renaissance Faire and the Ohio Ren Faire circuits. We've been covering them for years.)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

OPENING: King Lear at Chicago Shakespeare

Act Out:
Chicago Theatre openings, closings, reviews, giveaways, ticket sale dates and more. Chi, IL Live Shows on stage and on our radar.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater Launches Season
Barbara Gaines directs Shakespeare’s masterpiece
King Lear
Featuring Larry Yando in the title role

Chicago Shakespeare Theatre has long been one of our favorite venues for the bard and beyond. ChiIL Live Shows will be the for the press opening of King Lear tonight, so check back like we vote in Chi, IL... early and often for our full review.

The Fool (Ross Lehman) shelters from the storm with the destitute King Lear (Larry Yando) in Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s production of Shakespeare’s King Lear, directed by Artistic Director Barbara Gaines, in CST’s Courtyard Theater through November 9, 2014. Photo by Liz Lauren.

A wrenching story of love, loss and reconciliation, King Lear has fascinated audiences for more than 400 years, and stands as Shakespeare's most towering achievement. Directed by CST Artistic Director Barbara Gaines, the brilliantly versatile actor Larry Yando takes on the monumental title role, marking his twenty-third production with Chicago Shakespeare.

A monarch obscured by the shadows of dementia resolves to retire, and divides his kingdom among his three daughters. The unexpected consequence of losing everything that defines him is shattering, a sobering reminder that even the most powerful can be undone. Director Barbara Gaines brings audiences a King Lear for our times to open Chicago Shakespeare's 2014/15 season in the Courtyard Theater now through November 9, 2014. Click here to purchase tickets and learn more.

INCOMING: Shawn Maxwell's Alliance & William Kurk Enterprise at Mayne Stage #ChiILPicksList

CHI, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar
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October 17, 2014 | Show Starts 8:00 pm (7:00 pm DOORS)

As a performer and composer, Shawn Maxwell has established himself as a creative force on the vibrant and diverse Chicago music scene. For more than a decade, he has been leading his own groups with some of the city’s top young talent, and is an accomplished sideman on stage and in the studio.  Shawn has released six albums of all original works: Originals (2005), Originals II (2008), Maxwell’s House (2009), Urban Vigilante (2011), Shawn Maxwell’s Alliance (2014) and Burning Bridges (2014). The last four were released on the Chicago Sessions Label.
Shawn Maxwell’s Alliance started as an experiment; a gathering of friends to play some new music without stereotype or limitation. The resulting debut album, Shawn Maxwell’s Alliance stands as a new approach and direction, adding unusual instrumentation and distinct arrangements to Shawn’s powerful voice. Jazz, Folk, Classical, Pop & Funk are but some of the genres included in the writing for this project.

Members of the group include:
Shawn Maxwell – alto saxophone/flute/clarinet
Casey Fitzpatrick – soprano saxophone
Keri Johnsrud – voice
Mitch Corso – guitar
Stephen Lynerd – vibraphone/percussion
Marc Piane – bass
Stacy McMichael – bass
Meghan Fulton – french horn
Rachel Maxwell – french horn
Paul Townsend – drums

William Kurk Enterprise

William Kurk has always been passionate about the personal vision of art. An ambassador to the Chicago music scene by virtue of efforts to support fellow artists and the continued pursuit of maintaining original ideas, released five studio albums: 'The Sound: Vol.1' (2004), 'The Sound: Vol. 2' (2007), 'The Sound: Vol. 3' (2009), 'Pop Fusion' (2011), and 'Super Pop Fusion' (2012). Members of the Grammy-award winning band Yellowjackets are featured on the third album: Bob Mintzer and Will Kennedy on the contemporary jazz hit, “Another Day”. William Kurk has also been a host to many events and shows around Chicago, as well as reviewed several indie projects under the alias ‘The Musicianarian’.

Other studio credits outside of his own include: Seal, Melba Moore, Dwele, and Maysa Leak among many others. The William Kurk Enterprise- "LIVE IN CHICAGO" DVD was released in 2011, which is a live concert compilation of Kurk's ensemble performing across Chicago.

Some of the other notable accompaniment work for Kurk includes: Dionne Warwick, Melba Moore, Martha Reeves, Koko Taylor, Stanley Jordan, Kindred The Family Soul, Andre DeShields, Chico DeBarge, Eric Roberson, Frank McComb, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, KRS-ONE, Julie Dexter, and Bill Cosby. Kurk has also been featured by the Chicago Music Association as one of the rising young composers on the scene, and is currently the keyboardist for R&B/Funk legend Steve Arrington. The future will present more music to come from William Kurk, as the latest project will be a tribute album to all the artists that have been an influence to the musical journey. The legacy continues. 

Tickets $20.00

Friday, September 12, 2014

INCOMING: Clutch Plays Riot Fest Rebel Stage Friday at 5:30 #Riotfest #ChiILPicksList

Chi, IL Live Shows On Our Radar
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Clutch & Mastodon
Rebel Stage
Friday at 5:30 & 7:00pm


This is a weekend full of must see acts, and heading off the weekend with a bang is Maryland based Clutch. Here at ChiIL Live Shows they've been a top favorite of ours for decades and we've done 20+ features on them over the years. So beyond stoked they're working on new material again!! We're aiming to start the day with GWAR at 4:15 but ALL of our friends are meeting up at Clutch. Be there.

We've had the pleasure of catching their lead singer, Neil Fallon, for an original video interview that's now up to 16,600+ views on ChiIL Live Shows' YouTube Channel. Check it out right here.

We've also shot pit photos of the band for years. Click here to check em out. We've included a few of our favorites at the bottom of this post.

For the past 20 years, the Maryland foursome has fused heavy metal, punk and even blues and funk into their stoner-friendly hard rock stew. They recently reissued deluxe versions of three records from the mid 00’s and are currently at work on their 10th album, with a handful of tracks finding their into the band’s Forecastle set.

INCOMING: Mutts Play Riot Fest Sunday at 12:30 on Radical Stage #Riotfest #ChiILPicksLIst

Here at ChiIL Live Shows we've been tracking the rise of Chicago favorites, Mutts, for years now. Click here for loads of our photo filled Mutts coverage. They're a staple of summer fests and put on a rockin' live show. If you can drag your butts outta bed by noon Sunday, come on out and make the most of the final day of Riot Fest with an early start. They're one band worth waking up for.  If not, their 4th studio release is about to drop and they'll be touring.  Ones to watch.

Chi, IL Live Bands On Our Radar
ChiIL Live Shows ChiIL Picks List

Via Mutts:
We're playing RIOT FEST 2014!  

If you're headed there this weekend, come see us Sunday 9/14 at 12:30pm on the Radical Stage.  We're proud to be one of a few Chicago-based bands representing at Riot Fest this year, including our good friends Archie Powell and the Exports.  

And speaking of them, here's an early warning for our LP Release Show:
Fuel Yer Delusion, vol. 4 

Our fourth full-length studio album, Fuel Yer Delusion vol. 4, will be available on CD, digital and vinyl on Tuesday, December 9th.

But you, my friend, can pick it up early at our LP Release show! 

We're still deciding between two venues and dates, but the lineup is all set, and it's definitely going down the first weekend in December:

Fuel Yer Delusion vol. 4 Release Party
Either ???????????? or ?????
Chicago, IL
December 5 or 6
1. ?????? ?????? ? ??? ??????? (Chicago)
2. ??? ???????? (Chicago)
3. ??? ???? ??? ???? (??????????)

I know that's a wickedly nebulous announcement.  We're just excited to get our 4th LP to you.  Blues Traveler 4, Led Zeppelin 4, Connect Four, Tetris, the word "Friend," according to Cake - these are other legendary quad-related things, an echelon we hope to join with this record.  
There we go again, with the delusion.  

Whether it's at ???-? or ?????, we're headlining, with three of our favorite bands on the bill, and it'll be time to kick off the holiday season.  With so many reasons to celebrate, please pencil Mutts in on your calendar, and stay tuned for the details - plus our first single and video - coming in the next week or two.

Chicago!  Our home, our family and friends, the place we became a band, the place our sound comes from, and the place we often get silly drunk and play punk-ass shows with kick-ass bands.  We've blazed past 100 tour dates already this year, representing our home town in 20 or so states, as best we can.  And we're excited to bring it back to you with these two uproarious shows.  Hope to see you at one, or both!  Until then, take care of yerselves.

Mike, Bob and Chris
"Be kinder than necessary,

for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle." 

Mutts CD Release Party at Fireside Bowl, 2012

Thursday, September 11, 2014

INCOMING: Survay Says! Riot Fest Sunday at 1pm on The Revolt Stage #Riotfest #ChiILPicksList

Chi, IL Live Shows On Our Radar
ChiIL Live Shows ChiIL Picks List

Here at ChiIL Live Show we cover loads of large music fests every year. They're great for seeing old favorites, binging on hours of live music, and discovering new bands. We haven't seen Survey Says yet, but we're suckers for a sweet horn section, saxaphones and Ska. Check 'em out if you have a chance.

Sunday, September 14
Revolt Stage

Six members, 101 shows in 2011, 149 shows in 2012, 208 shows in 2013, and 1 unified goal: To make audiences have the most fun possible. 

Survay Says! is a 6-piece ska/pop punk band from a small town called Blairstown, NJ. Originally forming in 2008 by brothers Henry & D.Jay Menzel, Survay Says! has spent the last 4 years honing their craft to bring listeners the horn-driven sound ska fans crave along with the high speed energy of pop punk. If there is one word that could sum up an SS! set, that word would be "fun", and that's exactly what the band strives for. 

Considered by many to be one of the hardest working self-managed bands on the East Coast, Survay Says has supported national acts such as Less Than Jake, the Wonder Years, Reel Big Fish, Streetlight Manifesto, and Bowling for Soup. Survay Says tours extensively, playing 208 shows in 2013 including a month-long run with Big D and the Kid’s Table and Red City Radio which took them to Fest 12 in Gainesville, FL.  2014 promises to be just as intense; Signed to Asbestos Records, Survay Says has already completed a two month full US tour to support the release of our new album "Observations of the Human Condition", a month long tour of the US and Canada as direct support to Reel Big Fish, and a scond full US tour since the beginning of April this year. We're spending the rest of the 2014 playing Riot Fest in Chicago, The Fest in Gainesville, FL, doing a support tour with MxPx, Zebrahead and Allister, as well as touring the full US again on our own.

Click here to check out their main site

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