Thursday, October 23, 2014


TICKETS ON SALE 10am CT MONDAY, OCTOBER 27 Pre-Sales Begin 10am CT October 24
Sonic Highways Out November 10 on Roswell/RCA

Fresh off the critically lauded, ratings smash Chicago-centric debut of their HBO series Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways and a packed to the gills premiere shindig at Wrigleyville’s Cubby Bear, Foo Fighters have confirmed the Windy City as the site of the band’s first ever U.S. stadium headline show: On August 29, 2015, Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett and Pat Smear will return to the same neighborhood where Grohl saw his first ever live show, this time to play the storied Wrigley Field.
And now it has been confirmed that Foo Fighters’ Wrigley extravaganza will feature a day-long multigenerational celebration of Chicago’s musical heritage: Kings of the Chicago underground Urge Overkill will open the festivities, followed by Naked Raygun a/k/a the band that played that same Cubby Bear gig that was teenage Dave Grohl’s first live show. In the penultimate spot will be the local and international multi-platinum legends Cheap Trick, whose Rick Nielsen both appears in the Sonic Highways series and contributes his unmistakable guitar tones to the album’s lead track and current Rolling Stone Playlist #1 “Something From Nothing."
Tickets for Foo Fighters’ historic Wrigley Field stand will be on sale to the public Monday, October 27 at 10am CT at, with fan club pre-sales beginning 10am CT Friday, October 24 and running through 5pm CT Sunday, October 26. A 4 ticket limit for the general admission floor, and 6 ticket limit for the reserved sections will be strictly enforced.

For further information stay tuned to

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

OPENING: The triumphant all-American opera returns to Lyric -- The Gershwins’Porgy and Bess

The triumphant all-American opera returns to Lyric
The Gershwins’
by George Gershwin, DuBose and Dorothy Heyward and Ira Gershwin

Opens Monday, November 17 at Lyric Opera
13 performances through December 20

Photo Credit: Dan Rest

Lyric Opera is a favorite of ours here at ChiIL Mama/ChiIL Live Shows. Their immense talent pool, lavish sets, and ability to make the rarified world of opera accessible and interesting to novices and aficionados alike, are nothing short of impressive. The 2014 season continues in the same vein with this familiar Gershwin score – including jazz standards “Summertime,” “I Got Plenty o’ Nuttin’” and “Oh Lord, I’m On My Way”. This production is a great way for jazz fans to be introduced to opera or for opera fans to hear classic jazz/musical theater work in a new way.

Eric Owens, SFO 
Photo Credit: Terrence McCarthy  

Lyric Opera of Chicago presents the Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess in a revival of the acclaimed production from renowned director Francesca Zambello, conducted by Ward Stare. It opens on Monday, November 17 with 13 performances through Saturday, December 20. Performance dates are Nov. 17, 19, Dec. 2, 5, 8, 13, 16, and 20 at 7:30pm; and Nov. 23, 26, 28, Dec.11 and 18 at 2pm.

Hailed by innumerable critics as the greatest American opera, George Gershwin’s masterpiece of 1935 has lyrics by Ira Gershwin (the composer’s brother) and Dorothy Heyward, and a libretto by Mrs. Heyward’s husband, DuBose Heyward. The opera is based on the 1927 Broadway play Porgy by Mr. and Mrs. Heyward and Mr. Heyward’s own novel of the same name, written in 1924.

Onstage in the opera Porgy and Bess, an entire community comes to life: the fictitious tenement called Catfish Row on the shore of Charleston, South Carolina. It is there that the lame Porgy (bass-baritone Eric Owens) meets and falls in love with the sultry Bess (soprano Adina Aaron, Lyric debut), girlfriend of the hulking Crown (baritone Eric Greene). Bess leaves Crown to live with Porgy but is susceptible to the drugs (“happy dust”) offered her by the devious Sportin’ Life (tenor Jermaine Smith). The cast also includes soprano Karen Slack (Lyric debut) as the devout Serena, soprano Hlengiwe Mhkwanazi (Lyric debut) as the endearing young mother Clara, contralto Gwendolyn Brown as the earthy Maria, and baritone Norman Garrett (Lyric debut) as Clara’s warmhearted husband Jake.

Porgy and Bess will be conducted by Ward Stare and directed by Francesca Zambello.  Peter J. Davison is set designer, Paul Tazewell is costume designer, Mark McCullough is lighting designer, Michael Black is chorus master, and Denni Sayers is choreographer and associate director.  

Says Anthony Freud, Lyric’s general director, “Lyric had such a great success with the company premiere of Porgy and Bess during the 2008-09 season that we decided to bring this magnificent work back for further performances in Francesca Zambello’s vibrant, revelatory production. Ward Stare conducts an almost totally new cast, including the incomparable Eric Owens in the title role.”

Eric Greene, Lyric 
Photo Credit: Dan Rest

Eric Owens, Adina Aaron, Jermaine Smith, Eric Greene, Karen Slack,
Hlengiwe Mkhwanazi, Norman Garrett, Gwendolyn Brown
Ward Stare/conductor, Francesca Zambello/ director,
Peter J. Davison/sets, Paul Tazewell/costumes, Mark McCullough/lighting,
Michael Black/chorus master, Denni Sayers/choreographer

For tickets and information call (312) 827-5600 or go to Watch video and read articles about this production at

Follow the conversation on Twitter: #LyricPorgy.

The Nov. 17 opening night performance will be broadcast live on 98.7WFMT and streamed on starting at 7:15pm. For those listening to the broadcast, live mobile titles will be available at

Lyric Opera presentation.  Generous sponsors are the Elizabeth Morse Genius Charitable Trust, The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust, Cherryl T. Thomas and Adrmore Associates, and Roberta L. and Robert J. Washlow, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts. Production owned by Washington National Opera.

Operagoers can also enjoy the exhibit DON GIOVANNI: Past to Present before curtain and during intermission of all Lyric performances. Located in the Opera Club Wine Cellar on the lower level of the Civic Opera House, this new exhibit showcases the 60-year history of Mozart’s Don Giovanni at Lyric and pays tribute to Lyric’s brand-new production. It is free to all ticket holders and will on display through December.

About Lyric
Founded in 1954, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s mission is to express and promote the life-changing, transformational, revelatory power of great opera. Lyric exists to provide a broad, deep, and relevant cultural service to Chicago and the nation, and to advance the development of the art form.

Lyric is dedicated to producing and performing consistently thrilling, entertaining, and thought-provoking opera with a balanced repertoire of core classics, lesser-known masterpieces, and new works; to creating an innovative and wide-ranging program of community engagement and educational activities; and to developing exceptional emerging operatic talent.

Under the leadership of general director Anthony Freud, music director Sir Andrew Davis, and creative consultant Renée Fleming, Lyric strives to become the great North American Opera Company for the 21st century: a globally significant arts organization embodying the core values of excellence, relevance, and fiscal responsibility.

Monday, October 20, 2014

HELP LOCALLY: Razorhouse To Headline Yoga for Recovery benefit at the Lincoln Tap Room 10/23

Chi, IL Live Shows on Our Radar

Chicago’s Razorhouse will headline a Yoga for Recovery benefit at the Lincoln Tap Room on Thursday, Oct. 23, and drop the single “Girl Like a Hand Grenade” on Nov. 11, 2014. 

Come Out and Support A Great Cause!
- $5 Tecate & Cuervo Silver shot
- $4 Fat Tire pints
- $2 Hamms & Strohs cans
- $4 Fireball shots
- $5 Absolut cocktails
- $5 PBR Bottle and Jameson shot

ACT OUT CLOSING: Chi, IL Live Shows On Our Radar-- Fall Favorites Closing Soon #theatre #reviews

Via The League of Chicago Theatres

Fall 2014 will see Chicago continue to produce some of the most exciting theater in the country.  Offerings from the city’s more than 200 producing theaters includes a range of special fall programming, featuring everything from the latest musicals to highly anticipated world premieres.   

Be sure to check back with ChiIL Live Shows like we vote in Chi, IL... early and often. We're passionate about Chicago Theatre and we review everything from the big Broadway in Chicago touring extravaganzas to Chicago's vital and thriving storefront scene.

We've marked some of our fall top picks below in red. Catch them while you can. Many are closing soon. We're your source for fall closings, holiday openings, theatre reviews, news, video interviews, and ticket giveaways. Follow us on Facebook, like our Facebook Page, follow us on Twitter, and Google + so you don't miss out.

For a comprehensive list of Chicago productions including a Fall Theatre Guide, visit the League of Chicago website,  Discounted tickets are available at or at the three Hot Tix half-price ticket locations: across from the Chicago Cultural Center at Expo72 (72 E. Randolph); in the Water Works Visitor Information Center (163 E. Pearson); and the newest location at Block Thirty Seven, Shops at 108 N. State. Hot Tix offers half-price tickets to more than 200 Chicago area theatres, full price tickets to all Ticketmaster events including concerts and sports, and Play Money gift certificates.

“This fall will bring a brand new theater season to Chicago, and true to the reputation of Chicago theater, the season promises to be exciting, creative, and unique.  Theaters will present works ranging from family-friendly shows to hard-hitting dramas, and Chicago remains a leader in developing and producing new works,” says Deb Clapp, Executive Director of the League of Chicago Theatres. “We are anticipating a triumphant season filled with incomparable quality and variety.”

The following is a selection of notable work playing in Chicago throughout the fall:

New works and adaptations include:
*Goodman Theatre brings back Noah Haidle’s hit new work Smokefall, September 20 – October 26, 2014. 

ChiIL Live Shows caught opening night of Smokefall this season and last and we were blown away by this production. Smokefall is an absolute must see. I had the great pleasure of seeing it the first time around with my dad, who is a twin. It's a great production to see with relatives, as it added an extra layer to this complex and compelling family drama. Smokefall gives "Family Tree" and "baggage" a whole new twist! This production is spot on about the things that truly matter and so funny you'll hardly notice as characters'  wit and wisdom seep in and get under your skin. Highly recommended.
Isaac’s Eye, a new work by Lucas Hnath reimagines the world of a young Isaac Newton plays at Writers Theatre at Books on Vernon, September 2 – December 7, 2014.  

Musicals include:
The world premiere musical Amazing Grace, based on the awe-inspiring true story, plays at the Bank of America Theatre, October 9 – November 2, 2014.

Griffin Theatre Company presents Titanic, the Tony Award-winning musical re-imaged and re-written for the stage in its first major US Production, October 18 – December 7, 2014

*The hit modern musical Avenue Q continues at The Mercury Theater, 3745 N. Southport Ave, through October 26, 2014.

Here at ChiIL Live Shows, Avenue Q is one of our all time favorite musicals, and The Mercury Theater production is every bit as wicked and witty as the Broadway version. If you still haven't seen it, what are you waiting for? Go already! This should be mandatory viewing for all older teens, recent high school and college graduates, and everyone who has ever struggled to make ends meet, had quirky neighbors, lived the urban dream, or loved muppets in childhood. Do note--these puppets are raunchy, irreverent, cynical and not particularly kid appropriate. That said, they'll crack you up and rock your reality. Highly recommended.

*Black Ensemble Theatre brings back At Last: A Tribute to Etta James, featuring 15 of Etta James’ biggest hits, October 24 – December 28, 2014.

BET's remount of At Last: A Tribute to Etta James, is a pure delight. They don't dilute the truth, and feature the tough times, addictions and attitude along with the award winning genius that is Etta James. Her multifaceted personality and life long career are creatively played by multiple Ettas of various ages. The vocal talent at Black Ensemble Theatre is stunning, and entirely impressive. Highly recommended.

Dramatic works include:
Steppenwolf Theatre Company presents a compelling new drama The Night Alive by Conor McPherson, directed by Henry Wishcamper, September 18 – November 16, 2014.

*Shakespeare’s King Lear, at Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier. Directed by Barbara Gaines and featuring Chicago favorite Larry Yando in the title role, September 9 – November 9, 2014.

Two words--Larry Yando! Don't let the King Lear title fool you, Yando is King Midas and his name is box office gold! This production is well worth seeing, as Yando embodies the complexities of Lear with panache. He's at once detestable yet charmingly pitiful. Chicago Shakespeare keeps the set minimalist and the costumes modern. The stage rain and thunderous clashes are particularly evocative and amazing. Recommended.

My Name is Asher Lev, adapted by Aaron Posner from the novel by Chaim Potok, premieres at TimeLine Theatre Company at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave, through October 18, 2014.

The classic Arthur Miller drama All My Sons performs at Raven Theatre in Edgewater. September 16 – November 15, 2014.

About Chicago theater
Chicago theater is the leader in the U.S. with more than 250 theaters throughout Chicagoland, comprising a rich and varied community ranging from storefront, non-union theaters to the most renowned resident theaters in the country, including 5 which have been honored with Regional Tony Awards, and the largest touring Broadway organization in the nation. Chicago’s theaters serve 5 million audience members annually and have a combined budget of more than $250 million. Chicago produces and/or presents more world premieres annually than any other city in the nation. In 2009-10 alone Chicago theater companies produced more than 130 world premiere productions and adaptations. Each year Chicago theaters send new work to resident theaters across the country, to Broadway, and around the world. 

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

For a comprehensive list of Chicago productions, visit the League of Chicago website,  Discounted tickets are available at

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Concert Event Streaming Live From Chicago at on Friday, October 17 At 11:59pm (EST) Immediately Following the HBO Premiere Episode of Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways
Tickets to Attend the Event Go on Sale Wednesday, October 15 at 10:00am (CST)

The highly anticipated new HBO series Foo Fighters: Sonic Highwaysdebuts on Friday, October 17 at 11:00pm (EST). In celebration of the premiere, HBO will collaborate with Facebook to present “Foo Fighters Sonic Highways: Live from The Cubby Bear,” a live stream of the Foo Fighters premiere party concert, which will be made available to fans in the U.S. on the HBO Facebook page:  
Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett and Pat Smear will take the stage at Chicago’s The Cubby Bear at midnight (EST) on Friday, October 17 immediately following a screening of the premiere episode. The show will feature the first ever in-concert performance of the new single “Something from Nothing” from the band’s forthcoming album, also titled Sonic Highways (out November 10 on Roswell/RCA). 
Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways is an unprecedented eight-part documentary series that digs deep into the heart and soul of America’s musical identity. Directed by Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, each one-hour episode is devoted to a different American musical landmark, chronicling the history, cultural environment and people that define each city’s unique musical identity.
The premiere episode takes place in Chicago and prominently features The Cubby Bear, a small club with huge personal significance to Grohl, who saw his first punk rock show at the venue – an event that set him on his life’s path. 
Fans located in Chicago can attend the concert by purchasing tickets online at beginning Wednesday, October 15 at 10:00am (CST). A two-ticket limit per customer will be strictly enforced and attendees must be 21+. All tickets will be held at will-call and are non-transferable. Ticket holders and their guests must check in at the same time, present government-issued photo ID and immediately enter the venue. Doors open at 8:30pm (CST).
For fans who won’t have the opportunity to attend or catch the live stream of the concert, an archived version of the event will be made available on certain HBO platforms at a later date. 
Follow for more info

Monday, October 13, 2014


Act Out:  Chicago Theatre openings, closings, reviews, giveaways, ticket sale dates and more. 

Chi, IL Live Shows on stage and on our radar.


Here at ChiIL Live Shows, we've enjoyed Ionesco's quirky take on life since we first encountered his works in college in the late 80's. After studying Rhinoceros, I could never quite look at theatre the same way again. So many of Ionesco's quotes are brilliant. Whether you are a newbie to his works or a long time admirer, come see Ionesco Suite by THÉÂTRE DE LA VILLE in French with fabulous accents and English subtitles! Check it out. 

Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) continues the dynamic World’s Stage Series with the U.S. debut of Théâtre de la Ville’s Ionesco Suite from Paris, France. 
Directed by Emmanuel Demarcy-Mota, this absurdist masterpiece celebrates the work of maverick avant-garde playwright Eugène Ionesco with a whirlwind montage encapsulating seven of his plays, brimming with wicked humor and hard-hitting themes. In its only United States engagement, Ionesco Suite will be performed in the theater Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare, October 15–October 19, 2014.

The cast of Théâtre de la Ville’s IONESCO SUITE, a World’s Stage presentation from Paris. Left to right: Jauris Casanova, Céline Carrère, Stéphane Krähenbühl, Sandra Faure, Olivier Le Borgne, and Charles Roger Bour. Photo by Agathe Pouoponey. 

Stéphane Krähenbühl and Gérard Maillet in Théâtre de la Ville’s IONESCO SUITE, a World’s Stage presentation from Paris. Photo by Agathe Pouoponey. 

Conceived and directed by celebrated Théâtre de la Ville Artistic Director Emmanuel Demarcy-Mota, the scene for Ionesco Suite is set in a seemingly ordinary dinner party attended by five characters. The gathering descends into an absurdist nightmare, making for a lively rampage against social conventions and a scathing parody of human behavior.

Blouin Art info proclaims the production, “both terribly funny and deliciously scary.” France’s TouteLaCulture calls Ionesco Suite “extravagant, chilling…Quintessential Ionesco, exactly as it should be.”

Sandra Faure and Jauris Casanova in Théâtre de la Ville’s IONESCO SUITE, a World’s Stage presentation from Paris. Photo by Agathe Pouoponey.

French-Romanian dramatist Eugène Ionesco pioneered the Theater of the Absurd along with such visionaries as Samuel Beckett, Tom Stoppard and Harold Pinter, creating works that challenged notions of life’s meaning and order.  The piece combines excerpts from seven of the avant-garde playwright’s wildly innovative plays—from the well-known The Bald Soprano and The Lesson to the more rarely performed Jack, or The Submission and Two for Delirium. When Director Emmanuel Demarcy-Mota staged Ionesco’s Rhinoceros ten years ago, he developed a fascination for the playwright’s humor and his obsessions with cohabitation and solitude—inspiring him to create Ionesco Suite so that contemporary audiences could discover the work anew.

The illustrious Théâtre de la Ville produces over 100 different shows annually across the vast spectrum of genres, including theater and performance art, contemporary dance, and classical and world music. They have developed new audiences at home and abroad, forming partnerships with theaters in Germany, Spain, Netherlands, Greece, England and the United States.

In January, CST hosts two contributions to the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival (January 14–25, 2015): The Table from the UK’s Blind Summit and FREEZE! from Belgium-based artist Nick Steur. CST presents the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and National Theatre of Scotland collaboration, Dunsinane, which imagines the aftermath of Shakespeare’s Macbeth (February 26–March 22, 2015). The season began with the Shakespeare’s Globe production of Hamlet from London and an inventive Australian walkabout theatrical journey, Since I Suppose. Over the past decade, CST has imported more than 700 international artists to Chicago.

Jauris Casanova (center) surrounded by the cast of Théâtre de la Ville’s IONESCO SUITE, a World’s Stage presentation from Paris, which will be presented in the theater Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare, October 15–19, 2014. Back left to right: Charles Roger Bour, Céline Carrère, Stéphane Krähenbühl, Sandra Faure, Gérard Maillet, and Olivier Le Borgne. Photo by Agathe Pouoponey. 

Ionesco Suite will be presented October 15–19 in the theater Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare. Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s presentation of Ionesco Suite is performed in French with projected English translation. Tickets are on sale now for $45–$55 with special discounts available for groups of 10 or more, as well as CST for $20 tickets available for patrons under 35. All patrons receive a 40% discount on guaranteed parking in Navy Pier garages. For more information or to purchase tickets or a season subscription, contact Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Box Office at 312.595.5600 or visit the Theater’s website at

Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) is a leading international theater company and the recipient of the Regional Theatre Tony Award. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Barbara Gaines and Executive Director Criss Henderson, CST is dedicated to producing extraordinary production of classics, new works and family fare; to unlocking Shakespeare’s work for educators and students; and to serving as Chicago’s cultural ambassador through its World’s Stage Series. Through a year-round season encompassing more than 600 performances, CST attracts 200,000 audience members annually. One in four of its audience members is under eighteen years old, and today its education programs have impacted the learning of over one million students. CST is proud to take an active role in empowering the next generation of literate, engaged cultural champions and creative minds. Visit

Click here to see more.

Friday, October 10, 2014

OPENING: Women at War at Rivendell 11/5-12/6

Act Out:  Chicago Theatre openings, closings, reviews, giveaways, ticket sale dates and more. 

Chi, IL Live Shows on stage and on our radar.

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble
announces the World Premiere of
based on true stories of women in combat

November 5-December 6, 2014

It's a big year for notable anniversary seasons and Rivendell hits the big TWO OH. Here at ChiIL Live Shows we're all about their mission statement & claim to fame as "Chicago’s only Equity theatre dedicated to producing new work with women at the core."  Carry on!

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble (RTE), Chicago’s only Equity theatre dedicated to producing new work with women at the core, announces the first production of their twentieth anniversary season, the world premiere of WOMEN AT WAR, written by RTE member Megan Carney and directed by Artistic Director Tara Mallen. The production runs November 5-December 6, 2014 at Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, 5779 N. Ridge Avenue in Chicago.

As a debate rages over whether females should serve on the frontlines, more women are being sent into active combat zones than ever before. Woven from first-person interviews with women who have laid their lives on the front lines, WOMEN AT WAR is the result of four years of intensive research and development. Working closely with veterans and organizations, Megan Carney explores the multifaceted world of female soldiers—from enlistment to deployment to the often complicated return home.

“Today's American military is nearly 15% female and there are over 1.8 million female U.S. veterans. At the same time, a male perspective has dominated the images and tales of war shared in books, movies, theater, and elsewhere. Thanks to a generous grant from the Chicago Community Trust, Rivendell had the resources to begin to share the perspective of the women who serve in the American Military,” comments Tara Mallen. “Along with our community partners at VetCAT (Veterans Creative Arts Therapy) we have been able to forge relationships with veteran service organizations across the state, and connect with more than 70 female veterans to create a moving theatrical piece crafted from diverse and complex stories of women during and following military service. The time is now to make the hidden contributions of these women finally visible and their silence resound.

The cast of WOMEN AT WAR includes: RTE member Mary Cross, Navy Veteran Cynthia Hines, with Rengin Altay, Danielle Davis, Brittani Green, Krystel McNeil, Paula Ramirez, Charli Williams and Susan Gaspar.

The core design team includes: RTE members Diane Fairchild (lighting), Toy Deiorio (sound), Janice Pytel (costumes and lobby installation) and Shera Street (lobby installation).  

The WOMEN AT WAR Production Sponsors are The Chicago Community Trust and The Reva and David Logan Foundation

Title:                            WOMEN AT WAR
Written by:                   RTE member Megan Carney
Directed by:                  RTE Artistic Director Tara Mallen
Featuring:                    RTE member Mary Cross, Rengin Altay, Danielle Davis, Brittani Green, Cynthia Hines, Paula Ramirez, and Susan Gaspar
Previews:                     November 5-November 7, 2014
Gala opening: Sunday, November 9, 2014 at 6:00pm
Regular run:                 through December 6, 2014
                                    No shows November 26 or 27

Schedule:                     Wednesdays-Saturdays at 8:00pm
Saturdays at 4:00pm

Location:                      Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, 5779 N. Ridge Avenue in Chicago
Tickets:                        General Admission
Previews: $25
Pre-sale: $32
Walk-up: $35
                                    Student, Senior, Active Military, Veteran
                                                Preview: $15
                                                Pre-sale: $22
                                                Walk-up: $25

Pay What You Can: Five seats (10% of the house) are available for each performance. Reservations are made on a first come first serve basis.
Flex Pass: $110 ($80 for Student/ Senior/ Active Military/ Veteran)
Includes four tickets to use in any combination for the season.

Box Office:                   (773) 334-7728 or

Parking and transportation: Free parking is available in the Senn High School parking lot (located a block and a half from the theatre behind the school off Thorndale Avenue). There is limited paid and free street parking in the area and the theatre is easily accessible via the Clark (#22) or Broadway (#36) bus and a short walk from the Bryn Mawr Red Line El station.

Notes of Interest:
  • Today's American military is nearly 15% female, ranging from 7% of Marines to 19% of the Air Force and Reserves. In addition, there are over 1.8 million female U.S. veterans.

  • RTE has developed relationships with veteran service organizations, including the Illinois Department of Veteran Affairs, Student Veteran’s Centers at UIC and Kennedy-King College, Illinois Health and Disability Advocates, Pritzker Military Library, the National Veterans Art Museum, and VetCAT (Veterans Creative Arts Therapy).

  • RTE connected with more than 70 female veterans and collected 28 personal interviews. The result of this work is Women at War, a devised theatrical piece crafted from diverse, rich, and complex stories of women during and following military service.

  • A key element in this project has been to use the play as a catalyst to create a dialogue between civilian and veteran communities. Hence a major element of the programming at WOMEN AT WAR will be “Town Hall Saturdays.” Following each Saturday matinee performance, audiences are invited to participate to dive a little deeper through  moderated post-show conversations sparked by themes running through WOMEN AT WAR.  Town Hall Saturdays will be held November 15, 22, 29 and December 6, 2014.

  • In 2012, RTE secured a $25,000 grant from the Chicago Community Trust in collaboration with their Community Partners at VetCAT (Veterans Creative Arts Thearapy). With this funding, RTE led an examination of the roles of American women in the shifting landscape of the military and WOMEN AT WAR was born. On November 21, 2013, RTE premiered a staged reading of WOMEN AT WAR at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Ensuing brief workshop performances were held at the National Association of Schools for Theatre annual conference in April of 2014 and then again at Union League Club in May of 2014.

  • Cast member and Army Veteran Cynthia Hines makes her theatrical debut in WOMEN AT WAR while also serving as one of the project’s several military consultants. A native of Milwaukee, she joined the U.S. Army in 1994 as a paralegal specialist, where she served 11 years and spent another eight years as a civilian in the Middle East, most notably Iraq and Afghanistan.  During her time on active duty, she was deployed to Germany, Korea, Macedonia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan. A graduate of the University of Maryland, she is pursuing a career in theatrical and voiceover acting as well as playwriting. 

RTE@20: You Are Here

This year Rivendell Theatre Ensemble turns twenty years old. When it came to planning the 20th season, we found ourselves at a crossroads, reflecting back on the journey so far...and looking ahead to the future. So in honor of this milestone anniversary, we've mapped out three exciting new plays as well as a remount of last season's Jeff-nominated world premiere. Each work explores the tricky topography of personal choice--and the often uncharted biases that drive how--and why--we make our most life-changing decisions.

The season includes WOMEN AT WAR (October 30-December 6, 2014) written by RTE ensemble member Megan Carney, directed by Artistic Director Tara Mallen; the world premiere of Look We Are Breathing (April 2-May 16, 2015) written by Laura Jacqmin, directed by Megan Schuchman; a remount of Rasheeda Speaking (May 30-June 28, 2015) written by Joel Drake Johnson, directed by Sandy Shinner, to be performed in the Steppenwolf Garage; and How the World Began (September 3-October 17, 2015) by Catherine Trieschmann, featuring RTE member Rebecca Spence.

About Rivendell Theatre Ensemble
Founded in 1994, Rivendell Theatre Ensemble advances women’s lives through the power of theatre. Rivendell cultivates the talents of women artists -- writers, actors, directors, designers and technicians – by seeking out innovative plays that explore unique female experiences and producing them in intimate, salon environments. 

Rivendell fills an important role in the Chicago region as the only Equity theatre dedicated to producing artistically challenging and original plays created by and about women. After years of being an itinerant company, we moved into our own theater space in 2010 in Edgewater. As new members of the community, we are focused on becoming an integral community partner and serving as a catalyst to engage our audiences in a discussion of local social issues. 

For more information about Rivendell Theater Ensemble,  Follow RTE on Facebook at and on Twitter @RivendellThtr

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble is supported by generous grants from The Alphawood Foundation; The Arts Work Fund for Organizational Development; The Chicago Community Trust; The Chicago Foundation for Women; The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation; The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation; The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation; The Reva and David Logan Foundation; The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust; A CityArts Program 1 Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events; and the Illinois Arts Council Agency. Rivendell is also grateful for the support of 100 Women Who Care.


(earlybird discount pricing through Oct 24th)

Here at ChiIL Live Shows, we've caught a number of the Boneshaker bashes over the years. The 2014 rendition has the added bonus of actually falling on HALLOWEEN NIGHT (FRIDAY THE 31ST) this year! If you're legal age, check out this must see extravaganza. They promise there'll be plenty of fire. Boneshaker is one night only, so get your tickets before they sell out! Want to bring the little punk kin out to play in addition or instead? Check out Skelebration below--Redmoon style Fam Friendly Fun for 2 weekends this year!  


BONESHAKER 2014 (21+):

Outdoor Fire Garden, Mezcal Salon, Demonic Comedy Club, Devilish Cooking Class, Aerial Performers, Creative Food & Cocktails plus Redmoon’s Haunted Attic Maze “The Nest,” all part of an interactive seasonal extravaganza

At Redmoon’s Pilsen home, October 31

 This Halloween, Redmoon’s wildly popular costume party Boneshaker returns for its fifth annual spectacular installment.  For one night only, Redmoon transforms its massive Pilsen headquarters (2120 S. Jefferson Street) into an otherworldly playground for 1,000 revelers with interactive experiences, inventive machines, creative food and cocktails, and dancing to beats from DJs on three different dance floors.  Boneshaker takes place Friday, October 31 (Halloween night) beginning at 9 pm.

Boneshaker is coordinated and produced by the 18-member Young Engineers of Spectacle (Y.E.S.) Committee, Redmoon’s young professionals’ board.  This year, the event is directed by Kasey Foster, with Will Bishop and Alex Balestrieri under the conceptual direction of Redmoon Producing Artistic Director Frank Maugeri.

Redmoon’s Boneshaker 2014 promises an all-new array of multisensory delights, including:
·        An outdoor Fire Garden featuring Fire Buoys, a sculptural arrangement of flaming devices that debut in the Great Chicago Fire Festival (October 4) on the Chicago River; The Fire Candelabras, two massive, 18-foot-tall candelabras with 10 wood-burning fire pots; and, The Sonic Boom DJ device with skyward-shooting flames.
·        Redmoon’s Celestial Swing, an eerie mausoleum on the outside with a peaceful, ethereal swing inside.
·        The UFO Carousel where guests climb inside one of three gigantic flying saucers and spin off into space alongside a DJ and snacks provided by Spin Spun.
·        A team of three wild DJs alongside Redmoon’s Signature DJ Devices keep the event moving all night long.
·        Two specially featured, interactive experiences include “The Devil’s Confessional,” an intimate, surreal writing room where guests can pour out their deepest secrets to a fiendish confessor, who then gives them a diabolic penance task to perform with the room at large, and Redmoon’s “Cartoon Adventure,” a mini movie theater where guests don headphones and enjoy five original short animated films by Laura Heit, Joseph Hodgson and Franck Aubrey, Hannes Vartianien and Pekka Veikkolainen, Selina Wagner and PES.
·        Graceful acrobats of Aerial Dance Chicago perform overhead and descend on silks to deliver sweet treats to the earth-bound revelers. 
·        Redmoon premieres its newest food service device The Pastry Wheel, which whimsically pairs the iconic image of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair Ferris Wheel with urban pedal power, serving cupcakes, brownies and other enticing sweets. 
·        Performers roam the space serving delightful treats and beverafes, including signature Redmoon mechanical marvels such as The Floating Trays, The Libation Machine, The Monkey Butlers and The Fish Bubble Man.

Guests can enter Redmoon’s haunted sideshow-like series of rooms known as “The Devil’s in the Details,” which hold eerie, humorous and sensual experiences including:
·        “The Chocolate Bar,” a delectable room of dip-able treats.
·        “The Bedroom Swat-a-Fly,” a larger-than-life human fly swatting game.
·        “The Cinematic Cemetery” film studio, where guests can be the star of their own scary movie.
·        “Satan’s Cackle Shack,” where Matt Demon, voted “Hell’s Most Humorous Devil” 1998, entertains the audience with his killer stand-up routine. 

By spinning a wheel to determine a nominal additional fee, which could range from $5 to $10 to a silly physical act, guests gain access to four other experiences:
·        A chance to play “Fired Up,” Redmoon’s newest carnival game where guests shoot a target and are rewarded with a spectacular surprise.
·        “Heck’s Kitchen,” a cooking class with the Devil where guests participate in making Deviled Eggs.
·        A specialty Cigar and Mezcal-Tasting Salon, where an expert cigar-roller creates unique take-aways to sample along with Métl Reserva Especial Mezcal in the outdoor Fire Garden.  
·        Visitors brave enough to enter “The Nest” will ascend into a frightening attic maze.  An adventure into a vampire nest inspired by Bram Stoker’s gothic tale of Dracula, “The Nest” creates an eerie, mystical and enigmatic world that’s chilling without resorting to horror or gore, instead playing on the sounds, shadows and corporeal experience of encountering the supernatural in everyday life.

Multiple full bars serve an array of cocktails, craft beer and wine all night long.

Free shuttle service during Boneshaker is provided by Chicago Classic Coach.  For pick-up location and schedule visit

Early Bird tickets for Boneshaker are $75 and are available until October 24, which include snacks, desserts and open bar (excluding spin-the-wheel add-on experiences).  Tickets purchased October 25 or later are $100, including snacks, desserts and open bar (excluding spin-the-wheel add-on experiences).  Group tickets for 10 or more are available at a 10% discount. 

Tickets are available in advance online at or by calling 312-850-8440 ext. 123.  Tickets will also be available at the door, subject to availability.  Boneshaker is for patrons age 21 and up. 

One of three annual fundraisers in Redmoon’s “Indoors” season, Boneshaker is a key component to Redmoon’s core mission of bringing unique experiences to public spaces across the city. The money raised at Boneshaker directly funds Redmoon’s free outdoor performances that engage neighborhoods throughout Chicago. 

For the whole family: Skelebration
The two weekends leading up to Boneshaker, many of the same components will be available in a family-friendly format at Redmoon’s second annual Skelebration at 2120 S. Jefferson Street, Saturdays and Sundays, October 18-19 and 25-26.  The UFO Carousel, Celestial Swing, “Fired Up” game, devilish cooking class, “Bedroom Swat-a-Fly” game, demonic “Comedy Club,” interactive movie set and “The Nest” attic maze all remain. 

Audiences can enter Skelebration at staggered entrance times as follows:  Saturdays at 1 pm, 4 pm and 7 pm, Sundays at 1 pm and 4 pm.  Adult tickets are $20 (age 18+), youth tickets are $12 (age 4-17) and children are free (age 3 and under).  Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more.  Tickets are available in advance online at or by calling 312-850-8440 ext. 123.  Tickets will also be available at the door, subject to availability. 

About Redmoon
Redmoon's mission is to transform the experience of Chicago through free large-scale theatrical events that promote community, creativity and an empowered democracy.  Redmoon burst into Chicago’s cultural consciousness with its award-winning production of Moby Dick in 1995.  While the indoor productions continued to receive critical acclaim and popular support, Jim Lasko chose to focus the theater’s energy outdoors, where Redmoon sought to deploy spectacle to bridge difference and transform the ways that people see and understand public spaces.  Over the past 24 years, Redmoon has become a highly valued Chicago institution with its high-profile collaborations, vibrant outdoor performances and authentic community partnerships.  In 2009, Lasko joined forces with long-time collaborator Frank Maugeri to co-lead Redmoon as it garnered international attention for its unique productions, site-specific performances and participatory events.  Since 1991, Redmoon has performed for more than 250,000 people in 30 different neighborhoods in 116 public spaces. 

Redmoon partners with the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) and the Chicago Park District (CPD) to present the inaugural Great Chicago Fire Festival.  A new and totally free urban ritual celebrating Chicago’s grit, greatness and renewal following the devastating Great Chicago Fire of 1871, as well as showcasing the rich diversity of neighborhoods that have arisen since, the Great Chicago Fire Festival culminates in a unique public River Bazaar and pyrotechnic Grand Spectacle on the main branch of the Chicago River, Saturday, October 4.

Generous funding for Redmoon’s 2014-15 programming has been provided by The 1111 Foundation; Alphawood Foundation; The Amgis Foundation: The Cookie Jar Fund; The Efroymson Family Fund, a CICF Fund; The John R. Halligan Charitable Fund; The Marshall Frankel Foundation; The Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; The Irving Harris Foundation; Lagunitas Brewing Company; Mardi Gras Fund; The MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince; Sahara Enterprises, Inc. and The Thanksgiving Fund.

For more information on Redmoon and its programs, visit

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

ACT OUT: Don't Miss Season on the Line, A Moby-Dick Adaptation at The House Theatre Through Oct 26th


It's their lucky 13th year over at The House Theatre and they're kicking it off with a whale of a tale. Here at ChiIL Live Shows we're huge fans of the fabulous works The House Theatre presents and we make a point to try to catch all their productions. This one's high on our must see list, but don't wait around for us. Go already! It's Jeff Recommended, pulling in rave reviews, and geared toward adults and teens. 

PS They also have the coolest t-shirts & swag of any local company we've seen! Get 1... or 3. Click here to check out their store & support the arts.

They also have Monday night shows (which is generally a dark day in the theatre world) if your fall weekends have been as crazy busy as ours. If you're in the industry or a student, they'll even make you a smokin' deal on Sun/Mon tickets & day of tickets, seats permitting.

- TimeOut Chicago

"VERY FUN NEW SHOW... startlingly frank and expansive....[It] took considerable guts."
- Chicago Tribune (If you like meta, come read this!)

"READER RECOMMENDED! Its smart pleasures are open to everybody."
- Chicago Reader

Written by Shawn Pfautsch
Directed by Jess McLeod
Based on Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick

PRICES: $25 and 35 for Regular Run
TIMES: Performances are Thursdays - Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays and Mondays at 7:00pm.
RUN TIME: Three one-hour acts and 2 intermissions (Don't worry! As our Reader Recommended review says, "The 200-minute running time may sound long, but I can't imagine what I’d cut." )
PARENTS' GUIDE: Season on the Line is recommended for adults and teens, and you can read more in our Parents' Guide!

Buy Tickets
Save up to 40% right here!

Melville’s Pequod crew is transformed into the fictional Bad Settlement Theatre Company, beleaguered by a dilapidated building, strained finances, and an aging artistic director with a singular focus: the first-ever perfect production of Moby-Dick. Still reeling from a scathing review and badly failed production of his Moby-Dick 20 years prior, the director is hell-bent on mounting the perfect new vision to vindicate himself and save his company from ruin. A novice assistant stage manager joins the ranks at the top of the company’s make-or-break season, and is thrown quickly into the fray. Mirroring Melville’s unconventional forms, the play swings from soliloquy to encyclopedic investigation to action-adventure story.  Season on the Line is our young narrator’s look back at the industry he has grown to love, even as those around him pay the ultimate price in pursuit of their great white whale.

Leonora Dickson is the Production Sponsor for Season on the Line. Development of Season on the Line has been supported in part by the Boeing Company and University of Chicago's Summer, Inc. residency.

Show Dates: through Oct 26 2014 
Location: Chopin Theatre
1543 W. Division St, Chicago

The House Theatre of Chicago presents Season on the Line, the first production of the company’s 13th season, at the Chopin Theatre Upstairs Theatre, 1543 W. Division St., through Sunday, Oct. 26. The play, a world premiere adaptation of Herman Melville’s Moby- Dick, is written by Company Member Shawn Pfautsch and directed by Jess McLeod, in her debut at The House.

Regular performances are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays and Mondays at 7pm. The running time is approximately 2 hours, 45 mintues. Regular run tickets range from $25 – 35. 

*$10 Student and Industry same-day discounted tickets are available for all dates, seats permitting. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit or call 773.769.3832.
Pfautsch’s modern adaptation, Season on the Line, is a love letter to American theater featuring a 19 person cast. Melville’s story of the hunt for the white whale is transformed into the Bad Settlement Theatre Company, beleaguered by a dilapidated building, strained finances and a tyrannical artistic director with a singular focus: the first-ever perfect production of Moby-Dick. A novice assistant stage manager joins the ranks at the top of the company’s make-or-break season and is thrown quickly into the fray. Mirroring Melville’s unconventional form, Season on the Line is the young narrator’s look back at the industry he has grown to love, even as those around him pay the ultimate price in pursuit of their own great white whale.
The cast for Season on the Line features Equity guest artists Thomas J. Cox* as Artistic Director Ben Adonna, and Maggie Kettering* as his right-hand and stage manager, Day Starr. Guest artist Ty Olwin steps into the role of our narrator, mirroring the reflections of Melville’s Ishmael. House Company Member Marika Mashburn (last seen in Death & Harry Houdini) steps into the role of Elizabeth, a company director helming a wacky avant-garde production in the company’s season. House Company Member Abu Ansari (also last seen in Death & Harry Houdini) appears as a Ugandan actor and voice of reason. Returning guest artists Christopher M. Walsh and Mary Hollis Inboden both play designers stretched to their limits by the outrageous demands of the season. Guest artists Danny Bernardo, Tiffany Yvonne Cox, Shane Kenyon, Bob Kruse, Andy Lutz, Molly Lyons, Marvin Quijada, Jessica Dean Turner, and Rawson Vint fill the ensemble with actors, designers, and technicians. Sean Sinitski completes the ensemble as the primary object of obsession, the chief theater critic.
The production team features work from House company members Shawn Pfautsch (Playwright), Lee Keenan (Scenic and Lighting design), Kevin O’Donnell (Composer/Sound Designer); with guest artists Jess McLeod (Director), Izumi Inaba (Costume Designer).
Pfautsch is a veteran company member with The House Theatre of Chicago having joined the company in 2000. Two of Pfautsch’s full-length plays have been produced at The House: Hatfield & McCoy and The Attempters. His short plays and one-acts have been produced in Chicago as well as Texas, Florida and Iowa.
With The House, he has worked or starred in Death & Harry Houdini (all incarnations), The Terrible Tragedy of Peter Pan, all three entries in the Valentine Trilogy, Cave With Man, The Boy Detective Fails, the first production of Dave DaVinci Saves the Universe, Thieves Like Us and Cyrano. He has also travelled with The House to the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami twice, taking the stage with The Sparrow and Death & Harry Houdini.
As a member of The Hypocrites avant garde Gilbert & Sullivan Rep, Pfautsch has been performing The Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado to audiences in Chicago (at the Chopin Theatre and Steppenwolf Garage) and around the country (at American Repertory Theatre in Boston and Actors Theatre of Louisville) since 2010.
Elsewhere in Chicago and abroad, he has been on stage with: Steppenwolf Theatre (Theatrical Essays), Chicago Shakespeare (Julius Caesar), Chicago Childrens’ Theatre (A Year With Frog and Toad), Lakeside Shakespeare in Michigan (Henry V, Love’s Labors Lost, King Lear, As You Like It), Signal Ensemble (Old Wicked Songs) and the Dallas Theatre Center (South
Pacific). Pfautsch also had a role as the recurring character Alan Devlin on FOX’s “Mob Doctor.”
McLeod directs for the first time with The House Theatre of Chicago. She is an Associate Artist at The Music Theatre Company, where her credits include The Pajama Game, Fugitive Songs in Concert, and the Young Artist Program productions of Mill Girls, Zanna, Don't!
and YAPbook '11. Other Chicago: Funeral Wedding: The Alvin Play (Strange Tree Group), L-Vis Live! (Victory Gardens), Kin (Griffin Theatre), The Wedding Singer (Haven Theatre), and Venus at Steppenwolf, co-produced by Northwestern's M.F.A. directing program, through which McLeod also directed In Trousers and Mourning Becomes Electra and co-created "Master Clash," the M.F.A. Writer/Director short play festival. From 2005-08, McLeod served as Director
of Programming for The New York Musical Theatre Festival, where she oversaw all curating and directed pop/musical theatre fusion concerts including The Unauthorized Musicology of Ben Folds. She has also directed workshops of new plays and musicals for American Theater Company, The Music Theatre Company, The American Music Theatre Project and The House, and heads
Timber Lake Playhouse's Summer Playwrights Lab.
Leonora Dickson is the Production Sponsor for Season on the Line. Development of Season on the Line has been supported in part by the Boeing Company and University of Chicago's Summer, Inc. residency.

The House is Chicago's premier home for original works of physical and spectacle storytelling. Founded and led by Artistic Director Nathan Allen and driven by an interdisciplinary ensemble of Chicago’s next generation of great storytellers, The House aims to become a laboratory and platform for the evolution of the American theatre as an inclusive and popular artform.
The House was founded in 2001 by a group of friends to explore connections between Community and Storytelling through a unique theatrical experience. Since becoming eligible in 2004, The House has been nominated for 60 Joseph Jefferson Awards (19 wins) and became the first recipient of Broadway in Chicago’s Emerging Theater Award in 2007. Now in its 12th year of original work, The House continues its mission to unite Chicago in the spirit of Community through amazing feats of Storytelling.

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