Monday, June 8, 2015

OPENING: Pre-Broadway production of Beaches, A New Musical at Drury Lane 6/24

Cast Announced For Beaches, A New Musical
Pre-Broadway Musical Plays Drury Lane Theatre 
June 24 – August 16

Drury Lane Productions and Jennifer Maloney-Prezioso (Broadway: Spring Awakening, Rock of Ages) are thrilled to announce the cast for the pre-Broadway production of Beaches, A New Musical, based on the beloved novel by Iris Rainer Dart. Previewing June 24, opening on July 2 and running through August 16, 2015, the original musical is written by Iris Rainer Dart and Thom Thomas, with music by David Austin and lyrics by Iris Rainer Dart. The production is directed by Eric Schaeffer (Broadway: Follies, Million Dollar Quartet).

The all-star cast is led by Shoshana Bean as “Cee Cee Bloom,” and Whitney Bashor as “Bertie White.” Bean, a veteran of the Broadway stage debuted in the original cast of Hairspray and starred as the very first replacement for Elphaba, the green-skinned witch, in Wicked. Her independent solo releases have topped the iTunes R&B and Blues charts in the US and UK in peak positions 5, 3 and now #1 with the release of her latest EP Shadows to Light. She also sang back up for Michael Jackson at his 30th anniversary concert at Madison Square Garden and her music has also been featured in TV shows on NBC, MTV, Oxygen and Showtime.  

Whitney Bashor (left) and Shoshana Bean (right)

Bashor appeared in Broadway’s Tony award-winning Bridges of Madison County and went from the stage to the small screen, appearing on HBO’s critically acclaimed Boardwalk Empire. 

The young versions of the characters are played by Presley Ryan as “Little Cee Cee” (How The Grinch Stole Christmas at Madison Square Garden, NBC’s Sound of Music Live) and Brooklyn Shuck as “Little Bertie / Nina” (Broadway: Matilda in Matilda, Annie)

Also starring is Travis Taylor as “John Perry” (Lancelot in Camelot at Drury Lane Theatre, Sunday in the Park with George at Goodman Theatre), Nancy Voigts asLeona Bloom” (Follies at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, A Christmas Carol at Goodman Theatre), Kelly Anne Clark as “Rose White” (I Love You You're Perfect Now Change - Off Broadway, Victor/Victoria at the Marriott for which she won a Jeff Award), Jim DeSelm as “Michael Barron” (Tony in West Side Story at Drury Lane Theatre, TV: Chicago P.D.), Michael Accardo as “Nathan Bloom” (Full Monty at Drury Lane Theatre Water Tower, TV: Chicago P.D.), Andrew Varela as “Arthur” (Broadway: Les Misérables and Little Women), Samantha Pauly as “Teen Cee Cee” (Godspell at Marriott, TV: Chicago P.D. and Shameless) and Olivia Renteria (Brigadoon at Goodman Theatre, Oliver at Drury Lane Theatre) as “Teen Bertie.”

Rounding out the cast are William Carlos Angulo, Heather Brorsen, Josh Kohane, Christine Mild and Holly Stauder.

Beaches will be choreographed by Lorin Latarro (Broadway: Waiting for Godot, Scandalous), with musical direction by Brian Nash (Silence!, Kathy Najimy: Lift Up Your Skirt). The production will also feature scenic design by Tony and Emmy Award®-winning Derek McLane (86th Academy Awards, Broadway: Anything Goes, Ragtime), lighting design by Tony Award®-winning Howell Binkley (Broadway: Jersey Boys, West Side Story, Memphis), costume design by Alejo Vietti (Broadway: Beautiful, The Carole King Musical, Jersey Boys), and sound design by Tony Award®-nominated Kai Harada (Broadway: Fun Home, Follies, Million Dollar Quartet).

Previews for Beaches begin June 24, opening night is scheduled for July 2, and the production will run through August 16. Tickets are on sale now and available by calling the Drury Lane Theatre box office at 630.530.0111, TicketMaster at 800.745.3000 or visiting The performance schedule is as follows: Wednesdays at 1:30 p.m. ($45), Thursdays at 1:30 p.m. ($45) and 8 p.m. ($55), Fridays at 8 p.m. ($60), Saturdays at 5 p.m. ($60), and 8:30 p.m. ($60), and Sundays at 2 p.m. ($60), and 6 p.m. ($55). Student group tickets start as low as $30 and Senior Citizens start at $40 for matinees. Dinner and show packages are also available.

For more information on Beaches and the rest of the 2015-2016 theatrical season at Drury Lane, please visit

Friday, June 5, 2015

OPENING: Don't Go Gentle at Theater Wit #TheatreChicago


Tonight, ChiIL Live Shows will be ChiILin' with Haven Theatre Company at one of our favorite storefront spaces, Theater Wit, for opening night of Don't Go Gentle.  Check back with us like we vote in Chi, IL... early and often for loads of original content including theatre and music news, review and interviews, foodie fun, urban lifestyle features, travel, and photo filled event recaps. 

Haven Theatre closes their 2014 – 2015 Season with the Chicago premiere of Stephen Belber’s Don’t Go Gentle, directed by Haven Theatre Company Artistic Associate Cody Estle, at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., May 31 – July 12. The regular schedule is Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at

3 p.m. Regular tickets are $28, and senior/industry/student tickets are $15. You may purchase tickets and get more information at or call the Theater Wit box office at 773.975.8150.

Judge Lawrence Driver is a conservative powerhouse on the bench, but a failure at home. Now retired and widowed, and seeking redemption, Judge Driver volunteers to do pro bono legal work with Tanya, a vulnerable ex-con with a troubled teenage son, while working to repair the increasingly complicated relationships with his own adult children.  When his newfound generosity is perceived as condescension, Judge Driver runs the risk of losing everything.

Cast for Don’t Go Gentle includes: Norm Woodel (Judge Lawrence Driver), Echaka Agba (Tanya), Benjamin Sprunger (Ben), Robyn Coffin (Amelia) and Andrew Muwonge (Rasheed).
The production team for Don’t Go Gentle includes: Carol Cohen (producer, costume designer), Ron Whitaker (producer, assistant director), Eli Newell (assistant director), Tara Malpass (stage manager), Allison Grischow (assistant stage manager), Jeff Kmiec (set designer), Jamie Karas (props designer), Chris LaPorte (sound designer), Sarah Hughey (lighting designer) and Sam Hubbard (fight choreographer).

Cody Estle is a Chicago-based freelance director. Select credits include Dividing the EstateVieux CarréGood Boys and TrueBrighton Beach MemoirsBoy Gets Girl and the world premiere of Dating Walter Dante at Raven Theatre; Watch on the Rhine at The Artistic Home; Uncle Bob at Mary-Arrchie Theatre Company and Hospitality Suite at Citadel Theatre Company. He’s had the pleasure of assistant directing at Northlight Theatre, Goodspeed Musicals, Court Theatre, Writers Theatre, Next Theatre and Strawdog Theatre. Estle is the associate artistic director at Raven Theatre, artistic assistant at Northlight Theatre and an artistic associate at Haven Theatre. He serves on the faculty of Cherubs at Northwestern University and is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago. 

Haven Theatre Company, led by Artistic Director Josh Sobel and Executive Director and Founder Carol Cohen, presents quality theater to Chicago audiences utilizing some of the most experienced and talented directors, designers and actors.


Monday, June 1, 2015

Shawn Maxwell’s Alliance at Jazz Showcase 6/11-6/14/15 #Jazz

Chi, IL Live Shows On Our Radar

Chicago’s Shawn Maxwell’s Alliance will be doing a weekend residency at Jazz Showcase, Thursday, June 11-Sunday, June 14 (four nights of shows at 8pm & 10pm, along with a special 4pm matinee on Sunday). Shows are all ages. 

All Ages
$20 - $35
Jazz Showcase
806 S. Plymouth Ct. 
Chicago, IL

Click here for more information.

OPENING: Good People by Pulitzer Prizewinning Playwright, David Lindsay-Abaire 6/24/15

Chi, IL Live Shows On Our Radar

Redtwist Theatre presents
The first Chicago storefront production 
of the 2011 Broadway smash hit
By Pulitzer Prizewinning playwright, 
David Lindsay-Abaire

Directed by five-time Jeff Award-winner Matt Hawkins from The House Theatre of Chicago
Featuring a cast of Jeff Award-winning Redtwist actors and guest artists

Opens Saturday, June 27, 2015, at 3pm (Press opening)
Thu, Fri, Sat, 7:30pm; Sun, 3pm thru Sun, August 2

A funny, poignant, subversive look at what it means to be down on your luck.

With Good People, Redtwist is doing what Redtwist does best: staging the first Chicago storefront production of a Broadway hit and a Chicago smash. As with former productions like Man From Nebraska and The Pillowman, Redtwist takes an iconic play and adapts it to the unique signature intimacy of its Bryn Mawr storefront space, creating an entirely new and thoroughly explosive theatrical experience.
Good People had its world-premiere on Broadway in March, 2011, with Frances McDormand in the lead role of Margie, for which she received a Tony Award for Best Actress. The play had its Chicago premiere at Steppenwolf in September, 2012. It has since been produced around the world to great acclaim, and is decorated with many accolades and awards, including a Tony nomination for Best Play.

Margie (pronounced with a hard "g") is a good soul from "Southie" with a string of bad luck. While at ease in her own world of rough-and-tumble south Boston, she seeks an opportunity in the upper crust world of "lace-curtain" Chestnut Hill, in which her old Southie boyfriend has forged his way as a successful doctor with a beautiful wife and new baby. Little does he know that his old gal pal has not come merely to say hello. No no, Margie has a plan, and both their lives are now at a crossroads.

CAST (in alphabetical order)
Jacqueline Grandt (Margie), KC Karen Hill (Jean), Aaron Kirby (Stevie), Kiki Layne (Kate), Mark Pracht (Mike), Kathleen Ruhl (Dottie) 
Understudies: Kona N. Burks (Kate), David Raymond (Stevie) 

Matt Hawkins (Director), Scott Wolf (Assistant Director), Allison Queen (Stage Manager), Melissa Nelson (Assistant Stage Manager), Eric Luchen (Set Designer), Kathryn A. Lesko (Lighting Designer), Karli Blalock (Sound Designer), Allison M. Smith (Costume Designer), Jan Ellen Graves (Prop Designer, Graphic Designer, Marketing), Elise Kauzlaric (Dialect Coach), Catherine Miller (Dramaturg, Casting Director), Charles Bonilla (Box Office Manager), E. Malcolm Martinez (Box Office Associate), Johnny Garcia (Box Office Associate, Associate Producer), Jan Ellen Graves & Michael Colucci (Producers)

Opens: Sat, June 27, 3pm (Note: there is no 7:30pm show on June 27, opening day)
Runs: Thu, Fri, Sat, 7:30pm; Sun, 3pm (Note: there is no show on July 4)
Closes: Sun, August 2, 3pm
Running Time: Approximately 2:20 total, which includes one intermission
Previews: $15; Wed, Thu, Fri, June 24, 25, 26, at 7:30pm
Tickets: Thursdays, $30; Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, $35 (seniors & students $5 off)

Call: 773-728-7529 
Please reserve 48 hours in advance. Credit cards accepted by phone and online to guarantee seating.

Redtwist is located at 1044 W Bryn Mawr, 2 blks W of LSD, 2 blks E of the Red Line EL station.

Valet parking for Redtwist is available across the street in front of Francesca's Bryn Mawr for most performances-hours vary. Dining is not required. 

Limited FREE street parking is available on side streets. There is metered street parking via app or 2-hour paybox (days) 3-hour paybox (eves) on Bryn Mawr. 2-hour meters on Broadway and on some side streets. Free on Sundays and after 10pm on weekdays. 

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