Saturday, December 29, 2018


ChiIL Live Shows on our radar


(L to R)  Heather Riordan, Beau O'Reilly, Jenny Magnus, T-Roy Martin and Vicki Walden of THE CROOKED MOUTH, part of the 30th ANNUAL RHINOCEROS THEATER FESTIVAL, photo by Jeffrey Bivens

Chicago’s Longest Running Fringe Festival Returns with Six Weeks of Performances and Special Events Including Full Moon Vaudeville and a Celebration of Poet and Teacher John Starrs

Curious Theatre Branch and Prop Thtr are proud to announce the 30th annual Rhinoceros Theater Festival (Rhinofest), January 12 – February 24, 2019 at Prop Thtr, 3502 N. Elston Ave. The 2019 Rhinofest includes six weeks of new plays, dance, devised works, variety shows, comedy, live podcasting, fresh takes on classic texts, and more. Tickets go on sale Friday, Dec. 21 at 12 p.m. Performances are $15 or pay-what-you-can, and run daily except Tuesdays. A complete performance schedule with performances, dates and times is available at

Julia Williams of SKRIKER, part of the 30th ANNUAL RHINOCEROS THEATER FESTIVAL, photo by Jeffrey Bivens

(L to R) Beau O'Reilly, Patrick Ford, Bethany Arrington, Emily Rich, Barry Lohman and Julia William of SKRIKER, part of the 30th ANNUAL RHINOCEROS THEATER FESTIVAL, photo by Jeffrey Givens 

First organized in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago, Rhinofest, the longest-running multi-arts fringe festival in Chicago is unique among national fringe festivals in that artists are never charged a fee to participate, and each year programs are individually curated by a rotating selection committee composed of Curious and Prop artistic leaders, led by Beau O’Reilly, rather than selected on a lottery basis. The Rhinofest provides production and exhibition opportunities to hundreds of artists, from Chicago companies and national artists alike, drawing thousands in attendance each year.

The 30th Rhinofest begins Saturday, Jan. 12 at 8 p.m. with Full Moon Vaudeville, featuring The Crooked Mouth, piloted by Curious co-founders Beau O’Reilly and Jenny Magnus with special musical guests Matt Test, Jeff Kowalkowski, Mac Modean Greenberg, Leo Brün and more. 

Rhinofest2019-5 - Violet of BI-POLAR BITCH, part of the 30th ANNUAL RHINOCEROS THEATER FESTIVAL, photo by Larry Hart

(L to R) Diane Hamm, Robert Puig Cuevas, Violet and Kelly Anchors of BI-POLAR BITCH, part of the 30th ANNUAL RHINOCEROS THEATER FESTIVAL, photo by Larry Hart

Fiercely independent and committed to discovery, Rhinofest this year features many young performing companies including The Neighborhood Collective, El Bear, Uploose Odditorium, and others along with festival veterans including beloved Chicago playwright Barrie Cole (performing from her latest work in a two-evening engagement), animator Chris Sullivan, Susan Parenti and Mark Enslin (of the School for Designing a Society), Charles Pike (performing a new monologue by David Hauptschein), and Prop Thtr co-founder Scott Vehill. 

Littlebrain Theatre premieres a new devised adaptation of Vittoria de Sica’s Bicycle Thieves written by Zach Barr, Tara Branham directs Tanuja Jagernauth’s new interactive work Lockpickers, and Rob Onorato performs Night of a Million Barbras, a drag monologue and political paean to the enduring star. Curious Theatre Branch premieres Matt Rieger’s new razor-sharp comedy My Dinner with... Joe and a staging of Caryl Churchill’s dark fairytale The Skriker, while Prop Thtr produces a weekly live taping of Ben Moroney and Rahim Salaam’s arts and culture podcast “What About Chicago?!” And on Tuesday, Feb. 19 at 7 p.m., during the final week of Rhinofest, a special event celebrates John Starrs, the Chicago poet and teacher who has appeared in every Rhinofest since 1988.

Diane Hamm of CABARET PROP'D, part of the 30th ANNUAL RHINOCEROS THEATER FESTIVAL, part of the 30th ANNUAL RHINOCEROS THEATER FESTIVAL, photo by Beast Women

About Prop Thtr
The Prop Thtr is a DIY incubator for new performance work in all disciplines, and is a charter member of both The League of Chicago Theaters and the National New Play Network. Prop Thtr produces new plays, special events, rolling world premieres with their NNPN members; they also helped launch The New Play Exchange and co-produce the annual Rhinoceros Theater Festival. Prop Thtr is a renter of performance and rehearsal space and camp/class space and collaborates with productions on location and around the city. Prop Thtr is an Illinois Not-For-Profit 501c3 Organization that benefits from support by the MacArthur Fund of the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation and The Illinois Arts Council, in addition to being supported by artists and audiences of Illinois.

About Curious Theatre Branch
Founded in 1988 by Jenny Magnus and Beau O'Reilly-as the Curious Theatre "Branch" of the alt-rock cabaret act Maestro Subgum and the Whole-Curious has consistently worked with an ensemble of artists in a non-hierarchical decision-making process, through which the philosophy of collaboration as a social force is explored on every level.

Curious Theatre Branch has produced more than 100 full productions of world-premiere shows in 30 years. Curious has developed its own recognizable style, using an economy of means and production to make deeper and deeper, rather than larger and larger, work. 

Curious Theatre Branch and Prop Thtr are proud to announce the 30th annual Rhinoceros Theater Festival (Rhinofest), January 12 – February 24, 2019 at Prop Thtr, 3502 N. Elston Ave. The 2019 Rhinofest includes six weeks of new plays, dance, devised works, variety shows, comedy, live podcasting, fresh takes on classic texts, and more. Tickets go on sale Friday, Dec. 21 at 12 p.m. Performances are $15 or pay-what-you-can, and run daily except Tuesdays. A complete performance schedule with performances, dates and times is available at

Friday, December 28, 2018

OPENING: Chicago Premiere of I CALL MY BROTHERS Via Interrobang Theatre Project January 5 – February 2, 2019 at Rivendell Theatre

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar

Chicago Premiere!
Interrobang Theatre Project Presents
By Jonas Hassen Khemiri
Translated by Rachel Willson-Broyles
Directed by Abhi Shrestha 

January 5 – February 2, 2019 at Rivendell Theatre

Interrobang Theatre Project is pleased to continue its ninth season, exploring “identity/crisis” with the Chicago premiere of Jonas Hassen Khemiri's drama I CALL MY BROTHERS, a day in the life of an Arab-Swedish man who must dodge suspicion after a car bomb rattles Stockholm. Translated by Rachel Willson-Broyles and directed by guest director Abhi Shrestha, I CALL MY BROTHERS will play January 5 – February 2, 2019 at ITP’s new resident home, Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge Ave. in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood. Tickets are currently available at or by calling (312) 219-4140. 

I'll be out for the press opening January 7th, so check back soon for my full review. 

I CALL MY BROTHERS will feature ITP Ensemble Member Salar Ardebili* with Tina El Gamal, Chris Khoshaba and Gloria Imseih Petrelli.

Stockholm, Sweden. A car bomb rocks the peaceful city and leaves the Arab-Swedish Amor on guard and on edge. But he doesn’t have time to let his fear get the best of him; he’s gotplaces to be. As Amor attempts to run his errand and grapple with his own anxieties, we follow him through a fraught 24 hours, cautiously navigating the city he calls home. Balancingparanoia and humor, Jonas Khemiri's nuanced account dares us to question our own perceptions and prejudices, while offering a singular and harrowing take on the labyrinth of global identity politics.

Comments Director Abhi Shrestha, “At the heart of I Call My Brothers, is a beautiful and tragic interrogation of how a community navigates fear. At a point in time where my community feels explicitly under attack – doing this play is scary... but it is a ritual, it is a love letter to my MENASA community saying ‘I hear you, I see you, you are not alone’ – and a challenge to folx outside the community to examine their own complicity and ask themselves ‘What do you do when the wind howls?’” 

The production team for I CALL MY BROTHERS includes Eleanor Kahn (scenic design, props design), Michelle Benda (lighting design), Jeffrey Levin (sound designer), Alec Silver(movement dramaturg), Nadya Nauman (dramaturg) and Shawn Galligan* (stage manager).

*Denotes Interrobang Theatre Project Ensemble Member or Artistic Associate.

Cast (in alphabetical order): Salar Ardebili*, Tina El Gamal, Chris Khoshaba and Gloria Imseih Petrelli.

Location: Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge Ave., Chicago
Dates: Previews: Saturday, January 5 at 8 pm and Sunday, January 6 at 8 pm
Press opening: Monday, January 7, 2019 at 8 pm
Subscriber/Board opening: Thursday, January 10 at 8 pm
Regular run: Friday, January 11 – Saturday, February 2, 2019
Curtain Times: Thursdays, and Fridays at 8 pm; Saturdays at 3 pm & 8 pm: Mondays at 8 pm.

Previews: $16. 
Regular run: $32. Students $16 with ID. Group discounts available. Tickets are currently available at or by calling (312) 219-4140.

About the Artists:
Jonas Hassen Khemiri (Playwright) is a celebrated author and playwright based in Stockholm. His novels have been translated into over 20 languages and his plays have been performed by over a hundred international companies on stages from Stockholm to Berlin to New York to London. Khemiri was awarded a Village Voice Obie Award for his first playInvasion!, which premiered in New York in 2011. His second play God Times Five toured Sweden and his third play The Hundred We Are received the Hedda Award for best play in Norway. Khemiri’s play ≈ [Almost Equal To] premiered at Dramaten in Stockholm in October 2014 to rave reviews and has been performed in Germany, Norway, Iceland and the U.S. His play I Call My Brothers began as an essay published in Dagens Nyheter in December 2010, one week after a suicide bombing in central Stockholm that shook the nation. The book was published to great acclaim and later became a lauded play that toured Sweden with Riksteatern in 2013 (directed by Farnaz Arbabi) and premiered in New York in January 2014. It has also been performed in Norway, Denmark, Germany (multiple theatres), Australia, San Francisco, France, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, Finland and at the Gate Theatre in London, UK.

Rachel Willson-Broyles (Translator) is a freelance translator based in St. Paul, Minnesota. She received her BA from Gustavus Adolphus College and her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her other translations include Jonas Hassen Khemiri’s novels Montecore and Everything I Don’t Remember and plays INVASION! and I Call My Brothers, Malin Persson Giolito’s novel Quicksand and Jonas Jonasson’s novels The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden and The Accidental Further Adventures of the Hundred-Year-Old-Man.

Abhi Shrestha (Director) is a Chicago based director, movement dramaturge, and educator originally from Kathmandu, Nepal. Working at the intersections of decolonization and queer brown narratives, they are the Literary Manager and Director of Public Programming for Haven Theatre, the Education Associate at Steppenwolf Theatre, the Resident Dramaturge and Community Organizer for the Chicago Inclusion Project, and a Content Curator for RESCRIPTED. They are currently working on exploring a personal history of the world as told by brown grandmas, in a performance installation called The Brown Grandma Project (working title).  

About Interrobang Theatre Project
Now in its ninth season, Interrobang Theatre Project, under the artistic leadership of Georgette Verdin, has been hailed by the Chicago Tribune as a “company to watch” and by Time Out Chicago as “one of Chicago’s most promising young theatre companies.” Chris Jones called Foxfinder, which kicked off Interrobang’s 2017-18 season, “...a ripping good yarn,” earning it 3.5 stars from the Chicago Tribune. Foxfinder also garnered seven non-Equity Jeff Awards nominations including Best Director and Production of a Play, and took home two awards for Best Original Music and Set Design. The company also earned seven non-Equity Jeff Nominations for their seventh season, including Best Director, Production of a Play, Solo Performance and acting nominations for Lead Actor, Actress (win) and Actor in a Supporting Role (win). Productions have included the world premiere of Calamity West’s Ibsen is Dead (Jeff Recommended), the Jeff Recommended The Pitchfork Disney, Orange Flower Water, Recent Tragic Events, The North Pool, The Amish Project, Falling and Grace. Director James Yost’s critically-acclaimed Really Really was one of six shows chosen for Chicago Tribune’s “Best of 2015 in Chicago Fringe Theater.”

What’s an interrobang?
An interrobang is the combination of a question mark and an exclamation point, joining the Latin for “question” (interro) with a proofreading term for “exclamation” (bang). Through the plays we produce, Interrobang Theatre Project aims to pose worthwhile and exciting questions which challenge our understanding and assumptions of who we are and the world in which we live.

For more information, please visit

Thursday, December 13, 2018


 ChiIL Live Shows on our radar


City Winery Chicago, 1200 W. Randolph Street, announces acclaimed singer/songwriter Rachael Yamagata, multi-instrumentalists The High Kings, beloved songwriters JD Souther & Karla Bonoff, and more. The following shows go on sale to the public on Thursday, December 13 at noon. All tickets will be available at

Rachael Yamagata
Tuesday-Wednesday, January 29-30
Called “the troubadour of heartbreak,” Rachael Yamagata bears the “old soul” singer/songwriter essence that calls upon Todd Rundgren, Carole King, Joni Mitchell, The Carpenters, and Elton John, while sonically gravitating towards the darker stylings of Nick Cave, Tom Waits, P.J. Harvey, and Danny Elfman. She has toured with The Swell Season, Ray LaMontagne, Ryan Adams, and Sara Bareilles. Yamagata has also opened for David Gray solo at Madison Square Garden; and she has shared the stage at Carnegie Hall with R.E.M. and Patti Smith. She released a new EP, Porch Songs, in October 2018. Yamagata returns to City Winery for two intimate performances.

JD Souther & Karla Bonoff
Sunday, March 3; 5:00 and 8:00 p.m.
JD Souther’s solo country-rock hits and collaborations with The Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, and James Taylor include "Best of My Love," "New Kid in Town," "Prisoner in Disguise," "Faithless Love,” "You're Only Lonely" and "Her Town Too." The Detroit-born/Amarillo-raised Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee is recognizable to new fans as songwriter Watty White on TV’s Nashville.

Karla Bonoff has been described as one of the finest singer/songwriters of her generation. With a career spanning four decades, Bonoff has enjoyed enduring popularity and the unwavering respect of her peers. Three of her tunes – ''Someone to Lay Down Beside Me, ''Lose Again'' and ''If He's Ever Near'' – were recorded by Linda Ronstadt. Bonoff's self-titled debut was released in 1977, featuring ''Home'' (later recorded by Bonnie Raitt) and ''Isn't It Always Love?'' Also in '77, she toured the nation solo and as an opening act for Jackson Browne. Prior to ''Step by Step,'' Bonoff's ''Somebody's Eyes'' appeared on the Footloose soundtrack.

The High Kings
Tuesday-Wednesday, March 12-13
Ireland’s Folk Band of the Year The High Kings – Finbarr Clancy, Brian Dunphy, George Murphy, and Darren Holden – showcase their incredible versatility and skills as multi-instrumentalists, playing 13 instruments between them and bringing a rousing acoustic flavor to old and new songs alike. Coming from accomplished musical pedigrees, The High Kings grew up in households soaked in the Irish musical tradition and each member of the band witnessed firsthand the power of well-crafted Irish music on an audience. Their impressive 2013 album Friends for Life features tracks written by the lads plus old favorites. The High Kings continue to live up to their reputation as a phenomenal live band, serving up laughter, good times, and even the odd sing along.

Martin Sexton
Friday-Saturday, April 12-13
Martin Sexton is an American singer/songwriter and has released 9 studio albums blending soul, gospel, country, rock, blues, and R&B. His most recent album, Mix Tape of the Open Road, is a musical cross-country trip, blazing through all territories of style. Sexton considers the record is a charm bracelet of twelve gems all strung together with the golden thread of what Rolling Stone calls his "soul marinated voice." At his return to City Winery Chicago, Sexton will perform tunes from Mix Tape as well as Sexton classics.

City Winery Chicago also announces Kevin Burt opens for Shemekia Copeland on Dec. 26-27; and NIKO IS and K'Valentine open for Talib Kweli on Jan. 5.

All City Winery Chicago events are open to all ages and start at 8 p.m., unless noted.

Tickets go on sale to the general public on December 13 at noon. Members of City Winery Chicago’s signature VinoFile™ program have advanced access to ticket sales in addition to receiving: a waiver of ticket service fees; free valet parking; Restaurant Loyalty Rewards, such as a free pair of VIP concert tickets for every $500 spent on food & beverage in the restaurant; exclusive membership-only events; and access to the proprietary City Winery Virtual Sommelier™, which helps make suggestions for wines one might enjoy based on past consumption at the venue.

Rachael Yamagata, JD Souther & Karla Bonoff, The High Kings, Martin Sexton, Kevin Burt, NIKO IS and K'Valentine join a diverse mix of the most respected names in pop, rock, jazz, blues, world music, theater, dance, spoken word and comedy presented at City Winery Chicago, including previously announced headliners and supporting acts: 

Los Lobos (Dec. 11-12);  Art Garfunkel (Dec. 14-15); Vienna Teng with Katie Rose (Dec. 16); Tab Benoit with Whiskey Bayou Revue feat. Damon Fowler & Eric Johanson (Dec. 17-18); Kurt Elling (Dec. 19-20); Michael McDermott with Heather Lynne Horton (Dec 21-22); Michael McDermott with Christmas Carolers (Dec 23); Christmas for the Jews (Dec. 25); Shemekia Copeland (Dec. 26-27); Macy Gray (Dec. 28-29); Avery*Sunshine (Dec. 30; Dec. 31, 7:30 & 11p; Jan. 1, 5p); Musiq Soulchild with Kameelah Williams (Jan. 3-4, 7:30 & 10p); Talib Kweli (Jan. 5, 7p & 10p); Sons of the Never Wrong with Michael Smith (Jan. 6, 7p); Dan Tedesco (Jan. 7, 7:30p); Shane Koyczan (Jan. 8); Slice screening with director Austin Vesely (Jan 10); Three Women and the Truth (Jan. 11); Maysa (Jan. 12, 7 & 10p); Corky Siegel’s Chamber Blues featuring Tracy Nelson (Jan. 13, 7p); Steve Earle (Jan. 14-15); EagleMania (Jan. 16); Paris Combo (Jan. 17); Melanie Fiona (Jan. 19, 7 & 10p); Jodee Lewis & Jonas Friddle (Jan. 20, 7p); Let Freedom Ring, Chicago! (Jan. 21, 7:30p); The Hot Sardines (Jan. 23); Randy Bachman (Jan. 24-25); Susan Werner (Jan. 27); Trey McLaughlin & The Sounds of Zamar (Jan. 28, 7p); Alejandro Escovedo with Don Antonio Band  (Jan. 31-Feb. 2); Langston Hughes Birthday Celebration (Feb. 3); Ms. Lisa Fischer & Grand Baton (Feb. 4-5); Marcus Johnson with Kathy Kosins (Feb. 6); Marc Roberge of O.A.R. (Feb. 8, 7 & 10 p);Anders Osborne (Feb. 9, 7 & 10p); Anita Wilson with Dante Hall (Feb. 10, 7p); Ruen Brothers (Feb. 11); Hudson Taylor (Feb. 12); Patrizio Buanne (Feb. 13); 10,000 Maniacs (Feb. 14-16); Kandace Springs (Feb. 17); Donavon Frankenreiter (Feb. 18, 6:30 & 9p); Procol Harum (Feb. 20-21); Bobby McFerrin & Gimme 5 (Feb. 22-23, 7 & 10p); The Four C Notes (Feb. 24, 2:30p); Steve Earle (Feb. 25-26); Ann Hampton Callaway (Feb. 27); We Banjo 3 (Mar. 1);  Kasim Sulton's Utopia (Mar. 7); Ron Pope with Caroline Spence (Mar. 8); Ron Pope with Emily Scott Robinson (Mar. 9); Eilen Jewell (Mar. 15); Los Lonely Boys (Mar. 16-17); Michael Smerconish: (Mar. 17, 2p); Chris Difford with Steve Smith (Mar. 18); Christopher Cross (Mar. 19-20); The Tim O’Brien Band (Mar. 27); The Verve Pipe (Mar. 29);  John Parr (Apr. 10); Dave Davies (Apr. 21) The Spring Quartet (May 1, 2p); and Herb Alpert & Lani Hall (May 4-5).

Opened in 2012, City Winery Chicago is a fully operational winery, restaurant with outdoor patio, concert hall and private event space located in the heart of the West Loop at 1200 W. Randolph, in the historic urban Fulton Market district. Once a refrigerated food distribution warehouse, the 1911 building has been transformed into a contemporary 33,000 square foot haven for those passionate about wine, music and culinary arts. The décor evokes the romance of being in wine country, from the exposed stainless steel fermenting tanks and French oak barrels, to the aroma of fermenting grapes. The West Loop’s only fully operational winery has produced dozens of in-house wines sourced from vineyards in California, Oregon, Washington, Argentina and Chile, including a Wine Enthusiast 92-point 2015 Verna’s Vineyard Reserve Pinot Noir. With more than 400 unique producers from around the world City Winery is recognized with 2014 and 2015 Best of Awards of Excellence “for having one of the most outstanding restaurant wine lists in the world” by Wine Spectator. The globally inspired, locally sourced, wine-focused food menu is conceived for pairing and sharing. The concert hall accommodates up to 300 guests, all seated at tables with complete beverage and dining service, ensuring a comfortable “listening room” experience enhanced by a state-of-the-art Meyer Sound system. Riedel is the official and exclusive provider of glassware, showing City Winery’s commitment to enjoying quality wine in a quality vessel. 

American Airlines is the Official Airline and Virgin Hotels Chicago is the Official Hotel of City Winery. For more information, please visit

INCOMING: Paris Combo To Play City Winery Chicago 01/17/2019

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar

Swing Français Live and Remixed: 
Paris Combo 
Comes Back to the US for a Tour and with a Red-Hot Remix Album

Called “marvelously eclectic” by the LA Times, Paris Combo are returning to the US for their 20th tour in January 2019. The musically devious Parisians will be showcasing songs from their latest studio release Tako Tsubo, as well as favorites from their previous six albums, and their set will once again highlight their signature blend of swinging gypsy jazz, cabaret, French pop, Latin and Middle Eastern rhythms.

Featuring the vocals of charismatic chanteuse Belle du Berry, the line-up also includes founder-members, the Django-influenced guitarist Potzi, Australian-born trumpeter & pianist David Lewis, drummer-crooner François Jeannin, as well as virtuoso bassist, Benoit Dunoyer de Ségonzac. They are also joined by Rémy Kapriélan on percussion, vocals and sax for some dates.

Paris Combo's musical roots run deep and varied – Belle du Berry began her musical career in post-punk bands of the late eighties but also cites influences such as Arletty, the French singer-actress of the ’30s, the Surrealists and a panoply of more recent artists including the B-52’s. Potzi’s guitar has multiple influences including Django Reinhardt and his own North African heritage and this, along with François’ ska or Latin grooves creates a fascinating, toe-tapping blend.

Lewis, who previously played with a wide variety of Paris-based bands including Manu Dibango and Arthur H, attributes the group’s approach to Paris’ cosmopolitan atmosphere. Belle, Potzi and François first performed together in Paris as members of a quirky retro revue, “Les Champêtres de Joie” which went on to collaborate at the closing ceremony of the Albertville Winter Olympic Games in 1992. Du Berry and David Lewis met while performing together at the “Cabaret Sauvage” revue and in 1995 the group began to hone their sound playing in cafés and barges along the Seine under the name Paris Combo.

Paris Combo’s eponymous 1997 debut disc arrived as the swing revival was in full bloom, yet the band’s wide-ranging mix of musical influences instantly set them apart from other groups in the genre, winning critical praise and appealing to international audiences.

The mainstream success of their second album Living Room (1999) gave the group unique status as a French indie band capable of drawing crowds not only in France, where the album went gold, but also in Australia and the USA where they performed their songs – always in their native French - to growing audiences, culminating in 2004-5 with three concerts at the Hollywood Bowl.

Returning to performing in 2011 after a five-year hiatus, the group made their US comeback, again at the Hollywood Bowl with symphony orchestra, and went on to release their fifth album, simply entitled 5 on DRG Records.  Media response was enthusiastic and in 2013-14, they sold out venues across the country with their first US tours in a decade and a triumphant return to Australia in 2015. 

Following the 2017 release of their sixth album Tako Tsubo in the US on the DRG/eOne label, the group successfully toured the US, Australia / New Zealand and Europe. On their new record, the chanteuse Belle du Berry leads us through a deliciously varied collection of musical atmospheres, ranging from the intimacy of the live combo to more lush orchestral settings and beautiful 60's retro à la Bacharach with near-psychedelic overtones. The lyrical leitmotif of the album - suggested by the song titles, “Mon Anatomie,” “Spécimen,” “Anémiques Maracas,” “ID d'Heidi,” “Profil” - is the human physique and the way our emotional and physical beings interact. “Tako Tsubo,” the lounge-tinged title track, is inspired by a rare condition known also as “broken-heart syndrome." (Thank goodness Paris Combo have the cure!) Songwriter Belle du Berry indeed sees the human body as kind of « machine », capable of feeling, permuting and expressing an infinite gamut of emotions.

In April 2018 they released Remixed, an original collection remixes of their songs by some of France's most inspired DJ's to coincide with an electrifying, celebratory show at La Cigale in Paris. “After releasing 5 and Tako Tsubo, we gave some of our songs to remixers in our immediate entourage, giving them carte blanche so they could reinterpret them, and in particular, our best-known song “Living Room,” says David Lewis. “We loved the result.”  Fans are sure to feel the same.

01/17/2019 - City Winery Chicago, Chicago, IL at 8:00 pm

Ticket Purchasing or by Phone: (312) 733-9463

Ticket Price(s):

City Winery Chicago 1200 W Randolph Street

Concert Start Time: 8:00 pm/ Doors Open: 6:00 pm

OPENING: Between Riverside and Crazy at Redtwist Theatre January 12 - February 10, 2019

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar

Between Riverside and Crazy
Written by Stephen Adly Guirgis
Directed by Rinska Carrasco-Prestinary

Opens Saturday, January 12, 2019, at 3pm
(this is also the press opening)
Runs Thu, Fri, Sat at 7:30pm; Sun at 3pm, through Sunday February 10, 7:30pm

In this stunning 2015 Pulitzer Prize-winner, we meet Pops, an ex-cop and widower clinging to one of the last rent-controlled apartments in NYC, dealing with a never-ending swirl of demands from family, friends, former colleagues, and a shady church lady...until he resolves to draw the line and make some demands of his own.

Featuring Redtwist company members Adam Bitterman as Lieutenant Caro, Johnny Garcia as Oswaldo, and  KC Karen Hill as Detective O'Connor,

THE CAST (in order of appearance)
Johnny Garcia (Oswaldo), Kenneth D. Johnson (Walter "Pops" Washington), Almanya Narula (Lulu), Kevin Tre'Von Patterson (Junior), Adam Bitterman (Lieutenant Caro), KC Karen Hill (Detective O'Connor), Gabrielle Lott-Rogers (Church Lady)

Understudy Cast: (in order of appearance)
Cesar Gonzales (Oswaldo), Arch Harmon (Walter "Pops" Washington), Kylie Anderson (Lulu), Vincent Williams (Junior), Casey Freund (Lieutenant Caro), Sissy Anne Quaranta (Detective O'Connor), Derin Adesida (Church Lady)

Rinska Carrasco-Prestinary (Director), Arik Vega (Assistant Director, Fight Choreographer), Megan Gray (Stage Manager), Chelsea Allen (Assistant Stage Manager), Julia Skeggs (Casting Director), Elise Kauzlaric (Dialect Coach), Sarah Scanlon (Intimacy Choreographer) Nicholas James Schwartz (Scenic Designer and Technical Director), Cat Davis (Lighting Designer), Jeffrey Levin (Sound Designer), Uriel Gomez (Costume Designer), Christian A. Kurka (Props Designer), Brian Keys (Dramaturg), Ari Craven (Graphic Designer), Jan Ellen Graves (Marketing Consultant), E. Malcolm Martinez (Box Office Manager), Charles Bonilla (Box Office Associate), Brennan T. Jones, James Fleming, & Michael Colucci (Producers)

Opens: Sat, January 12, 2019, 3pm (note: there is no evening performance on opening day)
Showtimes: Thu, Fri, Sat, 7:30pm; Sun, 3pm
Understudy Show: Tuesday, February 10, 7:30pm
Closes: Sunday, February 10 (7:30pm show)
Previews: $15; Wed, Thu, Fri, January 9, 10, 11, at 7:30pm
Tickets: Thursdays, $35; Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, $40 (seniors & students $5 off)
 Call: 773-728-7529  

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 3-hour Paybox on Bryn Mawr Av and 2-hour Paybox on side streets. Free on Sundays, and after 10pm Mon thru Sat. 

Friday, December 7, 2018



Buffalo Theatre Ensemble (BTE), the professional Equity company in residence at the McAninch Arts Center, hosts a “Give Stories Life” Friendraiser benefit BTE at the McAninch Arts Center, 425 Fawell Blvd., on the campus of College of DuPage, Dec. 14, 6-8 p.m.

This event will serve as an opportunity for the public to learn more about BTE and join members of the BTE Ensemble and Board as they celebrate BTE’s joining of the Glen Ellyn Chamber, and acknowledge Dr. Donald G. Westlake’s enduring support of the company. This event is free and open to the public. RSVPs are requested but not required. To RSVP or for more information email

The evening begins at 6 p.m. with a reception featuring light refreshments and beverages. A ceremonial ribbon cutting will take place at 6:30 p.m. to mark BTE’s inaugural year with the Glen Ellyn Chamber of Commerce. The evening will also provide a quick look back via trailers of moments from some of BTE's recent productions and, at 7 p.m., a program by Dr. Donald G.  Westlake, featuring some of his memoirs, including regarding BTE. The evening will conclude with a look at the scenic build in process for BTE’s next production, “Defiance” by John Patrick Shanley, directed by BTE Ensemble Member, Kurt Naebig (Jan. 31-March 3) and a backstage tour.

“Don has seen all of our productions, since BTE's inception, and has been a strong advocate for us, always, including our 2016 return to our residence at the MAC. We would not be who and where we are without his enduring support,” BTE Artistic Director Connie Canaday Howard.

Westlake, currently a resident of Wheaton, grew up in Elburn Ill. and received his B.S. in Ed. from Northern Illinois University. He was a mathematics and physical education teacher in his home town before becoming an analytical chemist at Argonne and, then, in the U.S. Army. He received his Ph.D. in Metallurgy from Iowa State University before returning to Argonne in 1959. Dr. Westlake retired in 1984 as a Senior Scientist in the Materials Science Division of the Argonne National Laboratory. As an author he has written two books co-authored with his late wife Helen Gum Westlake, plus a book of poetry, “Elburn: Forty-four Miles to Chicago,” which received the Studs Terkel Award from the Illinois Humanities Council. His stories can be heard on the podcast “Reflections from the Cloud.”

Buffalo Theatre Ensemble

The mission of Buffalo Theatre Ensemble is to provide a forum in which artists, scholars, writers, students and community members explore new ideas and provocative issues through the production of high-quality theater for the enjoyment of its audiences. Since 1986 BTE has staged more than 117 productions. For more information about BTE visit

BTE thanks the DuPage Foundation for their generous support in the reinstatement and continued operation of Buffalo Theatre Ensemble. BTE also thanks the Norm Woodel Inspiration Fund for its assistance in the rebirth and further development of Buffalo Theatre Ensemble.

2018-2019 shows include Chicago Premiere of “The Dingdong, or How the French Kiss,” a new adaptation by Mark Shanahan from “Le Dindon” by Georges Feydeau (Sept. 6-Oct.7); “Defiance” by John Patrick Shanley, directed by BTE Ensemble Member, Kurt Naebig (Jan. 31-March 3) and “Miracle on South Division Street” by Tom Dudzick, directed by Steve Scott (May 2-June 2). For tickets or more information, visit or call 630.942.4000.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

ONE NIGHT ONLY: Nasty, Brutish & Short: A POCI Puppet Cabaret

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar
Rough House Theater's quarterly puppet cabaret 

Here at ChiIL Live Shows, we're all about inclusion and access for people and puppets! Diversity in the arts makes for stellar storytelling, and everyone deserves a voice. So, we're jazzed that this month's quarterly puppet cabaret will focus on Puppeteers of Color Incubator (POCI) artists. Check it out!

Nasty, Brutish & Short: A POCI Puppet Cabaret
Co-Curated by: Jamillah Hinson & Nik Whitcomb
Monday, December 10 | 7:30pm Tickets: $8-$40 

Nasty Brutish & Short is Links Hall and Rough House Theater's quarterly puppet cabaret. It offers four annual evenings of contemporary short-form puppet experiments and object based theater to SOLD OUT adult audiences. 

This past August, in partnership with the Art Leaders of Color Network (ALCN), Links Hall and Rough House launched the Puppeteers of Color Incubator (POCI). A cohort of nine puppeteers were selected to participate in a six month program designed to support the development and creation of new short form puppet works by artist of color. Lead by ALCN members Jamillah Hinson & Nik Whitcomb December's Nasty Brutish & Short marks the first public showing of the POCI artists' new projects! 

The POCI Cohort includes: Rasaan Booker, Sheri Flanders, Allyson Gonzalez, Jerrell Henderson, Maddie Hong, Margaret Kemp, Louise Loeb, Jose Nateras, Chris Pow. 

"The Puppeteers of Color Incubator (POCI) exists to give puppeteers and artists of color a space to explore, experiment, and develop their tools as puppeteers while deepening their understanding of their own individual artistry. POCI seeks to expand the art of puppetry within the community and create a network of artists for support and further creative opportunities." --- Jamillah Hinson & Nik Whitcomb, POCI Co-Curators


ChiIL Live Shows on our radar

JANUARY 25 – MARCH 10, 2019

Crowle Plays Eight Members of The D’Ysquith Family in this Tour de Force Musical about One Man’s Unbridled Journey to Inherit his Family’s Fortune Featuring Music by Stephen Lutvak, Lyrics by Robert L. Freedman and Steven Lutvak, and a Tony Award-winning Book by Robert L. Freedman with Direction and Choreography by Stephen Schellhardt 
and Music Direction by Andra Velis Simon.

Here at ChiIL Live Shows, we're elated about Porchlight Music Theatre’s next production. Tony Award winner, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, is a favorite of ours, and with Jeff Award winning Matt Crowle in the lead, this production is sure to be a hit. 

Porchlight Music Theatre’s Mainstage 2018 – 2019 season continues with 2014 Tony Award-winning Best Musical A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, January 25 – March 10, 2019 at The Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn Street. 

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder stars Matt Crowle and features Music by Stephen Lutvak, Lyrics by Robert L. Freedman and Steven Lutvak, and a Tony Award-winning Book by Robert L. Freedman, is directed and choreographed by Stephen Schellhardt and music directed by Andra Velis Simon. 

Previews are Friday, Jan. 25 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, Jan. 26 at 8 p.m.; Sunday, Jan. 27 at 2 p.m.; Monday, Jan. 28 at 7:30 p.m. Opening Night is Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. The performance schedule is Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. (January 27, March 3 and March 10) and 6 p.m. (February 3, February 10, February 24 and March 10) with weekday matinee performances Thursday, Feb. 21 and Feb. 28 at 1:30 p.m. 

Please note: There are no performances Sunday, Feb. 2 at 4 p.m.; Thursday, Jan, 31, Thursday, Feb. 28 and Thursday, March 7 at 7:30 p.m.; full schedule is included at the end of the release. 

Tickets are $39 - $66 and are available at or by calling the Porchlight Music Theatre box office, 773.777.9884.

Based on the 1907 novel “Israel Rank: The Autobiography of a Criminal” by Roy Horniman and the source for the 1949 British film “Kind Hearts and Coronets” starring Alec Guinness, The New York Times said A Gentleman’s Guide is “Among the most inspired and entertaining new musicals." This tour de force musical comedy tells the uproarious story of Monty Navarro, an heir to a family fortune who sets out to jump the line of succession by eliminating the eight pesky relatives who stand in his way. All the while, Monty has to juggle his mistress (she’s after more than just love), his fiancée (she’s his cousin but who’s keeping track?), and the constant threat of landing behind bars! Of course, it will all be worth it if he can slay his way to his inheritance…and be done in time for tea. 

The cast of Porchlight Music Theatre’s A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder includes: Matt Crowle, “The D’Ysquith Family;” Andrés Enriquez, “Monty Navarro;” Caron Buinis, “Miss Shingle;” Emily Goldberg, “Sibella Hallward;” Ann Delaney, “Phoebe D’Ysquith;” Sharriese Hamilton, “Eugenia;” Ryan Dooley, “Magistrate;” Billy Dawson, “Copley;” Megan Elk, “Tour Guide;” Rachel Klippel, “Barley;” Phoebe Moore, female swing and Adam Ross Brody, male swing.

The A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder production team includes Stephen Schellhardt, director and choreographer; Andra Velis Simon, music director, Aubrey Adams, assistant director/choreographer; Robert Hornbostel, sound designer; Jeff Hendry, costume designer; Denise Karczewski, lighting designer; Anthony Churchill, projection designer; Angie Miller, scenic designers; Kevin Barthel, wig designer; Mealah Heidenreich, props designer; Noah Watkins, assistant to the director; Linda Madonia, musician contractor; Mary Zanger, stage manager; Cody Westgaard, production manager and Bek Lambrecht; technical director.

ABOUT MATT CROWLE, “The D’Ysquith Family” 
Matt Crowle is a proud Porchlight Music Theatre artistic associate. Crowle gratefully returns to Porchlight where his credits include his recent Jeff-nominated turn as “Charley Kringas” in Merrily We Roll Along and” Hysterium” (Jeff Award) in A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum. Other Chicago theatre highlights include The Santaland Diaries at Goodman Theatre; The Producers (Leo Bloom) at Mercury Theater Chicago; Mary Poppins (Bert) at Paramount; Singin’ In The Rain (Cosmo Brown), Spamalot (Patsy), Bye Bye Birdie (Albert Peterson), and South Pacific (Luther Billis, Jeff Award) at Drury Lane Oakbrook. Broadway/National Tour: Monty Python’s Spamalot and Doctor Dolittle starring Tommy Tune. He earned his BFA in Music Theatre under the guidance and mentorship of the late great Dr. Bruce Kirle. 

Andrés Enriquez returns to Porchlight where he was previously seen in Merrily We Roll Along, In The Heights and New Faces Sing Broadway 1939.  He is an ensemble member at both Barrel of Monkeys Productions and Lifeline Theatre, where he is also the casting director. Enriquez is also proud to have worked at several Chicagoland theaters including Remy Bumppo, The Hypocrites, Fox Valley Repertory, Theater at the Center, 16th Street Theater and Lifeline Theater. 

ABOUT STEPHEN SCHELLHARDT, director and choreographer
Stephen Schellhardt has been acting, directing, choreographing, producing, casting and teaching professionally for over a decade. He has acted in numerous Equity productions in Chicago-area and regional theatres, receiving three Equity Jeff Award nominations and a Barrymore Award for acting, as well as a Non-Equity Jeff Award nomination for his directorial work on Urinetown, and his choreographic work on Dogfight at BoHo Theatre, where he was recently appointed artistic director. 

In Chicago, Schellenhardt has worked with the Marriott Theater, Writers Theatre, Drury Lane Theatre, Mercury Theater Chicago, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, About Face Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Chicago’s Lyric Opera, The Goodman Theatre, Porchlight Music Theatre, BoHo Theatre and the Ravinia Festival. National Tours include Altar Boyz. International credits include Jane Austen’s Persuasion at The Royal Winchester Theatre in England and the Shanklin Theatre on The Isle of Wight (Chamber Opera Chicago).  He has directed/choreographed at About Face Theatre, Writers Theatre, Timberlake Playhouse, The Summer Theatre of New Canaan, Ars Nova in New York City, The Casino Club, Northwestern University, and BoHo Theatre. 

He is a founding member of the Chicago Artists Chorale, co-director for The Children’s Theatre of Winnetka, casting associate at About Face Theatre and most recently served as the associate producer and casting director for Writers Theatre in Glencoe. 

Currently, Schellenhardt spends most of his time in Evanston where he is a full-time lecturer of musical theatre at Northwestern University and director of the annual Waa Mu Show. He is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University’s Drama School and a proud member of the Actors Equity Association. 

Andra Velis Simon is thrilled to return to Porchlight Music Theatre, where she music directed the Porchlight Revisits productions of They’re Playing Our Song and On a Clear Day. She is the resident music director for Firebrand Theatre, where she just completed their run of Caroline, or Change.  She also music directed Firebrand’s inaugural production of LIZZIE, as well as 9 to 5 The Musical.  Currently, Velis Simon is serving as vocal director for Steppenwolf Theatre Company's La Ruta by Isaac Gomez.  Her work as a music director, adapter, arranger, pianist and vocal coach has been seen regionally at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, A.R.T. in Cambridge, Brooklyn Academy of Music, NYU’s Skirball Center, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Pasadena Playhouse and Berkeley Rep. In Chicago, she has worked with The Goodman Theatre, The Hypocrites, Theater Wit, Chicago Children’s Theatre, and many others. From 2008-2016,Velis Simon served as the staff music director for the Theatre Department at Columbia College Chicago, where she continues to teach musical theatre performance.   

Porchlight Music Theatre is proud to be a member of the vibrant Ruth Page Center for the Arts community and an Artist In-Residence. Central to the Ruth Page Center for the Arts’ programming is the Artists In-Residence program, which is designed to serve organizations looking for a home base while they grow or expand their artistic and organizational capabilities. The Center is committed to nurturing and assisting dance and other performing artists, allowing for exchange and collaborative relationships to develop within the artistic community. The Ruth Page Center for the Arts is a destination for quality performing arts, accessible to a wide community regardless of race, gender, age, education or disability. An incubator of artistic energy and excellence, the Ruth Page Center for the Arts carries forward the vision of its founder, legendary dance icon Ruth Page, to be a platform for developing great artists and connecting them with audiences and community.

As Chicago’s home for music theatre, Porchlight Music Theatre continues its 24th season and its second as an Artist In-Residence at the historic Ruth Page Center for the Arts in Chicago’s Gold Coast. Porchlight Music Theatre is nationally recognized for reimagining classic productions, developing new works and showcasing musical theatre’s noted Chicago veterans and rising stars. Porchlight elevates the genre by providing intimate and powerful theatrical experiences of music theatre through the lens of the “Chicago Style.” Porchlight’s rich history includes the staging of more than 60 productions with 15 Chicago premieres and five world premieres. Through Porchlight’s “Off the Porch” new works program, the musicals of the next generation are developed and given a first audience. The School at Porchlight is Chicago’s center for music theatre training in the areas of performance, writing and appreciation including a youth summer “Make Your Own Musical” camp and a Saturday morning youth program. The company’s many accolades include 28 Black Theatre Alliance nominations and seven awards, as well as a total of 151 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations resulting in 42 Jeff Awards including five consecutive Best Production awards for The Scottsboro Boys (2017), Dreamgirls (2016), Sondheim on Sondheim (2015), Ain’t Misbehavin’ (2014) and A Class Act (2013).

Mr. Crowle’s performance is sponsored by Anne and Greg Taubeneck

Porchlight Music Theatre is supported by generous contributions from the Actors’ Equity Foundation, Bayless Family Foundation, Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation, Chapman | Spingola, Attorneys at Law, the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, Elegant Events Lighting, James P. and Brenda S. Grusecki Family Foundation, Hopsmith Tavern, the MacArthur Fund for Arts & Culture at the Prince Foundation, the Morgan Stanley Foundation, The Saints, Top Nosh Hospitality and the Topfer Family Foundation. 

The season program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency, and by a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events. 

Tickets On Sale December 7th for Goodman Theatre's World Premiere of HOW TO CATCH CREATION

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar



Goodman Theatre proudly announces its cast for the world premiere of How to Catch Creation by Christina Anderson—“a gifted playwright you want to pay attention to” (Variety). A vivid portrait of three artist/intellectual couples exploring life, children and marriage—coming together and coming apart—How to Catch Creation is directed by Niegel Smith, who most recently directed the smash sensation Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3) last season at the Goodman. The ensemble cast includes Karen Aldridge (Tami), Ayanna Bria Bakari (Natalie), Jasmine Bracey (G.K. Marche), Bernard Gilbert (Stokes), Maya Vinice Prentiss (Riley) and Keith Randolph Smith (Griffin). The creative team includes Todd Rosenthal (Set), Allen Lee Hughes (Lighting), Jenny Mannis (Costumes) and Justin Ellington (Composer). 

Tickets ($25 - $70; subject to change) go on sale this Friday, December 7 at, by telephone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 N. Dearborn). The Goodman Theatre Women’s Board is the Major Production Sponsor and WBEZ 91.5 is the Media Sponsor.

A young writer’s life turns upside down when her girlfriend drops some unexpected news. Fifty years later, four artists feel the reverberations of that moment—and its unexpected consequences—as their lives intersect in pursuit of creative passion and legacy. In this bold, imaginative work, Christina Anderson dissects the universal act of creation to inspire the dreamers and idealists in us all.

Playwright Christina Anderson’s body of work includes the plays Blacktop Sky, pen/man/ship, The Ashes Under Gait City and Man in Love. Her plays have appeared at The Public Theater, Yale Repertory Theatre, Penumbra Theatre and Playwrights Horizons, among others in the United States and Canada. She is a resident playwright at New Dramatists and Epic Theatre Ensemble, a DNAWORKS ensemble member and the interim head of playwriting at Brown University. Awards and honors include the inaugural Harper Lee Award for Playwriting, two Playwrights of New York nominations, three Susan Smith Blackburn Prize nominations and a Woursell Prize finalist. Anderson received her BA from Brown University and MFA from the Yale School of Drama’s playwriting program.

Director Niegel Smith is a Bessie Award-winning theater director and performance artist. He is the artistic director of New York’s The Flea; board member of A.R.T./New York and ringleader of Willing Participant, an artistic activist organization. His theater work has been produced by Alley Theatre, HERE, Hip Hop Theatre Festival, Magic Theatre, Mixed Blood, New York International Fringe Festival, New York Live Arts, Phoenix Theatre Ensemble, Playwrights Horizons, Pomegranate Arts, The Public Theater, St. Ann’s Warehouse, Summer Play Festival and Under the Radar Festival, and his participatory walks and performances have been produced by Abrons Arts Center, American Realness, Dartmouth College, Elastic City, The Invisible Dog Art Center, Jack, The New Museum, Prelude Festival, PS 122, the Van Alen Institute and Visual AIDS. He often collaborates with playwright/performer Taylor Mac and with artist Todd Shalom. Smith was co­-director of the critically acclaimed A 24­ Decade History of Popular Music, winner of the Kennedy Prize in Drama, the Edwin Booth Award and a Pulitzer Prize finalist.

Karen Aldridge (Tami) returns to Goodman Theatre, where previous credits include The Trinity River Plays, Proof (Black Theater Alliance Award, The Ruby Dee Award – Best Leading Actress in a Play), The Good Negro and The Cook (Jeff Award nomination for Best Actress). Additional Chicago theater credits include Victims of Duty at A Red Orchid Theatre; Love’s Labour’s Lost, MacBeth, Twelfth Night and Tug of War at Chicago Shakespeare Theater; The Seagull at Writers Theatre; Far Away and In the Blood (Jeff Award nomination for Best Actress) at Next Theatre Company; The Qualms, Clybourne Park and she originated the role of Tamyra in Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize nominated Man from Nebraska at Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Aldridge starred in the international tours of Battlefield and Le Costume, both directed by Peter Brook. She also originated the role of Mrs. Phelps in the production of Matilda the Musical on Broadway. Film and television credits include Chicago Fire, Chicago PD and Chicago Med (NBC); Boss (STARZ!); Blue Bloods and Unforgettable (CBS); The Get Down (Netflix, produced and directed by Baz Luhrmann) and Ron Howard's film The Dilemma.

Ayanna Bria Bakari (Natalie) makes her Goodman Theatre debut. Theater credits include Indiana Repertory Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, Emerald City Theatre, Raven Theatre, The New Colony, Red Theater, 16th Street Theater, TimeLine Theatre. She also performed in Stage Left Theatre’s Jeff nominated production of Insurrection: Holding History. Bakari is currently an ensemble member with The Story Theatre. Television credits include Chicago PD and a recurring role on ShowTime’s The CHI. She graduated with a BFA in acting from The Theatre School at DePaul University and is currently represented by Stewart Talent. 

Jasmine Bracey (G.K. Marche) returns to Goodman Theatre where she previously appeared in A Christmas Carol. Chicago credits include Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Chicago Shakespeare Theater and Chicago Dramatists. Regionally, she has worked with Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Alley Theatre, Guthrie Theater, Resident Ensemble Players and Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival. Bracey has toured with The Acting Company and appeared in several independent films and commercials.

Bernard Gilbert (Stokes) returns to Goodman Theatre where he previously appeared in Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3). Additional Chicago credits include Skeleton Crew (Northlight Theatre), Our Lady of 121st Street (Eclipse Theatre Company), Man in the Ring (Court Theatre) and a tour of Letters Home (Griffin Theatre). Regional credits include Two Trains Running at the Weston Playhouse Theatre Company in Vermont, and productions of The Royale at City Theatre Company in Pittsburgh and the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. Television credits include Chicago P.D. Gilbert received his MFA from The Theatre School at DePaul University and Morehouse College.

Maya Vinice Prentiss (Riley) Chicago credits include productions with Goodman Theatre, Definition Theatre Company, Pegasus Theatre Chicago and Teatro Vista. She is a recent MFA acting graduate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and holds a BA in drama from Spelman College. Prentiss is originally from Richmond, Virginia.

Keith Randolph Smith (Griffin) returns to Goodman Theatre, where he was previously in The Dreams of Sarah Breedlove and Jitney. Broadway credits include Jitney, American Psycho, Fences, Come Back Little Sheba, King Hedley II, Salome and Piano Lesson. Recent Off-Broadway credits include The Revolving Cycles Truly and Steadily Roll’d, Paradise Blue, First Breeze of Summer and Tamburlane the Great. Regional credits include the Alliance Theatre in The C.A. Lyons Project by Tsehaye Geralyn Hebert, The Old Globe, City Theatre and Seattle Repertory Theatre, among others. Smith is a company member of Quick Silver Theater Company and The Actors Center. He is also the recipient of acting fellowships from TCG/Fox Foundation and the Lunt-Fontanne Foundation; and a graduate of the conservatory of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

AMERICA’S “BEST REGIONAL THEATRE” (Time magazine), Goodman Theatre is a premier not-for-profit organization distinguished by the excellence and scope of its artistic programming and civic engagement. Led by Artistic Director Robert Falls and Executive Director Roche Schulfer, the theater’s artistic priorities include new play development (more than 150 world or American premieres), large scale musical theater works and reimagined classics (celebrated revivals include Falls’ productions of Death of a Salesman and The Iceman Cometh). Goodman Theatre artists and productions have earned two Pulitzer Prizes, 22 Tony Awards, over 160 Jeff Awards and many more accolades. In addition, the Goodman is the first theater in the world to produce all 10 plays in August Wilson’s “American Century Cycle;” and its annual holiday tradition A Christmas Carol, which marks its 41st production this season, has created a new generation of theatergoers. The Goodman also frequently serves as a production partner with local off-Loop theaters and national and international companies by providing financial support or physical space for a variety of artistic endeavors.

Committed to three core values of Quality, Diversity and Community, the Goodman proactively makes inclusion the fabric of the institution and develops education and community engagement programs that support arts as education. This practice uses the process of artistic creation to inspire and empower youth, lifelong learners and audiences to find and/or enhance their voices, stories and abilities. The Goodman’s Alice Rapoport Center for Education and Engagement is the home of such programming, most offered free of charge, and has vastly expanded the theater’s ability to touch the lives of Chicagoland citizens (with 85% of youth participants coming from underserved communities) since its 2016 opening.

Goodman Theatre was founded by William O. Goodman and his family in honor of their son Kenneth, an important figure in Chicago’s cultural renaissance in the early 1900s. The Goodman family’s legacy lives on through the continued work and dedication of Kenneth’s family, including Albert Ivar Goodman, who with his late mother, Edith-Marie Appleton, contributed the necessary funds for the creation of the new Goodman center in 2000.

Today, Goodman Theatre leadership also includes the distinguished members of the Artistic Collective: Brian Dennehy, Rebecca Gilman, Henry Godinez, Dael Orlandersmith, Steve Scott, Chuck Smith, Regina Taylor, Henry Wishcamper and Mary Zimmerman. David W. Fox, Jr. is Chair of Goodman Theatre’s Board of Trustees, Denise Stefan Ginascol is Women’s Board President and Megan McCarthy Hayes is President of the Scenemakers Board for young professionals.

Google Analytics