Saturday, June 30, 2018

OPENING: Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at Drury Lane Through August 26th

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:

Drury Lane Theatre announces casting for 
Tennessee Williams’ sultry family drama 
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Directed by Tony nominee Marcia Milgrom Dodge
Featuring Genevieve Angelson, Anthony Bowden,
Matt DeCaro, and Cindy Gold

July 5 – August 26, 2018

*Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is recommended for ages 13+. Please be advised that there are adult themes and brief strong language.*

I'll be ChiILin' at Drury Lane for the press opening July 12th. Check back shortly after for our full review. It's been a Tennessee season in Chi, IL. In the past few months I've caught Tennessee Williams' Suddenly Last Summer, and The Gentleman Caller, in which Williams is a main character. I'm eager to see Drury Lane's take on his infamous classic, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

Drury Lane Theatre announces casting for its sultry summer drama, Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, directed by Tony nominee Marcia Milgrom Dodge (2009 Broadway revival of Ragtime, Drury Lane’s Smokey Joe’s Cafe). Cat on a Hot Tin Roof runs July 5 – August 26, 2018, at Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace. 

The cast of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is led by Genevieve Angelson (Maggie), who appeared as Nina in the 2013 Tony-nominated production of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. Angelson is also known for roles on Showtime’s House of Lies and Amazon’s original series Good Girls Revolt. The production also features Anthony Bowden as Brick and Matt DeCaro as Big Daddy. The role of Big Mama will be played by Cindy Gold (July 5-August 12) and Janet Ulrich Brooks (August 15-26). Rounding out the cast of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof are Michael Milligan (Gooper), Gail Rastorfer (Mae), Craig Spidle (Reverend Tooker), Joe Bianco (Doctor Baugh), Donica Lynn (Sookey), and Reginald Robinson Jr. (Lacey). 

In the heat of the South under the gaze of patriarch Big Daddy, the expectations of marriage and family spoil. A birthday party brings a family's skeletons to the surface as each one fights over the bones. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is well known for the 1958 film adaptation starring Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, and Burl Ives which received six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

In addition to Director Marcia Milgrom Dodge, the creative team includes: Kevin Depinet (Scenic Designer), Sully Ratke (Costume Designer), Driscoll Otto (Lighting and Projection Designer), Ray Nardelli (Sound Designer), Cassy Schillo (Properties Designer), Claire Moores (Wig and Hair Designer), and Sammi Grant (Dialect Coach). The Production Stage Manager is Larry Baker.

Marcia Milgrom Dodge (Director) is a Tony Award and Drama Desk Award nominated theatre director and choreographer. For Drury Lane Theatre, she directed and choreographed the Jeff Award winning revue Smokey Joe’s Cafe. Her work has been seen throughout the United States and in Canada, England, Asia, Denmark, and the Middle East; in theatres on Broadway and Off-Broadway; at acclaimed regional theatres such as the New York City Opera, John F. Kennedy Center of The Performing Arts, Arena Stage, Goodman Theatre, Denver Center Theatre Company, Glimmerglass Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Cleveland Play House, Huntington  Theatre, Bay Street Theatre, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Goodspeed Musicals, and Music Circus; and abroad at the Nanta Theatre (Seoul, S. Korea), Fredericia Teater (Denmark), Royal Opera House (Muskat, Oman), and Wintergardens Theatre (Blackpool, England). Dodge’s work has won the Joseph Jefferson, Helen Hayes, Carbonell, Los Angeles Drama Critics, Backstage Garland, Dora Mavor, New York Outer Critics Circle, and Daytime Emmy Awards, and she has been nominated for the Tony, Drama Desk, Astaire, Drama League, Barrymore, and Edgar Awards. She has directed and choreographed classic plays, operas, and musicals by Aaron Copeland, Bock & Harnick, Cole Porter, Comden & Green, Frank Loesser, Jerry Herman, Joe Masteroff, Jule Styne, Kander & Ebb, Leonard Bernstein, Lerner & Lowe, Meredith Willson, Noel Coward, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim, and Tennessee Williams, in addition to contemporary works by Andrew Lippa & Marshall Brickman & Rick Elice, Ahrens & Flaherty, Anthony Dodge, Beth Henley, Brian Friel, Donald Margulies, Duncan Sheik & Nell Benjamin, Eric Overmeyer, Jeffrey Haddow & Neal Hampton, Jeffrey Hatcher, Joe Raposo, John Logan, Julie Andrews & Ian Fraser & John Bucchino, Ken Ludwig, Larry Gatlin, Lou Rosen & Thom Bishop, Maltby & Shire, Mark Brown, Marsha Norman & Lucy Simon, Polly Pen, Rachel Sheinkin, Rupert Holmes, Simon Stephens, Stephen Schwartz, Terrence McNally, The Red Clay Ramblers, and William Finn. She is a teacher, a wife, a mother, a proud executive board member of the Stage Directors & Choreographers Society, and a published and produced playwright. 

GENEVIEVE ANGELSON (Maggie) is quickly rising within in the ranks of Hollywood’s most exciting young, leading actresses. Her dynamic energy and emotional strength allow her to shine, and in 2016, she was named The Hollywood Reporter’s “Next Big Thing” and one of Variety’s “10 TV Stars to Watch.” Genevieve just wrapped the Pop TV series Flack, opposite Anna Paquin, and prior to that starred as the lead of Amazon’s hit drama Good Girls Revolt. Angelson has also starred opposite Rainn Wilson in the FOX crime comedy-drama series Backstorm as a young and idealist detective. Prior to that, she had a nine-episode arc in season three of the Showtime comedy House Of Lies, alongside Don Cheadle and Kristen Bell. Her previous television credits include guest appearances on Instinct and The Good Wife. In film, she will soon be seen in The Upside opposite Bryan Cranston. Angelson made a splashy Broadway debut as the endearingly innocent “Nina” in Christopher Durang’s Vanya And Sonia And Masha And Spike, opposite Sigourney Weaver and David Hyde Pierce. The play received numerous accolades, receiving six Tony Award nominations and winning Best Play at the 67th Tony Awards, Outstanding Play at the 58th Drama Desk Awards, and Best Play at the 2013 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award. Angelson currently splits her time between Los Angeles and New York.
ANTHONY BOWDEN (Brick) has appeared Off Broadway and Regionally with Panther Creek, Signature Theatre, Long Wharf, Northern Stage, Exit, Pursued By A Bear, and The Educational Theatre of New York. He’s a founding member of ARTes, an arts education outreach program that works in El Salvador. Anthony is entering his final year at Juilliard.

MATT DECARO (Big Daddy) has been seen most recently at The Asolo Repertory Theater as LBJ in The Great Society, as Oscar Hubbard in The Little Foxes, and Gene in Frank Galati’s Rhinoceros. He appeared last season at Timeline Theatre in The Audience as Winston Churchill and Harold Wilson. Though a Chicagoan, Matt has been fortunate to play in theaters across the country including Lincoln Center, Manhattan Theatre Club, Goodman Theatre, The Guthrie Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, The Old Globe Theatre, and San Francisco's A.C.T. and internationally in Dublin, Toronto, and China. Some favorite roles include the Judge in David Mamet's Romance, Dave Moss in Glengarry Glen Ross, Boss Mangan in Heartbreak House, Boolie in Driving Miss Daisy, and Fa Hai in Mary Zimmerman's The White Snake. His TV and film credits include The Wise Kids, Eagle Eye, House, and The Office, among many others.

CINDY GOLD (Big Mama) returns to Drury Lane after playing Helga ten Dorp in 2016’s Deathtrap. She recently appeared with Chicago Shakespeare in the all-female Taming of the Shrew, directed by Barbara Gaines. She played Gertrude Stein in Frank Galati and Stephen Flaherty's Loving Repeating for which she won the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Actress in a musical. Chicago area performances include: In the Garden at Lookingglass, directed by Jessica Thebus; About Face Theatre’s A Kid Like Jake, directed by Keirra Fromm; My Fair Lady at Lyric Opera, directed by Robert Carsen; Measure for Measure at The Goodman, directed by Robert Falls; and Awake and Sing at Northlight, directed by Amy Morton. Cindy performed in Showboat at The Lyric Opera, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. National Opera at the Kennedy Center, directed by Francesca Zambello, as well as The Daughter of the Regiment (where she shared a role with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg!) at the Kennedy Center in D.C. Other Chicago credits include: Love, Loss and What I Wore at Broadway in Chicago, Pride and Prejudice and Jekyll and Hyde at Northlight, and Moises Kaufman's 33 Variations workshop/About Face and Tectonic Theatre. Cindy appeared in The Music Man at Glimmerglass Opera Company, both in New York and at the Royal Opera House in Muscat, Oman. She was recently seen in the television dramas Empire, Chicago Fire, and the pilot episode of TNT's Leverage. Cindy will be seen in the fall at Victory Gardens in Indecent, directed by Gary Griffin. She is a Professor of Acting at Northwestern University Department of Theatre (former Head of Acting) and the Head of the Acting for Screen Module.

MICHAEL MILLIGAN (Gooper) has appeared at the Goodman Theater in Blind Date; Chicago Shakespeare Theater in Othello (Iago) and Tug of War; Greenhouse Theater in The American Mercy Tour; and American Theater Company in Mercy Strain. His Broadway credits include August: Osage County, La Bete, and Jerusalem. He appeared Off Broadway in Thom Pain, The Golem, and Mercy Killers. Michael has performed at the RSC, Shakespeare Theater, Guthrie Theater, McCarter Theater, Westport Country Playhouse, St. Louis Rep, Cincinnati Playhouse, and many more. His TV credits are Law and Order, Person of Interest, The Knick, Chicago Justice, and APB. He trained at Juilliard (John Houseman Prize recipient). 

GAIL RASTORFER (Mae) has appeared regionally in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Indiana Rep and Syracuse Stage); The Heidi Chronicles and The Game’s Afoot (Asolo Rep); Ten Chimneys and In the Next Room (Cleveland Playhouse); Noises Off (Clarence Brown Theatre); The Mousetrap (Maltz Jupiter Theatre); and Women in Jeopardy (Merrimack Rep). In Chicago, she has appeared at Chicago Shakespeare, Northlight, First Folio, Chicago Dramatists, The Goodman, American Blues, and The Unfortunates (SoloChicago, Jeff nomination for solo performance). TV credits include Chicago Fire, Crisis, Boss, Chicago Code, and dozens of national commercials. 

Dates:Previews: July 5 – 12, 2018
Regular run: July 13, 2018 – August 26, 2018 
Press Opening: Thursday, July 12 at 8:00 p.m.

Wednesdays: 1:30 p.m.
Thursdays: 1:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Fridays: 8:00 p.m.
Saturdays: 5:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. 
Sundays: 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Location: Drury Lane Theatre at 100 Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace

Tickets: Previews: $38 - $53
Single Tickets: $43 - $58
Wednesday and Thursday matinees: $43
Thursday and Sunday evenings: $53
Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday matinees: $58
Student group tickets start at $30.
Senior Citizens start at $38 for matinees.
Dinner and show packages available.

Box Office:
100 Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace
630.530.0111, Ticketmaster at 800.745.3000
or visit

2018/2019 Season and Subscription Information
The 2018/2019 season will open with the Tony Award-winning Rodgers & Hammerstein landmark musical South Pacific (April 5 – June 17, 2018). The season continues with Tennessee Williams’ sultry family drama Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (July 5 – August 26, 2018) followed by the darkly comedic musical Little Shop of Horrors (September 6 – October 28, 2018). For the holiday season, Drury Lane brings to life the treasured story of Belle with Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (November 9, 2018 – January 27, 2019) and then closes its 18/19 season with the global smash-hit Mamma Mia! featuring the music of ABBA (February 7 – April 14, 2019). The 2018/2019 season runs April 5, 2018, through April 14, 2019, at Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace.

Subscriptions for the 2018/2019 Season are priced from $157 to $187 and are currently on sale. Subscribers receive special offers on dining, flexible ticket exchanges, and early notification and priority seating for added events and concerts. For more information, visit

The performance schedule for all productions is as follows: Wednesdays at 1:30 p.m., Thursdays at 1:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Student group tickets start as low as $30 and Senior Citizens start at $40 for matinees. Dinner and show packages are also available. For individual ticket on-sale dates and ticket reservations, call the Drury Lane Theatre box office at 630.530.0111 or TicketMaster at 800.745.3000 or visit

About Drury Lane Theatre 
Under the leadership of President Kyle DeSantis and Artistic Director William Osetek, Drury Lane Theatre is a major force in the Chicagoland theatre scene, presenting world-class productions in collaboration with some of the nation’s leading actors, artists, writers, and directors. Over the past 30 years, Drury Lane has staged more than 2,000 productions and has been nominated for more than 360 Joseph Jefferson Awards. Drury Lane is committed to breathing new life into beloved classics and introducing audiences to exciting new works. 

Throughout its 30-year history, Drury Lane has employed more than 7,500 actors and 10,000 musicians, designers, and crew members to entertain upwards of nine million audience members. Originally founded by Anthony DeSantis, Drury Lane Theatre remains a family-run organization known for producing breathtaking Broadway classics, top-rated musicals, bold new works, hilarious comedies, and unforgettable concert events.

Friday, June 29, 2018



Catch them in Chi, IL August 15th at Avondale's Sleeping Village!


Red Baraat released their new LP, Sound The People via Rhyme & Reason June 29th. In a lengthy essay on the album, Stereogum calls it "a boisterous love letter to cultural harmony" and labeled the LP "reverentially revolutionary."  



Red Baraat have been touring the U.S in advance of the album's release and have just confirmed an October 4 show at New York City's LPR. The full list of dates is below. 

Sound the People was produced by Little Shalimar (Run The Jewels) and the band's Sunny Jain. On their newest offering, the Brooklyn-based band continues their exploration of South Asian culture, while firmly placing it within the context of a globalized generation as demonstrated by the diverse backgrounds of its members. An array of special guests and carefully curated covers help to round out the album. "Kala Mukhra" features Pakistani singer and writer Ali Sethi. The title track is the central force of the record. A stunning collision of traditional Indian music and insurrectionary hip-hop, "Sound the People" is centered around a politically-charged rap by Heems of Brooklyn hip-hop group Das Racist. Constructed from disparate ideas about the South Asian diaspora, migration and the current political climate, it is a powerful and incisive response to the way the United States has changed since the November 2016 election. Elsewhere on the album are contributions from American poet and activist Suheir Hammad and  American humorist John Hodgman. 

The album is the follow up to last year's Bhangra Pirates and marks a decade of work for Red Baraat. 

"...a politically soaked display of energy." - Stereogum
"...heart-pounding, insanely infectious Punjabi folk music." - NPR 

"the band explores what it means to communicate music between individuals and across cultures." - SPIN

"Of course, you don't need to know a word of Punjabi to understand the music's main message: get up and dance." - WNYC


JUN 29 Capitol Music Club - Saskatoon, SK
JUN 30 Centennial Square - Victoria, BC
JUL 01 David Lam Park Main Stage - Vancouver, BC
JUL 25 Wingfield Park - Reno, NV
JUL 27 Clyfford Still Museum - Denver, CO
JUL 28 The Temporary - Basalt, CO
AUG 04 Musikfest - Bethlehem, PA
AUG 09 Neighborhood Theatre - Charlotte, NC
AUG 10 The Pour House - Music Hall Raleigh, NC
AUG 11 LeBauer LIVE - Greensboro, NC
AUG 12 Richmond Jazz Festival at Maymont - Richmond, VA
AUG 13 The Grey Eagle - Asheville, NC
AUG 15 Sleeping Village - Chicago, IL
AUG 16 The Central Park Sessions | The Globetrotter Session - Madison, WI
AUG 17 The Cube at the Max - Detroit, MI
AUG 18 Newfields - Indianapolis, IN
AUG 19 City Winery - Nashville, TN
OCT 4 Le Poisson Rouge - New York, NY
OCT 26 Miller Outdoor Theatre - Houston, TX

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

OPENING: US Premiere of “DON’T SMOKE IN BED” Via Chimera Ensemble at Collaboraction Studios June 15 - July 8, 2018

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:

Chimera Ensemble’s
US Premiere of
Created by 
Aurin Squire
Directed by Chika Ike

 “Eye-opening and troubling, DON’T SMOKE IN BED will force audiences to re-evaluate their understanding of modern society.” – Michelle Keepence, THE UPCCOMING

Here at ChiIL Live Shows, we're eager to catch the US premiere. Chimera Ensemble is a favorite of ours, as is Chicago's own Chika Ike, directing. I'll be out for the press opening June 16th, so check back soon for my full review. 

Chimera Ensemble's US Premiere of DON’T SMOKE IN BED, written by award-winning playwright Aurin Squire, and directed by acclaimed director Chika Ike, will open to the press on Saturday, June 16. Kai A. Ealy, who earlier this year appeared in MARY STUART at Chicago Shakespeare and FRANKLINLAND for Jackalope Theatre company; and ensemble member Nicole Fabbri, seen in Chimera’s SISTER CITIES, will play an interracial couple being interviewed about their marriage by an unseen journalist via webcam. Director Ike comes to the project from her recent sellout hit DONTRELL, WHO KISSED THE SEA, by Nathan Alan Davis, produced by First Floor Theater. Ike’s other recent directing credits include Janine Nabers’s A SWELL IN THE GROUND (The Gift Theatre) and Lloyd Suh’s FRANKLINLAND (Jackalope Theatre Company).

Kai A. Ealy (left) and Nicole Fabbri

Ike’s production team includes Milo Bue (Scenic Designer), Stefanie Johnsen (Costume Designer), David Goodman-Edberg (Lighting Designer), Stephanie Slaven-Ruffing (Sound Designer), Warren Wernick (Properties Designer), Gaby Labotka (Intimacy Designer), Jake Engram (Technical Director), Jaime Gutfeldt (Production Manager), Devonte E. Washington (Stage Manager).

The production will go up June 15 - July 8 in The Pentagon Theater at Collaboraction Studios in The Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave, Chicago IL 60622. There will be one preview on Friday, June 15 at 7:30 pm. Opening night, followed by a reception, will be Saturday, June 16 at 7:30 pm. 

DON’T SMOKE IN BED tells the story of Jamaican-American Richard (Ealy), and Irish-American Sheryl (Fabbri). As the couple open up about their relationship, inner demons are revealed and their effort to start a family together is complicated. DON'T SMOKE IN BED presents a rich, insightful exploration of how society's expectations influence what goes on behind closed doors. The play, which had its World Premiere in London in 2016, contains “intelligent, self-aware dialogue” and has been called “honest and raw” with “each scene more passionate than the last” (Annabel Mellor, THEATRE AND PERFORMANCE GUIDE AND GURU and Michelle Keepence, THE UPCOMING).

Aurin Squire (Playwright) is a Brooklyn-based playwright and journalist whose work has been called “refreshingly clever” by THE NEW YORK TIMES. He is a 2015 graduate of The Julliard School’s Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program, and took part in the Royal Court Theatre’s US Writer Programme, as well as the Dramatists Guild Fellowship. His plays include A FAMILY MANUAL FOR KWANZAA (The Kennedy Center MFA Workshop) THE GREAT BLACK SAMBO MACHINE (Lincoln Centre Lab and Ars Nova), DEFACING MICHAEL JACKSON (Nuyorican Poets Café workshop and winner of Lincoln Center’s Act One Prize), TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN (Abingdon Theatre and ArcLight Theatre productions), and AFRICAN AMERICANA (Brooklyn Arts Exchange and Theatre 503).

Chika Ike (Director) is a Chicago-based director who comes to DON’T SMOKE IN BED fresh from a sold-out run of DONTRELL, WHO KISSED THE SEA, by Nathan Alan Davis, produced by First Floor Theater. Other recent directing credits include Janine Nabers’s A SWELL IN THE GROUND (The Gift Theatre) and Lloyd Suh’s FRANKLINLAND (Jackalope Theatre Company). She has also worked with Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Victory Gardens, The Gift Theatre Company, American Blues Theatre Company, Eclipse Theatre, and Prologue Theatre Company. Chika is an ensemble member at The Gift Theatre Company and has received the SDCF Gielgud Directing Fellowship and the Bret C. Harte Directing Fellowship at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Chika is also a member of the 2017-18 SDCF Observership class, and a member of the Victory Gardens Directors Inclusion Initiative. 

Pay-What-You-Can Preview: Friday, June 15 at 7:30pm
Industry Night: Monday, July 2 at 7:30pm.

Ticket Pricing: $23 general admission, $15 senior, $15 student/industry with valid ID (discounts subject to availability)

Tickets may be purchased HERE.

Click Here For Additional Information 

To create a quality innovative theatrical platform. To give back to Chicago organizations that advocate for the betterment of our community. To provide accessibility for all people. Above all, we seek out the good; we question our fears and judgments so that others may question theirs.

Access is an important part of our mission at Chimera Ensemble. Through discussions within the Ensemble and with Chimera’s amazing collaborators in the Chicago community, we attempt to create an environment in which performers, directors, designers, playwrights, and audience members feel welcome to work with us and experience our productions. Season Two marks a new chapter in our mission of access, as every performance will feature Open Captioning, rather than the norm of this programming only being offered for one performance during a production's run. By providing Open Captioning for every performance, Chimera hopes to create not only a more cohesive and inclusive theatrical process that better reflects the varied ways in which individuals experience the world, but also a model for other theater companies to follow. DON’T SMOKE IN BED will also feature one Audio Described performance proceeded by a Touch Tour, date TBD. 

Part of Chimera Ensemble’s mission as a theatrical platform is to give back to the community, so for each show we produce we partner with a local organization whose work matches the themes of the production. We collect money and raise awareness for our partner organization. Please stay tuned for an upcoming announcement on Chimera’s partner organization for DON’T SMOKE IN BED.


Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:

JUNE 23 – JULY 29


“We are brothers, we are men. We do not give advice or comment on other people’s feelings or situations. We only talk when we have the stick.” These are the rules of Support Group for Men, a new comedy by Ellen Fairey (Graceland, TV’s Nurse Jackie, Masters of Sex, The Sinner) about what it means to be a man in today’s America. Directed by Kimberly Senior, Support Group for Men explores shifting social and gender roles through the lens of four Chicago guys—Delano (Anthony Irons), Brian (Ryan Kitley), Roger (Keith Kupferer) and Kevin (Tommy Rivera-Vega)—who gather weekly to vent about middle-aged maladies in a Wrigleyville apartment. Also cast are Jeff Kurysz, Sadieh Rifai and Eric Slater, and the creative team includes Jack Magaw (sets), Noël Huntzinger (costumes), Jen Schriever (lighting) and Richard Woodbury (sound). 

Support Group for Men appears June 23 – July 29, 2018 (opening night is July 2 at 7pm) in the Goodman’s Albert Theatre. Tickets ($25 - $80; subject to change) are available at, by telephone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 N. Dearborn).

“Hilarious, warm-hearted and honest, Ellen Fairey’s Support Group for Men is the perfect summertime entertainment—a witty, timely exploration of who we are, who we thought we were, and who we can become,” said Goodman Theatre Artistic Director Robert Falls. “When this play appeared as part of our 2016 New Stages Festival, audiences were immediately captivated by its humor and intrigued by its insights. Ellen's obvious empathy and affection for her characters, rendered through their earnest but sometimes painful journey to enlightenment, is at once laugh-out-loud funny and incredibly perceptive. We are thrilled to welcome back director Kimberly Senior—a perfect match for this world premiere.”

Fairey returns to Chicago 10 years after Graceland—her break-out play that, in part, inspired Support Group for Men. Her work has been hailed as “a must-see for anyone who follows important new plays” (Chicago Tribune), and as a writer “with bracing wit and stylistic delicacy” (Variety).

“I began writing Support Group for Men almost eight years ago, and in the time since, the national conversation around gender has come to the forefront in a way I never could have imagined,” said playwright Ellen Fairey. “It’s incredibly exciting, meaningful and at times challenging. I’m no longer just writing about a bunch of middle-aged guys trying to figure their stuff out; I’m writing about a group of men who find themselves in a world where everything has changed, and will continue to change—and what it means when ‘to be a man’ finds itself on the sociological chopping block.”

The recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New Plays Award, Support Group for Men is generously sponsored by Winston & Strawn LLP, Corporate Sponsor Partner. In addition, the National Endowment for the Arts awarded the play a $50,000 “Art Works” grant—the NEA’s largest funding category for creations of art that meet the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts and/or the strengthening of communities through the arts.


“Cocktails & Comedy” for Young Professionals – June 27 at 5:30pm | Catch35 (35 W. Wacker) |$65

Nosh, network and support new play development. This Scenemakers Board fundraiser includes a pre-show reception with live jazz music at Catch35, and a performance of Support Group for Men at 7:30pm.

“Artist Encounter” with Ellen Fairey and Kimberly Senior – July 1 at 5pm | The Alice Center at Goodman Theatre

Tickets are free for members; $10 for general public. Join Support Group for Men playwright Ellen Fairey and director Kimberly Senior for a discussion on the world premiere production's sartorial take on gender, politics and Chicago's Wrigleyville neighborhood.


Tickets ($25-$80) –; 312.443.3800; Fax: 312.443.3825; TTY/TDD: 312.443.3829

Box Office Hours –12noon - 5pm; on performance days, the box office remains open until 30 minutes past curtain

MezzTix – Half-price day-of-performance mezzanine tickets available at 10am online (promo code MEZZTIX) 
$10Tix – Student $10 day-of tickets; limit four, with valid student ID (promo code 10TIX)

Teen Arts Pass (TAP) – $5 day-of-performance tickets for teens ages 13-19; subject to availability; limit two, with valid TAP identification. Sign up at (promo code TAP)

CityKey – CityKey Cardholders access half-price mezzanine tickets; limit four, with valid CityKey ID. Sign up at (promo code CITYKEY)

Group Sales are available for parties 10+; 312.443.3820
Gift Certificates – Available in any amount;


Touch Tour, July 21 at 12:30pm – A presentation detailing the set, costume and character elements

Audio Described Performance, July 21 at 2pm – The action/text is audibly enhanced for patrons via headset

ASL Interpreted Performance, July 25 at 7:30pm – Professional ASL interpreter signs the action/text as played 

Open Captioned Performance, July 28 at 2pm – LED sign presents dialogue in sync with the performance

Visit Goodman for more information about Goodman Theatre’s accessibility efforts.


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 celebrated its 40th anniversary 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, Cynthia K. Scholl is Women’s Board President and Justin A. Kulovsek is President of the Scenemakers Board for young professionals.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Biggest Winner at 2018 Non-Equity Jeff Awards Is Gender Parity

Recipients of the 45th Annual
Non–Equity Jeff Awards Announced

It was my great pleasure to cover the 45th Annual Non-Equity Jeff Awards on Monday night for ChiIL Live Shows. People watching was prime and so many excellent productions were recognized. 2018 was a banner year, with a move from plaques to trophies, the vivacious and hilarious Veronica Garza hosting, all female awards presentersand excellent entertainment on stage. 

Here at ChiIL Live Shows, an impassioned speech ushering in the advent of "Performer" Jeff Awards versus Actor & Actress, by Dani Shay, of The CiviliTy of Albert Cashier, topped our list to love. It may seem like a small thing, but labels limit, and for trans performers, the gender fluid, and those who don't fit neatly into prescribed categories, this is a watershed moment. Kudos to the Jeff Awards for this equitable, forward thinking choice on semantics. 

I was thrilled to be seated by Jay Paul Deratany, Joe Stevens, and Keaton Wooden who won Best New Musical “The CiviliTy of Albert Cashier”– Permoveo Productions i/a/w Pride Films and Plays. It was certainly one of my favorites this year. The writing, acting, score and content were all outstanding. It was a victory on many levels to see them win. I was also elated to see Strawdog honored and many favorites I reviewed over the past year 

Here are all the winners:

The Jeff Awards announced recipients of the 45th Annual Non–Equity Jeff Awards on Monday, June 11, at the Athenaeum Theatre. Top honors were awarded to Steep Theatre Company’s Lela & Co. and Griffin Theatre Company’s Ragtime. 

Steep Theatre Company’s Lela & Co. 

Griffin Theatre Company’s Ragtime

Other productions receiving multiple awards included Theo
Ubique Cabaret Theatre’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and
Interrobang Theatre Project’s Foxfinder. Strawdog Theatre Company received a
Special Award for “30 years of collaboration as an innovative and provocative


Between April 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018, there were 136 eligible Non–Equity
productions considered for Jeff Recommendation. Of those, 63 productions (or 46%) were recommended, including 15 world premieres. There were 45 productions that received at least one nomination, which represents the work of 32 theatre companies.

Credit for all photos goes to Joe Mazza & Brave Lux

“Ragtime” – Griffin Theatre Company

“Ragtime” – Griffin Theatre Company

“Lela & Co.” – Steep Theatre Company

Scott Weinstein – “Ragtime” – Griffin Theatre Company

Robin Witt – “Lela & Co.” – Steep Theatre Company

Jacquelyne Jones (Mrs. Lovett) – “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”– Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

Philip Torre (Sweeney Todd) – “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”– Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

Cruz Gonzalez–Cadel (Lela) – “ Lela & Co.” – Steep Theatre Company
Michael B. Woods (Cyrano) – “Cyrano” – BoHo Theatre

Katherine Thomas (Sarah) – “Ragtime” – Griffin Theatre Company
Missy Wise (Blanche) – “Bonnie & Clyde” – Kokandy Productions

Owais Ahmed (Bashir) – “The Invisible Hand” – Steep Theatre Company
Stella Martin (Sherry) – “Nice Girl” – Raven Theatre Company

Jay Paul Deratany, Joe Stevens, and Keaton Wooden – “The CiviliTy of Albert Cashier”– Permoveo Productions i/a/w Pride Films and Plays

Loy A. Webb – “The Light” – The New Colony

MUSIC DIRECTIONJeremy Ramey – “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”– Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

Jenna Schoppe – “Yank! A World War II Love Story” – Pride Films and Plays

Kyle Encinas – “The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity” – Red Theater Chicago

Jesse Case – “Foxfinder” – Interrobang Theatre Project

Justin Glombicki – “In the Soundless Awe” – Saltbox Theatre Collective

Beth Laske–Miller – “Shockheaded Peter” – Black Button Eyes Productions

James Kolditz – “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”
– Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

Eric Luchen – “Foxfinder” – Interrobang Theatre Project


The Jeff Awards has been honoring outstanding theatre artists annually since it was established in 1968. With up to 55 members representing a wide variety of backgrounds in theatre (including producers, directors, actors, playwrights, designers, professors of theatre, entertainment lawyers and agents, and theatre lovers), the Jeff Awards is committed to celebrating the vitality of Chicago area theatre by recognizing excellence through its recommendations, awards, and honors. Opening night judges include not only the members but also Artistic & Technical theatre volunteers (the “A/T Team”), including Artistic Directors, producers, directors and artists from Chicago theatres. The Jeff Awards fosters the artistic growth of area theatres and theatre artists and promotes educational opportunities, audience appreciation, and civic pride in the achievements of the theatre community. Each year, the Jeff Awards judges over 300 theatrical  productions and host two awards ceremonies. Originally chartered to recognize only Equity productions, the Jeff Awards established the Non–Equity Wing in 1973 to celebrate outstanding achievement in non–union theatre. 

The next Equity Awards will be held on Monday, October 22, 2018, at Drury Lane Oakbrook.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

REVIEW: Tiresias Was a Weatherman by the Organic Theater Company at the Greenhouse Theater Through July 8, 2018

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:
Tiresias Was a Weatherman 
by the Organic Theater Company 
at the Greenhouse Theater 2257 N. Lincoln Avenue 

By Catherine Hellmann, Guest Critic

According to the press release, “Jaime Mire’s new comedy
Tiresias Was a Weatherman deals with timely issues of today such as mental health, pharmaceuticals, predatory media, and extreme weather, in a world where a minimal scientific alteration to your brain could potentially save both you and the world.  Or at least that’s what they say…” 

John Arthur Lewis (Troy), Adam Zaininger (Sun), Laura Sturm (Joyce), Will Burdin (Wind), Colin Jackson (Thunder), and Joel Moses (Rain) in Organic Theater’s production of Tiresias Was A Weatherman, directed by Josh Anderson, associate director Anna Gelman, May 31 – July 6, 2018. 
All Production Photos by Anna Gelman.

The storyline reminded me of my favorite beach on the East side of Lake Michigan, Pier Cove. There is a pile of rocks along the beach that have inspirational quotes on them. The usual expressions of thanks, blessings, and encouragement are penned on the rocks...but one rock reads: “Take your meds,” which I think is awesome. Then all will be well, right? The emphasis on taking one’s meds is at the forefront of Mire’s play. 

Taylor Raye (Cindy) and John Arthur Lewis (Troy)

The taking of meds from “Crazy Pants Pharmaceuticals” (love that name!) can cause catastrophic meteorological effects, even deadly hurricanes. One of the main characters, a doctor named Troy, lost his only son, Paul, in the last huge storm. Troy, who seems to have no emotions, is later accused of using his dead son for publicity; he even refers to Paul’s autopsy as a “research cadaver.” Ouch. Troy needs a feelings chip...

Annie, Troy’s stepdaughter, is portrayed by Shaina Schrooten, who does a great job as the frustrated, emotionally distraught daughter of Laura Sturm’s Joyce. She misses her brother Paul terribly, and describes to her psychiatrist how losing a sibling is its own category of being orphaned. Like the character of Antigone, she just wishes for her deceased brother to be buried so he can rest in peace. “He deserves a burial,” she insists. Annie has some wonderful lines, like how she doesn’t consider pot to be a med on her health history paperwork---”it’s like toothpaste,” she explains.

John Arthur Lewis (Troy), Nyssa Lowenstein (Charlie), and Laura Sturm (Joyce)

Four actors personify the Sun, Wind, Rain, and Thunder. Some of their dialogue is expressed in rhymes like a Dr. Seuss book which makes their intentions less sinister. “We are the weather. We work well together!” But the plot is confusing. 

Was it just me being un-hip again? So I asked my date what I was missing. His response: “The Weather freaked out when meds weren't taken or taken on time, I think. I interpreted the weather as thought, like side effects ??? Does that make sense?  I say this because the weather was also encouraging Annie, a.k.a. Annabelle, to pop a pill. I wish I could be of more help but that's how I interpreted the weather.” This is one of those shows that you don’t want to take your parents to because if we were lost, mom and dad are really going to be clueless. 

Sara Copeland (Izzy) and Shaina Schrooten (Annabelle)

All of the actors are well-intentioned and do a commendable job. I was especially impressed with three actresses who are also in The Revolutionists,
which I reviewed last week. The two plays are showing in repertory at Greenhouse until July 8. Sara Copland, Laura Sturm, and Taylor Raye appear in both productions, which is admirable. As my amusing companion noted: ”How do they do that? I would be fucking up and saying my lines from the wrong play.” Taylor Raye is funny, offering some of the only humor in the show as a talk-show host who is a bit too admiring of her guest, the doctor.

John Arthur Lewis plays the doctor who has developed an experimental chip that can be implanted in a person’s brain to suppress and control emotions. Referred to as a “remote controlled brain inhibitor,” the talk show host is thrilled with the possibilities, but the doctor wants its uses to be kept in check. Troy must be his own test subject---he is so deadpan about everything.

loved the costumes, which are all black and grey for the human characters, but bright colors for the Weathermen. The Weathermen are a talented group who also sing, sometimes in harmony. They had a clever list of medications: “fuck it all, Adderall,” and “closure is overrated, just get medicated.” 

Shaina Schrooten (Annabelle) and Adam Zaininger (Sun)

The play ends with Annie’s birthday. As she observes, birthdays “make us look at ourselves---or we are just furniture.”

This show runs in repertory with The Revolutionists (check out my review here) through July 8. 

Saturday, June 9, 2018

OPENING: Chicago Premiere of The Roommate at Steppenwolf Theatre Company June 21 – August 5, 2018

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:

Tony Award Winner Phylicia Rashad
Directs Chicago Premiere of 
The Roommate
Written by Jen Silverman

June 21 – August 5, 2018

Featuring Ensemble Members Ora Jones and Sandra Marquez
In a Warm, Funny Story About a Chance Cohabitation That Sets Two Lives Spinning

Steppenwolf Theatre Company presents the Chicago premiere production of The Roommate by Jen Silverman, directed by Tony Award Winner Phylicia Rashad. A unique story that expresses how early-life choices can lead to mid-life challenges and the humorous, touching and unexpected rewards of bridging the divide, the Steppenwolf production will feature ensemble members Ora Jones as Robyn and Sandra Marquez as Sharon.

The Roommate begins previews June 21, 2018 and the production runs through August 5, 2018 in the Downstairs Theatre, 1650 N Halsted St. Press performances are Sunday, July 1 at 6pm and Tuesday, July 3 at 7:30pm; opening night is Sunday, July 1. Single tickets ($20-$93) are currently on-sale through Audience Services at 312-335-1650 or

Sharon is Midwestern nice. But to Robyn, her new roommate from the Bronx, that just means very nosy and very, very talkative. A comical mismatch leads to a surprising and touching friendship in this new comedy about how early-life choices lead to mid-life challenges and the unexpected rewards of bridging the divide. The Roommate is a warm, funny story about a chance cohabitation that sets two lives spinning. Think The Odd Couple meets Breaking Bad. 

Jen Silverman’s The Roommate premiered at the Actor’s Theatre of Louisville in 2015 and has received subsequent productions at South Coast Rep, Williamstown and SF Playhouse. Additional work includes The Moors, Phoebe in Winter, The Dangerous House of Pretty Mbane (Barrymore Award) and Collective Rage: A Play in 5 Boops (Woolly Mammoth). She is a member of New Dramatists, and has developed work with the O’Neill, New York Theatre Workshop, Portland Center Stage, Berkeley Rep and the Royal Court in London. A recipient of the Helen Merrill and Yale Drama Series Awards, she’s also a two-time MacDowell Fellow and 16/17 Playwrights of New York (PoNY) Fellow at the Lark.

Phylicia Rashad (director), one of the entertainment world’s most extraordinary performing artists, has been bringing laughter to millions of television viewers around the world, moving theatre-goers to tears, thrilling movie fans, offering new insights to students by teaching at renowned learning institutions such as Howard University and Julliard, and breaking new ground as a director.

Phylicia Rashad’s directing credits include August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean at the Seattle Repertory Theatre, August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom and Joe Turner’s Come and Gone at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles (2014 NAACP Theatre Award for Best Director) and Fences at the Long Wharf Theatre and the McCarter Theatre. This spring Ms. Rashad makes her NYC stage directing debut with the comedy Our Lady of 121st Street, running off-Broadway from May 1 to June 10.

Ms. Rashad received both the Drama Desk and the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her riveting performance in the Broadway revival of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin In The Sun. She received the 2016 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Leading Actress in a Play for her performance in Steppenwolf ensemble member Tarell Alvin McCraney's Head of Passes at the Public Theater, which played at the Mark Taper Forum this fall. She has performed on Broadway in Steppenwolf’s production of ensemble member Tracy Letts’s August: Osage County; Tennessee Williams’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (a role that she reprised on the London Stage), August Wilson’s Gem Of The Ocean, (Tony Award nomination) and Cymbeline at Lincoln Center.

Well-known to television audiences for her groundbreaking role of attorney Clair Huxtable on The Cosby Show, her recent film credits include Tyler Perry’s For Colored Girls and the 2015 Rocky spin-off and sequel Creed, and she currently has a featured guest-starring role in Empire.

Ora Jones (Robyn) is a Steppenwolf ensemble member and was recently seen in Studio Theatre’s production of Curve of Departure and on Broadway last season as Madame de Volanges in Les Liaisons Dangerueses at the Booth Theatre in New York. She also appeared as Mrs. Phelps in Matilda the Musical, both at the Shubert Theatre in New York, and in the first National tour. At Steppenwolf she is in the upcoming production of The Doppelgänger (an international farce) and appeared in The Wheel, Three Sisters, Middletown, The Brother/Sister Plays, The Unmentionables, The Violet Hour, The Crucible, Carter's Way and Morning Star. Some favorite Chicago roles include Katherine of Aragon in Henry VIII, Queen Charlotte in The Madness of George III, Maria in Twelfth Night, Lucienne in A Flea in Her Ear and Mistress Ford in The Merry Wives of Windsor for Chicago Shakespeare Theater; Mrs. Rittenhouse in Animal Crackers, Claire in Proof, Mrs. Fezziwig and Mrs. Cratchit in A Christmas Carol, Madeleine Beck in Boy Gets Girl and Elizabeth I in The Beard of Avon for Goodman Theatre; Jaclyn in Rasheeda Speaks for Rivendell Theatre; Rita Jeffries in My Kind of Town for Timeline Theatre; the Stage Manager in Our Town for Writers Theatre; Gwen in Execution of Justice for About Face Theatre; Bird/Turtle in A Year With Frog and Toad for Chicago Children's Theatre. Regional and other New York credits include performances at Long Wharf Theatre, Yale Repertory, Manhattan Theatre Club, Public Theatre, Weston Playhouse, Milwaukee Repertory and Next Act. Film and television appearances include Chicago Fire, Betrayal, Consumed, Were the World Mine and Stranger than Fiction.

Sandra Marquez (Sharon) joined the Steppenwolf ensemble in spring 2016 and is in the upcoming Steppenwolf production of The Doppelgänger (an international farce). She recently appeared in the Steppenwolf productions of Mary Page Marlowe and The Motherf**ker with the Hat. Other credits at Steppenwolf include A Streetcar Named Desire, Sonia Flew, and One Arm. At Teatro Vista, where she is a longtime company member, she directed Fade, My Mañana Comes, Breakfast Lunch & Dinner and Our Lady of the Underpass and has acted in numerous productions, including A View from the Bridge for which she received a Jeff Award. Last fall she completed a three-year arc playing Clytemnestra in what was billed as Court Theater's Iphigenia Cycle (Iphigenia at Aulis, Electra and Agamemnon). Film and television credits include Boss, Empire, Chicago Med, Chicago Justice and Timer. Marquez is on the theater faculty at Northwestern University. 

The Roommate production team includes John Iacovelli (scenic design), Samantha C. Jones (costume design), Xavier Pierce (lighting design) and Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen (sound design). Additional credits include Laura Glenn (stage manager), Christine D. Freeburg (assistant stage manager), JC Clementz (casting director) and Hallie Gordon (artistic producer).

Dates: June 21 – August 5, 2018
Previews: June 21 – June 30, 2018
Press Performances: Sunday, July 1 at 6pm and Tuesday, July 3 at 7:30pm
           Opening: July 1, 2018
Regular Run: July 3 – August 5, 2018
Accessible Performances:
American Sign Language Interpretation: Sunday, July 22 at 7:30pm
Open Captioning: Saturday, August 4 at 3pm
Audio Description and Touch Tour: Sunday, July 29 at 1:30pm
Curtain Times: Tuesday – Friday at 7:30pm, Saturdays and Sundays at 3pm and 7:30pm

Ticket prices:
Previews: $20 – $54, Regular Run: $20 – $93. Prices subject to change
20 for $20: Twenty $20 tickets are available for all main series shows on the day of the performance at 11am (Mon – Sat) and 1pm (Sun), by phone only at 312-335-1650. Limit 2 per person.

Rush Tickets: Half-price rush tickets are available one hour before each main series show.

Student Discounts: Limited $15 student tickets are available online. (Limit 2 tickets. Must present a valid student ID for each ticket). For additional student discounts, visit

Group Tickets: All groups of 10 or more receive a discounted rate for any performance.

Black Card Memberships are for audiences interested in extreme flexibility. Cards include six tickets for use any time, for any production including the LookOut Series. The tickets are valid for one year with the option to add additional tickets as needed. Perks include easy and free exchanges, access to seats before the general public, savings on single ticket prices and bar and restaurant discounts for pre- and post-show socializing.

Red Card Memberships are available for theatergoers under 30.

More info at

Audience Services:
For tickets or more information, contact Audience Services (1650 N Halsted St) at
312-335-1650 or

Visitor Information
Steppenwolf is located at 1650 N Halsted St near all forms of public transportation, bike racks and Divvy bike stands. The parking facility ($12 or $14, cash or card) is located just south of our theater at 1624 N Halsted. Valet parking service ($14 cash) is available directly in front of the main entrance starting at 5pm on weeknights, 1pm on weekends and at 12noon before Wednesday matinees. Limited street and lot parking are also available. For last minute questions and concerns, patrons can call the Steppenwolf Parking Hotline at 312.335.1774.


Committed to making the Steppenwolf experience accessible to everyone, performances featuring American Sign Language Interpretation, Open Captioning and Audio Description are offered during the run of each play. Assistive listening devices and large-print programs are available for every performance and the Downstairs and 1700 Theatres are each equipped with an induction hearing loop. All theaters feature wheelchair accessible seating and restrooms, and Front Bar features a push-button entrance, all-gender restrooms and accessible counter and table spaces.

Sponsor Information
United Airlines is the Official and Exclusive Airline of Steppenwolf.

Front Bar: Coffee and Drinks
Connected to the main lobby is Steppenwolf’s own Front Bar: Coffee and Drinks, offering a warm, creative space to grab a drink, have a bite, or meet up with friends and collaborators, day or night. Open Tuesdays – Sundays from 8am to midnight, Front Bar serves artisanal coffee and espresso is provided by La Colombe and food prepared by Goddess and Grocer. The menu focuses on fresh, accessible fare, featuring grab-and-go salads and sandwiches for lunch and adding shareable small plates and desserts for evening and post show service.

Steppenwolf Theatre Company 
is the nation’s premier ensemble theater. Formed by a collective of actors in 1976, the ensemble represents a remarkable cross-section of actors, directors and playwrights. Thrilling and powerful productions from Balm in Gilead to August: Osage County—and accolades that include the National Medal of Arts and 12 Tony Awards—have made the theater legendary. Steppenwolf produces hundreds of performances and events annually in its three spaces: the 515-seat Downstairs Theatre, the 299-seat Upstairs Theatre and the 80-seat 1700 Theatre. Artistic programing includes a seven-play season; a two-play Steppenwolf for Young Adults season; Visiting Company engagements; and LookOut, a multi-genre performances series. Education initiatives include the nationally recognized work of Steppenwolf for Young Adults, which engages 15,000 participants annually from Chicago’s diverse communities; the esteemed School at Steppenwolf; and Professional Leadership Programs for arts administration training. While firmly grounded in the Chicago community, nearly 40 original Steppenwolf productions have enjoyed success both nationally and internationally, including Broadway, Off-Broadway, London, Sydney, Galway and Dublin. Anna D. Shapiro is the Artistic Director and David Schmitz is the Executive Director. Eric Lefkofsky is Chair of Steppenwolf’s Board of Trustees. For additional information, visit,, and 

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