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Saturday, November 27, 2021

Apollo Theater Chicago To Feature World Premieres of Bachelor: The Unauthorized Musical Parody, Parks & Rec! The Unauthorized Musical Parody and More

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar 

Right Angle Entertainment Announces the World Premieres of 

Bachelor: The Unauthorized Musical Parody,

Parks & Rec! The Unauthorized Musical Parody

and More Coming to Apollo Theater Chicago

 





Also back by popular demand are Friends! The Musical Parody

and the long-running hit One-Man Star Wars Trilogy

 

Right Angle Entertainment announces a full winter and spring lineup of shows to follow Love Actually? The Unauthorized Musical Parody at Apollo Theater Chicago. The laughter continues in the new year with the limited engagement of One-Man Star Wars Trilogy (January 5-8, 2022), followed by the world premiere of Bachelor: The Unauthorized Musical Parody (January 13 – February 5, 2022). Returning to Chicago is the smash-hit Friends! The Musical Parody tour (March 8 – April 3, 2022) and rounding out the spring is the world premiere of Parks & Rec! The Unauthorized Musical Parody (April 7 – May 15, 2022).

Tickets for the new slate of shows are on sale now and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com, by calling (773) 935-6100, or by visiting the box office at the Apollo Theater. Details and dates for ASL interpreted performances are forthcoming.

Alison Spiriti, co-founder of Right Angle Entertainment comments, “Right Angle Entertainment is thrilled to call Chicago's Apollo Theater home this winter and spring! Considering Chicago's reputation as one of the world's great comedy hubs, we cannot wait for savvy Chicagoland audiences to experience the Chicago premiere of Love Actually? The Unauthorized Parody Musical. Also, Friends! The Musical Parody, will return to Chicago after a sold out 2019 run at the Broadway Playhouse and then we will extend our commitment to Chicago audiences by producing the world premieres of our latest parodies,  Parks & Rec! The Unauthorized Parody Musical and Bachelor: The Unauthorized Musical Parody right here at The Apollo this March.”

 

About the Shows

One-Man Star Wars Trilogy

Created and Performed by Charles Ross

January 5-8, 2022

Canadian actor and uber geek, Charles Ross, brings his solo madcap creation One-Man Star Wars Trilogy to the stage in this mind-bending whirlwind of a show.  Ross retells the classic bad hair trilogy in 60 minutes- no costumes, no props, no sets- all the characters, the music, the ships, and the battles.

If your kid’s name is Chewbacca, this show is a no-brainer. If not, get your nerd on and experience the global sensation loved by audiences from London’s West End, Off-Broadway, Dubai, the Sydney Opera House, Lucasfilm, and Charlie’s mom. The Force is strong with this one.

One-Man Star Wars Trilogy performed with permission of Lucasfilm Ltd. All ‘Star Wars’ elements property of Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved.

One-Man Star Wars Trilogy is recommended for all ages.

www.onemanstarwars.com/


 

WORLD PREMIERE!

Bachelor: The Unauthorized Musical Parody

Book and Lyrics by Richelle Meiss

Music by Sam Johnides and Tony Gonzalez aka The Sam & Tony Show

January 13 – February 5, 2022 

Bachelor: The Unauthorized Musical Parody is the most dramatic unauthorized musical parody of The Bachelor yet! With songs like "Sob Story," "Two-On-One Tango," and "The Date Card is a Riddle," this uproarious parody is packed with romance, competition, and contestants who may or may not be here for The Right Reasons.  Whether you love The Bachelor, only watch The Bachelor with your girlfriend, or have never seen The Bachelor, get ready to fall in love with this musical. Who will get the final rose? Who will go home heartbroken? And how many Bachelor jokes can they cram into a 90-minute musical?  You’ll just have to come pick up your rose and find out!

Bachelor: The Unauthorized Musical Parody is recommended for ages 13+.

www.bachelorthemusical.com/


BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND!

Friends! The Musical Parody

Book & Lyrics by Bob & Tobly McSmith

Music by Assaf Gleizner

March 8 – April 3, 2022

Friends! The Musical Parody is the comedic musical that lovingly pokes fun at TV’s Friends, celebrating the adventures of your favorite group of 20-something friends as they navigate the pitfalls of work, life and love in 1990s Manhattan.  It’s a typical day at New York’s only coffee shop, Central Perk, until an unexpected runaway bride enters the picture and kicks the whole gang out of second gear! The musical recreates our favorite moments from all 10 years of Friends through an uncensored, fast-paced, music-filled romp.

FRIENDS! THE MUSICAL PARODY is recommended for ages 13+.

www.friendsparodyontour.com


 

WORLD PREMIERE!

Parks & Rec! The Unauthorized Musical Parody

Written by Bob & Tobly McSmith

Music by Ethan Andersen

April 7 – May 15, 2022

Pawnee, Indiana may be ranked #19,000 in America, but it's #1 in Leslie's heart. As deputy director of the Parks and Rec department, the future of the town and its wacky citizens are in Leslie's hands. Will Pawnee run out of money? Can Sweetums save the town with corn syrup? Will anyone fill the pit!? It's up to Leslie and her team of quirky bureaucrats to save Pawnee!

Parks & Rec! The Unauthorized Musical Parody is recommended for ages 13+.

www.parksandrecparody.com


 


Currently on Stage

Love Actually? The Unauthorized Musical Parody

Written by Bob and Tobly McSmith

Music and Orchestration by Basil Winterbottom

November 17, 2021 – January 2, 2022

 

Love Actually? The Unauthorized Musical Parody is a hilarious musical that follows nine quirky, questionable couples looking for love across the pond, and even 16 years after the movie premiere, we still ask ourselves these questions every Christmas – Is love… Falling for your secretary when you are Prime Minster? Falling for your secretary when you are married to Emma Thompson? Falling for the maid after your wife cheats on you? Falling for your best friend’s wife and showing up with poster boards? Whether you love Love Actually or love to hate Love Actually or have never seen Love Actually, you will actually love this musical! Get ready for awkward meet cutes, over-the-top grand gestures, and lots and lots of love, actually.

Critics hailed the initial 2019 New York production as “unadulterated joy at its finest” (Theatre Life) and “a show to get you in the holiday spirit—fabulous theater that you are going to want to put on your list!” (NBC, New York Live!).

The cast of Love Actually? The Unauthorized Musical Parody includes Ann Delaney (Emma Thompson and Others), Jake Elkins (Colin Firth and Others), Ryan Foreman (Peter and Others), Dan Plehal (Hugh Grant and Others), Amanda Walker (Keira Knightley and Others), and Christopher Wayland (Liam Neeson and Others). Understudies for the company are Daryn Alexus, Jesi Mullins and Dylan Obrochta.

RIGHT ANGLE ENTERTAINMENT (Producer) specializes in the production, marketing, management and distribution of live theatrical, digital and concert events. RAE’s proud roster includes: America's Got Talent Live!, The Price is Right LIVE!, The Masked Singer National Tour, The Simon and Garfunkel Story, The Office! An Unauthorized Musical Parody (Off Broadway and National Tour), FRIENDS! A Musical Parody (Off-Broadway and National Tour), Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (National Tour and Grand Old Opry), Together Live with Abby Wambach and Glennon Doyle, Sasha Velour’s Smoke & Mirrors Tour, among many others.

 

Friday, November 26, 2021

Kayla Drescher: Magic in Heels, Holiday Week, New Year’s Eve Performances of The Signature Show And More From Chicago Magic Lounge

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar

Chicago Magic Lounge announces next show in Artist-in-Residence series

Kayla Drescher: Magic in Heels

Wednesdays at 7:00pm

January 5 – March 30, 2022

Kayla D by Dana Lynn Photo

Additional Holiday Week and New Year’s Eve performances of

The Signature Show scheduled

December 26-31, 2021

Here at ChiIL Live Shows, Chicago Magic Lounge has long been a favorite of ours. Tickets make a great clutter busting idea for holiday gifting. Add a bit of professional magic to this magical season, creating lasting memories with friends and family. 

Nick Diffatte

We were most recently out at Chicago Magic Lounge to catch Nick Diffatte: Offbeat, now through December 22, 2021 and highly recommend it. His comedic timing is impeccable, and his magic is a unique blend of comedy and mind melting illusions. Offbeat is an entertaining night out, heavy on audience participation, and far from the same old same old magicians have been doing for decades. Treat yourself!


Chicago Magic Lounge, Chicago’s home for close-up magic, continues its Artist-In-Residence series with Kayla Drescher: Magic in Heels, Wednesdays at 7:00pm, January 5 – March 30, 2022. Kayla Drescher: Magic in Heels is a wild ride of magic, laughter, and interactive fun, all done in heels because “magic in pajamas” was already taken. Tickets for all Chicago Magic Lounge shows are available at the box office, (312) 366-4500 or online at chicagomagiclounge.com.

Kayla D by Dana Lynn Photo

Kayla Drescher, based in Los Angeles, brings her interactive show to the Chicago Magic Lounge. She’s performed for clients like Microsoft, IBM, Wells Fargo, and many more. Kayla has been seen on Penn & Teller’s “Fool Us,” Access Hollywood, and NBC’s “Today Show,” where she was given the title “The Next Great Magician” by David Copperfield. Most recently, she could be seen touring the world with the Champions of Magic. Kayla hosts a popular magic podcast, Shezam, focused on diversity and inclusion within the magic and allied arts communities.

Kayla Drescher: Magic in Heels will be presented on Wednesdays at 7:00pm, January 5 – March 30, 2022. Tickets are priced $45 (Main Floor) and $50 (Front Row). Tickets go on sale November 15, 2021.


Special Holiday and New Year’s Eve Performances at Chicago Magic Lounge

Chicago Magic Lounge will add performances of its most popular show, The Signature Show, this holiday season. Tickets for holiday week performances are currently on sale.

Luis Carreon (Headliner)

The Signature Show: Holiday Schedule

December 26-30 at 7pm and December 30 at 10pm

Tickets: $50-$55 (Standard); $65-$75 (Premium, includes 654 Club admission)

Additional Performance on December 31 at 7pm

Tickets: Front Row $95, Main Floor Cabaret and Main Floor Banquette $85, Standard Main Floor $70, Standard Mezzanine $65

Justin Purcell (654 Club)


The Signature Show: New Year’s Eve Celebration

December 31st at 10 pm

Tickets: Front Row $110, Main Floor Cabaret and Main Floor Banquette $95, Standard Main Floor $80, Standard Mezzanine $75

Ryan Plunkett (Featured Act)

Make your New Year’s Eve extraordinary with a night of magic! The evening starts with close-up magic performed right at your cabaret table by our talented house magicians. In between visits, you will have time to socialize with your party and order from our full-service bar and kitchen. Table magic is followed by a 60-minute stage show featuring CML favorites, Luis Carreon (Headliner), Ryan Plunkett (Featured Act) and Justin Purcell (654 Club). All tickets include a commemorative champagne flute and a champagne toast as we welcome the arrival of 2022.

The Signature Show was conceived in 2015 as an homage to the historic, Chicago magic bar scene. Experience close-up magic right at your table during the cocktail hour, followed by an hour of stage magic featuring masters of their craft performing feats of prestidigitation and sleight of hand. Guests who purchase Premium tickets (Front Row, Main Floor Cabaret, Main Floor Banquette) are invited to an exclusive performance of close-up magic directly after the main stage show in our 43-seat close-up gallery, The 654 Club.

 

Also Happening at Chicago Magic Lounge

Music & Magic

Mondays at 7:00pm

Tickets: General Admission $25

 

The Showcase

Tuesdays at 7:00pm

Tickets: Standard: $35; Front Row: $40

 

Artist-in-Residence Series

Wednesdays at 7:00pm

 

Nick Diffatte: Offbeat, now through December 22, 2021 (except November 24, 2021)

Tickets: Standard: $40; Front Row: $45

Nick Diffatte: Offbeat is an evening of dry humor, quick wit, and incredible skill, combining a lifetime of experience in magic and the variety arts into an interactive comedy experience.

Nick Diffatte has taken the scene by storm and is quickly becoming one of the most talked about and in demand comedy variety acts working today. His unique approach has been called a “breath of fresh air” and has led to appearances at the world-famous Magic Castle in Hollywood, The Late Late Show on CBS, has won multiple awards, and landed him in comedy clubs across the country. Nick takes the format of a standard “Magic Show” and turns it completely on its head and has audiences laughing uncontrollably from beginning to end.

 

Kayla Drescher: Magic in Heels, January 5 – March 30, 2022

Tickets: Standard: $45; Front Row: $50

Ever wonder what the life of a magician is like? Join Kayla Drescher on this wild ride of magic, laughter, and interactive fun. And it’s all done in heels…because “magic in pajamas” was already taken.

Kayla Drescher, based in Los Angeles, brings her interactive show to the Chicago Magic Lounge.  She’s performed for clients like Microsoft, IBM, Wells Fargo, and many more. You may have seen her on Penn & Teller’s “Fool Us,” Access Hollywood, or NBC’s “Today Show,” where she was given the title “The Next Great Magician” by David Copperfield. Most recently, Kayla could be seen touring the world with the Champions of Magic. Kayla hosts a popular magic podcast, Shezam, focused on diversity and inclusion within the magic and allied arts communities.

 

The Signature Show

Thursdays-Sundays at 7:00pm, Fridays and Sundays at 10pm

Tickets: Front Row $80, Premium Main Floor (main floor banquette and main floor cabaret), Standard (rail and elevated banquette) $60, Mezzanine $50 

The Signature Show was conceived in 2015 as an homage to the historic, Chicago magic bar scene. Experience close-up magic right at your table during the cocktail hour, followed by an hour of stage magic featuring masters of their craft performing feats of prestidigitation and sleight of hand. Guests who purchase Premium tickets (Front Row, Main Floor Cabaret, Main Floor Banquette) are invited to an exclusive performance of close-up magic directly after the main stage show in our 43-seat close-up gallery, The 654 Club.

Tickets for all Chicago Magic Lounge performances are available at the box office, (312) 366-4500 or online at chicagomagiclounge.com. Chicago Magic Lounge is a 21+ venue. Ages 16+ allowed to ticketed shows with a legal guardian. For the health and safety of our staff, guests and community, you must be fully vaccinated to enter the premises. Ticket holders may be required to present proof of vaccination status. 

For a complete schedule of performances and more information about Chicago Magic Lounge, as well as resident and guest performers, Chicago Magic College classes, the Chicago Magic Round Table, and more, please visit chicagomagiclounge.com.

 

About Chicago Magic Lounge

Chicago Magic Lounge reinvents the classic "magic bar" that once dotted Chicago's nightlife landscape, bringing cocktails and card tricks back together again. Shows include magic performance at the bar, on the stage and in true Chicago-style Magic form, at the tables of the guests, providing the classic "Close-Up" tradition Chicago-style Magic is known for. Chicago Magic Lounge is also the home of the Chicagoland magic community, showcasing over 30 local professionals, and serving as a networking hub for working magicians from all over the world. 

The newly constructed theater at 5050 N. Clark St., designed by Morris Architects Planners, has ushered in a new wave of entertainment, bringing back “Chicago-style Magic” under the leadership of Donald C Clark, Jr. and Joseph (Joey) Cranford. Converted from a 1930s-era, commercial laundry building, the Chicago Magic Lounge is a 7,200 square-foot, Art Deco, state-of-the-art theater and lounge complete with secret doors, elegant performance areas and a magic bar – all dedicated to the art of sleight of hand, prestidigitation and Chicago's contribution to the magical arts. From magicians to mind readers, Chicago Magic Lounge provides guests the unique, one-of-a-kind experience of seeing wonders up-close and personal in a venue unlike anything else offered throughout the country.


HERSHEY FELDER PRESENTS – “DANTE AND BEATRICE IN FLORENCE,” Streaming Through Sunday, Dec. 5

Help Out:

ChiIL Streaming Shows on our radar

PORCHLIGHT MUSIC THEATRE PRESENTS THE LATEST 



HERSHEY FELDER PRESENTS – LIVE FROM FLORENCE PRODUCTION, “DANTE AND BEATRICE IN FLORENCE,” PREMIERING SUNDAY, NOV. 28 AT 7 P.M. CST

 This production benefits national US theatres and arts organizations including Porchlight Music Theatre

The New Musical Film from Hershey Felder shares the Story of What Happens when Time, Art and Love Collide and is Available for Streaming Through Sunday, Dec. 5

Porchlight Music Theatre is proud to partner with Hershey Felder Presents - Live from Florence and its second season of productions. The launch of this new season from Hershey Felder is the new musical film, “Dante and Beatrice in Florence,” premiering Sunday, Nov. 28 at 7 p.m. CST and available through Sunday, Dec. 5.  Tickets are $55 per household and are available for purchase at PorchlightMusicTheatre.org. Tickets are now on sale at PorchlightMusicTheatre.org and include the premiere and a week of extended “on-demand” viewing access to the world premiere film. Viewing and access for all ends Sunday, Dec. 5 at 11:59 p.m. CST. 

“Dante and Beatrice in Florence” is a love story with an original musical score by Hershey Felder inspired by one of the most famous love stories in history and set in Florence, Italy. Florence is a city of spirits and ghosts and a magical city of love.

Florence is also the city where the piano was invented, and when a modern pianist in the city encounters the ghost of the 700 year old poet of love, Dante - mystical things happen. This is the musical story of what can happen when time, art and love collide! 

The cast of “Dante and Beatrice in Florence” includes Hershey Felder, Hila Plitmann, Debi Mazar, Theo DiFlorio, Olivia Merchant, Gabriele Giaffreda, ISF Cantabile Chorus, Members of Maggio Opera Academy, Mascarade Opera Academy, I Musicisti Fiorentini, Ensemble Symphony Orchestra of Tuscany and more! 

Ticket holders will receive their live stream link Friday, Nov. 26 via the email used to register for the event. The performance may be streamed from a smart TV, computer, smartphone or tablet.

ABOUT HERSHEY FELDER (Writer and Performer)

Named to “Time Magazine’s” 2016 Top 10 Plays and Musicals, Felder has played over 6,000 performances of his self-created solo productions at some of the world’s most prestigious theatres and has broken box office records consistently. “American Theatre Magazine” has said, “Hershey Felder is in a category all his own.” His shows include: George Gershwin Alone (Broadway’s Helen Hayes Theatre, West End’s Duchess Theatre); Monsieur Chopin; Beethoven; Maestro (Leonard Bernstein); Franz Liszt in Musik, Lincoln: An American Story, Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin, Our Great Tchaikovsky, and A Paris Love Story. His compositions and recordings include Aliyah, Concerto for Piano and Orchestra; Fairytale, a musical; Les Anges de Paris, Suite for Violin and Piano; Song Settings; Saltimbanques for Piano and Orchestra; Etudes Thematiques for Piano; and An American Story for Actor and Orchestra. Hershey is the adaptor, director and designer for the internationally performed play-with-music The Pianist of Willesden Lane with Steinway artist Mona Golabek; producer and designer for the musical Louis and Keely: ‘Live’ at the Sahara, directed by Taylor Hackford; and writer and director for Flying Solo, featuring opera legend Nathan Gunn. Hershey has operated a full-service production company since 2001, and in 2020 created a new brand LIVE FROM FLORENCE, that operates a “theatre at home broadcast company,” based in Florence, Italy. Early broadcasts included; Hershey Felder as IRVING BERLIN; Hershey Felder, BEETHOVEN; Hershey Felder as GEORGE GERSHWIN ALONE; Hershey Felder, BACKSTORY – The Story Behind the Creation of Berlin, Gershwin & Bernstein; Cooking French in Florence with Jeffrey Thickman & Hershey Felder; and Cooking Russian with Hershey Felder and Jeffrey Thickman. The Hershey Felder Presents - Live from Florence 2020-21 Season of broadcasts included: Hershey Felder as Claude Debussy in A PARIS LOVE STORY; Hershey Felder, TCHAIKOVSKY; Hershey Felder as Sholem Aleichem in BEFORE FIDDLER; Hershey Felder, PUCCINI; and Hershey Felder as Sergei Rachmaninoff in NICHOLAS, ANNA & SERGEI. Hershey has been a scholar-in-residence at Harvard University’s Department of Music and is married to Kim Campbell, the first female Prime Minister of Canada.


ABOUT PORCHLIGHT MUSIC THEATRE

Porchlight Music Theatre is the award-winning center for music theatre in Chicago. Through live performance, youth education and community outreach we impact thousands of lives each season, bringing the magic of musicals to our theatre home at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts in the Gold Coast and to neighborhoods across the city. Porchlight has built a national reputation for boldly reimagining classic musicals, supporting new works and young performers, and showcasing Chicago’s most notable music theatre artists, all through the intimate and powerful theatrical lens of the “Chicago Style.” 

Now in its 27th season, Porchlight's quarter-century production history includes more than 70 mainstage works with 15 Chicago premieres and five world premieres. Porchlight’s commitment to the past, present and future of music theatre led the company to develop the Porchlight Revisits and New Faces Sing Broadway program series, both quickly becoming audience favorites. 

Porchlight's education and outreach programs serve schools, youth of all ages and skill levels and community organizations, most notably the ongoing collaboration with Chicago Youth Centers. Porchlight annually awards dozens of full scholarships and hundreds of free tickets to ensure accessibility and real engagement with this uniquely American art form. 

The company’s many honors include 178 Joseph Jefferson Award (Jeff) nominations and 45 Jeff awards, as well as 33 Black Theatre Alliance (BTA) nominations and 12 BTA awards. In 2019, Porchlight graduated to the Large Theatre tier of the Equity Jeff Awards, and was honored with eight nominations in both technical and artistic categories and won three awards in its inaugural year in this tier, most notably Best Ensemble for Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies. 

Through the global pandemic, Porchlight emerged as one of Chicago’s leaders in virtual programming, quickly launching a host of free offerings like Sondheim @ 90 Roundtables, Movie Musical Mondays, Porchlight by Request: Command Performances and WPMT: Classic Musicals from the Golden Age of Radio. For the 2020-2021 season, Porchlight’s fall schedule included all-new ticketed virtual programs including Broadway by the Decade, New Faces Sing Broadway 1987, Chicago Sings Rock & Roll Broadway, New Faces Sing Broadway 1961 and the return of The Ruffians’ Burning Bluebeard as well as collaborations with Hershey Felder and L.A. Theatre Works. Porchlight recently launched its first summer performance schedule in 2021 that included a sold-out performance of New Faces Sing Broadway 1979 at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, the premiere of its outdoor music series Broadway in your Backyard, performed throughout Chicagoland this summer and special appearances at Sundays on State and Navy Pier’s Chicago Live Again. 

Porchlight Music Theatre is partially supported by generous contributions from  Actors’ Equity Foundation; Allstate; Michael Best & Friedrich LLP; Chapman | Spingola, LLP; Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation; Gen Ops Plus; Elegant Event Lighting; Glimpse Vision; James P. and Brenda S. Grusecki Family Foundation; Hearty Boys; A.L. and Jennie L. Luria Foundation; The MacArthur Fund for Culture, Equity and the Arts at Prince; the Pritzker Traubert Foundation; Ryan and Spaeth, Inc.; Daniel and Genevieve Ratner Foundation; The Saints and Dr. Scholl 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. 

Porchlight Music Theatre wishes to thank members of the Matching Gift Corporate Program including Abbvie; Allstate; Lloyd A. Fry Foundation; Peoples Gas; Pepsico; Polk Bros Foundation and The Saints. 


PORCHLIGHT MUSIC THEATRE ANNOUNCES CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM FOR BLUES IN THE NIGHT JANUARY 15 - FEBRUARY 27, 2022

 ChiIL Live Shows on our radar



PORCHLIGHT MUSIC THEATRE ANNOUNCES CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM FOR BLUES IN THE NIGHT, DIRECTED AND CHOREOGRAPHED BY KENNY INGRAM+ AND MUSIC DIRECTED BY DAVID FIORELLO+, 

AT THE RUTH PAGE CENTER FOR THE ARTS, 

JANUARY 15 - FEBRUARY 27, 2022


Tickets are Now on Sale for Blues in the Night featuring Tony-Nominated Actor Felicia P. Fields*, Jeff Award-Winner Donica Lynn*, Jeff Award-Nominated Evan Tyrone Martin+, Clare Kennedy* and Terrell Armstrong+ 

     Pronoun Key: + (he/him/his); * (she/her/hers); ^ (they, them, theirs). = (any with respect)

Award-winning Porchlight Music Theatre announces the cast for the “Best Musical” Tony Award-nominated Blues in the Night, conceived by Sheldon Epps+, with the music of Bessie Smith, Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen, Vernon Duke, Gordon Jenkins, Alberta Hunter and others, January 15, 2022 - February 27, 2022 at The Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn St. 

The first Mainstage production of 2022 is directed and choreographed by Kenny Ingram+, music directed by David Fiorello+, assistant choreography by Ariel M. Dorsey* and associate music director and conductor Maulty Jewell IV+. Blues in The Night’s previews are Saturday, Jan, 15 at 3 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 16 at 2 and 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. and Thursday, Jan. 20 at 1:30 p.m. with the press opening Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022 at 7 p.m. 

The regular run performance schedule is Thursdays at 7:00 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 3:00 and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. with weekday matinees Thursday, Jan. 27 and Feb. 3 at 1:30 p.m. Single tickets are $25 - $74 and subscriptions to the entire 2021 - 2022 season are available at PorchlightMusicTheatre.org or by calling the Porchlight Music Theatre box office, 773.777.9884. 

(First Row, from L to R): Kenny Ingram+, director and choreographer; David Fiorello+, music director; Maulty Jewell IV+, associate music director and conductor and Ariel Dorsey*, assistant choreographer

(Second Row, from L to R): Terrell Armstrong+, Felicia P. Fields*, Clare Kennedy*, Donica Lynn*, Evan Tyrone Martin+

The Blues is one of America’s original art forms and Chicago was the home to some of the greatest Blues performers ever. Set in a history-filled hotel on Chicago’s south side one fateful night in the late 1930s, this Tony Award-nominated celebration interweaves the stories of three women who share their highs and lows of romance through the iconic songs of Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen, Alberta Hunter, Jimmy Cox, Ida Cox and others.

The Blues in the Night cast includes Felicia P. Fields* ("The Lady from the Road”) in her Porchlight Mainstage debut; Donica Lynn* ("The Woman of the World") last seen by Porchlight audiences in her Jeff-Award nominated role in Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies, Clare Kennedy* ("The Girl with a Date”) a follow up to her performance in Porchlight’s New Faces Sing Broadway 1961; Evan Tyrone Martin+ ("The Man in the Saloon) last seen in Porchlight’s Jeff Award-winning Dreamgirls and Terrell Armstrong+ ("The Dancing Man”) last seen in Porchlight’s A Chorus Line.

Blues in the Night’s production team includes: Kenny Ingram+, (director & choreographer); David Fiorello+, (music director); Ariel M Dorsey*, (assistant choreographer) and Maulty Jewell IV+ (associate music director/conductor), Alden Vasquez+ (production stage manager); Ruben Echoles+ (costume and wig designer), Brandon Wardell+ (lighting designer), Eric Backus+ (sound designer), Angela Weber Miller* (scenic designer), Caitlin McCarthy* (properties designer), Matthew Chase+ (audio engineer), Rachel West* (lighting supervisor), Jennifer Aparicio* (production manager), Henry Wilkinson+ (technical director), Rashaad A. Bond+, (producing artistic associate); Alex Rhyan+, (production and operations director) and Michael Weber+, (artistic director).

Information about Porchlight Music Theatre’s COVID-19 Guidelines a its events may be found at: https://porchlightmusictheatre.org/visit/#covid-19-health-safety-guidelines.


ABOUT KENNY INGRAM +, director and choreographer

Kenny Ingram last directed and choreographed Triple Threat, a play that moves and sings starring James T. Lane ahh The Zeiders American Dream Theatre in Virginia Beach. He received the White Nights Film Festival Diploma for his direction and choreography for Chicago Performing Theatrical production of The Moment in Russia. Ingram directed and choreographed for Chicago Shakespeare’s first summer musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Navy Pier. He choreographed The New York Times Critics Pick re -mount of Emojiland, Off Broadway at The Duke on 42nd, and Till, The Musical based on the story of Emmett Till Off Broadway at Signature Theatre for the New York Musical Festival. Ingram won outstanding Choreography for his moves in Emojiland in 2018 at NYMF. Although he lives in Harlem, he is excited to return home to Chicago where he began his career at Lou Conte Dance Studio on Scholarship, taught jazz dance here at The Ruth Page Center and choreographed at many Chicago Legendary Theatre’s including Goodman, Steppenwolf, Court Theatre, Organic Theatre, Hasted Street Theatre and now to cap it off Porchlight. 


ABOUT DAVID FIORELLO+, music director

David Fiorello is a music director, performer, director, composer and arranger who’s no stranger to Porchlight. He has served as music director for Porchlight’s Gypsy, Porchlight Revisits Do Re Mi, Porchlight Revisits Woman of the Year, several seasons of the New Faces Sing Broadway series, as well as several Chicago Sings and ICONS Gala benefits. He also appeared onstage as Joe in Porchlight's mainstage production of Merrily We Roll Along. David currently serves as founder and artistic director of The Beautiful City Project, a theatre company committed to raising funds for local Chicago charities and nonprofits, using some of the city’s finest musical theatre talents. He’s music directed national and international tours, including John Doyle’s re-imagining of Sweeney Todd. He also served as music director for the Off-Broadway hit Danny & Sylvia: The Danny Kaye Musical. His orchestrations and arrangements have been heard across the nation, and on several albums. He’s taught and directed/music directed as part of the International Lyric Academy in Italy and is adjunct faculty at Columbia College Chicago. An in-demand vocal coach, Fiorello Studios has also provided unique cabaret programming featuring the music of The Indigo Girls, Jason Mraz, Kelly Clarkson, Eva Cassidy, Sara Bareilles and Colbie Caillat. 

ABOUT PORCHLIGHT MUSIC THEATRE AS RUTH PAGE ARTIST IN-RESIDENCE

Porchlight Music Theatre is proud to be a member of the vibrant Ruth Page Center for the Arts community and an In-Resident Organization. Central to the Ruth Page Center for the Arts’ programming is this 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.


ABOUT PORCHLIGHT MUSIC THEATRE

Porchlight Music Theatre is the award-winning center for music theatre in Chicago. Through live performance, youth education and community outreach we impact thousands of lives each season, bringing the magic of musicals to our theatre home at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts in the Gold Coast and to neighborhoods across the city. Porchlight has built a national reputation for boldly reimagining classic musicals, supporting new works and young performers, and showcasing Chicago’s most notable music theatre artists, all through the intimate and powerful theatrical lens of the “Chicago Style.” 

Now in its 27th season, Porchlight's quarter-century production history includes more than 70 mainstage works with 15 Chicago premieres and five world premieres. Porchlight’s commitment to the past, present and future of music theatre led the company to develop the Porchlight Revisits and New Faces Sing Broadway program series, both quickly becoming audience favorites. 

Porchlight's education and outreach programs serve schools, youth of all ages and skill levels and community organizations, most notably the ongoing collaboration with Chicago Youth Centers. Porchlight annually awards dozens of full scholarships and hundreds of free tickets to ensure accessibility and real engagement with this uniquely American art form. 

The company’s many honors include 178 Joseph Jefferson Award (Jeff) nominations and 45 Jeff awards, as well as 33 Black Theatre Alliance (BTA) nominations and 12 BTA awards. In 2019, Porchlight graduated to the Large Theatre tier of the Equity Jeff Awards, and was honored with eight nominations in both technical and artistic categories and won three awards in its inaugural year in this tier, most notably Best Ensemble for Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies. 

Through the global pandemic, Porchlight emerged as one of Chicago’s leaders in virtual programming, quickly launching a host of free offerings like Sondheim @ 90 Roundtables, Movie Musical Mondays, Porchlight by Request: Command Performances and WPMT: Classic Musicals from the Golden Age of Radio. For the 2020-2021 season, Porchlight’s fall schedule included all-new ticketed virtual programs including Broadway by the Decade, New Faces Sing Broadway 1987, Chicago Sings Rock & Roll Broadway, New Faces Sing Broadway 1961 and the return of The Ruffians’ Burning Bluebeard as well as collaborations with Hershey Felder and L.A. Theatre Works. Porchlight recently launched its first summer performance schedule in 2021 that included a sold-out performance of New Faces Sing Broadway 1979 at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, the premiere of its outdoor music series Broadway in your Backyard, performed throughout Chicagoland this summer and special appearances at Sundays on State and Navy Pier’s Chicago Live Again. 

Porchlight Music Theatre is partially supported by generous contributions from Actors’ Equity Foundation; Allstate; Michael Best & Friedrich LLP; Chapman | Spingola, LLP; Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation; Gen Ops Plus; Elegant Event Lighting; Glimpse Vision; James P. and Brenda S. Grusecki Family Foundation; Hearty Boys; A.L. and Jennie L. Luria Foundation; The MacArthur Fund for Culture, Equity and the Arts at Prince; the Pritzker Traubert Foundation; Ryan and Spaeth, Inc.; Daniel and Genevieve Ratner Foundation; The Saints and Dr. Scholl 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. 

Porchlight Music Theatre wishes to thank members of the Matching Gift Corporate Program including Abbvie; Allstate; Lloyd A. Fry Foundation; Peoples Gas; Pepsico; Polk Bros Foundation and The Saints. 

January 15 - February 28, 2022

The Ruth Page Center for the Arts

1016 N. Dearborn Street, Chicago

Previews: Saturday, Jan, 15 at 3 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 16 at 2 and 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. (Industry Night) and Thursday, Jan. 20 at 1:30 p.m. 

Press opening Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022 at 7 p.m. 

The regular run performance schedule is: 

Thursdays at 7:00 p.m.

Fridays at 8 p.m.

Saturdays at 3:00 and 8 p.m. and 

Sundays at 2 p.m. 

Weekday matinees:

Thursday, Jan. 27 and Feb. 3 at 1:30 p.m. (there is no evening performance this day - only a matinee)

Ticket Price: $25 – 74

Website: PorchlightMusicTheatre.org


Pronoun Key: + (he/him/his); * (she/her/hers); ^ (they, them, theirs). = (any with respect)



Monday, November 22, 2021

Magic Immersive Heading For Chicago December 3rd, 2021

ChiIL Live Shows on Our Radar


Here at ChiIL Live Shows and ChiIL Mama, we adore magic and illusion. As we enter the magic of the holiday season, we're thrilled that Chicago is about to be home to Magic Immersive, from the innovators behind the blockbuster Immersive Van Gogh exhibition seen by over 3.5 million visitors since its North American debut last year. I've seen the Immersive Van Gogh exhibit three times now and covered the show, their visually stunning morning yoga classes in the event space, and their evening concerts and wine tasting series. The Immersive Van Gogh exhibit is truly a treat and I can't wait to see what Lighthouse Immersive does with the element of magic and superstar, Jamie Allan. We're also big fans of experiential gift giving, like show tickets that create memories instead of clutter. Don't snooze on Magic Immersive, an exhilarating magic experience just in time to ignite the holiday season. Tickets are on sale now. 

This December, Lighthouse Immersive and the famed British illusionist Jamie Allan invite audiences into a world of intrigue, mystery and wonder with Magic Immersive. Consisting of a series of rooms, stages and interactive displays, Magic Immersive transports visitors to different eras in time, revealing the evolution of magic acts throughout history and the secrets of the world’s greatest magic performers. Tickets are on-sale now at magicimmersive.com

This first-of-its-kind installation will occupy the third and fourth floors of 360 N. State St., the venue that hosted The Art of Banksy in the fall and is also the home of Chicago’s Museum of Broadcast Communications. The official name for the exhibition space is “The Illusionarium at Magic Immersive.” Magic Immersive features dozens of acts from engaging close-up parlor magic to one of the largest touring illusions in the world: the Mega Drill, all spread across two whole floors worth of immersive performance space, engaging audiences in 360 degrees of experiential magic while revealing amazing feats from the history of stage magic along the way. The venue additionally houses a bar and the Palais Royal VIP theater, which features an exclusive parlor for close-up magic performances.  

Some members of magic royalty delivered their own magic for the exhibit. One exclusive experience includes a pre-recorded illusion presented by the world-renowned comedic magic duo Penn and Teller just for Magic Immersive audiences, while a separate display from David Copperfield allows visitors to capture a selfie of themselves being levitated by him. In addition, world-renowned daredevil and escapologist Jonathan Goodwin personally designed and built his modern version of Houdini’s “Water Escape,” adding an especially thrilling moment. These experiences simply scratch the surface of what Magic Immersive offers. From death-defying escapes to sleight of hand magic to vanishings and levitations; the Illusionarium  features one of the most ambitious assemblies of magic performances ever presented. 

“Magic Immersive was, in many ways, born of my own lifelong love of magic as well as from the circumstances of the pandemic,” says co-producer Corey Ross of Lighthouse Immersive. “I had intended to bring Jamie’s iMagician stage show to Toronto last December, but when it became clear that wasn’t possible, he and I began to ask ourselves what could be possible in this new world. What we have come up with is infinitely exciting, and demonstrates how amazing ideas can be born from challenge.”  

“Magic Immersive is completely unique in seamlessly blending technology and practical magic – I have been combining magic and technology since I was a boy, but this takes that passion to a whole new level,” says creator Jamie Allan (iMagician). “I am so thrilled to debut this experiential work in Chicago in a venue that is quickly becoming known as an exhibition space.” 

Tickets for Magic Immersive start at $45, VIP options and add-ons are also available. Tickets are on-sale now for showings from Dec. 3 to Jan. 2 at 360 N. State St. For more information on Magic Immersive, and to purchase tickets, visit  magicimmersive.com. Follow Magic Immersive on social media on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. 

ABOUT JAMIE ALLAN

Jamie Allan is world-renowned for fusing magic with high technology. As the UK’s original technology magician, he premiered his iMagic creation on ITV’s “This Morning” in 1995 when he was just a teenager. Since then, he has been performing and designing incredible modern illusions using leading edge technology and innovative methods including working with iPads, holograms, laser beams, 3D video mapping, 4D lasers, drones and interactive social media to engage and amaze his audiences.  

He also holds the accolade of being the most televised British illusionist of the last decade and has become known as the iMagician. Jamie performed his signature iPad illusion “Digital Art” to close the BBC One Show live to millions of viewers, an illusion he has repeated live on ‘Grand Cabaret Du Monde’, ‘BBC Breakfast’, ‘The Slammer’ and the ‘Penn and Teller: Fool Us’ television series. He has also been seen as a star mentor on the ITV1 prime-time show ‘Get Your Act Together’ and was a winner of ITV’s prime-time show ‘The Next Great Magician.’  

Jamie’s award-winning production iMagician opened at the Garrick Theatre in London’s West End in 2015. In 2017, he was chosen by his peers to headline the world’s largest magic convention in front of 3,500 magicians. In the same year, he was bestowed the highest honour of The Magic Circle; invited by the President, he became one of the very few members of The Inner Magic Circle. Jamie joined the ranks of Harry Houdini, David Copperfield and Derren Brown in this exclusive, internationally acclaimed and historic society. iMagician debuted in the United States in 2018 becoming the highest selling magic show ever in the history of Chicago theatre district during his residency at the Harris Theatre.  

ABOUT LIGHTHOUSE IMMERSIVE

Founded in 2019 by Toronto-based producers, Corey Ross and Svetlana Dvoretsky, Lighthouse Immersive is the first experiential entertainment multi-plex, aiming to cultivate community and creativity through large-scale events and exhibitions of all art forms. With locations across North America, Lighthouse Immersive offers versatile spaces for creators to present their work while engaging audiences around the globe in unique art experiences that encourage dialogue and inspire new artistic creations. The home of the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit, Lighthouse Immersive blends state-of-the-art technology with breathtaking imagery and animation for experiential experiences that visitors will not soon forget.  

Monday, November 15, 2021

OPENING: Tracy Letts' BUG Returns to Steppenwolf With Original Cast Including Carrie Coon Through December 12, 2021

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar

BUG

Steppenwolf welcomes audiences back to the theater with acclaimed production by ensemble member Tracy Letts,

directed by David Cromer, 

with ensemble members

Randall Arney, Carrie Coon and Namir Smallwood

reprising stunning performances

 

November 11 – December 12, 2021


**Note: We acknowledge that everyone's comfort level and maturity varies as far as subject matter goes. That said, heads up for the young and/or sensitive. If you're thinking of bringing the kids, this production contains nudity, drug use, violence and intense themes better left to the 17+ crowd.  

Ensemble member Carrie Coon in "Bug" at Steppenwolf. 

Photo by Michael Brosilow


In a seedy Oklahoma motel room, a lonely waitress begins an unexpected love affair with a young drifter. And then they see the first bugs… 

I caught Bug just before the covid-19 bug sent people scuttling to quarantine and shelter in place and I'll be back out to review again at the press opening, November 16th. I'm eager to see Tracy Letts’s mind-bending cult classic back on stage in our new era of covid caution and heightened mental illness, government suspicion, and contagion. I imagine it will play differently and if anything, more intensely. BUG is the type of production to get under your skin. I can't fathom how challenging it is for the actors to inhabit this headspace night after night for the run of the production. 

*Click HERE to check out my review of BUG at Steppenwolf from February 2020.*

Steppenwolf Theatre Company, the nation’s premier ensemble theater company, is thrilled to welcome audiences back for in-person performances for the first time in 20 months with its acclaimed and extraordinary revival of Bug by Pulitzer Prize and Tony award-winning ensemble member Tracy Letts, in the Downstairs Theater November 11 – December 12, 2021 (opening November 14). Directed by Tony award winner David Cromer with ensemble members Randall Arney, Carrie Coon and Namir Smallwood alongside Jennifer Engstrom and Steve Key reprising their roles, the production was shut down before the end of its run in March 2020 due to the pandemic, and the show’s return to stage is Steppenwolf’s bold refusal to let the disaster of COVID-19 rewrite its story.

 

Ensemble member Carrie Coon and Namir Smallwood in "Bug" at Steppenwolf. 

Photo by Michael Brosilow

Featuring the original cast, this luridly funny tale of love, paranoia and government conspiracy welcomes back audiences to the Steppenwolf they know and love: brave, brazen and defiant.

Namir Smallwood returns to the Steppenwolf stage fresh off his widely acclaimed performance in Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu's Pass Over, which was the first play to reopen Broadway this past summer. Carrie Coon returns to the stage having most recently filmed HBO’s Julian Fellowes Series, The Gilded Age. She can also be seen on screen in Jason Reitman’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife premiering this month.

Single tickets for Bug ($20 – $110) are available at steppenwolf.org or 312-335-1650. Discounts available, including new Artists & Essential Workers discount, expanded 20-for-$20 program, Pay-Your-Age performances, $5 teen tickets through the Teen Arts Pass, and more. Classic and Flex Memberships to the 21/22 Comeback Season are currently available and offer first access to seats and easy exchanges, learn more steppenwolf.org/memberships.

The Bug creative team includes Takeshi Kata (Scenic Design); Sarah Laux (Costume Design); Heather Gilbert (Lighting Design); Josh Schmidt (Sound Design); Matt Hawkins (Fight Choreographer); Tonia Sina (Intimacy Choreographer); Sydney Charles (Dramaturg); Gigi Buffington (Company Voice, Text & Dialect Coach); Tom Pearl (Director of Production); JC Clementz, CSA (Casting Director); Christine D. Freeburg (Production Stage Manager). 

Steppenwolf raises the curtain once again on its blistering and extraordinary revival of Bug by ensemble member Tracy Letts, featuring ensemble members Randall Arney, Carrie Coon and Namir Smallwood. In a seedy Oklahoma motel room, a lonely waitress begins an unexpected love affair with a young drifter. And then they see the first bugs… Tracy Letts’s mind-bending cult classic is a luridly funny tale of love, paranoia and government conspiracy. These stunning performances—and this award-winning production—will once again reverberate throughout the building and welcome back audiences to the Steppenwolf they know and love: brave, brazen and defiant.

Single tickets start at $20 and are available at steppenwolf.org or 312-335-1650. Discounts available including new Artists and Essential Workers discount, expanded 20-for-$20 program, Pay-Your-Age performances, and more. Members who wish to see this award-winning production again can add this show to their season package at an exclusive member price. Learn about the complete 2021/22 Comeback Season here.


YOUR SAFE RETURN


Steppenwolf is part of the growing coalition of more than 70 Chicagoland arts venues and producers that have agreed upon Covid-19 Vaccination and Mask Requirements through the end of 2021. All attendees are required to wear a mask and show proof of vaccination or negative test upon entry. Everyone who works at Steppenwolf is in compliance with these requirements to further ensure the safety of our guests and company members. We have overhauled our HVAC, expanded the lobby areas and engaged MyBindle, a user-friendly phone app for quick entry. 

Steppenwolf has worked over the past year with our operations team, public health advisors and HVAC consultants to prepare its facility to safely welcome patrons back for performances. The addition of the new Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Arts and Education Center has expanded the square footage of the lobbies to nearly twice the previous amount of space offered to guests. Two additional elevators and multiple stairways have also been added to Steppenwolf’s campus for ease of transition between seating levels. The HVAC systems have undergone upgrades to allow for increased filtration and a higher percentage of circulated fresh air across all three theaters. For more details, visit steppenwolf.org/welcomeback.



As part of Steppenwolf's campus expansion, patrons will experience a transformed Downstairs Theater lobby and two new bars—a wine bar and a tap room! Front Bar will be back up and running as well with a full cocktail menu and light fare.  

Trailblazing new 50,000 square foot Arts & Education Center now open to audiences with two new bars for socializing

Audiences will return in November not to the same building they left, but to a stunning new 50,000 sq. ft. theater building and education center on Halsted Street. As the world came to a pause in 2020, the walls of Steppenwolf’s state-of-the-art Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Arts and Education Center continued to rise, symbolizing hope for the entire Chicago arts community. Bug audiences will be the first to explore the new building and experience a brand-new theatergoing experience. 

Designed by world-renowned architect Gordon Gill of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, the expanded Steppenwolf campus features bright new lobbies and two new bars for socializing designed by fc STUDIO, inc. The transformed 1650 N. Halsted Street lobby space seamlessly connects Steppenwolf’s existing building with the new Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Arts and Education Center, while the second-floor lobby of the Downstairs Theater has been renovated to house a stylish bar and gathering space. The new building’s downstairs lobby features an additional craft beer-focused bar that connects to an outdoor patio area. These two new full-service bars join Steppenwolf’s popular Front Bar (1700 N. Halsted Street), offering audiences, artists and community welcoming new spaces for socializing in the Halsted Corridor of Lincoln Park. 

At the heart of Steppenwolf’s new Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Arts and Education Center is an intimate and state-of-the-art 400-seat theater in the round, one of its kind in Chicago, with theater design and acoustics by Charcoalblue. Named the Ensemble Theater in Honor of Helen Zell, this new performance venue will open to audiences with the Steppenwolf for Young Adults world premiere adaptation of Eve L. Ewing’s 1919 in February 2022, followed by a grand public opening of the theater with ensemble member Yasen Peyankov’s adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s Seagull featuring an all-ensemble cast, April-June 2022. 

The new building also features Steppenwolf’s first-ever dedicated education space, The Loft, encompassing the entire fourth floor of the Arts and Education Center. Steppenwolf was founded more than 45 years ago by a circle of students who craved a space to call their own. The Arts and Education Center continues and amplifies that vision, growing the reach of Steppenwolf’s education programming from 20,000 to 30,000 students annually.

For more information on the new Arts and Education Center and Steppenwolf’s campus expansion, visit steppenwolf.org/buildingonexcellence.


Accessibility

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 live play. Assistive listening devices and large-print programs are available for every performance and all three theaters are equipped with an induction hearing loop and feature a push-button entrance. 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. Steppenwolf is also grateful for the significant season support from Allstate Insurance Company, ComEd, JPMorgan Chase, PNC, and Vinci Restaurant.

Steppenwolf Theatre Company is a Chicago theater that is home to America’s ensemble. The company began performing in the mid-1970s in the basement of a Highland Park, IL church—today Steppenwolf is the nation’s premier ensemble theater with 49 members who are among the top actors, playwrights and directors in the field. Deeply rooted in its ensemble ethos, the company is committed to equity, diversity, inclusion and making the Steppenwolf experience accessible to all. Groundbreaking productions from Balm in Gilead and August: Osage County to Downstate and Pass Over—and accolades that include the National Medal of Arts and 12 Tony® Awards—have made the theatre legendary. Artistic programming includes a main stage season; a Steppenwolf for Young Adults season; LookOut, a multi-genre performance series; and the Steppenwolf NOW virtual stage. The nationally recognized work of Steppenwolf Education engages more than 20,000 participants annually in Chicagoland communities promoting compassion, encouraging curiosity and inspiring action. While firmly grounded in the Chicago community, more than 40 original Steppenwolf productions have enjoyed success nationally and internationally, including Broadway, Off-Broadway, London, Sydney, Galway and Dublin. 2021 marks the opening of Steppenwolf’s landmark Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Arts & Education Center—deepening the company’s commitment to Chicagoland teens and serving as a cultural nexus for Chicago. Glenn Davis and Audrey Francis are the Artistic Directors and E. Brooke Flanagan is Executive Director. Eric Lefkofsky is Chair of Steppenwolf’s Board of Trustees.

Steppenwolf’s Mission: Steppenwolf strives to create thrilling, courageous and provocative art in a thoughtful and inclusive environment. We succeed when we disrupt your routine with experiences that spark curiosity, empathy and joy. We invite you to join our ensemble as we navigate, together, our complex world. steppenwolf.org, facebook.com/steppenwolftheatre, twitter.com/steppenwolfthtr and instagram.com/steppenwolfthtr.   

Thursday, November 4, 2021

OPENING: David Strathairn In Remember This: The Lesson of Jan Karski at Chicago Shakespeare Theater Through November 14, 2021

 Chicago Shakespeare Theater presents

Remember This: The Lesson of Jan Karski

Starring Academy Award-nominee David Strathairn in timely story of moral courage now playing in limited engagement through November 14, 2021

Chicago Shakespeare Theater presents Emmy Award-winner and Academy Award-nominee David Strathairn

Following each performance, audiences are invited to stay for a 20‐minute talkback with David Strathairn, Derek Goldman, and Clark Young

Here at ChiIL Live Shows, we've enjoyed David Strathairn's talents on screen for decades, and we're looking forward to catching him on stage on opening night. We've been binge watching Blacklist for weeks, now that it's streaming on Netflix, so it'll be great to see Strathairn embodying a decidedly less insidious character at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. Can't wait to see Strathairn capture the remarkable life of the self-described “insignificant, little man” who spoke truth in the halls of power in a timely story of moral courage. I'm eager to hear more of Jan Karski's story and glad his bravery has not been lost to history. Check back soon for my full review. 

Joining Goldman on the creative team are Scenic Designer Misha Kachman, Costume Designer Ivania Stack, Lighting Designer Zach Blane, Assistant Lighting Designer Peter Leibold, Original Music and Sound Design by Roc Lee, Movement by Emma Jaster, and Production Stage Manager Andrew Neal.

The central figure of the play is Jan Karski, a courier for the Polish Underground resistance during World War II. In 1942, Karski volunteered to walk through the Warsaw Ghetto and a Nazi extermination camp before traveling to London to report to the Allied Nations on the conditions of occupied Poland and, specifically, the Holocaust. He personally delivered his eyewitness account—and urgent appeal for intervention on behalf of the Jewish people—to British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden, and later, President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the White House. His report was ignored. After the war, Karski earned his PhD at Georgetown University, where he was a beloved professor in the School of Foreign Service for 40 years. Karski didn’t share his story for decades until filmmaker Claude Lanzmann persuaded him to speak of his experiences for the first time in the celebrated documentary Shoah. Karski was made an honorary citizen of Israel and was awarded the distinction “Righteous Among the Nations” by Yad Vashem. Karski died in Washington, DC, in July 2000. He was awarded a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama at a White House ceremony on May 29, 2012.

On Monday, November 8, at 7:00 p.m., Chicago Shakespeare partners with the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Skokie, Illinois, to present a free event: “Performing Memory and Witness: The Lesson of Jan Karski.” Live performances of selections from the play serve as the backdrop for a panel discussion about how theater can serve as a powerful call to action. Panelists include Remember This artists David Strathairn, Derek Goldman, and Clark Young, as well as Devika Ranjan, a Chicago-based theater-maker, ethnographer, and educator, and Della Pollock, Professor Emerita at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Event registration linked here.

Best known for acclaimed performances in Good Night, and Good Luck, Nomadland, and Lincoln, David Strathairn takes on the role of real-life World War II hero Jan Karski. After surviving the devastation of Poland by Nazi Germany, Karski risks his life to carry the first eyewitness reports of the Holocaust to the White House,

Chicago Shakespeare strives to make its facility and performances accessible to all patrons through its Access Shakespeare programs. 

Accessible performances for Remember This include:

• Open-captioned Performances – Thursday, November 11, 2021, at 7:45 p.m.

A text display of the words and sounds heard during a play, synced live with the action onstage.

• ASL Duo-interpreted Performance – Friday, November 12, 2021, at 7:45 p.m.

All dialogue and lyrics are translated into American Sign Language by two certified interpreters.

• Audio-described Performance – Sunday, November 14, 2021, at 3:00 p.m.

A program that enables patrons who are blind or have low vision to more fully experience live performances by providing spoken narration of a play’s key visual elements.

More information on the production at www.chicagoshakes.com/rememberthis or on social media at #cstRemember.

 Remember This: The Lesson of Jan Karski is now playing through November 14, 2021 in The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare. Run time is 90 minutes (no intermission), followed by a 20-minute talkback with the artists. Single tickets ($43–$75) are on sale now. Special discounts will be available for groups of 10 or more. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Box Office at 312.595.5600 or visit the Theater’s website at www.chicagoshakes.com.


ABOUT CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE THEATER

A Regional Tony Award recipient, Chicago Shakespeare Theater produces a year-round season—featuring plays, musicals, world premieres, family productions, and theatrical presentations from around the globe—alongside nationally recognized education programming, each year serving tens of thousands of students, teachers, and lifelong learners. Founded in 1986, the Theater’s onstage work has expanded to as many as twenty productions and 650 performances annually. Dedicated to welcoming the next generation of theatergoers, one in four audience members is under the age of eighteen. As a nonprofit organization, Chicago Shakespeare works to embrace diversity, prioritize radical inclusion, provide equitable opportunities, and offer an accessible experience for all. On the Theater’s three stages at its home on Navy Pier, in classrooms and neighborhoods across the city, and in venues around the world, Chicago Shakespeare is a multifaceted cultural hub—inviting audiences, artists, and community members to share powerful stories that connect and inspire us. www.chicagoshakes.com


THE COUNTDOWN TO REOPENING BEGINS

“Come Together” Event Series

STREAMING THE WORLDSTAGE

Ontroerend Goed’s TM 

a WorldStage production from Belgium directed by Alexander Devriendt

on Chicago ShakesSTREAM

January 2022

STUDENTS IN CONVERSATION WITH SHAKESPEARE

Chicago Shakespeare SLAM

in high schools across the region and onstage at Chicago Shakespeare

January 2022

PRE-BROADWAY WORLD PREMIERE

• Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks presents DREAM: A Community Reimagining of A Midsummer Night’s Dream – August 24–September 4, 2021

• Screening of Othello: The Remix at Shakespeare’s Globe – September 14, 2021

• No Malice Film Celebration in partnership with Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation and the Roger and Chaz Ebert Foundation – September 19, 2021

• Re-lighting of the Marquee – October 6, 2021

10th YEAR OF CREATIVE COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks presents DREAM:

The Notebook

music and lyrics by Ingrid Michaelson | book by Bekah Brunstetter | based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks |

directed by Michael Greif and Schele Williams

In The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare

March 15–April 24, 2022


SPRING INTO SHAKESPEARE IN THE COURTYARD

All’s Well That Ends Well

by William Shakespeare | directed by Shana Cooper in the Courtyard Theater

April 22–May 29, 2022


WORLD PREMIERE MUSICAL EVENT

It Came from Outer Space

book, music and lyrics by Joe Kinosian and Kellen Blair | directed by Laura Braza

in the theater Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare

May 25–June 26, 2022


LEADING DIRECTOR HELMS NEW PRODUCTION

The Tempest

by William Shakespeare | directed by Sheldon Epps

September–October 2022

A Community Reimagining of A Midsummer

Night’s Dream

created with Cruz Gonzalez-Cadel, Cage Sebastian Pierre, GQ, Joriah Kwamé, Chicago Shakespeare Theater and Me’Lo The Generation Hero and DJ Jeremy Heights, Englewood • Move Me Soul, Austin • Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center, Hermosa • Javier “Rese” Torres, Little Village • Alexis Willis, West Pullman • Yin He Dance, Chinatown

with designs by Fulton Street Collective, West Town

in Chicago Park District Parks across the city

August 24–September 4, 2021

EXTENDED BY POPULAR DEMAND

As You Like It

by William Shakespeare | adapted & directed by Daryl Cloran conceived by Daryl Cloran and the Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival

in the Courtyard Theater

now playing through December 5, 2021


WORLD-CLASS ARTISTRY ON OUR STAGES

Remember This: The Lesson of Jan Karski

by Clark Young and Derek Goldman | directed by Derek Goldman | starring David Strathairn

in The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare

November 3-14, 2021


THE HOLIDAY TRADITION CONTINUES

Q Brothers Christmas Carol

written by Q Brothers Collective (GQ, JQ, Jax, Pos) | directed by GQ and JQ | developed with Rick Boynton

in The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare

December 7-23, 2021


CELEBRATING THE TALENT OF OUR CITY’S ARTISANS

Holiday Artisan Market @ Chicago Shakespeare

Virtual pop-up shop with 100% proceeds to local artists

December 2021

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

REVIEW: World Premiere of The Last Pair of Earlies Via Raven Theatre Now Playing Through December 12, 2021

Chi, IL Live Shows On Our Radar
Raven Theatre Presents the World Premiere of
THE LAST PAIR OF EARLIES
By Joshua Allen
Directed by Wardell Julius Clark
October 27 – December 12, 2021


(left to right) Jonny Morrison and Marcus D. Moore in Raven Theatre’s world premiere of The Last Pair of Earlies. All Photos by Michael Brosilow.


REVIEW:
By Bonnie Kenaz-Mara

Dozens of pairs of shoes line the walls and lay beneath the set of Raven Theatre's latest period piece drama, set in 1939, forming an apt foundation for this fabulous world premiere. Under the capable direction of Wardell Julius Clark, The Last Pair of Earlies gives us a glimpse into the quiet desperation of a forced relocation and the unresolved grief of losing a child. The fallout of systemic racism, sexism, and violence collides head-on with determination, desires, and conflicting life goals to make for a compelling storyline.

(left to right) Shadana Patterson and Marcus D. Moore in Raven Theatre’s world premiere of The Last Pair of Earlies. Photo by Michael Brosilow.

Alhough the narrative is split between the present in 1939 and flashbacks to 1921, this is one of the easiest productions to follow through timeline jumps. Staging of the early Mississippi years takes place on ground level, closest to the audience, while the later years are all set on stage, inside Wayland and Della Rose Early's Southside Chicago apartment. 

(left to right) Demetra Dee and Jonny Morrison in Raven Theatre’s world premiere of The Last Pair of Earlies. 


We were particularly struck by the complicated dynamic and friendship between Tarina Bradshaw (Myrna Lee Franklin) and Shadana Patterson (Della Rose Early). The casting, set design, and production as a whole is excellent. Despite a good smattering of toxic masculinity, overwhelming loss, and a run of tough luck, this production and makes for an enlightening and entertaining evening. 

(left to right) Tarina Bradshaw and Shadana Patterson in Raven Theatre’s world premiere of The Last Pair of Earlies.


(left to right) Tarina Bradshaw and Shadana Patterson in Raven Theatre’s world premiere of The Last Pair of Earlies. 

(left to right) Shadana Patterson and Tarina Bradshaw in Raven Theatre’s world premiere of The Last Pair of Earlies. 


Kudos to Raven Theatre for making space in their lineup to tell a more diverse variety of stories than the white male canon, with this stellar script by Joshua Allen, a black playwright raised in Chicago. Nineteen months after Raven Theatre's stage lights went dark as the pandemic raged, this indomitable company is back with an all too human tale of heartbreak, love, loss, betrayals, female friendship, entrepreneurial spirit, struggles, and strength. Here at ChiIL Live Shows we loved The Last Pair of Earlies. 

Bonnie is a Chicago based writer, theater critic, photographer, videographer, actress, artist and Mama. She owns two websites where she publishes frequently: ChiILLiveShows.com (adult) & ChiILMama.com (family friendly). 


(left to right) Keith Illidge and Shadana Patterson in Raven Theatre’s world premiere of The Last Pair of Earlies. 

Raven Theatre, Chicago’s newest Equity-affiliated theatre, is pleased to welcome back audiences this fall with the world premiere of Joshua Allen’s The Last Pair of Earlies, directed by Wardell Julius Clark. This new drama, which follows the hardships and hopes of Wayland and Della Rose Early as they chase a sweet Southern dream on the South Side of Chicago, will play October 27 – December 12, 2021 on Raven’s 85-seat East Stage, 6157 N. Clark St. (at Granville) in Chicago. Single tickets and a variety of 2021-22 subscription packages are currently available at raventheatre.com or by calling (773) 338-2177. 
 

(left to right) Jonny Morrison, Demetra Dee, Keith Illidge, Marcus D. Moore, Tarina Bradshaw and Shadana Patterson in Raven Theatre’s world premiere of The Last Pair of Earlies. 


The production features Tarina Bradshaw, Demetra Dee, Keith Illidge, Marcus D. Moore, Jonny Morrison and Shadana Patterson.



Please note: Raven Theatre will require proof of vaccination and masking at all performances through the end of 2021. For all of Raven’s COVID-19 and vaccination information, visit raventheatre.com/covid-19.


 
Ever since he was a teenager in Mississippi, Wayland Early could count on two things – his talent for making handmade shoes, and the love of his bride, Della Rose. But danger forces them to flee north to Chicago. Before they know it, nearly two decades have passed, and both Wayland and Della find themselves increasingly unable to count on anything, including their marriage. As they each contend with the weight of their spent youth and unrealized dreams, a life-altering question comes to the surface: are we still enough for each other? Joshua Allen emerges from the award-winning writers’ room of Empire with a hometown world premiere. 
 
Comments Raven Artistic Director Cody Estle, “We are excited to welcome playwright Joshua Allen to our theater. Joshua is a Chicago native and will be joining us during the creative process and we look forward to introducing his work to Chicago's theater community and to our audiences. We are equally excited to open our doors and get back to doing what we do best – making plays!”
 

The production team includes Sydney Lynne (scenic design), Alex Rutherford (costume design), Sim Carpenter (lighting design), Christopher Kriz (sound design and original music), Caitlin McCarthy (props design), Jyreika Guest (intimacy director), Olivia Canaday (assistant director), Lorenzo Blackett (production manager), Alan Weusthoff (technical director), Liz Gomez (master electrician), Eileen Rozycki (charge artist) and Wilhelm Peters (stage manager).

Cast: Tarina Bradshaw (Myrna Lee Franklin), Demetra Dee (Young Della Rose), Keith Illidge (Jimmy Riley), Marcus D. Moore (Wayland Early), Jonny Morrison (Young Wayland) and Shadana Patterson (Della Rose Early).
 
Location: Raven Theatre East Stage, 6157 N. Clark St. (at Granville), Chicago
 
Regular run: Through Sunday, December 12, 2021
Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 3 pm. Please note: there will not be a performance on Thursday, November 25 (Thanksgiving).
Tickets: Previews $30. Regular run $40. Students/active military and veterans $15. Tickets are currently available at raventheatre.com or by calling (773) 338-2177.
 
Touch Tour/Open Captioned performance: Sunday, November 28, 2021 at 3 pm. Touch tour begins at 1:45 pm.
 
Group tickets: Special group rates are available. For information, call (773) 338-2177 or e-mail info@raventheatre.com.

(left to right) Marcus D. Moore and Shadana Patterson in Raven Theatre’s world premiere of The Last Pair of Earlies. 


 
Plan Your Visit:
 
Free parking is provided in a lot adjacent to the theatre – additional street parking is available. Nearest El station: Granville Red Line. Buses: #22 (Clark), #36 (Broadway), #151 (Sheridan), #155 (Devon), #84 (Peterson).
 
About the Artists
 
Joshua Allen (Playwright) is a Chicago native whose plays include The Last Pair of Earlies, The October Storm, Chrysalis and About Monday Morning. His work has been produced and developed at Hudson Stage, the Cape Cod Theater Project, Primary Stages, the Lark's Playwrights' Week and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. An alumnus of New Dramatists, he has also been a member of the Ars Nova Play Group and the Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers’ Group at Primary Stages. Joshua is a graduate of the University of Southern California and the Juilliard School. His television credits include In Treatment (HBO), Empire (FOX), Almost Family (FOX) and the upcoming From Scratch (Netflix).
 
Wardell Julius Clark (Director) is an award-winning actor, director, producer, activist who hails from Fairfield, Alabama but now calls Chicago home. He earned his BFA from The Theatre School at DePaul University. Wardell is a Company Member with TimeLine Theatre. He is also an Ensemble Member at Sideshow Theatre. Wardell recently returned from Williamstown Theatre Festival where he directed the world premieres of Black Moon Lilith, A Ghost in Satin and don't get got this summer a part of the Solo Play Festival Celebrating the Black Radical Imagination. Select Chicago directing credits include Michael Jackson and The Devil's Book, Whitney Houston and The Devil's Book (Jackalope Theatre Company), Kill Move Paradise (Timeline Theatre - 2020 Jeff Award Winner - Best Director (Large), Sheepdog (Shattered Globe), His Shadow (16th Street), The Shipment (Red Tape), Dutch Masters (Jackalope). Select acting credits include The Whisper's Apprentice and Once in a Bleu Moon (Sideshow Theatre), Flyin’ West (American Blues), Suddenly Last Summer (Raven), Silent Sky (First Folio), Othello (Theater at Monmouth) and The Gospel According to James (Victory Gardens). His television and film credits include Proven Innocent, Shameless and Chicago Fire seasons 1 & 4. wardelljuliusclark.com
 
About Raven Theatre
 
Raven Theatre tells stories of today and the past that connect us to our cultural landscape. Through its plays, as well as its educational programming, Raven is committed to serving our communities’ needs through the arts.
 
Raven Theatre Company is funded in part by the The MacArthur Fund for Culture, Equity, and the Arts at Prince, Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, Polk Bros Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, S&C Electric Company Fund, Paul M. Angell Foundation, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

(left to right) Marcus D. Moore and Shadana Patterson in Raven Theatre’s world premiere of The Last Pair of Earlies. Photo by Michael Brosilow.

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