Sunday, February 27, 2022

THE DRAG SEED Via Hell in a Handbag Productions to Play February 24 – March 20, 2022 at The Chopin Theatre

 ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar 

Hell in a Handbag Productions Presents


By Artistic Director David Cerda

Directed by Cheryl Snodgrass

February 24 – March 20, 2022 at The Chopin Theatre


Plus a Limited Engagement at New York’s

LaMama Experimental Theatre Club!


Here at ChiIL Live Shows we adored this camp classic the last time around, and can't wait to see the revival run. I'll be out to catch this one March 3rd, so check back soon for my full review. Hell in a Handbag Productions is pleased to continue its 20th anniversary season with a revival of its popular comedy The Drag Seed, an unauthorized parody of the 1956 psychological horror-thriller film The Bad Seed. Written by Artistic Director David Cerda* and directed by Cheryl Snodgrass, The Drag Seed will play February 24 – March 20, 2022 at The Chopin Downstairs Theatre, 1543 W. Division St. in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. Tickets are currently available at and 

Please note: Handbag will require proof of full vaccination and masking at all performances. The entire cast and crew is fully vaccinated and tested regularly.

Handbag is also pleased to announce that following its Chicago run, The Drag Seed will play a limited engagement March 31 – April 10, 2022 at the legendary La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club in New York City, featuring the full Chicago cast.

The revival features ensemble members David Cerda*, Sydney Genco*, Ed Jones*, Elizabeth Lesinski*, Tyler Anthony Smith* and Danne W. Taylor* with Kelly Anchors and Patrick O’Keefe. Understudies: Nicky Mendelsohn*, Elizabeth Rude and Jamie Smith.

Carson (Patrick O’Keefe) is a perfect little boy who likes to dress like the perfect little girl and they’re deadly serious about crowns and pronouns. Carson’s mother, Connie (Ed Jones), loves and accepts Carson but wishes Carson wasn’t so competitive. Carson always gets what they want, and they really want to win the drag pageant at their very progressive school – The Josephine Baker Rainbow Academy for Gifted Students. When Carson loses to Summer Breeze, they vow to get that crown – one way or another…

The production team includes Lauren Nichols (scenic design), Gregory Graham (costume design), Liz Cooper (lighting design), DJ Douglass (sound design), Pamela Parker* (props design), Keith Ryan* (wig design), Sydney Genco* (make-up design), R & D Fight Choreography (fight choreography), Abby Teel (production manager) and Drew Donnelly* (stage manager).

*Denotes Handbag Ensemble Member

Dates: Previews: Thursday, February 24 at 7:30 pm, Friday, February 25 at 7:30 pm and Saturday, February 26 at 7:30

Opening/Press performance: Sunday, February 27 at 7 pm

Regular run: Saturday, February 25 – Sunday, March 20, 2022

Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 4 pm

Industry Night: Monday, March 14 at 7:30 pm

Tickets: $27 advanced general admission, $32 at the door, $50 VIP/reserved seating with drink ticket. Group rates $25 for 10 or more. Tickets are currently available at and


About the Artists     

David Cerda (Playwright) is a founding member and Artistic Director of Hell in a Handbag Productions, now celebrating its 20th year anniversary. As resident playwright, he has written many Handbag productions as well as acted in them. His Golden Girls Lost Episodes parody shows have been produced around the country and will be featured in Golden Con in Chicago, the world’s first fan convention dedicated to all things Golden Girls at Navy Pier. As a Latinx queer individual, he is a proud inductee into the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame and recipient of a Jeff Award for lifetime achievement for his 25 years (and counting) of work and service to the community. He lives in Chicago with his partner, Christopher.

Cheryl Snodgrass (Director) works regularly with Hell in a Handbag. Productions include Die, Mommie! Die!, Scarrie: The Musical, L’Imitation of Life and The Birds. She has performed with Handbag in Caged Dames and The Birds, and has assisted David Cerda in developing a number of scripts. Cheryl has worked with playwright Jeff Goode directing the premiere productions of Poona the F*ckdog and Other Plays for Children, The Emancipation of Alabaster McGill and The Eight: Reindeer Monologues among others. She directed To the New Girl and Hoist for Foundlings, as well as Shadows of Birds and Lighthouses in the Desert with Glass Apple. Cheryl most recently returned from Bangor, ME after directing Who’s Holiday. Next up is the world premiere of Handbag’s A Fine Feathered Murder: A Miss Marbled Mystery. 


About Hell in a Handbag Productions

Hell in a Handbag is dedicated to the preservation, exploration, and celebration of works ingrained in the realm of popular culture via theatrical productions through parody, music and homage. Handbag is a 501(c)(3) Not for Profit. For additional information, visit

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

EXTENDED: Porchlight Music Theatre's Acclaimed Blues in the Night Now Playing March 20, 2022






Now Extended Through March 20, 2022

 Felicia P. Fields* All Photos by Anthony Robert La Penna


By Bonnie Kenaz-Mara

Every time I see a Porchlight Music Theatre I am stunned by the incredible performers we have here in Chicago. I'm convinced the second city is second to none when it comes to powerhouse vocals, snazzy choreography, and sheer talent. Blues in the night brings an award winning cast together for a sultry, stunning production that's truly a treat. The top notch musicians play on stage and are a joy to see in action, as are the actors. The stage chemistry is palpable and this show is sure to warm your winter weary heart. Highly recommended. Don't miss this!

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

Donica Lynn* 

Terrell Armstrong+ in BLUES IN THE NIGHT from Porchlight Music Theatre, Feb. 9 - March 20 at The Ruth Page Center for the Arts. Photo by Anthony Robert La Penna

(L to R) Evan Tyrone Martin+ and Clare Kennedy* in BLUES IN THE NIGHT from Porchlight Music Theatre, Feb. 9 - March 20 at The Ruth Page Center for the Arts. Photo by Anthony Robert La Penna
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)

New dates for Porchlight Music Theatre productions:

Blues in the Night

Conceived by Sheldon Epps

Directed and Choreographed by Kenny Ingram+

Music Directed by David Fiorello+

Associate Music Director and Conductor Maulty Jewell IV+

Assistant Choreographer Ariel Dorsey*

NEW DATES: February 9 - March 20

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.

Ticket Price: $25 – $74


Terrell Armstrong+


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:

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. 

Evan Tyrone Martin+ 


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.


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. 

Award-winning Porchlight Music Theatre announces the cast for 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 choreographed 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 or by calling the Porchlight Music Theatre box office, 773.777.9884. (Please note: complete performance schedule is available at the end of this release.) 

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. 

From L.A. to Amsterdam to Berlin, a young musician chases youthful dreams and spiritual clarity against a shifting backdrop of locales and acquaintances as he rebels against his conservative upbringing. This hit rock musical, loaded with soulful lyrics and passion, debuted to critical acclaim on Broadway in 2008, winning both the Tony and Drama Desk Awards and went on to be a critically acclaimed motion picture filmed by Spike Lee+ in 2009. The New York Times said about its Broadway debut, “Call it a rock concert with a story to tell … Or call it a sprawling work of performance art … I’ll just call it wonderful.”

All performances take place at The Ruth Page Center for the Arts at 1016 N. Dearborn Street. 

Updated performance schedule:


Thursday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 25 at 8 p.m. 

Saturday, Feb. 26 at 3 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 27 at  2 p.m.


Thursday, March 3 at  7 p.m.

Friday, March 4 at  8 p.m.

Saturday, March 5 at 3 p.m. (Open Caption Performance)

Sunday, March 6 at  2 p.m.


Thursday, March 10 at 7p.m.

Friday, March 11 at 8 p.m.

Saturday, March 12 at 3 p.m. (Open Caption Performance)

Sunday, March 13 at 2 p.m.


Thursday, March 17 at 7p.m.

Friday, March 18 at 8 p.m.

Saturday, March 19 at 3 p.m. 

Sunday, March 20 at 2 p.m.

Ticket Price: $25 – 74


(L to R) Clare Kennedy* and Terrell Armstrong+ in BLUES IN THE NIGHT from Porchlight Music Theatre, Feb. 9 - March 20 at The Ruth Page Center for the Arts. Photo by Anthony Robert La Penna

Sarah Siddons Society Free Networking Events for Recent Theater School Graduates and the Chicago Area Professional Theater Community

The Sarah Siddons Society Announces

Inaugural “Siddons Artistic Council”

Cultivating Free Networking Events for Recent Theater School Graduates

and the Chicago Area Professional Theater Community

PHOTO CREDIT: The Sarah Siddons Society’s inaugural Siddons Artistic Council includes (top, l to r) Kaiser Ahmed, Kayla Boye and Sar Cohen (bottom, l to r) Christopher Chase Carter, Donterrio and Jermaine Hill.

The Sarah Siddons Society, dedicated to funding scholarships for promising theater arts students at top Chicago area universities, is pleased to announce the formation of the Siddons Artistic Council. The group will offer mentoring, networking and guidance to recent Siddons scholarship recipients and members of the Chicago area professional theater community, while acting as a conduit with the Society’s leadership. 

The inaugural council includes Kaiser Ahmed, Kayla Boye, Sar Cohen, Christopher Chase Carter, Donterrio and Jermaine Hill. Board member Brian Shaw is the Board Liaison to the Council.

Comments Sarah Siddons Society President Martin Balogh, “The Siddons Artistic Council was created as an opportunity to offer recent theater school graduates and working theater professionals a place to mentor and network. We could not be more pleased than to begin this new initiative with the talents of such a stellar group forming the inaugural Council.”

The new Artistic Council is hosting three free events in February and March 2022 for recent scholarship recipients, theatre students and the Chicago-area theatre community. Advance registration is required at

Monday, February 28 at 7 pm CST

Zoom Webinar: Adjusting Your Path During a Pandemic

As a theater artist, what are my options to reposition myself in the field?

Join the Artistic Council for its inaugural event, a free 45-minute webinar hosted by Council members Kayla Boye and Donterrio. These two Chicago-based multi-hyphenate artists will lead an informal and lively conversation focused on artists repositioning themselves in a new role within their fields, the return to their dream job and a few “artistic hacks” that may help with the uncertainty artists may face. Attendees can submit questions in advance when they register. 


Monday, March 14 at 7 pm CST

Keeping It Going: Life After Theatre School 

Courtyard Theater at The Getz Theatre Center

Columbia College Chicago, 72 E. 11th St., Chicago

A free, in-person dialogue with a panel of recent theatre school graduates and working professionals covering topics including best resources to find work and collaborations, financial stability versus creative pursuits, the difference between what you learned in school and the reality of the industry, creating your own work and building partnerships.

Panelists: Chloe Baldwin, Sar Cohen, Lucas Looch Johnson (see bios below).


Tuesday, March 22 at 7 pm CST

Zoom Webinar: Keeping It Going: Life After Theatre School 

A free, virtual dialogue with a panel of recent theatre school graduates and working professionals covering topics including best resources to find work and collaborations, financial stability versus creative pursuits, the difference between what you learned in school and the reality of the industry, creating your own work and building partnerships.

Panelists: Sar Cohen, Bre Jacobs and Remy Laifer (see bios below).


About the Artistic Council

Kaiser Ahmed is a director, producer, teacher, and actor. Kaiser is Artistic Director of Jackalope Theatre Company where he served as Founding Artistic Director from 2008 to 2011. Born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and raised in mid-Michigan, Kaiser holds a BA in Theatre Directing from Columbia College. Named on NewCity’s “Players 2019: Fifty People Who Really Perform For Chicago”, Kaiser is a 2016-17 Victory Gardens Directors Inclusion Initiative recipient, a 2015-16 Eugene O’Neill National Directors Fellowship Finalist, a proud member of SDC, and SAG-AFTRA, and represented by Gray Talent. As a teaching artist, Kaiser works with Northlight Theatre, Raven Theatre and Mudlark Theatre. 

Kayla Boye is a Chicago-based artist and administrator. A member of Actors’ Equity Association, her performance credits include Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Drury Lane Theatre, Porchlight Music Theatre, Mercury Theater Chicago, Music Theater Works, The Fireside Theatre, Capital City Theatre, Bigfork Summer Playhouse and Huron Playhouse. Her one-woman show, Call Me Elizabeth, has streamed with Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Broadway On Demand, Porchlight Music Theatre and The Youngstown Playhouse. Presentations of the piece have been awarded grants from Illinois Arts Council and the Arts Midwest Touring Fund. As an arts administrator, she has worked in development, marketing and finance for Goodman Theatre and Writers Theatre, and she has served as a producer for Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s Garage Rep series. As a consultant for Artistic Fundraising Group, her portfolio included work for Arts of Life, BrightSide Theatre, Chicago Composers Orchestra, Chicago Mosaic School, Oak Park Festival Theatre and Snow City Arts. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she served as Executive Director of The Youngstown Playhouse, shepherding the 98-year-old institution through a concentrated period of comprehensive administrative restructuring while completing a capital campaign and sustaining the entirety of the operating budget via contributed revenue sources, including several high-profile grants. The organization has since successfully emerged from the pandemic to critically acclaimed and sold-out performances. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing & Editing from Youngstown State University and is a Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) through the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance.

Christopher Chase Carter is the Artistic Director of Mercury Theater Chicago. Before moving to Chicago, Christopher studied in Michigan, where he began his theater career performing, directing and choreographing award-winning community and college productions. He attended Grand Valley State University achieving his Bachelor of Arts while on scholarship. After graduating, Carter became an active participant in the Chicago dance and theater community. In 2019, he directed and choreographed the pilot production of Scottsboro Boys, working closely with Musical Theater International (MTI) and Susan Stroman at the International Thespian Festival. He followed that up by directing a history-making production of Legally Blonde at Northwestern University. Christopher has been honored with many scholarships throughout his career. In 2005, he moved to Los Angeles where he was awarded a scholarship to the Debbie Allen Dance Academy. After training at DADA, he returned to Michigan to finish his degree. He was one of four dancers chosen for a scholarship to study abroad in Kingston, Jamaica to further his training and education at The Edna Manley School. After graduating, this inspired Christopher to start his own scholarship, The Christopher Carter Arts Scholarship, to help underprivileged artists pursue their dreams. With a true passion for creativity and art Christopher is excited about the future of theater and looks forward to being part of the evolution of performance and artistry.

Sar Cohen is an actor, dancer and creative raised in Mexico City, Mexico. She is represented by Grossman & Jack Talent and graduated from Columbia College Chicago, where she received a scholarship from the Sarah Siddons Society. Sar is lucky to have had the opportunity to create during the pandemic, you can catch her in the shorts Baddie (2020) and Crybaby (2021) with Bouyett Films. Theatre credits include, Under the Bed (Candlehouse Collective), A Separate Peace (The Point Theatre), The Wizard of Oz, and a bunch of original stage readings through Zoom. She is excited to join the Siddons Artistic Council and hopes to make lasting connections with fellow artists, in addition to making positive contributions to the Theatre community in Chicago.

Donterrio is a multi-hyphenate performance artist with a focus on storytelling through the lens of the theatre. His work as the former Social Media Manager of the social change theatre group Collaboraction has enabled him to use his education from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy to advance the collective vision of theatre as a whole. Donterrio is the former Artistic Director of the LGBTQIA+ theatre company PrideArts (formerly known as Pride Films and Plays) and is currently a Professor at Columbia College Chicago.

Jermaine Hill is an award-winning music director, singer, arranger and vocal coach who served as music director, pianist and conductor for the Goodman’s production of The Music Man, directed by Mary Zimmerman. Other Chicago credits include Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies (Porchlight Music Theatre); The Color Purple (Drury Lane Oakbrook); Too Heavy For Your Pocket (TimeLine Theatre); The Total Bent (Haven Theatre); Nell Gwynn and Madagascar (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); Memphis (Porchlight Music Theatre); and Ragtime (Griffin Theatre). As an actor, he has worked with Erasing the Distance, the Onion Labs, and was a guest star on Chicago Med. He is Assistant Chair of Theater, Boston Conservatory at Berkeley. Formerly an Assistant Professor of Theatre and Coordinator of Musical Theatre at Columbia College Chicago, and an Ensemble Member of Griffin Theatre Company. A proud graduate of Ithaca College and the New England Conservatory of Music, he is represented by Gray Talent Group.

Additional Panelist Bios

Chloe Baldwin is a graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul, is currently understudying two tracks in Mary Zimmerman's Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci at Goodman Theatre, after recently playing Perdita there in The Winter’s Tale. Chicago credits include productions with Remy Bumppo, Oak Park Festival Theatre and Backroom Shakespeare Project. She appeared in the first U.S. National Tour of The Woman in Black from the West End. Film and television credits include Widows, Utopia, Code Switched, The Immediate Unknown, and the upcoming Shining Girls. She is also a fight choreographer and stunt woman, shares time between Chicago and Los Angeles, is a recipient of the Sarah Siddons Society Scholarship and is represented by Stewart Talent Chicago. 

Bre Jacobs Since graduating from Columbia College Chicago in 2020, Bre has continued her journey as an actor in Atlanta, GA where she spends time auditioning, training and collaborating with other creatives on local projects. She is represented by Shirley Hamilton Talent in Chicago and has recently signed with Forward Talent in Atlanta. 

Lucas Looch Johnson is a French/American actor, drummer, writer and producer who has an authentic passion for connecting with people through the art of performance. Past projects include: Theatre – Hundred Days (Kokandy Productions), Peter and the Star Catcher (Big Noise Theatre), Murdering Macbeth (Fearless Fiction Productions). Film – Lacy’s Christmas Do-Over (Golan Productions), Sour Patch Kids (David), The Big Leap (FOX) and Write B!tch (Snack Shack Productions).  

Remy Laifer is a recent graduate of Northwestern University’s Theatre department. Since graduating he has worked on NBC’s New Amsterdam (co-star) and HULU’s The Food That Built America (guest star). Along with acting, he is also a music enthusiast, and has released original music under the title “Remy Quinn” 

About Sarah Siddons Society

Since its inception, the mission of the Society has been to fund scholarships to promising theater arts students at top Chicago area universities including; The Theater Department, Columbia College; The Theatre School at DePaul University; Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University and Northwestern University School of Communications. For additional information, visit

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

OPENING: Black Ensemble Theater's World Premiere of Jackie Taylor’s It’s Just Like Coming to Church March 12-April 24, 2022

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar 





Black Ensemble Theater’s Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor kicks off the 2022 Season of Excellence: The Season of Healings with the world premiere of Jackie Taylor’s It’s Just Like Coming to Church (Welcome to The Church of YOU). The production runs March 12-April 24, 2022. I'll be out for the opening Sunday, March 20th so check back soon for my full review.
It’s Just Like Coming to Church is written and directed by Jackie Taylor and stars Dawn Bless (Preach) and Vincent Jordan (Deacon Jones). The Choir of the Griots is MJ Rawls (Michelle), Ciarra Stroud (Leah), Noelle Klyce (Maven) and Deshaun Peters (Will). The live band is Music Director Robert Reddrick (drums), Adam Sherrod (piano), Glenn Lowe (guitar) and Wayne Jones (bass).  
This joyous and uplifting story helps us understand the power of forgiveness, self-love, and faith as we move through the trials and tribulations that life brings.
It’s Just like Coming to Church features music of many different genres including gospel, spiritual, soul, jazz, hip-hop, and blues. The story is uplifting and inspiring and the music will touch the soul. If you need a healing, this is the place to be.

Tickets are available at, (773) 769-4451 and at the Black Ensemble Theater Box Office, 4450 N. Clark Street in Chicago. Performances are Fridays at 7:00 p.m., Saturdays at 3:00 and 7:00 p.m. and Sundays at 3:00 p.m. Tickets for previews (March 13, 14, 18 and 19) are $50 and tickets for the regular run, March 20-April 24, are $55.
Due to the challenges and uncertainties that have been brought about by the pandemic, Black Ensemble Theater is proceeding slowly, cautiously, and carefully. Mainstage shows will run 90 minutes and will be performed without an intermission. There will not be any food or drinks served. Masks are mandatory and must be worn at all times in the theater.
Jackie Taylor states, “We are in a time of challenges from which we need a healing—and healing is what the 2022 Four Play Season of Excellence is all about. Through these outstanding plays, the spirit of the music, the hope and faith experienced thru our stories—for this season Black Ensemble Theater is in the healing business!” 

The 2022 Season includes four World Premiere musicals showcasing the power of healing, each featuring different journeys and a variety of musical genres including gospel, spiritual, soul, jazz, hip-hop, blues, the sounds of the Harlem Renaissance, and more. All performances will be held at the Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark Street in Chicago. The remainder of the 2022 season is:
Grandma’s Jukebox
Written and Directed by Michelle Bester
May 29 – June 26, 2022
Previews: May 21, 22, 27 and 28
The spirit of Grandma B. lives on! Without her the family feels lost until they start playing her old jukebox. Through the music from the jukebox, the family comes to understand and accept the power of healing.
My Brother Langston
Written and Directed by Rueben Echoles
August 21 – September 18, 2022
Previews: August 13, 14, 19 and 20
We are in the apartment of Langston Hughes where he entertains prolific and profound legends of the time. On this fascinating journey, accompanied by outstanding music from the Harlem Renaissance, we come to understand why Langston Hughes was considered one of the greatest poets and civil rights leaders of his time and why his poetry continues to speak to us today. His work is a tapestry for healing.
Blue Heaven
Written and Directed by Daryl Brooks
October 30 – November 27, 2022
Previews: October 22, 23, 28 and 29
We are in what looks like a performance venue where four great blues legends – Big Momma Thornton, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters and Stevie Ray Vaughn – are reminiscing about the ups and downs of their careers while waiting for the “new guy” to show up. They are eager to give him advice about meeting – ‘The Boss.’ The new guy – B.B. King – arrives and what ensues is a blues concert that is heaven sent! Blue Heaven will touch the soul with its musical healing powers.   
In addition to Black Ensemble Theater’s regular season, a number of special events will be presented during the year, including:
Black Ensemble’s BPI (Black Playwrights Initiative) Presents:
The Black Playwrights Festival
April 25 – May 1, 2022
Black Ensemble Theater Presents:
Fridays on the Green (A Musical Celebration)
Fridays in July (July 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29, 2022)
Black Ensemble’s BPI (Black Playwrights Initiative) Presents:
Sex in the Summer in the City Summer Series
August 23 – 27, 2022
Black Ensemble’s Christmas Cabaret
December 10, 11, 17 and 18, 2022

Black Ensemble Theater  
Founded in 1976, by the phenomenal producer, playwright and actress Jackie Taylor, Black Ensemble Theater is the only African American theater located in the culturally, racially, and ethnically diverse north side Uptown community. Through its Four Play Season of Excellence, The Black Ensemble Theater dazzles audiences locally, nationally, and internationally with outstanding original musicals that are entertaining, educational, and uplifting. The Black Ensemble Theater has produced more than 100 productions and employed over 5,000 artists. 
The mission of the Black Ensemble Theater Company is to eradicate racism and its devastating effects upon society through the theater arts. For more information on the Black Ensemble Theater Company, visit or call 773-769-4451. 


ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar 

Grammy Award Nomination:

Best Contemporary Blues Album: 662

“Exceptional album...astonishing creativity.”

662 #1 Blues Album Of 2021


“Christone “Kingfish” Ingram has already made his mark as one of the best, and undoubtedly most exciting, blues guitarists in the world.”

—Guitar World

“Ingram plays guitar with dramatic, searing tone and sure-handed authority. And that's just in the studio; he's even scarier live.”

—NPR Music

Christone “Kingfish” Ingram will celebrate the release of his Grammy-nominated Alligator Records album, 662, with a live performance at The Vic Theatre in Chicago on Sunday, March 27, 2022. Ingram’s headlining tour, entitled Christone “Kingfish” Ingram Presents 662: Juke Joint Live, has already taken the 23-year-old guitarist, vocalist and songwriter across the U.S. and Europe, with many more dates to come. In addition to the Grammy nomination (his second in two years), 662 was named the #1 Best Blues Album of 2021 by UK tastemaker magazine, MOJO. Rolling Stone declared, “Kingfish is one of the most exciting young guitarists in years, with a sound that encompasses B.B. King, Jimi Hendrix and Prince.”

Check out the video for Long Distance Woman

Concert information is as follows:

Date: Sunday, March 27, 2022

Venue: The Vic Theatre

Address: 3145 N. Sheffield Ave.

City: Chicago, IL 

Phone: 773-472-0449

Showtime: 7:30pm

Ticket price: $38.50

Get your tickets HERE 

Upon its July 2021 release, 662 debuted at #1 on the Billboard Blues Chart, and it's remained on the chart ever since. NPR's Morning Edition ran a 7-minute feature on release day. Buddy Guy called him “the next explosion of blues.” 662 was recorded in Nashville and co-written and produced by Grammy-winner Tom Hambridge. It features 13 songs (and one previously released bonus track) displaying many sides of Ingram’s personality, as well as his one-of-a-kind guitar and vocal skills. 

According to Ingram, "662 is an ode to my roots, a nod to the area where I was born and raised. The title track, 662, encompasses how a small corner of the earth influenced my view of life and music. It also points to the growth I have had since my debut album. As much as I have been fortunate to get 'Outside Of This Town' (the title of his breakout single from his 2019 Grammy-nominated debut album, Kingfish), I do want people to know that the '662' will always be a major part of who I am."

Since the release of Kingfish, Ingram has quickly become the defining blues voice of his generation. From Clarksdale, Mississippi to stages around the world, the young musician has already headlined two national tours (Fish Grease I & II) and performed with friends including Vampire Weekend, Jason Isbell and Buddy Guy (with whom he appeared on Austin City Limits). He was interviewed by Sir Elton John on his Apple Music podcast Rocket Hour, and recently released songs with Bootsy Collins and Bobby Rush. In January 2021, Ingram was simultaneously on the covers of both Guitar World and DownBeat magazines, and graced the cover of Living Blues in late 2020. NPR Music says Ingram’s playing is “astounding…it’s almost like he's singing through the guitar.”

On 662, Ingram creates contemporary blues that speaks to his generation and beyond, delivering the full healing power of the music. No Depression calls Ingram, “a young bluesman with an ancient soul and a large presence in the here-and-now.” Living Blues says, “By any measure, Kingfish is one of the brightest new stars of his generation.”

CHICAGO PREMIERE OF WHITE BY DEFINITION ENSEMBLE MEMBER JAMES IJAMES in Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theater from March 10 – April 10, 2022

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar   






Definition Theatre opens its 10th anniversary season with the Chicago premiere of WHITE by ensemble member James Ijames and directed by Ericka Ratcliff. Produced in partnership with Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s LookOut Series, WHITE will run in Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theater from March 10 – April 10, 2022. I'll be out for the press opening March 17th so check back shortly after for my full review. Tickets are on sale now and may be purchased at or in person at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company box office.

“After much anticipation, we are elated to present this incredible piece of theatre from Definition ensemble member James Ijames,” shared Artistic Director Tyrone Phillips. “I am also looking forward to collaborating with director and Chicago theatre treasure Ericka Ratcliff, who is embarking on this new journey with us. Much like America V2.1, the theatrical film production Definition released in fall 2021, WHITE invites the audience to grapple with themes of power and authorship. This hilarious, thought-provoking piece holds our society accountable to artists as it is asks, ‘Who is allowed to create art? And how do we decide what creative work is worth?’”

Gus is a painter expecting his big break with a prestigious contemporary art museum in 'The New America' exhibition. When he's told by the museum's new curator that "white dudes" aren't a part of New America, he enlists the help of Vanessa, a black actress, and together they create Balkonae Townsend, a bold, young radical artist to serve as the face of his work. But when things start to spiral out of control, Gus is left to deal with the mess he created and Vanessa must come to terms with her own agency as an artist. Audacious and bitingly funny, WHITE explores white privilege, racial politics and the fine line between appropriation and opportunity.

*The cast of WHITE includes ensemble member Carley Cornelius with Jonathan Allsop, Kierra Bunch, and Niko Kourtis. 

The production team for WHITE includes Joey Stone (Associate Director), Yeaji Kim (Scenic and Projections Designer), Rea Brown (Costume Designer), Levi Wilkins (Lighting Designer), Willow James (Sound Designer), Lonnae Hickman (Properties Designer), Gaby Labotaka (Intimacy Director), Kayla Menz (Assistant Intimacy Director), JQ (Original Composition), ensemble member Jared Bellot (Dramaturg), Evan Sposato (Technical Director), Emmy Weldon (Assistant Lighting Designer), AJ Links (Casting Director), Ariel Beller (Floor Manager), Julie Jachym (Production Stage Manager), and Jennifer Aparicio (Production Manager).

Previews:  Thursday, March 10 at 8:00pm; Friday, March 11 at 8:00pm;

Saturday, March 12 at 3:00pm; Saturday, March 12 at 8:00pm;

and Wednesday, March 16 at 8:00pm

Regular run:  March 18 – April 10, 2022

Ticket prices: $20 - $40

Box Office:  Ticket orders will be processed at and in person at Steppenwolf 




Definition Theatre is a culturally diverse theater dedicated to telling language-driven, relationship-oriented, socially relevant stories about and created with underrepresented communities in Chicago. Our ensemble is a collective of artists, art administrators, educators, and designers who prioritize working towards and representing a more equitable theatre industry.

Definition has built its reputation on work that reflects its unique voice. It shared the words of Academy Award- Winner Tarell Alvin McCraney in The Brothers Size; it grooved with Amiri Baraka’s whirlwind story of a chance meeting on a train in Dutchman. In partnership with, The New Colony staged the world premiere of Byhalia, Mississippi, which starred Academy Award nominee ensemble member Kiki Layne. In association with the Goodman Theatre, Definition staged the Chicago premiere of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ An Octoroon, a subversive take on race in America that captivated audiences. Most recently, Definition sent us all to the moon with ensemble member James Ijames’s Moon Man Walk, explored the challenges of America’s public-school system through Nilaja Sun’s No Child… and highlighted the first- generation experience in the world premiere of Sam Kebede’s ETHIOPIANAMERICA.

Ensemble members include: Owais Ahmed, Jared Bellot, Carley Cornelius, Ari Craven, Danielle Davis, Martasia Jones, Slick Jorgensen, Kristy Hall, James Ijames, Kiki Layne, Kelson Michael McAuliffe, Neel McNeill, Sophiyaa Nayar, Karyn Oates, Alexandra Oparka, Julian Parker, Tyrone Phillips, Jacqueline Rosas, Christopher Sheard, and Dujon Smith. Artistic Advisory Board members include: director May Adrales, Steppenwolf ensemble member Alana Arenas, actress Shannon Cochran, Erica Daniels, actor Brandon Dirden, actor Jason Dirden, director Pam Mackinnon, Equity Quotient CEO Keryl McCord, professor JW Morrissette, director Ron OJ Parson, professor/lighting designer Kathy Perkins, Tony Award-winning actress and stage director Phylicia Rashad, and Goodman Theatre director in residence Chuck Smith. Tyrone Phillips is the Artistic Director and Neel McNeill is the Executive Director. For additional information, visit and @definitiontheatre on Facebook and Instagram #stayinit


LookOut is Steppenwolf’s performance series that presents the work of artists and companies across genre and form, emerging artists and performance legends, quintessential Chicago companies and young aspiring ensembles, familiar Steppenwolf faces and new friends. Patrick Zakem and Lauren Steinberg are the Producers for the series. For more information, visit Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theater is a flexible and intimate venue connected to Steppenwolf’s own Front Bar: Coffee and Drinks at 1700 N Halsted St., an inviting space to grab a drink, have a bite, or meet up with friends and collaborators, day or night.


NEW RELEASES: Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio's Full Length, Cold As Weiss Out Now On Colemine Records

 Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio 

Releases New Full-Length

Cold As Weiss 

via Colemine Records

Album Praised by American Songwriter, Glide, Jambase, Jazziz, Live For Live Music, and more

Photo Credit: Leroi Conroy

Here at ChiIL Live Shows, Cold As Weiss has been in heavy rotation and we're loving it! Give it a listen. So far, Cold As Weiss has been praised by Jambase, Relix, Glide, Jazziz, Northern Transmissions,  Seattle Times, Live For Live Music, and American Songwriter, who said "It’s another home run for Lamarr’s trio who hasn’t made a misstep yet. Get on board and bring a friend as these guys generate the fiery funk/soul/jazz heat.”

Seattle-based soul-jazz groove-machine Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio released their new full length Cold As Weiss via Colemine Records February 11, 2022. Cold As Weiss is the band’s first release featuring new drummer Dan Weiss, also of the powerhouse soul and funk collective The Sextones. A natural fit for the Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio's groove-oriented rhythms, Dan’s smoldering drumming locks in the trio’s explosive chemistry. DLO3’s lineup is completed by organist Delvon Lamarr and guitarist Jimmy James. 

Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio—or as it is sometimes referred to, DLO3—specializes in the lost art of “feel good music.” The band features organist Delvon Lamarr, a self-taught virtuosic musician, with perfect pitch who taught himself jazz and has effortlessly been able to play a multitude of instruments. On guitar is the dynamo Jimmy James, who eases through Steve Cropper-style chanking guitar, volcanic acid-rock freak-out lead playing, and slinky Grant Green style jazz. From Reno, Nevada is drummer Dan Weiss whose smoldering pocket-groove drumming locks in the trio’s explosive chemistry. 

In 2021, DLO3 released their sophomore studio album I Told You So, which debuted atop multiple Billboard Charts: #1 on the Contemporary Jazz Album chart, #3 on the Jazz Album chart, #4 on the Tastemaker Album chart, and #12 on the Heatseeker Album chart. I Told You So was praised by Under the Radar, All Music, American Songwriter, Popmatters, KEXP, Live For Live Music, Jazziz, Jambase, Glide Magazine, and NPR, who named it one of their favorite albums from the first half of 2021.

Founded by Larmarr’s wife and manager Amy Novo, the trio started from humble beginnings in 2015, but since then has released two Billboard charting albums and toured the world to sold out venues. Now, with permanent drummer Dan Weiss behind to kit, DLO3 is proud to present Cold As Weiss, their third studio album to date that finds them tighter than ever, and continuing to push funky instrumental music to a new generation of fans.

Cold As Weiss Tracklist:

1. Pull Your Pants Up 

2. Don't Worry 'Bout What I Do

3. I Wanna Be Where You Are

4. Big TT's Blues

5. Get Da Steppin'

6. Uncertainty

7. Keep On Keepin' On

8. Slip 'N' Slide

9. This Is Who I Is

Tour Dates:

02/24/22: Seattle, WA - ​​Climate Pledge Arena (playing Seattle Kraken pre-game, National Anthem, and intermission)

03/10/22 : Oxford, MS - Proud Larry’s

03/11/22: Athens, GA - Live Wire Athens

03/12/22: Waycross, GA - Swamptown Getdown Music Festival

06/15/22: San Francisco, CA - SF Jazz

06/17/22: Santa Barbara, CA - Live Oak Music Festival

06/18/22: Venice, CA - The Venice West

06/19/22: San Juan Capistrano, CA - The Coach House 

World Premiere of Lifeboat Productions' THE BLACK KNIGHT at City Lit Theater February 26 - April 2, 2022

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar  

Lifeboat Productions presents


By Angeli Primlani Directed by Brian Pastor

A world premiere theatrical performance February 26 - April 2

“Trust. Love. Survive.”

Lifeboat Productions presents the world premiere of The Black Knight by Angeli Primlani, on stage at City Lit Theater in Edgewater, from February 26 - April 2.

Tickets are $38.00 and can be purchased at

The Black Knight is a timely tale of love, trust, and resistance set in Nazi-Occupied Prague. This intimate character study examines the nature of love and trust in a culture where everyone is assumed to be under surveillance. Three friends, Albrecht, Kathi and Fritz, all grew up together in Nazi Germany. As the war begins they scatter in very different directions. When they encounter each other again in Prague in 1941, they must decide whether and how much they can trust each other, and if their bonds of affection and love are stronger than war.

Originally slated to open in 2020 before being shut down by the pandemic, the 2022 premiere features the return of much of the cast and production team, including Lifeboat Company member Gary Henderson as Albrecht, who also performed the role in Accidental Shakespeare Company’s staged reading at Stage 773 during Chicago Theater Week 2017.

“I’ve seen a lot of principled people in my life side with the bullies, only to wake up too late – after everything they thought they were protecting was lost,” said Henderson. “This play is not just a cautionary tale, it’s a talisman against the darkness.”

Katherine Wettermann as Kathi, who was also part of the 2020 cast. “I was immediately drawn to Kathi’s strong sense of self – especially during this time period, when women had little to no rights. Love becomes a test to Kathi’s independence, and she quickly learns the dire impact her decisions have on those around her,” said Wettermann.

During the pandemic and lockdown, the Lifeboat team watched helplessly as this story about the rise of fascism became even more relevant to our modern world. The current cast and director Brian Pastor heavily workshopped this final script, with significant research support from dramaturg Rabbit Seagraves and actor Gary Henderson. It became clear that the manipulation of a national emergency, and the everyday heroism of ordinary people in response, echoes in the world we live in now.

Playwright Angeli Primlani (pictured above) worked in Prague, Czech Republic as a journalist in the 1990s and wrote about the reassertion of the neo-Nazi movement there. “At the time this story was my very personal obsession. I thought it would bore anyone who wasn’t a giant history nerd,” she said. “Instead I spent the last few years watching the US follow a similar dark path to Germany’s. These characters are like GenZ now, old enough to understand what is happening, too young to have any control over events that would shape all of their destinies.”

Primlani directed the 2017 staged reading as Accidental Shakespeare Company’s former Artistic Director. That cast’s wonderful work brought the show to the attention of Managing Director Ursula Gruber.

Gruber expressed her passion for the complexity and authenticity of the script, “When I first read an early draft of Angeli’s script in 2004, I was taken aback by the similarities with my grandmother’s life in Essen, Germany. As we workshopped the play over the last few years, we have been deeply moved by the stories of audience members who shared their own connections to the narrative. As a queer woman with both Jewish and German heritage, I am thrilled to finally bring this script to a larger audience.”

Director Brian Pastor joined the team in 2021, around the time that their adaptation of RFK’s memoir of The Cuban Missile Crisis, Thirteen Days, premiered on the City Lit stage. An honors history major at Northwestern, Brian brings a vast amount of experience to the table, having served as a producer, director, actor and playwright in Chicago for nearly two decades. Brian’s punk-laced production of Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde for Promethean Theatre Ensemble gave us a glimpse of how small acts of resistance can create lasting change. Of The Black Knight, Brian says, “After Gross Indecency and Thirteen Days, I became enchanted with this idea that small, brave choices can add up to something much bigger. In those previous shows, the agents of change were people with power and influence. I really wanted to examine what kind of progress could be made when ordinary people choose to do the next right thing. This show allows us to imagine how we might learn to slay giants by having enough people choose to pick up a stone.”

Lifeboat Productions is devoted to the idea of Hopepunk Theater. In a world where meanness and toughness is valued, kindness and affection is the most punk thing one can embrace. The Black Knight’s message of resistance and love as the best weapons against facism has remained an extremely hopepunk theme. Many of the cast and production team members identify with historically marginalized groups and cultures, informing the ways the various characters both belong to and are excluded from the mainstream.


Katherine Wettermanm as Kathi Gary Henderson as Albrecht Mac Westcott as Fritz

Matt Rosin as Forster

Jared Dennis as Schellenberg

Erin Stewart as Marta / Driver / Pear lady Rafael López as Honza

Brooks Whitlock as Burger

Ben Terpstra as Officer

Cast bios can be found at:

Production team bios can be found at:

Production Team:

Director: Brian Pastor

Scenic Design: Jeremiah Barr

Intimacy Design: Courtney Abbott

Stage Manager: Kristen Jett

Props Design: Cat Cefalu

Lighting Design: Benjamin Dionysus Sound Design: Amber Cell and Cheri Tatar Costume Design: Kelsey Denvir Dramaturgy: Rabbit Seagraves

Performance Dates:

Preview Friday, February, 25 7:30 pm

February 26 - April 3, Thursdays - Saturdays 7:30 pm, Sundays 2:30 pm


City Lit Theater

1020 W Bryn Mawr Ave, Chicago, IL 60660

In the Edgewater Presbyterian Church

CTA Red Line stop: Bryn Mawr

Parking and transportation information at City Lit Theater is Wheelchair Accessible


About Lifeboat Productions:

Lifeboat Productions is an ensemble theater company that promotes hopepunk narratives of resistance and optimism weaponized against the prevailing cultural narrative of anger and despair. Lifeboat Productions was formed in 2020 by a group of actors, designers, and writers who needed something to believe in.

Tickets On Sale Now for Comedian DAVE ATTELL at The Den Theatre August 18 – 20, 2022

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar 
The Den Theatre Announces Comedian
August 18 – 20, 2022 on The Heath Mainstage

My family ChiILin' with Dave Attell in Alaska in 2002

My husband, Dug, of Dug Production Sound, Inc worked on Insomniac with Dave Attell for 4 seasons and traveled the world with him on the international specials. Fun times! Dug even makes cameo appearances in many of the episodes. 

Our whole family tagged along on the Insomniac Alaska shoot, pictured above, when our son, Dugan was one. Dave ended up sitting next to our toddler for dinner one night and was a great sport when our kid decided to hand feed Dave his Mexican food. We still love to catch Dave Attell and his irreverent humor when he comes through town, and can't wait to see him in August. Tickets are on sale now for his 3 night run in Chicago at The Den Theatre. Don't miss this!

The Den Theatre is pleased to announce comedian Dave Attell for five stand-up performances August 18 – 20, 2022 on The Heath Mainstage, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. Tickets ($18 - $40) are currently available at or by calling (773) 697-3830.
Dave Attell is a stand-up comedian, actor and writer, best known as the host of Comedy Central's Insomniac with Dave Attell, which gave him a cult following. He can next be seen in the Hulu series Life & Beth alongside Amy Schumer, Michael Rapaport and Michael Cera. He also appears on Bumping Mics with Jeff Ross, currently streaming on Netflix and HBO’s Crashing with Pete Holmes. His stand-up series, Dave Attell’s Comedy Underground and his one-hour special, Road Work, were featured on Comedy Central and Road Work is now streaming on Netflix.
His film credits include Chris Rock’s cult film Pootie Tang, Funny People, Scary Movie 4 and Los Enchiladas and the Amy Schumer films Trainwreck and I Feel Pretty. His television credits include The Simpsons, Difficult People, Bob’s Burgers, Arrested Development, The Jim Gaffigan Show, The Jim Norton Show, Inside Amy Schumer, Louie, Ed, Everybody Loves Raymond and Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn. He was named one of the “25 Funniest People in America” by Entertainment Weekly Magazine. When not on the road, Attell makes regular appearances at the Comedy Cellar in New York City.
Performance Schedule
Thursday, August 18 at 8 pm
Friday, August 19 at 7 pm & 9:15 pm
Saturday, August 20 at 7 pm & 9:15 pm

Tickets: $30 regular seating ($20 obstructed view); $50 front row VIP table seating; $40 VIP table seating; $35 mezzanine table seating. All ticket prices include cocktail service with a two-drink minimum.
The Den currently requires proof of vaccination for all guests, staff and performers and adheres to all CDC, state and local safety guidelines. Additionally, masking is required for all guests during performances. For the most current information on The Den’s COVID guidelines, visit
About The Den Theatre
Artistic Director Ryan Martin opened The Den in 2010 in the Wicker Park neighborhood with a single theatre space. Now celebrating its tenth year, The Den is a multi-level live entertainment venue that boasts five intimate and unique theaters ranging from 50 – 300 seats. The first floor houses The Den’s Haven Lounge – a full-service coffee shop and bar where neighbors, audiences and like-minded culture hounds gather to drink, eat, talk, read, watch, think, listen and live. Currently, The Den is home to five resident theatre companies including Broken Nose Theatre, ComedySportz Chicago, First Floor Theater, Haven and The New Coordinates (formerly The New Colony). Hundreds of other companies and artists from Chicago and beyond have called The Den home – from national names to local stars, The Den consistently plays host to a lineup of exciting and diverse talent. As a building created for interdisciplinary arts, The Den has accommodated a wide variety of programming, including plays, musicals, film screenings, live music, dance, improv and stand-up comedy, seminars and speaking engagements. For additional information, visit

Monday, February 21, 2022

English National Ballet Via Harris Theater February 24-26, 2022


ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar 

Harris Theater Presents


Akram Khan’s Creature

English National Ballet

February 24-26, 2022

I'll be out to catch opening night of this highly anticipated international premiere on February 24th, so check back soon for my full review. Following the pivotal impact of Dust and Giselle, Akram Khan returns to English National Ballet for his third collaboration with the company.

In a dilapidated former Arctic research station, the Creature has been conscripted by a military brigade into a bold new experimental programme. He is being tested for his mental and physical ability to adapt to extreme cold, isolation and homesickness; vital qualities in mankind’s proposed colonisation of the ‘final frontiers’ on earth and beyond.

Creature is an unearthly tale of exploitation and human frontiers inspired by Georg Büchner’s expressionist classic Woyzeck, with shadows of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Drawing on themes of abandonment, isolation and the fragility of the mind, Creature is the tale of an outsider and the search for belonging.

“The outcast, the stranger, have been a common theme in my work”, says Khan. “In Creature, I am looking further into the areas related to the sense of abandonment, rage and loss.”

Jeffrey Cirio in Creature by Akram Khan © Ambra Vernuccio

Khan is joined by a brilliant creative team of Academy Award-winning designer Tim Yip, composer and sound designer Vincenzo Lamagna, lighting designer Michael Hulls and dramaturg Ruth Little.

A co-production between English National Ballet and Opera Ballet Vlaanderen
Co-Producer: Sadler’s Wells, London
Production Partner: The Joan W. and Irving B. Harris Theater

This engagement will include live music performed by Harris Theater Resident Company Chicago Philharmonic Society.

Tickets and more information here.

Jeffrey Cirio and Erina Takahashi in Creature by Akram Khan © Ambra Vernuccio

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

HADES TOWN at Broadway In Chicago's CIBC THEATRE March 2 - March 13, 2022

 ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar 




Broadway In Chicago's


March 2 - March 13, 2022

“It roars off the stage with a ferocity 

that has not been matched on Broadway in a long while.”

Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune


Don't miss this! Hadestown is the winner of eight 2019 Tony Awards® including Best New Musical and the 2020 Grammy® Award for Best Musical Theater Album. I can't wait to check it out on opening night. Check back soon at for my full review.

Part of the 2021-2022 Broadway season, the show will play at Broadway In Chicago’s CIBC Theatre from March 2 – March 13, 2022. To purchase single tickets, visit Hadestown is part of the current Broadway In Chicago 5-show series, which can be purchased at or by calling (312) 977-1717. Tickets are available now for groups of 10 or more by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710 or emailing Ticket prices range from $52.50 - $132.50 with a select number of premium tickets available. Learn more about the new touring production at

Hadestown was the most honored show of the 2018-2019 Broadway season. In addition to the show’s eight Tony Awards®, it has been honored with four Drama Desk Awards, six Outer Critics Circle Awards, including Outstanding New Broadway Musical, and the Drama League Award for Outstanding Production of a Musical.

The acclaimed new musical is by celebrated singer-songwriter and Tony Award® winner Anaïs Mitchell and developed with innovative director and Tony Award® winner Rachel Chavkin. Hadestown marks the first time in over a decade that a woman has been the solo author of a musical: writing the music, lyrics, and book, and is the fourth time in Broadway history a woman has accomplished this creative feat.

“Hadestown is quite simply one of the most exquisite works of musical storytelling I’ve seen in my more than 25 years as a theater critic.” Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times

Producers Mara Isaacs, Dale Franzen, Hunter Arnold, and Tom Kirdahy said jointly, “Throughout its development, Hadestown has been deeply influenced by audiences around the world. We are thrilled and humbled to now share this beautiful story of hope, faith, and rebirth – written and directed by two amazingly talented women and brought to life by a diverse company of performers – with audiences across North America.”

The show originated as Mitchell’s indie theater project that toured Vermont which she then turned into an acclaimed album. With Chavkin, her artistic collaborator, Hadestown has been transformed into a genre-defying new musical that blends modern American folk music with New Orleans-inspired jazz to reimagine a sweeping ancient tale. The show opened at the Walter Kerr Theatre on Broadway (219 West 48th Street, New York) on April 17, 2019, where it played sold-out houses nightly before performances were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Hadestown resumed performances on September 2, 2021, as one of the first musicals to reopen on Broadway.

The North American touring production of Hadestown stars Drama Desk Award® nominee Nicholas Barasch as Orpheus, Morgan Siobhan Green as Eurydice, Tony Award winner Levi Kreis as Hermes, Kimberly Marable as Persephone, and Olivier Award® nominee Kevyn Morrow as Hades. The Fates are played by Belén Moyano, Bex Odorisio, and Shea Renne. The Workers Chorus features Lindsey Hailes, Chibueze Ihuoma, Will Mann, Sydney Parra, and Jamari Johnson Williams. The swings for the touring production include Kimberly Immanuel, Alex Lugo, Eddie Noel Rodríguez, and Nathan Salstone.

Following two intertwining love stories — that of young dreamers Orpheus and Eurydice, and that of King Hades and his wife Persephone — Hadestown invites audiences on a hell-raising journey to the underworld and back. Mitchell’s beguiling melodies and Chavkin’s poetic imagination pit industry against nature, doubt against faith, and fear against love. Performed by a vibrant ensemble of actors, dancers, and singers, Hadestown delivers a deeply resonant and defiantly hopeful theatrical experience.

Welcome to the intriguing and beautiful world of “your next musical theater obsession.” Vogue

The creative team features Tony Award® winner Rachel Hauck (set design); four-time Tony Award® nominee Michael Krass (costume design); two-time Tony Award® winner Bradley King (lighting design); Tony Award® winners Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz (sound design); Chita Rivera Award® winner and three-time Bessie Award® winner David Neumann (choreography); Liam Robinson (music supervision and vocal arrangements); Tony Award® winners Michael Chorney and Todd Sickafoose (arrangements and orchestrations); Ken Cerniglia (dramaturgy); and Stewart/Whitley (casting).

Hadestown electrified audiences with its 2016 world premiere at New York Theatre Workshop, which is the longest-running show in that celebrated theater’s 40-year history. The production then received its Canadian premiere at Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre in 2017 and then a 2018 sold-out engagement at the London’s National Theatre. Hadestown was developed with funding from the Eli and Edythe Broad Stage at the Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center and was further developed by The Ground Floor at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Hadestown was co-conceived by Ben t. Matchstick.

The Grammy® winning Hadestown Original Broadway Cast Recording is now available at The album is produced by David Lai, Sickafoose, and Mitchell on Sing It Again Records.


ANAÏS MITCHELL (Music, Lyrics & Book) is a Tony and Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter whose recordings include the original studio album of Hadestown (2010), Young Man in America (2012), Bonny Light Horseman (2019, as Bonny Light Horseman) and Anaïs Mitchell (2022). She was named to the TIME100 list of the Most Influential People in the World in 2020 and her first book Working on a Song–The Lyrics of Hadestown was published by Plume/Penguin the same year. She headlines shows worldwide and her music has featured regularly on “Best-Of” lists including NPR, The Guardian and The Wall Street Journal. Hadestown is Anaïs’ first musical.

RACHEL CHAVKIN (Director) is a Tony Award-winning director, writer and artistic director of Brooklyn-based collective, the TEAM. Hadestown (NYTW, National Theatre, London) has been one of her greatest joys. Tony and Lortel nominations and Drama Desk Award for Dave Malloy’s Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 (Broadway, Ars Nova, A.R.T.). London: Mission Drift (National Theatre), American Clock (Old Vic). Select New York and regional: Marco Ramirez’s The Royale (LCT; Obie Award, Drama Desk and Lortel nominations), Malloy’s Preludes (LCT3), Bess Wohl’s Small Mouth Sounds (Ars Nova and national tour), Carson Kreitzer’s and Matt Gould’s Lempicka (Williamstown Theatre Festival), The Royal Family (Guthrie Theatre) and multiple collaborations with Taylor Mac. Her first film, Remind Me, was an official selection of the Venice and Beverly Hills Film Festivals. 2017 Smithsonian Award for Ingenuity. Proud NYTW Usual Suspect and Member SDC.

DAVID NEUMANN (Choreographer). Film: I Am Legend, Marriage Story (Noah Baumbach). Choreography: An Octoroon and Futurity (Soho Rep); Antipodes (Signature Theatre); Underground Railroad Game (Ars Nova); Hagoromo and Home (BAM); The Antipodes (Signature Theatre). Collaborator and performer: Laurie Anderson, Big Dance Theater, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Doug Elkins. Director: The Object Lesson (NYTW, BAM). Artistic director, Advanced Beginner Group (P.S.122, NY Live Arts, The Kitchen, Symphony Space, Abrons Art Center, The Chocolate Factory, The Whitney, Walker Art Center, MASS MoCA). Recipient of 2020 Obie Award, 2019 Chita Rivera Award, three Bessie Awards for dance/performance, Tony nominee for Hadestown, Lucille Lortel and Helen Hayes Award nominee.


Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday at 7:30 pm

Saturdays at 2 & 8 pm

Sundays at 2 pm

There will be a performance on Sunday, March 6, at 7:30 pm, and on Wednesday, March 9 at 2 pm.



Broadway In Chicago was created in July 2000 and over the past 21 years has grown to be one of the largest commercial touring homes in the country.  A Nederlander Presentation, Broadway In Chicago lights up the Chicago Theater District entertaining more than 1.7 million people annually in five theatres. Broadway In Chicago presents a full range of entertainment, including musicals and plays, on the stages of five of the finest theatres in Chicago’s Loop including the Cadillac Palace Theatre, CIBC Theatre, James M. Nederlander Theatre, and just off the Magnificent Mile, the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place and presenting Broadway shows at the Auditorium Theatre.


COVID-19 Protocol:  Broadway In Chicago audience members are required to wear a mask, a provide vaccination card, and photo I.D. and valid ticket upon entry to the theatre.  For exemptions or if you are unable to be vaccinated (including children) must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test along with a photo ID and valid ticket. For further information and specifics related to vaccines and tests visit


All Broadway In Chicago schedules, productions, and protocols for attendance will continue to be reviewed as further guidance and recommendations are provided by the CDC, Illinois State, and Chicago Departments of Health. 

For more information about the show, visit

Google Analytics