Thursday, March 31, 2022

The World Premiere of NOTES & LETTERS Via Underscore Theatre Company May 10 – 28, 2022 at the Richard Christiansen Theater

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar 

Tenth Anniversary Season!

Underscore Theatre Company Presents the World Premiere of


Book, Music & Lyrics by Annabelle Lee Revak

 Directed by Leah Geis

Music Direction by Anna Wegener

Choreography by Ebrin R. Stanley

May 10 – 28, 2022 at the Richard Christiansen Theater

Underscore Theatre Company celebrates its tenth anniversary season with the world premiere of Notes & Letters featuring book, music and lyrics by Annabelle Lee Revak (she/her), based on letters Revak’s great-great grandfather Joe Loula sent to his family upon his immigration to Chicago from Eastern Europe. Originally slated to open in the spring of 2020, the musical is directed by Leah Geis (she/they), with music direction by Anna Wegener (she/her) and choreography by Ebrin R. Stanley (he/him). Notes & Letters will play May 10 – 28, 2022 at the Richard Christiansen Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. Tickets are currently available at, by calling (773) 871-3000 or in person at The Biograph Theater Box Office, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. in Chicago. I'll be out for the press opening Thursday, May 12th, so check back soon for my full review. 

The cast includes Katy Campbell (she/her), Caitlin Dobbins (she/her), Sam Martin (he/him) and Michael Mejia (they/them). Understudies include Aaron Reese Boseman (he/him), Nate Hall (he/him), Jamie Redwood (she/her) and Jasmine Robertson (she/her).

Notes & Letters follows Joe’s journey from war-torn Prague to Williams Piano Shop in Chicago in 1917. He quickly befriends the owner Charlie, his girlfriend Nora and composer Olivia. The foursome become inseparable – until World War I hits the U.S. Businesses, relationships and lives are put to the test. Based on a true story and set to a jazz-contemporary score, four young people struggle to make choices amid complete chaos.

Comments Underscore Artistic Director Whitney Rhodes, "We are proud and grateful to complete the development process we've been on with Notes & Letters now for over four years. Annabelle has written a charming and heartfelt story that is ultimately about friendship in times of complex outside change. While the show is set in the early 1900s, the themes are so present and alive in this moment. Its catchy score will leave you humming and the honest storytelling will leave you hopeful – which I think we all crave as we return to the theater. I'm grateful that Leah, Anna and Ebrin have all stayed with the project and am thrilled to welcome many new faces to our production team to work alongside a few of our stalwart designers. Plus, Notes & Letters had its very first workshop reading at the Richard Christiansen Theater, so this is a true full circle moment."

The production team includes Rebekah Clark (scenic design, they/she), Christina Leinicke (costume design, she/her), Benjamin Carne (lighting design, he/him), Timothy McNulty (sound design, he/him), Kathryn Healy (props design, she/her), Aaron Jamieson Roberts (dramaturg, he/him), Lauren Peters (production manager, she/her), Ben Lipinski (technical director, he/him) and Abby Teel (stage manager, she/her).

Cast (in alphabetical order) Katy Campbell (Olivia, she/her), Caitlin Dobbins (Nora, she/her), Sam Martin (Joe, he/him) and Michael Mejia (Charlie, they/them). Understudies: Aaron Reese Boseman (he/him), Nate Hall (he/him), Jamie Redwood (she/her) and Jasmine Robertson (she/her).

Location: Richard Christiansen Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave, Chicago

Dates: Previews: Tuesday, May 10 at 7:30 pm and Wednesday, May 11 at 7:30 pm

Press performance: Thursday, May 12 at 7:30 pm (also open to the general public).

Regular run: Friday, May 13 – Saturday, May 28, 2022

Curtain Times: Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 2 pm. Please note: there will be added performances on Wednesday, May 25 at 7:30 pm and Saturday, May 28 at 2 pm.

Tickets: $32 general admission. Discounts (available via telephone or in person at the box office): $25 preview performances, $28 group, $27 senior, $22 military/first responder, $20 industry, $15 student. Tickets are currently available at, by calling (773) 871-3000 or in person at The Biograph Theater Box Office, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. in Chicago.

 PHOTO CREDIT: The cast of Underscore Theatre Company’s world premiere of Notes & Letters includes (top, l to r) Katy Campbell, Caitlin Dobbins, Sam Martin and Michael Mejia (bottom, l to r) Aaron Reese Boseman, Nate Hall, Jamie Redwood and Jasmine Robertson.

About the Artists:

Annabelle Lee Revak (Book, Music and Lyrics, she/her) is a musical theatre composer, lyricist, playwright and music director. Her shows include Train on Fire (MTFest UK 2022); Notes & Letters (Underscore Theatre Company, Chicago Musical Theatre Festival); Windsong, a folk opera (Flatiron Arts); Starfall (Music Institute Chicago); and The Voodoo Queen (Breaking and Entering, Co-writer Aaron Cooper). Columbia College Chicago (BA Musical Theatre/BA Music Composition) and University of Wolverhampton (MA Research in the Performing Arts). @annabelleleerevak

Leah Geis (Director, she/they) is thrilled to finally stage Notes and Letters after the theatre's prolonged break! Originally from rural Nebraska, Leah freelanced primarily in musical theatre as a director and stage manager for five years before making the move to Chicago. As a director, Leah has developed new works that focus on women and LGBT+ topics at both Pride Arts and Otherworld Theatre. Stage management credits include Proxy (Underscore Theatre), Always...Patsy Cline (Firebrand Theatre) and Little Women (Brown Paper Box Co.) Leah is grateful for patrons who supported the arts through the pandemic and for coming back out as soon as we could safely open our doors again. IG: @leahrgeis.

Anna Wegener (Music Director, Performance Pianist, she/her) returns to Underscore Theatre after Music Directing Ripped! with Underscore Develops in 2021 and several Tiny Storefront Concerts. She teaches, directs and performs in the Chicago-area. Recent shows include Guys and Dolls and Something Rotten (Theatre Nebula), Beauty and the Beast (MOS) and The Things I Could Never Tell Steven (PrideArts). Thanks to the production team, cast, crew, and the audience! A special thank you to Annabelle Revak for creating this incredible world to live in during each performance.

Ebrin R. Stanley (Choreographer & Artistic Consultant, he/him) was born and raised in Houston, TX. He graduated from the University of South Dakota with a B.F.A in Musical Theatre in 2017 and a minor in Dance. Ebrin has directed and choreographed many productions for the Children's Museum of Houston. In December 2017, Ebrin was given the chance to co-write, direct and choreograph Home for the Holidays, a children's musical in Houston. In January 2018, he starred in the world premiere of Dead Meat, a workshop performance written by Paige Zubel. Later that year, he landed the role of Hercules Mulligan/James Madison in Hamilton: An American Musical (Chicago). In 2019, Ebrin arranged two medleys that were performed at the hit music festival, Lollapalooza. Performing his original music all over Chicago, Ebrin got the chance to headline his first concert “The Reality of Love and Life with Ebrin R. Stanley” in February 2020. He has produced music for artists from New York, Houston and Chicago. During the Pandemic, Ebrin has had the privilege of composing an original score for the award-winning web series Neighbors, which is streaming now on Broadstream. He has since returned to Hamilton with the opening company in Los Angeles. Ebrin would like to thank his family for always supporting him and God for always blessing him. Remember that All Black Lives Matter. Instagram: @ebrinrstanley Twitter: @ebrinrstanley Music can be found on all streaming platforms under the name Ebrin R. Stanley.

About Underscore Theatre Company

Founded in 2011, Underscore Theatre Company is a team of producing artists dedicated to exploring stories of power and resonance through a musical lens; fostering the development of new musicals; and bolstering Chicago’s role as a national leader in musical theatre. Since its creation, Underscore has produced or co-produced 65 new mainstage and workshop musicals in Chicago. Underscore is proud to be Chicago's home for new musicals.

Underscore Theatre Company recognizes its accountability to the systems that have failed our communities of Black, Indigenous and People of Color. We are grateful for the work of those behind the “We See You, White American Theatre” vision for laying the groundwork of what a more equitable industry can be and are committed to being a part of the change. We align with their principles and are holding ourselves accountable to anti-racism practices as a part of our current strategic planning process supporting the development of new musical theater. 

Land Acknowledgement: Chicago is the traditional homeland of over a dozen different tribes including the Council of Three Fires: the Ojibwe, Odawa and Potawotami nations, as well as the Miami, Ho-Chunk, Fox, and the Illinois Confederacy of the Peoria and Kaskaskia nations. In 1830 Congress forcibly stripped these tribes of their land by passing the Indian Removal Act which led to relocation, poverty, and starvation.


Wednesday, March 30, 2022


Chi, IL Live Shows On Our Radar  

The Wicker Park Venue Announces the Return of Open Mic Fridays and Hosts Davenport’s Staff Favorite Megan Elk in a new show, Scott Gryder, Adam Hibma and Kimberly Lawson with Hello, Gorgeous! A Barbra Streisand Birthday Celebration, Cathleen Brumback and Christian Lutes in Two English Majors Walk into a Bar, Two Jackie Smook’s Performances with Music and Puppets and in Under Your Skin and More

Davenport’s Piano Bar & Cabaret, Chicago’s premier location for enjoying music in an intimate setting, announces its roster of April performances in its Cabaret and Piano Bar. Davenport’s, 1383 North Milwaukee Avenue, is open Fridays and Saturdays from 7 p.m. - 12 a.m. and Sundays from 6 - 11 p.m. Performers, tickets and more are available at

Please note: All patrons must be 21 years old or older and vaccinated. For entry, patrons must provide proof of vaccination, such as a Vaccination Cardand a valid photo ID. Masks will be required upon entry and when not seated.

All performances In The Cabaret are ticketed events with a two-drink minimum on the night of the performance. 

In The Cabaret this April are: 

Cathleen Brumback and Christian Lutes

Two English Majors Walk into a Bar

Friday, April 1 at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $10 with a two-drink minimum 

Former English majors Cathleen Brumback and Christian Lutes reintroduce their audience to all those “classics” you never actually read in your high school English class. Sparknotes and Wikipedia saved us all back in the day and it’s time to party and relive the experience.

Jackie Smook

Under Your Skin

Saturday, April 2 at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $20 with a two-drink minimum 

“Under Your Skin” is an original solo show written by Jackie Smook and Jackson Zinn-Rowthorn. It tells the story of the time Smook worked as a medical assistant during her summer vacation, a job she never expected. She had no prior training and this, of course, caused utter chaos to ensue. This is a comedic telling, in real time, of her experiences told through standup, multiple original characters and song.

Future performances from Jackie Smook at Davenport’s:

Saturday, May 7 at 8 p.m. and 

Saturday, June 25 at 8 p.m.

Jay Schleppenbach

A Life on Stage

Sunday, April 3 at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $15 with a two-drink minimum

Featuring Brad MacDonald, Melissa Redondo and Freddie Joseph III. Why should fawning career retrospectives be reserved solely for actual famous people? Jay may not have won a Latin Grammy, but he did star in an anti-drug PSA in sixth grade and played lead characters named Billy in not one but two high school musicals. This show explores Jay's classic roles, from first grader promoting the benefits of dental hygiene to 42-year-old attorney dressed as a Pokemon for some reason, in songs and mostly-true stories. Fans of classic Broadway, trenchant parody and occasional jazz hands should all enjoy this show.


Dawn Miller

Coalessence- a Queer/Trans Story Hour

Friday, April 8 at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $15 with a two-drink minimum

“Coalessence” is a Queer story telling hour! LGBTQ+ Artists come together to share stories surrounding their theme of Blossom- to burst forth. You may laugh, cry a bit, and learn something new about the trans community. 


Megan Elk

Not A Pretty Girl

Sunday, April 10 at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $15 with a no-drink minimum

Davenport's staff favorite, Megan Elk, takes over the backroom for an evening of songs and stories about what happens when you stop trying to be pretty and start being real. Spurred on by a divorce, a global pandemic and the onset of middle age, Elk spins the hilarious tale of how little by little, they realized they could stop trying to be one of the girls from a 90s “Seventeen Magazine” cover and start being... themself.

Featuring the music of Ani DiFranco, Leonard Bernstein, Lizzo, Radiohead, Sara Bareilles, William Finn and much more. Musical direction by Micky York, with special guest Rachel Schuldt on cello.

Jackie Smook

The Jackie Smook Program of De-Dumbification

Saturday, April 16 at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $20 with a two-drink minimum 

Join Jackie Smook and her brilliant pianist Joey Chimes, as the audience goes on a magical, puppet-filled, comedic (yet moving) ride into the return of the Jackie Smook self help cabaret. Newcity said “She delivers with all twelve tunes in her one-chanteuse, one-piano-man and several-puppet cabaret.” It’s a roller coaster through Jackie’s journey from a dingy dongy dumb dumb to the hard working, go getting, ambitious woman she is today. Told through four stages and 12 musical acts, you will be moved by this true story of growth and self love.

Micky York

After Party #22 Easter Show

Sunday, April 17 at 7 p.m

Tickets are $15 with a two-drink minimum, includes all-you-can-eat peanut butter eggs

Davenport's most beloved Easter tradition is back with After Party #22! Join host Micky York with Ben F. Locke, David Gordon-Johnson, Jennifer Ledesma and Miriam Plotkin as they sing about that one time at that one bar when that one thing happened. (You've heard that story, but you've never heard it like THIS, with music from all over the pop/rock charts.) Plus, we'll have lots of candy and maybe you'll find a hidden Easter egg and win a prize? Honestly, what a time to be alive.

Stick around after the show for the After After Party at Sunday Night Social Lounge, with more Easter snacks plus bonus Celine Dion songs from the cast in the front room!


Sonia and Bob: Songs We Love

Thursday, April 21 at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $20 with a two-drink minimum

Sonia Oyola and Bob Solone together again with an all new show titled Songs We Love. They are often asked, “What’s your favorite song?” and to this couple that question is unanswerable. However, they’ve selected a group of intimate and personal songs they both love, to share with Davenport’s audiences.


Scott Gryder, Adam Hibma and Kimberly Lawson

Hello, Gorgeous! A Barbra Streisand Birthday Celebration

Friday, April 22 and Saturday, April 23 at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $20 with a two-drink minimum

First woman to win an Oscar for composition. Only artist to have a number one album in six consecutive decades. First woman to write, direct, produce and star in a movie since the silent era. EGOT. Activist. Icon. The greatest star is turning 81! Join Scott Gryder, Adam Hibma and Kimberly Lawson in a birthday cabaret celebration like no other with music direction by Jimmy Morehead and featuring arrangements by Nick Sula. 


Alex and Amelia

Sunday, April 24 at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $20 with a two-drink minimum

Artist and head-in-the-clouds Amelia is suddenly convinced she’s clairvoyant as she practices readings on her skeptical boyfriend, Alex, only to find out the cards might hold more power than she realizes. Unable to control their fate, they are grounded in reality by live music. Join Amelia Bryant and Alex Patterson on their tarot musical journey as they battle spirituality, truth, and the true meaning of their relationship with recognizable hits like “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac, “Inside and Out” by The Beegees and original songs! 

4 Chairs Theatre

Parenthood Unplugged

Thursday, April 28 at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $20 with a two-drink minimum

A musical theatre cabaret through the peaks and valleys of parenthood and what it means to be a parent, whether gifted, created or chosen, featuring Linda Andrews, Alexis Armstrong, Leah Davis, Dave Lemrise and JoJo Farrell. 


Evan Silver

Tiresias Presents HYPERFANTASIA

Friday, April 29 at 8 p.m. 

Tickets are $20 with a two-drink minimum

Featuring original music and madness, HYPERFANTASIA is a sci-fi fantasy drag cabaret about the proliferation of matter in the universe and life on planet Earth. Hosted by Tiresias, the blind prophet of the Underworld, this miniature epic draws on new evolutionary theories and ancient queer wisdom to dismantle the survival-of-the-fittest paradigm toward an ethic of abundance and extravagance.


Fia Torres and Bill Demis 

Just Us

Saturday, April 30 at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $15 with a two-drink minimum

After their last sold-out show in September of last year, Fia Torres and guitarist Bill Demis are thrilled to bring back to Davenport’s Fia and Demis. Just Us features all new songs. Guests are invited to sit back and enjoy an intimate evening of interpretation of popular, jazz, ballads and original tunes.


April performances in The Piano Bar include: 

Sundays 8 - 10 p.m.

Every Sunday: Sunday Night Social Lounge, hosted by Micky York

No cover or drink minimum. 

Fridays 8 - 11 p.m.

Every Friday: The Return of Open Mic with George Howe

George Howe hosts Open Mic in the Piano Bar, where performers may bring sheet music to perform.

No cover or drink minimum. 

Saturdays 9 p.m. - 12 a.m.

Every Saturday: The Nitz & Howe Experience

Saturday appearances have a $5 cover, with no drink minimum and is limited to 50 guests. 


Davenport’s prioritizes the health and safety of its patrons, staff and performers. Following current local, state and government protocols, Davenport’s asks that all patrons be vaccinated. For entry, patrons must provide proof of vaccination, such as a Vaccination Card and a valid photo ID. Masks will be required upon entry and when not seated.


Davenport's Piano Bar and Cabaret is Chicago's premier location for enjoying music in an intimate setting. With two performance spaces, visitors, 21 years old and older, may enjoy performances by national and local talent. The cabaret room has performances most nights showcasing a variety of types of music. The piano bar provides music from an accomplished roster of musicians and a talented serving staff that can both make a drink and sing you a Broadway-caliber song.



Theatre in Chicago News: Welcome Rosa Escareño


Rosa Escareño

Teatro Vista, Chicago’s only Equity-affiliated Latinx theater company, has announced that Rosa Escareño, Interim General Superintendent and CEO of the Chicago Park District, has joined its Board of Directors.

"The entire Teatro Vista ensemble is thrilled to welcome Rosa Escareño to our Board of Directors,” said Adela Cepeda, Board President, Teatro Vista. “Rosa brings 15 years of executive level experience and 30 years of government and public service to our Board. We are energized by her vision and her dedication, and excited to have her guidance as Teatro Vista continues to embark on an exciting new future. She is a vital addition to our current Board members, who remain so dedicated to Teatro Vista's art and values."

“It is an honor to join the Teatro Vista Board of Directors, a visionary group of professionals committed to expanding the Latinx life experience through theater in Chicago,” responded Escareño. “I believe firmly in freedom of expression and through Teatro Vista I look forward to the opportunity to elevate local artists and to strengthen the voice of our richly diverse community across artistic, educational and professional boundaries.”

Escareño is a life-long public servant with more than 30 years of government experience. As the Interim General Superintendent and CEO of the Chicago Park District, Escareño manages nearly 2,500 employees and oversees a $500 million agency considered one of the largest park systems in the country, with over 8,800 acres of parkland, more than 600 parks, 26 miles of lakefront, 12 museums, two world-class conservatories, 16 historic lagoons, over 75 nature areas and thousands of special events, sports and entertainment programs.

Prior to her appointment at the Chicago Park District, Escareño served as Commissioner of the City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) where she served as a cabinet member under two Mayoral administrations bringing modernization and equity to Chicago’s marketplace. During the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, Escareño was on the forefront of Chicago’s business recovery efforts including reopening Chicago businesses, administering $120 million in business financial relief and setting up protections and policies for businesses and essential workers to ensure a safe city reopening. During her years as Commissioner, she spearheaded important initiatives to grow Chicago’s economic landscape supporting Chicago’s business community while establishing protections for consumers and workers -- all while focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion to enhance economic growth in underserved communities.

Throughout her career she has championed initiatives to enhance the quality of life of Chicago residents and communities. Escareño holds a degree of Master of Science in Communications from Northwestern University and a degree of Bachelor of Arts from Loyola University Chicago. Born in Zacatecas Mexico, she is a lifelong Chicagoan proud to give back to the city she loves, Chicago.

About Teatro Vista

Teatro Vista is Chicago’s largest, Equity-affiliated professional Latinx theater company and one of the nation’s premier Latinx arts organizations.The company’s primary focus is producing new works by Latinx theater artists from its own ensemble, a group of multi-generational, multi-ethnic and multi-disciplinary artists. 

Teatro Vista ensemble members include Charín Álvarez, Max Arciniega, Desmín Borges, Cheryl Lynn Bruce, Ramón Camín, Ivonne Coll, Laura Dahl, Sandra Delgado, Liza Fernández, Khanisha Foster, Cruz Gonzalez-Cadel, Isaac Gómez, Ricardo Gutiérrez, Erik Juárez, Jon Lyon, Sandra Márquez, Eddie Martinez, Salome Martinez, Joe Minoso, Ayssette Muñoz, Christina Nieves, Marvin Quijada, Tommy Rivera-Vega, Gabriel Ruíz, Nate Santana, Cecilia Suarez and co-founder Edward Torres. 

In July, 2021, following a national search, Lorena Diaz and Wendy Mateo were appointed Co-Artistic Directors of Teatro Vista. 


Lorena Diaz (left) and Wendy Mateo, Co-Artistic Directors, Teatro Vista. 

“We are deeply energized by Teatro Vista and its ensemble, with its tapestry of talent, innovation and unique perspectives,” said Mateo. “There is a depth to the American Latinx experience that has fueled our 20 years of storytelling and collaboration together. With this particular ensemble, we’ll be able to deepen that storytelling and bring in a kind of nuance and complexity to our stories that our audiences will be inspired by.”

Diaz added, “the opportunities in an ensemble-led theater company are many and Teatro Vista has an abundance of thought-provoking artists who are exploring different genres of creative expression, from writing for television, to audio plays with visual components, to full-fledged plays with music like La Havana Madrid. Expect that kind of excitement going forward.”

Teatro Vista’s Board of Directors includes Adela Cepeda, President, Joan Pantsios, Secretary, Julieta LaMalfa, Treasurer, and Rosa Escareño, Kareem Mohamednur, Carina Sanchez and Jose Vasquez.

Teatro Vista is supported by Alphawood Foundation, the Arts Work Fund, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, The Bayless Foundation, Chicago Community Trust, Chicago Cultural Treasures, Chicago Filmmaker Grant, CLATA (Chicago Latino Theater Alliance), DCASE (Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events), The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, Illinois Arts Council, The Joyce Foundation, The MacArthur Fund for Culture, Equity, and the Arts at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Pritzker Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, The Shuttered Grant and the Tide-Venturous Foundation. 

For more, visit, or follow the company on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

OPENING: RASHEEDA SPEAKING Via Shattered Globe Theatre April 22 – June 4, 2022 at Theater Wit

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar 

Shattered Globe Theatre Presents


By Joel Drake Johnson

Directed by Associate Artistic Director AmBer D. Montgomery

April 22 – June 4, 2022 at Theater Wit


PHOTO CREDIT: The cast of Shattered Globe Theatre’s revival of Rasheeda Speaking includes (top, l to r) Daria Harper and Deanna Reed-Foster (bottom, l to r), Barbara Roeder Harris and Drew Schad.

Shattered Globe Theatre is pleased to present a revival of Chicago writer Joel Drake Johnson’s Rasheeda Speaking, directed by SGT Associate Artistic Director AmBer D. Montgomery. This comedy-turned-social thriller about workplace racism will play April 22 – June 4, 2022 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. Tickets are currently available at, by calling (773) 975-8150 or in person at the Theater Wit Box Office. I'll be out for the press opening April 25th so check back then for my full review. 

Rasheeda Speaking will feature Ensemble Members Daria Harper*, Deanna Reed-Foster* and Drew Schad* with Barbara Roeder Harris.

Whether it’s the doctor’s inability to remember her name, or the toxic fumes radiating from the Xerox machine and lab next door, Dr. Williams’ office is not made for Jaclyn. As the only Black woman in the office, Jaclyn is determined to keep her job. But when Dr. Williams promotes her White co-worker, Ileen, and asks her to spy on their only Black co-worker, Jaclyn has her work cut out for her. Fueled by a fear of difference and looming racial uprising, how far will Jaclyn, Ileen and Dr. Williams go? 

Comments SGT Producing Artistic Producer Sandy Shinner, “Shattered Globe is celebrating playwright Joel Drake Johnson with this revival of his workplace thriller Rasheeda Speaking. In the fall of 2019, shortly before Joel’s death in early 2020, I told him we would commit to producing this revival with Deanna Reed-Foster as Jaclyn, and he was thrilled. In the world premiere production at Rivendell Theater in 2013, Deanna was cast as the understudy and Joel could always hear her voice as Jaclyn. Now, almost 10 years later, the play will resonate differently, and I am thrilled that SGT’s Associate Artistic Director AmBer Montgomery is directing this new production with a powerhouse design team. Rasheeda Speaking is sure to entertain and challenge our audiences.”

The production team includes Scott Penner (scenic design), Rea Brown (costume design), Jackie Fox (lighting design), Christopher Kriz+ (sound designer), Persephone Lawrence-Wescott (props design), Judy Anderson* (executive production manager), Richie Vavrina (production manager), Alan Weusthoff (technical director), Tina M. Jach (production stage manager) and Becca Smith (assistant stage manager).

COVID-19 protocol: Shattered Globe currently requires proof of vaccination and masks for all patrons. Please visit for updates.



Cast (in alphabetical order): Daria Harper* (Ileen Van Meter), Deanna Reed-Foster* (Jaclyn Spaulding), Barbara Roeder Harris (Rose Saunders) and Drew Schad* (Dr. David Williams).

*Denotes SGT Ensemble Member  +Denotes SGT Artistic Associate

Location: Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago

Dates: Previews: Friday, April 22 at 8 pm, Saturday, April 23 at 8 pm and Sunday, April 24 at 3 pm

Press Performance: Monday, April 25 at 7:30 pm

Regular Run: Friday, April 29 – Saturday, June 4, 2022

Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 8 pm; Sundays at 3 pm. Please note: there will be added performances on Monday, May 16 at 8 pm (industry night) and Saturday, June 4 at 2:30 pm; there will not be a performance on Thursday, May 19 at 8 pm.

Touch Tour/Audio Description Performance: Friday, May 6 – 6:45 pm touch tour, 8 pm performance with audio description. $20 tickets available with code “ACCESS20.”

Industry Night: Monday, May 16 at 8 pm.

Tickets: Previews: Friday: pay-what-you-can; Saturday & Sunday: $25 general admission, $10 students. Regular Run: $45 general admission. $15 students. $35 seniors. $25 under 30 years old. $15 industry tickets on Thursdays and Fridays with code “INDUSTRY.” Tickets are currently available at, by calling (773) 975-8150 or in person at the Theater Wit Box Office. Group discounts are available by contacting or by calling (773) 770-0333.

Shattered Globe understands that ticket prices can pose a financial burden and, at times, an obstacle for theatregoers. A number of waived tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis for students and community members experiencing access barriers to theatre. If you would like to be added to SGT’s Waived Ticket Waitlist, please e-mail Please note: all requests must be completed by 12 pm the Friday before the performance you would like to attend. The e-mail will not be monitored at all on weekends or after 5 pm on weekdays.


About the Artists:

Joel Drake Johnson (Playwright) is an award winning, internationally-produced playwright and teacher best known for his work at Chicago’s Victory Garden's Theater, where he was a member of the company’s Playwrights Ensemble for many years. His plays include Rasheeda Speaking, Four Places, A Blue Moon, As The Beaver, The End of the Tour, The Fall To Earth, A Blameless Life and Tranquillity Woods. His work has also been produced in Chicago at Steppenwolf Theatre and globally in New York City, Los Angeles, London, and many other cities.

AmBer D. Montgomery (Director, she/her) is an emerging director, educator and multi-disciplinary artist from Detroit, Michigan. She has created a career centered around amplifying the voices of Chicago youth and creating work that stands on the legacy of black theater makers before her. Originally trained as an actor, her transition to directing in Chicago has included her associate and assistant directing credits for many major productions including School Girls or the African Mean Girls Play (Goodman Theatre), Sheepdog (Shattered Globe Theatre), LINDIWE (Steppenwolf Theatre), Too Heavy for Your Pocket (TimeLine Theatre), Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Writers Theatre), Measure for Measure (American Players Theater) and First Love is the Revolution (Steep Theatre). Her other director’s credits include: Snow Queen (The House Theater), Countess Dracula (Otherworld Theater) and hippolytos (Story Theater New Play Festival). She was awarded a 2020 FAIR Assistantship at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, 2018 Fellowship at Steppenwolf Theatre in their Department of Education/SYA and an internship at Penumbra Theater’s Summer Institute: Pedagogies for Social Change. She has attended training programs at the Globe Theater in London and LISPA (Now Arthaus Berlin). Amber holds a BFA in Acting from the University of Minnesota Guthrie


About Shattered Globe Theatre 

Shattered Globe Theatre (Sandy Shinner, Producing Artistic Director) was born in a storefront space on Halsted Street in 1991. Since then, SGT has produced more than 80 plays, including nine American and world premieres, and garnered an impressive 42 Jeff Awards and 107 Jeff Award nominations, as well as the acclaim of critics and audiences alike. 

Shattered Globe Theatre seeks to discover new connections between story, artist and audience by exploring drama from bold, challenging perspectives, and continuously redefining what it means to be an ensemble theater.

SGT’s values are rooted in a commitment to racial equity, respect for all artists and support for the ensemble, while creating new opportunities to amplify traditionally marginalized voices and collaborate in all aspects of our work. Through initiatives such as the Protégé Program, Shattered Globe creates a space which allows emerging artists to grow and share in the ensemble experience.

Shattered Globe Theatre is partially supported and funded by generous grants from The Shulman-Rochambeau Charitable Foundation, The James P. and Brenda S. Grusecki Family Foundation, Bayless Family Foundation, The Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The MacArthur Fund for Arts & Culture at The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, The Kovler Family Foundation, the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, the Illinois Arts Council, The Shubert Foundation, the Chicago Community Foundation, and The Saints.

For more information on Shattered Globe Theatre, please visit



CANCELED: FIRST FOLIO THEATRE PRESENTS Jane Austin’s EMMA From March 26th to April 24th, 2022

Canceled as of 3/29

Jane Austin’s EMMA

Running time: 2 hours with 1 intermission

First Folio Theatre has been a longtime favorite of ours here at ChiIL Live Shows. We adore their ritzy digs at Mayslake Peabody Estate and can't wait to see Jane Austin’s EMMA in this historic setting. Check back soon after the opening for my full review.

First Folio Theatre (Mayslake Peabody Estate, 31st St. & Rt. 83) is thrilled to present Jane Austen’s EMMA by Phil Timberlake, previewing March 23rd, 24th, and 25th, opening March 26th, and running through April 24th, 2022. Come revel in Austen’s most joyous and light-hearted romantic comedies as young Emma Woodhouse seeks to prove her skills at matchmaking, in one of Jane Austen’s most delightful works! A refreshing take on this classic novel, patrons will love following the residents of Highbury in their trials and tribulations while they weather the force of nature that is Emma.

From Jeff Nominated playwright Phil Timberlake, Jane Austen’s EMMA follows Miss Emma Woodhouse, a young woman of England’s landed gentry with perhaps too much time on her hands. Good-hearted Emma cannot resist inserting herself into the love lives of her neighbors, leaving a muddle of passions and a tangle of heartbreak in her wake. After successfully playing matchmaker for her governess, she sets her sights on finding a suitable marriageable match for her new friend, the young and impressionable Miss Harriet Smith. Unfortunately, the more Emma continues to meddle in the lives of Harriet and the other residents of Highbury, the more things go awry, until Emma is forced to reckon with not only the disastrous effects of her meddling in the love lives of others, but also face the surprising desire of her own heart.

Jane Austen’s EMMA, written by Phil Timberlake, and directed by Rachel Lambert, features Vero Maynez as Emma and an ensemble that includes Bradley Halverson, Dina Monk, Ethan Miles Perry, and Nate Santana. The artistic team includes Scenic Design by Angela Weber Miller, Lighting Design by Garret Bell , Original Music by Christopher Kriz, Sound Design by Eric Backus, Costume Design by Zach Wagner, Properties Design by Wendy Ann, Vocal Design by Sammi Grant, Dramaturgy by Kaeli Meno and Intimacy & Movement Design by Maureen Yasko. Sarah West is the Stage Manager.

To ensure patrons’ heath and security, as well as the safety of performers and staff, First Folio will require proof of full vaccination status including booster for all audience members, as well as performers, backstage crew, and theater staff, for all performances through April 2022. No exceptions will be allowed for this policy. Masks will also be required for audiences inside the theater.

Opening on March 26th, 2022, EMMA runs through April 24th, 2022, with special Preview Performances on March 23rd, 24th and 25th. All performances will take place at historic Mayslake Hall, located at 1717 W 31st St., off Rt. 83 in Oak Brook. First Folio is easy to get to from the East-West Tollway (I-88) or the Stevenson Expressway (I-55). Free parking is available on the grounds. Preview tickets are $29. Regular priced tickets are $49 Wednesdays and Thursdays (seniors are $44), and $59 on Fridays through Sundays (seniors are $54). Student prices are $20 for all performances. Season subscriptions and individual tickets may be purchased by calling the box office at 630-986-8067 or online at

Casting Announced for Broken Nose Theatre's AFTER THE BLAST - May 13 – June 11, 2022

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar 

 Broken Nose Theatre
Announces Casting for Chicago Premiere of


Written by Zoe Kazan

Directed by Ensemble Member JD Caudill

May 13 – June 11, 2022 at The Den Theatre


PHOTO CREDIT: The cast of Broken Nose Theatre’s Chicago premiere of After The Blast includes (top, l to r) Kim Boler, Ruben Carrazana and Teresa Kuruvilla (bottom, l to r) Arielle Leverett, David W. Lipschutz and Ana Ortiz-Monasterio Draa.

Broken Nose Theatre, one of Chicago’s premier Pay-What-You-Can theatre companies, is pleased to announce casting for its Chicago premiere of Zoe Kazan’s smart and incisive sci-fi drama After The Blast, directed by ensemble member JD Caudill.

The cast includes ensemble members Kim Boler*, Teresa Kuruvilla* and Arielle Leverett* with Ruben Carrazana, David W. Lipschutz and Ana Ortiz-Monasterio Draa.

After The Blast, will play May 13 – June 11, 2022 at BNT’s resident home, The Den Theatre (2A), 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. Tickets are currently available at and Tickets for all Broken Nose Theatre performances are “Pay-What-You-Can,” allowing patrons to set their own price. I'll be out for the press performance May 15th, so check back then for my full review. 

Generations after a global disaster has driven humankind into underground cities, partners Anna and Oliver are hoping to have a child – even though Anna's struggles with depression may prevent them from gaining the government approval needed to become parents. But when Oliver brings home a small robot – a new companion they name "Arthur" – their lives are changed forever. Zoe Kazan's smart and incisive play asks, "When the future seems bleak, how do we form bonds and build lives in the face of uncertainty?"

BNT Artistic Director E.M. Davis and Managing Director Rose Hamill comment, "Our ensemble immediately took to this story when we read it two years ago – but after everything we've all been through in that intervening time, what playwright Zoe Kazan has to say about isolation, connection through technology, climate change and pursuing parenthood in an uncertain future has only deepened our appreciation for this excellent play. Bringing puppetry to the BNT stage for the very first time to depict our protagonist's robotic companion, ensemble member JD Caudill and the fantastic production team will bring to life this story that begs the question, 'When outside circumstances have driven us underground and apart, how far will we go to maintain the well-being of our closest loved ones?’” 

The production team includes Therese Ritchie* (scenic design), Jessica Van Winkle (costume design), Cat Davis* (lighting design), Rae Delali (sound design), Andrew "AJ" Morley (props design), Jabberwocky Marionettes (puppet design), Jen Mickleson (intimacy consultant), Rose Hamill* (production manager), Evan Sposato (technical director), Adriana Rodriguez (stage manager) and Jacob Shaffer (assistant stage manager).


COVID guidelines: In the interest of keeping patrons and staff safe, and in accordance with the League of Chicago Theatres, The Den will continue to require proof of vaccination to attend any event for the indefinite future. While masking is no longer required, The Den strongly encourages patrons to continue wearing a mask when not eating or drinking. For the most current information on The Den’s COVID guidelines, visit


Cast (in alphabetical order): Kim Boler* (Anna), Ruben Carrazana (Oliver), Teresa Kuruvilla* (Carrie), Arielle Leverett* (Arthur, Sam), David W. Lipschutz (Patrick, Lowes) and Ana Ortiz-Monasterio Draa (Margarita).

 *Denotes Broken Nose Theatre ensemble members

Understudies: Taylor B. Hill, Julie Mitre, Christian Siebert, Faiz Siddique and Carlos Wagener-Sobrero.


Location: The Den Theatre (2A), 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago

Dates: Previews: Friday, May 13 at 7:30 pm and Saturday, May 14 at 7:30 pm

Press Opening: Sunday, May 15 at 3 pm

Opening: Monday, May 16 at 7:30 pm

Regular run: Thursday, May 19 – Saturday, June 11, 2011

Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 3 pm

Industry night: Monday, May 30 at 7:30 pm

Understudy night: Wednesday, June 8 at 7:30 pm

Tickets: Pay-what-you-can. Tickets are currently available at and

About the Artists

Zoe Kazan’s (Playwright) first full-length play, Absalom, was performed at the Actor’s Theatre of Louisville as a part of the 2009 Humana Festival, and is now available through Dramatists Play Service. Her second play, This Thing of Darkness, was commissioned by Manhattan Theatre Club. As an actress, Zoe has appeared on Broadway in A Behanding in Spokane, Come Back Little Sheba and The Seagull, which garnered her a Drama Desk Award nomination. Her Off-Broadway acting credits include Angels in America (parts 1 and 2); The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, starring Cynthia Nixon; Things We Want; and 100 Saints You Should Know (Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel nominations). Her film work includes Revolutionary Road; The Private Lives of Pippa Lee; Me and Orson Welles; It’s Complicated; HappyThankYouMorePlease; Meek’s Cutoff; and The Exploding Girl (Best Actress, Tribeca Film Festival). Zoe received a BA from Yale University.

JD Caudill (Director) is a queer director, literary manager and music director whose recent direction includes Southern Comfort (Pride Films and Plays); Bechdel Fests 4-6 + 8, Book of Shadows (Broken Nose Theatre), and other plays at The New Coordinates, Haven, The Runaways Lab Theatre, New American Folk Theatre, Hobo Junction, 20% Theatre, Paragon Theatre, Otherworld Theatre, Arc Theatre, 16th Street Theatre, Stage Left, The Syndicates and Red Theater. They are a proud ensemble member of Hell in a Handbag, where they have music directed countless shows, and literary manager at Broken Nose Theatre.

About Broken Nose Theatre

Broken Nose Theatre is a Pay-What-You-Can theatre company. Founded in 2012, BNT was the 2018 recipient of the Emerging Theater Award, presented by the League of Chicago Theatres and Broadway in Chicago. The company has produced and developed 30 full-length plays (including 12 Chicago or world premieres) and over 60 new short plays through our annual Bechdel Fest. We strive to spark conversation, cultivate empathy, and amplify underrepresented voices, and are committed to making new, exciting and relevant theatre that is economically accessible to all audiences. For more information, please visit


Moulin Rouge! The Musical Partnering With Paint the City to Create Chicago Mural Tuesday, March 29th, 2022

The Tony Award-Winning Best Musical

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Based on the 20th Century Fox Motion Picture by Baz Luhrmann

 Partnering with Paint the City to create mural

to spread the show’s message in Chicago of 

Truth, Beauty, Freedom & Love


The North American Tour of the Tony Award-winning Best Musical MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL has partnered with Paint the City to support and celebrate local artists by creating a mural located in the community of Logan Square at Rockwell and Milwaukee. Following in the tradition of Broadway’s partnership with New York City-based Groundswell, the Chicago mural is a unique piece of art that highlights the Bohemian values of Truth, Beauty, Freedom and Love.  

Fans of the stage show are invited to pick up some paint brushes and join artists from Paint the City and young adults from the organization, YourPassion 1st, for the “Community Day” from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 29, to create the MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL inspired mural. Paint the City will also have food trucks on hand for participants and spectators. The mural will be unveiled for all to see on Tuesday, April 5 at 2:00 p.m. 

The North American Premiere of the Tony Award-winning Best Musical MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL is currently playing a limited engagement through May 14. To see footage from MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL’s first night at the James M. Nederlander Theatre, click here. For portrait of MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL North American Tour Leads, Courtney Reed and Conor Ryan, click here. Tickets are now on sale at For more information, please visit:


The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, NY1, TimeOut NY


MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL is the winner of ten 2021 Tony Awards including Best Musical, two Drama League Awards including Outstanding Production of a Musical, five Drama Desk Awards and ten Outer Critics Circle Award Honor citations including New Broadway Musical. 

MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL opened to critical acclaim at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre in the Summer of 2019 and reopened in September 2021 following the shutdown of Broadway due to the pandemic.

“Spectacular! Euphoric! In MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL, life is beautiful,” raves The New York Times. “MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL is a fabulous new musical. The high begins the instant you walk into the theatre,” said the New York Post. Entertainment Weekly concludes that “it’s easy to believe that MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL could run for 50 years.” 

MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL is directed by Tony Award winner Alex Timbers and with a book by Tony Award winner John Logan, choreography by Tony Award winner Sonya Tayeh and music supervision, orchestrations, and arrangements by Tony Award winner Justin Levine.

The design team for MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL includes Tony Award winner Derek McLane (sets), Tony Award winner Catherine Zuber (costumes), Tony Award winner Justin Townsend (lighting), Tony Award winner Peter Hylenski (sound), Drama Desk Award winner David Brian Brown (wig and hair design), Sarah Cimino (Make-up design) and Tony Award winner Matt Stine (Music Producer). Casting is by Jim Carnahan and Stephen Kopel.

Enter a world of splendor and romance, of eye-popping excess, of glitz, grandeur, and glory! A world where Bohemians and aristocrats rub elbows and revel in electrifying enchantment. Pop the champagne and prepare for the spectacular spectacular… Welcome to MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL.

Baz Luhrmann’s iconic film comes to life onstage, remixed in a new musical mash-up extravaganza. MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL is a theatrical celebration of Truth, Beauty, Freedom, and - above all - Love. MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL is more than a musical; it is a state of mind.

As in the film, MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL celebrates over 160 years of music – from Offenbach to Lady Gaga. The stage musical features many of the iconic songs from the movie, and also includes recent hits released since the movie premiered 20 years ago.

MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL is produced by Carmen Pavlovic and Gerry Ryan OAM for Global Creatures and Bill Damaschke. General management is by Foresight Theatrical.

Co-producers of the touring production include Aaron Lustbader, Hunter Arnold, Darren Bagert, Erica Lynn Schwartz/Matt Picheny/Stephanie Rosenberg, Adam Blanshay Productions/Nicolas & Charles Talar, Iris Smith, Aleri Entertainment, Sophie Qi/Harmonia Holdings, CJ ENM, Len Blavatnik, Ambassador Theatre Group, Endeavor Content, John Gore Organization, Spencer Ross, Gilad-Rogowsky/InStone Productions, AF Creative Media/International Theatre Fund, Nederlander Presentations/IPN, Cody Renard Richard, Jujamcyn Theaters, Eric Falkenstein/Suzanne Grant, Peter May/Sandy Robertson, Tom & Pam Faludy, Triptyk Studios, Carl Daikeler/Sandi Moran, Desantis-Baugh Productions, Red Mountain Theatre Company/42ND.CLUB, Candy Spelling/Tulchin Bartner, Roy Furman, Andrew & Ruby Ryan, Brent & Sarah Deboer and Michael Ryan.

Released by 20th Century Fox, Baz Luhrmann’s MOULIN ROUGE! premiered at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival. At the 74th Academy Awards, the film was nominated for eight Oscars, including Best Picture, and won two. 

The Moulin Rouge of Paris, managed by Jean-Jacques Clerico (CEO), is a dazzling and spectacular universe, the symbol of the Parisian way of celebrating since 1889. Starting life as a popular cabaret and dance hall, the venue became an iconic music hall in the Roaring Twenties, and then a theatre where numerous famous French and international artists stepped out into the limelight. Today, the Moulin Rouge and its 60 artists present the Féerie revue show: two hours of amazement between cabaret and music hall styles where dance scenes and surprise acts intersperse – without forgetting the Moulin Rouge’s most emblematic dance, the French Cancan! Since its creation, the Moulin Rouge of Paris has always been an invitation to live and share all the emotions and effervescence of a unique party extravaganza.

The Grammy-nominated MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL Original Broadway Cast Recording, produced by Baz Luhrmann, Justin Levine, Matt Stine & Alex Timbers, is now available by Baz Luhrmann’s label, House of Iona, and RCA Records. The album debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Cast Album chart.

MAC is the Official Makeup Partner and Preciosa is the Official Crystal Partner of MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL.



Individual tickets for MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL are now on sale and start at $52.50 with a select number of premium tickets available. Tickets are available now for groups of 10 or more by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710 or emailing For more information, visit


Paint the City was founded June 4th 2020 by Barrett Keithley and Missy Perkins in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and George Floyd Protests. Our mission is to create inspiring works of art that support the equality of all people and show that BLACK LIVES MATTER. Paint the City has worked with about 60 artists and has touched over 13 different neighborhoods and is still going strong. These artists’ messages of hope, solidarity, and inclusion are our benchmark for each and every masterpiece created.

We understand the power public art has to transform neighborhoods and create important dialogue within these communities. As we continue this fight to create powerful messages and connect local artists with local businesses on spreading love and unity. Our intentions are to make sure artist’s voices are heard and these artworks create a more uplifting environment within these communities. 2020 has been a year of the unknown and tested our humanity but we will carry on and will not lose this battle to bring our city back to life.


YourPassion1st is a 501(c)3 non-profit founded by Chris Thomas in 2021.  The organization is an international coaching & mentorship platform focused on helping under-resourced young adults overcome adversity, and earn money in the area of their passion. 


Follow MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok



                      Facebook @BroadwayInChicago ● Twitter @broadwaychicago ●

                           Instagram @broadwayinchicago ● #broadwayinchicago


Sunday, March 27, 2022


ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar 

Tonight I'll be out to shoot a photo feature on Maggie Rose and Christone "Kingfish" Ingram.  I'm eager to catch them both live. Check back soon for my full review.

Maggie Rose is a Nashville-based singer/songwriter who dreamed up her own unbridled collision of rock n’roll, soul, folk, funk, and R&B for her third studio album. Have a Seat was produced by Ben Tanner of Alabama Shakes and came to life at the iconic FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL.  

“Rose is doing her part to make the world a better place.” 

- People


“A vocalist who is finally having her moment.”

- Rolling Stone Country

“It’s not just that the new music is more textured and complex, or that her vocals soar with greater authority, which they do, it is really about Maggie Rose having found her own lane, her own groove.”

  - Forbes


“An artist at the top of her craft.”

- Garden & Gun


“A marvelously entertaining 33-year-old mover-and-shaker

for female empowerment and DIY ingenuity.” 

- PopMatters

Have A Seat found Rose approaching her music with more confidence and clarity of vision than ever, ultimately sharing a selection of songs both timeless and urgent and appropriately named one of the "Best Albums of 2021" by both Rolling Stone and American Songwriter while NPR’s World Cafe called Rose “a multi-genre powerhouse...A must see act,” and Garden & Gun hailed her “an artist at the top of her craft.”


- American Songwriter 


“A multi-genre powerhouse...A must see act” 

- NPR’s World Cafe

After years of honing her chops and making her name as a force-of-nature vocalist, Rose’s live experiences include opening for Heart and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts and touring as direct support for Kelly Clarkson. She has made festival appearances at Bonnaroo, Newport Folk Fest and Austin City Limits, and has taken the stage at The Grand Ole Opry over 80 times.

“On her third album, “Have a Seat,” the Nashville-based songwriter Maggie Rose seeks reconciliation and balance” 

- New York Times

PopMatters called Rose “a marvelously entertaining mover-and-shaker for female empowerment and DIY ingenuity.” Like any great soul singer, Rose beautifully captures the tensions of the current moment, gently presenting her pensive social commentary while providing a much-needed reprieve from the everyday chaos.

“I am claiming a seat I believe is rightfully mine, and I want others to do the same.”

 - Maggie Rose

Check out her work at

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Irish Theatre of Chicago Presents MOLLY SWEENEY March 31 – May 8, 2022 at The Chopin Theatre

 ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar 

Irish Theatre of Chicago Presents


By Brian Friel

Directed by Ensemble Member Siiri Scott

March 31 – May 8, 2022 at The Chopin Theatre


Irish Theatre of Chicago is pleased to return to the Chicago stage with Brian Friel’s moving play Molly Sweeney, directed by Ensemble Member Siiri Scott, playing March 31 – May 8, 2022 at The Chopin Studio Theatre, 1543 W. Division Street in Chicago. Tickets go on sale shortly at I'll be out for the press opening April 2nd so check back soon for my full review. 

Molly Sweeney features ensemble members Matthew Isler*, Robert Kauzlaric* and Carolyn Kruse*.

*Denotes Irish Theatre of Chicago ensemble member

Blind since birth, Molly knows the world through touch, sound, taste and smell. When her hopeful husband and ambitious doctor propose restoring her sight, everyone begins to understand things may not be as they appear. Brian Friel, Ireland's master storyteller, brings us a riveting contemporary drama about the unexpected consequences of a medical miracle. 

The production team for includes Jessica Baldinger (scenic design), Louise Gregory (costume design), Smooch Medina (lighting design), Agata Pacia (sound design) Evan Sposato (production design), Parick Starner (production manager) and Jen Bukovsky* (stage manager).

COVID protocols: To ensure the health and safety of artists, audiences and staff, proof of vaccination and masking is required at all performances. These protocols are subject to change based on evolving guidance from Actors’ Equity Association, the City of Chicago, the State of Illinois and the CDC.


Location: The Chopin Studio Theatre, 1543 W. Division Street in Chicago

Dates: Previews: Thursday, March 31 at 7 pm and Friday, April 1 at 7 pm

Press performance: Saturday, April 2 at 7 pm

Regular run: Sunday April 3 – Sunday, May 8, 2022. Please note: there will not be a performance on Sunday, April 17 (Easter).

Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7 pm; Sundays at 4 pm.

Tickets: Preview $25. Regular run $40. Seniors/students $5 off. Tickets are currently available at


Brian Friel (Playwright) wrote The Enemy Within (1962); Philadelphia, Here I Come! (1964); The Loves of Cass McGuire (1966); Lovers (1967); Crystal and Fox (1968); The Mundy Scheme (1969); The Gentle Island (1971); The Freedom of the City (1973); Volunteers (1975); Living Quarters (1977); Aristocrats (1979); Faith Healer (1979); Translations (1980); a translation of Three Sisters (1981); The Communication Cord (1982); an adaptation of Turgenev’s novel Fathers and Sons (1987); Making History (1988); Dancing at Lughnasa (1990); The London Vertigo (1991); an adaptation of A Month in the Country (1992); Wonderful Tennessee (1993); and Molly Sweeney (1994). Dancing at Lughnasa premiered at the Abbey Theatre, transferred to London’s West End, and then went on to Broadway, where it won three 1992 Tony Awards, including Best Play. The play has been performed around the world, including national tours in Ireland, England and Australia. His plays have been performed extensively in Dublin at the Abbey, Gate, and Olympia theatres, and in many West End theatres in London. New York productions include Philadelphia, Here I Come! (Helen Hayes, 1965); The Loves of Cass McGuire (Helen Hayes, 1966); The Mundy Scheme (Royale, 1969); The Freedom of the City (Alvin, 1974); Faith Healer (Longacre, 1979); Lovers (Lincoln Center, 1986); Aristocrats (MTC, 1989); Dancing at Lughnasa (Plymouth, 1991); Wonderful Tennessee (Plymouth, 1993); Philadelphia, Here I Come! (Roundabout, 1994) and Translations (Plymouth, 1995). In 1992, Faith Healer was revived by King’s Head Theatre, London, and transferred to the Wyndham in the West End; and A Month in the Country opened at the Gate Theatre in Dublin. Molly Sweeney opened at the Gate Theatre and transferred to the Almeida Theatre in London. Born in Omagh, County Tyrone, in Ireland in 1929, Mr. Friel began writing short stories for "The New Yorker" in 1959 and subsequently published two collections: "The Saucer of Larks" and "The Gold in the Sea." His first radio plays were produced by the BBC, Belfast, in 1958. In 1989, BBC Radio devoted a six-play season to his work, the first living playwright to be so distinguished. He co-founded Field Day Theatre Company in Derry, Ireland, where Translations, The Communication Cord and Making History premiered. 

Siiri Scott (Director) is the Head of Acting and Directing at the University of Notre Dame. After over 25 years in the classroom and multiple teaching awards, she trains advanced students in acting, voice, dialect and movement and teaches international masterclasses on acting pedagogy. She received her MFA in Acting from The Theatre School at DePaul University before she began working professionally. An actor and director, she has worked in regional theatre and television in Chicago, Milwaukee, Seattle and Los Angeles. Siiri is a member of two theatre companies and performs Japanese Noh with Theatre Nohgaku and directs/produces with Irish Theatre of Chicago. She directed the Jeff-nominated production of My Brilliant Divorce, The Weir and Pineapple for ITC, and she produced the Notre Dame tours for the company. A classically trained performer, she keeps herself in the game as a voice actor and works on both commercials, installations and educational software, and is an award-winning narrator of over 80 audiobooks. Publications include the chapter "Vulnerability in Performance" in The Pedagogy of Vulnerability and she is co-editing an anthology for Routledge, titled “Stanislavsky & Race,” which examines inclusivity and equity in the training and application of the Stanislavsky System in the U.S. and abroad.

Irish Theatre of Chicago (formerly Seanachaí Theatre Company) is supported in part by The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council, The Arts Work Fund,The National Endowment for the Arts, and The Grainger Foundation. 


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