Thursday, April 28, 2022

Lerner & Loewe’s MY FAIR LADY To Play Broadway In Chicago’s Cadillac Palace Theatre June 28-July 10, 2022

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar







JUNE 28-JULY 10, 2022

Broadway In Chicago is delighted to announce tickets for the North American tour of Lincoln Center Theater’s critically acclaimed production of Lerner & Loewe’s MY FAIR LADY will go on sale Friday, April 29. Directed by Bartlett Sher, Lerner & Loewe’s MY FAIR LADY will play Broadway In Chicago’s Cadillac Palace Theatre for a limited engagement June 28-July 10, 2022.

Lincoln Center Theater’s production of Lerner & Loewe’s MY FAIR LADY is the winner of five Outer Critics Circle Awards including Best Revival of Musical and was nominated for 10 Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival, five Drama Desk Awards including Best Musical Revival and three Drama League Awards including Best Musical Revival.  The production, which premiered in the spring of 2018, ended its long run at Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theater on July 7, 2019 after playing 548 performances.

"Thrilling! Glorious and better than it ever was!

A marvelous and transformative revival." - The New York Times

Adapted from George Bernard Shaw’s play and Gabriel Pascal’s motion picture Pygmalion, Lerner & Loewe’s MY FAIR LADY, with a book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe, premiered on Broadway on March 15, 1956. The legendary original production won six Tony Awards including Best Musical and ran for 2,717 performances making it, at the time, the longest-running musical in Broadway history.

"A thing of beauty. A masterful piece of entertainment." - Entertainment Weekly

Boasting a score that contains such now-classic songs as “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “Get Me to the Church on Time,” “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly,” “On the Street Where You Live,” “The Rain in Spain,” and “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face,” Lincoln Center Theater’s production of Lerner & Loewe’s MY FAIR LADY was hailed by The New York Times as “Thrilling, glorious and better than it ever was.  A marvelous and transformative revival.” New York Magazine described it as ‘Enthralling,” adding that “Bartlett Sher’s glowing revival proves that a beloved musical from another era can keep on kicking.” And Entertainment Weekly raved “A sumptuous new revival of the most perfect musical of all time. A masterful piece of entertainment.”


Bartlett Sher's glowing revival proves that a beloved musical from another era can keep on kicking, as long as it's got its eyes wide open." - New York Magazine

The North American tour of Lincoln Center Theater’s production of Lerner & Loewe’s MY FAIR LADY features choreography by Christopher Gattelli, and has sets by Michael Yeargan, costumes by Catherine Zuber, lighting by Donald Holder and sound by Marc Salzberg.  Music Supervision is by Ted Sperling, featuring Lerner & Loewe’s MY FAIR LADY’s original musical arrangements by Robert Russell Bennett and Phil Lang, and dance arrangements by Trude Rittmann.  Tour Orchestrations are by Josh Clayton and music direction is by John Bell.  It is produced by Nederlander Presentations, Inc.

Facebook: “My Fair Lady on Broadway”

Twitter/Instagram: @MyFairLadyBway



Performances are on Tuesday through Friday at 7:30 p.m. (with a Wednesday matinee at 2:00 p.m. on July 6), Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. & 8:00 p.m., and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. (with a 7:30 p.m. evening show on July 3).


Individual tickets for the North American tour of Lincoln Center Theater’s production of Lerner & Loewe’s MY FAIR LADY will go on-sale to the public on Friday, April 29, 2022 and range from $27.00 - $98.00 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


Broadway In Chicago was created in July 2000 and over the past 22 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, Auditorium Theatre, and just off the Magnificent Mile, the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place.


Our audiences are required to wear masks. For details or further requirements visit

For more information and tickets, visit

Facebook @BroadwayInChicago ● Twitter @broadwaychicago ● Instagram @broadwayinchicago ● #broadwayinchicago

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Rufus Wainwright Announces Special Guests For City Winery Shows in New York City (June 5, 7, 8, 10) and Chicago (June 16-17)

 ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar 

Rufus Wainwright Announces Special Guests 

For City Winery Shows








2x GRAMMY® Award-nominated singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright will celebrate Garland’s centenary with a pair of exclusive live residencies, Rufus Does Judy at City Winery, set for City Winery in New York City (June 5, 7, 8, 10) and Chicago (June 16-17). Today, Wainwright and his band announced that the performances will feature special guests including Laura Benanti (June 5), Mx Justin Vivian Bond (June 8), and Molly Ringwald (June 10), with more to be announced in the coming weeks. Early sets will cover songs from “When You’re Smiling” to “San Francisco,” while late shows will feature “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love” to “Chicago,” with additional surprise numbers during both sets. For complete details and remaining ticket availability, please visit

Recently, Wainwright shared “Puttin’ On The Ritz,” featured on his upcoming Rufus Does Judy at Capitol Studios and available now at all DSPs and streaming services. An official live performance video premiered Friday via YouTube.

Rufus Does Judy at Capitol Studios – an all-new performance of his groundbreaking tribute to Judy Garland, Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall, recorded last year at Los Angeles’ famed Capitol Studios – arrives via BMG on Friday, June 10, celebrating the legendary Garland’s 100th birthday. Pre-orders are available now. 







First presented last year as a virtual livestream concert event, Rufus Does Judy at Capitol Studios sees Wainwright using the very microphone Garland herself used while making her own historic recordings at Capitol Studios, backed by a four-piece jazz ensemble before a micro-audience comprised entirely of 2x Academy Award-winning actress Renée Zellweger, winner of 2020’s “Best Actress” Oscar for her spectacular performance as Garland in 2019’s Judy. Among the concert’s many highlights is a special duet rendition of “Happy Days Are Here Again/Get Happy” performed alongside award-winning Concord recording artist Kristin Chenoweth, as well as the concert highlight, “The Man That Got Away,” the latter available now at all DSPs and streaming services; an official live performance video is streaming now via YouTube.

Rufus Does Judy at Capitol Studios – which marked a rare complete performance of Wainwright’s now-legendary homage to 1961’s Judy Garland At Carnegie Hall – showcases a selection of standards spanning swing, jazz, and pop, including three songs by George & Ira Gershwin, two Rodgers & Hart classics, two from Howard Dietz & Arthur Schwartz, plus favorites by Harold Arlen, Yip Harburg, Irving Berlin, Noël Coward, and more. Highlights include such Garland signature songs as “The Man That Got Away,” “Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart,” “Swanee,” and of course, “Over The Rainbow.” 


“In terms of actually fundamentally knowing these songs, honestly feeling them in my bones, Judy Garland has always had a good 30 year leg up on me and despite my valiant attempts, she will always be the Queen,” says Wainwright. “Listening back to my latest renditions of some of these amazing numbers, I was slightly taken a good way. I don’t know if it’s the pared down arrangements, my own as well as the planet’s trials and tribulations, or the fact that everyone but myself were required to record these tracks with masks on (playfully emblazoned with Judy’s likeness mind you). But, there is a darker quality to these renditions, a measure of pain involved that in almost every other aspect of life can prove burdensome, except for in the act singing. I now know these songs and definitely feel them deep in my bones.”



Wainwright will return to the road with his Unfollow The Rules Tour, beginning April 26 at Vancouver, BC’s Chan Centre for the Performing Arts and then travelling the world through November. The upcoming run will see Wainwright performing classic songs, fan favorites, and tracks from his highly praised new album, 2020’s GRAMMY® and Juno Award-nominated Unfollow The Rules, both solo and backed by his brand-new live combo, Brian Green (John Legend, Michael Bublé) as music director, guitar and backing vocals; Jacob Mann on keyboard, piano and backing vocals; and Alan Hampton on bass, guitar, ukulele and backing vocals. 

In addition, Wainwright will present his acclaimed 2018 opera, Hadrian, with a special one-night-only performance at Madrid, Spain’s historic Teatro Real on July 22. Wainwright will also team up the Los Angeles Phil for an exclusive performance set for L.A.’s Walt Disney Concert Hall on June 2, 2023.

Wainwright’s sixth full-length release and first live album, 2007’s Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall was recorded and produced by Phil Ramone over two sold-out nights at Carnegie Hall, backed by a full 36-piece orchestra and special guest appearances from his sister Martha Wainwright, his mother Kate McGarrigle, and Garland’s daughter, Lorna Luft. The album proved an immediate cultural landmark, feted by worldwide media attention and critical acclaim while earning Wainwright his first-ever GRAMMY® Award nomination (for “Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album”). Due to popular demand, Wainwright recreated his momentous tribute to Garland with sold-out, star-studded performances at such renowned venues as Paris’ L’Olympia, Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl, and the London Palladium, the latter of which was filmed and released on DVD as Rufus! Rufus! Rufus! Does Judy! Judy! Judy!: Live from the London Palladium.



26 – Vancouver, BC – Chan Centre for the Performing Arts

28 – Kirkland, WA – Kirkland Performance Center

29 – Edmonds, WA – Edmonds Center for the Arts

30 – Portland, OR – Aladdin Theater


16 – Toronto, ON – Massey Hall

17 – Buffalo, NY - Asbury Hall Babeville (Babeville)

19 – Ottawa, ON – Babs Asper Theatre, National Arts Centre

20 – Quebec City, QB – Palais Montcalm

21 – Montreal, QB – Salle Wilfred-Pelletier

29 – Reykjavik, IS – Harpa Center


5 – New York, NY – City Winery (Two Shows) *

7 – New York, NY – City Winery

8 – New York, NY – City Winery

10 – New York, NY – City Winery (Two Shows) *

14 – Los Angeles, CA – The Ford

16 – Chicago, IL – City Winery (Two Shows) *

17 – Chicago, IL – City Winery (Two Shows) *

23 – Worthing, UK – Worthing Assembly Halls

25 – Bath, UK – Bath Forum

26 – Rhyl, UK – Rhyl Pavilion Theatre

30 – Zaragoza, ES – Parque Grande José Antonio Labordeta


6 – Dublin, IR – National Concert Hall

7 – Kassel, DE - Kulturzelt

11 – Amstelveen, NL – Amsterdamse Bostheater (SOLD OUT)

19 – Frankfurt, DE – Palmengarten

27 – Madrid, ES – Teatro Real †

30 – Glasgow, UK – Kelvingrove Bandstand


14 – Dallas, TX – Majestic Theatre

15 – Austin, TX – The Paramount Theatre

17 – Houston, TX – The Heights Theater


9 – Hammondsport, NY – Concerts at Point of the Bluff Vineyards

11 – Annapolis, MD – Rams Head On Stage

12 – Alexandria, VA – The Birchmere


12 – Kansas City, MO – Kauffmann Center For The Performing Arts

JUNE 2023

2 – Los Angeles, CA – Walt Disney Concert Hall ‡

* Rufus Does Judy at City Winery

† Hadrian

‡ w/The LA Phil

Rufus Wainwright

Rufus Does Judy at Capitol Studios


Release Date: Friday, June 10


Come Rain Or Come Shine

Alone Together

I Can’t Give You Anything But Love

Puttin’ On The Ritz

The Man That Got Away

A Foggy Day

How Long Has This Been Going On?

Just You, Just Me

You’re Never

Happy Days Are Here Again/Get Happy (Feat. Kristin Chenoweth)

Medley: You Made Me Love You/For Me And My Gal/The Trolley Song

Over The Rainbow



Saturday, April 23, 2022

REVIEW: BIPOC Circus Alliance Midwest in The Chicago Circus & Performing Arts Festival 2022 at The Den Theatre

 ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar 

BIPOC Circus Alliance Midwest

Friday 5:30-7, Saturday 9:30-11 (13+)


By Bonnie Kenaz-Mara

When folks think of contemporary circus arts, many think of Europe or French Canadian companies, but circus arts are alive and well right here in the midwest, and include plenty of talented BIPOC performers. Circus skills are a powerfully visual way to explore collective trauma and joy of the lived experiences of people of color today.  

I caught the BIPOC Circus Alliance Midwest's lineup for The Chicago Circus & Performing Arts Festival and it's well worth a look. The ceiling may be low at The Den, but the bar is high, and BIPOC Circus Alliance Midwest's aerial arts are hardly less impressive for happening close to the ground, instead of in the peak of a bigtop tent dozens of feet above. This intimate performance space provides great sight lines and a personal connection to the artists and the content behind their superhuman feats. 

The diverse lineup has a bit of everything from powerful duo acts to a family who incorporated their infant into their straps act! Performers range from a teen juggling/acro act from Actors' Gymnasium, to older performers in the highly impressive and entertaining FUNKBOTNOTS act. We particularly loved the lyra act. The artists were thought provoking, talented, silly, sexy, and deep in turn, providing a full range of interesting, creative acts. Don't miss this. Their show repeats one more time Saturday night. Check it out. 

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

Our show will be a themed cabaret that tracks the lives of People Of Color as they learn to re-start their lives and re-engage with the outside world two years after the onset of a global pandemic. This is a collection of individual stories depicting a range of human emotions and unique challenges faced by POC in the contemporary American landscape. This show will be stripped down, human, and honest, focusing on communicating feelings through movement. Disciplines will include rope, straps, aerial hammock, diabolo, and silks. Show content is PG-13. Purchase tickets at The Den box office or in advance HERE:



Valeria Rosero

The Actor's Gymnasium Teen Ensemble

Jessica Bailey


Eric Rodney Robinson

Chris, Amy, & CJ Rooney

Nick Ng

BIPOC Circus Alliance Midwest 

The BIPOC Circus Alliance Midwest (BCAM) is a collective of circus practitioners and performing artists dedicated to creating more supportive, inclusive, and representative circus communities by:

- Advocating for equity and inclusion in training, teaching, and performance spaces

- Partnering with circus organizations to implement policy changes designed to increase BIPOC representation and inclusion within customers/students and staff

- Celebrating and amplifying BIPOC stories in circus

- Creating community, support, and mutual positive encouragement for BIPOC circus practitioners and performers

- Creating opportunities for circus practitioners of color to create, collaborate, and perform together

Since our formation in 2020 we have produced performances, facilitated discussions on race and circus with over 20 circus organizations, and provided focused consultation to circus organizations looking to diversify their spaces. 

For more info check out:

Chicago Premiere of THE MAGNOLIA BALLET Via About Face Theatre May 12 through June 11, 2022 at the Den Theatre

 ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar

About Face Theatre Brings Local Playwright Terry Guest’s


To Chicago

About Face Theatre continues its 27th season with the Chicago premiere of Terry Guest’s haunting new drama THE MAGNOLIA BALLET, running May 12 through June 11, 2022, at the Den Theatre. Following the story of a young Black man in Georgia who finds a shocking discovery among his grandfather's letters, THE MAGNOLIA BALLET explores the need to tear down the rules that are killing us in order to finally live. Associate Artistic Director Mikael Burke premiered this new work in March 2022 at Phoenix Theatre in Indianapolis and now brings the play to Chicago with playwright Terry Guest in the lead role. I'll be out for the press opening Friday, May 20th, so check back shortly for my full review. 

Pictured left - right: Terry Guest, Wardell Julius Clark, Sheldon D. Brown, Ben Sulzberger.


Previews:  Thursday, May 12 – Thursday, May 19

Press Opening:  Friday, May 20

Performance Run: Saturday, May 21 – Saturday, June 11

Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 3:00pm


Tickets are on sale now online at, by calling 773.697.3830, or in-person at the Den Theatre box office. Ticket prices range from $5 to $35.

AFT offers a ticket pricing system that allows each patron to decide the price that they can comfortably afford to pay for a ticket. Ultimately, About Face wants everyone who wants to attend a show to be able to do so. Please note, there are limited quantities available at each pricing level.

Left-right: Sheldon D. Brown, Terry Guest, Wardell Julius Clark. 

Photo by Nathanael Filbert


Ezekiel is a Black teenager with a secret that threatens to destroy his already broken home. He’s haunted by the ghosts of racism, homophobia, and toxic masculinity–the same ghosts that have plagued men in Georgia for generations, including his emotionally distant father. But when he discovers a trove of forbidden love letters among his late grandfather’s belongings, Ezekiel  begins to believe that the only way to fight these multi-generational ghosts is to burn everything to the ground. The Magnolia Ballet is a Southern Gothic fable that melds high drama, dance, poetry, and spectacle to explore masculinity, racism, and the love between a queer kid and his father.

“As a queer Black man raised in the American south, this play is hugely important to me,” says director Mikael Burke. “No young person should ever be made to feel the way I did, like they are wrong simply for existing. This play forces all of us to reckon with the legacies of toxic masculinity and racism in this country. It’s a play that demands that we all wrestle with the ghosts of our prejudices and recognize where the rules we once set in order to survive have become the killers of a new generation.”


Terry Guest as Ezekiel “Z” Mitchell VI

Wardell Julius Clark as Ezekiel Mitchell V

Sheldon D. Brown as Apparition

Ben Sulzberger as Danny


Assistant Directing and Dramaturgy by Vic Wynter, Choreography by Jenn Freeman, Intimacy and Violence Choreography by Jyreika Guest, Scenic Design by Steven Abbott, Scenic Design Advising by Regina Garcia, Lighting Design by Eric Watkins, Sound Design by Brian Grimm, Costume Design by Jos N. Banks, Properties Design by Caitlin McCarthy, Stage Management by Lucy Whipp, Assistant Stage Management by Cecilia Koloski, Production Management by Audrey Kleine, Technical Direction by Becca Venable.


TERRY GUEST (he/him): Playwright, Ezekiel “Z” Mitchell VI

Terry Guest is a Chicago based playwright, actor and teaching artist. He wrote and starred in AT THE WAKE OF A DEAD DRAG QUEEN, which was the recipient of the 2018 Out Front Spectrum Series Grant and had its World Premiere in Chicago at The Story Theatre (directed by Mikael Burke). Other work includes: A GHOST IN SATIN (The Williamstown Theatre Festival, directed by Wardell Julius Clark), MARIE ANTIONETTE AND THE MAGICAL NEGROS (The Story Theatre), THE MADNESS OF MARY TODD (Goodman Theatre Playwrights Unit Commission), MICHAEL JACKSON AND THE DEVIL’S BOOK (Jackalope) and ANDY WARHOL PRESENTS: THE COCAINE PLAY. More in for at

MIKAEL BURKE (he/him): Director

Mikael is a Chicago-based director and educator, and About Face Theatre’s Associate Artistic Director. A Princess Grace Award-winner in Theatre and Jeff Award-nominated director, Mikael’s most recently worked with Victory Gardens Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Jackalope Theatre Company, Windy City Playhouse, About Face Theatre, First Floor Theater, American Theatre Company, Chicago Dramatists, and The Story Theatre in Chicago, and regionally with Indiana Repertory Theatre, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Geva Theatre Center, and Phoenix Theatre. For About Face, he has directed KICKBACK, an all-virtual play festival, and THIS BITTER EARTH. Other recent directing credits include the world premiere of THE MAGNOLIA BALLET by Terry Guest; FIREFLIES by Donja R. Love; MRS. HARRISON by R. Eric Thomas; WE ARE CONTINUOUS by Harrison David Rivers; KILL MOVE PARADISE by James Ijames; THE AGITATORS by Mat Smart.

WARDELL JULIUS CLARK (he/him): Ezekiel Mitchell V

Wardell is an award-winning actor, director, producer, and activist who hails from Fairfield, Alabama, but now calls Chicago home. He earned his BFA from The Theatre School at DePaul University. Wardell is a Company Member with TimeLine Theatre. He is also an Ensemble Member at Sideshow Theatre. Select acting credits include GEM OF THE OCEAN (Goodman Theatre), FLYIN’ WEST (American Blues), SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER (Raven), SILENT SKY (First Folio), OTHELLO (Theater at Monmouth), and THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JAMES (Victory Gardens). His television and film credits include PROVEN INNOCENT, SHAMELESS, and CHICAGO FIRE seasons 1 & 4. Wardell directed the world premieres of BLACK MOON LILITH, A GHOST IN SATIN, and DON'T GET GOT last summer as part of the Solo Play Festival Celebrating the Black Radical Imagination at Williamstown Theatre Festival. Select Chicago directing credits include KILL MOVE PARADISE (Timeline Theatre - 2020 Jeff Award Winner - Best Director, large), SHEEPDOG (Shattered Globe), HIS SHADOW (16th Street), THE SHIPMENT (Red Tape), DUTCH MASTERS (Jackalope), THE WATSONS GO TO BIRMINGHAM -1963 (Chicago Children's Theatre), INSURRECTION: HOLDING HISTORY (Stage Left). Wardell was the Newcity Magazine 2020 - Player of the Moment, and a recipient of the 2021 3Arts Foundation Make a Wave grant!

SHELDON D. BROWN (he/him): Apparition

Sheldon is overjoyed to return to About Face where he previously performed in THIS BITTER EARTH and TIME IS ON OUR SIDE. His other credits include the TRAGEDY OF OTHELLO THE MOOR OF VENICE, OEDIPUS REX, and MAN IN THE RING (Court Theatre); A WONDER IN MY SOUL (Victory Gardens Theatre), THE SHIPMENT (Red Tape Theatre); 1980 (Jackalope Theatre) and more. He also has numerous credits in Boston including THE GRAND INQUISITOR, directed by Peter Brook through ArtsEmerson. His film/screenwriting credits include CICADA (Spirit Award Nominated, Best First Screenplay), THE CANYONLANDS, and MY NAME IS ALEX. Sheldon is also a queer educator having taught with Steppenwolf, Northlight Theatre, and The League of Chicago Theatres. Sheldon received his BFA in Acting from Emerson College and is a proud Artistic Associate at About Face!


Ben is thrilled to be making his Chicago theatre debut in THE MAGNOLIA BALLET. He graduated from the University of Iowa in 2020 with a degree in theatre arts and cinema. Some of his favorite roles have included Christopher in THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME, Flute in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM and Jason in SWEAT.

ABOUT FACE THEATRE advances LGBTQ+ equity through community building, education, and performance. AFT envisions an affirming and equitable world in which all LGBTQ+ individuals are thriving and free from prejudice and discrimination. About Face Theatre is also dedicated to being an intentionally and increasingly anti-racist organization. Due to the intersectionality of our identities, we understand our work to advance LGBTQ+ equity as directly connected to movements for racial justice.

Friday, April 22, 2022

REVIEW: Surface Tension at Chicago Circus & Performing Arts Festival 2022

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar:

Surface Tension

by to x for

(all ages)

Thursday 5:30-7, Friday 7:30-9

at The Den Theatre in Chicago's Wicker Park Neighborhood

Photos tag: @xav13rclaudio


By Bonnie Kenaz-Mara

I caught this piece at the opening of the  Chicago Circus & Performing Arts Festival Thursday night and I was completely charmed by Surface Tension.  David and Liam, clad in overalls, embody the childlike curiosity and play of preschoolers, or puppies, with the adult twist of impressive circus skills and control. This lovely exploration of parallel play, competition, bonding, and friendship runs the gamut of positive and negative emotions. Surface Tension includes gift giving and forgiving, the pettiness of fighting and storming off, love, loss, and reconciliation. The friends take turns sharing time in the spotlight, creating, entertaining and supporting one another through juggling, diablo, movement, and partner acro. Highly recommended. Great for all ages. It's a playful, positive piece, full of genuine camaraderie, that's a joy to see. 

It was my pleasure to interview David Chervony as one of our five featured artists for the fest. Check it out, then keep an eye out for Surface Tension and/or ​to x for. I'm hoping this piece is just the first of many to come from ​to x for, contemporary circus company. 

Chicago Circus & Performing Arts Festival kicks off Thursday and runs through Sunday at The Den Theatre! We've picked 5 performers from the upcoming fest to feature and we're asking them all Six Quick Questions. Meet artist, David Chervony, whose show is one of the fest openers at 5:30 Thursday and repeats Friday night as well.

ChiIL Live Shows' Interview 

Your name/pronouns: David Chervony (He/They)

Your show(s) title/dates/times: Surface Tension, Thursday at 5:30p, Friday at 7:30p at the Bookspan Theater

1.  ChiIL Live Shows: Tell me something quirky or unique about yourself?

I have an encyclopedic knowledge of board games.

2. CLS: Why do you personally do circus arts/dance/performing arts?

I have a lot to say and have no idea how to say it. I love being with audiences, with them challenging me and I them. I love doing things that don't make sense. Circus (and all art) has allowed me to do these things.

3. CLS: How has the pandemic impacted and/or changed you as a performing artist?

I've been able to focus on how I want to create as an artist. It is easy to get entirely lost in solo work as a circus artist--especially with juggling, I can practice for hours and never interact with anyone else. But during the pandemic, I re-discovered how important the ensemble is for my creative process. Collaboration and trust allow me to tell stories I can't imagine telling without other artists.

4. CLS: Did you devise your own act or audition? If it’s your own, what sparked the idea for this piece? If it’s a collaboration, what made you want to be part of this act?

Liam Bradley and I first started working together late last year on an elementary school show. Originally, I thought it was just going to be a job--but very quickly, things evolved. We wrote massive amounts of material in a matter of days. We bonded over shared experiences and our thoughts about art. It was, as we both have said, the easiest creation process either of us have ever been in. We decided to create a full-length work, founded our grassroots collective, Company To X For, and debuted Surface Tension at Miniball Fest in Philadelphia in early April. It received a terrific reception and we are so excited to share this intimate, personal, and fun contemporary circus show in the Chicago Circus and Performing Arts Festival.

5. CLS: What type of audience do you envision seeing your show and why?

Our show is about a queer relationship. This show is for anyone who has ever had a close friendship or relationship. This show is for all ages. We truly believe this show has something for everyone.

6. CLS: Any words of wisdom for younger performers who want to follow in your footsteps?

Create what you want and what you need. Find what inspires you. Do things that scare you. And always, always, charge more money for your work. You're worth it.

For more info on the whole fest running this Thursday through Sunday, here's our feature:

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

Surface Tension takes a beautiful and daring look at a queer friendship. At points ecstatic, dark, searching, and joyful, this intimate circus show celebrates vulnerable connection through sincere juggling, acrobatics, weight-sharing, object manipulation, and dance. 

Purchase tickets HERE:

Company Info: @CompanyToXFor

​to x for is a new contemporary circus company created by Liam Bradley and David Chervony.    We create intimate work through juggling, acrobatics, and dance that is driven by passion, connection, and pure excitement. We are currently in development of our first work, entitled Surface Tension. The initial iteration of the work was first performed this November, but we have plans to expand it much farther.

David Chervony is a circus artist and creator based in Chicago. He has performed nationally, notably with Midnight Circus, Cirque Us!, Masters of Gravity, and others. He directed AMAZE at the Mickey Gilley Grand Shanghai Theater in Branson, Missouri as well as writing and producing Life of the Party by Low Ceiling Circus. For more information, including his CV and videos, visit

Liam Bradley is a juggler, acrobat, and mover from Chicago, IL. Liam is a graduate of Circadium School of Contemporary Circus and he's currently excitedly working on circus projects in his hometown. Liam plays with rhythm, space, and convention to create unique manipulation and movement performances. He’s inspired by old school hip-hop, impressionist paintings, and over-priced food. His goal is to defy expectations and create entirely curious compositions.

Free Theatre: Strawdog Presents the World Premiere of ON THE GREENBELT Monday, April 25 – Saturday, May 28, 2022

 ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar

Free Performances!

Strawdog Theatre Company Presents the World Premiere of


By Ensemble Member Karissa Murrell Myers

Directed by Jonathan Berry

April 22 – May 28, 2022 at Links Hall

Strawdog Theatre Company, Chicago’s newest free theater, returns this spring with the world premiere of On The Greenbelt, playing April 22 – May 28, 2022 at Links Hall, 3111 N. Western Ave. in Chicago. A semi-finalist for the 2021 Blue Ink Playwright Awards, On The Greenbelt is a serio-comic play that jumps between past and the present, written by ensemble member Karissa Murrell Myers* and directed by Jonathan Berry. Tickets for all performances are FREE with reservations opening Friday, March 25 at I'll be out for the press opening, Sunday, April 24, so check back soon for my review.

On The Greenbelt will feature ensemble member Jamie Vann* with Kathryn Acosta, Lynne Baker, Jessica Ervin, Dan Lin and Alexis Ward.

Understudies: Rachel Bachar, Blake Dava, Daniel Vaughn Manasia, Koshie Mills, Laura Resinger and India Whiteside.

On The Greenbelt is an exploration of family, love, memory and the question of “How do we process loss and grief?” Jules saw something terrible in the Idaho hospital the night her mom died, but she’ll never say what it was. Not to her ex, Olivia, and especially not to her brother, Jake, who keeps trying to convince her to go with him to the Greenbelt to spread their mom’s ashes with their father, Alan. But try as she might, Jules can’t shake the memories of the past that haunt her like a gin-soaked hangover, and as the day unravels the past events surrounding her mother’s death come to light.

Comments Strawdog Artistic Director Kamille Dawkins*, “We really enjoy the story behind Karissa’s funny and wildly unpredictable family drama. It dives deep into emotional themes of love and illness with a fresh and inspiring look at family. We are also thrilled to have ensemble member Jamie Vann return to our stage and reunite with director Jonathan Berry.”

The production team includes Yeaji Kim* (scenic design), Gregory Graham (costume design), Trey Brazeal (lighting design), Daniel Etti-Williams (sound design), Patty Meier (props design), Sam Hubbard* (fight director), Tristin Hall (intimacy designer), Aja Singletary (assistant director), Caitlyn Garrity (stage manager) and Michelle Locke (assistant stage manager).

Covid protocols: Masks and proof of vaccination for individuals ages 5 and up, OR a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of entry is required for entrance. Rapid antigen or at-home tests are not accepted as proof of negative COVID-19 status. For additional details about these policies, acceptable forms of documentation and ongoing health and safety measures visit   

*Denotes Strawdog ensemble member

Cast (in alphabetical order): Kathryn Acosta (Jules), Lynne Baker (Lydia), Jessica Ervin (Mallory), Dan Lin (Jake), Jamie Vann* (Alan) and Alexis Ward (Olivia).

Understudies: Rachel Bachar, Blake Dava, Daniel Vaughn Manasia, Koshie Mills, Laura Resinger and India Whiteside.

Location: Links Hall, 3111 N. Western Ave., Chicago.

Dates: Previews: Friday, April 22 at 7 pm and Saturday, April 23 at 7 pm

Press performance: Sunday, April 24 at 7 pm

Regular run: Monday, April 25 – Saturday, May 28, 2022

Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 7 pm: Please note: there will be an added performance on Monday, April 25 at 7 pm

Understudy Performance: Wednesday, May 18 at 7 pm

Tickets: Free. Reservations open Friday, March 25 at

About the Artists

Karissa Murrell Myers* (Playwright, she/her) is a hapa Filipino American theatre artist originally from Boise, Idaho and is currently based in Chicago, where she works professionally as a playwright, actor, casting director and producer. She has a MFA in Performance from University of Hawaii at Manoa, a BA in Theatre Arts from Boise State University and is a graduate of The School at Steppenwolf. Her autobiographical play Fragmented was filmed and released through Our Perspective: Asian American Plays. Her most recently produced play, How Do We Navigate Space?, was filmed and released through Strawdog Theatre Company, where she is the current Casting Director and ensemble member. Proud member of SAG-AFTRA, represented by Gray Talent Group.   

Jonathan Berry (Director) is a director and teacher in Chicago, a proud ensemble member of both Steep Theatre and Griffin Theatre and a former Artistic Producer at Steppenwolf Theatre Company. He directed the Steppenwolf productions of Lindiwe, The Children, You Got Older, Constellations and the SYA productions of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, The Crucible and A Separate Peace. Steep Theatre Company: Red Rex, Earthquakes in London, Posh, The Life and Sort of Death of Eric Argyle, If There Is I Haven’t Found it Yet, The Knowledge, Festen, Moment, The Hollow Lands and The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. At Griffin, productions include: The North American premieres of Simon Stephens Punk Rock (Jeff award Director, Lead Actor and Ensemble), Port and On the Shore of the Wide World, as well as The Harvest, Winterset, Pocatello, Balm in Gilead, Golden Boy, The Burnt Part Boys, Spring Awakening, Company, Picnic, Time and the Conways, Dead End, The Hostage and Journey’s End.  

He was the Assistant Director for Anna D. Shapiro’s Broadway productions of Of Mice and Men and This is our Youth. Gift Theatre: the world premieres of both Dirty and Suicide, Incorporated, as well as Othello. Goodman Theatre: The Solid Sand Below and The World of Extreme Happiness for their New Stages Festival. Other work includes: American Theatre Company: Kill Floor, American Blues: Little Shop of Horrors and Sideman; Redtwist: Look Back in Anger and Reverb, Chicago Dramatists: I am Going to Change the World, Jackalope Theatre: The Casuals, Strawdog: Conversations on a Homecoming, Remy Bumpo: The Marriage of Figaro, Theatre Mir: The Sea and Caucasian Chalk Circle, Lifeline Theater: The Piano Tuner (After Dark Award – Best Production). He pursued his MFA in directing from Northwestern University. He has taught acting, directing and viewpoints at University of Michigan, Northwestern University, University of Chicago, Act One Studios, Columbia College and served as the director for the ensemble training program The School at Steppenwolf.

About Strawdog Theatre Company

Strawdog Theatre Company was founded as a small ensemble based Chicago storefront theatre in 1988 by founders, Lawrence Novikoff and Paul Engelhardt. Since then, Strawdog has grown and redefined what storefront theatre and ensemble work means by elevating the craft of intimate storytelling through innovative collaborative work in all genres. Our ensemble and guest artists are encouraged to bring out of the box thinking to create worlds and immersive theater experiences in a little black box. As one of the oldest, most well-respected storefront theaters of Chicago, we foster career growth and artistic experimentation to theater artists of all disciplines. We make theater more accessible to the community by providing free admission to our productions. We give our ensemble the support to create exciting, new and unusual work in our late night, off night, mainstage and virtual spaces, garnering us a special non-equity Jeff Award for 30 years of provocative ensemble work.

Strawdog Theatre Company is supported in part by The MacArthur Fund for Arts & Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The Illinois Arts Council Agency, The Small Business Association and The Saints Grant Commission.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Chicago Premiere of When We Were Young and Unafraid Via AstonRep Theatre Company May 13 – June 12, 2022 at The Edge Off-Broadway Theater

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar

Chicago Premiere!

AstonRep Theatre Company Presents


By Sarah Treem

Directed by Sara Pavlak McGuire

May 13 – June 12, 2022 at The Edge Off-Broadway Theater

AstonRep Theatre Company is pleased to conclude its 2020-21 season with the Chicago premiere of Sarah Treem’s courageous drama When We Were Young and Unafraid, directed by Sara Pavlak McGuire*, playing May 13 – June 12, 2022 at The Edge Off-Broadway Theater, 1133 W. Catalpa Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are currently available at or by calling (773) 828-9129. I'll be out for the press opening Saturday, May 14th, so check back shortly for my full review. 

The cast includes JoAnn Birt, Halle Hoffman, Sean Kelly*, Julie Partyka and Claire Allegra Taylor. Understudies include Tess Galbiati, Hilary Hensler, Maddy Moderhack, Jack Rodgers and Effie Rose.

*Denotes AstonRep Company Members.

In the early 1970s, before Roe v. Wade, before the Violence Against Women Act, Agnes has turned her quiet bed and breakfast into one of the few spots where victims of domestic violence can seek refuge. But to Agnes’s dismay, her latest runaway, Mary Anne, is beginning to influence Agnes’s college-bound daughter Penny. As the drums of a feminist revolution grow louder outside of Agnes’s tiny world, Agnes is forced to confront her own presumptions about the women she’s spent her life trying to help.

Director Sara Pavlak McGuire* comments, “Against the backdrop of the early 1970s, Treem's play shines a light on the faces of women who fought (each in their own ways) to create lasting and powerful change in America. At the same time, this play provides a cautionary tale for today's woman of how close she may be to witnessing an oppression that this generation has not yet seen. And so we hope it provokes her to continue to fight; whether it be quietly from her home or loudly from the front lines. May she be inspired by the women in this story to use her voice and to help the women around her. After two years, we are honored to finally present the story of these four women and are thrilled to premiere it here in Chicago.”

The production team to date includes Jeremiah Barr* (scenic, props and specialty make-up design), kClare McKellaston (costume, hair and wig design) Samantha Barr* (lighting design, production manager), Robert Tobin* and Melanie Thompson* (sound design), Claire Yearman (intimacy director), Kathryn Greenlea (costume assistant), Maryah Paige (assistant lighting designer, assistant stage manager) and Kristi Roshto (stage manager).

COVID protocol: AstonRep is committed to providing a safe and enjoyable theatre-going experience. At this time, we will require all patrons to provide proof of vaccination when entering the theatre and patrons will be required to wear a face mask during the performance. As this guidance is rapidly evolving, so may our protocols, so please check our website for the most up to date information

Location: The Edge Off-Broadway Theater, 1133 W. Catalpa Ave., Chicago

Dates: Preview: Friday, May 13 at 7:30 pm

Press performance: Saturday, May 14 at 7:30 pm

Regular run: Sunday, May 14 – Sunday, June 12, 2022

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

Tickets: Previews: $10; Regular run: $20. Student/seniors discounts available. Tickets are currently available at or by calling (773) 828-9129.

About the Artists

Sarah Treem’s (Playwright) A Feminine Ending premiered at Playwrights Horizons and went on to productions at South Coast Repertory and Portland Center Stage, among others. Her play The How and the Why premiered at the McCarter Theater starring Mercedes Ruehl (with Emily Mann directing) and went on to productions at Interact Theatre and Trinity Repertory, among others. Sarah’s other plays include Empty Sky (Bloomington Playwrights Project), Orphan Island (Sundance Theater Lab), Human Voices (New York Stage and Film) and Mirror Mirror. She has been commissioned by Playwrights Horizons, Southcoast Repertory and Manhattan Theater Club, and developed work at the Ojai Playwrights Festival, the Screenwriters Colony, Hedgebrook and Yaddo. In addition to her theater career, Sarah wrote and produced all three seasons of the acclaimed HBO series In Treatment, for which she won a WGA award and was nominated for a Humanitas award. She was also a writer/producer for the HBO series How to Make it in America. She has taught playwriting at Yale University, where she earned her B.A. and M.F.A.

Sara Pavlak McGuire (Director) has been a company member with AstonRep since 2013, where she
serves as a member of the Artistic Core Leadership. Working primarily as an actor in Chicago, Sara has worked with many different companies around the city; namely Windy City Playhouse, Timeline Theatre, Remy Bumppo, Oak Park Festival Theatre, Filament Theatre, Hubris Productions, Spartan Theatre and of course her home at AstonRep. She is a two-time Jeff Award nominee (2011, 2018). She received the award in 2011 for her work in Agnes of God, with Hubris Productions. She has assistant directed several productions with AstonRep (Wit, The Lyons, The Laramie Project) and has served as casting director for the past seven years. Sara holds an MFA in acting from Western Illinois University.


About AstonRep Theatre Company

AstonRep Theatre Company was formed in the summer of 2008. Since then, the company has produced numerous full-length productions, along with their annual Writer’s Series. They are currently in residence at The Edge Theater. AstonRep Theatre Company is an ensemble of artists committed to creating exciting, intimate theatrical experiences that go beyond the front door to challenge audiences and spark discussion where the show is not the end of the experience: it is just the beginning. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2022


 ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar 



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

Tickets are Now on Sale for this Rarely Seen Broadway Rock Musical Exploring an Artist’s Journey of Self Discovery with Book and Lyrics by Stew+, Music by Heidi Rodewald* and Stew+, Directed by Donterrio+, Music Directed by Justin Akira Kono+ and Choreographed by Terri K Woodall*

Porchlight Music Theatre concludes the eighth season of its “lost” musicals series with Porchlight Revisits Passing Strange, book and lyrics by Stew+, music by Heidi Rodewald* and Stew+, direction by Donterrio+, music directed by Justin Akira Kono+ and choreography by Terri K Woodall*, May 18 and 19. Porchlight Revisits Passing Strange is presented for three performances only: Wednesday, May 18 at 7 p.m. and Thursday, May 19 at 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. at The Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn Street. Performed live in a limited run each performance includes a pre-show “Behind the Show Backstory” historical multimedia presentation by Artistic Director Michael Weber+ introducing the evening’s production including the show’s creative history, backstage stories and much more. Tickets are $49 and are available at or by calling the Porchlight Music Theatre box office at 773.777.9884. I'll be out on the 19th at 1:30 p.m. so check back shortly for my full review.

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.”

Top Row: Donterrio, director; Justin Akira Kono, music director; Terri K. Woodall, choreographer, Michael Maurice Ashford, ensemble; Rueben Echoles, ensemble

Bottom Row: Reniesha J. Jenkins, ensemble; MJ Rawls, ensemble; Nolan Robinson, ensemble; Byron Willis, ensemble and Jasmine Lacy Young, ensemble; 

The ensemble cast of Porchlight Revisits Passing Strange, in alphabetical order, includes: Michael Maurice Ashford+, Rueben Echoles+, Reneisha J Jenkins*, MJ Rawls*, Nolan Robinson+, Byron Willis+ and Jasmine Lacy Young*.

The production team includes: Stew+, lyrics and book; Heidi Rodewald* and Stew+, music; Donterrio+, director; Justin Akira Kono+, music director; Terri K Woodall*, choreography; Jyreika Guest*, intimacy director; Rachel West*, lighting designer; Gregory Graham+, costume designer; Matthew R. Chase+, production manager; Frankie Leo Bennett+, producing artistic associate; Alex Rhyan+, production and operations director and Michael Weber+, artistic director.

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


Continuing to forge its role as “Chicago’s Music Theatre,” Porchlight launched the Porchlight Revisits series, the only of its kind in the city, in 2013, especially created for the die-hard music theatre aficionado. Each season, Porchlight Music Theatre shares with audiences the rare opportunity to visit musicals that opened on the Great White Way and beyond but have since gone “unsung.” The finest music theatre artists in Chicago dust off these neglected treasures and escort audiences to the worlds of Broadway and off-Broadway’s past. Previous Porchlight Revisits productions include:

(2021) Nunsense;

(2019/20) Call Me Madam;

(2018/19) 1776, Can-Can, Minnie’s Boys;

(2017/18) Do Re Mi, They’re Playing Our Song, Woman of the Year; (2016/17) The Rink, Little Me, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever; (2015/16) Chess, Applause, Babes in Arms;

(2014/15) Bells Are Ringing, City of Angels, Mack & Mabel; (2013/14) Anyone Can Whistle, Golden Boy, Fade Out-Fade In.


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

Porchlight Music Theatre concludes the eighth season of its “lost” musicals series with Porchlight Revisits Passing Strange, book and lyrics by Stew+, music by Heidi Rodewald* and Stew+, direction by Donterrio+, music directed by Justin Akira Kono+ and choreography by Terri K Woodall*, May 18 and 19. Porchlight Revisits Passing Strange is presented for three performances only: Wednesday, May 18 at 7 p.m. and Thursday, May 19 at 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. at The Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn Street. Tickets are $49 and are available at or by calling the Porchlight Music Theatre box office at 773.777.9884.

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.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

A Red Orchid Theatre's World Premiere of LAST HERMANOS April 21 – June 12, 2022

 ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar






April 21 – June 12, 2022 


 A Red Orchid Theatre  presents the World Premiere of Last Hermanos by Exal Iraheta, directed by Ismael Lara, Jr.. Last Hermanos runs April 21 – June 12, 2022 at A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N Wells in Chicago. I'll be out for the press performance April 30th, so check back soon for my full review. Single tickets for Last Hermanos are on sale now at 

Reunited and on the run, Miguel and Julio are fleeing an America where being Latinx is a life sentence. Sequestered in a Texas state park, the arrival of a sympathetic deserter, Shepherd, brings the conflict between Julio’s desire for revolution and Miguel’s longing for normalcy into sharp focus. Recorded last season as an audio play and now in its theatrical world premiere, LAST HERMANOS is a story of tenacious brotherhood and love in a not-so-distant future that asks: which path promises the better future?  

The cast includes Eddie Martinez (Miguel), Roberto Jay (Julio), and Chris Sheard (Shepherd).  

The creative team includes Ismael Lara, Jr. (Director), Mara Ishihara Zinky (Scenic), Johan Gallardo (Costumes), Josiah Croegaert (Lights), Joe Court (Sound), Erin Gautille (Props), Alden J. Vasquez (Stage Manager), Lauren Krohn (Assistant Stage Manager), Corey Bradberry (Production Manager), Valen-Marie Santos (Assistant Director), and Leean Kim Torske (Dramaturg). 

“On the heels of the incredibly rewarding collaborations of The Moors, I am thrilled to be reaching further outside ourselves to nurture collaborations with some of the most exciting new-to-us artists I have ever encountered,” says Artistic Director Kirsten Fitzgerald. “The pandemic certainly interrupted many a process and collaboration.  I think that makes our journey with Exal and his play Last Hermanos even more special.  From draft to draft to audio play and back to stage, the relationship between these brothers and the world of Last Hermanos continues to reveal new truths that bring us face to face with our own humanity.  Exal’s generosity in sharing this story is matched beautifully by the generosity of spirit, curiosity, and creative genius of our Director, Ismael Lara Jr.  With these two artists at the helm, Last Hermanos breathes deeper at every turn, unearthing both the power and the fragility of family and its function in our ever-shifting environments.”  


About the Artists 

EXAL IRAHETA (Playwright) is a Chicago-based Salvi-American playwright & screenwriter by way of Houston, TX. His work explores the intersections of belonging, family, queerness, Latinx identity, violence, and sexuality. Exal is The Chance Theatre’s 2022 Resident Playwright, was a 2020/2021 Goodman Theatre's Playwrights Unit member, and a selected playwright in the 2018 Fornés Playwriting Workshop. In 2019, his play They Could Give No Name was chosen for Victory Gardens' Ignition Festival and an honorable mention in the American Playwriting Foundation's 2019 Relentless Award. Exal earned an MFA from Northwestern University's Writing for the Screen and Stage program and a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. On the weekends, Exal enjoys walks with his husband Chris. 

ISMAEL LARA, JR. (Director) is a Mexican director, educator, and producer, who focuses on bridging the gap between institutions and the Latiné community. He has developed plays in collaboration with Cleveland Public Theatre’s Entry Point, Playwrights Local CLE, Kane Rep, Rec Room Arts, Creede Repertory Theater, Lake Forest College, The Lark, and National Queer Theatre. Selected credits include In His Hands (NU), The Displaced (NU Audio), Tomas & The Library Lady (NU), El Guayabo (Creede Rep), The Thing I Hold (Hangar Wedge), And All the Dead Lie Down (Convergence-Continuum), Aunt Leaf (Cleveland Play House Academy), and The Elephant Man (French Creek). Chicago assistant credits include American Mariachi (Goodman), I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter (Steppenwolf), and The Leopard Play, or sad songs for lost boys (Steep). Ismael is a recipient of the Hangar Drama League Fellowship, the current Northlight Artistic Fellow, and an MFA Directing candidate at Northwestern University. 

EDDIE MARTINEZ (Miguel) is a Teatro Vista ensemble member seen in Parachute Men, Fade, and Hope (Victory Gardens and Den Theatre). Other credits include: I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, Our Lady of 121st Street (Steppenwolf); Native Gardens (Old Globe); Fade (Denver Center, Cherry Lane, TheatreWorks); As You Like It (Denver Center); Big Lake Big City, Cascabel (Lookingglass); Rightlynd (Victory Gardens); and Romeo y Julieta (Chicago Shakespeare). Film/TV credits include: Sense8 (Netflix), Sirens (USA), Chicago Fire (NBC), Shameless (Showtime), and The Dilemma (Universal). 

ROBERTO JAY (Julio) is humbled to make his AROT debut in Last Hermanos. Other Chicago credits include Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberly (Northlight Theatre), The Royal Society of Antarctica (The Gift Theatre Ensemble), The Laramie Project (Aston Rep), and a reading of The Hours are Feminine by Jose Rivera (Goodman Theatre). Prior to working in Chicago, Roberto apprenticed at Actors Theatre of Louisville and was featured in several productions, including A Christmas Carol, Girlfriend by Todd Almond, and 27 Ways I Didn’t Say Hi to Laurence Fishburne directed by Meredith McDonough. Film credits include Blame, Alex/October, and festival circuit pick Moon Talk, which he also wrote and produced. TV credits include Showtime's American Rust. Roberto is represented by Big Mouth Talent and Management by Morgan. 

CHRIS SHEARD (Shepherd) is thrilled to be making his A Red Orchid Theatre debut! Chris is an ensemble member with Definition Theatre (An Octoroon, A Doll’s House) and has performed at Chicago theatres such as Goodman Theatre (A Christmas Carol for four years, The Winter’s Tale), Writers Theatre (The Last Match, Arcadia), Chicago Shakespeare Theater (Nell Gwynn, SS!), Remy Bumppo, Steppenwolf, American Blues, TimeLine, and Windy City Playhouse. Regional credits include five seasons with American Players Theatre (Romeo and Juliet, The Seagull, A Phoenix Too Frequent), Third Avenue Playhouse, and Great River Shakespeare. He is represented by Grossman & Jack Talent. He received his MFA from the University of Illinois and his BA from Florida State and is back in school again for social work. 


Previews: April 21 – 29, 2022 

Press Performances: Saturday, April 30 at 3:00pm and 7:30pm 

Regular Run: May 5 – June 12, 2022 



Thursdays: 7:30 p.m. 

Fridays:  7:30 p.m.  

Saturdays: 3:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.   

Sundays:  3:00 p.m.   

Location: A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells St. 

Tickets: $15-$25 previews, $30-$40 regular run.  ($30 Thurs, $35 Fri & Sat Matinee, $40 Sat evening & Sun matinee)  

Box Office: Located at 1531 N. Wells St., Chicago, (312) 943-8722; or online


Covid 19 Policies 

A Red Orchid is part of a growing coalition of more than 70 performing arts venues and producers across Chicagoland who have agreed upon Covid-19 Vaccination and Mask Requirements for audiences. This unified COVID-19 protection protocol requires audience members to provide proof of vaccination or negative test certification upon entry and to wear masks.   

These venues and their performers, backstage crew and staff will comply with vaccination requirements and testing protocols to further ensure the safety of all guests and company members. The current protocols were developed by the coalition in consultation with public health officials. They will be reviewed regularly and may include an extension or relaxation of certain provisions if the science dictates.  

All patrons will need to be masked and fully vaccinated with an FDA authorized vaccine in order to attend a performance at A Red Orchid Theatre and must show proof of vaccination and identification at their time of entry into the venue with their valid ticket. “Fully vaccinated” means the performance date must be at least 14 days after the second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine, or at least 14 days after a single-dose vaccine. Where negative tests are accepted, guests may provide proof of a COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of the performance start time, or a negative COVID-19 antigen test taken within 6 hours of the performance start time. This includes accommodations for children under 12 and people with a medical condition or closely held religious belief that prevents vaccination. All patrons will have to wear a mask throughout the performance and during their time in the theatre. Refreshments and all concessions will not be served this season at A Red Orchid.   


About A Red Orchid 

A Red Orchid Theatre has served as an artistic focal point in the heart of the Old Town community of Chicago since 1993 and was honored with a 2016 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. Over the past 29 years, its Resident Ensemble has welcomed into its fold an impressive array of award-winning actors, playwrights, and theatre artists with the firm belief that live theatre is the greatest sustenance for the human spirit. A Red Orchid is well known and highly acclaimed for its fearless approach to performance and design in the service of unflinchingly intimate stories.   

A Red Orchid Theatre  is: Karen Aldridge, Lance Baker, Kamal Angelo Bolden, Dado, Mike Durst, Myron Elliott-Cisneros, Jennifer Engstrom, Kirsten Fitzgerald, Joseph Fosco, Steve Haggard, Levi Holloway, Mierka Girten, Larry Grimm, Karen Kawa, Karen Kessler, Travis A. Knight, Danny McCarthy, Shade Murray, Brett Neveu, Sadieh Rifai, Grant Sabin, Steve Schine, Michael Shannon, Guy Van Swearingen, Doug Vickers, and Natalie West.   

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