Showing posts with label Avondale. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Avondale. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

OPENING: world premiere of NEVERLAND, Via Prop Theatre

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar:

World Premiere!
Prop Thtr Launches 2018–19 Season with 
A Riff on J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan
Written and Directed by Olivia Lilley
Devised by The Ensemble
October 26 – November 25, 2018

PHOTO CREDIT: (left to right) Steph Vondell as Wendy, Gaby Labotka as Peter Pan and Kate Black-Spence as Hook in a publicity image for Prop Thtr’s production of NEVERLAND. Photo by Matthew Gregory Hollis.

Prop Theater has long been a neighborhood favorite of ours, in our Avondale home base. My kids went to summer camp in that space, run by Brain Surgeon Theatre, and my son returned as a junior counselor. I've also enjoyed catching many shows there by Prop Theatre, Beast Women, Rhinocerous Fest and more. Here at ChiIL Mama and ChiIL Live Shows, we're eager to catch Prop Thtr's season opener, the world premiere of Neverland, directed by Prop’s new artistic director, Olivia Lilley, and devised by the ensemble.

Next up will be “Behold, A Pale Horse” (March 8-April 7), devised from Peter S. Beagle’s “The Last Unicorn.” Gina Marie Hayes will direct the immersive journey following the world’s last unicorn.

Closing out the season will be “2 Unfortunate 2 Travel” (March 15-April 6), Zach Weinberg’s cabaret-style adaptation of Thomas Nashe’s “The Unfortunate Traveller.”

Prop Thtr is pleased launch its 2018-19 season with the world premiere of NEVERLAND, a new devised riff on J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, written and directed by the Prop’s new Artistic Director Olivia Lilley and devised by the Ensemble. This riff on the Peter Pan Myth chronicles the final days of Peter’s reign in Neverland, as seen from three wildly different perspectives: Peter’s, Wendy’s and Hook’s. NEVERLAND will play October 26 – November 25, 2018 at 3502 N. Elston Ave. (near Kedzie and Addison) in Chicago’s Avondale neighborhood. Tickets go on sale Monday, October 1, 2018 at

NEVERLAND will feature Kate Black-Spence as Hook, Gaby Labotka as Peter Pan, Steph Vondell as Wendy, Rory Jobst as Smee and Mary Iris Loncto as Tinker Bell with Tyler Brockington, Bernadette Carter, Dylan Fahoome, Mateo Hernandez, Carolyn Waldee, Sissy Anne Quaranta, and Electra Tremulis as The Lost. Understudies: Jenn Geiger and Isa Ramos.

NEVERLAND chronicles the final days of Peter Pan’s reign in Neverland as seen from three wildly different perspectives: Peter’s, Wendy’s, and Hook’s. The journey from childhood to adulthood has never been so treacherous than in this “Peter Pan” in the era of Trump’s America. 

Comments Director and Prop Artistic Director Olivia Lilley, “Peter Pan, as a source material, is riddled with the attitudes and values of the society out of which it was born: turn of the century England. In this new riff on the classic, we’ve created an original story that feels vital and tackles the struggles we’re in the midst of grappling to rebuild our own society today. This play is built out of the ashes of now.” 

The production team for NEVERLAND includes: Nina D’Angier (scenic design, props design) Diane Hamm (costume design), David Goodman-Edberg (lighting design), Ele Matelan (foley design, props), Catherine Miller (casting director), Tanuja Jagernauth (dramaturg), Madeline Moeller (assistant director), Marlana May Carlson (production stage manager) and Carolyn Waldee (rehearsal stage manager).


Written and directed by: Artistic Director Olivia Lilley
A riff on: J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan
Devised by: The Ensemble
Cast: Kate Black-Spence as Hook, Gaby Labotka as Peter Pan, Steph Vondell as Wendy, Rory Jobst as Smee and Mary Iris Loncto as Tinker Bell with Tyler Brockington, Bernadette Carter, Dylan Fahoome, Mateo Hernandez, Carolyn Waldee, Sissy Anne Quaranta, and Electra Tremulis as The Lost. 

Understudies: Jenn Geiger (Peter) and Isa Ramos (Hook). 

Location: Prop Thtr, 3502 N. Elston Ave., Chicago 
Dates: Previews: Friday October 26 at 8 pm, Saturday October 27 at 8 pm and Sunday October 28 at 3 pm

Regular Run: Thursday November 1 – Sunday, November 25, 2018. 
Curtain Times: Thursdays, Friday and Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 3 pm. Please note:  there will not be a performance on Thursday November 22 (Thanksgiving).

Tickets: Previews: $10. Regular run: $20. Industry $15. Student, group discounts available. Tickets on sale at

About the Director
Olivia Lilley (Writer/Director) is a Chicago based writer and director of theatre and performance. Her work runs the gamut from irreverent takes on classic texts (Faust: Save me or I’ll die, The Portrait of Dorian Gray) to dance theatre biographies (In Sarah’s Shadow, I Saw The Best Minds of My Generation) to new plays that tackle contemporary intersectional issues (Mary Shelley Sees The Future, Expectations for little mixed girls). Olivia is the founding Artistic Director of The Runaways Lab Theatre (Voted Best New Theatre Company in the Chicago Reader’s “Best Of 2014”). She is the Creative Director of Pop Magic Productions, the Artistic Director of The Prop Thtr and an Artistic Associate with Pivot Arts. Olivia received her BFA in Directing from Carnegie Mellon School of Drama. 

About The Prop Thtr
Since beginning in 1981, Prop Thtr has aimed to create, inspire and assist in the creation of new plays and other time-based works of art. Working closely with established artists as well as emerging, Prop has played a vital role in Chicago’s cultural scene. We incubate, develop and produce new work and emerging artists for the Performing Arts. Prop Thtr is a founding Core member of the National New Play Network. 

Friday, June 29, 2018



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


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



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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Thursday, July 13, 2017


Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:


The Neo’s Ongoing Partnership with Metropolitan Expands with this Full-Length World Premiere About Relationships, Memories and Traditions Created Around The Family Table 

FoodShowEdit - (pictured Dan Kerr Hobert and Caitlin Stainken) photo by Will Sonheim

This makes me grin and not just because it's happening in my awesome Avondale neighborhood. Theatre and food (and beer) make a great paring and this concept sounds like too much fun in the capable creative hands of the Neo-Futurists. Welcome to the hood!

The Neo-Futurists present Ensemble Member Dan Kerr-Hobert’s The Food Show, partnering with Metropolitan Brewing to bring the site-specific world premiere to the brewery’s new Avondale location, 3057 N. Rockwell, July 27 – September 2. 

Previews are Thursday, July 27 – Saturday, July 29 at 7:30 p.m., with opening night Monday, July 31 at 7:30 p.m. Performances run Thursdays – Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. Ticket prices for previews and Thursdays are pay what you can; for the regular run, tickets are $10-25. Tickets and information are available at or 773.275.5255.

What does it mean to change a family recipe? The Food Show, created by Dan Kerr-Hobert with the help of his cousin and Neo-Futurist alum Caitlin Stainken, explores how food brings us together and sets us apart. An ensemble of five writer-performers get their hands dirty in this celebration and cross examination of food and its relationship to identity. The Food Show honors the traditions of our past and acknowledges our impact on the environment as each generation of eaters must decide what parts to keep and what parts to throw away. Farmers, restaurateurs, writers, musicians and audiences come together to experience the common thread of food and memory in American culture.

“The Food Show was partially inspired by my Grandmother and her sisters and an argument they had over the official family recipe for Arroz con Pollo,” says creator Kerr-Hobert. “We take these stories, and we work and talk and cook and eat. And there is music, and there is dancing. We knew we wanted to make a mess and we didn’t want to do it in a theater. I’m so excited to be making another premiere with such an exciting group of artists, especially at Metropolitan—they’re like family to us. This is really a homecoming.”

The Food Show features performances from Oliver Camacho, Neo Alum Bilal Dardai**, Tif Harrison*, musician Spencer Meeks, and New York Neo-Futurist Kyra Sims, with music composed by Mucca Pazza Artistic Director Ronnie Kuller. The six-week run returns Kerr-Hobert to a Metropolitan brewery, after he directed The Neo-Futurists’ Beer in 2009 at Metropolitan’s original location in Ravenswood. The new Avondale location is expected to open to the public in July.

dougofesthorns -(pictured Doug Hurst) - photo by Tracy Hurst

“We’ve been loyal fans of The Neo-Futurists since long before the brewery opened less than half a mile away from the theater in 2007,” said Tracy Hurst, co-founder and president of Metropolitan. “The original partnership to produce and host Beer just as we were releasing our very first kegs of beer into

the world was a synergy of art, craftsmanship and community. Reviving this collaboration is a true celebration of the growth of both organizations over the past eight years, as well our mutual dedication to the preservation and creation of greatness in Chicago. Neos and Metro for life!”

Dan Kerr-Hobert - photo by Joe Mazza

ABOUT DAN KERR-HOBERT* creator/director
Dan Kerr-Hobert* received his BFA in Acting from The Theatre School at DePaul University. He works as an ensemble member of The Neo-Futurists and Blair Thomas and Company and he is the former artistic director of Sans-culottes Theater and Manifest Theatre. As a freelance puppet designer, director, writer, deviser and performer, his work has been seen at The Detroit Institute of Art,  The New York Fringe Festival, The Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami, The New Jersey Performing Arts Center, The Steppenwolf Theatre, the Pritzker Pavilion and Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Dad’s Garage in Atlanta, The Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington D.C. and The National Opera of Belgium. Additionally, he has taught at the Art Institute of Chicago and works as an adjunct professor of acting at The Theatre School at DePaul University. Kerr-Hobert holds a regular teaching artist position at Snow City Arts. 

* denotes an active member of The Neo-Futurist Ensemble

**denotes a Neo-Futurist Alum

The Food Show

July 27 – September 2, 2017
Metropolitan Brewing’s new Avondale location, 3057 N. Rockwell

Created by Neo-Futurist Ensemble Member Dan Kerr-Hobert and Neo-Alum Caitlin Stainken

Previews:  Thursday, July 27 – Saturday, July 29 at 7:30 p.m.
Opening Night: Monday, July 31 at 7:30 p.m.
Run: Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.

Ticket Prices: Thursdays and Previews Pay-What-You-Can, Run $10-$25 

Tickets and information are available at or 773.275.5255

About The Neo-Futurists
The Neo-Futurists are a collective of writer-director-performers creating theater that is fusion of sport, poetry and living-newspaper. Originating over 9,936 plays within the newly launched The Infinite Wrench, 28 years of Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, and over 65 full-length productions within their immediate, non-illusory aesthetic, The Neo-Futurists have grown to become one of the most highly regarded experimental theater companies in the United States. From humble beginnings as the first late-night theater production in Chicago, they launched what became Chicago’s longest running show and today sustain multifaceted programs such as Neo-Access, The Kitchen (a micro-festival on art and performance), Prime Time, exchanges with branches in New York and San Francisco, Neo-Lab, and The Infinite Wrench, their flagship ongoing late-night show running 50 weekends every year. For more information visit

About Metropolitan Brewing
German-style lagers have been, and will always be, Metropolitan Brewing's focus, mission, and passion. Since 2007, the Metro team has been producing beer in a 4,500 square foot production facility in the Ravenswood neighborhood of Chicago. In 2017, Metro Brewing will relocate to a ferociously needed 22,000 square foot production facility and taproom in the freshly burgeoning Avondale neighborhood. Metro beers can currently be found on draft and in bottles throughout Illinois and Wisconsin. In the near future, Metro beers will also ship to Indiana, Ohio, and Minnesota.

The Neo-Futurists are partially supported by grants from Alphawood Foundation Chicago, The Chicago Community Foundation, a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, and The MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation. 

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