Showing posts with label Bud Not Buddy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bud Not Buddy. Show all posts

Friday, January 25, 2013

ACT OUT REVIEW: Bud, Not Buddy #Authorvideo #Review #photofeature

Author, Christopher Paul Curtis, & Chicago Children's Theatre Artistic Director Jacqueline Russell

Bud, Not Buddy is a compelling period piece that gives families a feel for the desperation of the great depression and being orphaned at a young age, without being heavy handed.  The fabulously flawed characters are genuine and real, and it's magical to see them spring to life, off the page.  Bud, Not Buddy is full of wit and wisdom, and truly funny moments.   It was simultaneously chilling and heart warming to see how much Bud's dead mother still influenced him through her words, actions and love, even from beyond the grave.   

We highly recommend seeing the production.   Bud, Not Buddy is a stunningly well done piece with a poignant and piercing script.   I see a LOT of theatre and it's rare that something actually brings me to tears, and this show did.  Everyone should have a "family" as creative and caring as the jazz band surrogates who take Bud in and teach him what it means to be truly home, even while on the road.   The set design, backdrop projections, costumes, and acting are truly impressive.

We're looking forward to playing the "same different game" with the book and the stage adaptation.   We'll be reading the book together and comparing and contrasting the different ways to tell the same story using different medium.   It's a family game we all enjoy, and so much fun, the kids hardly notice they're learning. 

It was ChiIL Mama and Sagezilla's great pleasure to meet award winning author, Christopher Paul Curtis at the opening of Bud, Not Buddy at Chicago Children's Theatre.  This gifted author went from hanging Buick doors to winning multiple Newbery Awards and Coretta Scott King Awards!   

We do a number of author interviews and frequently cover book signings.   I'm always impressed when authors are genuine and personable, even after hours of autographs!  Christopher Paul Curtis was was down to earth, friendly, and truly a joy to meet.  Even at the tail end of a sizable book signing line, he took time to chat with each child.

This week, Sagezilla came home from school all excited and she exclaimed "Our class just started reading about the wacky Watsons out loud with the whole class (The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963).   And I got to share that I just met the author and got that book signed and saw Bud, Not Buddy!"   It's those moments that make me LOVE being a mom.  Her enthusiasm was contagious. 

At Bud, Not Buddy, we splurged on the 4 book/bookbag combo from Chicago Children's Theatre, as we're always more than happy to support the arts, and we dig getting books signed by their authors.   

CCT is also selling retro candy and kids games as well as individual books at the shows.

ChiIL out with ChiIL Mama's opening night photo filled recap right here

Look for show specials like different high school jazz musicians playing before the Friday shows, and pizza party nights!

School and public performances of Bud, Not Buddy run Jan. 12-Feb. 24, 2013 at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn St., Chicago.  Single tickets start at $20. To purchase, visit or call (872) 222-9555. For group rates, visit or call (773) 327-3778.   
 Recommended for ages 8+ to adult.

Curtis was visiting Chicago for the opening weekend of Chicago Children's Theatre's newest production, a live stage adaptation of his book Bud, Not Buddy. The production is directed by Derrick Sanders, director of CCT's 2011 smash hit Jackie and Me

About Christopher Paul Curtis

Born in Flint, Michigan, Christopher Paul Curtis was always a great reader, but as a youth he could not find books "that were about me." He spent his first 13 years after high school on the assembly line of Flint's historic Fisher Body Plant #1, hanging 80-pound car doors on Buicks. He wrote during his breaks to escape the noise of the factory, while attending college at night. Curtis made an outstanding debut in children's s literature with The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963. His second novel, Bud, Not Buddy, is the first book ever to receive both the Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King Author Award. 

Curtis' writing - and his dedication to it - has been greatly influenced by his family members. He modeled characters in Bud, Not Buddy after his two amazing grandfathers - Earl "Lefty" Lewis, a Negro Baseball League pitcher, and 1930s bandleader Herman E. Curtis, Sr., of Herman Curtis and the Dusky Devastators of the Depression.  For more information, visit his website

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Got Littles? Loads of Chi-Town Tickets & American Girl Doll #Giveaways

       ChiIL New Year 2013      Photo Credit:  Dugan Kenaz-Mara (11)

Happy New Year!   Come ChiIL out with ChiIL Live Shows & ChiIL Mama in 2013.  We try not to duplicate content much, with our sister site, but these local fam friendly ticket giveaways are too good to keep quiet about!   

Winning Wednesdays are back, where we sum up loads of our great giveaways in one place.  We have a bunch of sweet Chicago area tickets for live music and theatre and our CDs, books, toys, etc. giveaways are open to anyone 18+ anywhere in the USA.  Enter like we vote in Chi, IL...early and often.  Good luck and enjoy!

**ChiIL Mama's your source for great urban-funky-fun-alternative family friendly original content, photo and video filled features, rockin' giveaways, news, and reviews.**

**ChiIL Live Shows is your source for theatre and music reviews, original band interviews, pit photos, live show footage, free downloads and tour news for the big kids--AKA:  adults--in a variety of genres.   

Don't let the ChiIL name fool you.   We cover the rock, punk, alternative and metal scene, cover large music fests like Lollapalooza-Riot Fest-Summer Camp Music Fest & North Coast Music Fest, and shoot and interview touring bands that play Chi, IL.**

Current Chicago Ticket Giveaways:

Click the links to enter

Enter through Thursday midnight every week.   We'll have a review of 

Deep Fried Pickle Project's

 new full length CD, Green and Bumpy, along with 2 more 5 song EP CDs to give away soon, nationwide.   We'll also be video interviewing the band, and shooting their Beat Kitchen set this Sunday. 


    Current Giveaways Open to Anyone 18+ living in the USA:

    Thursday, October 11, 2012

    ACT OUT: 2012-13 Season Begins TODAY In New Digs for Chicago Children's Theatre



    Woo hoo!   Harold and the Purple Crayon opens today!!  Check it out.   This book was one of my kids' childhood favs and I remember it from my early days, too.   We can't wait to see what magic Chicago Children's Theatre and director, Sean Graney, have planned for the musical adaptation.   Get your tickets today for this Chicago premier!   Ages 3 and up...and up....and up.

    ChiIL Mama was thrilled to meet with Jacqueline Russell, Frank Maugeri and other key production staff for the upcoming season at Chicago Children's Theatre.   We're beyond stoked to see our favs play so well with others.   The collaboration between Redmoon's Frank Maugeri and Chicago Children's Theatre on The Elephant & The Whale is bound to be epic!

    We hope to have more original video interviews here at ChiIL Mama/ChiIL Live Shows and we'll have loads of updates as each show opens.   Right now we're so excited to see Harold and the Purple Crayon opening this weekend.   Our readers will get a sneak peek at the early production sketches for this season's sets, costumes and so much more.

    Chicago Children’s Theatre (CCT) and Artistic Director Jacqueline Russell are delighted to announce the company has a new home and will be an Artist
    In-Residence at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn St., Chicago for the entire 2012-2013 season.

    In addition to welcoming its audience to one convenient destination all
    season, Chicago’s #1 presenter of top-quality professional
    children’s theater is thrilled to confirm three wildly imaginative productions for 2012-2013 – the Chicago premiere of a new musical version of
    Harold and the Purple Crayon, directed by Sean Graney
    (Oct. 11-Nov. 4, 2012),

    an adaptation of the Newberry Medal winning novel
    Bud, Not Buddy,
    directed by
    Derrick Sanders (Jan.12-Feb. 24, 2013),

    and the world premiere of The Elephant & The Whale, created by Frank Maugeri, co-directed by Maugeri and Leslie Buxbaum Danzig, with a script by Seth Bockley and music by Kevin O’Donnell, produced in association with Redmoon (Apr. 10-May 26, 2013).
    After seven years of being itinerant, we are so looking forward to our new
    residency at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts because it gives Chicagoland families one consistent location to experience a full season of exceptional theatrical programming,” said Chicago Children’s Theatre Artistic Director and Co-Founder Jacqueline Russell. “Ruth Page was home for our 2010 smash hit Jackie and Me so we can’t wait to bring our audience back for three consecutive productions sure to delight children of all ages.”

    Also new for 2012-2013: The performance schedules for all three
    productions include family-friendly 6:30 pm Thursday shows, proceeded
    by pizza parties in the Ruth Page Center’s multi-purpose room
    starting at 5:30 pm. On Friday evenings, families are encouraged to
    kick off their weekend by wearing their PJs to the 6:30 pm show, and
    stay after for a fun post-show PJ Party with members of the cast.

    In addition to its three-play season at the Ruth Page Center, Chicago
    Children’s Theatre will take its season-opener Harold and the Purple Crayon on a regional tour after its downtown run, with performances November 7-11 at the Beverly Arts Center, 2401 W. 111th
    St. in Chicago’s Beverly neighborhood, and November 14-18 at the
    North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 N. Skokie Blvd. in

    Family Membership Passes on sale now

    For complete season information, visit
    or call (773) 227-0180 x 11.
    For group inquiries, contact GroupTix at (773)
    or visit

    More about Chicago Children’s Theatre’s 2012-2013 season:

    Harold and the Purple Crayon
    A Chicago Children’s Theatre Chicago premiere

    Based on the books

    Text by Don Darryl Rivera, Lyrics by Robert Burgess, 
    Music by Auston James
    Directed by Sean Graney

    October 11-November 4, 2012 
    Recommended for ages 3 and up

    Also touring to The Beverly Arts Center, 2401
    W. 111
    th St., Chicago, November 7-11
    And the North Shore Centre for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd.,
    Skokie, November 14-18

    Harold and the Purple Crayon teaches young audiences that anything is possible with a crayon and a bigimagination. Meet Harold, a curious four year old boy who, armed with his trusty purple crayon, has the power to create a world of his own simply by drawing it. This imaginative musical uses breathtaking animation, inventive puppetry, and original music to bring Harold’s
    purple-hued world to life; it is perfect for introducing young children to theatre while simultaneously captivating their older companions.

    Harold and the Purple Crayon will be helmed by CCT Artistic Associate Sean Graney, who directed the company’s productions of The Hundred DressesHonus and Me,and Hana’s Suitcase.

    **Graney, Founding Artistic Director of The Hypocrites, is the
    recipient of a Career Development for Directors Program award from
    the National Endowment for the Arts and Theatre Communications Group, the winner of two non-Equity Joseph Jefferson Awards, and was named Chicago’s Best Avant-Garde Director by Chicago
    and 2004’s Chicagoan of the Year: Theater by the Chicago

    Bud, Not Buddy
    Based on the Newberry winning novel by Christopher Paul Curtis
    Adapted by Reginald Andre Jackson
    Directed by Derrick Sanders

    January 12-February 24, 2013
    for ages 8 and up

    Bud, Not Buddy
    follows the journey of a young African-American orphan as he searches for his
    father. Clues kept in a suitcase lead him to adventures in
    Depression-era Michigan, where he finds community among a group of
    jazz musicians and, ultimately, an unexpected sense of home.

    Popular reading in the classroom, author Christopher Paul Curtis’ Bud, Not Buddy was the winner of the 2000 Newberry Medal and the Coretta Scott King
    Award. In 2010, Jackson's stage adaptation won the Distinguished Play Award from The American Alliance for Theater and Education.

    Award-winning director Derrick Sanders – Founding Artistic Director of Congo Square Theatre Company, a Chicago Tribune Chicagoan of the Year in 2005, winner of multiple Joseph Jefferson Awards and Black Theater Alliance Awards, and director of CCT’s 2010 world premiere Jackie
    and Me
    – has a national reputation, having directed at countless Chicago, regional and New York theaters. He is known for his many collaborations with the legendary August Wilson, including in Chicago his award-winning
    productions of Joe Turner’s Come and Gone and Seven
    for Congo Square.  His Off-Broadway directorial debut, Wilson’s King
    Hedley II
    for Signature Theatre, received two Lucille Lortel and Audelco nominations. He was also a part of August Wilson’s World premiere productions of Radio Golf and Gem of the Ocean on Broadway and at the Huntington Theatre, Mark Taper Forum and the Goodman.

    The Elephant & The Whale
    A Chicago Children’s Theatre world premiere, presented in association
    with Redmoon 
    Created by Frank Maugeri

    Co-directed by Frank Maugeri and Leslie Buxbaum Danzig
    Script by Seth Bockley

    Music by Kevin O’Donnell

    April 10 –May 26, 2013 
    Recommended for all ages

    CCT’s seventh season will conclude with a world premiere collaboration with
    Redmoon’s Frank Maugeri to create The Elephant & The Whale,
    an all new family fable featuring sea shanties, wild mechanical
    objects, theatrical clowning, hand painted imagery, exquisite shadow
    puppets and an innovative sound design. This new work is conceived by
    Maugeri with an original story and songs by
    Seth Bockley
    with composer
    Kevin O’Donnell.

    Co-directed by Leslie Buxbaum Danzig (of 500 Clown),
    this epic tale invites audiences of all ages to discover the majesty
    of the largest animals on our planet, and a story of friendship
    conquering the sea itself. 

    The year is 1901. On the largest steamship in the world, a captive
    African Gray Elephant is bound for America. Mid-Atlantic, the boat
    encounters a massive blue whale. What happens next is a love story
    spanning species, time zones and many nautical miles. The performance will feature a live band and three performers who crank contraptions, pedal panoramic painting apparatuses, operate wild puppets and manipulate shadow sequences all while they sing shanty-like songs to weave this original and epic tale.  

    Redmoon Co-Artistic Director Frank Maugeri
    during his 15 year tenure with the company has created countless spectacle
    productions and events seen around Chicago. Highlights include serving
    as director, co-creator, and designer of the recent Astronaut’s Birthday,
    a large-scale animated, graphic novel projected on the Museum of
    Contemporary Art’s 80-foot façade; co-creation and design of the
    critically acclaimed The Feast: an intimate Tempest
    at Chicago Shakespeare Theater; seven of the famed All Hallow’s Eve
    ritual celebrations in Logan Square; over a dozen annual family-friendly Winter
    performances; Once Upon a Time
    (Jeff Award, After Dark Award) with its subsequent tour to France;
    Laika's Coffin and Cape and Squiggle for the Chicago Humanities Festival at MCA; Boneyard Prayer; and Redmoon’s longest running production The Cabinetits remount and tour of Brazil.

    Seth Bockley
    the critically-acclaimed writer and adapter, is a playwright in
    residence at the Goodman Theater and book writer for the new musical
    February House.  He is also an artist in residence at the University of Chicago, and was a recipient of Theater Communications Group's New Generations
    Grant for which he spent two years with Redmoon as Directing

    Leslie Buxbaum Danzig (co-director)
    co-created Lucky Plush Productions’ The Better Half,
    which premiered at MCA Chicago and tours in 2012-2013 throughout the
    US.  She was resident 
    director with 500 Clown for 10 years, directed Redmoon’s Hunchback at New Victory Theater (NYC), and is Program Curator for the Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry at University of Chicago. 

    Kevin O’Donnell (composer) is a Chicago-based musician; he has worked in Chicago theater for the last 10 years, during which time he has been
    nominated for 19 Jeff Awards (receiving 8), and 2 consecutive After
    Dark Awards (Outstanding Season).  He has worked around the
    country, both in theatre and as a musician, having recorded and
    toured with Andrew Bird, Kelly Hogan, Nickel Creek, and many others. 

    About The Ruth Page Center for the Arts, Chicago Children’s Theatre’s
    home for 2012-2013

    The Ruth Page Center for Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn St., is located just
    steps from Michigan Avenue’s Magnificent Mile. The historic 1927
    building in which The Center resides sits on a lovely tree-lined
    street in the heart of Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood, near the
    CTA Red Line and the Clark, Broadway and Division bus lines. Under
    the aegis of The Ruth Page Foundation, the Ruth Page Center for the
    Arts has for over 40 years committed its resources to supporting
    dance and theater in Chicago through its initiatives and programs.
    Among these is its Artist In-Residence program where emerging and
    established artists and organizations can have a home, office space,
    rehearsal space, collaborative programming, and performance
    opportunities. Lookingglass Theater and Chicago Shakespeare Theater
    have both called the Ruth Page Center home before moving on to
    establish their own venues. In addition to Chicago Children’s
    Theatre, the 2012-2013 Ruth Page Artist-In Residence program includes
    ShawChicago Theatre Company, River North Dance Chicago, CDI/Concert
    Dance Inc, DanceWorks Chicago and the Ruth Page Civic Ballet.
    Chicago’s top dance companies also perform at the Ruth Page Center
    as part of its Subsidized Theater Rental Program. For more
    information, visit

    Chicago Children’s Theatre

    Chicago Children’s Theatre focuses on the production of first-rate
    children’s theatre in Chicago, with top writing, performing and
    directorial talent and high-quality design and production expertise.
    Chicago Children’s Theatre aspires to enrich our community through
    diverse and significant theatrical and educational programming that
    engages and inspires the child in all of us.

    Launched in 2005, Chicago Children’s Theatre strives to provide affordable
    and accessible theatre for families and area school children. To
    enhance the impact of any given production’s themes, Chicago
    Children’s Theatre offers educational materials and programs for
    families and educators.

    This summer, Chicago Children’s Theatre is expanding
    its operations with the launch of the company’s first-ever Summer
    Theater Camp, July 16-27, 2012 at
    Franklin Fine Arts Center in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood.
    Guided by artists and arts educators with extensive experience in the
    Chicago theater industry, CCT summer campers will learn to create
    their own stories and work as a team to turn those stories into one
    big theatrical adventure. For more information and to register visit
    or call 773.227.0180.

    In addition to its mainstage programming for families, schools and
    groups, Chicago Children’s Theatre will also continue
    its Red Kite Project in 2012-2013, creating multi-sensory, interactive theater programming tailored specifically to the needs and interests of children on the
    autism spectrum. CCT’s Red Kite Project
    also includes Camp Red Kite, an annual summer arts camp tailored specifically to the unique interests and needs of children on the autism spectrum. For
    the most up-to-date information on every
    development, including the upcoming summer session of Camp
    Red Kite
    , June 25-July 13 at Chicago’s Cleveland Elementary School, call
    773.227.0180 x15 or visit
    Led by Artistic Director Jacqueline Russell,
    and Board Chair Todd Leland, the company is supported by a committed Artistic Council of
    Chicago-based actors, directors, musicians and designers, and a
    dynamic Board of Directors comprised of dedicated individuals from
    the fields of entertainment, philanthropy and business. Officers
    include David Saltiel, President; J. Scot Pepper
    and Jacqueline Tilton,Vice Chairs; Lynn Lockwood Murphy, Vice Chair and Secretary; and David Chung,Treasurer.

    Chicago Children’s Theatre’s 2012-2013 season is made possible in part by
    the generosity of its sponsors:  ComEd
    is the Official Lighting Sponsor. Goldman
    Sachs Gives is the Official Season Sponsor.
    JPMorgan Chase is the Official Education Sponsor. Target
    is the Official School Field Trip Sponsor. United
    is the Chicago Premiere Sponsor as well as the Official and Exclusive
    Airline Sponsor. 

    For more information about Chicago Children’s Theatre visit
    or call 773.227.0180.

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