Showing posts with label ChiIL Picks List. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ChiIL Picks List. Show all posts

Monday, April 17, 2023

For World Circus Day, Cirque du Soleil Announces Global Cast of Corteo, Returning to Chicagoland After 4 Years

ChiIL Mama’s ChiIL Picks List



Production represents 27 different nationalities, 18 languages,

and has toured to 20 countries

Here at ChiIL Mama, we've been covering Cirque du Soleil shows since 2008 and we missed their touring extravaganzas so much during the past few pandemic years. Both of my children grew up loving  Cirque du Soleil and their stellar shows inspired by kids to take circus arts at Actors Gymnasium, Cirque Esteem, and MSA. We've been fortunate to do many video interviews with Cirque du Soleil and shoot rehearsals as well as behind the scenes tours at many of their productions over the years. We adore the multicultural casts and world class skills of Cirque du Soleil shows. Corteo tickets are a great gift for all ages, and an excellent opportunity to make multigenerational memories. It's a short run, so don't miss this! I'll be catching opening night, so check back shortly after for my full review.

In honor of World Circus Day today, Cirque du Soleil announces the global cast of one of its most beloved productions, Corteo. This unique production, directed by Daniele Finzi Pasca, features cast and crew from 27 different countries around the world who speak in 18 different languages. First premiered in Montreal in April 2005, and debuted under the Big Top in Chicago the following year, Corteo has amazed over 10 million spectators, in 20 countries, on four continents. Cirque du Soleil returns to Chicago for the first time since 2019 with the joyous Corteo in five performances only, from Thursday, June 1 to Sunday, June 4, 2023 at the NOW Arena (5333 Prairie Stone Parkway, Hoffman Estates).

Corteo is an international, multicultural production that unites talent from around the globe. The nationalities represented among the Corteo cast and crew members include Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Finland, France, Italy, Hungary, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, United States, United Kingdom, and Uzbekistan.

Corteo Artistic Director Alison Crawford says, “Corteo is a dive into the circus arts and the world of the clown, the favorite universe of its creator and director Daniele Finizi Pasca. We immerse ourselves in the images that say so much about the circus, the strength of its tradition, each day renewed.” 

The history of circus as a popular form of entertainment has roots in Europe, Asia, and North America. Reflecting the global origins of circus artistry, Corteo features rigging, costumes, and set design inspired by many different cultures that are manufactured and transported across numerous countries for the tour.

The show’s spectacular, Italian drape curtains—which are the largest in North America at 58 feet wide by 37 feet high—were inspired by the Eiffel Tower and hand-painted by Jean Rabasse, whose style is influenced by painters from France, Spain, and Italy. The curtains were sewn in Canada and sent to France to be painted.

Inspired by the Chartres Cathedral in France, the stage is central in the arena and divides the venue, with each half of the audience facing the other half, giving a unique perspective not only of the show, but also a performer’s eye view of the audience; an atmosphere like never seen before in Cirque du Soleil arena show.

The setting and story of Corteo come together to illustrate the humanity that is within each of us. Set in a magical world between heaven and earth, the show unravels as the clown pictures his own funeral taking place in a carnival atmosphere. Surrounded by angels who watch from above, Corteo juxtaposes the clown’s strength with fragility, the large with the small, the ridiculous with the tragic, and the magic of perfection with the charm of imperfection. Lyrical and playful music carries Corteo through a timeless celebration in which boundaries are blurred and illusion teases reality.



Tickets for Corteo at NOW Arena are available online at



Thursday, June 1, 2023, at 7:30pm

Friday, June 2, 2023, at 7:30pm

Saturday, June 3, 2023, at 3:30pm & 7:30pm

Sunday, June 4, 2023 at 1pm

Follow #CORTEO and #cirquedusoleil on social media: TikTok | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

OFFICIAL PARTNER Cirque du Soleil wishes to thank Air Canada, its official partner.

About Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil has redefined how the world views the circus; from small town talent to a household name. Based in Montreal (Qc), the Canadian organization went on to become a global leader in live entertainment with the creation of world-class immersive and iconic experiences, across 6 continents. Cirque du Soleil connects with audiences by being genuine, human and inclusive. Privileged to work with artists from 64 countries bring their creativity to life on stages around the world, the company aims to make a positive impact on people, communities and the planet with its most important tools: creativity and art. Over the years, more than 220 million people have been inspired, in over 70 different countries. For more information, visit


Thursday, September 1, 2022

Wicked Returns to Broadway In Chicago’s James M. Nederlander Theatre September 28 - December 4, 2022.

 ChiIL Mama’s ChiIL Picks List









She's mean, green... or is she just misunderstood. Here at ChiIL Mama we adore how WICKED flips the script and gives us new insight into the origin story of one of our creepiest childhood villains. WICKED is the winner of over 100 international awards including the Grammy Award and three Tony Awards and a great pick for making multigenerational memories. Don't miss this! 

Broadway In Chicago is delighted to announce Chicago’s most popular musical, WICKED, opens in just four weeks! WICKED will play Broadway In Chicago’s James M. Nederlander Theatre for a limited engagement September 28 - December 4, 2022. 

The Broadway sensation WICKED looks at what happened in the Land of Oz… but from a different angle. Long before Dorothy arrives, there is another young woman, born with emerald-green skin, who is smart, fiery, misunderstood, and possessing an extraordinary talent. When she meets a bubbly blonde who is exceptionally popular, their initial rivalry turns into the unlikeliest of friendships… until the world decides to call one “good,” and the other one “wicked.”

With a thrilling score that includes the hits “Defying Gravity,” “Popular” and “For Good,” WICKED has been hailed by The New York Times as “the defining musical of the decade,” and by Time Magazine as “a magical Broadway musical with brains, heart, and courage.”  NBC Nightly News calls the hit musical “the most successful Broadway show ever.”

Now the 5th longest-running show in Broadway history, WICKED is the winner of over 100 international awards including the Grammy Award and three Tony Awards. Since opening in 2003, WICKED has been performed in over 100 cities in 16 countries around the world (U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Japan, Germany, Holland, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, The Philippines, Mexico, Brazil, Switzerland and China) and has thus far been translated into six languages: Japanese, German, Dutch, Spanish, Korean and Portuguese. WICKED has been seen by over 60 million people worldwide and has amassed over $5 billion in global sales.

Based on the novel by Gregory Maguire, WICKED has music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, and a book by Winnie Holzman. The production is directed by Tony Award winner Joe Mantello with musical staging by Tony Award winner Wayne Cilento. WICKED is produced by Marc Platt, Universal Stage Productions, The Araca Group, Jon B. Platt and David Stone.

For more information about WICKED, please visit

Follow WICKED on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


Performances are Tuesday through Friday at 7:30 PM (with Wednesday matinees at 2:00 PM). Saturday performances are at 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM. Sunday performances are at 2:00 PM with an additional performance on Sunday, October 2 at 7:30 PM. There will be no 2:00 PM performance on Wednesday, September 28. There will be no performances on Thursday, November 24. There will be an additional performance on Friday, November 25 at 2:00 PM.


Individual tickets for WICKED are on sale now and range from $59.00 - $184.00 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 21 years has grown to be one of the largest commercial touring homes in the country. A Nederlander Presentation, Broadway In Chicago lights up the Chicago Theater District entertaining more than 1.7 million people annually in five theatres. Broadway In Chicago presents a full range of entertainment, including musicals and plays, on the stages of five of the finest theatres in Chicago’s Loop including the Cadillac Palace Theatre, CIBC Theatre, James M. Nederlander Theatre, Auditorium Theatre, and just off the Magnificent Mile, the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place.


Masks are recommended, but not required.  Our COVID protocol can change without notice. For complete information on our COVID protocol visit


For more information and tickets, visit

Facebook @BroadwayInChicago ● Twitter @broadwaychicago ●

Instagram @broadwayinchicago ●  TikTok @broadwayinchicago

● #broadwayinchicago

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Our Top Picks For CIMMfest 2016


Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

The Chicago International Movies & Music Festival (CIMMfest) is one of our annual favorites that we've been covering for years. It merges two of our passions, music and film. The 5 day fest can be a bit daunting, but the full schedule is on line by event type, date, and venue, so it's easy to make a plan and follow your bliss. Short on time or eager to branch out and see something new? ChiIL out with ChiIL Live Shows (adult) and ChiIL Mama (family friendly) before, during and after CIMMfest and we'll tell you what peaked our interest. Hope to see you out there. 

In the meantime we have some amazing CIMMfest related giveaways going on including 2 pairs of adult concert tickets/blow out/no chip manicure salon packages ($125 value each) AND the last 2 tickets in town to Lisa Loeb's SOLD OUT kids show along with her latest kids CD ($43 value). ENTER HERE FOR EITHER OR BOTH THROUGH MIDNIGHT THURSDAY 4/14.

Here's The Scoop:
The five-day multimedia city-wide festival features over 150 films including three World Premieres, one North American Premiere, five U.S. Premieres, and 19 Chicago Premieres; over 130 bands live in concert representing a wide range of genres; multiple events featuring Live Scored Films – musicians performing live to films, music videos, and a video game; and CIMMcon, a dynamic professional and entrepreneurial industry conference. International films and artists come from nearly twenty different countries including Canada, Cuba, Iceland, India, Israel, Lebanon, Mexico, Norway, Scotland, Spain, and Trinidad & Tobago.

Chicago International Movies & Music Festival (CIMMfest) announces its movie and music lineup for the eighth edition, running April 13-17, 2016 across twenty different venues in many of Chicago’s culturally-diverse neighborhoods including Logan Square, Wicker Park, Hyde Park, Lakeview, and Pilsen. Individual event tickets start at $8 for concerts and $12 for films; passes start at $79 with VIP passes at $149. Festival passes and a la carte tickets are currently available at

ChiIL Live Shows ChiIL Picks List:
Our top picks are in bold below. Here's where I'll be Wednesday night. My husband's a location sound engineer who's interviewed Butch Vig and the frontwoman for the band Garbage, and filmed at Smart Studios for a French documentary a few years back. So this CIMMfest screening and Q&A is of particular interest to me since he's been there/done that and it's a relative unknown to me, aside from adoring many of the bands who recorded or did post production at Smart Studios.  

Opening Night kicks off with the Midwest Premiere of the documentary film The Smart Studios Story (Official Film of Record Store Day 2016) on Wednesday, April 13 at 7:00pm at Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave, followed by a Q&A with Director Wendy Schneider and Smart Studios Founders Butch Vig & Steve Marker. The celebration continues with the official Opening Night After-Party at Metro, 3730 N. Clark St, featuring ‘90s rockers Catherine and Negative Example (members of Tar Babies).

Chi, IL On Screen:
Films with strong Chicago ties include The Night Smokers of Chicago, The Terry Kath Experience: A Daughter’s Journey, 1001 Afternoons in Chicago, Horn to the Heart: The Paul Butterfield Story, Savage Beliefs: The Movie, and 147 Pianos, featuring 200 Chicagoans. Local artists on the CIMMfest lineup include Daniel Knox, Avery R. Young, the sibling rock’n’roll duo White Mystery, and Hypnotic Brass Ensemble.

Official Fest Highlights:
Additional musical highlights at CIMMfest No. 8 include a kid-friendly concert with Lisa Loeb followed by a performance of her classics later that same evening, sound artist Tim Hecker, Moonface, Hip Hop artist David Banner, indie rock band California Wives, alternative band Poliça, and a tribute to J Dilla by Slum Village and Black Milk.

CIMMfest’s Classical program, curated by George Lepauw of International Beethoven Project, includes films featuring Yehudi Menuhin with live performances to celebrate his 100th birthday from Dawn Gingrich, Consuelo Lepauw and others; and Ton Koopman. A nine-piece ensemble will perform a live score for a video game with music by François-Xavier Dupas of Vibeavenue, Montreal. Returning to CIMMfest this year is Sound of Silent Films, a CIMMfest highlight featuring newly-composed scores performed live to modern silent films by Composer/Radio Host Seth Bousted’s Access Contemporary Music (ACM).

The movie Desire Will Set You Free, which anchors the LGBTQ programming, follows Ezra, an American writer of Palestinian and Israeli parentage, through Berlin’s queer and punk scenes. Additional programming highlights include a selection of TV documentary series such as PBS’ American Epic and family-friendly programming such as a sampling of short films co-produced with Facets Multi-Media.

To mark the 50th Anniversary of the classic Beach Boys album Pet Sounds, CIMMfest will present a Brian Wilson retrospective. Films to be shown include Pet Stories and Pet Sounds: Live From London a short doc and concert film directed by Chicago filmmaker and frequent Brian Wilson collaborator John Anderson; Beautiful Dreamer: Brian Wilson and the Story of SMiLE, about the great lost album of the 1960s; Brian Wilson presents SMiLE, a concert film that captures Brian Wilson and his band's first live US performance of SMiLE in 2004; and the acclaimed 2015 biopic Love & Mercy, starring Paul Dano and John Cusack as the young and middle-aged Wilson.

CIMMfest will pay tribute to David Bowie with a retrospective of his film work. Films to be shown include Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars which marked the “death” of Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust persona; vampire thriller The Hunger; and Jazzin’ for Blue Jean, a short by Julien Temple, last year's CIMMfest Baadasssss Award winner, will play before the rarely-screened BBC documentary Cracked Actor.

Gordon Quinn will be the fourth recipient of the CIMMfest BAADASSSSS Award to honor his amazing career on Friday, April 15 at 7:00pm at 1st Ward Chop Shop. Quinn, Co-Founder & Artistic Director of Kartemquin Films, celebrating its 50th Anniversary, will be interviewed by Bob Hercules, a veteran television producer/director and a co-founder of Media Process Group. In addition to receiving this year’s BAADASSSSS Award, a retrospective of films with which Quinn has been involved will be shown, including Festival, the first music documentary to be nominated for an Academy Award; And This Is Free, about the legendary Maxwell Street Market; A Good Man, a documentary about choreographer Bill T. Jones; and Prisoner Of Her Past, which follows Chicago Tribune jazz critic Howard Reich as he journeys across the U.S. and Europe to uncover why his mother, Holocaust survivor Sonia Reich, believes the world is conspiring to kill her. Quinn will also present clips of his music documentary work with artists such as Bob Dylan and Phish.

A full list of CIMMfest’s movie and music events are at Additional highlights of confirmed films and musical acts at CIMMfest No. 8 are below:

The Lure (Corki Dancingu) (Poland)
Thursday, April 14, 7:00pm
Society For Arts, 1112 N. Milwaukee Ave
Directed by Agnieszka Smoczynska
When a family of Polish musicians encounter two winsome mermaid sisters named Silver and Golden, they do what anyone else would–recruit them to join their band. After performing at a neon-lit Warsaw club, Silver becomes entangled with the bass player. Golden, who cannot escape her bloodthirsty nature, worries that her sister’s relationship will doom their shared dream of swimming to a new life in America. First time director Agnieszka Smoczyńska unleashes an absurdly wild, 1980s-set musical horror film that grabs you by the tail and refuses to let go. 92 min

Thursday, April 14, 7:15pm
The Logan Theater, 2646 N Milwaukee Ave
Directed by Michael Curtis Johnson
A bisexual, glam rock dilettante with lofty dreams of becoming a musician takes the stage at seedy dive bars, but his hedonistic lifestyle is put on hold when his ex-girlfriend drops their son off at his high-heeled feet and skips town. Struggling to let go of his musical aspirations, Sidney’s life goes into a tailspin as the reality of fatherhood slaps him in the face. Director Michael Curtis Johnson paints a bittersweet portrait of love, sacrifice, and rock ‘n’ roll, showing us that life isn’t always hunky dory. 85 min

Savage Beliefs: The Movie (USA) WORLD PREMIERE
Thursday, April 14, 8:00pm
Martyrs, 3385 N Lincoln Ave
Directed by Charlie Fink
Not many bands get to play themselves in their own movie–The Beatles, KISS … Savage Beliefs. The local hardcore heroes take on a serial killer in this unearthed gem of a slasher parody/slice of Chicago punk life that's been collecting dust since 1984. (As with a lot of no-budget indie films, the money dried up before it could be released.) How gemmy? The assistant director of photography was none other than Oscar-winning cinematographer Janusz Kamiński (Schindler’s List). See what you've been missing all these years. 85 min

Hustlers Convention (UK) CHICAGO PREMIERE
Thursday, April 14, 9:00pm
The Logan Theater, 2646 N Milwaukee Ave
Directed by Mike Todd
In 1973, Jalal Mansur Nuriddin, a member of the legendary poetry and music group The Last Poets, released an album that changed the face of music and would later cement Nuriddin’s status as “The Grandfather of Rap.” Released under the pseudonym of Lightnin’ Rod, Hustlers Convention gave a voice to the streets and resonated hard within inner cities across America. The album tells the gritty story of two young hustlers named Sport and Spoon who attend the eponymous convention and eventually find themselves in a police tangle. Blending historic archival footage with animated sequences set to the music, director Mike Todd dives deep into Nuriddin’s personal story as one of rap’s true pioneers. Featuring powerful interviews with key figures such as Chuck D, Ice-T, Fab 5 Freddy, and Melle Mel, Hustlers Convention is a journey into an album that is just as relevant today as it was then. 93 min

Taj Mahal Trio
Thursday, April 14, 7pm & 9:30pm
Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Deer Tick “Acoustic”
Wednesday, April 13, 7pm & 10pm
Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Peter Murphy "Stripped"
Thursday, April 14, 9:00pm
Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport St

$25 / $30 / $35

A rare opportunity to see Peter Murphy in an intimate setting performing acoustic versions of his music from throughout his illustrious career.

Thursday, April 14, 9:30pm
The Promontory, 5311 S Lake Park Ave

Thursday, April 14, 8pm
Hideout, 1354 W Wabansia Ave
The singer-songwriter, violinist, and actress from Hungary emerged from her eleven-year musical hiatus last year with critically-acclaimed Airless Midnight, an eerie yet artful Americana album. The New York Times said “Her songs are full of characters on the run… Miss Balint has her own film-noir sensibility as a songwriter.” She can also be seen as the violin-playing love interest on Louis C.K. this season.


Friday, April 15, 8:30pm
The Logan Theater, 2646 N Milwaukee Ave
Directed by Fredrik Horn Akselsen, Christian Falch
A fresh look into Norway's notorious black metal scene from a striking new angle. While the genre's Norwegian pioneers settle into middle age, wiping off the corpse paint and embracing family life, three obsessive fans from vastly different religious and political backgrounds risk family ties, freedom, and even their souls to perform in the place where black metal became synonymous with Satanism, arson, and murder. Heartfelt and surprisingly funny, Blackhearts examines just how far people will go for the music they love. 83 min.

Fela Kuti: Music Is The Weapon (France)
Friday, April 15, 7pm
The Logan Theater, 2646 N Milwaukee Ave
Directed by Jean-Jaques Flori, Stéphane Tchalgadjieff
Twenty-five years before Fela Kuti's life became the stuff of Broadway, this crackling French-made documentary captured the impossibly charismatic Afrobeat king and self-styled "Black President" at the peak of his musical, political, and spiritual powers. Railing against corruption and brutality in his native Nigeria, Kuti philosophizes on power and art wearing only his briefs and a cigarette, playing and preaching all night long at his iconic Lagos nightclub, the Shrine. As fresh and as relevant today as the day it was made.

Friday, April 15, 7pm
The Logan Theater, 2646 N Milwaukee Ave
Directed by Tony Hubner
Shot on location in El Paso, Ilinois, and points south of Rt. 61 from Chicago to Baton Rouge, We Are Kings is a road movie about a down and out bluesman saved by a "ghost"...and three young musicians. Original music composed and recorded on location and performed in the movie! A live performance by John “Boogie” Long, Sam Blue and Rita Graham live @ Rosa’s Lounge, 9:30pm follows the film.

A Song For You: The Story of Austin City Limits
Friday, April 15, 7pm
Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln Ave
Directed by Keith Maitland
Quick: Which TV music show has won both a Peabody Award and the National Medal of Arts? Austin City Limits. A Song for You makes clear why. Featuring a bevy of pivotal performances by everybody from Willie Nelson and Jack White to Ray Charles and Radiohead, this is the ultimate backstage pass to the longest-running music show in television history, recounting ACL's 40-year evolution from local outlaw-country showcase to a required stopping point for superstars, cult bands, and up-and-comers from just about every corner of popular music. 93 min.

Friday, April 15, 10:30pm
The Logan Theater, 2646 N Milwaukee Ave
Directed by Suki Hawley
Featuring members of Rodan, Lambchop, and the Grifters, this underground classic captures the highs, lows, and bored in-betweens of mid-90s indie rock-dom as a bunch of Louisville kids commandeer a van full of instruments and bluff their way across Kentucky and Tennessee, pretending to be a band. Screening with David Fair Is the King, acclaimed underground filmmaker Skizz Cyzyk's visit with the affable Half Japanese co-founder, and Half-Cocked producer Michael Galinsky's video for the St. Lenox track "I Still Dream of the '90s," composed of his photography from the era. 81 min.

Local H Celebrates the 20th Anniversary of “As Good as Dead”
Friday, April 15, 8pm
Metro, 3730 N Clark St

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble with JD’s Revenge & special guest GLC
Hosted by Drunken Monkee & M'Reld Green
Friday, April 15, 9pm
Martyrs', 3385 N Lincoln Ave
The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble is a family band consisting of seven blood brothers who began their musical training at the tender ages of four and five by their father, jazz trumpeter/band leader Kelan Phil Cohran (Earth, Wind & Fire, Chaka Khan, Sun Ra). The boys went on to form the Phil Cohran Youth Ensemble in 1990. By 1999, the brothers discontinued playing with dad in order to find their own sound, growing into the band now known as Hypnotic Brass Ensemble or HBE. The group’s sound was best put by Fader Magazine’s Edwin Stats, who called their music: “a huge brass bridge of hypnotic polyphony connecting the cosmic jazz of Sun Ra’s Arkestra with the urgency of hip hop, and the sweeping emotional scale of a Curtis Mayfield blaxploitation opus.” Their song, “War” was featured in the movie, The Hunger Games.

J Dilla Tribute with Slum Village and Black Milk
Friday, April 15, 9pm
The Promontory, 5311 S Lake Park Ave
J. Dilla may have died in 2006, but his legacy lives on through his creations with names like A Tribe Called Quest, The Roots and Erykah Badu. The Slum Village member is one of the most respected and powerful hip-hop producers of the last two decades and CIMMFest is honoring him through two tribute bands.
Founded by rappers–J Dilla (RIP), Baatin (RIP) and T3–in the early ‘90s while still in high school, Slum Village broadcasts a hard lyrical edge atop their jazzy and soulful beats. Existing now as a duo, T3 and producer Young RJ, released Yes in 2015 and contains posthumous Dilla beats.
Gifted emcee Black Milk was J Dilla's protege and initial replacement as the producer for Slum Village. Experimenting with dusty grooves, minimal electronics and live instrumentation, Black Milk balances street, personal and conscious topics. He has worked with Elzhi, Phat Kat, Frank-N-Dank, Lloyd Banks, Canibus, Pharoahe Monch.

Kap G w/ V!SUAL, Ray iLLa aka "iLLz", KID-RO, Presented by Hello Hip Hop and Right Now Tour
Friday, April 15, 10pm
1st Ward Chop Shop, 2033 W. North Ave
The Mexican-American rapper hails from the south side of College Park in Atlanta, Georgia and has collaborated with some of the biggest name in the rap game, like, Fabolous, Wiz Khalifa and Spenzo. Layering his Mexican heritage with African American culture, Kap G brings a unique perspective with some sick beats.

Friday, April 15, 11pm
Township, 2200 N. California Ave
GGOOLLDD's indie take on the electronic pop genre has earned the synthpop band from Milwaukee a strong following, and a reputation as "the Pringles of music" because of their addictive quality. Last year, they were listed as one of six Wisconsin bands to watch by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The Pact gives the listener a clever blend of polished rock with an electrifying indie pop sound, and you can trust that oath is made in blood. Already creating a buzz in the media, the young Chicago-based group is bringing the festival their self-recorded debut album, “Reaching in the Dark.”
Armitage is a Chicago-based, alternative rock band whose members teamed up as Columbia College students quickly earned a solid reputation built on their powerful sound, catchy melodies, and thoughtful songwriting.

London Souls / We Are The Asteroid
Friday, April 15
London Souls’ Guitarist Tash Neal and drummer Chris St. Hilaire formed in NYC (not London!) in 2008. Their newest album, Here Come The Girls, is a smart and savory blend of ‘60s mod rock, classic soul, and modern New York grit. The glue? Funky chops and, above all, mighty songs.
From the ashes of a torched compost shack in Austin, Texas emerge We Are The Asteroid. They create just the sort of aural dogpile you'd expect from ex-members of Butthole Surfers, Pain Teens and Ed Hall – rock, mental illness and roll for everyone.

Friday, April 15, 9pm
Hideout, 1354 W Wabansia Ave
RACS, Rami Gabriel, Alex Hall, The Fat Babies, Casey McDonough (NRBQ, Western Elstons, Flat five), Scott Ligon (NRBQ, Western Elstons, Flat five) RACS present new original songs in the great American traditions of Soul and Country music. All veteran rock, jazz, and blues musicians, their live show is a blazing dangerous rock n’ roll conflagration.
There is nothing that captures the spirit of the Midwest and the South than great Americana music that effortlessly compels its audience to toe tap and bop along. Singer-songwriter Nick Dittmeier has mastered the upbeat and cheerful music that dances along perfectly with the American lifestyle.
Having started their career known as One I'd Trouser (taken from a Monty Python song), the Toronto-based band from Nova Scotia rock it out hard. Their last album eponymously titled The Trews was the band's highest charting debut to date reaching #1 on the Rock, Alternative and Independent Album Charts in Canada.
Chicago may not be the city that first comes to mind when one thinks of country music, but Lonesome Still just might be the band to change that. Lonesome Still’s retro-country sound has blues, folk, and rock tones that shape their hearty music. The eight-member group is packed full of the true soul of country music.

Friday, April 15, 9pm
Emporium, 2363 N. Milwaukee Ave
This sister-brother duo, Alex and Francis White, have been rocking it out non-stop since 2008, and have five albums to their credit. It’s no mystery that their ferocity has a following worldwide. Last year, their movie That Was Awesome premiered at CIMMfest.

Known for their frenzied live sets, Brooklyn's Dirty Fences throw down a particularly sweaty form of rock ‘n’ roll. Their newest, Full Tramp, reeks alternately of an early ‘70s basement bong party and CBGB’s bathroom after a long night. A lovely bouquet.

The vocal bile and fast/slow-flowing guitar ooze of Hanna Hazard is efficiently pumped through the sewer pipes by Alex and Adam, the rhythm section of Chicago's own Lifestyles. Filth and anger never sounded so good…
Somewhere in the wilds of Cleveland, the O'Connor brothers, a.k.a. Archie and The Bunkers, back their van into the garage and unload not the usual beat-up guitars, but a classic vintage organ and a four-piece drum kit. With these tools they unleash what they dub HI-FI Punk, as apt a name as any for such beautiful noise.

Friday, April 15, doors open at 8pm
Burlington, 3425 W Fullerton Ave
Chicago reedman Ken Vandermark is one of the world's most prolific purveyors of improvised music. One of his many ongoing projects, Made To Break, combines saxes/drums/bass trio with the warped electronic genius of Austria's Christof Kurzmann, whose loops and keyboard flavors keep things bubbling and unpredictable.
Pausing from ripping on the guitar, Brian Case of Disappears will bring his synth-pop experimental sound to the festival. Playing solo, Case will use guitar loops and sequencing to craft minimal soundscapes that are, as he calls “imperfect” and aren’t driven by the momentum generated from the sound tools.
One half of Ken Vandermark’s quartet Made To Break, Christof Kurzmann (keys/electronics) and Tim Daisy (drums/percussion) take you on an uncharted voyage to WHO KNOWS WHERE…


Sigur Ros: Heima (Iceland)
Saturday, April 16, 4pm
Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln Ave
Directed by Dean DeBlois
Returning to Iceland after a world tour in 2006, Sigur Rós did a series of what would now be called pop-up shows, playing for free at village halls, in open fields, at an abandoned fishery, and an environmental protest camp. That unusual jaunt yielded a tour film unlike any other. Heima juxtaposes Sigur Rós’ soaring, otherworldly sound with Iceland's soaring, otherworldly landscape to create a visually stunning record of the band, and its sonic palette of serene contemplation and ecstatic release, as very much a product of its homeland’s wild vistas and close-knit culture. 97 min.

Bill Evans: Time Remembered CHICAGO PREMIERE
Saturday, April 16, 4pm
Society For Arts, 1112 N. Milwaukee Ave
Directed by Bruce Speigal
Watching Bill Evans hunched intently over 88 keys and hearing the melodious, miraculous sounds he made, it's easy to agree with Tony Bennett that "nobody played with more feeling." During a short life marred by drug abuse and personal tragedy, Evans redefined jazz piano, gaining renown as a Chicago-based sideman before staking his place in music history with Miles Davis on the groundbreaking album Kind of Blue and leading his own acclaimed trios. This sensitive and insightful biography opens a window to the mind and art of a brilliant but elusive jazz genius. 124 min.

Saturday, April 16, 5pm
The Logan Theater, 2646 N Milwaukee Ave
Directed by Steve Read
Often cited as “The Godfather of Electronic Pop Music,” Gary Numan was one of the world’s biggest-selling recording artists in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Although songs such as “Cars” and “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” were massive hits, no one had ever seen (or heard) anyone quite like Numan. Suffering from Asperger’s syndrome helped forge his tunnel-like ambition and enlightened his music and unique presence, but it also brought upon crippling stage fright, anxiety, and depression. At a time when the public knew little about the condition, he was labeled a “freak” by the media. Facing near bankruptcy and a waning musical career, he fell in love with his biggest fan and now wife Gemma, who helped him rediscover his passion for music. Follow the Numan family as they embark on a new life in the States with filmmakers Steve Read and Rob Alexander journeying with them, revealing that the man behind the mask is human after all. 85 min.

Million Dollar Mano w/ Ghetto Division; Presented by Hello Hip Hop and Right Now Tour
Saturday, April 16, 6pm
1st Ward Chop Shop, 2033 W. North Ave
Revered for his innovative sound, design and visual art Mano is coming to CIMMFest fresh off a Grammy-win for his "The Hills" collaboration with Canadian singer, The Weeknd, which has also become a 7x certified platinum record. At the forefront of the Chicago hip-hop renaissance, Mano is now spearheading the Treated Crew collective’s campaign. Be sure to check him out.

Tim Hecker
Saturday, April 16, 9pm
Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western Ave
A prolific Montreal-based avant-electronic musician, Tim Hecker has produced a range of audio works that explore the intersection of urban noise, dissonance, and melody that fosters an approach to songcraft both physical and emotive. Hecker follows his acclaimed 2013 Virgins with his new album Love Streams.

Afrika Bambaataa: Godfather of Hip Hop with Lovebug Starski
Saturday, April 16, 11pm
The Promontory, 5311 S. Lake Park Ave

Saturday, April 16, 9pm
Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia Ave
It’s mind blowing to find out that there are only two instrumentalists behind The Claudettes’ sound. Johnny Iguana on piano and Michael Caskey on drums come together to create a hypnotizing blend of blues and soul-jazz that forces the audience to let loose. The duo is joined by Yana, who lends her smooth vocals to many of the band’s tracks.
Big Lazy is a guitar, drums, and bass trio that refuses to be defined by just one genre. Their music takes listeners on a journey akin to one experienced on the New York subway; it’s a gritty tale with eclectic and strange characters that all seem to come together in harmony.

Saturday, April 16, 10pm
1st Ward Chop Shop, 2033 W. North Ave
For over a decade, the Chicago Afrobeat Project, a world music ensemble has been building on the music pioneered by Fela Kuti with powerful live performances and innovative recordings. An upcoming release features master drummer Tony Allen (Fela’s drummer) along with JC Brooks, Ugochi and others. The group’s appearance will feature a video collaboration with artists Chuck Przybyl and Edyta Stepien.


Bang! The Burt Burns Story
Sunday, April 17, 6pm
The Logan Theater, 2646 N Milwaukee Ave
Directed by Brett Berns, Bob Sarles
Music meets the Mob in this biography of '60s hitmaker and 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Bert Berns. A prolific songwriter ("Twist and Shout," "Piece of My Heart," "Hang on Sloopy") and producer (Solomon Burke, Van Morrison) with an output to rival that of storied contemporaries like Lieber-Stoller and Goffin-King, Berns died of a heart attack at only 38 and his name receded into relative obscurity. Narrated by Steven Van Zandt, Bang! tracks a colorful life story that takes in Cuban revolutionaries, shady showbiz dealings, and gangster ties along with some of your favorite songs.

Sunday, April 17, 11am
Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln Ave
Lisa Loeb was the first artist to have a number one single in the United States while not signed to a recording contract. Her five studio CDs include her debut album and gold-seller Tails, followed by the Grammy-nominated gold-seller Firecracker. Loeb will perform music selections from her album and book Lisa Loeb's Silly Sing-Along: The Disappointing Pancake and Other Zany Songs and Nursery Rhyme Parade!

Sunday, April 17, 7pm
Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln Ave

Sunday, April 17, 5pm & 8pm
City Winery Chicago, 1200 W. Randolph
Fresh from the Toronto International Film Festival and the Sundance Film Festival, City Winery and CIMMfest present Nari, an arresting, multigenerational, multimedia mashup featuring animation, family archives and a live performance by Gingger Shankar, Dave Liang and Sun Yunfan. Nari shares the unsung story of Lakshmi Shankar and her daughter, Viji, two extraordinary artists who helped bring Indian music to the West in the 1970s through their close collaboration with Ravi Shankar and George Harrison. An accomplished artist and performer, Gingger Shankar is the only female in the world who has mastered the 10-string Double Violin, an instrument that covers the entire range of the orchestra’s double bass, cello, viola and violin, and of which there are currently only two in existence.

Sunday, April 17, 7:30pm
Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln Ave
Moonface is the moniker under which Canadian artist Spencer Krug currently produces, releases, and performs his music. Whether it be solo or collaborative material, Moonface could generally be described as dark, introspective, slightly absurd, simultaneously hopeful and hopeless, and perhaps intelligent. Sometimes more pop than rock and sometimes more rock than pop, each album tends to explore new instrumentation and work within parameters different from the last. Before Moonface, Krug wrote, recorded, and performed with such bands as Sunset Rubdown, Wolf Parade, Swan Lake, Frog Eyes, and Fifths of Seven.

Festival passes (starting at $79) are available now at For this year’s festival, CIMMfest is proud to partner with Oxfam America for their “Give a Sh*t” festival pass. With each 5-day pass purchase, fans are encouraged to donate at least $6 to Oxfam; CIMMfest will then match the first $6 donated. The $6 + $6 donation goes directly to Oxfam’s lifesaving work. Across the world nearly half of the world’s population live off just $2.50 a day and one out of nine people goes to bed hungry each night. With CIMMfest and Oxfam America’s “Give a Sh*t” festival pass fans will help communities around the world break free from poverty and tackle global inequality and injustice. Passes for the industry conference CIMMcon are $35; they are $20 with a festival pass purchase.

Engineering and Recording Society of Chicago (EARS), IDEO, 2112, STAGE 18, Eversport Media, Matchnode, 8stem, Keepsake, TourSmart, NoiseFloor, 1871, LiveOne, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Tourism, Columbia College Chicago, 8tiv Labs, Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA), Canadian Consulate General, Creative Cypher, Swanson Marin & Bell, LLP, SAE Institute, Pop Montreal, Quebec Gov’t Office of Chicago, Pitchfork Media, Wicker Park Chamber of Commerce, Choose Chicago, Red Bull Music Academy, DePaul Film School, Mayflower Travel, The Radler, Emporium, Roland, WXRT, Driehaus / MacArthur Foundation and more.  

The Chicago International Movies and Music Festival (CIMMfest) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts organization dedicated to bringing together filmmakers, musicians, artists, industry leaders and audiences from diverse cultures around the world. In addition to producing year-round film screenings, concerts, and professional development programming, the organization produces one of Chicago's most highly anticipated and largest cultural events of the year: CIMMfest. The five-day, 200-plus multimedia event features film premieres, live concerts, live scored films, and a dynamic professional and entrepreneurial industry conference. CIMMfest serves a growing, diverse community of artists, industry and fans, in order to reveal the transformative power of music to foster creativity and communication, educate, enlighten, and entertain.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

WIN 2 Lisa Loeb Adult Tixs/ Blow Out & No Chip Mani at Pickle's Playroom & Salon (2 winners) and/or SOLD OUT Kids Show Tixs & CD!

WIN 2 Pairs of Lisa Loeb Adult Tickets 
AND 2 No Chip Manicures & Blow Outs From Pickle's Playroom & Salon! 
(2 Winners)
and/or 2 Lisa Loeb SOLD OUT 
Kids Concert Tickets and CD (1 Winner) 

ChiIL Mama's ChiIL Picks List:

Here at ChiIL Mama and ChiIL Live Shows, we've been covering Chicago's CIMMfest for years. It's one of our annual favs, combining two of our passions, music AND film! This year we're partnering up with Lisa Loeb, Pickle's Playroom Salon, and Old Town School of Folk Music (a special stage for CIMMfest) and running 2 great giveaways, one family friendly and one for the big kids (AKA: adults)! 

Disclosure: Thanks to Lisa Loeb, Jennifer Kim, owner at Pickle's Playroom & Salon, and Old Town School of Folk Music for partnering up with ChiIL Mama to offer our readers this fabulous giveaway. As always, all opinions are my own.


Both giveaways are open through midnight on Thursday 4/14. Enter early and often. All winners will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter. All information remains confidential.

Adult Night Out (2 winners):
  • 1 Hair Blow Out & 1 No Chip Manicure provided by Pickle's Playroom & Salon with each pair of tickets ($125 Total Value, appointment will be required) 

Grammy®-nominated singer/songwriter Lisa Loeb was launched into the limelight in 1994 with her platinum-selling Number 1 hit song “Stay (I Missed You)” from the film Reality Bites. Since then, she has enjoyed a successful career encompassing music, film, television, voice-over work, and children’s recordings. 

She will be performing two shows during CIMMfest on Sunday, April 17th, co-produced by Radio and the Old Town School of Folk Music: an 11am Kid’s Concert featuring her children’s recordings and a 7pm Evening Concert for her "grown up" fans. Both shows are all ages.
Chris Corsale, a Chicago-based singer/songwriter, Old Town School opens the 7pm evening performance. 

Pickle's Playroom & Salon is a multi-service children's facility in Chicago that recently launched its very own digital family radio station, Radio, which is played in-store and can also be accessed worldwide. The station features music for every generation, and serves as a platform for local and national "kindie" musicians. LISTEN NOW!

 Lisa with kids (by Juan Patino)

SOLD OUT KIDS SHOW (1 winner):

    Lisa's new album (exclusively on Amazon Music), has been winning awards from Kids First! and the American Library Association. She has a number of cute new videos on her YouTube channel. Check 'em out, then enter for your chance to WIN! 

    Lisa Loeb was the first artist to have a number one single in the United States while not signed to a recording contract. Her five studio CDs include her debut album and gold-seller Tails, followed by the Grammy-nominated gold-seller Firecracker. Loeb will perform music selections from her album and book Lisa Loeb's Silly Sing-Along: The Disappointing Pancake and Other Zany Songs and her new release with Amazon Music: Nursery Rhyme Parade!

    CIMMfest 2016
    ChiIL out with ChiIL Mama & ChiIL Live Shows. We're back again for 2016 with comprehensive CIMMfest coverage, news, reviews and interviews before, during and after the fest. So check back like we vote in Chi, IL... early and often. It's rewarding! Check out the full schedule for CIMMfest right HERE. We highly recommend getting your individual tickets and fest passes in advance. 
    We'll be ChiILin' with CIMMfest in Chi, IL from opening night at Music Box and METRO through the last of the fest.

    For the best deal, snag a 4-Day Fest Pass!

    Disclosure: Thanks to Lisa Loeb, Jennifer Kim--owner at Pickle's Playroom & Salon, and Old Town School of Folk Music for partnering up with ChiIL Mama to offer our readers this fabulous giveaway. As always, all opinions are my own.

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