Showing posts with label Chicago Theater. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chicago Theater. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

8th Annual Chicago Theatre Week 2020 Returns February 13-23, 2020

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar

ChiIL Out in Chi, IL with Discount Tickets to more than 
120 productions now on sale
Chicago Theatre Week 2020
February 13-23, 2020

Celebrate Valentine’s Day, honor Black History Month, 
and more

Here at ChiIL Live Shows and ChiIL Mama, we live, eat and breath Chicago's theatre scene, catching upwards of 25 productions a month. We've been thrilled to promote Chicago Theatre Week every year since its inception. This February, come out of hibernation and ChiIL out with Chi, IL's hottest theatre at cool discounts!

Daunted by the selection of shows? Want to find a good fit for your taste? Check out (adult) & (family friendly) like we vote in Chi, IL... early and often. We have ticket giveaways, entertainment news, original photo features, reviews, and more. 

Audiences can celebrate Valentine’s Day, honor Black History Month, and more during Chicago Theatre Week (#CTW20).  With over 120 participating productions, there is something for everyone during Chicago Theatre Week, running February 13-23, 2020. Value-priced tickets, priced at $30, $15, or less, are now available at

Now entering its eighth year, Chicago Theatre Week is a highly anticipated event that allows visitors and locals to sample the extraordinary range of theatrical offerings throughout Chicago. As a program of the League of Chicago Theatres, in partnership with Choose Chicago, more than 120 theatre productions are participating in neighborhoods throughout the city and suburbs. 

From joy to heartache and every feeling in between, Chicago theatre tells stories that evoke big emotions. Stories that take risks, inspire awe, ask tough questions – and dare audiences to do the same. From musicals to plays to comedy, theatre is for everyone in Chicago. Chicago Theatre Week is a celebration of the stories we share.

A selection of romantic musicals, plays and comedy productions for Valentine’s Day includes:

Jane Austen’s beloved novel Emma is now a deliciously charming musical at Chicago Shakespeare Theater! Privileged, pampered, and preoccupied with romance, Emma Woodhouse indulges in her pastime of misguided matchmaking, but remains quite clueless when it comes to her own feelings—and a gentleman named Mr. Knightley. This blissfully entertaining production promises to light a spark in your heart that will warm up even the coldest Chicago winter. 

Drury Lane Theatre presents the regional premiere of the beautifully captivating Gershwin musical An American in Paris. Based on the Academy Award winner for Best Picture, An American in Paris brings breathtaking moments of dance and song to the stage. The storied streets of the City of Light become the dancefloor to a ravishing and passionate voyage into art, friendship, and love, set to the music of George and Ira Gershwin.

Men Are From Mars – Women Are From Venus LIVE!, the Off-Broadway hit comedy based on The New York Times #1 best-selling book of the last decade by John Gray, comes to the Broadway Playhouse by popular demand. Moving swiftly through a series of vignettes, the show covers everything from dating and marriage to the bedroom. This hysterical show will have couples elbowing each other all evening as they see themselves on stage. Sexy and fast-paced, this show is definitely for adults, but will leave audiences laughing and giggling like little kids.

Happy Valen-TINAS Day at The iO Theater. Celebrate the month of love with Las Tinas, Chicago’s only improvised telenovela. These Latinx comedians create never-before-seen soap opera. Enter the telenovela world by being part of the drama, laugh at spicy comedy, and be showered with love (and tequila shots).

The iO Theater also presents Improvised Jane Austen. The long-running, all-female comedy team will conjure a tale on the spot in the style of the beloved 19th-century British novelist, Jane Austen.

Dances from the Heart at the Athenaeum Theatre showcases the most romantic works from Dance Chicago performers featuring an amazing array of dance styles such as aerial, tap, urban fusion, jazz, contemporary, Irish, Mexican folkloric, hip-hop and more.

A selection of anti-Valentine’s Day productions includes:

Tracy Letts' cult classic BUG— a luridly funny tale of love, paranoia and government conspiracy--makes its Steppenwolf Theatre debut with ensemble members Carrie Coon and Namir Smallwood. In a seedy Oklahoma motel room, a lonely waitress begins an unexpected love affair with a young drifter. And then they see the first bugs.

Steven Dietz’s world premiere psychological thriller How A Boy Falls plays at Northlight Theatre. A newly hired au pair named Chelle is thrust into the midst of a mystery when the sudden disappearance of a young boy casts suspicion on her and the boy's wealthy parents. The parents are seeking answers—and possibly revenge—while Chelle is hatching a dangerous scheme of her own.

How to Defend Yourself, a new play by Liliana Padilla at Victory Gardens Theater, circles around seven college students who gather for a DIY self-defense workshop after a sorority sister is raped. They learn how to “not be a victim”, how to use their bodies as weapons, how to fend off attackers. The form of self-defense becomes a channel for their rage, trauma, confusion, anxiety and desire–lots of desire.

Raven Theatre presents a vibrant and progressive new adaptation of A Doll’s House. Life with her husband, Torvald, is comfortable, if uninteresting. But when an old acquaintance reappears, threatening to bring Nora’s secrets to light, everything changes. As her marriage, her relationships, and her world crumble, she begins to speak her mind and question what she really wants for herself.

Relevant shows to honor Black History Month include:

Lifeline Theatre Artistic Director Ilesa Duncan and David Barr III revisit Charles Johnson’s epic tale, Middle Passage. A newly freed Illinois slave eking out a living in 1830 New Orleans stows away aboard an outbound rigger, to evade debtors enforcing marriage. But his clever escape backfires as the clipper turns out to be a slave ship bound for Africa. He must choose between a fanatical captain, a mutinous crew, and the Africans seeking escape. Building on a tradition of African American storytelling, this tale challenges perceptions of American identity using a Black aesthetic.

TimeLine Theatre presents James Ijames’ Kill Move Paradise, a powerful and provocative reflection on recent events, illustrating the possibilities of collective transformation and radical acts of joy. Inspired by the ever-growing list of slain unarmed black men and women, Kill Move Paradise is a portrait of those lost—not as statistics, but as heroes who deserve to be seen for the splendid beings they are.

Voice of Good Hope at City Lit Theater is a dramatic portrait of Barbara Jordan, the first African American congresswoman to be elected from the Deep South.

MPAACT presents the world premiere of Spoken Word at Greenhouse Theater Center. Written by Shepsu Aakhu and directed by Lauren "LL" Lundy, Spoken Word takes place in a small community dominated by hearsay, fear, outrage, and over-reaching authority figures. On the isolated campus of a Midwest university - sex, race, and gender collide in an epic culture war.

Writers Theatre presents Stick Fly, written by Lydia R. Diamond and directed by WT Resident Director Ron OJ Parson. Sibling rivalries and parental expectations come to a head as family secrets emerge during a weekend away that becomes more “interrogation” than “relaxation” in this witty and moving rollercoaster of a family comedy-drama. 

Dominican University Performing Arts Center presents We Shall Overcome: A Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a joyful celebration of music from across the African American that electrified generations of Civil Rights activists and defenders, interwoven with spoken word from Dr. King’s recorded speeches.

Broadway In Chicago presents SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical at the James M. Nederlander Theatre. She was a girl from Boston with a voice from heaven, who shot through the stars from gospel choir to dance floor diva. But what the world didn’t know was how Donna Summer risked it all to break through barriers, becoming the icon of an era and the inspiration for every music diva who followed. With a score featuring more than 20 of Summer’s classic hits including “Love to Love You Baby,” “Bad Girls” and “Hot Stuff,” this electric experience is a moving tribute to the voice of a generation.

Re-imagined for 2020 and infused with a contemporary comedic spin, The Second City’s Black History Month Show sets the stage for an uproarious night of laughter delivered by a new generation of rising comedians in a celebratory showcase of the incredible history and work artists of color have brought to The Second City’s stages.

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra presents The Piano Soul of Nat King Cole featuring Jeff Lindberg’s Chicago Jazz Orchestra with special guests Kenny Barron, Benny Green & Russell Malone.

Before Nat King Cole emerged as one of America’s most popular singers, he was making waves as an influential jazz pianist and expert arranger in his adopted hometown of Chicago. Marking the 2019 centennial of Cole’s birth, this unique concert will celebrate his instrumental roots in a program created specifically for the Symphony Center Presents Jazz series.

Additional productions for musical lovers include:

Firebrand Theatre presents Always...Patsy Cline at The Den Theatre. This moving musical, complete with laughs, down home country charm, and sisterhood, includes many of Patsy’s unforgettable hits such as “Crazy,” “I Fall to Pieces,” “Sweet Dreams” and “Walking After Midnight”… 27 songs in all!  The show’s title was inspired by Patsy’s letters to Louise, which were consistently signed “Love ALWAYS… Patsy Cline.”

In The House Theatre of Chicago’s Verböten at the Chopin Theatre, a Chicago band made up of outsider teens with seriously complex home lives gears up for a show at The Cubby Bear that is sure to change their lives forever, can they keep their parents from destroying the fabric of their self-made punk rock family?

Brown Paper Box Co. presents If/Then at the Athenaeum Theatre, a new musical with unforgettable songs and a deeply moving story by the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning creators of Next to Normal, If/Then paints a moving portrait of the lives we lead, as well as the lives we might have led.

Underscore Theatre presents its 6th annual Chicago Musical Theatre Festival (CMTF), created to showcase and support the growing field of musical theatre creators from Chicago and beyond. After receiving more than 35 submissions, Underscore chose eight new musicals for this year’s Festival to be presented in full productions.

A selection of other notable works includes:

For its winter engagement, The Joffrey Ballet presents The Times Are Racing, a mixed repertory program featuring choreography from four of the most influential artists working today, including the Chicago premiere of Justin Peck's 2017 ballet for which the program gets its name, two pieces by Israeli choreographer and former Batsheva Dance Company member Itzik Galili, a Christopher Wheeldon classic, and a new work from Chicago's Stephanie Martinez, 2015 winner of the Joffrey's Winning Works choreographic competition.

Puccini's timeless Madama Butterfly returns to the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Experience love, betrayal, & sacrifice with this love story that reaches across cultures, oceans, and time. A wonderful first opera experience, Madama Butterfly epitomizes the best of this multifaceted art form, beautifully incorporating romantic tragedy with sublime musical storytelling.

16th Street Theater in Berwyn presents Alabaster, a darkly comic southern drama about love, art and the power of women. After a tornado barrels through North Alabama leaving nothing but death and destruction, only June and her wisecracking pet goat Weezy live to tell the tale.  When Alice, a prominent photographer, arrives to take pictures of June’s scars, all are tipped to the breaking point in this beautiful story of life after death.

A complete list of participating productions is at Chicago Theatre Week is presented by the League of Chicago Theatres in partnership with Choose Chicago. The official hashtag for Chicago Theatre Week 2020 is #CTW20.

Last year, in February 2019, 139 participating productions offered value-priced tickets to 593 individual performances during Chicago Theatre Week. The initiative continues to see increased sales year over year, with 12,700 Theatre Week tickets sold in 2019. Chicago Theatre Week brings in new audiences to area theatres with an average of 63% of attendees visiting their chosen theatre for the first time. Theatre Week also proved to be a draw for visitors from outside Chicago with 17% of patrons coming from beyond 50 miles of the city, spanning 36 states and several countries.

About Chicago theatre

Chicago theatre is the leader in the U.S. with more than 250 theatres throughout Chicagoland, comprising a rich and varied community ranging from storefront, non-union theatres to the most renowned resident theatres in the country, including 5 which have been honored with Regional Tony Awards, and the largest touring Broadway organization in the nation. Chicago’s theatres serve 5 million audience members annually and have a combined budget of more than $250 million. Chicago produces and/or presents more world premieres annually than any other city in the nation. Last year alone Chicago theatre companies produced more than 100 world premiere productions and adaptations. Each year Chicago theatres send new work to resident theatres across the country, to Broadway, and around the world. 

League of Chicago Theatres’ Mission Statement

Theatre is essential to the life of a great city and to its citizens. The League of Chicago Theatres is an alliance of theatres which leverages its collective strength to support, promote, and advocate for Chicago’s theatre industry. Through our work, we ensure that theatre continues to thrive in our city.

For a comprehensive list of Chicago productions, visit the League of Chicago Theatres website, Half-price tickets to the current week’s performances as well as future performances are available at and at the two Hot Tix half-price ticket locations: across from the Chicago Cultural Center at Expo72 (72 E. Randolph) and Block Thirty Seven (108 N. State).

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Holiday Roundup: Chicago Theatre Shows On Our Radar In November/ December

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar

Photo Credit for All: Bonnie Kenaz-Mara

Tis the season for a flurry of theatre in Chicago and shows are a great way to entertain family during the winter break, make memories with visiting guests, and take care of your holiday gift list in style. Theatre tickets make excellent presents that don't add to clutter or end up in a landfill. Think theatre for 2017. Here are some of our top picks here at ChiIL Mama (family friendly) and ChiIL Live Shows (adult). Check back early and often for our theatre news, original reviews, interviews, great ticket giveaways, and photo filled features. Use our side search bar and key words to make life easier.



This Wonderful Life
The Edge Theatre
Written by Steve Murray
Directed by Carmen Roman
Starring James Leaming
November 2 – 26, 2017
Tickets: $19 - $49

Founding Ensemble member and Chicago’s original “George Bailey” James Leaming inhabits every role in this hilariously touching stage adaptation of the iconic holiday film It’s a Wonderful Life. George Bailey, Clarence, Mr. Potter, and the gang come to life as a single actor creates a heartwarming story about the effect one hardworking man’s life has on the people around him.

16th Anniversary Production of
It’s a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago!
Stage 773
From Frank Capra’s film
Directed by Producing Artistic Director Gwendolyn Whiteside
November 17 – December 30, 2017
Tickets: $19 - $49

For 16 years, the American Blues Ensemble has treated Chicago audiences to a live 1940s radio broadcast of holiday favorite It’s a Wonderful Life. The incredible cast recreates the entire town of Bedford Falls with Foley sound effects, an original score and holiday carols. The Bedford Falls “residents” extend their hospitality after every performance when audiences are treated to milk and cookies served by the cast.

4450 N Clark St., Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 769-4451
The Annual Black Ensemble New Year’s Eve Show
December 31, 2017

Like all Black Ensemble events, the New Year’s Eve celebration will be an occasion filled with joy and excitement. Guests at the celebration will enjoy a performance by the stars of Black Ensemble Theater, along with great entertainment, fabulous food, dancing with the stars and champagne flowing all night long!

800 E. Grand Ave., Chicago, IL  60611

Q Brothers Christmas Carol
The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare
Written by Q Brothers Collective (GQ, JQ, Jax, Pos)
Developed with Rick Boynton
Directed by GQ and JQ
November 21 - December 31, 2017
Tickets: $30 - $52

Throw your hands up, Chicago—the holiday treat set to a bangin’ beat is back! CST and Chicago hip-hop sensation the Q Brothers—creators of Othello: The Remix and Funk It Up About Nothin’—turn up the volume on Charles Dickens’ classic tale, mixing everything from reggae, dancehall, and dubstep to epic rock ballads. Brighten your festivities with some cheeky spirit and a whole lot of heart—complete with visits from a Jamaican Jacob Marley and that youngest of Cratchits, Lil’ Tim. The Q Brothers are joined by a live DJ as the ghosts of Hip-hop Past, Present, and Future lead Scrooge on a journey of rhythm, rhyme, and redemption.

Drury Lane Theatre
100 Drury Lane
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
(630) 530-8300

Drury Lane Theatre for Young Audiences presents
By Charles Dickens
November 15 - December 23, 2017
Tickets: $15

With a lively score and captivating choreography, A Christmas Carol will take families on a timeless holiday adventure with Scrooge as he travels through time with three special ghosts. Over 30 colorful Dickensian characters are brought to life on stage in this uplifting tale of hope and redemption. Complete with falling snow, magical illusions and special effects, the play is a visually-stunning experience, and at one hour long, perfect for children of all ages. On select performance dates, families will have the opportunity to have breakfast or dinner with Santa Claus in Drury Lane's elegantly decorated dining room. Tickets for Drury Lane Theatre productions are available by calling the box office at (630) 530-0111, TicketMaster at (800) 745-3000 or visiting

Thursday, November 23, 2017
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Price:   Adults - $50
            Child 6 to 12 - $16
            Child 3 to 5 - $10
Child 2 and Under - FREE
Leave the cooking to Drury Lane this Thanksgiving! Start your morning off with our seasonal pumpkin chai latte before enjoying traditional favorites like roasted turkey, cranberry and apple stuffing, and roasted butternut squash. Then, stop by our dessert table to indulge in our warm bread pudding with caramel apple sauce or choose from our assortment of seasonal pies.

Saturdays, November 18 & 25 and December 2, 9, 16 & 23
11:00 a.m.
Price:   Adults - $20
            Child 4 to 12 - $15
            Child 3 and Under - FREE

Start your morning with Santa! Join us for our family-friendly breakfast before seeing our production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, the classic holiday tale of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge. Stop by our yogurt bar, make your own donuts, and enjoy our holiday hot chocolate station. Let the little ones write out their holiday wishes in a letter to Santa that we send straight to the North Pole! 

Sundays, November 26 and December 3, 10 & 17
10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Price:   Adults - $50
            Child 6 to 12 - $16
            Child 3 to 5 - $10
Child 2 and Under - FREE
Celebrate the holiday season with our exquisite brunch! From eggnog and cinnamon rolls to green bean casserole and hand-carved roasted turkey, we have all your holiday favorites. Gather around our 20-foot sparkling Christmas tree for a family photo before seeing our toe-tapping production of 42nd Street. Don’t forget to say “hi” to Santa! 

Saturdays, December 2, 9, 16 & 23
3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Price:  Adults - $35
Child 4 to 12 - $25
Child 3 and Under - FREE

Take a break from holiday shopping and indulge in our special holiday afternoon tea. Listen to Christmas favorites played by our classical pianist and enjoy seasonal specialties under the twinkling lights of Drury Lane’s festive 20-foot Christmas tree. Featuring freshly baked breads and scones, holiday tea sandwiches, enticing desserts, as well as an assortment of seasonal teas, including harvest apple spice and spiced ginger plum, and hot chocolate for the children. Champagne is also included!
Reservations must be made 24 hours in advance!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017
5:00 p.m.
Price:   Adults - $25
            Child 4 to 12 - $15
            Child 3 and Under - FREE

Treat the whole family to a festive evening with a savory dinner before the December 13th evening performance of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, the classic holiday tale of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge. Stop by our holiday hot chocolate station before enjoying our seasonal quiche, honey-glazed ham, and whipped potatoes with gravy. Take a photo with Santa (or write him a letter!) and then gather the whole family for a photo in front of our elegant 20-foot Christmas tree!

Monday, December 25, 2017
10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Price:   Adults - $50
            Child 6 to 12 - $16
            Child 3 to 5 - $10
Child 2 and Under - FREE
On Christmas Day, bring the whole family to our special Christmas Brunch Buffet. Enjoy our elegant holiday decor including a 20-foot tree with sparkling lights. Sip our holiday eggnog or pumpkin chai latte while enjoying our savory Italian sausage with sweet bell peppers and roast prime rib with chestnut stuffing. Satisfy your sweet tooth with our assortment of holiday treats including Christmas cookies, cranberry-apple pie, and warm vanilla bread pudding with caramel bourbon sauce.

Saturday, December 31, 2017
3:00 pm, 3-course meal, $40
6:00 pm, 4-course meal, $70*
9:00 pm, 4-course meal, $65*
6pm and 9pm seatings include a commemorative flute
Ring in 2018 with Drury Lane’s New Year’s Eve Celebration. Gather your friends and indulge in a decadent four-course dinner at Lucille. As midnight approaches, celebrate with a complimentary champagne toast and dancing with our live band until 1 am.  Add to the celebration with a performance of the beloved tap classic 42nd Street.


4450 N Clark St., Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 769-4451

Sammy: The Story of Sammy Davis Jr.
Written and Directed by Daryl Brooks
December 9, 2017 - January 21, 2018
Previews: December 9, 10, 15 and 16
Tickets: $45 - $65


Drury Lane Theatre
100 Drury Lane
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
(630) 530-8300

42nd Street 
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Al Dubin
Book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble
Based on the Novel by Bradford Ropes
Original Direction and Dances by Gower Champion
Originally Produced on Broadway by David Merrick
October 26 – December 21, 2017
Tickets: $42 - $62

Tap through this year’s holiday season with the 1980 Tony Award winner for Best Musical, 42nd Street! In this Broadway favorite, aspiring chorus girl Peggy Sawyer lands a bigger break in New York City than expected. When the leading lady injures her ankle, Peggy gets the chance of a lifetime to rise from showgirl to star of a glitzy new Broadway musical. With show stopping tap numbers and unforgettable hits such as “We’re In The Money,” “Lullaby of Broadway,” and “Shuffle Off to Buffalo,” Warm your Chicago winter with 42ND Street – a love letter to the Great White Way. The creative team and cast for 42nd Street will be announced at a later date. 42nd Street is suitable for all audiences but most enjoyable for ages 5 and up.

821 N Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 337-0665

Hard Times
Adapted and Directed by Ensemble Member Heidi Stillman
From the Book by Charles Dickens
In Association with The Actors Gymnasium
Playing until January 14, 2018
Featuring Ensemble Members David Catlin, Raymond Fox and Artistic Associate Troy West
Tickets: $40 - $85 ($20 Student Rush Tickets)

Lookingglass launches its 30th Season with the return of the award-winning, circus-infused Hard Times.  

A Dickensian carnival of characters inhabits the streets of smoke-choked Coketown: grim Mr. Gradgrind’s school churns out joyless students; poor Stephen Blackpool toils in the nearby mines; and mill-owner Mr. Bounderby, full of bluster and bombast, presides over it all. Only when a traveling circus alights nearby, and young orphan Sissy Jupe enters their world, does a ray of hope shine through. 

Artistic Director Heidi Stillman adapts and directs this timeless love-letter to the power of beauty, hope, and imagination.  

9501 Skokie Blvd in Skokie, IL 60077
(847) 673-6300

The Book of Will
By Lauren Gunderson
Directed by Jessica Thebus
November 9 – December 17, 2017

William Shakespeare wrote some of the world’s most beloved plays – but without his friends, they may have been lost to history! Follow the members of Shakespeare’s own company as they cunningly navigate the production of the First Folio in 1623. They may not have any money or clear-cut rights to his work, but they’re armed with wit, humor, a deep camaraderie and a passion to preserve the plays that shaped their lives. With the help of their wives and colleagues, two actors set out not only to print a collection, but to uphold a legacy for the world.

1616 N. Wells St.
(312) 337-3992
The full schedule at The Second City, including holiday programing, is available online.

Dream Freaks Fall From Space

In one of the comedy industry’s most anticipated traditions, iconic Chicago comedy institution The Second City is proud to announce the opening of its upcoming 106th Mainstage revue, Dream Freaks Fall From Space. The all-new show is written and performed by second-time Mainstage cast member Kelsey Kinney and new cast members Ryan Asher, Tyler Davis, Jeffrey Murdoch, Tien Tran, and Nate Varrone. Jeff Award winner Ryan Bernier returns to direct his sixth resident show. Vinnie Pillarella returns as music director, as does longtime stage manager Craig Taylor, who has been at the technical helm of shows featuring legendary alumni including Chris Farley, Tina Fey, and Stephen Colbert over the course of his storied career at The Second City.


Victory Gardens Biograph Theatre
2433 N Lincoln Avenue
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 871-3000

By Victory Gardens Theater Ensemble Playwright Tanya Saracho
Directed by Teatro Vista Ensemble Member Sandra Marquez
A Co-Production with Teatro Vista
November 4-December 23, 2017
Tickets: $15 - $56

In this witty behind-the-scenes drama, Mexican-born Lucia is hired to write for a ruthless Hollywood TV series. She soon discovers that the Mexican American custodian, Abel, has a windfall of plot ideas. As their friendship grows, his stories start to blur with hers with unexpected consequences. Fade, directed by Sandra Marquez, is an acclaimed new play from Tanya Saracho (How to Get Away with Murder, Looking, Girls) whose writing “lands in that sweet spot between comedy and drama” (Chicago Tribune).

325 Tudor Court, Glencoe, IL 60022
(847) 242-6000

The Importance of Being Earnest
Written by Oscar Wilde
Directed by Artistic Director Michael Halberstam
November 8 – December 23, 2017
Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols Theatre | 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe
Tickets: $35 - $80

One of the cleverest comedies by one of the greatest writers in the English language, The Importance of Being Earnest introduces us to Jack and Algernon, two charming bachelors who are each living a double life, aided by a fictional alter ego called “Ernest.” But when they fall truly in love with a pair of proper young women, will they be able to bring an end to the charade and convince the formidable Lady Bracknell that they are suitable candidates for marriage? After all, “the one charm about marriage is that it makes a life of deception absolutely necessary for both parties.”

More Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

Ruth Page Civic Ballet’s The Nutcracker, 
December 2 - 3

The House Theatre of Chicago’s The Nutcracker, 
Through December 30

Lifeline Theatre Kidseries’ Arnie The Doughnut,

Through November 26

Pegasus Theatre Company’s Shakin’ the Mess Outta Misery, 
November 8 - December 10

Porchlight Music Theatre’s Porchlight Revisits…Woman of the Year, November 14 - 16 at 7:15 p.m.

The Agency Theatre Collective’s Hellcab 
November 11 - December 17

The House Theatre of Chicago’s The Magic Parlour, Open Run, tickets now on sale through July

The Neo-Futurists’ The Infinite Wrench, 

Porchlight Music Theatre’s Billy Elliot
Through December 31

Theatre Y’s Yerma, 
Through December 10

The Factory Theater’s Captain Steve’s Caring Kingdom, 
Through December 9

Pegasus Theatre Company’s Shakin’ the Mess Outta Misery, 
Through December 10

Porchlight Music Theatre’s Porchlight Revisits…Woman of the Year, November 14 - 16 at 7:15 p.m.

The Agency Theatre Collective’s Hellcab, 
Through December 17

The Neo-Futurists’ Best of 2017: The Infinite Wrench, 
December 1 - 10

Chicago Tap Theatre’s Tidings of Tap!
Sunday, Dec, 10 at 3 p.m.

The Neo-Futurists’ 60 Sings in 60 Minutes: Mayfly’s Childhood Torn Into Traffic Light Cycles, 
December 14 - 16 at 7:30 p.m.

The Neo-Futurists’ New Year’s Party and Performance, 
Sunday, Dec. 31 at 9:30 p.m.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Theatre Tickets Make Great Gifts


League of Chicago Theatres’ annual Holiday Guide highlights seasonal productions

Cut the clutter and give an unforgettable experience instead!

ChiIL Mama will be there... will YOU?!

The holidays mean a virtual avalanche of great theatre and it can be daunting to dig through all the openings and seasonal short runs. Check back with ChiIL Live Shows and ChiIL Mama like we vote in Chi, IL... early and often. We'll have loads of original reviews, theatre news, interviews and even ticket giveaways. Still, we're a small outlet and can't be everywhere. So, for a comprehensive listing of holiday hits easily split by genre, The League of Chicago Theatres’ is your best bet. **We've added asterisks to our favorites that we will be reviewing or covering on our outlets as well.

The Chicago theater community will present a wide variety of festive plays and musicals, as well as dance and concert offerings this Holiday season.  In support, the League of Chicago Theatres will once again create a comprehensive Holiday Theater Guide that will be available beginning in November at hotels, theaters, events, and destinations across the Chicago area.  An updated list of holiday shows with additional details about each production will be available throughout the season at  Additionally, many holiday shows will be available at Hot Tix, Chicago’s local, half-price ticketing service.

The following is a selection of Holiday-themed work playing in Chicago this season.

Classic Chicago favorites include:

**Charles Dickens’ timeless tale of hope and redemption A CHRISTMAS CAROL, returns to the Goodman Theatre for the 38th year. Through December 27, 2015.

**Capra’s holiday staple gets the 1940’s radio treatment with IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE: LIVE IN CHICAGO! presented by American Blues Theater at the Greenhouse Theater Center, November 20 – December 27, 2015.

**The House Theatre presents its wholly original, ballet-free, fast paced and family friendly version of THE NUTCRACKER at the Chopin Theatre, weaving dance, text, and songs to tell a story of magic and mystery. Runs through December 31, 2015.

**The Joffrey Ballet’s lavish and beloved THE NUTCRACKER returns to the Auditorium Theatre, featuring Robert Joffrey’s version for one last time, December 4 – 27, 2015.

Holiday-themed musicals include:

**The classic Chicago musical THE CHRISTMAS SCHOONER sets sail again at The Mercury Theater featuring a powerful, moving story, an exquisite score of original music and traditional holiday favorites, and a company of 25 actors and musicians. November 25 – December 27, 2015.

**Drury Lane Theatre presents WHITE CHRISTMAS: THE MUSICAL, a merry and bright stage production based on the classic silver screen romantic comedy. Through January 3, 2016,

A KOKANDY CHRISTMAS premieres at Theater Wit, featuring new musical arrangements of favorites old and new performed by five of Chicago’s brightest musical theater talents. Runs December 3 – 23, 2015.

Holiday comedies include:

**The Second City and Goodman Theatre’s TWIST YOUR DICKENS returns for a second smash year. Scrooge, Tiny Tim, three ridiculous ghosts and a cast of The Second City’s funniest members take the Goodman by storm, as wicked parody, daring improve and a host of guest celebs run rampant. December 4 – 27, 2015.

**David Sedaris’ classic comedy SANTALAND DIARIES returns to Theater Wit November 20 – December 27, 2015.

Other notable works include:

**A Q BROTHERS’ CHRISTMAS CAROL, a hip-hop holiday treat set to a bangin’ beat returns to Chicago Shakespeare Theater. November 28 – January 3, 2016.

Strawdog Theatre presents Paula Vogel’s hauntingly beautiful A LONG CHRISTMAS RIDE HOME. Through December 12.

**The Hypocrites bring back BURNING BLUEBEARD to The Den Theatre, inspired by the true story of Chicago’s 1903 Iroquois Theatre Fire, six singed clown performers perform their spectacular Christmas pantomime once and for all. Runs November 19 – January 10, 2016.

**HELLCAB portrays the story of a cab driver in for the longest night of his life as he transports a bizarre and mysterious array of customers through the gritty streets of Chicago on Christmas Eve, at Profiles Theatre, through January 10, 2016.

Hot Tix
Celebrating 35 years this month, Hot Tix offers half-price tickets to a wide variety of theatre productions for the current week, as well as future performances, including many holiday selections for the whole family. Hot Tix has three convenient downtown walk-up locations and half-price tickets are also available online at, easily searchable by date, show, theatre, or genre.

Hours and Locations

Expo 72: 72 E. Randolph (across from the Chicago Cultural Center)
Tues – Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 11am-4pm

Water Works: 163 E. Pearson (along the Magnificent Mile)
Tues – Sat: 10am-6pm, Sun 11am-4pm

Block Thirty Seven: 108 N. State (at the first floor Guest Services desk)
Mon – Sat: 10am-6pm, Sun 11am-5pm

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About Chicago theater
Chicago theater is the leader in the U.S. with more than 250 theaters throughout Chicagoland, comprising a rich and varied community ranging from storefront, non-union theaters to the most renowned resident theaters in the country, including 5 which have been honored with Regional Tony Awards, and the largest touring Broadway organization in the nation. Chicago’s theaters serve 5 million audience members annually and have a combined budget of more than $250 million. Chicago produces and/or presents more world premieres annually than any other city in the nation. In 2009-10 alone Chicago theater companies produced more than 130 world premiere productions and adaptations. Each year Chicago theaters send new work to resident theaters across the country, to Broadway, and around the world. 

The League of Chicago Theatres’ Mission Statement
The League of Chicago Theatres is an alliance of theaters which leverages its collective strength to promote, support and advocate for Chicago's theater industry locally, nationally and internationally. The League of Chicago Theatres Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the art of theater in the Chicago area through audience development and support services for theaters and theater professionals.

For a comprehensive list of Chicago productions, visit the League of Chicago website,  Discounted tickets are available at

Thursday, September 10, 2015

REVIEW: A Fond Hello to JAMAICA, FAREWELL now playing at Royal George

Hershey Felder Presents 
at The Royal George Theatre
From the Director of the Smash Hit Comedy 
“My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” Joel Zwick

Debra Ehrhardt is a consummate story teller who weaves a James Bond worthy web of a war torn 70's Jamaican escape epic. This one woman power house has no trouble captivating the audience with her tale, and her energy and enthusiasm are contagious. The simple, tropical lighting, ever changing background screens, and set design accentuate the action and ably set the stage for Debra's antics. We highly recommended this harrowing and hilarious immigration saga. Don't miss this.

All Photos courtesy of Chuck Osgood of Charles Osgood Photography.

Based on her true life story, writer-performer Ehrhardt’s JAMAICA, FAREWELL chronicles her escape from revolution-torn Jamaica in the 1970’s to fulfill her lifelong dream of coming to America. Performances begin at Chicago’s Royal George Theatre, 1641 North Halsted, 60614, on Tuesday, September 8, and continue through Sunday, October 11. Tickets are $50 each for all performances.

When Debra Ehrhardt was an eighteen-year-old secretary in Kingston, Jamaica, she bumped into a handsome CIA agent over a bowl of oxtail soup on her lunch break. During the turbulent 70s of the Manley Era she saw her chance – a pinhole of opportunity that she could squeeze through with the help of this love-struck American, to potentially make it to America. She began a dangerous adventure that only the single-minded passion of a teenage girl would chance, blurring the lines between bravery and foolishness as she became more desperate: agreeing to smuggle a million US dollars in cash to a mysterious contact somewhere in Miami, with the agent unknowingly becoming her accomplice.

See what happens when the audacity of youth comes smack up against the impossibility of escaping from the war-torn class struggle that seized Jamaica in the 1970s. With all the surprise and ingenuity of the best make-believe tales, the true story of Debra Ehrhardt's dangerous journey from the island of her youth to the country of her dreams will enthrall you, charm you, and ultimately leave you celebrating at the triumphant conclusion of her autobiographical one-woman show.

JAMAICA, FAREWELL is Kingston-born Debra Ehrhardt’s third one-woman show. Previous productions include the award-winning Mango Mango, and Invisible Chairs, which was produced by David Strasberg at the Marilyn Monroe Theatre in West Hollywood and subsequently optioned as a situation comedy by Fox. Ehrhardt was also a 2007 NYC Fringe festival award-winner and received a 2007 Proclamation from the City of New York for JAMAICA, FAREWELL for her outstanding contribution to the Jamaican community. JAMAICA, FAREWELL was optioned by Rita Wilson-Hanks who produced the play with Garry Marshall at the Falcon Theatre. Ehrhardt is currently adapting JAMAICA, FAREWELL for the big screen. More info at

Continuing to bring exciting stories and new productions to Chicago audiences, ‘Hershey Felder Presents’ (George Gershwin Alone, Maestro Bernstein, The Pianist of Willesden Lane, Louis and Keely ‘Live’ at the Sahara) now brings a newly designed production of the award-winning and internationally acclaimed play JAMAICA, FAREWELL, written and performed by Debra Ehrhardt and directed by Joel Zwick (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), to Chicago’s Royal George Theatre. 

The New York Times calls JAMAICA, FAREWELL “One loopy, increasingly funny story.” The production sold out in a critically acclaimed production at Chicago’s Chopin Theater in May, 2012. The Chicago Tribune’s Chris Jones raved “A very funny and fast-paced piece – ninety highly enjoyable minutes,” and the Chicago Sun-Times’ Hedy Weiss called Ehrhardt “A storyteller who can fill up empty space with the sheer power of her exuberant storytelling.”

Joel Zwick (Director) directed My Big Fat Greek Wedding, the highest-grossing romantic comedy of all time. Recent films include Fat Albert and Elvis Has Left the Building. Zwick directed the Broadway production of Hershey Felder’s George Gershwin Alone at the Helen Hayes Theatre, as well as Felder’s Monsieur Chopin, Beethoven as I Knew Him, and Maestro Bernstein. He began his theatrical career at La Mama E.T.C. as director of the La Mama Plexus. He has directed on Broadway, Off-Broadway and for Broadway touring companies. Zwick is recognized as one of Hollywood’s most prolific directors of episodic television, having directed over 550 TV episodes. He is currently directing Shake it Up for the Disney Channel. Zwick has taught drama at Yale University, Brooklyn College, Queens College, Wheaton College and USC and has made his home in Hollywood for the past decade.

Hershey Felder (Producer)
Broadway, London's West End: George Gershwin Alone (Helen Hayes Theatre, Duchess Theatre). Regional and international appearances of “Composers Sonata” (1999-2014) – George Gershwin Alone, Monsieur Chopin, Beethoven, As I Knew Him, and Maestro: Leonard Bernstein and Hershey Felder as IRVING BERLIN (Geffen Theatre LA World Premiere, Laguna Playhouse, upcoming: Majestic Theatre Boston, La Jolla Playhouse, Theatreworks Palo Alto, Arizona Theatre Company and more). He is the winner of the 2007 Los Angeles Ovation Awards, Best Musical and Best Actor for George Gershwin Alone. Worldwide live broadcasts, George Gershwin Alone, 2005 and 2011 for the WFMT Network. Direction includes Mona Golabek in The Pianist of Willesden Lane (National Tour), Current projects include Abe Lincoln’s Piano, Hershey Felder as IRVING BERLIN and several other titles in development for various artists. Mr. Felder is a Steinway Concert Artist, and has been a Scholar in Residence at Harvard University's Department of Music. He is the President of Eighty-Eight Entertainment and is married to Kim Campbell, the former Prime Minister of Canada.

The artistic team for JAMAICA, FAREWELL is led by Director Joel Zwick. Scenic Design is by Hershey Felder and Trevor Hay, Sound Design is by Erik Carstensen, Lighting Design is by Richard Norwood and Video Design is by Andrew Wilder. Scenic Decoration is by Meghan Maiya and Stacy Nezda. Matt Marsden serves as General Manager and the Production Stage Manager is Rebecca Peters.  Karen Racanelli serves as executive producer, and Samantha F. Voxakis serves as associate producer.

Performances of JAMAICA, FAREWELL begin Tuesday, September 8 at 7:30 p.m. and continue as follows: Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m., Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. All tickets are $50. Tickets are on sale at The Royal George Theatre and may be purchased by calling 312.988.9000. Box office hours are 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Tickets may also be purchased online at

Tuesday, August 12, 2014




Last night at the Witching Hour, Ryan Adams and Elvira conspired to unveil the spooktastic video for “Gimme Something Good,” the already overwhelmingly acclaimed lead single from the self-produced Ryan Adams (out September 9 on PAX-AM/Blue Note). Those brave enough to view the Michael Reich-directed clip in the light of day can now do so here AMONG THE LIVING. 

“Gimme Something Good” will make its network TV debut tomorrow night on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, giving the audience in the studio and at home a taste of what’s been getting the media riled up like so:

“scorches with Stonesian bravado and a fist-pump-worthy chorus" – ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY The Must List

“If 'Gimme Something Good' – the lead single, is any indication, the album will contain more of the blues-tinged, post–college rock that earned him fans in the first place.” — ROLLING STONE

"This thing is a total knockout. Give it a listen.” — STEREOGUM
"a gritty guitar-driven jam perfect for cranking on the stereo while summertime cruising up Main Street.” — TIME

Continuing the return to the stage that has already included a triumphant headline appearance at the Newport Folk Festival and last week’s sold out shows in Boulder and Aspen, Ryan and band have added a new leg of November dates to their current tour. The new dates are on sale to the publicFriday, August 15 at 10am local time with artist pre-sales opening Thursday, August 14 at 10am local time (with the exception of Cleveland, which on sale 11am local time).

See below for currently confirmed dates and stay tuned to for on-sale details and further updates.

New Dates in BOLD
09/08/14 — Washington, DC — 9:30 Club *
10/01/14 — Santa Barbara, CA — Arlington Theater
10/03/14 - San Francisco, CA - Hardly Strictly Bluegrass
10/05/14 — Portland, OR — Arlene Schnitzer Hall
10/06/14 — Seattle, WA — Paramount Ballroom
10/07/14 — Vancouver, BC — Orpheum Theater
10/09/14 — Edmonton, AB — Francis Winspear Theater
10/10/14 — Calgary, AB — Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
10/12/14 — Winnipeg, AB — Burton Cummings Theater
10/13/14 — Minneapolis, MN — Northrop at the University of Minnesota
10/14/14 — Milwaukee, WI — Riverside Theater
10/16/14 — Chicago, IL — Chicago Theater
10/18/14 — Ames, IA — Stephens Auditorium @ Iowa State Center ***
10/19/14 — St. Louis, MO — Peabody Opera House
10/20/14 — Kansas City, MO — Uptown Theater
11/06/14 — Indianapolis, IN — Murat Theater *
11/08/14 — Columbus, OH — Palace Theater *
11/09/14 — Detroit, MI — The Fillmore *
11/11/14 — Cleveland, OH — State Theatre at PlayhouseSquare **
11/18/14 —Boston, MA — Wang Theatre *
11/19/14 — Philadelphia (Upper Darby), PA — Tower Theatre *

On sale Friday, August 15 at 10am local time 
** On sale Friday, August 15 at 11am local time
*** On sale Friday, August 22nd

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