Showing posts with label CircEsteem. Show all posts
Showing posts with label CircEsteem. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

OPENING: Cirque du Soleil's TORUK – The First Flight at the United Center in Chicago August 3-7, 2016

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

The new Cirque du Soleil touring show inspired by James Cameron’s AVATAR

TORUK – The First Flight
written and directed by Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon
 Will be presented at the United Center in Chicago
August 3-7, 2016

*Tickets on sale now*

Here at ChiIL Mama, we're beyond excited about The new Cirque du Soleil touring show inspired by James Cameron’s record-breaking movie AVATAR. We've been promoting TORUK –  The First Flight since December and now it's finally imminently opening. Got your tickets yet? Unlike the Cirque du Soleil tent shows that set up camp for months, their big arena shows are in and out fast. This one's just a 5 night run, so don't miss this! 

We'll be there to review on opening night and we're working on setting up a video interview and behind the scenes photo shoot as we've done with Cirque du Soleil for many years now. Check back soon for our full coverage. ChiIL Mama will be there... will YOU?! 

**Click here and scroll down for loads of ChiIL Mama's past original Cirque du Soleil live show photos, video interviews with performers, and behind the scenes photo tours (22+ features).**

TORUK –  The First Flight will be presented at the United Center (inside the arena-- not in the lot) on August 3-7, as part of a global tour in arenas. The show is presented by Visa Signature® in association with United MileagePlus®.

Photo: Youssef Shoufan Costumes: Kym Barrett  © 2015 Cirque du Soleil

The show
Inspired by James Cameron’s AVATAR, TORUK – The First Flight transports you to the world of Pandora in a visually stunning live setting. Experience a storytelling odyssey through a new world of imagination, discovery, and possibility.

Through a riveting fusion of cutting-edge visuals, puppetry and stagecraft buoyed by a soaring cinematic score, Cirque du Soleil applies its unique signature style to James Cameron’s imaginary world and “makes the bond” between two kindred artistic visions that capture the imagination.

This live immersive experience also bears the distinct signature of directors and multimedia innovators Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon. It is a living ode to the Na’vi’s symbiotic coexistence with nature and their belief in the basic interconnectedness of all living things.

Narrated by a “Na’vi Storyteller” and populated by unforgettable characters, TORUK – The First Flight is a mythical tale set thousands of years before the events depicted in the film AVATAR, and before any humans ever set foot on Pandora.

When a natural catastrophe threatens to destroy the sacred Tree of Souls, Ralu and Entu, two Omaticaya boys on the brink of adulthood, fearlessly decide to take matters into their own hands. Upon learning that Toruk can help them save the Tree of Souls, they set out, together with their newfound friend Tsyal, on a quest high up in the Floating Mountains to find the mighty red and orange predator that rules the Pandoran sky. Prophecy is fulfilled when a pure soul rises among the clans to ride Toruk for the first time and save the Na’vi from a terrible fate.

Photo: Jesse Faatz Costumes: Kym Barrett  © 2015 Cirque du Soleil

Creative team
TORUK – The First Flight comprises 13 creators under the artistic guidance of Guy Laliberté (Guide) and Jean-François Bouchard (Creative Guide) for Cirque du Soleil, and James Cameron, Jon Landau, Kathy Franklin and Richie Baneham for Lightstorm Entertainment: 

Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon  Show Writers and Directors, Multimedia Directors
Neilson Vignola Director of Creation
Carl Fillion  Set and Props Designer
Kym Barrett Costume and Makeup Designer
Tuan Le and Tan Loc Choreographers
Bob & Bill Composers and Musical Directors
Jacques Boucher  Sound Designer
Alain Lortie  Lighting Designer
Patrick Martel  Puppet Designer
Germain Guillemot  Acrobatic Performance Designer
Pierre Masse  Rigging and Acrobatic Equipment Designer

Ticket information 
TORUK – The First Flight will be presented at the United Center on August 3-7, 2016. Tickets can be purchased at

Help Out

Cirque du Soleil is once again helping Chicago's youth circus, CircEsteem, with one of their biggest fundraisers of the year. If you're available to go August 4th, buy your Cirque du Soleil tickets through this link to fund scholarships for Chicago area kids to study circus arts. CircEsteem brings together kids of many races and socioeconomic situations from across the city and around the world. My own kids took classes there for 3 years and auditioned onto the performance team. It was an incredible experience in confidence building and they made many close friends.

Sponsors and partners
TORUK – The First Flight in Chicago is proud to be presented by Visa Signature®, in association with United MileagePlus®. DHL and ACTIVEON Action Camera are the official sponsors. The show is being created through a licensing arrangement with 20th Century Fox.

Photo: Jesse Faatz Costumes: Kym Barrett  © 2015 Cirque du Soleil

Photo: Jesse Faatz Costumes: Kym Barrett  © 2015 Cirque du Soleil

In an effort to bring audience members involvement to a whole new level, Cirque du Soleil will be launching a first-of-its-kind app for TORUK – The First Flight.  Working with long-time technology partner SAP, the app will enhance the overall show experience and enable audience members to be a part of the action before, during and after the performance! 

Get Social:
Follow us at, Twitter @cirque | Instagram @cirquedusoleil | Snapchat @CirqueSnap | #TORUK #Avatar #CirqueduSoleil

Cirque du Soleil:
TORUK – The First Flight is Cirque du Soleil’s 37th production since 1984. The company has brought wonder and delight to more than 155 million spectators in more than 300 cities on six continents. Cirque du Soleil has close to 4,000 employees, including 1,300 performing artists from close to 50 different countries.

For more information about Cirque du Soleil, visit

To find out more about the ONE DROP Foundation, visit

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

ChiIL November Highlights, Huge Holidaze Giveaways & ChiIL Picks Gift List Details & More

Things have been hoppin' here in Chi, IL.   The weather may be getting chilly, but you can still chiIL out with ChiIL Live Shows and ChiIL Mama this fall & winter.   We're all over the local theatre & music scene, events and giveaways.  Our HUGE annual ChiIL Holidaze Giveaways & ChiIL Picks Gift List will go live November 15th-December 15th with LOADS of great goodie to win and our ChiIL Picks List for unique gifts for all ages.   

Spread the word for more entries and enter like we vote in Chi, IL... early and often!

Disclaimer:   Thanks to all the generous musicians, toy companies, distributors and PR firms that send us products for our giveaways and for review purposes. As always, all opinions are our own.

Here's what we've been up to, what's already posted, what you can look forward to seeing right here in the near future, and so much more. 

Read me at:  ChiIL MamaChiIL Live ShowsCNN, 

Facebook:  ChiIL Live Shows & ChiIL Mama

Keep up with the latest:    

Fam Friendly photo & video features, giveaways, recaps & reviews will be at ChiIL Mama.  

Theatre, music, art,  giveaways, events, & reviews for adults will be at ChiIL Live Shows.

We gave away a sweet 3d Willis Tower Puzzle, Pacific Rim Blu-Ray & loads of local concert tickets & our huge holidaze giveaways begin the 10th.  

We're also back again for the 3rd year as press sponsor for Beat Kitchen's popular weekly Sunday noon Concerts for Kids, which means we give away free tickets EVERY week.  We also have free kindie tickets for shows at Schubas like the award winning Mister G, Baby Loves Disco at Lincoln Hall & more.



Yes there IS a SANTA CLAUS!!   ChiIL Mama was elated to be invited to The Annual Kenmore Blogger Summit with 24 top bloggers flown in from all over the country.   It was a fun filled, informative weekend and we'll have a full photo recap up soon.   

During the Kenmore Blogger Summit, here's an actual Tweet I sent out:

10/26  Dear santa.. I've been really good this year.  Your cookies n milk would look rockin' awesome in a new grab n go @kenmore fridge #testedtales 

Within a half hour I WON a $2,500 Kenmore French Door Fridge/Bottom Freezer in a blind gift grab bag!!  This has been a high point of my fall for sure.   

Even better... the rules were you could pick 1 from under the tree or snag one from someone else & the final 10 seconds were a swapping free for all.   I had a different bag, that had been stolen from others several times before, and at the last second another blogger snagged it from me and swapped in a sweater print box.   What I lost?...A garlic press!

What I won:

SANTA LIVES!!!!   Don't tell me there's no such thing as holiday magic.

The other blogger was a good sport about it.   I hugged her and thanked her profusely. 

**Upcoming Special Features: 

  • Kenmore Blogger Summit where I WON a $2500 FRIDGE!!!!   If you follow us on FB/Twitter you're already aware of my rockin' awesome win.   If not, you'll hear the whole story shortly... complete with humorous anecdotes, photos and holiday miracle
  • Blueman Group photo recap press event--unveiling of garden art/artist video interviews
  • Lyle Cogen-feature/CD review/original interview with NYC's own nationally acclaimed Bullying Prevention Maven.   We wrapped up anti-bullying month with an great phone interview with Lyle which we're presently editing for a full feature.
  • Hamming it up with Hemmert--CircEsteem Circ Soiree Benefit Show with MC Terri Hemmert from WXRT--full video footage coming/photo recap up already
  • Breakfast with Bayless--THE RETURN OF RICK BAYLESS IN CASCABEL--our original photo & video Frontera breakfast press conference recap.

Four week limited run in the Goodman Theatre’s Owen Bruner Theatre
July 30 – August 24, 2014

*November 15-17 Win 6 tickets to Aquatic Experience Chicago traveling shark show/aquarium show-6 ticket giveaway/advance press/ photo recap

*Opening November 21 Illumination at Morton Arboretum-ticket giveaway/photo recap

*last weekend:

Ringling Brothers And Barnum & Bailey Circus Present Built to Amaze--full photo recap coming/advance features & discount ticket code still posted/4 ticket giveaway (ended)

Redmoon-Boneshaker--behind the scenes photo feature up/full photo recap coming

Redmoon Skelebration (fam friendly)--full photo recap coming

Chicago International Children's Film Festival--video footage, recap & reviews coming

Holiday Inn/photo tour/travel feature

FREE Birds Movie Advanced Sneak Peek/Review

Fall Theatre Reviews For

  • That's Weird Chicago-Barrel of Monkeys
  • 7th Love-Harris Theatre
  • Lord of the Flies at Steppenwolf
  • Once Upon a Dream (Rascals)-Cadillac Palace Broadway in Chicago
  • We will Rock You (Queen Musical)-Cadillac Palace Broadway in Chicago
  • Midnight Circus
  • Smokefall--Goodman
  • The Table (puppetry)--Chicago Shakespeare
  • Wrecks-Profiles
  • Once-Oriental Theatre Broadway in Chicago
  • Cyrano--Chicago Shakespeare
  • A Year With Frog & Toad at Chicago Children's Theatre
  • Old Jews Telling Jokes--Royal George
  • North China Lover-Lookingglass

Upcoming Theatre Reviews 

  • Port Authority-Writers Theatre (we'll be reviewing at the press opening tonight) 11/6
  • Kate & Sam are not Breaking Up-Collaboraction
  • Appropriate-Victory Gardens
  • Actor's Gym Youth Circus--A'musing Myths
  • Hellcab at Profiles
  • A Christmas Carol-Goodman
  • An Iliad Theatre
  • Mikado-Hypocrites (at Steppenwolf)
  • Dead Prince-DCASE
  • ATC-It's a Wonderful Life
  • A Q Brothers’ Christmas Carol
  • The Nutcracker-House Theatre
  • Trevor-Red Orchid

    and more!   We'll be adding more to this stellar show list as the month progresses.

    Game & Toy Related:

    **Activision Family Games Summit (this Thurs 11/7) open to the public on line**
    • PopCap Plants Vs. Zombies 2--press party
    • November 21-24 ChiTAG-Chicago Toy and Game Fair (open to the public)
    Foodie Fun:
    • Chicago food swap at the Chopping Block
    • Pinstripes Restaurant Review
    • Plum Market photo feature
    • PigPen band (alt folk-of Old Man and The Old Moon fame) at Schubas-4 show residency/multiple live shows photo features & ticket giveaways to all shows. *Final show November 18th (21+). 
    • Monster Magnet at Bottom Lounge 11/16
    • Yakuza at Beat Kitchen 11/22
    • Misfits at Concord(live show photo feature)
    • Dumpstaphunk at Concord (live show photo feature)
    • Marky Ramone's Blitzkrieg and Andrew W. K. at Double Door  (live show photo feature)
    • Revocation (photo feature/original video interview)
    November Movies On Our Radar:
    The Hunger Games:  Catching Fire
    Thor The Dark World
    The Book Thief
    That Awkward Moment
    Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom
    The Punk Singer
    Bettie Page Reveals All
    CIMMfest-call for entries/special screenings
    Music Box highlights
    Facets features

    Prizes/Ticket Giveaways:  As always, our free tickets and events listings are Chicago centered but our giveaways & reviews are for Chi, IL and beyond (nationwide & sometimes Canada too).   We'll have all past winnings coming from us shipped out before the 10th, so if you're still eagerly awaiting CDs, books, toys, etc. thanks for your patience and we've got you covered.   

    Some of our prizes come directly from the musicians/distributor/PR peeps etc. and in that case, please wait a month and if you still have not gotten your winnings, shoot us an e-mail and we'll do everything possible to expedite things and get an ETA from them.   Unfortunately we can not replace anything lost in the mail.   It has never happened yet, that I'm aware of, but a few things have gone missing in the lovely Chi-town mail enroute TO me.

    Disclaimer:   Thanks to all the generous musicians, toy companies, distributors and PR firms that send us products for our giveaways and for review purposes. As always, all opinions are our own.

    Wednesday, October 2, 2013

    HELP LOCALLY: 2nd Annual Circus Soirée to Benefit CircEsteem Chicago's Youth Circus

    Join us for the 2nd Annual Circus Soirée, where guests will be treated to a special circus performance by CircEsteem youth and staff, a live and silent auction, and an opportunity to learn how to walk on a tightrope, juggle or roll around in a gym wheel. Circus Soirée proceeds benefit CircEsteem's HomeWork & CircusWork program, an after school program that provides tutoring, circus arts training, and healthy snacks to more than 30 youth three times a week throughout the school year.

    Since 2001, CircEsteem's mission has been to unite youth from diverse racial, cultural, and economic backgrounds by helping them build self-esteem and mutual respect through the practice of circus arts. Our curriculum includes clowning, juggling, stilt-walking, unicycling, and acrobatics all of which is taught by professional circus staff and is designed to allow students to progress at their own pace. By overcoming obstacles and achieving goals, our students demonstrate increased self-esteem, higher grade point averages, and new found circus skills.

    My favorite Circus Soirée shots were the cool juxtaposition of the kids doing circus arts and the rockin' antiques in the Architectural Artifacts space.

    Check out ChiIL Mama's Full Circus Soiree Photo Recap Below:

    Last year my husband & I video taped the whole show & shot close to 500 stills, and our son & daughter both performed.   This year our kids are taking a fall hiatus after 3 solid years of circus arts with CircEsteem. 

    Du-Jay just started the selective enrollment, gifted program at Lane Tech and needs to settle in to the rigorous academic demands and workload.   Sagezilla is again doing competitive gymnastics with the Chicago Comets team and has practice 4 days a week, so we needed to ease up on circus, just for the moment.   But we'll be back! The kids adore circus arts and we have seen first hand what a wonderful program CircEsteem runs and highly recommend it.   Help out if you can!

    We need your help to reach our goal of raising $60,000 to support our free circus programs.  There are many ways you can get involved. Buy a ticket to the event, donate an item to the silent auction, make a donation or volunteer!  It's going to be a night you won't want to miss!

    Check out more of our "best of" below:

    There was excellent array of food choices from jambalaya to gourmet tacos & crepes.

    The "boozie snocones" and non boozie snocones for the under agers were a huge hit!

    And there was a plethora of cool silent auction items to choose from.   
    We were so stoked to win the collapsible hula hoop, private lessons with Dizzy Lizzy and an outdoor trapeze session on the lakefront!

    Don't miss Circus Soirée 2 on October 17th!!   Book your tickets by the 4th.   Time's ticking....

    Sagezilla's first pro-stage makeup session!

    These kids & instructors have some serious talents!

    At CircEsteem the older kids are paid to mentor and teach the younger ones and sliding scale classes and free tutoring make circus arts accessible to all.   HELP OUT if you can.

    Google Analytics