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Showing posts with label League of Chicago Theatres. Show all posts
Showing posts with label League of Chicago Theatres. 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 ChiILLiveShows.com (adult) & ChiILMama.com (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 ChicagoTheatreWeek.com


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 ChicagoTheatreWeek.com. 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, ChicagoPlays.com. Half-price tickets to the current week’s performances as well as future performances are available at HotTix.org 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).


Monday, October 8, 2018

Chicago Theatre Week 2019 To Kick Off 2019 as the Year of Chicago Theatre February 7 – 17, 2019

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar

League of Chicago Theatres, in partnership with Choose Chicago, announces dates for 
Chicago Theatre Week 2019
 
February 7 – 17, 2019
Annual celebration will kick off the Year of Chicago Theatre

Chicago Theatre Week (#CTW19), an annual celebration of the rich tradition of theatre-going in Chicago during which visitors and residents can access value-priced tickets, will take place February 7-17, 2019. 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 and will kick off 2019 as the Year of Chicago Theatre, a first-of-its-kind initiative designated by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Chicago Theatre Week, spanning a week and two full weekends, is heading into its seventh year. As a program of the League of Chicago Theatres, in partnership with Choose Chicago, over 100 theatre productions are expected to participate in neighborhoods throughout the city and suburbs.

The value-priced CTW tickets will be $30, $15, or less. Tickets will go on sale and a list of participating productions will be available online at 10:00am CST on Tuesday, January 8 at ChicagoTheatreWeek.com.



A small sample of the many productions expected to participate are: Court Theatre – Photograph 51; Drury Lane Theatre – Mamma Mia!; Goodman Theatre – How to Catch Creation, Twilight Bowl; Lookingglass Theatre – Act(s) of God; Northlight Theatre – Nina Simone: Four Women; Paramount Theatre – The Producers; Porchlight Music Theatre – A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder; The Second City – 107th Mainstage Revue; Steppenwolf Theatre – A Doll’s House, Part 2; TimeLine Theatre – Cardboard Piano; Victory Gardens Theater – Pipeline; and Writers Theatre – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

Last year, in February 2018, 115 participating productions offered value-priced tickets to 619 individual performances during Chicago Theatre Week. More than 12,500 tickets were sold in 2018, marking a rapid increase in sales over the course of the initiative. The program continued to bring in new audiences to area theaters with an average of 66% of attendees visiting their chosen theatre for the first time. Theatre Week proved to be a draw for visitors from outside Chicago with 17% of patrons coming from beyond 50 miles of the city, including 40 states.

“This year we are thrilled that Chicago Theatre Week will kick off the Year of Chicago Theatre celebration.  We hope that every Chicagoan will see a show this year. Chicago Theatre Week will be the first opportunity to see incredible shows at great prices,” comments Deb Clapp, Executive Director of the League of Chicago Theatres. “Chicago’s rich tradition of theatre is known world-wide and Chicago Theatre Week is just one chance to celebrate new work, fresh talent, musicals, improv, and more.  Theatre is one of the things that sets Chicago apart from other cities.”

“Chicago, which is home to over 250 dynamic theaters, provides visitors more variety and creative platforms than any destination in the United States,” said David Whitaker, President and CEO of Choose Chicago. “With 2019 being the Year of Chicago Theatre, Chicago Theatre Week is for many a chance to raise the curtain on the amazing performances, venues, artists and diverse audiences. While Chicago Theatre Week offers a featured preview it may also be an opportunity for visitors to realize that our theater scene cannot be taken in in just one day or perhaps just one visit and we invite everyone to take advantage of the celebration and programming.”

Chicago Theatre Week is presented by the League of Chicago Theatres in partnership with Choose Chicago. Subscribe to the Theatre Week email newsletter or follow @ChicagoPlays on Twitter for updates and announcements.

The official hashtag for Chicago Theatre Week 2019 is #CTW19.



About Chicago theatre
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. Last year alone Chicago theater companies produced more than 100 world premiere productions and adaptations. Each year Chicago theaters send new work to resident theaters 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, ChicagoPlays.com. Half-price tickets to the current week’s performances as well as future performances are available at HotTix.org 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, January 9, 2018

Tickets on Sale TODAY For Chicago Theatre Week, Hot Hits For The Coolest Month

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar For Unbeatable Deals!!





Here at ChiIL Live Shows and ChiIL Mama, we're passionate about Chicago's theatre scene. We've been promoting Chicago Theatre Week since it's inaugural year and we're thrilled it's become such a huge success. Book smokin' deals on the hottest shows in town and binge on theatre February 8 – 18th. Act fast though, tickets are sure sell out at these prices. 

Need some insight? Check out ChiILLiveShows.com for loads of shows on our radar, original theatre reviews, and even ticket giveaways. Check out ChiILMama.com for the same deal with family friendly entertainment. Chicago Theatre Week is on our highly recommended list! Come ChiIL out in Chi, IL and catch some PLAYS. 



Tickets for Chicago Theatre Week (#CTW18), an annual celebration of the rich tradition of theatre-going in Chicago, will go on sale Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at 10:00am CST. All Theatre Week tickets are priced at $30, $15, or less, and ticket offer details will be listed on the Theatre Week website, www.ChicagoTheatreWeek.com, when tickets go on sale on January 9, 2018.

Chicago Theatre Week will take place February 8 – 18, 2018, spanning a week and two full weekends.  Heading into its sixth year, Chicago Theatre Week is a program of the League of Chicago Theatres in partnership with Choose Chicago. Over 120 theatre productions are expected to participate in neighborhoods throughout the city and suburbs. A list of participating productions will be available online on January 9 at www.ChicagoTheatreWeek.com.

A small sample of the many companies expected to participate are: 16th Street Theater, A Red Orchid Theatre, Black Ensemble Theater, Broadway In Chicago, Chicago Children's Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Court Theatre, Drury Lane Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Greenhouse Theater Center, The Joffrey Ballet, Lifeline Theatre, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Northlight Theatre, Paramount Theatre, Porchlight Music Theatre, Pride Films and Plays, The Second City, Stage Left Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Underscore Theatre Company, Victory Gardens Theater, Windy City Playhouse and Writers Theatre.

Last year, in February 2017, 128 participating productions offered value-priced tickets to 635 individual performances during Chicago Theatre Week. Over 11,750 tickets were sold in 2017, marking a rapid increase in sales over the course of the initiative. The program continued to bring in new audiences to area theaters with an average of 66% of attendees visiting their chosen theater for the first time. Theatre Week proved to be a draw for visitors from outside Chicago with 13% of patrons coming from beyond 50 miles of the city, including 36 states.

“This year marks the sixth year of Chicago Theatre Week—and each year, the program proves more successful than ever. Last year, almost 12,000 value-priced tickets were sold to 128 participating productions,” comments Deb Clapp, Executive Director of the League of Chicago Theatres. “Almost 2/3 of Chicago Theatre Week patrons surveyed said that it was their first time at that particular theatre and it’s thrilling to know that people are using CTW to discover new companies. This is a week that reminds us all that Chicago is known locally, nationally, and internationally for its theatre scene, and especially for generating new work, showcasing fresh talent and spotlighting its rich Chicago tradition.”

“Chicago is home to legendary hospitality, exemplified every year by Chicago Theater Week,” said David Whitaker, President and CEO of Choose Chicago. “For 11 days each year, visitors are given a special opportunity to experience a theater scene that is renowned for the quality, creativity and diversity of its productions–from our Tony Award-winning theaters to our neighborhood storefront performances. There’s a seat waiting for you.”

Chicago Theatre Week is presented by the League of Chicago Theatres in partnership with Choose Chicago. Subscribe to the Theatre Week email newsletter or follow @ChicagoPlays on Twitter for updates and announcements. The official hashtag for Chicago Theatre Week 2018 is #CTW18.

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. Last year alone Chicago theater companies produced more than 100 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 Theatres website, ChicagoPlays.com. Half-price tickets to the current week’s performances as well as future performances are available at HotTix.org 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).

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Hit Up HotTix For A Hot Time In The Old Town Tonight And All Fall

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

FALL 2017 THEATER HIGHLIGHTS


Fall 2017 will see Chicago continue to produce some of the most exciting theater in the country. Offerings from the city’s more than 250 producing theaters include a range of special fall programming, featuring everything from the latest musicals to highly anticipated world premieres. 

For a comprehensive list of Chicago productions, visit the League of Chicago Theatres website, ChicagoPlays.com. The League’s Fall Theatre Guide will be shared in September. Half-price tickets to the current week’s performances as well as future performances are available at HotTix.org 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).



And don't forget to check in with ChiILLiveShows.com (adult) and ChiILMama.com (family friendly) for original reviews, interviews, ticket giveaways, photo filled recaps, and entertainment news for Chi, IL and beyond.


“One of the things that sets Chicago apart as one of the great theatre cities in the world is the incredibly diverse programming our community has to offer. Whether drama, comedy, musicals or family-friendly shows, Chicago theatre companies are always pushing boundaries and finding bold new ways to tell stories,” notes Deb Clapp, Executive Director of the League of Chicago Theatres. “With the beginning of the 2017-2018 Chicago theatre season upon us, we are so excited to explore all the new works and classic productions that will inspire, engage and delight theatergoers of all ages.”

The following is a selection of notable work playing in Chicago throughout the fall:

New works and adaptations include:
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tracy Letts’ scathing new comedy The Minutes, exploring small-town American politics, premieres at Steppenwolf Theatre before heading to Broadway. Directed by Artistic Director Anna D. Shapiro. Runs November 9 – December 31, 2017.

Playwright Janine Nabers will receive two world premiere productions this fall with Welcome to Jesus at American Theater Company (Runs October 26 – December 3, 2017) and A Swell in the Ground at The Gift Theatre. (Runs October 13 – December 12, 2017).

A world premiere adaptation of Margaret Atwood's acclaimed novel, Alias Grace looks at one of Canada's most notorious murderers. Rivendell Theatre premieres the adaptation by Jennifer Blackmer at their theatre in Edgewater. Runs September 1 – October 14, 2017.

Musicals include:
Court Theatre launches their new season with Five Guys Named Moe, featuring hit songs by saxophonist and songwriter Louis Jordan, and directed by Ron OJ Parson. Runs September 7 – October 8, 2017.

Writers Theatre premieres TREVOR the musical, based on the story that inspired the Academy Award-winning film, the charity and the national movement. This world premiere musical is directed by Marc Bruni, who helmed the Tony Award-winning production of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical on Broadway. Runs through September 17, 2017.

Gary Griffin directs the insanely funny new musical based on the 1992 film comedy Honeymoon in Vegas at Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire. Runs August 23 – October 15, 2017.

The Chicago premiere of Bonnie and Clyde opens at Theater Wit in a new production by Kokandy Productions, capturing the real-life exploits of outlaws and ill-fated lovers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. Runs  Runs August 27 – October 15, 2017.

Dramatic works include:
The Young Vic’s award-winning production of A View from the Bridge comes to Chicago’s Goodman Theatre. Visionary Belgian director Ivo van Hove injects a raw, pulsating energy into Arthur Miller’s 1955 classic—recipient of 2016 Tony Awards for Best Revival of a Play and Best Director. Runs September 9 – October 15, 2017.

Silk Road Rising brings the US premiere of Wild Boar to Chicago in an adaptation by playwright David Henry Hwang and directed by Helen Young. Runs November 9 – December 17, 2017.

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar’s acclaimed play The Invisible Hand opens at Steep Theatre in Edgewater. Runs October 5 – November 11, 2017.

Comedies include:
Route 66 Theatre presents Halley Feiffer’s dark comedy A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center of New York City. Keira Fromm directs. Runs August 24 – September 23, 2017.

Playwright Wallace Shawn’s ultra-dark comedy Evening at the Talk House opens A Red Orchid Theatre’s 25th anniversary season. Directed by Shade Murray. Runs October 5 – November 19, 2017.

Northlight Theatre premieres Matthew Lopez’s heart-warming, music filled comedy The Legend of Georgia McBride. Runs September 14 – October 22, 2017.

Other Notable Works include:
Chicago Shakespeare Theater launches their innovative new venue The Yard with the cirque nouveau superstar James Thierrée’s The Toad Knew. Intertwining dreams with childhood terrors, burlesque, and realism to explore the wild, wondrous love shared among sibling, a collective of dancers, high-wire artists, and musicians create an intoxicating world evocative of Salvador Dalí and Tim Burton. Runs September 19 – 23, 2017.

The inaugural Chicago International Latino Theater Festival brings an unprecedented roster of international and local Latino works including the U.S. premiere of The Mirror performed by Ludi Teatro (Cuba), Medea performed by Arte Boricua (Puerto Rico) and I, the Worst of All performed by Chicago’s Water People Theater. Additional offerings include Victory Gardens Theater and Teatro Vista (in partnership with CLATA) present Tanya Saracho’s Fade and CLATA and Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s co-presentation of the Chicago premiere of Teatro Línea de Sombra’s Amarillo as part of the Theater’s World’s Stage series. Runs September 29 – October 29.

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. Last year alone Chicago theater companies produced more than 100 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 theatres which leverages its collective strength to promote, support and advocate for Chicago's theatre industry locally, nationally and internationally. The League of Chicago Theatres Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the art of theatre in the Chicago area through audience development and support services for theatres and theatre professionals.



For a comprehensive list of Chicago productions, visit the League of Chicago Theatres website, ChicagoPlays.com.  Half-price tickets are available year-round at HotTix.org.

Friday, October 7, 2016

SAVE THE DATES: Chicago Theatre Week Returns February 9-19th, 2017

Chicago Theatre Week 2017 Dates Announced
February 9 – 19, 2017

Tickets On Sale Tuesday, January 10 at 10 am CST



Chicago Theatre Week (#CTW17), an annual celebration of the rich tradition of theatre-going in Chicago, will take place February 9 – 19, 2017, spanning a week and two full weekends. Heading into its fifth year, Chicago Theatre Week is a program of the League of Chicago Theatres in partnership with Choose Chicago. Tickets are priced at $30, $15, or less and will go on sale Tuesday, January 10, 2017 at 10:00am CST.

All participating Theatre Week shows and $15 and $30 ticket offer details will be listed on the Theatre Week website, www.ChicagoTheatreWeek.com, when tickets go on sale on January 10, 2017. A sample of the many productions expected to participate are:

THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD – Filament Theatre
CARMEN – Lyric Opera of Chicago
DEATH OF A SALESMAN – Redtwist Theatre
FACELESS – Northlight Theatre
GLORIA – Goodman Theatre
LOVE’S LABOR’S LOST – Chicago Shakespeare Theater
MR. AND MRS. PENNYWORTH – Lookingglass Theatre
STRAIGHT WHITE MEN – Steppenwolf Theatre
SWEENEY TODD – Paramount Theatre
THE WOLF AT THE END OF THE BLOCK – Teatro Vista
A WONDER IN MY SOUL – Victory Gardens Theater

In February 2016, 124 productions offered value-priced tickets for performances during Chicago Theatre Week. Almost 11,000 Chicago residents and visitors spanning 40 states attended a show during Chicago Theatre Week. This coming February, visitors and residents will again have the opportunity to sample the extraordinary range of theatrical offerings throughout Chicagoland. 

“This year marks the fifth year of Chicago Theatre Week—and each year, the program proves more successful than ever. Theatre Week invites Chicago audiences and visitors to experience the wide range of offerings,” comments Deb Clapp, Executive Director of the League of Chicago Theatres. “We are so thrilled to be able to share the amazing work and we equally love hearing from participants that they visited a favorite theatre or discovered a great new one. This is a week that reminds us all that Chicago is known locally, nationally, and internationally for its theatre scene, and especially this season for generating new work, showcasing fresh talent and spotlighting its rich Chicago tradition.”

“Chicago Theatre Week is an excellent opportunity to experience the breadth of Chicago’s expansive and renowned theatre community and we’re thrilled to see this celebration now in its fifth year,” David Whitaker, President and CEO of Choose Chicago said. “It is our celebrated theatre scene—from the large productions to the Tony-award winning theatres to neighborhood storefront performances—that help make Chicago such an exciting destination. These 11 days offer a unique chance to get the most out of a Chicago theatre itinerary.”

Kate Lipuma, Executive Director of Writers Theatre and Chair of the League of Chicago Theatres adds, “Chicago Theatre Week celebrates the tradition and quality of theatre in Chicago. With over 100 productions during Chicago Theatre Week—in many suburbs and in almost every neighborhood—there are seemingly endless opportunities to visit a favorite theatre and explore new companies all across the city.”

The lead hotel sponsor of Chicago Theatre Week 2017 is Sheraton Grand Chicago.

Chicago Theatre Week is presented by the League of Chicago Theatres in partnership with Choose Chicago. Subscribe to the Theatre Week email newsletter or follow @ChicagoPlays on Twitter for updates and announcements. The official hashtag for Chicago Theatre Week 2017 is #CTW17.

About Chicago theatre
Chicago theatre is a leader in the U.S. with more than 250 theatres throughout Chicagoland, comprising a rich and varied community ranging from storefront, non-union theaters to the most renowned resident theatres in the country, including 5 that 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. In the 2014-2015 season, 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.



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

For a comprehensive list of Chicago productions, visit the League of Chicago Theatres website, ChicagoPlays.com.  Half-price tickets are available each week at HotTix.org.  Additional information about Chicago Theatre Week is available at ChicagoTheatreWeek.com.


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Fall Brings Over 100 World Premiere Productions Opening In Chicago

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

Fall 2016 Chicago Theatre Season Highlights,
Featuring an Exceptional Number of
World Premiere Productions


Photo Credit for all shots: ©Kenaz-Mara 2016

The Fall of 2016 will see Chicago bursting with new works and adaptations. Long regarded as the leader in the U.S. for producing new work, Chicago companies will stage a record number of new plays making their world premieres in Chicago. More than 250 companies of the Chicago theater community typically produce more than 100 world premieres each season.  



Many of this season’s world premieres are written by Chicago playwrights, including Miss Holmes by Christopher M. Walsh at Lifeline Theatre, The Magic Play by Andrew Hinderaker at Goodman Theatre, The Mars Assignment by Ronan Marra at Collaboraction, Mr. and Mrs. Pennyworth by Doug Hara at Lookingglass Theatre, Hell in a Handbag Productions’ Scooby Don’t by David Cerda, Cinderella at the Theater of Potatoes by Andra Velis Simon at The Hypocrites and Sideshow Theatre Company’s Give It All Back by Calamity West.


Other new work will be presented by a cross-section of Chicago’s vibrant theatres, including storefront theatres and large regional theatres, including The Gift Theatre’s A Life Extraordinary by Melissa Ross; The Poor Theatre’s Dirt by Creighton James; American Theater Company’s T. by Dan Aibel; Teatro Vista’s Parachute Men by Mando Alvarado; and Court Theatre’s Man in the Ring by Michael Cristofer; Writers Theatre presents The Hunter and the Bear by Pig Pen Theatre Co. and Steppenwolf Theatre premieres Visiting Edna by David Rabe and The Fundamentalists by Erika Sheffer.



“It is an incredibly exciting time in Chicago. This year will see so many new plays and new voices launched in Chicago.  Marked by creativity and innovation, these new works are sure to delight and astound audiences this year and for many years to come,” says Deb Clapp, Executive Director of the League of Chicago Theatres. 

Check back with ChiILLiveShows.com like we vote in Chi, IL... early and often. I'm reviewing a record 25 shows in September, and plenty of openings throughout the fall. We have plenty of Chicago based theatre news, reviews, interviews, and even ticket giveaways for our readers. For family friendly productions check out our sister site, ChiILMama.com.

Get Social
Follow ChiIL Mama on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for fabulous fun in Chi, IL and beyond. 

For a comprehensive list of Chicago productions, visit the League of Chicago Theatres website, ChicagoPlays.com. A Fall Theatre Guide will also be distributed in early September. Discounted tickets are available at HotTix.org or at the three Hot Tix half-price ticket locations: across from the Chicago Cultural Center at Expo72 (72 E. Randolph); in the Water Works building (163 E. Pearson); and inside Block Thirty Seven (108 N. State). Hot Tix offers half-price tickets to more than 250 Chicago area theatres, full price tickets to all Ticketmaster events including concerts and sports, and Play Money gift certificates.

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. Last season alone Chicago theater companies produced more than 100 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, www.chicagoplays.com.  Discounted tickets are available at www.hottix.org

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Theatre Thursdays Offer World Premiere Productions And Exclusive Access to Artists.

League of Chicago Theatres Announces
Theatre Thursdays Series for 2016-2017 Season




Series Includes Carroll Gardens (16th Street Theater), A Life Extra Ordinary (The Gift Theatre),
Cinderella at the Theater of Potatoes (The Hypocrites),
The Rip Nelson Holiday Spectacular (Hell in a Handbag Productions),
Mr. and Mrs. Pennyworth (Lookingglass Theatre Company),
The Wolf at the End of the Block (Teatro Vista), The Snare (Jackalope Theatre Company),
Linda Vista (Steppenwolf Theatre Company), and Relativity (Northlight Theatre)

The League of Chicago Theatres announces the Theatre Thursdays line-up for the 2016-2017 Chicago theatre season including world premiere productions of Carroll Gardens (16th Street Theater), A Life Extra Ordinary (The Gift Theatre), Cinderella at the Theater of Potatoes (The Hypocrites), The Rip Nelson Holiday Spectacular (Hell in a Handbag Productions), Mr. and Mrs. Pennyworth (Lookingglass Theatre Company), The Wolf at the End of the Block (Teatro Vista), The Snare (Jackalope Theatre Company), Linda Vista (Steppenwolf Theatre Company), and Relativity (Northlight Theatre).  Additional information for each event is available at http://bit.ly/theatrethursdays.

The Theatre Thursdays initiative, first launched in 2005, strengthens and diversifies the Chicago theatre community by encouraging Chicagoans to explore new venues and companies. Last season, the League revamped the program to focus on new work with twelve Theatre Thursday events, one per month. Each monthly event provides audiences with a world premiere production and an inside look at the creative process behind new works, including exclusive access to artists.

The 2016-2017 series includes:

Thursday, September 22
CARROLL GARDENS
Written by A. Zell Williams
Directed by Ann Filmer
16th Street Theater at the Berwyn Cultural Center, 6420 16th Street in Berwyn
Event begins at 6:30 pm, Show begins at 7:30 pm
Tickets $18 at http://boxoffice.printtixusa.com/16thstreet/eventcalendar with promo code: THRTHURS

Join 16th Street Theater for a world-premiere of A. Zell Williams's comedy, Carroll Gardens. Theatre Thursday guests are invited to a pre-show beer tasting courtesy of Oak Park's Kinslahger Brewing Company at 6:30pm. Stay after the show for a conversation with director Ann Filmer and the cast.

Davis and Robby were childhood friends. But that was a long time ago. Now Davis lives in Brooklyn which is a long way from Stockton, CA, in all ways. When Robby shows up unexpected on Davis' doorstep, Robby's brash nature sparks conflicts amongst Davis' new circle spurring debates of race and class and forcing Davis to question who he has remade himself to be and where his loyalty lies.

Thursday, October 13, 2016
A LIFE EXTRA ORDINARY
Written by Melissa Ross
Directed by John Gawlik
The Gift Theatre, 4802 N. Milwaukee in Jefferson Park
Event details for this Theatre Thursday event will be announced closer to the date.

Annabel Anderson McCafferty is an expectant mother who vanishes from her small Ohio town on Christmas Eve. Both mystery and memory play, A Life Extra Ordinary untangles and re-assembles the moments that make a life.

Thursday, November 17, 2016
CINDERELLA AT THE THEATER OF POTATOES 
Written by Andra Velis Simon
Based on Cendrillon and other compositions by Pauline Viardot-Garcia
Directed by Sean Graney
The Hypocrites at The Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Wicker Park
Event details for this Theatre Thursday event will be announced closer to the date.

Adapted from Pauline Viardot-Garcia’s 1904 opera Cendrillon, and many of her other compositions, Andra Velis Simon’s musical-play is an elegantly irreverent exploration of the classic fairy tale. Here, Cinderella’s version of happily-ever-after does not include acceptance by the Prince. In the actor-as-orchestra style of The Hypocrites’ Gilbert & Sullivan opera work, Artistic Director Sean Graney directs this fun holiday-time show, perfect for the whole family. From the co-adapter of H.M.S. Pinafore and director of All Our Tragic.

Thursday, December 8, 2016
THE RIP NELSON HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR 
Written by David Cerda
Directed by Steve Love
Hell in a Handbag Productions at Mary’s Attic, 5400 N. Clark St. in Andersonville
Event details for this Theatre Thursday event will be announced closer to the date.

We close the year with an old friend and Handbag creation, Rip Nelson played by Handbag favorite, Ed Jones (think, the mutant love child of Paul Lynde, Rip Taylor and Charles Nelson Reilly) in The Rip Nelson Holiday Spectacular, a show that makes The Brady Bunch Variety Hour look like Citizen Kane.

It’s 1982 and a newly sober Rip (ensemble member Ed Jones) manages to land another TV special after the death of his arch-rival, Paul Lynde. Rip is determined to get his career back on track but can he handle the stress of a network television special and stay sober? Luckily he’s got help from a cavalcade of the hottest stars of 1982! Rip pulls every trick in the book to breathe some life in the dying variety series format and save his career but soon questions if his career is worth saving.

Thursday, January 26, 2017
MR. AND MRS. PENNYWORTH 
Written and Directed by Ensemble Member Doug Hara
Puppetry by Blair Thomas
Lookingglass Theatre Company, 821 N. Michigan Ave., Downtown Chicago
Event details for this Theatre Thursday event will be announced closer to the date.

Traveling storytellers Mr. and Mrs. Pennyworth captivate audiences with spell-binding tales. But one day, The Big Bad Wolf mysteriously dies before his story is complete. Fairytales disappear from the pages, characters are utterly forgotten, and Mr. and Mrs. Pennyworth must journey through the stories to restore order before they are lost forever.

Written and directed by Ensemble Member Doug Hara, this world-premiere weaves an exceptional story of adventure, love, and unexpected endings. Influenced by Neil Gaiman and other fantasy writers, Mr. and Mrs. Pennyworth is brought to life through the wondrous puppetry of Blair Thomas and reveals the transformational power of storytelling.

Thursday, February 9, 2017
THE WOLF AT THE END OF THE BLOCK 
Written by Ike Holter
Featuring Ensemble Members Sandra Márquez and Gabe Ruíz
Teatro Vista at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. in Lincoln Park
Event details for this Theatre Thursday event will be announced closer to the date.

Chicago. Fall. One night, a boarded up bar on the dark side of the block becomes a terrifying crime scene. In the following 48 hours, the neighborhood digs deep into escalating mystery, working against time to separate fact from fiction. But as the clock ticks down, the clues spiral into a razor sharp jigsaw, and what began as a simple mystery quickly twists into a personal, pointed and political thriller. The Wolf at The End of The Block is a full-length play with five characters, three of which are Latino. The play explores the issues of racial profiling, media manipulation and family relationships. Highly charged, Holter’s story is brutally raw, funny and deftly pierces universal truths.

Thursday, March 9, 2017
THE SNARE 
Written by Samantha Beach
Directed by Elana Boulos
Jackalope Theatre Company at the Broadway Armory, 5917 N. Broadway in Edgewater
Event details for this Theatre Thursday event will be announced closer to the date.

Ruth is your average eighth-grader, keeping busy with basketball, preparing for her school’s Civil War Day, and trying to be more like her babysitter. One night, in the quiet of her bedroom, Ruth hears the voice of the devil, telling her to take action. Unprepared, Ruth’s pastor mom and family struggle to walk a path between pragmatism and faith. In this world premiere play about good vs. evil, and growing up, the question is: who will you believe?

Thursday, April 13, 2017
LINDA VISTA 
A world premiere by ensemble member Tracy Letts
Featuring ensemble members Ian Barford and Tim Hopper
Steppenwolf Theatre Company, 1650 N. Halsted in Lincoln Park
Event details for this Theatre Thursday event will be announced closer to the date.

Wheeler is 50. His marriage is over, his job is mundane, and the best years of his life appear to be behind him. A move from the cot in his ex-wife’s garage to his own apartment opens up new possibilities for love and sex—complicated, painful and hilarious. Full of opinions, yet short on self-examination, Wheeler is a modern misanthrope who must reconcile the man he has become with the man he wants to be.

Tracy Letts is a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright, actor and member of the Steppenwolf ensemble. His works include August: Osage CountySuperior DonutsThe Man from NebraskaKiller Joe and Bug, among others. He is also known for his portrayal of Andrew Lockhart in Showtime's Homeland and can be seen in The Big Short and HBO’s Divorce. His play Mary Page Marlowe premiered at Steppenwolf, in March 2016.

Thursday, May 11, 2017
RELATIVITY
Written by Mark St. Germain
Directed by BJ Jones
Featuring Mike Nussbaum
Northlight Theatre at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd. in Skokie
Event details for this Theatre Thursday event will be announced closer to the date.

In 1902 Albert and Mileva Einstein had a baby daughter. After 1904 she was never seen or spoken of again. Forty years later, a reporter interviews Einstein about this mysterious piece of his past, revealing shocking secrets about his family and his personal life. While the reporter questions Einstein on his theory of relativity and his decisions, she also poses a query of her own: to be a great man, does one first need to be a good man?

The author of Freud’s Last Session and Becoming Dr. Ruth showcases his signature blend of insight, intellect, humor and heart in this fictional account of a legendary figure.


Please note that Theatre Thursdays event information and dates are subject to change.  Theatre Thursday events for June, July and August will be announced later in the year.

The 2016-2017 Theatre Thursdays sponsors are the Chicago Reader and Chicago Splash.
       
About Chicago theatre
Chicago theatre is a leader in the U.S. with more than 250 theatres throughout Chicagoland, comprising a rich and varied community ranging from storefront, non-union theaters to the most renowned resident theatres in the country, including 5 that 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. In the 2014-2015 season, 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.




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

Additional information about Theatre Thursdays is available at http://bit.ly/theatrethursdays.


For a comprehensive list of Chicago theatre productions, visit the League of Chicago Theatres website, ChicagoPlays.com.  Half-price tickets are available at HotTix.org or at one of three downtown locations.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Highlights of the Spring and Summer Theatre Season Via The League of Chicago Theatres

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

Here at ChiIL Mama and ChiIL Live Shows, we review multiple shows every week, so we know Chicago's theatre scene is second to none. Summer is a great time to get out and see a plethora of shows. Take the visiting relatives and friends. ChiIL out this summer in Chi, IL and be sure to check back with us early and often for theatre news, reviews, and even ticket giveaways! ChiIL Mama (family friendly) and ChiIL Live Shows (for the big kids, AKA: adults).

ChiIL Mama's kids ChiILin' in Chi, IL at SEEDFOLKS at Chicago Children's Theatre. 


Unless otherwise stated, all photos by Bonnie Kenaz-Mara ©2016 all rights reserved ChiIL Mama/ ChiIL Live Shows

The Chicago theater community will present a wide variety of plays and musicals, as well as dance and concert offerings this summer.  In support, the League of Chicago Theatres will once again create a comprehensive Summer Theater Guide that will be available at hotels, theaters, events, and destinations across the Chicago area.  A full list of shows with additional details about each production is available throughout the year at ChicagoPlays.com.  Additionally, many shows will be available for half-price at HotTix.org, Chicago’s local discount ticketing service.

The following is a selection of notable work playing in Chicago throughout the spring and summer. For more, visit ChicagoPlays.com.

We've highlighted our favorite shows that we've seen and reviewed in red below. Many more must sees have not opened yet. We'll be there for the press openings of THADDEUS AND SLOCUM: A VAUDEVILLE ADVENTURE,THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL, TUG OF WAR: FOREIGN FIRE, XANADU, WAR PAINT, THE HOUSE THAT WILL NOT STAND and more. So check back soon for our full reviews.

New works and adaptions include:

Steppenwolf Theatre Company premieres Pulitzer-Prize-winning playwright Tracy Lett’s new play MARY PAGE MARLOWE, directed by Artistic Director Anna D. Shapiro. Runs through May 29, 2016.




















by Bonnie Kenaz-Mara ©2016 all rights reserved ChiIL Mama/ ChiIL Live Shows

Writers Theatre and The Second City collaborate on DEATH OF A STREETCAR NAMED VIRGINIA WOOLF: A PARODY and explore “What happens when the most recognizable characters from some of the greatest 
American plays of the 20th century suddenly find themselves sharing the same stage?” Directed by Artistic Director Michael Halberstam and Stuart Carden, the production runs April 27 - July 17, 2016 at Writers Theatre in Glencoe.



Chicago Playwright Ike Holter’s newest play SENDER premieres at A Red Orchid Theatre in Old Town. Directed by Ensemble Member Shade Murray. The world premiere production runs April 14 – May 29, 2016.


Lookingglass Theatre Company presents THADDEUS AND SLOCUM: A VAUDEVILLE ADVENTURE written by Ensemble Member Kevin Douglas and directed by Ensemble Member J. Nicole Brooks and Krissy Vanderwarker and featuring Ensemble Members Lawrence E. DiStasi and Raymond Fox, along with “Chicago Fire’s” Monica Raymund and a cast of Chicago favorites. The world premiere begins June 1, 2016.

Musicals include:
A legendary roster of Grammy Award winners. A visionary director and Tony Award®-winning design team. One of the world’s most beloved and unforgettable characters. Turn them all loose on Broadway and what do you get? Broadway In Chicago presents THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL, running June 7 - July 3 at the Oriental Theatre.


Goodman Theatre premieres WAR PAINT, June 28 - August 14, 2016. Two-time Tony Award winners Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole star in a world premiere musical about two business titans—and their infamous rivalry.


Production Photos

Lyric Opera of Chicago presents one of the most beloved musicals of all time, THE KING AND I. (*It was our great pleasure to partner with Lyric Opera and give away a pair of tickets to THE KING AND I for one of our lucky readers.) This Tony-winning musical will capture your heart as they discuss, debate, and ultimately grow in understanding and respect. The musical plays April 29 - May 22, 2016.

As a tribute to its late artistic director PJ Paparelli, American Theater Company closes its Legacy Season with a musical spoof of his all-time favorite movie. XANADU celebrates the artist's muse, even when it comes from the most unlikely of places. Lilli-Anne Brown directs the 1980’s camp classic, running May 2 - July 17, 2016.


by Bonnie Kenaz-Mara ©2016 all rights reserved ChiIL Mama/ ChiIL Live Shows

Mercury Theater Chicago presents Mel Brooks’ musical comedy THE PRODUCERS, directed by L. Walter Stearns. Runs through June 26, 2016.

Dramatic works include:



The epic TUG OF WAR: FOREIGN FIRE, adapted and directed by Artistic Director Barbara Gaines, opens at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. The first installment of the electrifying adaptation features Edward III, Henry V and Henry VI, Part 1. The production runs May 11 - June 12, 2016.

Profiles Theatre’s hit production of JERUSALEM by Jez Butterworth, directed by Joe Jahraus, continues at The Main Stage through May 22, 2016.



Production Photos

The House Theatre of Chicago remounts its hit DEATH AND HARRY HOUDINI, (This is one of our all time favorites and even after seeing it for the 3rd time over the years, we're still completely entranced! Oh SO highly recommended!) Check out our original video interview with Dennis Watkins (AKA: Harry Houdini) right HERE: Written and directed by Nathan Allen and featuring magic by Dennis Watkins, May 12 – July 24 at The Chopin Theatre.

Lucy Kirkwood’s acclaimed play CHIMERICA, directed by Nick Bowling premieres at TimeLine Theatre Company May 3 – July 31, 2016.

Teatro Vista presents IN THE TIME OF THE BUTTERFLIES, Caridad Svich’s new play based on Julia Álvarez's acclaimed novel at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater. Runs through May 22, 2016.

THE HOUSE THAT WILL NOT STAND by Marcus Gardley, directed by Chay Yew will run June 10 – July 10, 2016, at Victory Gardens Theater.

The comedy THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THOMAS JEFFERSON, CHARLES DICKENS AND COUNT LEO TOLSTOY: DISCORD by Scott Carter, directed by Kimberly Senior, runs at Northlight Theatre, May 6 – June 12, 2016.

Children’s/Family works include:

The Chicago summer tradition Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks’ TWELFTH NIGHT brings a free 75-minute abridged production to neighborhood parks across the city all summer.

ChiIL Mama ChiILin' in Chi, IL at SEEDFOLKS at Chicago Children's Theatre. 

©2016 all rights reserved ChiIL Mama/ ChiIL Live Shows

Chicago Children’s Theatre presents SEEDFOLKS by Paul Fleischman (*It was our great pleasure to partner with Chicago Children's Theatre and give away a family 4 pack of tickets to SEEDFOLKS for one of our lucky readers.) We highly recommend this Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis production directed by Peter C. Brosius at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts May 5-22, 2016.

Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, the smash hit Broadway musical, is returning to Chicago, May 24 – 29, 2016 at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, presented by Broadway In Chicago.

Emerald City Theatre Company presents SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK LIVE! at the Apollo Theater through June 5, 2016 and then at the Broadway Playhouse July 8 – August 28, 2016.

About Hot Tix
Serving Chicago for over 35 years, Hot Tix offers half-price tickets to a wide variety of theatre productions for the current week, as well as future performances. Hot Tix has three convenient downtown walk-up locations and half-price tickets are also available online at HotTix.org, 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


                        Cadillac Palace by Bonnie Kenaz-Mara ©2016 all rights reserved ChiIL Mama/ ChiIL Live Shows


About Chicago theatre
Chicago theatre is a leader in the U.S. with more than 250 theatres throughout Chicagoland, comprising a rich and varied community ranging from storefront, non-union theaters to the most renowned resident theatres in the country, including 5 that 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. In the 2014-2015 season, 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.

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

For a comprehensive list of Chicago productions, visit the League of Chicago Theatres website, ChicagoPlays.com.  Half-price tickets are available year-round at HotTix.org

We also highly recommend The Last Defender at The House Theatre. My son had his 15th birthday party there and I also played the interactive theatre game the month before with my son and two of his friends when they first opened. It's too much fun! (*It was our great pleasure to partner with The House Theatre and give away 2 pairs of tickets to The Last Defender for 2 of our lucky readers.) 





We also highly recommend checking out the Shakespeare 400 Shows all over Chicago for the 400 year celebration of the bard's works.

©2016 all rights reserved ChiIL Mama/ ChiIL Live Shows

©2016 all rights reserved ChiIL Mama/ ChiIL Live Shows

©2016 all rights reserved ChiIL Mama/ ChiIL Live Shows

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