Showing posts with label PigPen Theatre. Show all posts
Showing posts with label PigPen Theatre. Show all posts

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Two Nights Only: AN EVENING WITH PIGPEN THEATRE CO. Concert Series at Writers Theatre

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar:

Writers Theatre presents limited engagement of
a two-night only concert series featuring the stars of PigPen

December 16 and 17, 2018

Here at ChiIL Live Shows and ChiIL Mama, we've been catching Pigpen Theatre Co. in concert and theatre productions for years. In 2013 we shot live show shots and gave away tickets to our readers when the band was playing a series of concerts that became one of the most popular residencies of the past decade at the legendary Schuba’s Tavern in Chicago. We did the same for their residency at Old Town School of Folk Music when they were in Chicago working on The Hunter and the Bear with Writers Theatre. In fact, every time they come through Chicago, we're there, and we're elated to announce they're making a concert stop in town once again. 

Pigpen's brand of folky Americana originals and covers is a much needed tonic for tough times. Their concerts are full of feel good folk songs that unite and remind us what Americans can be, in a country known for caring for others, welcoming immigrants, and working together. Join in on an uplifting evening and prepare to sing along. 

Writers Theatre, under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Halberstam and Executive Director Kathryn M. Lipuma, presents the limited engagement of An Evening with PigPen Theatre Co., a two-night only concert series featuring the stars of PigPen (The Hunter and the Bear, The Old Man and the Old Moon), with a few surprises for the holiday season. An Evening with PigPen Theatre Co. will be presented for two performances only, December 16 and 17, 2018 in the Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols Theatre at 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe.

“We’re so happy to be welcoming back Pigpen Theatre Co. just in time for the holidays,” says WT Artistic Director Michael Halberstam. “We’ve had such wonderful collaborations with the company on The Old Man and The Old Moon and The Hunter and The Bear, both of which turned out to be huge hits with our audiences. When the opportunity arose, we thought this would be the perfect holiday gift for Writers Theatre patrons. Come celebrate! Indulge in a little comfort and joy and chase away the cold.”

PigPen Theatre Co. adds, "We are so thrilled to be returning to Chicago for a holiday visit with our extended theatrical family. We generally refer to any time we get to spend in Glencoe as ‘the best time of our lives’ and we feel lucky to be invited back. We'll provide the songs and merriment as long as you all provide backup vocals."

PigPen Theatre Company began creating their unique brand of theatre, music, and film as freshmen at the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama in 2007. They have since produced their original plays in New York City and toured the country – earning them critic’s picks from The New York Times, Time Out New York, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Boston Globe and many more, ranking them in the top ten theatrical events of 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2016. They were the first group to win the NYC Fringe Festival’s top honor for a play two years in a row (2010/11) and have gone on to win IRNE (2012, 2015) and Jeff Awards (2014) for their theatrical productions. 

In 2016, Sir Trevor Nunn invited PigPen to be a part of his first American acting company for a production of Shakespeare's Pericles. PigPen's debut album, “Bremen”, was named #10 album of the year in The Huffington Post’s 2012 Grammy preview sending PigPen on tour playing to sold-out crowds across the country. American Songwriter premiered their follow-up EP, “The Way I’m Running”, in 2013. 

In 2015, PigPen released their sophomore album, "Whole Sun", performed at Mumford & Sons' return to the Gentlemen of the Road Festival, and made their feature film debut in Jonathan Demme's Ricki and the Flash starring Meryl Streep. In 2018, PigPen announced that they are currently creating two stage musicals based on beloved novels: The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo (in partnership with Universal Theatrical Group) and Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (in collaboration with Rick Elice).

An Evening with PigPen Theatre Co. will be presented December 16 and 17, 2018 at 7:30pm (Doors at 7:00pm, VIP meet & greet at 6:30pm). Regular Tickets are priced $25-$40, and VIP Tickets, which include an exclusive meet & greet and photo opportunity with PigPen, are priced at $75. Tickets may be purchased online at, by phone at 847-242-6000 or in person at theBox Office at 325 Tudor Court in Glencoe.

Sunday, December 16, 2018 and Monday, December 17, 2018

VIP Meet & Greet: 6:30pm
Doors: 7:00pm
Performance: 7:30pm

The Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols Theatre
325 Tudor Court, Glencoe
Full Price Ticket (Standard): $25-40
VIP Ticket (Price includes Meet & Greet): $75

Box Office:                       
The Box Office is located at 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe; 

For more than 25 years, Writers Theatre has captivated Chicagoland audiences with inventive interpretations of classic work, a bold approach to contemporary theatre and a dedication to creating the most intimate theatrical experience possible.

Under the artistic leadership of Michael Halberstam and the executive leadership of Kathryn M. Lipuma, Writers Theatre has grown to become a major Chicagoland cultural destination with a national reputation for excellence, being called the top regional theatre in the nation by The Wall Street Journal. The company, which plays to a sold-out and discerning audience of more than 60,000 patrons each season, has garnered critical praise for the consistent high quality and intimacy of its artistry—providing the finest interpretations of both classic and contemporary theatre in its two intensely intimate venues. 

In February 2016, Writers Theatre opened a new, state-of-the-art facility. This established the company's first permanent home—a new theatre center in downtown Glencoe, designed by the award-winning, internationally renowned Studio Gang Architects, led by Founder and Design Principal Jeanne Gang, FAIA, in collaboration with Theatre Consultant Auerbach Pollock Friedlander. The new facility has allowed the Theatre to continue to grow to accommodate its audience, while maintaining its trademark intimacy. The new facility resonates with and complements the Theatre’s neighboring Glencoe community, adding tremendous value to Chicagoland and helping to establish the North Shore as a premier cultural destination.

Find Writers Theatre on Facebook at, follow @WritersTheatre on Twitter or @Writers_Theatre on Instagram. For more information, visit

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Photo Feature: PigPen Night 3 at Schubas #OriginalPhotos #Giveaway

Chicago has welcomed PigPen Theatre Company with open arms.   Their critically acclaimed hit show, The Old Man and The Old Moon at Writers Theatre has been playing to sell out crowds and has been extended till December 1st!!   Check out ChiIL Live Shows past PigPen coverage here including our live show shots from Schubas & our review of the play.

Their October/November residency at Schubas has been an overwhelming success, with large crowds for their first 3 Monday night shows.   They have one last performance slated for Monday, November 18th.  It's been our pleasure to give away pairs of tickets to all of their shows.

We shot some sweet stills at their opening EP release show.  Last Monday we shot again and changed it up, shooting from stage left instead of right.

Check out the slide show here for our full set.   Our favorites are embedded below.

Now Playing – The Old Man and The Old Moon  

Tickets are now on sale for this blend of resonant storytelling, creative puppetry and spirited indie-folk music.  

Meet PigPen
Then come on out and meet them for real... at Schubas Monday the 18th if you're 21+ and/or at Writers Theatre.   Catch them while you can, before the wunderkind return to New York from whence they came.

PigPen is an award-winning band of actors, musicians, and storytellers making things up since 2008. First at CMU, then in NYC, now all over. Debut album, "Bremen", out now. New EP, "The Way I'm Running", out now. "The Old Man and The Old Moon" currently playing Chicago.

ChiIL Live Shows' Favorite Show Shots:

Friday, October 18, 2013

FLASH TICKET GIVEAWAY: 2 FREE Tickets for PigPen at Schubas THIS Monday #OriginalPhotos

ChiIL Live Shows caught up with PigPen Theatre for their EP release party at Schubas the Monday before last.  They're not only gaining fame and acclaim with their stellar theatre show, The Old Man and The Old Moon at Writers Theatre, they are rocking an every other week residency throughout October & November.   Check 'em out at Schubas on Monday nights.   These guys are the real deal!   

**FLASH GIVEAWAY:  We have a free pair of tickets for this Monday night 10/21 (21+/8pm) for the first reader to comment below.   Leave your full name for the guest list & you're in!**

If someone beat you to it for this Monday, no worries.   Enter below for a free pair of tickets to either or both of their November residency dates.

We have a review of their new EP release coming shortly.  For now, check out our photo recap from the first night of their Schubas residency. They played to an enthusiastic packed house.

If you dig highly creative, lyrical folk & alt country, do not miss PigPen. Highly recommended.  They harken back to the 70's, when it was easier to find bands where every member was a uniquely talented musician, rather than a passable collective playing back up to one genius lead.  PigPen is a pleasure to hear and they particularly shine live.   It was great to see how effortlessly the boys swap out instruments.

We met a couple at the first Schubas show, who had seen them in New York and couldn't wait to check them out again in Chicago.  PigPen may not have The Grateful Dead's legacy of legions of travelers yet, but it appears they already have at least two cross country fans! 

Another admirer sent the band shots all around.

The guys are in Chicago performing their full-length production, The Old Man and the Old Moon, at Writers' Theatre through November 10, after which they'll embark on a U.S. concert tour.


 “PigPen Theatre Co. is the best kept secret around but that’s not going to last for much longer…”—The Huffington Post

 “Like watching child geniuses at play.”—The New Yorker

On October 8 award-winning, seven-member indie-folk band/theater troupe PigPen Theatre Co. released The Way I’m Running, a five-song EP of all new material. Recorded in New York City with producer Ron Robinson Jr., the songs were conceived and arranged on the road as the band toured in support of their critically acclaimed debut album, Bremen, named one of the top 10 albums of 2012 by The Huffington Post.

In addition to touring the U.S. this summer, PigPen spent two weeks in residence at the Williamstown Theatre Festival workshopping the new Chicago production of their Off-Broadway hit The Old Man and The Old Moon. The show, which played more than 100 performances in NYC last fall, will have its Chicago debut in a new production at Writers’ Theatre running September 3–November 10.

The guys of PigPen began creating their unique brand of music, film and theater as students at Carnegie Mellon University in 2008. They went on to become the first group to win top honors at the New York International Fringe Festival two years in a row (2010 and 2011), and their first commercial Off-Broadway production The Old Man and The Old Moon received critical raves, running from September 2012–January 2013 at The Gym at Judson (located in the iconic Judson Memorial Church).

PigPen Theatre Co. has performed at New York’s famous Barrow Street Theatre, Bowery Ballroom, Joe’s Pub, Mercury Lounge, The Irondale Center, The Gym at Judson, the Boston Center for the Arts, and has sold out theaters nationwide with its shows The Nightmare Story, The Mountain Song and The Old Man and the Old Moon. Their work has earned them critics’ picks from The New York Times, Time Out New York, New York Magazine and The Huffington Post, among others, with reviewers ranking their productions among the top ten theatrical events of both 2011 and 2012. The group recently gave a TEDx Talk on storytelling.

1. Sailor
2. Song from the Stone
3. The Way I’m Running
4. Giant
5. I Crash
Twitter: @PigPenTheatreCo

Writers Theatre opens its 2013-14 season
with PigPen Theatre Co.’s
The Old Man and The Old Moon
A new play with music

September 3-November 10, 2013
Something old... something new...  The Old Man and The Old Moon is a NEW play that starts the NEW season of Writer's Theatre.   This one's high on our must see list.   Book your tickets in advance for the best seats.   Previews are currently running.   We were there to review for the press opening night 9/12.   

Click here for our prior coverage and the full scoop on The Old Man and The Old Moon. 

Title:                 The Old Man and The Old Moon
By:                   PigPen Theatre Co.
Directed by:      Associate Artistic Director Stuart Carden and PigPen Theatre Co.
Cast:                PigPen Theatre Co.
Alex Falberg, Ben Ferguson, Curtis Gillen, Ryan Melia, Matt Nuernberger, Arya Shahi and Dan Weschler.
Designers:        Lydia Fine and Bart Cortright; Mikhail Fiksel (sound); Meredith Miller (props master)
                                    Dates:              First performance: September 3, 2013
                                   Closing performance: November 10, 2013
            Schedule:         Tuesdays: 7:30pm
                                    Wednesdays: 7:30pm (with select 2:00pm matinees)
                        Thursdays & Fridays: 8:00pm 
                                    Saturdays: 4:00pm and 8:00pm
                        Sundays: 2:00pm and 6:00pm
                        Location:          Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe
                        Prices:              Prices for all performances range from $35 -                                                $70
                                               Purchase early for best prices   
Box Office:       The Box Office is located at 376 Park Avenue, Glencoe;
Find Writers Theatre on Facebook at or follow Writers Theatre on Twitter For more information, visit

Saturday, September 14, 2013

REVIEW: Catch PigPen Theatre's Charming and Magical Production of The Old Man and The Old Moon at Writers Theatre

We caught opening night of The Old Man and The Old Moon and were completely charmed!   This is good, old fashioned, down home music and story telling at it's best.   The fantastical shadow puppet elements are particularly effective, as are the recycled art puppets.   I've never seen a plastic bottle and mop with so MUCH canine personality.   Utterly awesome!   I also adored the way the troupe rallied together to become THE BOAT.   Look out Redmoon.   You have some talented competition in town!

The original score is an integral and excellent part of the whole production, with the musicians playing an active role on stage instead of relegated to the wings. The writing is superb as well.   There were plenty of universal truths for the plot and characters to strike a chord... longing for adventure, comforts of a home base, fears and chaos of natural disasters.    It's easy to take someone you love for granted until they're gone.   And it's easy to let the minutia of work get in the way of having adventures, keeping promises and spending time with family.   We love the idea of the moon and letting its waxing and waning take its course instead of rushing to keep it full every day.   What a great analogy to following in life!

This show is aimed at adults but fine for all ages.  

Click here to check out our past coverage for full show details.   

Dates:              First performance: September 3, 2013
                       Closing performance: November 10, 2013
            Schedule:         Tuesdays: 7:30pm
                                   Wednesdays: 7:30pm (with select 2:00pm matinees)
                        Thursdays & Fridays: 8:00pm 
                                   Saturdays: 4:00pm and 8:00pm
                        Sundays: 2:00pm and 6:00pm
                        Location:          Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe
                        Prices:              Prices for all performances range from $35 - $70
                                                Purchase early for best prices   
Box Office:       The Box Office is located at 376 Park Avenue, Glencoe;

Also, if you're 21+ check out PigPen Theatre Co. in residency at Schubas.   Click here our prior coverage on all the residency/album release details.

We got an advance press copy of their upcoming album and will be reviewing it right before the release.

Coinkidink alert:  We do love odd coincidences.   In the microcosm of the Chicago theatre world what are the odds of two productions playing simultaneously that feature dirigibles?!   

Check out the OTHER dirigible play, Babes With Blades' awesome Bo Thomas and the Case of the Sky Pirates.   Click here for ChiIL Live Shows' Review.

The cast interviews posted in the lobby were an amusing read and we found more than a few coinkidinks there, too.  Gotta love theatre peeps and improvisers.   They give creative, off the cuff answers!     

  • I've been to Chagrine Falls and know the falls of which they speak.  Much to my chagrine--they're tiny!   
  • Back in the day, my sister and I both went out with guys from Chagrine Falls that we met in Portland & Cincinnati respectively (who turned out to know each other).   They used to go over the falls on dares for fun as teen agers.

    • I'd just finished watching the "Princess Bride" movie with the kids right before I left for The Old Man and The Old Moon
    • a long time friend of mine who is now a college theatre prof/set designer is also an alum of this troupe's college, 

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