Showing posts with label THE FLAMING LIPS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label THE FLAMING LIPS. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

REVIEW: Spongebob The Musical, World Premiere Opening Night

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

Last Sunday night we had a big Bikini Bottom adventure at the World Premiere Opening Night "yellow carpet" extravaganza for Spongebob The Musical. 

ChiIL Mama, Dugan, Sage, and her friend Vanessa all had rock star seats-- 2nd row center, for an epic evening of Broadway bound fun. Even the hard to please teen demographic loved this show! Highly recommended family friendly fun (ages 5+). ChiIL Mama's Chi, IL Picks List. Check out our original photos and full review below.

"The costumes were the most amazing part. Well the set was incredible too. And the guy who played Spongebob was hilarious. The casting and acting was great" Dugan (age 15)

"I don't usually like musicals, but this one was better than I thought it would be. Of all the ways they could have portrayed Spongebob, this one was great. My favorite part was Plankton's song where they did the whip & nae nae." Sage (age 13) " 


Check out ChiIL Mama's Full Set of Photos in the Slideshow here & favorites embedded below.

Pre-show Yellow Carpet featuring arrivals including:

Tom Higgenson, Chicago native and Plain White T’s lead vocals

Yolanda Adams, four-time GRAMMY® Award-winning Gospel legend

The Flaming Lips, three-time GRAMMY® Award-winning band

Tom Kenny, voice of TV’s SpongeBob SquarePants & wife Jill Talley, voice of Karen the Computer

Tina Landau, Director and Co-Conceiver (Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s The Wheel; The Brother/Sister Plays; The Tempest)
Tom Kitt, Music Supervisor (2010 Pulitzer Prize Winner and Tony Award® winner for Next to Normal; If/Then)

Kyle Jarrow, Book Writer (Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s Love Kills; A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant)

Christopher Gattelli, Choreographer (Newsies; War Paint; South Pacific; The King and I)

David Zinn, Scenic and Costume Designer (2016 Tony Award® winner for The Humans; Fun Home; The Last Ship) *not pictured

From the early sneak peek with the Plain White T's we were hooked!

I can't rave enough about how crazy amazing this show really is. The writing is fantastic, the casting is spot on, and the score is a mind blowing meld of some of rock's hottest hit makers.

The SpongeBob Musical is utterly unique and entirely awesome, with original songs by Yolanda Adams, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of AEROSMITH, Sara Bareilles, Jonathan Coulton, Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, The Flaming Lips, John Legend, Lady Antebellum, Cyndi Lauper, Panic! At the Disco, Plain White T’s, They Might Be Giants and T.I., and a song by David Bowie. With additional lyrics by Jonathan Coulton.

The costumes and set were my son's favorite elements and they were indeed spectacular. I'm still dazed and amused by the two floor to ceiling "Mousetrap Game Style" boulder release chutes flanking the stage. The skate ramps along the front and sides of the stage make for a perfect arena for some quadroller and skateboard arena rock from hair brained hair band, The Electric Skates. The staging for the scaling the volcano scene was sheer brilliance. 

In the costume department, The SpongeBob Musical is what I'd envision if someone said give me Dr. Seuss at an underwater rave party, and it's absolutely fabulous! The alterna-mom in me was elated that there were boys in tutus and chorus girl getups, androgynous girls, and every reef creature inbetween. The cast is a stellar range of sizes, shapes and colors, and the actors' hilarious facial expressions, and physical comedy shine without giant character heads or bulky theme park costumes. I'm elated that scores of kids and adults who come to this show will find characters they can relate to, empathize with, and emulate.

The feminist in me was thrilled with stem girl squirrel, Sandy, who brilliantly saves the whole town with her brainy calculations, all while being hunted by an angry mom of haters who want to throw her in the volcano for being a land mammal. In one of my favorite lines in the whole show, she refers to herself as the "scapesquirrel". It's still cracking me up days later, and I could see that becoming "a thing".  

Sure, there are deeper layers here, too, about how fear can create hatred, violence and religious extremists. Natural disasters can amplify people's natural tendencies so the greedy get greedier, the needy get needier, yet the smart, strong, and kind have a chance to shine. And the unlikeliest underdog may turn into the biggest hero, like a goofy, underestimated fry cook with management skills. 

Here at ChiIL Mama and ChiIL Live Shows we highly recommend this show as great all ages, multigenerational fun. Catch it while you can. Chicago is so fortunate to get so many Pre-Broadway world premieres. We predict this is going to be a massive, award winning hit. It's already a hit in our books! Spongebob the Musical is only in town till July 7th, so don't miss this.  

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? The SpongeBob Musical!  The Pre-Broadway World Premiere of The SpongeBob Musical is currently playing Broadway In Chicago's Oriental Theatre (24 West Randolph Street, Chicago, IL) through July 10, 2016.

Acclaimed Steppenwolf director Tina Landau and the groundbreaking designers behind Fun Home, Hedwig, and Spring Awakening have brilliantly reimagined Bikini Bottom for the Broadway stage, bringing the spirit of SpongeBob to life with humanity, heart, and pure theatricality. With an original score from some of the biggest names in pop and rock, The SpongeBob Musical explodes with energy.

Stakes are higher than ever before as SpongeBob and all of Bikini Bottom face the total annihilation of their undersea world. Chaos erupts. Lives hang in the balance. And just when all hope seems lost, a most unexpected hero rises up and takes center stage.

Get ready to dive to all-new depths of theatrical innovation at The SpongeBob Musical, where the power of optimism really can save the world!

The SpongeBob Musical is co-conceived and directed by Tina Landau, book by Kyle Jarrow, orchestrations, arrangements & music supervision by Tom Kitt, with choreography by Christopher Gattelli.


Tickets for The SpongeBob Musical at the Oriental Theatre are on-sale now.  A select number of premium tickets are available for many performances. Group tickets for 10 or more are available by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710. Tickets are available at all Broadway In Chicago Box Offices (24 W. Randolph St., 151 W. Randolph St., 18 W. Monroe St. and 175 E. Chestnut), the Broadway In Chicago Ticket Line at (800) 775-2000, all Ticketmaster retail locations and online at

ChiIL Mama's Photo Favs:

Truly a treat to meet Wayne Coyne, lead singer, lead guitar and song writer for triple Grammy winning Flaming Lips.

We love that Flaming Lips play lots of all ages music fests, so we were able to take our kids to see them a number of times when they were small, at Lollapalooza, Summer Camp Music Festival and more. My kids adored seeing Coyne get into a giant "hamster ball" and roll around the audience. They're also known for confetti cannons and setting loose beach balls and giant balloons in the audience, so he should have felt right at home at The SpongeBob Musical! All we were missing was the human hamster ball.

Big shoes to fill! Father's day fun with little Lennon and his dad, Tom Higgenson, Chicago native,  frontman & lead guitar player for the band, Plain White T's.

Look at this pair! I've shot hundreds of rock stars' feet over the years, from festivals to photo pits all over Chicago and beyond, but this is the first father/son set! I find it fascinating to see where they're grounded and connect to the earth, and how much their style and personality comes out in their shoes.

Peace, Rock, and Spongebob Musical!

THIS guy is responsible for the laugh that haunts my nightmares! 

Thanks a lot, Tom Kenny, voice of TV’s SpongeBob SquarePants. No, seriously, it was cool to meet you. My 15yo son Googled you beforehand and pulled up pages of your voice credits. Fun stuff!

His wife, Jill Talley, is also the voice of Karen the Computer. I'll bet they mortify their kids doing silly voices at home and in public, but their teens are secretly proud of them. No doubt who those kids are related to!

There was a sea yellow in the audience, but Yolanda takes the GOLD for these shoes! 

"Super Sea Star Savior" songwriter Yolanda Adams was here in Chicago on the The SpongeBob Musical yellow carpet Sunday night at Oriental Theatre


Spongebob fans for Spongebob fans!


Monday, April 13, 2015




Record Store Day is this Saturday, April 18th! To celebrate
Warner Bros. Records (an official sponsor of Record Store Day), has an impressive series of vinyl albums, singles, T-shirts and more exclusively available for this year's Best Day Ever!  After all, RSD is a celebration of the unique culture surrounding over 1,000 independently owned record stores in the U.S. and thousands of stores around the globe. 

JUST ANNOUNCED: For those of you in the Phoenix, AZ area, Built To Spill will perform live in-store at Zia Records on Camelback TODAY at noon for free in celebration of Record Store Day. Details as follows:

Built To Spill In-Store Performance
Noon on 4/18/2015
Zia Records on Camelback
1850 W. Camelback
Phoenix AZ 85015

Our very special, limited-edition, Record Store Day exclusive sonic delights and delightful curios are described below:

Ben LeeBig Love - Black Vinyl 7" single
Limited to 3000 copies
Australian singer/songwriter Ben Lee celebrates his Warner Bros. Records debut release with an exclusive RSD 7" single comprised of a brand new track from his forthcoming album, LOVE IS THE GREAT REBELLION, to be released in the U.S. on June 2nd.  B-Side, "Follow That Feeling" is an exclusive non-album track.  

Big Data: Dangerous - Black Vinyl 7" Single
Limited to 2000 copies
Side-A:  Dangerous Side-B: Dangerous (Oliver Remix)
This exclusive floppy disc inspired 7" vinyl features Big Data's chart-topping hit "Dangerous (feat. Joywave)," alongside the HypeMachine favorite "Dangerous (Oliver Remix)." The paranoia-inflected electronic pop track was performed on Late Night Seth Meyers and has won Big Data the acclaim of Rolling Stone, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, etc., and will be featured on the band's debut album 2.0, out March 24.

Built To Spill: Untethered Moon - Album on Transparent Blue or Black Vinyl.
Transparent Blue Limited to 500 copies
Untethered Moon is the first Built To Spill album recorded with new band members Steve Gere (drums) and Jason Albertini (bass), who join guitarist/vocalist Doug Martsch. BTS's creative process continues to ebb, flow and evolve in its own orbit, reemerging on record for the first time since 2009's There Is No Enemy with ten new songs that fit at once into the band's resonant catalog while infusing fresh energy into that signature sound. The transparent blue vinyl will be randomly distributed into the initial run of pressings. This is the first chance to buy Untethered Moon just for RSD as the CD and digital editions will be released on April 21st.

Echosmith: Acoustic Dreams EP   - White Colored Vinyl 12"
Limited to 3000 copies 
Acoustic Dreams EP is a Record Store Day exclusive comprised of four acoustic versions of songs from their wildly popular debut album Talking Dreams, including their hit song "Cool Kids", plus one additional song exclusive to this collection, "Terminal."

The Flaming Lips: Clouds Taste Metallic Era EP's: Series of Three Colored Vinyl 10" Vinyl 
Bad Days - on Solid White & Transparent Green & Transparent Yellow Mixed Vinyl
This Here Giraffe -  on Clear & Solid Orange Mixed Vinyl
Brainville - on Solid Yellow Vinyl
Limited to 5000 copies each                                
2015 marks the 20th anniversary of the critically worshipped Clouds Taste Metallic, The Flaming Lips 7th studio album originally released in 1995. THE LIPS love RSD and to celebrate, they offer a series three Limited Edition 10" EP's on different colored vinyl that contain tracks previously released on only CD overseas...until now. These rarities will now become available for the first time EVER in any format in the US. Later in the year the band will be releasing expanded anniversary editions of Clouds Taste Metallic  with previously unreleased recordings from the sessions including demos, outtakes, radio sessions, live performances and more. Further details to be announced soon. Until then, feast on this:

Bad Days (Edit) & She Don't Use Jelly (Primitive Demos)          
Girl With Hair Like An Explosion (Non LP Track), Giraffe (Demo)       

This Here Giraffe & Jets Part 2 - My Two Days As An Ambulance Driver (Live Peel Session Version)
Life On Mars (Bowie) (Live Peel Session Version)   

Brainville & Evil Will Prevail         

Limited Edition
Record Store Day Exclusive Fashion Statement to celebrate THE LIPS 1995 EP. 100% cotton, printed on front and back. You will weep with joy. 
Limited Edition
Records Store Day Exclusive Clouds Taste Metallic T-shirt. 100% cotton, printed on front and back.
20 years in the making!

Mastodon: Atlanta  - 12" Vinyl Picture Disc
Limited to 3500 copies
The mighty Mastodon lavishly present "Atlanta," previously available online only via Adult Swim's Single Series. Now available on full-sized, eye-popping picture disc featuring the stunning artwork by Mastodon's Brent Hinds. "Atlanta" features vocals from Gibby Haynes from Butthole Surfers. Side-B is an instrumental version of "Atlanta." exclusive to this release. As previously announced, Don't miss Mastodon on tour this spring as part of THE MISSING LINK TOUR with Clutch, Graveyard and Big Business

The Prodigy: Ibiza - Glow In The Dark 7" Vinyl Single
Limited to 1500 copies
The Prodigy are back! This limited edition Record Store Day Exclusive package includesa non-album instrumental release of "Ibiza" and the single "Ibiza" feat. Sleaford Mods from The Prodigy's forthcoming 6th studio album The Day Is My Enemy, to be released in the U.S. on March 30th, 2015 via Three Six Zero Music/Warner Bros. Records.
Tracks: Side A - "Ibiza" feat. Sleaford Mods. Side B - "Ibiza" (non-album exclusive)

Limited Edition (# of pressings n/a)
Nonesuch re-issues the Steve Reich masterpiece Music for 18 Musicians, performed by Steve Reich and Musicians, on two 180-gram vinyl LPs. The alum was pressed at Pallas Manufacturing in Diepholz, Germany and is packaged in a vintage-style double pocket gatefold jacket with poly sleeves. The original 1998 recording was released on CD and has been mastered for vinyl by Robert C. Ludwig. Each limited-edition record will be individually numbered.

Robert Plant: More Roar - Black Vinyl 10" EP
Limited to 10,000 copies
Nonesuch/Warner Bros. Records releases three tracks recorded live during Robert Plant & the Sensational Space Shifters World Tour 2014: Side A is "Turn It Up" / "Arbaden" and side B is "Poor Howard" and "Whole Lotta Love (Medley)"

Tegan and Sara: Live at Zia Records - DC & Vinyl album - Aqua Blue, 4500 copies & Grimace Purple, 500 copies as a ZIA Records Exclusive
Limited to 4500 & 500 copies respectively
On Tuesday September 10, 2013, Tegan and Sara recorded the music featured on this Record Store Day exclusive at ZIA Record Exchange in Phoenix, Arizona. This special LP includes tracks from their most recent release, Heartthrob (2013) and their hit album The Con (2007). Pick up a limited edition grimace purple vinyl from ZIA Records locations only - 500 units available. Tegan and Sara's 14-year career has seen them build an avid global following of fans and fellow musicians alike. Their unique ability to bridge the pop and indie worlds has allowed their music to cross all traditional boundaries of genre, from being covered by The White Stripes to collaborating with superstar DJs such as Tiesto and David Guetta.

Tegan and Sara: Vendiagram Tote Bag:  Limited Edition RSD Exclusive
Let's face it, you're gonna need something to carry around all the vinyl you're getting on RSD. Thankfully,  Tegan And Sara and have thought about that already so you don't have to. Made from 6 ounce, 100% cotton canvas,  15" x 16" to hold all your exclusives. Thank You, Tegan And Sara!

The Used:  Shallow Believer -  Royal Blue Colored Vinyl Album
Limited to 3000 copies
Shallow Believer is a compilation of B-sides from the band's first three studio albums, recorded between 2001-2007. Released digitally in 2008, the album peaked at #13 on the iTunes albums chart. This is the album's first ever physical release.

But wait there's more: We will offer a full line of Exclusive T-Shirts to compliment Record Store Day 2015 experience. You're gonna like the way you look... in these:

Record Store Day is managed by the Department of Record Stores and organized in partnership with the Alliance of Independent Media Stores (AIMS), the Coalition of Independent Music Stores (CIMS), celebrating the culture of independent record stores by playing host to in-store events/performances, signings and special product releases on a global scale.

For more about Record Store Day, please visit

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