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Showing posts with label adult holiday shows. Show all posts
Showing posts with label adult holiday shows. Show all posts

Friday, November 30, 2018

Put a Little Magic In Your Holidays With Chicago Magic Lounge

Chicago Magic Lounge celebrates the holidays with
additional performances, specialty cocktails, New Year’s Eve shows, and more!

Ring in the New Year with The New Year’s Eve Show
a special evening of magic and music with mind reader Mark Toland,
Trent James, Ryan Plunkett and band The DOT
Monday, December 31, 9pm - 2am

Child-friendly NYE Eve Family Show to be held Sunday, December 30 at 3:30pm




Chicago Magic Lounge, Chicago’s new home for close-up magic, celebrates the holidays with magical performances, specialty cocktails and more. Featured performers in December include Signature Show appearances by TC Tahoe, Francis Menotti feat. Lindsey Noel, Anna DeGuzman, and Nick Diffatte, and a late-night bar set by Frank Everhart Jr. Ring in the new year with The New Year’s Eve Show, a special night of music and magic featuring mind reader Mark Toland, Trent James, Ryan Plunkett and band, The DOT, Monday, December 31, 9pm-2am. A special, child-friendly, The NYE Eve Family Show will be held on Sunday afternoon, December 31 at 3:30pm.

This holiday season Chicago Magic Lounge will add more Signature Shows between Christmas and New Year’s. In addition to the regular schedule (Thursdays at 7pm, Fridays & Saturdays at 7pm & 10pm) extra performances will be held Wednesday, December 26 at 7pm; Thursday, December 27 at 10pm; Sunday, December 30 at 7pm.

In December and January, Chicago Magic Lounge will offer two specialty cocktails to get guests in the holiday spirit: Gift of the Magi (December) and The Levitation (January). Crisp and clean, just like the first snow, the Gift of the Magi is a gin-based cocktail with light citrus notes. The Levitation is Chicago Magic Lounge’s take on a classic champagne cocktail and the perfect way to start the new year.

Tickets for all Chicago Magic Lounge performances are available at the box office, (312) 366-4500 or online at chicagomagiclounge.com. Chicago Magic Lounge is a 21+ venue. Ages 16+ allowed to ticketed shows with a legal guardian. Ages 5+ allowed for The Family Show only.

Holiday season highlights include:




The Signature Show: TC Tahoe (headliner), Francis Menotti feat. Lindsey Noel (Featured Act), & Anna DeGuzman (654 Club)


 
       

December 6 - 8, 2018
Thursdays at 7pm; Fridays and Saturdays at 7pm & 10pm
Tickets: $39.50 (Main Floor), $44.50 (Premium Main Floor), $49.50 (Front Row), $54.50 (Mezzanine Experience)
Guests who purchase Mezzanine, Front Row and Premium Main Floor tickets are invited to an exclusive performance of close-up magic directly after the show in The 654 Club with Anna Deguzman.



Late Night Bar: Frank Everhart Jr.
December 7 - 8, 2018
Friday & Saturday: 10pm – 2am
No tickets required
Frank Everhart Jr. is Chicago-style magic royalty. His father, Frank Everhart Sr, was the magic bartender at the Black Knight Bar, later renamed ‘Frank’s Magic Bar,’ in Chicago’s Ivanhoe Restaurant and Theater for a record-setting, 21-years. He popularized the ‘Chicago Opener’ and the story-telling card trick, ‘Sam the Bellhop’ (our 654 Club was named for this routine). Everhart Sr. made appearances on Bozo’s Circus, as well as performing for Lyndon B. Johnson at his ranch.

Frank Everhart Jr. continues the family tradition performing classic, Chicago-style magic. A master bar magician in his own right, Frank Jr. broke his father’s record this year, having performed over 21 years at the iconic Schooner Wharf in Key West, Florida. Though Frank is most acclaimed for his magic bar, he has performed shows in Atlantic City, The Magic Castle, Reno, Lake Tahoe, and countless shows for both public and private affairs. 




The Signature Show: Nick Diffatte
December 20 - 22, 2018
Thursdays at 7pm; Fridays and Saturdays at 7pm & 10pm
Tickets: $39.50 (Main Floor), $44.50 (Premium Main Floor), $49.50 (Front Row), $54.50 (Mezzanine Experience)

Nick Diffatte returns to the Chicago Magic Lounge with his full one-man show! Nick is quickly becoming one of the most talked about and in-demand young magicians working today. He currently performs on luxury cruise ships for Disney, headlines at the world-famous Magic Castle in Hollywood, comedy clubs, multiple casinos across Las Vegas including Planet Hollywood, Harrah’s, and has even been seen on The Late Late Show with James Corden on CBS all at the age of 22.

Guests who purchase Mezzanine, Front Row and Premium Main Floor tickets are invited to an exclusive performance of close-up magic directly after the show in The 654 Club with Chicago Magic Lounge favorites Luis Carreon (Thursday) and Ryan Plunkett (Friday and Saturday) pictured below.















ADDITIONAL DATES!
The Signature Show
December 26 - 30, 2018
Wednesday, December 26 at 7pm; Thursday, December 27 at 7pm & 10pm; Friday, December 28 and Saturday, December 29 at 7pm & 10pm; and Sunday, December 30 at 7pm
Tickets: $39.50 (Main Floor), $44.50 (Premium Main Floor), $49.50 (Front Row), $54.50 (Mezzanine Experience)
The Signature Show was conceived in 2015 as an homage to the historic, Chicago magic bar scene. Experience close-up magic right at your table during the cocktail hour, followed by an hour of stage magic featuring two masters of their craft performing feats of prestidigitation and sleight of hand. Guests who purchase Mezzanine, Front Row and Premium Main Floor tickets are invited to an exclusive performance of close-up magic directly after the show in our 43-seat close-up gallery, The 654 Club.

The NYE Eve Family Show
Sunday, December 30 at 3:30pm
Tickets: $15 (children 5-16), $25
The NYE Eve Family Show will feature fun and family-friendly magic that will delight children and adults alike. Guests will be treated to a glass of sparkling grape juice to toast the end of the year and greet the new one.




Mark Toland

The New Year’s Eve Show
Featuring Mark Toland (Headliner), Trent James (Featured Act), Ryan Plunkett (654 Club) and Band, The DOT
Featured Act:
Monday, December 31 at 9pm (Doors at 8:30pm)
Tickets: $65 (Main Floor), $70 (Premium Main Floor), $75 (Front Row), $80 (Mezzanine Experience)
Say goodbye to 2018 and hello to 2019 with a night of magic! This one-of-a-kind event will feature bar, close-up and stage magic, live jazz and a champagne toast at midnight. The show begins with close-up magic right at your table, followed by an hour of stage magic, starring two masters of their craft performing feats of mentalism, prestidigitation and sleight of hand. Immediately after the main show, the night will transform into a music-and-magic-filled, cocktail party, as guests are invited to move around the space and enjoy walk-around magic and live jazz as we swing into the New Year.

Headliner Mark Toland is an award-winning mind reader and TEDx Speaker. He was recently named the "Top Booked Mind Reader in the US & Canada" and "Audience Choice" at the NYC Fringe Festival. Currently, he performs 150+ shows each year for corporate and private events around the world.



Featured act Trent James brings a fresh new feel to the “classic magic show”. Trent combines mindboggling magic and offbeat comedy for a new generation. He is the winner of over twenty awards, including The Society of American Magicians International Stage Contest- People’s Choice Winner, International Brotherhood of Magicians Stage Contest-Silver Medal, and was named The Most Promising Young Magician by the Milbourne Christopher Foundation. Trent’s performances have left audiences raving from Las Vegas to New York. His unique sleight of hand magic and hip vibe come together to form an unforgettable thrill ride!



Guests will also enjoy music from The DOT (Dillard Organ Trio). Justin Dillard was born and raised on the west side of Chicago and attending both Vandercook College of Music and The Velvet Lounge. His studies at both institutions gave him the honorable privilege to work with innovators locally and globally performing/recording with and/or receiving tutelage from the likes of: Branford Marsalis, Robert Irving III, Ornette Coleman, the late jazz master Von Freeman and Roscoe Mitchell to name a few. Justin has performed on national television (ABC) and has played in various genres spanning Avant Garde with the late tenor master Fred Anderson to a Dave Matthews tribute band (Crash).

Guests who purchase Mezzanine, Front Row and Premium Main Floor tickets are invited to an exclusive performance of close-up magic directly after the main stage show, and prior the New Year’s countdown, in our 43-seat close-up gallery, the 654 Club with Ryan Plunkett. Ryan is a Chicago-based, close-up magician who has been performing for the past two decades. Ryan is also a highly sought-after magic consultant and magic creator. He is a published author, a regular performer at the Magic Castle in Hollywood California, as well as a resident magician & Founding Ensemble Member of the Chicago Magic Lounge.

Doors open at 8:30pm, with seating and table-side magic starting at 9pm. Guests are welcome to stay until closing at 2am. Cocktail attire is encouraged.

For a complete schedule of performances and more information about Chicago Magic Lounge, as well as resident and guest performers, Chicago Magic College classes, the Chicago Magic Round Table, and more, please visit chicagomagiclounge.com.

About Chicago Magic Lounge
Chicago Magic Lounge reinvents the classic "magic bar" that once dotted Chicago's nightlife landscape, bringing cocktails and card tricks back together again. Shows include magic performance at the bar, on the stage and in true Chicago-style Magic form, at the tables of the guests, providing the classic "Close-Up" tradition Chicago-style Magic is known for. Chicago Magic Lounge is also the home of the Chicagoland magic community, showcasing over 30 local professionals, and serving as a networking hub for working magicians from all over the world. 

The newly constructed theater at 5050 N. Clark St., designed by Morris Architects Planners, has ushered in a new wave of entertainment, bringing back “Chicago-style Magic” under the leadership of Donald C Clark, Jr. and Joseph (Joey) Cranford. Converted from a 1940s-era, commercial laundry building, the Chicago Magic Lounge is a 7,200 square-foot, Art Deco, state-of-the-art theater and lounge complete with secret doors, elegant performance areas and a magic bar – all dedicated to the art of sleight of hand, prestidigitation and Chicago's contribution to the magical arts. From magicians to mind readers, Chicago Magic Lounge provides guests the unique, one-of-a-kind experience of seeing wonders up-close and personal in a venue unlike anything else offered throughout the country.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

REVIEW: FAIN'S INTIMATE EXCELLENT THIS WAY OUTTA SANTALAND UNEXPECTEDLY MOVING

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar: 
MITCHELL FAIN’S HOLIDAY TELL-ALL 
THIS WAY OUTTA SANTALAND
IS BACK AT THEATER WIT WITH A FULL PRODUCTION,

THROUGH DECEMBER 30


Review:
It takes talent to talk a room full of strangers into feeling like friends. And it takes balls to shed the facade of playing roles others have written and tell your own backstory, warts and all, playing yourself. Mitchell Fain does all this and more. Whether he's kicking back on the Christmas set, relaxing in his bedroom slippers, or prancing across the stage in long time friend and former roommate Meghan Murphy's stiletto heels (Yes they have the same size feet!), Fain gives us the intimate treat of walking in his shoes for a few hours.

He is utterly at home on stage, playing himself, and he brings us home with him, for a drink, holiday song serenade with a few good friends, and tales of his childhood. The true chemistry of long time friendships shines through with easy camaraderie. Cameos by a rotating roster of Chicago cabaret powerhouses like Meghan Murphy, Vanessa Dunleavy and Amy Lewis Montgomery and madcap pianist Julie B. Nichols are also on tap, which is truly a treat. 


The set is dominated by a huge Christmas tree, all decked out for the holidays, a faux fireplace, a snowy window, a piano and mic ripe for holiday favorites and improv originals, and a cozy living room complete with blanket. It's an odd set up for a "Christmas special" seeing as how Fain is Jewish, and this is his story, but it works better than more schmaltzy Christian "meaning of the season" shows, as he hits a rare authenticity and joyful celebration of friends, festivities, and family, even when they're flawed. This is a holiday tale of the families we find and keep as our own, as much as it is of the families we come from.

I was expecting comedy, and Fain is a funny guy with a flair for the dramatic, and great comedic timing. Yet, I left feeling more moved and sentimental about the holidays than my usual Christmas jaded self ever gets. Since then, at least once a day, his stellar line about Christmas haunts me: "You need Jews to entertain and gays to decorate."


This show changes a bit each time, so it's a core of the same backstories along with a dose of audience inspired tangents and improv. Though certainly not kid appropriate, the press opening ended up being more sincere than snark and I left feeling like I'd just had one of those chance encounters at a party where you finally get past the small talk with someone you've known peripherally for years and genuinely get to know what they're all about.

THIS WAY OUTTA SANTALAND is both personal and universal in an exciting and relevant way, and a joy to see. Highly recommended.


Here at ChiIL Live Shows, we've enjoyed Mitchell J. Fain's annual holiday snark in The Santaland Diaries for years. I worked two seasons as an actor in a "santaland" set up in Ohio, with a trail of full blown improv fairy tale scenes leading up to Santa. We lost one alcoholic Santa after payday when he was a no show. The next, much more animated elf, was fired after the director and I walked in on him in an elevator actually smoking a crack pipe! As much as I empathize, and as funny as the Sedaris classic is, we're truly looking forward to the next iteration, as Fain returns as creator and performer of his own Very Special Xmas Special(tm), playing his own funny self in Chicago’s frothiest holiday show.


After an amazing workshop last year, Chicago's favorite holiday performer, Mitchell J. Fain, returns to Theater Wit with a full-blown, mainstage production of his hilarious and touching tell-all, This Way Outta Santaland (and other Xmas miracles). Press opening is Friday, November 24 at 7:30 p.m. Performances run through December 30.

For eight seasons as the star of Theater Wit’s The Santaland Diaries, Fain was forced to restrain his most anarchic, improvisatory impulses while constrained in stripey tights and a silly elf costume.

A tour-de-force blend of storytelling, improvisation, cabaret and cocktails, This Way Outta Santaland is a sweet, sentimental evening of hard truths that change night to night. Fain squeezes holiday tales from his audience, then swirls them with his own personal war stories about family, drunks, jewelry, funerals, the holiday spirits and more than 250 performances as Crumpet the Elf.

Chicago Theater Review hailed last season’s workshop production "Highly recommended. A brand new, indispensable tradition, at once hilarious, tragic, moving and profane."

Don’t miss This Way Outta Santaland, conceived and performed by Fain, in this new, fully decked-out production directed by Jeremy Wechsler, and designed by Julie B. Nichols (music), Courtney O’Neill (set), Mike Durst (lights) and Jeffrey Levin (sound).


Performances are November 24-December 30: Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 3 p.m., with two added holiday week performances, Wednesday, December 20 and 27, at 7:30 p.m.

Theater Wit is located at 1229 N. Belmont, in the heart of the new Belmont Theatre District in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood.

The best way to secure seats to This Way Outta Santaland is to sign up for a Theater Wit Membership. Wit’s “all the theater you can eat” deal comes with special perks and lets members see as many plays at they want in any of Wit’s three spaces for one low monthly fee of $29/$22 for students. This includes shows presented at Wit by 2017-18 resident companies About Face, Kokandy Productions and Shattered Globe, and other top storefront and visiting companies.

Single tickets to This Way Outta Santaland are $28-$40.

To purchase tickets, a Membership, or to inquire about Flex Pass options, visit TheaterWit.org or call the Theater Wit box office, (773) 975-8150.


Behind-the-scenes of This Way Outta Santaland


In addition to eight years in Theater Wit’s perennial holiday hit The Santaland Diaries, Mitchell J. Fain has also been seen in This at Theater Wit, Le Switch at About Face, at UP Comedy Club at The Second City as host of Best Musical, at La Jolla Playhouse with The Second City and at Actors Theatre of Louisville in Lookingglass Theatre’s Lookingglass Alice. Fain is an Artistic Associate of The Midnight Circus and About Face Theatre and former co-host of The Windy City Queercast. Other credits include Stilettos, Circus and Soul, Hamlet-The Musical, Henry VI, Hamlet, Comedy of Errors, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, As Bees in Honey Drown, Bitches, Hay Fever, The Mystery of Edwin Drood and The Lynching of Leo Frank. He also performed improv and sketch comedy on The Norwegian Star as a part of a Second City touring company.




Jeremy Wechsler (director) most recently staged Theater Wit’s Midwest premiere of Anne Washburn’s 10 Out of 12, last season’s holiday workshop of Mitchell Fain’s This Way Outta Santaland and the extended Midwest premiere of Mat Smart’s Naperville. Other directing credits at Wit include the company’s election night reading of The Trump Card by Mike Daisey, The New Sincerity by Alena Smith, The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence by Madeleine George, Bad Jews by Joshua Harmon, Mr. Burns, a post-electric play by Anne Washburn, Madeline George’s Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England, and that show’s summer remount at Art Square Theatre in Las Vegas. Wechsler also staged Wit’s acclaimed Completeness and The Four of Us (Itamar Moses), Tigers Be Still (Kim Rosenstock), This (Melissa James Gibson), Spin (Penny Penniston), Feydeau-Si-Deau (Georges Feydeau), Men of Steel (Qui Nguyen), Thom Pain (Based on Nothing) (Will Eno), Two for the Show (James Fitzpatrick and Will Clinger) and The Santaland Diaries. A veteran director in Chicago with over 50 productions, his work has been nominated for and won multiple awards for design, performance, adaptation and best new plays. 


About Theater Wit

Theater Wit, Chicago’s “smart art” theater, is a major hub of the Chicago neighborhood theater scene, where audiences enjoy a smorgasbord of excellent productions in three, 99-seat spaces, see a parade of talented artists and mingle with audiences from all over Chicago.

In addition to This Way Out of Santaland, Theater Wit’s 2017-18 season opens with Significant Other by Joshua Harmon, author of Wit’s 2015 smash hit Bad Jews, about a gay man in New York whose girlfriends are all getting married, co-produced with About Face Theatre (November 2–December 10, 2017). Wit also presents America’s premiere monologist, Mike Daisey, three nights only, in three different shows commenting on the current state of the U.S.A.: This is Not Normal, The End of Journalism and The White Man’s Burden, November 16, 17 and 18.

2018 opens with Wit’s world premiere of The Antelope Party, Eric John Meyer’s comedy about adult fans of My Little Pony (January 5-February 24, 2018). Spring sees the Chicago debut of Women Laughing Alone with Salad, Sheila Callaghan’s meta-feminist satirical comedy about friendship, salad, sex, bodies, yoga, salad, men, envy, diets, salad, uppers and salad (March 9-April 29, 2018).

“A thrilling addition to Chicago’s roster of theaters” (Chicago Tribune) and “a terrific place to see a show” (New City), Theater Wit is now in its seventh season at its home at 1229 N. Belmont, in the heart of the new Belmont Theatre District in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. In 2014, Theater Wit was awarded the National Theatre Award by the American Theatre Wing for strengthening the quality, diversity and dynamism of American theater.

The company’s most recent hits include 10 Out of 12 and Mr. Burns, a post-electric play by Anne Washburn, Naperville by Mat Smart, The New Sincerity by Alena Smith, Bad Jews by Joshua Harmon, The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence and Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England by Madeleine George, and Completeness and The Four of Us by Itamar Moses.

To receive an “artisanal selection of consonants and vowels from Theater Wit,” sign up at TheaterWit.org/mailing for exclusive updates, flash deals and behind-the-scenes production scoop every few weeks.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

OPENING: Irreverent Adult Comedy Barney the Elf at Greenhouse Through 12/30/17

The Smash Hit Returns!
Other Theatre Presents the Holiday Musical
BARNEY THE ELF
By Bryan Renaud
Lyrics by Bryan Renaud and Emily Schmidt
Directed and Choreographed by Tommy Rivera-Vega
Music Direction by Nik Kmiecik
Music Arrangements by Jermaine Hill



November 17 – December 30, 2017 at Greenhouse Theater Center

ChiIL Live Shows will be out for the press opening November 28th and we can't wait to catch another snarky adult holiday revival, and an antidote to the over saccharine sweetness of the season. Check back soon for our full review.

Other Theatre is pleased to continue its 4th season with the third revival of its holiday hit BARNEY THE ELF, a campy and irreverent musical comedy, written by Bryan Renaud with lyrics by Renaud and Emily Schmidt. After helming the 2016 production, Tommy Rivera-Vega returns to direct and choreograph, with music direction by Nik Kmiecik and arrangements by Jermaine Hill. BARNEY THE ELF will play November 17 – December 30, 2017 at Other Theatre’s resident home, The Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood.  

Tickets are available at www.theothertheatrecompany.com, in person at the Greenhouse Theater box office or by calling (773) 404-7336. Season subscriptions are currently available. 

BARNEY THE ELF will feature Roy Samra as Barney, Chicago drag sensation Dixie Lynn Cartwright returning as Zooey, Maggie Cain as Mrs. Claus, Jaron Bellar as Junior and Courtney Dane Mize as Cookie/Ensemble with Emilie Rose Danno, Colleen DeRosa, LiSean McElrath, Lance Spencer and Cody Talkie.

After Santa Claus retires, his wicked son begins a not-so-jolly reign as the new head of Christmas. The North Pole begins to crumble under his bigoted rule, and Barney the Elf is forced to leave his home for being different from the others. Soon he embarks on a fabulous journey of self-discovery (or is it elf-discovery?) that lands him in one of Chicago's hottest drag bars. But can he truly leave Christmas behind for a new life in the big city? BARNEY THE ELF brings pop-infused musical numbers galore and plenty of queer holiday cheer to Lincoln Park for the third year in a row! 

"Rather endearing [with] surprising emotional payoffs... Renaud and his collaborators may well have a fringe holiday repeat hit to call home for the holidays."  –The Chicago Tribune

The production team for BARNEY THE ELF includes Michael Johannsen (scenic design), Olivia Crary (costume design), Matthew Carney (lighting design), Ashley Pettit (sound design, production manager), Bobby Taves (asst. music director) and Meghan Erxleben (asst. lighting designer).

PRODUCTION DETAILS:

Location: The Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago
Dates: Preview: Friday, November 17 at 8 pm, Saturday, November 18 at 7 pm, Sunday, November 19 at 3 pm and Sunday, November 26 at 3 pm.
Press opening: Tuesday, November 28 at 8 pm
Regular run: Thursday, November 30 – Sunday, December 30, 2017
Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm; Sundays at 3 pm. Please note: there will not be a performance on Sunday, December 24 (Christmas Eve).

Tickets: Previews: $20 with code “PREVIEW.” Regular run: $25. Students $15 with code “STUDENT.” Industry $15 with code “INDUSTRY.” Tickets are available at www.theothertheatrecompany.com, in person at the Greenhouse Theater Center box office or by calling (773) 404-7336. Season subscription are currently available.

Creative Team Bios

Bryan Renaud (Book and Lyrics) is the Associate Artistic Director of Other Theatre, where he has premiered his plays Barney the Elf and Other Letters, the latter co-written with Carin Silkaitis. He is also a founding member of Random Acts, where he premiered Strangest Things! The Musical, All Our Twilight and Ladies Night of the Living Dead. As a performer, Bryan has worked with American Theater Co., Pride Films & Plays, Provision Theater, Music Theatre Co., GreatWorks, Prologue Theatre, Shakespeare at the Centre, Oak Park Festival Theatre, NWaC and Two Pigs Productions. www.BryanRenaud.com

Emily Schmidt (Lyrics) is a freelance playwright and grant writer based in Chicago. She earned her Masters in English from Loyola University. Other works include writing for Acid Reflux Comedy as well as the plays All Our Twilight, Awkward Family Gatherings and Strangest Things! The Musical. 

Tommy Rivera-Vega (Director) returns after directing the 2016 remount of Barney the Elf. He also directed the smash-hit world premiere Strangest Things! The Musical. Chicago Acting credits: Parachute Men, Between You Me and the Lampshade, A View From the Bridge, Momma’s Boyz – Teatro Vista; La Havana Madrid – Steppenwolf and Teatro Vista; Mother Road – Goodman Theatre; West Side Story – Drury Lane; In the Heights – Skylight Music Theatre; In the Heights, My Fair Lady – Paramount Theatre; Three Sisters – Steppenwolf Theatre; Kiss of the Spiderwoman – BoHo Theatre; Augusta & Noble – Adventure Stage; Pippin – Music Theatre Company; CATS – Theo Ubique; Puerto Rico credits: Spring Awakening, Footloose – Black Box Theatre. Episodic: Chicago PD (Ep 411). He is a proud Teatro Vista, Other Theatre Ensemble member and an Artistic Associate of Random Acts. Tommy is represented by Paonessa Talent Agency.

Nik Kmiecik (Music Director) is thrilled to be back with Barney the Elf in his new role of music director. He has music directed youth productions with SELF theatre and musical productions at his alma mater, North Central College in Naperville. Nik was an elf/ensemble member for Barney last year and has performed with numerous theatres in Chicago including Chicago Shakespeare, Chicago Children's Theatre, Filament Theatre, Haven Theatre, Silk Road Rising and Porchlight Theatre. Nik is an artistic associate of Other Theatre and is proudly represented by Stewart Talent.



About Other Theatre:

Other Theatre is dedicated to telling the stories of persons or groups who are othered by systems of oppression. Othering individuals or groups sustains power and privilege. Othering inherently implies hierarchy. Othering keeps the power in the hands of those who already have it.  Othering is an "us" vs. "them" mentality often centered around race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, identity, class, religion and ability. Other Theatre is committed to telling these stories in the hope that we can lessen the amount of discrimination and oppression in our world. 

We are a collective of artist-activists who believe in the power of theatre to enact social change. We believe in equality for all human beings and we will fight for it. We believe theatre is an excellent conversation starter, and we hope you will come talk with us after the show. We believe radical social change is possible and we will continue to stand up, fight, and resist until it happens.

Other Theatre Artistic Staff: 

Carin Silkaitis, Founder and Artistic Director; Maddie DePorter, Managing Director; Bryan Renaud, Associate Artistic Director; Ashley Pettit, Production Manager; Savanna Rae, Company Manager; Stephen Kossak, Casting Director; Becca Sheehan, Audience Development/Intern Coordinator; Tommy Varela, Social Media Coordinator; Kelly Howe, Resident Dramaturg; Tommy Rivera-Vega, Artistic Associate; Hannah Toriumi, Artistic Associate; Gay Glenn, Artistic Associate; Nik Kmiecik , Artitic Associate.

Other Theatre Board of Directors:

Michele Thornton, President; Kelly Soprych, Vice President; Jermaine Hill, Secretary; Stephen Silkaitis, Treasurer; Lisa Wolfe, Diane Sheehan and Michael Johannsen.

Other Theatre’s 4th Season is presented by generous grants from MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, and The Saints.


Monday, November 13, 2017

OPENING: Annual Holiday Favorite Hell in a Handbag's RUDOLPH THE RED-HOSED REINDEER 2017 Returns To Mary's Attic

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:

Back by Popular Demand!
Hell in a Handbag Productions Presents the Holiday Hit
RUDOLPH THE RED-HOSED REINDEER 2017
By David Cerda


Co-Directed by Becca Holloway & AJ Wright
November 25 – December 30, 2017 at Mary’s Attic

Hell in a Handbag Productions is pleased to conclude its 15th Anniversary Season with its most popular show ever: the holiday hit RUDOLPH THE RED-HOSED REINDEER 2017 by David Cerda*, co-directed by Becca Holloway and AJ Wright*. Handbag’s irreverent parody of the 1967 Rankin Bass children’s television special will play November 25 – December 30, 2017 at Mary’s Attic, 5400 N. Clark St. in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. Tickets are on currently available at www.handbagproductions.org (through Brown Paper Tickets) or by calling (800) 838-3006.

RUDOLPH THE RED-HOSED REINDEER will feature Graham Thomas Heacock as Rudolph, Kristopher Bottrall* as Herbie, Allison Petrillo as Jane Donner, Chase Wheaton-Werle as Tom Donner, Michael Hampton as Santa, Tommy Bullington as Mrs. Claus, Sydney Genco* as Elfina, Colin Funk as Spike, Michael Rawls as Score, Josh Kemper as Coach Comet, Lori Lee* as Yukon Cornelia, Terry McCarthy* as Connie Blitzen, David Cerda* as Gladys Dasher, Christea Parent* as Clarice and Matthew Sergot as Sam the Snowman.

Chicago’s favorite cross-dressing reindeer is back and he’s 20 years old! RUDOLPH THE RED-HOSED REINDEER had its first reading in 1996 and has evolved into one of Chicago’s most popular anti-holiday, holiday shows. Join Rudolph and all of his misfit friends as they struggle with fitting in and being ‘normal’ in an increasingly abnormal world. Playwright David Cerda* always adjusts the show to fit the current social climate. 

The production team for RUDOLPH THE RED-HOSED REINDEER includes: Roger Wykes (set design), Kate Setzer Kamphausen (costume design), Cat Wilson* (lighting design), Ralph Loza (sound design), Adrian Hadlock* (props design), Lauren Griffith (choreography), Keith Ryan* (wig design), Sydney Genco* (make-up design) JD Caudill* (music director) and Drew Donnelly (stage manager).

*Denotes Hell in a Handbag Ensemble Members

Cast (in alphabetical order): Kristopher Bottrall* (Herbie), Tommy Bullington (Mrs. Claus), David Cerda* (Gladys Dasher), Colin Funk (Spike), Sydney Genco* (Elfina), Michael Hampton (Santa), Graham Thomas Heacock (Rudolph), Josh Kemper (Coach Comet), Lori Lee* (Yukon Cornelia), Terry McCarthy* (Connie Blitzen), Christea Parent* (Clarice) Allison Petrillo (Jane Donner), Michael Rawls (Score), Matthew Sergot as (Sam the Snowman) and Chase Wheaton-Werle (Tom Donner).

Location: Mary’s Attic, 5400 N. Clark St., Chicago
Dates: Previews: Saturday, November 25 at 7:30 pm, Sunday, November 26 at 7:30 pm and Thursday, November 30 at 7:30 pm
Regular run: Thursday, December 7 – Saturday, December 30, 2017

Curtain Times: Thursday, Fridays and Saturday at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 6 pm. Please note: there will not be performances on Saturday, December 2, Sunday, December 3 or Sunday, December 24 (Christmas Eve); there will be an added performance on Wednesday, December 20 at 7:30 pm.

Tickets: Previews $13. Regular run $25 in advance, $30 at the door. VIP tickets with cocktail $40 and up. Group rates $20 for 10 or more. Tickets are currently on sale at www.handbagproductions.org (through Brown Paper Tickets) or by calling (800) 838-3006.

About the Creative Team

David Cerda (Playwright) is the Jeff Award winning co-founder and Artistic Director of Hell in a Handbag Productions. He has written and appeared in POSEIDON! An Upside Down Musical (Jeff Recommended), The Birds, Rudolph the Red-Hosed Reindeer, SCARRIE The Musical, Caged Dames (Jeff Recommended), Lady X, How Whatever Happened to Baby Jane Happened, TROGG! A Rock and Roll Musical, Christmas Dearest (Jeff Recommended), Scream, Queen! SCREAM!, The Rip Nelson Halloween Spooktacular, Sexy Baby (Jeff Award Nomination – Best New Work), Lady X: The Musical (Jeff Recommended) and his new hit, The Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes. His plays have been produced around the country. He has also worked as a songwriter/lyricist with Amazon Films on an animated project and as an actor with various theater companies throughout the city of Chicago. Cerda was recently inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame for his contributions to Chicago theatre.

Becca Holloway (Co-Director) is thrilled to be working with Hell in a Handbag again after assistant directing Bewildered this past fall. Directing credits include: 44 Plays for 44 Presidents (Oil Lamp Theatre) and Buried in the Bahamas (Artistic Home). Becca has also had opportunities to work around Chicago and surrounding areas with: The Comrades, Refuge Theatre Project and Big Noise Theater. Stay tuned for her choreography in Brown Paper Box Co.'s Speech and Debate this February.

AJ Wright (Co-Director) is a proud ensemble member with Hell in a Handbag Productions. Directing credits with Handbag include: Caged Dames (Jeff Recommended), Christmas Dearest (Jeff Recommended), and Rudolph the Red-Hosed Reindeer (2011 & 2012). Around Chicago, AJ has also had the pleasure of directing/assistant directing with Kokandy Productions, Pride Films and Plays and Waltzing Mechanics.  You may also recognize AJ from his work as an actor in Handbag’s Bewildered (Darrin G), The Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes (Blanche), Rip Nelson’s Holiday Spectacular (Peggy Lennon), Sexy Baby (Kyle Kennedy) and SCARRIE (Tommy Ross).  AJ holds a degree in theatre from Ball State University.

About Hell in a Handbag Productions
Hell in a Handbag is dedicated to the preservation, exploration, and celebration of works ingrained in the realm of popular culture via theatrical productions through parody, music and homage. Handbag is a 501(c)(3) Not for Profit.

For additional information, visit www.handbagproductions.org.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

OPENING: Agency Theatre's Hellcab at The Den

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

BACK FOR THE HOLIDAYS! 
AGENCY THEATER COLLECTIVE PRESENTS THE RETURN OF THE CHICAGO CLASSIC WILL KERN’S HELLCAB STARRING 

RUSTY SCHWIMMER AND PLAYING AT THE DEN THEATRE, 

NOVEMBER 11 – DECEMBER 17


Sommer Austin directs the Storied Chicago Production Inspired by Playwright Kern’s Experiences as a Cab Driver During Chicago’s Holiday Season

**Run Time: 90min/no intermission**

Here at ChiIL Live Shows we've seen many iterations of Hellcab from the initial production to frequent recent holiday remounts. We'll be out for the press opening November 16th to check out Agency Theater Collective's take on this hilarious, edgy, Chicago holiday classic. Check back soon for our full review.



The Agency Theater Collective announces Hellcab, starring Rusty Schwimmer, written by Will Kern and directed by The Agency’s Managing Director Sommer Austin playing at the Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., November 11 – December 17. Previews are Saturday, Nov. 11 at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 12 at 3 p.m., Monday, Nov. 13 and Thursday, Nov. 16 at 7:30 p.m. Opening night is Friday, Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m. The performance schedule is Thursdays – Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Tickets are pay-what-you-can for all performances. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.wearetheagency.org or call the Den Theatre Box Office at 773.697.3830.

A Chicago classic returning to the stage, Hellcab is the story of a day in the life of a Chicago cab driver who experiences a drawn out, nightmarish night of fares from some of the city’s oddest collection of customers on a cold, snowy day just days before Christmas. Drawn from real experiences from playwright Will Kern’s days as a cab driver, the list of characters the cabbie encounters include: a dangerous trio of druggies, a piggish mini-capitalist, a benumbed rape victim, an argumentative pair of fellow cabbies, a drunken woman on welfare, a smug lawyer, a randy couple on the way to a motel, and two boisterous New Yorkers out on the town. With every encounter, we see through the cab driver’s eyes humor, terror, longing and more as she navigates all areas of the Windy City.

In addition to Rusty Schwimmer* as “Cab Driver,” Molly Lyons will perform the role at select performances**, the Hellcab cast includes George Ellzey Jr., Harsh Gagoomal, Gabrielle Gulledge, Sean Higgins, Kate Jacobsen*, Diana Lee, Manuela Rentea, Delysa Richards, Sara Richmond*, Reginald Robinson, Jack Schultz*, Tim Touhy*, Ethan Walles* and Marie Weigle. Understudy cast: Teresa Champion, Mark Mocarski, PJ Walker, Hannah Tarr, Anna Yee and Joseph Zaki.

*The Actor appears through the courtesy of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

**Molly Lyons' performances as “Cab Driver:” Friday, Nov. 25 and Saturday, Nov. 26 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 27 at 3 p.m.

The production team for Hellcab includes: Will Kern, playwright; Sommer Austin+, director; Cait Manning, production manager, Colleen Schuldeis, stage manager; Alex Meyer, assistant stage manager; Alex Molnar and Cordie Nelson, assistant directors;  Jamie Macpherson, fight and intimacy director; Elyse Balogh, scenic designer;  Ellie Humphrys+, lighting designer; Hailey Rakowiecki, costume designer;  Shea Messinger, properties designer; Brian Foster+, technical director; Cody Lucas+, Indiegogo campaign manager and graphic designer, Andrew Gallant+, artistic director and Tim Touhy+, company manager.

+Denotes company member of The Agency

ABOUT WILL KERN, playwright

Will Kern’s writing credits, in addition to Hellcab, include Kid Sister and Mothers and Tigers: True Stories of Korean Women. As a screenwriter, Kern wrote the film adaptation of “Hellcab,” the award-winning short films “Pain Chain,” and “Lost in Rome.” His travel writing and essays have been published in numerous magazines and newspapers around the world. His first novel “Ballet for Guys” is built around Billy Jim Hauck, a political conservative and self-described “fat ass with brown teeth and a scraggly Yosemite Sam mustache.”

ABOUT SOMMER AUSTIN, director

Co-founder and Managing Director of The Agency Theater Collective, Sommer Austin also directs and acts with them. She is a certified instructor of the Meisner Approach to Acting and co-founder/owner of Green Shirt Studio. Austin has made her mark in the improv/comedy, theatre and production worlds and has worked with theatre superstars including Mary Overlie, Ping Chong and Dr. Jonathan Miller. She was assistant director to Michael Patrick Thornton on the world premiere of David Rabe’s Good for Otto at The Gift Theatre and to Dexter Bullard on Annie Baker’s The Flick at Steppenwolf Theatre. For The Agency she has directed Chagrin Falls, co-directed Nautilina and acted in Paradise Lost, Out of Tune Confessional (which she also co-wrote) and At The Center. She received her Bachelor’s in Theatre Arts from the University of Iowa and has a Master’s of Fine Arts degree in Acting from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

ABOUT RUSTY SCHWIMMER, “Cab Driver”

Rusty Schwimmer is thrilled to be back in her hometown of Chicago where the weather is perfect, the sausages are plentiful and the Cubs win. Schwimmer is best known for her roles in the feature films A Little Princess, Twister, EdTV, The Perfect Storm, Runaway Jury and North Country. She has also enjoyed working on the television series, “Louie,” “The Guardian,” “Gilmore Girls,” “Picket Fences” and “Six Feet Under.” On stage, Schwimmer was last seen in Los Angeles at the Mark Taper Forum in their production of House of Blue Leaves and in Chicago in Race at Lookingglass Theatre. Upcoming Film projects include Blood Stripe and Wild Honey.

ABOUT AGENCY THEATER COLLECTIVE

Founded in 2010, The Agency Theater Collective creates relevant, authentic work with a focus on new or rarely produced plays. Past productions include Copi’s Four Twins, Clifford Odets’ Paradise Lost, Out of Tune Confessional, I Wish to Apologize to the People of Illinois, At the Center, Truth in Context (Non-Equity Jeff Award nominee for Best New Work in 2015/2016), The Spirit of ’76, and Chagrin Falls (Non-Equity Jeff Award nominee for Best Supporting Actor in 2016/2017). The Agency also hosts “No Shame Theatre,” a weekly theatrical open mic, every Saturday night at The Lincoln Loft. The Agency Theater Collective holds these principles sacred: revelation, paradox, humor, mischief and collaboration.

The Agency Theater Collective announces the Chicago holiday classic Hellcab, starring Rusty Schwimmer, written by Will Kern and directed by The Agency’s Managing Director Sommer Austin playing at the Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., November 11 – December 17. Previews are Saturday, Nov. 11 at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 12 at 3 p.m., Monday, Nov. 13 and Thursday, Nov. 16 at 7:30 p.m. Opening night is Friday, Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m. The performance schedule is Thursdays – Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Tickets are pay-what-you-can for all performances. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.wearetheagency.org or call the Den Theatre Box Office at 773.697.3830. 

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