Showing posts with label fundraiser. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fundraiser. Show all posts

Friday, September 9, 2022

HELP OUT: Northlight Theatre's 2022 Gala: “Purpose. Passion. Progress” Thursday, October 6, 2022

Northlight Theatre 2022 Gala:

“Purpose. Passion. Progress.” 

Thursday, October 6, 2022 at 6:00 p.m.

at Theater on the Lake

with Master of Ceremonies Karen Jordan of ABC7


Northlight Theatre’s Board of Directors proudly presents the premier fundraising event for the 2022-2023 Season “Purpose. Passion. Progress” on Thursday, October 6, 2022, 6:00pm, at the Theater on the Lake, 2401 N Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60614. Northlight supporters and friends will celebrate a year of entertaining theatre during a benefit evening of dinner, music, and gorgeous skyline views.

Guests will a picturesque view of Chicago’s skyline as they celebrate a year of purpose, passion, and progress - from the art on Northlight’s stage to its education and community engagement programs.

The Gala evening's master of ceremonies is Emmy Award-winning Co-Anchor for the ABC7 Weekend News Karen Jordan. 

Entertainment is by vocalist Rashada Dawan. The evening will kick off with appetizers, cocktails and music by Evanston Township High School string quartet. The event will also include a silent auction filled with a variety of unique experiences, followed by dinner, a live auction and paddle raise, lively music, and more!

Proceeds from the event will benefit Northlight Theatre’s imaginative and inclusive arts education and community engagement programs, as well as the ground-breaking Arts for Everyone Free Ticket program which breaks down the barriers to accessing theatre starting with the price of a ticket.

Tickets are $300; Tables of 10 are priced at $3,000. Corporate sponsorships are also available at varying levels. Tickets are available for purchase on the gala page of Northlight Theatre’s website. Visit to reserve your spot. To inquire about sponsorships, contact Northlight Theatre at 847.324.1616.

Gala chairs are Julie Chernoff (Evanston) and Susie McMonagle (Chicago).

The Northlight Board of Trustees is: J. Douglas Gray, Chair (Evanston), Mark McCarville, President (Evanston), Julie Chernoff, Vice President (Evanston), Donna Frett, Vice President (Evanston), Robert J. Regan (Evanston), Paul Lehner, Secretary (Evanston), Percy Berger (Evanston), E. Faye Butler (Chicago), Carole Cahill (Highland Park), Christy Callahan (Wilmette), Ron Chadha (Northbrook), Jennifer Christensen (Wilmette), Paul Epner (Evanston), Timothy J. Evans, Executive Director (Evanston), Freddi Greenberg (Evanston), BJ Jones, Artistic Director (Evanston), Tobi Laczkowski (Wilmette), Dennis Marino (Evanston), Blythe McGarvie (Evanston), Susie McMonagle (Chicago), Rahul Roy (Evanston), Kelly Ryan (Chicago), Reetu Gowdar Sanders (Chicago), Bob Silverman (Skokie), Craig M. Smith (Chicago), Thomas D. Stringer (Chicago), Dr. Eric Witherspoon (Evanston), and Ale Treviño, Kellogg Board Fellow.

Gala Sponsors are Polsinelli, Tom Stringer Design Partners, Grumman/Butkus Associates, Hagerty Consulting, Bulley & Andrews, Eckenhoff Saunders, Northwestern University, Byline Bank, The Mather, Rotary International, The Merion Senior Living, Romano Brothers and Co. Wealth Management, Schuler Shook Theatre Planners, Quarles & Brady, LionBird, and John J. Cahill Inc.

Northlight Theatre aspires to promote change of perspective and encourage compassion by exploring the depth of our humanity across a bold spectrum of theatrical experiences, reflecting our community to the world and the world to our community.

Founded in 1974, the organization has mounted over 220 productions, including more than 40 world premieres. Northlight has earned 208 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations and 36 Awards, as well as ten Edgerton Foundation for New Play Awards. As one of the area’s premier theatre companies, Northlight is a regional magnet for critical and professional acclaim, as well as talent of the highest quality.

Northlight is supported in part by generous contributions from Allstate Insurance; the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation; BMO Harris Bank; Bulley and Andrews; Byline Bank; The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation; CoBank; ComEd, An Exelon Company; Eckenhoff Saunders; Evanston Arts Council; Evanston Community Foundation; Lloyd A. Fry Foundation; Full Circle Foundation; The Gross Foundation; Gruman Butkus Associates; John R. Halligan Fund; Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; Illinois Humanities; Katten Muchin Roseman LLP; Kirkland & Ellis Foundation; The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Modestus Bauer Foundation; National Endowment for the Arts; Niles Township; NorthShore University HealthSystems; Northwestern University; The Offield Family Foundation; PNC Bank; Polsinelli; Ralla Klepak Trust for the Performing Arts; Sanborn Family Foundation; The Saints Foundation; Dr. Scholl Foundation; The Shubert Foundation, Inc.; The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust; The Sullivan Family Foundation; and Tom Stringer Design Partners.

Thursday, April 14, 2022


ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar 


The 2022 Chicago Sings Concert’s “It’s a Hit” Live Experience is SOLD OUT with tickets to the “Color & Light” Lounge Experience Still Available 

Porchlight Music Theatre is proud to announce the current roster of music theatre and cabaret talent performing in this year’s annual Chicago Sings fundraising concert, Chicago Sings Stephen Sondheim, Monday, May 23, at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), 220 E. Chicago Ave. This year’s Chicago Sings concert offered two opportunities to experience Chicago’s music theatre and cabaret performers saluting Stephen Sondheim. The first, which is now sold out, is the “It’s a Hit” Live Experience.Tickets for the “Color & Light” Lounge Experience, hosted by the Porchlight Young Professionals, are still available for $50 per ticket, and includes a live stream of the performance in a lounge created on the second floor of the MCA. Tickets may be purchased now at

Chicago Sings Stephen Sondheim will be a fundraising celebration of the life and art of the great composer and lyricist who changed the world of American music theatre with performances co-directed by Porchlight Artistic Director Michael Weber+ and Producing Artistic Associate Frankie Leo Bennett+, music direction by David Fiorello+, choreography by Alejandro Fonseca+ and Laura Savage* and the presentation of the Guy Adkins Award for Excellence in the Advancement of Music Theatre in Chicago.

The Chicago Sings Stephen Sondheim performers presenting songs featuring both music and lyrics by Sondheim currently scheduled to perform include Larry Adams+, Neala Barron*, Brianna Borger*, Justin Brill+, Christine Bunuan*, Lydia Burke*, Billy Dwyer+, Andres Enriquez+, Nancy Godinez*, Cecilia Iole*, Paul-Jordan Jansen+, Mark David Kaplan+, Parker Guidry^, Clare Kennedy*, Becky Keeshin*, Nik Kmiecik+, Evan Tyrone Martin+, Beckie Menzie*, Juwon Tyrel Perry+, Nolan Robinson+, Lorenzo Rush Jr+, Laura Savage*, Kelan M. Smith+ and Genevieve Thiers*.

Pronoun Key: + (he/him/his); * (she/her/hers); ^ (they, them, theirs); = (any with respect)

In addition to the performances, a Chicago Sings tradition continues with the presentation of the Guy Adkins Award for exceptional and lasting contributions to the state of the art of Chicago music theatre to Paramount Theatre Artistic Director Jim Corti.

Past Guy Adkins Award recipients include Felicia P. Fields, who recently starred in Porchlight’s Blues in the Night, director/choreographers Brenda Didier, currently at the helm in Porchlight’s Spring Awakening as well as Rachel Rockwell, actors E. Faye Butler, Paula Scrofano and Hollis Resnik, music director/conductor Doug Peck and directors Gary Griffin, Dominic Missimi and L. Walter Stearns. The committee that chooses the annual award winner is composed of past recipients and other leaders in Chicago’s music theatre industry. 

 “It’s a Hit!” Live Experience is now SOLD OUT and included
  • Reserved seat in the Edlis Neeson Theater to see this special concert live and in person
  • An exclusive pre-concert reception on the MCA’s second-floor tented terrace overlooking the sculpture garden with complimentary food and wine
  • Elegant piano entertainment during the reception
  • Viewing of the Nick Cave exhibit showcasing Cave’s unique fabric sculptures 

“Color & Light” Lounge Experience includes
  • An exclusive viewing party of the streamed Chicago Sings concert, hosted by the Porchlight Young Professionals, in the MCA’s second-floor lounge space
  • Viewing of the new Nick Cave exhibit showcasing his unique fabric sculptures only one week after its opening at the museum
  • Mingling with young art enthusiasts and have fun with our Lounge hosts and interactive piano accompanist
  • Complimentary wine and snacks

Stephen Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics for Saturday Night (1954), A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum (1962), Anyone Can Whistle (1964), Follies (1972), A Little Night Music (1973), The Frogs (1974), Pacific Overtures (1976), Sweeney Todd(1979), Merrily We Roll Along (1981), Sunday in the Park with George (1984), Into The Woods (1987), Assassins (1991), Passion (1994) and Road Show (2008), as well as lyrics for West Side Story (1957), Gypsy (1959), Do I Hear A Waltz? (1965) and additional lyrics for Candide (1973). Side By Side By Sondheim (1976), Marry Me A Little (1981), You’re Gonna Love Tomorrow (1983), Putting It Together (1993/99), Moving On (2001), and Sondheim On Sondheim (2010) are anthologies of his work as composer and lyricist. For film, he composed the score of “Stavisky” (1974), co-composed the score for “Reds” (1981), and wrote songs for “Dick Tracy” (1990). He wrote songs for the television production “Evening Primrose” (1966), co-authored the film The Last of Sheila (1973), and the play Getting Away With Murder (1996), and provided incidental music for the plays The Girls Of Summer (1956), Invitation To A March (1961), Twigs (1971), and The Enclave (1973). His collected lyrics with attendant essays have been published in two volumes: “Finishing the Hat” (2010) and “Look, I Made A Hat” (2011). In 2010, the Broadway theater formerly known as Henry Miller’s Theatre was renamed The Stephen Sondheim Theatre in his honor. Stephen Sondheim died November 21, 2021. 

Porchlight Music Theatre is the award-winning center for music theatre in Chicago. Through live performance, youth education and community outreach we impact thousands of lives each season, bringing the magic of musicals to our theatre home at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts in the Gold Coast and to neighborhoods across the city. Porchlight has built a national reputation for boldly reimagining classic musicals, supporting new works and young performers, and showcasing Chicago’s most notable music theatre artists, all through the intimate and powerful theatrical lens of the “Chicago Style.” 

Now in its 27th season, Porchlight's quarter-century production history includes more than 70 mainstage works with 15 Chicago premieres and five world premieres. Porchlight’s commitment to the past, present and future of music theatre led the company to develop the Porchlight Revisits and New Faces Sing Broadway program series, both quickly becoming audience favorites. 

Porchlight's education and outreach programs serve schools, youth of all ages and skill levels and community organizations, most notably the ongoing collaboration with Chicago Youth Centers. Porchlight annually awards dozens of full scholarships and hundreds of free tickets to ensure accessibility and real engagement with this uniquely American art form. 

The company’s many honors include 178 Joseph Jefferson Award (Jeff) nominations and 45 Jeff awards, as well as 33 Black Theatre Alliance (BTA) nominations and 12 BTA awards. In 2019, Porchlight graduated to the Large Theatre tier of the Equity Jeff Awards, and was honored with eight nominations in both technical and artistic categories and won three awards in its inaugural year in this tier, most notably Best Ensemble for Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies

Through the global pandemic, Porchlight emerged as one of Chicago’s leaders in virtual programming, quickly launching a host of free offerings like Sondheim @ 90 Roundtables, Movie Musical Mondays, Porchlight by Request: Command Performances and WPMT: Classic Musicals from the Golden Age of Radio. For the 2020-2021 season, Porchlight’s fall schedule included all-new ticketed virtual programs including Broadway by the DecadeNew Faces Sing Broadway 1987Chicago Sings Rock & Roll BroadwayNew Faces Sing Broadway 1961 and the return of The Ruffians’ Burning Bluebeard as well as collaborations with Hershey Felder and L.A. Theatre Works. Porchlight recently launched its first summer performance schedule in 2021 that included a sold-out performance of New Faces Sing Broadway 1979 at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, the premiere of its outdoor music series Broadway in your Backyard, performed throughout Chicagoland this summer and special appearances at Sundays on State and Navy Pier’s Chicago Live Again. 

Porchlight Music Theatre is partially supported by generous contributions from Actors’ Equity Foundation; Allstate; Bayless Family Foundation; Michael Best & Friedrich LLP; Chapman | Spingola, Attorneys at Law; Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation; Gen Ops Plus; Elegant Event Lighting; James P. and Brenda S. Grusecki Family Foundation; Hearty Boys; A.L. and Jennie L. Luria Foundation; The MacArthur Fund for Culture, Equity, and the Arts at Prince; the Pritzker Traubert Foundation; Ryan and Spaeth, Inc.; Daniel and Genevieve Ratner Foundation; The Saints; Dr. Scholl Foundation and the Topfer Family Foundation.  

The season program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency, and by a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.

Porchlight Music Theatre wishes to thank members of the Matching Gift Corporate Program including abbvie; Allstate; Lloyd A. Fry Foundation; Peoples Gas; Pepsico; Polk Bros Foundation and The Saints. 
Pronoun Key: + (he/him/his); * (she/her/hers); ^ (they, them, theirs); = (any with respect)

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

HELP OUT: Live Stream Fundraiser Thursday 3/19/20 To Star DIANA DeGARMO, ACE YOUNG And More

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar
Season of Concern Chicago Fundraiser
The Beautiful City Project 

With nearly all of Chicago's theater productions shuttered, one of the first fundraisers primarily aimed at a streaming audience has been put together by The Beautiful City Project, a Chicago-based musical theater company that exists solely as a fundraising arm for local charities and nonprofits.

This live stream-only event featuring American Idol and Broadway alums Diana DeGarmo and Ace Young, who were in town for the new HIT HER WITH THE SKATES at The Royal George Theatre, will be simulcast on The Beautiful City Project's Facebook and Instagram accounts Thursday, March 19 at 7:30 p.m. CST/8:30 p.m. EST.

The stream is completely free, with a suggested donation to Season of Concern Chicago, via a link from the feed, to help local artists most in need from the recent upending of the theater landscape.

The evening, musically directed by David Fiorello, also features a starry Chicago cast of Broadway veterans, multi-Jeff Award winners and a diverse crop of local favorites. Jessica Needham, Executive Director, The Beautiful City Project, will be monitoring the live stream and responding to questions and comments in real time.

The Beautiful City Project is committed to using musical theater as a tool to give back to the Chicago community, intent on building a promising tomorrow for a beautiful city. Cabaret performances highlight a different organization every month, while the mainstage programming of musicals in concert take a community issue head-on, raising awareness and funds to be given directly to an organization in need, making an immediate impact. A city-wide campaign of beautification and positivity will be the hallmark of a project intent on taking real action in our beautiful city. For more, visit

Season of Concern Chicago provides short-term emergency financial assistance to local theatre practitioners who are unable to work due to illness or injury. 

Friday, October 11, 2019

HELP OUT: Hell in a Handbag Productions' Annual Benefit THE RIP NELSON CELEBRITY ROAST Returns Saturday, November 9, 2019

Hell in a Handbag Productions’ Annual Benefit
Saturday, November 9, 2019 
at Ebenezer Lutheran Church

Hell in a Handbag Productions is pleased to present its annual benefit, THE RIP NELSON CELEBRITY ROAST on Saturday, November 9, 2019 from 6 – 11 pm at Ebenezer Lutheran Church, 1650 W. Foster Ave. in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. Tickets ($75 in advance) are currently available at (via Brown Paper Tickets) or by calling (800) 838-3006.

The stars – dead and alive – are coming out in droves to roast everyone’s favorite Hollywood has-been, Rip Nelson (Ed Jones*), described as a mash-up of Paul Lynde, Charles Nelson Reilly and Rip Taylor. The celebrity line-up includes Lucille Ball (David Cerda*), Bette Midler (Caitlin Jackson*), Liza Minnelli (Alexa Castelvecchi), Doug Henning (David Lipschutz*) and Dame Maggie Smith herself (Danne Taylor*). The star-studded evening also includes a full course of your favorite TV dinner-style comfort foods by Chef’s Joey Chiapetta and Adam Ordish with hearty helpings of Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes and other favorites, desserts from Bubbie’s kitchen (Nancy Lipschutz) and refreshments, plus games, raffles, silent auctions and a few surprises.

All proceeds benefit Hell in a Handbag Productions, Chicago’s leading camp and parody theater company.



Date: Saturday, November 9, 2019

Time: Doors open at 6 pm, dinner is served from 6:30 – 8 pm; celebrity roast at 8:15 pm.

Location: Ebenezer Lutheran Church, 1650 W. Foster Ave., Chicago
Tickets: $75 in advance; $85 at the door. Includes food, two drink tickets and the roast. Industry tickets are now available here-

*Denotes Handbag Ensemble Members

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

Monday, April 16, 2018

HELP OUT: CHRIS’ 4th Annual BIRTHDAY BELT FEST Is Raising Funds for Howard Brown Health 5/15/18

Help Out:

The 2018 Chris’ Birthday Belt Fest is “CO-ED,” and Features, For the First Time, Male Soloists Joining Chicago’s Top Music Theater Performers 
Raising Funds for Howard Brown Health

Jeff Award-nominee and HIV+ director/producer Christopher Pazdernik is pleased to announce the 4th annual Chris’s Birthday Belt Fest, a benefit concert for Howard Brown Health, Monday, May 14 at 8 p.m. at Uptown Underground, 4707 N. Broadway. Tickets are $30, in advance; $40, at the door on the night of the performance, and are available at or by calling 773.867.1946. Uptown Underground is a 21 years old and older venue and advance reservations are strongly recommended.

Pazdernik’s journey with Howard Brown Health began in 2009, when he was diagnosed HIV+. He has been receiving his treatments at Chicago’s health and wellness center ever since and has even become the Community Advisory board chairperson. In 2015, Pazdernik was looking for a way to give back to Howard Brown Health and raise much needed funds for the organization. As a popular and respected member of Chicago’s theater community, Pazdernik asked his friends - who happen to be many of Chicago’s leading talents – to donate their time and celebrate his birthday singing high-energy songs from musicals with 100% of the ticket proceeds going directly to Howard Brown Health and Chris’ Birthday Belt Fest was born. Since its inception four years ago, Belt Fest has raised more than $5,000 for Howard Brown and each year the concert’s audience and amount raised has increased. 

This year, Aaron Benham returns as music director and pianist for the evening and, for the first time, Belt Fest goes “CO-ED” featuring male soloists joining the “who’s who” of performers including Missy Aguilar (Porchlight Music Theatre’s In The Heights); Stephen Allen, Jr. (Porchlight Music Theatre’s Memphis); Justin Brill (original Broadway cast member of High Fidelity); Aaron Choi (Marriott Lincolnshire’s Honeymoon in Vegas); Nathan Cooper (Paramount Theatre’s Sweeney Todd); Max DeTogne (Jeff Award-nominee, Refuge Theatre Project’s High Fidelity); Nick Dryzbanski (Jeff Award-nominee, Refuge Theatre Project’s High Fidelity); Billy Dwyer (Pride Films & Play’s Yank!); Amanda Falls (Wisconsin actor and director and Pazdernik’s childhood friend); Nicole Michelle Haskins (Refuge Theatre Project’s The Spitfire Grill); Angela Ingersoll (Jeff Award, Porchlight Music Theatre’s End of the Rainbow); Callie Johnson (Jeff Award, Porchlight Music Theatre’s Pal Joey); Molly Kral (Boho Theatre’s Urinetown); Ryan Lanning (Haven’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch);  Michelle Lauto (Jeff Award, Chicago cast Spamilton); Eric Lewis (Jeff Award, Porchlight Music Theatre’s Dreamgirls); Yando Lopez (Jeff Award-nominee, Chicago cast Spamilton); Donica Lynn (Jeff Award, Porchlight Music Theatre’s Dreamgirls); Adam Michaels (Paramount Theatre’s Rent); Lauren Paris (Refuge Theatre Project’s The Spitfire Grill); Samantha Pauly (Marriott Lincolnshire’s Honeymoon in Vegas);  Laura Savage (Jeff Award-nominee, BoHo Theatre’s The Spitfire Grill); Andrew Sickel (Kokandy Production’s Heathers) with additional performers to be announced. 

About Howard Brown Health
Founded in 1974, Howard Brown Health is one of the nation's largest health care and research organizations, primarily serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ) community and its allies. It is the largest such organization in the Midwest and serves adults youth and children throughout the region. An innovative and patient-centered health home, Howard Brown provides primary medical care, behavioral health services, and specialty chronic and infectious disease services, and conducts nationally renowned clinical and behavioral research.

About Christopher Pazdernik
Christopher Pazdernik is a director/choreographer with "a near encyclopedic knowledge of musicals" (Newcity). He is best known for the critically acclaimed production of High Fidelity (Jeff Awards for Best Director and Best Production of a Musical) at Refuge Theatre Project, where he also serves as artistic director. Recent credits include Carrie (Ohio Northern University), Wicked City (Chicago Theatre Workshop), Planted (Chicago Musical Theatre Festival), Make Me a Song (Eclectic Theatre Co.) and Story of A Story (The Untold Story) (Underscore Theater Co.). He is also a frequent cabaret director and curator including Broadway's Cult Classics at Davenport's Piano Bar and the His & His series at Pride Films & Plays.  At Porchlight Music Theatre, Pazdernik is a proud artistic associate, and serves as company manager and casting associate and has directed, choreographed and assistant directed many productions. An openly HIV+ artist, Pazdernik was a 2016 Windy City Times 30-Under-30 honoree for his contributions to Chicago's LGBTQ community and he currently serves on the Ambassador Committee for the AIDS Run/Walk Chicago and as chairperson on the Community Advisory Board for Howard Brown Health, one of the nation’s largest LGBTQ organizations.

Photo by Matt Percy

Sideshow Theatre To Honor Chicago Women’s Health Center with the 2018 SIDESHOW IMPACT AWARD

HELP OUT: “In Bloom” Gala To Benefit Sideshow Theatre Company on Sunday, April 29, 2018

Sideshow Theatre To Honor 
Chicago Women’s Health Center with the
at “In Bloom” Gala on Sunday, April 29, 2018

PHOTO CREDIT: Chicago Women's Health Center volunteers at Sideshow Theatre’s Company’s bi-annual fundraiser The Chicago League of Lady Arm Wrestlers (CLLAW).

Sideshow Theatre Company is pleased to announce the Chicago Women's Health Center is the recipient of its 2018 Sideshow Impact Award for Community Enrichment. CWHC is being honored for its significant contribution to the Chicago community by providing accessible, affordable healthcare and health education to women and trans people. CWHC has partnered with Sideshow for the interactive philanthropic event, The Chicago League of Lady Arm Wrestlers (CLLAW).

Comments Sideshow Executive Director Stephanie Weddell, "Sideshow's partnership with the Chicago Women's Health Center for our CLLAW matches has been an incredible and educational experience. The work that CWHC is doing is vitally important and aligns closely with CLLAW's mission to empower women and trans people. We are delighted to recognize an organization making such a difference in the Chicago community." 

Chicago Women's Health Center will be honored at Sideshow Theatre's annual gala, In Bloom, on Sunday, April 29, 2018 from 12 – 4 pm at A New Leaf, 1818 N. Wells St. in Chicago. Guests are invited to sip Bloody Marys and mimosa and enjoy a delicious brunch menu amid the exotic beauty of Chicago’s premier florist. The event also includes musical improv performances by a singing/piano-playing duo, on demand poetry and an impressionist portrait artist, along with prizes and a silent plant auction. Tickets, priced at $100, are currently available at All proceeds benefit the work and art of Sideshow Theatre Company.

The Sideshow Impact Award for Community Enrichment is presented annually to an organization for significant contributions towards the advancement of the local arts community and the larger Chicago community as a whole through education, resources and programming.

About Chicago Women's Health Center
CWHC’s mission is to facilitate the empowerment of women and trans people by providing access to health care and health education in a respectful environment where people pay what they can afford. For additional information, visit 

About Sideshow Theatre Company:
Sideshow Theatre Company: Theatre for the Curious. It is the mission of Sideshow Theatre Company to mine the collective unconscious of the world we live in with limitless curiosity, drawing inspiration from the familiar stories, memories and images we all share to spark new conversation and bring our audiences together as adventurers in a communal experience of exploration.

Over its 10+ year history, Sideshow is proud to have distinguished itself as a vital member of the Chicago theatre community. Sideshow was awarded the 2016 Broadway In Chicago Emerging Theatre Award by the League of Chicago Theatres. Sideshow is a multiple Jeff Award-winning theatre and has been listed on the “Best of” lists in 2012, 2013 and 2014 by Time Out Chicago and the Chicago Sun-Times. Sideshow continues its multi-year residency at Victory Gardens in the historic Biograph Theater in the 2017/18 season.

Sideshow is also the producer of Chicago League of Lady Arm Wrestlers (CLLAW), a wildly popular fundraiser held in benefit of Sideshow Theatre Company and other local community organizations. CLLAW has been featured in local and national press, including The Washington Post, Reuters and the Chicago Sun-Times and on WGN Morning News, ABC 7’s Windy City Live and CBS 2. The next CLLAW match is Saturday, July 21, 2018 at Logan Square Auditorium. For more information about CLLAW, visit

For additional information on Sideshow Theatre Company, visit

Tuesday, March 20, 2018


Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:
Art Beat


Images curtesy of CUR(8)Chicago: Kiara Lanier.

Southside Chicago Natives Collaborate to Help Fund the Historic Opportunity for Stokes to be the Youngest African-American Student to Attend the Esteemed Florence Academy of Art

CUR(8)Chicago and Silent Funny are proud to present the 22-year-old multidisciplinary, identity based performance artist and Chicago native in collaboration with Kiara Lanier at Silent Funny, 4106 W. Chicago Ave., Saturday, March 24. Stokes is the first African-American student to attend the prestigious Florence Academy of Art in Florence, Italy with a handpicked class of highly skilled artists. This event is one of two exhibits planned to provide financial support for this historic opportunity to study with master painters and nurture Stokes’ natural gifts as an artist. Doors open at 7 p.m., the seated performance begins at 8 p.m. and event ends at 10 p.m. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Tickets are $25 and may be purchased at

Thelonious Stokes with his work “Captive Girl on Green,” oil on linen in artist’s frame, 36 inches x 36 inches x 10 inches.

In an intimate performance featuring singer/songwriter/actress Kiara Lanier of TV’s “The Chi,” Stokes juxtaposes family safety and mass incarceration. “Gates and Fences” elucidates the notion of transformational rehabilitation utilizing art, music and the muses of Stokes and Lanier. Both performers are Southside Chicago natives and utilize the performance medium to provide a platform to inspire others. Presented by CUR(8)Chicago and hosted at Silent Funny on Chicago’s West side, the raw warehouse will be transformed into a landscape of American civilization fighting systematic injustice with the performance depicting a scene from a dining table in an urban home. In the discussion between a mother and son surrounded by symbolic fencing and the presence of lives affected by the criminal justice system, Stokes will unveil this conceptual ground, simultaneously showing the first piece of the Thelonious Stokes “Caged Black Paintings” collection and the “White Fence Paintings” collection. Stokes and Lanier have collaborated to compose an original score that will be sung by Lanier. The Three-part performance will culminate with Stokes’ call to action, urging the audience to support organizations committed to social justice and incarceration reform.

Stokes says he became an artist for no reason other than to thrive. He utilizes art as a vehicle to reform systematic injustice and redefine our contextual beliefs of what it means to be a man. “Being the first African American to attend the school makes me feel grateful,” expressed Stokes. “Grateful yet aware of the relevance of institutional racism. By being exposed to the beauty of oil painting, I am now able to break the barriers of being defined as Black in America. I want to not only impact art itself, I ultimately want to share light with the inconsistencies of ethics and morale.”

“New Lisa; Captive Girl on Green” by Thelonious Stokes. Oil on linen, 36 inches x 36 inches, unframed.

Thelonious Stokes describes himself as a multidisciplinary, identity-based performance artist from Chicago. He uses performance as an objective medium, extracting black expectations as conversation for cultural extremes to re-conceptualize the black experience as foreign stationery, as a displaced individual likening one to being a foreigner. In his first collection, "The Caged Black Paintings," Stokes houses his multi-dimensional, chiaroscuro-style oil paintings in hand-welded metal cages, redefining the frame around art. His work stands out with each piece housed behind metal bars, reminiscent of cages looked at as housing devices to gesticulate a Western reference.

Stokes is the founder of Thelovism, his production company where he serves as director and editor, producing videos for buzzing rap artists Taylor Bennett, Joey Purp and his younger brother Satchel Stokes, a blossoming performer who has been a source of inspiration for his art. He also works with Campaign for Youth Justice as a national spokesperson working to ensure that youth are not tried, sentenced or incarcerated in the adult criminal justice system.

Named after American jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk, Stokes was born to create. He grew up influenced by his mother, jazz singer Vikki Stokes, his cousin, artist Dale Washington and some of Chicago's most celebrated talents like Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Mars Williams, DJ Jesse De La Pena, Jazz Singer Bobbi Wilson and the late great composer William Russo.


Chicago native Kiara Lanier is a vocal performance artist, songwriter and model who lives by her grandfather's mantra, "The only purpose of the tongue is to teach and heal." Using mixed media musical installation and sound healing in her performance, Lanier’s spiritual, soulful and sultry work covers themes of identity and ancestry with vocal loops, field samples and experimental choreography. Lanier studied performance art with The Meredith Monk Foundation, collaborated in David Bowie’s Film ‘Station to Station,’ released a two part album “Tongues and Teaspoons” in September 2017 and has starred in television shows “American Idol,” “Empire” and most recently “The Chi.” 

ABOUT CUR(8)Chicago

CUR(8)Chicago, an event production and experience design company, founded by Josephine Lauer Washuk.  Washuk is a creative strategist who meets the needs of a diverse client portfolio. With a mission to discover and develop authentic talent, brands and organizations, her vision is that all individuals and organizations fulfill their highest potential. 


Silent Funny is a 501(c)(3) arts space and community hub in Chicago's West Humboldt Park neighborhood. The organization believes that everyone can have life-changing experiences with the arts and strives to create a haven where art, artists and everyday people connect in a contemporary and active space that is inclusive and inspiring.


The Florence Academy of Art was founded in 1991 by Daniel Graves to provide the highest level of instruction in classical drawing, painting and sculpture. Graves' vision of the Academy is its potential to train a select group of highly skilled Realist painters and sculptors. Since 1991, the Academy has grown to nine studio locations in three countries, 25 principle instructors, ten assistant instructors and six administrative staff, giving instruction and service to 150 students from 35 countries. To date, 600 students have attended The Florence Academy of Art for at least one trimester; this number includes 325 students who have completed the full program of study and are considered graduates. In January 2015, the Academy opened its second branch at Mana Contemporary in Jersey City, NJ. Jordan Sokol is the academic director and Richard Greathouse and Amaya Gurpide are Principal Instructors. Their mission is to provide the highest level of instruction in classical methods of drawing, painting and sculpture for students wishing to pursue careers as professional artists in the Realist tradition.

CUR(8)Chicago and Silent Funny are proud to present the 22-year-old multidisciplinary, identity based performance artist and Chicago native Thelonious Stokes and his exhibit “Gates and Fences: The Performance” in collaboration with Kiara Lanier at Silent Funny, 4106 W. Grand Ave., Saturday, March 24. Stokes is the first African-American student to attend the prestigious Florence Academy of Art in Florence, Italy with a handpicked class of highly skilled artists. This event is one of two exhibits planned to provide financial support for this historic opportunity to study with master painters and nurture Stokes’ natural gifts as an artist. Doors open at 7 p.m., the seated performance begins at 8 p.m. and event ends at 10 p.m. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Tickets are $25 and may be purchased at

Saturday, November 25, 2017

HELP OUT: Steppenwolf Women in the Arts Luncheon to Honor Sarah Paulson, Golden Globe and Emmy Award-Winning Actor

Golden Globe and Emmy Award-Winning Actor
Sarah Paulson
to be Honored at the
Steppenwolf Women in the Arts Luncheon
January 22, 2018

Steppenwolf Theatre Company proudly announces Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor Sarah Paulson as the 2018 honoree at the annual Steppenwolf Women in the Arts fundraising luncheon on Monday, January 22, 2018 at 12noon at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel (221 N Columbus Dr). VIP Reception begins at 11:30am. Ms. Paulson joins Steppenwolf Artistic Director Anna D. Shapiro for an exciting conversation about her career both on-stage and on-screen and her impact as a leader in her industry.

Sarah Paulson is acknowledged as one of today’s most critically acclaimed actresses of the screen and stage. She was first introduced to Steppenwolf through her work in ensemble member Tracy Letts’s Killer Joe, and the two appear in Stephen Spielberg’s upcoming film The Post. Paulson’s impressive film career includes features with ensemble members Lois Smith (Griffin & Phoenix), Austin Pendleton (The Notorious Bettie Page) and John Malkovich, whom she joins in the upcoming Netflix film Bird Box. On stage, she has appeared in a wide-range of productions including the title role in Lanford Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Talley’s Folly, Cherry Orchard with Alfred Molina and Annette Bening, and Broadway’s The Glass Menagerie alongside Jessica Lange.

On television, Sarah Paulson’s inspired performances have captured the attention of audiences and critics alike. Her portrayal of attorney Marcia Clark in American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson earned her numerous awards including a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award and Emmy Award. Sarah also received four consecutive Emmy nominations for her character portrayals in Ryan Murphy’s award-winning television series, American Horror Story. Her upcoming projects include American Crime Story: Katrina, Gary Ross’s Ocean’s 8, the female-driven spinoff of Ocean’s Eleven, M. Night Shyamalan's Glass, and the Netflix series Ratched, based on the character Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, for which she is set to produce and star in the title role.

The ninth annual Women in the Arts luncheon brings together nearly 400 leaders from Chicago’s business and civic communities to honor Ms. Paulson for her indelible contribution to the field. The event raises funds for Steppenwolf’s professional development programs, including Steppenwolf for Young Adults, the nationally recognized education program, the School at Steppenwolf, as well as the Professional Leadership Programs, providing apprenticeships, fellowships and internships for the next generation of arts managers and producers.

Individual tickets start at $250. VIP tickets that include pre-lunch reception begin at $500. Table sponsorships for Women in the Arts are currently available at $5,000, $10,000 and $25,000. To purchase tickets or learn about table sponsorship opportunities, contact Steppenwolf’s Special Events Department at 312-654-5632 or

Lead sponsor of the 2018 Women in the Arts luncheon is Helen Zell. United Airlines is the Official and Exclusive Airline Partner of Steppenwolf Theatre Company.

Previous honorees for Steppenwolf Salutes Women in the Arts include ensemble members Joan Allen, Laurie Metcalf and Martha Plimpton, along with Claire Danes, Juliette Lewis, Julianna Margulies, Margo Martindale, Julianne Nicholson, Mary-Louise Parker and Phylicia Rashad.

About the Honoree
Award winning actress Sarah Paulson has built an impressive list of credits in film, television and on stage.

Paulson's Emmy win for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie was earned for her portrayal of attorney Marcia Clark in the critically acclaimed mini-series, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story on FX. Also for this role, Paulson received a Golden Globe Award in the category of “Best Actress in a Miniseries or Television Film,” a Screen Actors Guild award in the category of “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie,” a Critics Choice Award in the category of “Best Actress in A Movie Made For Television Or Limited Series” as well as a Television Critics Association award in the category of Individual Achievement in Drama.

Upcoming, Paulson will be seen in Stephen Spielberg’s film, The Post, which is inspired by The Washington Post’s role in publishing the infamous study about America’s role in the Vietnam War. Paulson will star opposite Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, Bob Odenkirk, Alison Brie, Carrie Coon, David Cross, Bruce Greenwood, Tracy Letts, Jesse Plemons, Matthew Rhys, Michael Stuhlbarg, Bradley Whitford, and Zach Woods in this ensemble drama which will see a limited release on December 22, 2017 and a wide release on January 12, 2018.

Next year, Paulson has Gary Ross’s Ocean’s 8. The female-driven spinoff of Ocean’s Eleven will also star Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Rihanna, Helena Bonham Carter, Mindy Kaling and Awkwafina. Warner Brothers will release the film June 8, 2018.

Paulson is now in production on M. Night Shyamalan's thriller Glass, opposite James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson. The film is a sequel to the writer-director's 2000 thriller Unbreakable, which centered on a man (Willis) who learns something extraordinary about himself after a devastating accident. Universal is slated to release this on January 18, 2019. After that she will begin lensing Liz Garbus’s narrative-film, Lost Girls. The film was adapted by Michael Werwie from Robert Kolker’s 2013 non-fiction book of the same name. The story focuses on a Long Island mother (Paulson) who, while searching for her missing daughter, discovers the bodies of four murdered girls. She was also recently cast in the Netflix film Bird Box where she will star opposite Sandra Bullock, John Malkovich, Trevante Rhodes, Jacki Weaver, and Danielle Macdonald. The story follows a woman and a pair of children who are blindfolded, and make their way through a post-apocalyptic setting.

On the small screen, Paulson is in the seventh installment of Ryan’s Murphy’s award-winning television series, American Horror Story for FX. The season premiered on September 5, 2017. Paulson has received four consecutive Emmy nominations for her roles in the franchise: Sally in AHS: Hotel; Bette and Dot Tattler, conjoined twins, in AHS: Freak Show; Cordelia Foxx in AHS: Coven; and Lana Winters in AHS: Asylum. She has also earned two additional Critics Choice Awards for her roles in the anthology.

Paulson is also set to produce and star in the upcoming series, Ratched, where she will play the title role. The series, set to be distributed by Netflix, centers on the early life of the villainous nurse from the 1962 Ken Kesey novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

In 2016, Paulson was seen in Alex Leherman’s Blue Jay, opposite Mark Duplass, whom also wrote the screenplay. Distributed by The Orchard, the film follows two former high-school sweethearts who meet by chance when they return to their tiny California hometown. Prior to that, she co-starred in Todd Haynes’s critically acclaimed Carol alongside Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. In 2013, Paulson was seen in Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave, which received an Academy Award® for Best Picture. Paulson appears alongside Michael Fassbender, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong’o as Mistress Epps. That same year, Paulson was also seen alongside Reese Witherspoon and Matthew McConaughey in Jeff Nichols' film Mud. The cast received the Robert Altman Award at the Film Independent Spirit Awards. She previously starred in the critically acclaimed independent feature Martha Marcy May Marlene alongside Elizabeth Olsen.

Paulson received her first Emmy nomination and second Golden Globe nomination for her role as Nicolle Wallace in HBO's critically acclaimed telefilm Game Change. Directed by Jay Roach, the film follows John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign.

Paulson's additional film credits include Danny Strong’s Rebel in the Rye, in which she stars opposite Kevin Spacey and Nicholas Hoult; Lionsgate's The Spiri”, opposite Samuel L. Jackson, Eva Mendes, and Scarlett Johansson; Marry Harron's The Notorious Bettie Page; Down with Love with Renee Zellweger, Ewan McGregor and David Hyde Pierce; What Women Want opposite Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt; The Other Sister directed by Gary Marshall and starring Diane Keaton and Juliette Lewis; and Diggers alongside Paul Rudd and Ken Marino.

Paulson received her first Golden Globe nomination for her performance in Aaron Sorkin's Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, in which she starred opposite Matthew Perry, Amanda Peet, Bradley Whitford and Steven Weber.

Paulson made her return to the stage in 2013 in the Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of Lanford Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize winning play Talley’s Folly. She previously starred on Broadway in the two-hander Collected Stories opposite Linda Lavin, and as Laura Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie, alongside Jessica Lange. On stage she also appeared opposite Alfred Molina and Annette Bening in Cherry Orchard, as well as in Tracy Letts’ critically acclaimed Killer Joe.

Anna D. Shapiro joined the Steppenwolf ensemble in 2005 and was awarded the 2008 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play for August: Osage County (Steppenwolf, Broadway, London). She was nominated in 2011 in the same category for The Motherf**ker with the Hat (Public Theatre, Labyrinth Theater). Other directing credits at Steppenwolf include Tracy Letts’s world premiere of The Minutes (opening November 18, 2018), Visiting Edna, Mary Page Marlowe, Three Sisters, A Parallelogram, Up, The Crucible, The Unmentionables (also at Yale Repertory Theatre), The Pain and the Itch (also in New York), I Never Sang for My Father, Man from Nebraska, Purple Heart (also in Galway, Ireland), The Drawer Boy, Side Man (also in Ireland, Australia and Vail, Colorado), Three Days of Rain, The Infidel and This is Our Youth (which transferred to Broadway). Other Broadway credits include Of Mice and Men (with James Franco) and Fish in the Dark (with Larry David). Off-Broadway credits include Domesticated (Lincoln Center). Anna is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama and Columbia. She was appointed Steppenwolf’s Artistic Director in 2015 and is a professor in Northwestern University’s Department of Theatre.

Steppenwolf Theatre Company is the nation’s premier ensemble theater. Formed by a collective of actors in 1976, the ensemble of 49 members represent a remarkable cross-section of actors, directors and playwrights. Thrilling and powerful productions from Balm in Gilead to August: Osage County—and accolades that include the National Medal of Arts and 12 Tony Awards—have made the theater legendary. Steppenwolf produces hundreds of performances and events annually in its three spaces: the 515-seat Downstairs Theatre, the 295-seat Upstairs Theatre and the 80-seat 1700 Theatre. Artistic programing includes a seven-play season; a two-play Steppenwolf for Young Adults season; Visiting Company engagements; and LookOut, a multi-genre performances series. Education initiatives include the nationally recognized work of Steppenwolf for Young Adults, which engages 15,000 participants annually from Chicago’s diverse communities; the esteemed School at Steppenwolf; and Professional Leadership Programs for arts administration training. While firmly grounded in the Chicago community, nearly 40 original Steppenwolf productions have enjoyed success both nationally and internationally, including Broadway, Off-Broadway, London, Sydney, Galway and Dublin. Anna D. Shapiro is the Artistic Director and David Schmitz is the Executive Director. Eric Lefkofsky is Chair of Steppenwolf’s Board of Trustees. 

For additional information, visit,, and

Thursday, November 16, 2017

HELP OUT: Gift Gala 2017 REVOLUTIONS Friday, December 1, 2017 at The Copernicus Center

The Gift Theatre is pleased to present its 16th annual benefit, GIFT GALA 2017: REVOLUTIONS on Friday, December 1, 2017 from 6 pm – 10 pm at the Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence Ave. in Chicago. 

Since 2001 and over 70 productions, The Gift Theatre has pioneered the frontiers of the American theatre via the most intimate professional theatre in the country, leading to national acclaim and a cultural revolution on Chicago’s northwest side. Join The Gift family for this celebratory evening at the Copernicus Center, named after the astronomer whose theory about revolutions changed everything. Tickets for GIFT GALA 2017: REVOLUTIONS are currently available at

The elegant evening will feature hors d'oeuvres, irresistible auction items and delectable desserts. Entertainment will include live jazz and classical music, a DJ and dancing and a short performance charting The Gift’s evolving place in the cosmos from Copernicus to NASA, SpaceX and beyond. The evening also includes the presentation of the Sheldon Patinkin Total Gift Award, which recognizes a key supporter and friend of The Gift. The theatre is pleased to announce Greg and Anne Taubeneck will be the recipients of this year's award.

This Gala Co-Chairs include Michelle Boone, Chief Program and Civic Engagement Officer at Navy Pier Inc. and Chicago’s First Lady Amy Rule.

The Gala Committee incldues Lori Dimun, Laura Gale, George Karzas, Sharon Martwick, Rita Thornton and Shannon Wallace 


Date/Time: Friday, December 1, 2017 from 6 pm – 10 pm
Location: Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence Ave., Chicago
Details: Coctkails, hors d'oeuvres and dessert, auction items, live music, a DJ and dancing and a performance. Festive attire encouraged.
Tickets: Individual $150; Table $1500; VIP Table $3000. Tickets are currently available at

Gala food donors include: Gale Street Inn, Community Tavern, Pasta D'arte and Cafe Marbella.

About The Gift Theatre
The Gift’s 17th season consists of Stacy Amma Osei-Kuffour’s world premiere of Hang Man, directed by ensemble member Erica Weiss (February 9 – April 8, 2018); Shakespeare’s Hamlet, directed by Monty Cole (June 1 – July 29, 2018); and the Midwest premiere of Tony Award-winning playwright and ensemble member David Rabe’s Cosmologies, directed by Artistic Director Michael Patrick Thornton (October 12 –December 9, 2018). The Gift subscribers ("Gifters") receive admission to three shows, free parking at Gale Street Inn, free admission to all Wednesday night “Natural Gas” improv shows and invitations to special subscriber-only special events. Subscribe at or by calling (773) 283-7071. 

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