Showing posts with label show review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label show review. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

ACT OUT CLOSING: The Little Prince at Lookingglass Must Close 3/16 #review #KidsReview

ChiIL Mama's ChiIL Picks List: 
Best Family Friendly 
Theatre Productions 

It's been Extended & Highly Recommended, 
but now it's days are numbered. Don't miss out. Go already! 

Make your reservation today!
The Little Prince has been extended twice by popular demand, but must close March 16, 2014. Don't miss the chance to experience the story based on the classic French novella highly recommended by the Chicago Sun-Times.

**Written for adults, but fine for savvy 6+/95 minutes--no intermission, soooooo leave the littlest littles at home for this one. There's nothing scary or wildly inappropriate for all ages, but make sure your child is mature enough to sit for an hour and a half without a break when considering this show.**

The Little PrinceBy Rick Cummins and John Scoullar
Based on the book by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Directed by Ensemble Member David Catlin

"a wonderful place to get lost in this winter season" –TimeOut Chicago 

Sage & Du's Reviews
(A Kids' Eye View)
The Little Prince
Lookingglass Theatre

Review by Sage and/or Dugan (ages 10 & 12)

We liked the set a lot because it was basically a giant, 3 dimensional piece of paper, like a slide & the actors drew on it & played under and over it.

The Little Prince is really written for adults, but good for all ages, except very little kids who can’t sit still that long without an intermission.  There was a huge mix of ages from kids to grandparent aged people on opening night and there was a lot of smiling.   We thought there could have been more circus arts incorporated, but the drunk on the globe was great and we really liked the strap aerialist.    

Our Take
The theme is accept differences.  The guy with the plane that crashed thought it was all about him, then he met all kinds of other people and places in the universe.  The Little Prince learned lessons about love and caring through his flower.   

We liked it a LOT and recommend checkin it out. 

The Little Prince was a shoe in for ChiIL Mama's ChiIL Picks List for Best Family Friendly Theatre Productions.  We adore circus arts, particularly when they advance and enhance a plot. We also love book based theatrical adaptations.  Lookingglass Theatre consistently impresses and we've long been fans of David Catlin's work on stage and pulling the strings as director.  So, to say we had high expectations for The Little Prince would be an understatement.  I'm thrilled to say we were more than impressed.  This production gets it right.

The content and depth is there, but the playful overtones, and visually stunning costumes, sets, and props keep the production from being heavy handed and make it amusing and entertaining. This is one of our current favorites for creative set design as well as stellar acting, creative use of aerial and circus arts.  Click here for our prior coverage.

The Little Prince must close March 16, 2014!

Tickets are going fast! Best availability March 5, 6 and 7 at at 7:30pm.
Call the box office at 312.337.0665

Lookingglass Theatre Company's hit production of The Little Prince, is produced in association with The Actors Gymnasium, by Rick Cummins and John Scoullar, based on the book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, and directed by Ensemble Member David Catlin. The show now runs through Sunday, March 16, 2014 due to overwhelming demand. 

The Little Prince runs at Lookingglass Theatre Company, located inside Chicago's historic Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave. at Pearson.  

Stuck, thirsty and alone. A pilot stranded in the Sahara Desert meets an enigmatic, charismatic young prince fallen from the sky who regales him with tales of life among the stars: tales with earthly importance.  In this visually arresting, fully immersive theatrical interpretation of the beloved French novella, director David Catlin (creator of Lookingglass Alice) illustrates the story with fantastic characters and gravity-defying, awe-inspiring physical feats.

The Little Prince speaks – in breathtaking splendor – to the castaway in all of us: challenging our perspective, opening our eyes and bringing us back to the heart of what truly matters.

"Everyone who saw and thrilled to David's Lookingglass Alice will remember his penchant for creating stories that are full to bursting with spectacles of pure delight and inventiveness, “ says Artistic Director Andrew White. “He brings all of that unmatched creativity and passion to this internationally beloved story, creating a show that truly will appeal to audiences of all ages -- to parents as well as their kids, to grandparents and grandchildren, to anyone who, as David puts it, has found themselves at some point in their lives stuck, thirsty and alone - and who hasn't?"

“I love The Little Prince because it has something for all ages.  Kids will dig the strange characters and the intergalactic story.  Teens and college kids will connect with the impending responsibility of becoming a grown-up.  And grown-ups will identify with our lonely Aviator who crashes in the Sahara Desert a thousand miles from anyone and anywhere with barely enough water for a week,” comments director David Catlin. “In this crisis, our Aviator needs the wisdom of a child—a Little Prince—to remember that ‘what is essential is invisible to the eye’ and the importance of cultivating ties with others.”  

The cast includes Ensemble Member Raymond Fox (King), Artistic Associates Lauren Hirte (Desert Rose) and Louise Lamson (Rose) with Ian Barford (Aviator), Amelia Hefferon (Little Prince), Kareem Bandealy (Snake), Adeoye (Lamp Lighter) and Kasey Foster (Fox).
The design team includes Artistic Associates Rick Sims (sound) and Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi (acrobatic/circus choreography) with Courtney O’Neill (set), Salley Dolembo (costumes), William Kirkham (lighting), Maria DeFabo (Properties), Lee Brasuell (rigger), Tess Golden (Stage Manager) and Kelsey Lamm (Assistant Stage Manager).
The production sponsor for The Little Prince is Allstate, which is also the sponsor of the Education Programs for the production.
Lookingglass Theatre is located in the heart of the Magnificent Mile shopping district inside Chicago's historic Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave. at Pearson.  Discounted parking is available for Lookingglass patrons at both the nearby John Hancock Center and Olympia Centre Self Park (161 E. Chicago Ave.).

David Catlin (Director/Ensemble Member) Recent Lookingglass directing credits include:  Icarus, Lookingglass Alice, and Black Diamond (with Nicky Brooks).  Regional directing credits include: McCarter (Princeton, NJ),  Arden (Philadelphia), The New Victory (NYC), Syracuse Stage, Actors Theater of Louisville, the Alliance (Atlanta) and the Getty Villa (Los Angeles).  Other recent directing credits include:  The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley (NU), The Little Prince (NU), and The Monster Under the Bed (Depaul).  David teaches acting with Northwestern University’s theatre department and will direct Moby Dick there in April 2014. David lives in Chicago with his wife Kerry and their two daughters Emerson and Saylor.

Adeoye (Lamp Lighter) returns home to Chicago and to Lookingglass with The Little Prince. He most recently appeared in Optimism! Or Voltaire’s Candide at Spooky Action Theater in Washington DC. Other DC credits: All’s Well That Ends Well and The Atheist’s Tragedy at The Academy for Classical Acting at The Shakespeare Theatre and The George Washington University, where he earned his MFA.  Previous Lookingglass credits: Peter Pan, Lookingglass Alice, Icarus and Black Diamond. Other Chicago credits: The Unmentionables (Steppenwolf Theatre), The Lost Boys of Sudan (Victory Gardens Theater). Regional credits: A Raisin in the Sun (Guthrie Theatre/Penumbra Theatre,) Intimate Apparel (Clarence Brown Theatre). Television credits: “Detroit 1-8-7,” “Leverage,” “Prison Break.” Film credits: #Vengeance is Mine.

Kareem Bandealy (Snake) has appeared previously at Lookingglass in Big Lake Big City, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, The Last Act of Lilka Kadison, and Peter Pan (A Play). Chicago: Rock ‘N’ Roll, Gas For Less, King Lear (Goodman Theatre), The Wheel (Steppenwolf Theatre Company), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Edward II, Romeo & Juliet (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), The Illusion (Court Theatre), Hamlet, The Caretaker, Heartbreak House (Writers’ Theatre), Blood and Gifts (TimeLine Theatre), and The Real Thing (Remy Bumppo). Regional: The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Three Musketeers, The Tempest (Illinois Shakespeare), Love’s Labour’s Lost (Notre Dame Shakespeare), Stuff Happens, Julius Caesar (Pittsburgh Irish & Classical), and four seasons at Orlando Shakespeare Theater. Film credits include The Merry Gentleman (Michael Keaton, director). In 2011, he received a 3Arts Artist Award.

Ian Barford (Aviator) makes his debut with Lookingglass Theatre.  Most Chicago appearances have been with Steppenwolf where he is an ensemble member.  Some favorites there include: August: Osage County (original company, Broadway and the National Theater in London), The March (Jeff nom. for best supporting actor), Endgame, The Libertine, As I Lay Dying and The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (Broadway, Outer Circle critics nom.) and many others. Love Song at 59E59 in NYC.  Originated the role of Dr. Khassan Baiev, a Chechen surgeon, in The Oath based upon his autobiography.   In Los Angeles, The Weir, God’s Man in Texas and Take Me Out at the Geffen Playhouse. Dead End at the Ahmanson. All The Rage and Design for Living at the Goodman. Othello at Chicago Shakes. National Tour of Picasso at the Lapin Agile.  Soon to be released films include: Shreveport, Return to Sender. Other Films: Road to Perdition, 13 Going on 30 and others. Numerous TV appearances.

Kasey Foster (Fox) has performed with Chicago Children’s Theatre, Redmoon, Dog n Pony, Trap Door, Theater Wit, Red Tape, and Collaboraction. She sings with local bands: This Must be the Band, Grood, and Old Timey. Foster co-produces The Monthly Visit with Kevin O’Donnell, and has choreographed and directed over thirty original works since her Chicago arrival in 2004. One of her favorite projects to produce and choreograph is a series called Dance Tribute, which takes place twice a year at Martyrs’ on Lincoln Ave.

Raymond Fox (King) is a Lookingglass Ensemble Member and recently appeared as Simon Craig in Blood and Gifts with TimeLine Theatre.  His numerous Lookingglass credits include Metamorphoses (original 1998-1999 premiere and 2012-2013 revival), a play he originally performed across the country including its Off Broadway and Broadway productions. Additional regional credits: Goodman Theatre, Court Theatre, Remy Bumppo, Tectonic Theatre Project/About Face Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Next Theatre, First Folio, Meadow Brook Theatre, Arden Theatre, Arena Stage, Mark Taper Forum, McCarter Theatre, Berkeley Rep., Seattle Rep., American Repertory Theatre, Hartford Stage, and Canada’s Stratford Festival. Mr. Fox is a graduate of Northwestern University and the A.R.T. Institute at Harvard University.

Amelia Hefferon (Little Prince) makes her professional debut with The Little Prince. Amelia is a Michigan native and a recent graduate of Northwestern University where she studied theatre and art history.

Lauren Hirte (Desert Rose) is an Artistic Associate returning to Lookingglass with The Little Prince, where her credits also include: Alice in Lookingglass Alice, Icarus, Fedra, Hephaestus, and Hard Times. Regional credits: Actors Theatre of Louisville, Arden Theatre, McCarter Theatre, The New Victory, and most recently as the title character in Milwaukee Rep’s The Diary of Anne Frank. She has studied, taught and performed at the Piven Theatre, and at the Actors Gymnasium. Recently, Lauren has been living in LA, and spent the summer with Steppenwolf West at CSU Summer Arts in Monterey Bay, CA.

Louise Lamson (Rose) is an Artistic Associate of Lookingglass Theatre where she has been seen in The Idiot, Hard Times, The Secret in the Wings, The Wooden Breeks, Icarus (at the Getty Villa, L.A.), The Brothers Karamazov, Our Town, The Arabian Nights, Ethan Frome, and most recently Metamorphoses. Some other Chicago credits include: About Face Theatre’s Bash (After Dark award and Jeff nomination); The Odyssey (Goodman); and The Adventures of Herculina (Next Theatre). New York credits include: Metamorphoses (Second Stage and Broadway) and The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci (Second Stage). Louise is a graduate of Northwestern University.

About Lookingglass Theatre Company
Inventive.  Collaborative.  Transformative.  Lookingglass Theatre Company, recipient of the 2011 Regional Theatre Tony Award, was founded in 1988 by eight Northwestern University students.  Now in its 26th season, Lookingglass is home to a multi-disciplined ensemble of artists who create story-centered theatrical work that is physical, aurally rich and visually metaphoric. The company has staged 61 world premieres, received 101 Joseph Jefferson awards and nominations, and work premiered at Lookingglass has been produced in New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle, Berkeley, Philadelphia, Princeton, Hartford, Kansas City, Washington D.C., and St. Louis.  Lookingglass original scripts have been produced across the United States.

The Lookingglass Theatre in Chicago's landmark Water Tower Water Works opened in June 2003.  In addition to developing and presenting ensemble work, Lookingglass Education and Community programs encourage creativity, teamwork and confidence with thousands of community members each year.

Lookingglass Theatre Company continues to expand its artistic, financial and institutional boundaries under the guidance of Artistic Director Andrew White, Executive Director Rachel Kraft, Producing Artistic Director Philip R. Smith, Artistic Director of New Work Heidi Stillman, a 24-member artistic ensemble, 15 artistic associates, 11 production affiliates, an administrative staff and a dedicated board of directors led by Chairman Joe Brady of Jones Lang LaSalle and President John McGowan of Northern Trust Chicago. For more information, visit

Title:                The Little Prince
Written by:      Rick Cummings and John Scoullar
Based on the
Book by:          Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Directed by:     Ensemble Member David Catlin
Produced in Association with The Actors Gymnasium

Regular run: December 15, 2013 – February 2, 2014
EXTENSION:   Through Sunday, March 16, 2014

TimesTuesdays: 7:30 p.m. (except March 4)
Wednesdays: 7:30 p.m.
Thursdays: 3:00 p.m. (except Feb 6, 13 & 27 and March 13); 7:30 p.m. (except Feb 6)
Fridays: 7:30 p.m.
Saturdays: 3:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. (except March 8)
Sundays: 3:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Location: Lookingglass Theatre Company, located inside Chicago's historic
Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave. at Pearson.  
Prices: Regular Run is $45 - $75
Prices are subject to change.
Target Saturday Matinees offer a limited number of buy one, get one free tickets which are available to all 3:00 p.m. Saturday matinees. This program is made possible with the generous support of Target, working with Lookingglass to make the arts accessible to all.

A limited number of student tickets are available the day of the show for $20 with valid student ID.

Groups of 8 or more patrons save up to 20%. Call the box office for details.

Box Office: Buy online at
or by phone at (312) 337-0665

The Lookingglass box office is located at Water Tower Water Works,
821 N. Michigan Ave.

Monday, November 4, 2013

REVIEW: CHICAGO’S WEIRD, GRANDMA October 28 – December 2, 2013

BOM is truly the bomb!   Barrel of Monkeys killed it last Monday.   Chicago's Weird Grandma... and proud of it!  If you haven't seen this show, or haven't gone in a while what are you waiting for?!

Last Monday night the kids and I were stoked to see the first in a series of annual collaborations between some of Chi-town's Best and Brightest Performing Arts Companies & Artists and our long time favs, Barrel of Monkeys!   

Come on out and see just how weird and wonderful it is when the unbridled creativity of kids' stories is given a voice, costumes, and a platform!   These guys are some of our favs and Monday night was a hoot.   The tweens (10 & 12) both dug it, but I think I laughed even harder than they did!

Every week the audience votes on their top 2 keepers and 2 to let go.   The kids and I had different opinions but we all adored The Elephants Come To My House sketch.   Catch it before the pachyderms pack it up!

Click here to check out the show details in our prior coverage.

Still hesitating?   

Have you SEEN the complete schedule of guest artists and companies for CHICAGO’S WEIRD, GRANDMA:

Monday, October 28 – Manual Cinema (tooo much fun with shadow puppets, a wig & 3 overhead projectors)

Monday, November 4 – Jessica Hudson
Monday, November 11 – The Neo-Futurists and Bailiwick Chicago Theater
Monday, November 18 – Jyldo
Monday, November 25 – The Hypocrites

Monday, December 2 – About Face Theatre and Noah Ginex Puppet Company

Check 'em out LIVE the next 6 weeks, for their annual Chicagocentric version.  Then check back with ChiIL Mama like we vote in Chi, IL... early and often.  We have an original video interview with Barrel of Monkeys coming soon.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

REVIEW: Bo Thomas and the Case of the Sky Pirates at Babes With Blades a Must See

We were wowed once again by Babes With Blades' latest, and highly recommend you check out this rockin' world premier.   How can you beat dirigibles, girl knife & gun fights, witty repartee, and orphanage arson?!   This show is aimed at adults but fine for theatre savvy tweens and teens as well.

My tweens sat front row for an extra adrenaline rush and both loved the show!   In Raven Theatre's intimate space, the knife play literally happens within arm's reach of the audience.   This awesome period piece has so many of our favorite elements... cool fight choreography, smart, strong women, clever writing and a quirky plot.   If you haven't checked it out, go already.

Check out our prior coverage here including all the pertinent show details.

Must close Saturday, 9/21...
Don't miss BWBTC's Production of Eric Simon's Bo Thomas and the Case of the Sky Pirates!  

"If there were a Jeff Award for Most Adorable Production this should win." - The Dueling Critics

"The fights are, as one expects with the Babes, top-notch stuff (JKChoreograpy - the team of Jay Burckhardt and Kim Fukawa - provided the violence design), and Schemmel's Bo is a saucy delight as a pastiche female Philip Marlowe." - Chicago Tribune

Come see what the buzz is about!

At the Raven Theatre, West Stage
6157 N. Clark St., Chicago
(Lot parking / easy street parking) 

Use this link for more information.  For special pricing and events during the show run, please visit our website.

BWB Photo 2: Megan Schemmel,  Kelly Yacono 

Swords for Rusty Broads (& Gents) -
Presenting Neo-Commedia!

Saturday 9/14, 11am-5:30pm
At the Prop Thtr, 3502 N. Elston, 60618

In preparation for our upcoming production of L'Imbecile (see below for more details!), we're offering a workshop in the fight style we'll be using in the show.

For more information and to register, check out our website.

Announcing Auditions for the Spring 2014 World Premiere of L'Imbecile 
By Aaron Adair
A decadent, gender-twisted take on Giuseppe Verdi's opera Rigoletto.
Wed 9/25 and Thu 9/26, 2013
(Invited Callbacks to take place Sat 9/28, 10am - 5pm)

Non-Equity.  Male and Female roles are available

All Ethnicities, All Ages are invited to audition.  Experience in stage combat, Commedia, and other physical work a plus.

Auditions will be held by APPOINTMENT ONLY in the City Lit rehearsal room
(1020 W. Bryn Mawr, 3rd floor)
Please prepare 1 monologue, no longer than 2 minutes, classical or other heightened language, comic preferred

For an appointment contact

Fighting Words

Our 2013 new plays development series continues!  Want to be a part of the creative process? Please join us for the public readings of these exciting new plays and give your input.

Patchwork Drifter by Jennifer L. Mickelson*
Reading #2 + fight: 9/29, 1pm at Profiles Alley Stage (4147 N. Broadway, Chicago)
...and the winner of Joining Sword & Pen 2013-14:
 Witch Slap by Jeff Goode
Reading #1: 10/27, 1pm at Profiles Alley Stage (4147 N. Broadway, Chicago)
 Reading #2 + fight: 12/8, 1pm at Profiles Alley Stage (4147 N. Broadway, Chicago)

Want to know more about Fighting Words?  Go here.

Check Out These Babes

Dawn Alden and Kathrynne Wolf can be seen on the new web series, "Dark Age" -
Brooke Elliot is starring in Lifetime's Drop Dead Diva as Jane/Deb. Check it out! 

Amy Harmon, Morgan Manasa and Mary Ann Bowman will be appearing in an enhanced staged reading of 180 Degree Rule by M.E.H. Lewis and fellow Babe Barbara Lhota, presented by Pride Films & Plays on Saturday, September 14 at 7pm at the Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted.

Lisa Herceg will appear as Det. Jules Rossi in Stage Left Theatre's production of Barbara Lhota's Warped at Theatre Wit, 1229 W. Belmont.  Previews are 9/4 and 9/5; opens 9/6 and runs Thursdays - Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 3pm through 10/6.  For tickets and more information:
Kimberly Logan is appearing in All American at Redtwist Theatre, which closes 9/9 (performances are Saturday at 3:00pm and Sunday/Monday at 7:30pm). Industry tickets available for every show at the door ($10).

Elizabeth MacDougald is appearing for one more weekend in Idle Muse Theatre Company's production of Enchanted April, running through 9/8 at Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge.  For tickets:

Megan Schemmel is currently kicking butt, taking names, and solving crime as the titled character of BWBTC's production of Bo Thomas And The Case of The Sky Pirates. In addition, Wolf Point Media's web series premiered its pilot episode of The Scarlet Line on August 31, where Megan plays 'Naomi', the crime-fighting-scarlet gone vigilante. Fighting crime is in the blood, but flipping sides is where the fun's at! 

Calling all active & emeritus Babes: please keep us up-to-date on your activities! Email about a listing in the Babes With Blades BroadSheet!

Fabulous Women (and Friends) At Work  

Valerie Meachum stars in period horror short Witchfinder, which screened at the Dragon*Con Film Festival on September 1 and will also be shown at the Halloween Horror Picture Show in Tampa on September 28. 

Is your organization providing opportunities for women in theatre or film? Want the Babes to promote your work? Email about a listing in the Babes With Blades BroadSheet!  

Thursday, August 29, 2013

REVIEW: Profiles Season Opener In God's Hat Beautifully Brutal #review #theatre

Profiles is off to a roaring start for their 25th Anniversary Season.   We highly recommend In God's Hat.   Somehow playwright Rhett Rossi has managed to blur the lines between victim and victimizer to create a hilarious, thought provoking, and cringe inducing dark comedy.   I don't know whether the emphasis should fall more on dark or comedy because he manages to merge the most reprehensible members of society... little boy child molesters and God fearing, Aryan Nation white supremacists into one wickedly funny production.

Though there are a fare share of cringe inducing flashback monologues and sick ideological rants, this show is truly funny throughout.  We enjoyed the multifaceted characters who had sympathetic elements despite their gaping character flaws.   In God's Hat is a compelling look at extreme ideologies, and what humans do to survive unbearable situations.   There are myriad contradictions in every one of these complex human beings, and In God's Hat has enough drama and plot twists to keep you guessing. 

The tension, stage combat, and delivery do justice to this outstanding script   and Roy, Mitch and Arthur were disturbingly possible.   I'd love to see Early step up the psychotic a bit as the run progresses.   He needs to ride that creepy menace with just a veneer of polite.   Early was just a bit too affable, but Arthur pulled off the crazy with panache.  


Larry Neumann, Jr. as Mitch, Darrell W. Cox as Roy, and Bruce Cronander.

John Victor Allen, Darrell W. Cox  Larry Neumann, Jr.

PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Brosilow
Files are named left to right with actor names.

The cast of In God's Hat features Co-Artistic Director Darrell W. Cox as Roy, Larry Neumann, Jr. as Mitch, John Victor Allen and Bruce Cronander.

The live musicians in their prison like mesh are a stand out, too.   This talented crew rocks the guitar, harmonica, fiddle, keyboards, percussion and more, to lend a bluesy ambience that goes well beyond just a backdrop to the action.

This is absolutely a mature audiences only show.   Leave the kids at home for this one.  

Darrell W. Cox as Roy, Larry Neumann, Jr. as Mitch

Profiles Theatre opens 25h Anniversary Season
with the Midwest premiere of
In God’s Hat by Rhett Rossi

Profiles Theatre opens its 25th Anniversary Season with the Midwest premiere of In God’s Hat by Rhett Rossi, directed by Artistic Director Joe Jahraus. The production runs August 23 – October 13, 2013 at The Main Stage, 4139 N. Broadway

In God's Hat examines the extremes of humanity and the love of family as well the contempt for it. For nearly a decade, estranged brothers Roy and Mitch found themselves kept apart by prison bars and a nefarious history. On the day of Mitch's release, he is shocked to see Roy waiting for him, unsure of his intentions. Together they travel down a desolate road stopping at the only lodging around--a fleabag motel where confrontation and tension manifest themselves through darkly comical situations. In the end, the brothers must confront both the past and present, as some secrets are revealed and new ones must be kept.

Produced off-Broadway by the Apothecary Theatre Company, Rhett Rossi’s criticall- acclaimed play In God’s Hat received its world premiere in July 2010. His other plays include the one-man show Burnt, first performed by the Present Company Theatorium and From Red to Black, which received a reading at South Coast Rep and was runner up for the Laurents/Hatcher Prize. Rossi recently developed a pilot for HBO about minor league hockey.
Directed by Profiles Co-Artistic Director Joe Jahraus, the cast of In God's Hat features Co-Artistic Director Darrell W. Cox as Roy and Larry Neumann, Jr. as Mitch. Also featured are guest artists John Victor Allen and Bruce Cronander.

In God’s Hat explores familial bonds, crisis of faith and our interwoven destinies through it’s tough, hard-edged dialogue and dark humor,” says Jahraus. "Rossi’s play is the perfect way to kick off our 25th year of bringing exciting, visceral new works to Chicago.”

The designers for In God's Hat are Shaun Renfro (set), Mike Durst (lights), Jeffrey Levin (sound and original live music), and Raquel Adorno (costumes). Profiles ensemble member Eric Burgher is the assistant director.

Profiles Theatre plans six productions for the 25th Anniversary Season alternating between its two venues, The Main Stage at 4139 N. Broadway and The Alley Stage at 4147 N. Broadway. Following In God’s Hat, the Midwest premiere of Wrecks by Neil LaBute debuts at The Alley Stage on October 3, 2013 featuring John Judd as Edward Carr. Also scheduled are Midwest premieres of the award-winning plays Cock by Mike Bartlett, Gidion’s Knot by Johnna Adams and Hunter Gatherers by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb along with Profiles’ acclaimed production of Hellcab by Will Kern, returning for the holiday season.

Tickets for In God’s Hat are $35 for Thursdays, $40 for Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets are available by phone, (773) 549-1815, or online, Performances are Thursdays and Fridays at 8:00 p.m., Saturdays at 5:00 and 8:00 pm, Sundays at 7:00 p.m.

Darrell W. Cox as Roy, Larry Neumann, Jr. as Mitch


RHETT ROSSI (Playwright) premiered his critically-acclaimed play In God’s Hat off-Broadway with the Apothecary Theatre Company. His other plays include the one-man show Burnt with Present Company Theatorium and From Red to Black which received a reading at South Coast Rep and was runner up for the Laurents/Hatcher Prize. Rhett recently developed a pilot with HBO about minor league hockey. He lives in Brooklyn.

JOE JAHRAUS (Director) is the founder and Co-Artistic Director of Profiles Theatre. He most recently directed Profiles' Midwest Premieres of The Dream of the Burning Boy by David West Read and Sweet and Sad by Richard Nelson, the American Premiere of In a Forest, Dark and Deep by Neil LaBute as well as Profiles' World Premiere of Assisted Living by Deirdre O'Connor. His other directing credits with Profiles include the Midwest Premieres of Fifty Words by Michael Weller, Jailbait by Deirdre O'Connor, The Mercy Seat by Neil LaBute, Great Falls by Lee Blessing, The Thugs by Adam Bock and the World Premiere of Kid Sister by Will Kern. Joe directed the American Premiere of Apple by Vern Thiessen and the long-running hit Fat Pig by Neil LaBute for which he received a Jeff Award Nomination for Outstanding Director. Other directing credits for Profiles include the American Premiere of Apple by Vern Thiessen, the award-winning Midwest Premiere of Blackbird by Adam Rapp, Babylon Gardens by Timothy Mason, The Water Engine and Sexual Perversity in Chicago by David Mamet, and the award-winning Midwest Premiere of Carnal Knowledge by Jules Fieffer, among others.

JOHN VICTOR ALLEN (Arthur) makes his Profiles Theatre debut with In God's Hat. He was most recently seen in Measure for Measure at the Goodman Theatre and Elephant’s Graveyard with Red Tape Theatre. Other productions include Five Flights with Immediate Theatre, Coup and Rotten Couch Potatoes with Gearworks Theatre and Indecent Proposals with Metropolis PAC. John was also seen in the independent feature film The Soul Gatherer as well as numerous appearances around Chicago's vibrant improv and sketch comedy scene with his award-winning sketch group The Dancing Pig from The Second City. 

DARRELL W. COX (Roy) is Co-Artistic Director of Profiles Theatre where he most recently appeared in Profiles' Midwest Premiere of The Dream of the Burning Boy by David West Read. Prior to that he was seen in Profiles' Midwest Premiere of Sweet and Sad by Richard Nelson and Profiles' American Premiere of In a Forest Dark and Deep by Neil LaBute. Darrell received his fourth Joseph Jefferson Award for Actor in a Principal Role for his performance as Joe Cooper in Profiles' production of Killer Joe by Tracy Letts. Darrell has appeared at Steppenwolf in the World Premiere of Men of Tortuga (where he originated the role of Taggart), the Midwest Premiere of Orange Flower Water (which traveled to the Galway Arts Festival), and the World Premiere of Wendall Greene. He has also been seen at the Goodman in The Shawl and Home as part of the David Mamet Festival, American Theatre Company's Speed the Plow and Oleanna as part of the Mamet Repertory, as well as Jim Jones in the Midwest Premiere of The People's Temple, and the World Premiere of Martin Furey's Shot at TimeLine, among others. He has won four Joseph Jefferson Awards for Principal Actor for his work in Profiles' productions of Killer Joe, Blackbird, Some Voices, and Eye of God. In addition, he has received two After Dark Awards for Outstanding Performance for Profiles' productions of Popcorn, and Carnal Knowledge. Darrell can currently be seen in a recurring role as Uncle Ray on "Chicago Fire" on NBC and appeared in the film "AB-" directed by Dan Klein and produced by The Gravity Collaborative, which premiered at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival. 

BRUCE CRONANDER (Early) is working for the first time at Profiles Theatre. A recent transplant from Los Angeles, and originally from San Francisco, he has enjoyed becoming part of the thriving theatre community in Chicago. Since his arrival he has performed in Anna Christi with the Rendition Theatre and Outward Bound at the JPAC theatre in Cicero. Favorite roles in Los Angeles include the Reverend Chasuble in The Importance of Being Ernest and Lt. Calley in In the Heart of America. Roles in the San Francisco area include Camping with Henry and Tom at Theatreworks, A Few Good Men and Six Degrees of Separation. Film roles include XXX:State of the Union with William Defoe, Prom-troversy with Jane Lynch and Living the Dream with Sean Young. Television roles include Arrested Development and A&E Biography Series: Eisenhower.

LARRY NEUMANN, JR. (Mitch) makes his Profiles Theatre debut with In God's Hat. Mr. Neumann has been seen in over 70 productions in his career, primarily in his hometown of Chicago where audiences have seen Larry recently at the Goodman Theatre in Robert Falls The Iceman Cometh with Nathan Lane and Brian Dennehy and earlier at Lookingglass Theatre in Mr. Rickey Calls a Meeting as baseball icon Branch Rickey. Larry has also worked with Lookingglass previously in The Richard Nickel Story (title role), & Austin in The Shaggs. Mr. Neumann has received Jeff awards for performances in Moon for the Misbegotten at First Folio as Phil Hogan, Dr. Larch in Famous Door’s epic two-part production of Cider House Rules, and for his portrayal of the Dali Lama in Hitting For The Cycle, also with Famous Door.  Other Chicago favorites include Madness of Edgar Allen Poe (First Folio); Puppetmaster of Ludz (Writer’s Theatre); and Underneath The Lintel (Noble Fool). He has appeared regionally at Milwaukee Rep., Madison Rep. and Kansas City Rep.  Film credits: Merry Gentleman, Stranger Than Fiction, Stir of Echoes. A native Chicagoan, he lives with wife Sandy and their cats in Ravenswood Manor. Larry is a member of Actors’ Equity.


Title:                 In God’s Hat
            Playwright:        by Rhett Rossi
Directed by:      Rick Snyder
                                   Regular Run:                August 29 – October 13, 2013

Schedule:         Thurs., Fri.:                  8:00 p.m. 
                        Saturday:                     5:00 p.m. and 8:00p.m. (no 5pm show August 31)
Sunday:                       7:00 p.m.

Location:          Profiles Theatre, The Main Stage, 4139 N. Broadway
                        Parking is available for $14 - $20 at 4100 N. Clarendon
(One block east of the theatre at the corner of Clarendon and Belle Plaine)

Ticket prices:   
Regular Run:    Thursdays are $35, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are $40; Students and Senior Citizens receive a $5 discount on all performances; Group rates are available.
Box Office:       Buy online at
or call (773) 549-1815


Darrell W. Cox as Roy, Larry Neumann, Jr. as Mitch and Bruce Cronander.


Profiles Theatre, founded in 1988 by Artistic Director Joe Jahraus, joined shortly thereafter by Artistic Director Darrell W. Cox, was formed as an actor-driven theatre ensemble dedicated to creating provocative and emotionally truthful productions. Passionate about shaping an original vision for new works, they focused on performing World, American and Midwest premieres as well as rarely performed plays. Critically-acclaimed hits, such as BLACKBIRD, FAT PIG, GRACELAND and the multiple Jeff Award-winning KILLER JOE, established Profiles as a destination for challenging and edgy theatre. Their unique collaboration with playwright Neil LaBute led the ensemble to perform an entire season of his plays in 2007-2008. Now a Resident Artist at Profiles, LaBute remains an unequivocal artistic influence on the ensemble.

After performing at 4147 North Broadway for more than two decades, Profiles acquired an adjacent theatre at 4139 North Broadway in 2012. Profiles’ new theatre, The Main Stage, with its larger seating capacity, increased performance space and higher ceilings, accommodates more ambitious and technically demanding productions. Their long-time venue, renamed The Alley Stage, continues as the home for plays strengthened by a more intimate staging. Driven by an undiminished appetite for creating honest and resonant theatre, Profiles still seeks to present work that illuminates the determination and resiliency of the human spirit.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

ACT OUT: Reverb at RedTwist Review #review

Red Twist strikes again with a twisted little music world masterpiece that melds genius and insanity, consensual S & M, abuse, and near homicide in an intense live theatre experience that will reverberate around your brain long after the final curtain call.  This compelling exploration of complicated family relationships and coping mechanisms is not without horror and humor.  And the multifaceted, brilliantly troubled characters ring true.  Highly recommended.   Do note this is a mature audiences show and may also be a trigger for those who are sensitive or have experienced past abuse.

By Leslye Headland
Directed by Jonathan Berry

Opens Saturday, May 18, at 3pm

Redtwist announces the Chicago premiere of Reverb, a darkly comic, brutal dissection of the deadly force of wrath in the playwright’s cycle of the Seven Deadly Sins

Featuring Redtwist company member, and two-time Jeff Award-winner, Peter Oyloe

Jeff-Award winning director, Jonathan Berry, directs the Chicago premiere of Reverb, story of a rising young musician and his girlfriend/muse as they try to clear the decks of their own dysfunctional pasts, while the reverberations keep these soulmates locked in a vicious maze of loving tenderness and mortal combat.
Brittany Burch (Lydia), Chris Chmelik (Shane), Ashley Neal (Ivy), Peter Oyloe (Dorian), Nick Vidal (Hank), Mary Williamson (June)

Jonathan Berry (Director), Will Crouse (Assistant Director), Allison Queen (Stage Manager), Olivia Baker (Assistant Stage Manager), Elizabeth Penrose (Assistant Stage Manager), Sarah Burnham (Production Manager), Frank Sjodin (Tech Director), Joe Schermoly (Set Designer), Brandon Wardell (Lighting Designer), Christopher Kriz (Sound Designer), Peter Oyloe and Christopher Kriz (Original Music), Emily McConnell (Costume Designer), Jeff Shields (Prop Designer), Ryan Bourque (Fight Designer), Mary Reynard (Vocal Coach), Kevin McDonald (Dramaturg), Garvin Jellison (Master Electrician), Alan Weusthoff (Set Assistant), Peter Oyloe (Graphic Designer), Jan Ellen Graves (Marketing), Charles Bonilla (Box Office Manager), E. Malcolm Martinez (Box Office Associate), Johnny Garcia (Associate Producer), Michael Colucci & Jan Ellen Graves (Producers)
Opens: Sat, May 18, 3pm
Runs: Thu, Fri, Sat, 7:30pm; Sun, 3pm
Note: no evening performance on Sat, May 18 and no performance on Sun, May 19
Closes: Sun, June 23
Running Time: Approximately 90 minutes, no intermission
Previews: $15; Wed, Thu, Fri, May 15, 16, 17, at 7:30pm
Tickets: Thursdays, $25; Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, $30 (seniors & students $5 off)

Call: 773-728-7529  

The cast is stellar and the material is gold.   We were particularly enamored with the performances of Dorian & June.   

Check out our prior Reverb coverage here.

CAST in order of appearance
Dorian ....................................................................*Peter Oyloe
June ................................................................Mary Williamson
Hank...........................................................................Nick Vidal
Shane...................................................................Chris Chmelik
Lydia ....................................................................Brittany Burch
Ivy............................................................................ Ashley Neal
(Shane alternate after 6/23 ............................................ Robert Vignisson) *Redtwist company member

PLACE: Echo Park, a neighborhood in Los Angeles TIME: Today
Reverb is performed without intermission. The total running time is approximately 90 minutes.
Reverb received its World Premiere by the IAMA Theatre Company, Los Angeles, CA in 2009.

Reverb is produced by special arrangement with the Playwright and Creative Artists Agency and Caliber Media Co.

By Leslye Headland
Directed by Jonathan Berry

Redtwist announces the Chicago premiere of Reverb, a darkly comic, brutal dissection of the deadly force of wrath in the playwright’s cycle of the Seven Deadly Sins

Featuring Redtwist company member, and two-time Jeff Award-winner, Peter Oyloe

Jeff-Award winning director, Jonathan Berry, directs the Chicago premiere of Reverb, story of a rising young musician and his girlfriend/muse as they try to clear the decks of their own dysfunctional pasts, while the reverberations keep these soulmates locked in a vicious maze of loving tenderness and mortal combat.

Brittany Burch (Lydia), Chris Chmelik (Shane), Ashley Neal (Ivy), Peter Oyloe (Dorian), Nick Vidal (Hank), Mary Williamson (June)

Jonathan Berry (Director), Will Crouse (Assistant Director), Allison Queen (Stage Manager), Olivia Baker (Assistant Stage Manager), Elizabeth Penrose (Assistant Stage Manager), Sarah Burnham (Production Manager), Frank Sjodin (Tech Director), Joe Schermoly (Set Designer), Brandon Wardell (Lighting Designer), Christopher Kriz (Sound Designer), Peter Oyloe and Christopher Kriz (Original Music), Emily McConnell (Costume Designer), Jeff Shields (Prop Designer), Ryan Bourque (Fight Designer), Mary Reynard (Vocal Coach), Kevin McDonald (Dramaturg), Garvin Jellison (Master Electrician), Alan Weusthoff (Set Assistant), Peter Oyloe (Graphic Designer), Jan Ellen Graves (Marketing), Charles Bonilla (Box Office Manager), E. Malcolm Martinez (Box Office Associate), Johnny Garcia (Associate Producer), Michael Colucci & Jan Ellen Graves (Producers)


Runs: Thu, Fri, Sat, 7:30pm; Sun, 3pm
Closes: Sun, June 23
Running Time: Approximately 90 minutes, no intermission
Previews: $15; Wed, Thu, Fri, May 15, 16, 17, at 7:30pm
Tickets: Thursdays, $25; Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, $30 (seniors & students $5 off)

Call: 773-728-7529  

Sunday, May 19, 2013

ACT OUT OPENING: InFusion Theatre Co. Presents Fight Girl Battle World at Theater Wit #review

ChiIL Mama and Sagezilla (10) had a chance to check out opening night and Fight Girl Battle World rocks.   This show is the good kind of cheese--a campy, kooky space romp with a kickin' grrrrrl power protagonist, effective use of multimedia screens, scale model space toys, and puppetry with creepy manipulators in head to toe black spandex.    Highly recommended!

Sheila O'Connor as E-V kicks some serious alien butt as the last human girl in the known universe

Visiting Company InFusion Theatre Co.
Fight Girl Battle World
by Qui Nguyen
directed by Mitch Golob

Now playing through June 16, 2013

The costumes and alien characters were particularly fun, although Sagezilla really dug this one and felt sorry for his defeat.

We'd rate this one PG13, for stage violence, minor language and some "sex talk", but it's basically appropriate for tweens & teens and up.  There's nothing too violent or over the top and we both thoroughly enjoyed the two level stage combat, the creative costumes, grrrrrl power, and clever script.   Though the stage combat, choreography and "martial arts" are relatively simplistic, there's enough campy humor and colorful characters to carry the show.

Sarcastic playwright robots and vengeful pink haired generals round out the colorful, hilarious cast.


Theater Wit
1229 W. Belmont Avenue
Chicago, IL 60657

Tickets are $25; $15 for students & seniors, $12.50 industry tickets on Thursdays & Sundays

Regular Run (through June 16):
  • Thursday, Friday & Saturday at 8:00 pm, and Sunday at 3:00 pm

Here's what InFusion has to say:

From the team that brought you our hit production of Soul Samurai, comes an action-packed sci-fi saga that blends punch-ups and parody into one delicious mix. Set in a futuristic universe where humanity is nearly non-existent, Fight Girl revolves around E-V, a hardnosed prizefighter and the last known female human in the galaxy. We infuse video projection, puppetry, stage combat, and much more in this raucous Midwest premiere.
Running Time: 1 hour 50 minutes with intermission

MAY 14 – JUNE 16

InFusion Theatre's Artistic Director Mitch Golob Blends Stage Combat, Multi-Media, and Puppetry In An Action-Packed Sci-Fi Comedy At Theater Wit

InFusion Theatre Company is proud to announce its second collaboration with award-winning playwright Qui Nguyen with the Midwest premiere of Fight Girl Battle World, directed by InFusion Artistic Director Mitch Golob, May 14 – June 16, at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. Performances are Thursdays - Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 3:00 p.m. Preview tickets are $10. Tickets are $25 for general admission, $15 for students and seniors, and $12.50 for industry professionals Thursdays and Sundays only. Tickets are on sale now at or by calling 773-975-8150. 

From the team that brought you Soul Samurai, comes a new chapter of interspace anarchy from Qui Nguyen, Fight Girl Battle World. Set in a futuristic universe where humanity is nearly non-existent, Fight Girl revolves around E-V (Sheila O’Connor), a hardnosed prizefighter and the last known female human in the galaxy. The New York Innovative Theatre Awards nominated Fight Girl for Best Production of a Play, Best Original Full Length Script, Best Direction, Best Featured Actor and Best Sound Design during its world premiere. 

Additional Fight Girl Battle World cast includes Brian Barber, Rob Grabowski, Kimberly Logan, Steve Thomas, Michael Harris, Zach Livingston, Meredith Rae Lyons, Elise Mayfield, Kai Young and understudies Maureen Yasko and Kevin Anderson.

The production staff includes David Blixt, fight choreographer; Rasean Davonte Johnson, co-video designer; Anna Henson, co-video designer; Kimberly Morris, puppetry designer, Dave Ferguson, set designer; Charles Cooper, lighting designer, Stephen Ptacek, sound designer; Rachel Sypniewski, costume designer; Cassy Schillo, props designer; Majel Cuza, production manager; Jason Crutchfield*, stage manager and Claire Tuft, casting director.
*Connotes InFusion Company Member

Boyish women (or are they curvy males?!) and regenerating megalomaniacs add to the drama.  All Production Photos by Johnny Knight

Qui Nguyen is a playwright and co-founder/co-artistic director of the OBIE Award-winning Vampire Cowboys Theatre Company of New York City.  His plays include She Kills Monsters (currently running in Steppenwolf’s Garage Rep and premiering in Boston; originally produced by The Flea in NYC); Krunk Fu Battle Battle (East West Players); Trial By Water (Ma-Yi Theater); Bike Wreck (Ensemble Studio Theatre); Soul SamuraiThe Inexplicable Redemption of Agent G (Ma-Yi Theater & Vampire Cowboys); Alice in SlasherlandMen of Steel; and Living Dead in Denmark (Vampire Cowboys). Qui is a proud resident artist of New Dramatists, a core member of The Playwrights Center, an alumnus of Youngblood and a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre and The Ma-Yi Writers Lab.  Currently, he’s the playwright-in-residence at Mixed Blood Theatre in Minneapolis.

Mitch Golob has directed InFusion’s first eight productions:  the world premieres of The Improv PlayPluto is Listening, Ghostbox and Créole (nominated for five Black Theatre Alliance Awards), the United States premiere of The Last Supper, and the Midwest premieres of Intrigue With FayeRhymes With Evil, and Soul Samurai.  Some of his other directing projects include 8 By Tenn at Hartford Stage Company, where he worked with Tony Award winners Elizabeth Ashley and Amanda Plummer.  He directed the U.S. premiere of Jump to Cow Heaven at Profiles Theatre, And Then They Came For Me at Apple Tree Theatre, and was associate director of the award winning world premiere of Hannah & Martin at TimeLine Theatre. 

InFusion Theatre Company seeks out new plays and “infuses” them with other elements of entertainment such as music, dance, and film. “We strive to create dynamic performances by combining different forms of entertainment that will result in both exciting and thought-provoking work and we focus on giving voice to new works, as well as looking at older works in a new way,” says Artistic Director Mitch Golob.

Qui Nguyen’s Fight Girl Battle World, directed by InFusion Artistic Director Mitch Golob runs May 14 – June 16 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave.   Performances are Thursdays - Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 3:00 p.m.   Tickets are $25 for general admission, $15 for students and seniors and $12.50 for industry professionals Thursdays and Sundays only. Tickets are on sale now at or by calling 773-975-8150.

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