Showing posts with label theatre. Show all posts
Showing posts with label theatre. Show all posts

Sunday, November 5, 2023

BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL To Play Marriott Theatre November 1 Through December 31, 2023

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar 

Peter Blair, Executive Producer 

Peter Marston Sullivan, Artistic Director 



Celebrating the soundtrack of a generation!

Here at ChiIL Live Shows, we adore BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL, and can't wait to see Marriott Theatre's take on this acclaimed production. Our guest critic, D'Arcy Mies will be out to see it on opening night, the 8th, so check back soon after for her full review.

The Tony and Grammy Award-winning Broadway mega-hit, which has thrilled audiences with the inspiring true story of one woman’s remarkable journey from teenage songwriter to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, closes out Marriott Theatre’s 2023 Season. Previewing Wednesday, November 1 at 7:30 pm, opening Wednesday, November 8 at 7:30 pm and closing December 31, 2023, this moving biographical musical will be directed by Jessica Fisch (Marriott Theatre debut! Drury Lane Theatre: Murder on the Orient Express; Writers Theatre: Athena; Northlight Theatre: Dear Jack Dear Louise), choreography by Christopher Windom (Marriott Theare debut! Film: RESPECT starring Jennifer Hudson as Aretha Franklin; The Vineyard Theatre: Kid Victory) and musical direction by Jeff Award Winner Ryan T. Nelson.

Featuring over two dozen pop classics, including “You’ve Got a Friend,” “One Fine Day,” “Up on the Roof,” “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” and “Natural Woman,” this crowd-pleasing international phenomenon is filled with the songs you remember, and a story you’ll never forget. The bio-musical follows King’s rise to stardom, from her time as part of a hit songwriting team with husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history with Tapestry. BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL takes you back to where it all began – and takes you on the ride of a lifetime.

“Growing up my parents only kept a handful of tapes in the car, one of which was Tapestry, the best-selling album of Carole King,” said director Jessica Fisch. “Simply put I can’t remember a time in my life when Carole King wasn’t singing to me. She is part of the soundtrack of my life and that is true for so many people. It is a dream come true to get to direct this first made-in-Chicago production.”

BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL will star Kaitlyn Davis, who played the role in the First National Tour in 2015. Other National Tour credits include The Phantom of the Opera. Co-stars include Andrew Mueller as “Gerry Goffin” (Marriott Theatre: Man of La Mancha, For The Boys; Paramount Theatre: Rent); Erica Stephan as “Cynthia Weil” (Marriott Theatre: Damn Yankees; Porchlight Theatre: Cabaret); Justin Albinder as “Barry” (National Tour & New World Stages: Jersey Boys); Janet Ulrich Brooks as “Genie Klein” (Goodman Theatre: The Cherry Orchard; Drury Lane Theatre: Steel Magnolias); and Lawrence Grimm as “Don Kirshner” (Goodman Theatre: 2666; Timeline Theatre: My Name is Asher Lev); with Melanie Brezill, Christian Denzel Bufford, Caron Buinis, Ariana Burks, Dan Gold, Daryn Whitney Harrell, Kayla Kennedy, Adam LaSalle, Naiqui Macabroad, Michael E. Martin, Spencer Davis Milford, Yasir Muhammad, Juwon Tyrel Perry, Alexis J Roston, Maya Rowe, Aisha Sougou, and Alina Taber.

The artistic team features Scenic Designer Andrew Boyce, Costume Designer Sully Ratke, Lighting Designer Jesse Klug, Sound Designer Michael Daly, Media Designer Anthony Churchill, Props Designer Sally Zack, Production Manager Meg Love, Assistant Director Nora Geffen, Stage Manager Jessica Banaszak, Assistant Stage Manager Richard Strimer, Intimacy Choreographer Katie Johannigman, Dialect Coach Adam Goldstein, and Conductor Christopher Sargent.

BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL is scheduled to run Wednesdays at 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., with select Thursday 1:00 p.m. shows. Ticket prices start at $55 (excluding tax and handling fees). Call for student, senior, and military discounts. On Wednesday and Thursday evenings there are a limited number of dinner-theatre packages available for purchase through the Marriott Theatre Box Office. To make a restaurant reservation, please call 847.634.0100. Reservations strongly recommended. Free parking is available at all performances. To reserve tickets, please call The Marriott Theatre Box Office at 847.634.0200 or go to Visit for more information.

Friday, November 3, 2023

Remy Bumppo Theatre Company Announces Dates for Winter Readings on Ravenswood

Save the Dates: ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar

Remy Bumppo Theatre Company's Winter 2024 

Readings on Ravenswood Series

First row - (L to R) Artistic Director Marti Lyons (director, Heroes of the Fourth Turning), Creative Producer Christina Casano (director, Dear Elizabeth); Katie Lupica (director, Everybody)

Second row - (L to R) Georgette Verdin (director, Two Sisters and a Piano); Core Ensemble Member Annabel Armour (Far Away,  Everybody); Core Ensemble Member Linda Gillum (director, Far Away)

Third row - (L to R) Core Ensemble Member Aurora Real de Asua (Dear Elizabeth, Far Away); Core Ensemble Member Terry Bell (Everybody); Core Ensemble Member Charín Álvarez (Two Sisters and a Piano)

Fourth row - (L to R) Core Ensemble Member Chiké Johnson (Everybody, Two Sisters and a Piano); Core Ensemble Member Tiffany Renee Johnson (Everybody); Core Ensemble Member Eduardo Xavier (Everybody, Two Sisters and a Piano)

Remy Bumppo Theatre Company is proud to announce the dates for its winter 2024 Readings on Ravenswood series, curated by Artistic Director Marti Lyons and Creative Producer Christina Casano. The series will launch January 22, 2024 and continue through February 26, 2024 on Monday nights at Remy Bumppo’s rehearsal space, 1751 W. Grace. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and readings will begin at 7 p.m. Readings on Ravenswood are free to attend with a suggested donation. Reservations for the winter 2024 readings will be available starting Wednesday, Nov. 8 at

“This winter, Remy Bumppo Theatre Company will host a reading series celebrating our artists and the plays we love at our home on Ravenswood,” said Artistic Director Marti Lyons (she/her/hers). "I’m thrilled to welcome our audiences into our rehearsal space to hear significant plays of the past and present, and to engage in dialogue with our core ensemble and close collaborators. We invite you to spend some winter evenings with us and enjoy great language, great company and great conversation.”

Creative Producer Christina Casano (she/her/hers) added, “I'm excited to partner with Marti on the curation of this reading series. One of my favorite things about my work as creative producer has been to explore what makes a script right for Remy Bumppo. Our reading series is a way to bring forward the text by centering the story while actors bring the language to life."

All Readings on Ravenswood will take place at Remy Bumppo’s rehearsal space at 1751 W. Grace. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and readings will begin at 7 p.m. The 2024 winter series includes:

Monday, Jan. 22 

Dear Elizabeth

by Sarah Ruhl

Directed by Creative Producer Christina Casano

featuring Core Ensemble Member Aurora Real de Asua

Monday, Jan. 29 

Far Away

by Caryl Churchill

Directed by Core Ensemble Member Linda Gillum

featuring Core Ensemble Members Annabel Armour and Aurora Real de Asua 

Monday, Feb. 5


Monday, Feb. 12


by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins

Directed by Katie Lupica

featuring Core Ensemble Members Annabel Armour, Terry Bell, Linda Gillum, Chiké Johnson, Tiffany Renee Johnson and Eduardo Xavier  

Monday, Feb. 19

Two Sisters and a Piano

by Nilo Cruz

Directed by Georgette Verdin 

featuring Core Ensemble Members Charín Álvarez and Eduardo Xavier

Monday, Feb. 26

Heroes of the Fourth Turning

by Will Arbery 

Directed by Artistic Director Marti Lyons


Love Song

March 21 – April 21, 2024

Press Opening: Monday, March 25 at 7 p.m.

By John Kolvenbach

Directed by Artistic Director Marti Lyons

Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont

More information at 

Beane has always been different. Joan, his sister, is his only real bridge to the outside world, but she is consumed with her own life, climbing the corporate ladder and sparring with her husband, Harry. When Beane falls madly in love with Molly, Beane’s world suddenly expands and the seismic shift forces all of them to reexamine their own relationships and discover new facets of human connection. An off-kilter romantic comedy, Love Song by John Kolvenbach is a quick-witted exploration of the countless complexities of love and the endless capacity of the heart.


Remy Bumppo Theatre Company expands and enriches their community’s view of the world, and their own, by producing both the great plays of the past and the important plays of today. As an ensemble-driven theater company, Remy Bumppo authors a more humane culture that listens to, and seeks to understand, the voices, the ideas and the stories of one another. 

Remy Bumppo Theatre Company’s season sponsors are Brenda and James Grusecki, Lynne Simon and Charlotte Toerber. 

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Hilarious Who's Holiday! back Nov. 24-Dec 30 at Theater Wit


ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar

Ever wondered what happened after 
The Grinch met Cindy Lou Who?

For mature audiences only!

Now 40, Cindy Lou Who is back at Theater Wit to tell how her life took a sordid turn after her Christmas Eve encounter with everyone's favorite mean, green furry outcast. I caught this hilarious solo show the first year it opened and highly recommend it. 

Veronica Garza returns to her Jeff-nominated role as Cindy Lou Who, who, in R-rated Seussian rhyme, welcomes audiences inside her mobile home, plies them with snacks and shots, and shares the wild turn her life took after she met The Grinch.

Directed by Christopher Pazdernik

“A hell of a lot of fun" 
Chicago Reader 

Hilarious Who's Holiday! back by popular demand! 

40-year-old Cindy Lou Who returns to recall the sordid events after she met the Grinch, Nov. 24-Dec 30 at Theater Wit

Veronica Garza, Jeff nominated as Cindy Lou Who in Theater Wit’s Who’s Holiday! by Matthew Lombardo, directed by Christopher Pazdernik, is back for her third season, 
Nov 24-Dec 30, 2023. Credit: Charles Osgood

Cindy Lou Who, now 40, holds court from her trailer home, retelling the story of the sordid events after she met the Grinch in Who’s Holiday!, Theater Wit’s smash hit holiday show, back for the season, November 24-December 30. Opening is Friday, November 24 at 7 p.m.

Chicago theater star Veronica Garza returns to her Jeff-nominated role as Cindy Lou Who, who, in R-rated Seussian rhyme, welcomes audiences inside her trailer home, plies them with snacks and shots, and ultimately shares the untold story of the twisted turns her life took following her Christmas Eve encounter with a green furry outcast. 

“A hell of a lot of fun,” wrote the Chicago Reader

“Garza is a comic genius,” raved Chicago Theater Review, hailing Who’s Holiday! “a very funny, often poignant production guided with panache by an excellent director.” 

That director is Christopher Pazdernik, who returns to direct Wit’s third outing of this hilarious, heartfelt holiday comedy by Matthew Lombardo. Also back is Angela Weber Miller’s Jeff Award-winning, Seuss-inspired recreation of Cindy Lou Who’s holiday-bedazzled mobile home. Designers include Shelley Strasser, lights; Uriel Gomez, costumes; Lonnae Hickman, props, and Matthew R. Chase, sound and production manager.

Veronica Garza, Jeff nominated for her portrayal last holiday season as an adult 
Cindy Lou Who, returns for Theater Wit's 2023 remount of Who's Holiday! 
Credit: Charles Osgood

Shows run Saturday, November 25 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.; Sunday, November 26 at 3 p.m.; Thursday, November 30 at 7 p.m.; Friday, December 1 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, December 2 at 7 p.m.; Sunday, December 3 at 3 p.m.; Monday, December 4 at 7 p.m.; Thursday, December 7 at 7 p.m.; Friday, December 8 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, December 9 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.; Sunday, December 10 at 3 p.m.; Thursday, December 14 at 7 p.m.; Friday, December 15 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.; Saturday, December 16 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.; Sunday, December 17 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Wednesday, December 20 at 7 p.m.; Thursday, December 21 at 7 p.m.; Friday, December 22 at 7 p.m. and 
9 p.m.; Saturday, December 23 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.; Tuesday, December 26 at 7 p.m.; Wednesday, December 27 at 7 p.m.; Thursday, December 28 at 7 p.m.; Friday, December 29 at 7 p.m.; and Saturday, December 30 at 7 p.m. Run time is 65 minutes, no intermission. For mature audiences only.

Tickets are $39-$48. Purchase tickets at or call the Theater Wit box office, (773) 975-8150

Theater Wit is located at 1229 W. Belmont Ave., in the Belmont Theatre District in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. Convenient parking is available for $8 across the street from the theater in the lot behind Kubo restaurant (pay at the Theater Wit box office.) Neighborhood street parking is available, as are private paid lots (tip: book ahead and at a discount with Spothero). Theater Wit is also accessible via the CTA 77 Belmont bus, and is three blocks west of the CTA Belmont Red/Brown/Purple line stop. 

To learn more, visit or follow the company on FacebookInstagram and Twitter

Press play to watch and download video of 
Cindy Lou Who asking the audience, "remember me?"

Press play to screen and download video of Cindy Lou Who rapping in Who's Holiday!
More video clips here.

Veronica Garza returns as an adult Cindy Lou Who in Theater Wit's 
2023 remount of Who's Holiday! Credit: Charles Osgood

Christmas Day is in our grasp. Where’s the vodka? Glad you asked!
Veronica Garza returns as an adult Cindy Lou Who in Theater Wit's 
2023 remount of Who's Holiday! Credit: Charles Osgood

Be sure to stop by Theater Wit’s lobby bar for snacks, chocolates, a curated selection of beer, wine and soda, plus your pick of this year’s Who’s Holiday!-themed seasonal speciality drinks:

Cindy’s Little Helper (a dessert shot! $6) 
Fast and Delicious: Luxardo Cherry liqueur, Mozart Chocolate liqueur, whipped cream and a cherry

Who’sy Boozy Hot Chocolate ($12)
Hot & Sweet: Hot Cocoa, Peppermint Rumchata, Amaretto Liqueur, Whiskey Acres Bourbon, whipped cream, candy cane crumbles. 

Who-skey Sour ($12)
Sweet and Sour: Jameson, Plymouth Sloe Gin, House-infused Citrus Vodka, Rose’s Lime

The Snowplow ($12)
Creamy and Nutty Spices: Peppermint Rumchata, Shipwreck Coconut Rum

Krampusberry ($12)
Refreshingly Tart: Koval Cranberry Gin, North Shore Gin, Seltzer, Cinnamon stick

Spiced Apple Cider ($5)
Hot & Freshly Spiced: And could be freshly Spiked as well! For additional warmth: add any Liqueur +$4 (we like Koval Ginger) or Liquor +$6 (try the Four Roses small batch bourbon)
Cindy's Little Helper

Veronica Garza returns as an adult Cindy Lou Who in Theater Wit's 
2023 remount of Who's Holiday! Credit: Charles Osgood
Angela Weber Miller’s Jeff Award-winning mobile home set for 
Theater Wit's Who's Holiday! Photo: Charles Osgood

Who’s Holiday! Who’s Who:
(from left) Veronica Garza plays Cindy Lou Who in Theater Wit’s return engagement of 
Who’s Holiday!  by Matthew Lombardo, directed by Christopher Pazdernik.

Veronica Garza (Cindy Lou Who, she/her/hers) returns for her third year as Cindy Lou Who, a role that earned her a Jeff Nomination, Best Actor in 2021. She also performed at Theatre Wit in Underscore Theatre’s Tonya and Nancy: A Rock Opera, for which she received a Jeff Award for her role as both Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan's mothers. Other roles include Rosalie Mullins, School of Rock (Jeff nomination, Best Supporting Actor) and the Deputy in Groundhog Day (Paramount), Roz in 9 to 5 (Firebrand), Sister Amnesia in Nunsense (Milwaukee Rep), Babs in Miracle (Royal George), Prudie in Pump Boys and Dinettes (Theatre at the Center and Timberlake Playhouse), The Homeless Lady in A New Brain (Theo Ubique), Lucy in A Charlie Brown Christmas (Broadway Playhouse) and the Fortune Teller in Sideshow(Porchlight).  

Christopher Pazdernik (director, any pronouns) made his Wit debut with Who’s Holiday! He is Producing Director for Theo, where his credits include AssassinsGodspell and 8-TRACK: The Sounds of the 70s.Previously, Pazdernik was artistic director for three seasons of Refuge Theatre Project (Jeff Awards, Best Director and Best Production of a Musical, High Fidelity), and he has had a long association with Porchlight Music Theatre, including directing eight Porchlight Revisits productions and three years working in producing, casting and company management. He recently staged Avenue Q for Music Theatre Works. Also an openly HIV+ artist, Pazdernik is the founder and producer of Belting for Life, an annual benefit concert for Howard Brown Health, and co-captain of Team Option Up! for AIDS Run/Walk Chicago. 
Matthew Lombardo (playwright, he/him/his) Broadway: High with Kathleen Turner at the Booth Theatre and Looped starring Valerie Harper in a Tony-nominated performance at The Lyceum Theatre. Off-Broadway: Who’s Holiday! (with Lesli Margherita) at the Westside Theatre; Tea at Five (with Kate Mulgrew) at the Promenade Theatre; Mother and Child (with Ann Wedgeworth) at Second Stage; End of the World Party at the 47th Street Theatre (director) and Guilty Innocence at The Actors’ Playhouse. His work has been produced at such prestigious theaters as Hartford Stage, Cleveland Playhouse, American Repertory Theatre, Seattle Rep, Arena Stage, Pasadena Playhouse, Cincinnati Playhouse, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and others. Television credits include Another World (WGA Award Nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Writing). As a producer, he has presented concerts throughout the country for Broadway legends such as Carol Channing, Patti LuPone, Tommy Tune, Bernadette Peters, Barbara Cook, Billy Porter, Betty Buckley, Andrea McArdle and Faith Prince.

Who’s Holiday! returns to Theater Wit not without controversy. In 2017, Lombardo was locked in a legal battle with Dr. Seuss Enterprises over accusations of copyright infringement, delaying the play’s New York premiere for nearly a year. A U.S. District Court eventually ruled in Lombardo’s favor, citing his depiction of an adult Cindy Lou Who living in a trailer on Mount Crumpit as “fair use.” 

Freed of red tape, Who’s Holiday! went on to be hailed “a raunchy riff on Dr. Seuss’s yuletide tale” (New York Times) that “dares to be as tasteless as possible while replicating Seuss’s trademark rhythms” (Time Out New York).

About Theater Wit, Chicago’s “Smart Art” theater 

As a production company, Theater Wit is the premier smart art theater in Chicago, producing humorous, challenging, and intelligent plays that speak with a vibrant and contemporary theatrical voice.

As an institution, Theater Wit seeks to be the hub of the Chicago neighborhood theater scene. Led by Artistic Director Jeremy Wechsler, Wit brings together Chicago’s best storefront theater companies in its three, 99-seat spaces, where audiences find a smorgasbord of excellent productions, see the work of a parade of talented artists, and mingle with audiences from all over Chicago.

Next spring, Theater Wit takes on a comic exploration of objectum sexuality with its Chicago premiere of Inanimate, Nick Robideau’s New York Times Critics Pick about a woman in love with a Dairy Queen sign, March 22-May 4, 2024. Press opening is Monday, April 1 at 7 p.m. 

A great way to show support for Chicago storefront theater is to purchase a Theater Wit Membership. For a low monthly fee of $35 – often less than the price of a single ticket – Theater Wit members see as many shows as they want on the company’s three stages, year round. Sign up at

Note: Theater Wit follows the community masking guidelines recommended by the Chicago Department of Public Health and CDC. At press time, the community risk level is low, and mask use is optional. For updates, visit

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