Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Alice Opening At Lookingglass And Closing At Upended #theatre

The Chicago Theatre scene is a microcosm, a world of it's own full of magical coincidences and oddly interwoven themes. This season is no exception. We're way beyond stoked here at ChiIL Mama/ChiIL Live Shows that one of our favorite stories is springing to life in parallel universes in very different ways. 

Alice (of Wonderland fame) is popping up in mirror worlds across town, at the aptly named Lookingglass Nov 12-Feb 15 and all over Andersonville (beginning at the Neo-Futurarium) in an "ambulatory, multi-disciplinary theatrical experience" through Nov. 2. These productions are both highly anticipated remounts and we can't wait to catch it all!


Photo: Johnny Knight

8 Andersonville venues, 9 artists, 12 chapters, 6 rabbits, 1 wild afternoon. Noelle Krimm gives audiences a seat at the tea party with a re-imagining of her 2004 hit, Alice. The show runs through with tours beginning at 1:00 p.m. and leaving every 15 minutes until 2:00 p.m. All tours start at The Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland. Space is limited and advanced purchase is very highly recommended. Don't be late!

Recommended by The Trib, The Sun-Times, The Reader, Newcity Stage and more, here’s what some of the critics had to say about 2004’s Alice.
Upended Productions’ Alice – The reviews are in!!
“Throughout the whimsical and comic episodes, there are consistent reminders of the subjective nature of reality, a medicine that goes down easily, delivered as it is with a bit of sugar—not pepper—and a wry touch. Attend Alice with an open spirit and light heart, or arrive as a grump and a cynic and leave with a smile and a less-heavy step nonetheless.”                    -Erika Mikkalo                                                    
“Other standout vignettes include the most interactive portions, like the tea party and croquet game led by the ShowParty! collective. A headier but equally captivating highlight is the eleventh chapter from Sid Branca & Amanda Fink, staged in a pet supply shop, wherein the trial over the tarts becomes a sort of nonsensical polemic attack on meaning and ownership while revealing much truth through almost aggressive wordplay.”                                                              - Raymond Rehayem                                                                               
“But Alice is more than its ambulatory conceit—it also features witty and imaginative writing that gets to the emotional core of the original. Chad the Bird’s meditations on humans and animals seemed both apt and fitting for a story that is filled with many anthropomorphic animals. A final scene towards the end of the play poses a choice between dreams and the reality that inspires them. Alice is ultimately a fun production that is at times unfaithful to the letter of the original, but fully faithful to its spirit. It invites you to stroll through its Wonderland, but urges you to eventually wake up, refreshed, from the dream.
                                                                                            - Ivy Perez
And perhaps most importantly...
“People who would like this show are people who like bunnies, insanity, and lollipops. I think should definitely see this show. It is so funny, and I had so much fun, and I think you should bring all your best friends to it because they will have a lot of fun. It is basically like you get to go on the experience of going to Wonderland with your friend.”                               -Ada Grey
Alice is an ambulatory, multi-disciplinary theatrical experience. The audience, traveling in groups of 15, follows a white rabbit to various locations throughout the Andersonville neighborhood. Ducking into storerooms and back patios, through bookstores and taverns and galleries, the audience IS Alice and the Andersonville neighborhood becomes a wonderland. Chapters of the book are divided amongst Chicago fringe theater companies, visual and film artists and performed in various locations throughout the neighborhood.
Locations include: The Neo-Futurarium, Simon's Tavern, The Landmark of Andersonville, Woolly Mammoth Antiques and Oddities, Rad Vintage, George's Ice Cream and Sweets, The Swedish American Museum, and Women and Children First Bookstore.
(Wow! Just WOW. So many of our favs are representing here.)  Alice features original work by: The Neo-Futurists, Striding Lion Performance Group, The Whiskey Rebellion Theatre, ShowParty, Sophisticated Cornbread, David Kodeski, Corrbette Pasko, Emmy Bean, Josh Zagoren, Greg Allen, Bilal Dardai, Dina Walters, Logan Kibens, John Randle and other special guests.
Don't sit in the dark and wait to be entertained. Be Alice. Chase the rabbit!
Noelle Krimm states, "I originally created the show for The Neo-Futurists in 2004. It was a great success and I have often thought of remounting it. This fall is the 10th anniversary of the first production and it falls at a time when I think we all need to be able to look around and see a little wonder."
Noelle Krimm (Creator/Rabbit) After being thoroughly educated in theater/musical theater performance at the Florida School of the Arts and Florida State University, Noelle became a Neo-Futurist ensemble member in 1999 where she wrote and performed regularly in their signature show, Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind for 10 years (and still comes back every once in a while). While with The Neo-Futurists, Noelle also created several full-length original shows including The Neo-Futurists' first full-length musical, City Girl!, which had an extended run in Chicago in 2002 and went to the Minnesota Fringe Festival in 2003 where it won Artists' Choice and Critics' Choice for Best Musical. In 2004, Noelle created and curated Alice for The Neo-Futurists which involved more than 50 cast members from numerous experimental theater companies and took place over an entire city block of Andersonville. Using a similar model, she created Fear in 2009 which, touted as "a thinking man's haunted house, " involved dozens of different artists who worked in mediums from graffiti to modern dance. Fear took place throughout the fairly creepy building which houses The Neo-Futurarium. The 2014 production of Alice is the inaugural show for Krimm's new production company.
Upended Productions was founded by Neo-Futurist alumni Noelle Krimm in the summer of 2014. After creating Alice and Fear for The Neo-Futurists, Noelle became really interested in creating theatrical events that collage the work of many different artists into one semi-coherent piece.
Upended Productions' Alice is part of Chicago Artists Month 2014, the 19th annual celebration of Chicago's vibrant art community presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. For more information, visit www.chicagoartistsmonth.org.

Sign up for a specific tour time by purchasing tickets at www.brownpapertickets.com. Tickets are $20 or $15 with a valid student ID. All performances begin at The Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland. For more information, visit www.upendedproductions.com or call 773-817-3956.

Lookingglass Alice
Adapted and Directed by David Catlin
From the works of Lewis Carroll
Produced in association with The Actors Gymnasium

November 12, 2014 – February 15, 2015
Press Opening: Saturday, November 22, 2014 at 2pm
Location: Lookingglass Theatre, 821 N. Michigan Ave. at Pearson  
Tickets: $35-$45 previews, $45-$75 regular run

Imagination soars and laughter and awe abound when this signature production returns with all its gravity-defying spectacle and breathtaking theatricality.  Lookingglass Alice is a marvel for all ages, transporting audiences down the rabbit hole to a circus-infused playground for an exhilarating wonderland adventure inspired by Lewis Carroll’s beloved stories.

Lookingglass Theatre Company announces casting for the return of signature Lookingglass production Lookingglass Alice, adapted and directed by Ensemble Member David Catlin from the works of Lewis Carroll, produced in association with The Actors Gymnasium. Artistic Associates Lauren Hirte and Lindsey Noel Whiting both return to share the role of Alice. Lookingglass Alice runs November 12, 2014 – February 15, 2015 at Lookingglass Theatre Company, located inside Chicago's historic Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave. at Pearson. Tickets are currently on sale to the general public and can be purchased through the box office at (312) 337-0665 or www.lookingglasstheatre.org.  

Lookingglass Alice features Ensemble Members Kevin Douglas (Mad Hatter) and Anthony Fleming III (Cheshire Cat) and also includes Molly Brennan (Red Queen), Artistic Associate Lauren Hirte (Alice), Samuel Taylor (White Knight) and Artistic Associate Lindsey Noel Whiting (Alice).

The creative team includes Ensemble Member Daniel Ostling (scenic design), Ensemble Member Mara Blumenfeld (costume design), Artistic Associate Alison Siple (associate costume design), Artistic Associate Christine A Binder (lighting design), Production Affiliate Ray Nardelli (sound design), Sarah Burnham (properties), Artistic Associate Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi (choreographer) and Lee Brasuell (rigger). Jeri Frederickson is the stage manager for Lookingglass Alice.

Imagination soars and laughter and awe abound when this signature production returns with all its gravity-defying spectacle and breathtaking theatricality.  Lookingglass Alice is a marvel for all ages, transporting audiences down the rabbit hole to a circus-infused playground for an exhilarating wonderland adventure inspired by Lewis Carroll’s beloved stories.

FACT SHEET/Lookingglass Alice

Dates:  Previews:  November 12 – 21, 2014
            Regular run:  November 25, 2014 – February 15, 2015

Times:      Tuesdays:                    3:00 p.m. (Dec 23 only)
7:30 p.m. (Nov 25; Dec 23 and 30 only)
Wednesdays:                1:00 p.m. (Dec 24 only)
3:00 p.m. (Nov 26, Dec 31 only)
7:30 p.m.
Thursdays:                   3:00 p.m. (except Nov 13, 20, 27; Dec 25; Jan 1, 8, 22; Feb 5 and 12)
7:30 p.m. (except Nov 25, Dec 25 and Jan 1)
                 Fridays:                        3:00 p.m. (Nov 28, Dec 26 and Jan 2 only)
7:30 p.m.
                          Saturdays:                    3:00 p.m. (except Nov 15 and 22)
7:30 p.m. (except Nov 22)
Sundays:                      3:00 p.m. (except Nov 23)
7:30 p.m. (Dec 7, 14, 21; Jan 11 and 25;
Feb 8 and 15 only)

Performances:  Touch tour/Audio described performance, Sunday, February 1, 2015 at 3 p.m.
Open captioned performance, Sunday, January 25, 2015 at 3 p.m. Partial support for open captioning provided by Theatre Development Fund.

Location:          Lookingglass Theatre Company, located inside Chicago's historic Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave. at Pearson.  
Prices:      Previews are $25 - $40
Regular Run is $40 - $80
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 www.lookingglasstheatre.org
or by phone at (312) 337-0665
The Lookingglass box office is located at Water Tower Water Works,
821 N. Michigan Ave.

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 27th 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 62 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 CTC | myCFO (a part of BMO Financial Group). For more information, visit lookingglasstheatre.org.

OPENING: Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents LEGENDS Nov 6-30th at Allstate & United Center #ChiRingling

Iconic Ringling Bros.® Stars Meet Fabled Mythological Creatures in
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents LEGENDSSM
The Greatest Show On Earth® Set to Capture Chicago Area’s Imagination,
Nov. 6 - 30, 2014

Here at ChiIL Mama we're HUGE fans of the circus arts and we love it when the big shows come to town. This one looks particularly incredible as we're also enamored with mythological beasts! Get your tickets now for this unique melding of circus stars and the creatures of legends. We also dig the multicultural flavor that comes from having some of the top performers in the world from 25 different countries all collaborating.
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents LEGENDS, an all-new edition that unites iconic circus stars with living mythological creatures in a celebration of the LEGENDS that have captured imaginations for centuries, is slated to appear Nov. 6-16 at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill., and Nov. 19-30 at Chicago’s United Center. Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson guides Paulo the Legend Seeker on his quest to discover real, living legends from around the world and presents Paulo’s fantastic discoveries to circus fans everywhere.
“Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey is where legends live, and we constantly ask our audiences to believe in the unbelievable.  For this edition we’ve combined a number of mythical themes and stories into a lavish production of sight and sound unlike any show we have ever created,” says Producer Nicole Feld.
Mythology meets reality as Paulo encounters the wondrous Pegasus and the amazing Unicorn, as well as circus legends such as big cat presenter Alexander Lacey; the Riders of the Wind Cossack horsemen; and motorcycle daredevils, the Torres Family. They all come together along with a cast spanning 25 countries in a spectacular production.

Experience magnificent Asian elephants, a twenty-acrobat troupe perched atop only a pair of bicycles, and a never-before-seen double-wide, high-flying trapeze act.
“A legend is something so magical and larger than life that once you see it, you never forget it.  The talent in this show is unprecedented and embodies the name LEGENDS,” says Producer Alana Feld.  “My sister and I were speechless when we saw these acts the first time.  We searched the world for the best of the best and put them together in an unforgettable show.”

The extraordinary talent that can only be seen at Ringling Bros. Presents LEGENDS includes:
  • Hailing from Great Britain, Alexander Lacey’s special bond with lions, tigers and a majestic leopard allow him to present a legendary mixed cat display that has garnered him awards from the renowned International Circus Festival of Monte-Carlo and The Festival International du Cirque de Massy (France). With each performance, Lacey demonstrates his lifetime dedication to training and caring for these beautiful animals as he showcases their natural agility, strength and the unconditional respect and cooperation they share.
  • The Riders of the Wind thunder into the arena on the backs of thoroughbred horses and are the protectors of the mythological Pegasus and Unicorn.  These speeding daredevil Cossack riders display their strength and amazing dexterity as they perform intricate maneuvers, including a remarkable five-man high pyramid, while galloping at more than 25 miles per hour in a 46-foot-diameter, specially-designed ring.
  • From Paraguay, the fearless Torres Family shatters records and dares to achieve the impossible by putting eight family members, including one female rider, on speeding motorcycles inside the Globe of Steel. Once locked inside the 16-foot globe, they will orbit at an unprecedented 65 miles per hour with only six inches to spare between each rider, avoiding collision by relying on their rigorous accuracy and confidence in each other.
  • An elite super-group of high-flying trapeze artists from the U.S., Brazil, Venezuela and Mexico, The Solar Hawkspresent a never-before-seen double-wide flying trapeze act designed specifically for The Greatest Show On Earth. This dream team exhibits precision, stamina, strength and perfect form while attempting four consecutive triple somersaults with only seconds between each release.
  • The Chinese National Acrobatic Troupe from Beijing impresses audiences with a number of diverse acts that include fast-paced hoop diving through astonishingly tall and impossibly narrow hoops, an elegant rolling ballet on bicycles where acrobats perform feats and build an incredible pyramid and breathtaking pole climbers executing flips and twists accompanied by traditional, dancing Chinese lions.
  • Also hailing from China, the Jade Statues come to life in a graceful display combining elegant choreography, precise timing and coordination with jaw-dropping diablo juggling skills. The spinning diablos dance in the air like synchronized fountains and are caught by these masterful artists in a unique and memorable performance.
  • A heartwarming presentation of showmanship with an animal menagerie ranging from ten to 10,000 pounds can only be found at Ringling Bros. Presents LEGENDS. Treasured Ringling Bros. Asian Elephants, from the largest herd in North America, are presented in an incredible spectacle that cannot be seen anywhere but at Ringling Bros.Other legendary animals from almost every continent include North American rescue dogs, donkeys from Europe, pigs from Asia, llamas from South America, kangaroos from Australia and a special surprise…Woolly the Mammoth.
  • Under the baton of bandleader Wages Argott, the dynamic, nine-piece Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Bandperforms an original score of over 200 pieces of music arranged by award-winning Hollywood and Broadway composers.
An hour before show time, families can come to the arena floor and participate in interactive, up-close circus experiences, theAll-Access Pre-show and the brand new Ringmaster Zone.

Free to all ticketholders, the All Access Pre-show allows circus fans to learn juggling and balancing skills, meet the performers of The Greatest Show On Earth, get autographs, take photos and enter to win a one-of-a-kind Pachyderm Painting.

For the ultimate circus fan experience, the producers have created a new, exclusive, intimate experience: the Ringmaster Zone. A combined value with the best seats in the house, the Ringmaster Zone offers families an unprecedented look behind the curtain of The Greatest Show On Earth. Fans have the opportunity to walk on the Ringling Red Carpet with Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson and the stars of the show, step inside the Globe of Steel, take photos on the ringmaster’s float and have an up-close elephant encounter.
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents LEGENDS provides hours of thrilling entertainment that is fun for the whole family for about the price of a movie ticket. A great value in family entertainment, Ringling Bros. is Ticketmaster’s number one most purchased family event. Tickets, starting at $15, are available through Ticketmaster and the Allstate Arena and United Center box offices, by calling 1-800-745-3000, or visiting www.Ringling.com. Additionally, parking is FREE with ticket purchase in all official Allstate Arena and United Center parking lots. Service charges, facility and handling fees may apply. For general show information, call the Allstate Arena at (847) 635-6601, or the United Center at (312) 455-4500.
Find Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, and follow the latest updates on Twitter @RinglingBros #ChiRingling.

About Feld Entertainment:
Feld Entertainment is the worldwide leader in producing and presenting live touring family entertainment experiences that lift the human spirit and create indelible memories, with 30 million people in attendance at its shows each year. Feld Entertainment's productions have appeared in more than 75 countries and on six continents to date and include Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey®, Monster Jam®, Monster Energy Supercross, Nuclear Cowboyz®, AMSOIL Arenacross, Disney On Ice presented by Stonyfield YoKids Organic Yogurt, Disney Live! and Marvel Universe LIVE! More information on Feld Entertainment is available online at www.feldentertainment.com.

WIN 6 Tickets To Aquatic Experience & Live Shark Encounter November 7-9th #giveaway

Second annual Aquatic Experience – Chicago
makes a splash at 
Schaumburg Convention Center
with additional 130+ tanks of tropical fish,
return of Live Shark Encounter and 
Kids Aquarium Contest

**ChiIL Mama is giving away tickets for 2 adults & up to 4 kids. Click HERE to enter through midnight 10/27.**

November 7-9, 2014

Everything aquatic under one roof also includes:
Fish from Around the World display
Children’s Touch Tank
Two inaugural aquatic competitions
Educational seminars
…and more!

ChiIL out with ChiIL Mama and our photo filled recap from last year. Here's our full slide show. Favorites are embedded below.

We had a great time last year. My daughter, Sage (10) won a Beta in a ball toss game and we found lots of great deals for our 30 gallon tropical aquarium. We got creative with some super cool sea glass and picked up some extra fish food for a song. Come on out and explore the Aquatic Experience and LIVE Shark Encounter. Family friendly fun.

The World Pet Association’s (WPA) second annual Aquatic Experience – Chicago makes a splash Nov. 7-9, 2014, with the addition of over 130 aquariums of tropical fish and return of the popular Live Shark Encounter and Kids Aquarium Contest. Show attendees will find “everything aquatic under one roof” at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center, from saltwater and freshwater fish to pond and aquatic plants—including a Fish from Around the World display with Children’s Touch Tank, two inaugural aquatic competitions, educational seminars and a thriving show floor of exhibitors showcasing the latest in aquatic trends and products.

Daily family passes ($25), individual tickets ($10), weekend passes ($99) and Saturday dinner and keynote tickets ($60) are now on sale for Aquatic Experience – Chicago. 

** Check out the cool Kids Aquarium Contest for children ages 5-16! Registration is $5 and includes a 10-gallon aquarium kit complete with filter, lighting, heater and thermometer, plus a wristband for free admission to the show floor with a paying adult.** 

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.aquaticexperience.org.

The new display of over 130 aquariums of tropical fish, presented by the Florida Tropical Fish Farmers Association, will include a wide variety of tropical fresh and salt water fish farmed in the US and provide inspiration for retailers, advanced hobbyists and fledgling aquarists all three days of the show. Haai Inc’s Live Shark Encounter, the only travelling shark show in the country, returns this year to give attendees the chance to see sharks up close as a diver swims and interacts with these awe-inspiring animals, providing entertaining and educational information.

Aquatic Experience’s educational seminars on hobbyist and retail topics will feature keynote speaker and Newport Aquarium Zoological Operations Manager Jeff Gibula, in partnership with Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium, taking a behind-the-scenes lighthearted look at public aquariums and their relationship to today’s hobbyists and their home aquariums. This year’s show also hosts two inaugural aquatic competitions: the Aquascaping Live! Contest presented by the Aquatic Gardeners Association, and the Aquatic Experience Fancy Guppy Competition presented by the International Fancy Guppy Association.

Additional aquatic experts presenting at educational seminars this year are Anton Lamboj, Bob Fenner, Brandon McLane, Charles Delbeek, Chris Lukhaup, Eric Bodrock, Francis Yupangco, Heiko Bleher, Jake Adams, Jen Reynolds, Joe Olenik, Jonathan Dooley, Julian Sprung, Karen Randall, Kevin Kohen, Oliver Knott, Oliver Lucanus, Patrick Dontson, Rusty Wessel, Sandy Moore, Sanjay Joshi, Steve Lundblad and Ted Judy. Topics include: aquarium and water garden plants; fish breeding; changes in the aquatic world; specialty stores in niche markets; hiring and training strategies; designing a successful fish room; and aquatic explorations of Thailand and Lake Tanganyika.

The World Pet Association (WPA) is the oldest industry organization promoting responsible growth and development of the companion pet and related products and services. WPA works to inform and educate the general public in order to ensure safe and healthy lifestyles for our animal friends. WPA is the host of America’s Family Pet Expo, the world’s largest consumer pet and pet products expo, held annually in Costa Mesa, California. The organization also produces SuperZoo, an annual pet industry trade show that showcases a comprehensive collection of exhibits and offers a variety of informative educational seminars, and Atlanta Pet Fair, the Southeast’s largest competition and trade show for the professional pet stylist. For more information, please visit www.worldpetassociation.org.

FOODIE TUESDAY: Mini Pumpkin Pie Brûlées Recipe & Seasonal Fun From Our Friends at Pepperidge Farm #recipe

Looking for easy, unique snacks for school lunches, Trick or Treat goodies beyond candy, and seasonal pumpkin desserts? Pepperidge Farm has some sweet ideas for you. Here at ChiIL Mama, Goldfish Crackers and Pretzel Goldfish are a school lunch staple. We've also been know to enjoy a Milano cookie... or two.

Seasonal pastry pleaser – Kick off  the crisp fall season with easy-to-make Mini Pumpkin Pie Brûlées. Simply fill Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Cups with a rich pumpkin mixture and bake until golden. Dress each cup up with a caramelized sugar round and they’re guaranteed to earn you that A+. (Full recipe included below)

PREP: 20 minutes
BAKE: 20 minutes
COOL: 20 minutes

  1. Heat the oven to 400°F.  Spray 36 (1 1/2-inch) mini muffin-pan cups with vegetable cooking spray.  Beat the egg yolks, pumpkin, heavy cream, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a medium bowl with a fork or whisk. 
  2. Sprinkle the flour on the work surface.  Unfold the pastry sheet on the work surface.  Roll the pastry sheet into a 12-inch square.  Cut the pastry into 36 (2-inch) squares.  Press the pastry squares into 36 (1 1/2-inch) mini muffin-pan cups.  Spoon about 1 tablespoon pumpkin mixture into each pastry cup.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown and the filling is set.  Let the pastries cool in the pans on wire racks for 5 minutes.  Remove the pastries and let cool completely on the wire racks.
  4. Place the oven rack in the upper third of the oven.  Heat the oven to 450°F.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Create 18 (2-inch) circles of sugar on each baking sheet, using about 1/4 teaspoon sugar for each circle. 
  5. Bake one baking sheet for 5 minutes or until the sugar circles are bubbly and a deep caramel color.  Let the sugar circles cool completely on the baking sheet on a wire rack.  Repeat with the remaining baking sheet.  Using a small metal spatula, remove the sugar circles from the baking sheets.  Press 1 sugar circle at an angle into the top of each pastry.

Snacks for everyone – Easy to carry, easy to eat, single serve Goldfish crackers in 20 count variety packs are a back-to-school must for lunches & Halloween parties too.

Sweet cookies, ready to serve – Pepperidge Farm Cookies make it easy to say hello to a new teacher or parent committee. Wrap of a few of your seasonal favorites – no baking required –  in small cellophane bags that match your school’s colors for an instant spin on the classic cookie basket. For an extra seasonal twist, use Pepperidge Farm Milano Pumpkin Spice cookies or Dessert Shop Pumpkin Cheesecake cookies!

Monday, October 20, 2014



Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare, November 19–December 31, 2014

Here at ChiIL Live Shows/ChiIL Mama we've been eagerly awaiting the return of this show since we saw an early version workshopped last season. It's truly hilarious! Some dates are sold out already so don't delay. Get your tickets now, before it's too late.

My son, Dugan, and I had the great pleasure of catching this production last year, when they were still workshopping it and we LOVED it! If you like your holiday musicals filled with scorpions and worms, multiple mysterious diseases, Jamaican Rasta Marley, kickin' tunes, and laugh out loud hilarity... this is SO the show for you!

I know Autumn Equinox has barely happened and Halloween is still a ghost of future coming. It's too early to think about holiday theatre, right? Wrong. This is one of our ultra favorite, top picks here at ChiIL Live Shows and ChiIL Mama. Get your tickets now before the word spreads. It's in the small theatre at Chicago Shakespeare after all. The Q Brothers are geniuses of the rhyming word who will entrance and amuse all ages.

Even if you don't consider yourself a fan of the Hip-Hop genre or if you love Hip-Hop and aren't so crazy about theatre... or holiday classics, or whatever, GO already! Before fall even hit, my 13 year old was eagerly asking if this show was returning and practically begging to go.

Do note, there is some language i.e.: "Merry Chris My Ass Mas" instead of Bah Humbug, so it may be inappropriate for young parrots, that might mortify you with quips like that at the family holiday dinner table. And like the more traditional versions of A Christmas Carol, some of it is a bit grim reaper scary. But we loved it and plan to take both our tween & teen this year.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) brings audiences a fresh take on a beloved classic, A Q Brothers’ Christmas Carol, developed with hip-hop sensations the Q Brothers and CST Creative Producer Rick Boynton. After a special work-in-progress presentation last season, Chicago Shakespeare is proud to premiere this hip-hop reinterpretation of the perennial holiday favorite by Charles Dickens. A Q Brothers’ Christmas Carol rocks the theater Upstairs at Chicago Shakespearefor a limited engagement, November 19–December 31, 2014.
Written and performed by GQ, JQ, Jackson Doran and Postell Pringle, this new adaptation takes on the cherished holiday tale and wrestles it from its classic roots with irreverence, an array of music styles and a lot of heart. The story is underscored with beats spun live by DJ Super Nova at the turntables, mashing up everything from reggae and dancehall music, to dubstep and epic rock ballads.

Audiences will encounter Dickens’ familiar characters in new and unexpected forms—from a miserly Ebenezer Scrooge with an erotic passion for cash to a Jamaican Jacob Marley and Lil’ Tim, the tiniest Cratchit with a slew of maladies. The time-traveling Ghosts take Scrooge on a voyage through the hip-hop ages—decade by decade from past to present to future—documenting the evolving musical art form. This holiday treat promises to be as cheeky, intelligent and street smart as audiences have come to expect from the Q Brothers.

A Q Brothers’ Christmas Carol marks the third collaboration between Creative Producer Rick Boynton and the Q Brothers, following two Shakespearean “ad-rap-tations”—Funk It Up About Nothin’ and Othello: The Remix. Premiering at Shakespeare’s Globe for the London 2012 Globe to Globe Festival, Othello: The Remix has toured to festival venues around the world, playing to sold-out houses of multi-generational and culturally diverse audiences in Edinburgh, London, Australia, Germany, South Korea and—most recently—Gdansk, Poland. Its extended five-month Chicago engagement broke records for Chicago Shakespeare’s longstanding CST for $20 program for patrons under 35 years of age. Early next year, Othello: The Remix is set to travel to Australia’s Arts Centre Melbourne (February 18–22, 2015), Dubai and Abu Dahbi in the United Arab Emirates with Art for All (March 1–5, 2015) and to New Zealand for the Auckland Arts Festival (March 5–22, 2015).

The design team includes Scenic and Costume Designer Scott Davis, Lighting Designer Jesse Klug and Wig and Make-up Designer Melissa Veal. Developed with Rick Boynton, A Q Brothers’ Christmas Carol is written by GQ, JQ, Jackson Doran and Postell Pringle with music by GQ and JQ. Directed by GQ and JQ, A Q Brothers’ Christmas Carol is presented in association with Richard Jordan Productions. More at www.chicagoshakes.com/qchristmas.

Weekday Performances
November 25; December 2, 9, 16, 23 – 7:30 p.m.

November 19, 26; December 3, 10, 17 – 7:30 p.m.
December 31 – 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.

November 20; December 4, 11, 18 – 7:30 p.m.

Weekend Performances
November 21, 28; December 5, 12, 19, 26 – 7:30 p.m.

November 22, 29; December 6, 13, 20, 27 – 6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

November 23, 30; December 14, 21, 28 – 3:00 p.m.

A Q Brothers’ Christmas Carol is presented in the theater Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare, November 19–December 31, 2014. Tickets are $30–48 and may be purchased by calling Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Box Office at 312.595.5600 or visiting www.chicagoshakes.com.

OPENING: The Wizard of Oz is Back By Popular Demand at The Marriott Theatre For Young Audiences 11/7-1/4

Terry James, Executive Producer
Aaron Thielen, Lead Artistic Director
Andy Hite, Artistic Director


November 7, 2014 - January 4, 2015

Relive the classic story or experience it for the first time –
live on stage at The Marriott Theatre!

Follow the yellow brick road to The Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences, 10 Marriott Drive in Lincolnshire, for the enchanting musical production of THE WIZARD OF OZ, running from November 7, 2014 through January 4, 2015. The Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences favorite Rachel Rockwell will direct and choreograph, with musical direction by Ryan T. Nelson.  Based on the classic 1939 MGM movie, this special one-hour presentation of THE WIZARD OF OZ features the classic songs "Follow the Yellow Brick Road," Ding Dong the Witch is Dead," and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." A Question & Answer session with the cast will follow every performance. 

After a tornado hits her family’s home in Kansas, Dorothy and Toto land in the magical land of Oz. With the Scarecrow, Tinman, and the Cowardly Lion, Dorothy encounters wickedness and wonder as she sets off to the Emerald City to meet the Wizard, who promises to make their dreams come true. Click your heels together three times and join the newfound friends as they journey on a quest to find heart, courage, brains and most importantly...home.

THE WIZARD OF OZ features an all-star cast, including Dara Cameron as “Dorothy,” Alex Goodrich as “Tinman,” Jeff Max as “The Lion,” George Keating as “The Scarecrow,” Susan Moniz as “The Wicked Witch,” Johanna McKenzie Miller as “Auntie Em” and “Glinda,” Rob Rahn as “Uncle Henry” and “Oz,” Debbie Laumand-Blanc as “The Mayor,” and ensemble members J Tyler Whitmer and Amanda Tanguay.

The Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences team will be headed up by Lead Artistic Director Aaron Thielen, with Costume Designer Nancy Missimi, Lighting Designer Brian Hoehne, Sound Designer Robert E. Gilmartin, Musical Supervisor Patti Garwood and Stage Manager Angi Adams.

THE WIZARD OF OZ plays most Tuesdays through Sundays at 10 AM and 12:30 PM. Visit MarriottTheatre.com or call 847.634.0200 for exact schedule, as show times and dates vary. Single ticket prices are $15 per person. Groups of 20 or more receive a discount by calling 847.634.5909. Free parking is available at all shows. To reserve tickets, call the Marriott Theatre Box Office at 847.634.0200 or visit www.MarriottTheatre.com.

Six Flags Fright Fest Scares Up Big Fun Weekends Through November 2 (& Thursday Oct 30th Too)

Fright Fest is rocking Six Flags 
through November 2 
Including Thursday October 30th. 

ChiIL out with Chi, IL's most spine tingling 
chills and thrills!

Six Flags Great America is hosting the biggest and scariest Fright Fest ever featuring extended hours until midnight on Saturdays with SIX haunted attractions and SIX frightastic shows over SIX weekends. 

13 Fright Fest Facts:
      250 zombies and monsters lurk the midways and haunted attractions

      15 master make-up artists use 2,500 ounces of make-up and fake blood to transform actors each night

      25 pounds of food-grade, red vegetable dye create the blood-tinged reflection pond

      100 flaming torches create an eerie glow over the entire park

      300 bales of hay add to the fall atmosphere

      25,200 stalks of corn complete the festive park décor

      4.5 tons of pumpkins and 160 yards of mulch form the “thrills by day” atmosphere

      1,000  gallons of fog juice generate the mysterious rising fog effect throughout the park

      1,600 yards of cheese cloth are used to give the illusion of spider webs around the park

      Love at First Fright, Fright Fest’s trademark musical, kicks off its 24th season

      Over 1,250 minutes per Fright Fest day is spent applying make-up by 15 make-up artists

      Tiny, the 200 pound spider, has been perched on the American Eagle for 22 years

      A 500 pound gorilla claims the Sky Trek Tower each Fright Fest season signaling the start of the uprising

Online Tickets
Buy your Six Flags Great America tickets online and save. Print your tickets at home and skip the ticket booths.
Thrills by Day and Fright by Night. 

It's thrills by day and fright by night as this year will be the biggest Fright Fest Presented by SNICKERS® ever with 6 weeks of terror, 6 haunted houses, and 6 frightastic live shows!

Enjoy our Frightastic Shows:
Dead Man's Party 7:15, 8:30 & 9:45
Pumpkin Carver: 6-10:30
Susan Rosen Mistress of Mesmerism: 7:00 & 9:00
Face 2 Face: 8:00 & 9:00
Try our Haunted attractions... if you dare. Additional Fee
Manslaughter Manor: Opens at 7:00
The Abyss: Opens at 7:00
Massacre Medical Center: Opens at 7:00
Mausoleum of Terror: Opens at 7:15
Fear: Opens at 7:30
Wicked Woods: Opens at 7:30

Thrills by Day
The daytime hours are family-friendly and offer the chance to grab some candy from your favorite Looney Tunes characters in the trick-or-treat trail, catch a few shows or watch in awe as ordinary pumpkins are transformed into amazing jack o'lanterns. 

Character Candy Trail Schedule:
Saturdays & Sundays: 11:00 - 2:00
Not available on Friday nights and Thursday, October 30

Pumpkin Carver 
Saturdays: 12:00 - 10:30
Sundays: 12:00 - 8:30
Thursday, October 30: 6:00 - 10:30

Love At First Fright
Fridays: 6:45, 8:00, 9:15
Saturdays: 2:45, 4:30, 6:30, 8:15, 10:00
Sundays: 1:30, 3:15, 5:15, 7:00

Fright by Night
Once the clock strikes 6 p.m. on Saturdays and 5 p.m. on Sundays, the night begins to take over and transforms the park. The midways become full of the living dead, ready to scare the pants off of anyone who dares to cross their path. Our lineup of exclusive and nail-baiting haunted houses will be sure to leave you screaming. If that's not enough 'scare' for you, check out our thrilling roller coasters, in the dark! Watch as the park transforms from "Thrills by Day" to "Fright by Night." 

Need one more day of Fright Fest fun? Well we have it for you.
Join us on Thursday, October 30 for a bonus day of Fright Fest. The park will open at 6pm in full scare swing with creatures out roaming the park.
We know that you will be in the Halloween spirit just one day away from the big holiday and so will we our creepiest creatures. Check out one of frightastic shows or hit all the best coasters. Whatever you do, you won't be safe from the haunting!

For the best value around, purchase a Six Flags Great America Season Pass  and visit all year. You'll want to return again and again for summer thrills, water park fun and Fright Fest! 




Here at ChiIL Mama, we caught Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas The Musical years ago and adored it. We can't wait for it's return next month.The sets and Who costumes were incredibly colorful & whimsical, and they made the most of casting characters in an extreme range of heights and weights for maximum comic effect. We're so excited to see The Chicago Theatre production.

Come see this childhood Seuss classic jump off the pages and into your hearts this holiday season. Cut the clutter this year with experiential gifts like theatre. Create lasting memories for all the generations in your family with tickets to a show!

MSG Entertainment is proud to present Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical at The Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State Street, for 17 performances only, with many matinees available, Thursday, November 20 through Saturday, November 29. The classic Christmas story by Dr. Seuss springs to life on stage bringing the spirit of the holiday season to children and adults alike. The limited engagement in Chicago has been called “100 times better than any bedside story” by The New York Times.

Audiences will find their hearts growing a few sizes (along with the Grinch’s heart, of course) when they witness the magic of the holiday tale on stage, which will feature the hit songs “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” and “Welcome Christmas,” both from the original animated television special. Max the Dog serves as the story’s narrator as the scheming Grinch plans to steal Christmas away from The Whos, the loveable characters that understand and embrace the true meaning of the holiday. When the Grinch realizes that he can’t take Christmas away from Who-ville by taking presents, he returns the gifts and decorations and joins the festivities, proving that all it takes is a little kindness and joy to grow the heart of any Grinch.

Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical features spectacular sets specially designed for The Chicago Theatre with costumes inspired by Dr. Seuss’ illustrations, while the Music and Book of Mel Marvin and Timothy Mason only accentuate this timeless narrative. Embraced by generation after generation, The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical is a holiday tradition for audiences of all ages.

The 2014 production is directed by Matt August and choreographed by Bob Richard based on the original choreography by John DeLuca and originally created by three-time Tony Award® winning director Jack O’Brien. Casting for the Chicago production will be announced at a later date.

The performance schedule for Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical at The Chicago Theatre, November 20-29, is: Thursday, Nov. 20 at 11am & 7pm; Friday, Nov. 21 at 7pm; Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 22 and 23, at 11am, 3pm, and 7pm; Tuesday, Nov. 25 at 7pm; Wednesday, Thanksgiving Eve, Nov. 26 at 7pm; Friday and Saturday, Nov. 28 and 29 at 11am, 3pm, and 7pm.

Tickets for Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical, which range in price from $35 - $125, can be purchased at The Chicago Theatre box office, by visiting www.thechicagotheatre.com/thegrinch, or calling 800-745-3000.

About MSG Entertainment
MSG Entertainment (MSGE), the live entertainment arm of The Madison Square Garden Company (Nasdaq: MSG), is a worldwide entertainment company recognized for its signature combination of event production and entertainment marketing. In addition to the nearly 900 entertainment concerts and events that take place each year at Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden, The Theater at Madison Square Garden, the Beacon Theatre, The Chicago Theatre, and the Forum arena in Inglewood, California, MSGE has an exclusive co-booking agreement with Boston’s Citi Performing Arts Center/ Wang Theatre.  MSG Entertainment's live events include the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, which has played to more than 70 million people in 88 different cities across North America.  More than five million people attend MSG Entertainment branded events annually including concerts, special events, and family attractions.

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