Thursday, April 10, 2014

WIN a 47 Ronin iTunes Digital HD Code #giveaway #movie #ad

Disclosure: We're thrilled to partner up with Universal Home Entertainment again and have been given a blu-ray combo to review and a 47 Ronin iTunes Digital HD code for our readers.

47 Ronin is now available on Blu-ray/DVD from Universal Home Entertainment.  To celebrate, ChiIL Mama/ChiIL Live Shows is giving away one (1) 47 Ronin iTunes Digital HD code.  

ENTER HERE through midnight April 15th for your chance to win. The iTunes code is only for US residents. 

47 Ronin is available now on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD. 

Sure, 47 Ronin may not make it to the epic, elite of the marshal arts classics, but this movie is a visual feast and a lot of fun. We've long been fans of the genre and the PG13 rating means our tween & teen could watch, too, without too much gratuitous gore.  And the mythical beasties are well worth a look. It's a modern take on a classic story, and this plot line has stood the test of time. The final dragon battle is definitely cool. This is a fun one to own, and great for a lazy night of mindless popcorn gorging on the couch. 





Keanu Reeves (The Matrix trilogy, The Day The Earth Stood Still) stars in a reimagining of one of Japan’s timeless tales, 47 Ronin, available on Blu-ray™ 3D and Blu-ray™ Combo Packs, DVD, DIGITAL HD including UltraVioletand On Demand on April 1, 2014, from Universal Studios Home Entertainment.­­­
Based on an epic story, this extraordinary tale of inspiring courage has its origins in the early 18th century. After a treacherous warlord kills their master and banishes their kind, 47 leaderless samurai vow to seek vengeance and reclaim their honor. Transformed into a thrilling, visually stunning 3D film by director Carl Rinsch, 47 Ronin tells the story of a small group of warriors, or ronin, on a quest to avenge the death of their master. Battling across a savage world of mythical beasts, shape-shifting witches and wondrous terrors, the ronin must seek help from kai (Reeves), an enslaved half-breed they once rejected – in their ultimate fight for redemption.
Keanu Reeves leads an international cast that includes Hiroyuki Sanada (Sunshine, The Last Samurai) as Oishi, the leader of the ronin; Tadanobu Asano (The Wolverine, Thor: The Dark World) as Lord Kira, the treacherous villain who will stop at nothing to destroy his enemies; Academy Award®-nominated actress Rinko Kikuchi (Babel, Pacific Rim) as the Witch, a siren who executes Kira’s deadly plans; and Ko Shibasaki (The Lady Shogun and Her Men, One Missed Call) as Mika, the forbidden love of Kai’s life.
The Blu-ray™ Combo Pack includes a Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital HD with UltraViolet
·           BLU-RAY™ disc unleashes the power of your HDTV and is the best way to watch movies at home, featuring 6x the picture resolution of DVD, exclusive extras and theater-quality surround sound.  
·           DVD offers the flexibility and convenience of playing movies in more places, both at home and away.
·           DIGITAL HD with UltraViolet lets watch movies anywhere, on any device. Users can instantly stream or download movies to watch on iPad®, iPhone®, Android, smart TVs, connected Blu-ray players, game consoles and more.

·           KEANU & KAI — Keanu Reeves embodies one of cinema’s most richly imagined heroes as Kai, the outcast who leads a small band of rebels against an army and supernatural enemies. Along with Reeves, director Carl Rinsch and other key voices from the filmmaking team reveal how this adventure would not be possible without Reeves’ mastery of martial arts and total immersion in the role.
·           STEEL FURY: THE FIGHTS OF 47 RONIN — This featurette explores the intense research, choreography and rehearsals that went into creating the film’s unique action sequences, including Kai’s epic battle against the silver Samurai and the heart-stopping Kirin hunt sequence. 
·           MYTHS, MAGIC & MONSTERS:  THE FX OF 47 RONIN — 47 Ronin’s world-class creative team reveals the technological magic it used to bring to life the creatures of ancient Japanese folklore, including The Kirin (a giant hybrid beast with the head of a dragon and the body of a deer), the Kitsune witch, the Oni troll and the demonic Tengu Monks.
·           RE-FORGING THE LEGEND — The story of 47 Ronin is one of Japan’s most time-honored legends. The filmmakers talk about how they brought this “dream world” to the big screen, from script to costumes, visual design, and culture.

·           DELETED SCENES

Cast: Keanu Reeves, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tadanobu Asano, Rinko Kikuchi, Ko Shibasaki
Directed by: Carl Rinsch
Screenplay by: Chris Morgan, Hossein Amini
Story by: Chris Morgan, Walter Hamada
Producers: Pamela Abdy, Eric McLeod
Director of Photography: John Mathieson
Production Design by: Jan Roelfs
Editor: Stuart Baird
Costumes by: Penny Rose
Original Music by: Ilan Eshkeri

Street Date: April 1, 2014
Copyright: 2014 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.
Selection Numbers: 61131766 (U.S), 61131767 (CDN)
Running Time: 1 Hour 59 Minutes
Layers: BD-50
Aspect Ratio: Widescreen 2.40:1
Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some disturbing images, and thematic elements
Technical Info: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1/DVS 2.0 Dolby Digital2, DTS Digital Surround 5.1 (Spanish, French)
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish and French

Street Date: April 1, 2014
Copyright: 2014 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.
Selection Numbers: 61130457 (U.S), 61131189 (CDN)
Running Time: 1 Hour 59 Minutes
Layers: BD-50
Aspect Ratio: Widescreen 2.40:1
Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some disturbing images, and thematic elements
Technical Info: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1/DVS 2.0 Dolby Digital2, DTS Digital Surround 5.1 (Spanish, French)
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish and French

Street Date: April 1, 2014
Copyright: 2014 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.
Selection Numbers: 61119170 (U.S), 61131190 (CDN)
Running Time:  1 Hour 59 Minutes
Layers: Dual Layer
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some disturbing images, and thematic elements
Technical Info: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1/DVS 2.0 Dolby Digital2, DTS Digital Surround 5.1 (Spanish, French)
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish and French

Below is a look at 47 Ronin’s amazing cast! 

Keanu Reeves (Kai)

Reeves is a Canadian actor that has starred in many popular, fan-favorite movies such as Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Speed, and The Matrix trilogy. In 47 Ronin, Reeves plays the role of Kai, an outcast half-Japanese, half-British man who longs to be accepted. Due to unforeseen circumstances, he gets his chance to prove he has what it takes to be a samurai.

Hiroyuki Sanada (Ôishi)

Born in Tokyo, Sanada is a critically acclaimed actor who has starred in various films such as The Wolverine and The Last Samurai, as well as hit TV shows like “Lost.” In 47 Ronin, he portrays the dedicated samurai leader Ôishi.

Ko Shibasaki (Mika)

Ko, the rising Japanese star was born in Tokyo, and started her career at 14 when she was discovered. Her rise to fame was launched in the cult favorite films Battle Royale, and One Missed Call. Shibasaki portrays Mika in 47 Ronin, Kai’s love interest.

Rinko Kikuchi (Witch)

Global star Rinko Kikuchi has stolen her way to our hearts with her outstanding performances in independent films like The Brothers Bloom and Norwegian Wood, as well as award-winners like Babel, and blockbuster hits like Pacific Rim.  Kikuchi plays the Witch in 47 Ronin who uses her spells to manipulate fate.

About Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Universal Studios Home Entertainment is a unit of Universal Pictures, a division of Universal Studios ( Universal Studios is a part of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, world-renowned theme parks, and a suite of leading Internet-based businesses. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.

47 Ronin, now available on Blu-ray™ 3D and Blu-ray™ Combo Packs, DVD, DIGITAL HD including UltraVioletand On Demand from Universal Studios Home Entertainment.

Disclosure: We're thrilled to partner up with Universal Home Entertainment again and have been given a blu-ray combo to review and a 47 Ronin iTunes Digital HD code for our readers.

FLASH GIVEAWAY: First 3 To Comment WIN 5 Free Muller Yogurt Coupons & Sunglasses #giveaway #ad

Disclosure:  Thanks to Muller for sending a summer pack of FrutUps our way, and providing the giveaways for 3 of our readers. 

Muller FrutUp Summer Packs are here! Mmmmm.

As recently as two weeks ago we had snow on the ground here in Chicago, and there is STILL a nip to the air. We NEED a taste of things to come. Thankfully, summer's come early at Costco this spring, and we don't just mean the plethora of swim suits and outdoor toys. 

Flash Giveaway!

First 3 readers to comment below with your favorite yogurt flavor WIN 5 Muller Free product coupons & a pair of neon sunglasses each.

ChiIL out with ChiIL Mama, Muller Yogurt and Costco. We're daily yogurt eaters in this family and sometimes I feel like I LIVE at Costco. I spend more time there than home some days! Still, it's great to stock up on tasty treats I can feel good about keeping on hand for my growing kids.  Ready for a taste of summer with strawberry, orange and lemon FrutUps?  I know I am!

I've got it made in the shade with my cheap sunglasses, a great novel, and my Summer FrutUps.  I may just set up camp in Costco's outdoor furniture aisle and have my own little spring break right there.  Now if they'd only bring those massage loungers back, I'd never leave...

Disclosure:  Thanks to Muller for sending a summer pack of FrutUps our way, and providing the giveaways for 3 of our readers. 

ACT OUT KIDS: Sleeping Beauty Opens at Drury Lane Theatre 4/23

Here at ChiIL Mama, we highly recommend Drury Lane. Their shows are professional, high quality entertainment, parking is free, and their food is fabulous.  It's easy to get city-centric, and just stay in town, since Chicago is home to so many stellar productions. But it's well worth the drive to Oak Brook Terrace to explore what Drury Lane has to offer. The drive time really isn't that much more than a trip in cross town traffic. Check them out.

Drury Lane Theatre for Young Adults features Exceptional children’s programming throughout the year, culminating with the beloved annual tradition A CHRISTMAS CAROL.
Drury Lane is dedicated to reaching young audiences with entertaining, educational, and theatrical programming that engages and inspires children of all ages.  The Theatre for Young Adults presents both classic kid-friendly productions and new works and feature whimsical costumes, stunning sets, and all-star talent.

"SLEEPING BEAUTY"   April 23 - June 7, 2014

SLEEPING BEAUTY, the magical retelling of the Brothers Grimm tale, will be presented from April 23 through June 7 at Drury Lane Theatre for Young Adults, 100 Drury Lane, in Oakbrook Terrace. Beautifully reimagined by Marc Robin, the beloved musical is certain to delight and surprise young audiences. The production is directed by Jeff Award winner Tammy Mader (Sunset Boulevard, Gypsy, Thoroughly Modern Millie and Hairspray at Drury Lane Theatre). Drury Lane Theatre also offers families the special opportunity to have breakfast with characters from SLEEPING BEAUTY on select performance dates in the dining room with a festive buffet.

In a faraway kingdom, the vengeful sorceress Magenta casts an enchanted curse on the beautiful Princess Amber. Sleeping Beauty’s spell can only be broken by her true love’s first kiss before time runs out. Prince Hunter must overcome his fears as he scales the mountains, sails the dark sea and battles a dragon to prove his love to Princess Amber. The captivating and colorful fairy tale features a soaring score and lively choreography.

The cast of SLEEPING BEAUTY includes Megan Long as “Princess Amber” (Meet Me in St. Louis and Shout! The Mod Musical at Drury Lane Watertower), Michael Ehlers as “King Lapis” (Cats on Broadway, National Tours of Scrooge and Evita) Johanna McKenzie Miller as “Magenta” (Young Frankenstein and Fiddler on the Roof at Drury Lane Theatre, Mary Poppins at Marriott Theatre), Lisa Estridge as “Marigold” (Seussical and Hairspray at Drury Lane Theatre), Will Skrip as “Prince Hunter” (Les Misérables and Singin’ in the Rain at Drury Lane Theatre), Lillian Castillo as “Sienna” (Hairspray at Drury Lane Theatre), Kelsey Andres as “Periwinkle” (Hello, Dolly! at Drury Lane Theatre) and Lara Filip as “Ruby” (National Tours of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Evita).

A breakfast buffet with SLEEPING BEAUTY characters is offered on April 26, May 10, May 17, May 24, May 31, and June 7 at 11:30 a.m. The Breakfast Buffet package is available for $30.00 for adults and $25.00 for children 12 and under. Theater tickets may be purchased for the 10 a.m. or 1 p.m. show with the buffet package.

Regular performances of SLEEPING BEAUTY are Wednesdays through Fridays at 10 a.m. Saturday performances are both at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. (excluding May 1, May 3, May 28, May 29, and May 30). Performance only tickets are available for $15 and a group rate of $12 per person is available for parties of 20 or more. For reservations, call (630) 530-0111 or visit or





**Tickets to This Is Our Youth ($20 – $82) go on sale to the public on Friday April 25 at 11amand can be purchased online at or through Audience Services (1650 N Halsted St) at 312-335-1650.**

Steppenwolf Theatre Company is pleased to announce the addition of This Is Our Youth by Kenneth Lonergan to this summer’s line-up. Directed by ensemble member Anna D. Shapiro, the production features Michael Cera (Arrested Development, Juno), Kieran Culkin (Igby Goes Down, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World) and Tavi Gevinson (Enough Said) in the Upstairs Theatre (1650 N Halsted St), June 10 – July 27, 2014. Tickets ($20 - $82) go on sale to the public on Friday April 25 at 11am, and can be purchased online at or through Audience Services (1650 N Halsted St) at 312-335-1650.

The Steppenwolf Theatre Company production of This Is Our Youth will be produced on Broadway by Scott Rudin, with performances beginning Monday August 18 at the Cort Theatre, and an opening night scheduled for Thursday, September 11th.

Set in New York in 1982, This Is Our Youth follows forty-eight hours in the lives of three very lost young souls: Warren, a dejected nineteen year old who has just stolen $15,000 from his abusive, tycoon father; Dennis, his charismatic drug-dealing friend who helps Warren put the stolen money to good use; and Jessica, the anxiously insightful young woman who Warren yearns for. Funny, painful and compassionate, This Is Our Youth is a living snapshot of the moment when many young people go out into the world on their own, armed only with the ideas and techniques they developed as teenagersfar more sophisticated than their parents realize, and far less effectual than they themselves can possibly imagine. 

Artistic Director Martha Lavey vividly remembers the first time she saw This Is Our Youth in New York. “The play speaks so eloquently of its time,” Lavey notes, “that moment when the children of the ‘60s were parents themselves and had landed in Reagan’s America, and of a time in one's lifethat confusing period of early adulthood before one has made a mark in the world. Kenny Lonergan has captured, with great wit and pathos both the timeless generational struggle and a moment in our country’s history that continues to affect our sense of who we are.”

Anna D. Shapiro is currently directing Of Mice and Men, (opening April 16, 2014) at Broadway’s Longacre Theatre. She was nominated for a 2011 Tony Award® for her production of Stephen Adly Guirgis’ award-winning play, The Motherf**ker with the Hat, and was awarded the 2008 Tony®, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Direction of a Play for her production of Tracy Letts’ August: Osage County. Anna has been a Steppenwolf Ensemble member since 2005. Her Steppenwolf directing credits include A Parallelogram and Tracy Letts’ adaptation of The Three Sisters, among others. Other recent directing credits include Domesticated (Lincoln Center Theatre), A Parallelogram (Mark Taper Forum), A Number (American Conservatory Theatre) and The Drawer Boy (Paper Mill Playhouse). Shapiro is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama and Columbia College. She is a full-time professor in Northwestern University's Department of Theatre and has served as the Director of the Graduate MFA Directing Program since 2002.

Kenneth Lonergan’s plays include The Starry Messenger, Lobby Hero (Drama Desk Best Play Nominee), and The Waverly Gallery (2001 Pulitzer Prize finalist). Lonergan has also garnered critical acclaim for his screenplays, including Gangs of New York (2002 Academy Award Nominee for Best Original Screenplay), You Can Count on  Me (2001 Academy Award Nominee for Best Original Screenplay) and Analyze This.

Pre-sale tickets are currently available to 2014/15 season Subscribers. Call Audience Services at 312-335-1650 for more information. 20 for $20: twenty $20 tickets are available through Audience Services beginning at 11am on the day of each performance (1pm for Sunday performances). Rush Tickets: half-price rush tickets are available one hour before each, show pending availability. Student Discounts: a limited number of $15 student tickets are available online. Limit 2 tickets per student; must present a valid student ID for each ticket. For additional student discounts, visit Group Tickets: all groups of 10 or more receive a discounted rate for any performance throughout the season. For additional information, visit

Accessible performances include a touch tour and audio description on July 26 at 3pm; closed captioning on July 19 at 3pm; and American Sign Language interpretation on July 18 at 7:30pm. For more information, visit

Steppenwolf Theatre Company is America’s longest standing, most distinguished ensemble theater, producing nearly 700 performances and events annually in its three Chicago theater spaces—the 515-seat Downstairs Theatre, the 299-seat Upstairs Theatre and the 80-seat Garage Theatre. Formed in 1976 by a collective of actors, Steppenwolf has grown into an ensemble of 43 actors, writers and directors. Artistic programming at Steppenwolf includes a five-play Subscription Season, a two-play Steppenwolf for Young Adults season and two repertory series: First Look Repertory of New Work, and Garage Rep. While firmly grounded in the Chicago community, nearly 40 original Steppenwolf productions have enjoyed success both nationally and internationally, including Off-Broadway, Broadway, London, Sydney and Dublin. Steppenwolf has the distinction of being the only theater to receive the National Medal of Arts, in addition to numerous other prestigious honors including an Illinois Arts Legend Award and 12 Tony Awards. Martha Lavey is the Artistic Director and David Hawkanson is the Executive Director. Nora Daley is Chair of Steppenwolf’s Board of Trustees. For additional information, visit, and

Currently on stage are The Way West by Mona Mansour, directed by ensemble member Amy Morton (through June 8, 2014) in the Downstairs Theatre; Russian Transport by Erika Sheffer, directed by ensemble member Yasen Peyankov (through May 11, 2014) in the Upstairs Theatre; and Garage Rep 2014, featuring The New Colony’s reWILDing Genius, Prologue Theatre Company’s Saturday Night/Sunday Morning and Walkabout Theater Company’s The Wild (through April 20, 2014) in the Garage Theatre.

The 2014/15 Subscription Season includes The Night Alive by Conor McPherson, directed by Henry Wishcamper (September 18 – November 16, 2014) in the Downstairs Theatre; Airline Highway by Lisa D’Amour, directed by Joe Mantello (December 4, 2014 – February 8, 2015) in the Downstairs Theatre; Marie Antoinette by David Adjmi, directed by Robert O’Hara (February 5 – May 10, 2015) in the Upstairs Theatre; and The Herd by Rory Kinnear, directed by ensemble member K. Todd Freeman (April 2 – June 7, 2015) in the Downstairs Theatre. One remaining title will be announced at a later date.

HELP OUT: 6th Annual Rock4Autism benefit on Sunday April 27th

Here at ChiIL Mama we know numerous kids who fall somewhere on the Autism Spectrum, and the ever escalating numbers are tough on teachers, parents and children. Rock out and help out if you can. This event is oddly symmetrical (27 Live on 4/27) & sure to be awesome. Be there. All ages welcome.

27 Live is proud to be hosting the 6th Annual Rock4Autism benefit on Sunday April 27th from 12-6pm. This all ages music and family fun event benefits the Northern Illinois Center for Autism. Tickets are $20 and are available online at

The 6th Annual ROCK4AUTISM! at 27 Live, Evanston Sunday April 27th 12-6pm ALL AGES, 
lots of family entertainment and 5 ROCK BANDS

The 6th Annual Rock4Autism Benefit Concert and All Ages Family event takes place on Sunday April 27th 12-6pm at 27 Live, 1012-14 Church St. in Evanston. The event draws upwards of 1,000 people throughout the day with 5 live bands and loads of entertainment for the entire family.

27 Live, a restaurant, performance club and Whiskey Bar is a two floor 14,000 square foot venue with many ongoing weekly musical and performing arts events. Serving Dinner Tues- Sat. 5pm-10pm and Sunday Brunch 10am-2pm. The Whiskey Lounge is open Thurs. nights 7pm for an award-winning Jazz Series,Live at The Whiskey Lounge presented by award winning musician Steve Rashid.  27 Live is a big supporter of many causes and values working with its local and surrounding communities.

The Northern Illinois Center for Autism (NICA) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization.  NICA has risen to the challenge of serving the autism population in our community. They provide recreation, resources, services, support and education to hundreds of families who live with and /or care for a loved one on the autism spectrum.  Without the generosity of those in our community, this would not be possible.



JohnnyV & the Killer Bzzz
October Road, and 

Doors at 11:30 

Free street parking and in adjacent lots!

This is an all ages event! Face Painters, Bouncy jumper, Drum Circle with Jason Litwin, Professional Story Teller Nili Yelin, The Storybook Mom

Aly Bockler from WCIU's "You & Me in the Morning" will be helping us with the live auction items too!

Silent Auction!
50/50 Raffle

Schedule for the Event:

Band schedule times for Rock 2014

12:00-12:30 Jay Vonn

12:40- 1:15  October Road

1:30 to 2:20  A Bloke Named Smokey   

2:35 to 3:20  Johnny V & the Killer Bees 

3:35 to 4:45  Mr. Blotto   Set 1

4:45 to 5:05 break

5:05 to 6:15  Mr. Blotto   Set 2

Upstairs will be the Kids Entertainment Rooms with ongoing activites:

Storytime with The Storybook Mom, Nili Yelin 2:30-3:30pm

face painters, a children's  drum circle facilitated by Grammy award winning artist Jason Litwin

1012-1014 Church St.
Evanston, IL 60201
Advance tickets now available.

What A Waste

'Scuse me while I have a snit. I try to live my life in a gentle to the earth, waste less way. Sure it's a work in progress. We haven't gotten to the zero waste lunches we aim for 100% of the time yet. We're still a 2 car family despite the composter, recycling bin, and 2 water barrels. But we're trying... we really are.

Then the corporate sabotage comes. As a blogger I'm sent a LOT of shipments of products to review, prizes for our readers and PR whatnots and most of it is greatly appreciated, professionally sent, and not overkill. 

Then there are the exceptions... Last year I was incredulous a tea company sent a FedEx box from the west coast, at great expense. What treasure did they send me? A BOTTLE OF SAND with a scroll inside, inviting me to a press event!!

But that pales in comparison to THIS WEEK. Grrrrrrrrr. I'm gritting my teeth. Don't worry--no names to protect the guilty. But... I was sent THREE different Priority Overnight FedEx shipments from California to Chicago, containing a padded envelope within a medium box. If that wasn't expensive and wasteful enough... What were the wondrous contents that had to be rushed half way across the country?!

  • Box #1 -- a Blu-ray movie and 2 plastic toys (wasteful, yeah, but maybe almost justifiable since we were reviewing the release, though it still makes me cringe)

  • Box #2 --1 plastic toy & 1 sheet of stickers (WTF people... really?!)

  • Box #3 -- 3 sticker sheets, 2 plastic toys, and a tiny t-shirt (C'mon people. You're killing me!)

I mean, really. I know you make a bazillion bucks on your movies, but it would be awesome if you cut some of the shipping waste and made your tickets cheaper so more families could go out and see a movie without going broke.  Or maybe you could run more paid promotions for bloggers, who are mostly well educated, overworked, un or underpaid professionals. Maybe you could even put the extra shipping/savings money toward some eco-friendly philanthropy. 

I don't want to bite the hand that feeds... but this is seriously bugging me! I'm trying to be zen about it and think of all the FedEx employees who have food on their tables due to this insanity. But the carbon footprint to send 1 sheet of stickers and some plastic crap across the country, padded enveloped and boxed, priority FedEx, and hand delivered--signature required?! It makes my head spin.

Anyone else have cognitive dissonance at this kind of corporate craziness?? What's the most wasteful corporate thing you've been sent, or seen, or participated in?

Thanks guys. I just had to vent! Now back to our reviews.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014



Artistic Director Frank Chaves’
Revival of “Underground Movements,”
Danced to Live Vocals 
by The Chicago Children’s Choir, Highlights One-Night Only Performance 

River North Dance Chicago
(RNDC) returns to the Auditorium Theatre’s landmark stage for one-night only, April 12, 2014. RNDC Artistic Director Frank Chaves creates a stunning repertory program, 
highlighting the company’s diverse collection of work and athletic, 
bold movement. The evening will feature an array of theatrical pieces including the revival of 
Chaves’ own epic work “Underground Movements”—“a piece that is so innovative it sings,” Chicago Sun Times

Frank Chaves' Underground Movements by Cheryl Mann

Danced to the voices of the Chicago Children’s Choir

Tickets ($27 –$70) are on sale now and available online at, by calling (800) 982-ARTS (2787) or at the Auditorium Theatre Box Office (50 E Congress Pkwy).  

“River North Dance Chicago continues to thrill Auditorium audiences each and every time they 
bring their unique movement and dazzling work to our historic stage,” said Auditorium Theatre 
Executive Director Brett Batterson. “It is a pleasure to welcome them back to the Auditorium 
after their successful Chicago premiere of “Havana Blue”in 2013 and an even greater pleasure 
to have them perform on our stage with another incredible Chicago institution, The Chicago Children’s Choir.”  

In addition to the revival of Chaves’ “Underground Movements”(2006) which the 
“Chicago Tribune” hails as “a complex, striking spectacle… both a plunge into fresh water and a dense, dreamy performance” that is also “truly breathtaking,” the company will perform a diverse lineup of enthralling works.

    Frank Chaves' Good Goodbyes by Cheryl Mann

Audiences will see two more of Chaves’ own pieces including “The Good Goodbyes”(2012)—performed to the stunning live piano accompaniment of Chicago Children’s Choir Artistic Director Josephine Lee—and “Stormy Monday,” a duet excerpt from “Eva” (2013). The program will also feature Mauro Astolfi’s “Contact Me” (2011) and Kevin Iega Jeff’s “Dawn” (2013). 

    Mauro Astolfi's Contact Me by Erika Dufour

Program Schedule and Ticket Information

Saturday, April 12 | 8:00 pm
Tickets are $27 - $70 and are available online at, by calling  (800) 982-ARTS (2787) or in-person at the Auditorium’s Box Office (50 E Congress Pkwy). Discounted tickets available to groups of 10 or more are available by calling (312) 341-2357. 

Special Events 
The Auditorium Theatre Junior Board will host an exclusive reception in celebration of River North Dance Chicago’s engagement. At 6:30 pm, guests are invited to meet and mingle with the 
Junior Board members while enjoying wine and hors d’oeuvres prior to the 8:00 pm performance of RNDC at the Auditorium Theatre. Tickets to the reception and show are $30. Contact Amanda Byrne for tickets or more information at or (312) 341-2364. 

PNC is River North Dance Chicago’s Spring Engagement Lead Sponsor.

About River North Dance Chicago 

Critically acclaimed for their athletic, sensual and dynamic repertoire River North Dance 
Chicago presents dynamic works that combine athletic prowess and artistic perspective with 
bold, theatrical flair. Founded in 1989, and under the leadership of Artistic Director Frank 
Chaves since 1993, RNDC strives to demonstrate depth and sophistication with a commitment 
to creating an accessible, enriching experience for audiences. The company continues to make 
a name for themselves on the world stage travelling throughout the country and internationally. 
RNDC participated in the IV International Ballet Festival in Cali, Columbia in 2010, the Busan 
International Dance Festival in Korea in June 2011, toured to Germany and Switzerland on an 
11-city tour in Fall 2011 and a 5-week, 17-city tour of Russia in Spring 2012. Core works by 
Chaves are augmented with an array of pieces by nationally and internationally renowned 
choreographers including Mauro Astolfi, Adam Barruch, Robert Battle, Sidra Bell, Ashley Roland 
and Nejla Yatkin, among others. 

RNDC has been the subject of three Emmy Award-winning 
“WTTW Chicago” Television specials produced by HMS Media. They have been heralded by 
the “Chicago Sun Times” stating “this company has been dancing brilliantly for many seasons, but it rarely has looked better” and they continue to be a vital member of the Chicago community through their ongoing commitment to educational and artistic programming through dance.  

About the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University  

The Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, located at 50 E Congress Pkwy, is an Illinois, 
not-for-profit organization committed to presenting the finest in international, cultural, community 
and educational programming to Chicago, and to the continued restoration and preservation of 
the National Historic Landmark Auditorium Theatre. The Auditorium Theatre is generously 
supported by the MacArthur Foundation, the NIB Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council and the 
Palmer House Hilton. For more information about programming, volunteer and donor 
opportunities or theatre tours, call (312) 341 –2310 or visit  

The remaining Auditorium Theatre’s 
2013 - 14 Season includes :
The Idan Raichel Project” (May 15); 
The Paul Taylor Dance Company
 (May 17–18). 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


ChiIL Mama's ChiIL Picks List:
ChiIL Flicks Picks 

Disclosure:  Thanks to DreamWorks and Fox Home Entertainment for partnering up with us to spread the word on this sweet new release & sending us a DVD for review purposes. We've been huge fans of DRAGONS: DEFENDERS OF BERK since day 1. 

Got your DVD yet?  This recent release just came out March 25th, and it's a keeper, with Never-Before-Seen Dragons and Exclusive Offers for The School of Dragons Online Game! My kids were thrilled with the games and extras on the DVD and the code for on line play. And I was jazzed to have all of our favorite episodes available to replay at will. Click here for our past DRAGONS: DEFENDERS OF BERK coverage.

Dragons: Defenders of Berk is one of my tweens' favorite shows and I must confess... mine too. It's a blog stopper. There are three shows my kids dig that I'll stop work for and watch with them. Dragons: Defenders of Berk, Phineas and Ferb, and Gravity Falls.  They're all excellent, have great animation, they're entertaining, and they are so well written. So, we're super stoked to announce that “DreamWorks Dragons: Defenders of Berk Part 1″ is now out on DVD!!  We're also more than a bit excited about the film sequel coming in June.  

DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon fans can soar higher than ever before when Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment releases on DVD the first part of the award-winning top-rated TV series, DreamWorks DRAGONS: DEFENDERS OF BERK. Available everywhere March 25, the DVD kicks off the franchise’s “Year of the Dragon” which will continue with the highly anticipated film sequel arriving in theaters this June as well as Dragon game apps, books and other fan experiences releasing throughout the year. The DVD of the 2013 Annie Award winner for Best Animated Television Production for Children is loaded with exciting bonus content for the whole family to enjoy and contains 10 epic adventures and four all-new dragons.

Based on the DreamWorks Animation Academy Award® nominated movie How to Train Your Dragon, DRAGONS: DEFENDERS OF BERK PART 1 follows Hiccup and his fellow dragon trainers as they battle to protect their island home. The young Vikings must put their dragon training skills to the test to defeat dangerous and surprising new enemies! The series features original voice talent from the film including Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera and Christopher Mintz-Plasse and will include, Zack Pearlman and more.

Defenders of Berk, and the previously released Riders of Berk, is a must-own for any Dragons fan to catch up before the summer event when How to Train Your Dragon 2 hits theatres June 13th! The DVD is jam-packed with special features that dive deeper into the exciting world of Dragons, including Dragon Tracker Part 3 featuring an in-depth look at the Screaming Death, Fireworm Queen, Flightmare and Skrill dragons; Evolution of Screaming Death, a featurette with visual effects supervisor David Jones who explains the history behind this interesting and scary dragon; and the “SuperFly” Dragon Mash-up music video. When it comes to action and excitement, the sky’s the limit in this high-flying animated TV series.

Fans that purchase the DVD will also get a Digital HD UltraVioletcode for the title and an offer for exclusive battle gear and one month’s free subscription to School of Dragons, the online game from JumpStart based on DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon franchise. With cinema-like graphics and an immersive 3D world, it takes more than courage to train a dragon but brains as well. For more information, visit

DreamWorks Dragons: Defenders of Berk Part 1 DVD Features:

Dragon Tracker Part 3

Evolution of Screaming Death

"SuperFly" Dragon Mash-Up

Sneak Peek

DreamWorks Animation creates high-quality entertainment, including CG animated feature films, television specials and series and live entertainment properties, meant for audiences around the world. The Company has world-class creative talent, a strong and experienced management team and advanced filmmaking technology and techniques. DreamWorks Animation has been named one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” by FORTUNE® Magazine for five consecutive years. In 2013, DreamWorks Animation ranks #12 on the list. All of DreamWorks Animation’s feature films are produced in 3D. The Company has theatrically released a total of 26 animated feature films, including the franchise properties of Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon, Puss In Boots, and The Croods.

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is the industry leading worldwide marketing, sales and distribution company for all Fox produced, acquired and third party partner film and television programing. Each year TCFHE expands its award-winning global product portfolio with the introduction of new entertainment content through established and emerging formats including DVD, Blu-ray™ and DigitalHD™. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox.

Since 1991, JumpStart has been dedicated to enhancing children’s lives through engaging educational games. Today, JumpStart designs games under its two flagship brands JumpStart® and Math Blaster®. These games immerse children in magical 3D worlds filled with adventure, exploration, and most importantly, learning. JumpStart’s products are available online and through various platforms such as Nintendo Wii™, iOS® and Android™. JumpStart has become a prominent force in children’s educational gaming and is trusted and tested by teachers and parents alike, helping millions of children learn. A subsidiary of Knowledge Holdings, Inc., the company is privately held and based in Torrance, California. For more information, go to

DreamWorks Dragons: Defenders of Berk Part 1 DVD 
Street Date:
March 25, 2014

Screen Format:
Widescreen 1.78:1
English 5.1 Dolby Digital
Closed Captioned:

Disclosure:  Thanks again to DreamWorks and Fox Home Entertainment for partnering up with us to spread the word on this sweet new release & sending us a DVD for review purposes. We've been huge fans of DRAGONS: DEFENDERS OF BERK since day 1. 
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