Wednesday, July 18, 2018

ADULT NIGHT OUT: Manual Cinema Band Members to Play After Shows Every Saturday During Run of The End of TV

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:

Stick around for Mocrep on July 21, Marques Toliver on July 28
and Maren Celest on August 4

Join Manual Cinema every Saturday night during its upcoming Chopin Theatre run of The End of TV – that’s Saturday, July 21, July 28 and August 4 – for special post show performances featuring musicians from The End of TV band.

The End of TV 
Set in a post-industrial Rust Belt city in the 1990s and told through a collection of original 70’s R&B-inspired art pop songs, The End of TV explores the quest to find meaning amongst the increasingly constant barrage of commercial images and advertising white-noise. The production features Manual Cinema’s signature mix of handmade shadow puppetry, cinematic techniques, and innovative sound and music using vintage overhead projectors, multiple screens, puppets, actors, lo-fi live feed cameras, flat paper renderings of commercial products, multi-channel sound design, and a live music ensemble.

Throughout, The End of TV is driven by a sweeping, original chamber art pop song cycle scored by two of Manual Cinema’s Co-Artistic Directors, Ben Kauffman and Kyle Vegter. It is performed live, on stage by a seven-piece band: Shalynn Brown aka RED (drums), Maren Celest (vocals, live sound FX, live video mixing), Deidre Huckabay (flutes, vocals), Ben Kauffman (vocals, guitar, keyboard), Lia Kohl (cello, vocals), Marques Toliver (vocals, violin) and Kyle Vegter (bass).

Manual Cinema’s The End of TV features an original 70’s R&B-inspired pop art song cycle by Ben Kaufmann and Kyle Vegter, played live on stage by a seven-piece band.

Manual Cinema is presenting the Chicago premiere of The End of TV July 19 through August 5 at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood.

Performances are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m., Sundays at 3 p.m. Tickets are $30; $20 for students and seniors. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at

More about the Manual Cinema The End of TV after show shows:

After show shows start at 8:30 p.m. after every Saturday performance of The End of TV and are included with the ticket purchase. Here’s the line-up:

(featuring Deidre Huckabay and Lia Kohl from The End of TV band)
Saturday, July 21

In Common Core Art, Mocrep takes seemingly menial tasks and make them almost unbearably difficult. Whether it is keeping a simple beat on the snare drum, reciting text, consuming food or water, or any other daily activity for an artist, Mocrep will do so in a way that stretches the performer to the limit, both physically and mentally. The piece will be composed of many different scenes that involve these kinds of tasks with as many extraneous layers and loops to jump through as we can find. For more, visit 

Marques Toliver
Saturday, July 28

Marques Toliver is an international recording artist, songwriter, producer, violinist, and vocalist from Daytona Beach, Florida. He began to study music at the age of ten and later attended Stetson University's School of Music, where he studied classical violin. A move to New York, where he often busked, led him to performances and recordings with An Albatross, Grizzly Bear, TV on the Radio, Bat for Lashes, Holly Miranda, and Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson. Toliver released the four-track EP Butterflies Are Not Free (2011). The single "Magic Look" (2012) followed as a precursor to Toliver's first album, Land of CanAan, released in May 2013. In 2016 Toliver composed music for The Public Theater’s production of Romeo and Juliet. For more, visit

Maren Celest
Saturday, August 4

Maren Celest is a multi-disciplinary artist living in Chicago. She works with Manual Cinema triggering live foley and singing. She has assembled a band of incredible musicians (Kate Barutha: cello, Daniel Villareal-Carrillo: percussion, Alex Babbit: Bass/Flute, Corey Allbritten: Clarinet, Electric Guiter, Aux Instrumentation) to help her execute and write songs that have been lovingly referred to as "Psychological Death Metal" by Lumpen Radio. Often within a soft, melodic sheath she offers a sharp word to the parts of herself, and us, that are questionably comfortable. - Jessica Hopper, Chicago Tribune, wrote “…her otherworldly, witchy voice. It undulates, coos, squeaks and moans — it sounds like it used to be feral and now it's just barely tamed.” Recently her work has been published (35mm from tour with Manual Cinema and writing/lyrics), and her book with music is available at or

To learn more about The End of TV, visit, follow the company on Facebook at, on Instagram at and on Twitter @ManualCinema.

More about Manual Cinema

“this Chicago troupe is conjuring phantasms to die for…”
-Ben Brantley, The New York Times

Manual Cinema was founded in 2010 by Drew Dir, Sarah Fornace, Ben Kauffman, Julia Miller, and Kyle Vegter. To date the company has created seven original feature length live cinematic shadow puppet shows (Lula Del Ray, ADA/ AVA, Mementos Mori, My Soul’s Shadow, The Magic City, No Blue Memories and The End of TV); a live cinematic contemporary dance show created for family audiences in collaboration with Hubbard Street Dance and the choreographer Robyn Mineko Williams (Mariko’s Magical Mix); an original site-specific installations (La Celestina); an original adaptation of Hansel & Gretel created for the Belgian Royal Opera; music videos for Sony Masterworks, Gabriel Kahane, three time GRAMMY Award-winning eighth blackbird, and New York Times Best Selling author Reif Larson; a live non-fiction piece for Pop-Up Magazine; a self-produced short film (CHICAGOLAND); a museum exhibit created in collaboration with the Chicago History Museum (The Secret Lives of Objects); a collection of cinematic shorts in collaboration with poet Zachary Schomburg and string quartet Chicago Q Ensemble (FJORDS); and live cinematic puppet adaptations of StoryCorps stories (Show & Tell).

Manual Cinema has been presented by, worked in collaboration with, or brought its work to The Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC), Under the Radar Festival (NYC), The Tehran International Puppet Festival (Iran), La Monnaie-De Munt (Brussels), BAM (NYC), Underbelly (UK), Adelaide Festival (AU), The Kennedy Center (DC), The Kimmel Center (Philadelphia), the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Noorderzon Festival (Netherlands), The O, Miami Poetry Festival, Davies Symphony Hall (SF), The Ace Hotel Theater (LA), Handmade Worlds Puppet Festival (Minneapolis), The Screenwriters’ Colony in Nantucket, The Detroit Institute of Art, The Future of Storytelling Conference (NYC), the NYC Fringe Festival, The Poetry Foundation (Chicago), the Chicago International Music and Movies Festival, the Puppeteers of America: Puppet Festival (R)evolution, and elsewhere around the world.

Manual Cinema was ensemble-in-residence at the University of Chicago in the Theater and Performance Studies program in the fall of 2012, where they taught as adjunct faculty. In 2013 Manual Cinema held residencies and taught workshops at the School of the Art Institute (Chicago), The Future of Storytelling Conference (NYC), RCAH at Michigan State University, and Puppeteers of America: Puppet Festival (R)evolution (Swarthmore, PA), Southern Illinois University, and the Chicago Parks District. In Spring 2016 Manual Cinema held workshops at Yale University as visiting lecturers in the theater department.

In Fall 2016, they contributed visuals, music, and sound design for an immersive adaptation of Peter Pan with producer Randy Weiner (Sleep No More, The Donkey Show, Queen of the Night) which premiered in Beijing in December 2016. In February 2017, Manual Cinema premiered The Magic City, a new show for children and their families, adapted from a novel by Edith Nesbit, and the inaugural production at the new Chicago Children’s Theatre, The Station. That was followed in September, 2017 by No Blue Memories, about the life and work of poet Gwendolyn Brooks, commissioned by the Poetry Foundation and based on a screenplay by Eve Ewing and Nathaniel Marshall, presented at the Harold Washington Library, and remounted last March in partnership with the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival and the Poetry Foundation. The company also debuted in Australia, France and Germany in 2017 and returned to the Edinburgh Fringe with Lula del Ray.

Currently, Manual Cinema is touring its production ADA/AVA in Holland. Following its summer run of The End of TV, Manual Cinema will present its world premiere production of Frankenstein at Court Theatre in Hyde Park, November 1-December 2, 2018, as part of Court Theatre’s 2018-19 season.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018


Chi, IL Live Shows On Our Radar:
7/20/2018 - 7/29/2018


Buy Tickets

Stephen Sondheim’s haunting musical thriller has been hailed "the greatest musical of the past half-century” by the Wall Street Journal. Sophisticated and uncompromising, “Sweeney Todd” has a great sense of fun, mixing intense drama with howlingly funny moments of dark humor. You will find yourself laughing hysterically one moment and gasping in surprise the next.

Theatre Information in Chicago 
Here at ChiIL Mama, we were thrilled to see that St. Patrick has a page of Chi, IL theatre resources that includes some of our favs, so we've shared them below. Of course we'd add for family friendly productions and for the adults.   

-Alumnus, Michael Patrick Thornton, is the artistic director of the fantastic theatre company, The Gift Theatre.

-Our arts partner, The House Theatre of Chicago, an Equity theatre company, produce some of the best work in Chicago

-More theatre resources

Save the Dates:

Fall Play: We All Rise Above
October 26-28, 2018
Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm
Sunday at 2:00 pm

Join our incredible cast of students as they present real stories of bullying, and help devise and stage solutions with the actors and audience alike! Celebrate those who silently need us to see them by empowering an entire audience with your solutions to issues of bullying. 
All Tickets are $8.00

Friday, July 6, 2018

OPENING: PINKALICIOUS The Musical at The Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:

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

You’ll be tickled pink!
Additional performances recently added!

ChiIL Mama's Chi, IL Picks List:
Family Friendly Theatre Fun

Here at ChiIL Mama we love to ChiIL out at productions for the whole family. We caught Pinkalicious at the Broadway Playhouse years ago, and it's a favorite of ours, with a great message and catchy score. We've been covering Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences for nearly a decade and their professional productions are always impressive. Theatre in the round is fabulously fun, and their hour run time on kids' shows makes this doable for squirmy littles and a pleasure for parents too. Check it out.

Experience a young girl’s journey to find her true colors with the musical adaptation of the popular children’s book by Victoria Kann and Elizabeth Kann, PINKALICIOUS at The Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences, 10 Marriott Drive in Lincolnshire, from July 14 through August 12, 2018. Filled with a series of adventures and important life lessons, this fun and whimsical tale will be directed and choreographed by Amanda Tanguay (The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Velveteen Rabbit), with musical direction by Michael Mahler (Mary Poppins, My One and Only, The Music Man, composer/lyricist of October Sky, Hero).

This is the tale of Pinkalicious, a little girl who can’t stop eating pink cupcakes despite warnings from her parents. Her pink indulgence lands her at the doctor’s office with Pinkititis, an affliction that turns her pink from head to toe – a dream come true for this pink loving enthusiast. But when her hue goes too far, she must figure out a way to get out of this pink predicament.

“Different than most productions of PINKALICIOUS, we have drawn inspiration from children’s instruments to enhance the amazing score and script,” says Director Amanda Zimmerman. “With various character journeys taking place and the use of instruments on-stage, this production provides the perfect theatrical experience for the whole family to engage, interact, and learn together.”

Starring in PINKALICIOUS will be a cast of Chicagoland all-stars, including Landree Fleming as Pinkalicious, Lillian Castillo as Mrs. Pinkerton, Wade Elkins as Peter, Adam LaSalle as Mr. Pinkerton, and Allison Sill as Allison and Dr. Wink.

This production will feature set and properties design by Rachel Rauscher, costume design by Jesus Perez, lighting design by Nick Belley and Aaron Lorenz, and sound design by Robert E. Gilmartin.

PINKALICIOUS runs on most Wednesdays through Sundays at 10 a.m. with certain performances at 12:30 p.m. Visit or call 847.634.0200 for exact schedule, as show times and dates may vary. Single ticket prices are $18.23 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

Thursday, June 14, 2018

20% Discount Code For KYI (Know Your Ingredients) Chemical Free Vegan Beauty Products

Here at ChiIL Mama, we're all about natural ingredients and avoiding harsh chemicals. I want the best health for my family, and that means being informed as a mom, and keeping toxins to a minimum. That's why I'm excited to check out KYI beauty products. I haven't sampled them, yet, but these vegan softening oils, masks, and serums sound amazing and I can't wait to try them. 

What you put on your body is just as important as what you put in it! 

Know Your Ingredients or KYI creates, whole food skincare. It is dedicated to providing consumers with simple but incredibly effective products at a reasonable costs. It is also dedicated to raising consumer awareness regarding the health benefits of selecting skincare products that are good for you. KYI wants everyone to "know your ingredients". KYI's products are aimed at keeping skin protected, soft and supple in the most healthy way possible - without additives and preservatives. KYI products are perfect to people of all ages who want to use safe products with no chemicals. KYI products also aim to help aging skin and has specifically developed its products to fight the signs of aging and the dryness that plagues skin as it ages.  

Sometimes it's hard to make great choices for your family. Labels can be misleading. That's why it's crucial to Know Your Ingredients

KYI's flagship products are: 

KYI's Sweet Almond Softening Oil is guaranteed to make your skin soft, silky and smooth. No more dry patches or rough spots. Choose from 3 amazing scents or select unscented and go "au naturelle"! Available in relaxing Chamomile Lavender, refreshing Orange Mandarin, uplifting Litsea Cubeba, feminine Jasmine, a manly Lime Basil and an invigorating Peppermint Rosemary. Also available unscented for those sensitive to scent. 

KYI's Whipped Shea Butter Mask has natural emollient and conditioning agents that act to erase fine lines overnight. By morning, skin is noticeably softer and smoother! It is like spackle for your face! KYI's shea butter mask can also be used to banish sand paper rough spots on elbows and feet! Available in relaxing Chamomile Lavender, refreshing Orange Mandarin, uplifting Litsea Cubeba, feminine Jasmine, a manly Lime Basil and an invigorating Peppermint Rosemary. Also available unscented for those sensitive to scent.

KYI's Argan Oil Serum with Vitamin C uses a specially formulated vitamin c that is oil-soluble (other forms of vitamin c are water soluble). Because it is more easily absorbed and used by skin, it boosts collagen production over 50% better than other vitamin c products. With daily use, the result is a noticeable decrease in fine lines! Available in Orange Grapefruit or unscented.

Click HERE for more information and to use your 20% discount code (good through 12/31/18!

ChiIL Mama's Readers Get 20% off any KYI product with the code MomDiscount2018. The offer is good anytime until the end of 2018.

Monday, June 11, 2018

FREE ANNUAL SUMMER CONCERT WITH BROADWAY IN CHICAGO August 13th at Jay Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:


Featuring performances by

Monday, August 13 at Jay Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park

Broadway In Chicago is delighted to announce their annual FREE BROADWAY IN CHICAGO SUMMER CONCERT, sponsored by ABC 7 Chicago and hosted by Janet Davies, ABC 7 Chicago’s entertainment reporter and host of the entertainment and lifestyle program 190 NORTH on ABC 7. The concert will take place on Monday, August 13, 2018 at 6:15 p.m. at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St). The Broadway In Chicago Summer Concert at Millennium Park is presented with the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. This year, there will be preview performances from DEAR EVAN HANSEN, HEARTBREAK HOTEL, ROALD DAHL’S CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY and MISS SAIGON. More performances will be announced closer to the event.

“This is the highlight of the summer for Broadway fans – it’s like ‘Broadwaypalooza’,” says Eileen LaCario, Vice President of Broadway In Chicago.

The Broadway In Chicago Summer Concert is presented in collaboration with the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events as part of Millennium Park Presents. Millennium Park proudly presents symphonic music, dance, opera, Broadway hits and more—performed by some of Chicago’s best-loved cultural institutions. For full calendar information, visit  For exciting facts about the Park, program updates and weather cancellations, follow Millennium Park on Twitter (@Millennium_Park), Instagram (Millennium_Park) and Facebook (@MillenniumParkChicago).

As the summer season kicks off in Millennium Park, some important changes are coming to improve security and the visitor experience at the park. The City of Chicago will implement a security perimeter and bag check for all concerts and events that take place in the park. Outside alcohol will be prohibited at the seven Jay Pritzker Pavilion events with the highest attendance, including the Broadway In Chicago Summer Concert. Additional food and beverage options will be available for purchase at various price points inside the venue. Subject to bag search at the security perimeter, guests will continue to be allowed to bring their own food and non-alcoholic beverages to all events at Millennium Park.

For more information on the Summer Concert and Broadway In Chicago, visit

Mark Toland Mind Reader Wednesday Nights at The Greenhouse Theater Center Ages 16+

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:
Mark Toland Mind Reader

**Recommended for ages 16+**
75 minutes (Estimated) Run Time

Open Run
The Greenhouse Theater Center, 2557 N. Lincoln Ave.
Schedule: Wednesdays at 8 p.m.
Tickets: $25

Over the course of 75 minutes, Toland engages audience members with psychological illusions and mysteries of the mind. “Get ready for an unforgettable evening,” said Toland. “The audience is the cast, their thoughts are my props and their minds will be blown!” Audiences should prepare to take part in the show, as Toland attempts to get into their thoughts and reveal what they are thinking. “There are no weekly mentalism shows in the city right now, so I’m thrilled to bring an exciting new show to Chicago audiences every week.”

Mark Toland knows what you’re thinking. He can tell you your birthday, where you grew up, and what you did last summer. He will, quite literally, blow your mind. The audience is the cast, your thoughts are his props, and your mind is his stage.

Mark Toland has appeared on NBC, WGN, FOX, ABC, NPR, and even given his own TED Talk. Plus, he is the go-to entertainment choice for major corporations, including Disney, Pepsi, McDonald’s, Honda, 1-800- Contacts, and more.

The Chicago Tribune says “Mark Toland is mind blowing!” and Theme Park University says that “Mark Toland is one of the best mentalism acts in the whole world.”

Now it’s your chance to witness Mark’s unbelievable mind reading skills up close. Does he know what you’re thinking? Can he read your mind? Find out every Wednesday at 8pm.

Chicago's Northerly Island to Host Premiere of HAMILTON: THE EXHIBITION November 2018



HAMILTON: THE EXHIBITION – a 360-degree, immersive exhibit that will travel to select U.S. cities -- will premiere in Chicago in the fall of 2018 for a limited engagement, it has been announced by Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of the musical HAMILTON, and Jeffrey Seller, the musical’s producer. HAMILTON: THE EXHIBITION – on display in a specially-constructed free-standing, all-weather structure the size of a football field -- opens November 17, 2018 for a limited engagement on Northerly Island in Chicago, where HAMILTON has played a sold-out run since 2016. 

 Images of the renderings (Credit: David Korins) 

HAMILTON:  THE EXHIBITION is a creative collaboration between creative director David Korins, who designed the set for HAMILTON, Yale University professor and historian Joanne Freeman, HAMILTON creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, director Thomas Kail and producer Jeffrey Seller. Harvard University history and law professor Annette Gordon-Reed is also contributing to the historical accuracy of the exhibit.   This exhibit is presented with Imagine Exhibitions, Inc., one of the leading operators of traveling museum exhibits throughout the world. 

Lin-Manuel Miranda states, “HAMILTON is a musical.  It’s as much of Alexander Hamilton’s life as we could wrestle into two and a half hours of musical theater, and it’s been incredible and surreal to see the renewed interest this has sparked in Alexander Hamilton’s life and times.  I’m so thrilled with the work David Korins has done alongside eminent historians Joanne Freeman and Annette Gordon-Reed, who are experts in this arena.  With this exhibition, they’re creating an immersive companion piece for HAMILTON, and a deep dive into the details and experiences of Hamilton’s story.”

Featuring an audio tour narrated by Mr. Miranda the musical’s creator, HAMILTON: THE EXHIBITION is designed to take visitors deeper into the life and times of Alexander Hamilton, while at the same time chronicling the American Revolution and the creation of the United States of America.   With a dynamic, interactive mix of in-depth scenography, lighting, sound, multimedia and music, HAMILTON: THE EXHIBITION will give visitors an experiential journey from Hamilton’s childhood in St. Croix to his untimely death in Weehawken, New Jersey and the numerous, indelible ways Hamilton’s bold actions over 200 years ago affect our lives today.

Mr. Seller states, “I hope to use this exhibition to answer some questions that the musical doesn’t address, like ‘What did Alexander actually do when he was a trader in St. Croix?  What did Hamilton’s Manhattan look like?  How did we win the battle of Yorktown?’  In an environment that is visually stunning, aurally thrilling and ingeniously educational, we aim to give visitors yet another unique portal through the life of Alexander Hamilton into the American founding.”

“HAMILTON: THE EXHIBITION will be an enriching, educational and entertaining attraction for Chicago residents and visitors,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. “HAMILTON has been bringing down the house to sold out audiences in Chicago, and I am confident this exhibit will be met with similar enthusiasm. I commend producer Jeffrey Seller, Lin-Manuel Miranda and the creative team behind HAMILTON: THE EXHIBITION for choosing Chicago for its inaugural run.”

HAMILTON: THE EXHIBITION is the most recent extension of HAMILTON, the musical, following the release of “Hamilton-The Revolution,” the best-selling book about the making of the musical; the Hamilton original Broadway cast recording, now double-platinum and streamed over two billion times; the HAMILTON MIXTAPE, which features leading pop music stars performing covers of songs from the musical; “Hamilton’s America,” the PBS documentary; the HAMILTON APP, which has already had more than 1 million downloads since its launch late last year; and HAMILDROP, Mr. Miranda’s series of newly-recorded covers of songs from the musical.

As well, HAMILTON has created a nationwide education program, EduHam, that provides hundreds of thousands of Title 1 high school students an opportunity to engage in an innovative curriculum about the founding era in American and attend all-student matinee performances of the musical.

For more information and to sign up to be the first to receive news and ticket sales alerts, please visit

For groups of 10 or more contact Broadway In Chicago at 312-977-1710 or contact

Tickets to HAMILTON: THE EXHIBITION will be on sale at a later date, to be announced. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2018


Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:



BEGINS JUNE 30, 2018

It was my great pleasure to attend a press event in April, where I caught this video of writer Floyd Mutrux (Million Dollar Quartet) whose screenwriting and directorial credits include American Hot Wax, The Untouchables, Urban Cowboy, Up In Smoke, American Me, Ford Fairlane, Blood In Blood Out, Mulholland Falls, and Hillside Strangler. It was also truly a treat to get a sneak peek of a couple numbers with Eddie Clendening, Chicago's  HEARTBREAK HOTEL Elvis! 

We thoroughly enjoyed reviewing Million Dollar Quartet here at ChiIL Mama and ChiIL Live Shows. I took my kids and they adored it too! I can't wait to ChiIL out right here in Chi, IL, at the prequel this summer. 

Broadway In Chicago, the producers of HEARTBREAK HOTEL, and Authentic Brands Group (ABG), owner of Elvis Presley Enterprises today, are delighted to announce the full casting for HEARTBREAK HOTEL, a musical premiere that will ignite the stage of the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place (175 E. Chestnut) beginning June 30, 2018.

Chicago’s ‘King of Rock and Roll’ will be Eddie Clendening who originated the role of Elvis in the acclaimed production of HEARTBREAK HOTEL at the Ogunquit Playhouse. Broadway World called Clendening’s performance at the Ogunquit “spectacular.” The Portland Press Herald says, “Clendening channels Elvis’s unforgettable vocals with an uncanniness that brings thrilling goose bumps...” and the Boston Post Gazette hails, “[Clendening] is able to rock out with the raw energy of Presley while always retaining that shyness that made him so charming.”

Chicago’s cast will include Jerry Kernion as Colonel Tom Parker, Matt McKenzie as Sam Phillips, Geno Henderson as Jackie Wilson, BB King, Ike Turner and others, Matt Codina as Scotty Moore, Colte Julian as Dewey Phillips, Zach Lentino as Bill Black, Jamie Pittle as DJ Fontana/Drums, Erin Burniston as Dixie Locke, Darcy Jo Wood as Marion Keisker, Katherine Lee Bourné as Rosetta Tharpe and others, Takesha Meshe Kizart as Ruth Brown and others, Andrea Collier as Sally Wilbourn and others, Alicia McCracken Morgan in ensemble, and Chuckie Benson, Tommy Malouf and Briana Bower as understudies/swings. 

HEARTBREAK HOTEL is written and directed by Floyd Mutrux (Million Dollar Quartet) whose screenwriting and directorial credits include American Hot Wax, The Untouchables, Urban Cowboy, Up In Smoke, American Me, Ford Fairlane, Blood In Blood Out, Mulholland Falls, and Hillside Strangler. The show’s creative team will include Birgitte Bjorum (Choreography), Adam Koch (Scenic Design), Jason Lyons (Lighting Design), Drew Levy (Sound Design) and Daniel Brodie (Projection Design).

HEARTBREAK HOTEL follows the tender story of Elvis Presley in the early years of his career as he and Sam Phillips create the music that will forever change their lives. As Elvis’s career skyrockets, both lifting and shattering the lives of those he loves, a secret love story is revealed, a betrayal is discovered, and “Colonel” Tom Parker changes the course of history, all in just 18 short months.

This brand new musical features hit songs from the King himself as well as the legends who influenced his iconic music, with chart-toppers including “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Tutti Frutti,” “That’s All Right,” “Shake, Rattle and Roll,” and, of course, “Heartbreak Hotel.” This is where the story begins… “take a walk down lonely street.”

“We are thrilled to debut this amazing cast,” said Producer Scott Prisand of Robbins Lane Entertainment. “This production will feature cast members who have been with the show from the beginning, such as our original Elvis, in addition to unbelievable talent from Chicago. HEARTBREAK HOTEL is ready to rock this town!”

“For those who long for another trip down memory lane with Elvis, for those that want to recreate the excitement of Million Dollar Quartet, and  for those that want to dance in their seats – don’t miss this show!”  Eileen LaCario, Vice President of Broadway In Chicago said.

EDDIE CLENDENING (Elvis Presley) Eddie Clendening originated the role of Elvis Presley in the Broadway production of Million Dollar Quartet, where he performed eight shows a week to packed houses, for over 2,200 performances! In addition to playing Elvis in the Chicago production of Million Dollar Quartet at the Apollo Theater, Clendening played the ‘King of Rock and Roll’ in the original production of Heartbreak Hotel at the Ogunquit Playhouse in Ogunquit, Maine.

Eddie has toured extensively as a vocalist/guitarist with his own group, “The Blue Ribbon Boys,” throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia. He has appeared on several coast to coast, prime time and regional television programs including The Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, The View, and The Today Show. He has also been a regular voice on various satellite/AM/FM/internet radio programs. He’s played alongside rock-n-roll greats like Scotty Moore, James Burton, Jerry Lee Lewis, Dale Hawkins and scores of others. With several popular recordings released, his albums "Eddie Clendening Is... Walkin' And Cryin’,” “Eddie Clendening Is... Knockin’ At Your Heart,” and “Eddie Clendening Is… The Rage of the Teen-Age!” have received critical acclaim.

JERRY KERNION (Colonel Tom Parker): Heartbreak Hotel at the Ogunquit Playhouse, Cirque du Soleil’s The Beatles, LOVE, Banana Shpeel and many other regional/international credits. FILM/TV: Rebel, Tangled, Rosewood, Longmire, The Middle, Grey’s Anatomy, NCIS, Mad Men, Castle, The West Wing, CSI:NY, The Mentalist, The Princess and the Frog and others.
GENO HENDERSON (Jackie Wilson, BB King, Ike Turner & Others): A veteran of the L. A. music scene, Geno has toured, recorded and made television with The Gap Band, The Pointer Sisters, Billy Preston, Roberta Flack, Smokey Robinson, Sly Stone and many others. In 2011, he originated the role of Jocko Henderson on Broadway in Baby It’s You.
MATT CODINA (Scotty Moore): Matt Codina is a California-based guitar player, vocalist and artist most known for his fingerstyle approach popularized by Chet Atkins, Merle Travis and Scotty Moore. Matt originated the role of Scotty Moore in Heartbreak Hotel and has been with the show since 2014 and its first run in Hollywood.

MATT MCKENZIE (Sam Phillips): Matt McKenzie debuted on Broadway in Monday After the Miracle with Jane Alexander, directed by Arthur Penn. He's played leading roles at major theatres across the country including the role of Marvin in Baby It's You at the Pasadena Playhouse. In the Academy Award winning film “Gods and Monsters”, he played Colin Clive opposite Sir Ian McKellan. Television appearances include recurring roles on; “24”, “Veronica Mars”, and “Mad Men”. His voice-over performances in feature films include; “Final Fantasy”, “Princess Mononoke”, and “Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust”. Matt is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the Advanced Actor Training Program at San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theatre.

COLTE JULIAN (Dewey Phillips): Million Dollar Quartet’s “Jerry Lee” in Chicago, Vegas, National Tour and cruise; Chicago Credits: Oklahoma! (Jeff Award Nominee), Next to Normal, Joseph; Regional: Carousel, Rent, Footloose and La Cage. Music Director for State and National FFA Organizations. BA in Music - Oklahoma State, MM in Musical Theatre - Arizona State.

ZACH LENTINO (Bill Black): Zach Lentino is thrilled to portray the stories of some of the individuals that inspired him as a musician. Previously seen: Million Dollar Quartet at the Apollo Theatre (Chicago) and the Paramount Theatre (Aurora). He can also be seen performing with his own rockabilly band, "Lance Lipinsky and the Lovers."

JAMIE PITTLE (DJ Fontana/Drums): Jamie is humbled to be making his Chicago debut in Heartbreak Hotel after originating the role of DJ in the world premiere at the Ogunquit Playhouse. Off-Broadway: Missed Connections. Regional: Heartbreak Hotel, Million Dollar Quartet, The Buddy Holly Story.
ERIN BURNISTON (Dixie Locke): National Tour: Spring Awakening. Regional highlights: Heartbreak Hotel (Dixie Locke, Ogunquit Playhouse), Gypsy (June, Chicago Shakespeare Theater), La Cage Aux Folles (Anne, Goodspeed Opera House), Somewhere In Time (Young Laura, Portland Center Stage), Spring Awakening (Wendla, Media Theater). TV: Blue Bloods. BFA Music Theater, Elon University.

DARCY JO WOOD (Marion Keisker): Darcy Jo is delighted to be back at the Broadway Playhouse to once again share the stage with Elvis! Favorite select credits include: Joseph...Dreamcoat (Drury Lane), Million Dollar Quartet (Apollo Theatre), Dee Snider’s Rock n’ Roll Xmas Tale (Broadway Playhouse). Darcy travels the world fronting rock-n-roll bands, most notably her own girl group show, “Leaders of the Pack.” @darcyjowood @lovettesgram

KATHERINE LEE BOURNÉ (Rosetta Tharpe & Others): Regional credits: Marie Christine (Boho); New Faces Series (Porchlight); Songs for a New World (Blank). Graduate of CCPA’s BFA Musical Theatre [Dance] program. Director/arranger of family vocal group, The Bournés.

TAKESHA MESHE KIZART (Ruth Brown & Others): Versatile Classical, Jazz, Soul, and Pop Vocalist with leading roles worldwide in Tosca, Madama Butterfly, La bohème, Cassandra/Elektra, Mefistofele, Marie Victoire, Norma, Il trovatore, La forza del destino, and many others. Additional select credits include Black Rest (HBO), The Verdian Voice (ARTE), and Intimate Apparel (Lincoln Center Theater). Upcoming Recording: Purpose Over Pain with Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

ANDREA COLLIER (Sally Wilbourn & Others): Andrea is ecstatic to be a part of Heartbreak Hotel! Some favorite credits include: 42nd Street, Rock of Ages, Hairspray, Gypsy, All Shook Up, Legally Blonde, A Christmas Carol, and The Wedding Singer. Graduate of the University of Illinois!

CHUCKIE BENSON (Understudy): Chicago credits: SPAMILTON, The Wiz (Lion-Jeff nominee), HAIR, RENT, The Buddy Holly Story. Other regional: Big River, Sister Act, Grease, Hairspray.

BRIANA BOWER (Understudy): Briana is beyond excited to be a part of her first show here in Chicago. The Michigan native and EMU Theatre alumna wants to thank her family for their constant love & support.

TOMMY MALOUF (swing): Regional credits include The Light Fantastic (Jackalope), Hatfield & McCoy (House Theatre), Great Expectations (Remy Bumppo/Silk Road), Bobbie Clearly and Posh (Steep), Ring of Fire and Rent (Metropolis). Represented by Stewart Talent.
ALICIA MCCRACKEN MORGAN (Ensemble): Alicia McCracken Morgan is a singer, keyboard player, vocal coach and musical director. From Tampa, FL, she now lives in LA. She has worked with such artists as Al Wilson, Delaney Bramlett, Bobby Womack, Sally Kellerman, Don & Dewey, Rod Stewart, producer Richard Perry. Alicia is a Hammond Organ Artist.


Individual tickets for HEARTBREAK HOTEL at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place (175 E. Chestnut) are now on sale and range from $35-$75 with a select number of premium seats. Tickets are available now for groups of 10 or more by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710 or emailing  For more information, visit  

Broadway In Chicago was created in July 2000 and over the past 17 years has grown to be one of the largest commercial touring homes in the country.  A Nederlander Presentation, Broadway In Chicago lights up the Chicago Theater District entertaining over 1.7 million people annually in five theatres. Broadway In Chicago presents a full range of entertainment, including musicals and plays, on the stages of five of the finest theatres in Chicago’s Loop including the Cadillac Palace Theatre, CIBC Theatre, Oriental Theatre, and just off the Magnificent Mile, the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place and presenting Broadway shows at The Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. For more information, visit Facebook @BroadwayInChicago ● Twitter @broadwaychicago ● Instagram @broadwayinchicago ● #broadwayinchicago

HEARTBREAK HOTEL is produced by Robbins Lane Entertainment, Temple Dog Productions, Big Block Media Holdings, Michael Speyer and Bernie Abrams, Terry Schnuck, Stefany Bergson, Judith Borelli and Emilio Borelli, Howard Weissman and Howard Goldenfarb and Dot Dot Dot Productions, LLC.

Authentic Brands Group (ABG) is a brand development, marketing and entertainment company, and the owner of Elvis Presley Enterprises, LLC in partnership with the Presley family. Headquartered in New York City, ABG owns, manages, and builds the long-term value a global portfolio of lifestyle, celebrity and entertainment brands. Our brands span a global retail footprint of more than 2,300 doors across luxury, specialty, department stores, shop-in-shops, ecommerce, mid-tier, and mass channels. ABG is committed to transforming brands by delivering compelling product, content, business, and immersive brand experiences. We create and activate original marketing strategies to drive the success of our brands across all consumer touchpoints, platforms, and emerging media. ABG’s global portfolio of iconic and world-renowned brands includes Marilyn Monroe®, Elvis Presley®, Muhammad Ali®, Shaquille O’Neal®, Dr. J®, Greg Norman®, Neil Lane®, Thalia®, Michael Jackson® (managed brand), Aéropostale®, Juicy Couture®, Jones New York®, Herve Leger®, Judith Leiber®, Frederick’s of Hollywood®, Frye®, Adrienne Vittadini®, Taryn Rose®, Misook®, Hickey Freeman®, Hart Schaffner Marx®, Spyder®, Tretorn®, Tapout®, Prince®, Airwalk®, Vision Street Wear®, Above The Rim®, and Hind®.​

KGM Theatrical is a New York City based theatrical general management firm representing live entertainment globally. Credits include: Puffs (Off-Broadway), Rock of Ages (Broadway), Fela! (Broadway, Tours), Reasons to Be Pretty (Broadway), The 39 Steps (Broadway), The Homecoming (Broadway), Talk Radio (Broadway), Heathers (Off-Broadway), Altar Boyz (Off-Broadway), and many more.

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