Monday, September 24, 2018

FLASH GIVEAWAY: WIN 4 Tickets ($160 Value) To Opening Night of Disney On Ice presents Frozen

ChiIL Mama's Chi, IL Picks List:

Feld Entertainment, Inc., Brings #1 Animated Movie of All Time to Life with 
Disney On Ice presents Frozen, 
Coming to the Allstate Arena, Sept. 27-30

Tickets ($160 Value) 
To Opening Night of 
Disney On Ice presents Frozen 
at 7pm Thursday September 27th 

Open through midnight 9/24/18. Winner will be e-mailed and announced here and on ChiIL Mama's social media channels. Tickets are good for opening night, Thursday Sept. 27th at 7pm at Allstate Arena.

Here at ChiIL Mama, we adore the number one animated feature film of all time, Disney’s Frozen, and the LIVE adaptation, Disney On Ice presents Frozen. 

Feld Entertainment, Inc., the worldwide leader in producing live touring family entertainment, will bring the Academy Award® winning and number one animated feature film of all time, Disney’s Frozen, to Chicago-area fans in Disney On Ice presents Frozen. The limited four-day, eight-performance engagement will run Thursday, Sept. 27, through Sunday, Sept. 30, at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill.  

The complete adventure of the Academy Award® winning tale will be told live in this production, capturing the dynamic of two royal sisters, Anna and Elsa. Anna, a girl with an extraordinary heart, embarks on an epic journey to find her sister, the magical Elsa, who is determined to remain secluded as she finally feels free to test the limits of her powers. Rugged mountain man Kristoff, his loyal reindeer Sven, the lovable and hilarious snowman Olaf and the mystical trolls help Anna along the way in this story about love conquering fear. Audiences will get to sing along with such musical favorites as “Let it Go,” “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” and “Fixer Upper.”

“In our many years of producing Disney On Ice shows, Feld Entertainment has been waiting for a film like this,” says producer Nicole Feld. “While it might seem obvious that Frozen is well suited for the ice, this Disney On Ice production will touch audiences emotionally through innovative show elements and world-class skating.”

Frozen directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee add, “Seeing audiences around the world embrace Frozen has been the experience of a lifetime. And to now have the chance to consult with the talented team at Feld Entertainment and watch their creation come to life on ice, is thrilling.”

In Disney On Ice presents Frozen, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse take the audience through the magical story based in Arendelle, with special appearances by beloved Disney princesses and favorite characters from Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story and Finding Nemo and Disney’s The Lion King, who come together to prove that true love is the greatest power of all. Director Patty Vincent says, “Our goal is to showcase these heartwarming characters in a way that allows the audience to cheer and sing along throughout this emotional journey.”

To create a completely immersive experience for the audience, the set design will encompass the space from the ice surface up through the air, drawing everyone into the story and closer to the characters. Families will feel that they are trekking up to the North Mountains with Anna, Kristoff and Sven, and they will tangibly experience the storm inside Elsa. Elsa’s magic will be enhanced by state-of-the art special effects while her emotions will be conveyed through powerful skating. 

Tickets for Disney On Ice presents Frozen start at $15. All seats are reserved, and tickets are available at the Allstate Arena box office, through Ticketmaster, and by phone at (800) 745-3000. Parking is FREE with ticket purchase in all official Allstate Arena parking lots. Service charges, facility and handling fees may apply.

Stay current on the latest developments through social media:

Twitter: @DisneyOnIce #DisneyOnIce #FrozenOnIce
Instagram: @DisneyOnIce

About Feld Entertainment, Inc.
Feld Entertainment® is the worldwide leader in producing and presenting live touring family entertainment experiences that bring people together and uplift the human spirit. Properties include Monster Jam®, Monster Energy Supercross, Disney On Ice, Disney Live!, Marvel Universe LIVE!, Sesame Street Live!, DreamWorks Trolls The Experience (coming Fall 2018) and Jurassic World Live (coming Fall 2019). Across the brand portfolio, Feld Entertainment has entertained millions of families in more than 75 countries and on six continents. Visit for more information.


ENTER FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN 4 Tickets ($160 Value) To Opening Night of Disney On Ice presents Frozen 
at 7pm Thursday September 27th 

Open through midnight 9/24/18. Winner will be e-mailed and announced here and on ChiIL Mama's social media channels. Tickets are good for opening night, Thursday Sept. 27th at 7pm at Allstate Arena.

 Disclosure: Thanks to FELD for providing tickets for our giveaway. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

1 Day Only FRANKENSTEIN: Unearthed, Panel Discussion September 30th at Lookingglass Theatre Company

Chicago Theatres Announce 

 Special joint event between Court Theatre and Manual Cinema, Lifeline Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre Company and 
Remy Bumppo Theatre Company
explores four unique productions of Frankenstein
coming to Chicago stages this season

It's Time to Get Your Monsters In a Row...
Here at ChiIL Mama and ChiIL Live Shows we can't wait to celebrate 200 years of Mary Shelley's classic with four productions of FRANKENSTEIN on stage in Chicago this season. I'll be out to review all of them. How many of the "frankenfour" do you plan to see? We're already off to a stellar start with Lifeline's stunning world premiere adaptation featuring a female lead and a life sized, soul eating puppet monster! Highly recommended. 

Wondering where to start, with such a plethora of unique productions? Lookingglass Theatre Company, Court Theatre and Manual Cinema, Lifeline Theatre, and Remy Bumppo Theatre Company announce FRANKENSTEIN: Unearthed, a one-time-only event exploring the four productions of this classic tale coming to Chicago stages during the 2018-2019 season. 

FRANKENSTEIN: Unearthed takes place September 30, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. at Lookingglass Theatre Company. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online HERE. Lookingglass is located at 821 N Michigan Avenue at Pearson.

In celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the first publishing of Frankenstein, Mary Shelley's monster comes to life in Chicago this season with four distinctive theatrical productions at Court Theatre, Lifeline Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre Company, and Remy Bumppo Theatre Company.

What is Chicago’s fascination with this undying tale? How will this story be told? Four Frankensteins, seriously? Artists David Catlin and Cordelia Dewdney (Lookingglass Theatre Company), Drew Dir (Manual Cinema), Ian Frank and Eliza Stoughton (Remy Bumppo Theatre Company), and Robert Kauzlaric and Ann Sonneville (Lifeline Theatre) will answer these questions and more in a conversation led by Chicago Tribune critic Chris Jones. Come learn about the vision behind each Frankenstein adaptation and get a preview of each show!

“As all the major Chicago productions of Frankenstein were announced this past spring, each one of them vastly different in style and substance, we realized the potential for a collaborative, synergistic exploration of this rich and constantly surprising story, and of Mary Shelley, the brilliant mind behind it,” comments Nick Sandys, Producing Artistic Director of Remy Bumppo. “That a theatrical endeavor of this scale and diversity is happening here speaks not just to the artistic dynamism of Chicago, but to the sophistication and curiosity of its arts patrons. We wanted therefore to spark a city-wide conversation with our colleagues and discuss how we are all tackling the novel's myriad themes and universal questions, which still so clearly speak to us today. This special event will bring all four theaters together for one evening and give our audiences a sneak-peek at this season's unique "Frankenstein festival"--and the chance to explore the question: Why so many Frankensteins?”

About the Artists
DAVID CATLIN (Writer/Director of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein at Lookingglass Theatre Company) is a founding Ensemble Member, actor, writer, director, and former Artistic Director of Lookingglass. David adapted and directed Moby Dick, which debuted at Lookingglass in summer 2015, toured nationally, and played again at Lookingglass in summer 2017. Other Lookingglass writing credits include: Lookingglass Alice, Icarus, Her Name Was Danger, and The Idiot (Jeff Award for Adaptation). He is currently directing A Midsummer Night’s Dream, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s original, for Alliance Theatre in Atlanta. Additional Lookingglass directing credits include: The Little Prince, Black Diamond (co-director), Metamorphosis, and West. Lookingglass acting credits include: Hard Times, The Arabian Nights, Our Town, Argonautika, La Luna Muda, The Odyssey, and The Jungle. David is an Artistic Associate with Actors Gymnasium and serves on the acting faculty at Northwestern University.

CORDELIA DEWDNEY (Mary Shelley/Elizabeth in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein at Lookingglass Theatre Company) is a graduate of Northwestern University where she studied Theatre and English. Recent credits include: Hard Times and Moby Dick at Lookingglass Theatre Company and Women Beware Women with the Chicago Shakespeare Project She has worked with Alliance Theatre, Arena Stage, and South Coast Repertory for the National tour of Moby Dick, and has appeared on Chicago Med. She is joyfully represented by Stewart Talent.

DREW DIR (Manual Cinema Co-Artistic Director) is a writer, director, and puppet designer. Previously, he served as the Resident Dramaturg of Court Theatre and a lecturer in theater and performance studies at the University of Chicago. He holds a master’s degree in Text and Performance Studies from King’s College London and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

IAN FRANK (Director of Frankenstein at Remy Bumppo) is the Artistic Assistant and the director of Frankenstein at Remy Bumppo Theatre Company. He is the Producer of Remy Bumppo's SPARK Reading Series (directing both Inheritors and Conversations in Tusculum) and assistant directed Pygmalion. In Chicago, Ian directed Incident at Vichy (Jeff nomination for Best Ensemble), Another Bone and Shipwrecked! (Redtwist) and Bob: A Life in Five Acts (LiveWire) and assisted Sunday in the Park with George and Cyrano at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. He recently workshopped his own adaptation of The Call of the Wild at Milwaukee Rep. Ian holds an MFA in Directing from The Theatre School at DePaul University and has a long relationship with Actors Theatre of Louisville where he has directed several shows at the Humana Festival of New American Plays.

ELIZA STOUGHTON (Elizabeth in Frankenstein at Remy Bumppo) has worked in Chicago at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Court Theatre, Writers Theatre, Raven Theatre, TimeLine Theatre, The Gift Theatre, Lifeline Theatre, 16th Street Theatre, and Oak Park Festival Theatre. Regionally, she has worked at American Players Theatre, Cardinal Stage (Bloomington, IN), Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Riverside Theatre in Iowa, and toured many wonderful years with Montana Shakespeare in the Parks and Montana Shakespeare in the Schools. Eliza is a proud graduate of Loyola University of Chicago and a Core Ensemble member with Remy Bumppo Theatre Company.

ROBERT KAUZLARIC (Adaptor of Frankenstein at Lifeline Theatre) is a Chicago-based playwright, director, and actor. He has written more than a dozen theatrical adaptations, which have been performed in over 40 states across the U.S., as well as in England, Ireland, Wales, Canada, and Australia. Previous Lifeline adaptations include Neverwhere (Non-Equity Jeff Award: New Adaptation) and Northanger Abbey (with George Howe; Non-Equity Jeff Award: New Musical).

ANN SONNEVILLE (Victoria in Frankenstein at Lifeline Theatre) is an Ensemble Member with Trap Door Theatre, where she has appeared in numerous productions, and Red Tape Theatre, where she recently appeared in Round Heads and Pointed Heads. Other credits: Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Steppenwolf Garage, Lookingglass Theatre Company, Lifeline Theatre, Griffin Theatre, Strange Tree, Oracle Productions, the side project, The Chicago Mammals, and numerous original productions with Bruised Orange Theatre Company. Film/TV credits: Miriam Is Going To Mars (BMA Award - Best Actress), Dig Two Graves, Chicago P.D., Hunting God, and numerous shorts. She is a professional voiceover artist and instructor at the Vagabond School.

CHRIS JONES (Moderator) has been the chief theater critic and Sunday culture columnist of the Chicago Tribune since 2002 and he is author of Bigger, Brighter, Louder: 150 Years of Chicago Theater (2013), and the upcoming book Rise Up!: Broadway and American Society from 'Angels in America’ to ‘Hamilton’ (November 2018). His work has appeared often in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, American Theater, and many other publications. In 2014, he became the director of the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's National Critics Institute in Waterford, CT. In 2001, Chris was named by American Theater magazine as one of the most influential theater critics in America. In 2015, he was the winner of Cornell University's George W. Nathan Award, the most prestigious honor for drama critics in the United States.

About the Productions

Lifeline Theatre presents:
A world premiere adaptation of the novel by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Adapted by Robert Kauzlaric
Directed by Paul S. Holmquist
September 7 – October 28, 2018
Lifeline Theatre (6912 N Glenwood Ave)
Tickets:  |  773.761.4477

When an unexpected death shatters her family, Victoria retreats into the darkest recesses of her psyche in search of a way forward. To find meaning in this impossible loss, she brings a terrible creation to life – one whose existence threatens all hopes for the future. Haunted and hunted at every turn, Victoria must endure a nightmare journey of the soul in a quest for survival. Grapple with the demons of grief and denial in this world premiere adaptation of the 1818 thriller by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley.

About Lifeline
Lifeline Theatre is driven by a passion for story. Lifeline’s ensemble process supports writers in the development of literary adaptations and new work, and its theatrical and educational programs foster a lifelong engagement with literature and the arts. A cultural anchor of Rogers Park, Lifeline is committed to deepening its connection to an ever-growing family of artists and audiences, both near and far.

Remy Bumppo Theatre Company presents:
By Mary Shelley, Adapted by Nick Dear
Directed by Ian Frank
October 11 – November 11, 2018
Performing at Theater Wit (1229 W Belmont Ave)
Tickets:  |  773.975.8150
Mary Shelley’s revolutionary horror classic is shocked to life in Nick Dear’s adaptation. Retold from the abandoned creature’s point of view, this taut, muscular version raises urgent questions about scientific responsibility, parental neglect, and the nature of good and evil. *MATURE CONTENT

About Remy Bumppo Theatre Company:
Remy Bumppo Theatre Company produces theatre that thrills the ear, stirs the heart, feeds the mind, and sparks a conversation. As an ensemble-based producer of intellectually and emotionally inspiring plays that reveal the power and pleasure of language, we explore timeless ideas in timely productions that celebrate our common humanity; and we invite audiences to converse directly with the art and the artists.

Remy Bumppo challenges our audiences with the intersection of expansive ideas and rich language, often presenting texts that have been sidelined because they may seem too intellectually complex, demanding active intelligence as well as great passion from artist and patron alike. We produce such art in order to advance deeper understanding of the human condition, test commonly perceived notions, and elevate cultural discourse. We then invite audiences to converse directly with the art and the artists, engaging them in one-on-one conversation about the work itself through innovative supplementary programming.

Court Theatre presents:
by Manual Cinema
adapted from the novel by Mary Shelley
concept by Drew Dir
devised by Drew Dir, Sarah Fornace, and Julia Miller
original music by Kyle Vegter and Ben Kauffman
November 1 - December 2, 2018
Court Theatre (5535 S Ellis Ave)
Tickets: 773.753.4472  |
In a special world premiere presentation at Court Theatre, internationally-renowned multimedia company Manual Cinema stitches together the classic story of Frankenstein with Mary Shelley's own biography to create an unexpected story about the beauty and horror of creation. Using an ingenious “laboratory" of cameras, overhead projectors, actors, and puppets—and accompanied live by a chamber ensemble performing Kyle Vegter and Ben Kauffman’s haunting original score—Manual Cinema’s Frankenstein assembles music, theater, and silent film to create a Frankenstein like you’ve never seen before.

About Court Theatre
Court Theatre is the professional theatre of the University of Chicago, dedicated to innovation, inquiry, intellectual engagement, and community service. Court endeavors to make a lasting contribution to classic American theatre by expanding the canon of translations, adaptations, and classic texts. Court revives lost masterpieces, illuminates familiar texts, explores the African American theatrical canon, and discovers fresh, modern classics.

About Manual Cinema
Manual Cinema is a performance collective, design studio, and film/ video production company founded in 2010 by Drew Dir, Sarah Fornace, Ben Kauffman, Julia Miller, and Kyle Vegter. Manual Cinema combines handmade shadow puppetry, cinematic techniques, and innovative sound and music to create immersive visual stories for stage and screen. Using vintage overhead projectors, multiple screens, puppets, actors, live feed cameras, multi-channel sound design, and a live music ensemble, Manual Cinema transforms the experience of attending the cinema and imbues it with liveness, ingenuity, and theatricality.

Lookingglass Theatre Company presents:
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
Written and Directed by Ensemble Member David Catlin
From the Book by Mary Shelley
May 8–August 4, 2019
Lookingglass Theatre Company (821 N Michigan Ave)
Tickets: | 312.337.0665

Within every man there is a monster; within every monster, a man. But which is which? An eerie evening of ghost stories crackles to life as Mary Shelley unspools her tale of Victor Frankenstein and his unholy experiment. This gothic tale of love, horror, and the power to create life—and destroy it—awakens in this visceral, original retelling of Frankenstein. Fresh from the brain of Ensemble Member David Catlin, creator of Moby Dick and Lookingglass Alice, comes a galvanic adaptation of this undying story. See for yourself this latest invention come to shocking life!

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. Entering its 31st 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 66 world premieres, received 144 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., Atlanta, Louisville and St. Louis. In 2016, Lookingglass received the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions.

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. For more information, visit

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

WHAT WE'RE WATCHING: SMALLFOOT opens nationwide on September 28th

ChiIL Mama's Chi, IL Picks List:
Family Friendly Films On Our Radar

ChiIL Mama will be ChiILin' with Warner Bros. Pictures at Chi, IL's Regal City north Stadium 14 this Saturday, for a press preview, sneak peek at SMALLFOOT. Check back soon for our recap of "Smallfoot Saturday". Our family has an abiding love for both yeti and animated feature films, so we can't wait to catch the latest from Warner Bros.

Get yeti to go where no yeti has gone before. #SMALLFOOT hits theaters September 28!

An animated adventure for all ages, with original music and an all-star cast, “Smallfoot” turns a myth upside down when a bright young yeti finds something he thought didn’t exist—a human. News of this “smallfoot” throws the simple yeti community into an uproar over what else might be out there in the big world beyond their snowy village, in an all new story about friendship, courage and the joy of discovery.

For more information, check out and follow along on our adventures and more via social media with the hashtag #Smallfoot

“Smallfoot” turns a myth upside down when a bright young yeti finds something he thought didn’t exist—a human. News of this “smallfoot” throws the simple yeti community into an uproar over what else might be out there in the big world beyond their snowy village, in an all new story about friendship, courage and the joy of discovery. 

​“Smallfoot” stars Channing Tatum (“The LEGO® Batman Movie,” the “Jump Street” films) as the yeti, Migo, and James Corden (“Trolls,” “The Emoji Movie”) as the Smallfoot, Percy. Also starring are Zendaya (“Spider-Man: Homecoming”), Common (“Selma”), LeBron James (upcoming “Space Jam 2”), Gina Rodriguez (“Jane the Virgin”), Danny DeVito (“The Lorax,” Oscar nominee for “Erin Brockovich”), Yara Shahidi (TV’s “Black-ish”), Ely Henry (TV’s “Justice League Action”), and Jimmy Tatro (“22 Jump Street”).

​“Smallfoot” is directed by Karey Kirkpatrick, Annie Award-winning director of “Over the Hedge” and Annie nominee for the screenplays for “Chicken Run” and “James and the Giant Peach” and co-directed by Jason Reisig. The screenplay is by Kirkpatrick and Clare Sera, screen story by John Requa & Glenn Ficarra and Kirkpatrick, based on the book Yeti Tracks, by Sergio Pablos.  

The film is produced by Bonne Radford (“Curious George”), Glenn Ficarra (“Storks,” “This is Us,”) and John Requa (“Storks,” “This is Us”).  Serving as executive producers are Nicholas Stoller, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, Jared Stern, Karey Kirkpatrick, Sergio Pablos, Courtenay Valenti, and Allison Abbate. The creative team includes editor Peter Ettinger, and composer Heitor Pereira.

​“Smallfoot” is set to debut in theaters September 28, 2018.

​From Warner Bros. Pictures and Warner Animation Group, a Zaftig Films production, “Smallfoot” will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

“Finally Free” 
Written by Ian Franzino, Andrew Haas, John Ryan, Julian Bunetta and Niall Horan.
Performed by Niall Horan
Courtesy of Capitol Records
(P) 2018 Neon Haze Music Ltd for the world excluding the UK and Ireland; Niall Horan for the UK and Ireland, under exclusive license to UMG Recordings, Inc.

ISRC:  USUG11801366

Friday, September 14, 2018

OPENING: Upended Productions Remounts Acclaimed Ambulatory ALICE Through October 21st

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar

Multi-Disciplinary Theatrical Experience 
Returns September 16 at Various Evanston Locations

Featuring Factory, Mudlark, Fleetwood-Jourdain, ShowParty 
& Others

**Recommended for ages six and up**

Here at ChiIL Mama and ChiIL Live Shows we adore the Alice in Wonderland stories. We missed the Upended Alice last time around, even though we publicized it, and we can't wait to go down this rabbit hole for the remount. This unique, promenade style show shares book chapters among diverse Chicagoland theater companies, visual and film artists and musicians. This 90-minute event requires walking and standing. Rain or shine.

“ALICE displays impeccable logistical skill and a striking sense of space; in the best environmental theater tradition, it renews the audience's sense of wonder at their surroundings” – Newcity Stage (2014)

“ALICE is that rare environmental experience that takes its subject seriously yet embraces a self-deprecating sense of humor” – Chicago Reader (2004)

Upended Productions remounts ALICE, the ambulatory, multi-disciplinary theatrical experience, curated by Neo-Futurist alumna Noelle Krimm. The audience, traveling in groups of 15, follows a white rabbit to various locations throughout Evanston’s Main-Dempster Mile neighborhood.

Ducking into storerooms and back patios, through bookstores and breweries, the audience IS Alice and southeast Evanston becomes a wonderland. 

Opens Saturday, September 22, 2018, 1 p.m.
Previews Sunday, September 16, 1 p.m.
Runs Saturdays and Sundays through October 21
Tours begin at 1 p.m., 1:15 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 1:45 p.m., & 2 p.m. 

Meet at LaCapra State Farm office, 829 Chicago, Evanston, IL
Subsequent locations include Sketchbook Brewing Co, Booked, La Principal, Cultivate, Reprise Coffee Roasters, 10,000 Villages, and Squeezebox Books & Music.

CTA: Main Street Purple EL
Street and metered public parking lots around Main & Chicago Aves.
$25 for single tickets; $17 for students and seniors with ID
Space is limited so advance purchase is highly recommended:  

This promenade production features original work by The Factory, Mudlark Theater, Fleetwood-Jourdain Theater, ShowParty, singer/ songwriter Naomi Ashley, Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Logan Kibens, and current and former ensemble members of The Neo-Futurists, Theatre Oobleck, Barrel of Monkeys, and Wildclaw Theater, including David Kodeski, Corrbette Pasko, Laura McKenzie, Josh Zagoren, and Dina Walters. 

This project is partially supported by a grant from the Evanston Arts Council, an agency supported by the City of Evanston.

Neo-Futurist alumna Noelle Krimm founded Upended Productions in 2014. Productions are not confined to conventional theater spaces to provide performance frameworks for artists of all disciplines to come together and create unexpected, innovative, multi-disciplinary work. Shows are performed in and around local neighborhoods, surprising and delighting audiences, bringing visibility and vitality to community businesses.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Biggest and Scariest Fright Fest Ever Is Back Through October 31st at Six Flags Great America

Six Flags Great America Unleashes Its Biggest and Scariest Fright Fest Ever

New ‘Hell Fest’ Maze Themed After the Upcoming Horror Movie
Among This Year’s Highlights

Halloween season is a favorite of ours here at ChiIL Mama & ChiIL Live Shows. There's a fall chill in the evening air and it's time to get your scare on at Fright Fest® at Six Flags Great America. Our family has gone for years. 

Six Flags Great America, the Thrill Capital of the Midwest, kicks off the most menacing Fright Fest® in its history. Beginning September 15, the theme park transforms into a scream park for 24 horrifying days. Monster coasters in the dark, roaming zombies around every corner and spellbinding, haunted attractions combine for the region’s most thrillingly, sinister Halloween celebration.

“Fright Fest is the must-do, must-see event of the season. Every year, we ramp up the fear factor with more freakish zombies, and scarier scare zones and mazes for an all-out terrifying experience,” said Six Flags Great America Park President Hank Salemi. “No one does Halloween like Six Flags and this year’s Fright Fest is our best and most immersive yet.”

The bone-chilling lineup of haunted attractions features ten scare zones and six haunted houses, including a terrifying recreation of scenes from the upcoming horror movie, Hell Fest.

Fright Fest highlights include:
Thrills by day and Fright by night…enjoy family-friendly activities during the day...

but after 6 p.m., all hell breaks loose;
New Hell Fest haunted attraction;
6 horrifyingly haunted houses;
10 spooktacular shows that chill to the bone;
10 scream-inducing scare zones; and
16 world-class coasters, in the dark.

Fright Fest runs select days and weekends thru October 31. For more information on Fright Fest at Six Flags Great America, visit

About Six Flags Entertainment Corporation
Six Flags Entertainment Corporation is the world’s largest regional theme park company and the largest operator of waterparks in North America, with $1.4 billion in revenue and 25 parks across the United States, Mexico and Canada. For 57 years, Six Flags has entertained millions of families with world-class coasters, themed rides, thrilling water parks and unique attractions. For more information, visit

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

COMMUNION: An Evening of Magic by Brett Schneider at The Den Theatre Through September 22nd

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar:

Back by Popular Demand!
COMMUNION: An Evening of Magic 
Written and Performed by Brett Schneider 
Directed by Elana Boulos
September 13 – 22, 2018 at The Den Theatre

Brett Schneider performs COMMUNION: An Evening of Magic. Photo by Eve Rydberg.

**Recommended for ages 13+**

Due to popular demand, actor and magician Brett Schneider’s hit one-man show COMMUNION: An Evening of Magic, returns to Chicago for six performances only! Directed by Elana Boulos, COMMUNION will play September 13 – 22, 2018 at The Den Theatre’s Upstairs Main Stage, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are currently available at Recommended for ages 13+. 

Have you ever wished you could know what someone else is thinking? What if you could? COMMUNION: An Evening of Magic is a 70-minute performance that blurs the line between magician and spectator, and explores how illusion can create true human connection. Highly interactive and unconventional, COMMUNION blends world-class magic, sleight of hand, and psychological suggestion with live participation from the audience. No two performances are alike. For additional information, visit

Schneider’s previous work has received critical praise from across the U.S.:

“Schneider is captivating... his rapport is winning, his routines are confident, and 
he’s great at generating anticipation... you’ll need to see this.” 
–The Washington Post

“The show dips its toes into the realm of actual magic... some quite elaborate onstage magic from designer Brett Schneider involving disappearances, levitations and the like.”
–The Chicago Tribune

“…a highly intelligent and vulnerable actor and a first-rate magician.”
–Time Out Chicago

“A magnificent central performance... [Brett Schneider] has a casually charismatic stage presence that blends the inner power of a Robert Mitchum with the sex appeal of a James Dean... Schneider’s ability to communicate and make intimate contact with the audience is its own kind of magic.” 
–The Hollywood Reporter

“Handsome professional magician ‘Great’ (Brett Schneider) dazzles crowds 
with his amazing card tricks... Schneider is a charismatic and 
appealing performer, impressive as both an actor and a magician.”
 –LA Weekly

Location: The Den Theatre’s Upstairs Main Stage, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago
Dates: Thursday, September 13 – Saturday, September 22, 2018
Curtain times: Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm
Tickets: $30 general admission. $15 students and industry. Tickets are currently available at

About Brett Schneider
Brett Schneider is an actor, magician and illusion designer. Brett has been performing magic professionally for over 20 years and is a regular performer at The Magic Castle in Hollywood, California and the Chicago Magic Lounge. His work has received numerous awards and citations and he was a finalist in the World Magic Seminar. Recently, Brett has been touring the country playing the lead role and creating the illusions for the hit production of The Magic Play, which had its world premiere at The Goodman Theatre in 2016. In addition to magic performance, Brett is an actor who has worked with Steppenwolf, The Goodman, Lookingglass, Roundabout Theatre, Actors Theatre Louisville, and many others across the country. His illusion design work has appeared in theatre, network television and film. 

About Elana Boulos
Elana Boulos is a producer, casting director and stage director who works in Chicago and New York City. Elana currently resides in New York City where she is attending Columbia University in pursuit of her MFA in Theatre Producing. Elana has worked at such companies as Jackalope Theatre Company, Manhattan Theatre Club, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Two Birds Casting, Griffin Theatre Company, Dog and Pony and Collaboraction.

About The Den Theatre
Artistic Director Ryan Martin opened The Den in 2010 with a single theatre space. Seven years later, The Den boasts five intimate and unique theaters on two floors ranging from 50 – 200 seats, as well as two additional spaces primarily used for classes and rehearsals. The Den is also equipped with two bars enveloped by a never-ending field of lounge space for audiences and like-minded culture hounds to drink, talk, read, watch, think, listen and live. The Den is home to seven resident theatre companies including First Floor Theater, Haven Theatre Company, Griffin Theatre, The New Colony, Broken Nose Theatre, WildClaw Theatre and Firebrand Theatre. Hundreds of other companies from Chicago and beyond have also called The Den home, utilizing its theaters, studio space and easily convertible cabaret space to accommodate a stream of programming, including plays, musicals, film screenings, classical and jazz performances, dance, improv and stand-up, seminars and speaking engagements. For additional information, visit

Monday, September 10, 2018



Dedicated to collecting, preserving and portraying the legacy of Greek history and culture in America, the National Hellenic Museum has the largest collection of Greek American artifacts and recorded oral histories anywhere. The National Hellenic Museum (NHM), 333 S. Halsted St., introduces its newest exhibition — George Kokines: Layers Revealed. On September 20, 2018, the National Hellenic Museum will open the first ever retrospective of the artist George Kokines. Using loaned objects and those from the NHM Collections, this exhibition traces Kokines’ artistic development and accomplishments in Abstract Expressionism as well as his journey to embrace his Greek American identity.

Kokines’ art employed free-form organic and geometrical forms, abstract figures and intense spaces of color. He inserted humor, references to Greek mythology and his life experiences into his work. When working with nontraditional materials like wax, plaster and concrete, Kokines often carved through the layers he had built up on the surface. He was known to rework older pieces many times over. Palimpsest — something altered that bears visible traces of its previous form — was a concept that is apparent in much of Kokines’ work.

In 1993, Kokines traveled through Greece, making stops at his parents’ hometowns on a trip that allowed him to connect his history and artwork to ancient Greece. Later in his life, Kokines was deeply impacted when he witnessed the events of September 11, 2001 first hand, watching as the World Trade Center fell. The largest installation of his career, September 11, was created in remembrance of the day and will be exhibited. The installation includes the painting Agios Nikolaos, representing the small Greek Orthodox church that also stood at Ground Zero.

Kokines was born in 1930 in Chicago to Greek immigrant parents. He studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, earning a BFA in 1960. Early in his career he received critical acclaim and was a prominent figure in the Chicago art community. Once the subject of controversy, he said, “All contemporary painting should defy description.” In 1966, he moved to New York where he lived and worked for nearly 40 years. In 2005, he returned to Chicago and continued to paint until he passed away in 2012. Kokines’ work was exhibited in galleries and museums nationally and internationally, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Whitney Museum, the Richard Gray Gallery, the Centro Cultural in Buenos Aires, Argentina and the Palazzo Massari in Ferrara, Italy.

The works in this exhibition exemplify Kokines’ improvisation and the textural and large-scale style of his work. Demonstrating his mastery of abstraction, this exhibition reveals the brilliance and skill of George Kokines. Related educational programming, docent-led tours and field trips for school children will be offered throughout the year.

Founded in Chicago as the Hellenic Museum and Cultural Center (HMCC) in 1983, the HMCC moved to the city’s Greektown neighborhood in 2004 and opened its current location on Halsted Street as the National Hellenic Museum in 2011. The contemporary four-story building is home to extensive collections, rotating exhibitions, classrooms, and a stunning rooftop view of Chicago. Three floors of galleries explore ancient and modern themes and provide multi-use spaces to host tours, public programs, and private events. The NHM boasts a rich repository of 20,000+ artifacts, photos, historic newspapers, books and an archive of 450+ recorded histories. The NHM Collections & Archives serve as a central repository of Greek American history, now many generations strong. The Museum celebrates the mosaic of the Greek diaspora, immigrant journeys, and the breadth of the American experience.

The National Hellenic Museum is open to all ages with admission as follows: adults $10, seniors $8, students $8, and children 3 to 12 years are $7. Children under 3 years of age and members receive free admission. NHM is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is closed on Mondays. Members enjoy many additional outstanding benefits throughout the year. 

NHM counts on member support to help preserve and share Greek history and culture through programs, events, and exhibitions. To become a member of the NHM, please visit the Museum’s membership page. For more information about George Kokines: Layers Revealed and other programs, membership, special events, facility rentals, or giving, please visit

About the National Hellenic Museum
The National Hellenic Museum (NHM) portrays and celebrates Greek history and the Hellenic legacy through educational classes, exhibits and programs. With a growing repository of over 20,000 artifacts, the Museum catalogs and highlights the contributions of Greeks and Greek Americans to the American mosaic and inspires curiosity about visitors’ own family journeys through cultural expression, oral history and experiential education. Located in Chicago’s Greektown, the NHM provides lifelong learning for the whole community using artifacts and stories to spark inquiry and discussion about the broader issues in our lives.

For more information, visit or call 312-655-1234.Follow NHM on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

OPENING: Little Shop of Horrors at Drury Lane Theatre Through October 28, 2018

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar

Drury Lane Theatre announces the cast for 
Little Shop of Horrors
Music by Alan Menken
Book by Howard Ashman
Direction and Choreography by Scott Calcagno
Musical Direction by Roberta Duchak

September 6 – October 28, 2018

Here at ChiIL Mama and ChiIL Live Shows, we can't wait to see Drury Lane's take on this perennial crowd pleaser! Playfully macabre, Little Shop of Horrors has long been one of our favorite musicals. With it's charmingly dark humor, catchy score, and absurd plot, it's a hit for all ages from tweens to twilight years. 

Drury Lane announces the cast for Little Shop of Horrors, with music by Alan Menken, book by Howard Ashman, direction and choreography by Scott Calcagno, and music direction by Roberta Duchak. Little Shop of Horrors runs September 6 – October 28, 2018, at Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace. The press opening is Thursday, September 13 at 8:00 p.m.

The cast of Little Shop of Horrors is led by Kelly Felthous (Audrey), returning to Drury Lane after earning a Jeff Award nomination for her performance as Roxie Hart in Chicago, and Will Lidke (Seymour Krelborn) who was last seen at Drury Lane in Saturday Night Fever. The production also features Melanie Brezill (Ronette), Candace C. Edwards (Crystal), Melanie Loren (Chiffon), Ron E. Rains (Mr. Mushnik), Lorenzo Rush Jr. (Voice of Audrey II), and Steven Strafford (Dr. Orin Scrivello D.D.S.). Audrey II will be brought to life by puppeteer Matthew P. Sitz.

The creative team includes Kevin Depinet (Scenic Design), Lynda Myers (Costume Design), Ryan O’Gara (Lighting Design), Ray Nardelli (Sound Design), Cassy Schillo (Properties Design), Martin P. Robinson (Puppet Design), Claire Moores (Wig & Hair Design), and Sammi Grant (Dialect Coach).

This gem of a musical inspired by the 1960 dark comedy horror film will charm your heart with infectious doo-wop songs and endearing characters. A down-on-his-luck resident of Skid Row is offered the girl of his dreams, fame, and success from an all-powerful, R&B singin’ carnivorous plant, but at what cost? Little Shop of Horrors is the winner of the Drama Desk Award for Best Musical.

SCOTT CALCAGNO (director) returns to Drury Lane, where he most recently directed Seussical the Musical last spring. Other Drury Lane credits include The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and, for the last 10 seasons, A Christmas Carol. For Warner Bros and Rail Productions, Scott is the current director and writer of The Polar Express Train Ride™, a live theatrical production aboard a moving Amtrak train out of Chicago’s Union Station and New Orleans’ Passenger Terminal and on the Whippany Express outside of NYC. Other credits include: Legally Blonde (Civic Theatre), Second City Divas (Mercury Theatre), Bye, Bye Birdie (Long Lake Theatre), and Unmasking What Matters, a one woman show for Broadway’s The Phantom of the Opera actress Sandra Joseph. Scott is also the director for the youth acting program for Drury Lane, 

KELLY FELTHOUS (Audrey) is returning to Drury Lane where she was last seen as Roxie Hart in Chicago, which earned her a Jeff Award nomination. Most recently, she starred as Sally Bowles in Paramount Theater's Cabaret! National Tours include: Wicked (Glinda, Nessarose u/s), Flashdance (Gloria), and Grease (Marty). New York credits include the original companies of Trip of Love (Caroline), Max and Ruby (Ruby), and Seussical (Mayzie). Other favorites are South Pacific (Nellie) at Asolo Rep; Rock of Ages (Regina) in the regional premiere at The Gateway Playhouse; Legally Blonde (Elle) at North Shore Music Theatre; Bring It On (Eva), originating the role at the Alliance Theatre; A Chorus Line (Val) at Maine State Music Theatre; Singin’ in the Rain (Kathy) at North Shore Music Theatre; Gypsy (June) at Sacramento Music Circus; and Jane Eyre at La Jolla Playhouse. She is a graduate of NYU/CAP21.

WILL LIDKE (Seymour Krelborn) returns to Drury Lane where he previously appeared in Saturday Night Fever. Most recently he was seen as Monty in Griffin Theater’s production of Violet. Other credits include: Ride The Cyclone and Tug of War: Foreign Fire at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, The Man Who Murdered Sherlock Holmes at Mercury Theater, and Bat Boy at Griffin Theater. On television, he appeared in Chicago Justice (NBC). 

Featuring: Melanie Brezill (Ronette), Candace C. Edwards (Crystal), Kelly Felthous (Audrey), Will Lidke (Seymour Krelborn), Melanie Loren (Chiffon), Ron E. Rains (Mr. Mushnik), Lorenzo Rush Jr. (Audrey II), Matthew P. Sitz (Audrey II Puppeteer), and Stephen Strafford (Dr. Orin Scrivello D.D.S.)

Creative Team: Kevin Depinet (Scenic Design), Lynda Myers (Costume Design), Ryan O’Gara (Lighting Design), Ray Nardelli (Sound Design), Cassy Schillo (Properties Design), Martin P. Robinson (Puppet Design), Claire Moores (Wig & Hair Design), and Sammi Grant (Dialect Coach)

Previews: September 6 – 13, 2018
Regular run: September 14 – October 28, 2018 
Press Opening: Thursday, September 13 at 8:00 pm

Wednesdays: 1:30 p.m.
Thursdays: 1:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Fridays: 8:00 p.m.
Saturdays: 5:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. 
Sundays: 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Drury Lane Theatre at 100 Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace

Previews: $45 – $60

Single Tickets: $50 – $65
Wednesday and Thursday matinees: $50
Thursday and Sunday evenings: $60
Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday matinees: $65
Student group tickets start at $30
Senior Citizens start at $45 for matinees
Dinner and show packages available 

Box Office:
100 Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace
630.530.0111, Ticketmaster at 800.745.3000
or visit

2018/2019 Season and Subscription Information
The 2018/2019 season opened with the Tony Award-winning Rodgers & Hammerstein landmark musical South Pacific (April 5 – June 17, 2018) and continued with Tennessee Williams’ sultry family drama Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (July 5 – August 26, 2018) followed by the darkly comedic musical Little Shop of Horrors (September 6 – October 28, 2018). For the holiday season, Drury Lane brings to life the treasured story of Belle with Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (November 9, 2018 – January 27, 2019) and then closes its 18/19 season with the global smash-hit Mamma Mia! featuring the music of ABBA (February 7 – April 14, 2019). The 2018/2019 season runs April 5, 2018, through April 14, 2019, at Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace.

Subscriptions for the 2018/2019 season are priced from $157 to $187 and are currently on sale. Subscribers receive special offers on dining, flexible ticket exchanges, and early notification and priority seating for added events and concerts. For more information, visit

The performance schedule for all productions is as follows: Wednesdays at 1:30 p.m., Thursdays at 1:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Student group tickets start as low as $30 and Senior Citizens start at $40 for matinees. Dinner and show packages are also available. For individual ticket on-sale dates and ticket reservations, call the Drury Lane Theatre box office at 630.530.0111 or TicketMaster at 800.745.3000 or visit

About Drury Lane Theatre 
Under the leadership of President Kyle DeSantis and Artistic Director William Osetek, Drury Lane Theatre is a major force in the Chicagoland theatre scene, presenting world-class productions in collaboration with some of the nation’s leading actors, artists, writers, and directors. Over the past 30 years, Drury Lane has staged more than 2,000 productions and has been nominated for more than 360 Joseph Jefferson Awards. Drury Lane is committed to breathing new life into beloved classics and introducing audiences to exciting new works. 

Throughout its 30-year history, Drury Lane has employed more than 7,500 actors and 10,000 musicians, designers, and crew members to entertain upwards of nine million audience members. Originally founded by Anthony DeSantis, Drury Lane Theatre remains a family-run organization known for producing breathtaking Broadway classics, top-rated musicals, bold new works, hilarious comedies, and unforgettable concert events.

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