Tuesday, July 26, 2016

INCOMING: Cirque du Soleil's TORUK – The First Flight at the United Center in Chicago August 3-7, 2016

The new Cirque du Soleil touring show
inspired by James Cameron’s AVATAR

TORUK – The First Flight
written and directed by Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon
 Will be presented at the United Center in Chicago
August 3-7, 2016

*Tickets on sale now*

Here at ChiIL Mama, we're beyond excited about The new Cirque du Soleil touring show inspired by James Cameron’s record-breaking movie AVATAR. We've been promoting TORUK –  The First Flight since December and now it's finally imminently opening. Got your tickets yet? Unlike the Cirque du Soleil tent shows that set up camp for months, their big arena shows are in and out fast. This one's just a 5 night run, so don't miss this! 

We'll be there to review on opening night and we're working on setting up a video interview and behind the scenes photo shoot as we've done with Cirque du Soleil for many years now. Check back soon for our full coverage. ChiIL Mama will be there... will YOU?! 

**Click here and scroll down for loads of ChiIL Mama's past original Cirque du Soleil live show photos, video interviews with performers, and behind the scenes photo tours (22+ features).**

TORUK –  The First Flight will be presented at the United Center (inside the arena-- not in the lot) on August 3-7, as part of a global tour in arenas. The show is presented by Visa Signature® in association with United MileagePlus®.

Photo: Youssef Shoufan Costumes: Kym Barrett  © 2015 Cirque du Soleil

The show
Inspired by James Cameron’s AVATAR, TORUK – The First Flight transports you to the world of Pandora in a visually stunning live setting. Experience a storytelling odyssey through a new world of imagination, discovery, and possibility.

Through a riveting fusion of cutting-edge visuals, puppetry and stagecraft buoyed by a soaring cinematic score, Cirque du Soleil applies its unique signature style to James Cameron’s imaginary world and “makes the bond” between two kindred artistic visions that capture the imagination.

This live immersive experience also bears the distinct signature of directors and multimedia innovators Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon. It is a living ode to the Na’vi’s symbiotic coexistence with nature and their belief in the basic interconnectedness of all living things.

Narrated by a “Na’vi Storyteller” and populated by unforgettable characters, TORUK – The First Flight is a mythical tale set thousands of years before the events depicted in the film AVATAR, and before any humans ever set foot on Pandora.

When a natural catastrophe threatens to destroy the sacred Tree of Souls, Ralu and Entu, two Omaticaya boys on the brink of adulthood, fearlessly decide to take matters into their own hands. Upon learning that Toruk can help them save the Tree of Souls, they set out, together with their newfound friend Tsyal, on a quest high up in the Floating Mountains to find the mighty red and orange predator that rules the Pandoran sky. Prophecy is fulfilled when a pure soul rises among the clans to ride Toruk for the first time and save the Na’vi from a terrible fate.

Photo: Jesse Faatz Costumes: Kym Barrett  © 2015 Cirque du Soleil

Creative team
TORUK – The First Flight comprises 13 creators under the artistic guidance of Guy Laliberté (Guide) and Jean-François Bouchard (Creative Guide) for Cirque du Soleil, and James Cameron, Jon Landau, Kathy Franklin and Richie Baneham for Lightstorm Entertainment: 

Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon  Show Writers and Directors, Multimedia Directors
Neilson Vignola Director of Creation
Carl Fillion  Set and Props Designer
Kym Barrett Costume and Makeup Designer
Tuan Le and Tan Loc Choreographers
Bob & Bill Composers and Musical Directors
Jacques Boucher  Sound Designer
Alain Lortie  Lighting Designer
Patrick Martel  Puppet Designer
Germain Guillemot  Acrobatic Performance Designer
Pierre Masse  Rigging and Acrobatic Equipment Designer

Ticket information 
TORUK – The First Flight will be presented at the United Center on August 3-7, 2016. Tickets can be purchased at https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/toruk.

Help Out

Cirque du Soleil is once again helping Chicago's youth circus, CircEsteem, with one of their biggest fundraisers of the year. If you're available to go August 4th, buy your Cirque du Soleil tickets through this link to fund scholarships for Chicago area kids to study circus arts. CircEsteem brings together kids of many races and socioeconomic situations from across the city and around the world. My own kids took classes there for 3 years and auditioned onto the performance team. It was an incredible experience in confidence building and they made many close friends.

Sponsors and partners
TORUK – The First Flight in Chicago is proud to be presented by Visa Signature®, in association with United MileagePlus®. DHL and ACTIVEON Action Camera are the official sponsors. The show is being created through a licensing arrangement with 20th Century Fox.

Photo: Jesse Faatz Costumes: Kym Barrett  © 2015 Cirque du Soleil

Photo: Jesse Faatz Costumes: Kym Barrett  © 2015 Cirque du Soleil

In an effort to bring audience members involvement to a whole new level, Cirque du Soleil will be launching a first-of-its-kind app for TORUK – The First Flight.  Working with long-time technology partner SAP, the app will enhance the overall show experience and enable audience members to be a part of the action before, during and after the performance! 

Get Social:
Follow us at www.facebook.com/torukthefirstflight, Twitter @cirque | Instagram @cirquedusoleil | Snapchat @CirqueSnap | #TORUK #Avatar #CirqueduSoleil

Cirque du Soleil:
TORUK – The First Flight is Cirque du Soleil’s 37th production since 1984. The company has brought wonder and delight to more than 155 million spectators in more than 300 cities on six continents. Cirque du Soleil has close to 4,000 employees, including 1,300 performing artists from close to 50 different countries.

For more information about Cirque du Soleil, visit https://www.cirquedusoleil.com.

To find out more about the ONE DROP Foundation, visit https://www.onedrop.org.

Monday, July 25, 2016


Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

AUGUST 19 – 28, AT STAGE 773

New Production Performed on a Thrust Stage, with Original Music, Pushes the Limits of Tap and Modern Dance with Choreography by Tapman’s Tristan Bruns and Kate O’Hanlon and Special Guest Ian Berg

Tapman Productions and Artistic Director Tristan Bruns are proud to announce the first show in their 2016 - 2017 season, THRUST!, August 19 – 28, at Stage 773, Thrust Theatre, 1225 W Belmont Ave. The performance schedule is Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Opening night is Friday, August 19 at 7 p.m. 

Tickets to THRUST! are $20 and are currently available at the Stage 773 box office, www.stage773.com or by calling 773.327.5252. For more information on Tapman Productions visit TapmanProductions.com.

THRUST! is a one of a kind double feature of tap and modern dance showcasing the work of long-time Tapman collaborators Tristan Bruns (tap) and Kate O’Hanlon (modern) and special guest choreographer Ian Berg (tap). The pieces performed are created specifically for this thrust (three-sided) stage with elaborate props and set design, original music by Trainwreck Symphony and composer Carolyn O’Brien, and new arrangements of popular music. 

“This performance is inspired by Ian’s piece I saw last year at the Audible Odyssey showcase.  Ian’s choreography made use of all sides of the stage, effectively eliminating a “front” for the audience,” said Bruns.  “I thought, ‘I rarely see a thrust-style theatre used as is was meant to be used, where each performer and dance is viewed from three different sides at the same time. It is a difficult way to dance, so I must try it, too.”

Performers in THRUST! include Hannah Bailey, Ian Berg, Tristan Bruns, Martin Bronson, Zada Cheeks, Megan Davis, Juan Irizarry, Teresa Leahey, Gloria Mwez, Kate O’Hanlon, Carmen Paquette, Aimee Russon, Von Smith and Jessica Williams.

The production team for THRUST!  includes Bread and Roses Productions and Carolyn O’Brien, composer.

ABOUT TRISTAN BRUNS, choreographer
Tristan Bruns is a tap dancer and choreographer from Chicago, who began training with Donna Johnson and has continued his training with Ted Louis Levy, Lane Alexander, Martin ‘Tre’ Dumas III, Bril Barrett and Sam Weber. Bruns has been a member of Jimmy Payne Jr.’s Perfect Timing and Julie Cartier’s Cartier Collective and is a founding member of BAM!, the performance ensemble of the Chicago Human Rhythm Project under the direction of Lane Alexander. He currently dances with M.A.D.D. Rhythms under the direction of Bril Barrett.
Bruns has been among a hand full of dancers to be awarded the Audible Odyssey grant for new works in 2012 and 2013 as well as an Individual Artist Grant for New Works in 2013 and 2016 by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and the Outstanding Choreography Award at the Dance Chicago Festival in 2014. Bruns has a B.A. in Music from Columbia College Chicago.

ABOUT KATE O’HANLON, choreographer
Kate O’Hanlon is a modern dancer and choreographer from Cleveland, Ohio. She began her early training with Michelle Petruzzi Gacom of the former Cleveland San Jose Ballet, Poppy Dinse, Gregory Daniels and Sara Whale and continued as a trainee with Inlet Dance Theatre. O’Hanlon’s work has been presented at numerous festivals in Chicago and across the country, including Dance Chicago, Kaleidoscope Dance Festival and Fringe Festivals in Atlanta, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, St. Louis and Washington D.C. She currently performs with Ardent Dance Company, Matter Dance Company and Untitled Project.
O’Hanlon is the operations manager of Tapman Productions and also serves as director of the Modern Marvels Dance Company, a newly-formed modern dance ensemble. She often collaborates with her partner, The Tapmen Dance Company Artistic Director Tristan Bruns, utilizing a hybrid tap/modern approach to choreography. She holds a B.S. in Psychology and Minor in Dance from Baldwin-Wallace College.

ABOUT IAN BERG, choreographer
Ian Berg is tap dancer from Chicago currently living in Boston and attending the Boston Conservatory. He is multiform dancer that has extensive training in tap dance, ballet, modern, contact improvisation and many other forms. Berg is also trained musician and has experience in music composition. He premiered his first evening length work, About (chairs), in February 2014 and has premiered additional work since 2014 including his performance in Audible Odyssey.

Tristan Bruns founded Tapman Productions, LLC (TMP) in 2012 establishing the company and its mission to produce new works with a focus on tap dance. Besides producing over 50 performances across the United States, Tapman Productions recently finished its first performance season at Chicago’s Athenaeum Theatre including the well-received The Adventures of Tapman, choreographed, written and original music compositions by Bruns; the experimental La Raison d’Etre, choreographed by Bruns and Kate O’Hanlon and Supreme Love, choreographed by Jumaane Taylor, and named one of 2015’s top 10 dance productions by the Chicago Tribune. 
Tapman Productions is also home to the Chicago-based tap dance company, The Tapmen (directed by Bruns), and its newest addition for the 2016 season, The Modern Marvels Dance Company (directed by Kate O’Hanlon). TMP offers a wide range of dance services not found under any one roof – TMP offers customized performances for private, industrial and charity/benefit events, workshops and master classes for students of all ages and levels, specialty tap floor rental and purchase and a tap dance/American history course designed specifically for home schoolers.

The Adventures of TapmanOpen run: May 28, July 23, August 6 and 
September 25 at 2 p.m., Stage773, Chicago

Modern Marvels Dance Company: October 13 and 14 at 7:30 p.m. – Hamlin Park Fieldhouse Theater, Chicago

PLAY LOCALLY: The Velveteen Rabbit at The Marriott Theatre Through August 14th

ChiIL Mama's Chi, IL Picks List: 
Fam Friendly Theatre Favs

 ©Kenaz-Mara 2016
The Marriott Theatre 
Presents a New Twist 
on the Enchanting Family Musical

Now through Aug 14, 2016
The cherished children’s tale springs to life for a whole new generation in a wonder-filled 
musical production.

Here at ChiIL Mama we've been beyond busy shooting travel features and exploring Chi, IL in all it's summer glory. So sadly we have not made it out to The Marriott Theatre yet to review The Velveteen Rabbit. The Marriott Theatre is one of our top picks for presenting professional productions with phenomenal talent. Their intimate theatre in the round makes for stellar staging and they consistently cast excellent actors. The Velveteen Rabbit has been a favorite tale for generations, so this show make an excellent multigenerational memory maker. Don't miss this. Summer is the perfect time to ChiIL out at the theatre. Hop on out to catch this one before August 14th. 

A joyous testament to the eternal power of a child's imagination, The Velveteen Rabbit springs to life July 8 through August 14, continuing The Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences’ 2016 season. A musical adaptation of the classic Margery Williams’ tale, with music by composer Jimmy Roberts (I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change), book and lyrics by James Still, and direction and choreography by Amanda Tanguay (Pinocchio at The Marriott Theatre), The Velveteen Rabbit fuses the power of childhood play and fancy with the timeless need for unconditional love. Followed by a special Q&A session with the cast, The Velveteen Rabbit is sure to captivate audiences of all ages.

When Steve comes upon one of his long lost toys, it sparks a memory that takes him back in time to when he was an inspired 6-year-old. We meet his 12-year-old brother, Ben, a typical tween who’s more interested in playing video games and meeting girls then playing with his little brother. Left alone with his toys, Steve’s imagination leads him on exciting adventures with his new best friend, the Velveteen Rabbit, whose dream is to someday become “real”. As Steve and the Velveteen Rabbit’s bond grows, the other toys’ spirits are brought to life on stage as they learn what it means to love, and be loved in return. Return to a simpler time with this heartwarming retelling of the enchanting children’s story, reminding audiences of all ages of the true power of love.

The Velveteen Rabbit stars Jeff Award nominee Devin DeSantis as “Steve” (City of Angels, Godspell and Pinocchio at The Marriott Theatre), Jonathan Butler-Duplessis as “Ben” (Sister Act and Dreamgirls at The Marriott Theatre), Jeff Award nominee Dara Cameron as “Velveteen Rabbit” (Sister Act, ELF and October Sky at The Marriott Theatre), Jeff Award nominee Sharriese Hamilton as “Boat” (Sister Act at The Marriott Theatre; World Premiere: Thaddeus and Slocum: A Vaudeville Adventure at Lookingglass Theatre Company), Jeff Award winner Mark David Kaplan as “Rocking Horse” (The Lion King Broadway National Tour; Anything Goes and The Wizard of Oz at The Marriott Theatre), and Zoe Nadal as “Wild Rabbit” (ELF and City of Angels at The Marriott Theatre; West Side Story at Paramount Theatre).

The production features musical direction by Ellen K. Morris, set and properties design by Greg Pinsoneault, costume design by Theresa Ham, lighting design by Nick Belley and sound design by Bob Gilmartin.

The Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences has presented numerous original works as well as classic fairy tales. Through these special one-hour productions, over 2 million children have experienced the joy and magic that is live theatre. To date, The Marriott's Theatre for Young Audiences has presented more than 75 productions to critical (and kids’!) acclaim.

©Kenaz-Mara 2016

The Velveteen Rabbit plays most Tuesdays through Sundays at 10 AM. July 28 is a special hearing impaired interpreted performance. Visit MarriottTheatre.com or call 847.634.0200 for exact schedule, as show times and dates vary. Single ticket prices are $17.23 per person (includes fees and taxes). Groups of 20 or more receive a discount by calling 847.634.5909. Free parking is available at all shows.  To reserve tickets, call the Marriott Theatre Box Office at 847.634.0200 or visit www.MarriottTheatre.com.

©Kenaz-Mara 2016

Theater, Classical Music and Free Kids' Cooking Classes Are Growing At Wicker Park Farmers Market

ChiIL Mama's Chi, IL Picks List:


Wicker Park Farmers Market is not just for fresh veggies, the arts are sprouting here too! The market is open every Sunday through October 30, 2016, from 8 a.m.-2p.m. at 1425 N. Damen Avenue. Programs include children’s cooking classes hosted by The Kids’ Table, and live music and theater performances presented by the Wicker Park Advisory Council with support from WPB SSA #33. All programs are free and open to the public. 

The schedule for the rest of the summer is as follows:

10 a.m.-1 p.m. Children’s cooking class hosted by The Kids’ Table. Walk-ups welcome at any time, no advance registration required.
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Symphony Sounds String Quartet performance (corner of Damen & Schiller)

11 a.m.-1 p.m. Theatre-Hikes performance of Driving Miss Daisy (corner of Damen & Schiller)

10 a.m.-1 p.m. Children’s cooking class hosted by The Kids’ Table. Walk-ups welcome at any time, no advance registration required.

10 a.m.-1 p.m. Children’s cooking class hosted by The Kids’ Table. Walk-ups welcome at any time, no advance registration required.

Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce, the sole service provider of Special Service Area (SSA) #33 is presenting this special schedule of free programming. 

The Wicker Park Farmers Market provides a space for local and regional farmers, food producers and processors to sell handmade and homegrown varieties of fresh fruit and vegetables, baked goods, meats, cheeses, flowers and more. The market allows local vendors and residents to come together around shared interests of healthful food, a robust local economy and neighborhood cohesion. Confirmed 2016 vendors include: Nichols Farm & Orchard, Seedling, River Valley Ranch, Garden Offerings & Petal’s Farm, Burton’s Maplewood Farm, Fehr Bros. Meats and Stamper Cheese.

The Wicker Park Farmers Market is presented by the Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce with additional support from WPB SSA #33 and Lowe’s Home Improvement. The market accepts LINK/SNAP cards and administers the Double Value Coupon Program through a grant from Experimental Station, allowing patrons to receive double the amount of produce when they shop with a LINK card.

The Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce serves as a cornerstone of the Wicker Park and Bucktown commercial districts, advancing the financial goals of neighborhood businesses through the creation of a dynamic economic climate, increasing the neighborhood's visibility and viability, and encouraging profitable relationships within the community. The Chamber administers the WPB Special Service Area (SSA #33), guided by a Commission of 12 SSA stakeholders who serve on active committees. For more information, please visit www.wickerparkbucktown.com.

The Kids' Table is a unique Chicago-based cooking school that teaches and empowers folks of all ages to cook, eat and love wholesome foods. With hands-on experience, engaging instruction and tasty recipes, healthy cooking and eating go from chore to adventure. But their mission extends well beyond imparting culinary skills. They’re looking to connect people with food, with the earth and with each other. For more information, please visit www.kids-table.com.

The Wicker Park Advisory Council is a voluntary group of individuals who meet on a regular basis to support the effective functioning of the park. The Council works with the park supervisor and other Chicago Park District staff, advising them on the needs and concerns of the community and making recommendations and suggestions regarding Wicker Park. For more information, please visit www.wickerpark.org.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Take the X-Men Home? Yes Please!

Arriving on Digital HD Sept. 9 and 
on Blu-ray™, 4K Ultra HD & DVD Oct. 4

My teens have grown up watching X-Men movies and they're still a family favorite. Now the release of X-MEN: APOCALYPSE for home viewing is looming. The Blu-ray™ includes Deleted/Extended Scenes, Gag Reel, Wrap Party Video and more! Preorders are starting soon. Don't miss this.  

“one of the coolest superhero movies of the decade” 
(Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun Times)

OSCAR® Winner Jennifer Lawrence*, Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy lead a powerhouse cast in director Bryan Singer’s extraordinary follow-up to X-Men: Days of Future Past. After thousands of years, Apocalypse – the world’s first and most powerful mutant – has awakened to find a world led by humans. Intent on cleansing the Earth of mankind, he recruits a group of mutants to create a new world order. In a desperate race to save humanity, Professor X (McAvoy) leads the young X-Men in an epic showdown – against an unstoppable enemy – that will determine the fate of the world.

*Actress, Silver Linings Playbook, 2012
OSCAR® is the registered trademark and service mark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

X-MEN: APOCALYPSE Blu-ray Special Features Include:
  • Deleted/Extended Scenes with Optional Introductions by Bryan Singer
  • Gag Reel
  • Wrap Party Video
  • Hour long documentary, X-Men: Apocalypse Unearthed
  • Audio Commentary by Bryan Singer and Simon Kinberg
  • Concept Art and Photo Gallery

X-MEN: APOCALYPSE Blu-rayDisc & 3D Blu-ray™ Disc
Street Date: October 4, 2016
Prebook Date: August 31, 2016
Screen Format: Widescreen 16:9 (2.40:1)
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1
English Descriptive Audio 5.1                                                           
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
French DTS 5.1

Subtitles: English for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing/Spanish/French
Total Film Run Time: Approximately 144 minutes
U.S. Rating PG-13

Street Date: October 4, 2016
Prebook Date: August 31, 2016
Screen Format: Widescreen 16:9 (2.40:1)
Audio: English Dolby Atmos
English Descriptive Audio 5.1                                                           
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
French DTS 5.1
Subtitles: English for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing/Spanish/French
Total Film Run Time: Approximately 144 minutes
U.S. Rating PG-13

Street Date: October 4, 2016
Prebook Date: August 31, 2016
Screen Format: Widescreen 16:9 (2.40:1)
Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1
English Descriptive Audio 5.1                                                           
Spanish Surround Dolby Digital 2.0
French Surround Dolby Digital 2.0
Subtitles: English for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing/Spanish/French
Total Film Run Time: Approximately 144 minutes
U.S. Rating PG-13

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, LLC (TCFHE) is a recognized global industry leader and a subsidiary of Twentieth Century Fox Film. TCFHE is the worldwide marketing, sales and distribution company for all Fox film and television programming, acquisitions and original productions as well as all third party distribution partners on DVD, Blu-ray™, 4K Ultra HD, Digital HD, and VOD (video-on-demand). Each year TCFHE introduces hundreds of new and newly enhanced products, which it services to retail outlets and digital stores throughout the world.


Introducing the Nation’s most comprehensive holistic wellness and personal training center
Located in Highland Park, IL!

Here at ChiIL Mama, I turn to holistic healing first, for my family and myself. If you live in the Chicago region and would like to find out more, Elite Wellness Center and Bystol Performance (BPC) have a wonderful open house coming up, including a chance to try out complimentary treatments.

When it comes to holistic healing, therapy, exercise science, and sports medicine, Elite Wellness Center and Bystol Performance (BPC) have teamed up to provide it all! These two health and wellness powerhouse business partners are pleased to launch the nation’s most comprehensive holistic wellness and personal training center located on Chicago’s North Shore at 1200 Old Skokie Valley Road in Highland Park, just off the Edens Expressway.

“Together, Elite and BPC are bringing a Wellness Revolution to the North Shore of Chicago,” says Randi Moxi, Brand Manager. “Recognizing there are several components to health and wellbeing, each facility’s team of experts will assess every person that walks through the doors to then develop customized treatment plans based on and designed around each body’s specific needs.”

The public is invited to experience the revolution in health, wellness, revitalization and sports therapy at their official Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening event on July 28 from 5-8 p.m. Guests must RSVP to obtain entry and to schedule complimentary services – subject to availability. Offering more holistic and personal training services under one roof than any other center in the county, Elite and BPC invites the community to join their team of practitioners, along with the Highwood and Northbrook Chambers of Commerce at 5 p.m. for the official ribbon cutting ceremony. From there, attendees can tour the facility, enjoy pre-scheduled complimentary services and celebrate along with their friends from Cos Bar, Bronzed Organic Spray Tanning, SVET Russian Media, Tesla, and more. All will be invited to enjoy light bites and wine too!

Attendees must RSVP at https://discovereliteandbpc.eventbrite.com to obtain entry and schedule complimentary services.

Complimentary services including Full Body Cryotherapy, Cryofacial Toning, Mini Acupuncture Sessions, Chair Massages and IonCleanses from Elite Wellness, After Workout Make-Overs from CosBar, and Organic Spray Tans from Bronzed will be provided by booking in advance by calling 847-748-8804. Appointments will only be given to guests that RSVP. Space and services are limited and subject to availability. Additionally, Tesla Motors is staying open late so that guests may tour the Tesla facilities after attending the Celebration at Elite and BPC! 

David Ashford, World’s Fastest Master Hurdler and World Record Champion credits Elite and BPC’s connectivity and complete offerings for his ranking and success. “Everything you need to succeed is available at Elite and BPC,” says Ashford. “From the infrared sauna that has been key for my flexibility, to the chiropractic team’s maneuverings, and all the training tools from power sleds to the performance turf, they offer everything under one roof. With double the impact and professionalism in one building, this unique facility is the only place you need for training and recovery purposes. They cater to every age and status so you’ll find 7-90 year old athletes, moms, kids with special needs and more all focused and concentrated on pursuing their own individual goals. Elite and BPC offer a quality of life and the instant you walk through the door, you want to be a part of the action. I would not have gotten my world indoor record without the Elite and BPC Team!”

Elite Wellness-Highland Park is one of the most comprehensive holistic wellness centers in the country, offering top of the line non-invasive technologies to achieve optimal wellness. With an in-house Holistic Practitioner, Health Coach, Board Certified Chiropractor, Soft Tissue and Rehab Specialist, Strength Trainer, they have a complete wellness team at the ready.

Elite's list of services includes: acupuncture, active release therapy, aroma touch massage, ARP wave therapy, chiropractic, corrective exercise training, craniosacral therapy, cupping, DMS deep muscle stimulator, dry needling, functional rehabilitation, functional health coach, kinesiology tape, massage therapy, myofascial release, Normatech recovery system, PEMF pulse electro magnetic field, Physical Therapy, Rolfing, Selective Functional Movement Screening, Shockwave therapy, Sports Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Vitamin and Mineral Balance and Zen Shiatsu Massage.

For more information, call 847-748-8804 or visit www.elitestw.com.

Bystol Performance Center is the personal training counterpart to Elite's one of a kind brand offering private personal training by some of the most sought after trainers in the world in a vast and awe inspiring facility that features the most state of the art equipment collection in the Chicagoland area.

BPC delivers athletic-based scholastic and adult training program, expert coaching and the latest in sports therapy in one facility housing a 14,000 square foot state-of-the-art weight room, 50 years of pro turf and the most innovative strength and therapy equipment available. BPC boasts a diverse list of clientele ranging from professional (NFL, NHL, NBA), Olympic, Collegiate and High School athletes to individuals of varied fitness, health and lifestyle aspirations. BPC helps their clients reach their goals through their expertise and extensive education in the field of exercise science and sports medicine.

Whether the goal is to become a professional athlete, or to improve upon health and body composition, BPC is the answer. For more information please visitwww.lifestyle.bpcstrong.com or call 847/881-2840.


Tony Award-winner KAREN OLIVO
head the Chicago cast of

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

Got your tickets yet? This cast looks amazing!

OLIVO, who electrified audiences with her Tony Award-winning portrayal of Anita in the 2009 Broadway revival of WEST SIDE STORY, returns to the stage as the brilliant and beautiful Angelica Schuyler in the Chicago production of HAMILTON, it has been announced by producer Jeffrey Seller.  Joining Ms. Olivo in Chicago are Broadway veterans MIGUEL CERVANTES as Alexander Hamilton, and ALEXANDER GEMIGNANI as King George III. 

 Tony Award-winner KAREN OLIVO as the brilliant and beautiful Angelica Schuyler

MIGUEL CERVANTES as Alexander Hamilton


Mr. Cervantes’ Broadway roles include in the musicals IF/THEN, AMERICAN IDIOT and THE 25th ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE.  Mr. Gemignani starred as Jean Valjean in the 2006 revival of LES MISERABLES, and performed in Stephen Sondheim’s ASSASSINS, SWEENEY TODD and SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE, all on Broadway. 

Other principal roles in HAMILTON in Chicago will be played by a talented young company comprised of ARI AFSAR as Eliza Hamilton; CHRIS LEE as Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson; JOSEPH MORALES as Mr. Cervantes’ alternate; JOSE RAMOS as John Laurens/Phillip Hamilton; WALLACE SMITH as Hercules Mulligan/James Madison, and SAMANTHA MARIE WARE as Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds. 

Performances begin September 27 at The PrivateBank Theatre in Chicago (18 W. Monroe).  For more information, visit www.BroadwayInChicago.com.

With book, music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, direction by Thomas Kail, choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler, music direction/orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire, HAMILTON is based on Ron Chernow’s biography of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton.  The musical won eleven 2016 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Score, Book of a Musical, Direction of a Musical, Choreography and Orchestrations.  Mr. Miranda received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for HAMILTON.

Karen Olivo won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical in WEST SIDE STORY, having created the role of Vanessa both on and Off-Broadway in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning Best Musical IN THE HEIGHTS in 2008.  She also appeared on Broadway in RENT and BROOKLYN.  She performed Off-Broadway in Lynn Nottage’s play BY THE WAY, MEET VERA STARK, had a recurring role in the hit television series THE GOOD WIFE, and was a series regular on HARRY’S LAW. 

Miguel Cervantes previously performed on Broadway in IF/THEN, AMERICAN IDIOT and THE 25th ANNUAL PUTNAM SPELLING BEE, and Off-Broadway in HAPPINESS at Lincoln Center and as Angel in GIANT at the Public Theatre.  He has also been seen on Television in:  MADAM SECRETARY, PERSON OF INTEREST, ROYAL PAINS & THE BLACK LIST.  He holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Emerson College.

(In preparation for his Chicago debut as Alexander Hamilton, Mr. Cervantes will play the role on Broadway on July 13 matinee, July 18 and July 25.) 

Alexander Gemignani’s Broadway credits: VIOLET, CHICAGO, LES MISERABLES, SWEENEY TODD, ASSASSINS, THE PEOPLE IN THE PICTURE and SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE.  Off-Broadway:  ROAD SHOW, 1776 and AVENUE Q.  Concerts: The N.Y. Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall, The N.Y. Pops at Carnegie Hall, and The L.A. Philharmonic at The Hollywood Bowl and the American Songbook Series at Lincoln Center.  Mr. Gemignani is a graduate of the University of Michigan.  

Ari Afsar is a former AMERICAN IDOL 8 contestant, and placed in the top 10 finalists as Miss California in the 2010 Miss America Pageant.  A native of San Diego, she attended UCLA. 

Chris Lee has performed in regional theatre productions of TARZAN, THE WIZ and IN THE HEIGHTS. 

Joseph Morales appeared in the national touring productions of IN THE HEIGHTS (in the leading role of Usnavi), IF/THEN and BOMBAY DREAMS.  He performed in the original Los Angeles cast of ROCK OF AGES. 

Jose Ramos is a songwriter/singer.  HAMILTON marks his professional stage debut.  In New York he performed in BROADWAY’S RISING STARS at Town Hall, and in THE TRAVELS at the New York Musical Theatre Festival. 

Wallace Smith made his Broadway debut as Simba in THE LION KING, followed by the revival of RAGTIME, AMERICAN IDIOT, GODSPELL and ROCKY: THE MUSICAL.  He recently completed a year’s run on Broadway as Enjoras in LES MISERABLES. 

Samantha Marie Ware portrayed Nabulungi on Broadway and in the national tour of THE BOOK OF MORMON.  She had a recurring role as the smart and sassy Jane Hayward in the 6th season of GLEE.

HAMILTON is the story of America’s Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington’s right-hand man during the Revolutionary War, and was the new nation’s first Treasury Secretary.  Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B and Broadway, HAMILTON is the story of America then, told by America now.

The musical is produced by Jeffrey Seller, Sander Jacobs, Jill Furman and The Public Theater.

The HAMILTON Original Broadway Cast Recording – recipient of the 2016 Grammy for Best Musical Theatre Album and a regular on numerous Billboard top 10 lists – is available everywhere nationwide.

HAMILTON: The Revolution, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter’s book about the making of the musical, is on sale and has been a selection on The New York Times Best Seller List. 

The musical celebrates its 1st anniversary on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on August 6.  A touring production begins a 21-week run in San Francisco in March 2017, followed by a 21-week engagement in Los Angeles.  A London production will be mounted, also in 2017.   For further information about the Chicago production which begins September 27 at The PrivateBank Theatre, visit www.BroadwayInChicago.com.

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Broadway In Chicago was created in July 2000 and over the past 16 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 well up to 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 its newly named The PrivateBank Theatre, the Oriental Theatre, Cadillac Palace Theatre, the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University and just off the Magnificent Mile, the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place.

For more information, visit www.BroadwayInChicago.com
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