ChiIL Mama ChiILin' in Chi, IL with the creations of Canadian puppeteer extraordinaire,
Check out our full set of shots
from the evening in the slide show here.
More favorites are embedded below.
I was invited to the first event in Logan Square, hosted by Rick Stoneham, theatre aficionado and puppet fest board member, who sponsored the fabulous catered Indonesian dinner (via The Rice Table) and Dorothy Zalewski and Dan Engh, who graciously opened their gorgeous home.
Dorothy, Blaire Thomas, & Dan
fabulous feast catered by The Rice Table
It was quite a memorable event with a salon vibe and the unique opportunity to chat with art and theatre lovers and catch 2 puppet shows, both with a black and white aesthetic, yet quite different styles and themes.
Many of the evening's guests enjoyed picking the brains of Blaire Thomas, one of the masterminds behind the fest, and brilliant puppeteer, Magali Chouinard. It was my great pleasure to interview both of them and record Blaire Thomas and company's show, Edward Gorey's "The Gashlycrumb Tinies", exclusive to the 2016 Living Room Tour! This delightfully dark abecedarian tale is a long time fav of mine, and was indeed told in rhyming couplets. The terrific trio brought this macabre tale of premature deaths to life as a scrolling table top puppet show replete with screams, narration, sound effects and copious amounts of laughter from the crowd.
Blair Thomas and Co. Present Edward Gorey's "The Gashlycrumb Tinies":
Behind the scenes notes for Edward Gorey's "The Gashlycrumb Tinies
Festival artist, Magali Chouinard came in from Canada, for her first visit to Chicago, and we were blown away by the excerpt of "The White Woman" she performed for us. Magali has been touring large venues all over Europe with her show and said she's never performed in a space as intimate as The Living Room Tour. Chouinard is a mistress of manipulation, imbuing her puppets with curiosity and personality and artfully becoming at once a character and simultaneously a hauntingly blank eyed puppet master. She'll be bringing the full piece back in January. Highly recommended.
Check back early and often with ChiILMama.com (family friendly) & ChiILLiveShows.com (adult). We'll have loads of news about all the puppet happenings and more coming out shortly! Get your advanced tickets and full scheduling updates HERE. More show times may be added throughout the fest as shows sell out, so do check back.
ChiIL Mama's Living Room Tour Photo Favs: