Friday, October 24, 2014

WIN A Pair of Contigo Stainless 16oz West Loop Autoseal Travel Mugs ($42 value) 2 Winners #BestGotBetter #Giveaway #DiscountCode

Mmmm. Fall means hot apple cider with cinnamon, hot chocolate with whipped cream, hot mulled wine, and of course hot coffee and tea. And Contigo's the one TO GO with when you're makin' it TO GO. Here at ChiIL Mama, we've long been fans of Contigo's awesome line of reusable water bottles and travel mugs. And we're not the only one. Chi, IL's own home town heroes, Contigo have THE #1 selling line of travel mugs”. 

Disclosure: Thanks to Contigo for providing us with West Loop mugs for our giveaway and for review purposes. As always, all opinions are our own.

Yet Contigo's not content to be #1 and rest on their past success. They're cutting edge innovators, constantly improving on their own designs. And they're pleased to announce that the best just got better! Not only that, they charmingly name a lot of their lines after Chicago's neighborhoods and streets. Contigo gave us some of the new West Loop stainless travel mugs to review and the whole family's become completely attached to them. These mugs go EVERYWHERE.

ChiIL Mama's daughter, Sage, LOVES her Sage colored West Loop Travel Mug. It keeps ice water chill all day at school.

*Made from 100% BPA-Free materials (That's a must for my family!)

They truly are leak proof and have amazing staying power to keep beverages hot or cold. 
  • *Vacuum-insulated technology keeps your drinks hot for up to 5 hours and cold for up to 12 hours.
Before Contigo, we had a cabinet full of leak-proof technology FAILS that either gushed all over or were so hard to open and drink from as to be entirely useless. Finally West Loop lets you drink on-the-go without your drink going all over your clothes, car and kids! Lock it when you need extra peace of mind. Open it easily. Check out the tech specs & 7 available mug colors here.

  • *Patented AUTOSEAL lid automatically seals between sips to prevent leaks and spills
  • *New lid-lock prevents the AUTOSEAL® button from accidently being pushed while on-the-go.

ChiIL Mama's so stoked with the new West Loop travel mugs that we just have to share our enthusiasm with our readers (Even if it's not named the Logan Square or the Avondale for our hood!). Don't just take our word for it though.

ENTER HERE through midnight Friday November 7th for your chance to win a PAIR of Contigo 16oz West Loop Patented AUTOSEAL, Leak Proof Travel Mugs ($42 value), 2 Winners. Giveaways open nationwide to anyone in the US. Two of our our lucky readers will win 2 mugs each. 

These West Loop Travel Mugs make great stocking stuffers or gifts "just because". We're not only giving 4 away, but ALL ChiIL Mama's readers get a rockin' discount through Halloween. No tricks. It's our treat to you, thanks to our friends over at Contigo. Use the code below

*Log in here for 20% off with code: WESTLOOP20 (This expires on October 31, 2014)*

My husband and I trade off on laundry and dish duty (for multi year shifts) and I'm back to dishes as of this week, after over a decade on laundry detail. So I'm extra jazzed about the West Loop Mug's new lid clean ability. Next to my pet peeve of leaky, impossible to open mugs is a hatred of hard to clean lids with lots of little lose-able parts and moldy cracks and crevices. Thankfully Contigo's got my back.

The West Loop's newly designed lid pivots open for easy cleaning. It features a drop-down mechanism in the lid, which hinges away from the spout, with no loose parts to clean, lose or reassemble. Rinse with water and place it open in the top rack of the dishwasher for a thorough cleaning. (The Easy Clean Lid will retail for $6.00 if someone swipes yours 'cause it's just that cool!)

AND they have a tea infuser you can buy that snaps right in. Genius  It loads from the top so if you're a sipper you aren't stuck with a steeping mash at the bottom of your cup turning bitter. I so want to try one!

Still not convinced?!

  • *Fits under most single-serve brewers and in most standard car upholders. 

  • *Constructed with a double wall and stainless steel inside and out for maximum travel mug performance.

  • *AUTOSEAL is America's #1 selling line of travel mugs.
  • (Based on total branded travel mug sales, excluding private label. Source: Nielsen ScanTrack Drinkware Container and Set report for U.S. Food, Drug, Mass and Information Resources (IRI) Costco CRX report for the 52 weeks ending 8/3/13.)
The travel mug provides convenient one-handed drinking for both left- and right-handed users and fits most car cup-holders. This double-wall vacuum-insulated mug is engineered to keep drinks hot for up to 5 hours or cold for up to 12 hours, without a sweat. We mean that literally, because this vacuum-insulated mug keeps your drink at the optimal sipping temperature and eliminates condensation for dry hands.

For more info, check out the Go Contigo Site HERE, if you haven't already. You'll be glad you did! Best. Mug. Ever.

Disclosure: Once again, thanks to Contigo for providing us with West Loop mugs for our giveaway and for review purposes. As always, all opinions are our own.

Good luck! Remember to check back with ChiIL Mama like we vote in Chi, IL... early and often. It's rewarding! Giveaways open nationwide to anyone in the US.

CLOSING: Forgotten Future: The Education Project at Collaboraction through October 26th

Act Out:  Chicago Theatre openings, closings, reviews, giveaways, ticket sale dates and more. 

Continuing Collaboraction's "incite change" mission, 
Forgotten Future: 
The Education Project 
is an explosive devised piece of theatre inspired by 
the dysfunction of the American education system

The Flat Iron Arts Building
1579 N. Milwaukee Ave, Room 300
Wicker Park, Chicago

Here at ChiIL Live Shows/ChiIL Mama we like to be entertained by live theatre as much as the next person. But what we really love is theater companies like Collaboraction who are willing to challenge, educate, enlighten and make their audiences squirm. 

Their mission to "incite change" is exciting and so very necessary. Come on out and see Forgotten Future: The Education Project featuring actual, real CPS students. This is a must see for parents, and although it may not sound like a great date night show, there are few things hotter than a sense of social justice! 

Forgotten Future focuses on the children going through Chicago's schools
and features three youth actors making their Collaboraction debuts:

Leah Aberman
a 7th-grader at Lane Tech Academic Center

Tyrese Hall
a 6th-grader at Alain Locke Charter School

Kids are the focus in Forgotten Future: The Education Project,
a world premiere devised piece inspired by the dysfunction of America's education system,debuting at Collaboraction September 18-October 26, 2014

Collaboraction's world premiere of Forgotten Future: The Education Project stars (from left) 
Tyrese Hall, Leah Aberman and Esmeralda Ayvar-Perez
(photo credit: Anna Sodziak).

Continuing with the company's new "incite change" mission, Collaboraction's fall production is the world premiere of Forgotten Future: The Education Project, an explosive devised piece of theatre inspired by the dysfunction of the American education system, through October 26, 2014.

Conceived and written by Sarah Moeller, co-written by Adam Seidel and Michele Stine, and co-directed by Sarah Moeller and John Wilson, Forgotten Future: The Education Project takes three students' unique perspectives of the Chicago school system and how it both serves and is failing them and their potential future. It has been constructed from extensive research and tackles the key issues of inequities, cultural barriers and testing. The result is a unique, immersive theatre piece designed to entertain and inform the audience, as well as motivate dialogue.

Forgotten Future not only focuses on the children going through Chicago's schools, but three child actors - Leah Aberman, a 7th-grader at Lane Tech Academic Center, Esmeralda (Emse) Ayvar-Perez, a sophomore at Lane Tech High School, and Tyrese Hall, a 6th-grader at Alain Locke Charter School - are making their Collaboraction debuts playing students in this world premiere production.

Forgotten Future also stars Scott Merchant (Mr. Wright), Susie Griffith (Mrs. Fischer), Angelica Roque (Ms. Mendoza), Nathaniel Swift (Mr. Perry/Administrator/Alderman), Ebony Joy (Mrs. Tate/CEO) and Jasmin Cardenas (Mrs. Rodriguez/Common Core Presenter).

Forgotten Future: The Education Project runs September 18 - October 26 at Collaboraction, in residence at the Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave, Room 300 in Wicker Park. The performance runs approximately 90 minutes, followed each night by a Town Hall Meeting. Tickets are $15-$30. Purchase tickets online at or call (312) 226-9633.

Forgotten Future dates, times and ticket information

Regular performances continue through October 26: Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 3 p.m.

Note:  Forgotten Future will be available for live streaming for each show for $5 at


Chicago kids center stage in Forgotten Future, literally and figuratively

Leah Aberman, a 7th-grader at Lane Tech Academic Center, plays Forgotten Future's Lauren Perry. "I am a CPS student and I had to go through the enrollment process because my school stopped at 6th grade," commented Aberman. "I just want people to recognize the stress and pressure I had to go through and see how hard people these days have to work just for education."


Esmeralda (Emse) Ayvar-Perez, a sophomore at Lane Tech High School with several TV, commercial and stage credits at Chicago Dramatists and School of Rock, portrays Carolina Rodriguez. "I'm a CPS student and I go to one of the best high schools in the city," said Ayvar-Perez. "I know I'm going to graduate and go to college but I see so many kids in my Humboldt Park neighborhood give up and think they 'can't.'  We need to show them they can."

Tyrese Hall, a 6th-grader at Alain Locke Charter School on Chicago's West side, plays Issac Tate.  Asked why Forgotten Future is important to him, Hall replied "I think the show will help make a change for people to try and make the education system better and not close down more schools cause in the end that will cause more chaos."  

"In telling a story about schools one must include the students," said Forgotten Future creator Sarah Moeller. "The school system doesn't exist without the children. It is there to serve them. However more and more we are leaving children behind in lieu of outside interests. When I decided to tackle this subject I knew it was crucial to include students in the storytelling as this story is for them and for our future."

In addition to being a Chicago theater artist, Moeller knows her Forgotten Future subject matter. She has been a Chicago middle school social studies and music teacher for the past 9 years, and has a master's degree in education.

More about the Forgotten Future creative team
Sarah Moeller (co-writer, co-director) is a Collaboraction company member, a Chicago-based director, deviser, producer and dramaturg, and the creative team leader for Forgotten Future: The Education Project. Moeller started at Collaboraction in spring of 2006 and went on to stage manage Sketchbooks 6, 7 and 8. At Collaboraction she project manages the Experience Design department and has production managed and produced mainstage shows since 2007. Outside of Collaboraction she is a company member at Eclipse Theatre Company where she has been the resident dramaturg since 2007 under their mission statement of "One Playwright One Season." Directing credits include Pearl Cleage's A Song for Coretta, Naomi Wallace's Fever Chart, and Dan LeFranc's 60 Miles to Silver Lake among several Sketchbook shows.  

Adam Joseph Seidel (co-writer) is a company member with Collaboraction, where he co-devised Crime Scene: A Chicago AnthologyCrime Scene: Let Hope Rise and Crime Scene: Let Hope Rise 2014. His one-act, Harold After, premiered at the 2013 Chicago Fringe Festival where it won the Audience Favorite Award. His full-length plays include Catching the Butcher and The Devilman, and his 10-minute plays have been produced around the country.

Michele Stine (co-writer) is a Chicago-based playwright, director, actor, and teaching artist. She has worked with Illinois Shakespeare Festival, First Floor Theatre, Emerald City Theatre, American Theatre Company, Indie Boots, trip, and Manhattan Repertory.  

John Wilson (co-director) is a teacher, actor, scenic designer and storyteller. As a teacher, he has worked with Lifeline Theater teaching theater to 2nd and 3rd graders in Rogers Park, taught for Steppenwolf for Young Adults, and taught children on the autism spectrum with Chicago Children's Theatre's Red Kite Project. Acting credits include This is Not a Cure for Cancer (Collaboraction), El Grito del Bronx (Collaboraction/Goodman), and Our Bad Magnet (Mary Arrchie; Jeff nomination for Best Ensemble). He performs with 2nd Story, and has designed over fifty shows in Chicago as a freelance scenic designer.

Designers are Ashley Woods (set), Heather Sparling (lights), Jeffrey Levin (sound), Paul Deziel (video), Elsa Hiltner (costumes), Angie Campos (props), Ashley Bowman (stage manager), Gaby Lobotka (literary dramaturg) and Danielle Stack (production manager).

Collaboraction's world premiere of Forgotten Future: The Education Project is supported in part by The MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council, Chop Shop/1st Ward Events, Reed Rigging, Inc., Wicker Park Bucktown SSA#33Chicago Athletic Club and AV Chicago.

About Collaboraction
Collaboraction ( celebrates its 18th year as a Chicago-based arts organization and has recently moved its theater and operation headquarters to the historic Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave., in the heart of Wicker Park. By incorporating innovative artists and interdisciplinary collaboration, Collaboraction creates groundbreaking theatrical and art-based experiences.

The overwhelming response to its 2013 world premiere Crime Scene: A Chicago Anthology was the first step in Artistic Director Anthony Moseley's new vision for Collaboraction to be used as an artistic tool to explore critical social issues in an effort to create dialogue and incite change. Crime Scene subsequently toured park district facilities in underserved Chicago neighborhoods in summer 2013 and 2014 as part of the city's Night Out in the Parks program.

Following Crime Scene, Collaboraction employed the same provocative, docudrama style to attack cancer, its treatment and the way we live with This is Not a Cure for Cancer in February 2014. With both productions, and now with Forgotten Future, Collaboraction collaborates with artists, community leaders, health professionals and citizens from throughout the city to create original theatrical experiences that push artistic boundaries and explore critical social issues with a diverse community of Chicagoans.

Collaboraction has worked with more than 2,500 artists to bring more than 60 productions and events to more than 50,000 audience members. Presenting such smash hits as 2010's Chicago premiere of 1001by Jason Grote, 2008's world premiere of Jon by George Saunders and directed by Seth Bockley, and 2007's critically acclaimed production of The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow: an instant message with excitable musicby Rolin Jones, as well as the annual SKETCHBOOK Festival, Collaboraction has worked with more than 2,500 artists to bring more than 60 productions and events to more than 50,000 audience members. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

WIN a Family 4 Pack To Baby Loves Disco Chicago THIS Sat 12-2:30pm ($55 value) #giveaway

Its here!! Baby Loves Disco's Annual Boo Baby Boo Halloween Spectacular on October 25th!

ChiIL out with ChiIL Mama. We're your best source for the family friendly music scene in Chi, IL and beyond. Check back like we vote in Chi, IL... early and often for loads of giveaways, original video interviews, reviews & news on fam friendly events!

First to comment below on the actual blog or on our FB pages comments (before midnight 10/23) with your full name for the guest list wins! We will confirm winner in the comments section since we're cross posting.

Who needs an excuse to play dress up? Our kids certainly don't! Come one come all dressed in your fave Halloween costume. We'll have trickery, treats and costume contests as we celebrate BLD Halloween style!

Crafts, tattoos, face painting from K Grace Childcare,  balloon animals, activities and more plus
All the juice boxes your kids can drink from         HonestTea, super yummy snacks and a foodie demo from Whole Foods & cash bar for parents.           

Fall dates on sale now in
 Lincoln Hall - Lincoln Park
2424 N Lincoln Blvd
Oct 25 (Boo Baby Boo, come in costume)
Nov 22 (Pajama Party, come in Pjs)
$15pp or 4 for $55

Ticket Price
$15 per person
$55 Four Pack

General Admission
Non-walking babies get in FREE! Geared toward 6 mos to 7 yrs.

Must be with an Adult

No DEET No Skeetos With Guardian Wilderness 8hr #WeBeatDEET #EcoFriendly #GreenLiving

I'm all about keeping my kids Deet free and Guardian limits the bites without toxic chemicals.

Parenting is full of tough choices. Hmmm. Poison or Pests?! DEET or skeets?! How about neither!! Here at ChiIL Mama we LOVE to ChiIL out outdoors, go fall camping, & hit the archery range. 

Guardian Repellent Wilderness 8 hour DEET free works GREAT. I'm stoked to know it's out there. 

Disclosure: Thanks to Influenster Guardian VoxBox for our complimentary sample for review purposes. As always, all opinions are our own.

Joy! I keep my kids far away from DEET but we love to spend time enjoying the great outdoors with our big dogs, and it sucks to get swarmed by blood sucking mosquitos & ticks and come home itchy and covered in bites. Guardian's got your back! This product works great. Highly recommend it. Thanks to Influenster and VoxBox for sending a complimentary sample our way to review. So stoked to know there's a non toxic solution to the bug battle that really works.

Disclosure: Once again thanks to Influenster Guardian VoxBox for our complimentary sample for review purposes. As always, all opinions are our own.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

WHAT WE'RE WATCHING: Earth to Echo Now Out On Digital HD, Blu-ray & DVD #ChiILFlixPicks

Earth to Echo
Now Available on Digital HD™ as of October 7 and Blu-ray and DVD October 21

We've been promoting this release for months now, and thanks to our friends over at Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, our Blu-ray copy just got expedited to our door. Joy! This contemporary E.T., buddy story is one of our favorite new releases. Highly recommended. This is a great addition to any home collection.

We just spent an awesome family movie night together, all watching Earth to Echo, and the adults enjoyed it every bit as much as the kids did! This little tech savvy, Owl shaped alien is sure to steal your heart.

This wonderful journey, “full of adventure, bravery, excitement, and friendship…has something for audiences of all ages” (Claudia Puig, USA Today). The “lively and likable” (Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times) tale is told through the eyes of Tuck, Munch and Alex, a trio of pals who make an out-of-this-world discovery. After receiving signals on their phones, they meet Echo, a small, but amazingly energetic, alien trying to make his way back to his home planet. As they race to help their new friend, the boys will discover that little Echo has touched their hearts in unexpected ways and changed their lives forever.

Blu-ray Special Features
Creating the Truck Scene
Casting the Characters
“We Made That!” The Making of Earth to Echo
Friends No Matter How Far
Six Deleted Scenes
Theatrical Trailer

DVD Special Features
Friends No Matter How Far
Theatrical Trailer

Earth to Echo Blu-ray
Street Date:
October 21, 2014
Prebook Date:
September 17, 2014
Screen Format:
Widescreen 1.78:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1

Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital
English / Spanish
Total Run Time:
133 minutes
U.S. Rating
Closed Captioned:

Earth to Echo DVD
Street Date:
October 21, 2014
Prebook Date:
September 17, 2014
Screen Format:
Widescreen 1.78:1
English Dolby Digital 5.1

Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0
English / Spanish
Total Run Time:
106 minutes
U.S. Rating
Closed Captioned:

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

Download Your Dragons TODAY -- How to Train Your Dragon 2 Soars onto Digital HD

Happy Wingsday! 


Here at ChiIL Mama we LOVE the How to Train Your Dragon series--the movies, the episodes and the LIVE touring show! We're particularly enamored with How to Train Your Dragon 2, where they aged up everybody's favorite Viking dragon tamers, Hiccup and his friends. 

We're so happy that this series has strong, female characters, handicapped heroes, and celebrates brains over brawn. The writing and animation are phenomenal. We could watch it time and time again. This is a keeper!

We're not the only ones impressed with How to Train Your Dragon 2. It's undoubtedly one of the year's best family films, and it's now available to purchase on digital--which means Hiccup, Toothless and their friends are just a click away!

Still hesitating? To celebrate the release, we've got an infographic with a humorous, retro look at the multiple benefits of buying films in the digital format. Dig those cat glasses! 

Easy as pie. What are you waiting for? 

“The best animated film of the year…fun for the whole family”
– Bill Zwecker, Chicago Sun Times

Catch the all-new animated adventure, DreamWorks DRAGONS: DAWN OF THE DRAGON RACERS, exclusively with the Blu-ray™ Combo, DVD Double Pack and Digital HD

Soaring past the $500 million mark at the global box office, DreamWorks Animation’s HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 is not only one of the best reviewed films of the year, but also 2014’s highest grossing animated film to-date and one of the top ten grossing films of the year in any genre.

The thrilling second chapter of the epic HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON trilogy returns to the fantastical world of the heroic Viking Hiccup and his faithful dragon Toothless. The inseparable duo must protect the peace and save the future of men and dragons from the power-hungry Drago when Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment releases DreamWorks Animation’s critically acclaimed HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 on Digital HD October 21 and on Blu-ray™ and DVD November 11.

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2, the next chapter to the Academy Award® nominated film released in 2010, is “sensational…an instant animated classic,” proclaims Access Hollywood. A hit with audiences and critics alike, the film received an outstanding audience reaction with a coveted “A” CinemaScore® and certified 92% fresh on Variety’s Peter Debruge declares the film is “Braver than ‘Brave,’ more fun than ‘Frozen’…Dragon delivers.” It’s a must-own title for the whole family!

Fans will get even more excitement, adventure and, of course, more dragons when DreamWorks Animation releases DRAGONS: DAWN OF THE DRAGON RACERS, an all-new animated adventure featuring the original voice cast. A hunt for lost sheep soon turns into a high-flying sprint in the all-new epic adventure as Hiccup and friends battle to become the first Dragon Racing Champion of Berk! DRAGONS: DAWN OF THE DRAGON RACERS will be available exclusively on the Blu-ray™ combo pack, DVD double pack and Digital HD.

The all-star film talent features Jay Baruchel (This Is The End), two-time Academy Award® winner Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), Gerard Butler (Olympus Has Fallen), Craig Ferguson (“The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson”), America Ferrera (“Ugly Betty”), Academy Award® nominee Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Neighbors), T.J. Miller (“Silicon Valley”) and Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids).  The film also adds the voice talent of Academy Award® nominee Djimon Hounsou (Blood Diamond) and Kit Harington (“Game of Thrones”).

The Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital HD feature hours of bonus materials that explore the world of dragons and more. Furthermore, the Blu-ray™ and Digital HD contain four exclusive featurettes, deleted scenes and a 60-minute behind-the-scenes documentary about the making of the film, shot and created by the film’s writer and director Dean DeBlois.

DreamWorks Animation How To Train Your Dragon 2 Blu-ray™ & Digital HD include:  

Feature film in high definition 

Special Features:
  • Fishleg’s Dragon Stats – How much do you know about your favorite dragons? Explore the Dragon 2 Guide and learn more about your favorite fire-breathing friends!
  • Drago’s War Machines – Gobber the Belch narrates this inside look at the fierce creatures and “high-tech” weapons used by Drago to expand his growing dragon army.
  • Berk’s Dragon World – Explore the massive stable created to house the dragons of Berk, along with other changes made on the island to promote harmonious living.
  • Hiccup’s Inventions in Flight – Learn the secrets of how Hiccup and Toothless work together to form the ultimate high-flying team in this fascinating interactive tour.
  • Deleted Scenes -- The awesome adventure continues with telling deleted and extended scenes, including action-packed footage you couldn’t see in theaters!
  • Commentary by Simon Otto, Bonnie Arnold, Dean DeBlois, and Pierre-Olivier Vincent
  • Where No One Goes: The Making of How To Train Your Dragon 2 – Writer-Director Dean DeBlois and his team take you behind the scenes of creating the film’s eye-popping visual effects and epic story
  • Dragon Races – Catch the thrilling aerial action and exciting play-by-play commentary as you cheer on your favorite riders in a spectacular dragon race!
  • Image Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • World of DreamWorks Animation – Move to the music videos from your favorite  DreamWorks Animation feature films

DreamWorks Animation creates high-quality entertainment, including CG animated feature films, television specials and series and live entertainment properties, meant for audiences around the world. The Company has world-class creative talent, a strong and experienced management team and advanced filmmaking technology and techniques. DreamWorks Animation has been named one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” by FORTUNE® Magazine for five consecutive years. In 2013, DreamWorks Animation ranked #12 on the list. All of DreamWorks Animation’s feature films are produced in 3D. The Company has theatrically released a total of 29 animated feature films, including the franchise properties of Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon, Puss In Boots, and The Croods.

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

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Alice Opening At Lookingglass And Closing At Upended #theatre

The Chicago Theatre scene is a microcosm, a world of it's own full of magical coincidences and oddly interwoven themes. This season is no exception. We're way beyond stoked here at ChiIL Mama/ChiIL Live Shows that one of our favorite stories is springing to life in parallel universes in very different ways. 

Alice (of Wonderland fame) is popping up in mirror worlds across town, at the aptly named Lookingglass Nov 12-Feb 15 and all over Andersonville (beginning at the Neo-Futurarium) in an "ambulatory, multi-disciplinary theatrical experience" through Nov. 2. These productions are both highly anticipated remounts and we can't wait to catch it all!


Photo: Johnny Knight

8 Andersonville venues, 9 artists, 12 chapters, 6 rabbits, 1 wild afternoon. Noelle Krimm gives audiences a seat at the tea party with a re-imagining of her 2004 hit, Alice. The show runs through with tours beginning at 1:00 p.m. and leaving every 15 minutes until 2:00 p.m. All tours start at The Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland. Space is limited and advanced purchase is very highly recommended. Don't be late!

Recommended by The Trib, The Sun-Times, The Reader, Newcity Stage and more, here’s what some of the critics had to say about 2004’s Alice.
Upended Productions’ Alice – The reviews are in!!
“Throughout the whimsical and comic episodes, there are consistent reminders of the subjective nature of reality, a medicine that goes down easily, delivered as it is with a bit of sugar—not pepper—and a wry touch. Attend Alice with an open spirit and light heart, or arrive as a grump and a cynic and leave with a smile and a less-heavy step nonetheless.”                    -Erika Mikkalo                                                    
“Other standout vignettes include the most interactive portions, like the tea party and croquet game led by the ShowParty! collective. A headier but equally captivating highlight is the eleventh chapter from Sid Branca & Amanda Fink, staged in a pet supply shop, wherein the trial over the tarts becomes a sort of nonsensical polemic attack on meaning and ownership while revealing much truth through almost aggressive wordplay.”                                                              - Raymond Rehayem                                                                               
“But Alice is more than its ambulatory conceit—it also features witty and imaginative writing that gets to the emotional core of the original. Chad the Bird’s meditations on humans and animals seemed both apt and fitting for a story that is filled with many anthropomorphic animals. A final scene towards the end of the play poses a choice between dreams and the reality that inspires them. Alice is ultimately a fun production that is at times unfaithful to the letter of the original, but fully faithful to its spirit. It invites you to stroll through its Wonderland, but urges you to eventually wake up, refreshed, from the dream.
                                                                                            - Ivy Perez
And perhaps most importantly...
“People who would like this show are people who like bunnies, insanity, and lollipops. I think should definitely see this show. It is so funny, and I had so much fun, and I think you should bring all your best friends to it because they will have a lot of fun. It is basically like you get to go on the experience of going to Wonderland with your friend.”                               -Ada Grey
Alice is an ambulatory, multi-disciplinary theatrical experience. The audience, traveling in groups of 15, follows a white rabbit to various locations throughout the Andersonville neighborhood. Ducking into storerooms and back patios, through bookstores and taverns and galleries, the audience IS Alice and the Andersonville neighborhood becomes a wonderland. Chapters of the book are divided amongst Chicago fringe theater companies, visual and film artists and performed in various locations throughout the neighborhood.
Locations include: The Neo-Futurarium, Simon's Tavern, The Landmark of Andersonville, Woolly Mammoth Antiques and Oddities, Rad Vintage, George's Ice Cream and Sweets, The Swedish American Museum, and Women and Children First Bookstore.
(Wow! Just WOW. So many of our favs are representing here.)  Alice features original work by: The Neo-Futurists, Striding Lion Performance Group, The Whiskey Rebellion Theatre, ShowParty, Sophisticated Cornbread, David Kodeski, Corrbette Pasko, Emmy Bean, Josh Zagoren, Greg Allen, Bilal Dardai, Dina Walters, Logan Kibens, John Randle and other special guests.
Don't sit in the dark and wait to be entertained. Be Alice. Chase the rabbit!
Noelle Krimm states, "I originally created the show for The Neo-Futurists in 2004. It was a great success and I have often thought of remounting it. This fall is the 10th anniversary of the first production and it falls at a time when I think we all need to be able to look around and see a little wonder."
Noelle Krimm (Creator/Rabbit) After being thoroughly educated in theater/musical theater performance at the Florida School of the Arts and Florida State University, Noelle became a Neo-Futurist ensemble member in 1999 where she wrote and performed regularly in their signature show, Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind for 10 years (and still comes back every once in a while). While with The Neo-Futurists, Noelle also created several full-length original shows including The Neo-Futurists' first full-length musical, City Girl!, which had an extended run in Chicago in 2002 and went to the Minnesota Fringe Festival in 2003 where it won Artists' Choice and Critics' Choice for Best Musical. In 2004, Noelle created and curated Alice for The Neo-Futurists which involved more than 50 cast members from numerous experimental theater companies and took place over an entire city block of Andersonville. Using a similar model, she created Fear in 2009 which, touted as "a thinking man's haunted house, " involved dozens of different artists who worked in mediums from graffiti to modern dance. Fear took place throughout the fairly creepy building which houses The Neo-Futurarium. The 2014 production of Alice is the inaugural show for Krimm's new production company.
Upended Productions was founded by Neo-Futurist alumni Noelle Krimm in the summer of 2014. After creating Alice and Fear for The Neo-Futurists, Noelle became really interested in creating theatrical events that collage the work of many different artists into one semi-coherent piece.
Upended Productions' Alice is part of Chicago Artists Month 2014, the 19th annual celebration of Chicago's vibrant art community presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. For more information, visit

Sign up for a specific tour time by purchasing tickets at Tickets are $20 or $15 with a valid student ID. All performances begin at The Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland. For more information, visit or call 773-817-3956.

Lookingglass Alice
Adapted and Directed by David Catlin
From the works of Lewis Carroll
Produced in association with The Actors Gymnasium

November 12, 2014 – February 15, 2015
Press Opening: Saturday, November 22, 2014 at 2pm
Location: Lookingglass Theatre, 821 N. Michigan Ave. at Pearson  
Tickets: $35-$45 previews, $45-$75 regular run

Imagination soars and laughter and awe abound when this signature production returns with all its gravity-defying spectacle and breathtaking theatricality.  Lookingglass Alice is a marvel for all ages, transporting audiences down the rabbit hole to a circus-infused playground for an exhilarating wonderland adventure inspired by Lewis Carroll’s beloved stories.

Lookingglass Theatre Company announces casting for the return of signature Lookingglass production Lookingglass Alice, adapted and directed by Ensemble Member David Catlin from the works of Lewis Carroll, produced in association with The Actors Gymnasium. Artistic Associates Lauren Hirte and Lindsey Noel Whiting both return to share the role of Alice. Lookingglass Alice runs November 12, 2014 – February 15, 2015 at Lookingglass Theatre Company, located inside Chicago's historic Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave. at Pearson. Tickets are currently on sale to the general public and can be purchased through the box office at (312) 337-0665 or  

Lookingglass Alice features Ensemble Members Kevin Douglas (Mad Hatter) and Anthony Fleming III (Cheshire Cat) and also includes Molly Brennan (Red Queen), Artistic Associate Lauren Hirte (Alice), Samuel Taylor (White Knight) and Artistic Associate Lindsey Noel Whiting (Alice).

The creative team includes Ensemble Member Daniel Ostling (scenic design), Ensemble Member Mara Blumenfeld (costume design), Artistic Associate Alison Siple (associate costume design), Artistic Associate Christine A Binder (lighting design), Production Affiliate Ray Nardelli (sound design), Sarah Burnham (properties), Artistic Associate Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi (choreographer) and Lee Brasuell (rigger). Jeri Frederickson is the stage manager for Lookingglass Alice.

Imagination soars and laughter and awe abound when this signature production returns with all its gravity-defying spectacle and breathtaking theatricality.  Lookingglass Alice is a marvel for all ages, transporting audiences down the rabbit hole to a circus-infused playground for an exhilarating wonderland adventure inspired by Lewis Carroll’s beloved stories.

FACT SHEET/Lookingglass Alice

Dates:  Previews:  November 12 – 21, 2014
            Regular run:  November 25, 2014 – February 15, 2015

Times:      Tuesdays:                    3:00 p.m. (Dec 23 only)
7:30 p.m. (Nov 25; Dec 23 and 30 only)
Wednesdays:                1:00 p.m. (Dec 24 only)
3:00 p.m. (Nov 26, Dec 31 only)
7:30 p.m.
Thursdays:                   3:00 p.m. (except Nov 13, 20, 27; Dec 25; Jan 1, 8, 22; Feb 5 and 12)
7:30 p.m. (except Nov 25, Dec 25 and Jan 1)
                 Fridays:                        3:00 p.m. (Nov 28, Dec 26 and Jan 2 only)
7:30 p.m.
                          Saturdays:                    3:00 p.m. (except Nov 15 and 22)
7:30 p.m. (except Nov 22)
Sundays:                      3:00 p.m. (except Nov 23)
7:30 p.m. (Dec 7, 14, 21; Jan 11 and 25;
Feb 8 and 15 only)

Performances:  Touch tour/Audio described performance, Sunday, February 1, 2015 at 3 p.m.
Open captioned performance, Sunday, January 25, 2015 at 3 p.m. Partial support for open captioning provided by Theatre Development Fund.

Location:          Lookingglass Theatre Company, located inside Chicago's historic Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave. at Pearson.  
Prices:      Previews are $25 - $40
Regular Run is $40 - $80
A limited number of student tickets are available the day of the show for $20 with valid student ID.
Groups of 8 or more patrons save up to 20%. Call the box office for details.

Box Office: Buy online at
or by phone at (312) 337-0665
The Lookingglass box office is located at Water Tower Water Works,
821 N. Michigan Ave.

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.  Now in its 27th 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 62 world premieres, received 101 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., and St. Louis.  Lookingglass original scripts have been produced across the United States.

The 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.

Lookingglass Theatre Company continues to expand its artistic, financial and institutional boundaries under the guidance of Artistic Director Andrew White, Executive Director Rachel Kraft, Producing Artistic Director Philip R. Smith, Artistic Director of New Work Heidi Stillman, a 24-member artistic ensemble, 15 artistic associates, 11 production affiliates, an administrative staff and a dedicated board of directors led by Chairman Joe Brady of Jones Lang LaSalle and President John McGowan of CTC | myCFO (a part of BMO Financial Group). For more information, visit

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