Saturday, October 21, 2017

WIN A Family 6 Ticket Pass ($48 value) To Aquatic Experience – Chicago

World Pet Association’s fifth annual
Aquatic Experience – Chicago 
returns with traveling sea lion encounter 
November 3-5, 2017

Everything aquatic under one roof—
from freshwater and saltwater fish, plants and mammals

Here at ChiIL Mama, we've enjoyed the World Pet Association’s Aquatic Experience for years. We've checked out shark shows, sea lions, gators and touch tanks, and shot a zillion photos. My daughter even designed a fish tank in the Kids Aquarium Contest and won first place in her age group in 2014 & 15! She also threw a pingpong ball and won a betta two years in a row. We definitely recommend this family friendly fish filled experience. Click HERE and scroll down to check out our past photo filled features.

Disclosure: It's ChiIL Mama's pleasure, once again, to partner up with Aquatic Experience for the 5th year now. They have provided us with complimentary tickets for our giveaway. All opinions, photos and experiences are my own.

Aquatic Experience is multigenerational fun. We brought Grammy and Gramps one year and they won a fish tank in the free raffle!

ENTER HERE FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN a 1 day Family Pass ($48 value) For Up to 2 Adults/4 Children (kids 5 and under are free). Winner's choice of days. 

Enter early and often through midnight Wednesday October 25th. Winner will be e-mailed and announced via our social media channels on 10/26/17.

The only traveling sea lion experience in the United States, Sea Lion Splash, will return to the Chicago area for the World Pet Association’s fifth annual Aquatic Experience – Chicago, Nov. 3-5, 2017, at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center. Show attendees will be able to interact with sea lions up close, as well as enjoying additional must-sea programs including: piranha tanks, 

Fish from Around the World displays, a Kids Aquarium Contest and “everything aquatic under one roof”— from freshwater and saltwater fish, plants and mammals.

Tickets for Aquatic Experience – Chicago, Nov. 3-5, 2017 at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center (1551 Thoreau Drive N, Schaumburg, IL) are now on sale. Individual tickets start at just $10 and children ages five and under are free. For more information, please visit

Friday 11/3: 11 am – 6 pm
Saturday 11/4: 10 am – 6 pm
Sunday 11/5: 10 am – 4 pm

Sponsored by Sponsored by Aqueon/Coralife/Kent Marine, Sea Lion Splash offers guests of all ages an up-close experience with sea lions, as well as the opportunity to learn about these amazing mammals through a thirty-minute spell binding show hosted by trainer Surfer Joe.

Aquatic Experience includes family-friendly activities such as the only traveling sea lion experience in the United States, Sea Lion Splash and a Kid’s Aquarium Contest. Other exciting programming includes: Touch tank with a Giant African “Pixie” Bullfrog, a Green Anaconda, Fish from Around the World displays with tropical fish and a touch tank with Jellyfish.

In 2015, my 12 year old daughter, Sage designed a Chicago Blackhawks vs. San Jose Sharks hockey themed tank! In 2014 she created a Tetris Tetras Tank. She won first place both years and got featured on the news. Every kid who enters gets to keep the tank and accessories!

Disclosure: It's ChiIL Mama's pleasure, once again, to partner up with Aquatic Experience for the 5th year now. They have provided us with complimentary tickets for our giveaway. All opinions, photos and experiences are my own.

More of Our Original Photo Favorites:

Thursday, October 19, 2017

OPENING: Ballet Free Nutcracker Returns To House Theatre 11/3-12/30

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:


This Year’s Clara will be Performed by Haley Seda, Daughter of Jon Seda, Chicago Actor Currently Starring on Chicago PD

The ballet free House Nutcracker has been an annual family favorite of ours here at ChiIL Mama for years. We highly recommend this music filled, contemporary, family friendly feast of holiday theatre fun. It has a dark, edgy side, with scary, giant rat puppets, a soldier's grieving family, and a brave young girl ready to face her fears and save her family from themselves. And it has plenty of what the holidays should center on, like beloved toys, Christmas trees, fresh baked cookies, friends and family and epic adventure. Whether it's your first time to see The House Nutcracker or already a beloved holiday tradition, don't miss this! 

The House Theatre of Chicago once again brings holiday cheer for the whole family with its eighth annual engagement of the all-original, ballet-free The Nutcracker playing at The Chopin Theatre upstairs theatre, 1543 W. Division, November 3 – December 30. Company Members Jake Minton, Phillip Klapperich, Kevin O’Donnell and Tommy Rapley created the adaptation. New to the 2017 holiday production, based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s story, is director and Company Member Chris Mathews with original direction and choreography by Tommy Rapley. Previews take place November 3 – 9 following the regular schedule, excluding matinees.

Performances are Thursdays – Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m. with 3 p.m. matinees Saturdays and Sundays. Preview tickets are $15 with regular run tickets $25 – $50. Student and industry same-day discounted tickets are available for $15 for all dates, based on availability. 

Tickets may be purchased by calling 773.769.3832 or by visiting 

The House Theatre of Chicago brings the wholly original, ballet-free version of The Nutcracker back because it truly has something for everyone. The show is fast-paced, beautifully choreographed, family-friendly, and moving for even those of us that might be on the Grinch’s side from time to time. This fantastical, “smart [and] layered” (Chicago Reader, 2016) expansion of the holiday classic that “simultaneously evokes smiles, tears, mirth and cringes“ (PerformInk, 2016) centers on young Clara’s journey to save Christmas in the face of grief. With the help of a magical nutcracker, the brave girl risks the darkness, fights the Rat King and saves her family. “The play’s willingness to embrace that darker side of life makes the triumph of the light side all the brighter” (NewCity, 2016).  A modern holiday tradition weaving together riveting dialogue, astonishing puppetry, original song and spellbinding spectacle to tell a heartwarming, darkly moving story of magic and hope -- a fun outing fit for the whole family. The run time for The Nutcracker is approximately 2 hours, including one 15 minute intermission.

The production premiered at the Steppenwolf Theatre in 2007 under the Visiting Company Initiative and has enjoyed highly acclaimed new productions at The House since 2010, as well as simultaneous productions in Chicago and Miami in 2012. In 2016, The House revamped the show during a workshop at the Chicago Performance Lab. Repeat fans of the show have enjoyed new musical additions and new audience members continued to delight in the production’s creativity and heart.

The Nutcracker is adapted from “The Nutcracker and the Mouse,” a story by E.T.A. Hoffmann by Jake Minton, Phillip Klapperich, Kevin O’Donnell, and Tommy Rapley.

The cast for The Nutcracker includes newcomers Haley Seda (Clara) and Company Member Ben Hertel (Hugo) and welcomes back 2016 cast members Rachel Shapiro (Phoebe), Desmond Gray (Fritz), Torrey Hanson (Drosselmeyer), Amanda de la Guardia (Martha), Nicholas Bailey (David) and Ian Maryfield (Monkey).

The creative and production team for The Nutcracker includes Company Members Chris Mathews (Director), Tommy Rapley (Original Director and Choreographer), Jake Minton (Writer), Phillip Klapperich (Writer), Kevin O’Donnell (Composer), Collette Pollard (Scenic Designer), Lee Keenan (Lighting Designer), Debbi Baer (Costume Designer) and Michael Griggs (Sound Designer). Guest artists include Mieka van der Ploeg (Associate Costume Designer/Costume Manager), Tracee Bear (Assistant Costume Designer), Grover Hollway (Associate Sound Designer), Matthew Muniz (Music Director/Orchestrations) and Hillary Aarons (Choreographer).

The House is Chicago's premier home for intimate, original works of epic story and stagecraft. Founded and led by Artistic Director Nathan Allen and driven by an interdisciplinary ensemble of Chicago’s next generation of great storytellers, The House aims to become a laboratory and platform for the evolution of the American theatre as an inclusive and popular artform.

The House was founded in 2001 by a group of friends to explore connections between Community and Storytelling through a unique theatrical experience. Since becoming eligible in 2004, The House has been nominated for 60 Joseph Jefferson Awards (23 wins), became the first recipient of Broadway in Chicago’s Emerging Theater Award in 2007, and was awarded a 2014 National Theatre Company Grant by the American Theatre Wing, founder of the Tony Awards. The 16th season of original work will begin September 2017 and The House will continue its mission to unite Chicago in the spirit of Community through amazing feats of Storytelling.  

The House Theatre of Chicago once again brings holiday cheer for the whole family with its eighth annual engagement of the all-original, ballet-free The Nutcracker playing at The Chopin Theatre upstairs theatre, 1543 W. Division, November 3 – December 30. Company Members Jake Minton, Phillip Klapperich, Kevin O’Donnell and Tommy Rapley created the adaptation. New to the 2017 holiday production, based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s story, is director and Company Member Chris Mathews with original direction and choreography by Tommy Rapley. Previews take place November 3 – 9 following the regular schedule, excluding matinees. The press opening is Friday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. Performances are Thursdays – Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m. with 3 p.m. matinees Saturdays and Sundays. Preview tickets are $15 with regular run tickets $25 – $50. Student and industry same-day discounted tickets are available for $15 for all dates, based on availability. Tickets may be purchased by calling 773.769.3832 or by visiting 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

GIVEAWAY: WIN a Family 4 Pack ($60 Value) of Tickets to Lifeline Theatre’s Arnie The Doughnut, a Family Musical Through 11/26/17

Lifeline Theatre KidSeries Presents 
Arnie The Doughnut,
Hit Musical Adaptation of the Book by Laurie Keller Opens October 22

**This production is recommended for children ages five and up (children under two not permitted), and runs approximately one hour with no intermission.**

Plus Performances with Open Captioning on October 28, 
Performance with Touch Tour and Audio Description on November 4, Autism/Sensory-Friendly Performance on November 5,
and Stories Come Alive! Hour Workshops Every Saturday and Sunday During the Run

Lifeline Theatre's Arnie the Doughnut, their initial KidSeries production of the season, is having its opening this Sunday, and ChiIL Mama's pleased as pastries to be partnering up with them to offer our readers a tasty ticket giveaway. We've been lifelong fans of Lifeline. My teens grew up with their excellent KidSeries productions from early childhood on. And we highly recommend their creative, original, book based productions. 

Need more incentive? One of our lucky readers will win 4 FREE tickets ($60 value) redeemable for any date in the production, subject to availability. Enter through midnight October 25th. Winner will be e-mailed and posted publicly on our social media platforms on Thursday, October 26th.

Lifeline Theatre’s KidSeries presents Arnie The Doughnut, a family musical based on the popular children’s book by Laurie Keller, with script by Lifeline Theatre ensemble member Frances Limoncelli (three-time Non-Equity Jeff Award winner), music and lyrics by George Howe (two-time Non-Equity Jeff Award winner), and directed by Lifeline Theatre ensemble member Elise Kauzlaric (two-time Non-Equity Jeff nominee). 

Arnie, a lovable chocolate-frosted, rainbow-sprinkled doughnut, is the happiest pastry in the bakery when he’s chosen to be taken home by a new owner. But when mild-mannered Mr. Bing tries to eat the unsuspecting Arnie, both are in for the surprise of their lives. Man and doughnut are drawn into a sugar-fueled existential crisis as they work to redefine their relationship while trying to outwit the meddlesome President of the Cozy Confines Condo Community. Join Arnie on a zany quest to prove that he’s more than just delicious – and that friends come in all shapes and sizes – in this hit musical adaptation of the 2003 book that kicked off the beloved series by Laurie Keller. 

Arnie The Doughnut runs Saturday, Oct. 21 – Sunday, Nov. 26 at Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood Ave. 

Regular performance times are Saturdays and Sundays at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., with an added autism/sensory-friendly performance on Sunday, Nov. 5 at 3 p.m. (Previews are Saturday, Oct. 21 at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.; and Sunday, Oct. 22 at 11 a.m.) Tickets are $15 and may be purchased at the Lifeline Theatre Box Office, 773.761.4477, or by visiting  

Accessible Performances: The Saturday, Oct. 28, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. performances will feature open captioning for patrons who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. The Saturday, Nov. 4, 11 a.m. performance will feature a pre-show touch tour of the set at 10 a.m. and live audio description for patrons who are blind or have low vision. And there will be an added autism/sensory-friendly performance on Sunday, Nov. 5 at 3 p.m. for patrons with social and/or cognitive disabilities. For more information about Lifeline’s accessibility services, please contact Accessibility Coordinator Erica Foster at 773.761.4477 x703 or at

PLUS: Join Lifeline Theatre every Saturday and Sunday at 12 p.m. during the run of Arnie The Doughnut (following the 11 a.m. show, or before the 1 p.m. show) for our Stories Come Alive! Hour. Children will enjoy an interactive storytelling session and on-your-feet theatre games. The cost is only $5 per child. Reservations are recommended, though not required. Contact Lifeline Theatre at 773-761-4477 for more information. 

The complete cast and production team for Arnie The Doughnut includes:

CAST: Guest artists Juanita Anderson (Mrs. Plute/French Cruller), Maddie Dorsey (Powdered Doughnut/Sheila), David Gordon-Johnson (Mr. Bing), Khloe Janel (Jelly Doughnut/Ronnie), and Jared Rein (Arnie). With understudies Madison Rasmussen, Adriana Tronco, and Max Weinberg.

PRODUCTION TEAM: Lifeline Theatre ensemble members Elise Kauzlaric (Director) and  Frances Limoncelli (Adaptor); with guest artists Eric Backus (Sound Designer), George Howe (Composer/ Lyricist), Lavina Jadhwani (Casting Director), Becca Jeffords (Lighting Designer), Sarah Lewis (Scenic Designer), Jennifer McClendon (Production Manager), Jenny Pinson (Props Designer), Kate Reed (Stage Manager), Joe Schermoly (Technical Director), Rachel Sypniewski (Costume Designer), and David Zizic (Music Director).

Lifeline Theatre also offers “Name Your Price” tickets a half-hour before the show (subject to availability), group rates and other discounts available upon request. A party room is available for full-service birthday and special event parties. Lifeline Theatre is accessible by CTA (Red Line Morse stop/busses) and free parking is available at Sullivan High School (6631 N Bosworth Ave, lot located on Greenview Ave. just south of North Shore Ave.) with free shuttle service before and after the show. Street parking is also available. Lifeline is accessible to wheelchair users and visitors who need to avoid stairs.

Now in its 35th season, Lifeline Theatre is driven by a passion for story. Our ensemble process supports writers in the development of literary adaptations and new work, and our theatrical and educational programs foster a lifelong engagement with literature and the arts. A cultural anchor of Rogers Park, we are committed to deepening our connection to an ever-growing family of artists and audiences, both near and far. Lifeline Theatre – Big Stories, Up Close.

Lifeline Theatre’s programs are partially supported by Alphawood Foundation; A.R.T League Inc.; Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation; Chicago CityArts, a grant from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events; The Common Cup; Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation; FGMK LLC; Lloyd A. Fry Foundation; The Grover Hermann Foundation; Illinois Arts Council Agency; Illinois Humanities Council; Lagunitas Brewing Co. Community Grant Program; MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince; The PAV Grant Fund; The Polk Bros. Foundation; Poubelle Fund, a Donor Advised Fund of Renaissance Charitable Foundation; Rogers Park Social; The Saints; S&C Electric Company Fund; The Shubert Foundation; and the annual support of businesses and individuals.

Monday, October 16, 2017

There's Still Time To Join The Super League Gaming Minecraft City Champs Tournament

Minecraft is coming back to a Chicago movie theater THIS WEEKEND
October 21st

**Ideal for kids 6-14**

For the past three years, ChiIL Mama has been happy to partner up with Super League Gaming on a sponsored post for their Minecraft play in theatres. It's not too late to get in on league play for fall of 2017. Come on out and represent Chicago! 

Does your child love Minecraft? It's not too late to join up and bring Chi, IL to victory among 12 major cities competing. Meet n greets began last weekend, but players are still being accepted up to this weekend when league play begins. Presale tickets are $60 with an additional $10 discount by using the code 10offchamps.

Cinemark at Seven Bridges Woodridge - 6500 IL-53, Woodridge, IL 60517

DIVISIONAL PLAY Saturday, Oct 21 Saturday, Oct 28 & Saturday, Nov 4 10:30am - 12:00pm

GRAND FINAL 4 CITIES: Saturday, November 11 10:30am - 12:00p

On Saturday mornings, instead of just playing at home, your young gamers can enjoy Minecraft while meeting new friends, as part of a local team representing Chicago. Super League Gaming and their Minecraft City Champs tournament is run in partnership with Nickelodeon. It’s like little league for Minecraft players! Fun, positive and a special opportunity to get out and play with other kids their age. Past players clearly have had a GREAT time!

And one skilled player will win a HUGE prize for their family – 4 tickets to Nickelodeon’s Kids Choice Awards 2018, inclusive of round trip airfare to LA, 2 nights in a hotel and a $500 spending allowance. There will be other giveaways for all players, including an official Chicago Force team jersey!

While you may find it challenging to pull your little ones away from their iPad or Xbox, the truth is that playing Minecraft (and video games in general) can be beneficial for your kids on many levels, including problem solving, building self-confidence, enhancing creativity, understanding teamwork and improving academic performance.

Super League’s Minecraft City Champs tournament is in its 3rd season, so the company knows how to provide a well-organized experience for your Minecrafter. It’s ideal for kids 6-14, who will play alongside their peers and have the chance to compete against teams in cities across the country. The tournament takes place in a movie theater, which means they also get to see their favorite game on the big screen!

The tournament begins on Sat. the 21st and continues on the following three Saturdays. Parents attend for free, although Super League provides full coverage if you need to drop off. Of course if you’re there, you can cheer on your Minecrafter to victory! 

To learn more and get tickets while spots are available, visit Super League’s Minecraft City Champs Chicago Event Details Page.

Disclosure: I have been compensated for sharing this event with my readers. As always, all opinions are my own.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

OPENING: Disney NEWSIES at Marriott Theatre 10/25-12/31/17

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

October 25 through December 31

"Stop the presses! Newsies is an irresistible, high energy winner... a surprise sensation!"
- Entertainment Weekly

"A musical worth singing about"
- The New York Times

"An invigorating extravaganza! A barnstorming, four-alarm delight"
- Time Out New York


Here at ChiIL Mama & ChiIL Live Shows we adore NEWSIES! It was our great pleasure to review the Broadway touring production, and now we're eager to see Marriott Theatre's take on this Tony Award-winning musical. This is a great pick for multigenerational appeal and family friendly memory making. It's also a great clutter busting gift idea just in time for the holidays. 

My teen loved it and later sang one of the show's hits in his high school's winter choir concert. We'll be out for opening night so check back soon for our full review. 

From the bustling streets of New York City at the turn of the 20th century comes the Tony Award-winning new American musical, NEWSIES, making headlines at the Marriott Theatre just in time for the holidays, running October 25 through December 31 with a press opening on Wednesday, November 1 at 8 p.m. at 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire. Featuring an electrifying score with music by eight-time Academy Award winner Alan Menken and lyrics by Jack Feldman, and book by four-time Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein, NEWSIES is the ultimate story of courage and overcoming one’s fears. Jeff Award nominee Alex Sanchez (Marriott Theatre: Evita, On the Town, Mary Poppins) brings his high-octane energy and brilliance to direct and choreograph the heartwarming piece, with Musical Direction by Jeff Award winner Ryan T. Nelson.

“We all get to a fork in our lives - which path do we choose? I want to inspire audiences to not be afraid to take the courageous path and strive for the unreachable,” says Director and Choreographer Alex Sanchez. “This story will be brought to life on stage with a plethora of energy bursting from our outstanding cast of dancers. Incredible set design will flow with the ensemble to provide a city landscape as vibrant as New York.”

Based on the 1992 motion picture of the same name and inspired by the real-life ‘Newsboy Strike of 1899’ that shook the ivory towers of publishing titans William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer, NEWSIES follows orphan Jack Kelly and his band of teenaged ‘newsies,’ who dream of a better life far from the hardships of the streets. While they’ve had the talent and moxie to survive the challenges of inner city New York, the newsboys are pushed to the limit when media moguls Hearst and Pulitzer raise distribution prices at the boys’ expense. Timely and fresh, the fictionalized adaptation of NEWSIES addresses age-old themes of social injustice, exploitative labor practices and struggles as the young learn to harness their power against a corrupt establishment. Featuring soul stirring music, NEWSIES introduces eight brand-new songs by the original dynamic duo team of Menken and Feldman while keeping many of the beloved songs from the film, including “Carrying the Banner,” “Seize the Day,” “King of New York” and “Santa Fe.”

NEWSIES stars Patrick Rooney as “Jack Kelly” (Marriott Theatre: World Premiere of October Sky, Spring Awakening), Eliza Palasz as “Katherine Plumber” (Marriott Theatre: World Premiere of October Sky, Evita, Spring Awakening), Kevin Gudahl as “Joseph Pulitzer” (Marriott Theatre: Spring Awakening, Elf, My Fair Lady, 1776, The King and I) and Stephanie Pope at “Medda Larkin” (Broadway: Chicago, Pippin, Fosse). NEWSIES also stars Nick Graffagna as “Davey,” Matthew Uzarraga as “Crutchie,” and Carter Graf and Zachary Uzarraga alternating as “Les,” with Bill Bannon, Eean Cochran, Shea Coffman, Nicholas Dantes, Alejandro Fonseca, Sam Griffin, Garrett Lutz, Jeff Pierpoint, Zachary Porter, Liam Quealy, James Rank, Laura Savage, Peter Sipla, Adrienne Storrs, Steven Strafford, Richard Strimer, Martin Ortiz Tapia, Tiffany Tatreau, Andy Tofa and David Wright, Jr.

The production will feature set design by Kevin Depinet, lighting design by Jesse Klug, sound design by Robert E. Gilmartin, properties design by Sally Weiss, and musical supervision and orchestra conducted by Patti Garwood.

The performance schedule for NEWSIES is Wednesdays at 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays at 8:00 p.m., Saturdays at 4:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., Sundays at 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m., with select Thursday 1:00 p.m. shows. Holiday weeks may have adjusted schedules. Ticket prices range from $50 to $60, including tax and handling fees. Call for student, senior and military discounts. On Wednesday and Thursday evenings there are a limited number of FREE dinners available with the purchase of a full-priced theatre ticket, which can only be purchased through the Marriott Theatre Box Office. 

To make a restaurant reservation, please call 847.634.0100. Free parking is available at all performances. To reserve tickets, please call The Marriott Theatre Box Office at 847.634.0200 or go to Visit for more information.

Saturday, October 14, 2017


ChiIL Mama's Chi, IL Picks List: 
Tasty Halloween Weekend Fun


Here’s a tasty new treat for Chicago families this Halloween season – the first-ever Frightfully Fit Feast, Saturday, October 28, starting at 4:15 p.m. at Chicago Children’s Theatre, The Station, 100 S. Racine Ave. in Chicago’s West Loop.

Bring a big appetite to this unforgettable evening of family cooking, communal eating and Halloween-themed entertainment. Because at Frightfully Fit Feast, families not only get to play with their food, they get to learn how to make easy-to-prepare, delicious and nutritious Halloween treats.

What’s on the macabre menu? Spooky Eyeball Tacos, Chocolate Mice, Bloody Cocktails and more. By the end of the night, everyone will have made their own Halloween-themed meal including a non-alcoholic beverage, appetizer, main dish and desert. All kids will leave with a full tummy, a Halloween goodie bag and a big smile on their face.

The price, including all food, is $20 per family member or $68 for a family of four. Each additional family member is only $15. Costumes are encouraged. Space is limited. To reserve tickets and for more information, visit

Frightfully Fit Feast is presented by Chicago Children’s Theatre’s education department, led by CCT Community Programs Artistic Director Frank Maugeri, in partnership with iCOOK After School.

About iCOOK After School

iCOOK After School is a fun, hands-on, after-school cooking program for children with a mission to help teach kids to love everything about food – cooking, eating delicious and healthful dishes and learning about different cultures. iCOOK’s instructors have culinary backgrounds and many are also registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs), so parents can be sure that “health” is an important ingredient in each recipe. For more information, visit

About Chicago Children’s Theatre

In addition to a full slate of shows in the new Pritzker Family Studio, Chicago Children’s Theatre, The Station, is also home to four classrooms hosting a year-round roster of performing arts classes and camps for children ages 0 to 14.

Registration is now open for the upcoming Winter session, January 22-March 17, 2018. Visit to sign your children up for Improv with The Second City!, Old Town School of Folk Music’s Wiggleworms classes, aerial arts with Actor’s Gymnasium, Hip Hop 4 Totz, Bubble Jams, Taking the Stage and more. Early bird discounts for the Winter Session are offered through November 12.

Since its launch in 2005, Chicago Children’s Theatre has cemented its reputation as the city’s largest professional theater company devoted exclusively to children and young families. After 11 years of itinerancy, Chicago Children’s Theatre opened in January 2017 its first-ever permanent home, The Station, the fully repurposed, former 12th District Chicago Police Station.

Today, The Station is a beautiful, mixed-use, centrally located performing arts, education and community engagement hub that welcomes all Chicago families. Newly opened in the Pritzker Family Studio is Chicago Children’s Theatre’s all-new production of A Year with Frog and Toad, hailed by Chicago Parent as “exceptionally enjoyable…a timeless tale” and recommended by the Chicago Tribune as “a lovely hour to add to your life…very well sung, and played…3 stars.”

A Year with Frog and Toad runs through October 29. For tickets and information, visit or call (872) 222-9555.

Friday, October 13, 2017

OPENING: Stephen Hanthorn Presents: THE BEST MAGIC SHOW @ iO Every Friday 10/13-11/3

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

Stephen Hanthorn Presents:
@ iO Chicago in the Jason Chin Cabaret Theater 

October 13th @ 8:30
October 20th @ 8:30
October 27th @ 8:30
November 3rd @ 8:30

ChiIL Mama will be out to review on the 20th. We're looking forward to checkin' out Stephen Hanthorn's show. Catch him before he disappears. 

Magician Stephen Hanthorn presents an evening of intimate, interactive and mind-blowing magic at the World Famous iO Theatre, home of long form improvisation, 1501 N Kingsbury St, Chicago, IL 60642 (312)929-2401

So you've never seen a live magic show because you didn't go to that birthday party growing up? Ever wonder what those people in the tv magic specials are so stunned by?

When you come to THE BEST MAGIC SHOW, you can expect to have the best 'what I did this weekend' story on Monday morning. Stephen blends improv comedy and magic as each audience brings a different point of view and perspective that gets incorporated with his own meaning of magic. This spur of the moment approach and breakdown of magic appeals to new and old magic fans alike- squeezing the most out of classic magic with a fresh, relatable perspective.

Stephen has been working in the Chicago magic and theatre scene for the past four years, and has had the privilege of providing fantastically exciting and personal experience for people from all walks of life thru magic- most notably at the Chicago Magic Lounge, Collaboraction Studios, Lollapalooza, and the Reinvented Busker.

THE BEST MAGIC SHOW runs every Friday at 8:30 from October 13th thru November 3rd in the Jason Chin Howard Cabaret at iO.

Tickets are $16 dollars and are available here!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

LOVING VINCENT, First Fully Painted Feature Film Opens Friday at Music Box!

Films On Our Radar:

What We're Watching:

This Friday afternoon we'll be ChiILin' at Chi, IL's iconic Music Box Theatre for the opening of the first fully painted feature film! We've long anticipated  LOVING VINCENT, which goes to the heart of the famous artist. First shot as a live action film, then with each of its 65,000 frames of film meticulously oil-painted by 125 master artists from around the world, The New York Times calls the result “Hypnotic and beguiling”. We can't wait to catch it! Check back soon for our full review.

"An animated masterpiece! An absolutely stunning film that not only does justice to the art of Van Gogh, but also to the art of movies. I have never seen anything on screen like it before. You will be amazed and lifted by this extraordinary film." -Deadline

“Brings a poetic sense of tragedy to the last act of van Gogh's life, and fresh insight into the kind of man he was.” --Variety

"Never has there been a film that spoke to the heart of an artist like “Loving Vincent”. Animation and fine art painting come together in this loving tribute to the work and life of a master artist." - Tony Bancroft, SIFF Animation Jury

Opens October 13th. More showtimes and dates to be announced. Click HERE for show times, ticket purchasing, and more details.

LOVING VINCENT is the world's first fully painted feature film. Written & directed by Dorota Kobiela & Hugh Welchman, produced by Poland's BreakThru Fims & UK's Trademark Films.

The film brings the paintings of Vincent van Gogh to life to tell his remarkable story. Every one of the 65,000 frames of the film is an oil-painting hand-painted by 125 professional oil-painters who travelled from all across the world to the LOVING VINCENT studios in Poland and Greece to be a part of the production. As remarkable as Vincent's brilliant paintings, is his passionate and ill-fated life, and mysterious death.

No other artist has attracted more legeneds than Vincent van Gogh. Variously labelled a martyr, a lustful satyr, a madman, a genius and a layabout, the real Vincent is at once revealed in his letters, and obscured by myth and time. Vincent himself said in his last letter: 'We cannot speak other than by our paintings'. We take him at his word and let the paintings tell the real story of Vincent van Gogh.

LOVING VINCENT was first shot as a live action film with actors, and then hand-painted over frame-by-frame in oils. The final effect is an interaction of the performance of the actors playing Vincent's famous portraits, and the performance of the painting animators, bringing these characters into the medium of paint.


Production Year: 2017
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Language: English
Run Time: 95 mins

Format: DCP

Google Analytics Code


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...