Thursday, May 19, 2011

Acting Out-Best of Chicago's Theatre Scene

We're devoting a giant chunk of today to theatre.   It's one of the best reasons to live in or near Chicago, and we just can't get enough.   Of course the shear number of choices can be daunting when you only have a little time and thousands of shows going on.    We'll give you a short list of our current favorites right here, and in depth reviews today, too, then tell you to get outta the house and off your computer and go see a show!


We checked out opening night last night and will have a fun, photo filled recap up today.   This is a 3 night run only, so order your tickets before they sell out, and high tail it on over to the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum for Redmoon's first ever youth spectacle.   Redmoon Theatre's esoteric yet accessible take on the world is all over this magical, kid-centric show.   

Redmoon Theater at Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 
2430 N. Cannon Dr., Chicago
Audiences of all ages from diverse Chicago neighborhoods will gather to witness a major cultural event designed, authored, built and performed by the young people of Chicago at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Produced by Chicago's acclaimed large-scale spectacle theater company, Redmoon, the first-ever 'Youth Spectacle' will give Chicagoans a fantastical glimpse into the way local youth experience and interpret the natural world every day.

Check out Hot Tixs for a great deal on tickets

Thursday 6:00pm $5.00 buy now or at Hot Tix outlet
Thursday 8:00pm $5.00 buy now or at Hot Tix outlet  
Friday 6:00pm $5.00 buy now or at Hot Tix outlet
Friday 7:00pm $5.00 buy now or at Hot Tix outlet
Friday 8:00pm $5.00 buy now or at Hot Tix outlet

500 Clown 


One weekend remains for 500 Clown Trapped! The Saturday show at 2:00 is sold out, but there are still tickets for Friday and Saturday at 7:00. Don't miss this amazing production!   Head on over to Adventure Stage and check 'em out.   Click here for more info! 

ALL TICKETS $35*   Final 3 weeks-Must close June 5th
Click HERE and use code TRUCKER when ordering.

Check out ChiIL Mama's review HERE.


-Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times

"REMARKABLE!  1/2 stars (out of 4)

-Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

“WORKING will make you proud to be a Chicagoan!”
-Paul Lisnek, Comcast Network

Tickets available at any Broadway In Chicago Box Office.
Special Group Pricing Available for 15+ 312-977-1710

*Offer valid on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings only. Not valid on premium seating, with any other offer or on previously purchased tickets. Normal ticketing fees apply. Subject to availability. Other restrictions may apply. Offer ends at the close of business on Friday, June 3.



threesixty entertainment, in association with Broadway In Chicago, is excited to announce a unique event – a spectacular new production of J M Barrie’s classic story, PETER PAN, at the Chicago Tribune Freedom Center. Conceived by an award-winning creative team, the SMASH HIT Peter Pan features twenty-two actors, stunning puppets, epic music and dazzling flying sequences surrounded by breathtaking video projection using the world’s first 360-degree CGI theater set. Both cast and audience fly over Edwardian London. Performed in a state-of-the-art theater pavilion, this magical new “in-the-round” production of Peter Pan is an extraordinary experience for the whole family. 

Tickets for PETER PAN and Into Neverland are also available through Ticketmaster.

- Wall Street Journal 

-Time Out

NEVERLAND CRUISE: Travel in style along the Chicago River to see PETER PAN, a spectacular new production based on the classic story by J M Barrie. On select nights, sail along Chicago's newly renovated Riverwalk to Neverland. Package includes cruise to and from the Freedom Center aboard Chicago’s Little Lady and price level 1 ticket to PETER PAN. Don't miss what the Wall Street Journal calls "a visually dazzling, London-born production." 
Click here for the details. 

INTO NEVERLAND: Begin your journey in the Pavilion, our foyer tent, and learn about J M Barrie, the story behind Peter Pan, and its 100-year theatrical and cinematic history. Take a tour of the extraordinary THREESIXTY° THEATRE. Watch video interviews with the creative team. Access exclusive information about the cast and the production, including the 360° CGI Technology. The tour is hosted exclusively by our very own cast members - Fridays at 5 pm! 
Click here to buy.

Dixie's Tupperware Party
Check out ChiIL Mama's video interview with Dixie, tupperware lady, and character extrordinare.   And check out our review of her smash hit, Off Broadway show, now extended an additional 4 weeks at The Royal George Theatre!


Watership Down at Lifeline Theatre

April 29 – June 19, 2011
Thu & Fri at 7:30pm, Sat at 4pm & 8pm, Sun at 4pm

"The novel’s message of empathy for the nonhuman world remains alarmingly relevant, and its tale of survival against the odds compelling, especially in this well-wrought production."  –Time Out Chicago

"Lifeline Theatre's brilliant production captures the epic sprawl and driving suspense of its source... In fact, Lifeline tops Adams's signature feat of delivering well-defined, often affecting characters who are--you know--rabbits"  –Chicago Reader 

When their birthplace is destroyed, brothers Hazel and Fiver lead a misfit band of survivors on a quest for a new home. Confronted with insurmountable dangers on all sides, the refugees must join forces with unexpected allies and conquer their deepest fears in order to endure. Join a pair of unlikely leaders in the journey of a lifetime, in this unforgettable story of survival against impossible odds. A stirring adventure, re-imagined for the Lifeline stage by the award-winning adaptor and director of Johnny Tremain.
*Recommended for ages 10 and up.
A world premiere based on the contemporary bestseller by Richard Adams
Adapted by John Hildreth
Directed by Katie McLean Hainsworth

One Show Only:

Get a sneak peek at some of Chicago's most exciting new works of circus art!  This next installment of the Actors Gymnasium performance series focuses on the development of new acts.  Professionals from the Chicagoland circus community will be featured as well as advanced students from The Actors Gymnasium's own classes.

One Show Only!

Saturday May 28, 2011
The Actors Gymnasium
927 Noyes Street, Evanston

Tickets: $10
Tickets are available through
online or by calling

These guys offer aerial classes for adults and children.    Check out their web site for details.

Guess Who's Stopping In Before They Take Off on Summer Tours?  Yup! You guessed it!

The Circus Cats of Chicago Featuring the Amazing Acrocats

The fantastic felines will perform at Gorilla Tango Theatre
Saturday, June 4, 2011 at 2pm and 4pm!

The Amazing Acro-Cats will perform their usual feats of agility pushing carts, riding skateboards, rolling barrels, ringing bells, turning on lights, walking tight ropes, jumping through hoops, knockabout acts and much more! These furry funambulists, aerialists and Pongers are no “dog and pony show” but real troupers!
Tickets are $18; click HERE for more info and to purchase tickets or call 773-598-4549.
Gorilla Tango Theatre - 1919 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago IL, 60647

That's Weird Grandma
Barrel of Monkey's long running, Monday night show, is neither beginning nor ending, but they are celebrating.   Like Broadway in Chicago and CircEsteem, they, too, are celebrating the big one oh!   April marked the 10 year anniversary of That's Weird Grandma.   It's rare for a show to run for a decade, so you can rest assured these guys are truly funny and well worth checking out.   We have loads of show photos and a video interview for you this month.    

If you read our "interconnected piece" a few weeks back, you'll remember that Anthony, Barrel of Monkey cast member, also teaches our kids at CircEsteem and choreographed Du-Jay's clown routine.   He's also married to one of the 500 Clown trio, currently wrapping up at Adventure Stage.    Tom, the Producing Artistic Director at the helm of Adventure Stage is a former Monkey, serendipitously sat next to us at Peter Pan, and enrolled his twin daughters in the same preschool Sagezilla attended 5 years ago with kids of actors and creative higher ups at 500 Clown, Lookingglass, The House Theatre, and The Curious Theatre Branch, among others.  Confused yet?   The coinkidink vortex of theatre in Chi Town spins on.

Over but awesome:

CircEsteem's Spring Circus was amazing.   We'll have a photo filled recap for you very soon, and video clips shortly thereafter.   If the show inspired you to take up aerial arts or clown around more, summer camp is coming.   If you want more circus in your kids' lives, sign ups are going on now.    You're never too old to learn new tricks.   If it's you who wants more circus in your life, stop living vicariously through your kids and do something fun for yourself.   Fall brings adult circus classes at CircEsteem as well.

The other great thing you can do is buy benefit tickets to Cirque du Soleil's OVO (details below under Save the date)

Hair rocked our world and we're sad it was such a short run here in Chi-Town.   If you're one of our national readers and the Broadway version of Hair is coming your way, go already.    It's an award winning revival piece and a great night out.   When I first got tickets I wanted to take my 10 year old son, but remembering the sex and drug laden song lyrics, I hesitated.    I revisited the soundtrack and put the dilemma to an on line parenting group and school parents we know well.    The results were some interesting, thought provoking takes on the issue and we'll have an in depth article published soon.

Save the date:

Thursday, Jul 14, 2011

Cirque du Soleil's OVO

8:00 PM
United Center
1902 W. Madison
Chicago, IL
CircEsteem and Cirque du Soleil have partnered in raising money to benefit CircEsteem since 2005.  Through this partnership CircEsteem has raised over $75,000 through the sale of tickets to Cirque du Soleil shows here in Chicago.  This year, Cirque du Soleil has generously donated 450 tickets for OVO, their latest touring show.   Through the sale of these tickets, CircEsteem can raise over $50,000 with 100% of the ticket price going directly to support CircEsteem’s work with at risk youth in the Chicago area. A portion of the ticket price is also tax deductible.  Please consider purchasing a ticket and supporting the work of CircEsteem. Download the OVO order form.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater Presents

World Premiere Family Musical
The Adventures of Pinocchio

A CST Family Commission by Drama Desk Award Nominees Neil Bartram and Brian Hill

July 13 through August 28, 2011

Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) presents the world premiere family musical The Adventures of Pinocchio from July 13 to August 28, 2011. Based on Carlo Collodi's classic tale of a wooden puppet who yearns to be a real boy, this original CST Family commission will turn CST's Courtyard Theater stage into a larger-than-life, European-style marionette theater. Created by multiple Drama Desk Award-nominated team Neil Bartram(music/lyrics) and Brian Hill (book), The Adventures of Pinocchio is directed by Rachel Rockwell, who returns to CST after staging last summer's world premiere CST Family musical The Emperor's New Clothes
Tickets for The Adventures of Pinocchio from July 13 to August 28, 2011, in CST's Courtyard Theater are $18-$25 with special discounts available for groups of 10 or more. All patrons receive a 40% parking discount at Navy Pier garages. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Chicago Shakespeare Theater's Box Office at 312.595.5600 or visit the Theater's website at

*Six Degrees of Separation Alert:   The Adventures of Pinocchio's 
Puppetry Designer, Meredith Miller, was featured by ChiIL Mama HERE.   She can be seen every Thursday night in the magical basement parlour of The House Theatre, with more amazing puppets and quirky hats that she's designed.

Adventure Stage has also announced their upcoming season and we're looking forward to Walk Two Moons.

Fall 2011 
Walk Two Moons 
Adapted for the stage by Tom Arvetis (ASC's Producing Artistic Director)
Based on the novel by Sharon Creech
Directed by Matthew Reeder

November 5 - December 8, 2011 

"Don't judge a man until you've walked two moons in his moccasins."