Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January Highlights-Interviews, Videos, Theatre, Music and More...


January has been a crazy, amazing start to the new year.   We got to shoot a video interview with Brian Selznick, author of Hugo Cabret and The Houdini Box, along with The Houdini Box Director, Script Writer and Composer.   Brian even signed and personalized 3 of his books for the kids.


We also had the great pleasure of shooting a video interview with a world famous skip rope artist from the cast of Cirque du Soleil's Quidam and we've got 4 tickets to give away to our readers.   We've also got 2 tickets to give away for the upcoming Badfish/Midwest Hype HOB show (17+).  Enter through Thursday midnight for tickets to both, and 4 tixs to see the Okee Dokee Brothers at Beat Kitchen's Concerts for Kids, too.


We got to see not one, but two premiers where Mark "Mucca Pazza" Messing wrote the scores, and we got to interview him for the second time.   We were enthralled by The Houdini Box at Chicago Children's Theatre, and two days later, by Death and Harry Houdini at The House Theatre.  

We've already given away countless theatre and live concert tickets to adult and kids shows.   We've seen Clip Art 3 times and seen Bruce Lamont in 3 different clubs in 4 very different bands (including the sold out Led Zeppelin 2, HOB show and an amazing acoustic Empty Bottle set with Neurosis front man, Scott Kelly), all in the space of a month.

I've found myself with 3 super hepped up little 8 year old girls squealing in the back seat....an unforgettable adventure that included a 2 hour drive in a blizzard, complete with a jackknifed bus traffic jam and aneurism inducing screams of joy from the peanut gallery in back.   We've sold boxes of Girl Scout Cookies into the triple digits....spent the night on the floor of the Museum of Science and Industry...saw a Wolves hockey game full of Brownies and Girl Scouts...and ran a 4 hour instrument petting zoo, costume corner, and rock star photo booth for a zillion toddlers at Beat Kitchen's Winter Fest.   

We shot and posted live kindie rock footage from Miss Ann's 3rd CD release and sweet songs from her show with NY kindie legend Suzi Shelton.   We also have upcoming, live footage of Istvan & His Imaginary Band, from Beat Kitchen, and a bunch of great still shots.

During January, I saw 8 amazing plays....photographed 16 bands (not including the plethora of bands at 2 Saturdays of Chicago Bluegrass and Blues Fest), and got to borrow a super sweet Canon 7D and an awesome lens from Calumet Photo.  

Oh yeah, and I also shot the mayor and other big wigs at the grand opening of the truly impressive, new Old Town School of Folk Music East building, attended the launch party for Artizone, and was on the other side of the lens for a fun, fashion photo shoot for eco-friendly designer, Lara Miller! 

We're also super stoked to have the chance to review, photograph and give away McKenna, the new American Girl Doll of the year for 2012.    She's a gymnast like Sage, and has many coincidental similarities.   We got to meet the author, Mary Casanova, and get our McKenna books signed.   We also got 2 special books signed to give away to two of our readers!   


Most of our January activities we promoted in advance, but we also have loads of videos, and photo filled recaps still coming up for publication as fast as humanly possible.   So, enjoy the anticipation.   February will be filled with lots of great recaps and lots of new events, tickets and give aways, too.

Coming Up This Week:   
Tomorrow I'll be taking 4 kiddos to Disney on Ice Dare to Dream.   Thursday will be a parents night out at BONEdanse-Damage Manual,  Atalee Judy's latest offering (this one's likely a PG13-not for young kids but fine for teens and some tweens).    Friday we hope to check out Barrie Cole's show,  I Love You Permanently, part of The Rhinocerous Fest at Prop Theatre.   Saturday I'll be shooting Badfish/Midwest Hype at The House of Blues.   Sunday we'll be shooting The Okee Dokee Brothers kindie show at Beat Kitchen at noon and interviewing the band, then we hope to review Punk Rock at Theater Wit (adult content).

Come ChiIL Out with ChiIL Mama, and don't let the groundhogs get you down.  Remember to enter our raffles like we vote in Chi, IL...early and often.

Are You A 12-17yo. Skater Who Wants To Be A Derby Girl?


Join Chicago's only Junior Roller Derby League for open recruitment orientation and find out what it takes to become a derby girl!   They are also interested in training referees and non skating officials!

Their first open recruitment orientation is Sunday, February 5th from 9-11am at The ARC Building at 18 Chicago Ave., Oak Park IL, 60302. All information will be given and gone over during orientation... just bring yourself and a parent! RSVP at the chicagoriotsderby@gmail.com.

Orientations will be held every first Sunday of the month - if you can't make it February 5th, you'll have another chance on March 4th and April 1st.


photo credit ddproshots.com

Win Free Tickets to Badfish & Midwest Hype at House of Blues 1/4/12!



ChiIL Mama/ChiIL Live Shows are giving away a pair of FREE tickets (17+) to see Badfish break out the Sublime and Midwest Hype funk it up at House of Blues THIS Saturday.    If you've never seen Badfish and/or Scotty Don't live, you are in for a show!   Enter at the bottom of this post.

 
© 2012 all rights reserved: photo credit Kenaz-Mara ChiILLiveShows.com/ChiILMama.com 

Double click on the slide show for more photo viewing/sharing options from SmugMug.    Non profit reposting with proper attribution is approved.

We just shot local boys, Midwest Hype's sold out CD release party at Schubas on the 5th and it was definitely a party!    They've got a compelling blend of jazz, rock, hip hop and....sweet horns.

Here's the bio off their site:

Midwest Hype defines urban garage jazz. Hip-hop flow, unforgettable vocal melodies, punching horn lines, immaculate jazz improvisation, dance floor mayhem, tight pocketed compositions, a spectrum of all colors, a refreshing youthful breath in today's digital world. A celebration and motivation to create a better life, make the day glow.

Midwest Hype has had a string of successes recently.  Starting with a slot at Summer Camp 2010 they have played the Chicago Bluegrass and Blues Fest, the Indianapolis 500, Green Music Festival, opened for the Wailers and GIRL TALK, and performed at this year's North Coast Music Festival with Thievery Corporation, Wiz Kalifa, David Guetta and more. 



ChiIL Mama/ChiIL Live Shows also had a string of successes recently, scoring press passes to shoot Summer Camp Music Fest, Chicago Bluegrass & Blues Fest and North Coast the past two years (and Lollapalooza/Kidzapalooza).  We plan to be there with camera in hand, again in 2012.   

I don't play an instrument myself, but I love live shows.   I got the writing and photography/art genes instead.  My sister and Grandfather both played sax and of all the genre's I cover, write up and shoot, punk or metal with sax is my hands down fav.   I've always had a soft spot for sax with a hard, fast edge.  Can't wait to see these guys tear it up Saturday.




*speaking of killer sax........we have some amazing shots of Yakuza front man, Bruce Lamont, sans sax, as Robert Plant--in LZ2 at House of Blues from earlier this month.  We'll have a full set of show shots and a "best of" up soon.   



We got some sweet crowd shots, too.    The fans even got into the whole 1975 retro vibe and held up lighters, old school style, instead of a sea of cell phones.   Loved it! 







For more about this Saturday's Badfish/Scotty Don't/Full Service/Midwest Hype show, check out the bands' sites or follow them on FB and Twitter.
Badfish 
Midwest Hype 

Check out The House of Blues main site for complete show info.

We highly recommend getting your tickets in advance.   When we shot Led Zeppelin 2's sold out show at HOB earlier this month, there were a lot of people turned away at the door, wishing they hadn't waited on tickets.   

Saturday 02/04/2012
Doors: 07:00 PM
Show: 08:00 PM
Prices:
$23.00 - GA - Advanced
$25.00 - GA - Day Of
Ages: 17+


House of Blues Chicago
329 N. Dearborn
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 923-2000


Headlining Artist:

Badfish - A Tribute to Sublime


Other Artists at this Event:

    •    Scotty Don't
    •    Full Service
    •    Midwest Hype



*Wait for Rafflecopter to load up right here (if you've gone through RSS feed or are scrolling down the blog and don't see it, click on the actual page title and it should pop right up).   Entries are easy.   Winning rocks!   

*This contest is over.   Congrats to our ticket winner-Monica A., Chicago

Monday, January 30, 2012

Got Kids?--Enter Here to Win 4 Tickets To Each February Beat Kitchen Concert for Kids


Come ChiIL out with ChiIL Mama this winter.   We have 2 ii's, and one L (just like our fav place) and loads of great tickets to family friendly and adult concerts, theatre and events.    So enter like we vote in Chi, IL...early and often!

We'll pick this first week's Beat Kitchen Concerts for Kids winner on Friday 2/3, along with our 4 pack winner for Cirque du Soleil's Quidam (*click here to enter for Quidam).   

All our subsequent Beat Kitchen winners will be announced on Free Ticket Tuesdays.   ChiIL Mama's jazzed to be a sponsor of Concerts for Kids 2011-2012.    We have loads of original, live concert footage including videos and stills, video interviews with many of your favorite kindie bands, CD reviews, CD/DVD give aways and more.

Beat Kitchen's Kids Series is weekly, affordable, and fun!   Shows happen every Sunday at noon, cost $6, and feature a diverse range of musical styles from Windy Kindie (kids' indie) favorites and national acts, too.   Shows are open to all ages, but are geared toward birth through 10 year olds.   Beat Kitchen features tasty food,  a full bar for the of agers, and some of the best bloody marys in town.


Enter here-4 Tickets to any/all 4 February Beat Kitchen Concerts for Kids:


*Wait for Rafflecopter to load up right here (if you've gone through RSS feed or are scrolling down the blog and don't see it, click on the actual page title and it should pop right up).   Entries are easy.   Winning rocks!  


(ChiIL Mama cares about your privacy.   As always, your information remains confidential.   We don't sell, spam or share contacts.   Only winners' names will be public, and even that can be first name-last initial only, if that's what you enter in the raffle form under name.   Though last names help us get you on the guest list quicker, without playing e-mail tag.)





Thursday, January 26, 2012

We're Giving Away Tickets to Houdini Box, Cirque Du Soleil's Quidam & Windy City Circus!

Enter at the bottom of this post for your shot at 3 fantastic, family friendly shows.   ChiIL Mama's giving away free four packs of tickets to all of them!!


Houdini Box at Chicago Children's Theatre-Free 4 pack of tickets (*recommended for ages 5 and up) 

Enter here to win--ENDS AT MIDNIGHT TONIGHT (THURS)!   Winner announced Friday at noon.

Tickets good for Saturday 1/28/12 at 11am.   Enter with the Rafflecopter form at the bottom of this post.

**For parents and older kids, we also have a pair of (18+) tickets to see Clip Art at Schubas.   **This is your last chance to win Clip Art Monday tickets, so click this link and enter here.**    Our winners for both will be announced this Friday at noon. 

The Houdini Box, is based on a book by the creator of The Invention of Hugo Cabret!    This production also features original music by Mark "Mucca Pazza" Messing.
  
The Houdini Box: Chicago
January 24-March 3, 2012
The Mercury Theatre 3745 N. Southport Avenue, Chicago
**ChiIL Mama will be shooting an exclusive video interview tomorrow with Blair Thomas, Director/Master Puppeteer, and Mark "Mucca Pazza" Messing, who wrote the original music!**
Then we'll be checking out the opening night  show on and we'll have a full review up for you shortly.   Author Brian Selznick is also slated to be in the audience. 


As famed escape artist Harry Houdini circles the globe performing one incredible stunt after another, Victor, a young devotee goes through his own rigorous magician’s training – locking himself in closets, holding his breath under water and walking into walls.  After a chance encounter with his hero, Victor receives a special box that just might contain the secrets of Houdini’s great success. 

CHICAGO CHILDREN'S THEATRE HOLDING ITS BREATH, CAN'T WAIT FOR WORLD PREMIERE OF THE HOUDINI BOX, BASED ON THE BOOK BY BRIAN "HUGO" SELZNICK, JAN. 24-MAR. 4 AT THE MERCURY THEATER

NOTHING CAN CONTAIN THE CREATIVITY OF DIRECTOR BLAIR THOMAS, BOOK/LYRICIST HANNAH KOHL, AND COMPOSER MARK "MUCCA PAZZA" MESSING AS THEY PREPARE TO UNCHAIN CCT'S NEWEST STAGE ADVENTURE THE HOUDINI BOX ALREADY SET TO ESCAPE TO THE NORTH SHORE CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS IN SKOKIE SOON AFTER ITS CHICAGO RUN, MAR. 14-25, 2012
 

Master puppeteer Blair Thomas will direct and create sets and puppets for CCT's The Houdini Box, already a recipient of two prestigious development grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. Book and lyrics are by Hannah Kohl, with original music by Mark Messing, music director of Chicago's #1 circus punk marching band Mucca Pazza. 

Performances of Chicago Children's Theatre's The Houdini Box are Jan. 24-Mar. 4, 2012 at the Mercury Theater, 3745 N. Southport Avenue, Chicago.   Note:  Subsequent Friday 7 pm performances on Feb. 3, Feb. 10 and Feb. 24 will be an expanded "An Evening of Magic," including the show followed by award-winning magician Brett Schneider performing amazing feats of magic and illusion.   Tickets to all performances are $15-$36.  For tickets and information, go to chicagochildrenstheatre.org or call the Mercury Theater box office, 773.325.1700.



Cirque Du Soleil's Quidam-Free 4 pack of tickets 
Good for the opening night performance, February 8th at 7:30pm.   Enter through Thursday 2/2 at midnight.

**All our readers are winners!   ChiIL Mama's also got a cool 25% off discount on non-peak performances on all price levels using the promo code “CHILL”.  Non-peak performances are all performances except for those on Friday and Saturday.










  
Windy City Circus-Free 4 pack of tickets 
Good for your choice of performances Feb. 21 – 24 (pending availability).   Enter through Monday 2/13 at midnight.




WINDY CITY CIRCUS BRINGS WORLD-CLASS AERIALISTS, JUGGLERS AND ILLUSIONISTS, AS WELL AS AN ARRAY OF HISTORIC CHICAGO CHARACTERS TO NAVY PIER FEBRUARY 17-26

Circus with a Purpose Benefits Children’s Charities

Windy City Circus, an all-new locally produced professional circus featuring jaw-dropping circus acts and hilarious characters from around the world, will make its debut inside Navy Pier’s Festival Hall, 600 E. Grand Avenue, Feb. 17-26, 2012. This exciting “circus with a purpose” will have a strong hometown feel, featuring cameo appearances by an assortment of famous and infamous Chicago area historic figures. 80% of net ticket sale proceeds will go to benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana and the Special Olympics Chicago and co-sponsor Special Children’s Charities.

Windy City Circus is proud to announce its new partnership with the City of Chicago to celebrate the city’s 175th birthday. This will include a special salute during every performance of the circus throughout its 10 day run. 

David Maas is the Big Top producer and founder of Windy City Circus, and also will serve as master of ceremonies. A renowned magician and the star of many American and international circuses, Maas is best known as the co-star of the “World Renowned David & Dania Quick Change,” in which he and Moscow Circus veteran Dania Kaseeva Maas perform an astonishing series of split-second costume changes, an act that has been featured on such programs as “America’s Got Talent” and “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” and also has wowed stage and arena audiences world-wide.

“Our goal is to bring the classic circus experience to our hometown with a true Chicago feel,” says Maas, who served as Ringmaster of the Big Apple Circus for many years. “Several figures important to Chicago, including Marshall Field, Frank Lloyd Wright and even Mrs. O’Leary will make appearances in the production, providing Chicago historical stories with some of the most remarkable circus performers working today. What’s more, patrons will know that their ticket purchase directly supports organizations in our community.”

At Navy Pier, a colorful circus scene will be designed inside Festival Hall, and Windy City Circus audiences will sit within 50 feet of the performance ring. In addition to David and Dania’s “Quick Change,” Windy City Circus will feature an internationally acclaimed roster of circus stars, including aerial and trapeze artists, clowns, jugglers and animal acts.

Windy City Circus Debuts at Navy Pier Feb. 17-26
Performances will run Feb. 17 – 26, with performances every day. Performances are: Tuesday – Friday at 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays at 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sundays at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.


Enter here for your chance to win:

*Wait for Rafflecopter to load up right here (if you've gone through RSS feed or are scrolling down the blog and don't see it, click on the actual page title and it should pop right up).   Entries are easy.   Winning rocks!   Start your new year off right with Disney on Ice Dare to Dream.




Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Kindie: Little Miss Ann-Put Out Your Hand (Original Live Video)


ChiIL Mama shot this original, live show footage at Beat Kitchen at Miss Ann's CD release party on January 15th, 2012.    Walk With Me is her 3rd release.

Little Miss Ann-Walk With Me (Original Live Video) & Winter Fest This Sunday at Beat Kitchen

We had the great pleasure of being part of Little Miss Ann's 3rd CD release party at Beat Kitchen January 15th.


Here is our original, live concert footage of the title track off of her new CD.   More to come!

ChiIL out with ChiIL Mama this winter, for the best in kindie rock and live shows. In February, we'll be reviewing and giving away copies of Miss Ann's latest, Bari Koral's new release, out February 14th, and A 3 pack of fabulous, award winning releases by Suzi Shelton including her DVD, Live at Southpaw, Simply Suzi-Music for Kids and No Ordinary Day.   So check back with us and enter to win like we vote in Chi, IL...early and often.   Our give aways are open nationwide!

Play Locally:

 

If you're lucky enough to live in or near Chicago, come out this Sunday 1/29 for Beat Kitchen's rockin' Winter Festival sponsored by ChiIL Mama!   This 4 hour fest runs from 11am-3pm and includes 4 kids' performers, crafts, activities and fun.   We'll be upstairs with our free Rock & Roll Photo Booth, Instrument Petting Zoo, and new holographic ChiIL Mama buttons!    Come by and say hey.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Win Free Tickets to The Houdini Box at Chicago Children's Theatre!



Today is Free Ticket Tuesday at ChiIL Mama.   We have winners for:

1 pair of tickets to Chicago Bluegrass & Blues Fest--Lisa L.   Click the link above for our original photo filled coverage from 2011, band info, the 2012 line up, main site and more.  

**Remember:  KIDS UNDER 12 ARE ADMITTED FREE TO THE CONGRESS THEATRE CHICAGO BLUEGRASS & BLUES FEST SHOWS WITH A PAYING ADULT!!


1 family 4 pack to Winter Fest at Beat Kitchen--Teresa

Sunday, January 29th EARLY SHOW
Winter Fest 2012!!


Doors: 11:00 am | Show: 11:00 am-3:00pm
Tickets: $8.00 | All Ages

ChiIL Mama will be upstairs with our free Rock N Roll Photo Booth,  Instrument Petting Zoo & brand new HOLOGRAPHIC ChiIL Mama buttons!
 
ChiIL Mama is stoked to sponsor Beat Kitchen's Concerts for kids-all ages-$6-every Sunday at noon/ *Winter Fest is 11am-3pm-$8  *We have 4 free tickets to EVERY show, so come ChiIL out with ChiIL Mama and enter like we vote in Chi, IL...early and often!)
 
Big congrats!


Free family 4 pack--enter here to win--2 days only!   Winner announced Friday at noon.

We also have two opportunities for you to win more tickets through Thursday at midnight:

Houdini Box at Chicago Children's Theatre 4 pack (recommended for ages 5 and up)
Tickets good for Saturday 1/28/12 at 11am.   Enter with the Rafflecopter form at the bottom of this post.

& a pair of (18+) tickets to see Clip Art at Schubas.   Our winners will be announced this Friday at noon. 

The Houdini Box, is based on a book by the creator of The Invention of Hugo Cabret!    This production also features original music by Mark "Mucca Pazza" Messing.
  
The Houdini Box: Chicago
January 24-March 3, 2012
The Mercury Theatre 3745 N. Southport Avenue, Chicago


As famed escape artist Harry Houdini circles the globe performing one incredible stunt after another, Victor, a young devotee goes through his own rigorous magician’s training – locking himself in closets, holding his breath under water and walking into walls.  After a chance encounter with his hero, Victor receives a special box that just might contain the secrets of Houdini’s great success. 

CHICAGO CHILDREN'S THEATRE HOLDING ITS BREATH, CAN'T WAIT FOR WORLD PREMIERE OF THE HOUDINI BOX, BASED ON THE BOOK BY BRIAN "HUGO" SELZNICK, JAN. 24-MAR. 4 AT THE MERCURY THEATER

NOTHING CAN CONTAIN THE CREATIVITY OF DIRECTOR BLAIR THOMAS, BOOK/LYRICIST HANNAH KOHL, AND COMPOSER MARK "MUCCA PAZZA" MESSING AS THEY PREPARE TO UNCHAIN CCT'S NEWEST STAGE ADVENTURE THE HOUDINI BOX ALREADY SET TO ESCAPE TO THE NORTH SHORE CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS IN SKOKIE SOON AFTER ITS CHICAGO RUN, MAR. 14-25, 2012
 

If you're a fan of children's literature but not already familiar with children's author and illustrator Brian Selznick, all of that is about to change.
 
Selznick's 2008 Caldecott Award-winning book, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, debuted last November as Academy Award-winning director Martin Scorsese's first 3D family film Hugo, and was just nominated for 11 Academy Awards including Best Picture. 

Meanwhile, Selznick's newest children's graphic novel, Wonderstruck, was recently published by Scholastic Books to rave reviews.   
 

And now, the Brian Selznick trifecta continues right here in Chicago when Chicago Children's Theatre unleashes The Houdini Box, a world premiere musical adventure based on Selznick's popular first novel about a mischievous boy who receives a special box that just might contain the secrets of Harry Houdini's success.  
 
Master puppeteer Blair Thomas will direct and create sets and puppets for CCT's The Houdini Box, already a recipient of two prestigious development grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. Book and lyrics are by Hannah Kohl, with original music by Mark Messing, music director of Chicago's #1 circus punk marching band Mucca Pazza. 
 
Performances of Chicago Children's Theatre's The Houdini Box are Jan. 24-Mar. 4, 2012 at the Mercury Theater, 3745 N. Southport Avenue, Chicago.   Note:  Subsequent Friday 7 pm performances on Feb. 3, Feb. 10 and Feb. 24 will be an expanded "An Evening of Magic," including the show followed by award-winning magician Brett Schneider performing amazing feats of magic and illusion.   Tickets to all performances are $15-$36.  For tickets and information, go to chicagochildrenstheatre.org or call the Mercury Theater box office, 773.325.1700.

For more information about Chicago Children's Theatre visit chicagochildrenstheatre.org or call 773.227.0180.



1 (18+) pair of tickets to the final Monday of Clip Art's residency at Schubas.   Last night, we had a Lara Miller fashion press event, then we hit Empty Bottle to see Otter Petter, Mutts, Pinto & The Bean, & Wally Dogger.   

However, our ticket winners told us Clip Art put on a phenomenal show.
She said, "Andy did a killer, acapella version of the Tom Waits song, "I'll Be Gone" from Frank's Wild Years. It was fantastic! The also covered The Kinks and The Shins. Tina Howe sat in on a couple of songs, as did Jessie from JC Brooks and The Uptown Sound and Cosmos." 


1/30 -8:00PM w/ Baby Teeth + Jennifer Hall


Tickets In The Works:
  • Family 4 pack to Cirque Du Soliel's Quidam!
  • Laura Doherty (Kindie folk rock)-Valentine Show at Old Town School of Folk Music 
  • Monster Truck Jam

  • Feb 5: Okee Dokee Brothers
    Feb 12: Mr. Singer & The Sharp Cookies
    Feb 18: Joanie Leeds & The Nightlights (Laura Doherty, Andy Wilkins & Michael Riendeau)
    Feb 19: Mr. Dave
    Feb 26: Apples, Peaches, Lemonade featuring Jonas Friddle, Maria McCullough and Jason McInnes
    Mar 4: Jeanie B! & The Jellybeans
    Mar 11: Super Stolie & The Rockstars
    Mar 18: Human-Tim + Robot-Tim
    Mar 25: Little Miss Ann Band
    April 15: The Boogers
    April 22: The Candy Band
    April 29: Mary Macaroni
    May 6: Human-Tim + Robot-Tim
    May 20: Mr. Singer & The Sharp Cookies
We often add new shows as the months progress and have some great stuff in store for February.   So come ChiIL Out with ChiIL Mama, check back frequently, and enter like we vote in Chi, IL...early and often.




 
*further details about our winners appear in the original Rafflecopter widgets

Enter here for Houdini Box Tickets: 

*Wait for Rafflecopter to load up right here (if you've gone through RSS feed or are scrolling down the blog and don't see it, click on the actual page title and it should pop right up).   It's easy to enter and so much fun to win. 


The Actor's Gymnasium-Winter II Session and Lost & Found returns!


This February, Lost & Found: A Recycled Circus returns to The Actors Gymnasium. Back by popular demand, this family-friendly show opens February 11th, and features some of Chicago's finest circus talent.  Tickets are on sale now!  Get yours before they sell out.

Back by Popular Demand...
Lost & Found: A Recycled Circus
February 11 - March 11, 2012   
 
"This production will charm, warm and wow you...sly and nuanced clowning...wordless, impressive poetry" - Chicago Theatre Blog
 
"Director Lawrence DiStasi showcases a wry sense of humor and some superb acrobatics in this quirky Actors Gymnasium show...RECOMMENDED" - Chicago Reader

ChiIL Mama's GRREAT GREEN SEAL OF APPROVAL:   99% Recycled! - Costumes, props and set pieces used in this show are re-purposed, recycled, found-object art.
 
Last year's runaway hit, Lost and Found: A Recycled Circus, returns to The Actors Gymnasium.  A collaborative original work by Co-Artistic Directors Larry DiStasi and Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi together with an amazing team of designers and performers, this circus production explores the world of second-hand treasure. Cast-off junk and cast-off characters are saved in this show and given thrilling, new life. Lost and Found: A Recycled Circus features aerial acrobatics, live music, and magical, found-object invention.   This year the cast features Zoe Boyer, David Catlin, Will Howard, Chris Mathews, Will McGowan, "Tommy" Tomlins, Lindsey Noel Whiting, The Actors Gymnasium Teen Ensemble and some amazing young performers. 

View the video trailer for Lost & Found: A Recycled Circus, here. 
 


Tickets available online throughBrown Paper Tickets or by calling 1-800-838-3006  
 
Opening Night Gala 
February 11, 2012

The Opening Night Gala is our annual celebration of community and a way to support the need-based financial aid programs of The Gym.
 
Fabulous food! Cool raffle items!   
Specialty cocktails!  Amazing performances!  
 
Tickets On-Sale Now - With 2 Options This Year: 
1) Opening Night Show Ticket & Gala Admission
 OR
2) Gala-Only Option
(for those party-goers who want to see the show another time)    

Seating and capacity are limited and tickets are going fast!  Get yours today.
For more information, click here, or call 847-328-2795.

 
About The Actors Gymnasium

The Actors Gymnasium is dedicated to bringing a new physicality to the American Theatre. Encouraging ground-breaking theatrical exploration, The Actors Gymnasium teaches circus arts, physical theatre and multi-disciplinary performance to children and adults; produces original, daring works of circus-theatre; and serves as a talent resource, providing performance opportunities to our students and innovative event entertainment for a wider audience. At The Actors Gymnasium, people Learn To Fly - physically, emotionally, intellectually and creatively.

Registration is now open for Winter II session!  Classes for both adults and kids begin on Monday, January 30.  Don't miss this opportunity to register now before classes fill. 

If you have any questions about any of our programming, please email email@actorsgymnasium.com, call 847-328-2795, or stop by the office in the Noyes Cultural Arts Center.  

Girls Night Out Benefiting Go Red for Women February 29th


Join Sassy Moms in the City along with WBBM Newsradio, K-HITS and B96 on Wednesday, February 29th, at the “Girls Night Out Benefiting Go Red for Women” event!

Join ChiIL Mama for the Second Annual “Girls Night Out -- Go Red for Women” event presented by WBBM Radio, K-HITS, B96 and Sassy Moms in the City!   We'll be there with red heels on.

About the Event:A $30 VIP Ticket includes red carpet treatment, cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, swag bag filled with goodies, mini spa services, fashion show and more!  

All ticket sale proceeds will benefit the American Heart Association's "Go Red for Women" campaign.  Guests are encouraged to bring gently used handbags and professional shoes to help support Dress for Success. (Donations will be accepted from 6 pm – 10 pm at Alhambra Palace.)


Chicago's F.A.M.E. Benefit at Rockit Ranch Still Seeking Performers Through Feb 15th!


Chicago's F.A.M.E. Benefit at Rockit Ranch is coming up soon on March 8th. The foundation is currently reviewing auditions for a few more performance slots in that show. The link is here : http://fame-chicago.org/3.html.  The event is being promoted by Chicago's Billy Dec & Windy City Live, so it should be an amazing night! FAME has started up to raise money to provide grants and scholarships for Chicago children in the arts.


Steffan, a young Chicago actor, model, and musician was asked to be one of the performers at the Chicago's F.A.M.E. Benefit at Rockit Ranch on March 8th.  He has his roots in musical theatre, but last year he was pulled away a bit from that when he was cast one of only five kids from thousands of auditions from across the country to represent KidzBop. 

We've corresponded with his mom, via e-mail, and plan to do an in depth feature soon.   According to her, KidsBop has been an incredible opportunity for him, but his true dream is to share his original work as a solo artist one day. He is an incredible musician who reads & writes music. He has six original songs in the copyright process right now. Steffan actually plays six instruments -- guitar, piano, cello, french horn, ukulele & percussion.
 

His mom also acknowledged that some of our edgier readers are bound to consider KidzBop "kind of mainstream fluff that sometimes gets a bad wrap." However, she wisely states that those who would bash it are never the people who it's created for. The idea is to take the mainstream music that parents & older teen siblings are listening to, and make a (non-swearing/non-negative) version of those songs that are more appropriate for younger kids. She told us Steffan is really having a blast with it. But, he has more of a personal edge for music. His all time favorite band/singer is Christofer Drew - NeverShoutNever.   You can check him out in action right here.   





Want to learn more?   Here are a bunch of Steffan related links:
http://www.kidzbop.com/my-channel/KBK-Steffan  
http://www.youtube.com/user/SteffanArgus  
http://www.youtube.com/user/dinaargus  
http://www.kidzbop.com/fan-pages/Music---Artist-Band/KIDZCAST/KIDZ-BOP-Kids-Official-Fan-Page/photos  
http://stars2come.com/music/steffan-argus/  
http://tweengirlstylemagazine.com/Home/?p=3257#en  
http://mpaccommunications.wordpress.com/2011/07/08/from-metropolis-to-kidz-bop/  
http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/music/6715919-421/des-plaines-youth-now-with-kidzbop.html

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Shows On Our Radar-Empty Bottle Monday & Tuesday

Hit The Empty Bottle this Monday &/or Tuesday.

Monday
Free Show
We haven't seen The Mutt's live but we've been loving their tunes on line!   Check out their main site here and give them a listen.   Some of the best things in life are free........and you can use all that cash you saved for beer and generous tips.   

MON. 1/23/12 (9:00pm, Free)
Wally Dogger
Pinto & The Bean
Mutts
Otter Petter


Here's our prior coverage of Wally Dogger's CD release party last year at Beat Kitchen.   In that signature synchronicity way things have of cropping up, they played out with The Noses, renowned LA play write, Brett Neveu's band.  That week we had just reviewed opening night of Bretts amazing show, Odradeck, at The House Theatre.   And we were just about to check out another of Brett's works, The Earl, at A Red Orchid Theatre.   A year has past and guess what we just saw at A Red Orchid Theatre Friday?!   You guessed it, another Brett Neveu play, Megacosm. 

Pinto & The Bean were part of our Ginormous Holiday Gift Guide & Give Aways.   One of our lucky readers won their CD along with 5 more.   We still have a couple more to give away so check back in like we vote in Chi, IL...early and often.

6 CDs:    Soul-R&B-Blues-Rock including,  Fitz and The Tantrums,  How Far To Austin,  The Shams Band, Zach Heckendorf, Pinto & The Bean & The Future Laureates (over $70)


*We have loads of live videos, pit photos, band video interviews and CD reviews.   Check out the archives at the bottom of the page or use the search bar to the right.   We post upcoming shows, introduce new music, and give you breaking music news for alt-rock-metal-punk-funk-blues/bluegrass-and more, including bands for adults & kids.   All are posted at ChiIL Mama.com and archived at our sister site, ChiIL Live Shows.com.
In fact, you can check out two more of these bands at weekend 2 of The Chicago Blue Grass & Blues Festival this Saturday at The Congress Theater.    In fact, we just saw Donnie Biggins of The Shams Band back stage at CBB Fest at The Auditorium Theatre last night!   We'll have some sweet photos up very soon.    


Tuesday
This one'll cost ya, but only $15, and they're world renowned musicians and well worth it.  We're hoping to set up a video interview soon with Jeff Parker and his partner who have a baby boy.   She's a filmmaker and college professor out in California.   Jeff also has an older, elementary age daughter we've known since Sagezilla was in a playgroup with her at age 2!   

The son of the drummer for Tortoise was also in playgroup with our girls, along with a virtual whose who of chicago theatre and music peeps progeny.   We'd love to interview Jeff and Johnny Herndon and their partners, for our ongoing series on how creatives parent and how parents create.   Check out our Pinterest Board of that name, How Do Creatives Parent and How Do Parents Create, to find most of the interviews together.   We have the rest of the interviews in our Vimeo links in the sidebar at ChiIL Mama.   Pinterest doesn't see Vimeo for some odd reason.   The interviews include Brett Neveu and various Noses, mentioned above, as well as touring musicians from metal band Red Fang, Fitz & The Tantrums, Keller Williams, Danbert Nobacon (Chumbawamba), various CEOs, and a number of theatre personalities.

TUE. 1/24/12 (9:30pm, $15 buy)
Tortoise
Dent-de-Lion
DJ Ryan Weinstein


For loads of music news, free downloads, upcoming Chi-town shows, and original stills, videos, reviews, and video interviews, check out our brand new Facebook Page for ChiIL Live Shows.  You can "like" us and/or follow the feed. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Calumet Photo Rocks!

Photo credit:   Calumet Website


Yesterday, in the middle of the blizzard, the awesome rental guys at Calumet Photo set me up with a Canon 7D for the weekend, so I can do Bluegrass and Blues Fest justice at Auditorium Theatre tonight.   We'll be shooting tonight and again next Saturday at Congress Theatre.

I can't tell you how stoked I am to check out this camera in action.   I've been shooting for 30+ years for fun and then for work, and shooting shows steadily for 2.   And I've been ogling this sweet camera for years!

We'll have a photo filled CBB Fest feature up soon and a camera review as well. Wish I would have had it for Led Zeppelin 2 at House of Blues last Saturday, when I shot over 8 gigs of stills.   We'll have those edited & posted in the very near future.

Calumet has two Chi-Town locations and I've been impressed with them every time I've come in.  I bought my most recent Canon lens there and the staff is knowledgeable and helpful.  Their tag line "Calumet, It's Where The Pros Go" is true.   My husband has worked in location sound, in the TV/film industry, for 25+ years, and the local cameramen and visiting crews shooting here all frequent Calumet.   I'd love to write more, but we've got a show to shoot. 

From Calumet's Site:

About Calumet Photographic
Calumet Photographic is the top drawer in the photographer's toolbox. Whether you enjoy the slosh and spill of chemicals in the traditional darkroom or prefer the immediacy of the digital darkroom, Calumet has what you need from cameras and cables to studio lighting and computers. Photographers around the world have been depending on Calumet Photographic for over 70 years because they know where to go for the equipment they need and expert advice they can't get anywhere else. Our sales associates know the photo industry inside and out; we're here to answer questions and offer advice so you can make informed buying decisions. Whether you shoot digital, video or traditional, it's our commitment to help you get exactly what you need when you need it.
 

History
In 1939, Kenneth Becker formed Calumet Manufacturing Company in Chicago. Originally, he sold sporting goods and just a few cameras through the store. Eventually, Calumet began to manufacture stainless steel developing trays and other darkroom equipment.


In 1955, Kodak decided to get out of the view camera business, selling Calumet the rights to its Master View 4x5 camera. It set the course for other photographic innovations by Calumet in the 1960s, such as the Caltar large format lens line, the C-2 roll film holder and the nitrogen burst film and print processors.
In 1980, after 40 years of manufacturing and selling its mostly large-format proprietary product lines, Calumet became a full-line supplier of professional photographic products. The result was the first photo supply catalog. Calumet sells high-quality products. We never sell "gray market" products, products that are not kept within the manufacturer-to-distributor-to-dealer network. For example, we sell only fresh film and paper.


"Calumet makes purchasing equipment and supplies, as well as equipment rental, extremely easy. Since it is a nationwide network, I usually pick up supplies for a shoot when I arrive if the location is near a Calumet retail outlet. Otherwise, I have Calumet FedEx whatever I need to wherever I am," said Daniel Peebles, a Calumet U.S. customer.


With the uniting of Calumet Photographic in the United States and Keith, Johnson and Pelling, a retail chain in the United Kingdom; Netherlands, Belgium and Germany locations followed. The company developed a global focus. This global focus expanded further in 1998, when Calumet launched its website and moved the company into the digital age. With more than 70 years in the business, Calumet continues to grow, adding products and services to our stores and warehouses every day. Currently, we have more than 25 retail stores across the world.  


Chicago
1111 N. Cherry Avenue
Chicago, IL 60642
312.440.4920
 

Oak Brook
1600 W. 16th Street
Oak Brook, IL 60523
630.860.7458
 


*Calumet Photo loaned me a 7D for review purposes.


  

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