Friday, March 29, 2013

ACT OUT: Win 4 Tickets to THE EMPEROR’S NEW THREADS: A FASHION STATEMENT at Lifeline #giveaway #sponsored


Plus Stories Come Alive! Hour Workshops Every Saturday and Sunday During the Run

Lifeline Theatre has long been one of ChiIL Mama's favorites for fabulous family friendly fare.    So we're super stoked to be able to offer our readers a free family 4 pack of tickets to the show of your choice ($60 value).   Enter below through midnight Thursday, April 4th.   Winners will be announced Friday.   Click the Rafflecopter link to enter.  (Disclaimer:   Thanks to Lifeline for providing tickets for our giveaway.  All opinions are our own.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

ChiIL out with ChiIL Mama at some of the best children's theatre in town!

Lifeline Theatre’s KidSeries presents The Emperor’s New Threads: A Fashion Statement, a children’s musical based on the folktale The Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Christian Andersen. The production is adapted and directed by Lifeline Theatre ensemble member Frances Limoncelli (three-time Non-Equity Jeff Award-winning adaptor), with music and lyrics by George Howe. 

The Emperor is beloved as a chic trendsetter, but his ridiculous fashion tax is bankrupting the country. Determined to be a hero for the ages, one young girl travels to the royal palace to confront the superficial ruler and teach him a lesson about what really matters. Soon, however, a devious con man hatches a sinister plot to send the Emperor out among the people in nothing but his birthday suit, and only our heroine can save "His Royal Groovyness" from a world of embarrassment — but should she? Produced by special arrangement with Playscripts, Inc. ( The production runs approximately one hour with no intermission and The Emperor’s New Clothes will be on sale in the lobby.

The Emperor’s New Threads: A Fashion Statement runs Saturday, March 23 – Sunday, April 28 at Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood Ave.  Regular performance times are Saturdays and Sundays at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.  There are no performances on Easter Sunday, March 31. Tickets are $15 and may be purchased at the Lifeline Theatre Box Office, 773.761.4477, or by visiting

PLUS: Join Lifeline Theatre every Saturday and Sunday at 12 p.m. during the run of The Emperor’s New Threads: A Fashion Statement (following the 11 a.m. show, or before the 1 p.m. show) for our Stories Come Alive! Hour. Children of all ages will get up close and personal with the book that inspired the play in an interactive storytelling session, followed by theatre games exploring the characters, plot, and themes of the play. The cost is only $10 per child. Reservations are encouraged, though not required. Contact the Lifeline Theatre Box Office at 773-761-4477 for more information. There is no workshop on Easter Sunday, March 31.

The complete cast and production team for The Emperor’s New Threads: A Fashion Statement includes:

CAST:            Guest artists Anthony Kayer (Huckster/Dad/Preen), Mike Ooi (Emperor), Amanda Roeder (Mom, June, Marissa, Primp), and Kacy Ann Smith (Kid). With understudiesAmanda LinkNicholas Reinhart, and Amy Stricker.
CREW:           Lifeline ensemble members Victoria DeIorio (Sound Designer), Alan Donahue (Lighting Designer), Frances Limoncelli (Adaptor/Director), and Elizabeth Wislar(Costume Designer); with guest artists Jennifer Aparicio (Stage Manager), Benjamin W. Dawson (Production Manager), Rebecca Hamlin (Scenic and Properties Designer), George Howe (Composer/Lyricist/Musical Director), Amanda Link (Choreographer), and Joe Schermoly (Technical 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.  Free parking is available at the designated lot west of the theatre (NE corner of Morse and Ravenswood) with free shuttle service before and after the show.  Street parking is also available and Lifeline Theatre is handicapped and CTA accessible (Red Line Morse stop/busses).

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Now in its 30th season, Lifeline Theatre specializes in original literary adaptations. Its ensemble of artists uses imaginative, unconventional staging to portray sprawling stories in an intimate space. Lifeline is committed to promoting the arts in its Rogers Park neighborhood and is an anchor of the Glenwood Avenue Arts District.  We aspire to create art that is relevant to our culturally diverse, increasingly youthful neighborhood.  Lifeline Theatre – Big Stories, Up Close.

Founded in 1982, Lifeline is known for staging innovative adaptations of great works of fiction as well as commissioning original work. Over the course of thirty years and more than one hundred and fifty productions, Lifeline Theatre has made an indelible mark on the Chicago theatre scene and an invaluable contribution to the theatre world at large. Lifeline’s dedicated artistic ensemble has developed a total of one hundred world premiere literary adaptations and thirteen original plays, two dozen of which have had a life beyond their Lifeline premieres, with nearly one hundred and fifty subsequent productions spread across more than thirty U.S. states, four Canadian provinces, England, and Ireland. Additionally, two scripts developed at Lifeline Theatre have gone on to U.S. national tours, and nine have been published.

Lifeline Theatre has garnered a total of forty-eight Jeff Awards (Equity and Non-Equity), including fourteen for New Adaptation or New Work, and twenty-one After Dark Awards. The critics have said, “Few American theaters can do this kind of thing – with such imagination, dignity, humor and judicious restraint – quite like the master storytellers at Lifeline.” (Chicago Tribune, 5/12/10); and “Lifeline raises the bar on family theatre.” (Chicago Parent, 5/29/11).

Lifeline Theatre’s programs are partially supported by Allstate Foundation; Alphawood Foundation;  Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation; CityArts grant from the City of 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, a state agency; Ingridion; MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince; Netrix LLC; The Pauls Foundation; The Polk Bros. Foundation; S&C Foundation; Sudler Property Management; The Woman’s Club of Evanston; and the annual support of businesses and individuals.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Today is World Theatre Day! Celebrate With Ticket Discounts.

n 1961 the International Theatre Institute established March 27 as World Theatre Day. In celebration, we are offering a 10% discount on all tickets for our intWTDernational  theater festival, Stages, Sights & Sounds.
Use promo code: WTD13 
The 10% discount is only valid on March 27 from 10:00 am to midnight. The CHF ticket office is open from 10:00 am-5:00 pm, please call if you have any questions: 312-494-9509.
Check out the Stages, Sights & Sounds line-up now!

For a comprehensive list of Chicago productions, visit the League of Chicago Theatres website,  Discounted tickets are available at

WORLD THEATRE WEEKENDThe day itself falls on a Wednesday this year, but theatre-makers and lovers can extend the celebration during performances the weekend before, too: March 21, 22, 23, and 24! 


  • Attend the World Theatre Day panel discussion at the Goodman Theatre.
  • Spread the word about World Theatre Day and the WTD statement via Facebook, Twitter (#WTD13), and other social media.
  • Change your profile image to the World Theatre Day logo on March 27.
  • Create your own World Theatre Day statement: why is theatre important to you? Why is it important to have a day to celebrate its contribution to our global society?

  • Add the World Theatre Day banner to your website, blogs, and e-blasts.
  • Share the WTD message with your patrons with a program stuffer or as part of your curtain speech.
  • Offer special discounted tickets on World Theatre Day, or during World Theatre Weekend.
  • Lead a special post-show discussion with your patrons, examining the importance of cultivating a global perspective as artists, patrons, and citizens of Chicago.

  • Be sure to take in a show during World Theatre Weekend!  You can see what's playing here at ChicagoPlays.
  • Spread the word to friends and family about WTD, and why you love theatre in Chicago.
  • Let your favorite companies know that you value their work – send them a Happy World Theatre Day message.

Want to get involved? Here are a few suggestions for how you can celebrate: 
About Chicago theatre
Chicago theatre is the leader in the U.S. with more than 250 theatres throughout Chicagoland, comprising a rich and varied community ranging from storefront, non-union theaters to the most renowned resident theatres in the country, including 5 that have been honored with Regional Tony Awards, and the largest touring Broadway organization in the nation. Chicago’s theatres serve 5 million audience members annually and have a combined budget of more than $250 million. Chicago produces and/or presents more world premieres annually than any other city in the nation. In 2009-10 alone,Chicago theatre companies produced more than 130 world premiere productions and adaptations. Each year, Chicago theatres send new work to resident theatres across the country, to Broadway, and around the world. 

About the League of Chicago Theatres
The League of Chicago Theatres is an alliance of theatres which leverages its collective strength to promote, support, and advocate for Chicago's theatre industry locally, nationally, and internationally. The League of Chicago Theatres Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the art of theatre in the Chicago area through audience development and support services for theatres and theatre professionals.

Monday, March 25, 2013

HELP LOCALLY: Get Trashy TODAY & Wednesday

ChiIL Mama will be there...will YOU?!    We've been promoting the Trash Mash-Up for weeks on our FB and Twitter feeds 

We are so pleased to welcome San Francisco based Trash Mash-Up to CircEsteem! Trash Mash-Up will host FREE workshops with CircEsteem in Chicago, IL on March 25 and 27, 2013.   Open to the public.

These workshops are in preparation for CircEsteem's 12th Annual Spring Circus. Program Director, Suzanne Santos is a member of Trash Mash-Up Advisory Board. Trash Mash-Up is a collaborative community art project. Using disposable materials, collected before they enter the waste stream, participants will help construct original performing objects and costume elements inspired by traditions from around the world. 

The founding members of Trash Mash-Up are Bridget and Jessica McCracken, a sister team who graduated from the Dell'Arte International School of Physical Theatre and San Francisco State University and will be onsite to lead the workshop.

Please save the date:

Monday, March 25th  
1:00 - 4:00 PM and 
6:00 - 7:30 PM

Wednesday, March 27th  
6:00 - 7:30 PM 

Everyone is welcome!
All workshops will be held at Alternatives at 
4730 N. Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL 60640

Learn More about

Your Trash Needed!
BRING IN YOUR RECYCLING and CREATE something NEW and FUN for our upcoming Spring Circus, CircEAU - High Seas Circus Adventure!!!!

CircEsteem is collecting plastic bags and containers to create a gaggle of jellyfish for the Spring Circus!

Please drop off any (clean) plastic containers on Saturday mornings between 8am and 1pm or contact us to arrange a drop off at a time convenient to you!

Thank You! 

About CircEsteem 

Since 2001, CircEsteem's mission has been to unite youth from diverse racial, cultural, and economic backgrounds and help them build self-esteem and mutual respect through the practice of circus arts.

To learn more about the programs of CircEsteem please visit our website! 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

International Home and Housewares Show 2013 Tuesday Recap #IHHS13 #foodie fun #originalphotos #HDvideo

The International Home and Housewares Show is a mecca for retail sales, media and inventors, but closed to the public.  So earlier this month ChiIL Mama went as your eyes and ears, and got the scoop for YOU. 

My daughter was excited to hear that her birthstone, emerald, is the color of the year for 2013.   Her namesake, Saige, is the American Girl Doll of the year, too.   So this really IS her year!   She's fond of saying "I have a green name, green birthstone, green eyes, and my favorite color is green."   This year she'll be in good company as everyone's going emerald.

Speaking of going green...   The final day of the International Home and Housewares Show we spent exploring The McCormick Place Lakeside Building which included an impressive Eco-Friendly round up, 

awesome artistic displays, 

the Hall of Innovation 

Student inventor awards

and Wired & Well.   

Speaking of wired...

McCormick Lakeside was also the hall of coffee, so as a self confessed caffiend, I was in my element.

Thanks to Bodum for the rockin' insulated mug!   You had some of the sweetest swag at the show.   These travel mugs are hot....and stay hot for a good long time.

After tasting an excellent array of espresso shots, hot & iced coffee, flavors, and individual custom cups, we hit a hot new thing that really knocked our socks off.   I love my coffee as dark and rich as possible, but I usually make a mocha at home with the kids' 2% organic chocolate milk boxes to cut the acid.   I was able to drink a cup of coffee black and love it at the icoffee booth!

The tale of icoffee by Remington: 


I was so impressed we set up a video interview/ demo with Bruce Burrows, CEO.   His enthusiasm is contagious and his icoffee maker rocked our world.   Roll over Beethhoven.   icoffee makers aren't even available yet and they're already scoring rave reviews and garnering lots of attention.   Retailers were practically begging for inventory at IHHS.   We're working on setting up a review and giveaway for our readers as soon as stock is available, and we'll have a more comprehensive feature just on icoffee in the near future.

Soda Stream, has been an eco-friendly fav of ours since we ran our first review on them back in 2009.  


They're back again with more innovations and awards.   We'll have a full blown feature & review on their latest and greatest in the very near future.  

We're also working out the details on a giveaway for our readers.   We always enjoy their sobering, visually stunning IHHS booth displays.   This year they got international with their cage of shame, with bottles and cans that had literally littered the globe!

Thermal-Aid made our ChiIL Picks List for family friendly must haves.   These adorable animals serve as hot or cold packs for injuries, fevers or even just a warm snuggle for bed time.  We came home with "blue bunny" and he's become a treasured nightly ritual.  Just 45 seconds in the microwave and these cuddly corn filled critters are ready to hug.  We'll have a full feature on Thermal-Aid's 100% natural, washable animals and their other products in the very near future, too.

Kalorik has a unique twist on your standard "food on a stick" fare with Rollie.   I tried a tasty french toast stick and was pretty impressed.   They also have eggspresso kits and more.

There was a LOT to dig at Zojirushi, besides their cute elephant logo.   They have smart rice cookers, fabulous travel tea mugs and eco-friendly containers to keep things hot or cold for hours.   They also put out an excellent spread for lunch :).

KitchenAid makes our ChiIL Picks List for embracing their wild side.   They had an impressive array of appliance colors and patterns to fit any personality!   Rrrrrwow!

We're eager to give some new vacuums a run for their money.   We haven't partnered up with any brands, but we'll publicly issue a challenge right here.   We live in "the death vac home" with 4 people with long hair, dust allergies, and two large, hairy dogs!   We've been buying pet specific, bagless, HEPA vacs in a variety of brands for years and their motors burn out and they all die young.   If you think your vac can hold up to our challenges, then you're on.   We'd be happy to review and endorse the last vac standing.

We ended our entirely productive but exhausting day in the most comfortable massage chair EVER.   I'm afraid if I owned a Panasonic Real Pro massage chair, I'd never leave the house again!   This was some seriously effective pampering.   This chair not only gives an amazing, customized back and neck massage, but does your arms, legs and even feet, too.   I think I'm in love......

As you know, I'm picky about who we partner up with.   My name and image are on my blog, so my personal credibility is at stake.   Social media is the new "back fence" and in a time where people Tivo past slick commercials that cost a bazillion dollars and are cynical about the ones they do see, people trust bloggers.   As your neighbor and friend, I'm not going to recommend something I'm not truly excited about, then have to hear about it when I run into you.   

Check back with ChiIL Mama like we vote in Chi, IL and chiIL out with great event highlights, product reviews you can trust, and rockin' photo and video filled original content.