Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Summer Camp Music Fest 2013 Photo Filled Friday Recap #SCamp #SCamp13 #SummerCampFest

The slideshow above features our full set of shots from Friday including the good, the bad and the ugly.   We're sharing them all, just this once, before we break it down by bands, best of, and themes.   That way if you and your friends crossed my path or you're a band fanatic and just can't get enough, you'll get to see ALL the shots.  

We're back from ChiILin' in Chillicothe, with a ton of wet n muddy camping gear we are unsuccessfully attempting to dry in the back yard between ongoing rain showers.   We're also back with loads of great show shots, band video interviews, and fun memories.   It wasn't all sole sucking muck!

Highlights of the Thursday night pre party were: 

a fast fiddlin', folk rockin' set by Cornmeal, with the inimitable Allie Kral.   SCamp was her last weekend with the band.   Look for her in the coming months playing out with a number of bands including Hot Buttered Rum.   You can follow her fiddle playing sparks across America this summer with her new Reverb Nation Page here.    

We've shot Allie a zillion times over the years.   Check out some of our past stills right here. 

For lots more just put Cornmeal or Van Ghost in the side searchbar at ChiIL Live Shows or ChiIL Mama.  I had a chance to talk with her after her pickin' set Sunday and I later gave a mini video interview about Allie that will air on the SCamp site in the near future.   Basically I thanked Allie for not being a Barbie and for being a great role model for girls out there--proving you can be yourself, let your talent shine through and make it in the boys' world of the music industry without being a 90lb blond in mini skirts.   She's a pure joy to see in action and sparks fly when she plays.

The second highlight was a mindblowingly excellent set by Chi-town's own, Digital Tape Machine.   I'm generally not crazy about house music or techno, but these guys can PLAY.   3 words that changed my mind... they.  play.  INSTRUMENTS.   They really got the crowd going and I would go see them live again in a second.  A day later their set was all anyone wanted to rave about in the press room and throughout the SCamp grounds.  Sure they have the requisite mac laptop, but these guys play actual instruments too, for a compelling combo.   Highly recommended.   Wanna check out their sound.   

5 tracks from their Summer Camp 2012 Set and lots more are FREE on their site.   Click here.

Digital Tape Machine is a Chicago-based band featuring Kris Myers, Joel Cummins, Joe Hettinga, Bryan Doherty, David Arredondo, Marcus Rezak, and Dan Rucinski. The digital, yet analog force behind Digital Tape Machine produces a very modern, electronic sound. Often compared to video game music, elements of electronic dance, tech house, dance house, deep house, post-industrial, drum ‘n bass and hip-hop are all woven into a live show. This edgy, danceable music has been met by enthusiastic crowds who are thirsty for more. The band is rapidly gaining momentum from late night festival sets and sold out shows.

All photos are copyrighted by Bonnie Kenaz-Mara for and   Please contact us for permission to repost unless you're just doing a quickie FB, Pinterest or Twitter share and then reposting is fine as long as you give us photo credit.   Enjoy!

Ian Neville (guitar) of Dumpstaphunk

FRIDAY HIGHLIGHTS:  Dumpstaphunk rocked The Starshine Stage in a late night set, after a brush with death and a sleeping driver on cruise control on their way to SCamp!   Check out our video interview soon for all the details.

FRIDAY HIGHLIGHTS:   The Wailers on The Sunshine Stage

FRIDAY HIGHLIGHTS:  Interviewing Victor Wooten, Artist at Large, and hearing him play with long time fav Keller Williams with his new configuration... More Than a Little.   As if that wasn't cool enough, they played my "theme song"-- Once in a Lifetime, Talking Heads!!   Happy happy joy joy.

Joe Hettinga (Digital Tape Machine), Joel Cummins (Umphrey's McGhee), Ivan Neville (Dumpstaphunk)

SCamp is intimate workshops in "the church" where you can get up close & personal with the pros and hear some stellar mashups like this power trio improvising on keyboards!!   *Annual Keyboard Workshop led by Joel Cummins (center)

SCamp is Eco-Friendly

SCamp is Family Friendly

SCamp is Freaky Fun

SCamp is 4 Days of Nearly Non Stop Music 

SCamp is Camping With Old Friends That I Only Get To See Annually at Summer Camp.

SCamp is Weird Coinkidinks, Like Driving 3 Hours Away To Discover I'm Camping Next To A Neighbor Who Lives Blocks Away and Rents From Long Time Friends of Mine!!

SCamp is good people, characters, and creative costumes!

SCamp is daily doses of Umphrey's McGhee

SCamp is carnival rides, colored lights, spinning hoops--poi balls-- and glo sticks lighting up the night with a riot of color.

Check back with ChiIL Live Shows & our fam friendly site, ChiIL Mama, like we vote in Chi, IL... early and often over the coming weeks and you can relive SCamp13 in all it's fun in the sun & wet n wild glory.   We have loads of photos, video band interviews and more!

ACT OUT CIRCUS: THIS WEEKEND ONLY! A Misguided Fairy Tale The Spring Youth Circus at The Actor's Gymnasium


Image by Joseph Taylor

A Misguided Fairy Tale
The Spring Youth Circus 
Once upon a time, in a mystical land of circus, fables, pumpkins, and tea parties, lived a group of exciting if not slightly misguided storybook creatures.
Come join us for the Spring Youth Circus Training Program performance. This Spring's nine-week, Youth Circus program culminates in a fully-produced, collaborative, original show featuring some of your favorite fairytale creatures.
A Misguided Fairy Tale is created by the same artistic team that brought you Troupe this past fall (Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi, Cole Simon and Kara Karstedt). With this limited run, tickets will go quickly - so get yours today!
 Tickets are available ONLINE only. Once online sales are closed, 1.5 hours prior to the show start time, the on-location box office will be open. For group reservations and general questions, call 847-328-2795.
If online sales are sold out, a limited number of tickets will be available at the door.  

One Weekend Only! 
June 1 & 2, 2013 Saturday 4:30 & 7:30 PM  Sunday 3:00 PM $15 for adult tickets! $12.50 for children, students and seniors!  
Follow A Misguided Fairy Tale on Twitter at #agyouthcircus 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Last Couple Standing #Durex #GetCloserGoFurther #Ad

Durex sent us a rockin' box full of adult toys, treats, recipes, cocktail ware, fun little love notes and dares-- AKA:   The “Play Together, Stay Together” Toolkit. 

Do you ever find life imitating a twisted reality show?   Ours is called The Last Couple Standing.   I've been with my soul mate for over 15 years and we've been married since 2000.   Over the years we've seen dozens of our friends' relationships and marriages implode and dissolve.   It's become such a regular thing that whenever we hear that another one bites the dust, we come home to each other and say we're one step closer to the "Last Couple Standing... again". 

That's why we are pretty excited to partner up with Durex on their Get Closer Go Farther campaign for a series of sponsored posts.   Want to stay in the Last Couple Standing game?   Relationships take work... and play.

We'll be sharing our own success story with you, as well as some relationship "sparks" and interesting stats from Durex.    

The hot handyman fantasy...   We just gave our bedroom a total DIY makeover that involved breaking out old plaster and lathe walls, drywalling, new floors, etc.   We had lots of fun on "work breaks" when my handyman husband would come out and flirt with me... and more.   

He'd pretend to be a contractor/stranger with the hots for me, which is a hoot after you've been with someone upwards of 15 years.   It gave us a chance to be flirty and creative with lots of cheesy innuendo and handyman puns.   I've always been a sucker for guys in bandanas, and there's nothing sexier than a guy who gets things done around the house! 

Speaking of workman puns...  we were given a “Play Together, Stay Together” Toolkit from Durex and we're not afraid to use it!   They sent us a rockin' box full of toys, treats, recipes, cocktail ware, fun little love notes and dares.   We'll have more info in the coming weeks, about fun ways to keep the spark in your relationship with the Durex Get Closer, Go Further campaign.

Check out more Durex “Sparks” for inspiration by clicking the link.
I'm stoked to support Durex’s campaign to help couples Get Closer, Go Further both physically and emotionally, and I want to encourage all of my readers to do the same.  Don't let us be The Last Couple Standing.   Stay in the game.

Comment below on how you keep your relationship flirty and fun.    

Here are a few ideas from Durex to give your flirting a spark:

You can even get closer & go further south of the border--no that wasn't sexual innuendo, people!   Enter to win a free vacation to Mexico from Durex!

Disclaimer: I received a “Play Together, Stay Together” Toolkit from Durex for the purpose of this campaign.  All opinions and the hot handyman are 100% my own!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

It's Not Brain Surgery... It's A Highly Recommended Summer Acting Camp #summercamps #Ad

Don't despair if you're not one of those uber organized parents who had summer all mapped out back in January.   There are still some major gems in the Chi-town summer camp crown that have space available.   We are thrilled to partner up with Brain Arts Camp for this sponsored post.  Got a budding 6-18 year old thespian (or actor for you less erudite types)?   Check out Brain Arts Camp at Gorilla Tango.

We've done super fun workshops with them via 826CHI and highly recommend their creative, child led approach to mounting an entire show from scratch each camp week.  Only one session is full as of this posting, but you might want to hutch-a-moley once we leak the word.   We'll be sending our own son to Brain Arts Camp and highly recommend it!   Thanks to Brain Surgeon Theater for cutting us a discount on tuition for publicity.   Barter system rocks.

A good friend of ours went to Brain Arts Camp two years ago and LOVED it.   We got to see her impressively awesome final show.    Last summer she tried more of a mainstream theatre camp with a mega award winning company and she found that Brain Arts was better!   This year she's back with the little guys.

Here's the scoop:

Brain Surgeon Theater's unique Experiential Theater Arts camp invites kids and teens ages 6-18 to bring their energy, imagination, and ideas to help us create an unusual and spectacular play for a very special performance on the last day of camp

New this year -- movie making camp & an acting intensive! Kids will spend mornings working alongside professional Chicago theater artists as they write, rehearse, and perform an original play from scratch; afternoons will focus on fun skill-building workshops including scenic and costume design, voice, movement, and dance.  No experience is necessary to participate.  Space is limited to 15 campers - contact us today to reserve your spot for the next session!
Summer 2013

New location! Gorilla Tango Theater at 
1919 N Milwaukee. 

”Sail Away, Buttercup!” a Rock Musical
July 8 - 12, 2013
9 am - 3 pm at Gorilla Tango (1919 N Milwaukee)
Instructors: Gwen Tulin, Nic Ruley
Cost: $300 per camper or $500 for sibling pairs
Final Performances Friday, July 12 at 4 pm and 6 pm at Gorilla Tango (1919 N Milwaukee). Reception follows 6 pm performance.

“Focus In, Pan Out!” a Movie Making Camp
July 22 - 26, 2013
9 am - 3 pm at Gorilla Tango (1919 N Milwaukee)
Instructors: Gwen Tulin, Nic Ruley
Cost: $300 per camper or $500 for sibling pairs
Rough cut screening on Friday, July 26 at 4 pm at Gorilla Tango (1919 N Milwaukee). 

”Robots, Aliens, and My Summer Vacation” a Rock Musical  SOLD OUT!
August 12 - 16, 2013
9 am - 3 pm at Gorilla Tango (1919 N Milwaukee)
Instructors: Gwen Tulin, Nic Ruley
Cost: $300 per camper or $500 for sibling pairs
Final Performances Friday, August 16 at 4 pm and 6 pm at Gorilla Tango (1919 N Milwaukee). Reception follows 6 pm performance.

*NEW!* Acting Intensive - ages 10 & up
Scene study, monologue work, and audition prep for the serious young performer. 
August 19 - 24, 2013
9 am - 3 pm at Gorilla Tango (1919 N Milwaukee)
Instructors: Gwen Tulin, Nic Ruley
Cost: $300 per camper or $500 for sibling pairs
Final Showcase Friday, August 24 at 4 pm at Gorilla Tango (1919 N Milwaukee). Reception follows 6 pm performance.

Camp & Performance Location: 
Gorilla Tango Theater
1919 N Milwaukee Avenue
Chicago, IL 60642

For more information:
Email or call 773-798-9915

Limit 15 campers per session. 

Disclosure:  Thanks again to Brain Surgeon Theater for cutting us a discount on tuition for publicity.  

Win 4 Free Passes to Putting Edge Glow in the Dark Mini Golf ($42 value) #giveaway #ad

We're super stoked to partner up with US Family Coupons and Putting Edge.   We haven't gotten out to Putting Edge in Norridge ourselves yet, but they sent us 4 free passes for our family and 4 to share ($42 value).   This giveaway will be short and sweet as the passes need to be used by June 16th!

Click here for ChiIL Mama's past Putting Edge coverage.

Enter through midnight 5/28.   Winners will be announced on WINNING WEDNESDAY 5/29.   Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer:  Thanks to Putting Edge and US Family Coupons for providing the discount & 4 free passes for our readers and free passes for our family to come out and review Putting Edge, Norridge.   All opinions are our own.