Monday, September 29, 2014

NEW RELEASE: How To Train Your Dragon 2 Coming Soon On Digital HD Blu-ray & DVD


“The best animated film of the year…fun for the whole family”
– Bill Zwecker, Chicago Sun Times

Here at ChiIL Mama the whole family adored HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2. We love how the characters aged up and can't wait to own it! DreamWorks has outdone themselves with another well written, delightfully illustrated, action packed movie your family will watch time and time again. It's one of our favorites for sure!

Catch the all-new animated adventure, DreamWorks DRAGONS: DAWN OF THE DRAGON RACERS, exclusively with the Blu-ray™ Combo, DVD Double Pack and Digital HD

Soaring past the $500 million mark at the global box office, DreamWorks Animation’s HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 is not only one of the best reviewed films of the year, but also 2014’s highest grossing animated film to-date and one of the top ten grossing films of the year in any genre.

The thrilling second chapter of the epic HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON trilogy returns to the fantastical world of the heroic Viking Hiccup and his faithful dragon Toothless. The inseparable duo must protect the peace and save the future of men and dragons from the power-hungry Drago when Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment releases DreamWorks Animation’s critically acclaimed HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 on Digital HD October 21 and on Blu-ray™ and DVD November 11.

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2, the next chapter to the Academy Award® nominated film released in 2010, is “sensational…an instant animated classic,” proclaims Access Hollywood. A hit with audiences and critics alike, the film received an outstanding audience reaction with a coveted “A” CinemaScore® and certified 92% fresh on Variety’s Peter Debruge declares the film is “Braver than ‘Brave,’ more fun than ‘Frozen’…Dragon delivers.” It’s a must-own title for the whole family!

Fans will get even more excitement, adventure and, of course, more dragons when DreamWorks Animation releases DRAGONS: DAWN OF THE DRAGON RACERS, an all-new animated adventure featuring the original voice cast. A hunt for lost sheep soon turns into a high-flying sprint in the all-new epic adventure as Hiccup and friends battle to become the first Dragon Racing Champion of Berk! DRAGONS: DAWN OF THE DRAGON RACERS will be available exclusively on the Blu-ray™ combo pack, DVD double pack and Digital HD.

The all-star film talent features Jay Baruchel (This Is The End), two-time Academy Award® winner Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), Gerard Butler (Olympus Has Fallen), Craig Ferguson (“The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson”), America Ferrera (“Ugly Betty”), Academy Award® nominee Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Neighbors), T.J. Miller (“Silicon Valley”) and Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids).  The film also adds the voice talent of Academy Award® nominee Djimon Hounsou (Blood Diamond) and Kit Harington (“Game of Thrones”).

The Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital HD feature hours of bonus materials that explore the world of dragons and more. Furthermore, the Blu-ray™ and Digital HD contain four exclusive featurettes, deleted scenes and a 60-minute behind-the-scenes documentary about the making of the film, shot and created by the film’s writer and director Dean DeBlois.

DreamWorks Animation How To Train Your Dragon 2 Blu-ray™ & Digital HD include:

Feature film in high definition 

Special Features:
  • Fishleg’s Dragon Stats – How much do you know about your favorite dragons? Explore the Dragon 2 Guide and learn more about your favorite fire-breathing friends!
  • Drago’s War Machines – Gobber the Belch narrates this inside look at the fierce creatures and “high-tech” weapons used by Drago to expand his growing dragon army.
  • Berk’s Dragon World – Explore the massive stable created to house the dragons of Berk, along with other changes made on the island to promote harmonious living.
  • Hiccup’s Inventions in Flight – Learn the secrets of how Hiccup and Toothless work together to form the ultimate high-flying team in this fascinating interactive tour.
  • Deleted Scenes -- The awesome adventure continues with telling deleted and extended scenes, including action-packed footage you couldn’t see in theaters!
  • Commentary by Simon Otto, Bonnie Arnold, Dean DeBlois, and Pierre-Olivier Vincent
  • Where No One Goes: The Making of How To Train Your Dragon 2 – Writer-Director Dean DeBlois and his team take you behind the scenes of creating the film’s eye-popping visual effects and epic story
  • Dragon Races – Catch the thrilling aerial action and exciting play-by-play commentary as you cheer on your favorite riders in a spectacular dragon race!
  • Image Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • World of DreamWorks Animation – Move to the music videos from your favorite  DreamWorks Animation feature films

DreamWorks Animation How To Train Your Dragon 2 DVD includes:

Feature film in standard definition 

Special Features:
  • Fishleg’s Dragon Stats – How much do you know about your favorite dragons? Explore the Dragon 2 Guide and learn more about your favorite fire-breathing friends!
  • Image Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • World of DreamWorks Animation – Music videos from your favorite  DreamWorks Animation feature films

DreamWorks Animation creates high-quality entertainment, including CG animated feature films, television specials and series and live entertainment properties, meant for audiences around the world. The Company has world-class creative talent, a strong and experienced management team and advanced filmmaking technology and techniques. DreamWorks Animation has been named one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” by FORTUNE® Magazine for five consecutive years. In 2013, DreamWorks Animation ranked #12 on the list. All of DreamWorks Animation’s feature films are produced in 3D. The Company has theatrically released a total of 29 animated feature films, including the franchise properties of Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon, Puss In Boots, and The Croods.

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is the industry leading worldwide marketing, sales and distribution company for all Fox produced, acquired and third party partner film and television programing. Each year TCFHE expands its award-winning global product portfolio with the introduction of new entertainment content through established and emerging formats including DVD, Blu-ray™ and DigitalHD™. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox.

HELP LOCALLY: Benefit for The Lynn Sage Foundation #CFSTHINKPINK

PARENTS NIGHT OUT: Inaugural Cider Cruise from Shoreline Sightseeing Oct 10th (21+)


Shoreline Sightseeing will tap into autumn on Friday, Oct. 10, with its inaugural Cider Cruise. Guests are invited to enjoy generous tastings of a selection of hard ciders from local craftsmen, accompanied by custom-paired appetizers designed to bring out the distinctive flavor of each cider variety.

“Anyone who’s enjoyed one of Shoreline’s sold-out Langunitas Brew Cruises knows how big the craft beer craze has become,” said Amy Harnett, Shoreline Sightseeing’s director of marketing. “But while craft beer sales grew by a walloping 30 percent between 2011 and 2013, over that same time span, hard cider production more than tripled.”

With industry analysts calling hard cider “the next big thing,” it has become the fastest growing alcoholic beverage category in the U.S., enjoying a resurgence in popularity not seen here since colonial times. Like craft beers, craft ciders come in a range of flavors – drier, sweeter, spiced, even variations such as pomegranate and pumpkin.

Featured on the Shoreline Cider Cruise will be varietals from Vander Mill, Northman/Uncle John’s Cider, and Artisanal Imports. Skilled craftsmen will provide a brief tutorial about the flavors and distinct characteristics of each of their favorite ciders of the season, designed to enhance guests’ cider repertoire.

The 90-minute Cider Cruise will take place aboard the climate-controlled Celebration, departing Polk Bros. Park at Navy Pier at 7:30 p.m. The ticket price of $39 includes cider tastings and appetizer pairings. A cash bar will be available.

All passengers must be 21; ID required. Visit for information and tickets.

Shoreline Sightseeing is celebrating its 75th anniversary. Founded in 1939, Shoreline today operates Chicago's largest and most diverse fleet of cruise boats and water taxis with eight major touring vessels and ten water taxis. Brothers Chip and Matt Collopy represent the third generation of family ownership.



City Winery Chicago, 1200 W. Randolph Street, follows up the success of its past
Cinema & Carafe House showings, Mistaken for Strangers and End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones with another acclaimed music documentary.

Beatles-related Good Ol’ Freda showcases the life of The Beatles longtime secretary Freda Kelly and her amazing stories about John, Paul, George and Ringo and the madness that surrounded them during the 1960s.

Good Ol’ Freda shows Wednesday, Oct. 1, 8 p.m. in City Winery’s performance venue projected onto dual 90-inch screens and heard on City Winery’s state-of-the-art Meyer Sound® system.

Good Ol’ Freda: Wednesday, Oct. 1 ($5 general admission)

Freda Kelly was just a shy Liverpudlian teenager when she was asked to work for a local band hoping to make it big. Though she had no concept of how far they would go, Freda had faith in The Beatles from the beginning, and The Beatles had faith in her. History notes that The Beatles were together for 10 years, but Freda worked for them for 11. Many people came in and out of the band's circle as they grew to international stardom, but Freda remained a staple because of her unfaltering loyalty and dedication. As The Beatles' devoted secretary and friend, Freda was there as history unfolded; she was witness to the evolution – advances and setbacks, breakthroughs and challenges – of the greatest band in history. Themed drink specials may include green Apple-tinis in tribute to The Beatles’ record label.
(Ryan White, 2013, DVD, 86 min)

All City Winery Chicago events are open to all ages and start at 8pm, unless noted.

To purchase concert tickets or to become a City Winery VinoFile™ member, call (312) 733-WINE (9463) or visit

End Of The Century: The Story Of The Ramones and Good Ol’ Freda join a diverse mix of the most respected names in pop, rock, jazz, blues, world music, cinema and live lit performing at City Winery Chicago, including previously announced headliners and supporting acts  (Sept. 28-29); Steve Nieve Plays Elvis Costello with Tall Ulyss (Sept. 30); The Fauntleroys (Oct. 2); Justin Nozuka and David Ryan Harris (Oct. 3); Chicago Philharmonic Sunday Series (Oct. 5, noon); Lost Bayou Ramblers (Oct. 5, 8pm); Casey Abrams Trio and Jamie Lono & Noble Heart (Oct. 6); David Bromberg Quintet and Al Rose with Steve Doyle (Oct. 9); Mason Jennings with Lucette (Oct. 10); Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (Oct. 12); Joan Osborne with Ruston Kelly (Oct. 13); Kat Edmonson (Oct. 14); Glenn Tilbrook (Oct. 15); The Talisman Project with Sammy Figueroa and Glaucia Nasser (Oct. 16); Carbon Leaf with Marie Miller (Oct. 17); Pat McGee with Keaton Simons (Oct. 18, 7:30pm); Live New’d Girls burlesque show (Oct. 18, 11pm); Sinéad O’Connor (Oct. 19, 20, 22); Willie Watson and Mikaela Davis (Oct. 21); Amel Larrieux (Oct. 23); Paula Cole with Anne Heaton (Oct. 26); Las Guitarras de España (Oct. 28); Hot Buttered Rum and Zach Deputy (Oct. 29); Duncan Sheik (Oct. 30); Mary Black – “The Last Call” (Oct. 31); Eric Roberson (Nov. 1-2); Donna the Buffalo (Nov. 5); Chicago Philharmonic Sunday Series (Nov. 9, noon); Dave Davies (Nov. 12-13); Ryan Bingham (Nov. 14); David Grisman & Del McCoury (Nov. 15-16); Mike Doughty (Nov. 20); Joshua Redman Trio (Nov. 21, 7:30 & 10pm); Larry Graham and Graham Central Station (Nov. 22, 7:30 & 10pm); Hot Rize featuring Red Knuckles & The Trailblazers (Nov. 23); Ronnie Baker Brooks (Nov. 28); DakhaBrakha (Nov. 30); Lisa Loeb (Dec. 3); Suzy Bogguss - A Swingin' Little Christmas (Dec. 4); Chicago Philharmonic Sunday Series (Dec. 7, noon); Griffin House (Dec. 7, 8pm); The Blind Boys of Alabama Christmas Show (Dec. 11); The Bad Plus (Dec. 14); and Los Lobos (Dec. 17-19).

City Winery Chicago, a fully operational winery, restaurant with outdoor patio, concert hall and private event space, is located in the heart of the West Loop at 1200 W. Randolph, in the historic urban Fulton Market district. The concert hall accommodates up to 300 guests, all seated at tables with complete beverage and dining service, ensuring a comfortable “listening room” experience enhanced by a state-of-the-art Meyer Sound system.  Riedel is the official and exclusive provider of glass ware, showing City Winery’s commitment to enjoying quality wine in a quality vessel. American Airlines is the Official Airline and Crowne Plaza is the Official Hotel of City Winery. For more information, please visit

Great Chicago Fire Festival is HERE This Saturday #ChiILPicksList #ChiFireFest


ChiIL Mama's ChiIL Picks List 

Here at ChiIL Mama we're way beyond stoked to see the inaugural Great Chicago Fire Festival. ChiIL Mama will be there... will YOU?! It's FREE, family friendly fun and we can't wait. Check back with ChiIL Mama & ChiIL Live Shows like we vote in Chi, IL... early and often. 

*We're working on setting up an exclusive video interview with one of the engineers who is also a Chicago mama with 2 young kids, catching some behind the scenes build shots and recapping the event with a photo filled feature as well.*  

Television and film actors Jesse Spencer and Taylor Kinney, both stars of the hit NBC drama “Chicago Fire, will lend their heat to the inaugural Great Chicago Fire Festival, the free spectacle of fire on the Chicago River set to take place Saturday, October 4. The Great Chicago Fire Festival, celebrating Chicago’s grit, greatness and renewal following the historic Great Chicago Fire of 1871, is presented by Redmoon with the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and Chicago Park District. Activity takes place between the State Street and Columbus Drive bridges in the heart of downtown beginning at 8 pm. 


WORLDS COLLIDE ALERT: Here at ChiIL Mama, we've covered Redmoon's fabulous spectacles since their inception decades ago. We also have ties to the NBC drama “Chicago Fire,as well. Their Costume Supervisor is a long time friend of ours. My husband got to know her well over 20 years ago, working on movies together, then our kids ended up at the same Montessori school for the past 10 years. Her MIL is an amazing artist who painted David Bowie numerous times, as one of his inner circle, so there's another few degrees of separation on our MCA Bowie exhibit coverage. Ah what a small town Chicago can be for the 3rd largest city in the nation!

Kinney and Spencer will ignite the festivities – literally – as they light one of 15 massive “Fire Cauldrons” that will be lowered from bridges to watercraft waiting on the Chicago River below. From there, an elaborate “Grand Spectacle” performance will unfold as the watercraft then ferry the flames out to three moored platforms, where giant “Fire Sculptures” will be set ablaze, transforming to reveal three different symbolic cores. Some 400 different performers and singers will participate in the event, which culminates with a choreographed fireworks display designed by Las Vegas-based company Pyrotechnico. The Great Chicago Fire Festival is completely free and no tickets are required.

Spencer stars as Matthew Casey, a strong intuitive Lieutenant who leads the Truck Company and is unwavering in his commitment to the job, in NBC’s drama “Chicago Fire.” An Australian native, Spencer made his American television debut in the critically acclaimed series “House,” playing Dr. Robert Chase opposite Hugh Laurie for all of the show's eight seasons until the series ended in May 2012. Spencer's film credits include a starring role in "Uptown Girls" with Brittany Murphy, the biopic "Swimming Upstream" with Geoffrey Rush and Judy Davis, as well as Spike Lee's independent feature "The Girl Is in Trouble." He has worked extensively in the U.K. and Australia, both in television and theater. He starred in the acclaimed BBC drama "Death in Holy Orders" and has had starring roles in the BBC adaptation of "Lorna Doone" and Hallmark's "Stranded." He began his career starring in the long-running Australian soap, "Neighbours."

Kinney stars as Kelly Severide, a brash Lieutenant who runs the Rescue Squad with an unflappable veneer, in NBC’s drama “Chicago Fire.” On television, Kinney has a variety of credits including a series regular role in NBC’s ‘Trauma” and the recurring role of Mason Lockwood on “The Vampire Diaries.” He starred in the Michael Patrick King pilot for NBC, “A Mann’s World,” opposite Don Johnson, and he has appeared on such shows as “Breakout Kings,” Castle,” “Shameless,” “Rizzoli & Isles,” “Bones” and “CSI: NY.” Kinney recently starred alongside Cameron Diaz and Lesley Mann in the 2014 Fox comedy hit, “The Other Woman,” directed by Nick Cassavettes and will appear in the following films next year: "Rock the Kasbah" directed by Barry Levinson and the independent "Food" directed by Daryl Wein. Additional big screen credits include Kathryn Bigelow’s “Zero Dark Thirty.”

“Chicago Fire” is produced by Wolf Films in association with Universal Television. 

The Great Chicago Fire Festival is in partnership with The City of Chicago, Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and The Chicago Park District, presented by BMO Harris Bank, The Pritzker Foundation and Artplace, with partnering sponsorship support from The Boeing Company, Allstate Insurance Corporation and Digitas, LBI. Support also comes from The Chicago Community Trust, The Cookie Jar Foundation, David and Suzu Neithercut, The Polk Bros. Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, Weber Grill and a grant from ArtPlace America, a collaboration of leading national and regional foundations, banks and federal agencies accelerating creative placemaking across the US.

For more information on the Great Chicago Fire Festival visit and for more information on Redmoon and its programs, visit

About Redmoon
Redmoon's mission is to transform the experience of Chicago through free large-scale theatrical events that promote community, creativity and an empowered democracy. Over the past 24 years, Redmoon has become a highly valued Chicago institution with its high-profile collaborations, vibrant outdoor performances and authentic community partnerships. In 2009, Jim Lasko joined forces with long-time collaborator Frank Maugeri to co-lead Redmoon as it garnered international attention for its unique productions, site-specific performances and participatory events. Since 1991, Redmoon has performed for more than 250,000 people in 30 different neighborhoods in 116 public spaces.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

TODAY: Beat Kitchen's Concerts for Kids Kick Off Sunday 9/28 Fall Dates & WIN FREE Tickets HERE

Yeah, yeah. We know it's gorgeous outside this weekend and winter's hot on our heels. But take one hour to catch a LIVE family friendly concert at Beat Kitchen today (Sunday) at noon. You'll be glad you did. They make the best Bloody Marys in town and you can feed the family, rock out together, and enjoy some great tunes. Today you'll even get a dose of multicultural magic with Jarochicanos. 

*FLASH GIVEAWAY: 4 free tickets to the first to comment below with your full name for the guest list.*

12:00 pm

ChiIL Mama is happy to be back as Concerts for Kids Press Sponsor again for the 4th year! Win weekly free concert tickets from us and get the scoop on the best family friendly activities, travel features, news, reviews, interviews & giveaways.


About us: Bringing the best of Chicagoland's
Kindie Music to the stage from September til May at the Beat Kitchen 2100 West Belmont Ave!

Concerts for Kids Presents

An aspect of Son Chiquitos, a Saturday program for young children and families that introduces little ones to music, Jarochicanos is a bilingual or Spanish language format kid's show based on traditional children's songs from LatinoAmerica, presented to highlight interactive participation through movement, singing and dancing.
Doors open at 11:00. Show begins at noon. Full bar and brunch menu! 

(Check back with ChiIL Mama like we vote in Chi, IL... early and often. We give away lots of great local tickets, and feature original video interviews, reviews, and photo filled features.)


Oct 5 • 12 PM

Oct 12 • 12 PM

Oct 19 • 12 PM

Oct 26 • 12 PM

Friday, September 26, 2014



Tickets are currently on sale for the Goodman Theatre’s annual holiday tradition, A Christmas Carol, now in its 37th year and directed by Artistic Associate Henry Wishcamper for the second time. Larry Yando, “a model of humbug perfection” (Chicago Sun-Times) who “gets better every passing year” (Chicago Tribune) again stars as the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge. The cast of 20 (full list below) includes 11 returning cast members and welcomes eight new actors to the production. 
Auditions for the five young performer roles—including Tiny Tim—take place on Saturday, September 27; actors ages 5 to 17 of every ethnic background are invited to audition. In-person registration takes place from 9:30 – 11:30am on a first-come, first-served basis (no prior audition appointments are necessary); auditions begin at 10am and end at 2pm. Young performers should: prepare a memorized poem or monologue one minute or less in length; sing one verse of a song a cappella, preferably a traditional holiday song or Christmas carol; and bring a photo and resume including age, height, weight, previous theatrical and related experience/training (although experience is not required), address and contact information.
A Christmas Carol runs November 15– December 28 in the Goodman’s Albert Theatre (opening night is November 23). Tickets ($25 - $83) can be purchased at, by phone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 North Dearborn). Discounted Group Tickets for 15 persons or more are available at 312.443.3820 or by emailing Purchase Goodman Gift Certificates in any amount at The flexibility of Goodman Gift Certificates allows recipients to choose the production, date and time of their performance. Artists, dates and ticket prices are subject to change. 
Company of A Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens, adapted by Tom Creamer, directed by Henry Wishcamper
Unless otherwise noted, performers live in Chicago.
*Denotes an actor new to the production
*Theo Allyn……………………………………………Abby
Justin Amolsch………………………………………..Musician
Patrick Andrews………………………………………Ghost of Christmas Past
*Kareem Bandealy……………………………………Young Scrooge
Andrew Coil……………………………………………Musician
*Paige Collins………………………………………….Martha/Fan/Philomena
*Lisa Gaye Dixon……………………………………...Ghost of Christmas Present
Joe Foust……………………………………………...Jacob Marley/Young Marley/Old Joe
José Antonio Garciá…………………………………..Dick Wilkins
*Allen Gilmore………………………………………….Alternate Scrooge
Gregory Hirte…………………………………………..Musician/Mr. Spinet
Anish Jethmalani (Forest Park) ………………….....Fred
Larry Neumann Jr……………………………………..Schoolmaster/Percy/Undertaker
Ron Rains……………………………………………...Bob Cratchit
Malcolm Ruhl (Evanston)…………………………….Musician/Mr. Keys
Kim Schultz…………………………………………….Mrs. Fezziwig/Charwoman
*Brett Tuomi…………………………………………...Mr. Fezziwig
*Kristina Valada-Viars………………………………..Belle
Penelope Walker……………………………………..Mrs. Cratchit
Larry Yando…………………………………………...Ebenezer Scrooge                      
Keith Parham………………………………………….Lighting Designer
Andrew Hansen……………………………………….Composer
Heidi Sue McMath…………………………………....Costume Designer
Tommy Rapley ………………………………………..Choreographer
Todd Rosenthal………………………………………..Set Designer
Malcolm Ruhl……………………………………………Music Director
Richard Woodbury…………………………………….Sound Designer
Alden Vasquez…………………………………………Production Stage Manager
Flying effects are provided by ZFX Inc.
“There’s no better way to get into the holiday spirit” (Chicago Sun-Times) than experiencing the magic of Goodman Theatre’s A Christmas Carol. For 37 years, Charles Dickens’ holiday classic has delighted Chicago audiences; the production has hosted seven directors, 32 Tiny Tims and eight Scrooges, who’ve snidely delivered nearly 23,000 “Bah Humbugs!” A Christmas Carol is the iconic tale of greedy British businessman Ebenezer Scrooge, whose sizable bank account is only matched by his hatred of the holidays. One Christmas Eve, Scrooge is visited by four ghosts who take him on an spectacular adventure through his past, present and future, helping him rediscover the joys of life, love and friendship.
The Goodman’s milestone 90th anniversary 2014/2015 Season features nine productions on its two stages—six in the 856-seat Albert Theatre and three in the 400-seat flexible Owen Theatre; the annual New Stages Festival, including two workshop productions; and partner productions with The Second City and Albany Park Theater Project. 
The 2014/2015 Season starts with The World of Extreme Happiness by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig, directed by Eric Ting, a world premiere co-production with Manhattan Theatre Club (September 13 – October 12 in the Owen); Smokefall by Noah Haidle, directed by Anne Kauffman, an encore of the world-premiere Goodman commission (September 20 – October 26 in the Albert); the annual New Stages festival, including an “Industry Weekend” (October 29 - November 16 in the Owen); The Second City’s Twist Your Dickens by Peter Gwinn and Bobby Mort (December 5 – 28 in the Owen); Rapture, Blister, Burn by Gina Gionfriddo, directed by Kimberly Senior, a Chicago premiere (January 17 – February 22, 2015 in the Albert); Two Trains Running by August Wilson, directed by Chuck Smith, in conjunction with a citywide celebration of August Wilson (March 7 – April 12, 2015 in the Albert); The Upstairs Concierge by Kristoffer Diaz, a world premiere co-commission with Teatro Vista (March 28 – April 26, 2015 in the Owen); The Little Foxes by Lillian Hellman, directed by Henry Wishcamper (May 2 – June 7, 2015 in the Albert); stop. reset. written and directed by Regina Taylor, a Chicago premiere (May 23 – June 21, 2015 in the Owen); Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike by Christopher Durang, directed by Steve Scott, a Chicago premiere (June 26 – August 2, 2015 in the Albert), and a production still to be announced with the Albany Park Theater Project.
About Goodman Theatre
Named “Best Regional Theatre” by Time magazine and “top dog of the Chicago theater scene” by Frommer’s, Goodman Theatre is world renowned for the quality and scope of its artistic programming and its commitment to improving life in the community. Artistic Director Robert Falls’ and Executive Director Roche Schulfer’s leadership has earned unparalleled artistic distinction and experienced unprecedented success, staging more than 80 world premieres, earning numerous awards for its productions—including the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre (1992) and the Pulitzer Prize for Ruined (2009)—and producing more than 25 new-work commissions. Founded in 1925 and housed in a state-of-the-art two-theater complex in the downtown Chicago Theatre District, the Goodman is Chicago’s oldest and largest not-for-profit producing theater. American Airlines is the Exclusive Airline of Goodman Theatre. Ruth Ann M. Gillis is Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Sherry John is President of the Women’s Board and Lauren Blair is President of the Scenemakers Board, the Goodman’s young professionals auxiliary group.
Visit the Goodman virtually: watch artist interviews, view production photos, catch the latest news and more at and our blog. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, peek behind the scenes on YouTube.

Six Flags Great America is excited to announce a celebration of 40 Seasons of Thrills in 2015.

Initially built with a $50 million dollar investment, thousands of workers and enumerable details, Great America embodied the country’s bicentennial with classic Americana-themed territories when it opened in 1976. Today, it is one of the largest theme parks in the country. Guests are invited to join in the fun for a retrospective look back at favorite shows, classic rides, plus weekly events featuring the park’s world-class roller coasters.

Disclosure: ChiIL Mama is thrilled to have had an ongoing partnership with Six Flags Great America for many years now. We have been given complimentary admissions and advanced press access for review purposes. As always, all opinions are our own. 

Did you know?!
Gold Season Passes include admission to both Six Flags Great America and Hurricane Harbor, and any other Six Flags theme park, as well as free parking and special admission offers for friends. 2015 Season Passes provide unlimited visits any operating day for the rest of 2014 (including park admission to Fright Fest®) and all of 2015. 

Six Flags Great America to Celebrate 
40 Seasons in 2015 
A Look-Back on the Evolution of a True Americana Theme Park

“In 2015 we plan to celebrate our park’s history and how it has grown to one of the premiere amusement parks in the country,” said park president, Hank Salemi. “From the American Eagle to Goliath, and Whizzer to X Flight, the skyline of Great America has grown impressively over the last four decades,”
As a part of the 40th season celebration, the park will
  •   Completely refresh the Carousel Plaza and Hometown Square sections of the park
    bringing back a nostalgic and classic feel to these signature territories 
  •   Restore three original children’s rides to introduce to the next generation of thrill seekers: 
o Tots Livery Surrey Carriages 
o Red Baron Airplanes
o Lady Bugs
 Celebrate each roller coaster with in-park festivities and weekly events
The park’s evolution over the past 40 seasons has lead the way with innovative, one-of-a-
kind roller coasters, state-of-the-art shows and the development of a 20-acre water park.
From just three coasters at inauguration to fourteen today, Six Flags Great America, including Hurricane Harbor, is now home to more than 80 rides, slides and attractions spread across 100 acres of land. It is home to the world’s tallest, steepest and fastest wooden roller coaster — Goliath — and boasts the most wooden roller coaster track in the world!
The biggest Fright Fest® ever is coming this fall with extended hours every Saturday until midnight. It will be six weekends featuring six haunted houses and six frightastic shows!
About Six Flags Great America and Hurricane Harbor
Two great parks, one destination! Located between Chicago and Milwaukee, Six Flags Great America offers endless adventures for the entire family with 14 heart-pounding roller coasters, a 20-acre water park, spectacular shows, three children’s themed areas with over 30 rides and a nighttime parade.
About Six Flags Entertainment Corporation
Six Flags Entertainment Corporation is the world’s largest regional theme park company with $1.1 billion in revenue and 18 parks across the United States, Mexico and Canada. For 53 years, Six Flags has entertained millions of families with world-class coasters, themed rides, thrilling water parks and unique attractions including up-close animal encounters, Fright Fest® and Holiday in the Park®. For more information, visit
Disclosure: Once again, ChiIL Mama is thrilled to have had an ongoing partnership with Six Flags Great America for many years now. We have been given complimentary admissions and advanced press access for review purposes. As always, all opinions are our own. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


ABT’s “All-American Celebration” Brings a Stunning Mixed Repertoire Including Works by
Twyla Tharp, Clark Tippet and Jerome Robbins 

ChiIL Mama will be there... will you? This is sure to be a great show with multigenerational appeal. Don't miss some of THE top ballet dancers in the nation! What a fabulous way to kick off the 125th Anniversary season for Auditorium Theatre. Tickets start at just $34.

Celebrating their milestone 125th Anniversary, Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University kicks off the 2014 – 15 season with the return of American Ballet Theatre (ABT) October 3 – 5, 2014. Led by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie, the acclaimed company brings an “All-American Celebration” including “Bach Partita” and “Sinatra Suite” by Twyla Tharp, “Some Assembly Required” by Clark Tippet and “Fancy Free” by Jerome Robbins. Last seen at the Auditorium in 2012 with their highly acclaimed production of “Giselle,” the “Chicago Tribune” raved, “…any engagement by ABT is a welcome chance to see some of the finest practitioners of ballet working in the U.S.” Tickets ($34 – $129) are on sale now and available online at, by calling (800) 982-ARTS (2787) or at the Auditorium Theatre Box Office (50 E Congress Pkwy).

In anticipation of American Ballet Theatre’s return to the Auditorium Theatre Oct 3 – 5 with “All-American Celebration,” our “Fancy Free” sailors have just landed in Chicago excited to hit the town and explore all the city has to offer! Join them as they sing and dance their way around Navy Pier, The Bean, Buckingham Fountain, Garrett Popcorn Shops, the Chicago River, and of course, the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University! #ABTChicago

Starring Scott Gryder (Chicago Cabaret Sensation), Luke Bandoske (our summer intern from Ball State University), and Nic Eastlund (Chicago actor and Ball State Alumni)

“There is no better way to kick off our 125th Anniversary Season than with the highly anticipated return of American Ballet Theatre to the Auditorium’s landmark stage,” said Auditorium Theatre Executive Director Brett Batterson. “ABT truly embodies the world-class dance that we strive to present and this program of heralded American choreographers—Twyla Tharp, Clark Tippet and Jerome Robbins—will have audiences in awe of the incredible company that we are privileged to bring to Chicago.”


American Ballet Theatre Programming

“It is always a joy for us to perform at the Auditorium Theatre and we are truly honored to be kicking off this incredible venue’s 125th Anniversary Season just as we are celebrating our 75th Anniversary,” said American Ballet Theatre Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie. “We think that our ‘All-American Celebration,’ is the perfect way to commemorate the extraordinary history that this historic landmark has embodied over the past 125 years and speaks to the true American spirit of dance and entertainment.”


Choreographed by Twyla Tharp and staged by Susan Jones, “Bach Partita” received its World Premiere by American Ballet Theatre at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on December 9, 1983. Set to “Bach’s Partita No. 2 in d minor for solo violin,”—performed live at the Auditorium by violinist Charles Yang—“Bach Partita” was called “a treasure of dance innovation” by “The New York Times.”


Fancy Free,” Jerome Robbins' first ballet, shows what happens to three sailors on a hot summer night in New York during World War II, the two girls they meet and the ensuing competition, and tough good humor of wartime comradeship. Set to the music of Leonard Bernstein performed live by the Chicago Philharmonic, “Fancy Free” was heralded by “The New York Times” as “a tremendous slice of dance theatre. One of the best loved ballets in the repertory, as joyous and perfect as ever.”


Twyla Tharp’s “Sinatra Suite,” set to five Frank Sinatra songs including “Strangers in the Night,” “All the Way,” “That’s Life,” “My Way” and “One For My Baby (And One More for the Road),” is a suite of dances from Tharp’s “Nine Sinatra Songs,” which Tharp created for her own company in 1982. The ballet set for two dancers received its World Premiere by ABT at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington D.C. on December 6, 1983, danced by Elaine Kudo and Mikhail Baryshnikov. During the Auditorium engagement, Misty Copeland and Marcelo Gomes along with Luciana Paris and James Whiteside will dance this stunning pas de deux.


Clark Tippet’s pas de deux, “Some Assembly Required,” received its World Premiere by American Ballet Theatre on April 14, 1989 at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Staged by Amanda McKerrow and John Gardner “Some Assembly Required” is set to William Bolcom’s “Second Sonata for violin and piano.” “The New York Times” raves “…this unconventional pas de deux is so well performed because [Tippet] has captured something very American and current in an essay about relationships.”

Performance Schedule, Casting and Ticket Information

Friday, October 3 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, October 4 at 7:30 p.m.

“Bach Partita”
Misty Copeland, Gillian Murphy, Stella Abrera, James Whiteside, Marcelo Gomes,
Calvin Royal III

“Some Assembly Required”
Sarah Lane, Sterling Baca

“Sinatra Suite”
Misty Copeland, Marcelo Gomes

“Fancy Free”
Daniil Simkin, Cory Stearns, James Whiteside, Luciana Paris, Isabella Boylston

Saturday, October 4 at 2 p.m. and Sunday, October 5 at 2 p.m.

Bach Partita”
   April Giangeruso, Devon Teuscher, Isabella Boylston, Eric Tamm, Thomas Forster,
   Craig Salstein

   “Some Assembly Required”
   Nicole Graniero, Grant DeLong

   “Sinatra Suite”
   Luciana Paris, James Whiteside

   “Fancy Free”
   Craig Salstein, Eric Tamm, Marcelo Gomes, Stella Abrera, Gillian Murphy

Tickets ($34 - $129) are available online at, by calling
(800) 982-ARTS (2787) or in-person at Auditorium Theatre’s Box Office (50 E Congress Pkwy). Discounted tickets for groups of 10 or more are available at (312) 341-2357 or

International Dance Series subscriptions, including ABT as well as Dance Theatre of Harlem, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Eifman Ballet and The Royal Ballet are available at a 30% discount at (312) 341.2357 or

Auditorium Theatre’s 2014 - 15 Season:

The full Auditorium Theatre 2014 – 15 season includes “On Stage With…Susan Werner” (November 8); Chicago Jazz Philharmonic’s “CJP @ Ten” (November 14); Dance Theatre of Harlem (November 21 – 23); Thodos Dance Chicago (November 29); “Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz-Gospel Messiah” (January 17 – 18); Tango Buenos Aires (January 25); Giordano Dance Chicago (January 31); Grupo Corpo (February 28 – March 1); Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (March 6 – 15); River North Dance Chicago (March 28); Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg’s “Tender is the Night” (May 8 – 10); “His Way - A Sinatra Centennial Celebration” (May 30); and The Royal Ballet’s “Don Quixote” (June 18 – 21). For a complete listing of events at the Auditorium Theatre, please click here.

125th Anniversary Season Sponsors

The Auditorium Theatre would like to thank their 125th Anniversary Season Sponsors: Lead Corporate Sponsor Nicor Gas, Lead Foundation Sponsor Robert R. McCormick Foundation and David D. Hiller, International Dance Series Sponsor NIB Foundation, and “Made in Chicago” Dance Series sponsor The Boeing Company. Media sponsors include Chicago Magazine and WXRT, and the Pasquinelli Family Foundation is the Gala Dinner Celebration Sponsor. Student Matinee Series Sponsors for the 2014-15 Season include The Private Bank and The Robert Thomas Bobins Foundation.

About American Ballet Theatre

Recognized as one of the premier dance companies in the world, American Ballet Theatre brings the highest quality dance and dancers to audiences across the globe.  Celebrating its role as America’s National Ballet Company® ABT tours nationally and internationally, performing for over 400,000 people annually. Since its founding in 1940, ABT developed a repertoire, under the direction of Lucia Chase and Oliver Smith that honored the past while encouraging the development of the art form through the creation of new works.  Classics from the 19th century like “Swan Lake,” “Giselle” and “The Sleeping Beauty” live side by side with seminal works of the early 20th century such as “Apollo,Les Sylphides,” “Jardin aux Lilas” and “Rodeo,” as well as such contemporary masterpieces as “Push Comes to Shove” and “Airs.” In acquiring such an extraordinary repertoire, ABT has commissioned works by the great choreographic geniuses of the 20th century: George Balanchine, Antony Tudor, Jerome Robbins, Agnes de Mille and Twyla Tharp, among others. Today, under the artistic direction of former ABT Principal Dancer Kevin McKenzie, the Company remains steadfast in its vision as “American” and continues to bring the art of dance theater to the great stages of the world.

About the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University

The Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, located at 50 E Congress Pkwy, is an Illinois, not-for-profit organization committed to presenting the finest in international, cultural, community and educational programming to Chicago, and to the continued restoration and preservation of the National Historic Landmark Auditorium Theatre. In August of 2014, the Auditorium Theatre was named as an inaugural Fifth Star Award Honoree by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.  The Auditorium Theatre is generously supported by the MacArthur Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council, the Sage Foundation, and the Palmer House Hilton. For more information about programming, volunteer and donor opportunities or theatre tours, call (312) 341-2310 or visit