Friday, December 11, 2015

GIVEAWAY: WIN A Family 4 Pack (up to $180 value--2 available) To The House Theatre Nutcracker!

ChiIL Mama & The House Theatre want to take YOU to 

ChiIL Mama's ChiIL Picks List: 
Best Chicago Family Holiday Shows
ChiIL Live Shows on Our Radar

The House Nutcracker is a hotly anticipated annual family tradition for us here at ChiIL Mama. Where else is your ticket a take home ornament (rats if you're lucky) and your program contains a recipe for Martha's Famous Sugar Plum Cookies?! We dig the singing toys, creepy giant, multi headed rat puppets, mourned Marine, and NO BALLET whatsoever. We adore this utterly unique holiday take on The Nutcracker, overcoming grief, and conquering fears. It's even a huge hit with the tweens and teens, a notoriously hard to please demographic between children's theatre and full on adult productions. Highly recommended. We're thrilled to partner up with The House on a fabulous ticket giveaway!

Disclosure: Thanks to The House Theatre for providing tickets for our giveaway and review comps for our family. We have not been compensated in any other way for our coverage. As always, all opinions are our own.

We're giving away TWO Family Four Packs of Tickets to the House Nutcracker (up to $180 value each--2 available)ENTER HERE. Winners' choice of dates pending availability. Enter often through midnight Monday 12/14.

An exciting part of 
Now through December 18th

The House’s modern holiday theatrical production weaves together riveting dialogue, astonishing puppetry, original song and spellbinding spectacle to tell a heartwarming, darkly moving story of magic and hope -- a fun outing fit for the whole family.

Check out our family's adventures at the press opening in the full slide show right here:

Live music is a boon to this excellent production.

And you can bring beer into the snow... erm, I mean SHOW.

We love that the audience can get hands on with the show snow over intermission & meet some of the characters! 

The House Theatre of Chicago once again brings holiday cheer with its sixth annual return of the all-original, family-friendly version of The Nutcracker playing at the The Chopin Theatre Upstairs Theatre, 1543 W. Division, through December 31. The show was created by Company Members Jake MintonPhillip KlapperichKevin O’Donnell and Tommy Rapley. Company Member Rapley reprises his role as director and choreographer of the holiday production based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s story. 

Snow fun being a tween at The House Nutcracker!

The House’s fantastical expansion of this holiday classic centers on young Clara’s journey to celebrate Christmas in the face of grief after the death of her brother. With the help of a magical nutcracker, this brave little girl will fight the Rat King and save her family. 

The House’s original play version of The Nutcracker has become a Chicago Holiday tradition for many families. It premiered at the Steppenwolf Theatre in 2007 under the Visiting Company Initiative and enjoyed highly acclaimed new productions at The House from 2010 through 2014, as well as simultaneous 2012 productions in both Chicago and Miami.

The Magic IS Real! Who knew I married a NUTCRACKER?! 

Performances are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m. with 3 p.m. matinees Saturdays and Sundays. Additional remaining holiday weekend performances are Tuesday, Dec. 22 at 7 p.m.; Wednesday, Dec. 23 at 7 p.m.; Monday, Dec. 28 at 7 p.m.; Tuesday, Dec. 29 at 7 p.m., and 
Wednesday, Dec. 30 at 7 p.m.

PRICES: $15 - $45
TIMES: Thursdays & Fridays 7:30, Saturdays 3:00 & 7:30, Sundays 3:00 & 7:00
SEATS: Performed in the round, with seats on all sides, and always general admission
RUN TIME: 2 hours, including one 15 minute intermission

AGES: 5 to 105! Read more in the Parent's Guide from co-writer Jake Minton.

HEP RATS: We got a huge kick out of this T.U.K. shoes wearin', British accented rat pack!

NOTE:  The House hosts a family-friendly New Year’s Eve extravaganza following the closing performance December 31 and will last until 1:00am. Tickets to the New Year’s Eve Extravaganza are on sale NOW. Regular run tickets are $25 - $45. Student and industry same-day discounted tickets are available for $10 for all dates, based on availability. Tickets may be purchased by calling 773.769.3832 or by visiting

About the New Year’s Eve Extravaganza:
Following the closing performance Thursday, Dec. 31, The House  hosts a family-friendly New Year’s Eve Extravaganza. The party features music from House Company members, led by Kevin O’Donnell, a dance floor, full table-top and party game room, photo booth and savory and sweet eats and drinks. Tickets will go on sale Thursday, Nov. 5.

The Nutcracker is adapted by Jake Minton and Phillip Klapperich from “The Nutcracker and the Mouse,” a story by E.T.A. Hoffmann with original music by Kevin O’Donnell. 

The cast for The Nutcracker features the return of House Company Members Chris Matthews in the role of “Monkey” and Marika Mashburn as “Martha/Really Scary Rat” and welcomes Company Member Abu Ansari as “David/Quite Scary Rat.” Returning to the cast are guest artists Jaclyn Hennell as “Clara” and Andrew Lund as “Hugo the Robot.” Rounding out the cast and new to The Nutcracker this year are guest artists James Houton as “Drosselmeyer/Really Quite Scary Rat,” Rachel Shapiro as “Phoebe the Babydoll” and Desmond Gray as “Fritz the Nutcracker.” 

The House is Chicago's premier home for intimate, original works of epic story and stagecraft. Founded and led by Artistic Director Nathan Allen and driven by an interdisciplinary ensemble of Chicago’s next generation of great storytellers, The House aims to become a laboratory and platform for the evolution of the American theatre as an inclusive and popular artform.

The House was founded in 2001 by a group of friends to explore connections between Community and Storytelling through a unique theatrical experience. Since becoming eligible in 2004, The House has been nominated for 60 Joseph Jefferson Awards (19 wins) and became the first recipient of Broadway in Chicago’s Emerging Theater Award in 2007, and was awarded a 2013 National Theatre Company Grant by the American Theatre Wing, founder of the Tony Awards. Now in its 14th year of original work, The House continues its mission to unite Chicago in the spirit of Community through amazing feats of Storytelling.

Check back with ChiIL Mama like we vote in Chi, IL... early and often. It's rewarding! 

Now through December 18th

Here are more of our favorite family shots from the press opening. 

Great gift ideas abound here, at House Theatre. Their t-shirts are some of the coolest in the Chicago theatre scene and their posters are ahhhhmazing! Then there's always season subscriptions or tickets to an upcoming show. Experience based gifts are great clutter busters and make lifelong cool memories.

Blizzard in a box! Hooray for the awesome clean up crew and for letting us play first. You rock!!

Whatever you do this holiday season, don't miss THIS!

Disclosure: Thanks to The House Theatre for providing tickets for our giveaway and review comps for our family. We have not been compensated in any other way for our coverage. As always, all opinions are our own.

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