Friday, April 28, 2017

OPENING: New Electrifying Version of Chicago at Drury Lane 4/20-6/18

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

Chicago opens this evening 
at Drury Lane Theatre

**NOTE: Chicago is suggested for ages 13+ due to sensitive subject matter.**

Tonight, ChiIL Mama will be ChiILin' at Drury Lane Theatre for the press opening of its electrifying new production of Chicago, featuring a book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and based on the play by Maurine Dallas Watkins. We can't wait! We've reviewed the Broadway touring version and look forward to catching Drury Lane's take on this new version. They pull out all the stops and present world class productions that are truly a treat.

This fiery new take on Chicago is directed by Drury Lane Theatre’s Artistic Director William Osetek with choreography by Jane Lanier, the Tony-nominated student of Bob Fosse, and music direction by Roberta Duchak. Chicago runs April 20 – June 18, 2017 at Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace. 

Leading this thrilling new production of Chicago are Broadway veterans Kelly Felthous (Flashdance, Wicked, Grease) as Roxie Hart and Alena Watters (Sister Act, The Addams Family, West Side Story) as Velma Kelly. The principal cast also includes Guy Lockard (Billy Flynn), Justin Brill (Amos Hart), Michael Accardo (Master of Ceremonies), and E. Faye Butler (Matron Mama Morton). The ensemble includes Jessica Blair, Lauren Nicole Blane, Matt Casey, Brian Duncan, Rueben Echoles, Erica Evans, Alejandro Fonseca, Michael George, Allyson Graves, Rachel Hafell, Daniel Hurst, Joseph London, Jay Reynolds Jr., Haley Schneider, and Aaron Umsted.

Drury Lane has assembled a team of some of the finest designers to create a rich and vivid new staging of Chicago. The creative team includes Kevin Depinet (Scenic Design), Sully Ratke (Costume Design), Lee Fiskness (Lighting Design), Ray Nardelli (Sound Design), Cassy Schillo (Properties Design) and Claire Moores (Wig Design). The Production Stage Manager is Larry Baker.

Recipient of six Tony Awards®, two Olivier Awards, a Grammy® and thousands of standing ovations across the globe, this razzle-dazzle musical is the #1 longest running American musical in Broadway history. Filled with fame, fortune, and all that jazz, this edge-of-your seat story features one showstopper after another. Join Roxie Hart, Velma Kelly and all of Cook County Jail’s murderess vixens for the sultry “Cell Block Tango,” learn what happens “When You’re Good to Mama,” and watch Billy Flynn “Razzle Dazzle” them all with “We Both Reached For the Gun.” Director William Osetek and choreographer Jane Lanier give a nod to the iconic Fosse flavor in this sizzling new production of Chicago.


Dates:
Regular run: April 29, 2017 – June 18, 2017

Schedule: 
Wednesdays: 1:30 p.m.
Thursdays: 1:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Fridays: 8:00 p.m.
Saturdays: 5:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Sundays: 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.(except June 18)

Location: Drury Lane Theatre at 100 Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace

Tickets:                                                
Single Tickets: $45 - $60
Wednesday and Thursday matinees are priced at $45, Thursday and Sunday evenings at $55, and Friday, Saturday and Sunday matinee performances at $60.

Student group tickets start at $30
Senior Citizens start at $40 for matinees.
Dinner and show packages available

Box Office: 100 Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace
630.530.0111, TicketMaster at 800.745.3000
or visit DruryLaneTheatre.com.

OPENING: Lyric Opera of Chicago Presents 300 Costume Extravaganza of My Fair Lady 4/28-5/21

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

Lyric Opera’s grand-scale company premiere of
Lerner and Lowe’s My Fair Lady
starring Richard E. Grant and Lisa O’Hare

opens tonight, April 28
with performances through May 21

Photo Credit: Todd Rosenberg

Saturday, ChiIL Mama will be ChiILin' in Chi, IL, at Lyric Opera of Chicago, for the press opening of the American premiere of a new production of Lerner and Loewe’s My Fair Lady, starring Richard E. Grant and Lisa O’Hare as Henry Higgins and Eliza Doolittle. We can't wait! Lyric Opera is renowned for world class productions and their annual crowd pleasing Broadway at Lyric series is always a hit.

The production runs April 28 through May 21 (press opening April 29) at Lyric’s Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Drive, Chicago. Tickets start at $22 and are available now at www.lyricopera.org/myfairlady or at 312-827-5600.

Principal casting for My Fair Lady also includes Bryce Pinkham (Freddy Eynsford-Hill), Nicholas Le Prevost (Colonel Pickering) and Donald Maxwell (Alfred Doolittle). All make their Lyric debuts with My Fair Lady.

My Fair Lady is the fifth title in the Broadway at Lyric series. The larger-than-life production is presented on a grand scale fit for the Civic Opera House, with 56 cast members, 37 orchestra musicians and nearly 300 costumes!

David Chase  conducts and Olivier Fredj directs the American premiere of Robert Carsen’s critically acclaimed production from Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris with an all-new cast. The creative team also includes choreographer Lynne Page, scenic designer Tim Hatley and costume designer Anthony Powell.  

About Lyric Opera of Chicago
Lyric Opera of Chicago’s mission is to express and promote the life-changing, transformational, revelatory power of great opera. Lyric exists to provide a broad, deep, and relevant cultural service to Chicago and the nation, and to advance the development of the art form.

Founded in 1954, Lyric is dedicated to producing and performing consistently thrilling, entertaining, and thought-provoking opera with a balanced repertoire of core classics, lesser-known masterpieces, and new works; to creating an innovative and wide-ranging program of community engagement and educational activities; and to developing exceptional emerging operatic talent.

Under the leadership of General Director, President & CEO Anthony Freud, Music Director Sir Andrew Davis, and Creative Consultant Renée Fleming, Lyric strives to become The Great North American Opera Company for the 21st century: a globally significant arts organization embodying the core values of excellence, relevance, and fiscal responsibility.

To learn more about Lyric, go to lyricopera.org. You can also join the conversation with @LyricOpera on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Lyric Opera premiere of Lerner & Loewe’s My Fair Lady generously made possible by The Negaunee Foundation, an Anonymous Donor, Mrs. Herbert A. Vance and Mr. and Mrs. William C. Vance, The Jacob and Rosaline Cohn Foundation, Robert S. and Susan E. Morrison, Mr. and Mrs. J. Christopher Reyes, Liz Stiffel, and Northern Trust. Production created by the Théâtre du Châtelet Paris, on December 9, 2010, in coproduction with the State Academic Mariinsky Theater.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Yogurtland Celebrates Family Recipe Favs Through June 4th


Yogurtland ‘s Newest Hand Crafted Flavors
Bring Beloved Family Recipes To Every Spoonful



As spring is in full swing and summer looms, we've got frozen yogurt on our minds! Yogurtland is a great destination for celebrating milestones like report card pick up day, graduations, spring birthdays, or anytime family fun. 


ENTER HERE For Your Chance To Win A $10 Yogurtland Gift Card (2 available) through midnight 5/6. 
**2 winners will be announced here and on our social media outlets 
and e-mailed.**

Yogurtland has long been a favorite of ours for fun film themed tie ins, and creative campaigns. Now they're back with new flavors inspired by the family recipes everyone knows and loves! I can't wait to try them all with my teens. This sounds like a stellar excuse to drop in at Yogurtland.



 



Yogurtland is introducing five new scratch-made flavors that will have fans loving each spoonful more than the last. Yogurtland’s hand crafted yogurt flavors are made at its very own dairy, filling each step of the tasty frozen yogurt creation process with love and quality.

These new promotional flavors, available from April 3 to June 4, explore the tastes of delicious home-made favorites. These new flavors join more than 200 other handcrafted, gourmet flavors that are created with mastery and care, and with one thing in mind - delighting guests.

As a tribute to all the things our guests love, Yogurtland begins the yogurt journey with their new love-inspired cup. Adorned with a heart filled with all things symbolizing Yogurtland, the new cups reflect Yogurtland’s dedication and love for scratch-made yogurt and delicious flavor while customers experience love from the beginning of their visit through their very last bite.  

“A consistent thread shared by our fans and employees alike is a love for Yogurtland. From our delicious frozen yogurt to the personalized experience, our fans are passionate about creating the ultimate treatexperience,” said Chad Bailey, senior director of marketing, Yogurtland. “These flavors give our fans another reason to love coming to Yogurtland.”


With these family recipe inspired flavors, fans can connect with yogurt flavors beyond taste, it will be reminiscent of past memories and cherished experiences with friends and family. 

The five mouth-watering flavors are:



-       Grandma’s Famous Marionberry Pie- This scrumptious dessert will win the hearts of Yogurtland lovers by combining real Marion blackberry with sweet shortbread cookie. Notes of buttery, golden piecrust for a complete dessert sensation follow the delicious fruity taste of marionberry.



-       Momma’s Secret Recipe Almond Fudge Gelato- Go nutty for this perfect combination of chocolate and almond. This flavor pairs rich fudge notes and almond tastes to create a creamy and sophisticated gelato.



-       Blue Ribbon Pineapple Upside Down Cake- Flavor-packed with delectable caramelized pineapple flavors followed by buttery, dense cake notes combines to adapt the many layers of the traditional pineapple upside down cake into yogurt form.



-       Spring’s Simply Sweet Peanut Butter Marshmallow Squares- Enjoy a taste of grandma’s kitchen without the guilt. This no sugar added flavor combines real peanut butter with yummy marshmallow flavor to create the true marshmallow square taste.



-       Pairings and Sharings Strawberry Basil Lemonade Sorbet- This drink-inspired sorbet will be the perfect thirst quencher on a hot day. The subtle balance between sweet and tart, this flavor combines two varieties of sweet strawberries and tangy lemon. Real basil and hints of mint add a cooling freshness to finish this flavor taste.



Yogurtland’s flavorologists are continually seeking craveable flavors that keep fans loving their experience. Yogurtland owns its own dairy and by controlling the frozen yogurt making process, the company can deliver the highest quality flavors, setting new standards for millions of fans.

All of Yogurtland’s flavors meet the National Yogurt Association Criteria for “live and active culture frozen yogurt” and are produced in a kosher-certified facility. Yogurtland features non-fat and low-fat yogurt flavors as well as non-dairy and no sugar added choices while using milk that does not contain antibiotics or added hormones. Fruit flavors are fortified with Vitamin C for an extra boost.

Presently Yogurtland has more than 330 locations across the U.S., Australia, Guam, Singapore, Thailand, Venezuela and Dubai. Flavors are always subject to creative change and popular demand. 

For more information, visit http://www.yogurt-land.com or http://www.facebook.com/yogurtland.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

FREE Outdoor Summer Broadway Showcase Returns To Pritzker Pavilion 8/14

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

BROADWAY IN CHICAGO ANNOUNCES FREE ANNUAL SUMMER CONCERT
  
Featuring performances by

Disney’s ALADDIN, BEAUTIFUL – THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL, the Pre-Broadway Engagement of ESCAPE TO MARGARITAVILLE, LES MISÉRABLES, LOVE NEVER DIES,
MOTOWN THE MUSICAL, SCHOOL OF ROCK and WICKED

Monday, August 14 at Jay Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park


Chi, IL embraces the outdoor summer concert season with open arms and here at ChiIL Mama and ChiIL Live we just can't get enough. There are free shows galore, in every musical genre. One of our annual favorites is the FREE BROADWAY IN CHICAGO SUMMER CONCERT. Don't miss this! 

Broadway In Chicago is thrilled to announce their annual FREE BROADWAY IN
CHICAGO SUMMER CONCERT, sponsored by ABC 7 Chicago and hosted by Janet Davies, ABC 7 Chicago’s entertainment reporter and host of the entertainment and lifestyle program 190 NORTH on ABC 7. The concert will take place on Monday, August 14, 2017 at 6:15 p.m. at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park (201 E Randolph St). 

The Broadway In Chicago Summer Concert at Millennium Park is presented with the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. This year, there will be preview performances from Disney’s ALADDIN, BEAUTIFUL – THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL, the Pre-Broadway Engagement of ESCAPE TO MARGARITAVILLE, LES MISÉRABLES, LOVE NEVER DIES, MOTOWN THE MUSICAL, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s SCHOOL OF ROCK and WICKED. More performances will be announced closer to the event.

“This is truly our favorite night of the year! At the incomparable Pritzker Pavilion, you are surrounded by the Chicago skyline and entertained by a selection of phenomenal musicals. It is a truly unique evening,” says Eileen LaCario, Vice President of Broadway In Chicago. “The evening brings Chicagoans of all ages together to appreciate Broadway’s best - it is like the 'Lollapalooza' of Broadway.”

The Broadway In Chicago Summer Concert is presented in collaboration with the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events as part of Millennium Park Presents. Millennium Park proudly presents symphonic music, dance, opera, Broadway hits and more—performed by some of Chicago’s best-loved cultural institutions. For full calendar information, visit millenniumpark.org. 

Get Social
For exciting facts about the Park, program updates and weather cancellations, follow us on Twitter (@Millennium_Park) and Instagram (Millennium_Park) and like us on Facebook.

For more information on the Summer Concert and Broadway In Chicago, visit www.BroadwayInChicago.com.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

TODAY: Celebrate Latinx Culture With FREE Family Celebration In Logan Square 1pm On

Latina/o youth who grew up in the now gentrified Logan Square CELEBRATE their families’ histories and contributions: 
“Gentrification erases our histories”

Free Admission! Family friendly!

Full disclosure, my family is white and we bought our home in Avondale/NW of Logan Square 15 years ago, when an elderly Polish woman passed away. Most of our neighbors and many of our friends are hispanic, and we firmly believe we're all stronger together. Everyone's stories deserve to be heard, and we all benefit from friendships with people from different cultures. Come on out and support Chicago's Latinx families, artists, dancers, and musicians!


Almost 20,000 Latinx/o/as have been displaced from the gentrifying Logan Square. #BrownInChicago is a project led by youth housing activists at LSNA who will present stories, photo gallery, poetry, film, and family trees of their lives growing up in the gentrifying Logan Square-- as a celebration of their existence and contribution to this community. Erasing brown stories is a form of violence. Join us to connect, unbury and celebrate our history in this community and its connection to our organizing at the Logan Square Neighborhood Association. https://browninchicago.wordpress.com/

We are collaborating with the Logan Square Arts and Craft Bazaar, a collective of fierce Latinx/a women artesanas from Logan Square and Chicagoland communities.

•The craft market opens at 1pm!

•Family friendly! Free Admission! Face painting for kids available. Lego table. Zumba. Latin American food for sale.

•Program starts at 2pm with Mexica Dancers honoring the 4 cardinal directions.

•Every hour throughout the day youth from the community will tell their stories about growing up through gentrification, decolonizing their Latinidad, traveling to Standing Rock and the history of Logan Square.

Who: LSNA Youth Leaders invite new and long-time residents to celebrate the Latinx history of Logan Square

What: Storytelling festival, photo gallery and women artisans celebrate the Latino roots of Logan Square.

Where: Hairpin Arts Center, 2810 N. Milwaukee Avenue, 60618

When: Saturday, April 15th

Time:   
2:30pm Youth and Dr. Jesse Mumm share the histories of Latinos on the Northwest Side of Chicago

3:30pm Through photos and video youth demonstrate the connections between their trip to Standing Rock last October and their fight to stem displacement of Latino families in their neighborhoods.

Visuals: Photo gallery of students’ trip to Standing Rock, self portraits, family trees and ancestor altar, artisan crafts

Entrevistas disponibles en Español


Logan Square Neighborhood Association (LSNA) is a community-based organization advancing diversity, leader development, and models for engagement as the catalyst for social justice. www.lsna.net

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

OPENING TONIGHT: The Hotly Anticipated North American Tour of Disney’s Aladdin Now Extended Through 9/10

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

ANNOUNCES DAY-OF-SHOW RUSH SEATS
FOR $25 EACH
Performances begin tonight at the Cadillac Palace Theatre



Here at ChiIL Mama, we've been promoting Aladdin and eagerly anticipating this opening since we were invited to the sneak peak last summer! Got your tickets yet?



Broadway In Chicago is thrilled to announce the premiere engagement of the eagerly-anticipated North American tour of Aladdin will offer day-of-show rush tickets in Chicago for all performances, beginning tonight, Tuesday, April 11.  A limited number of rush tickets (at least 10 total for each performance) will be available for purchase only at the box office at the Cadillac Palace Theatre (151 W. Randolph) on the day of the performance, and will cost $25 per ticket, with a limit of 2 tickets per person. The rush tickets will go on-sale when the box office opens on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit the Broadway In Chicago website for box office hours:



The hit Broadway musical Aladdin will begin performances tonight at the Cadillac Palace Theatre for an extended run through September 10, 2017. As previously announced, Adam Jacobs, who originated the title role in Aladdin on Broadway, will play the iconic role in Chicago.




The North American Tour of Disney’s Aladdin
Extends Its Stay in Chicago Through September 10, 2017

Final 10 Weeks On Sale Now, as of Friday, April 7th.

Chicago’s Limited Premiere Engagement
Begins April 11, 2017 at Broadway In Chicago’s Cadillac Palace Theatre

Disney Theatrical Productions and Broadway In Chicago announced today that, due to popular demand, the eagerly-anticipated North American tour of Disney’s Aladdin will extend its stay in Chicago at the Cadillac Palace Theatre (151 W. Randolph Street) through September 10, 2017; there will be no further extensions. More than 187,000 tickets for the newly-announced performances from July 5 to September 10, 2017 will go on sale Friday, April 7.  The hit Broadway musical will begin performances on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 in Chicago at the Cadillac Palace Theatre in preparation for a Wednesday, April 19 opening night.  As previously announced, Adam Jacobs, who originated the title role in Aladdin on Broadway, will play the iconic role on tour. 

In Chicago, tickets are available at all Broadway In Chicago Box Offices (24 W. Randolph St., 151 W. Randolph St., 18 W. Monroe St. and 175 E. Chestnut), the Broadway In Chicago Ticket Line at (800) 775-2000, all Ticketmaster retail locations and online at www.BroadwayInChicago.com.  A select number of Premium Ticket Packages, which include a prime seat location, a commemorative souvenir program and an exclusive merchandise item, are also available for many performances. Group tickets for 15 or more are available by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710. For a complete performance schedule for Aladdin, please visit www.BroadwayInChicago.com.

Ticket buyers are reminded that Broadway In Chicago theatres and www.BroadwayInChicago.com are the only official retail ticket outlets for all performances at the Cadillac Palace Theatre. Ticket buyers who purchase tickets from a ticket broker or any third party should be aware that Broadway In Chicago is unable to reprint or replace lost or stolen tickets and is unable to contact patrons with information regarding time changes or other pertinent updates regarding the performance.

Aladdin opened to critical acclaim on March 20th, 2014 and quickly established itself as one of the biggest new blockbusters in recent years; last year only the smash musical Wicked was seen by more people on Broadway. Since its opening, Aladdin has set 12 New Amsterdam Theatre house records and welcomed over four million people worldwide. Its global footprint has expanded to include productions in Tokyo, Hamburg, London and Sydney and the two U.S. productions. NBC-TV raves, “Aladdin is exactly what you wished for!” New York Magazine calls it “Musical comedy wish-fulfillment!” while The New York Times hails the show as “Fabulous… Extravagant! It defies expectations,” and the Daily News declares, “Seriously, it’s amazing!”



About Aladdin
Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, the show features music by Tony Award and eight-time Oscar® winner Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, Sister Act), lyrics by two-time Oscar winner Howard Ashman (Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid), three-time Tony Award and three-time Oscar winner Tim Rice (Evita, Aida) and four-time Tony Award nominee Chad Beguelin (The Wedding Singer), with a book by Beguelin, and is directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon, Something Rotten!).  

Aladdin, adapted from the Academy Award®-winning animated Disney film and centuries-old folktales including “One Thousand and One Nights,” is brought to fresh theatrical life in this bold new musical.  Aladdin’s journey sweeps audiences into an exotic world of daring adventure, classic comedy and timeless romance.  This new production features a full score, including the five cherished songs from the Academy Award-winning soundtrack and more written especially for the stage.

The animated film Aladdin was released by Disney in 1992 and was a critical and box office smash, grossing over $500 million worldwide (not adjusted for inflation) and becoming the highest-grossing film of the year. 

The film won the Oscar for Best Original Score and introduced the hit song “A Whole New World,” which won the second of the film’s two Academy Awards as Best Original Song.  The Peabo Bryson/Regina Belle recording of the tune soared to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Aladdin is designed by seven-time Tony-winning scenic designer Bob Crowley, six-time Tony-winning lighting designer Natasha Katz, two-time Tony-winning costume designer Gregg Barnes and sound designer Ken Travis.

The production team also includes illusion designer Jim Steinmeyer, hair designer Josh Marquette and makeup designer Milagros Medina-Cerdeira.  The music team is headed by music supervisor and music director Michael Kosarin, who also created the vocal and incidental music arrangements, joined by orchestrator Danny Troob and dance music arranger Glen Kelly. 

For more information, visit AladdinTheMusical.com/tour, Facebook.com/Aladdin and Twitter.com/Aladdin.




ABOUT BROADWAY IN CHICAGO
Broadway In Chicago was created in July 2000 and over the past 17 years has grown to be one of the largest commercial touring homes in the country.  A Nederlander Presentation, Broadway In Chicago lights up the Chicago Theater District entertaining well up to 1.7 million people annually in five theatres.  Broadway In Chicago presents a full range of entertainment, including musicals and plays, on the stages of five of the finest theatres in Chicago’s Loop including The PrivateBank Theatre, the Oriental Theatre, Cadillac Palace Theatre, the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University and just off the Magnificent Mile, the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place.  For more information, visit www.BroadwayInChicago.com.

Facebook @BroadwayInChicago ● Twitter @broadwaychicago ● Instagram @broadwayinchicago ● #broadwayinchicago

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

PARENTS NIGHT OUT: THE? UNICORN? HOUR? 4/6-5/13

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar

THE NEO-FUTURISTS ARE DOING THEIR JOY HOMEWORK IN THE WORLD PREMIERE OF LEAH URZENDOWSKI AND ANTHONY COURSER’S 

THE? UNICORN? HOUR? 
APRIL 6 – MAY 13

Adrian Danzig Directs this new Adventure in Discovering and Growing Joy


The teens and I are so excited to be catching the opening of THE? UNICORN? HOUR?, Leah Urzendowski* and Anthony Courser's latest creation. This creative, real life couple are a couple of our favorite local clowns, and physical actors extraordinaire. My kids took clowning and circus arts classes from Anthony for several years and we eagerly catch his shows whenever possible.

The Neo-Futurists are proud to present a world premiere created and performed by Leah Urzendowski* and Anthony Courser The? Unicorn? Hour?, directed by Adrian Danzig, April 6  - May 13, at The Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland. Previews are Thursday, April 6 - Saturday, April 8 at 7:30 p.m. with opening night Monday, April 10 at 7:30 p.m. Performances run Thursdays – Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. Ticket prices for previews and Thursdays are pay what you can; for the regular run, tickets are $10-25. Tickets and information are available at neofuturists.org or 773.275.5255.

The? Unicorn? Hour? invites the audience to discover and grow in an atmosphere where joy can float freely. Inspired by childhood favorites like “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” and “Peewee’s Playhouse,” this show claims joy as the core fantastical world of adventure within us.  Joy is an active choice, requiring a shift of perception of the world around you.   

“We became really obsessed and excited with the politics of joy; joy being an activism; that feeling joy, being joy, creating joy is a way to fight against the world and your oppressor.  Joy is a part of the resistance,” said Leah Urzendowski. “The? Unicorn? Hour? refers to the unicorn that lives within all of us - the mythical magical organ in your soul that can be tapped into at any moment you choose. You can “unicorn” at anytime! Seeking joy is refusing woe and accepting the beauty of an unbridled lifting of the spirit.”

“We want to give people the gift of saying yes and delighting in absurd choices; help people tap back into a time before the word ‘no’ was forced on them. We want to be a looking glass of what a world could look like when we choose to eliminate self-doubt and say yes to a sincere playfulness,” added Anthony Courser.   

ABOUT LEAH URZENDOWSKI* creator/performer

Leah Urzendowski* is a founding member of The Ruffians, and an ensemble member with The Neo-Futurists since 2011. Some of Urzendowski’s Chicago credits include Jeff recommended Mr. Burns (Theatre Wit); Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind, Miss Neo Pageant, (both with The Neo- Futurists); Burning Bluebeard (The Ruffians); 500 Clown Trapped, 500 Clown Frankenstein, 500 Clown Macbeth (all with 500 Clown); Moby Dick, Dustbowl Gothic ( both with The Building Stage) and Hunchback (Redmoon). Choreography and movement direction credits include The Magic Play (Goodman), Lord of The Flies (Steppenwolf), Ivywild (Hypocrites), Miss Neo Pageant (The Neo-Futurists) and Burning Bluebeard (The Ruffians, The Neo-Futurists).  TV and film credits include “Chicago PD,” “Chicago Fire,” “ER” and “Operator.” Urzendowski is a teaching artist with The Ruffians, The Neo-Futurists and Team Awesome, specializing in physical theatre, ensemble and partnership building, clown, movement and movement consulting. She received her BFA from Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, and is represented by Stewart Talent.

ABOUT ANTHONY COURSER, creator/performer

Anthony Courser is a founding member of the Ruffians (2013), an artistic associate with The Neo-Futurists (2012) and a teaching artist with Barrel of Monkeys (2001).  Some of Courser’s favorite Chicago credits include Burning Bluebeard (The Ruffians, The Neo-Futurists); Jeff Recommended Ivywild (The Hypocrites); Daredevils Hamlet, Picked Up, The Fool Returns to His Chair, Daredevils (The Neo-Futurists), That’s Weird, Grandma (Barrel of Monkeys); set designer for Analog (The Neo-Futurists).  He was in the performance ensemble of New Belgium Brewing’s Tour de Fat and the Le Tigre Tent. He is a graduate of Dell Arte International School For Physical Theatre and a student of Panchinko Clowning with Sue Morrison at the Canadian Clown Institute.  Courser is a teacher of clown, Physical Theatre, and Ensemble and Partner Building.  He is also a carpenter, but he doesn’t have time to build you a table.

ABOUT ADRIAN DANZIG** director

Adrian Danzig was an early Neo-Futurist (1990) and a founding member of Redmoon Theater, Hubinspoke Theater and is the founding producing artistic director of 500 Clown. His direction/creation credits include Circle of Madness, Action, Not Dead Yet, 500 Clown Get Happy and the earliest versions of 500 Clown Macbeth. Danzig graduated from New York City’s High School of Performing Arts, received his BA from Oberlin College in Government and his MFA from the School of The Art Institute of Chicago in Performance. He has studied clown with Ctibor Turba, Philippe Gaulier, Ronlin Foreman, Dominique Jando, Els Comediants, David Shiner, Avner the Eccentric and was a clown with Big Apple Circus Clown Care for seven years. 
   
* denotes an active member of The Neo-Futurist Ensemble

**denotes a Neo-Futurist Alum

ABOUT THE NEO-FUTURISTS

The Neo-Futurists are a collective of wildly productive writer-director-performers that create theater that is fusion of sport, poetry and living-newspaper. Having created more than 9,775 plays within 28 years of Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind and over 65 original, full-length productions within their immediate, non-illusory aesthetic. The Neo-Futurists have grown to become one of the most highly regarded experimental theater companies in the United States. From humble beginnings as the first late-night theater production in Chicago, they launched what became Chicago’s longest running show and today sustain multifaceted programs such as Neo-Access, The Kitchen (a micro-festival on art and performance), Prime Time, Neo-Lab and their ongoing late night show 50 weekends every year. For more information visit www.neofuturists.org. 

The Neo-Futurists are proud to present a world premiere created and performed by Leah Urzendowski* and Anthony Courser The? Unicorn? Hour?, directed by Adrian Danzig, April 6 - May 13, at The Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland. Previews are Thursday, April 6 - Saturday, April 8 at 7:30 p.m. with opening night Monday, April 10 at 7:30 p.m. Performances run Thursdays – Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. Ticket prices for previews and Thursdays are pay what you can; for the regular run, tickets are $10-25. Tickets and information are available at neofuturists.org or 773.275.5255.

The Neo-Futurists are partially supported by grants from Alphawood Foundation Chicago, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Network for Ensemble Theaters, The Illinois Arts Council Agency, The Chicago Community Trust, a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, The Field Foundation of Illinois, Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, and The National Endowment for the Arts.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Immense Tent's Ready for Tomorrow Night's Press Opening of Odysseo by Cavalia

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

ChiIL Mama and the teens will be ChiILin' in downtown Chi, IL tomorrow night, for the press opening of Odysseo by Cavalia. We can't wait! Check back soon for our full review.



ODYSSEO BY CAVALIA 
RAISES ITS COLOSSAL WHITE BIG TOP AT  SOLDIER FIELD SOUTH LOT
THE WORLD’S LARGEST TOURING PRODUCTION

MAKES FIRST VISIT TO THE MIDWEST; 
OPENS IN CHICAGO APRIL 1

The most impressive and immense big top on the planet – part of the largest touring production ever created - has been raised at Soldier Field South Lot in Chicago, in preparation for the much anticipated Midwest debut of Odysseo, the latest theatrical adventure by Cavalia. Following the Montreal company’s original and eponymous production Cavalia, which enjoyed a very successful run in Chicago in 2009, the new $30 million theatrical production imagined by Normand Latourelle will begin its run April 1 with matinee and evening performances through April 23. Odysseo is a veritable revolution in live entertainment that marries the equestrian arts, stage performances, and high-tech theatrical effects in never-before-seen ways. Tickets are now on sale at www.cavalia.com or by calling 1-866-999-8111.



Standing 125 feet tall and covering a surface area of 58,397 square feet - the size of the adjacent Chicago Bears’ football field - Odysseo’s exceptional White Big Top is twice the size of the one that housed Cavalia. The giant tent is a mix of art, technology and advanced engineering. In order to break through the limitations of standard big top tents, allow for more flexibility in the performance area, and to give the horses the space they need to express themselves in all their beauty, Normand Latourelle, Cavalia’s artistic director and founder, partnered with specialized companies in Europe and Canada to create this high-tech structure. By removing the usual supporting masts from the stage and shifting the weight of the structure from the masts to three arches above the tent, this specially designed White Big Top is the best environment for the horses and acrobats to perform breathtaking numbers and for the creative team to design immense staging.

This unprecedented ‘traveling theatre’ is also composed of several exceptional features including its grandiose stage – larger than the United Center ice rink – that enables large-scale, cutting-edge creative performances. Surrounded by bleachers with 2,074 seats, the 17,500-square-foot stage requires 10,000 tons of stone, earth and sand to create so that it offers a vast space of freedom where 65 horses and 48 artists can display their intimate collaboration.

To help immerse the audience in the magical world of Odysseo, images of the most beautiful landscapes from around the world are projected throughout the show onto an 8,400-square-foot screen. Its technical grid, worthy of the largest permanent installations in Las Vegas, New York or London, can support 80 tons of equipment for the stage needs of the show, including a majestic life-sized merry-go-round.

Never afraid of using unparalleled technical, visual, and sound infrastructure, the Odysseo creative team has invented a feast for the eyes, a multi-dimensional spectacle with staggering effects created by state-of-the-art scenery. During the breathtaking finale, a vertiginous virtual waterfall overhangs a lake made possible by an underground drain system that releases 40,000 gallons of recycled water onto the stage, in which horses, riders, and artists join to frolic, leaving behind them the traces of their splashes—and an astonished audience.

The White Big Top is just one part of a larger community; the Odysseo village will take shape over the next few weeks and consists of five tents: the White Big Top, the stable tent, the Rendez-Vous VIP tent, the warm-up & artistic tent, and the kitchen tent serving the 200 employees. In total, 110 semi-trailer trucks will be required to transport the world’s largest touring production to Chicago.

TICKETS – Adult tickets are priced from $34.50 to $144.50 (no service charge). Special pricing and packages also available for groups, children (2-12), juniors (13-17) and seniors (65+). For an extra special outing, the Rendez-Vous VIP package offers the best seats in the house, full meal buffet dining before the show, open bar, desserts during intermission and an exclusive visit to the stables after the show. This unique VIP experience takes place in a tent alongside the White Big Top. The Rendez-Vous VIP package prices range from $144.50 to $269.50 (no service charge).

ABOUT CAVALIA INC. - Cavalia Inc. is an entertainment company that specializes in the creation, production and touring of innovative shows. Founded by Normand Latourelle, the company reimagines the equestrian and theatrical arts. With its headquarters in Montreal, Cavalia Inc. is an integral part of Canada’s cultural heritage, and the largest Canadian-owned cultural enterprise. Its expertise in high technology, multimedia and special effects creates magical, unique, never-before-seen experiences. Its first show, Cavalia, has been seen by more than 4 million people across North America, Europe, Australia, the Middle East and Asia since its 2003 debut. Odysseo, the company’s second show, has toured to rave reviews and public acclaim since its 2011 premiere. 

Follow Cavalia’s latest developments at www.twitter.com/cavalia or www.facebook.com/cavalia. #OdysseoCHI

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