Thursday, August 31, 2017

Multiply Your Savings With Groupon Coupons For Loads Of Merchants

My kids are heading back to school on Tuesday after Labor Day, so we've been doing much more shopping than usual. And our family menagerie of two big dogs, four guinea pigs, and schools of tropical fish constantly need food and supplies. My job is to find coupons that make that prospect more affordable.

Here at ChiIL Mama we're pleased to partner up with Groupon and US Family Bloggers for this sponsored post. I have been compensated for sharing this offer with our readers. As always, all opinions are my own. 

We're frequent Groupon shoppers, for our fun day plans like local activities, restaurants, and hot spots, but Groupon's great for those errand running days too. There's nothing boring about saving cash. Groupon offers a mind boggling 70,000 deals on over 9,000 retailers! 

They count for online shopping like Amazon and more, and you can print out coupons or just show them on your phone for real time shopping at Petco, Target, Home Depot, Walgreens, Starbucks and thousands more. At his very moment Groupon is even offering 25% off your first Groupon with code WELCOME at check out. Deals on top of deals? Can't beat that. 

On the Groupon site I pulled up Petco today since I'm shopping for the hungry horde that is our family's personal petting zoo. They have 41 coupons available today. Forty One! One of my absolute favorite deals is 50% off everything for Labor day (through 9/5/17). Score!

While on the Groupon site be sure to check out all of the other retailers they offer deals and coupons for such as Ebay, Bed Bath & Beyond, Aeropostale, Nordstrom Rack and so many more. Groupon's got your errands covered for less green.

Here at ChiIL Mama we're pleased to partner up with Groupon and US Family Bloggers for this sponsored post. I have been compensated for sharing this offer with our readers. As always, all opinions are my own. 

New York's Rebel Playhouse’s World Premiere Musical EDNA THE STOMPER 9/2-9/4

Chi, IL Mama's Chi, IL Picks List:

Rebel Playhouse’s 
a family musical with puppets, stomps, and songs, makes world premiere at the Chicago Fringe Festival

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

Rebel Playhouse is thrilled to present the world premiere of the musical EDNA THE STOMPER, with a book by Laura Toffenetti, and music by Janet Jungden. Directed and choreographed by Sarah Sutliff, with musical direction by Christina Bottley, EDNA THE STOMPER begins performances on Saturday, September 2nd as a part of the Chicago Fringe Festival’s Kid’s Fringe. 

The performance schedule is 9/2 at 4:00PM, 9/3 at 1:00PM, and 9/4 at 2:30PM. Performances are at Jefferson Playhouse (4766 N Milwaukee Avenue Chicago, IL 60630). Tickets are $10 for adults; $5 for children. To purchase tickets visit

Rebel Playhouse’s production gets audiences moving and grooving along with Edna as she sets off to find out just what makes her unique.

In EDNA THE STOMPER, seven year old Edna stomps everywhere and stomps a lot. It is driving her very talented family crazy! EDNA THE STOMPER is a musical for all ages complete with songs, stomps, and some punny monster puppets! This heartfelt tale deals with the issues of self worth, creative expression, and finding one’s place in the family. (Recommended for ages 4 and up.)

The cast features Dax Dupuy (Frosty, TheatreWorksUSA national tour); Alaina Fragoso (Once On This Island, Blue Spruce Theatre); Julia Karis (Seussical, Once Upon a Time Players); Clara Kundin (Pedro Reyes’ Doomocracy); Jessica Rogers (Play Me a Story, Portland Stage Company); Greer Samuels (Saint Joan, The Secret Theater).

Sarah Sutliff (director/choreographer) is a director, choreographer, and performer. She has directed and choreographed over a dozen Jr. and full-length productions with Saratoga Children’s Theatre, the Shenendehowa Summer Adventure theater program, and the Galli Theater NY among others. Sarah is a resident performer with How We GLOW, a play exploring gender identities of LGBTQ+ teenagers in NYC. She co-founded Rebel Playhouse in 2016 and is proud to serve as artistic director. The last production she directed/choreographed with Rebel Playhouse, Old Turtle and the Broken Truth, was nominated for Outstanding Choreography and Outstanding Musical at the 2017 New York Innovative Theatre Awards.

Janet Jungden (composer) composer, began her musical career at the age of 9 by learning to play the accordion. During high school she added flute and keyboards.  After graduating from the University of Connecticut with high honors in education, she went on to study jazz at the University of Bridgeport. For over 35 years Jan has performed throughout the northeast with various groups playing jazz, rhythm and blues, and rock ‘n roll. She currently heads the jazz group, the Jan Jungden Trio and has released a jazz CD of primarily original music, Smooth Ride. She was a quarter finalist in the American Songwriters Festival. For ten years she was musical director for shows at the Mansfield Middle School in Connecticut. This is where she met and began collaborating with Laura Toffenetti on her original musical, Tailor!, and later Edna the Stomper and Transylvania Bed and Breakfast, Miami.

Laura Toffenetti (playwright) is a playwright, book writer and lyricist. In 1985 she collaborated with five women creating the play Going to see the Elephant, published by Dramatists. It won best play for that year by Drama Logue, LA Reader, and the International PEN award. It was also nominated for LA Drama Critic’s Circle Award and was listed in LA TIMES Best Bets for the entire year. Without a Parachute was produced by Pasta Fazule Players, 2009, Des Plaines, IL, and was chosen for South Camden Reading Festival 2013. Other plays include Blue Heron, 1945 (semi-finalist Greenhouse Project, Strange Sun, NYC) and Sinkhole (semi-finalist Route 66, Chicago). She has three teenage one acts published by Heure. She has also written the book and lyrics for Tailor!, Edna the Stomper, and Transylvania Bed and Breakfast, Miami with her collaborator Jan Jungden.

Rebel Playhouse (producing company) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, educational theater company based out of Brooklyn, New York. Founded in the fall of 2016 by Executive Director Clara Kundin, Artistic Director Sarah Sutliff, and Educational Director Greer Samuels, the Rebel Playhouse is a children's theater company committed to empowering, educating, and entertaining NYC audiences. The Rebel Playhouse produces works for children and families based on stories that break traditions and challenge normative thinking, and offers classes designed to foster creative development. In May 2017, Rebel Playhouse presented their inaugural production Old Turtle and the Broken Truth in NYC to critical acclaim, and the production will be enjoying an encore run in Troy, NY this September.

Friday, August 25, 2017

GIVE AWAY & DISCOUNT CODE: Cirque du Soleil LUZIA in Chicago Through September 3rd

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

Thanks to Cirque du Soleil LUZIA for providing ChiIL Mama & ChiIL Live Shows with tickets for our giveaway and for review purposes. As always, all opinions are my own. 

Last Call:
Here at ChiIL Mama & ChiIL Live Shows we adore LUZIA by Cirque du Soleil. We've caught it twice already and just can't get enough of this stunning show, particularly the light effects and aerial arts in the waterfalls and Mexican cenotes! If you still haven't seen it or want to catch it again, act fast! The Big Top must leave on September 3rd. Cirque du Soleil tent shows are the best, with world class circus arts, live music, and stunning sets, costumes, and stunts. 

We've got a FREE pair of LUZIA Chicago tickets for one of our lucky readers to any show of your choice through September 3rd pending availability! This is a quick one, but a good one. Enter from now through midnight tomorrow, Saturday 8/26/17. Winner will be e-mailed as well as revealed via our social media outlets on Facebook and Twitter on 8/27/17. 

**CLICK HERE  for your chance to win**

This is your last chance to see LUZIA in Chicago and we've got a great discount for ChiIL Mama & ChiIL Live Shows readers. Grab your tickets HERE for a special 30% off on PL1, 2 and 3 on all performances, valid through September 3rd. 

Once again, thanks to Cirque du Soleil LUZIA for providing ChiIL Mama & ChiIL Live Shows with tickets for our giveaway and for review purposes. As always, all opinions are my own.

EXTENDED: TREVOR THE MUSICAL Now at Writers Theatre Through Oct 1st

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

Writers Theatre extends the run of

Book and Lyrics by Dan Collins
Music by Julianne Wick Davis
Based on the Academy Award-winning film Trevor
Orchestrations by Greg Pliska
Music Direction by Matt Deitchman
Choreography by Josh Prince
Directed by Marc Bruni

All production photos by Michael Brosilow

Now through October 1, 2017

**TREVOR the musical set a Writers Theatre record for most tickets sold in a single week!**

Writers Theatre, under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Halberstam and Executive Director Kathryn M. Lipuma, adds ten performances to the run of TREVOR the musical. The production is directed by Marc Bruni (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical on Broadway), with book and lyrics by Dan Collins, music byJulianne Wick Davis, music direction by Matt Deitchman, orchestrations by Greg Pliska and choreography by Josh Prince, by special arrangement with U Rock Theatricals. TREVOR the musical now runs through October 1, 2017 in the Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols Theatre at 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe.

Newly added performances for TREVOR are as follows: 

Wednesday, September 20 at 7:30pm; Thursday, September 21 at 7:30pm; Friday, September 22 at 7:30pm; Saturday, September 23 at 7:30pm; Sunday, September 24 at 2:00pm; Tuesday, September 26 at 7:30pm; Thursday, September 28 at 7:30pm; Friday, September 29 at 7:30pm; Saturday, September 30 at 7:30pm; and Sunday, October 1 at 2:00pm. 

Closing performance: October 1, 2017

Schedule: Tuesdays – Fridays: 7:30pm
(with select 3:00pm Wednesday matinees)
Saturdays: 3:00pm and 7:30pm
Sundays: 2:00pm and 6:00pm

Location: The Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols Theatre
325 Tudor Court, Glencoe
Prices: Prices for all performances range from $35 - $80
Purchase early for best prices                                  
Box Office: The Box Office is located at 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe; 

Tickets for TREVOR are currently on sale. Subscriptions and individual tickets, priced $35-$80, may be purchased online at, by phone at 847-242-6000, or in person at the box office, 325 Tudor Court in Glencoe. 

Meet Trevor, a 13-year-old boy in 1981 whose vibrant imagination drives a turbulent journey of self-discovery. As he deals with adolescence and all that goes with it, Trevor begins to explore what it means to be himself, influenced by his friends, parents and his musical idol.

Based on the story that inspired the Academy Award-winning film, the charity and the national movement, TREVOR the musical is a coming-of-age story about identity, emerging sexuality and the struggles of growing up in a world that may not be ready for you. This world premiere musical is directed by Marc Bruni, who helmed the Tony Award-winning production of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical on Broadway.

The Trevor Project was created as a result of the Academy Award-winning film that also inspired TREVOR the musical. The Trevor Project is the nation’s only accredited crisis intervention and suicide prevention organization focused on saving young LGBTQ lives.

The cast includes: Nathaniel Braga (Ensemble), Ariana Burks (Ensemble), Declan Desmond (Pinky), Timothy Eidman (Ensemble), Sophie Grimm (Mom/Mrs. Kerr/Others), Maya Lou Hlava (Frannie), Isabel Kaegi (Ensemble), Eloise Lushina (Mary), Carly Meyer (Ensemble), Jhardon DiShon Milton (Jack/Others), Justin O’Brien (Ensemble), Reilly Oh (Jason), Jerome Riley, Jr. (Ensemble), Salisha Thomas (Diana Ross), Eli Tokash (Trevor), Matthew Uzarraga (Walter), Tori Whaples(Cathy), Graydon Peter Yosowitz (Trevor) and Jarrod Zimmerman (Dad/Father Joe/Others).

Accessible Performances
Open-Captioned performance: Friday, September 15, 2017 at 7:30 pm
ASL-Interpreted performance: Saturday, September 16, 2017 at 7:30 pm

Sunday Spotlight—Sunday, September 3, 2017
Are you curious about the world that surrounds your favorite plays? Sunday Spotlight offers access to the finest speakers, scholars and cultural leaders. This one-hour event extends the conversation on our stages by featuring an expert in an area connected to the play. Seating is limited. RSVP is required. Save the date!

The Making of… Series—Monday, September 11, 2017 at 6:30 pm
Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes of our productions? The Making of… series offers you an insider view of what goes into creating each production at WT. Music Director & Conductor Matt Deitchman will talk with Director of New Work and Dramaturgy Bobby Kennedy about his work bringing to life this world premiere musical, including how he manages to conduct 18 cast members and 8 musicians every night. Reservations are requested to secure your seat. Seating is limited. RSVP is required.

Post Show Conversation: The Word
Join us after every Tuesday evening performance (excluding First Week and extensions) for a 15-minute discussion of the play, facilitated by a member of the WT Artistic Team.

Post Show Conversation: The Artist
Join us after every Wednesday evening performance (excluding First Week and extensions) for a 15-minute talk-back featuring actors from the production, facilitated by a member of the WT Artistic Team.

Pre-Show Conversation: Up Close
Join us at 6:45pm before every Thursday evening performance (excluding First Week and extensions) for a 15-minute primer on the context and content of the play, facilitated by a member of the WT Artistic Team.

For more information about Writers Theatre Audience Enrichment programs visit

In an effort to promote taking public transit to the Theatre, Writers Theatre launched a new promotion in 2013. Any audience member who purchases a ticket to a Writers Theatre production and rides Metra’s Union Pacific North Line to the Theatre may snap a photo of themselves on the train and post it to their Facebook or Instagram page or their Twitter feed with a tag of @WritersTheatre and #TrevorTheMusical, and upon showing the post at the Writers Theatre Box Office, receive $5 in cash to put toward the cost of your fare as a thank you for going green.

This promotion is available for a limited time only, and may end without warning. Ticket must have been paid for in advance. Not valid on comp tickets. More information available at

Writers Theatre is pleased to welcome back BMO Harris Bank as the 2017/18 Season Sponsor, and ComEd as the Official Lighting Sponsor of the 2017/18 Season. The Major Corporate Sponsor for TREVOR the musical is Northern Trust. The Major Production Sponsor is Mary Pat Studdert. Additional support for TREVOR the musical is provided by the Director’s Society Sponsors.

For 25 years, Writers Theatre has captivated Chicagoland audiences with inventive interpretations of classic work, a bold approach to contemporary theatre and a dedication to creating the most intimate theatrical experience possible.

Under the artistic leadership of Michael Halberstam and the executive leadership of Kathryn M. Lipuma, Writers Theatre has grown to become a major Chicagoland cultural destination with a national reputation for excellence, being called “America’s No. 1 theatre company” by The Wall Street Journal. The company, which plays to a sold-out and discerning audience of more than 60,000 patrons each season, has garnered critical praise for the consistent high quality and intimacy of its artistry—providing the finest interpretations of both classic and contemporary theatre in its two intensely intimate venues. 

In February 2016, Writers Theatre opened a new, state-of-the-art facility. This established the company's first permanent home—a new theatre center in downtown Glencoe, designed by the award-winning, internationally renowned Studio Gang Architects, led by Founder and Design Principal Jeanne Gang, FAIA, in collaboration with Theatre Consultant Auerbach Pollock Friedlander. The new facility has allowed the Theatre to continue to grow to accommodate its audience, while maintaining its trademark intimacy. The new facility resonates with and complements the Theatre’s neighboring Glencoe community, adding tremendous value to Chicagoland and helping to establish the North Shore as a premier cultural destination.

Find Writers Theatre on Facebook at, follow @WritersTheatre on Twitter or follow @writers_theatre on Instagram. For more information, visit

Thursday, August 24, 2017

REVIEW of the new musical "Trevor," running at Writers Theatre in Glencoe through September 17th

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar: 

Writers Theatre presents the World Premiere of
Book and Lyrics by Dan Collins
Music by Julianne Wick Davis

All production photos by Michael Brosilow

Based on the Academy Award-winning film Trevor
Orchestrations by Greg Pliska
Music Direction by Matt Deitchman
Choreography by Josh Prince
Directed by Marc Bruni

August 9 – September 17, 2017

By Catherine Hellmann. 

**As I'm recovering from major knee surgery, Cath Hellmann will be guest reviewing for me throughout August. Cath is a lifelong theatre lover, on stage, directing, and in the audience. She's an English teacher, mom of three, and elated to be living in Chicago again, after a 10 year stint in the wilds of rural Michigan near Kalamazoo. **

      Trevor is ahead of his time. The year is 1981, and 13-year-old Trevor is experiencing all the usual angst of adolescence, trying to fit in, be accepted at school, and appear to be a typical teen to his peers while he suspects he is quite different from other kids. He frequently channels a fantasy life inspired by his idol, Diana Ross, as he struggles with his sexuality and his identity in a world not prepared yet for gay teens. 

      "Trevor" is a brand-new musical premiering at Writers Theatre in Glencoe. The inspiration came from a short film by the same name which won an Academy Award for  Best Live Action Short in 1994. The movie also inspired The Trevor Project which is "the only accredited crisis intervention and suicide prevention organization focused on saving young LGBTQ lives.," citing the  press release. "Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people ages 10-24; the rate of suicide attempts is 4 times greater for LGB youth and 2 times greater for questioning youth than that of straight youth," according to The Trevor Project. After being humiliated at school, the title character does begin to believe the world may be a better place without him in it. 

       Such a serious topic could mislead potential audience members into being wary of the show being a downer. But "Trevor" is so far removed from that: Uplifting, life-affirming, inspiring, charming, and downright laugh-out-loud funny. The script and lyrics by Dan Collins with music by Julianne Wick Davis are delightful and witty. One of the songs is called "Weird," where Trevor cheerfully acknowledges, "In another ten years, I'll be even weirder!" 

       The choreography by Josh Prince is creative, whether it involves the students with their desks in the classroom or Trevor throwing his heart into rehearsing with the football team for a number in the school talent show. Trevor admits that he is "more of a performer than an athlete." The ensemble cast is notable throughout but especially here in Trevor's fantasy scene where he imagines how incredible his choreography could be for the athletes; some of the best and most hilarious numbers in the show feature Trevor's wildly active imagination. Donyale Werle's clever set design also assists in a few fun surprises and humor. 

       Eli Tokash is already a Broadway and touring veteran at age 14. In the title role, he is astounding in his singing and acting as Trevor. He is riveting to watch and displays a maturity in his performance beyond his years. My theater companion had an older gentleman sitting next to her who proudly told us at intermission that the boy playing Trevor is his grandson. During the scene when Trevor is attempting to end his life (sorry for the spoiler, but I already told you the mission of the Trevor Project!), we heard this sweet grandfather crying. My friend said she debated the awkwardness of patting his hand or putting her arm around him...

       Other notable performances are the stunning Salisha Thomas as Diana Ross and Jarrod Zimmerman as Father Joe in a cringe-worthy but hysterical scene when he explains the birds and the bees to Trevor at the Tastee Freez. Equally hideous but true-to-life are Mara Blumenfeld's costumes of lots of striped knit shirts and sweaters. (Ugh. What were we thinking?) Matthew Uzarrraga plays Trevor's best friend who likes to examine his own sperm under a microscope. His questioning of Trevor's interest in girls, or lack thereof, provides the first indication that Trevor is a little different from others. 

       Writers Theatre is to be commended for taking on this ambitious labor of love with U Rock Theatricals. Director Marc Bruni, who directed "Beautiful:The Carole King Musical," has assembled a top- notch creative team of artists, crew, and performers. Writers Theatre's new home in Glencoe is gorgeous. If you haven't been there because you think it's too far from the city, it is certainly worth the trip. "Trevor" is a powerful, riveting, funny show on a serious topic. You can brag you saw the premiere in the Chicago production. 

       Although things are better for gay teens, it is still a struggle, as noted by The Trevor Project. When I was in high school, same era as this show, it was highly unusual for a young person to admit to being homosexual. Oh, we had our suspicions, and assumed they were just "wimpy" or "artistic" like Trevor. Now I am astounded how many of my teenagers' classmates say they are gay or bisexual, and I am like,"Oh, another one?" What's really cool is how accepting my children are of differences. It does not phase them; they explain the new terminology to me. The coming out of teens has become so accepted. It is progress at a time when distrust of The Other is having a new surge. As Marc Bruni explains,"I hope there will be a time where the story of 'Trevor' will feel like yesterday's news."

For show times, further information and ticket purchasing links click here.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Cirque du Soleil LUZIA'S Lasting Gift To Chicago

Cirque du Soleil announces artistic gift to Chicago
for the Year of Public Art!

Partnership with Columbia College Chicago and Wabash Arts Corridor (WAC) commissions local artist Gloria “Gloe” Talamantes to create a new mural inspired by LUZIA

Public unveiling Thursday, August 24 at 2:30 p.m. with Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) Commissioner Mark Kelly, Columbia College Chicago, WAC, and LUZIA artists

Cirque du Soleil announces a partnership with Columbia College Chicago and the Wabash Arts Corridor (WAC) that will add a new public mural downtown in honor of the city’s Year of Public Art. Local artist Gloria “Gloe” Talamantes is creating the mural, commissioned by Cirque du Soleil and inspired by its highly acclaimed production LUZIA, currently playing a limited engagement in Chicago through Sept. 3.

The Cirque du Soleil-commissioned mural is an addition to WAC’s 40+ murals in the South Loop neighborhood. It will also kick off this year’s public art exhibition Street Level, which will unveil eight new murals that will be presented at street level and highlight a diverse range of artists at the local, national, and international level.

In a free public event Thursday, August 24 at 2:30 p.m. at the intersection of Congress Parkway and Holden Court, the final mural will be unveiled on the western façade of Columbia’s 33 E. Congress Parkway. The event will include LUZIA artists and remarks from Talamantes, DCASE Commissioner Mark Kelly, Columbia College Chicago and WAC.

“We are happy to give this artistic gift to Chicago for its Year of Public Art,” said Claudine Rivard, Company Manager of Cirque du Soleil’s LUZIA. “This is a way for Cirque du Soleil to thank the city and its residents for all of their support, not just for LUZIA, but for embracing our artists and crews for over 17 productions across 28 years.”

Having started as a troupe of street performance artists 33 years ago, Cirque du Soleil is always looking for ways to give back to the local communities it visits, either through its social action programs or through art. The LUZIA mural project in partnership with WAC and Talamantes will permanently add the signature joy and color of Cirque du Soleil to Chicago’s greatest concentration of street art. 

“Chicago is one of the top destinations in the world for public art,” said DCASE Commissioner Mark Kelly. “It is fitting that acclaimed international arts organization Cirque du Soleil has commissioned one of Chicago’s own artists for the Year of Public Art. This new mural brings additional vibrancy to the growing Wabash Arts Corridor.”

“Chicago’s dedication to public art is deeply rooted in the city’s history,” said Neysa Page-Lieberman, WAC’s Chief Curator and the Executive Director of Columbia’s Department of Exhibitions and Performance Spaces. “Columbia and WAC continue the tradition each year in producing, supporting, and engaging Chicagoans and visitors with vital arts and programming. The scope of Chicago’s public art will flourish from the recognition and support by the world-renowned Cirque du Soleil.”

About the mural
Artist Gloria “Gloe” Talamantes’ style of work suits the project perfectly, and in creating the mural, she combines inspiration from LUZIA with her Mexican heritage.

"I created wispy butterfly wings that carry flowers adorned with motifs inspired by my roots and culture,” said Talamantes. “The design inspiration comes from my family heirlooms, carpetas tejidas, the delicate and intricate original crocheted designs of my grandmother and great grandmother. After watching some of LUZIA, I reflected on the massive red papel picado that was used in one of the scenes; it immediately made me think of the many designs that make up my grandma’s doilies.”

The dripping effect at the bottom of the mural is a direct reflection of the water scenes in LUZIA, the first Cirque du Soleil show to incorporate water into artistic and acrobatic scenes.

“I wanted to create a subtle resemblance to the water while keeping it connected to my graffiti roots,” said Talamantes. “Drips are common and often the most enjoyable parts of ink tags and natural spray paint abstracts when doing stylized letters. It is important for me to stay true to my Mexican and Graffiti culture, for the two have been an integral part of my life and visual art.”

About LUZIA by Cirque du Soleil
LUZIA takes you to an imaginary Mexico, like in a waking dream, where light (“luz” in Spanish) quenches the spirit and rain (“lluvia”) soothes the soul. In a series of grand visual surprises and breathtaking acrobatic performances, LUZIA invites audiences to escape on a surrealistic journey through a sumptuous and vibrant world suspended somewhere between dreams and reality. Smoothly passing from an old movie set to the ocean to a smoky dance hall or an arid desert, LUZIA cleverly brings to the stage multiple places, faces and sounds of Mexico taken from both tradition and modernity. Rich in awe-inspiring moments, LUZIA enchants by incorporating rain into acrobatic and artistic scenes – a first for a Cirque du Soleil touring production.

LUZIA is Cirque du Soleil’s 38th original production since 1984, and its 17th show presented under the Big Top. The company has brought wonder and delight to more than 160 million spectators in more than 400 cities on six continents. Cirque du Soleil has close to 4,000 employees, including 1,300 performing artists from close to 50 different countries.

LUZIA is now playing in Chicago through Sept. 3, 2017, under the Big Top in the United Center parking lot. For show and ticket information, visit

Follow #LUZIA and #cirquedusoleil on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

About Columbia College Chicago and the Wabash Arts Corridor
The Wabash Arts Corridor was launched by Columbia College Chicago in 2013 to transform the college’s campus and community into a destination neighborhood to live, work, study and visit. Since its inception, WAC has installed more than 40 large-scale murals by local and internationally-renowned street artists, creating one of the most significant collections of public art in the city. For more information about Columbia College Chicago and Wabash Arts Corridor, visit or

About the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors.

For more information on the Year of Public Art, visit and join the conversation on Facebook (Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events), Twitter and Instagram, @ChicagoDCASE #2017isYOPA #ChiPublicArt.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017


Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:



Goodman Theatre is proud to support Chicago’s off-Loop theater companies Teatro Vista, Definition Theatre Company and Collaboraction as a producing partner on several high-profile productions this summer—two of which open this week. The Chicago premiere of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ An Octoroon, which recently opened at Victory Gardens, is directed by Goodman Resident Director Chuck Smith. 

Teatro Vista’s La Havana Madrid by Sandra Delgado opened at the Goodman in the Owen Theatre, following two sold-out previous engagements (at Steppenwolf Theatre Company and The Miracle Center in Logan Square). Directed by Cheryl Lynn Bruce, La Havana Madrid was developed in 2015 during Delgado’s time as a member of the Goodman’s Playwrights Unit—a year-long program for Chicago-based writers, and a significant component of the Goodman’s new play development efforts. 

Collaboraction’s PEACEBOOK —24 social-issue driven short performance pieces rendered by more than 200 artists in a city-wide festival of theater, dance, music, visual art and spoken word—launches at the Goodman on August 26 in the Owen Theatre, followed by tours to south, west and north side neighborhoods in Chicago Park District’s Nights Out in the Parks program.

“Among the many ways that theater in Chicago is unique, one of the best is the collaboration among its companies— each of which contributes to our nationally-recognized cultural landscape,” said Executive Director Roche Schulfer, who is also a founding member of the League of Chicago Theaters. “As an artistic and community organization equally dedicated to furthering the art on stage and providing service to Chicago, the Goodman is proud to contribute to this excellence with resources to help these projects flourish.”

Over the past two decades, the Goodman has served as a production partner (providing financial support and/or physical space) for dozens of projects, including an unprecedented three-year residency with Teatro Vista that resulted in producing the new works El Nogalar by Tanya Saracho, Cándido Tirado’s Fish Men and Quiara Alegría Hudes’ The Happiest Song Plays Last. Other previous partner organizations include Aguijon Theatre Company, Albany Park Theater Project, Black Ensemble Theater, Collaboraction, Congo Square, Court Theatre, eta Creative Arts Foundation, Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre Company, MPAACT, Pegasus Theatre Company, Rivendell Theatre Company, The Second City, Silk Road Theatre Project, Teatro Luna, The Hypocrites, The Neo-Futurists and the Theatre School at DePaul University.

About the Plays
In La Havana Madrid, Chicago’s eponymous 1960s nightclub comes bursting back to life in “an immersive, wholly enjoyable experience” (Chicago Reader) complete with live music and “enough dancing and bonhomie to tempt you away from your little table down front” (Chicago Tribune). Inspired by true stories of Cuban, Puerto Rican and Colombian immigrants who found refuge in the nightclub, Delgado leads the eight-member cast as a mystical woman who conjures stories and vibrant songs performed live onstage each night by Colombian-American musician Roberto "Carpacho" Marin and his band of 30 years, Carpacho y Su Super Combo. La Havana Madrid appears through August 20 in the Owen Theatre (Opening Night is Wednesday, July 26 at 7pm). Tickets ($30-$50; subject to change) are available at or (312) 443-3800. La Havana Madrid is recommended for ages 12 and up.

A modern riff on Dion Boucicault’s 1859 classic melodrama, The Octoroon,  Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Obie Award-winning historical satire An Octoroon directed by Chuck Smith follows a plantation in financial ruin, the tumultuous love story of its heir apparent, the evil overseer plotting to take it all for himself and the slaves trying to keep it all together. Hilarious, pointed and provocative, An Octoroon offers up a subversive take on race in America–both then and now. An Octoroon appears through August 20 in the Richard Christiansen Theater at Victory Gardens Theater (2433 N. Lincoln) as part of Definition’s tenure in the Victory Gardens Resident Theater Program. For tickets, call 773.328.2136 or visit

More than 200 artists unite for Collaboraction’s PEACEBOOK—a free, collaborative city-wide festival of short theater, dance, music, visual art and spoken word pieces in support of Chicago’s peace movement. The 24 “chapters” of PEACEBOOK are each seven minutes or less in length, and range from solo works to large collaborations. Arts/activists involved include David Dastmalchian (Twin Peaks), Sandra Delgado (La Havana Madrid), GQ (Q Brothers), Kevin Coval (Louder Than a Bomb), director Mignon McPherson Stewart, Sir Taylor (Example Setters) and Bril Barrett (Making a Difference Dance). PEACEBOOK launches on Saturday, August 26 in the Owen Theatre. Show times are 3pm (PEACEBOOK Englewood), 5:30pm (PEACEBOOK Hermosa) and 8pm (PEACEBOOK Austin). To reserve tickets and for more information, visit, email  or call 312.226.9633.

Following its launch at the Goodman, PEACEBOOK tours to the following Chicago neighborhoods:

PEACEBOOK Englewood |Hamilton Park, 513 W. 72nd
October 5 and 6 at 7pm
October 7 performance includes a Dome of Dance competition (3pm); meal and peace panel (4pm); show (5pm)

PEACEBOOK Hermosa |Kelvyn Park, 4438 W. Wrightwood
October 19 and 20 at 7pm
October 21 performance includes a Dome of Dance competition (3pm); meal and peace panel (4pm); show (5pm)

PEACEBOOK Austin |La Follette Park, 1333 N. Laramie
November 2 and 3 at 7pm
November 4 performance includes a Dome of Dance competition (3pm); meal and peace panel (4pm); show (5pm)

About the Companies
Definition Theatre Company  is an ensemble-based Chicago theater founded by six graduates of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Featuring a multi-ethnic core companionship of actors, Definition strives to artistically reflect the myriad of modern America to inspire and engage the communities it represents through contemporary and classical theatrical works. Our mission is to tell language-driven, relationship-oriented, thought-provoking, socially relevant stories. Definition has been afforded the opportunity to create work that reflects its unique voice. It shared the words of Academy Award-Winner Tarell Alvin McCraney in The Brothers Size, it grooved with Amiri Baraka's whirlwind story of a chance meeting on a train in Dutchman, and staged its first world premiere production, Genesis, written by ensemble member Mercedes White and inspired by Lorraine Hansberry’s iconic masterwork A Raisin in the Sun. Most recently, Definition partnered with The New Colony to produce the world premiere of Byhalia, Mississippi. Hailed by the Chicago Tribune as “wise, funny, thoughtful and true”, Byhalia, Mississippi explored a family in turmoil and a small southern town haunted by its racially-charged past. Ensemble members include Owais Ahmed, Carley Cornelius, Martasia Jones, Kiki Layne, Kelson Michael McAuliffe, Julian Parker, Tyrone Phillips, Christopher Sheard and Mercedes White. Artistic Advisory Board members include director May Adrales, Steppenwolf Ensemble Member Alana Arenas, actress Shannon Cochran, Victory Gardens Theater Managing Director Erica Daniels, actor Brandon Dirden, actor Jason Dirden, Writers Theatre Artistic Director Michael Halberstam, director Pam Mackinnon, professor JW Morrissette, director Ron OJ Parson, professor/lighting designer Kathy Perkins and Tony Award-winning actress and stage director Phylicia Rashad. Tyrone Phillips is the Artistic Director and Neel McNeill is the Managing Director. For additional information, visit and

Teatro Vista’s 2017/2018 season opens with La Havana Madrid at Goodman Theatre. Teatro Vista produces, develops and commissions plays that explore the wealth and variety of the human experience from a Latinx perspective. The company provides work and professional advancement opportunities for Latinx theater artists, with special emphasis on the company’s ensemble members, and seeks to enhance the curricular goals of Chicago students through theatre. Teatro Vista was recently celebrated as one of “Chicago’s Cultural Leaders” by the Arts & Business Council of Chicago and received the League of Chicago Theatre’s Artistic Leadership Award. For the development of La Havana Madrid, Teatro Vista and Delgado received from The Chicago Community Trust, and the 2015 Joyce Award. Delgado also received a 3Arts 3AP Project Grant and developed the script as a member of the 2015/2016 Playwright’s Unit at Goodman Theatre. Teatro Vista is supported by The Joyce Foundation, the Chicago Community Trust, Alphawood Foundation, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, The MacArthur Fund for Arts & Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events of the City of Chicago, The Shubert Foundation, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly Foundation, the Chicago Latino Theater Alliance, Purple Group, Cumberland Irving and Vidal & Associates, Inc. and The Saints. For more information, visit, on Twitter (@TeatroVista), Facebook and Instagram.

Collaboraction ( ) collaborates with artists, community activists, and citizens from throughout the city to create original theatrical experiences that push artistic boundaries and explore critical social issues with a diverse community of Chicagoans. Collaboraction has worked with over 3,000 artists to bring more than 60 productions and events to upwards of 250,000 audience members. Production highlights include Collaboraction’s acclaimed series of Crime Scene productions responding to Chicago’s current crime epidemic, 15 years of the SKETCHBOOK Festival, Sarah Moeller’s Forgotten Future: The Education Project in 2014, 2010’s Chicago premiere of 1001 by Jason Grote, 2008’s world premiere of Jon by George Saunders and directed by Seth Bockley, and 2007’s The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow: an instant message with excitable music by Rolin Jones. Collaboraction, based on the third floor of Wicker Park’s historic Flat Iron Arts Building with three theatre spaces, is led by Artistic Director Anthony Moseley and a dedicated staff and board of directors. Collaboraction is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, Richard H. Driehaus Foundation via the MacArthur Foundation, and the Wicker Park & Bucktown SSA #33 Chamber of Commerce. This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency. For tickets and information, visit or call 312.226.9633. 

America’s “Best Regional Theatre” (Time magazine) and “Chicago’s flagship resident stage” (Chicago Tribune), Goodman Theatre is a not-for-profit organization distinguished by the quality and scope of its artistic programming and civic engagement. Founded in 1925, the Goodman is led by Robert Falls—“Chicago’s most essential director” (Chicago Tribune ), who marks 30 years as Artistic Director this season—and Executive Director Roche Schulfer, who is celebrated for his vision and leadership over nearly four decades. Dedicated to new plays, reimagined classics and large-scale musical theater works, Goodman Theatre artists and productions have earned hundreds of awards for artistic excellence, including: two Pulitzer Prizes, 22 Tony Awards, nearly 160 Jeff Awards and more. Over the past three decades, audiences have experienced more than 150 world or American premieres, 30 major musical productions, as well as nationally and internationally celebrated productions of classic works (including Falls’ productions of Death of a Salesman, Long Day’s Journey into Night, King Lear and The Iceman Cometh, many in collaboration with actor Brian Dennehy). In addition, the Goodman is the first theater in the world to produce all 10 plays in August Wilson’s “American Century Cycle.” For nearly four decades, the annual holiday tradition of A Christmas Carol has created a new generation of theatergoers. 

The 2016 opening of the Alice Rapoport Center for Education and Engagement (“the Alice”) launched the next phase in the Goodman’s decades-long commitment as an arts and community organization dedicated to educating Chicago youth and promoting lifelong learning. Programs are offered year-round and free of charge. Eighty-five percent of the Goodman’s youth program participants come from underserved communities.

Goodman Theatre was founded by William O. Goodman and his family in honor of their son Kenneth, an important figure in Chicago’s cultural renaissance in the early 1900s. The Goodman family’s legacy lives on through the continued work and dedication of Kenneth’s family, including Albert Ivar Goodman, who with his late mother, Edith-Marie Appleton, contributed the necessary funds for the creation of the new Goodman center in 2000.

Today, Goodman Theatre leadership includes the distinguished members of the Artistic Collective: Brian Dennehy, Rebecca Gilman, Henry Godinez, Dael Orlandersmith, Steve Scott, Chuck Smith, Regina Taylor, Henry Wishcamper and Mary Zimmerman. Joan Clifford is Chair of Goodman Theatre’s Board of Trustees, Cynthia K. Scholl is Women’s Board President and Justin A. Kulovsek is President of the Scenemakers Board for young professionals. 

Visit the Goodman virtually at —including OnStage+ for insider information—and on Twitter (@GoodmanTheatre), Facebook and Instagram.


Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:


The 2017 Chicago Fringe Festival and Kids Fringe, August 30 - September 10, announce the slate of performances and venues and all tickets go on sale to the public on Tuesday, Aug. 1 at 12 p.m. The eighth annual Chicago Fringe Festival takes place in five venues in Jefferson Park. Entrance to the Chicago Fringe Festival, called Chicago’s “Best Performing Arts Festival” by the Chicago Reader, is a one-time button purchase of $5, after that all individual performances are $10. 

Kids Fringe features free workshops along with ticketed shows that are appropriate for all ages. Tickets for Kids Fringe are $10 for adults, plus the one-time $5 button, and $5 for children ages 12 years and younger, no button required. Passes with a discounted ticket price are available when attending multiple performances: a four-show pass is $36, a ten-show pass is $80 and an unlimited pass is $175. Each venue will have a box office for day-of purchase and the box office for the entire festival is located at Fringe Central, located at Weston’s, 4872 N Milwaukee Ave.  

Schedule of performances, special events and venues are available at

The Chicago Fringe Festival 2017 returns to Jefferson Park after its seventh presenting year. The festival features 50 groups in about 200 performances selected by lottery. The shows include comedies, dramas, dance theater, musicals, performance art and the unclassifiable. This is an uncensored, unjuried, no-holds barred performance event that returns 100% of ticket sales to the artists. In their first seven years, they have returned over $200,000 to artists.

The 2017 Chicago Fringe Festival includes performance groups from around Chicago, the United States and the world, including the return of Mark Toland, Rally Theatre Company, Spartan Theatre Company, Iris Sowlat, Shut Up!, Kelly Haramis, Transcendent Ensemble Theatre,  Science Comedian Brian Malow, Howard Petrick, Wishbone Theatre Collective, Rebel Playhouse and Thom J. Cauley. Other performers hail from: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania as well as Canada, Greece, Ireland and the United Kingdom. Some of the performance groups in Chicago Fringe Festival have participated in other prominent Fringe Festivals, including the Edinburgh Festival, Indy Fringe and the FringeNYC.

8th Annual Chicago Fringe Festival
August 30 – September 10
Fringe Central: Weston’s, 4872 N Milwaukee Ave. 
Performance venues:
The Playhouse at Jefferson Park, 4766 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Windy City Performs - Studio A, 5340 W. Lawrence Ave.
The Gift Theatre, 4802 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Congregational Church of Jefferson Park Meeting Hall, 5320 W. Giddings St. and
Congregational Church of Jefferson Park Gym, 5320 W. Giddings St.
Performance schedule and performer’s information are available at starting August 1. 

Kids Fringe 
September 3 – 10 
The Chicago Fringe Festival Kids Fringe is for audience members 5 – 12 years old. It features five shows along with free crafts, workshops and more.
Artists scheduled to perform*:  Barrel of Monkeys, Tiffany Lawson Dance and Stephanie Chavara from Chicago and Hit the Lights! Theatre Co and Jackie Schiffer from New York City. 

The Chicago Fringe Festival, now in its eighth year, produces an annual performing arts festival devoted to celebrating an inclusive community of adventurous artists, volunteers and patrons. The Chicago Fringe Festival is a member of the Fringe Festival movement and is one of many festivals held throughout the world. The Chicago Fringe Festival unites daring theatergoers with emerging and boundary-pushing local, national and international performing artists while seeking to engage nontraditional audiences through a commitment to low ticket prices and outreach into artistically underserved communities. 

*Artists and programs subject to change. 

The Chicago Fringe Festival is a member of the Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals.

The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, and the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events sponsor the 2017 Chicago Fringe Festival. The 2017 partners include Weston’s, Filament Theatre, Windy City Music Theatre, and the Copernicus Center. 

SAVE THE DATES: New Production of LES MISÉRABLES To Play Chicago’s Cadillac Palace Theatre 10/11-29

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:


OCT. 11-OCT. 29, 2017

Broadway In Chicago is delighted to announce that individual tickets for the return of LES MISÉRABLES go on sale to the general public Friday, August 4, 2017. LES MISÉRABLES plays Broadway In Chicago’s Cadillac Palace Theatre (151 W. Randolph) for a limited three-week engagement October 11-29, 2017.

Cameron Mackintosh presents the new production of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s Tony Award-winning musical phenomenon, LES MISÉRABLES, direct from an acclaimed two-and-a-half-year return to Broadway. With its glorious new staging and dazzlingly reimagined scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo, this breathtaking new production has left both audiences and critics awestruck, cheering “Les Miz is born again!” (NY1). 

Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, LES MISÉRABLES tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption – a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit. Featuring the thrilling score and beloved songs “I Dreamed A Dream,” “On My Own,” “Stars," “Bring Him Home,” “One Day More,” and many more, this epic and uplifting story has become one of the most celebrated musicals in theatrical history. Seen by more than 70 million people in 44 countries and in 22 languages around the globe, LES MISÉRABLES is still the world’s most popular musical, breaking box office records everywhere in its 32nd year. 

Facebook: @LesMizUS
Twitter: @LesMizUS
Instagram: @LesMizUS

Wednesday, Oct. 11 – 7:30PM
Thursday, Oct. 12 – 2:00PM & 7:30PM
Friday, Oct. 13 – 7:30PM
Saturday, Oct. 14 – 2:00PM & 8:00PM
Sunday, Oct. 15 – 2:00PM & 7:30PM
Tuesday, Oct. 17 – 7:30PM
Wednesday, Oct. 18 – 2:00PM & 7:30PM
Thursday, Oct. 19 – 7:30PM
Friday, Oct. 20 – 7:30PM
Saturday, Oct. 21 – 2:00PM & 8:00PM
Sunday, Oct. 22 – 2:00PM
Tuesday, Oct. 24 – 7:30PM
Wednesday, Oct. 25 – 2:00PM & 7:30PM
Thursday, Oct. 26 – 7:30PM
Friday, Oct. 27 – 7:30PM
Saturday, Oct. 28 – 2:00PM & 8:00PM
Sunday, Oct. 29 – 2:00PM

Individual tickets for LES MISÉRABLES at the Cadillac Palace Theatre range from $35-$140. A select number of premium seats are also available for many performances. Tickets are available now for groups of 10 or more by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710.  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 and online at  For more information, visit

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, Oriental Theatre, Cadillac Palace Theatre, and just off the Magnificent Mile, the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place and presenting Broadway shows at The Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University.

For more information, visit

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