Thursday, March 30, 2017

Hubbard Street's DreamTix Makes Free Dance Tickets A Reality For 1,300+ Chicago Public School Students

Hubbard Street launches 
DreamTix ticket access program 
serving over 1,300 Chicago Public School students during its Spring Series performances 



Hubbard Street Board Chair Sara Albrecht and Kathryn Humphreys, the company’s Director of Youth, Education and Community programs, are proud to announce the successful launch of Hubbard Street’s new ticket access for Chicago Public School students and guardians, DreamTix, during its Spring Series performances March 16–19 at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance.

Over 1,300 CPS students, teachers, and guardians received free tickets to Hubbard Street’s Spring Series from 63 Chicago Public Schools. City of Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emanuel, welcomed the DreamTix patrons at the opening night performance on Thursday, March 16 and Kathryn Humphreys, Hubbard Street Director of Youth, Education, and Community Programs held an Educator’s Night in conjunction with the launch of DreamTix to announce the School and Community programming for the 2017-2018 school year.

In the fall of 2016, the organizers of the Chicago Dancing Festival announced that the festival was permanently coming to a close, after ten years of offering free dance performances that reached nearly 200,000 attendees. Hubbard Street Dance Chicago recognized this as an opportunity for our organization to fill the void being left by the festivals closure, particularly for young audiences throughout Chicago. DreamTix was piloted during Hubbard Street’s Season 39 Fall Series. During the pilot, DreamTix was offered to all CPS schools that Hubbard Street partners with via our Youth, Education, and Community Programs. The pilot program proved to be a success, with over 150 attendees from 10 schools. During Hubbard Street’s Spring Series DreamTix officially launched offering over 400 tickets per performance, open to all CPS students.

Over the course of a year, Hubbard Street expects to serve over 6,400 patrons through the DreamTix program. Hubbard Street will continue to offer DreamTix during the Season 39 Summer Series at the Harris Theater June 8–11, 2017.

Says Board Chair Sara Albrecht: “We are very excited to be able to engage with a new and wider audience through DreamTix to provide additional arts experiences to Chicago Public School students.”

Says Kathryn Humphreys: "DreamTix allows us to connect students and families across Chicago to our performance programs year-round. We're excited to add this much needed access to professional dance to our nationally recognized roster of dance education initiatives, reaching an additional 6,000 students annually."

The full list of schools that received DreamTix for the Spring Series includes Hamline Elementary School, James Ward Elementary School, Lincoln Park High School, Spry Community Links High School, McAuliffe Elementary School, Belding Elementary, Coonley Elementary, Alice L. Barnard Elementary School, Nathan S. Davis Elementary School, Columbia Explorers Academy, Avalon Park Elementary School, George Rogers Clark Elementary School, Carnegie Elementary School, Von Steuben Metropolitan High School, Murphy Elementary School, Hitch Elementary School, Parker Community Academy, Jamieson Elementary School, Shields Middle School, Faraday Elementary School, Foreman High School, DuBois Elementary School, Hubbard High School, Curie Metropolitan High School for the Performing Arts, Talcott Fine Arts and Museum Academy, Vaughn Occupational High School, Pilsen Academy, King Academy of Social Justice, McCormick Elementary School, Walter Payton College Preparatory High School, Solorio Academy High School, Lloyd Elementary School, Leif Ericson Scholastic Academy, Inter-American Magnet School, Owen Scholastic Academy, Daniel Hale Williams Academy, William H. Ryder Math & Science Specialty School, Telpochcalli Elementary School, Johnson School of Excellence, Calmeca Academy of Fine Arts and Dual Language, Gage Park High School, Ogden International High School, Rosario Castellanos Elementary School, Ravenswood Elementary School, Dr. Jorge Prieto Math and Science Academy, John W. Gary Elementary School, Sawyer Elementary School, Ruggles Elementary School, J.N. Thorp Elementary School, William H. Brown School of Technology, Mariano Azuela Elementary School, Doolittle Elementary School, Carrie Jacobs Bond Elementary School, Michele Clark Academic Preparatory Magnet High School, Murray Language Academy, John A. Walsh Elementary, Farragut Career Academy, Lindblom Math and Science Academy, Richardson Middle School and Sutherland Elementary School.  

About Hubbard Street
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s core purpose is to bring artists, art and audiences together to enrich, engage, educate, transform and change lives through the experience of dance. Celebrating Season 39 in 2016–17, under the artistic leadership of Glenn Edgerton, Hubbard Street continues to innovate, supporting ascendant creative talent while presenting repertory by internationally recognized living artists. Hubbard Street has grown through the establishment of multiple platforms alongside the Lou Conte Dance Studio — now in its fifth decade of providing a wide range of public classes and pre-professional training — while extensive Youth, Education, Community, Adaptive Dance and Family Programs keep the organization deeply connected to its hometown. Visit hubbardstreetdance.com for artist profiles, touring schedules, and much more.

REVIEW: Flashback to the 60's in Style with RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles at Oriental Theatre Through Sunday

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar

COME CELEBRATE THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE RELEASE OF THE SGT. PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND ALBUM!


Review: 

Tuesday night I had the unique chance to kick off my 50th birthday week with another 50th celebration... the 50th anniversary of the release of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It was a time traveling feat worthy of Dr. Who to be serenaded by RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles. They're in Chicago, bringing down the house at the Oriental Theatre this week through Sunday. 

RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles was a delightful evening and we absolutely recommend this visual and auditory feast. Rain is appropriate for all ages and a great bet for multigenerational family fun. In fact we saw children through octogenarians all clapping, singing along, and enjoying this show. I mean, who doesn't know most Beatles lyrics, fans or not? They've become so interwoven in our culture that they disputably are "more popular than Jesus" now, as John Lennon scandalously stated back in 1966. 

"We're more popular than Jesus now. I don't know which will go first, rock 'n' roll or Christianity..."

The Beatles have had staying power and massive appeal throughout the decades, and this band is charismatic and talented enough to pull off an engaging and convincing show, featuring the Beatles from their early days of suits, skinny ties, and Beatlemania tours all the way through Abbey Road.



Sometimes Broadway touring "cover band" shows suffer from a bit of an identity crisis, where audiences aren't sure whether to watch them like theatre or join in like a concert. Rain does a stellar job of getting patrons out of their seats and into the moment. It was as much fun watching the audience members with giant grins on their faces, trying in vain to keep the beat and having a fabulous time all the same, as it was watching the show.






Here at ChiIL Live Shows we particularly loved the 60's era commercials in the show, crowd shots of enthusiastic fans, and the ever evolving costumes and hair styles emulated by the band. RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles is a solid two hours of music from the Beatles' entire career, featuring several encores. It was truly a treat to hear and see Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band performed in its entirety, with a light show and psychedelic screen extravaganza. Whether you want to relive the 60's and the heyday of the Beatles or were born decades later, this show is something to see. Don't miss this.




NOW PLAYING AT THE ORIENTAL THEATRE 
FOR ONE WEEK ONLY!

Broadway In Chicago is pleased to announce RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles is now playing at Oriental Theatre (24 W Randolph) for a limited one-week engagement March 28- April 2, 2017. RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles celebrates the 50th anniversary of the release of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band! For the first time ever, RAIN will bring the historic album to life in its entirety for this psychedelic multimedia spectacular!

As “the next best thing to seeing The Beatles!” (Associated Press), RAIN performs the full range of The Beatles' discography live onstage, including the most complex and challenging songs that The Beatles themselves recorded in the studio but never performed for an audience. In addition to the updated sets that include brand new LED, High-Definition screens and multimedia content, RAIN will bring the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album to life in its entirety with the launch of the 2017 Tour.

Together longer than The Beatles, RAIN has mastered every song, gesture and nuance of the legendary foursome, delivering a totally live, note-for-note performance that’s as infectious as it is transporting. Let RAIN take you back with all of the songs from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band along with all of your other Beatles favorites such as “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “Hard Day’s Night,” “Let It Be,” “Come Together,” “Hey Jude” and more! This adoring tribute will take you back to a time when all you needed was love, and a little help from your friends!



“On their feet, with arms raised high above their heads, all in the audience were swaying and singing along in blissed-out, nostalgia-powered unison!"
-- Chicago Sun-Times

“The enraptured audience relives the soundtrack of its life!”
-- Chicago Tribune

This mind blowing performance takes you back in time with the legendary foursome delivering a note-for-note theatrical event that is the next best thing to seeing the Beatles. Experience the worlds’ most iconic band and come celebrate 50 years of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band with RAIN – A TRIBUTE TO THE BEATLES.

Get Social:
Become a fan of RAIN on Facebook, follow RAIN on Twitter @raintribute, Instagram: @RainTribute and YouTube.



PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE
Tuesday at 7:30 PM
Wednesday at 7:30 PM
Thursday at 7:30 PM
Friday at 7:30 PM
Saturday at 2 PM and 8 PM
Sunday at 2 PM and 7:30 PM

TICKET INFORMATION
Individual tickets for RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles at the Oriental Theatre range from $35-$75. 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, all Ticketmaster retail locations and online at www.BroadwayInChicago.com. 



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, 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 www.BroadwayInChicago.com.
Facebook @BroadwayInChicago ● Twitter @broadwaychicago ● Instagram @broadwayinchicago ● #broadwayinchicago

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

OPENING: Award Winning Mary Poppins Musical Arrives at Mercury Theater Chicago 3/29-5/28

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

Mercury Theater Chicago, 3745 N. Southport Avenue – is delighted to announce the cast of the high-flying, family-musical 
MARY POPPINS 


The magical nanny Mary Poppins will be played by newcomer Nicole Armold, and the loveable jack-of-all trades Bert will be played by Jeff Award winner Matthew Crowle. The production will be led by Jeff Award Winners L. Walter Stearns (Director), Eugene Dizon (Music Director) and Brenda Didier (Choreography). The show plays from March 29 through May 28. 


**Ages 6+. Run time 2 hours w/ 15min intermission**

ChiIL Mama's Chi, IL Picks List: Family Friendly Theatre Fun

Disney’s MARY POPPINS is a Supercalifragilistic musical combining the best of the original stories by P. L. Travers and the beloved Walt Disney film. The Tony Award-winning MARY POPPINS is everything you'd hope for in a Broadway musical—and like nothing you'd ever expect. Get swept up in tunes like ‘Spoonful of Sugar,’ ‘Feed the Birds’ and of course ‘Chim Chim Cher-ee’ as young Jane and Michael learn life lessons from their unconventional nanny and the lovable jack-of-all-trades Bert. So, bring the whole family and spend a ‘Jolly Holiday’ with Mary and an irresistible cast of characters.

ChiIL Mama will be there for the press opening is Friday, April 7th, so check back soon for our full review. 



Winner of 44 theatre awards around the globe, MARY POPPINS has captivated audiences for generations with its enchanting story, unforgettable songs and dazzling dance numbers. Based on the books by P.L. Travers and the classic Walt Disney film, Disney and Cameron Mackintosh's MARY POPPINS has delighted Broadway audiences for over 2,500 performances and received nominations for nine Olivier and seven Tony Awards including Best Musical.

It takes a lot of imagination and creativity to bring the magical world of Mary Poppins to life.  After bringing mystery to The Addams Family, Neil Tobin is returning to Mercury Theater Chicago as Magic Designer. He is the creator of the solo show, “Supernatural Chicago”, which ran for 10 years of weekly performances at Castle nightclub. Russ Walko is also returning to Mercury Theater Chicago after building the beautiful Jeff nominated puppets of Avenue Q in 2014. Walko has built and performed puppets on the television shows “Community” and “The Simpsons.” His puppets were featured in the Broadway production of The Pee-Wee Herman Show Live, and is no stranger to Chicago theater, having created puppets for multiple StarKids Productions.

MARY POPPINS was written by Julian Fellows (creator of Downton Abbey), with music and lyrics by Disney Legends Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, with new songs and additional music and lyrics by Anthony Drewe and George Stiles.

After an exhaustive search and casting process, Mercury Theater Chicago is pleased to introduce a bright new talent to Chicago; Nicole Armold as Mary Poppins. Joining her is Jeff Award winner and Broadway talent Matthew Crowle as Bert. Rounding out the cast for this magical adventure will be Kayla Boye, Pearle Bramlett, Timothy Eidman, Dan Gold, Cory Goodrich, Sage Harper, Graham Hawley, Casey Lyons, Ashley Lanyon, Conor McGarry, Kevin McKillip, Leah Morrow, Peyton Owen, Erin Parker, Cameron Turner and Holly Stauder. The scenic design is by Adam Veness with costume design by Rachel Boylan, lighting design by Nick Belley and sound design by Mike Ross. The production stage manager is Kristi J. Martens with assistance by Jeri Fredrickson.

The beautifully renovated Mercury Theater Chicago is an intimate jewel box of a theater in the heart of the Southport Corridor, a sophisticated neighborhood of restaurants and boutiques just steps from Wrigley Field. A delightful theater destination, Mercury Theater Chicago takes care of its guests from the moment they arrive with valet service and dining at its adjoining restaurant, Grassroots.

The performance schedule for MARY POPPINS is Wednesdays at 7:30pm, Thursdays at 7:30pm, Fridays at 7:30pm, Saturdays at 3pm and 7:30pm and Sundays at 1pm and 6pm. Thursday matinees at 3pm are available from April 20 - May 28.

Individual tickets range from $30-$65, and are available online at www.MercuryTheaterChicago.com, over the phone at 773.325.1700, or in person at 3745 N. Southport Avenue, Chicago.

MARY POPPINS runs approximately 2 hours including a 15-minute intermission. We recommend that children be at least six years old to attend a performance of MARY POPPINS.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

REVIEW: YEPP's Forging From Fire at Athenaeum Theatre Highly Recommended

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar

YEPP’s New Production: 
Forging From Fire 



**Recommended for ages 13+ due to references to adult situations. **
Performance lasts 1 hour and 30 minutes without intermission.

Wow. Just wow. I'm speechless at the talent, beauty, and strength of the cast of Forging From Fire. We caught the first complete run of the show on Friday evening, and were stunned by the powerhouse vocals, dance and art that has grown from channeling some pretty devastating and intense experiences through YEPP's recovery process. Come catch this show and spread the word. This fierce foursome of survivors are inspirational to say the least. Highly recommended!

Adolescence is tough for even conventional kids with supportive families. It can be brutal for LGBTQ or trans teens who are bullied by peers, victimized by older predators, or stuck in the foster system or homeless on the streets. It's complicated and confusing to become your true self if you're not sure who you are and society's putting on the pressure. This ensemble is a shining beacon of light to other teens who are struggling through abuse, self loathing, doubt, self destructive habits and hard times. In the current political climate, the vulnerable need all the allies they can get, to step up and have their backs. Kudos to YEPP for not only providing a safe space for survivors' recovery, but for sharing the stories. Everyone deserves to be seen and not hurt. Everyone deserves to be heard.

Youth Empowerment Performance Project (YEPP), a non-for-profit organization that supports lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth experiencing homelessness, is opening its new show at the Athenaeum Theatre during March 23-26 titled Forging From Fire. This performance is based on the healing process and true stories of 6 young people facing homelessness and other personal, emotional and physical struggles. 

Forging From Fire
Venue: Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago, IL 60657 

Dates and Times: 
March 23rd, 1:00PM, 7:00PM March 24th, 1:00PM, 7:00PM March 25th, 3:00PM, 7:00PM March 26th, 1:00PM, 5:00PM 

Admission: $20 Seniors/Students, $25 Adults

Forging From Fire tells of the various journeys that individual ensemble members have taken to build lasting relationships and how circumstances, behaviors and choices can create compromising situations. Through diligent deconstruction and self-discovery, each member worked through a heated process to understand ways to develop meaningful and healthy relationships afterwards to mold and refine a new space of love - for one’s self and for others. Some of the life-topics they address include physical, verbal and sexual violence, DCFS and the foster care system, incarceration within the trans and gender non-conforming community, domestic violence, self-harm, mental health, and suicide, among many others. Forging From Fire is the journey of the ensemble members to continue discovering their inner- power to become agents of change within themselves and in their communities. 


About YEPP: 
YEPP seeks a safe environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth experiencing homelessness to explore their history, investigate new ways to address their struggles and celebrate their strengths through the process of developing a theatrical performance piece. 
YEPP uses harm reduction, social justice, transformative justice and education for liberation (theatre of the oppressed and popular education) frameworks to contain and guide the work. 

We work with the ensemble members for one year: 6 to 8 months in the story telling, individual-group healing, and theatrical performance piece development, and 6 months traveling around the country performing, creating awareness and educating communities about LGBTQ street-based youth issues. 

GET SOCIAL: 
YEPP’s Web Page: www.WeSayYEPP.com
Twitter: @WeSayYEPP
Facebook Page: Facebook.com/WeSayYEPP 

EXTENDED: Disney’s Aladdin Now Playing Chicago's Cadillac Palace Through September 10th

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

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

Final 10 Weeks Go On Sale Friday, April 7


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. 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. Click HERE for a complete performance schedule for Aladdin.

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.

GET SOCIAL: Facebook @BroadwayInChicago ● Twitter @broadwaychicago ● Instagram @broadwayinchicago ● #broadwayinchicago

Thursday, March 23, 2017

OPENING: Forging From Fire, True Stories of 6 Young People Facing Homelessness and Other Struggles

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar

YEPP’s New Production: 
Forging From Fire 



**Recommended for ages 13+ due to references to adult situations. **
Performance lasts 1 hour and 30 minutes without intermission.

Here at ChiIL Mama and ChiIL Live Shows, we firmly believe ALL voices deserve and need to be heard. Tonight, instead of reviewing, we'll be learning, witnessing, and listening. We're very much looking forward to hearing the true back stories of 6 survivors who are brave enough to share their experiences and recovery process. 

Youth Empowerment Performance Project (YEPP), a non-for-profit organization that supports lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth experiencing homelessness, is opening its new show at the Athenaeum Theatre during March 23-26 titled Forging From Fire. This performance is based on the healing process and true stories of 6 young people facing homelessness and other personal, emotional and physical struggles. 

Forging From Fire
Venue: Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago, IL 60657 

Dates and Times: 
March 23rd, 1:00PM, 7:00PM March 24th, 1:00PM, 7:00PM March 25th, 3:00PM, 7:00PM March 26th, 1:00PM, 5:00PM 

Admission: $20 Seniors/Students, $25 Adults

Forging From Fire tells of the various journeys that individual ensemble members have taken to build lasting relationships and how circumstances, behaviors and choices can create compromising situations. Through diligent deconstruction and self-discovery, each member worked through a heated process to understand ways to develop meaningful and healthy relationships afterwards to mold and refine a new space of love - for one’s self and for others. Some of the life-topics they address include physical, verbal and sexual violence, DCFS and the foster care system, incarceration within the trans and gender non-conforming community, domestic violence, self-harm, mental health, and suicide, among many others. Forging From Fire is the journey of the ensemble members to continue discovering their inner- power to become agents of change within themselves and in their communities. 


About YEPP: 
YEPP seeks a safe environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth experiencing homelessness to explore their history, investigate new ways to address their struggles and celebrate their strengths through the process of developing a theatrical performance piece. 
YEPP uses harm reduction, social justice, transformative justice and education for liberation (theatre of the oppressed and popular education) frameworks to contain and guide the work. 

We work with the ensemble members for one year: 6 to 8 months in the story telling, individual-group healing, and theatrical performance piece development, and 6 months traveling around the country performing, creating awareness and educating communities about LGBTQ street-based youth issues. 


GET SOCIAL: 
YEPP’s Web Page: www.WeSayYEPP.com
Twitter: @WeSayYEPP
Facebook Page: Facebook.com/WeSayYEPP 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

REVIEW: CIRCUS 1903 –The Golden Age of Circus! Now Playing at Chicago's Oriental Theatre

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

NOW PLAYING THROUGH MARCH 26TH AT THE ORIENTAL THEATRE


Review:
As promised, Circus 1903 –The Golden Age of Circus! delivers impressive, life sized elephantine puppets with personality to spare, vintage thrills, side show schtick, period piece costumes, and an altogether enjoyable evening out. Sometimes less is more and featuring one expert contortionist, one aerialist, one juggler etc. at a time with theatrical lighting and a dramatic score makes for a stronger impression than traditional arena, three ring circus shows, with stimulus overload.



I took my 13 year old daughter who has studied circus arts for 5 years and she enjoyed the show. It's a great pick for all ages, family friendly fun. Little ones and adult volunteers may even be chosen to assist with the acts!



The puppetry by award winning War Horse veterans was fun to see, though we would have liked to see more of the elephant mother and tot. Their primary scene is just drinking water from a bucket and a few very basic circus moves. A bigger role with more circus tricks and a rider would have been more impressive and worthy of their delightful design. The side show silliness, except the talented contortionist, could have been skipped, along with the whip act. Having seen an actual Guinness World Record holding whip act annually at Renaissance Faire, this was anticlimactic.



Circus 1903 –The Golden Age of Circus! also misses a golden opportunity with little plot or character development and nearly nothing historical except the costumes. We're lucky in Chicago to have a world class circus scene, and we've seen what's possible when circus arts are incorporated into period piece shows, to advance the storyline. Lookingglass Theatre, The House Theatre, Goodman Theatre, and Actors Gymnasium, among others, have done stellar shows with compelling characters and interesting plots. Circus 1903 –The Golden Age of Circus! was basically just a series of stunts, albeit excellent ones, by skilled performers. We were left wanting more of a plot specific to 1903 and circus history, as well as more back story and relationships between the performers.

That said, if you're nostalgic for the parading pachyderms of circus days gone by, without the animal ethics issues, and entranced by performers with extraordinary skills, Circus 1903 –The Golden Age of Circus! is fun for an evening.





ChiIL Mama's ChiIL Picks List 

Broadway In Chicago is thrilled to introduce CIRCUS 1903 –The Golden Age of Circus! From the producers of the world’s biggest magic show, The Illusionists, and the award-winning puppeteers of War Horse comes a turn-of-the-century circus spectacular. CIRCUS 1903 –The Golden Age of Circus has all the thrill and daredevil entertainment one would expect from the circus, with an exciting new twist. Discover the golden age of circus at the Oriental Theatre (24 W Randolph) March 21- 26 as CIRCUS 1903 captivates audiences of all ages.

Sensational puppetry puts elephants back in the ring as never seen before by introducing the largest- ever performing African elephant and her baby, along with a huge cast of the most unique, amazing and dangerous circus acts from all four corners of the world – from strong men to contortionists, acrobats to musicians, high wire and much more!

The award-winning team of puppeteers and model makers who created the National Theatre’s War Horse brings to life two stunningly beautiful elephants for CIRCUS 1903. Featuring groundbreaking advances in design and expression, the puppets appear throughout the show as the mother teaches her calf the tricks of the trade.



CIRCUS 1903 –The Golden Age of Circus is produced by Simon Painter, Tim Lawson and MagicSpace Entertainment. Painter and Lawson have created Le Grand Cirque, Le Noir, Cirque Adrenaline and The Illusionists in over 250 cities from London to Sydney to Broadway, as well as presenting A Chorus Line, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Fiddler on the Roof through Australia. MagicSpace Entertainment has been producing and presenting national tours, Broadway shows, concerts and museum exhibits worldwide for over 35 years, including The Illusionists - Witness the Impossible, Donny & Marie – A Broadway Christmas, American Idiot, RAIN - A Tribute To The Beatles On Broadway, Lord of the Dance created by Michael Flatley, Jesus Christ Superstar, A Chorus Line and national concert tours by Janet Jackson, Cher and Fleetwood Mac.


CIRCUS 1903 –The Golden Age of Circus is designed by scenic artist Todd Ivins and set in an extraordinary and decadent circus tent. Act One is set in front of the circus with trucks, props and rigging. Act Two features the tent, flagpoles and rigging being raised into the roof of the theatre.

The costumes for CIRCUS 1903 –The Golden Age of Circus are designed by Angela Aaron, whose impeccable recreations of original turn-of-the-century circus costumes are a work of art inspired by authentic photographic collections, studying historical museum pieces and discussions with experts and historians.

No circus would be complete without its music. The soundtrack of CIRCUS 1903 –The Golden Age of Circus encapsulates the time period and accentuates the thrill and danger of the acts. It is composed by Evan Jolly, composer of many of Painter and Lawson’s international hits.



Get Social:
Follow CIRCUS 1903 –The Golden Age of Circus Twitter: @Circus1903, Facebook and Instagram: @Circus1903 www.Circus1903.com

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE
Tuesday, March 21 – 7:30PM Wednesday, March 22 – 7:30PM Thursday, March 23 – 7:30PM
Friday, March 24 – 7:30PM
Saturday, March 25 – 2:00PM & 8:00PM Sunday, March 26 – 2:00PM & 7:30PM

TICKET INFORMATION
Individual tickets for CIRCUS 1903 –The Golden Age of Circus at the Oriental Theatre range from $16- $80 with premium seats available for all performances. Group tickets for 10 or more are available 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, all Ticketmaster retail locations and online at www.BroadwayInChicago.com.

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, 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 www.broadwayinchicago.com.
Facebook @BroadwayInChicago ● Twitter @broadwaychicago ● Instagram @broadwayinchicago ●
#broadwayinchicago




Tuesday, March 21, 2017

RENT 20th ANNIVERSARY TOUR Tickets On Sale March 22nd for Oriental Theatre 5/9-14

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

RENT 20th ANNIVERSARY TOUR 
PLAYING THE ORIENTAL THEATRE MAY 9-14, 2017

TICKETS GO ON SALE TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22


Broadway In Chicago is pleased to announce that single tickets for the upcoming RENT 20th Anniversary Tour engagement in Chicago will go on sale to the general public Wednesday, March 22, 2017. The popular musical will play the Oriental Theatre for a limited one-week engagement from May 9-14, 2017.

In 1996, an original rock musical by a little-known composer opened on Broadway and forever changed the landscape of American theatre. Two decades later, Jonathan Larson's RENT continues to speak loudly and defiantly to audiences across generations and all over the world. Now, this Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award®-winning masterpiece returns to the stage in a vibrant 20th anniversary touring production. A re-imagining of Puccini's La Bohme, RENT follows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams without selling out. With its inspiring message of joy and hope in the face of fear, this timeless celebration of friendship and creativity reminds us to measure our lives with the only thing that truly matters, love.  

The show received its world premiere Off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop on February 13, 1996 to ecstatic reviews and transferred to Broadway on April 29, 1996. RENT is winner of the 1996 Tony Award® for Best Musical as well as the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It is one of only five musicals to win both awards.

Based on the original direction by Michael Greif (Tony and Drama Desk Nominations, RENT), Evan Ensign will restage this 20th anniversary tour. Marlies Yearby (Tony Nomination, RENT) will serve as choreographer.

The RENT 20th Anniversary Tour is produced by Work Light Productions, whose other touring productions include Cinderella, MAMMA MIA!, Irving Berlin's White Christmas, Vocalosity, and Crazy For You.

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE
Tuesday, May 9 7:30PM
Wednesday, May 10 7:30PM
Thursday, May 11 7:30PM
Friday, May 12 7:30PM
Saturday, May 13 2:00PM & 8:00PM
Sunday, May 14 2:00PM & 7:30PM

TICKET INFORMATION 
Individual tickets for RENT at the Oriental Theatre range from $25-$90 with premium seats available for all performances. Group tickets for 10 or more are available 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, all Ticketmaster retail locations and online at www.BroadwayInChicago.com.

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, 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 www.broadwayinchicago.com. 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Cavalia Horses Arrive Via "Air Horse One" For Holiday Before Entertaining Chicago Audiences April 1

ODYSSEO’S 65 HORSES ARRIVE 
AT O’HARE
BEFORE VACATIONING AT MIDWEST FARM
EQUESTRIAN STARS TAKE BREAK BEFORE PERFORMANCES OF 
ODYSSEO BY CAVALIA

START UNDER WHITE BIG TOP AT SOLDIER FIELD SOUTH LOT, APRIL 1



Special 727 nicknamed "Air Horse One," operated by Kalitta Charters
All photos by Travis Schoening



If you think only humans like horsing around, check out these equestrian super stars and world travelers. They arrived this week at Chicago's O'Hare airport and are taking a break from show biz to enjoy southern Wisconsin hospitality. Here at ChiIL Live Shows and ChiIL Mama, we're so excited to catch this big top extravaganza. I'll be there with the whole family, to review on opening night. Book your tickets now, for best availability! 



As the logistical and technical teams work on completing the Odysseo Village at Soldier Field South Lot for the highly-anticipated Midwest debut of Odysseo by Cavalia on April 1, its 65 magnificent horses have arrived in Chicago and are enjoying a relaxing 14-day stay at a nearby farm.




Following sold-out performances in Vancouver, BC, the four-legged stars flew into Chicago O’Hare International airport aboard a chartered 747 aircraft equipped with air stalls. They were then transported to a lavish and spacious farm in Bristol, Wisconsin, in specially equipped trailers alongside Odysseo’s equine specialists. The Odysseo herd, consisting of nine breeds including Appaloosa, Arabian, Quarter Horse, Holsteiner, Lusitano, Paint Horse, Percheron Hanoverian Cross, Selle Français and Spanish Purebred (P.R.E.), is under the care of a 20-person team. 



My husband, Dug Mara, a location sound engineer, frequently works with a crew from ESPN, and some of the guys have flown along on "Air Horse One" with other equestrians during a TV shoot. How cool would that be?!











At their Wisconsin retreat, expansive paddocks welcome the four-legged stars of Odysseo where they are able to play, bathe in the sun or roll in the snow. This interlude between shows is part of Cavalia’s horse care and training philosophy, which is based on understanding the needs, preferences, and emotions of the animals, and on mutual respect, kindness, patience, and trust.

















The world’s largest touring show, Odysseo is a show unlike any other on the planet, an immersive theatrical experience in which horses are front and center. Imagined by Normand Latourelle - creator of Cavalia and renowned for combining different forms of artistic expression and reinventing the scenic space - Odysseo is a veritable revolution in live performance that makes hearts race. Audiences of all ages will be transported on an epic journey to some of nature’s greatest wonders by this breathtaking production that features the 65 horses plus 48 talented riders, acrobats, aerialists, dancers and musicians. 

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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