Wednesday, January 31, 2018

GIVEAWAY: WIN 4 Tickets (up to $136 value) to SHORT SHAKESPEARE! A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM at The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare


Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar 
OPENING:

SHORT SHAKESPEARE! A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM
Abridgment brings Shakespeare’s enchanted comedy 
to students and families in The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare, beginning February 3rd

Running Time: 75-minutes * Family Friendly




ENTER HERE  for your chance to WIN 
4 tickets (up to $136 value) for your choice of 11am or 2pm on Saturday, February 10, 2018 ONLY. 
SHORT SHAKESPEARE! A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM 
Enter through midnight Monday, February 5th. Winner will be e-mailed and announced on our site and ChiIL Mama's social media networks.


Here at ChiIL Mama and ChiIL Live Shows we've been fervent fans of Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) for so many decades we've seen them perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream in it's entirety and as a Short Shakespeare 75-minute abridgment, several times over the years. Each production is fresh and new, and this 2018 version is extra exciting, because it's the first Shakespeare play to be performed in their new space, The Yard! Never fear, despite it's name, The Yard is indoors, heated, and awesome. 


Travis Turner as Puck. Photos by Liz Lauren


Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) presents Short Shakespeare! A Midsummer Night’s Dream —a 75-minute abridgment of William Shakespeare’s riotous tale of mismatched love among mischievous fairies, young lovers, and an amateur theatrical troupe. Directed and adapted by Jess McLeod and featuring a power-packed ensemble cast, this production will bring the magic to life for more than 1,000 students each day in the innovative, new venue The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare during its six-week run. 

Short Shakespeare! A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be performed for the public on Saturdays February 3–March 10, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. After each performance, the actors remain on stage for a question-and-answer session before joining the audience in the Lobby for one-on-one conversation and photo opportunities. 

This year, Short Shakespeare! A Midsummer Night’s Dream will have an extended run in The Yard, allowing thousands of additional students and families to engage with this education program. The Yard will be configured as an intimate thrust stage, with audiences surrounding the stage on three sides and runway aisles for actor entrances and exits. 

Titania (Christiana Clark) beckons Bottom (Adam Wesley Brown), who has been transfigured into an ass, and her Fairy attendants (Hannah Starr and Lane Anthony Flores). Photo by Liz Lauren.


Jess McLeod makes her Chicago Shakespeare debut with Short Shakespeare! A Midsummer Night’s Dream, although her work has reached thousands of audiences as resident director of Chicago’s Hamilton. In 2016, she was awarded the Michael Maggio Fellowship by Goodman Theatre and has directed at a range of local theatres including Victory Gardens, Haven Theatre, and Steppenwolf’s Next Up! Program. McLeod is also a teaching artist at Storycatcher’s Theatre and a program manager for the annual “Louder Than a Bomb” youth poetry festival.


Adam Wesley Brown as Bottom and Christiana Clark as Titania. 
Photo by Bill Burlingham.

The Short Shakespeare! A Midsummer Night’s Dream cast features Adam Wesley Brown (Bottom, through March 18), Ally Carey (Helena), Christiana Clark (Titania/Hippolyta), Richard Costes (Snout/Fairy), Lane Anthony Flores (Flute/Fairy), Sean Fortunato (Oberon/Theseus), Jeremy Peter Johnson (Bottom, beginning March 19), Jarett King (Egeus/Quince), Andrew L. Saenz (Demetrius), Faith Servant (Hermia), Christopher Sheard (Lysander), Drew Shirley (Starveling), Hannah Starr (Snug/Fairy), and Travis Turner (Puck).

Collaborating with Jess McLeod to transform The Yard into an enchanted forest setting is Scenic Designer Lauren Nigri, Costume Designer Izumi Inaba, Lighting Designer Greg Hofmann, Sound Designer Mikhail Fiksel, Wig and Make-up Designer Richard Jarvie, Fight Choreographer Jerry Galante, Verse Coach Kathryn Walsh, and Assistant Director Héctor Alvarez.

Chicago Shakespeare’s Short Shakespeare! Series is rooted in the Theater’s steadfast commitment to young audiences, which has resulted in one in four audience members being age 18 or under. Chicago Shakespeare partners with teachers to extend the experience into the classroom, providing show-specific materials and activities in addition to leading free professional development workshops for teachers.



Public Performance Dates:
Saturday, February 3, 2018 – 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 10, 2018 – 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 17, 2018 – 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 24, 2018 – 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 3, 2018 – 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 10, 2018 – 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

For more information, visit www.chicagoshakes.com/ssmidsummer.

Short Shakespeare! A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be performed in The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare, Saturdays at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., February 3–March 10, 2018. Tickets are on sale now for $22–$34 (subject to change). For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Box Office at 312.595.5600 or visit the Theater’s website at www.chicagoshakes.com.

CST strives to make its facility and performances accessible to all patrons through its Access Shakespeare programs. Short Shakespeare! A Midsummer Night’s Dream will have an Audio-Described Performance on Saturday, February 17 at 11:00 a.m. and an Open-captioned and ASL Duo-interpreted Performance on Saturday, February 24 at 11:00 a.m.



ABOUT CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE THEATER
A global theatrical force, Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) is known for vibrant productions that reflect Shakespeare’s genius for storytelling, musicality of language, and empathy for the human condition. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Barbara Gaines and Executive Director Criss Henderson, Chicago Shakespeare has redefined what a great American Shakespeare theater can be, putting forward a company that delights in the unexpected and defies theatrical category. A Regional Tony Award-winning theater, CST produces acclaimed plays at its home on Navy Pier, throughout Chicago’s schools and neighborhoods, and on stages around the world. In 2017, the Theater unveiled a new stage, The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare. Together with the Jentes Family Courtyard Theater and the Thoma Theater Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare, The Yard positions CST as the city’s most versatile performing arts venue.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

HELP OUT: Fill The Pantry to Benefit Greater Chicago Food Depository and Save 20%-35% On Medieval Times Tickets Through February 4th

Medieval Times Queen Challenges Patrons to Provide 3,000 Meals for Neighbors in Need
During Annual ‘Fill the Pantry’ Campaign to Benefit 
Greater Chicago Food Depository


Here at ChiIL Mama, we adore Medieval Times and we're elated they're stepping up once again to help the region's hungry. Chicago families are generous and we're happy to spread the word so their 2018 drive can be more successful than ever. The best news is, those who give receive too! For any three non-perishable food items dropped off at the Schaumburg Castle between now and Feb. 4, donors will receive 35 percent off adult tickets to Medieval Times, and 20 percent off tickets for children age 12 and younger. 

By order of Her Majesty, Queen Maria Isabella, newly-crowned monarch of Medieval Times, the Schaumburg Castle’s post-holiday Fill the Pantry initiative has officially launched, set to run through Feb. 4, 2017.  In an attempt to re-fill local food pantry stockpiles that historically begin to run low this time of year after the holiday surplus, the Queen is challenging patrons to donate enough food to provide 3,000 meals to families served by the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

Among Medieval Times’ nine castles nationwide the 2017 Fill The Pantry campaign garnered more than 8,000 pounds of food donations, the largest portion of which came from the Schaumburg castle. Queen Maria Isabella’s 3,000-meal challenge to Chicago-area fans represents an almost 15 percent increase over the 3,173 pounds (2,644 meals) donated locally during last year’s drive.

Discounted tickets can be purchased on-line at medievaltimes.com/chicago, using the code FOOD18, or at the Medieval Times box office, 2001 N. Roselle Rd., Schaumburg, Ill. Three donated food items are required for each admission, with a limit of 14 discounted admissions per order. Fill the Pantry discounts are valid off full-price adult and children’s tickets only, and cannot be combined with any other discount, group rate or voucher tickets.

About Medieval Times 
The only entertainment venue of its type in the Midwest, Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament in Schaumburg, Ill., unveiled its first all-new storyline since 2012 last month, marking the first time in the company’s 34-year history that a female monarch has been cast as the sole ruler of the realm. The colossal stone castle, located 15 miles northwest of O’Hare Airport, just off I-90, beckons guests of all ages to enjoy an adrenaline-charged live jousting tournament, filled with awe-inspiring horsemanship and falconry, knights engaged in rousing displays of strength and skill, and a four-course feast fit for a queen. For additional information, visit medievaltimes.com/chicago.

About Greater Chicago Food Depository
Founded in 1979, the Greater Chicago Food Depository makes a daily impact across Cook County through 650 pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, mobile programs, children’s programs and innovative responses that address the root causes of hunger. Last year, the Food Depository distributed 68 million pounds of shelf-stable food, fresh produce, dairy products and meat, the equivalent of 155,000 meals every day. For additional information, visit chicagosfoodbank.org.

REVIEW: Loving Lies Make The Man, In Moon Man Walk, Upstairs at Victory Gardens

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar:

Definition Theatre Company 
Announces Final Production of 2017/18 Season
the Chicago Premiere of
Moon Man Walk
Written by James Ijames
Directed by Tyla Abercrumbie


all photos by joe mazza_brave lux, inc. 


Review:
Definition Theatre Company has a hit on their hands once again, with stellar storytelling, and a tender tale of love, lies, and loss. With a felon for a father and a single mom struggling to make ends meet, Monarch (Debo Balogunbeats the odds and matures into an articulate, literate young adult. Moon Man Walk begins as this bookish boy deals with the death of his mother, a new potential love interest, and memories of growing up with tales of an absentee astronaut father trapped on the moon. 



It's only after his mother's death that Monarch truly comes to know the essence of who she was and the sacrifices she made for him, as he sorts through her album collection and belongings with newfound friend and love interest, Petrushka (Chanell Bell).



This tender tale is told with wisdom and humor and plays out on a clever, multilevel set. All the actors do a fabulous job with Chanell Bell, Petrushka and Debo Balogun, Monarch as particular standouts. I was also impressed with on stage favorite, Tyla Abercrumbie's directorial debut skills. 


running time is approximately 85 minutes, no intermission 
January 26 - February 25, 2018

Definition Theatre Company, under the leadership of Artistic Director Tyrone Phillips and Managing Director Neel McNeill, announces the final production of its 2017-2018 Season, the Chicago premiere of Moon Man Walk, written by James Ijames and directed by Tyla Abercrumbie.  

Moon Man Walk runs January 26 - February 25, 2018 in the Richard Christiansen Theater at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, as part of Definition’s tenure in the Victory Gardens Resident Theater Program. The press opening is Sunday, January 28, 2018 at 2:30 p.m. Single tickets are on sale and may be purchased by calling the Victory Gardens box office at 773-781-3000 or at victorygardens.org.

Monarch must return to Philadelphia following the sudden death of his mother. On the journey back to his boyhood home to plan for her funeral, Monarch mourns, falls in love, and discovers that sometimes, the truth lies someplace between the surface of the moon and wherever you are. Moon Man Walk is a moving and enthralling new play exploring the enduring connection between a mother and her son, and the space required to recognize a past that is becoming ever more present.

“The Chicago theatre community must continue to nurture new work and give opportunities for regional and world premieres in order to be a national leader for the arts,” said Artistic Director Tyrone Phillips. “Definition Theatre is thrilled to be shifting our focus to produce what we call ‘future classics’ and end our season with Moon Man Walk by James Ijames. This production will mark our fourth Chicago Premiere as a company and we are very fortunate to have Tyla Abercrumbie making her directorial debut by way of this moving piece.”


The cast of Moon Man Walk includes:


Debo Balogun


**CASTING CHANGE: Chanell Bell now plays Petrushka in the Chicago premiere of Moon Man Walk. 


Shadana Patterson 


and Michael Anthony Rawlins

The creative team for Moon Man Walk includes Eleanor Kahn (Set Designer), Kristy Leigh Hall (Costume Designer), Slick Jorgensen (Lighting and Projection Designer), and Matt Test (Sound Designer). Mercedes White is the Assistant Director and Athanasia Giannetos is the dramaturg.

Dates: January 26 - February 25, 2018
Previews: January 26 - 28, 2018
Regular Run: February 1 - February 25, 2018

Schedule: Thursday: 8 p.m.
Friday: 8 p.m.
Saturday: 8 p.m.
Sunday: 2:30 p.m.

Location: The Richard Christiansen Theater at Victory Gardens, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue,in the heart of Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood

Ticket prices: $15-$30
Box Office: The Box Office is located at 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago.
773.871.3000; www.victorygardens.org.

Definition Theatre Company is part of the Victory Gardens Resident Theater Program. All performances during the 2017-2018 season will take place in the Richard Christiansen Theater at Victory Gardens. 


         
About Definition Theatre Company
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. Most recently, Definition, in association with the Goodman Theatre, staged the Chicago Premiere of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ An Octoroon, a subversive take on race in America that captivated audiences this past summer.

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 definitiontheatre.org and facebook.com/definitiontheatrecompany

Thursday, January 25, 2018

ADULT NIGHT OUT: Definition Theatre Company's Chicago Premiere of Moon Man Walk Opens Opens at Victory Gardens Theater 1/26/18

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar:

Definition Theatre Company 
Announces Final Production of 2017/18 Season
the Chicago Premiere of
Moon Man Walk
Written by James Ijames
Directed by Tyla Abercrumbie


running time is approximately 85 minutes, no intermission 
January 26 - February 25, 2018

Here at ChiIL Mama and ChiIL Live Shows, we were blown away by many of Definition Theatre Company's edgy and excellent past productions. We can't wait to see what's next. I'll be out for the press opening on January 28, so check back soon for my full review.

Definition Theatre Company, under the leadership of Artistic Director Tyrone Phillips and Managing Director Neel McNeill, announces the final production of its 2017-2018 Season, the Chicago premiere of Moon Man Walk, written by James Ijames and directed by Tyla Abercrumbie.  

Moon Man Walk runs January 26 - February 25, 2018 in the Richard Christiansen Theater at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, as part of Definition’s tenure in the Victory Gardens Resident Theater Program. The press opening is Sunday, January 28, 2018 at 2:30 p.m. Single tickets are on sale and may be purchased by calling the Victory Gardens box office at 773-781-3000 or at victorygardens.org.

Monarch must return to Philadelphia following the sudden death of his mother. On the journey back to his boyhood home to plan for her funeral, Monarch mourns, falls in love, and discovers that sometimes, the truth lies someplace between the surface of the moon and wherever you are. Moon Man Walk is a moving and enthralling new play exploring the enduring connection between a mother and her son, and the space required to recognize a past that is becoming ever more present.

“The Chicago theatre community must continue to nurture new work and give opportunities for regional and world premieres in order to be a national leader for the arts,” said Artistic Director Tyrone Phillips. “Definition Theatre is thrilled to be shifting our focus to produce what we call ‘future classics’ and end our season with Moon Man Walk by James Ijames. This production will mark our fourth Chicago Premiere as a company And we are very fortunate to have Tyla Abercrumbie making her directorial debut by way of this moving piece.”

**CASTING CHANGE: Chanell Bell now plays Petrushka in the Chicago premiere of Moon Man Walk. 




The cast of Moon Man Walk includes:


Debo Balogun

Now replaced by Chanell Bell (pictured above)
Isabeau Dornevil


Shadana Patterson 


and Michael Anthony Rawlins

The creative team for Moon Man Walk includes Eleanor Kahn (Set Designer), Kristy Leigh Hall (Costume Designer), Slick Jorgensen (Lighting and Projection Designer), and Matt Test (Sound Designer). Mercedes White is the Assistant Director and Athanasia Giannetos is the dramaturg.

Dates: January 26 - February 25, 2018
Previews: January 26 - 28, 2018
Regular Run: February 1 - February 25, 2018

Schedule: Thursday: 8 p.m.
Friday: 8 p.m.
Saturday: 8 p.m.
Sunday: 2:30 p.m.

Location: The Richard Christiansen Theater at Victory Gardens, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue,in the heart of Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood

Ticket prices: $15-$30
Box Office: The Box Office is located at 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago.
773.871.3000; www.victorygardens.org.

Definition Theatre Company is part of the Victory Gardens Resident Theater Program. All performances during the 2017-2018 season will take place in the Richard Christiansen Theater at Victory Gardens. 


         
About Definition Theatre Company
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. Most recently, Definition, in association with the Goodman Theatre, staged the Chicago Premiere of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ An Octoroon, a subversive take on race in America that captivated audiences this past summer.

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 definitiontheatre.org and facebook.com/definitiontheatrecompany

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

WIN 2 Tickets (10 Pairs Available/) To The 2018 CHICAGO TRAVEL & ADVENTURE SHOW


2018 CHICAGO TRAVEL & ADVENTURE SHOW FEATURES THOUSANDS OF VACATION OPTIONS, TOP TRAVEL CELEBRITIES AND NEW WELLNESS TRAVEL OFFERING


Show Welcomes Top Travel Experts, and International Culture and Cuisines for 14th Chicago Event, February 10-11, 2018

Disclosure: Thanks to CHICAGO TRAVEL & ADVENTURE SHOW for partnering up with ChiIL Mama once again this year, and offering tickets for our giveaway and for review purposes. As always, all original photos, adventures, and opinions are my own.

Here at ChiIL Mama we love to travel. In fact, we're going on a 3 generation National Geographic expedition cruise to Alaska with the family in June. In March we're spending spring break exploring Arizona with our teens, zip lining, white water rafting, hiking and more. 

ENTER HERE TO WIN A PAIR OF TICKETS To The 2018 CHICAGO TRAVEL & ADVENTURE SHOW ($30 Value). 
Winners' choice of Saturday or Sunday February 10 or 11th. 

*Kids 16 and under are FREE with adult!


ChiIL Mama ChiILin' at the Chicago Travel & Adventure Show

We've covered the Chicago Travel & Adventure Show for years now, and we'll be back out this Saturday. It's a great place to score travel discounts, get vacation ideas, and enjoy a sampler of many different cultures without leaving home. Click here to check out some of our past photo features on the show. Then come on out in person. 














Anyone looking to find, plan and book their next vacation will find thousands of options to explore, destination experts to help them get there and tens of thousands of dollars in savings at the 14th annual Chicago Travel & Adventure Show.







Taking place February 10-11 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center (5555 N. River Rd., Rosemont) travel enthusiasts will have the opportunity to meet face-to-face with well-known travel experts from around the world who are on-hand to help attendees dream, personalize and book their next trip. Also included in the price of admission is access to dozens of inspirational, educational and culturally focused sessions on five stages located right on the show floor, along with hands-on activities for the whole family. 





The new Wellness Travel Experience pavilion will highlight health-focused travel suppliers, products, and services showcasing the latest trends and news in this growing travel segment. The program will also include educational stage presentations on both days of each show hosted by wellness travel expert Anne Dimon. Specific vendors and additional speakers will be announced at a future date.

Another highlight of the Chicago Travel & Adventure Show is the opportunity to meet and gain inspiration from the world’s top travel experts and celebrities as they present seminars and answer questions over the two-day event. Speaking on the Travel Theater are:



PBS’ “Places To Love” (and former Travel Channel) Host Samantha Brown



Frommer’s Travel Guides’ Executive Editor and syndicated radio personality Pauline Frommer



“Rick Steves’ Europe” CEO Rick Steves

At the Savvy Traveler Theater, visitors will interact with travel experts on subjects ranging from packing and travel technology, to maximizing credit card reward points and travel safety tips and plan in an unpredictable world.



At the Destination Theater, travelers will receive destination-specific information from local experts containing information on when to go, how to get there, what to see and local, off-the-beaten-path attractions from destinations such as Australia, Maui and Canada.



The Taste of Travel Theater highlights top chefs who present live cooking demonstrations right on the show floor. Featuring cuisines from around the world, guests will have the opportunity to taste samples and get a full cultural experience in a stadium-seating styled theater.

At the Global Beats Stage, attendees can feel the beat and experience the rhythm of cultural dances and musical performances during more than 20 presentations throughout the weekend.

Attending the Chicago Travel & Adventure Show is an adventure in-and-of-itself and presents hands-on activities suitable for the whole family. Guests can get their picture taken in their favorite destination at the Green Screen experience, scuba dive in a dive pool and ride a live camel, all under one roof. Guests will also have a chance to participate in an unprecedented give-away of a week-long vacation for two in an exotic locale, hosted by returning sponsor AAA.



“For the 14th iteration of the Chicago Travel & Adventure Show, we have worked tirelessly to offer both travel professionals and the public with the best information on current and exciting travel opportunities and trends from around the world,” said John Golicz, CEO of the Travel and Adventure Show. “This year’s show will be our biggest yet.  Our efforts could not be realized without the help of our sponsors: AAA, Oklahoma, 1000TravelTips.com, and Rick Steves’ Europe.” 

The Chicago Travel & Adventure Show takes place February 10-11 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center (5555 N. River Rd, Rosemont). The show opens at 9:30 a.m. Saturday for media and travel professionals; the general public can attend from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Attendees can purchase single-day and two-day tickets online now for the discounted rate of $11/$18 with promo code: CHPR or on-site for $15/$22. Children 16 and under are free and on-site tickets can be purchased with cash only. For tickets and event information, visit www.TravelShows.com/shows/chicago.

About Unicomm, LLC and the Travel & Adventure Show Series
UNICOMM LLC is an independent business-to-business communications company specializing in originating and managing world-class trade shows and conferences. Unicomm’s properties include the nation’s largest and longest running series of travel events, the Travel & Adventure Show in Washington, D.C., Chicago, San Francisco/Bay Area, Los Angeles, San Diego, Denver, Philadelphia and Dallas.

For more information visit www.travelshows.com/shows/chicago.



About Samantha Brown
Samantha Brown is an American television host, notable for her work as the host of several Travel Channel shows including “Girl Meets Hawaii,” “Great Vacation Homes,” “Great Hotels,” “Passport to Europe,” “Passport to Latin America,” “Great Weekends,” “Green Getaways,” “Passport to China,” and “Samantha Brown's Asia.” Brown will be continuing her career in travel with an upcoming travel show that will air on PBS beginning in 2018.

About Pauline Frommer
Pauline Frommer, award-winning writer and daughter of “Frommer’s” travel guide founder Arthur Frommer, is a leading travel writer whose books including “Pauline Frommer’s London” and “Pauline Frommer’s New York” have received multiple awards including “Best Guidebook of the Year” by the North American Travel Journalists Association.

About Rick Steves
Rick Steves is an American travel writer, author, activist and television personality. He is well-known as the host of the PBS travel documentary series “Rick Steves' Europe.” Steves also has a public radio travel show called “Travel with Rick Steves” and has authored numerous travel guides.

About Anne Dimon
Founder & CEO of Travel To Wellness, Anne Dimon is a wellness travel consultant, industry journalist, and member of the Board of Directors of the new Wellness Tourism Association.  A recognized wellness travel expert, Anne is often asked to speak on the topic, plus has hosted webinars for The Travel Institute’s travel advisors’ Well-Being Certification program. In 2016, she helped Virtuoso launch a Wellness Travel Community, and is currently working as Program Director Wellness for the Travel & Adventure Show.  





Disclosure: Thanks to CHICAGO TRAVEL & ADVENTURE SHOW for partnering up with ChiIL Mama once again this year, and offering tickets for our giveaway and for review purposes. As always, all original photos, adventures, and opinions are my own.

Monday, January 22, 2018

SAVE THE DATES: Chicago Premiere of Heartbreak Hotel Prequel To Million Dollar Quartet Coming June 30th

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

GET READY TO “SHAKE, RATTLE, AND ROLL” FOR THE CHICAGO PREMIERE OF
THE PREQUEL TO THE TONY-AWARD WINNING, RECORD-SETTING, 
CHICAGO FAVORITE 
MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET
  

HEARTBREAK HOTEL
BROADWAY PLAYHOUSE AT WATER TOWER PLACE
JUNE 30 - SEPTEMBER 9, 2018

Broadway In Chicago, the producers of HEARTBREAK HOTEL, and Authentic Brands Group (ABG), owner of Elvis Presley Enterprises today, announce a musical premiere that will ignite the stage of the Broadway Playhouse.  HEARTBREAK HOTEL, the live musical, will make its debut at Broadway In Chicago’s Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place (175 E. Chestnut) for a limited engagement, running from June 30 through September 9, 2018.

From the creator of the Tony Award-winning smash-hit Million Dollar Quartet, HEARTBREAK HOTEL is a record-breaking musical, selling out at its world premiere at the historic Ogunquit Playhouse. This prequel to Million Dollar Quartet follows the tender story of Elvis Presley in the early years of his bourgeoning career as he and Sam Phillips create the music that will forever change their lives. As Elvis’ career skyrockets, both lifting and shattering the lives of those he loves, a secret love story is revealed, a betrayal is discovered, and “Colonel” Tom Parker changes the course of history, all in just 18 short months.

“We’re excited to debut HEARTBREAK HOTEL in Chicago, a city known for its dynamic arts and entertainment scene,” said Corey Salter, EVP of Celebrity and Entertainment at ABG. “This is the only Broadway musical that tells the remarkable story of Elvis’ rise to fame and we are thrilled with the momentum it has picked up.”

This brand new musical features hit songs from the King of Rock ‘n Roll as well as the legends who influenced his iconic music, with chart-toppers including “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Tutti Frutti,” “That’s All Right Mamma,” “Shake Rattle and Roll,” and, of course, “Heartbreak Hotel.” This is where the story begins with a “walk down lonely street.” 

“For those who long for another trip down memory lane with Elvis, for those that want to recreate the excitement of Million Dollar Quartet, and  for those that want to dance in their seats – don’t miss this show!”  Eileen LaCario, Vice President of Broadway In Chicago said.

Casting will be announced in the coming months.



TICKET INFORMATION
Tickets for HEARTBREAK HOTEL at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place (175 E. Chestnut) are available now for groups of 10 or more by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710 or emailing GroupSales@BroadwayInChicago.com. Individual tickets will go on sale at a later date. For more information, visit 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 over 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 Cadillac Palace Theatre, CIBC Theatre, Oriental 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

ABOUT AUTHENTIC BRANDS GROUP
Authentic Brands Group (ABG) is a brand development, marketing and entertainment company, and the owner of Elvis Presley Enterprises, LLC in partnership with the Presley family. Headquartered in New York City, ABG owns, manages, and builds the long-term value a global portfolio of lifestyle, celebrity and entertainment brands. Our brands span a global retail footprint of more than 2,300 doors across luxury, specialty, department stores, shop-in-shops, ecommerce, mid-tier, and mass channels. ABG is committed to transforming brands by delivering compelling product, content, business, and immersive brand experiences. We create and activate original marketing strategies to drive the success of our brands across all consumer touchpoints, platforms, and emerging media. ABG’s global portfolio of iconic and world-renowned brands includes Marilyn Monroe®, Elvis Presley®, Muhammad Ali®, Shaquille O’Neal®, Dr. J®, Greg Norman®, Neil Lane®, Thalia®, Michael Jackson® (managed brand), Aéropostale®, Juicy Couture®, Jones New York®, Herve Leger®, Judith Leiber®, Frederick’s of Hollywood®, Frye®, Adrienne Vittadini®, Taryn Rose®, Misook®, Hickey Freeman®, Hart Schaffner Marx®, Spyder®, Tretorn®, Tapout®, Prince®, Airwalk®, Vision Street Wear®, Above The Rim®, and Hind®. abg-nyc.com


ABOUT THE PRODUCERS
HEARTBREAK HOTEL is produced by Floyd Mutrux, Mitch and Bonnie Bloom (Temple Dog Productions), Bruce Bendell and Jamie Bendell (Big Block Media), Scott Prisand (Robbins Lane) and Jeff Berg through their entity Heartbreak King Productions, LLC.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

GIVEAWAY: WIN a Pair of Tickets to House Theatre's Hatfield & McCoy ($80 value/2 pairs) Playing Through 3/11/18


Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:


THE HOUSE THEATRE OF CHICAGO ANNOUNCES CASTING 
FOR SHAWN PFAUTSCH’S
HATFIELD & MCCOY, 
WITH ALL-NEW MUSIC BY PFAUTSCH AND MATT KAHLER, 
DIRECTED BY MATT HAWKINS, 


JANUARY 19 – MARCH 11, 2018
 Running time: two hours and 45 minutes 
including intermission

This All-New Production of Hatfield & McCoy Now Features a Rich Score of Americana Music Spanning Bluegrass, Folk, Rock, and Pop. In an Homage to Romeo and Juliet, Political Divides Drive a Cycle of Violence Between Two Families

The House Theatre of Chicago announces an all-new production of Hatfield & McCoy, written by The House’s Company Member Shawn Pfautsch and directed by The House’s Company Member Matt Hawkins playing at the Chopin Upstairs Theatre, 1543 W. Division St., January 19 – March 11, 2018. 

Here at ChiIL Mama and ChiIL Live Shows we're banjo thumpin' stoked to check out this original production! House Theatre has long been a top favorite of ours and we particularly adore the productions they write in house. I'll be out with my husband and teens for the press opening on Sunday, Jan. 28th, so check back soon for my full review. 

Inspired by the true story of famous feuding families, and by Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, the production features original songs by Pfautsch and Matt Kahler. Preview performances are Friday, Jan. 19 – Saturday, Jan. 27 following the regular schedule, barring matinees. (NOTE: The January 21 preview performance begins at 7 p.m).  

The performance schedule is Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 3 and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Preview tickets are $20 and regular run tickets range from $30 – $50. Same-day tickets for students and industry professionals are $20 and available for all dates, seats permitting. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.thehousetheatre.com or call 773.769.3832. 


Two of our lucky readers will WIN a pair of tickets ($80 value/2 pairs). 
Good for winners' choice of any shows between 2/1 and 2/11 pending availability. Enter through midnight Monday, January 29th.

ENTER HERE for your chance to WIN

On the border of Kentucky and West Virginia, North and South, fact and fiction, two cabins both alike in dignity wage a whip-smart war of words and bullets. Hatfield & McCoy tells the true tale of the most infamous family feud in American history. Set at the close of the Civil War, a battle of Us versus Them catches two young lovers in a deadly cycle of violence.

Gunfire and romance escalate when young Rose Anna McCoy and Johnse Hatfield fall in love, marry in secret, and vow to reconcile their feuding families. Their tale of woe is served up with a heaping helping of original Americana tunes, connecting their past to our present.

New music created for the show represents Americana styles across generations, from bluegrass to 2017 pop. Hatfield & McCoy features a live band on stage comprised of synths, keyboards, an upright bass, fiddle, and guitar plus actors playing guitars, mandolins, banjos and vocals.

Hatfield & McCoy received its world premiere at The House in 2006. Workshops for the 2018 production were supported by University of Chicago’s UChicago Performance Lab.



The cast for Hatfield & McCoy includes: Robert D. Hardaway (Devil Anse Hatfield), Marika Mashburn* (Levicy Hatfield), Michael E. Smith* (Jim Vance), Jeff Mills (Bad Lias Hatfield), Kyle Whalen (Johnse Hatfield), Jenni M. Hadley (Hatfield Sister), Tia Pinson (Hatfield Sister, U/S Alifair), Ann Delaney (Hatfield Sister, U/S Jenni and Tia), Anish Jethmalani^ (Ol Ranl McCoy), Stacy Stoltz*^ (Sarah McCoy), Bradley Grant Smith (“Squirrel Huntin” Sam McCoy), Haley Bolithon (Rose Anna McCoy), Collin Quinn Rice (Calvin McCoy), Khloe Janel (Alifair McCoy), Cody Proctor (Asa “Harmon” McCoy), Tommy Malouf (Tolbert McCoy), Royen Kent (Pharmer McCoy), Kyle Ryan (Randolph “Bud” McCoy), Desmond Gray (Bill Staton) and Jamie Vann (Marshal Frank Phillips).

Additional understudies include Adam Benjamin (U/S Devil Anse Hatfield, Ol Ranl), Tobi Mattingly (U/S Levicy, Sarah), Jacob Fjare (U/S Jim, Bad Lias, Marshal), Andy Monson (U/S Bill Stanton, Harmon, Sam, Sibling Swing) and Ethan Peterson (U/S Sibling Swing).Musicians in Hatfield & McCoy include: Matthew Muñiz* (Music Director/Keyboard), Jake Saleh (Upright Bass), and Jess McIntosh (Fiddle).

The creative and design team for Hatfield & McCoy includes: Matt Hawkins* (director), Shawn Pfautsch* (writer, co-composer), Madison Smith (assistant director), Lee Keenan* (scenic/lighting designer), Ellie Terrell (associate scenic designer, props designer), Emily McConnell (costume designer), Grover Hollway (sound designer), Matt Kahler (co-composer), Katherine Scott (choreographer), Marika Mashburn* (casting director) and Lauren Baston* (stage manager).

*Company Member with The House  ^Actor’s Equity Association Member

ABOUT SHAWN PFAUTSCH, Playwright, Co-Composer
Pfautsch is a playwright, musician, actor and a veteran company member of The House Theatre of Chicago, enlisting from the very beginning in 2000. His full-length plays, Season on the Line, The Attempters, and Hatfield & McCoy have all received their world premieres with The House. As an actor, he has been on stage around Chicago at: The House (Death & Harry Houdini, Cyrano, Thieves Like Us) Steppenwolf (Theatrical Essays), Chicago Children’s Theatre (A Year with Frog and Toad, Frederick), and The Hypocrites (Gilbert & Sullivan Rep). As part of The Hypocrites’ Gilbert & Sullivan rep, he has performed around the country, from Boston to Berkeley, Louisville and the DC area and most recently in New York City (Skirball Center at NYU) and Pasadena Playhouse. His short plays and one-acts have been produced in Chicago as well as Texas, Florida and Iowa.  

ABOUT MATT HAWKINS, director
Hawkins is a Chicago-based director, actor, fight choreographer and movement director.  He is a Founding Member of The House Theatre of Chicago and an Artistic Associate with Strawdog Theatre Company.  Over the past fifteen years he has worked with theatres such as the Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford Festival, Kennedy Center, South Coast Rep, American Players’ Theatre, Drury Lane, Marriott, Paramount, Steppenwolf, Goodman, Lookingglass, Court Theatre and Writers Theatre. He has also worked extensively with Chicago Shakespeare and their education department, by serving as the director and voice/movement director of the Chicago Public Schools program, which was the recipient of the Humanities Youth Program Award in 2014, awarded by The White House and First Lady Michelle Obama.  He holds a BFA in acting from Southern Methodist University and an MFA in directing from The University of Iowa.  He has been nominated for thirteen Jeff Awards and has received five. Later this year he will direct and choreograph Spring Awakening (Notre Dame) and choreograph violence for Macbeth (Chicago Shakespeare). He is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Notre Dame, where he serves as head of musical theatre for the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre.  He is married to actor/director/documentarian Stacy Stoltz.

ABOUT MATT KAHLER (Co-Composer)
Matt Kahler’s regional credits as a performer include The Pirates of Penzance (Actors Theater of Louisville; American Repertory Theater). Chicago credits include Animal Farm (Steppenwolf), Equivocation (Victory Gardens Theater); Hank Williams: Lost Highway (American Blues), Coriolanus, HMS Pinafore, The Mikado, Frankenstein (The Hypocrites); Richard III, Macbeth, Comedy of Errors (Lakeside Shakespeare Theatre); and Watership Down (Lifeline Theater). 



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

The House was founded in 2001 by a group of friends to explore connections between Community and Storytelling through a unique theatrical experience. Since becoming eligible in 2004, The House has been nominated for 70 Joseph Jefferson Awards (22 wins), became the first recipient of Broadway in Chicago’s Emerging Theater Award in 2007, and was awarded a 

2014 National Theatre Company Grant by the American Theatre Wing, founder of the Tony Awards. The 16th year of original work is underway and The House continues its mission to unite Chicago in the spirit of Community through amazing feats of Storytelling.



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