Wednesday, February 28, 2018

GIVEAWAY: WIN 4 Tickets ($60 Value) To You Think It’s Easy Being The Tooth Fairy? Lifeline Theatre KidSeries World Premiere Family Musical

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

Lifeline Theatre KidSeries Presents
You Think It’s Easy Being The Tooth Fairy?
World Premiere Family Musical Opens March 18

Photo by Suzanne Plunkett

**This production is recommended for children ages five and up** (children under two not permitted) 

Show runs approximately one hour with no intermission. 
The book is on sale in the lobby.

Plus Performances with Open Captioning on March 24, Performance with Touch Tour
and Audio Description on March 25, Autism/Sensory-Friendly Performance on April 15,
and Stories Come Alive! Hour Workshops Every Saturday and Sunday During the Run

Here at ChiIL Mama we adore Lifeline Theatre’s KidSeries. When my teens were small we bought season passes every year and my kids grew up loving Lifeline's fabulous book based adaptations. We're thrilled to partner up once again with Lifeline, to offer a ticket giveaway for our readers. Enter early and often through midnight March 14th. Winners choice of show date/time pending availability. 


These world premiere musicals are some of the best family friendly theatre in town. Highly recommended.

Darian Tene as Dew Drop; in Lifeline Theatre’s world premiere production of “You Think It’s Easy Being The Tooth Fairy?” adapted by Heather Currie and Derek Czaplewski; music & lyrics by Laura McKenzie; and directed by Heather Currie; based on the book by Sheri Bell-Rehwoldt, illustrated by David Slonim. Photo by Suzanne Plunkett.

Lifeline Theatre’s KidSeries presents You Think It’s Easy Being The Tooth Fairy?, a world premiere family musical with book by Lifeline Theatre ensemble member Heather Currie and Derek Czaplewski, music and lyrics by Laura McKenzie, and directed by Heather Currie; based on the book by Sheri Bell-Rehwoldt; illustrated by David Slonim. Dew Drop just landed her dream assignment: training to become the next Tooth Fairy! But after coming on board, she learns that there’s more to the job than simply being sparkly: it’s going to take guts, skill, and a whole lot of training to succeed. Working closely with her mentor – and a flashy flock of firefly assistants – Dew Drop must learn the rules of Command Central, master “Tooth-o-Finder” technology, and bench press mountains of quarters before she can fly on her own. Tackle a new challenge and learn what it takes to succeed in the fast-paced tooth collection industry with this world premiere musical based on the 2007 book. 

You Think It’s Easy Being The Tooth Fairy? runs Saturday, March 17 – Sunday, April 22 at Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood Ave. Regular performance times are Saturdays and Sundays at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. (Previews are Saturday, March 17 at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.; and Sunday, March 18 at 11 a.m.) Tickets are $15 and may be purchased at the Lifeline Theatre Box Office, 773.761.4477, or by visiting  

Accessible Performances: The Saturday, March 24, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. performances will feature open captioning for patrons who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. The Sunday, March 25, 11 a.m. performance will feature a pre-show touch tour of the set at 10 a.m. and live audio description for patrons who are blind or have low vision. And there will be an added autism/sensory-friendly performance on Sunday, April 15 at 3 p.m. for patrons with social and/or cognitive disabilities. For more information about Lifeline’s accessibility services, please contact Accessibility Coordinator Erica Foster at 773.761.4477 x703 or at

PLUS: Join Lifeline Theatre every Saturday and Sunday at 12 p.m. during the run of You Think It’s Easy Being The Tooth Fairy? (following the 11 a.m. show, or before the 1 p.m. show) for our Stories Come Alive! Hour. Children will enjoy an interactive storytelling session and on-your-feet theatre games. The cost is only $5 per child. Reservations are recommended, though not required. Contact Lifeline Theatre at 773-761-4477 for more information.

The complete cast and production team for You Think It’s Easy Being The Tooth Fairy? includes:

Guest artists Christopher Causer (Flash), Diana Coates (The Tooth Fairy), Benjamin Ponce (Twinkle), Darian Tene (Dew Drop), and Brian Tochterman Jr. (Fresnel). With understudies Trevor Bates, Gabriel Fries, and Stephanie Stockstill.

Lifeline Theatre ensemble members Heather Currie (Director/Co-Adaptor) and Diane D. Fairchild (Lighting Designer);
with guest artists Lizzie Bracken (Scenic Designer), Derek Czaplewski (Co-Adaptor), Joe Griffin (Sound Designer),
Collin Helou (Master Electrician/AV Supervisor), Jennifer McClendon (Production Manager), Laura McKenzie
(Composer/Lyricist/Music Director), Jenny Pinson (Properties Designer), Kate Reed (Stage Manager), Joe Schermoly
(Technical Director), and Brenda Winstead (Costume Designer).

Lifeline Theatre also offers “Name Your Price” tickets a half-hour before the show (subject to availability), group rates and other discounts available upon request. A party room is available for full-service birthday and special event parties. Lifeline Theatre is accessible by CTA (Red Line Morse stop/busses) and free parking is available at Sullivan High School (6631 N Bosworth Ave, lot located on Greenview Ave. just south of North Shore Ave.) with free shuttle service before and after the show. Street parking is also available. Lifeline is accessible to wheelchair users and visitors who need to avoid stairs.

Now in its 35th season, Lifeline Theatre is driven by a passion for story. Our ensemble process supports writers in the development of literary adaptations and new work, and our theatrical and educational programs foster a lifelong engagement with literature and the arts. A cultural anchor of Rogers Park, we are committed to deepening our connection to an ever-growing family of artists and audiences, both near and far. Lifeline Theatre – Big Stories, Up Close.
Lifeline Theatre’s programs are partially supported by Alphawood Foundation; A.R.T League Inc.; Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation; Chicago CityArts, a grant from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events; The Common Cup; Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation; FGMK LLC; Lloyd A. Fry Foundation; The Michael and Mona Heath Fund at The Chicago Community Foundation; The Grover Hermann Foundation; Illinois Arts Council Agency; Illinois Humanities Council; Lagunitas Brewing Co. Community Grant Program; MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince; The PAV Grant Fund; The Polk Bros. Foundation; Poubelle Fund, a Donor Advised Fund of Renaissance Charitable Foundation; Rogers Park Social; The Saints; S&C Electric Company Fund; The Shubert Foundation; and the annual support of businesses and individuals.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Hofbräuhaus Chicago Welcomes Spring With Seasonal Brews And An Easter Kinderfest

Celebrate Warmer Weather with a Variety of Easter Festivities, Seasonal Brews and More

My kids are a bit German on both sides of the family, so we enjoy embracing our heritage with beer, food, and family fun at Hofbräuhaus Chicago. Folks of all nationalities are welcome to enjoy German style spring fun at this 20,000-square-foot German microbrewery, restaurant and beer hall. Check it out!

Hofbräuhaus Chicago, located in Rosemont’s Parkway Bank Park entertainment district, will jump into spring with a variety of new offerings including seasonal spring brews, an Easter Kinderfest and a special Easter Sunday celebration.

To pair with its authentic German fare, Hofbräuhaus Chicago will introduce two spring beers brewed in March and April. “Märzen,” a rich amber beer with a smooth and drinkable malt flavor, will be available throughout the month of March. In April, guests can enjoy Hofbräuhaus Chicago’s “Royal Export,” a pale, flavorful and malty brew. These seasonal brews will join the three beers brewed onsite and offered year-round at Hofbräuhaus Chicago: Lager, Hefe Weizen and Dunkel.

To celebrate the arrival of each new seasonal beer, Hofbräuhaus Chicago continues “First Thirst-Days” the first Thursday of every month. Brewmaster Rob Hunter will host a small keg tapping ceremony at 7 p.m., providing visitors with more information about the seasonal beer, free half-liter samples of the new brew and brewery tours upon request. March’s “Märzen First Thirst-Day” is scheduled for Thursday, March 1. April’s “Royal Export First Thirst-Day” will be held on Thursday, April 5.

Hofbräuhaus Chicago will continue its “Off the Hook” seafood specials during Lent from February 14 to March 31. Daily seafood specials will be available for dinner and will feature salmon, halibut, shrimp, mussels and white fish dishes, amongst other types of seafood.

Hofbräuhaus Chicago’s guests can kick off Easter early with the restaurant’s Easter Kinderfest, Sunday, March 25 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The restaurant will offer fun for the whole family, including egg coloring, a juggler, face painting and meet and greets with the Easter Bunny.

The Easter fun will continue Sunday, April 1 with Hofbrauhaus’ Easter Sunday celebration. The Easter Bunny will make a special appearance for photos with guests from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The entire family is invited to also enjoy a special Easter Sunday menu, featuring both American and traditional German specialties. Dishes include:  

Bayrische Kartoffelsuppe
Creamy Bavarian potato soup with vegetables, frankfurters and croutons

Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs
Smoked salmon deviled eggs garnished with fresh dill and fried capers on a bed of arugula and shaved fennel

Geschmorten Lammhaxen
Tender braised lamb shank served with green beans, roasted red potatoes and rosemary gravy

Classic half roasted duck served with potato dumplings, red cabbage and rosemary duck sauce

Knusprige Schweinshaxen
Crispy pork shank served with Bavarian cabbage and bacon salad, potato and bread dumplings and Hofbrauhaus Dark Beer gravy

Crème Brule
Classic crème brule served with sweet whipped cream and fresh berries

Hofbräuhaus Chicago is located at 5500 Park Place in Rosemont’s Parkway Bank Park entertainment district.  Valet parking is available for a minimal charge. Parking is also available in the nearby parking garage (free with validation). For reservations and more information, call 847-671-BREW (2739) or visit

Monday, February 26, 2018

OPENING: Inclusive Guys and Dolls Via E.D.G.E. THEATRE’S CONSTELLATION PROJECT at Devonshire Playhouse, Skokie For 3 Shows Only

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

ADAPTED BY Frank Loesser, 
At Devonshire Playhouse, 4400 Greenwood St, Skokie, IL 60076

Friday, March 2nd - 7:00PM
Saturday, March 3rd - 6:00PM
Sunday, March 4th - 2:00PM

E.D.G.E. Theatre is pleased to announce the premiere of Guys and Dolls, adapted by Frank Loesser and directed by Orion Couling. Opening night is Friday, March 2nd - 7:00PM at Devonshire Playhouse, 4400 Greenwood St, Skokie, IL 60076. Tickets are $12. Tickets may be purchased at and dolls.

About the Show
Set in Depression-era Times Square, Guys and Dolls is about a couple of big city gamblers and the women who love them. It tells the overlapping stories of high-roller Sky Masterson, who falls in love with mission worker Sarah Brown, and lovable rapscallion Nathan Detroit, engaged for 14 years to Miss Adelaide, a headliner at the Hot Box Club. Nathan runs a famous floating craps game, and an ongoing plot line involves his quest for a safe place for the game as Adelaide continues her quest to convince him to marry her. Meanwhile, Sarah, mistakenly believing that Sky set up an illegal game at the mission, tries to fight her affection for the charismatic crapshooter.

The cast of Guys and Dolls includes Bridget Brown (General Cartwright), Mary Gordon (Mimi), Stacy Gorgon (Lt Branigan), Sophia Holmes (Master of Ceremonies), Jusuf Karastanovic (Big Jule), Isaac Lieb (Angie the Ox), Shawn Loucopoulous (Sky Masterson), Ali Musielski (Nicely-Nicely Johnson), Angie Nash (Rusty Charlie), Sammy Potter (Harry the Horse), Daniel Raviv (Nathan Detroit), Allie Reninger (Agatha/Calvin), Nate Shapiro (Benny Southstreet), Naomi Talsky (Sarah Brown), Matthias Wallin (Arvide Abernathy), Carly Ziesemer (Miss Adelaide), Ensemble: Alexandra Cross, April Friedman-Hurvitz, Becky Horn, Kevin Johnson, Stephanie Palko, and Samantha Shimanek.

The Guys and Dolls production team includes: Orion Couling, Director; Rick Olson, Production Stage Manager; Jenny Nilson, Assistant Director; Joyce Hummel, Production Assistant; Stephanie Palko, Support Staff; Angela Davis Couling, Stage Manager; Amelia Haley, Light Board; Alexandra Boroff, Sound Board.

ABOUT E.D.G.E. THEATRE’s Constellation Project:
The Constellation Project started in 2008 by E.D.G.E. of Orion Theatre. Just as a constellation is made up of various stars – so too are our shows and classes made up of some amazing individuals, each one shining with their own light and brilliance.

E.D.G.E. of Orion seeks to expand the number of people with special needs and in marginalized communities who will have a chance to participate in theater. E.D.G.E. programming provides an opportunity for our participants to test themselves in a safe and supportive environment. By using musicals, E.D.G.E. has found that the language and music work together in a unique way to stimulate the minds and hearts of all those participating in our programs. E.D.G.E. strongly believes that giving a participant an opportunity to perform elevates his or her status not only in the community but also in their own minds. For more information:

Friday, February 23, 2018

Photo Recap: IHHS Chicago International Home and Housewares Show Returns this March

Here at ChiIL Mama, it's been our pleasure to cover The International Home and Housewares Show (IHHS) every year since 2012. 

It's not open to the public, so I'm happy to be the eyes and ears for my readers. IHHS is the premiere resource for cutting edge trends, new releases, products still in development, and exciting new inventions. I love to focus on eco-friendly products and useful gadgets that make life easier or problem solve. I also keep an eye out for kid friendly and pet friendly finds.

Check out ChiIL Mama's Slideshow Here For Our Full Photo Recap of The Last IHHS Show
More favorite photos are embedded below

Some of my favorites are the new exhibitor event, Pantone's bright and beautiful displays of products featuring their colors of the year, and green living choices. As always, check back with ChiIL Mama year round for my product reviews and news on my favorite finds from the IHHS show.

I do enjoy shooting our annual photo filled features on The International Home and Housewares Show (IHHS). This massive trade show takes up 3 entire halls of the massive McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago every year and is beyond impressive. 

It's a great opportunity to meet chefs, enjoy tasty treats, and hear about hot new trends.

Special thanks to the following companies for sending review samples our way for features:


MFA No Drip Inverted Umbrella (Named Finalist for 2017 IHA Global Innovation Award)

Fresh Wave

French Bull 

Flat Box
Nude Food Movers

"As Seen on TV" gadgets

and more...

IHHS returns again in March 2018. Here are the upcoming show hours and future dates if you have ties to the industry and are attending as a buyer, distributor or media. 

Saturday, March 10, 2018
10:00am - 5:30 pm*

Sunday, March 11, 2018
8:30am - 5:30 pm*

Monday, March 12, 2018
8:30am - 5:30 pm*

Tuesday, March 13, 2018
8:30am - 3:00 pm

*Power Hour: Show open until 6:30 pm on Saturday, Sunday & Monday allows you to continue meetings in progress at 5:30 pm.

Future Show Dates:
2018: March 10-13
2019: March 2-5
2020: March 14-17

More of ChiIL Mama's Photo Favorites From The Last IHHS Show in 2017: