Monday, May 13, 2019


ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar:

“Hey Ho Let’s Go!” to a play about the Ramones followed by a concert. Not a f***ing musical.




I'll be out for opening night, May 19th, reviewing for & so check back soon for my full review. 

Broadway In Chicago Broadway is delighted to announce there will be a digital lottery and rush tickets for FOUR CHORDS AND A GUN.  This new production will play Broadway In Chicago’s Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place (175 E. Chestnut) beginning on Saturday, May 18, 2019.

The digital lottery will begin Friday, May 17 at 9AM, and 26 tickets will be sold for every performance at $25 each. The lottery will happen online only the day before each performance. In addition, a limited number of day-of-show rush tickets will be offered for each performance at $49 each. These will be available at all performances of the run for purchase in-person at the Broadway Playhouse beginning when the box office opens daily. Seat locations vary per performance for the digital lottery and day-of show tickets.


Follow the link Click here for details and to enter the lottery
Click the “Enter Now” button for the performance you want to attend.
Fill out the entry form including the number of tickets you would like (1 or 2). Patrons will receive a confirmation email once they have validated their email (one time only) and successfully entered the lottery.
After the lottery closes, patrons will be notified via email within minutes as to whether they have won or not.
Winners have 60 minutes from the time the lottery closes to pay online with a credit card.

After payment has been received, patrons can pick up tickets at the Broadway In Chicago’s Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place (175 E. Chestnut) no sooner than 30 minutes before show time with a valid photo ID.


Limit 1 entry per person, per performance. Multiple entries will not be accepted. Patrons must be 18 years old and have a valid, non-expired photo ID that matches the names used to enter. Tickets are non-transferable. All lottery prices include a $3.50 facility fee. Ticket limits and prices displayed are at the sole discretion of the show and are subject to change without notice. Lottery prices are not valid on prior purchases. Lottery ticket offer cannot be combined with any other offers or promotions. All sales final - no refunds or exchanges.  Lottery may be revoked or modified at any time without notice. No purchase necessary to enter or win.  A purchase will not improve your chances of winning.


FOUR CHORDS AND A GUN written by actor John Ross Bowie (The Big Bang Theory, Speechless) reveals the drama-filled 1979 recording session that led to The Ramones album, End of the Century, produced by Phil Spector.

Based on Bowie’s exhaustive research, the script delves into the personal tensions between the punk band members as well as their often-violent struggles with Spector. It’s a powerful story both funny and touching - which explores the Ramones, Linda Daniele (the woman who loved two of them) and the charismatic, destructive Spector.

Individual tickets are currently on sale and range in price from $39.95-$69.95 with a select number of premium tickets available. Tickets are available now for groups of 10 or more by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710 or emailing  For more information, visit

Broadway In Chicago was created in July 2000 and over the past 19 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 more than 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 CIBC Theatre, James M. Nederlander 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. Broadway In Chicago proudly celebrates 2019 as the Year of Chicago Theatre. For more information, visit

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

Thursday, May 9, 2019

FEST ALERT: Kid AND Dog Friendly Fun at Columbia College Chicago’s MANIFEST Arts Festival Friday, May 10, 2019

ChiIL Mama's Chi, IL Picks List
Rising Chicagoland hip-hop star Kweku Collins to headline
Columbia College Chicago’s 
MANIFEST Arts Festival
Friday, May 10, 2019

South Loop festival features 100+ free public programs with live music, dance and art exhibitions, created and curated by more than 2,000 student artists

April 29, 2019. Rising hip-hop star Kweku Collins will headline Manifest, Chicago’s iconic South Loop arts festival, on Friday, May 10 at 6 p.m.

Kweku Collins released his acclaimed Nat Love album at the age of 19, performed at Pitchfork Music Festival last year, and recently completed a national tour with musical artist Joseph Chilliams following the release of Collins’ Grey album. The Evanston native is the latest in Chicago’s history of young rap talents.

Manifest festival returns to the South Loop, offering a free celebration of the creative arts. Attendees will experience an array of engaging, thought-provoking and interactive programs including live bands and DJs, gallery exhibitions, dance and theatre performances, fashion exhibitions and more – all created and curated by Columbia College Chicago student artists.

The day-long event will span the Wabash Arts Corridor from 9th to 11th Streets, Friday, May 10, from 12-9 p.m. For more information and the most up-to-date programming, visit


Documenting Truth in an Era of “Fake News”
12 p.m.-9 p.m. at 1104 S. Wabash Ave., 8th Floor
Senior photojournalism students present photographs and film trailers that showcase their reporting and visual talents in documenting truth at a time when it—and the people who seek it—are under attack. This is the inaugural showcase for Columbia’s photojournalism majors.

MFA Art and Art History Thesis Exhibition
12 p.m.-8 p.m. at 1104 S. Wabash Ave., Glass Curtain Gallery, 1st Floor
Explore the works of MFA candidates in Columbia’s Interdisciplinary Arts and Media and Interdisciplinary Book and Paper Arts programs in this thesis exhibition representing the culmination of three plus years’ worth of work for each artist. The exhibition includes books, prints, drawings, textiles, sculptures, photography, sound, projections, and installation works by artists Lynn Elam, Willa Goettling, Colleen McCulla, Mirjana Ursulesku and Phil Worfel.

12 p.m.-8 p.m. at 619 S. Wabash Ave., ShopColumbia
Shop for one-of-a-kind creations made by Columbia’s students, alumni, faculty and staff during extended hours for Manifest. ShopColumbia has represented Columbia artists for 10 years, fostering the sales of their professional work and providing an environment to hone the process of presenting, marketing, and selling original works to the public.

Original Fashion Exhibition
12 p.m.-7:30 p.m. at 618 S. Michigan Ave., Stage Two, 2nd Floor
Graduating Fashion Studies students showcase their stunning final works in this fashion exhibition, featuring a dozen original garment designs on platforms throughout the space, with coordinating thematic props designed by fashion merchandise and business students.

Manifest Kick-Off Celebration
1 p.m.-1:30 p.m. at Wabash Avenue and 11th Streets, Manifest Mainstage
Manifest begins with live music, performance art and theatrical spectacle at the Manifest Mainstage area, featuring DJ Foxsatton, special guest speakers and Manifest song winner Charlie Curtis-Beard performing his original anthem “Greatness Underneath.”

Food Truck Social
1 p.m.-6 p.m. along Wabash Avenue between 9th and 11th Streets
Grab a bite to eat between programs at some of Chicago’s most beloved food trucks including Piko Street, Dornermen, Happy Lobster and Beavers Donuts.

Manifresh Hip-Hop Celebration
1:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. at 623 S. Wabash Ave., HAUS event space, 1st Floor
ManiFresh is a hip-hop festival and community arts celebration showcasing the work of students in Columbia’s Hip-Hop Studies program, as well as alumni and community members, featuring performances, cyphers, demos, presentations and much more.

Through a Dog’s Eyes
2 p.m.-7 p.m. in the alley behind 623 S. Wabash, from Harrison Street to Balbo Drive
Guests are encouraged to bring their furry friends to “Through a Dog’s Eyes,” a dog-focused multimedia exhibition that features ten Columbia artists exploring how dogs and humans see the world differently. Artworks will be on display and activities include an interactive mirror for dogs and a Dog Photo Booth from 3-5 p.m. where guest photos will be processed into “dog vision.”

Afrofuturist Playwriting & Speculative Drama
2 p.m.-3 p.m. at 72 E. 11th St., Sheldon Patinkin Theater, Basement
A showcase of student-written work, readings from the Afrofuturist Playwriting and Speculative Drama playwrights, in the genre recently popularized by Black Panther.

Stage Combat
2 p.m.-2:45 p.m. at 72 E. 11th St., Courtyard Theater, 1st Floor
Student fighters and fight choreographers present heart-stopping theatrical battle scenes ranging from broadswords to daggers.

Music Ensemble Performances
2 p.m.-7:30 p.m. at 1104 S. Wabash Ave., Conaway Center, 1st Floor
The Music department proudly presents its top ensembles, which will perform in stylistically diverse genres including R&B, pop rock, jazz, gospel, and fusion. Original student compositions will be featured. Human Bloom and Oby, bands featuring Columbia alumni, headline in the evening.

33rd Annual Animation Showcase
4 p.m.-7 p.m. at 1104 S. Wabash Ave., Film Row Cinema, 8th Floor
This annual screening showcases animated shorts, from their conception to the presentation of their final forms. BFA Solo and Animation Production Studio films at various stages of production along with a wide variety of examples from the Animation Program will be shown.

About Columbia College Chicago
Columbia College Chicago is a private, nonprofit college offering a distinctive curriculum that blends creative and media arts, liberal arts, and business for nearly 7,000 students in more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Dedicated to academic excellence and long-term career success, Columbia College Chicago creates a dynamic, challenging, and collaborative space for students who experience the world through a creative lens. For more information, visit

FREE: 25 Performances of The Comedy of Errors in 19 Chicago Parks July 18 – August 18, 2019

ChiIL Mama's Chi, IL Picks List
Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks
The Comedy of Errors
Announcing 25 Performances in 19 Parks, 
July 18 – August 18, 2019

 Photo by Daniel Ribar

Here at ChiIL Mama and ChiIL Live Shows, we've adored Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks since its inception. Bring a picnic, kids, dogs, friends, and catch the words that have shaped our world for over 400 years, in the great outdoors. The bard's a blast under the stars and this is a great way to introduce the kids to the joy of live theatre. Highly recommended! 

Chicago Shakespeare Theater, the City of Chicago, Chicago Park District, and Boeing partner to present the annual citywide summer tradition, Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks. Made possible by production sponsor BMO Harris Bank, 25 performances of Shakespeare’s hilarious classic The Comedy of Errors, directed by David H. Bell, will tour free for all to 19 neighborhood parks across Chicago in the city’s most expansive arts-in-communities initiative, July 18–August 18, 2019.

“Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks gives residents the chance to experience the thrill and magic of live theater in their own backyard,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Theater is essential to the cultural fabric of Chicago and with 25 performances throughout our neighborhoods, there's always a seat waiting for you.”

The Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks tour of The Comedy of Errors kicks off at Polk Bros Park on Navy Pier with three performances: Thursday, July 18 through Saturday, July 20—all beginning at 7:00 p.m.

Parks scheduled to be visited, rain or shine, include:

Thursday, July 18 at 7:00 p.m. | Polk Bros Park at Navy Pier (600 E. Grand Ave.)
Friday, July 19 at 7:00 p.m. | Polk Bros Park at Navy Pier (600 E. Grand Ave.)
Saturday, July 20 at 7:00 p.m. |  Polk Bros Park at Navy Pier (600 E. Grand Ave.)
Tuesday, July 23 at 6:30 p.m. | Garfield Park (100 N. Central Park Ave.)
Wednesday, July 24 at 6:30 p.m. | Gage Park (2411 W. 55th St.)
Thursday, July 25 at 6:30 p.m. | Kelvyn Park (4438 W. Wrightwood Ave.)
Friday, July 26 at 6:30 p.m. | Eckhart Park (1330 W. Chicago Ave.)
Saturday, July 27 at 6:30 p.m. | Loyola Park (1230 W. Greenleaf Ave.)
Sunday, July 28 at 6:30 p.m. | Loyola Park (1230 W. Greenleaf Ave.)
Tuesday, July 30 at 6:30 p.m. | Columbus Park (500 S. Central Ave.)
Wednesday, July 31 at 6:30 p.m. | Tuley Park (501 E. 90th Pl.)
Thursday, August 1 at 6:30 p.m. | Dvorak Park (1119 W. Cullerton St.)
Saturday, August 3 at 6:30 p.m. | RiverEdge Park, Aurora (360 N. Broadway St.)
Sunday, August 4 at 6:30 p.m. | Ellis  Park (3520 S. Cottage Grove Ave.)
Tuesday, August 6 at 6:30 p.m. | Frank J. Wilson Park (4630 N. Milwaukee Ave.)
Wednesday, August 7 at 6:30 p.m. | Frank J. Wilson Park (4630 N. Milwaukee Ave.)
Thursday, August 8 at 6:30 p.m. | Humboldt Park (1301 N. Sacramento Ave.)
Friday, August 9 at 6:30 p.m. | Humboldt Park (1301 N. Sacramento Ave.)
Saturday, August 10 at 6:30 p.m. | Ridge Park (1817 W. 96th St.)
Sunday, August 11 at 6:30 p.m. | Calumet Park (9801 S. Ave. G)
Wednesday, August 14 at 6:30 p.m. | Ogden Park (6500 S. Racine Ave.)
Thursday, August 15 at 6:30 p.m. | Piotrowski Park (4247 W. 31st St.)
Friday, August 16 at 6:30 p.m. | Welles Park (2333 W. Sunnyside Ave.)
Saturday, August 17 at 6:30 p.m. | Welles Park (2333 W. Sunnyside Ave.)
Sunday, August 18 at 6:30 p.m. | Ping Tom Memorial Park (1700 S. Wentworth Ave.)

“We are proud to partner with Chicago Shakespeare Theater to bring free Shakespeare to our beautiful neighborhood parks,” said Chicago Park District Superintendent and CEO Michael P. Kelly. “This beloved theatre experience is truly a highlight of the Year of Chicago Theatre and one of Night Out in the Parks' must-see theatre performances coming to parks citywide this summer."

The citywide tour is made possible by a renewed civic, cultural, and corporate partnership between Chicago Shakespeare Theater, the City of Chicago, Chicago Park District, Boeing, and production sponsor BMO Harris Bank. Since the inception of the Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks program seven years ago, more than 130,000 Chicagoans have taken advantage of free performances in their communities.

"The Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks program has become a local symbol for increased access to and participation in the arts," said John Blazey, Vice President of Boeing Global Engagement. "This unique partnership among city agencies, community-based organizations, local artists, and neighborhood residents is a powerful example of how support of the arts helps to bring vitality to our communities by engaging families and building connections with one another."

Photo by Liz Lauren.

David Casper, U.S. CEO, BMO Financial Group said, “In celebration of the Year of Chicago Theatre, BMO Harris Bank is proud to continue its sponsorship of Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks. This summer's production of The Comedy of Errors is a wonderful story that has entertained audiences for more than four hundred years. Chicago Shakespeare Theater shares our commitment to ensuring that great theater is accessible to all, and we look forward to partnering with them in bringing this production to neighborhoods across the city.”

Throughout the tour, a specially equipped truck will roll into each park, a stage will unfold and actors will perform a 75-minute production of The Comedy of Errors. Staged and adapted by Jeff Award-winning director and choreographer David H. Bell,  the story unfolds when Antipholus and his lifelong servant Dromio find themselves in Ephesus as they search the world over for a twin, lost in infancy. Everywhere they go in this foreign land, complete strangers insist that they’re best of friends. Is everyone here quite mad? Mistaken identities abound, as one bewildering day in Ephesus makes for hilarious complications—and a bewitching theatrical experience.

The Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks The Comedy of Errors cast includes Will Allan (Dromio of Syracuse), Amira Danan (Adriana), Meghan Murphy (Aemilia/Courtezan), Andrea San Miguel (Luciana), Drew Shirley (Egeon/Luce/Dr. Pinch), Alec Silver (Dromio of Ephesus), Laurence Stepney (Duke), and ensemble members Wesley Daniel, Nathaniel Elfant, and Max Fabian. Additional casting to be announced. Joining Bell on the creative team is Scenic Designer Scott Davis, Costume Designer Theresa Ham, Projections Designer Mike Tutaj, Sound Designer Christopher M. LaPorte, Wig and Make-up Designer Richard Jarvie, Assistant Director Eli N. Newell, and Verse Coach Ross Lehman.

In addition to the tour stops in Chicago, Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks will share Shakespeare with a one-night-only performance in Aurora at RiverEdge Park (360 N. Broadway St.) on Saturday, August 3, 2019, at 6:30 p.m.

Partnering with the Chicago Park District, Chicago Shakespeare Theater is offering ASL-interpreted performances at six of the eighteen Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks tour stops:

Sunday, July 28 at 6:30 p.m. | Loyola Park (1230 W. Greenleaf Ave.)
Saturday, August 10 at 6:30 p.m. | Ridge Park (1817 W. 96th St.)
Sunday, August 11 at 6:30 p.m. | Calumet Park (9801 S. Ave. G
Thursday, August 15 at 6:30 p.m. | Piotrowski Park (4247 W. 31st St.)
Saturday, August 17 at 6:30 p.m. | Welles Park (2333 W. Sunnyside Ave.)
Sunday, August 18 at 6:30 p.m. | Ping Tom Memorial Park (1700 S. Wentworth Ave.)

Sign-interpreting the performances are Elizabeth Bartlow Breslin and Will Lee. Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks will also offer an audio-described performance on Sunday, August 7 at 6:30 p.m. at Frank J. Wilson Park (4630 N. Milwaukee Ave.) for audience members who are blind or have low vision, in which a describer provides a description of visual elements of the production transmitted through headphones. Assistive-listening devices are available for all performances.

For more information on Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks, visit

Photo by Michael Litchfield.

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—a company that defies theatrical category. This Regional Tony Award-winning theater’s year-round season features as many as twenty productions and 650 performances—including plays, musicals, world premieres, family programming, and presentations from around the globe. Chicago Shakespeare is the city’s leading presenter of international work, and has toured its own productions across five continents. The Theater’s nationally acclaimed arts in literacy programs support the work of teachers, and bring Shakespeare to life on stage for tens of thousands of students annually. Each summer, the company tours a free professional production to neighborhood parks across Chicago. In 2017 the Theater unveiled The Yard, which, together with the Jentes Family Courtyard Theater and the Thoma Theater Upstairs, positions Chicago Shakespeare as Chicago’s most versatile performing arts center.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater is proud to be part of the 2019 Year of Chicago Theatre, presented by the City of Chicago and the League of Chicago Theatres. To truly fall in love with Chicago, you must go to our theatres. This is where the city bares its fearless soul. Home to a community of creators, risk-takers, and big hearts, Chicago theatre is a hotbed for exciting new work and hundreds of world premieres every year. From Broadway musicals to storefront plays and improv, there’s always a seat waiting for you at one of our 200+ theatres. Book your next show today at

Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks tours Shakespeare’s hilarious classic The Comedy of Errors, directed by David H. Bell, FREE FOR ALL to 19 neighborhood parks across the city, July 18–August 18, 2019. Photo by Julie Stanton. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2019




Best Actor and Actress Award Recipients will Represent Illinois in
“The Jimmy Awards®,” also known as The National High School Musical Theatre Awards®, named after James M. Nederlander

In celebration of outstanding achievement in high school musical theatre performances, Broadway In Chicago is thrilled to announce the award recipients of the Eighth Annual Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards (IHSMTA) sponsored by NBC 5: Jacob Simon of Deerfield, IL (Deerfield High School) as BEST ACTOR for his portrayal of “Bobby Child” in CRAZY FOR YOU  and Marguerite Reed of Palos Park, IL (Mother McAuley High School) as BEST ACTRESS for her portrayal of “Betty Haynes” in IRVING BERLIN’S WHITE CHRISTMAS. Jacob and Marguerite will represent the state of Illinois at The Jimmy Awards® (also known as The National High School Musical Theatre Awards®) in New York on June 24, 2019.

Cary-Grove High School was awarded Best Production presented by Guardian Music Travel for their production of ALL SHOOK UP and Benet Academy was awarded Best Scenic Design presented by SPL, celebrating excellence in scenic design, for their production of PIPPIN (designed by Ramon Marth and Charlie Pipal). Susan S. Gorman was awarded the Best Direction Award for her direction of Deerfield High School’s production of CRAZY FOR YOU. Two new categories were presented this year: Cary-Grove High School was awarded Best Choreography for their production of ALL SHOOK UP (choreographed by Amy Krigas), and Libertyville High School was awarded Best Ensemble for their production of PIPPIN.

On Monday, May 6, Broadway In Chicago crafted a full day of workshops with theatre professionals for twenty-four nominees that culminated in a performance on stage at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place. During the day, nominees performed for a panel of casting agents and theater professionals who chose the recipients of performance awards. 

In addition to a workshop led by CHICAGO THE MUSICAL cast member Christophe Caballero (Dance Captain/Swing), whose previous theatrical credits include four Broadway shows including original Tony®-winning companies of La Cage Aux Folles & Jerome Robbins' Broadway (who also performed at the Tony Awards® during each of the last three decades), each nominee received tickets to CHICAGO THE MUSICAL. The musical will play at Broadway In Chicago’s Cadillac Palace Theatre (151 W. Randolph) from May 7-12, 2019.

BEST ACTOR Jacob Simon and BEST ACTRESS Marguerite Reed will be sent to New York City, on an all-expense paid trip, for a week-long theatre intensive of coaching and rehearsals with industry professionals in preparation for a one-night-only showcase, where they will represent the state of Illinois at The Jimmy Awards® on Broadway, on Monday, June 24, 2019. The Jimmy Awards® are named for legendary Broadway theater owner and producer James M. Nederlander. Broadway In Chicago is a Nederlander presentation, and is excited to join the network of theatres across the country participating in The Jimmy Awards®.

The Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards have proven to be a stepping stone for young performers, with several appearing in Broadway productions. Nathan Salstone (2012 IHSMTA Best Actor) made his Broadway debut in HARRY POTTER & THE CURSED CHILD, and John Clay III (2013 IHSMTA Best Actor) made his Broadway debut this year in CHOIR BOY. Other Illinois winners have also been successful at The Jimmy Awards®: Jonah Rawitz (2014 IHSMTA Best Actor) was awarded the 2014 Jimmy Award® for Best Performance by an Actor, Cecilia Trippiedi (2016 IHSMTA Best Actress) was awarded the 2016 Jimmy Award® for Best Dancer, and Darian Goulding (2018 IHSMTA Best Actor) was a 2018 Jimmy Award® finalist.

The 72 participating high schools involved in the program are given opportunities to see Broadway In Chicago shows and receive invitations to special events throughout the year. Recently, students performed with the cast of DEAR EVAN HANSEN (including the star of the National Tour Ben Levi Ross) at Broadway In Chicago’s Summer Concert at Millennium Park, in addition to performing with HAMILTON Chicago Company’s Miguel Cervantes (Alexander Hamilton) at the Illinois Bicentennial Birthday Party at Navy Pier.

For more information on The Jimmy Awards®, also known as the National High School Musical Theatre Awards®, visit For more information on both awards and complete rules and regulations, visit

The Jimmy Awards®/The National High School Musical Theatre Awards® (NHSMTA®) program impacts more than 100,000 students who participate in high school musical theatre competitions sponsored by presenters of Touring Broadway productions throughout the United States. Presented by the Broadway League Foundation, the program sends a Best Actress and Best Actor winner from each of these competitions to New York for a week-long theatre intensive of coaching and rehearsals with industry professionals in preparation for a one-night-only talent showcase on Broadway. Named for Broadway impresario James M. Nederlander, the program has been the catalyst for more than $2,000,000 in educational scholarships. The eleventh annual Jimmy Awards® will take place on Monday, June 24, 2019 at the Minskoff Theatre on Broadway. Coaching and rehearsals for this one-of-a-kind event will be held Monday, June 17, 2019 through Monday, June 24, 2019 in New York City. For more information, please visit

Broadway In Chicago was created in July 2000 and over the past 19 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 more than 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, James M. Nederlander Theatre, and just off the Magnificent Mile, the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place and presenting Broadway shows at the Auditorium Theatre.

Broadway In Chicago proudly celebrates 2019 as the Year of Chicago Theatre.

For more information, visit

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

FEST ALERT: Physical Theater Festival Chicago returns May 31-June 9, 2019 at Stage 773

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar


Physical Theater Festival Chicago returns May 31-June 9, 2019 at Stage 773, opening with (from left) Next Door by Out of Balanz (Denmark), closing with Freeman by Strictly Arts (U.K.), the festival’s largest presentation ever, and with new additions announced including the family-friendly Tic Tac Tock by Mrs. Flower (Belgium/U.K.).

I'll be out for opening night, catching Next Door & Helga. Check back soon for my full review. 

Physical Theater Festival Chicago, back for its sixth season, will present physical theater acts and artists from Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, Puerto Rico, India, the U.K. and Chicago that promise to wow audiences for 10 consecutive days of “theater that moves you.”

Physical Theater Festival Chicago runs May 31-June 9, 2019. All events (except Eventide) take place at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. Festival passes ($50 and $65) and single tickets ($15-$20) are on sale at

For updates, follow the festival on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

The 2019 Physical Theater Festival Chicago – the full line-up:

Following, in chronological order, is the full 2019 Physical Theater Festival Chicago schedule – launching with the opening weekend return of the Danish company Out of Balance, the smash hit success of the inaugural fest in 2014, closing with Physical Festival Chicago’s largest presentation in its history, Freeman from Strictly Arts U.K., an Edinburgh Fringe Fest sensation with incredibly powerful stories of mental illness and systemic racism.

Next Door
By Out of Balanz
From Copenhagen, Denmark
Friday, May 31 at 7 p.m., Saturday, June 1 at 9 p.m., Sunday,
June 2 at 2 p.m.
60 minutes
For ages 12 and up

*Parents: Sunday, June 2, 2 p.m. is Sitter Sunday. Come for the show, teaching staff from Willow Tree Child Care will watch your kids, ages potty trained and up! See website for more information. 

Multi-award winning Danish company Out of Balanz returns to Chicago with their critically acclaimed Next Door. The stand-out smash hit of Chicago’s first Physical Theater Festival in 2014 is back by popular demand to re-celebrate physical comedy, active imaginations and the importance of relationships.

When Ivan Hansen’s neighbor passes away suddenly, Ivan realizes he doesn’t know anything about him. In Next Door, intimate storytelling and high-octane physical theater explore what it is that really connects us.

Next Door captured First Prize and Audience Prize at the Birmingham European Theatre Festival 2013 and Best Male Performers at Kosovo’s Skena Up International Festival. The Copenhagen Post called it “imaginative and groundbreaking…an unforgettable journey into the human psyche.” The Scotsman found it “irresistible.”

Founded in 2006, Out of Balanz is an award-winning international theater ensemble based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Recognized for their highly collaborative creative process and for producing original work rich in spectacle and adventurous in form, Out of Balanz has created over a dozen original works and toured to 16 different countries in Europe, North America and Asia (including such venues as The John Houseman Theatre off-Broadway, The Barbican in London and at the first-ever Physical Theater Festival Chicago.) The company was named one of the 13 most innovative physical theater companies in the world, alongside such prestigious companies as The SITI Company and DV8, by For more, visit

Helga – life of a diva extraordinaire
By Henni Kervinen, directed by Jenni Kallo
From Finland
Friday, May 31 at 9 p.m.; Saturday, June 1 at 7 p.m.; and Sunday, June 2 at 5 p.m.
60 minutes
For ages 10 and up

Henni Kervinen in Helga – the life of a diva extraordinare (Finland)

A new cabaret diva extraordinaire is here! Poignant, melancholy mime, clowning circus skills and physical comedy make up the wordless story of Helga. Tragedy and comedy meet as Helga invites us into her world, from the mundane details of her day to the fabulous memories of her life.

Helga is skillfully performed by Finnish circus artist Henni Kervinen and directed by Jenni Kallo, Artistic Director of the renowned Kallo Collective (Only Bones, Edinburgh Fringe 2016). called Helga 'absurd comedy and sparkling wit…', with an Edinburgh Fringe Fest fan hitting the nail on the head with "only the Finns can make humor out of melancholy as fabulously as this.” For more, visit

Note: Helga is silent, no interpreter needed, making it appropriate for audiences that are deaf or hard of hearing.

The festival’s new Fresh Series featuring two mid-length works in progress, includes:

The Raveling
by Walkabout Theatre
From Chicago
Sunday, June 2 at 8:30 p.m. and Monday, June 3 at 9 p.m.
60 minutes
For ages 14 and up

As the borders of home are redefined across generations, The Raveling teases apart the threads of heritage, history and hearsay in its cast of co-creators hailing from Chicago, Toronto, and New Delhi. The Raveling is part family fever dream, part fairy tale, and part detective story as the knot of belonging is stretched and pulled across countries and decades of legends, heroes, and misadventures.

Walkabout Theater is a multidisciplinary ensemble committed to a unique practice of theater-making in Chicago. Walkabout produces three streams of programming: free outdoor phenomena focused on community engagement and unique artistic collaborations; world-premiere, touring performances created by the ensemble; and training workshops investigating techniques of co-creation. Radically process-oriented, Walkabout is distinguished by a deep investment in the creation of each ensemble project, in the personal and artistic development of each ensemble artist, and in the cultural and artistic advancement of ensemble practice. For more, visit

A Life with No Limits
By Aura CuriAtlas Physical Theatre
From Chicago
Monday and Tuesday, June 3 and 4 at 7 p.m.
60 minutes
For all ages

A Life With No Limits is inspired by the life and work of astrophysicist Stephen Hawking. It is created in the company’s signature blend of dance, theater, and acrobatics with original music composed by Sophia Serghi. The story is told wordlessly and reflects on the determination, passion, and sense of humor of someone who has severe physical limitations, yet has an imagination that is able to roam free. The narrative follows the protagonist from younger days with full mobility and a lust for life, through diagnosis and onset of physical disease, to moments of hopelessness when the choice must be made to succumb to the black hole that life has presented or find a way to escape its unbeatable gravitational pull. Throughout, Hawking escapes into his mind where he can move more freely and where the other bodies on stage become objects in the universe or elements in an equation that he can manipulate with ease.

Chicago’s ChiIL Mama called A Life with No Limits “a moving must see…mind-boggling…I was left in awe of the superhuman physical strength and willpower required to live with a severe disability.”

Aura CuriAtlas was founded in 2013 by Dan Plehal, a Chicago-based theater director, actor, acrobat and teacher, and Joan Gavaler, who choreographs, performs, and teaches dance and physical theater at the College of William & Mary in Virginia. The company also includes founding member Mickey Lonsdale, an actor and teacher of dance and acrobatics outside of NYC. 

Blending dance, theater, and acrobatics to tell stories, Aura CuriAtlas keeps the qualities of lightness (Aura), strength (Atlas), and play (Curiosity) at the center. The company has created three shows, Dream Logic, A Life With No Limits, and The Fool and The World and have been touring them around the country. The company’s lightheartedness, athleticism and reliance on physical storytelling make its stories accessible to audiences of many different ages and backgrounds. For more, visit

Scratch Night
Tuesday, June 4 at 9 p.m.
80 minutes
Heels Over Head (Chicago)

The wildly entertaining revue of new and more experimental short works by emerging and veteran Chicago physical theater artists, presented in association with Heels over Head, will feature (at press time) La Vuelta Ensemble led by Raquel Torre and Jean Claudio; Claire Saxe from Rough House Theater; and Brittany Price Anderson from Heels Over Head. Look for more artists TBA.

International Touring Talk
Wednesday, June 5 at 7 p.m.

Learn the ins and outs of touring Chicago-made work internationally and nationally at this free industry panel with artists from Walkabout Theater and India's Guild of the Goat and presenters from Chicago Shakespeare Theater and Chicago Park District. The hour-long panel will be followed by breakout sessions focused on how to pitch presenters, create touring budgets and develop technical riders.

By 3AM Theatre
From New York/Puerto Rico 
Wednesday and Thursday, June 5 and 6 at 9 p.m.
60 minutes
Ages 7 and up
at Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St. in Wicker Park

Physical Festival Chicago’s first-ever off-site production is a beautiful, wordless circus theater show featuring a former Cirque du Soleil performer and a former Martha Graham company soloist. The production employs expressive movement, object manipulation, and contemporary, surreal scene-setting to expose the challenges we face in romantic relationships and relationships with ourselves.

Eventide begins in the ether and slowly narrows in on an apartment where a troubled couple lies awake despite the late hour. Soon we witness their disconnection unfold with the interplay between present interactions, interior monologues and past memories. With the future of their relationship at stake, they choose to explore a hovering, seductive void, one that’s accessible via inexplicable phenomena of the twilight hours. There in the void they move freely, without the weight of mental clutter, giving them a clarity that ultimately leads them toward redefining their individuality and partnership. Eventide is told wordlessly, making it ideal for audience members that are deaf or are hard of hearing.

3AM Theatre is the latest creative endeavor of two career performers, Kyle Driggs and Andrea Murillo. They bring their respective experiences at storied institutions like Martha Graham Dance Company and Cirque du Soleil to 3AM where they are developing performances that explore both the intersection and the boundaries of their art forms.

The Gift
By Angela de Castro
From Brazil/UK
Thursday, Friday and Saturday, June 6, 7 and 8 at 7 p.m.
60 minutes
All ages

A clown waits for his new date to arrive. Smart, proud and optimistic he waits longingly, impatiently...waits...and waits. In what seems an eternity he walks a tightrope between passion and despair. Will it all end in tears or laughter? The Gift is about love and loss, giving and loneliness. A heart-warming tale in the great tradition of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin in which music and silence merge as passion and imagination take over. The Gift will touch and delight audiences of all ages. In an era of so-called sophistication and cool, we need more than ever the simple, universal message of love, hope and truth captured in The Gift.

The Gift began as a 30-minute show in 1990, subsequently receiving a special grant from the Arts Council of Great Britain to develop into a full length show and premiering at the London International Mime Festival. The Gift has been seen all over the UK and is now touring worldwide. Reworked with new material, this updated production is performed and directed by Angela de Castro, accompanied by a special guest classical musician, with choreography by clown and commedia dell'arte expert Barry Grantham.

Brazilian born Angela de Castro has been a professional clown/actor for forty years, working with some of the UK’s most innovative physical theatre companies including The Right Size and Clod Ensemble. She travels the world with her workshop masterclass ‘How To Be a Stupid’ and is perhaps best known for creating the Green Clown in Slava’s Snowshow. One of the most internationally admired women clowns, she has been awarded fellowships by NESTA Dreamtime, The Arts Foundation and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. For more, visit

By Strictly Arts
From the UK
Thursday, Friday and Saturday, June 6, 7 and 8 at 9 p.m.
60 minutes
For ages 14 and up

Following its critically acclaimed sold out run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Freeman makes its Midwest debut as the largest international production ever presented by Physical Theater Festival Chicago.

Winner of a Spirit of the Fringe Award and shortlisted for Amnesty International’s Freedom of Expression Award, Freeman is inspired by the first man in America to plead insanity as his defense and sees writer Camilla Whitehill (Where Do Little Birds Go?) and Strictly Arts examine the unspoken link between mental health and systemic racism.

Throughout time and across waters, from William Freeman, to Sarah Reed, to Sandra Bland, six true stories are threaded together and told through physical theater, spoken word, gospel singing, shadow puppetry and more. History is bound to repeat itself when the thumb is permanently bearing down on the loop button, so has anything really changed?

The Guardian called Freeman “a revelation, a piece of stunning physical theatre,” Broadway Baby hailed its “outstanding artistic courage” and Edinburgh Guide raved "both exciting and devastating...everybody should see it."

Strictly Arts is a new physical theater company led by Artistic Director and founder, Corey Campbell and Executive Producer, Henry Bays. The company formed after achieving breakout success with Green Leaves Fall in 2015, instantly igniting a partnership between Strictly Arts and Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre. More recently, Strictly Arts received the Charlie Hartill Special Reserve Fund from the Pleasance Theatre enabling the company to take its first show, Freeman, to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, selling out its performances and receiving many 5 star reviews. Freeman started as a work in progress piece that quickly developed into national tours in 2017 and 2018. It sold out across all venues with standing ovations and amazing feedback, and was shortlisted for two Off West End Awards.

As a company, Strictly Arts devises work that is engaging, thought provoking and unique. It strives to make the work created accessible to audiences around the world, while telling stories that forgotten communities can connect with. For more, visit

The Nora Project Presents: Tic Tac Tock by Mrs. Flower
With and by Rachel Ponsonby, Directed by Louis Spagna
From Belgium/U.K.
Sunday, June 9 at 2 p.m.
50 minutes
All ages
Free with suggested donation to The Nora Project

Tic Tac Tock by Mrs. Flower

Experience sensory friendly, inclusive live theater for children of all abilities and their families.

Tic Tac Tock is a prize-winning story told by Mrs. Flower about when she was a little girl. She explains what a day is like "over there" in France in her unique and humorous style. Tic Tac Tock is a celebration of music, song, and language in both French and English. Mrs. Flower tells her tale while playing over 10 instruments as well as the sumptuous use of audience participation, circus, magic and clowning.

A musical clown show for all ages, Tic Tac Tock is with and by Rachel Ponsonby, and directed by Louis Spagna.

The Nora Project is a Chicago-based nonprofit with a mission is to teach empathy by sparking friendships between students and their peers with disabilities. The Nora Project is currently in more than 30 schools and 85 classrooms across Chicagoland and growing.

One of the great thrills about Physical Theater Festival is the opportunity to connect with artists from around the world, and play. Learn how to have fun on stage, connect with your body, and create work with other artist at one or more workshops:

Make ‘Em Laugh- Comedy and The Human Body by Out of Balanz
Sunday, June 2, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Expressive Body: The Essence of Physical Theater by Kallo Collective
Monday, June 3, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Action, Group, Body and Song By Walkabout Theater
Tuesday, June 4, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Art of Human Playgrounds by Aura CuriAtlas 
Wednesday, June 5, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Physical Theater Foundations by Strictly Arts
Thursday, June 6, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Mindful Manipulations by 3AM Theatre
Thursday, June 6, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The Pleasure of Playing by Angela De Castro
Friday, June 7, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Outside Eyes by Angela de Castro (Individual one hour sessions for performers or theater companies) 
Saturday, June 9, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Visit for more class descriptions, fees and information on a discounted workshop pass.

About the 2019 Physical Theater Festival Chicago

Physical Theater Festival Chicago is the city’s annual contemporary, visual and physical theater festival presenting new forms of theater from around the world. Back for its sixth year, Chicago’s Physical Theater Festival presents a diverse, international slate of radically different works of physical theater, loosely defined as storytelling through highly physical, highly visual means to create live, original and contemporary works.

Since 2014, Physical Theater Festival Chicago has presented artists and companies from Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Cuba, France, Finland, Denmark, Germany, India, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Spain and the U.K. Each year, Physical Theater Festival introduces Chicago to work that is:

Contemporary - using cutting-edge, on-the-pulse theatrical forms that are responding to the contemporary moment using contemporary notions of theater.

Visual - elevating the visual aspects of its stories, theater which is occupied with the creation of visual atmospheres and images as much as verbal text.

Physical - pursuing storytelling through primarily physical means, whose aim is to create original stories which start and end with the body as the foundational textual source.

Physical Theater Festival Chicago co-founders Alice da Cunha and Marc Frost

Chicago theater artists Alice da Cunha and Marc Frost launched Chicago’s inaugural Physical Theater Festival in 2014 through the Artistic Associate program at Links Hall. The inspiration for the Festival drew upon their combined experience as physical theater students at the London International School for the Performing Arts (LISPA). Moving from London to Chicago, they were inspired to start a new festival to promote a more progressive, fresh and physical approach to theater making in Chicago. Six years later, Physical Theater Festival Chicago is following in the tradition of such great European theater festivals as the London International Mime Festival (LIMF) and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, to name a few.

“Physical theater embraces such a wide variety of styles, approaches and aesthetics including clown, puppetry, mime, mask, dance, theater, vaudeville and circus, stop motion film and poetry to name just a few,” explains Alice da Cunha. “Chicago is fortunate to be home to one of the best, most eclectic and adventurous audiences in the world. So ‘let’s get physical,’ Chicago. The 6th Physical Theater Festival Chicago is your chance to see an eye-opening variety of contemporary physical theater styles, artists and companies from around the globe.”

Alice da Cunha was Marketing Director for CASA (London's Latin American Theatre Festival) and she produced, curated and presented SHORTCUTZ (a weekly short film festival). She was also the Production Assistant for TODOS Festival, an interdisciplinary festival in Lisbon, Portugal. In Chicago, da Cunha is an actress who has performed in many plays and films, including United Flight 232 at The House Theatre of Chicago, winner of a 2016 Jeff Award for Best Ensemble, and more recently, La Ruta at Steppenwolf Theatre. She has also worked in hospitality for the Chicago Latino Film Festival.

Co-Artistic Director Marc Frost is an actor, deviser, educator and Chicago native who has performed and produced work in Brazil, Ireland, Spain, the USA and the U.K. He created Theater Unspeakable as a platform for original works of devised, physical theater. Based in Chicago, the award-winning company has toured nationally to thousands of young audiences at venues including Lincoln Center Education (NY) and Kennedy Center (DC). He currently teaches physical theater at DePaul University. He is also a recent graduate of the Commercial Theatre Institute's 14-Week Training Program for Commercial Producers in New York City.

Physical Theater Festival Chicago is supported by The MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation and is also supported by Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Events (DCASE), Fractured Atlas, Stage 773 and Theater Unspeakable LLC.

For more information, visit

Google Analytics Code


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...