Friday, July 12, 2019

ART BEAT: Save the Dates: Elmhurst Art Museum PresentsWhat Came After: Figurative Painting in Chicago 1978-98 This Fall Beginning September 14, 2019

What Came After: 
Figurative Painting in Chicago 1978-98
on view September 14, 2019 - January 12, 2020

Exhibition organized in conjunction with newly installed Chicago Imagists installation at Elmhurst College

(Left to Right) HOLLIS SIGLER (AMERICAN, 1948-2001), IT KEEPS HER GOING, 1991-92, OIL ON CANVAS WITH PAINTED FRAME, 53 X 66 INCHES | COLLECTION OF ROCKFORD ART MUSEUM, ILLINOIS, USA, GIFT OF FRANCIS AND JUNE SPIEZER | PHOTOGRAPH COPYRIGHT OF ROCKFORD ART MUSEUM

TONY PHILLIPS, THE SPACE BETWEEN, 1993, OIL ON CANVAS, 48 X 58 IN. |ARTIST COLLECTION

PHYLLIS BRAMSON, DECOYS, 1989, OIL ON CANVAS, 84 X 72 IN. | COURTESY OF THE ARTIST AND ZOLLA/LIEBERMAN GALLERY

Elmhurst Art Museum (150 South Cottage Hill Avenue) proudly presents What Came After: Figurative Painting in Chicago 1978-98 on view September 14, 2019 – January 12, 2020. Organized by Chicago-based, internationally exhibited artist Phyllis Bramson, What Came After is a survey of diverse interests in the figure as a subject, the human condition, and an interest in personal iconography.

According to Bramson, “Many have struggled with understanding and processing the term ‘Chicago Imagism’ since it was first used in the early 1970s, including artists that built on the ideas of their peers or sought to break free from expectations of that legacy. What Came After better defines and celebrates this later generation of artists, which have been called third generation Imagists, Post-Imagists, and the Chicago School.”

In addition to Bramson, artists represented in What Came After include Nicholas Africano, Susanne Doremus, Eleanor Spiess-Ferris, Richard Hull, Michiko Itatani, Paul Lamantia, Robert Lostutter, Jim Lutes, Tony Phillips, David Sharpe, Hollis Sigler, Ken Warneke, Margaret Wharton, and Mary Lou Zelazny. The show of 30 paintings will serve as an introduction to these artists for a broad audience, while also examining a specific time and place in Chicago’s recent history.

“We are thrilled to work with this group of artists, as well as Elmhurst College again, to dig deeper into Chicago’s rich cultural history. The exhibition builds on an ongoing conversation about Chicago Imagism, which has become broadly and internationally known, but often misunderstood,” said Elmhurst Art Museum Executive Director John McKinnon. “The painters in this exhibition have all been recognized in their own right, yet this period of history has often been overlooked.”

The exhibition’s original scholarship will include a brochure with essays by Bramson, Chicago curator Lynne Warren, and New York curator/critic Deven Golden. In these texts, the wide-ranging term of Chicago Imagism will be discussed as valuable yet limiting. Public programs will better define how the well-used term was formed, what it originally meant, and what it has come to mean through time. What Came After is dedicated to the late art critic James Yood, a champion of Midwest artists, who was involved in early conversations of this exhibition. 

What Came After is organized in conjunction with a new installation across Elmhurst’s museum campus at Elmhurst College’s A.C. Buehler Library. This new display was organized by Suellen Rocca, one of the original members of the Hairy Who collective and current Curator and Director of Exhibitions at Elmhurst College.


RELATED PUBLIC PROGRAMS

·         Panel Discussion: Despite Imagism

Saturday, September 14, 1:30pm

Presenters including artist Phyllis Bramson, curator Lynne Warren, curator/critic Deven Golden, and artists Richard Hull, Susanne Doremus, and Jim Lutes. Free with museum admission.

·         Family Days

Saturday, September 28, 1 - 4pm, and Monday, October 14 (Columbus Day), 1 - 4pm

Children and parents are invited to participate in hands-on activities inspired by the current exhibition. Available to all ages. Free with museum admission.

·         Tours of Elmhurst College’s Chicago Imagist collection with Suellen Rocca

Saturday, October 19, 1:30pm and Saturday, November 9, 1:30pm
See the newly reinstalled, internationally recognized Chicago Imagist collection at Elmhurst College with these exclusive tours by Suellen Rocca, one of the original members of the Hairy Who collective and current Curator and Director of Exhibitions at the College. Rocca will offer first-person accounts of Chicago’s cultural history, while also providing context and furthering the dialogue about art from Chicago during the 70s-90s. 

·         Lecture: What is Chicago Imagism?

Saturday, November 2, 1:30pm

Join us for a talk about Chicago Imagism and its legacy by art critic, curator, and essayist Deven Golden. This talk will look at the artist dialogue that led up to this period, what followed, and how things irrevocably changed as the 20th century came to an end.

·         Lecture: What Came After?

Saturday, November 23, 1:30pm

Curator Robert Cozzolino better defines how the well-used term of Chicago Imagism was formed, what it originally meant, and what it has come to mean through time.

·         Exhibition Tour with artist and exhibition organizer, Phyllis Bramson
Saturday, January 11, 1:30pm

What Came After is sponsored by the Explore Elmhurst Grant Program, with public programming sponsored by Terra Foundation for American Art.


About Elmhurst Art Museum
Elmhurst Art Museum is located at 150 South Cottage Hill Avenue in Elmhurst (IL), 25 minutes from downtown Chicago by car or public transportation (Metra). The Museum is both an international destination for Mies van der Rohe scholars and fans and a regional center where people from Chicago and the western suburbs learn to see and think differently through the study of the art, architecture and design of our time.  The Museum is one block from the Elmhurst Metra station and open Tuesday-Sunday from 11am -5pm. Admission is $15 ($12 for seniors) and free for students and children under 18.

Simultaneous with What Came After, Elmhurst Art Museum will be mounting McCormick House – Past, Present, Future, also September 14, 2019 – January 12, 2020. For the first time ever, the Museum will exhibit a full 1950s domestic representation of its Mies van der Rohe McCormick House (1952) as well as historic images showing how residents lived in the home and explanations about the current transitional state of its preservation.  

For more information, please call 630.834.0202 or visit elmhurstartmuseum.org.

OPENING: Junie B. Jones,The Musical at Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences July 12 to August 11, 2019

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

Terry James, Executive Producer
Andy Hite, Lead Artistic Director
Aaron Thielen, Artistic Director
Presents



Sneak a peek into the "Top-Secret Personal Beeswax Journal" of the outspoken and lovable Junie B. Jones!

My kids grew up on Junie B. Jones books, and adored this quirky, creative heroine. We're jazzed to see Marriott is bringing her to life on stage in the ever popular, Junie B. Jones, The Musical. Since my littles are now not so little teens, one of my fabulous freelancers, Chicago based writer and mom of 3, Kimberly Robb Baker will be out for the press opening, with her young children, reviewing for ChiILMama.com. 


Live a day in the life of this ever lovable and outspoken first grader with the premiere of Junie B. Jones, The Musical, at Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences, 10 Marriott Drive in Lincolnshire. Running from July 12 to August 11, 2019, with press opening on Saturday, July 20 at 10 a.m., this special one-hour presentation explores the wonderful works of Barbara Park’s beloved best-selling books. Created by the team who brought Dear Edwina to the stage—Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich—and developed into a genuinely comical (and not strictly-for-kids) musical by TheatreworksUSA, Junie B. Jones, The Musical is directed and choreographed by Johanna McKenzie Miller, with musical direction by Ellen Morris.

Audiences will follow the trials and tribulations of this zany first grader, who learns what friendship really means, that the things that make you different also make you special, and that sometimes when life gives you lemons… you just need to make lemonade!

It's Junie B.'s first day of first grade, and a lot of things have changed for her: Junie's friend, Lucille, doesn't want to be her best pal anymore and, on the bus, Junie B. makes friends with Herb, the new kid at school. Also, Junie has trouble reading the blackboard and her teacher, Mr. Scary, thinks she may need glasses. Throw in a friendly cafeteria lady, a kickball tournament and a "Top-Secret Personal Beeswax Journal," and first grade has never been more exciting. Featuring a tremendously loveable character and fun-filled songs, Junie B. Jones will capture your heart just as the books captivated an entire generation of students.

Starring in Junie B. Jones, The Musical are Elizabeth Telford as “Junie B. Jones,” Lydia Burke as “May and Chenille,” Rashada Dawan as “Mom, Mrs. Gutzman, Grace and Camille,” Jackson Evans as “Sheldon,” Adam LaSalle as “Daddy, Mr. Scary and Mr. Woo,” Garrett Lutz as “Herb,” and Allison Sill as “Lucille.”

The production will feature set design by Rachel Rauscher, lighting design by Aaron Lorenz, costume design by Amanda Vander Byl, sound design by Robert E. Gilmartin, media design by Anthony Churchill and Nick Coso, and musical supervision by Patti Garwood.

Junie B. Jones, The Musical runs on most Wednesdays through Sundays at 10 a.m. with certain performances at 12:30 p.m. Visit MarriottTheatre.com or call (847) 634-0200 for exact schedule, as show times and dates may vary. Single ticket prices are $18.23 per person. Groups of 20 or more receive a discount by calling (847) 634-5909. Free parking is available at all shows. To reserve tickets, call the Marriott Theatre Box Office at (847) 634-0200 or visit www.MarriottTheatre.com.

ART BEAT: SAVE THE DATES: Elmhurst Art Museum Highlights Mies van der Rohe McCormick House Beginning September 15, 2019

Elmhurst Art Museum highlights its 
Mies van der Rohe McCormick House
this Fall with McCormick House – Past, Present, Future exhibition, house tours and related architecture-themed programming

LUDWIG MIES VAN DER ROHE, MCCORMICK HOUSE, LIVING ROOM, 1950s, HEDRICH BLESSING ARCHIVE, HB17555A, CHICAGO HISTORICAL SOCIETY

INSTALLATION VIEW OF MCCORMICK HOUSE: 1952 – 1959 CURATED BY ROBERT KLEINSCHMIDT AND RYAN MONTELEAGRE. PHOTO BY JIM PRINZ


For first time ever, McCormick House features a full 1950s domestic presentation; on view September 14, 2019 – January 12, 2020, with weekly tours starting Sept. 15    

For the first time ever, the Elmhurst Art Museum (150 South Cottage Hill Avenue) will exhibit a full 1950s domestic representation of its Mies van der Rohe McCormick House (1952), highlighting this rare single-family home in the Museum’s collection.  McCormick House – Past, Present, Future will present visitors with classic mid-Century furniture of the time period as well as historic images showing how residents lived in the home and explanations about the preservation and restoration process currently underway. Further, the walls will highlight a timeline of events and photos dating back to the building’s conception, including anecdotes and stories about the home’s residents.  McCormick House – Past, Present, Future will be on view September 14, 2019 – January 12, 2020 and is organized in conjunction with the Chicago Architecture Biennial.

As curated by veteran Chicago architect & interior designer Robert Kleinschmidt, the exhibition will prove how livable, inviting, and human a Mies-designed home can be with period décor. This work continues Kleinschmidt’s relationship with the house; last Fall, commemorating the separation of the House from the main museum building, he introduced a partial period installation in the home’s ‘children’s wing,’ captivating visitors. 

“After walking under the restored carport and crossing a new threshold, visitors have better appreciated Mies van der Rohe’s designs for the McCormick House,” says Elmhurst Art Museum Executive Director John McKinnon. “We are excited to further educate and inspire our public by addressing the house’s interior. Rob’s exhibition will help our guests understand its domestic scale through period furniture and illustrate its history as a residence.”



RELATED PUBLIC PROGRAMS

All are free with museum admission unless noted.



·         Weekly house tours

Sunday afternoons, starting Sept. 15, 1pm and 3pm

New weekly house tours will invite visitors to explore the McCormick House history with Museum docents and special guides, including a former resident.



·         Curator Tour: Robert Kleinschmidt

Saturday, September 21, 1:30pm

Architect Robert Kleinschmidt will guide a tour, sharing his designs for the domestic interior and his history with other projects by Mies van der Rohe.



·         Lecture: Preserving the Modern Home

Saturday, October 5, 1:30pm

Architectural historian Susan Benjamin utilizes stunning historic images to highlight notable modern houses in and around Chicago and the efforts of their passionate owners to preserve them. Benjamin is head of Benjamin Historic Certifications and co-author of Great Houses of Chicago: 1871-1921 (Acanthus Press, 2008) and Modern in the Middle: Chicago Houses, 1929-1975 (Monacelli Press, early 2020). 



·         Panel Discussion: Preserving Chicago’s Glass Houses

Saturday, October 26, 1:30pm

Dennis Rodkin, Crain’s Chicago Business columnist and “What’s that Building?” contributor to WBEZ Radio, leads a panel discussion about Chicago’s progressive architectural developments, including numerous steel and glass houses in the greater metro area such as Farnsworth House, McCormick House, Ben Rose House, Rockwell House, and others. Co-organized with The Farnsworth House, attendees will learn more about these unique residential designs, the visionary architects, and the preservation challenges the homes present.



·         Family Day

Saturday, November 16, 1-4pm
Families are invited to participate in an afternoon of art activities inspired by the museum’s current exhibition in Mies van der Rohe’s McCormick House.



·         Holiday Designer Pop-Up Shop

Friday, December 6, 4-8pm

In tandem with special holiday décor in the McCormick House, celebrate the time of year at this new pop-up shop featuring designer goods by local businesses and artisans.



About the McCormick House

In 1952, the renowned modern architect Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969) designed a home for Robert Hall McCormick III, a member of Chicago’s most prominent families, and his wife, the poet Isabella Gardner. The house was later lived in by families of Arthur and Marilyn Sladek, Ray and Mary Ann Fick, and then purchased by the Elmhurst Art Museum for a new arts complex. The house is a rare and important example of Mies van der Rohe’s mature style, incorporating elements of his celebrated designs for the Farnsworth House (1951) and 860-880 Lake Shore Drive (1951). The McCormick House—one of only three single-family homes designed by Mies in the United States—originally served two purposes: it was a home for the McCormick family and a prototype for a proposed group of smaller, affordable mass-produced modular homes in the western Chicago suburbs that McCormick and co-developer Herbert S. Greenwald were hoping to build. However, the cutting-edge, high-end buildings were not met with enough buyers to begin construction. The house became part of the Elmhurst Art Museum’s campus in 1994, and important restoration efforts have been recently undertaken.  In 2018, the McCormick House’s façade and Mies van der Rohe’s original carport design were revealed for the first time in nearly twenty-five years.


Simultaneous with the McCormick House – Past, Present, Future, Elmhurst Art Museum will be mounting What Came After: Figurative Painting in Chicago 1978-98—also September 14, 2019 - January 12, 2020—a survey of diverse interests in the figure as a subject, the human condition, and an interest in personal iconography.

About Elmhurst Art Museum

Elmhurst Art Museum is located at 150 South Cottage Hill Avenue in Elmhurst (IL), 25 minutes from downtown Chicago by car or public transportation (Metra). The Museum is both an international destination for Mies van der Rohe scholars and fans and a regional center where people from Chicago and the western suburbs learn to see and think differently through the study of the art, architecture and design of our time.


The Museum is one block from the Elmhurst Metra station and open Tuesday-Sunday from

11am -5pm. Admission is $15 ($12 for seniors) and free for students and children under 18. For more information, please call 630.834.0202 or visit elmhurstartmuseum.org.


Elmhurst Art Museum presents What Came After: Figurative Painting in Chicago 1978-98 on view September 14, 2019 - January 12, 2020

Exhibition organized in conjunction with newly installed Chicago Imagists installation at Elmhurst College

Underwater-Inspired Kids' Mermaid Fun at 900 NORTH MICHIGAN SHOPS In Downtown Chicago July 19-28th

“Underwater Wonders” 
AWAITS VISITORS TO 900 NORTH MICHIGAN SHOPS 
ONCE AGAIN THIS SUMMER
Friday, July 19 – Sunday, July 28

Photos by Ben Ramos

Ocean-themed art projects * Interactive and imaginative journeys * Ocean conservation * Fishtail braids * Fish scale face painting * Seashell sugar cookies * Splits of bubbly * Keepsake photos with a real-life mermaid


Additional activities include:

Bubbles Academy will feature a pop-up offering ocean-themed art projects, and an imaginary adventure across the sea, complete with props, costumes and songs! For more information, and to register for classes visit
Educational information on ocean conservation, and a chance to become an adopted, “child of the sea” by Blue Ring

Mario Tricoci will be offering complimentary fishtail braiding, and fish scale, face painting

Adorable seashell sugar cookies compliments of Aster Hall

Bellina Caetano will be showcasing their new summer collection, which includes some of the same, beaded jewelry the mermaid will be wearing

Sweet Star champagne splits by Chandon USA


WHAT:           
900 North Michigan Shops has partnered with Bubbles Academy, Mario Tricoci,    Aster Hall, Bellina Caetano, Chandon USA, and ocean conservation group, Blue  Ring, to produce an underwater-inspired oasis of enchantment and engagement  for mermaids and sailors of all ages. 

Starting Friday, July 19th, visitors can tuck into the iconic shopping center to do everything from visiting with a real-life mermaid in a dreamy, Instagrammable setting, to participating in ocean-themed art projects, and learning about ocean conservation. Kids can even commit to becoming an, “adopted child of the sea”, and receive a free pendant made of plastic to remind them to keep recycled waterways clear of pollutants. The mostly free activation runs from Friday, July 19th to Sunday, July 28th, and is open Monday through Saturday from 10AM-2PM, and Sunday from 12PM-4PM.   

                                                                                                                                        
Activities to include:

Bubbles Academy pop-up will feature ocean-themed art projects like decorating a treasure chest, or making flowery, mermaid crowns, and an imaginary adventure across the sea complete with props, costumes and songs! For more information, and to register for classes visit http://www.bubblesacademy.com/bubbles-at-900/ 
Educational information on ocean conservation, and a chance to become an adopted, “child of the sea” by Blue Ring
Photos and visits with an enchanting, real-life mermaid, courtesy of 900 North Michigan Shops  

Bellina Caetano will be showcasing their new summer collection, which includes some of the same, beaded jewelry the mermaid will be wearing
Fishtail braid bar, and fish scale, face painting by Mario Tricoci
Sweet Star champagne splits by Chandon USA
Adorable seashell sugar cookies courtesy of Aster Hall


WHERE:         
All activities will take place on Level 2 of 900 North Michigan Shops

WHEN:           
Friday, July 19th through Sunday, July 28th, 2019
Mondays through Saturdays, 10AM-2PM, and Sundays from 12PM-4PM.

      
The following activities are free and open to the public:

Explore the ocean-themed Bubbles Academy space
Educational information on ocean conservation
Become an adopted, “child of the sea” – participants receive a blue charm necklace made of recycled plastic found in the ocean
Visits and selfies with the mermaid  
Viewing of the new, Bellina Caetano summer jewelry collection
Fishtail braid bar
Fish scale, face painting
Seashell cookies


The following activities have fees associated:

Bubbles Academy
Mermaid & Pirate Adventure - $25
Treasure Chest Decorating or Mermaid Flower Crown - $10
Chandon Sweet Star champagne splits - $17
Bellina Caetano jewelry – each item priced individually
Pricing for photos with the mermaid are as follows, with a portion of proceeds benefiting ocean conservation non-profit Blue Ring:
$30 (2) 5x7
$40 digital download
$45 for (2) 5x7 and digital download
Visit shop900.com for complete details on the underwater-inspired experience.


ABOUT 900   
An iconic anchor of the Magnificent Mile, 900 North Michigan Shops is a 465,000-square-foot,
seven-level experiential retail destination in the heart of Chicago. The property is in the midst of
a multi-phase renovation designed to further elevate and enhance the guest experience.
Anchored by Bloomingdale’s, 900 North Michigan Shops features more than 70 luxe retailers
including a two-level Gucci, MaxMara, and Aritzia, and recently opened Aster Hall - a 22,000
square-foot, chef driven food hall.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

THE 2019 YEAR OF CHICAGO THEATRE BRINGS $1.3 MILLION IN DIRECT SUPPORT TO CHICAGO'S LOCAL THEATRE COMMUNITY

 MAYOR LIGHTFOOT AND DCASE ANNOUNCE $1.3 MILLION IN DIRECT SUPPORT TO THE LOCAL THEATRE COMMUNITY DURING THE 2019 YEAR OF CHICAGO THEATRE


116 theatres and dance artist organizations will receive $835,750 in financial grants and 157 theaters, and theatre-makers will receive $448,650 to fund artist performance fees and commissions to maintain free public programming

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) announced more than $835,750 in financial grants to 116 theatre and dance artists, nonprofit theatres and other community organizations as part of the 2019 Year of Chicago Theatre – with a special focus on organizations located on the South, Southwest and West Sides. In addition to these cultural program grants, DCASE will also provide more than $448,650 to 157 theatres, theatre-makers and dance-makers to cover artist performance fees and commissions so these organizations can maintain their free public programs.

The City of Chicago and the League of Chicago Theatres have designated 2019 as the ‘Year of Chicago Theatre.’ This citywide, year-long focus on theatre is the first of its kind in the U.S.



“Theater has the power to bring people together, influence the way that we think and feel, encourages personal reflection, and fosters creativity and expression – all while making our lives better,” said Mayor Lori Lightfoot. “Our performing arts organizations are integral to the fabric of Chicago and help to define its world-class status. It is only right that we support those organizations that add so much value and culture to Chicago.”

DCASE grants, performance fees, and commissions are made possible by the City’s annual budget and through the generous support of Chicago’s philanthropic and business leaders.

“To truly fall in love with Chicago, you must go to our theatres. This is where the city bares its fearless soul,” said DCASE Commissioner Mark Kelly. “From Broadway musicals or storefront plays and improv, the energy of the city comes alive in our theatres. And with a diverse collection of more than 250 dynamic theatres throughout our neighborhoods, there’s always a seat waiting for you.”

Financial grants awarded through the DCASE Cultural Grants Program:

Year of Chicago Theatre Sector-building Grants
2019 CityArts Project Grants support initiatives and projects that have the potential to impact the Chicago theatre sector at large. The goal of this grant program is to incentivize creativity related to city-wide initiatives and to further the program priorities of innovation, community engagement, diversity, equity and collaboration. Grants range from $5,000 to $50,000.
$319,750 awarded
17 organizations supported

Year of Chicago Theatre Micro-grants
The 2019 Year of Chicago Theatre Micro-grants support projects which increase diversity and access in Chicago’s theatre sector, with a focus on Chicago’s South and West sides. Grants range from $2,000 – $5,000.
$50,000 awarded
13 organizations supported

CityArts Program Grants (specifically for theatre, dance and performance arts)
The CityArts Program seeks to encourage nonprofit organizations to attain artistic excellence and financial stability by making general operating grants to Chicago-based, arts and culture-focused organizations of all sizes. DCASE gen-op funding has increased by 36% over the past two years. Grants range from $2,000 – $25,000.
$400,000 awarded
64 organizations supported

Individual Artists Program Grants (specifically for theatre, dance and performing arts)
Through project grants, the Individual Artists Program aims to assist Chicago's professional artists in creating work that elevates their careers and brings value to the City of Chicago. Grants range from $500 – $5,000.
$66,000 awarded
22 artists supported

Examples of the organizations supported through financial grants include Albany Park Theater Project (“Port of Entry”), Chicago Children’s Theatre (X Marks The Spot, an Extra-Sensory Tour), Chicago Latino Theater Alliance (DESTINOS – 3rd Chicago International Latino Theater Festival), Deeply Rooted Dance Theater (“Essence” Project), DirectorsLabChicago in collaboration with Haven and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (Stage Direction Masterclass Series), Jackalope Theatre Company (House Party: Youth Access Initiative), Kuumba Lynx (Chicago Hip Hop Theater Festival), See Chicago Dance (Expanding and Diversifying Dance Journalism) and Victory Gardens Theater (ACCESS 2.0).

Additionally, DCASE supports artist performance fees and commissions totaling $448,650 to 157 theatres, theatre-makers, and dance-makers as part of its free public programming. Examples include the new Millennium Park theatre series, a new Millennium Park theatre-themed public art activation, theatre exhibitions and special events at the Chicago Cultural Center, theatre performances at the Taste of Chicago, and dance performances and lessons offered as part of the Chicago SummerDance series.

Examples of the organizations supported through performance fees and commissions include Aguijón Theater Company, Barrel of Monkeys, CircEsteem, Chicago Dance Crash, Chicago Full Moon Jam Productions, Collaboraction Theatre Company, Emerald City Theatre, eta Creative Arts Foundation and Free Street Theater (Millennium Park Theatre Residencies, presented in partnership with the Bayless Family Foundation).

The first half of 2019 has been a busy one for DCASE and the League of Chicago Theatres, including the launch of a new theatre asset mapping project aimed at bolstering theatre on the South, Southwest and West Sides. Other initiatives include a major advertising campaign and global media events with Choose Chicago, and theatre-themed cultural programming at Millennium Park (including the Film Series programmed in collaboration with theatres), the Chicago Cultural Center, and the Chicago Riverwalk (including Art on theMART and lantern processions). DCASE and the League of Chicago Theatres have also partnered with the Chicago Park District for “Night Out in the Park” for more than 200 free performances from 40 theatres in all 77 of Chicago’s community areas. Over 100 arts industry volunteers serving on committees to advance this important initiative.

Earlier this year, DCASE and the League of Chicago Theatres announced significant foundation support for the Year of Chicago Theatre from BMO Harris Bank, Bayless Family Foundation, The Chicago Community Trust, Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, Illinois Arts Council Agency, The Joyce Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation Endowment at Millennium Park Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Millennium Park Foundation, Prince Charitable Trusts, Richard H. Driehaus Foundation and Robert R. McCormick Foundation.
Promotional and programming support for the Year of Chicago Theatre is provided by Art on theMART, Chicago Loop Alliance, Choose Chicago, FCB Chicago, HMS Media, Illinois Restaurant Association, LUMA8, The Magnificent Mile Association, Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority and others—plus many City departments and sister agencies including the Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Library, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Transit Authority and the Department of Aviation.

For more information about the Year of Chicago Theatre, visit ChicagoPlays.com and join the conversation on Social Media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) @ChicagoDCASE and @ChicagoPlays (#2019isYOCT #ChiTheatre).



2019 Year of Chicago Theatre:
The City of Chicago and the League of Chicago Theatres have designated 2019 as the ‘Year of Chicago Theatre.’ This citywide, year-long focus on theatre is the first of its kind in the U.S. The initiative includes performances and special events for the public at hundreds of cultural venues, theaters, parks and neighborhood locations throughout the city. The City of Chicago and its partners will also launch a marketing campaign; provide additional financial grants to theatre projects; encourage dialog around inclusion and equity; and call on civic, philanthropic, arts and business leaders to support the theatre community. To truly fall in love with Chicago, you must go to our theatres - where the city bares its fearless soul. From Broadway musicals to storefront plays and improv, there’s a seat waiting for you at one of our 250+ theatres. Book your next show today at ChicagoPlays.com.

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

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

OPENING: Chicago Shakespeare Theater presents The Wizard of Oz July 6-August 25, 2019

ChiIL Mama’s Chi, IL Picks List:

Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Navy Pier
for 75 minutes of Summer Fun

Chicago Shakespeare Theater presents
The Wizard of Oz
July 6-August 25, 2019


Wednesdays at 11 a.m. & Thursdays-Sundays at 11 a.m. & 2 p.m.
Tickets start at $24

This summer, Chicago Shakespeare Theater presents the 75-minute musical stage adaptation of the timeless 1939 MGM film The Wizard of Oz, directed by Brian Hill and choreographed by Kenny Ingram. Based on the landmark novel by L. Frank Baum and featuring music and lyrics by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg, The Wizard of Oz promises to be the perfect outing for audiences of all ages at Chicago Shakespeare's home on Navy Pier all summer long, July 6-August 25, 2019 with performances on Wednesdays at 11:00 a.m. and Thursdays-Sundays at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

Dorothy and her trusty pup Toto are whisked away from Kansas on an unforgettable journey to the magical land of Oz, where she makes new friends--including Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion--and encounters a fiendishly wicked witch. Audiences will be dazzled by the spectacular setting and charmed by its timeless score featuring such cherished classics as "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and "Follow the Yellow Brick Road"--ultimately discovering that there's truly no place like home.

The Wizard of Oz is directed by Brian Hill, who has served as associate director for Broadway's The Little Mermaid and the National Tours of Sunset Boulevard and The Sound of Music. An accomplished book writer, Hill has notably written numerous new musicals with composter/lyricist Neil Bartram, who is adapting orchestrations for the Chicago Shakespeare production. Bartram and Hill's joint credits include The Theory of Relativity, The Story of My Life (debuting on Broadway in 2009, and garnering four Drama Desk Award nominations), and The Adventures of Pinocchio, which premiered at Chicago Shakespeare in 2011. Joining Hill is choreographer Kenny Ingram, a multiple Jeff Award-winner, who returns to Chicago after fifteen years in the company of Broadway's The Lion King.

Taking on the role of Dorothy Gale is Leryn Turlington, who adventures in Oz alongside Marya Grandy (Hunk/Scarecrow), Joseph Anthony Byrd (Hickory/Tin Man), Jose Antonio Garcia (Zeke/Cowardly Lion)--as well as her canine companion Derby (Toto), in his stage debut. Appearing as the Wicked Witch of the West is twelve-time Jeff Award-winner Hollis Resnik (Miss Gulch/The Wicked Witch of the West). Also featured in the company are Emily Rohm (Aunt Em/Glinda), William Dick (Professor Marvel/The Wizard of Oz), and Jared D.M. Grant (Uncle Henry/Emerald City Guard). Rounding out the ensemble are Kayla Boye, Timothy P. Foszcz, Haley Gustafson, Aalon Smith, Lauren Smith, Anthony Sullivan, Jr., and Kaleb Van Rijswijck.

The production's Music Director is Kory Danielson, whose credits include The Little Mermaid, Mamma Mia!, and West Side Story at Paramount Theatre. The award-winning creative team features Scenic Designer Scott Davis, Costume Designer Theresa Ham, Lighting Designer Lee Fiskness, Sound Designer Christopher M. LaPorte, Projections Designer Mike Tutaj, and Chicago Shakespeare's resident Wig and Makeup Designer Richard Jarvie. Rounding out the creative team are Assistant Music Director and Conductor Kevin Reeks and Assistant Director and Assistant Choreographer Aaron Umsted.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater presents a wide range of accessible and affordable programming for multi-generational audiences. In addition to imaginative summer musicals at the Theater's home on Navy Pier, offerings year-round include Short Shakespeare! abridged versions of Shakespeare's classics and the FREE Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks tour to neighborhood parks throughout the city. These programs reach more than 100,000 patrons each season--making Chicago Shakespeare one of the largest providers of family programming in Chicago.



The Wizard of Oz

by L. Frank Baum
With Music & Lyrics by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg
Background Music by Herbert Stothart
Dance and Vocal Arrangements by Peter Howard
Orchestration by Larry Wilcox
Adapted by John Kane for the Royal Shakespeare Company
Based upon the Classic Motion Picture by Turner Entertainment Co. and distributed in all media by Warner Bros.
Directed by Brian Hill
Choreographed by Kenny Ingram

July 6-August 25, 2019
at Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier

Tickets: $24 for children 12 and under | $38 for adults
Special discounts available for groups of 10 or more
Box Office: 312.595.5600 | Group Sales: 312.595.5678
www.chicagoshakes.com/oz



PERFORMANCE LISTING

Wednesdays at 11:00 a.m.
Thursdays at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Fridays at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Saturdays at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Sundays at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
[No 2:00 p.m. performance on 7/6, 7/7, and 7/11.]
CST strives to make its facility and performances accessible to all patrons through its Access Shakespeare programs. Accessible performances for The Wizard of Oz include:

ASL Duo-interpretation - Saturday, August 24, 2019 at 11:00 a.m.
All dialogue and lyrics are translated into American Sign Language by two certified interpreters.
Audio-description - Sunday, August 18, 2019 with optional touch tour at 11:00 a.m.

Audio Description is a program that enables patrons who are blind or have low vision to more fully experience live performances by providing spoken narration of a play's key visual elements. Touch Tours provide patrons who are blind or have low vision the opportunity to experience, firsthand, a production's design elements.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater presents The Wizard of Oz July 6–August 25, 2019 in the Courtyard Theater. Single tickets ($24 for children age 12 and under; $38 for adults) are on sale now. Special discounts will be available for groups of 10 or more. For more information, contact Chicago Shakespeare Theater's Box Office at 312.595.5600 or visit the Theater's website at www.chicagoshakes.com.



ABOUT CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE THEATER
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.

Barrel of Monkeys Presents THAT’S WEIRD, GRANDMA: Fantastic Beasts and the Stories About Them

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar

Barrel of Monkeys is pleased to conclude its 2019-20 season with 

THAT’S WEIRD GRANDMA: 
Fantastic Beasts and the Stories About Them

Directed by Artistic Director Brandon Cloyd and Nick Hart
June 24 – August 12, 2019 at the Neo-Futurist Theater

Barrel of Monkeys company members Kayla Pulley and Bryan Bosque perform “The Battle of Ice and Lava: Go Bears” in THAT’S WEIRD, GRANDMA. All Photos by Evan Hanover.

An Original Sketch Show that is Written by Kids,
Performed by Grownups, and Enjoyed by Humans


Barrel of Monkeys is the BOM! Here at ChiIL Mama we've been fervent fans of THAT’S WEIRD GRANDMA for years. Summer's the perfect time to bring the whole family to check out their latest themed show, Fantastic Beasts and the Stories About Them. Don't miss this. 


Barrel of Monkeys is pleased to conclude its 2019-20 season with THAT’S WEIRD GRANDMA: Fantastic Beasts and the Stories About Them, directed by Artistic Director Brandon Cloyd (June 24 – July 15) and company member Nick Hart (July 22 – August 12) playing Mondays at 8 pm from June 24 – August 12, 2019 at the Neo-Futurist Theater, 5153 N. Ashland Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are currently available at www.barrelofmonkeys.org or by calling (773) 506-7140. 


(left to right) Barrel of Monkeys company members Brandon Cloyd and Nick Hart performs “The Serious Day” 

Meet the strange and wonderful creatures created by Barrel of Monkeys students, from talking animals to intergalactic lifeforms. BOM performers bring these beings to life through song, dance and ridiculous costumes in the company’s lauded original sketch show.

The cast to date includes Noah Appelbaum, Aissa Guerra, Emily Marso and Nic Park.

Now in its eighteenth year, THAT’S WEIRD, GRANDMA features adaptations of stories written during Barrel of Monkeys’ creative writing residencies in Chicago elementary schools. BOM’s ensemble of professional actors, comedians and musicians bring the young authors’ stories to life as raucous sketches, songs and movement pieces, performing first for students in their schools and then for the public. These stories – from hilarious dialogues between unlikely characters to poignant pleas for social change – resonate with adults while celebrating the imaginations of young people. Every week brings a new line-up of stories, and BOM invites audiences to vote on their favorites at each performance.


Directors: Artistic Director Brandon Cloyd (June 24 – July 15) and company member Nick Hart (July 22 – August 12)
Cast to date: Noah Appelbaum, Aissa Guerra, Emily Marso and Nic Park.

Location: Neo-Futurist Theater, 5153 N. Ashland Ave. in Chicago
Dates: Preview: Monday, June 24 at 8 pm
Press performance: Monday, July 1 at 8 pm
Regular run: Monday, July 8 – Monday, August 12, 2019
Curtain Times: Mondays at 8 pm

Tickets: Previews: $10 for adults, $5 children 12 and under, $8 groups of 10 or more. Regular run: $20 for adults; $5 for children 12 and under. Discounts: $12 for students with ID, seniors, veterans and groups of 10 or more people. Teen Arts Pass (TAP) members: $5 with ID. Tickets are currently available at www.barrelofmonkeys.org or by calling (773) 506-7140.



  (left to right) Barrel of Monkeys company members Bryan Bosque, Andrés Enriquez and Rawson Vint perform “Octopus” 

About the Directors
Brandon Cloyd joined Barrel of Monkeys in 2007 and has been deeply involved in many facets of the company ever since. Prior to joining BOM, Brandon graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and a minor in Business Institutions. Within BOM, Brandon has served as an actor, teaching artist, lead teacher, a member of Teacher Corps, as well as directing shows for schools and public performances of That's Weird, Grandma. Before becoming the company’s Artistic Director in September 2017, Brandon served as BOM After-School Program Coordinator at Loyola Park from 2014-2016 and Program Director from 2016-2017. Outside of Barrel of Monkeys, he worked as the Associate Director of Camp Echo, where he has spent 13 summers managing campers and staff at a co-ed sleep away camp in Upstate New York. Brandon has worked with other theatre companies including Urban Theatre Company, American Theater Company, Filament Theatre, InGen Productions, ACLE's Teatrino in Italy and Purple Crayon Players at Northwestern University. Brandon recently joined the Board of Directors for the League of Chicago Theatres.

Nick Hart graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a BA in theatre in 2010. He has been a proud member of Barrel of Monkeys, a non-profit theatre and education organization serving Chicago Public School students and regularly performs in their show That's Weird Grandma since 2011. He is also an ensemble member with The Neo-Futurists since 2014. He has written and performed over 150 short plays for The Neo-Futurists, and is now regularly writing and performing for their new show The Infinite Wrench.  He is also the creator of The Neo-Futurists Productions of Remember The Alamo and 60 Songs in 60 Minutes.

(left to right) Barrel of Monkeys company members Rachel Wilson and Bryan Bosque perform “Tilly, Thunder, and Bob” in THAT’S WEIRD, GRANDMA. Photo by Evan Hanover.

About Barrel of Monkeys
Since Barrel of Monkeys’ inception in 1997, its teaching artists have served more than 60 Chicago Public Schools. Over 15,000 elementary school students have participated in the Barrel of Monkeys programs, which aim to build students' writing skills, improve self-esteem, and instill confidence in their ideas and abilities.

Barrel of Monkeys is sponsored in part by Wintrust Financial, Allscripts, Inc., Ernst and Young and Punchkick Interactive. It receives generous support from the Illinois Arts Council Agency; the National Endowment for the Arts; a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events; the Chicago Community Trust; Crown Family Philanthropies; Alphawood Foundation of Chicago; the Maurice R. and Meta G. Gross Foundation; Polk Bros Foundation; the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation; the Robert and Isabelle Bass Foundation, Inc.; The Saints; The Topfer Family Foundation, and many other generous individuals and foundations.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

REVIEW: Next Door and Helga Through Sunday at Physical Theater Festival Chicago at Stage 773 Through June 9, 2019

Full Body Physical Theatre Takes Audience on a Journey that Spans Decades and Continents

Out of Balanz From Copenhagen, Denmark

REVIEW:
by bonnie kenaz-mara

Next Door and Helga are a great pairing at Physical Theater Festival Chicago at Stage 773. Actors in both shows embody characters from youth, young adulthood, middle age, and the final, elderly years, in a stunning transformation. These actors are masters of comedic timing, amazing physical feats, and facial expressions that are beyond funny.

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


Next Door by Out of Balanz From Copenhagen, Denmark


Next Door celebrates interconnectedness and the friendships of neighbors from 10 year old boys to adults. Expect exciting sword fights, a harrowing adventure at sea, skateboarding, biking, memorabilia, and an epic death scene. With a dynamic duo from Finland and Denmark, Next Door is a hilarious exploration of the universal nature of human connections and missed connections, as well as a fun glimpse into Nordic life. This is physical, comedic storytelling at its best. 



Delightful diva in decline, Helga is performed to perfection by Finnish circus artist Henni Kervinen. I want to hang out with this booze swilling, espresso lovin' curmudgeon, and hear no nonsense wisdom and tales of her glory days. This act includes a full on flashback trapeze act and burlesque tease from a Helga at the height of her youth as well as the same act, repeated in present day. Expect aerial arts, early parenthood, the cat lady who raised a beast, prepping for company and an interesting array of costume choices.


We adored these celebrations of life experience, characters, and everyday moments from the mundane to the monumental. Highly recommended. 

Here at ChiIL Mama, we're huge, lifelong fans of circus arts and physical comedy in the art of storytelling on stage. We're thrilled to be catching 10 days of world class physical theatre right here in Chicago at Physical Fest at Stage 773 and Chopin Theatre. Check out the full schedule and show details here: http://www.chiilmama.com/2019/05/fest-alert-physical-theater-festival.html


Bonnie Kenaz-Mara is a Chicago based writer-theater critic-photographer-videographer-actress-artist-general creatrix and Mama to two terrific teens. She owns two websites where she has published frequently since 2008: ChiILLiveShows.com (adult) & ChiILMama.com (family friendly). 



Next Door by Multi-award winning 
Danish company Out of Balanz

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 details.


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 backstage.com. For more, visit outofbalanz.org.




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

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


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). LapinKansa.fi 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 kallocollective.com.

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


ChiIL Live Shows on our radar

PHYSICAL THEATER FESTIVAL CHICAGO GROWS TO A 10-DAY EVENT WITH NEW FORMS OF THEATER FROM AROUND THE WORLD, 
MAY 31-JUNE 9 AT STAGE 773 


Check out the full Physical Festival schedule and show details here: http://www.chiilmama.com/2019/05/fest-alert-physical-theater-festival.html

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