Thursday, January 27, 2022

Northwestern University Imagine U: Ballad of Mu Lan Feb 24–Mar 6, 2022

ChiIL Mama’s Chi, IL Picks List

Written and Directed by Alvin Chan

Northwestern is one of the top theatre schools in the nation and an incredible local resource for seeing the future famous on stage, and giving the next generation of theatre artists/cast/crew/story tellers a place to hone their craft. I'm more than a bit proud that my son is currently a junior there, majoring in Theatre Arts. We've been out to many main stage shows at Wirtz, and many smaller shows at numerous venues on campus over the years. One of our favorite offerings remains their family friendly Imagine U series. If you have littles in your life and/or enjoy children's theatre, don't miss this! I'll be out to see Mu Lan with my son on February 26th, and can't wait.

When Mu Lan dresses up as a boy to take her father's place in the army, she has lots to learn and lots to prove, but her biggest battle might be with her confidence. This new telling of an ancient Chinese legend mixes traditional Chinese theatrical techniques with contemporary music for a brand-new take on a classic story of girl power.


Thurs., 2/24 @ 7 p.m.

Fri., 2/25 @7 p.m.

Sat., 2/26 @ 11 a.m. & 2 p.m.

Sun., 2/27 @ 2 p.m.

Fri., 3/4 @ 7 p.m.

Sat., 3/5 @ 11 a.m. & 2 p.m.

Sun., 3/6 @ 2 p.m.

Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts

Josephine Louis Theater

120 Campus Drive

Proof of vaccination or recent negative COVID test required.

Chicago Theater Week 

The Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts is proud to participate in Chicago Theatre Week February 17-27, 2022. Check out for special deals to more than 100 participating shows.





I'll be out to review the new show for February 17th, so check back shortly after for the full scoop.

TEATRO ZINZANNI is excited to announce the opening of their brand-new production at the Spiegeltent ZaZou, located on the 14th floor of the Cambria Hotel Chicago Loop (32 W. Randolph). The whirlwind of live comedy, music and cirque served with a multi-course gourmet feast is back! Randolph Entertainment LLC presents a new international cast of characters performing astounding acts and bringing audience members a unique, immersive dining and live entertainment experience. Tickets are on sale for shows through August 14, 2022, at For groups of 10+, call Broadway In Chicago Groups at 312-977-1710.

It has been a long couple of years of dreams delayed and hopes dashed, but it’s time to move from “What if?” to “Let’s find out!” The new story on stage at TEATRO ZINZANNI… at the finest fine diner in the Chicago Loop - the chef, Madame Z (Chicago’s own Bethany Thomas) and head waiter, Doily (Kevin Kent), have assembled a hardworking restaurant crew of unemployed circus artists from around the world. An old friend comes roaring up on his motorcycle - Phénix (Cunio) - ready to bring their dreams to life.  What will they wish for?

Guests are invited to remember their own wishes and dreams in this latest TEATRO ZINZANNI CHICAGO production. 

TEATRO ZINZANNI brings to Chicago an international cast of premier entertainers for this engagement. Founder Norm Langill is the artistic director of the production, and the menu is designed by Chicago’s own Debbie Sharpe – The Goddess of The Goddess and Grocer. The included multi-course gourmet feast features multiple entrée selections, including vegan options. A fabulous à la carte cocktail menu, wine & beer list and special occasion treats round out the dining experience.


CAST BIOGRAPHIES (in alphabetical order)

Noel Aguilar

​​A descendant of one of Mexico’s first Circus families, Noel is the eighth generation of the Aguilar name. His passion for the art of juggling began at the tender age of 5, following his father Benito’s lead to continually perfect his craft. His consummate dedication and love for entertaining and performing has given him the opportunity to perform, compete, and win in some of the most prestigious festivals in the world. Let Noel's staggering speed mesmerize you with his incredible charm and through the roof energy. Don't blink--you might miss something!



Called the “spawn of Freddie Mercury & Janis Joplin,” Cunio is thrilled to be back in the tent! Local audiences may recognize him from the Lyric Opera’s 2018 production of Jesus Christ Superstar (Pilate) and the final year of Jersey Boys’ (Tommy DeVito) long run at the Bank of America Theatre. Cunio gained national attention as the “electrifying wailer” in retro-rock group Under the Streetlamp on PBS and for his “gloriously gritty” solo album Back Alley Soul, which debuted at #6 on iTunes R&B/Soul charts. As a vocalist/MC for Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox, he’s toured the world, and his videos have amassed over 4 million views on YouTube. In New York, he appeared on Broadway in Hairspray (Corny Collins) and is a featured vocalist/MC for Company XIV & Duane Park. Regionally he has starred at American Repertory Theater, Arkansas Rep, North Shore Music Theatre and The Kennedy Center. @Cunio4


Michael Evolution

Michael van Beek, also known as Michael Evolution, is a world-class basketball freestyle juggler who has amazed millions of people in his career so far. With two decades of live stage experience, Michael has earned his marks in the performing arts industry! He became the first basketball freestyle juggler to bring excitement into the world of theatre, variety and circus with his artistic creativity and captivating skillset. His successful career has brought his performances to prominent entertainment companies such as Cirque du Soleil, GOP Variety, UniverSoul Circus, URBANATIX, Wintergarten Berlin, CIRCUS AFRIKA! AFRIKA!, Krystallpalast Variety, and many more! Michael also was the body double/ choreographer for the legendary NBA athlete Kobe Bryant in a commercial for Turkish Airlines, became a finalist at Beat The Best Dutch television show, delivered the perfect performance in words said by Dieter Bohlen on German television at Das Supertalent and won the ‘Varieté Et Cetera’ award at Krystallpalast’s Newcomershow Festival.


Elena Gatilova

Crimean five-time national champion rhythmic gymnast Elena Gatilova began her career in dance and aerial performance in 2002 with an invitation from Cirque du Soleil to join the opening cast of their newest Las Vegas production, Zumanity, where she was featured as a principal character and performed over 2,500 shows. Since then, Elena has appeared in Playboy, Vanity Fair, the documentary film Cirque du Soleil: Lovesick, 43 episodes of the popular Italian TV show Chiambretti Night, London's prestigious Royal Variety Performance, and alongside Ditta Von Tesse in Franco Dragone’s hit cabaret Tabboo. She has also appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Last Call with Carson Daly. Elena has worked with world-renowned artists including Cher, Thierry Mugler, David LaChapelle and choreographer Bill Goodson. Recently, Elena completed a world tour with Circus 1903, a new production from creators of the hit Broadway show, The Illusionists. This marks Elena's ninth collaboration with TEATRO ZINZANNI since 2011 and she is thrilled to be back in the Windy City to entertain Chicago audiences.


Kevin Kent

Kevin has been on the TEATRO ZINZANNI stage since the very first performance in 1998.  Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune, said of Kevin Kent’s performance in TEATRO, “But the real reason to go, or go back, to my mind, is to watch the superlative work of Kent,…” He is a physical and improvisational comedian known for his quirky portrayals of classic female characters. Kevin trained right here in Chicago with Del Close, Byrne Piven, amongst other improvisation and theater icons. He continued his training in London working with Outcast Theater, an LGBTQ Theater that grew in the heart of London from seeds planted at Cambridge. Kevin settled in Seattle for many years performing in theater, on the radio as Dan Savage’s Sidekick on the live broadcast of Savage Love Live, and in television as Aunt Jo in the much beloved queer soap, Love Laverne.  He has developed and directed many original pieces.  Kevin lives with the love of his life, Joe, in Northern New Mexico.


Marjorie Nantel

Marjorie Nantel is an acrobatic performer at the very pinnacle of world-class aerial and contortion artistry. She was born in Montreal where she trained as a dancer from the age of 6. She has performed with Cirque du Soleil in numerous shows and created the role of the Red Spider in the original cast of OVO. She was featured in the Berlin production of 7 Finger’s Loft at the Chameleon Theatre and was an audience favorite during five seasons at Palazzo in Germany and Holland.  Just recently she was the acrobatic stunt double for Eva Green and played one of the clowns in the movie Dumbo directed by Tim Burton. Currently she is a resident artist at Le Monastère Cirque Cabaret in Montreal. Career highlights include performing in Royal Albert Hall and being invited to perform her bathtub contortion act for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh.


Duo Rose (Sylvia Friedman and Samuel Sion)

A complex routine of balance, strength, discipline, and grace, Duo Rose brings a particular elegance to their presentation of the human body in all its beauty. Samuel and Sylvia have worked together since 2007 to combine their backgrounds in aerial arts, gymnastics, and contortion to create this dynamic trapeze act. Their act has toured internationally in some of the top circuses and variety houses in Europe including Tigerpalast Varieté, Circus Roncalli, and Knie's Salto Natale. They have also won 11 awards from international circus festival competitions. In August 2010, they made history by becoming the first American circus artists to perform in Havana, Cuba since 1959. Officially sanctioned by the United States Government to travel to Cuba, they competed in the 9th International Circus Festival, CIRCUBA in Havana, where they earned the Bronze medal.


Bethany Thomas

Bethany Thomas is a Chicago-based singer, actor, and writer. Theater credits include work with Goodman Theater (A Christmas Carol), Northlight Theatre (Songs For Nobodies), Writers Theater (Into The Woods, A Moon For The Misbegotten), Milwaukee Rep (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, The Color Purple, Ragtime, Songs For Nobodies- US premiere), Chicago Shakespeare (The Tempest), Porchlight Music Theater (Marry Me A Little), and Court Theater (Porgy and Bess). She's also frequently entangled with the following Chicago institutions: The Neo-Futurists, Steppenwolf, Second City, Backroom Shakespeare Project, The Fly Honeys, The Paper Machete, and The Hideout. Bethany is a proud recipient of a Joseph Jefferson Award, a Black Theater Alliance Award, and a 2019 3Arts Award in music. As a singer/songwriter, BT tours and records with Welsh country-punk musician Jon Langford, and recently released two critically acclaimed original rock albums- Material Flats (with Tawny Newsome) and the solo BT/She/Her. Find Bethany's music on iTunes, Bandcamp, Spotify and everywhere else. @bethanyt80



Individual tickets, which include a multi-course meal, are on sale now and range in price from $109 - $264. Front Row VIP tickets are available at a premium price. Limited à la carte “show-only” tickets will also be available for $69. Individual tickets will be available by visiting or by calling (312) 488-0900. Tickets are available now for groups of 10 or more by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710 or emailing



TEATRO ZINZANNI has worked hard to ensure that its patrons have a safe and magical experience. They have enhanced air handling and filtration and incorporated new sanitization technologies. A strong health protocol is in place mandating vaccination for all staff and performers. 

In order to continue providing a safe and magical experience, TEATRO ZINZANNI CHICAGO requires visitors to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. All guests 5 years or older will need to show proof in the form of the CDC card, a clear photocopy of this card, or a clear mobile phone photo, and guests 16 years or older must show a matching government-issued ID. Visitors who are exempt for medical or religious reasons may provide proof of the medical or religious exemption and a professionally administered COVID-19 test (PCR within 72 hours of attendance or Rapid (antigen) Test within 6 hours of attendance). Self-administered tests are not accepted. In compliance with the City of Chicago indoor mask mandate, all patrons must wear a proper face covering except when eating at their table. Thank you for your understanding, and we look forward to welcoming you to Spiegeltent ZaZou. For further information, visit or contact our Customer Service at


Teatro ZinZanni was founded in 1998 when a team of creative artists and festival professionals led by Founder Norm Langill and inspired by the great cabarets of Europe, launched a wholly original form of entertainment combining the arts of cirque, comedy, cabaret, spectacle, and live music while serving up a multi-course feast. Since its inception,

TEATRO ZINZANNI has filled its spiegeltents with artists at the highest level of their craft and eager to perform in an intimate space. Performers over the years have included internationally recognized names like Joan Baez and Ann Wilson. The Chicago engagement is presented in the Spiegeltent ZaZou on the 14th floor in the Cambria Hotel Chicago Loop located in the Theatre District. The previously forgotten space was discovered in 2017 during the renovation of the Hotel when dropped ceilings were removed revealing the original grand space within the 1926 historic building. For more information, visit

Facebook @TeatroZinZanniChicago  ● Instagram @zinzannichicago


Monday, January 24, 2022

Paramount Theatre Forecasts Big Laughs With The Midwest Regional Premiere of Groundhog Day: The Musical, JANUARY 26-MARCH 13, 2022

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar  

Alex Syiek (left) plays TV weatherman Phil Connors and Phoebe González (right) plays Phil’s producer, Rita, in Paramount’s Groundhog Day: The Musical, January 26-March 13, 2022. Jake Morrissy (behind) plays groundhog Punxsutawney Phil. 

Credit: Thomas J. King

Here at ChiIL Mama, we adore both the movie Groundhog Day and Paramount Theatre's award winning musicals. We're predicting this pairing will bring together talented actors, great production values, and plenty of laughs, in a day you won't mind repeating. I'll be catching opening night, February 4th, so check back soon for my full review. 

Imagine being stuck in a time loop, waking up and realizing you’re living the same day over and over and over and over again. 

Set your alarm to see Groundhog Day: The Musical, based on the classic Bill Murray film comedy, because the forecast calls for Paramount Artistic Director Jim Corti to direct another signature blockbuster musical comedy. 

Alex Syiek plays cynical TV weatherman Phil Connors in Paramount’s Groundhog Day: The Musical. Credit: Thomas J. King.

Meet cynical TV weatherman Phil Connors, who is living a never-ending nightmare stuck in a small town whose biggest claim to fame is meteorologist groundhog Punxsutawney Phil. What sounds like an outlandish fantasy becomes an insightful look at discovering what you’re capable of when you finally lower your defenses, find the selfless person within, and make the most of each day. 

Will the groundhog see his shadow? Will you want to see this marvelously manic musical again and again? And again and again and again? Paramount thinks so! The New York Times agrees Groundhog Day: The Musical is “full of fertile and feverish theatrical imagination,” not to mention its seven Tony nominations, including Best Musical and Best Original Score. 

Paramount Theatre is beyond proud to present the Midwest regional premiere of this uproariously funny, surprisingly touching and simply inspirational musical comedy. Previews start Wednesday, January 26, 2022. Performances run through Sunday, March 13. 

Paramount Theatre is located at 23 E. Galena Blvd. in Aurora. Single tickets, $36-$79, are on sale now. For tickets and information, visit, or call the box office, (630) 896-6666, Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Groundhog Day: The Musical - Behind the scenes

“There’s great humanity in this story of Phil Connors, a public figure who, it turns out, is very unappealing off camera,” said Artistic Director Jim Corti. “Phil is the type to take advantage of situations, of others, of women in particular. When he gets stuck in the trap of reliving the same day, every day, he takes advantage of that, too. Until the question becomes ‘what do you do with the day now?’ That’s when Phil’s story takes a turn into a morality tale of sorts. Use every day to help others. In a rut? Be the change.”

Paramount Theatre’s Midwest regional premiere of Groundhog Day: The Musical is directed by (from left) Jim Corti. Alex Syiek plays arrogant weatherman Phil Connors. Phoebe González is Rita Hanson, Phil’s new producer. 

Leading the cast are Alex Syiek as Phil Connors in his Chicago debut and Phoebe González as Rita Hanson. Syiek performed Off-Broadway in Zorba! at Ensemble City Center, and regionally at Great Lakes Theater, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Playhouse Square, New London Barn Playhouse and 14th Street Theater. González is a Chicago-based Mexican-Irish-American actor and singer making her Paramount debut. She has worked with such Chicago theaters as Steppenwolf, Marriott, Writers Theatre, The Hypocrites and Teatro Vista. Regionally, she has appeared for three seasons at American Players Theatre in Wisconsin and toured with the Kennedy Center.

Rounding out the 25-member cast are ensemble members Kyle Adams, Adia Bell, Matthew Bettencourt, Christian Denzel Bufford, Lydia Burke, Max J. Cervantes, Aaron Conklin, Andres J. DeLeon, Vasily Deris, Nick Druzbanski, Veronica Garza, Carisa Gonzalez, Sophie Grimm, Karl Hamilton, Ciara Hickey, Ron King, Michael Kingston, Teressa Rose LaGamba, Michael E. Martin, Andrew MacNaughton, Jake Morrissy, Emily Rohm and Haley Jane Schafer.

The full production team is Jim Corti, director; Megan E. Farley,choreographer; Kory Danielson, music supervisor, music director and conductor; Courtney O’Neill, scenic designer; Jordan Ross, costume designer; Greg Hofmann, lighting designer; Adam Rosenthal, sound designer; Mike Tutaj, projection designer; Katie Cordts, wig, hair and makeup designer; Jesse Gaffney, properties designer; Ethan Deppe, electronic music designer; Harmony France, associate director; Ariel Etana Triunfo, assistant choreographer; Celia Villacres, associate music director/associate conductor; Sean McNeely, orchestra contractor; Maegan Burnell, stage manager; and Kathleen Barrett, assistant stage manager. 

Jim Corti (Paramount Artistic Director and director of Groundhog Day: The Musical) inaugurated Paramount’s Broadway Series with President and CEO Tim Rater in fall 2011 with the critically acclaimed My Fair Lady and a subscriber base of 12,500 patrons. In 2015, Paramount’s Broadway Series became Jeff Award eligible. Since then, Paramount has garnered 68 nominations with 19 wins, including three consecutive Best Large Musical awards for Les Misérables, West Side Story and Sweeney Todd. Corti helmed all three, and won Best Director for two of them, Les Misérables and Sweeney Todd. Prior to the pandemic, Paramount subscriptions had risen above 41,000 with a record- breaking 350,000 patrons in attendance in 2019. Corti also directed Paramount’s Fiddler on the Roof, Miss Saigon, Rent, The Who’s Tommy, Oklahoma!, Mamma Mia!, Million Dollar Quartet, Once, The Producersand Newsies. A Broadway veteran, he appeared in the original New York casts of Ragtime and Candide, joined the long running A Chorus Line and toured nationally in Urinetown, Cabaret and Bob Fosse’s Dancin’. Other highlights include being the only director to have two productions in the same year in the Chicago Tribune’s list of 10 Best Shows for Drury Lane’s Cabaret and Writers Theatre’s Oh, Coward! in 2009. He remains the sole honoree to have won Jeff Awards as an actor (Marriott’s Grand Hotel), choreographer (Drury Lane’s Singin’ in the Rain) and director (Paramount’s Sweeney Todd and Les Misérables, Drury Lane’s Sweet Charity and Northlight’s Blues in the Night).

Paramount Theatre’s regional premiere of Groundhog Day: The Musical features (from left) Phoebe González as TV producer Rita Hanson, Jake Morrissy as groundhog Punxsutawney Phil, and Alex Syiek as cynical TV weatherman Phil Connors. 

Credit: Thomas J. King.

Groundhog Day: The Musical is based on the 1993 Columbia Pictures film comedy starring Bill Murray. Story and book are by Danny Rubin, who co-wrote the original screenplay. Music and lyrics by Tim Minchin. Orchestrations and arrangements by Christopher Nightingale. The musical premiered at The Old Vic on London’s West End in summer 2016 and was nominated for eight Laurence Olivier Awards, winning for Best New Musical and Best Actor in a Leading Role. It opened on Broadway in 2017 and was nominated for seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

Groundhog Day: The Musical performance schedule and ticket information

Previews start Wednesday, January 26, 2022 at 7 p.m. Press opening is Friday, February 4, at 8 p.m. Groundhog Day: The Musical runs through March 13. Show times are Wednesdays at 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Thursdays at 7 p.m.; Fridays at 8 p.m.; Saturdays at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Sundays at 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. (exception: No 1:30 p.m. matinee on Wednesday, January 26). Tickets are $36 to $79. 

Paramount Theatre is located at 23 E. Galena Blvd. in downtown Aurora. For tickets and information, visit, call (630) 896-6666, or stop by the Paramount box office Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

Note: Groundhog Day: The Musical is suggested for ages 14 and up due to adult language, sexual content and depiction of suicide.

Breaking down barriers to live theater: Paramount introduces Pay What You Can events

Paramount Theatre is offering two Pay What You Can performances of Groundhog Day: The Musical on Wednesday, January 26, at 7 p.m., and Saturday, January 29, at 3 p.m.

Both days, starting at 10 a.m., visit the Paramount Theatre box office in-person to request tickets. Customers will be asked how much they’d like to pay and will simply pay what they can. Limit four tickets per person. Offer not valid toward previous purchases. Online or phone purchases are not permitted. Paramount’s Pay What You Can program is part of the theater’s new program, REACH (Resources Expanding the Arts and Connecting Humanity). 

Access Services

If you require wheelchair or special seating or other assistance, please contact the box office at (630) 896-6666 or in advance

Paramount offers assistive listening devices free of charge at all performances. Check in at the coat room before the show to borrow a listening device.

For patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing, Groundhog Day: The Musical will be presented on Friday, March 11, at 8 p.m. with two certified sign interpreters translating all dialogue and lyrics into American Sign Language. Patrons can purchase single tickets with special seating for this performance for $30 with the code ASLPARAMOUNT. 

Paramount Theatre’s Covid-19 commitment to and safety and protocol

Paramount Theatre is committed to the health and safety of all patrons, theater employees, production staff and artists. To ensure the safety of everyone in the theater, regardless of age, attending a performance at either Paramount Theatre or Copley Theatre must wear masks and have proof of being fully vaccinated. Negative Covid tests may also be presented, with restrictions. 

Note: This summarizes Paramount’s current Covid-19 safety policy required at press time through January 9, 2022 and the run of Cinderella. For the latest updates and complete details, please read Paramount’s full Covid Policy. Guests who do not comply will be denied entry or asked to leave the theater. If you feel you cannot follow these guidelines, please contact the box office at (630) 896-6666 to discuss your options.

What’s next in Paramount’s 10th Anniversary Broadway Series?

Are you ready to rock? Rock of Ages will take audiences back into the iconic music era of the ‘80s, where rock ‘n’ roll dreamers turn their fantasies into reality. Nominated for five Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Rock of Agesis a Hollywood love story told through the mind-blowing hits of top ‘80s rock bands like Journey, Bon Jovi, Styx, Poison and more. Paramount Theatre Artistic Producer and New Works Director Amber Mak will direct. Previews start April 13. Press opening is Friday, April 22, at 8 p.m. Performances run through May 29, 2022.

To subscribe or purchase single tickets, visit, call(630) 896-6666, or stop by the Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd. in downtown Aurora.

Stay tuned for the announcement of Paramount’s 11th four-show season in 2022-23, coming in February 2022.

About Paramount Theatre

Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., is the center for performing arts and education in Aurora, the second largest city in Illinois. The beautiful, 

1,843-seat theater, graced with a strong 1930s Art Deco influence and original Venetian décor, nationally known for its high-quality productions, superb acoustics and historic grandeur, has been downtown Aurora’s anchor attraction since 1931.

After launching its own Broadway Series in 2011, Paramount Theatre grew to be the second largest subscription house in the U.S. Before Covid, more than 41,000 subscribers from all over Chicagoland and the Midwest were enjoying Paramount’s critically acclaimed, 2019-20 Broadway-caliber productions. In addition, Paramount also presents an array of internationally known comedians, music stars, dance events and family shows annually.

Paramount Theatre is one of four live performance venues programmed and managed by the Aurora Civic Center Authority. ACCA also oversees downtown Aurora’s newly renovated 165-seat Copley Theatre, RiverEdge Park, the city’s 6,000-seat outdoor summer concert venue, the new Paramount School of the Arts, and the Stolp Island Theatre, an immersive space opening in summer 2023.

Paramount Theatre continues to expand its artistic and institutional boundaries under the guidance of Tim Rater, President and CEO, Aurora Civic Center Authority; Jim Corti, Artistic Director, Paramount Theatre; a dedicated Board of Trustees and a devoted staff of live theater and music professionals.

For the latest updates, visit, or follow @ParamountAurora on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

Friday, January 14, 2022







 Running time: just under 90 minutes, no intermission.

COVID protocol: all patrons must show proof of vaccination and remain masked at all times.

By Bonnie Kenaz-Mara

What's the matter with Oklahoma? It's full of small town idiots, loose women, and insular locals. It's also a great place to get away with murder in front of the entire town's population, as long as the victim's an outsider and the killer's kin. Daniel Fish's creative and confounding new take on Oklahoma is well worth a look, but don't expect big square dance numbers, 1906 frocks, and the happy go lucky western most think of when they hear that Oklahoma's on stage. This is not your parents' musical. After the show I overheard a woman say "I didn't hate it... I didn't love it." and that seems to be the consensus. 

If you adore traditional takes on the smash hit musical “Oklahoma!” and are resistant to dark, edgy adaptations, you definitely want to give this one a pass. For those familiar with and tired of the hokeyness of the frontier fav that's been a high school musical staple for generations, go already. This new adaptation ingeniously adds a unsettling undercurrent, and a whole new take, without changing a tune or word of dialogue. I loved the multicultural diversity of this production, the unique casting choices of small men and big women, and the creative reimagining that doesn't just think outside the box, but invents a whole new way of packaging this show.

“Oklahoma!” opened on Broadway for the first time on my birthday, March 31st, but in 1943, a couple decades before my birth. It was the first major Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II collaboration, and ran for an astonishing 2,000+ performances. Of course the world has changed immensely since 1943 and even more so since 1906 when the play is set. Oklahoma was still a territory awaiting imminent statehood, women's rights were unheard of, cars were a new marvel, and guns were mandatory. This revival fixes some of the dated feel of the piece with modern costume choices, amplified instruments on stage, a modern dance dream scene, dramatically slow line reads, full blackouts where the audience just hears dialogue, and surreal video closeups shot in real time on stage. 

The perspective shift makes this firmly Laurey's story, and it's a joy to see Sasha Hutchings shine in the role. Barbara Walsh is also a standout as Aunt Eller. On the positive side, I liked the low key opening scene, where everyone is hanging out, shucking corn, drinking beer, and prepping for the party later that night. This establishes the small town vibe, personalities and relationships of the townsfolk without the usual big Broadway musical hoopla and over choreographed scenes. It's the perfect setup for what's to come, and makes the second act violence and complicity all the more jarring, because it feels more authentic to small town life both then and now. We loved the center stage placement of the musicians, as opposed to hiding them in the orchestra pit. Including the musicians as colorful, local characters seems more organic and engaging. 

The dissonance of harsh chords, yelled lyrics, and plenty of pauses makes this revival the antithesis of the original in many ways, yet it unearths the creepy underbelly of the plot that was there all along. I have seen Oklahoma many times over the years, by professional companies and high school teens, and I always thought of it as a lighthearted comedy, period piece, with the romance of the wild frontier. This time around I was left with the sneaking suspicion that our infatuation with the innocent charm of small town America, rugged individualism, and our glorification of guns is now and always has been a thin veneer over a rotten, festering core. 

I took my 18 year old daughter, who had never seen Oklahoma, to the show and she enjoyed the first act, but balked as the second act took a deep dive into a disturbing nightmare scape. She outrightly hated the dream scene, which was a solo interpretive dance more reminiscent of The Exorcist than of Rodgers & Hammerstein. The lone dancer wore a shiny nightshirt with Dream Baby Dream emblazoned across the whole front and my daughter quipped that "It looks like something from the Target deep discount rack that no-one would buy because the shirt's ugly and the saying's huge and stupid." But, hey. Maybe that's the point. 


On a more positive note, I've rarely seen so much post show conversation happening, and isn't that really a core part of the social element of theatre arts? In addition to entertainment, theatre has the unique power to make people think, expose our hypocrisy as a society, and create empathy and even change. Love it or hate it, Daniel Fish's Oklahoma sparks dialogue exceedingly well.

In some ways this new Daniel Fish take is the perfect Broadway musical for our times. Our post-covid world, and particularly the rural southwest, is sick, bitter, broken, and more misinformed, impoverished, and mistrusting of outsiders than ever. Maybe the big takeaway is that basic human nature hasn't changed all that much in the past century. Then and now, beneath the patriotic Americana of line dancing locals in cowboy hats, lies a roiling, ugly underbelly that shouldn't be romanticized or even worse, ignored. 

Bonnie is a Chicago based writer, theater critic, photographer, videographer, actress, artist and Mama. She owns two websites where she publishes frequently: (adult) & (family friendly). 

Broadway In Chicago is delighted to announce the opening of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s OKLAHOMA! The critically acclaimed, Tony Award-winning production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s OKLAHOMA! will play Broadway In Chicago’s CIBC Theatre (18 W. Monroe St.) for a limited engagement. Tickets are on sale now for performances through January 23 at

Directed by Daniel Fish, this is OKLAHOMA! as you’ve never seen or heard it before—reimagined for the 21st Century, and now the Tony Award winner for Best Revival of a Musical.

Direct from an acclaimed run on Broadway comes an OKLAHOMA! that looks and sounds like America today. The Daily Beast raves “Forget your traditional idea of OKLAHOMA!. Daniel Fish’s daring, utterly absorbing re-interpretation is different—brilliantly so.”

OKLAHOMA! tells a story of a community banding together against an outsider, and the frontier life that shaped America. Upending the sunny romance of a farmer and a cowpoke, this production “lets us experience Rodgers and Hammerstein’s greatness anew.” (The New Yorker). Without changing a word of text, this visionary production allows the classic musical – and our country – to be seen in a whole new light.

Funny and sexy, provocative and probing, “A smashing OKLAHOMA! is reborn. Daniel Fish’s wide-awake, altogether wonderful production is thrilling!” (The New York Times).

“This is the OKLAHOMA! that was there all along.” (New York Magazine).

The cast includes Sasha Hutchings (Oklahoma! Broadway, original Broadway cast of Hamilton) as Laurey Williams and Sean Grandillo (Deaf West's Spring Awakening) as Curly McLain, joined by Christopher Bannow (Oklahoma! Broadway) as Jud Fry, Sis ("Pose”) as Ado Annie Carnes, Hennessy Winkler as Will Parker, Benj Mirman (Oklahoma! Bard SummerScape) as Ali Hakim, Barbara Walsh (Falsettos, Company, Oklahoma! National Tour in 1981) as Aunt Eller, Hannah Solow (The New One) as Gertie Cummings, Patrick Clanton (School of Rock, Sister Act tours) as Mike and Ugo Chukwu (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”) as Cord Elam. Mitch Tebo (Andrew Carnes) and Gabrielle Hamilton (Lead Dancer) also reprise their roles from the Broadway production. Gillian Hassert, Cameron Anika Hill, Hunter Hoffman, Scott Redmond, Gwynne Wood and Jordan Wynn join the cast as understudies.

OKLAHOMA! features music by Richard Rodgers and a book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, based on the play Green Grow the Lilacs by Lynn Riggs, with original dances by Agnes de Mille.    

The revival’s creative team includes John Heginbotham (New Choreography), Daniel Kluger (Orchestrations/Arrangements) Nathan Koci (Music Supervision) and Andy Collopy (Music Direction), with casting by Taylor Williams and Borna Barzin. Laura Jellinek (Scenic Design), Terese Wadden (Costume Design), Scott Zielinski (Lighting Design), Drew Levy (Sound Design), and Joshua Thorson (Projection Design) round out the creative team. The production stage management team includes Andrew Bacigalupo, Rachael Wilkin and Jordan Wynn.

OKLAHOMA! is produced by Eva Price, Level Forward, Abigail Disney, Barbara Manocherian & Carl Moellenberg, James L. Nederlander, David Mirvish, Mickey Liddell & Robert Ahrens, BSL Enterprises & MagicSpace Entertainment, Berlind Productions, John Gore Organization, Cornice Productions, Bard Fisher/R. Gold, LAMF/J. Geller, T Narang/ZKM Media, R/F/B/V Group, Araca/IPN, St. Ann’s Warehouse, and Tamar Climan.  


Wednesday, January 12 at 7:30PM

Thursday, January 13 at 7:30PM

Friday, January 14 at 7:30PM

Saturday, January 15 2:00PM & 8:00PM

Sunday, January 16 at 2:00PM & 7:30PM

Tuesday, January 18 at 7:30PM

Wednesday, January 19 at 2:00PM & 7:30PM

Thursday, January 20 at 7:30PM

Friday, January 21 at 7:30PM

Saturday, January 22 at 2:00PM & 8:00PM

Sunday, January 23 at 2:00PM



Individual tickets for Rodgers & Hammerstein’s OKLAHOMA! are on sale now and range from $27 to $98 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 21 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, Auditorium Theatre, and just off the Magnificent Mile, the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place.

COVID-19 Protocol: 

Audience members are required to be masked and show proof that they are fully vaccinated. Those with exemptions, including children, must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test. Vaccine cards and negative COVID-19 test must be shown along with a photo I.D. and valid ticket. No home tests are accepted and due to COVID-19 protocol, children under 2 are not allowed into the theatre. No food or beverages will be served or allowed in the theatre. For further information including types of vaccines or testing details visit 

For more information, visit


Thursday, January 13, 2022


ChiIL Mama's ChiIL Picks List:
Streaming Shows On Our Radar

Pegasus Theatre Chicago, currently hosting the 35th Annual Young Playwrights Festival, streaming through February 6, has been approved for a $20,000 Grants for Arts Projects award to support the Young Playwrights Festival 2023. This project will continue this Festival into its 36th year, allowing the voices of the next generation to be seen and heard in Chicago. The Annual Young Playwrights Festival project is among 1,248 projects across America totaling $28,840,000 that were selected to receive this first round of fiscal year 2022 funding in the Grants for Arts Projects category. 

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support arts projects like this one that help support the community’s creative economy,” said NEA Acting Chair Ann Eilers. “Pegasus Theatre Chicago is among the arts organizations nationwide that are using the arts as a source of strength, a path to well-being and providing access and opportunity for people to connect and find joy through the arts.”

“We thank the National Endowment for the Arts for this grant,” said Pegasus Theatre Chicago’s Executive and Producing Director ILesa Duncan. “The timing of this grant is perfect as we are currently streaming the 35th Festival to audiences. The NEA’s grant also greatly supports our mission of hearing from Chicago’s young playwrights and sharing their stories.”

The Young Playwrights Festival, the oldest such festival in the United States, has for 35 years engaged and inspired high school students across Chicago by teaching them to craft one-act plays. Under the auspices of Pegasus Theatre Chicago, the winning teen playwrights’ productions are work-shopped and staged by industry professionals. The in-school programming that leads to the annual competition enhances language arts, encourages independent, high-level thinking, strong personal values and influences career development for Chicago’s teens. Tickets and more information on the Festival is available at

 For more information on other projects included in the Arts Endowment grant announcement, visit


Pegasus Theatre Chicago has been a mainstay in the Chicago theater community for more than four decades. Its mission is to champion new, authentic voices and produce boldly imaginative theatre primarily by and about black, indigenous or other people of color (BIPOC). The company promotes cultural equity while celebrating diversity, inclusion and first voice and is committed to initiating important conversations through the arts with strong community engagement and socially relevant programming, including the Young Playwrights Festival for high school-age scribes, which celebrates its 35th year this season. Pegasus Theatre Chicago has received 77 Joseph Jefferson Awards since its inception.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Blog Hop and Book Review: Barking at the Moon by Tracy Beckerman

ChiIL Mama’s Chi, IL Picks List:
Great Reads On Our Radar

Kindle Version Currently On Sale for less than a latte.

Download for $2.99 throughout January!  


By Bonnie Kenaz-Mara

Tracy Beckerman is one funny mother and I've had the pleasure of hanging out with her in person several times. I've also thoroughly enjoyed the vicarious trips through her life and mind, every time she publishes a new book or syndicated column. Her latest release, Barking at the Moon is no exception.  

The Beckerman Boys - photo from the author

Tracy is entirely relatable and moved me to laugh out loud many times throughout this book, and tear up by the end. Barking at the Moon is essentially a love letter, not only to it's tall, dark and hairy protagonist prankster, Riley, the retriever, but also to the hands-on parenting years. Like Tracy, I also have a son and a daughter two years younger, and adored the decades of adventures with young children and their accompanying menagerie. 

I'm finally at that parenting stage where I have two kids in college for the first time this year, and a shrinking home zoo, and I'd be lying if I said I don't miss it all. At our family pet peak we had two dogs, four guinea pigs, a 30 gallon tank full of tropical fish, and various betta fish bowls, also won by the kids with ping pong ball prowess, all in our urban Chicago home on Central Park Ave. I'm also a former cricket buying mama who not only fed/watered/housed a gecko at home, but somehow got suckered into insect buying for my daughter's two classroom lizards as well! We're down to two dogs and the big fish tank, but our WiFi is still lovingly dubbed The Central Park Wildlife Center (as in the NY zoo). 

ChiIL Mama's Iggy Pup and Dugan, home from Northwestern University for a visit and missed greatly by dogs and parents alike.

Although the mess and chaos of caregiving for littles and their pets can be exhausting and gross in the moment, the years do fly by. And everyone who has deeply loved pets with shorter lifespans and/or children who are grown and flown knows the bittersweet ache of being past those days. 

The Beckerman Kids - photos from the author

As the covid pandemic rages on, there are three things that have helped me weather the extra challenges of the past few years, humor, books, and dogs. Barking at the Moon expertly and hilariously combines all three. I was thrilled to be chosen for this blog hop and even happier when my assigned date aligned with my Husky Beagle (husgle... Beasky...?!) Iggy's golden birthday. Yes, Igrain the Brave (AKA: Iggy Pup) is 12 today on January 12th. 

As I read Tracy's poignant, pup loving adventures and wrote this review, my sweet, old girl kept me company, curled up by the fire, along with my giant lap dog, Finsternis, my three year old, 110lb King German Shepherd, who loves nothing more than to sit on me while I write. Yes, the littles may be big now and off to live their own lives, but the memories remain. And there's always room in the empty nest for a dog or two!

ChiIL Mama's pups, Fin (as a puppy) and Iggy

Bonnie is a Chicago based writer, theatre critic, photographer, videographer, actress, artist and Mama. She owns two websites where she publishes frequently: (adult) & (family friendly). 

Blog Hop:
I'm in great company with 18 other witty writers. Want to read more about Barking at the Moon and/or discover some new online favorites? Check out these links: 

**Check out an excerpt from Barking at the Moon below**

(This bit had me laughing so hard I sprayed my latte all over Fin who happily lapped it up. Thanks Tracy. The world needs more caffeinated 110lb lap dogs. Reader beware. Put the coffee down before you read any further.)

From the Chapter: My dog Wears Boxer Shorts

Tracy Beckerman and her latest pup - photo from the author


“I love this woman!”
—JENNY LAWSON, aka The Bloggess, #1 New York Times best-selling author of Let’s Pretend This Never Happened and the recently released Broken (in the best possible way)

“Tracy Beckerman’s adventures with Riley in Barking at the Moon give John Grogan’s Marley a run for his chew toys. If you’ve ever been blessed with the best dog ever, wrapped in the slobbering fur bomb body of the most accident-prone pooch ever, you’ll fall in love with this book. Barking at the Moon reminds us how lucky we are to be a dog’s best friend.”
—REBECCA REGNIER, columnist, speaker, and author of the Widow’s Bay series and The Snow Wife

“Several years ago, while working at a major publishing house, I turned down a book that I told colleagues was about ‘a very bad dog who dies,’ adding, ‘who wants to read that?’ So, Marley and Me went to another publisher and had some success. I tell you this to warn you I am not a good judge of what will interest others. But Tracy Beckerman’s Barking at the Moon had me chuckling from the 􏰀􏰁􏰂􏰃 􏰂􏰅􏰆􏰃􏰅􏰆􏰇􏰅 􏰈􏰆􏰉 􏰊􏰅􏰁 􏰋􏰁􏰌􏰈 􏰍􏰎􏰌􏰏􏰅􏰇􏰐􏰅􏰂􏰑􏰒􏰅 􏰂􏰃􏰓􏰔􏰅 􏰎􏰕 􏰖􏰁􏰗􏰃􏰗􏰆􏰘 􏰊􏰈􏰉 􏰌􏰅 shaking my head in solidarity as only a mother who has had her own menagerie of misbehaving animals can do.”
—CINDY RATZLAFF, author of Queen of Your Own Life
        “As a dog lover, I laughed and cried and related throughout. With the assembled menagerie at the Beckerman house, there is rarely a dull moment, and we get to enjoy it all . . . from a safe distance.”
—JOEL MADISON, Peabody award-winning TV writer and screenwriter of Roseanne, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and Crashing

“You’re either a dog person or you’re not, and if you’re not, please go away. Tracy Beckerman is clearly a dog person and has the brilliance and bravery to admit that puppies are superior to children, and not just because they don’t need a college fund. This warm and witty ‘dog-oir’ (yes, I just made that up) is for everyone who ever had a family or loved a dog. You will love it!”
—CATHRYN MICHON, screenwriter of A Dog’s Purpose

Devilishly handsome Riley

“Barking at the Moon is a funny, heartwarming book for everyone who believes that pets have a special place in the family and enrich our lives. Tracy Beckerman shares her big-hearted family’s journey with wit and insight.”
—MATT BOMBECK, award-winning TV writer

        “Hilarious and moving, Beckerman shows us just how dogs hijack our lives . . . and our hearts. All animal lovers will recognize the com- pletely true-to-life depiction Beckerman captures of the way animals destroy our homes, complicate our days, and cost us a fortune, and, yet, how we wouldn’t have it any other way. You’ll fall for sweet, goofy Riley, and laugh (and cry) at how he completes this funny family.”
—KATRINA KITTLE, author of The Blessings of the Animals

􏰞􏰙􏰁􏰈􏰇􏰓 􏰍􏰅􏰇􏰐􏰅􏰁􏰌􏰈􏰆 􏰗􏰂 􏰈􏰃 􏰊􏰅􏰁 􏰈􏰏􏰂􏰎􏰔􏰒􏰃􏰅 􏰀􏰆􏰅􏰂􏰃 􏰗􏰆 Barking at the Moon, a witty, side-splitting, and heartwarming look at the ultimate role a beloved pooch plays in family dynamics. A great read for anyone who’s loved a dog, wanted a dog, or even admired one from a distance.”
—SUSAN REINHARDT, author of Chimes from a Cracked Southern Belle, and Not Tonight, Honey: Wait ‘Til I’m a Size 6

        “Tracy Beckerman makes you feel like you’re right there in her kitchen as the mayhem unfolds. And at the center of the madness is her dog, Riley, who warms your heart as he steals the show. It’s impossible to resist Beckerman’s hilarious tale of life lived out loud.”
—V. C. CHICKERING, author of the novels, Twisted Family Values and Nookietown

“Undeterred by their inability to keep a houseplant alive, the Beckermans decide their family just isn’t complete without a dog. But when Riley comes into their lives, insanity ensues. He slobbers his way into this family’s heart and becomes its anchor in a riotous tale that is so funny, you’ll have to pee!”
—SUSAN KONIG, author of Why Animals Sleep So Close to the Road (and Other Lies I Tell My Children)

“Tracy Beckerman will have you alternately howling with laughter and dabbing your eyes with a tissue at the escapades and travails of her brood’s beloved Type A four-legged family member.”
—JENNY GARDINER, author of Bite Me: A Parrot, a Family, and a Whole Lot of Flesh Wounds
“Sometimes, you just want to curl up in your crate with your favorite chew toy and a funny, warmhearted, relatable book. This is that book.”
—ANNA LEFLER, author of PRESCHOOLED and The Chicktionary

Riley rockin' his retriever roots 

Fetch this great deal!

Friday, January 7, 2022

REVIEW: ONE-MAN STAR WARS TRILOGY at Chicago's Apollo Theater Through January 8, 2022

ChiIL Mama's Chi, IL Picks List 




limited engagement, January 5-8, 2022

One-Man Star Wars Trilogy is recommended for all ages.


By Bonnie Kenaz-Mara

I still remember when the first Star Wars movie hit theaters in 1977. I invited a group of friends to see it for my epic 10th birthday party. Since then I've seen all the sequels, prequels and most of the spinoffs, and enjoyed introducing my own son and daughter to the franchise. I even brought them with me to see Charles Ross doing his now legendary One-Man Star Wars Trilogy back in 2016 when they were 13 and 15, and we all thought the show was a hoot. When I heard he was coming back around again for a 4 day run at The Apollo, I grabbed my friend, D'Arcy, and we braved the subzero weather and omicron surge to get our geek on. It was SO worth it. 

Photo Credit: Bonnie Kenaz-Mara

The audience was tiny but mighty, like a scrappy band of rebels, with a smattering of legendary locals in full comic con regalia. We take our LARPing seriously here in Chicago! 

ChiILin' With The Villains. Bonnie Kenaz-Mara (AKA: ChiIL Mama) & D'Arcy Mies

Seeing Charles Ross in action is like spending an hour with your funniest friend. He's a one man band of foley-worthy sound effects, physical theatre action, funny faces, and rapid-fire monologuing complete with accents, seamlessly interspersed with improv banter. After twenty years and over 4,000 performances of the original Star Wars Trilogy on stage in a hilariously condensed Cliff Notes style, Ross still manages to make the material freshly funny. 

Photo Credit: Dean Kalyan

We laughed hard and immensely enjoyed this highly entertaining break from reality. This show is family friendly and recommended for anyone who's seen Star Wars, from diehard fans to those vaguely familiar. 

Charles Ross is a force to reckon with. His high energy performance is nothing short of incredulous and too much fun. I'm hopeful he'll be back in the Windy City some time soon with his One Man Lord of the Rings, which I have not seen. 

Photo Credit: Bonnie Kenaz-Mara

One final note. I'm a sucker for show themed drinks and Apollo's got some boozy doozies. Come early so you have time to enjoy them in the lobby before the show, since you can't presently bring them to your seat. 

Photo Credit: Bonnie Kenaz-Mara

When it comes to reenacting the Star Wars saga, with the speed of a light saber battle, and the joy of childhood, Charles Ross nails it, with his One-Man Star Wars Trilogy.  Don't miss this! 

Bonnie is a Chicago based writer, theater critic, photographer, videographer, actress, artist and Mama. She owns two websites where she publishes frequently: (adult) & (family friendly). 

Start the new year off with a journey through space and time with One-Man Star Wars Trilogy, created by Charles Ross, presented by Right Angle Entertainment! Join Charles for a fast and furious live solo performance of the original trilogy of Star Wars movies (A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi), directed by TJ Dawe. This limited engagement runs January 5-8, 2022 at Apollo Theater Chicago, located at 2550 N Lincoln Avenue, Chicago.   

Canadian actor and uber geek, Charles Ross, brings his solo madcap creation One-Man Star Wars Trilogy to the stage in this mind-bending whirlwind of a show. Ross retells the classic bad hair trilogy in 60 minutes- no costumes, no props, no sets- all the characters, the music, the ships, and the battles. 

If your kid’s name is Chewbacca, this show is a no-brainer. If not, get your nerd on and experience the global sensation loved by audiences from London’s West End, Off-Broadway, Dubai, the Sydney Opera House, Lucasfilm, and Charlie’s mom. The Force is strong with this one.

Tickets for are on sale now and can be purchased at, by calling (773) 935-6100, or by visiting the box office at Apollo Theater Chicago.  

One-Man Star Wars Trilogy performed with permission of Lucasfilm Ltd. All ‘Star Wars’ elements property of Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved.

About the Artist

Charles Ross may have the best job in the world: professional Geek.

Born in the town of Prince George, in British Columbia, Canada. Charlie’s family moved to the wee town of Nelson, BC, a gorgeous little place featured in movie Roxanne. He first discovered the theatre.  Drama teachers gave him a way to focus his energy—igniting a lifelong passion for performing.

Charlie studied theatre at the University Victoria’s Theatre program. Since graduation he’s been happily writing, performing and touring solo shows. He sometimes misses being in big shows with a big casts.  

His community tends to be spread pretty far and wide. 

Since 2002,  legions of Tolkien and Star Wars have attended One Man Star Wars and One Man Lord of the Rings, enriching Charlie’s life with their own sense of community. Charlie has toured the globe for the last 20 years, delighting audiences with his unique and frenetic solo stage shows. 

Fandom is a community, theatre is community, and when I make a new show about something I love, I feel like it is what keeps my community together.

Licensed by DISNEY and MIDDLE EARTH MEDIA, Charlie has lent his voice and stage talent, carrying the official banner of STAR WARS and LORD OF THE RINGS. HBO even had Charlie create and star in One Man Star Wars commercials to promote on SHOWCASE.

You may have seen Charlie on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Last Call With Carson Daley, and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. 

Check out: and

Photo Credit: Dean Kalyan

Check with Apollo Theater's website for the latest on covid protocols. Vaccine records upon entry and masks are required for the duration of the show. 

Upcoming Production from Right Angle Entertainment


Bachelor: The Unauthorized Musical Parody

Book and Lyrics by Richelle Meiss

Music by Sam Johnides and Tony Gonzalez aka The Sam & Tony Show

January 13 – February 13, 2022

Bachelor: The Unauthorized Musical Parody is the most dramatic unauthorized musical parody of The Bachelor yet! With songs like "Sob Story," "Two-On-One Tango," and "The Date Card is a Riddle," this uproarious parody is packed with romance, competition, and contestants who may or may not be here for The Right Reasons.  Whether you love The Bachelor, only watch The Bachelor with your girlfriend, or have never seen The Bachelor, get ready to fall in love with this musical. Who will get the final rose? Who will go home heartbroken? And how many Bachelor jokes can they cram into a 90-minute musical?  You’ll just have to come pick up your rose and find out!

Bachelor: The Unauthorized Musical Parody is recommended for ages 13+.


Friends! The Musical Parody

Book & Lyrics by Bob & Tobly McSmith

Music by Assaf Gleizner

March 3 – April 3, 2022

Friends! The Musical Parody is the comedic musical that lovingly pokes fun at TV’s Friends, celebrating the adventures of your favorite group of 20-something friends as they navigate the pitfalls of work, life and love in 1990s Manhattan.  It’s a typical day at New York’s only coffee shop, Central Perk, until an unexpected runaway bride enters the picture and kicks the whole gang out of second gear! The musical recreates our favorite moments from all 10 years of Friends through an uncensored, fast-paced, music-filled romp.

FRIENDS! THE MUSICAL PARODY is recommended for ages 13+. 

RIGHT ANGLE ENTERTAINMENT (Producer) specializes in the production, marketing, management and distribution of live theatrical, digital and concert events. RAE’s proud roster includes: America's Got Talent Live!, The Price is Right LIVE!, The Masked Singer National Tour, The Simon and Garfunkel Story, The Office! An Unauthorized Musical Parody (Off Broadway and National Tour), FRIENDS! A Musical Parody (Off-Broadway and National Tour), Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (National Tour and Grand Old Opry), Together Live with Abby Wambach and Glennon Doyle, Sasha Velour’s Smoke & Mirrors Tour, among many others.

Photo Credit: Bonnie Kenaz-Mara