Friday, March 15, 2024

Shattered Globe’s Midwest Premiere of Jump April 19-June 1 at Theater Wit

 Shattered Globe’s 33rd season finale


a Midwest premiere bridging heartbreak and hope, debuts 

April 19-June 1 at Theater Wit

Shattered Globe’s 33rd season finale, Jumpa Midwest premiere bridging heartbreak and hope, debuts April 19-June 1 at Theater Wit

(top, from left) Jazzma Pryor plays Fay and Jennifer Glasse is Judy in Jump, a Shattered GlobeTheatre Midwest premiere. Jump is written by (bottom, from left) Charly Evon Simpson, directed by AmBer Montgomery, and features SGT Ensemble Member Jazzma Pryor as Fay, Jennifer Glasse as Judy, Jeffrey Kurysz as Hopkins and Alfred Wilson as Dad.  

Shattered Globe has been a favorite of ours for decades, here at ChiIL Mama and ChiIL Live Shows. They're known for exploring drama from bold, challenging perspectives, and we're here for it. We're very much looking forward to seeing their 33rd season finale, Jump. It's always a joy to see a premiere, and we couldn't agree more with their mission statement: "Shattered Globe’s values are rooted in a commitment to racial equityrespect for all artists and support for the ensemble, while creating new opportunities to amplify traditionally marginalized voices and collaborate in all aspects of our work." I'll be out for the press opening, April 22nd, so check back soon for my full review.

Experience the magic of hope, healing and the promise of human connection when Shattered Globe Theatre presents Jump, a Midwest premiere by Charly Evon Simpson, directed by SGT associate artistic director AmBer Montgomery. Performances are April 19-June 1, 2024 at Theater Wit. 

Meet Fay and Hopkins, two strangers looking for solace on a bridge over dark waters. Fay gives Hopkins hope. Hopkins helps Fay grieve for her mother and the loss of her childhood home. Lights flicker and vapes fall from the sky as two strangers explore the idea of survival. As they dive into swift currents of loss, grief, mental health and family relations, Fay and Hopkins also have wonderful moments of humor, warmth and magical realism, reminders that one one way to deal with grief is to find connections with others. 

The cast for JumpShattered Globe’s 33rd season finale, features Ensemble Member Jazzma Pryor as Fay, and Jennifer Glasse as Judy, Jeffrey Kurysz as Hopkins and Alfred Wilson as Dad. The Jump production team includes Regina Garcia and Lindsay Mummert (co-scenic designers), Rachel Lambert (costume designer), Levi Wilkins (lighting designer), Christopher Kriz (sound designer), Jamie Auer (props designer), Cassidy Wray (production stage manager) and Becca Smith (production manager). 

“I've been looking forward to working on this play for over a year now,” said AmBer Montgomery, director of Jump and Shattered Globe’s associate artistic director. “At the heart of this production is our brilliant playwright, Charly. She's masterfully navigated the complexities of grief, family dynamics, and friendship, combining these heavy themes with an element of whimsy and magic. We have a fantastic cast who all share such personal relationships to this story. We can't wait to share this story with Chicago.”

The first preview, Friday, April 19 at 8 p.m., is Pay-What-You-Can. Previews continue Saturday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 21 at 3 p.m. Previews are $10-$25. 

Performances continue through June 1: Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 3 p.m. Exception: No show Thursday, April 25 or Thursday, May 16. There is an added matinee on closing day, Saturday, June 1 at 3 p.m.

Shattered Globe is a resident company at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago’s Lakeview community. Tickets to regular performances are $15-$52. Purchase tickets online at, by calling the Theater Wit box office, (773) 975-8150, or in person at Theater Wit. For group discounts, email or call (773) 770-0333Shattered Globe also offers a waived ticket program to ensure maximum accessibility.

Access: Theater Wit is wheelchair accessible, and all patrons with mobility needs are invited to purchase access tickets with the code ACCESS20 at Theater Wit’s checkout page. Please also email to make sure SGT can reserve the right seat for your access needs.

Assisted Listening Devices are available for all performances. 

Audio Description and a Touch Tour will be offered on Friday, May 3. The Touch Tour begins at 6:45 p.m., show at 8 p.m.

Open Captions will be provided at the Sunday, May 26 matinee. 

Use code ACCESS20 for $20 tickets to take advantage of these accessibility offerings.

Note (at press time): Masks are optional but encouraged for most performances and will be mandatory at three designated performances to be announced.

Visit for more information, including content warnings, news of special events, accessible ticket options and SGT's full mask policy. Find and follow the company on social media @shatteredglobe on FacebookInstagram and Twitter

Playwright and director biographies
Plays by Charly Evon Simpson (playwright, she/her) include JumpBehind the Sheetform of a girl unknownit’s not a trip it’s a journeysandblasted,and more. Her work has been seen and/or developed with The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, Vineyard Theatre, WP Theater, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Lark, Page 73, Ars Nova, Chautauqua Theater Company, PlayMakers Repertory Company, Salt Lake Acting Company, The Fire This Time Festival, National New Play Network through its NNPN/Kennedy Center MFA Playwrights Workshop and National Showcase of New Plays, and others. Simpson was named the 2019-20 recipient of the Paula Vogel Playwriting Award from the Vineyard Theatre, co-recipient of the Dramatists Guild’s Lanford Wilson Award, was nominated for the Outer Critics Circle’s John Gassner Award, and had two of her plays on the 2019 Kilroys List. Jump is the first recipient of the David Goldman Fund for New Plays. She has received commissions from Manhattan Theatre Club/Sloan, EST/Sloan, South Coast Repertory, Barnard College, and more. She’s currently a core writer at The Playwrights’ Center and a resident of New Dramatists. She is a former member of WP Theater’s 2018-2020 Theater Lab, SPACE on Ryder Farm’s The Working Farm, Clubbed Thumb’s 17/18 Early Career Writers’ Group, Ensemble Studio Theatre's Youngblood, The Amoralists’ Wright Club, and Pipeline Theatre’s PlayLab. She has also worked for HBO, on the second season of Industry, among other projects. Before that, she worked on Showtime’s American Rust. She received her BA from Brown University, a master’s in Women’s Studies from University of Oxford, New College, and her MFA in Playwriting from Hunter College, where she studied with Annie Baker, Brighde Mullins and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins.  

AmBer Montgomery (director, she/her) is a director, educator and multi-disciplinary artist from Detroit, Michigan. She is Shattered Globe Theatre’s associate artistic director, where she recently served as lead producer forRadial Gradient and directed Rasheeda Speaking, earning her a Jeff nomination for Best Director. Other directing credits include The Snow Queen(The House Theater), Countess Dracula (Otherworld Theater) and hippolytos (Story Theatre New Play Festival). Her associate and assistant directing credits include Sheepdog (Shattered Globe), School Girls; or, the African Mean Girls Play (Goodman Theatre), LINDIWE (Steppenwolf Theatre), Too Heavy for Your Pocket (TimeLine Theatre), Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Writers Theatre), Measure for Measure (American Players Theater) and First Love is the Revolution (Steep Theatre). She was awarded a 2020 FAIR Assistantship at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and a 2018 Fellowship at Steppenwolf Theatre. She has attended training programs at the Globe Theater in London and LISPA (now Arthaus Berlin). Originally trained as an actor, Montgomery holds a BFA in Acting from the University of Minnesota Guthrie Theater Actor Training Program.

About Shattered Globe Theatre
Shattered Globe Theatre was born in a storefront space on Halsted Street in 1991. Since then, SGT has produced more than 80 plays, including nine American and world premieres, and garnered an impressive 44 Jeff Awards and 118 Jeff Award nominations, as well as the acclaim of critics and audiences alike. 

Shattered Globe Theatre, guided by Producing Artistic Director Sandy Shinner, seeks to discover new connections between storyartist and audience by exploring drama from bold, challenging perspectives, and continuously redefining what it means to be an ensemble theatre

Shattered Globe’s values are rooted in a commitment to racial equityrespect for all artists and support for the ensemble, while creating new opportunities to amplify traditionally marginalized voices and collaborate in all aspects of our work. Through initiatives such as the Protégé Program, Shattered Globecreates a space which allows emerging artists to grow and share in the ensemble experience.

Shattered Globe Theatre’s Ensemble has 30 members: Judy AndersonLouis ConteyDavid DastmalchianDemetra Dee, Joe ForbrichChristina GormanDaria HarperTina M. JachRebecca JordanSteve KleinedlerVivian KnouseAmBer MontgomeryTina Muñoz PandyaEileen NiccolaiJazzma PryorHailey RakowieckiDeanna Reed-FosterLinda ReiterNate SantanaDrew SchadAdam SchulmerichLeslie Ann SheppardSandy ShinnerJoe SikoraRoger SmartShelley StrasserDevonte E. WashingtonSarah Jo WhiteJoseph Wiens and Brad Woodard.

SGT’s Artistic Associates now number 20 including Daniela ColucciMikey GrayLawrence GrimmDarren JonesChristopher KrizJason LynchElizabeth Margolius, Kelsey MelvinTim NewellJane NixAila PeckSteve PeeblesDavid Antonio ReedJasmine Cheri RushAngie ShrinerAbbey SmithBecca SmithMichael TrudeauAyanna Wimberley and Austin Winter.

Shattered Globe Theatre is partially supported and funded by generous grants 
from the Bayless Family Foundation, the Shulman-Rochambeau Charitable FoundationBrenda and James GruseckiCarol P. Eastin, a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, the Paul M. Angell Family FoundationThe Shubert FoundationThe Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation and the Illinois Arts Council.

Visit for subscriptions, tickets and information, and follow the company @shatteredglobe on FacebookInstagram and Twitter

Sunday, March 10, 2024

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Marriott Theatre's Highly Recommended JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH Through March 30, 2024

ChiIL Mama’s Chi, IL Picks List: 

Family Friendly Shows On Our Radar

Roald Dahl’s 

Peter Blair, Executive Producer 

Peter Marston Sullivan, Artistic Director 

Katie Johannigman, Associate Artistic Director 


A delightfully offbeat adaptation of the classic Roald Dahl adventure 

Two of ChiIL Mama's lucky readers will win 4 tickets each!

ChiIL Mama and Marriot are partnering up on 2 giveaways, once again. Marriott's Theatre for Young Audiences James and the Giant Peach: 2 winner/4 tickets each ($60 value) And/Or Marriott Theatre's In The Heights: 2 winners/a pair of tickets each ($120 value). Winners' choice of any dates through March 17th pending availability. Enter at the end of this feature for your chance to win. 


By Bonnie Kenaz-Mara 

Highly Recommended. ★★★★ Four out of four stars. Bonnie Kenaz-Mara,

Roald Dahl’s JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH is imagination incarnate. The book, film, and stage adaptation have long been family favorites of ours. In the capable hands of director/choreographer, Tommy Rapley, this story comes alive on stage at Marriott in all it's glory. Adults will adore this colorful cast and stellar storytelling as much as the kids do. Kudos to all the humans and bugs on cast and crew for a truly delightful production. When we caught opening weekend, the young kids in the audience were laughing often and entirely engaged with the on stage magic and mayhem. 

I had the special delight of sharing the experience with 3 recent graduates of Northwestern University's theatre program, including my son, who had director/choreographer, Tommy Rapley, as their acting professor for 4 years. They were all enthusiastic fans of the production, and I can't tell you how jazzed I am to still be able to bring twenty somethings to a Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences show! My kids grew up on Chicago regional children's theatre and I'm so excited that my oldest is now working in the industry and getting the next generation of kids introduced to the wonder and joy of live theatre. Studies show exposing kids to theatre increases empathy and creativity. And you never know what a show might spark and what future plans may unfold. 

ChiIL Mama, Bonnie Kenaz-Mara (left) with 3 of director/choreographer, Tommy Rapley's students who recently graduated from Northwestern University, including my son, Dugan (right). 

Marriot's JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH is such a fun show. The costumes, puppets, props, music, and staging are playful and a joy to see. We particularly loved the unique choreography for Marriott's theatre in the round configuration which played out on multiple levels and directions so even the youngest audience members have great sight-lines. 

We also dug the steamer trunks lining the perimeter of the stage, providing a treasure trove of props and costume changes. 

The entire cast is hilarious and crazy talented. Special shout out to Kai Edgar as “James,” Andrés Enriquezas “Earthworm,” Lucy Godinez as “Aunt Sponge,” and Leah Morrow as “Aunt Spiker”.

The puppets are a must see. Don't miss this! 

Bonnie is a Chicago based writer, theatre critic, photographer, artist, and Mama to 2 amazing adults. She owns two websites where she publishes frequently: (adult) & (family friendly).

Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences invites theatergoers of all ages on a remarkable voyage with Roald Dahl’s JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH. Roald Dahl’s beloved story is brought to fantastical musical life, running through March 30, at 10 Marriott Drive. The one-hour musical journey is directed and choreographed by Tommy Rapley with music direction by Ryan T. Nelson. Each performance will be followed by a question-and-answer session with the cast.  

“I am thrilled to be bringing  James and the Giant Peach  to Marriott Lincolnshire families,” said director Tommy Rapley. “This whimsical musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic contains the perfect blend of playful, spooky, heartwarming, mysterious, imaginative, and downright hilarious storytelling that I love as a director. The themes of forgiveness, the importance of family, and the boundless love between parent and child are particularly moving and vitally important to share with young audiences. At the heart of our story, James is the ideal character to welcome young people into adventure, as he leads young audiences on a journey that blends grief, hope, love, and joy." 

When James is sent by his aunts to chop down their old fruit tree, he discovers a magic potion that launches an expedition of enormous proportions. Suddenly, James finds himself in the center of a gigantic peach, among human-sized insects with equally oversized personalities. After the peach rolls into the ocean, the group faces hunger, sharks and plenty of disagreements. Thanks to James' quick wit and creative thinking, they learn to live and work together as a family. Featuring a wickedly tuneful score by the Tony Award-nominated team of Pasek and Paul (La La Land, Dear Evan Hansen, The Greatest Showman) and a curiously quirky book by Timothy Allen McDonald (Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka, Jim Henson’s Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas). JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH is the perfect voyage for young theatergoers.   

This production of JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH stars Kai Edgar as “James,” Andrés Enriquezas “Earthworm,” Lucy Godinez as “Aunt Sponge,” Alex Goodrich as “Ladahlord,” Christopher Kale Jones as “Green Grasshopper,” Garret Lutz as “Centipede,” Leah Morrow as “Aunt Spiker,” Juwon Tyrel Perry as “Spider”, and Elizabeth Telford as “Ladybug” with understudies Emily Ann Brooks, Crystal Claros, Milla Liss, Tommy Thurston and Annie Yokom.  

The Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences team is led by Associate Artistic Director Katie Johannigman and Interim Artistic Associate Annie Yokom, with Costume Design by Amanda Vander Byl, Lighting Design by Ben Carne, Scenic Design by Milo Bue, Wig Design by Ray Sanchez, Props Design by Leo Bassow, and Sound Design by Michael Daly. The creative team also includes Assistant Director & Choreographer Emily Ann Brooks, Dialect Coach Sammi Grant, and Stage Manager Marcus Carroll. 


JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH plays most Wednesdays through Sundays at 10 am with select 12:30 pm performances and plenty of Spring Break performances. An ASL interpreted performance will take place on March 16 at 10am. Visit or call 847.634.0200 for the exact schedule, as show times and dates vary. Tickets are $15.75 (plus tax and handling fees). Call for substantial group discounts on over 20 tickets. Free parking is available at all performances. To reserve tickets, please call  The Marriott Theatre Box Office at  847.634.0200  or visit 

Also Now Playing Through March 17th: 

Lin-Manuel Miranda's In The Heights 

Highly Recommended!

 ★★★★ Four out of four stars, Bonnie Kenaz-Mara,


Marriott's Theatre for Young Audiences James and the Giant Peach: 2 winner/4 tickets each ($60 value). Winners' choice of any dates through March 30th (see below) pending availability. 

Enter for your chance to WIN James and the Giant Peach Tickets HERE

*Your information will never be shared or sold and will only be used in the fulfillment of this contest.

Marriott Theatre's In The Heights: 2 winners/a pair of tickets each ($120 value). Winners' choice of any dates through March 17th (see below) pending availability. 

Spring forward and WIN big, Chicago! ChiIL Mama and ChiIL Live Shows are giving away tickets to some of the hottest shows in town! Enter through midnight Monday 3/12. Winners emailed and announced Tuesday morning on both sites and social media.

Enter like we vote in Chi, IL... early and often! Good luck, and thanks for reading &, your guide to fun in Chi, IL and beyond.