Friday, April 30, 2010

Look For ChiIL Mama This Weekend: Exploring Humanities Fest, Kites, Comics, Rock, Theatre, Roller Derby, & The Blackhawks

 Mayor Daley's Kids and Kites Fest 2009

It's finally warm and gorgeous outside and this weekend is popping with too many fun options to count.   We've pulled some of the best from the rest.

Also, don't forget to enter to win a free kids' CD on ChiIL Mama's Win-A-Disc Wednesdays.   Enter all week.   Winners will be announced on the following Wednesday.


 Chicago Humanities Fest runs from April 29th-May 16th, with loads of fantastic programming for the whole family.   This year they are exploring the body as a "coming of age" theme for their 21st year.   They're also featuring Stages, Sights and Sounds, a festival for the kid in all of us.  Check their site for details.
Chicago Humanities Festival

Chicago Humanities Festival This weekend don't miss David Gaines in "7 (x1) Samurai, An Epic Tale Told by an Idiot!" Tickets will be available at the door: $7 for kids, $13 for adults. Visit us online for more info or call the CHF Box Office at 312.494.9509.


PARENTS' NITE OUT:  Spice up your life with SALT, the newest release from The Locals.  Check out their site for info and come on out to The Elbo Room tonight for their CD release party.
Mayor Daley's Kids & Kites  is one of our favorite annual events.   Come on down to Montrose Harbor from 10-4 and go fly a kite.  To avoid the crowds, aim early.   

This weekend is your last chance to see THE BLUE SHADOW, a multicultural folktale musical by one of our favorite theatre troupes, Lifeline.   Check out their site for details.   Shows run Saturday at 1pm and Sunday at 11 and 1pm.
 To quote our friend, Alicia, "Yep. Free omicron book day is a yearly nationally recognized day. You can hit up multiple comic shops on FCBD and treat it like a Halloween just for nerds!"    Check out the web site to plan your own graphic trick or treat.

Here's one to get you started.  If you make it to Third Coast comics, say hi to Ben, who will be giving out sketches to kids and nerds, as a guest artist. Come check it out, and get your kid a free comic, no trick or strings!
 6234 North  Broadway
Chicago, IL 60660
(847) 863-7450

Look for ChiIL Mama cheering The Windy City Rollers in bout 5.  So sorry Blackhawks, we've got some other skaters to see first.

The Chicago Blackhawks take it to the next round against Vancouver, in their bid for The Stanley Cup.   Go Blackhawks.
 Are you still living in the 80's?  Get your punk on this weekend.   Parents' Night out:  PIL plays Saturday and Sunday night at House of Blues

Since returning in December 2009 for seven monumental concerts in the United Kingdom–their first shows in 17 years–PUBLIC IMAGE LTD (PiL) now continue into 2010 with a North American tour. The headlining U.S. trek marks their first stateside tour in 18 years. 

After fronting the Sex Pistols, John Lydon formed Public Image Ltd in 1978. With their experimental sound fusing Rock, Dance, Folk, Ballet, Pop and Dub, PiL are regarded as producing some of the most diverse music of the 70s and 80s. As a band, the music and vision constantly evolved like no other, culminating in an incredible live experience.

Cited as one of the most innovative and influential bands in music history, PiL return to a country where they enjoyed a special relationship throughout their career for what are set to be stunning shows. The North American dates will be followed by a series of high-profile summer European Festival appearances.

John Lydon (vocals), Lu Edmonds (guitar), Bruce Smith (drums) and Scott Firth  (bass) earned critical and public acclaim for their concerts in December 2009, with many British media outlets championing them as the shows of the year.

John Lydon: “I sound like a bag of kittens thrown down the staircase.”
2010 sees the 30th anniversary of the band’s first U.S. tour and also their U.S TV debut on “American Bandstand,” where singer John Lydon invited the audience onstage to dance with the band! Host Dick Clark famously introduced their appearance as "a memorable moment in rock n roll, something special and interesting.” 

With a wide and varied back catalogue spanning three decades, Public Image Ltd will be showcasing the unique sounds of tracks such as “Public Image,” “This Is Not A Love Song,” “Rise,” and “Disappointed,” with many further surprises in store. 

Saturday & Sunday, May 1 & 2 at House of Blues
329 North Dearborn Parkway
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 923-2007
Doors 7:30 Show 9:00 Tickets $37.99
17 and over

For further PiL information, see:

MONDAY:  We'll be at the 2nd game in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.   We back you Blackhawks.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Win A Disc Wednesdays Are Here: Tiny Cool by Princess Katie & Racer Steve

Princess Katie & Racer Steve

Welcome to our new ChiIL Mama Win A Disc Wednesdays
We'll be introducing you to some rockin' kids music including old 
favorites, hot off the presses, and soon to be released discs. 
Then to sweeten the deal, each week we'll be giving away a disc.

April 28-May 5th Win Tiny Cool
the soon to be released 3rd studio CD 
by Princess Katie & Racer Steve
If you're ready to rock out to some truly funny tunes and skits that will 
have adults laughing right along with their littles, you've gotta check 
out Tiny Cool. We particularly loved the multicultural flavor of 
"Clelia's Party", a Latin-style fiesta song. Princess Katie is invited to 
sing at her Hispanic friend's birthday party, and amid her excitement, 
she agonizes that the only Spanish she knows is off a menu. 
We also enjoyed the favorite things song, "Tube Socks", a fun pop 
number that gets its "pop" from pizzicato strings.  

"Kids Rock!" gets everyone up and dancing, while "Tiny Cool" is the 
kind of James Brown style funk tune, you don't really mind getting 
stuck in your head.  My son's favorite is the final cut on the disc, 
"Japanese Robot", a super synth ballad about a robot that runs 
on love, not batteries.  

We were all impressed with the variety in musical styles. 
Whether you like rock ballads, Motown or Dick Dale-esque surf songs,  
Tiny Cool has something for everyone. And, if the tunes aren't 
enough, there are 4 hilarious skits interspersed throughout the disc.

Husband and wife team, Katie O'Sullivan and Steve Borne have 
merged their collective backgrounds in music and sketch/ improv 
comedy experience into a humorous hybrid. Even my husband laughed 
during "The Disenchanted Forest" skit, when one of the characters 
proclaims "What a buzz kill!" upon discovering he's only a garden 
snake and not really a venomous rattle snake.

This fun, funky album even appealed to the decidedly 
Anti-Princessy Sagezilla. And despite the outward appearance of 
gender role cliches, the lyrics exude a respect for children and an 
empowering, be your own self message. Tiny Cool retails for $15.00 
and will be released May 4th. It's aimed at little rockers, ages 2-8, 
with a run time of 38 minutes.

Look for Princess Katie & Racer Steve, in person, as they're 
kicking off a nationwide "Kids Rock!" tour. Check out their web site for 
tour dates and to purchase discs.

Childhood's too short, and road trips too long, to listen to annoying, 
poorly produced kids' discs. So check in every Wednesday and 
ChiIL Mama will make your kiddy commutes much more enjoyable 
for the whole family.

Fill out the form below to enter to win TINY COOL
Please do not enter via the comments section. 
Contest will be open from noon 4/28 till midnight 5/4 Chicago time.  
Contact information will never be shared, sold or used for any purpose 
other than the give away. Winners will be chosen using, 
random number generator. 

Winners will be announced every Wednesday.

Monday, April 26, 2010

I ♥ Faces Smiles

What's cuter than a 1st grader's gap-toothed grin?   A big, second place in City Wide, no-tooth victory smile! 

Sagezilla leveled up in tumbling this spring to Novice 6-7 year olds and placed 2nd in the North Region to qualify for the City Wide meet.   This weekend, she flip flopped and cartwheeled her way to a City Wide 2nd place medal on Saturday.   Go Super Sonic Sagie!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Parents' Night Out-Resonate

Resonate v5
Take a break tonight at Resonate 5
Congress Theatre will be transformed into a visual and auditory feast tonight from 7pm-3am.   This 18 and over event features numerous artists, musicians and creative acts like hoop and fire dancers and aerial acrobatics.
Emily Knoblauch - Aerial Acrobat

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Big Four Oh For Earth Day

Earth Day--How does it feel?   You turned 40 yesterday.   Are the old joints creaking yet?    I was a little dismayed to find my in box cluttered with a bazillion earth day sales, buy-a-thons, and greenwashing.    

What ever happened to cleaning up a local park or lakefront beach, or planting a tree or some flowers?    Since when did celebrating Mother Earth entail buying more STUFF?!   We spent time outside with family and friends and marveled at that great shade of iridescent bright green that only happens as the new leaves unfurl each April.   

Then we watched a wonderful Japanese movie, "Nausicaa Of The Valley Of The Wind", directed by Hayao Miyazaki.    The heroine princess goes against unbelievable odds to rehabilitate her poisoned planet and save the animals, insects and people who live there.   And she brings peace and healing to her war torn village, when other short sighted leaders acted from a place of fear, and wished only to destroy everything.   We highly recommend this film, not only for the great eco-conscious message, but for the fabulous art work and story line.    We're huge fans of all of Miyazaki's body of work.

So please, make earth day every day.   Make this an earth year.    And get outside and love nature.   Enjoy the sun.   Feed the birds.  Dig the dirt.   Love the living critters, creepy crawlies and urban nature that share our city with us.   And most of all, teach your children, parents, friends and neighbors that the world is NOT our garbage can.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

i ♥ Faces Collage

Posted by Picasa
click on photo to enlarge

Ahhhh......All this Spring weather reminds me of the chilly and stunningly beautiful Pacific Northwest Coast we had the pleasure to explore last June.    Here's a mini collage for this week's i ♥ Faces Collage contest.  

This June we're off to celebrate midsommer in Sweden, 
so we'll have a lot more chilly summer shots to share.

We Back You Blackhawks

Third Game of the Stanley Cup Quarter Finals Tonight at 8PM Chi Time

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Du Jay, Sagezilla and Friends Rock the Windy City Roller Derby

Kid friendly, grrrl power fun:

Before last Saturday, April 10th, the last Windy City bout we went to was the big championship we won against Rose City at the end of last season.   The October bout was so much fun.   We'd been to Portland in June and had a blast seeing Rose City on their home turf, but of course there's no place like home.   

We made good use of those vacation tees as we made effigies and rooted our Windy City girls on to victory.  

Windy City All Stars Vs Rose City Rollers
We finally made it back to our first Windy City Rollers bout this season (bout 4) and had an excellent time.   Du Jay and Sagezilla got a kick out of being recognized by a number of the derby girls who read the blog.   They had fun meeting Georgia On Yer Behind. 

And they hung out with Manic Attacker T-girl (Alison Chains?) for a long time.   

She was even treated to a slide show on the kids' cameras which included an elaborate funeral for a dead mouse, the kids' found while we were camping a few weekends ago.
Of course it's always fun to see our teacher friend don skates and ref.   We've know him for years, but this season it was xtra fun to see him,  as he's been teaching in Sagezilla's 1st-3rd grade Montessori classroom since fall.

We brought some kid friends with us who were newbies to derby, 
 Athenia--veteran derby baby, who made it to a good chunk of last season
and her big bro Prix--who at age 7 was already quite the little playa, checkin' out the derby girls.

The 3 way tie for first place made the match ups exciting.   And the punk acrobatics and silly games made the between bouts time fun.

4-10 best of windy city roller derby

The next bout is Saturday, May 1st, when The Double Crossers will have their chance to knock the defending champion Manic Attackers out of contention. The Fury will line up against Hell's Belles.    Look for Sagezilla and Du-Jay cheering uproariously and taking their own photos.
Thanks for the fun and we'll see ya on May Day.

Here's a recap of the bout and final scores, off The Windy City site.

April 13, 2010-Chicago-The Windy City Rollers home-league teams kicked off their season's second half with a pair of rematches on the night of April 10 in Chicago's UIC Pavilion. Behind the consistent jammer play of Ska Face and Jackie Daniels, the increasingly dominant Fury avenged their January loss to the Manic Attackers 110-85. In Game 2 the Double Crossers, who share first place with The Fury at 3-1, ran up the score on Hell's Belles, 158-75.

Photo by Gil Leora The Manics looked like they might give The Fury a game, jumping out to a quick 8-point lead after two jams and sustaining at least a 10-point advantage across much of the first fifteen minutes. Unable to spring the dangerous Kola Loka for big points, The Fury lined up for the fourteenth jam down two skaters and looking for a spark. It came in the form of a 15-point jam by Ska Face, who was able to exploit a cutting the track major on Beth Amphetamine. Superior blocking by Go-Go Hatchet, Sargentina, and Ivy Sedation, a third-year player who may have had her best game yet in the pack, put the Fury up 59-39 at the half.

Following a 21-4 run in the middle of the second period, Ska Face rang up another ten in the fourteenth jam, slipping around Beth Amphetamine for the final points. Amphetamine played valiantly in this game as a blocker, and Ruth Enasia scored 14 on the next to last jam of the game, leaving the final score closer than second-half play indicated. Ska Face collected Player of the Game Honors and sounded at game's end like The Fury intends to keep pushing their three-game winning streak. The announcer, Mouthpiece, asked her if the team would go all the way to the championship. "It's already done," she said. Final score: The Fury 110, Manic Attackers 85.

photo by Gil Leora The Double Crossers, dominated by The Fury two weeks ago, have the best chance to disrupt Fury aspirations for the Ivy King Cup. On Saturday night, Nina Millimeter and Julia Rosenwinkel combined for the bulk of points as the Crossers cruised against the Belles. When Pominatrix was sent off on a cutting the track major early in the bout's third jam, the Crossers dropped into their slow-down game and the adept Millimeter wove her way to 15 points. Belle jammer Deb Autry exploited a broken pack in the eighth jam for 4, and Belle captain Shocka Conduit, assisted by strong blocking from Mya SSault, registered a grand slam in the tenth to cut the Crossers' lead to 11. Another 15-point jam moments later by Millimeter, who went on to grab Player of the Game, put the Crossers out front for good.

The young Belles, who were missing injured co-captain Hermione Danger, got inspired play from Autry and Conduit. Conduit played her best game of the year, outmaneuvering Crosser blocking on multiple occasions with speed and agility. Autry, the leading Belle scorer coming into the game, also found her own points consistently. Belle blockers crowded the penalty box all night, however, repeatedly handicapping their jammers. Veteran Crosser blockers Donna Party, Norma Lee Wright, and Georgia on Yer Behind had their way most of the game with a lopsided pack. Mostly quiet in the second half, the crowd was revved up by Crosser rookie Joanie Utah, who picked up 12 total points in five jams while looking smooth and solid. Final score: Double Crossers 158, Hell's Belles 75.

Check out the Windy City site for tickets, times, and directions.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Chicago Children's Theatre's Very Hungry Caterpillar Creative, Colorful and Captivating

We've been wowed and impressed by Chicago Children's Theatre's production choices for years. So it was no surprise when they teamed up with another of our favorites, Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia, to present "The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Other Eric Carle Favorites". The magic of black light and florescent puppet creations make this a must see production. 

 Even though this 50 minute play is recommended for 3-6 year olds, my 9 year old son was enchanted, and the parents in the audience loved it as much as their preschoolers.   We saw this particular show years ago at Chicago's Bookamania at Harold Washington Library.  My kids were both toddlers the last time around and didn't remember it, but I was elated to have the chance to see it again.   

I was delighted to hear the troupe open with the words "This is a no shushing production." It's so refreshing when the natural rustle, chatter and exuberant participation of toddlers is embraced.  Parents can relax and not worry about their offspring maintaining proper theatre decorum and quiet voices.

We thoroughly enjoyed seeing "Little Cloud", "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" and "Mixed Up Chameleon" depicted in such a colorful fashion.   My kids find it fun to read all the books right before seeing a story based play or movie and Eric Carl has been a huge hit in our family since before the kids' births.   Du Jay and Sagezilla have most of his works memorized and love to try their hand at emulating his unique art style.

Mermaid Theatre's performance of all three Eric Carle stories is wonderful, but my kids' hands down favorite was the mixed up chameleon.

Although that was my favorite, too, I have a soft spot for the butterfly the hungry caterpillar turns into, and it was just stunning and irridescent in this production.   I've always loved Eric Carle's style of art work and have a giant tattoo based on his butterfly on my lower back.

All of the stories were professionally and impressively executed and even the youngest children were mesmerized.   Of course that's no surprise, as Mermaid Theatre has been on tour continually since 1999 and this show has been presented over two thousand times to a million and a half spectators in eleven countries!   We were especially impressed with the post show Q & A where the puppeteers let us in on some of the magic and mystery.   

Do come dressed to sit on the floor, as there are a minimal number of chairs. All children and the parents of those too young to sit alone are welcome in the spacious floor area.  
Shows are at The Field Museum daily through May 2nd only, so don't miss out.  Check out the link below for daily times, ticket cost, parking and directions.   While you're there, it's also a great opportunity to check out the museum.   We especially enjoyed exploring ancient people groups, pottery and masks. 
Lastly, we have a number of friends at Chicago Waldorf School and they have a benefit performance coming up.   If you'd like a $10 discount off tickets and want to help a creative school, the details are below.      

I would like to invite you to attend a performance of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and other works by the renowned children's author Eric Carle on Saturday, April 24 at 3:00 p.m. at the Field Museum.  This Chicago Children's Theater production combines special lighting, actors and puppetry to provide a one-of-a-kind theatrical experience for the whole family.  The total proceeds from this special matinee performance will benefit the Chicago Waldorf School.  Tickets are $25 for all ages (this is a $10 discount off the standard adult ticket price).  Tickets are available on the Chicago Waldorf School website  If you order through the website, go to the store page and then click on the link for tickets in the right hand box.  To see a detailed description of the production go to