Friday, January 21, 2011

Play Locally-Chicago Weekend Fun

Friday:  8:30pm How Far To Austin at The Beat Kitchen with 3 other bands in The Chicago Roots Collective.

The Magic Parlour
Join The House for an hour of mind-boggling magic and impossible mind reading with award-winning magician Dennis Watkins!
Every Friday night at 10:30 pm.
****We checked out The House Theatre's Magic Parlour last Friday and had an excellent evening.   This is a magic show with an edge--a razor's edge and a knife's edge that is.   What started as a benefit show is fast becoming a Chicago cult classic.   Dennis Watkins comes from a long line of magicians.   Whether he's genetically predisposed to expert illusions, confounding mind reading and parlour tricks, or he's just got great insider information, this is one crazy, amazing late night magic show well worth seeing.   We'll have a full, detailed review in the near future.
photo by Todd Rosenberg


“The Paul McCartney of kids' music." — USA Today

"Deft lyrics and beautiful sound." — Los Angeles Times

"As a kids' performer, Roberts is in a league of his own." — Chicago Tribune

The Women's Board and Board of Governors of Kohl Children's Museum will host a family fundraiser concert with five-time Parents' Choice Gold Award-winner Justin Roberts and The Not Ready for Naptime Players. The concert, geared for children up to age 8, will take place Saturday, January, 22 at 11 a.m. at the Glenbrook North High School Auditorium, 2300 Shermer Rd., Northfield, Ill. Doors open at 10:30 a.m.

Justin Roberts is considered to be one of the “all-stars” of the indie family music scene. His most recent LP, Jungle Gym, was recently nominated for a Grammy for Best Musical Album for Children. His family album Naptime was named #1 Children's CD of the Year by Fids and Kamily Poll in 2006 and 2008, was selected as one of the top 25 Best Children's CDs of the Past 25 Years by Parent’s Choice and was named one of Top 10 Children's CDs of the Year three times in a row by

Tickets are $10/person (in advance) and $12/person (at the door). For an additional $5/person, there will be a limited number of VIP tickets for a meet and greet after the show. There will also be merchandise and CDs available to purchase. Free parking is available. All funds raised from the concert will support Kohl Children’s Museum’s operations and programming.

To purchase tickets visit or call (847) 832-6600.

About Justin Roberts
With numerous national awards and recognition and a devoted fan base, Justin and The Not Ready for Naptime Players dish out unexpectedly intelligent and whimsically rocking music for kids and their parents. Roberts’ latest Grammy-nominated CD Jungle Gym ascends through the collective memories of childhood: from the joys of trick or treating and gym class parachutes and sleepovers to the magic stillness of snow days. The recording takes listeners on a journey through iconic experiences that kids will relate to and parents will remember. This seventh family music CD from Justin Roberts continues a hot streak that started in the early 1990s. Roberts began his music career in the Minneapolis-based indie-rock band Pimentos for Gus. While working as a Montessori preschool teacher he began writing and singing songs for a new generation of fans: his students. The kids immediately responded and inspired Roberts to record some of his new songs and send them out to a few friends for Christmas. One of the gift recipients was Liam Davis, a music producer, who suggested that they record the songs professionally.

In 1998, Roberts released his first CD, Great Big Sun, and the critics took note. Since 2001, Roberts has been touring full time, doing what he loves most: playing music for appreciative crowds. Roberts has also played at such renowned venues and festivals as NYC's Symphony Space, DC's National Geographic Live, LA's Getty Museum, Seattle's Moore Theater, Lollapalooza and Chicago's Ravinia.

Roberts has performed in front of millions of people on The Today Show, he's featured on Nick Jr. TV, and his song “Get Me Some Glasses” was featured on a World Series broadcast. He's also garnered kudos and raves from national media including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, People, Entertainment Weekly, and the Chicago Tribune. For more information, visit

About Kohl Children’s Museum
Kohl Children’s Museum is located at 2100 Patriot Blvd., in Glenview, Ill. at the corner of Patriot Blvd. and West Lake Ave. The Museum can be easily reached by public transportation, including Pace bus and Metra trains. The Museum is open on Monday from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sunday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Special members-only hours are from Monday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Admission prices are $8.50 for children and adults and $7.50 for senior citizens. Children under 1-year-old and members are free. For more information, visit or call (847) 832-6600.  

12pm-4pm Polar Adventure Day--With subzero wind chills this weekend, Northerly Island will feel more northerly than usual.   Don't let the weather scare you.   Polar Adventure Day has plenty of warm, indoor entertainment and activities for the whole family to enjoy.   WARNING:   You may adopt a dog.   We were so enamored with the rescue huskies that we signed adoption papers at last year's Polar Adventure Day, and added a husky mix puppy to our family.

Leo Lionni’s “Swimmy, Frederick, & Inch by Inch” on Saturday, Jan. 22 at 1 p.m.--The Center for performing Arts at Governors State University, One University Parkway, University Park, IL 60484 presents:

The Award Winning Mermaid Theatre Company of Nova Scotia returns to The Center with the Chicago Area debut of their new show  

****ChiIL Mama says "We've seen Mermaid Theatre's shows and they are absolutely amazing.      They may be billed for kids, but parents will be well entertained as well."

Travel to the depths of the sea with the small but determined fish, Swimmy, and learn that being different is a great asset as he uses ingenuity to fend off danger. Experience the world of gathering mice with the artistic and imaginative mouse, Frederick who teaches us how to make everyday life an artful experience. Finally, come face to face with an intelligent and lovable inchworm that shows that being smart can help you out of any troubling situation. This delightful stage production brings to life Lionni’s exquisite Caldecott Honor Books, providing an enjoyable afternoon of entertainment appropriate for families with children ages 3 to 7.  

Half price tickets are available when you use code: LEO(Reg. price $10.50) by calling The Center’s box office at 708.235.2222 or ordering online at 

Parent's Night Out--9pm The Noses and 4 other punk and rock bands at The Beat Kitchen

Saturday, January 22nd

Check out ChiIL Mama's prior coverage HERE.
We will have interviews and a big punk parents feature soon.

Sunday:   Noon-Concerts for Kids-Mr. Singer and The Sharp Cookies at Beat Kitchen



Give Something Back:   

St. Vincent de Paul Pre-School Seeks Public Support of
Read-aloud Storybook Drive
Chicago’s oldest pre-school facility, the not-for-profit St. Vincent de Paul Center in Lincoln Park, is in need of read-aloud storybooks, educational games, puzzles and art supplies for a growing number of low-income children enrolled in its Pre-Kindergarten program. A special effort to solicit public donations of needed supplies is being launched today by 43rd Ward Alderman Vi Daley and the cast of Disney On Ice presents Disney-Pixar’s Toy Story 3.

            The St. Vincent de Paul Center Read-aloud Storybook Drive will run through the end of this month, with donations being accepted at St. Vincent de Paul Center, 2145 N. Halsted, Chicago; Alderman Daley’s 43rd Ward Office, 735 W. Wrightwood; the Starbucks at 2200 N. Halsted, DePaul Athletic Department, 2323 North Sheffield Avenue; and DePaul Graduate School of Public Affairs, 14 E. Jackson Blvd. Donations should be of new items appropriate for children ages 2 ½ to 5.  For additional information, call St. Vincent de Paul Center’s Development Department at (312) 278-4218.
            Disney On Ice’s newest skating spectacular, Disney On Ice presents Disney-Pixar’s Toy Story 3, will be appearing Jan. 26-30 at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill., and Feb. 2-13 at Chicago’s United Center. For additional information, log on to

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