Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Girl's Night Out-Go Red For Women Is Here! #GNO #GoRed

We've been jazzed for Go Red For Women for weeks.   Check out our prior coverage and event details here.   I'll be hitting the red carpet with a red dress on and donation in hand.   

 I hope you've already got your tickets, because it's SOLD OUT!  We'll have a photo filled recap for you in the very near future.
*REMINDER: Bring a gently used handbag or professional shoes for donation to Dress for Success and receive (1) additional raffle ticket for a chance to win over $5,000 in fabulous prizes!

Event: Girls Night Out - 2nd Annual Go Red for Women Event

Date: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM (CT)

Alhambra Palace Restaurant
1240 W. Randolph Street
Chicago, IL 60607 


Full Service Opens for Badfish-House of Blues-Chicago (photos)

Here are ChiIL Live Shows original shots from The House of Blues-Chicago show on 2/4/2012.    It was our great pleasure to see Badfish and Scotty Don't live.    Local favorites, Midwest Hype, opened and we enjoyed a first listen to Full Service, pictured above.

It may still be winter in Chi-Town but all 4 bands made us want to dance barefoot and welcome the summer festival season in with a vengeance.    We had a chance to check out Full Service's self titled CD,  released in 2011, with 10 fun tracks including Lately, Coconuts, Hi Ho, Gymnasium, Ramona, Tasteless Gravy, Rocketships (LIVE), Hotter in the House, Trumpets & Hallways.    It may just make you wanna pack up the tent in a micro bus and hit the road!   Keep an ear out for these boys on the summer circuit.    They put on a sweet, live show.

Give them a listen at their main site, Full Service Music, here.

They're currently rockin' Austin, TX (their current home base) and just premiered their documentary, "TAKEOVER!", about their unique, determined underdog style of co-opting tours and scrambling their way up from the parking lot scene to the main stage!.   Check out the details on their Takeover!  Facebook page and website.

Home is Where The Yard Is Vol 1 is now available, too.   

ChiIL Live Shows will have HD videos from that night, from all 3 bands, coming soon.   So check back like we vote in Chi, IL...early and often.   See you out there.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Happy Free Ticket Tuesday-4 Ticket Give Aways To All March Beat Kitchen Concerts for Kids HERE!

ChiIL Mama's super stoked to sponsor one of the most prolific and fun kindie music line ups in the city!   We have free 4 packs of tickets for you to EVERY show, and frequently video tape the concerts and interview the bands to post right here at ChiIL Mama.  Enter at the bottom of this post then spread the word for more chances to win.   Enter like we vote in Chi, IL...early and often!

**Also, click this link to enter to win over $60 worth of kindie CDs and DVDs including 3 by Suzi Shelton, & brand new releases by Bari Koral and Little Miss Ann!!  Entries accepted nationwide

Jeanie B! & The Jelly Beans, March 4  
Concerts for Kids regulars return to the stage for a rocking good time
Jeanie B's fourth album, Sugar Buzz, has gotten rave reviews. "A lot to like.""...more mature and intelligent music for young music fans." "Sugar Buzz easily pops to the top of the heap." Combine her new tunes with old favorites like 'Bubble Wrap' and 'Hey Daddio' and we guarantee a great show. 45 minutes of fantastic music. Sunday, March 4th at noon.

Beat Kitchen is located at 2100 W. Belmont.

To keep up to date with Concerts for Kids, like and/or follow  ChiIL Mama's Facebook page and/ or Beat Kitchen Kids Facebook

Like and/or Follow us at ChiIL Live Shows if you like free adult music downloads & world wide tour news--especially punk, metal, alt country, & indie.  We have Chi, IL Live Show pit photos, videos, and original band interviews.   We also cover the adult and family friendly Chi-Town Theatre Scene.

ChiIL Mama knows there's life after birth!   Just because you have kids, that doesn't mean you want to hear Barney & The Wiggles 24/7.   

Beat Kitchen-Save the Dates...   
Check out our hot and happening Concerts for Kids! lineup
shows at noon on Sunday
only $6/person

March 4: Jeanie B! and The Jelly Beans
March 11: Super Stolie & The Rockstars (don't forget to spring ahead)
March 18: Human-Tim + Robot-Tim
* ** (2 interviews)
March 25: Little Miss Ann Band * ** (2 interviews)
April 15: The Boogers * **
April 22: The Candy Band * ** (2 interviews)
April 29: Mary Macaroni
May 6: Human-Tim + Robot-Tim * **
(2 interviews)
May 20: Mr. Singer & The Sharp Cookies * **
(2 interviews)

* signifies bands ChiIL Mama has shot live concert footage of
** signifies bands ChiIL Mama has shot video interviews with

Type in Kindie artists' names in our blog side bar to check out new bands and enjoy old favs and/or check out ChiIL Mama's YouTube Channel!

Enter Here For Free Tixs To 4 March Beat Kitchen Concerts for Kids

*Wait for Rafflecopter to load up right here (if you've gone through RSS feed or are scrolling down the blog and don't see it, click on the actual page title and it should pop right up).   Entries are easy.   Winning rocks!  

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Play Locally: A Double Dose of Shakespeare & Afro Beats!

Shakes your soul indeed!    You could travel the globe and be hard pressed to find a resource as amazing as Chicago Shakespeare Theater.   Check out our photos from Witches, Wizards, Spells and Elves-their recent family friendly partnership with Chicago chamber musicians.


Taming of the Shrew opens today at Chicago Shakespeare Theater at 11am.   We adore short Shakespeare and will have a full review for you soon.   They're also currently playing A Midsummer Night's Dream, one of our favorites, and one of Shakespeare's plays most accessible and appealing to kids.   Check in with ChiIL Mama this week for our tie ins with great kids' book versions, to read together before Shakespeare shows.  We'll also have details up about our free family 4 pack ticket give away for Taming of the Shrew!   In the mean time, check out Chicago Shakespeare's show page for fun activities, show shots, and more.

Afro-Beats! LIVE Multicultural Music Fun Today (Feb 25th) at Harris Theater at 2pm 

Click here for our past Afro-Beats! coverage and full show details.   If you've been excitedly counting's the day.   The show's a very affordable $10 and family friendly!


*Tickets are available for only $10*

Fulcrum Point New Music Project, the city’s leader in new art music and inventive collaborations between traditional music and popular culture, commemorates Black History Month with Afro-Beats! Fela, Monk, and the Roots of American Music in one performance only at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph Drive, Saturday, February 25, at 2 p.m. This performance is presented by the Harris Theater Family Series.

All tickets for Afro-Beats! Fela, Monk, and the Roots of American Music are available for only $10. To purchase tickets, please visit or call 312-334-7777.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Kindie Concert Winners Announced For This Weekend

Congrats to ChiIL Mama's Kindie Concert 4 Pack Ticket Winners This Week:

Little Miss Ann at Township Saturday at 3pm (formerly Panchos) in Logan Square--Maile W.

Click here for ChiIL Mama's show details and a pre-show brunch menu that'll have you out drooling the toddlers!

Click here for advanced tickets.

Apples, Peaches, Lemonade & Jonas Friddle at Beat Kitchen Sunday at noon-Melissa P.

Check back with ChiIL Mama like we vote in Chi, IL...early and often.   We have some GREAT ticket give aways coming your way soon including 4 free tickets to:

Lost & Found at Chicago Actor's Gym
Short Shakespeare-Taming of The Shrew at Chicago Shakespeare

The Giver at Adventure Stage Theatre
Kindie Concerts:
Beat Kitchen-
3/4  Jeanie B! & The Jelly Beans
3/11  Super Stolie & The Rockstars 
3/18  **Human Tim + Robot Tim
3/25  **Little Miss Ann Band 

Family Grounds Cafe-
3/17  Rolie Polie Guacamole 

We also have possible tickets in the works for Ellis Paul's family show 3/17 at 1pm at S.P.A.C.E. in Evanston!
*Check ChiIL Mama's YouTube Channel (searchable archive) for over 130 original videos including *live show footage from some of your kindie favs, **band interviews, theatre interviews, toy and game reviews and more.

Houdini Box-ChiIL Mama's Video Interview With Blair Thomas and Hannah Kohl

Houdini Box at Chicago Children's Theatre opened to rave reviews and critical acclaim.  ChiIL Mama had the great opportunity to interview director, Blair Thomas and book/lyrics writer, Hannah Kohl.  Catch this show while you can, before it performs a disappearing act worthy of the great magician himself.
Houdini Box is suitable for kids 5 and up, but all ages through adults will enjoy this magical production full of puppetry, excellent music, and a mysterious, creative storyline.    Houdini Box is playing in Chicago at The Mercury Theatre through March 4th, then rematerializing in Skokie from March 14th-25th.

*Check out ChiIL Mama's Houdini Box review and photo filled feature here.   

*Check out our interview with Oscar nominee, Brian Selznick, author of the original children's stories Houdini Box, the play, and Hugo, the movie, were based on!   He's joined by Mark "Mucca Pazza" Messing, one of our favorite musical masterminds who wrote the score to Houdini Box and the recently extended Hunchback Variations, also now playing!

Click here for tickets and further information.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Badfish & Scotty Don't Rock House of Blues Chicago 2/4/2012 (photos)

Badfish and Scotty Don't rocked House of Blues Chicago, February 4th, 2012.    Check back with ChiIL Live Shows like we vote in Chi, IL....early and often.   We've got show video footage and CD reviews coming soon!

Midwest Hype Opens for Badfish at HOB 2/4/12 (live show photos)

We have a review of Midwest Hype's new CD and show videos soon to come.   So check in with ChiIL Mama like we vote in Chi, IL...early and often.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hey Girl Scouts: Today is World Thinking Day

World Thinking Day: World Thinking Day is February 22nd. It's a day when Girl Scouts unite (in spirit) to celebrate sisterhood with Girl Scouts and Girl Guides around the world. The theme this year is "We Can Save Our Planet". Girls can earn a patch (that goes on the front of the uniform) by completing one or more acitivities on that day.

Each year on February 22, World Thinking Day, girls participate in activities and projects with global themes to honor their sister Girl Guides and Girl Scouts in other countries. World Thinking Day is part of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts Global Action Theme (GAT) based on the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which aim to improve the lives of the world's poorest people. The theme for World Thinking Day 2012 is girls worldwide say "we can save our planet."

World Thinking Day not only gives girls a chance to celebrate international friendships, but is also a reminder that Girl Scouts of the USA is part of a global community—one of nearly 150 countries with Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. 

On March 12th, 2012 the Girl Scouts turn 100 and ChiIL Mama will have a full feature, video interview and more.   In the mean time, cookies arrived the 12th and are only around a month.   So get your Thin Mint fix while you can!    We'll have a big cookie feature up in the near future.    

We've got photo filled Brownie recaps from ice skating, The Chicago Wolves Girl Scout cookie kick off, and Chicago's own Journey world.   I was a Brownie and Girl Scout as a kid, and now Sagezilla is a Brownie.   Our family has enjoyed reconnecting with the Girl Scouts for the past 2 years.   There are so many fabulous opportunities through scouting and we've had nothing but a great experience.


The Girl Scouts Organization in the news:
We've been seeing a lot of wacky stuff recently....good, bad, and ugly.   You decide.

Should a dedicated troop leader be fired for ties to her husband's art & music blog?!

Girl Scout Launches Cookie Boycott Campaign After Organization's Inclusion Of Transgender Child

Conservative Rep Bob Morris Convinced Girl Scouts are too liberal

Maybe for world thinking day...there should be less hating, more tolerance, art appreciation, respect for diversity, and re education of the delusional who want to control the basic rights of others.   I'm going to go eat a sleeve of Thin Mints and think on that.....

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Brian Selznick Video Interview-Author of Hugo Cabret & Houdini Box

Check out ChiIL Mama's original interview with Brian Selznick & Mark Messing on opening day of The Houdini Box, theatrical adaptation, at Chicago Children's Theatre. I caught up with Brian and Mark hours before the first performance of this world premier. Hugo, the movie, adapted from Selznick's book and illustrations, was a huge hit in 2011 and has been nominated for 11 Oscars-the most of any film this year!

Hear how Brian first found out about the nominations, see him dabble in set painting, hear about his stage adaptation of Houdini Box, and get to know the man behind Scorsese's latest masterpiece. Hugo is one of our family's favorite films of all times. The Houdini Box play was also adapted from one of Selznick's original children's book. Mark Messing wrote the score.

Check out ChiIL Mama's prior photo filled Houdini Box coverage for show details.

If you haven't caught this one yet, we highly recommend it!   The Mercury Theater run ends March 4th.   Then the show moves to Skokie.   Catch Houdini Box before it magically disappears!

Monday, February 20, 2012

BONEdanse-This Is A Damage Manual (photo filled feature)

BONEdanse--This is a Damage Manual was so excellent I came back for the closing performance in Theater Wit's space and brought Sagezilla, too. 

There were quite a few kids in the Sunday afternoon audience and she thoroughly enjoyed the show (and the bone candy & skull shaped lollipops at the afterparty).  

I figured she'd dig the show, since at age 8, she's all about 80's punk, grrrl power, and being mighty, and Atalee Judy and her troupe are some of the mightiest. 

We also did a little shop therapy and increased our BONEware wardrobes by another tee and a fleece.

Their run at The Wit is over, but they do have some exciting shows coming up at Viaduct Theatre and in conjunction with the Chicago Park District.  

Check out their main site for details and follow them on Facebook, to stay up to date.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

ISAT Monster

Standardized Test Monster

February is sweet if you're a kid.   Even in leap year, it's the shortest month and if your school is anything like ours...the kids have had THREE three day weekends this month.   Still, for third graders and up, the ISAT standardized tests are approaching in March.  Even our Montessori kids aren't immune, since they're still public kids, though our school does a fabulous job of not teaching to testing.

I love this playfully serious photo commentary on testing, that was a happy accident.    Sagezilla worked Beat Kitchen's Winter Fest where ChiIL Mama provided costumes,  a rock n roll instrument petting zoo, and rock star photo booth.    She came home with some cool, monster face paint and settled in to do her ISAT prep book.  So many schools...parents...and kids let cramming for testing, fear of testing...teaching to testing...and testing mania eat their brains. 

Traditional Montessori schools don't do testing or even grades.   Kids get an I for introduced, M for mastered, and a D for developing.  Learning is a continuum-a journey.  It makes a lot of sense.  Our kids were graded that way in pre-k but now we have hybrid hybrid cars.  We hope they'll have the best of mostly pure Montessori, with the bonus of knowing how to be confident test takers and a report card in case they need to transfer out sometime between age 3 and the end of 8th grade.  We can live with that.  The kids are thriving.

The school is also very relaxed about the ISAT tests and work hard to give the 3rd graders, who will be testing for the first time, lots of confidence and teach them coping skills so they won't be stressed.   Of course, since they're not devoting class time to the ISATS the 3rd grade stays after school one day a week for a bit of after school prep time, and they have weekly ISAT homework, but it's a very sane approach compared to many of the standardized test nightmare stories we've heard.   The school told the kids to practice and not worry or obsess about it.   On test days eat a great breakfast, get enough sleep,
and above all relax.

So, whether your school's score crazy or pretty chill about state testing, don't let the ISAT monster get you stressed.



Saturday, February 18, 2012

More Winners Updates: Mindy Hester & Joanie Leeds TODAY!

Chicagoland IS Kindie Land this weekend!!   We've given away all our 4 packs and pairs of tickets, but you can still get out and see a bunch of great family friendly live music and theatre.    Here's the short list of ChiIL Mama's favs, with links to more info.


Kindi Concerts/Live Music: Mindy Hester-Wilmette Theatre 10am-(birth-10 with parents) Jackie B. is our 4 ticket winner.   Click the link for all the details.    


Kindi Concerts/Live Music: Joanie Leeds-Beat Kitchen Concerts for Kids-noon-(birth-10 with parents)  *We have a winner unable to go, so a new winner was picked-Erika S.

Check out Joanie Leeds while she's in Chi-Town from NYC.   Let's give her a big Windy Kindie welcome!!   Here at ChiIL Mama, we've reviewed and given away multiple copies of both of her CDs before.   Now we're super stoked to see her live.   Come on out to Beat Kitchen and hear her, meet us, and grab a shiny, new, holographic ChiIL Mama button-FREE.

Here's the latest update from Joanie herself:

It was 60 degrees in NYC yesterday. What? Isn't it supposed to be snowing right about now? I just heard our very own Groundhog, Staten Island Chuck didn't see it's shadow today which means we are in for a short winter. But if I've learned one thing in life, it's to be wary in trusting a hog from Staten Island. OK, I know there's a song in there somewhere.

To all my new little Nightlights joining us from LA, Boston and Westchester, welcome and thanks so much for coming out to see our January concerts. We had a blast playing for you.


Beat Kitchen
Sat. Feb 18th, 2012
2100 W. Belmont. Chicago, IL
Doors at 11:00 am, Show at 12:00 PM, $6
With Chi-town Nightlights: The amazing kindie-artist Laura Doherty along with Andy Wilkins & Michael Riendeau

Boppin' and Burgers Family Music Series- Blues Bar
 Sun. Feb 19th, 2012
2 West Busse Ave., Mt. Prospect, IL 60056
12:00 pm, $5 donation suggested
Solo concert

Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose
Tue. Feb 21st, 2012
180 Woz Way San Jose, CA 95110
Two 45 minutes shows starting at 1:00 PM and 2:30 PM
With Drummer Dan
Come out for my first show in the Bay Area in honor of Bicycle Safety week!

Recess Urban Recreation
Fri. Feb 24th, 2012
470 Carolina St. San Francisco, CA
(415) 701-7529
4:30 PM
With Drummer Dan!

JCC Manhattan
Sun. Mar 25th, 2012
334 Amsterdam Avenue
10:00 AM- 11:00 AM
Full band, Joanie Leeds & The Nightlights
  *Tix available online now!

To find out about upcoming concerts, make sure to check my website or become a Facebook Fan to get all the news & invitations.
Radio Airplay
Many of my tunes from 'What A Zoo' and 'I'm A Rock Star' have been playing on various radio stations across the country. Some of em' have even made their way to becoming #1. To keep them playing, make sure to make your requests known. XM Sirius Sattelite Radio takes requests right on their Kids Place Live Facebook wall and many others you can call in and request a song. With Valentine's Day approaching, feel free to suggest one of my lovey dovey tunes like, 'Give Me A Hug. Thanks everyone!

Joanie Leeds & The Nightlights

 Laura Veirs   photo credit:   David Belisle

Kindi Concerts/Live Music: Mr. Dave-Beat Kitchen Concerts for Kids-noon (birth-10 with parents)

Bluegrass in Berwyn at FitzGerald's- 1pm (adults $12/kids just $2-all ages)  5th Annual After Brunch Bash at FitzGeralds with Sunnyside Up and The Teflons!   Click the link for our prior write up with all the details.


Kindi Concerts/Live Music:  Laura Veirs Old Town-(3pm all ages with parents/evening adult show)


About Tumble Bee
(*ChiILMama will be reviewing Tumble Bee and we'll have a video interview with Laura Veirs, coming soon, too!  So check back with ChiIL Mama like we vote in Chi, IL...early and often.   We have some amazing things coming.)
Tumble Bee, the first children’s record from the prolific Laura Veirs (whose last release, July Flame, was dubbed “a perfect Sunday afternoon record” by The Oxford American and “sweet and irresistible” by Rolling Stone) inspires listeners to lean in close and hit replay.  The youthful innocence in Veirs’ voice lends itself well to the jaunty spirit of the album. The recording covers a wide range of folk songs, from early 20th century work songs to the ballads of Jimmie Rodgers, Woody Guthrie, Peggy Seeger and Harry Belafonte.

Veirs and renowned record producer Tucker Martine, her long-time collaborator on seven of her eight records, have created a piece of art that is sure to appeal to children as well as adult fans of Veirs’ previous work.  The album features guest appearances by Colin Meloy (Decemberists), Jim James (My Morning Jacket), Bela Fleck and Brian Blade (drummer for Bob Dylan) among many others. As Smithsonian Folkways recording artist Elizabeth Mitchell says, “This is a luminous, smart, essential and truly extraordinary album.”

Inspired by the birth of her son and by countless fans who’ve told her over the years how much their kids love her records, Veirs became curious about the history of American children’s music.  She and Martine listened to hundreds of songs from the past several centuries, including Harry Smith’s famous Anthology of American Folk Music. They selected what Veirs calls, “a sampling that reflects our richness as a people.” Tumble Bee was recorded at home in the spring of 2011.

“Many of these songs have been forgotten throughout the years,” says Martine.  “We wanted to bring these beloved songs to a new generation with an instrumentation that both honors their traditions and creates something unique.”

A joyous testament to this collective history, Tumble Bee embodies both the uplifting and fearful moments of childhood.  Much more than simply a record for children, Tumble Bee defies category to stand on its own as a vibrant, sonically beautiful recording; listeners of all ages will revel in Veirs at her prime.  “I love this record,” says acclaimed songwriter Sufjan Stevens. “Laura’s folk songs for children prove that the best children’s music never gets old.”

Laura Veirs grew up in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she often spent summers camping with her family, which gave her much of her songwriting inspiration. Veirs has said that she didn’t seriously listen to music until she was in her 20s; instead, she just heard what was in her environment. She listened to folk, country, classical and pop music around the house and on the radio during her youth.

Attending Carleton College in rural Minnesota, Veirs latched onto feminist punk rock from the Pacific Northwest, eventually starting an all-female punk band called “Rair Kx!”. Laura studied geology and Mandarin Chinese. After college, she embraced older country and folk music. Her first foray into songwriting started with a geological expedition in China, where she served as translator. She was miserable and immersed herself into writing lyrics as a way of coping.

She put out her own self-titled album Laura Veirs, recorded live and featuring just her and guitar, in 1999. She has since made seven highly acclaimed records with producer/husband Tucker Martine. Veirs’ seventh album, July Flame, was released in January 2010 on her own record label, Raven Marching Band Records. Her most recent album, “Tumble Bee: Laura Veirs Sings Folk Songs for Children,” was released in November, 2011 to rave reviews both in the mainstream and parenting press.

Veirs tours frequently in Europe and North America and is currently writing songs for a new album. She lives in Portland, Oregon with Martine and their young son Tennessee.


Highly recommended and going on all weekend:

THEATRE:  Houdini Box at The Mercury Theatre-(age 5+)

Click the link above for ChiIL Mama's show photos and review.

Magic, music, puppets, and performance unite in this awesome conglomeration, worthy of the escape artist/magic master himself.   The Houdini Box is based on a book by Brian Selznick.   Did you know, he's also the author of Hugo Cabret-the now famous book that inspired the movie Hugo, nominated for 11 Oscars?   This show is a delight for all ages.  

The Houdini Box: Chicago

January 24-March 4, 2012
Recommended for ages 5 and up
The Mercury Theatre
3745 N. Southport Avenue, Chicago

Show times are 11am and 2pm every Saturday and Sunday.   Check the main site for additional weekday shows and more.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Act Out: Top Theatre Picks-Lost & Found at Actors Gymnasium

Gala Fundraiser at Actor's Gymnasium-opening night of Lost & Found 2012

Lost & Found: A Recycled Circus

Back by popular demand!
February 11 – March 11, 2012

"This production will charm, warm and wow you…sly and nuanced clowning…wordless,  impressive poetry" - Chicago Theatre Blog. 

"Director Lawrence DiStasi showcases a wry sense of humor and some superb acrobatics in this quirky Actors Gymnasium show" "Recommended"  - Chicago Reader.

We had the great pleasure of checking out opening night of Lost & Found at The Actors Gymnasium last Saturday.   The caliber of their circus arts is truly top notch.  This colorful extravaganza combines all of our favorite elements--aerial acts, steampunkery, a funky, rag tag band of urchins playing instruments and making mischief, a love triangle, technology as art, low tech fun, recycled and upcycled outfits, drums and toys.  We'll be returning to catch the show again with the kids as soon as possible.  Lost and Found is highly recommended, family friendly fun for all ages.   We were quite impressed with the cast, and the cast off set dressings.  We're also enamored with Co-Artistic Director, Lawrence E. DiStasi's statement about the show.   He says:

I didn't used to like old things.  They kind of depressed me.  But now, when someone takes an old chair or something, a thing that has managed, against all odds, to survive the world for many years, and they give it a little careful attention-I think it's incredibly moving.  And these things have so much personality.  It's almost like they're alive.  Like people.   They have souls in a way.  Unfortunately most of the stuff we all bring into our lives is disposable.  And things that are made to be thrown away, are sad company.  It's so hard to stay away from them, but who needs that kind of sadness?   Anyway, I think there is treasure in our garbage-in what we throw away, and overlook.   And those people we throw away and overlook too.  There is magic in our trash.  And probably our future there too.

ChiIL Mama has potential video interviews in the works with the Artistic Directory and also actor/Chicago Dad, David Catlin, who plays alongside both of his daughters in the show.   Saylor, who is 9 and in 4th grade, went to preschool with ChiIL Mama's Sage.   Saylor's younger sister, Emerson, is a 6 year old first grader and Lost & Found 2012 is her first circus show!   So check back with ChiIL Mama like we vote in Chi, IL...early and often.   We have lots of exciting things in store.

The Opening Night Gala was lots of fun, too.   We saw a zillion familiar faces including our past video interview subject, Director-David Kersnar, who can be seen HERE. (in his fabulous "Ernie & Bert style bed interview" with Mark Messing) on the set of Goodnight Moon.

We also sat next to an accomplished aerialist, whom we photographed and chatted with in the past, when she played Alice in Lookingglass' last remount of their namesake story.  We also saw familiar faces from CircEsteem, including Will, a talented high school senior, who plays the lead juggler in Lost & Found.   We highly recommend checking it out.

Lost & Found gets ChiIL Mama's GRRREAT GREEN SEAL OF APPROVAL:   99% Recycled! - Costumes, props and set pieces used in this show are re-purposed, recycled, found-object art.

Last year's runaway hit, Lost and Found: A Recycled Circus returns to The Actors Gymnasium! A collaborative original work by Co-Artistic Directors Larry DiStasi and Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi, together with an amazing team of designers and performers, this circus production explores the world of second-hand treasure. Cast-off junk and cast-off characters are saved in this show and given thrilling, new life. Lost and Found: A Recycled Circus features aerial acrobatics, live music, and magical, found-object invention. 

Click here for The Actor's Gym's main site for ticket ordering info and more.

Order Tickets HERE before it's sold out!!

Shows run every Friday through Sunday till March 11th.
The Actors Gymnasium
927 Noyes St
Evanston, IL 60201

Recommended for ages 5 and up.   
Adults $15
Students with ID and kids under 13 are $10

 Check out ChiILMama's past coverage here.

Winners Announced!

photo credit

ChiIL Mama has a host of winners today:

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Sharp as a Tack-New Brain Gain Game in Chi-Town

We're looking forward to President's day this year.   Du-Jay and Sagezilla will be at Sharp as a Tack, honing their skills and growing their brains in two fun workshops on a couple of their favorite subjects.    At the ripe old ages of 8 & 10, they've already collaborated on 3 novels for Youth Nanowrimo, an international November challenge to write an entire novel in 30 days.    They then adapted one of the stories into a short, shadow puppet play and performed it for their Montessori school.   They've also been designing a card game over the winter, so they're stoked to check out the young inventors workshop as well.   Check out Sharp as a Tack's main site for all the details.

ChiIL Mama will be checking out Sharp as a Tack's space today, so we'll have photos and more details up soon.   They'll be having an open house and community game night February 23rd, so everyone interested can swing by and meet the staff.

What they're all about-from Sharp as a Tack's Site:
Recent research in the fields of Neuroscience, Psychology and Education have acknowledged the significant benefits that board games have on not only a child’s cognitive development and their brain’s motor functions, but also on important life skills such as patience, cooperation, concentration, teamwork and perseverance. They also help to develop leadership skills. 

Sharp As A Tack’s main mission is to help students improve academic achievement by developing their cognitive abilities and to help them develop important life skills that will lead to a lifetime of successes in the classroom, in the community and within their families.

A secondary mission of Sharp As A Tack is to foster an environment that will help improve students’ self-esteem, self-worth and self-confidence, as well as to provide a venue to develop interpersonal skills such as communication, cooperation, teamwork and leadership.

Sharp As A Tack’s cognitive development programs offer a unique opportunity for students to develop those skills and abilities in a setting that is, well... just plain fun!