Saturday, July 7, 2012

Play Locally: Beauty and The Beast, Gruesome Playground Injuries, West Fest, Ren Faire and More

This morning we caught the opening of the stunningly spectacular production of Disney's Beauty and the Beast at Chicago Shakespeare.   We'd seen the Broadway version, so our expectations were high, and we were not disappointed.   We'll have a photo filled full review up soon.

The next two days West Fest is going down.    Temps are finally a high of 88 and going down to a high of 81 Sunday, which feels downright spring like after 100+ heat index all week.   So venture outta the air conditioning and see some fun bands, theater, or Ren Faire Fun.   

We'll bring you our photo filled adventures from Bristol Renaissance Faire after Sunday.   Check out our recent Ren Fair coverage & details here.

Click this link for free 12 & under kids' admission and a printable coupon for $4.95 off for adults for opening weekend, along with announcements of new acts.

Opening Tonight:

Tonight we're super stoked to be going to the opening of Gruesome Playground Injuries at The Chopin Theatre!
In Rajiv Joseph’s masterful play, an accident prone dare devil and a corrosive masochist navigate friendship, love and the squishy parts that lie in between. 8-year-olds Doug and Kayleen meet in a school nurse’s office, beginning a lifelong intimacy which is revealed through the physical and emotional injuries they sustain over 30 years. Gruesome Playground Injuries tells a different kind of love story through sharp humor and even sharper insights into the human condition.
Our full review will be up shortly.

West Fest

West Fest 2012
Saturday & Sunday, July 7th & 8th
on Chicago Avenue between Damen and Wood

There is something for everyone at West Fest, the Chicago street fair that reflects the eclectic persona of its West Town environs. Held annually on Chicago Avenue at Damen, the two-day party features live cutting edge music on 3 stages! The main stage is booked by Empty Bottle Presents, then there is a DJ Stage, and a Kid Fest Stage. There are Kid Fest activities and entertainment, PUPFest with pet product vendors and dog activities for charity, plus a multitude of booths from popular neighborhood restaurants, retailers, and artists.

The Music
The biggest difference between West Fest and other cookie-cutter Chicago street festivals is the high quality live music. West Fest is all about up and coming local and national artists playing original live music. West Fest also features a DJ stage, one of the first at a Chicago street fest since it's inception in 2004. The main stage is booked by the renowned local venue Empty Bottle Presents.
Click here for the complete 2012 live music line up.

**We highly recommend checking out He's My Brother She's My Sister today at 4pm!   They were amazing at Empty Bottle a few months back and we'll have loads of live video footage and show still for you soon.   They're fronted by a talented actual brother/ sister duo and have a rockin' girl drummer who tap dances on one drum while wailing on the rest.   Amazing!

The Activities
Kid Fest (on Wolcott & Rice): Join us for the 8th annual Kid Fest held in conjunction with West Fest July 7th & 8th from Noon to 10pm - located on Wolcott Ave between Chicago Ave and Rice. A jammed packed two-day family fun event. This year Kid Fest will feature the usual pony rides and face painting for the little ones, plus will also focus on arts and music programming for those hard to please tweens and teens. Older kids and all ages will enjoy the programming by The Opus Institute  with live music, arts lessons, B-Boy Battle and music workshops presented by The Opus Institute, Maestro Chroma, Ground Lift Media and Chicago Tribe.  Live art demonstrations by Czr Prz, Des One, Daze, Celr, Fel 3000, Sintex, Rift, Cero, Revise, CMW and more... Click here for complete Kid Fest stage line up. 

PUP Fest: Each year West Fest features another large ‘fest within a fest’ dedicated exclusively to pet product vendors, canine bathing pools, and plenty of pet activities for charity hosted by West Town's own Doggy Style Pet Shop and Green Dog Inc.

With a $5 donation, dogs who attend can participate in a variety of activities at no additional charge - including an agility course, an additional obstacle course fun area (with mud pit!), dog "tattooing", face painting and paw painting, paw cooling stations, raffles and spin-the-wheel prizes. With a $15 donation dogs can participate in the above activities PLUS the Suds For Strays Charity Dog Wash. After getting all messy in the mud pit (but prior to getting tattooed), volunteers from the 5 rescues will be washing dogs all day.  Each dog that gets washed will also receive a gift bag containing freebies and coupons.

ALL PUPfest proceeds benefit these 5 pet rescues and charities: Alive Rescue, One Tail At A Time, Treehouse Humane Society, Friends of Animal Care and Control, and Leaving Tracks.

$5 donation requested for admittance to West Fest offsets the costs of the event and benefits local non-profits providing services for the immediate neighborhood. This year the gate proceeds will benefit the West Town Chamber of Commerce, a non-profit providing programs and services for West Town businesses; and also a new benefactor brought in by The Opus Institute for their part in organizing Kid Fest, and the Magi Cultural Arts Center, a community and culturally-based art center which empowers individuals with the entrepreneurial spirit to reinvest into their community.

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