Saturday, July 28, 2018

Save $100 on the Exciting New HP Envy x360 Laptop at Best Buy Through 7/28/18

Windows 10 brings back the Start Menu from Windows 7 and introduces new features, like the Edge Web browser that lets you markup Web pages on your screen. 

Save $100 until 7/28

Here at ChiIL Mama, I'm a full time blogger and freelance writer with two busy kids still at home, so tech flexibility is key. That's why I was thrilled to be asked to partner up with Best Buy and HP on a sponsored post. I have been compensated for sharing info on the HP Envy x360 laptop with my readersIn fact, I'm currently writing this on my laptop in the car, in a parking lot. I spent an hour this morning writing at my desk, then hit the road early to drop off both of my kids out of state for an acting gig. 

Almost everyone I know has busy, complicated lives, so a device that can transfer from a laptop to a tablet in seconds, has a write on the screen, and works fast makes my life simpler and lets me work smarter, not harder. If you're thinking of upgrading, check out the HP Envy x360 laptop at Best Buy and save $100 through 7/28/18

HP Envy x360 laptops are 2-in-1 devices that can transfer from a laptop to a tablet in seconds. These touch-screen laptops come with Windows Ink capabilities and a Windows operating system so you can write on the screen with your stylus. AMD processors make them fast and thin so you can take them with you anywhere you go!

Here's the scoop:
Built for Windows Ink
Quickly jot down notes and ideas with ease.

Full HD touch screen
The 1920 x 1080 resolution boasts impressive color and clarity. Natural finger-touch navigation makes the most of Windows 10. IPS technology for wide viewing angles. Energy-efficient WLED backlight.

8GB system memory for advanced multitasking
Substantial high-bandwidth RAM to smoothly run your games and photo- and video-editing applications, as well as multiple programs and browser tabs all at once.

360° flip-and-fold design
Offers versatile functionality with laptop, audience, tabletop, presentation and tablet modes.

Click here to check out more details on the HP Envy 13in and the HP Envy 15in.

Disclosure: I have been compensated for sharing info on the HP Envy x360 laptop with my readers. As always, all opinions are my own

Six Flags Great America Kicks Off The Summer of Mardi Gras Today July 28 – August 12

The summer of Mardi Gras has arrived at Six Flags Great America!

Get a taste of New Orleans fun without leaving Illinois. Six Flags Great America is kicking off their all-new Mardi Gras Festival, beginning July 28 and running through August 12. This festival will feature two daily parades, thousands of beads, unique cuisine options and fireworks every night! Mardi Gras is officially coming to the Midwest!

 Festival Elements July 28 – August 12
Two daily parades with Mardi Gras style floats
Thousands of beads to be handed out daily
Unique cuisine options including Beignets, Gator Bites, and specialty cocktails
Fireworks every night before park close

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

FLASH GIVEAWAY: WIN a 4 Pack of Peter Pan Tickets (up to $136 value) at Chicago Shakespeare Theater

ChiIL Mama's Chi, IL Picks List: 
Family Friendly Theatre Fun

Chicago Shakespeare Theater Presents
Amber Mak directs musical adaptation of beloved J.M. Barrie tale
this summer on Navy Pier Through August 19th

Captain Hook (James Konicek) is startled by the sound of the dreaded ticking crocodile while taunting the captured Lost Boys and Darling siblings, as pirate Starkey (Christina Hall) intimidates the prisoners. 
All Photos by Liz Lauren.

 Peter (Johnny Shea) resists Wendy's (Elizabeth Stenholt) urgings for him to grow up.

Peter Pan (Johnny Shea) leads the Darling siblings (Carter Graf, Elizabeth Stenholt, and Cameron Goode) on a high-flying adventure to Neverland.

 *Ages 5+. 75min running time.*

Just in time for the 65th anniversary of the Disney animated classic, Peter Pan, Chicago Shakespeare Theater's summer family musical is a newly updated production of Peter Pan – A Musical Adventure. Here at ChiIL Mama, CST has been a favorite of ours for years, and their summer musicals are always a top annual pick of ours for fabulous, family friendly fun for all ages. 

This summer, Chicago Shakespeare Theater announces the cast and creative team for the summer family musical production of Peter Pan – A Musical Adventure at the Theater’s home on Navy Pier, June 27–August 19, 2018. Based on J.M. Barrie's beloved tale about the boy who wouldn’t grow up, this heartwarming musical dazzles with a score written by George Stiles and lyrics by Anthony Drewe—the award-winning songwriting duo behind Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s smash hit Mary Poppins and the Olivier Award-winning Honk! Amber Mak takes the helm as the production’s director and choreographer in this newly updated version by Elliot Davis based on the book by Willis Hall.

Toodles (Michael Kurowski), Nibs (Travis Austin Wright), Curly (Colin Lawrence), and Slightly Soiled (John Marshall Jr.) rejoice in being part of "The Lost Boys Gang."

Peter Pan – A Musical Adventure follows Peter and the Darling children—Wendy, John, and Michael—on a high-flying journey to the enchanted world of Neverland, where the Lost Boys take on the villainous Captain Hook and his bumbling band of pirates. The 75-minute production is the perfect summer outing for families to come together and experience the delights of live theater. After each performance, audience members have the opportunity to interact with cast members for one-on-one conversations and photos in the Lobby.

Peter Pan (Johnny Shea): the boy who never wants to grow up.

Wendy (Elizabeth Stenholt) and Peter (Johnny Shea) become fast friends thanks to their love of adventure.

Known for bringing vibrant, new perspectives to classic musicals, director and choreographer Amber Mak makes her Chicago Shakespeare directing debut, after a series of critically acclaimed productions at Paramount Theatre, including The Little Mermaid, Elf the Musical, and Hairspray. In 2017, Mak directed the world premiere of Number Nerds, which became the surprise hit of the New York Musical Festival (NYMF).

Captain Hook (James Konicek) laments his hook to his trusted first mate, Smee (Sean Patrick Fawcett). 

 The Pirates (Roberta Burke, Christina Hall, Sean Patrick Fawcett, and Jonathon Butler-Duplessis) celebrate the capture of Wendy and the Lost Boys. 

“What’s remarkable about young audiences is that they can transform the mundane and everyday into the fantastical,” Mak shared. “Yet in our world, we tell them they have to grow up, and that spark of imagination can be extinguished. The reason that Peter Pan has endured for so long is because J.M. Barrie inspires that imagination, hope, and freedom. Now more than ever, young people need that.”

Johnny Shea takes the stage as Peter Pan—a headstrong and clever boy who never wants to grow up. Elizabeth Stenholt performs the role of Wendy—a charming girl who challenges Peter Pan and comes to serve as a maternal figure for the Lost Boys. The bookish and loyal John, the middle child of the Darling family, is portrayed by Cameron Goode, and the youngest of the Darlings, Michael, is portrayed by Carter Graf. Peter’s sworn enemy is Captain Hook, performed by James Konicek—who also portrays Mr. Darling. Mrs. Darling is performed by Roberta Burke. The band of pirates includes Sean Patrick Fawcett as Hook’s right-hand man, Smee—as well as Roberta Burke as Cecco, Jonathan Butler-Duplessis as Bill Jukes, and Christina Hall as Starkey. The troupe of Lost Boys features Colin Lawrence as Curly, Michael Kurowski as Tootles, John Marshall Jr. as Slightly Soiled, and Travis Austin Wright as Nibs. Framing the production as the Storyteller is acclaimed Chicago actress Rengin Altay.

The Storyteller (Rengin Altay, center) gathers the ensemble (from left to right: Christina Hall, Sean Patrick Fawcett, John Marshall Jr., Travis Austin Wright, Michael Kurowski, and Colin Lawrence) to tell the tale of PETER PAN. 

The Storyteller (Rengin Altay) explains the plan to free Peter's friends from the pirates. Photo by Liz Lauren.

Joining Mak on the creative team are Kory Danielson as Music Director and Matt Deitchman as Orchestrator. Creating the imaginative world of Neverland onstage are Jeff Award-winners Scenic Designer Jeff Kmiec, Costume Designer Theresa Ham, Lighting Designer Greg Hofmann, Sound Designer Ray Nardelli, and Projections Designer Mike Tutaj. Completing the creative team is Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s resident Wig and Make-up Designer Richard Jarvie, who has designed over thirty CST productions. Onstage flying effects are created by ZFX. Serving as dialect coach for this production is Susan Gosdick. Megan E. Farley is the production’s Associate Director and Choreographer.

Surrounded by the ensemble, Peter Pan (Johnny Shea) soars 

Chicago Shakespeare Theater strives to make its facility and performances accessible to all patrons through its Access Shakespeare program. Access performances for Peter Pan – A Musical Adventure include:

ASL Duo-interpreted Performance: Sunday, August 12 at 11:00 a.m.
Audio-described Performance: Sunday, August 19 at 11:00 a.m. (with optional touch tour at 9:15 a.m.)

In the Darling nursery, Wendy (Elizabeth Stenholt), John (Cameron Goode), Mrs. Darling (Roberta Burke), and Michael (Carter Graf) imagine what might be "Just Beyond the Stars" during their bedtime lullaby. 

Chicago Shakespeare Theater presents a wide range of dynamic programming for multi-generational audiences. In addition to imaginative summer musicals at the Theater’s home on Navy Pier, offerings year-round include Short Shakespeare! abridgments of Shakespeare’s classics and the free Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks tour to neighborhood parks throughout the city. This summer, 25 performances of the classic A Midsummer Night’s Dream adapted and directed by the Theater’s artistic director Barbara Gaines, will tour to 18 neighborhood parks across the city, July 27–August 26, 2018.

Visit for a complete performance listing and additional production information.

Wendy (Elizabeth Stenholt) tells the Lost Boys an engaging bedtime story.

A global theatrical force, Chicago Shakespeare Theater is known for vibrant productions that reflect Shakespeare’s genius for storytelling, musicality of language, and empathy for the human condition. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Barbara Gaines and Executive Director Criss Henderson, Chicago Shakespeare has redefined what a great American Shakespeare theater can be, putting forward a company that delights in the unexpected and defies theatrical category. A Regional Tony Award winner, the Theater produces acclaimed plays at its home on Navy Pier, throughout Chicago’s schools and neighborhoods, and on stages around the world. In 2017, the Theater unveiled a new stage, The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare. Together with the Jentes Family Courtyard Theater and the Thoma Theater Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare, The Yard positions Chicago Shakespeare as the city’s most versatile performing arts venue.

 Wendy (Elizabeth Stenholt) spars with Captain Hook (James Konicek) as the Lost Boys take on the Pirates.

ENTER HERE for your chance to WIN 
Family 4 Pack of Tickets (up to $136 value) 
Peter Pan A Musical Adventure
Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Winner's choice of any show dates and times through August 5th, pending availability. 

Entries accepted through midnight 7/26. Winner will be announced here and on ChiIL Mama's social media outlets on Friday 7/27.

Friday, July 20, 2018

DISCOUNT CODE: 20% off DaffaDoot Kids Products

Parenting can be a messy proposition with a lot of options. Here at ChiIL Mama we're always on the lookout for useful baby and kid gear that makes our lives easier, safer, and better. That's why we're happy to partner up with DaffaDoot on this sponsored post via US Family Bloggers. We're offering a 20% discount to our readers on any of the 3 items below, which can be easily ordered on Amazon. They're sending us a seat protector, so we'll have a full review up, once we have a chance to run it by our rigorous kid field testing. In the meantime, here's some savings for you.

ChiIL Mama's Readers Receive 20% off on orders of any or all of the DaffaDoot Products Below using Promo Code HWBLFYLE 

*Auto Seat Protector -
Here at ChiIL Mama I'll be reviewing the Auto Seat Protector, so check back soon for my full review.

*Car mirror -

*Crib Wedge - 
DaffaDoot Baby Reflux Wedge Pillow. For babies who frequently suffer from reflux or dramatically spit-up. It's a safe, sound baby reflux treatment which gently elevates the baby's head and torso to help alleviate discomfort due to frequent stomach acid or frequent spitting up. Happy baby equals happy parents!

What makes the DaffaDoot Reflux Wedge Pillow special:
Many wedges are "foldable", which means that it's actually two smaller wedge pieces held together by a cover. In other words, it is split and can "gap" under baby. Foldable wedges are marketed as "convenient to store"... but this feature degrades its performance. It's better to have a wedge which focuses on performance instead of focusing on easy storage. Foldable wedges, since they are in multiple pieces, are also more likely to shift around. Our wedge is a single, stable, correctly sized piece with a non-skid bottom and a hypoallergenic, waterproof casing. The zipper is at the back of the wedge (to keep it well away from baby) and our foam is the perfect firmness (not too soft, not too hard). It meets and exceeds federal safety regulations. These regulations dictate that the wedge must extend the entire width of the crib mattress (27"). Anything else is not snug enough.We are using an eco-friendly zippered bag to package our wedge. This can be used to store your wedge in later, or as a blanket bag today.


DaffaDoot is all about family values, and we are on a mission to improve the lives of everyone we can reach. We are a Mother/Daughter team, and proudly donate our time and money to numerous organizations supporting pregnant moms-to-be, new parents, battered women, and school age children. We are insanely committed to providing the best customer service on the planet and delivering only the highest quality products available.

Happy Times! DaffaDoot Brings It!

Disclosure: Here at ChiIL Mama, it's our pleasure to partner up on this sponsored post. I have been compensated by DaffaDoot for sharing this discount with my readers. As always, all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

ADULT NIGHT OUT: Manual Cinema Band Members to Play After Shows Every Saturday During Run of The End of TV

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:

Stick around for Mocrep on July 21, Marques Toliver on July 28
and Maren Celest on August 4

Join Manual Cinema every Saturday night during its upcoming Chopin Theatre run of The End of TV – that’s Saturday, July 21, July 28 and August 4 – for special post show performances featuring musicians from The End of TV band.

The End of TV 
Set in a post-industrial Rust Belt city in the 1990s and told through a collection of original 70’s R&B-inspired art pop songs, The End of TV explores the quest to find meaning amongst the increasingly constant barrage of commercial images and advertising white-noise. The production features Manual Cinema’s signature mix of handmade shadow puppetry, cinematic techniques, and innovative sound and music using vintage overhead projectors, multiple screens, puppets, actors, lo-fi live feed cameras, flat paper renderings of commercial products, multi-channel sound design, and a live music ensemble.

Throughout, The End of TV is driven by a sweeping, original chamber art pop song cycle scored by two of Manual Cinema’s Co-Artistic Directors, Ben Kauffman and Kyle Vegter. It is performed live, on stage by a seven-piece band: Shalynn Brown aka RED (drums), Maren Celest (vocals, live sound FX, live video mixing), Deidre Huckabay (flutes, vocals), Ben Kauffman (vocals, guitar, keyboard), Lia Kohl (cello, vocals), Marques Toliver (vocals, violin) and Kyle Vegter (bass).

Manual Cinema’s The End of TV features an original 70’s R&B-inspired pop art song cycle by Ben Kaufmann and Kyle Vegter, played live on stage by a seven-piece band.

Manual Cinema is presenting the Chicago premiere of The End of TV July 19 through August 5 at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood.

Performances are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m., Sundays at 3 p.m. Tickets are $30; $20 for students and seniors. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at

More about the Manual Cinema The End of TV after show shows:

After show shows start at 8:30 p.m. after every Saturday performance of The End of TV and are included with the ticket purchase. Here’s the line-up:

(featuring Deidre Huckabay and Lia Kohl from The End of TV band)
Saturday, July 21

In Common Core Art, Mocrep takes seemingly menial tasks and make them almost unbearably difficult. Whether it is keeping a simple beat on the snare drum, reciting text, consuming food or water, or any other daily activity for an artist, Mocrep will do so in a way that stretches the performer to the limit, both physically and mentally. The piece will be composed of many different scenes that involve these kinds of tasks with as many extraneous layers and loops to jump through as we can find. For more, visit 

Marques Toliver
Saturday, July 28

Marques Toliver is an international recording artist, songwriter, producer, violinist, and vocalist from Daytona Beach, Florida. He began to study music at the age of ten and later attended Stetson University's School of Music, where he studied classical violin. A move to New York, where he often busked, led him to performances and recordings with An Albatross, Grizzly Bear, TV on the Radio, Bat for Lashes, Holly Miranda, and Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson. Toliver released the four-track EP Butterflies Are Not Free (2011). The single "Magic Look" (2012) followed as a precursor to Toliver's first album, Land of CanAan, released in May 2013. In 2016 Toliver composed music for The Public Theater’s production of Romeo and Juliet. For more, visit

Maren Celest
Saturday, August 4

Maren Celest is a multi-disciplinary artist living in Chicago. She works with Manual Cinema triggering live foley and singing. She has assembled a band of incredible musicians (Kate Barutha: cello, Daniel Villareal-Carrillo: percussion, Alex Babbit: Bass/Flute, Corey Allbritten: Clarinet, Electric Guiter, Aux Instrumentation) to help her execute and write songs that have been lovingly referred to as "Psychological Death Metal" by Lumpen Radio. Often within a soft, melodic sheath she offers a sharp word to the parts of herself, and us, that are questionably comfortable. - Jessica Hopper, Chicago Tribune, wrote “…her otherworldly, witchy voice. It undulates, coos, squeaks and moans — it sounds like it used to be feral and now it's just barely tamed.” Recently her work has been published (35mm from tour with Manual Cinema and writing/lyrics), and her book with music is available at or

To learn more about The End of TV, visit, follow the company on Facebook at, on Instagram at and on Twitter @ManualCinema.

More about Manual Cinema

“this Chicago troupe is conjuring phantasms to die for…”
-Ben Brantley, The New York Times

Manual Cinema was founded in 2010 by Drew Dir, Sarah Fornace, Ben Kauffman, Julia Miller, and Kyle Vegter. To date the company has created seven original feature length live cinematic shadow puppet shows (Lula Del Ray, ADA/ AVA, Mementos Mori, My Soul’s Shadow, The Magic City, No Blue Memories and The End of TV); a live cinematic contemporary dance show created for family audiences in collaboration with Hubbard Street Dance and the choreographer Robyn Mineko Williams (Mariko’s Magical Mix); an original site-specific installations (La Celestina); an original adaptation of Hansel & Gretel created for the Belgian Royal Opera; music videos for Sony Masterworks, Gabriel Kahane, three time GRAMMY Award-winning eighth blackbird, and New York Times Best Selling author Reif Larson; a live non-fiction piece for Pop-Up Magazine; a self-produced short film (CHICAGOLAND); a museum exhibit created in collaboration with the Chicago History Museum (The Secret Lives of Objects); a collection of cinematic shorts in collaboration with poet Zachary Schomburg and string quartet Chicago Q Ensemble (FJORDS); and live cinematic puppet adaptations of StoryCorps stories (Show & Tell).

Manual Cinema has been presented by, worked in collaboration with, or brought its work to The Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC), Under the Radar Festival (NYC), The Tehran International Puppet Festival (Iran), La Monnaie-De Munt (Brussels), BAM (NYC), Underbelly (UK), Adelaide Festival (AU), The Kennedy Center (DC), The Kimmel Center (Philadelphia), the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Noorderzon Festival (Netherlands), The O, Miami Poetry Festival, Davies Symphony Hall (SF), The Ace Hotel Theater (LA), Handmade Worlds Puppet Festival (Minneapolis), The Screenwriters’ Colony in Nantucket, The Detroit Institute of Art, The Future of Storytelling Conference (NYC), the NYC Fringe Festival, The Poetry Foundation (Chicago), the Chicago International Music and Movies Festival, the Puppeteers of America: Puppet Festival (R)evolution, and elsewhere around the world.

Manual Cinema was ensemble-in-residence at the University of Chicago in the Theater and Performance Studies program in the fall of 2012, where they taught as adjunct faculty. In 2013 Manual Cinema held residencies and taught workshops at the School of the Art Institute (Chicago), The Future of Storytelling Conference (NYC), RCAH at Michigan State University, and Puppeteers of America: Puppet Festival (R)evolution (Swarthmore, PA), Southern Illinois University, and the Chicago Parks District. In Spring 2016 Manual Cinema held workshops at Yale University as visiting lecturers in the theater department.

In Fall 2016, they contributed visuals, music, and sound design for an immersive adaptation of Peter Pan with producer Randy Weiner (Sleep No More, The Donkey Show, Queen of the Night) which premiered in Beijing in December 2016. In February 2017, Manual Cinema premiered The Magic City, a new show for children and their families, adapted from a novel by Edith Nesbit, and the inaugural production at the new Chicago Children’s Theatre, The Station. That was followed in September, 2017 by No Blue Memories, about the life and work of poet Gwendolyn Brooks, commissioned by the Poetry Foundation and based on a screenplay by Eve Ewing and Nathaniel Marshall, presented at the Harold Washington Library, and remounted last March in partnership with the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival and the Poetry Foundation. The company also debuted in Australia, France and Germany in 2017 and returned to the Edinburgh Fringe with Lula del Ray.

Currently, Manual Cinema is touring its production ADA/AVA in Holland. Following its summer run of The End of TV, Manual Cinema will present its world premiere production of Frankenstein at Court Theatre in Hyde Park, November 1-December 2, 2018, as part of Court Theatre’s 2018-19 season.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018


Chi, IL Live Shows On Our Radar:
7/20/2018 - 7/29/2018


Buy Tickets

Stephen Sondheim’s haunting musical thriller has been hailed "the greatest musical of the past half-century” by the Wall Street Journal. Sophisticated and uncompromising, “Sweeney Todd” has a great sense of fun, mixing intense drama with howlingly funny moments of dark humor. You will find yourself laughing hysterically one moment and gasping in surprise the next.

Theatre Information in Chicago 
Here at ChiIL Mama, we were thrilled to see that St. Patrick has a page of Chi, IL theatre resources that includes some of our favs, so we've shared them below. Of course we'd add for family friendly productions and for the adults.   

-Alumnus, Michael Patrick Thornton, is the artistic director of the fantastic theatre company, The Gift Theatre.

-Our arts partner, The House Theatre of Chicago, an Equity theatre company, produce some of the best work in Chicago

-More theatre resources

Save the Dates:

Fall Play: We All Rise Above
October 26-28, 2018
Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm
Sunday at 2:00 pm

Join our incredible cast of students as they present real stories of bullying, and help devise and stage solutions with the actors and audience alike! Celebrate those who silently need us to see them by empowering an entire audience with your solutions to issues of bullying. 
All Tickets are $8.00

Sunday, July 15, 2018


Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:
Adult Night Out


All Photos by Steve Townshend
Aunt Theodosia (Megan Schemmel*-Right) uses Tilly (Ari Kraiman-Left) as a volunteer to instruct her niece how to properly defend yourself in any circumstance 

*This production uses realistic, bloodless staged violence and double-entendres of an adult nature in the telling of the story. Parental discretion is advised.*

BWBTC Member Morgan Mansa Makes her Directorial Debut with Arthur M. Jolly’s Latest Farce About Family, False Identities, Friends, Funds and, of course, Fighting  

It was my great pleasure to hear a full length staged reading of The Lady Demands Satisfaction at Babes With Blades' Fighting Words Festival last May. The script is witty and wonderful and I can't wait to catch the full production! Check back soon for my review. BWBTC has long been a favorite of ours here at ChiIL Mama and ChiIL Live Shows. If you're considering bringing the family, this production should be suitable for most tweens and up, but everyone's comfort level and maturity is different, so do your research.

Aunt Theodosia (Megan Schemmel*) shows Tilly (Ari Kraiman) how to remain poised while vanquishing a masked villain (Amanda Forman) 

Babes With Blades Theatre Company (BWBTC) starts its 21st Season with the world premiere of The Lady Demands Satisfaction, playing at City Lit Theater, 1020 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., July 21 – August 25.  Winner of the most recent Joining Sword and Pen Competition, and developed in 2017-18 through BWBTC’s Fighting Words Program, this play is written by Arthur M. Jolly, directed by Babes With Blades Theater Company Member Morgan Manasa with combat by Violence Designer and BWBTC Member Samantha Kaufman.  Preview performances are Saturday, July 21 at 8 p.m., Sunday, July 22 at 3 p.m., Thursday, July 26 at 8 p.m. and Friday, July 27 at 8 p.m. Opening Night is Saturday, July 28 at 8 p.m. 

Regular performances are Thursdays – Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Preview tickets are $10, student and senior tickets are $15 and general admission are $25. Every show has limited tickets for Industry for $10, must present proof of theatre industry affiliation. Additional information and tickets are available now at

In The Lady Demands Satisfaction, a young maiden, Trothe, learns that her entire inheritance will be forfeit to anyone that bests her in a duel. Trothe must turn to the finest blade anywhere, (luckily, her Aunt Theodosia) if she is to save her house and lands. In addition to her aunt, she is helped and hindered by two of her favorite servants - whose well-intentioned meddling could create an international incident when a famous German swordmeister arrives on the scene.  True to farcical tradition, identities and intentions are mistaken, comedy and sword fighting ensue, and all get the just end they deserve (even if it’s not the one the audience expects).

“Heading into our 21st season, we're so pleased to be bringing our third world premiere by Arthur Jolly to the stage,” said Co-Artistic Directors Kathrynne Wolf and Elyse Dawson. “This period farce, The Lady Demands Satisfaction, features 18th-century women after our own hearts: taking charge of their destiny while subverting societal ideas of what it means to be female. The show honors our roots with numerous fights in a variety of styles, including robust and silly swordplay, all perfectly in sync with our mission of placing women center stage.”

The cast of The Lady Demands Satisfaction includes Kate Booth, "Penelope;" Felipe Carrasco "Osric;” Linsey Falls, "Abernathy;" Amanda Forman, "Luitger;" Ari Kraiman, “Tilly;” Deanalis Resto, “Trothe;” Megan Schemmel*, “Theodosia;” with Kim Fukawa*, Jennifer Mohr and Bobby Hoffman as understudies.

The production team of The Lady Demands Satisfaction includes Samantha Barr, production manager; Bec Bartle, lighting designer; Lauren Brady, assistant stage manager; Carlie Casas, costume designer; Kenya Hall, dramaturg; Carrie Hardin, dialect coach; Stefanie Johnsen, prop designer; Chaz Mathieu, set designer, Kayla Menz, stage manager and Becca Venable, sound designer and technical director.

*denotes BWBTC ensemble member

Luitger (Amanda Forman-Left) gets scolded by Theodosia (Megan Schemmel*-Right) for impertinence

The Lady Demands Satisfaction Special Events:

Joining Sword and Pen Competition Begins
Friday, Aug. 3 – Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019
Babes With Blades Theater Company launches the next Joining Sword and Pen (JS&P) competition. On Friday, Aug. 3, following the performance of The Lady Demands Satisfaction, the Babes will release, via FACEBOOK LIVE, an image.  The action shown in the image is to be included in the staging of all submitted scripts in the next Joining Sword and Pen Competition. The JS&P competition is seeking submissions from playwrights who identify as female, trans, or gender-nonconforming until February 7, 2019.  

These blind submissions should be full-length plays that are then read by and voted on by the Ensemble. The winner will participate in the Fighting Words development process and eventually be staged as a full Babes With Blades production. The winning playwright will also receive $1000 as part of the Margaret Martin Award, sponsored by BWBTC’s longtime benefactor, David Woolley. Questions may be sent to and all script submissions to 

Talk Back with the Playwright
Post Show, Sunday, July 29
Join the Company after the matinee performance to hear from the playwright of The Lady Demands Satisfaction, Arthur M. Jolly. 

Open Caption Weekend
August 9 – 12
All performances the August 9 – 12 weekend of The Lady Demands Satisfaction feature open captioning by Caption Point, on a screen provided by the Chicago Cultural Accessibility Consortium (CCAC) Accessible Equipment Loan Program.  The CCAC Accessible Equipment Loan Program is made possible through major funding by the Michael and Mona Heath Fund.

Chicago Foundation for Women Weekend
August 23 – 25 
BWBTC will be accepting donations from audiences the August 23 – 25 weekend for Chicago Foundation for Women. In 1984, four leaders of Chicago’s philanthropic community launched a series of planning groups that laid the financial and programmatic groundwork for what would become Chicago Foundation for Women.  This organization looks at issues including work/economic security, freedom from violence, and access to health. For more information on CFW, please go to

Pay What You Can Performances 
Thursdays: August 9 and 16
To reserve a pay what you can seat at these two Thursdays, August 9 and 16, audience members may call 773.904.0391. Pay what you can tickets are based on availability and may not be available at the door.

Arthur Jolly writes for stage and screen. He was recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences with a Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting, and in 2017 won the Hammond House International Literary Prize for a Screenplay. As a playwright, Jolly is a three-time Joining Sword and Pen (JS&P) winner, a finalist for the Woodward/Newman Drama Award and has penned more than 60 produced plays, with productions across the US and in Canada, Europe, Asia, Africa and South America. Previously at Babes With Blades Theater Company, A Gulag Mouse, (JS&P 2010 winner) and Trash (JS&P 2012 winner), both published by Next Stage Press. Where We Disappear, a feature film based on A Gulag Mouse, is in post-production. Other published works include Childish Things, The Christmas Princess, The Four Senses of Love, How Blue is My Crocodile, The Ithaca Ladies Read Medea, Long Joan Silver, Past Curfew, Rising, and two short play collections Thin Lines and Guilty Moments. Jolly is a member of the Writing Guild of America caucus, The Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights, and The Dramatists Guild. 

Morgan Manasa, a transplant from Detroit, has been a theatre-maker in Chicago for the past 17 years. Manasa recently stepped down after serving as the managing director for Babes With Blades Theatre Company where she was most recently seen in their all-female production of Henry V (Fluellen) and Witch Slap (Goody Blunt). 

Samantha Kaufman is an advanced actor/combatant with the Society of American Fight Directors and an intermediate actor/combatant with Fight Directors Canada. She has her MFA in acting from Florida Atlantic University and went through the professional circus-training program at the Actors Gymnasium in Chicago. She currently lives in Chicago but travels the country acting, fight directing and teaching. 

Gender parity is a hot topic, with news clip after article after report documenting how women, and women’s stories, are still underrepresented. Babes With Blades Theatre Company’s response – now, for the past 20 years, and moving forward – is to develop and present scripts focused on complex, dynamic (and often combative) female characters.

In each element of their programming, they embrace two key concepts: 
Women are central to the story, driving the action rather than responding or submitting to it
Women are capable of a full emotional and physical range, up to and including violence and its consequences.

The company offers participants and patrons alike an unparalleled opportunity to experience women as heroes and villains; rescuers and rescues; right, wrong, and everywhere in between: exciting, vivid, dynamic PEOPLE. It’s as simple and as subversive as that.

BWBTC’s 2018-19 programming is partially made possible by the kind support of The Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, The Illinois Arts Council Agency, and a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events

Friday, July 6, 2018

OPENING: PINKALICIOUS The Musical at The Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:

Terry James, Executive Producer
Aaron Thielen, Lead Artistic Director
Andy Hite, Artistic Director

You’ll be tickled pink!
Additional performances recently added!

ChiIL Mama's Chi, IL Picks List:
Family Friendly Theatre Fun

Here at ChiIL Mama we love to ChiIL out at productions for the whole family. We caught Pinkalicious at the Broadway Playhouse years ago, and it's a favorite of ours, with a great message and catchy score. We've been covering Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences for nearly a decade and their professional productions are always impressive. Theatre in the round is fabulously fun, and their hour run time on kids' shows makes this doable for squirmy littles and a pleasure for parents too. Check it out.

Experience a young girl’s journey to find her true colors with the musical adaptation of the popular children’s book by Victoria Kann and Elizabeth Kann, PINKALICIOUS at The Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences, 10 Marriott Drive in Lincolnshire, from July 14 through August 12, 2018. Filled with a series of adventures and important life lessons, this fun and whimsical tale will be directed and choreographed by Amanda Tanguay (The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Velveteen Rabbit), with musical direction by Michael Mahler (Mary Poppins, My One and Only, The Music Man, composer/lyricist of October Sky, Hero).

This is the tale of Pinkalicious, a little girl who can’t stop eating pink cupcakes despite warnings from her parents. Her pink indulgence lands her at the doctor’s office with Pinkititis, an affliction that turns her pink from head to toe – a dream come true for this pink loving enthusiast. But when her hue goes too far, she must figure out a way to get out of this pink predicament.

“Different than most productions of PINKALICIOUS, we have drawn inspiration from children’s instruments to enhance the amazing score and script,” says Director Amanda Zimmerman. “With various character journeys taking place and the use of instruments on-stage, this production provides the perfect theatrical experience for the whole family to engage, interact, and learn together.”

Starring in PINKALICIOUS will be a cast of Chicagoland all-stars, including Landree Fleming as Pinkalicious, Lillian Castillo as Mrs. Pinkerton, Wade Elkins as Peter, Adam LaSalle as Mr. Pinkerton, and Allison Sill as Allison and Dr. Wink.

This production will feature set and properties design by Rachel Rauscher, costume design by Jesus Perez, lighting design by Nick Belley and Aaron Lorenz, and sound design by Robert E. Gilmartin.

PINKALICIOUS runs on most Wednesdays through Sundays at 10 a.m. with certain performances at 12:30 p.m. Visit or call 847.634.0200 for exact schedule, as show times and dates may vary. Single ticket prices are $18.23 per person. Groups of 20 or more receive a discount by calling 847.634.5909. Free parking is available at all shows. To reserve tickets, call the Marriott Theatre Box Office at 847.634.0200 or visit