Tuesday, July 16, 2019

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: WIN 4 Tickets (Up To $152 Value) To Chicago Shakespeare Theater's Wizard of Oz

ChiIL Mama’s Chi, IL Picks List:
WIN 4 Wizard of Oz Tickets (Up To $152 Value) Now Playing At Chicago Shakespeare Theater Through August 25, 2019

**Enter Below For Your Chance To WIN
4 Wizard of Oz Tickets (Up To $152 Value) 
valid for any performance through July 28th**

The Scarecrow (Marya Grandy), The Tin Man (Joseph Anthony Byrd), Dorothy (Leryn Turlington), and The Cowardly Lion (Jose Antonio Garcia) join together in an adventure down the Yellow Brick Road in Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s production of The Wizard of Oz July 6–August 25, 2019. Photo by Liz Lauren.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater presents
The Wizard of Oz
July 6-August 25, 2019

Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Navy Pier
for 75 minutes of Summer Fun

Guest Review
by kimberly robb baker

Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s production of The Wizard of Oz held surprise after surprise for me and my young crew. We watched the movie beforehand in hopes it would help my four-year-old to follow along with the play. As he wandered away from the screen looking for various forms of trouble around the house, I feared I might spend much of the play in the lobby with him.

I need not have worried. From the moment the house lights went down on an intimate Kansas scene to the raucous ending, he was enraptured, as was my eleven-year-old son who was there only as a result of some tough negotiations. My nine-year-old daughter, a fan of the movie and eager attendee of the play, thoroughly enjoyed herself. More on that in a minute.

Directed by Brian Hill, the cast played beautifully with the story and were supported by gorgeously minimalist set and lighting as well as heart-stirring music. Leryn Turlington was perfect as Dorothy Gale and displayed a sweet, rich singing voice that compares favorably to the iconic Judy Garland’s—no easy feat. I loved that Marya Grandy was cast as the scarecrow. Having two women in the traveling foursome balances things out nicely, and Grandy delivered a perfectly floppy, loyal, not-so-secretly brilliant portrayal. Joseph Anthony Byrd and Jose Antonio Garcia touched all the right notes, literally and figuratively, as the Tin Man and Cowardly Lion.

The Scarecrow (Marya Grandy, at right) delights Dorothy (Leryn Turlington)—holding Toto (Derby)—in "If I Only Had A Brain" 
 Photo by Liz Lauren.

The Tin Man (Joseph Anthony Byrd) shares his dreams of love with Dorothy (Leryn Turlington) and The Scarecrow (Marya Grandy) in "If I Only Had A Heart" 
Photo by Liz Lauren.

Jared D.M. Grant caught our attention as a caring Uncle Henry and also as a truly delightful addition to many of the Oz scenes—from toe-in-the-sand Munchkin Coroner to Emerald City Guard with a heart of gold, and even an awesome jitterbug dancer. The entire ensemble, that had an air of a Greek chorus about them at times even though they spoke little, was on-point—as was their direction and choreography. Theresa Ham’s costumes added a great deal to the magic, and it was lovely that they brought in elements of early 20th Century.

The Guard (Jared D.M. Grant) and citizens of the Emerald City dance gleefully in "The Merry Old Land of Oz" 
Photo by Liz Lauren.

Back to my daughter: she walked away from the performance pondering new aspects of the story she’d never thought of before. For example, aside from the classic approach of the people of Kansas appearing as different characters in Oz (and there is one lovely addition in that parallel for this production), there are physical elements which make their way over the rainbow. The program curates these parallels and elements in a lovely way and is well worth reviewing with your youngsters before the show or after. Woven in with this discussion, my daughter started thinking about all of the foreshadowing and came up with really cool insights. “In the first song, troubles melt like lemon drops. The witch is a trouble and she ends up melting.”

The Wicked Witch of the West (Hollis Resnick) frightens the Munchkins 
Photo by Liz Lauren.

A major reason I expose my children to art is to ignite their own creative expression and outlook on life. This is never predictable, and there is often not an easily seen correlation. But the way this production takes things you expect to see and flips them in major and subtle ways (let’s have the ladies sing the low notes and the gents sing the high notes!), I can’t help but think that this is one of those experiences that provides especially rich soil for the becoming of a  young human, and even that of a middle-aged human like me.

Kimberly Robb Baker is a Chicago based writer, blogger, consultant, story teller, and mother. You can find her worky stuff here: ThisLittleBrand.com and her artsy fartsy stuff here:  DisruptiveMama.com.

Wednesdays at 11 a.m. & Thursdays-Sundays at 11 a.m. & 2 p.m.
Tickets start at $24

This summer, Chicago Shakespeare Theater presents the 75-minute musical stage adaptation of the timeless 1939 MGM film The Wizard of Oz, directed by Brian Hill and choreographed by Kenny Ingram. Based on the landmark novel by L. Frank Baum and featuring music and lyrics by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg, The Wizard of Oz promises to be the perfect outing for audiences of all ages at Chicago Shakespeare's home on Navy Pier all summer long, July 6-August 25, 2019 with performances on Wednesdays at 11:00 a.m. and Thursdays-Sundays at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

Dorothy (Leryn Turlington) and her trusty pup Toto (Derby) take an unforgettable journey to the magical land of Oz in Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s production of The Wizard of Oz, directed by Brian Hill and choreographed by Kenny Ingram, at the Theater’s home on Navy Pier all summer long, July 6–August 25, 2019. Photo by Liz Lauren.

Dorothy and her trusty pup Toto are whisked away from Kansas on an unforgettable journey to the magical land of Oz, where she makes new friends--including Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion--and encounters a fiendishly wicked witch. Audiences will be dazzled by the spectacular setting and charmed by its timeless score featuring such cherished classics as "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and "Follow the Yellow Brick Road"--ultimately discovering that there's truly no place like home.

The Wizard of Oz is directed by Brian Hill, who has served as associate director for Broadway's The Little Mermaid and the National Tours of Sunset Boulevard and The Sound of Music. An accomplished book writer, Hill has notably written numerous new musicals with composter/lyricist Neil Bartram, who is adapting orchestrations for the Chicago Shakespeare production. Bartram and Hill's joint credits include The Theory of Relativity, The Story of My Life (debuting on Broadway in 2009, and garnering four Drama Desk Award nominations), and The Adventures of Pinocchio, which premiered at Chicago Shakespeare in 2011. Joining Hill is choreographer Kenny Ingram, a multiple Jeff Award-winner, who returns to Chicago after fifteen years in the company of Broadway's The Lion King.

Taking on the role of Dorothy Gale is Leryn Turlington, who adventures in Oz alongside Marya Grandy (Hunk/Scarecrow), Joseph Anthony Byrd (Hickory/Tin Man), Jose Antonio Garcia (Zeke/Cowardly Lion)--as well as her canine companion Derby (Toto), in his stage debut. Appearing as the Wicked Witch of the West is twelve-time Jeff Award-winner Hollis Resnik (Miss Gulch/The Wicked Witch of the West). Also featured in the company are Emily Rohm (Aunt Em/Glinda), William Dick (Professor Marvel/The Wizard of Oz), and Jared D.M. Grant (Uncle Henry/Emerald City Guard). Rounding out the ensemble are Kayla Boye, Timothy P. Foszcz, Haley Gustafson, Aalon Smith, Lauren Smith, Anthony Sullivan, Jr., and Kaleb Van Rijswijck.

The production's Music Director is Kory Danielson, whose credits include The Little Mermaid, Mamma Mia!, and West Side Story at Paramount Theatre. The award-winning creative team features Scenic Designer Scott Davis, Costume Designer Theresa Ham, Lighting Designer Lee Fiskness, Sound Designer Christopher M. LaPorte, Projections Designer Mike Tutaj, and Chicago Shakespeare's resident Wig and Makeup Designer Richard Jarvie. Rounding out the creative team are Assistant Music Director and Conductor Kevin Reeks and Assistant Director and Assistant Choreographer Aaron Umsted.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater presents a wide range of accessible and affordable 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! abridged versions of Shakespeare's classics and the FREE Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks tour to neighborhood parks throughout the city. These programs reach more than 100,000 patrons each season--making Chicago Shakespeare one of the largest providers of family programming in Chicago.

Leryn Turlington as Dorothy and Derby as Toto
Photo by Michael Brosilow

The Wizard of Oz

by L. Frank Baum
With Music & Lyrics by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg
Background Music by Herbert Stothart
Dance and Vocal Arrangements by Peter Howard
Orchestration by Larry Wilcox
Adapted by John Kane for the Royal Shakespeare Company
Based upon the Classic Motion Picture by Turner Entertainment Co. and distributed in all media by Warner Bros.
Directed by Brian Hill
Choreographed by Kenny Ingram

July 6-August 25, 2019
at Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier

Tickets: $24 for children 12 and under | $38 for adults
Special discounts available for groups of 10 or more
Box Office: 312.595.5600 | Group Sales: 312.595.5678


Wednesdays at 11:00 a.m.
Thursdays at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Fridays at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Saturdays at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Sundays at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
[No 2:00 p.m. performance on 7/6, 7/7, and 7/11.]
CST strives to make its facility and performances accessible to all patrons through its Access Shakespeare programs. Accessible performances for The Wizard of Oz include:

ASL Duo-interpretation - Saturday, August 24, 2019 at 11:00 a.m.
All dialogue and lyrics are translated into American Sign Language by two certified interpreters.
Audio-description - Sunday, August 18, 2019 with optional touch tour at 11:00 a.m.

Audio Description is a program that enables patrons who are blind or have low vision to more fully experience live performances by providing spoken narration of a play's key visual elements. Touch Tours provide patrons who are blind or have low vision the opportunity to experience, firsthand, a production's design elements.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater presents The Wizard of Oz July 6–August 25, 2019 in the Courtyard Theater. Single tickets ($24 for children age 12 and under; $38 for adults) are on sale now. Special discounts will be available for groups of 10 or more. For more information, contact Chicago Shakespeare Theater's Box Office at 312.595.5600 or visit the Theater's website at www.chicagoshakes.com.

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--a company that defies theatrical category. This Regional Tony Award-winning theater's year-round season features as many as twenty productions and 650 performances--including plays, musicals, world premieres, family programming, and presentations from around the globe. Chicago Shakespeare is the city's leading presenter of international work, and has toured its own productions across five continents. The Theater's nationally acclaimed arts in literacy programs support the work of teachers, and bring Shakespeare to life on stage for tens of thousands of students annually. Each summer, the company tours a free professional production to neighborhood parks across Chicago. In 2017 the Theater unveiled The Yard, which, together with the Jentes Family Courtyard Theater and the Thoma Theater Upstairs, positions Chicago Shakespeare as Chicago's most versatile performing arts center.

Enter HERE For Your Chance To WIN
4 Wizard of Oz Tickets (Up To $152 Value) from ChiIL Mama & Chicago Shakespeare Theatre
valid for any performance through July 28th.
**Enter through midnight Wednesday, July 17th** 
Choose from the following dates/times (pending availability)

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