Category Archives: Theater in Chicago

Paul Taylor Dance May 13

Moraine Valley to host Paul Taylor dance documentary AND performance

 

Dance enthusiasts are invited to Moraine Valley Community College for a documentary and a performance, both featuring Paul Taylor, a modern dance artist who is among the most acclaimed choreographers in American history.

 

The documentary, entitled “Paul Taylor: Creative Domain,” will be shown Tuesday, May 9, at 6 p.m., in the Dorothy Menker Theater in the Fine and Performing Arts Center, 9000 W. College Pkwy., Palos Hills. The 82-minute presentation is free and open to the public, and is made possible in part with funding from Arts Midwest. “Creative Domain” is a rare, in-depth documentation through the lens of award-winning cinematographer Tom Hurwitz of how Taylor creates a single dance. It is directed by Kate Geis and produced by Robert Aberlin.

 

The Paul Taylor Dance Company will perform Saturday, May 13, at 7:30 p.m., in the Dorothy Menker Theater. The show features dances that show cogent observations on life’s complexities and society’s thorniest issues. A virtuoso dancer himself for 20 years, Taylor turned exclusively to choreography in 1974.

 

Tickets for the May 13 performance are $30; $25 for students and senior citizens and are available online at morainevalley.edu/fpac or at the Box Office, located in Building F. For more information, call the Box Office at (708) 974-5500.

Cavalia Odysseo is HUGE!

 

Whether you like horses  or  not –  this  show  is  so much more than horses.  It’s  beautifully  choreographed  art  and  showmanship.   BIGGER  THAN  LIFE!

Imagine,  21  semi  trucks  delivered  the  show  to Chicago  over  6 weeks  ago.  a $30 million extravaganza!  The main tent stands  over 125  feet tall  and  occupies  some  58,000  square feet. From your seat,  at least to me,  the  stage  looked  2-3 times  the  size  of the space that the audience  occupies.

 

This unprecedented ‘traveling theatre’ is also composed of several exceptional features including its grandiose stage – larger than the United Center ice rink – that enables large-scale, cutting-edge creative performances. Surrounded by bleachers with 2,074 seats, the 17,500-square-foot stage requires 10,000 tons of stone, earth and sand to create so that it offers a vast space of freedom where 65 horses and 48 artists can display their intimate collaboration.

 

To help immerse the audience in the magical world of Odysseo, images of the most beautiful landscapes from around the world are projected throughout the show onto an 8,400-square-foot screen. Its technical grid, worthy of the largest permanent installations in Las Vegas, New York or London, can support 80 tons of equipment for the stage needs of the show, including a majestic life-sized merry-go-round.

Perhaps most amazing  is  when  40,000 gallons of water fills the stage!  Mind  blowing  what this show delivers! Music, Singing,  Dance, Acrobatic skills  and   65  of the most regal horses you ever see!

Get a  sneak peak NOW    and  get your  tickets  HERE!

BIGGEST Show on Earth! April

 

ODYSSEO BY CAVALIA RAISES ITS COLOSSAL

WHITE BIG TOP AT SOLDIER FIELD SOUTH LOT
THE WORLD’S LARGEST TOURING PRODUCTION

MAKES FIRST VISIT TO THE MIDWEST; OPENS IN CHICAGO APRIL 1

 

The most impressive and immense big top on the planet – part of the largest touring production ever created – has been raised today at Soldier Field South Lot in Chicago, in preparation for the much anticipated Midwest debut of Odysseo, the latest theatrical adventure by Cavalia. Following the Montreal company’s original and eponymous production Cavalia, which enjoyed a very successful run in Chicago in 2009, the new $30 million theatrical production imagined by Normand Latourelle will begin its run April 1 with matinee and evening performances through April 23. Odysseo is a veritable revolution in live entertainment that marries the equestrian arts, stage performances, and high-tech theatrical effects in never-before-seen ways.

Tickets are now on sale at www.cavalia.com or by calling 1-866-999-8111.

 

Standing 125 feet tall and covering a surface area of 58,397 square feet – the size of the adjacent Chicago Bears’ football field – Odysseo’s exceptional White Big Top is twice the size of the one that housed Cavalia. The giant tent is a mix of art, technology and advanced engineering. In order to break through the limitations of standard big top tents, allow for more flexibility in the performance area, and to give the horses the space they need to express themselves in all their beauty, Normand Latourelle, Cavalia’s artistic director and founder, partnered with specialized companies in Europe and Canada to create this high-tech structure. By removing the usual supporting masts from the stage and shifting the weight of the structure from the masts to three arches above the tent, this specially designed White Big Top is the best environment for the horses and acrobats to perform breathtaking numbers and for the creative team to design immense staging.

This unprecedented ‘traveling theatre’ is also composed of several exceptional features including its grandiose stage – larger than the United Center ice rink – that enables large-scale, cutting-edge creative performances. Surrounded by bleachers with 2,074 seats, the 17,500-square-foot stage requires 10,000 tons of stone, earth and sand to create so that it offers a vast space of freedom where 65 horses and 48 artists can display their intimate collaboration.

 

To help immerse the audience in the magical world of Odysseo, images of the most beautiful landscapes from around the world are projected throughout the show onto an 8,400-square-foot screen. Its technical grid, worthy of the largest permanent installations in Las Vegas, New York or London, can support 80 tons of equipment for the stage needs of the show, including a majestic life-sized merry-go-round.

 

Never afraid of using unparalleled technical, visual, and sound infrastructure, the Odysseo creative team has invented a feast for the eyes, a multi-dimensional spectacle with staggering effects created by state-of-the-art scenery. During the breathtaking finale, a vertiginous virtual waterfall overhangs a lake made possible by an underground drain system that releases 40,000 gallons of recycled water onto the stage, in which horses, riders, and artists join to frolic, leaving behind them the traces of their splashes—and an astonished audience.

The White Big Top you see right now at Soldier Filed, is just one part of a larger community; the Odysseo village will take shape over the next few weeks and consists of five tents: the White Big Top, the stable tent, the Rendez-Vous VIP tent, the warm-up & artistic tent, and the kitchen tent serving the 200 employees. In total, 110 semi-trailer trucks will be required to transport the world’s largest touring production to Chicago. THIS WILL BE HUGE!

 

TICKETS – Adult tickets are priced from $34.50 to $144.50 (no service charge). Special pricing and packages also available for groups, children (2-12), juniors (13-17) and seniors (65+). For an extra special outing, the Rendez-Vous VIP package offers the best seats in the house, full meal buffet dining before the show, open bar, desserts during intermission and an exclusive visit to the stables after the show. This unique VIP experience takes place in a tent alongside the White Big Top. The Rendez-Vous VIP package prices range from $144.50 to $269.50 (no service charge).

 

ABOUT CAVALIA INC. Cavalia Inc. is an entertainment company that specializes in the creation, production and touring of innovative shows. Founded by Normand Latourelle, the company reimagines the equestrian and theatrical arts. With its headquarters in Montreal, Cavalia Inc. is an integral part of Canada’s cultural heritage, and the largest Canadian-owned cultural enterprise. Its expertise in high technology, multimedia and special effects creates magical, unique, never-before-seen experiences. Its first show, Cavalia, has been seen by more than 4 million people across North America, Europe, Australia, the Middle East and Asia since its 2003 debut. Odysseo, the company’s second show, has toured to rave reviews and public acclaim since its 2011 premiere. Follow Cavalia’s latest developments at www.twitter.com/cavalia or www.facebook.com/cavalia. #OdysseoCHI

Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company Hyde Park

The Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company  (Hyde Park) will perform Iolanthe; or, The Peer and the Peri – regarded by many as Gilbert and Sullivan’s finest and most perfect collaboration. Three performances will take place at the University of Chicago’s Mandel Hall on March 10, 11 and 12.

Iolanthe drops England’s House of Peers into the middle of a Hans Christian Andersen-inspired forest enchanted by fairies and ruled by a no-nonsense Fairy Queen. Strephon is the son of the beloved eponymous fairy Iolanthe, the progeny of her marriage to a mortal, and as such is a HALF-FAIRY. The Fairy Queen sends him into Parliament as a Fairy Member when the Lord Chancellor and his House of Peers spurn his affections for his love Phyllis.

Gilbert & Sullivan’s satire is just as fresh today, with the clueless and bumbling Peers going up against a formidable fairy circle who’s special magic cannot be denied. And Strephon suddenly finds himself in charge of BOTH houses of Parliment! How much more resonant can we get?

Iolanthe has the strongest blend of dialogue and music of any other collaboration between this formidable duo,” says director Shane Valenzi, returning for a third year with the Company.

Highlighted by the most difficult patter song in the canon, and calling for a top-notch featured male ensemble, Iolanthe has long been revered in the United Kingdom as on par with The Mikado as one of the best and most popular works of operetta ever produced by the Savoy. And as the chorus has an exceptionally prominent role, Valenzi explains that now is the perfect time to mount this show. We’ve built a tradition of a supremely talented, active chorus over the last few years, and Iolanthe is the perfect vehicle for them to shine. I could not be more excited to see how the brilliant, professional-level performers that make up our chorus make this show their own.

Frequent performer Aaron Hunt will take a turn as associate director this year, collaborating with Valenzi. Also returning for a third year is conductor Matthew Sheppard, Director of the University of Chicago Chamber Orchestra. The talented cast includes some of the Company’s favorites from past productions as well as
several outstanding newcomers. Nancy Levner will produce, aided by associate producers Trip Driscoll and Roger Huff.

Performances take place at Mandel Hall, 1131 East 57th Street, from March 10 through 12.

Friday and Saturday performances begin at 7:30 p.m., with a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $25 general, $5 for students, $15 for groups and can be ordered online , or by calling the Logan Center for the Arts box office at 773.702.ARTS.

Tickets can also be purchased in-person at the Logan Center box office Tuesday through Saturday from noon through 6 p.m.

2017 marks the 33rd consecutive year the Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company has partnered with the University of Chicago Department of Music for their annual production. The proceeds will benefit the Department of Music’s performance program, whose seventeen ensembles and programs present more than a hundred concerts each year.

ABOUT THE GILBERT & SULLIVAN OPERA COMPANY
The Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company, Inc. is a non-profit, community arts organization dedicated to performing the works of Gilbert & Sullivan to the highest artistic standards. It has been a mainstay of Chicago’s Hyde Park cultural scene since it was founded in 1964 by three local G&S fans: Nancy Lorie, Robert Ashenhurst, and Roland Bailey. GSOC is supported by member donations, ticket sales, and local grants.

Laramie Project in Glen Ellyn

Village Theatre Guild will be presenting Moises Kaufman and the Members of Tectonic Theater Project’s “The Laramie Project” March 24 through April 15, 2017 at Village Theatre in Glen Ellyn, IL.  “The Laramie Project” is a thought provoking theatre piece that chronicles a community’s reaction to the events following the savage death of Matthew Shepard, an openly gay college student.  It is their true story of hope, courage, and self-refection.

Structurally different than most plays, “The Laramie Project” offers thirteen people playing sixty plus characters and is presented with “moments” rather than scenes.  It is a character and actor driven play.

Presented weekends March 24 through April 15 at Village Theatre, located on the northwest corner of Park Boulevard and Butterfield Rd. in Glen Ellyn, tickets may be purchased by calling 630-469-8230.

From Chicago to Mexico…

OFFICIAL FILM TRAILER RELEASED for “EN ALGUN LUGAR”

The official video trailer has been released by Iconoclast for the motion picture “En Algun Lugar” (A Place to Be), which stars Nelson Rodriguez (Pride Films and Plays, Easy Abby) as Abel, and Andrew Saenz (Chicago PD, Sirens) as Diego, and written and directed by award winning filmmaker Tadeo Garcia (On the Downlow, Under Covers).

 

“En Algun Lugar” follows the relationship between Abel & Diego, from Chicago to Mexico.

When tragedy strikes and Diego’s undocumented immigration status is revealed, their love and sacrifice is put to the test through uncertain times that will affect their relationship. Set against the foundation of a broken U.S. immigration system, “En Algun Lugar” sheds light on the mantra of love overcomes all and love knows no borders.

Alongside Nelson Rodriguez and Andrew Saenz the cast includes Jessie Prez as Braulio, Ian Tranberg as Stephen, Sandra Marquez as Lilly, Charin Alvarez as Rita and Erica Cruz Hernandez as Carolina. Other cast include J.J. Romero, Caitlin Jackson, Blaine Thomas Childers, Enrique Guzman, Juan Martinez, Artemio Gonzalez, Carolyn Hoerdemann, Mickey O’Sullivan, Nick Mikula, Zach Livingston, Will Clinger, Diego Sanchez, Michael J. Sanow, Ayssette Munoz, Chris Acevedo, Matt Nikkila, Carmen Cenko, Daniel Hansen, Cole Reed, Frank Menolascino, Davon Suttles, Jon Jackson, Alex Knoll, Mike Hynek, Richard Cotovsky, Rudy Galvan, Diego Colon, Lane Flores, Cole McMillan and Caitlin Boho.

 

Tadeo Garcia’s provocative and intimate tale of love and fear of the unknown comes to life in a never before seen cinematic perspective produced by Aric S. Jackson (www.aricjackson.com) and Michael J. Sanow (Under Covers, Blood Brothers). Featuring the people, culture, dynamic geography and architecture of both Jalpa, Zacatecas; MEX and Chicago, Illinois; USA, the wonder of Tadeo Garcia’s story has captivated those involved both in front and behind the camera. The producers stress this would not be possible without the talents of cinematographer Charlie Garcia, production designer Pablo Ponce, casting director Stephanie Diaz, costume designer Freddy Rocha, makeup artists Lilien Harvey and Ruby Ortiz, and music from Los Pecados and The Pinto Bean.

The producers of the film also announce the release of “behind-the-scenes” photos and video clips via the film’s official website at www.enalgunlugarmovie.com and its social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) showing the cast and crew during the production of “En Algun Lugar.”

En Algun Lugar aims for a mid-2017 release.

The new trailer can be viewed at www.enalgunlugarmovie.com/trailer .

 

 

Charles Busch in Chicago Jan 29 & 30

Gay Chicago!

        Off Broadway!

GOING……GOING……Tickets  Almost  Gone!!

Pride Arts Center presents Charles Busch; That Girl, That Boy in The Broadway in the Pride Arts Center for two nights only on January 29 and 30, 2017.

This is the first time this theatrical legend will play his solo show in Chicago. And this is the first of what will be quarterly Pride Arts Center Presents events featuring prominent performers from the world of theater, music, film and more in the newly opened Pride Arts Center.

“My theatrical career began in Chicago. It was the place where I found myself as a writer/ performer, the first audiences that encouraged me and made me feel as though I wasn’t delusional in believing that there might be a place for me in the theatre.”    says  Charles.

“I’m so grateful to David Zak and Pride Films and Plays for this opportunity to perform once again in the theatre community that gave a vulnerable young person a boost up over the wall.”

 

Charles Busch, two-time MAC Award winner, Tony nominee, and drag legend, brings an eclectic program of songs both contemporary and from the past. New York Times critic Stephen Holden wrote, “He has the gift of comic gab like few other entertainers. Innately funny, endearing and acutely intelligent, he also has claws. For an audience, the possibility of being scratched, although remote, lends his humor a bracing edge.” Accompanied by his dashing longtime musical director, Tom Judson, Charles combines hilarious personal reminiscence, character sketches and superb storytelling through song into one glittering and glamorous evening in cabaret.

Photo Above  by Frederick Aranda.
Performances are on Sunday, January 29 and Monday, January 30 at 7:30 pm both nights in The Broadway, part of the Pride Arts Center at 4139 N Broadway. Busch will fittingly perform on the set of PRISCILLA: QUEEN OF THE DESERT which will be PFP’s first production in their new home.

Tickets for this benefit performance are $75 for reserved seats, and $40 for general admission. They can be reserved at http://bit.ly/charlesbuschatPAC or by calling 1 800 737 0984.

Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

Gay Chicago!

    Off Broadway!

 

 

 

Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

opened in Chicago this week at  the new space of Pride Films and Plays, 4139 North Broadway @ Buena.

 

(L-R: Averis I. Anderson, Matthew Huston, Maiko Terazawa, Parker Guidry, John Cardone, Honey West, Luke Meierdiercks, Jordan Phelps, Aaron C. Reynolds, Roy Samra, Erin Renee Baumrucker , Britt-Marie Sivertsen. All photos by Paul Goyette)

This Musical is  such a fun, heartwarming, uplifting  show – and it is executed so well by this excellent ensemble!  It’s   truly   a  MUST SEE SHOW.  It is so wonderful to be able to see such a great production in an intimate theatre  space!

 

It follows the adventure of three friends, Tick, Bernadette and Adam, a glamorous Sydney-based performing trio who agree to take their show to the middle of the Australian outback. They hop aboard a battered old bus (nicknamed Priscilla) searching for love and friendship and end up finding more than they ever could have ever dreamed of.

With a dazzling array of John Nasca costumes and a hit parade of dance floor favorites including “It’s Raining Men,” “I Will Survive,” Hot Stuff,” “Go West,” “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” and “I Love the Nightlife,” this wildly funny and touching musical is a journey to the heart of FABULOUS!

Based on the smash-hit movie of the same name, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert enjoyed a 16-month run on Broadway.

Honey West, Jordan Phelps, and Luke Meierdiercks lead a cast of 16 all-stars, and Music Director Robert Ollis will lead a band of 5! David Zak and Derek Van Barham co-direct, with choreography by Jon Martinez.

(Miss Understanding & the boys Top: Aaron C. Reynolds, Middle Row: John Cardone, Roy Samra, Bottom Row: Parker Guidry, Averis I. Anderson, Matthew Huston. All photos by Paul Goyette)

TICKETS-Regular performances are on Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 7:30
and Sunday at 3:30 to February 12. There are Wednesday performances on February 1 and 8.

10% of  seats are $10 access tickets for actors, students artists, seniors and others who cannot afford the general admission price. Once the show has opened, reserved center seat tickets are $40 and site seat general admission tickets are $30.

Priscilla Queen of the Desert in January

Pride Films and Plays’ Chicago premiere of the Tony Award-winning musical, Priscilla: Queen of the Desert will open in January as the company’s inaugural production in their two-stage Pride Arts Center. The musical will be performed in The Broadway, the center’s 85-seat theatre at 4139 N. Broadway. Executive Director David Zak will co-direct the production with Artistic Associate Derek Van Barham. Artistic Associate Robert Ollis will be Music Director, Jon Martinez will choreograph and Jeff Award-winner John Nasca is designing the costumes. The trio of performers – two drag queens and a transgender woman – who traverse the Australian Outback in a beaten-up bus nicknamed “Priscilla” will be played by Honey West, Jordan Phelps and Luke Meierdiercks, with Jill Sesso, Tuesdai Perry and Rebecca Coleman as the three Divas and John Cardone as Bob.

 

Performances will begin with previews January 12-14, 2017. The run will continue through February 12, 2017. Tickets are now on sale at www.pridefilmsandplays.com.

Well Strung Christmas Concert Dec. 10th

strung

LOVE THESE GUYS!!!!

Tickets: $30 General Public/$25 Students, Seniors, Staff

STILL A FEW  TICKETS  LEFT!!!
BUY TICKETS

Starring Edmund Bagnell, Christopher Marchant, Daniel Shevlin and Trevor Wadleigh
Produced by Mark Cortale & Directed by Richard Jay-Alexander

The all-male string quartet Well-Strung has been receiving rave reviews all over the world, from the House of Blues in New Orleans to the Leicester Square Theatre in London. A Well-Strung Christmas includes the most beautiful and traditional melodies, such as Silent Night to irreverent “newly observed” versions of things like I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus and the famous Sleighride, to George Michael’s This Christmas… and everything in between. There will be opportunities for the audience to participate and walk away from the evening’s holiday celebration with some special moments they will remember and keep close to their hearts. You might even see a little snow!

“Each member of Well-Strung sings and plays with effervescing warmth, making the holidays that much brighter.”
– Broadway World

a-well-strung-christmas1200x500_4

Charles Busch in Chicago!

charles-busch-chicago

Pride Arts Center presents Charles Busch; That Girl, That Boy in The Broadway in the Pride Arts Center for two nights only on January 29 and 30, 2017.

This is the first time this theatrical legend will play his solo show in Chicago. And this is the first of what will be quarterly Pride Arts Center Presents events featuring prominent performers from the world of theater, music, film and more in the newly opened Pride Arts Center.

 

Charles Busch, two-time MAC Award winner, Tony nominee, and drag legend, brings an eclectic program of songs both contemporary and from the past. New York Times critic Stephen Holden wrote, “He has the gift of comic gab like few other entertainers. Innately funny, endearing and acutely intelligent, he also has claws. For an audience, the possibility of being scratched, although remote, lends his humor a bracing edge.” Accompanied by his dashing longtime musical director, Tom Judson, Charles combines hilarious personal reminiscence, character sketches and superb storytelling through song into one glittering and glamorous evening in cabaret.

(Photo by Frederick Aranda)
Performances are on Sunday, January 29 and Monday, January 30 at 7:30 pm both nights in The Broadway, part of the Pride Arts Center at 4139 N Broadway. Busch will fittingly perform on the set of PRISCILLA: QUEEN OF THE DESERT which will be PFP’s first production in their new home.

Charles Busch; That Girl, That Boy
Performed by Charles Busch
The Broadway, Pride Arts Center
4139 N. Broadway, Chicago
Sunday, January 29 and Monday, January 30, 2017
7:30 pm
Tickets: $75 reserved seats, $40 general admission
Visit http://bit.ly/charlesbuschatPAC  or call 1-800-737-0984 to order

CHARLES BUSCH is the author and star of such plays as The Divine Sister, Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, The Tribute Artist and The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife, which ran for nearly two years on Broadway and received a Tony nomination for Best Play. He wrote and starred in the film versions of his plays, Psycho Beach Party and Die Mommie Die, the latter of which won him the Best Performance Award at the Sundance Film Festival. In 2003, Mr. Busch received a special Drama Desk Award for career achievement as both performer and playwright. He is also the subject of the acclaimed documentary film ‘The Lady in Question is Charles Busch.’ He is a two-time MAC award winner and has performed his cabaret act in many cities including San Francisco, Provincetown, Palm Springs, New Orleans, Atlanta, Philadelphia, London, Paris and in New York at 54 Below. In winter of 2016, his show ‘The Lady at the Mic’ premiered at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series.  For more information visit www.Charlesbusch.com.

FINDING NEVERLAND Brunch Nov 20

finding-neverland-chicago-broadway

Finding Neverland Brunch at

Kit Kat Lounge and Supper Club

Enjoy Live Diva Performances, Theater Ticket Giveaway and More

Sunday, November 20       11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Sprinkle the pixie dust, it’s time for another fun, themed brunch at Kit Kat Lounge and Supper Club! On Sunday, November 20, the Lakeview-located restaurant will host a Finding Neverland midday soiree in celebration of the newest Broadway in Chicago hit musical. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Diva Madam X will perform live as Kit Kat’s mixologists shake up $7 Stoli vodka martinis (offered 11 a.m.-2 a.m.).

Guests may enjoy Chef JoAnn Witherell’s brunch menu, featuring chicken and waffles, Rice Krispie french toast, crab cake Benedict, chilaquiles and more. With the purchase of any brunch entree, a cocktail package (bloody marys; mimosas; sangria; bellinis) can be added for $14.95 per person. The complete brunch menu may be viewed here.

 

Raffles will be held throughout the day, with five lucky participants winning a pair of tickets to see Finding Neverland at the Cadillac Palace Theatre. For table reservations, contact Kit Kat at 773-525-1111.


Kit Kat Lounge & Supper Club

3700 N. Halsted Street

773.525.1111

kitkatchicago.com

Well Strung Chicagoland Christmas Concert Dec 10

strung

LOVE THESE  GUYS!!!!

Tickets: $30 General Public/$25 Students, Seniors, Staff
BUY TICKETS

Starring Edmund Bagnell, Christopher Marchant, Daniel Shevlin and Trevor Wadleigh
Produced by Mark Cortale  &   Directed by Richard Jay-Alexander

The all-male string quartet Well-Strung has been receiving rave reviews all over the world, from the House of Blues in New Orleans to the Leicester Square Theatre in London. A Well-Strung Christmas includes the most beautiful and traditional melodies, such as Silent Night to irreverent “newly observed” versions of things like I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus and the famous Sleighride, to George Michael’s This Christmas… and everything in between. There will be opportunities for the audience to participate and walk away from the evening’s holiday celebration with some special moments they will remember and keep close to their hearts. You might even see a little snow!

“Each member of Well-Strung sings and plays with effervescing warmth, making the holidays that much brighter.”
– Broadway World

a-well-strung-christmas1200x500_4

Disenchanted Musical – November

Road in magic dark forest

“Disenchanted!” adds a performance!
Due to overwhelming popularity, the original performance of “Disenchanted: The Hilarious Hit Musical” has sold out. But don’t despair! We have added an additional performance at 3 p.m. on Saturday, November 19. Tickets for the additional show go on sale on October 11 at 10 a.m.
 
If you have tickets for the original 7:30 p.m. performance and wish to swap those for matinee tickets, please call the Box Office at 708-974-5500 and they will be happy to help you. Tickets go on sale to the general public on October 11, so please call prior to that date to ensure the best seats if you wish to exchange for the matinee.
Disenchanted! The Hilarious Hit Musical

Poisoned apples. Glass slippers. Who needs ’em?! Not Snow White and her posse of disenchanted princesses in the hilarious hit musical that’s anything but Grimm. Forget the princesses you think you know – the original storybook heroines have come back to life to set the record straight. These royal renegades tossed off their tiaras to bring their hilariously subversive, not-for-thekiddies musical to you – and what you thought about princesses will never be the same!

“Think ‘Bridesmaids’ for Disney Princesses! This sidesplitting adult parody. will make you blush and feel nostalgia all at once.”
– Broadway Box

Saturday, November 19

3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Tickets: $30 General Public / $25 Seniors, Students, Staff

PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS NOW!

TONY & TINA’S WEDDING RETURNS

tony-and-tinas-wedding

IT’S BACK! Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding returns to Chicago!   Even Funnier than the first time!

 

Presented by the original New York producers, in conjunction with Chicago Theater Works, one of Chicago’s longest running, smash hit shows, Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding, returned to the Windy City last week and  will run through December 30 only!

Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding played an incredible 16 years in Chicago, and, during that time, entertained more than one million audience members of all ages. Presenting a hilarious, full wedding experience from the I do’s to the buffet to the bouquet toss, Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding will take place, for the first time in Chicago, at a real church – another nod to the fully immersive nature of the original Off-Broadway smash hit.

Guests will begin with the ceremony at Resurrection Church, 3309 North Seminary Ave., and afterwards, walk over with the cast for a  meal and reception immediately following just one block away at Vinnie Black’s Coliseum (Chicago Theater Works), 1113 W. Belmont Ave., right in the heart of the Belmont Theatre District.

gay-cousin-tony-and-tinas-wedding

Considered one of the hottest tickets in town and an excellent theatre/dinner ticket value, Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding is an all-inclusive night of entertainment presented with the 1980’s throwback feel of the original NYC production.

You laugh, you eat, you drink (cash bar) and  you dance! While it’s certainly not required, guests are encouraged to attend in their finest 1980’s regalia as they speak now or forever hold their peace, toast to the happy couple at dinner and cut a rug to 80’s style hits.

Directed by Paul Stroili, a cast member in the original Chicago production, Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding is a hilariously interactive production that is guaranteed to make guests feel like they are truly friends and family of the bride and groom.

From the wedding ceremony to the high-energy reception, complete with an Italian-style meal, champagne toast and wedding cake, guests will have the opportunity to celebrate alongside this larger-than-life couple and the large cast of 23 of Tony n’ Tina’s closest family and friends.

 

“We are so thrilled to be back in Chicago.  Our unique show is a two part event in two different venues that pulls out all of the wedding stops,” said original New York Producer Joe Corcoran. “Familiar and new audiences are going to absolutely love the nostalgia in the awesome full experience that is our show, interacting with more than 20 fun and very familiar characters throughout the entire wedding celebration.”

 

tony-and-tinas-wedding-chicago

 

Hailed as “Audaciously imaginative!” by The New York Times, proclaimed “It’s a Hit!” by People Magazine, and said to be “Just like a real wedding … only funnier!” by the Chicago Tribune, Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding has won over the hearts of fans in more than 150 cities worldwide. Now, a new generation of theatre goers and fun lovers get to experience this national treasure.

Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding stars Mitchell Conti as “Anthony Angelo Nunzio Jr (Tony),” Hannah Aaron Brown as “Valentina Lynne Vitale (Tina),” Rob Johnson as “Barry Wheeler,” Luciana Bonifazi as “Connie Macogni,” Rory Jason Zacher as “Dominick Fabrizzi,” Robin M. Bousel as “Donna Marsala,” Nik Kmiecik as “Johnny Nunzio,” Jessica Rzucidlo as “Marina Gulino,” Ryan Milord as “Joey Vitale,” Alisha Fabbi as “Sister Albert Maria aka Terry Vitale,” Tommy Taylor as “Tony Nunzio, Sr.,” Jessica Scott as “Madeline Monroe,” Billy Minshall as “Father Mark,” Matt Bausone as “Michael Just,” Eustace Allen as “Sal Antonucci,” Brian Noonan as “Vinnie Black,” Dominic Rescigno as “Rick Demarco,” Micah Spayer as “Donny Dulce,” Mary McHale as “Josephina Vitale,” Susan Gaspar as “Aunt Rose,” Marssie Mencotti as “Grandma Nunzio,” Jan Godshaw as “Loretta Black,” Ben Schlotfet as “Mikey Black,” and Serena Pomerantz as “Nikki Black.”

Tickets for Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding are $75 for the two-part event, which includes the ceremony and reception, featuring an Italian-style buffet dinner, dancing to 80’s hits and a champagne toast. Tickets for premium seating closest to the stage and dance floor are $85. Show times vary on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Discounts are available for groups of 16 or more by visiting GroupTix.net or by calling 773.327.3778. Seating is limited so make your plans now.   For more information or to purchase tickets visit http://tonylovestina.com/.

tony-and-tinas-wedding-returns-chicago

Todrick Hall August 7th

toderick hall chicago oz gay six flags

Todrick Hall is a self-proclaimed queer, American singer, actor, dancer, director, choreographer, and wildly famous YouTuber!

He auditioned for the ninth season of American Idol, where he made it to the semi-finals. Since then, Hall has been performing on Broadway and YouTube.

As of January 31, 2016, Hall has exceeded 2 million subscribers on his YouTube channel. Videos on his channel have been played over 270 MILLION TIMES!

Videos of note include a flash mob thrown for Ariana Grande, a reinvention of the Wizard of Oz starring Pentatonix which was directed by and also stars Hall, and a Beyoncé themed flash mob performed in the middle of an actual Target store, which has garnered over 14 million views as of January 31, 2016, and which Beyoncé personally, publicly congratulated Hall on.

toderick-hall-straight-outta--oz

Todrick’s current North American Tour titled “Straight Outta Oz” is in full swing!

” Straight Outta Oz,” follows the triple threat performer as he embarks on his most ambitious tour yet: a full-length musical with original score by Hall, inspired by The Wizard of Oz.

The tour kicked off last week in Vancouver, and will continue through August. He’ll make a stop in Chicago at Thalia Hall, Sunday August 7th, 2016. GET TICKETS HERE – BEFORE THEY ARE GONE.

 

todrick-hall-gay six flags chicago

Awesomeness Films announced the start of production on their behind the scenes film following Todrick Hall’s upcoming tour and will be filming in Chicago at Thalia Hall!

Directed by Katherine Wright (Call Me Kuchu), the film will go behind-the-scenes as Todrick mounts the musical, which tells the story of his life growing up in small-town Texas, his struggle to come to Hollywood and eventually succeed.

 

Check out the video style album STRAIGHT OUTTA OZ here!

Get it on iTunes Here.

 

Then Todrick returns to Chicago Spetember 10th, for the 5th Annual OUT IN THE PARK event at Six Flags Great America! There will be a meet and greet with fans before the gates open at 7:30. Then Todrick will kick off the evening at 8pm with a couple live numbers! www.CelebrateDiversityChicago.com

TORUK 1 more show Added

toruk-chicago

Todrick Hall in Chicago August 7 and September 10

toderick hall chicago oz gay six flags

Todrick Hall  is a self-proclaimed queer, American singer, actor, dancer, director, choreographer, and wildly famous YouTuber!

He auditioned for the ninth season of American Idol, where he made it to the semi-finals. Since then, Hall has been performing on Broadway and YouTube.

As of January 31, 2016, Hall has exceeded 2 million subscribers on his YouTube channel. Videos on his channel have been played over 270 MILLION TIMES!

Videos of note include a flash mob thrown for Ariana Grande, a reinvention of the Wizard of Oz starring Pentatonix which was directed by and also stars Hall, and a Beyoncé themed flash mob performed in the middle of an actual Target store, which has garnered over 14 million views as of January 31, 2016, and which Beyoncé personally, publicly congratulated Hall on.

toderick-hall-straight-outta--oz

Todrick’s current  North American Tour titled “Straight Outta Oz” is in full swing!

” Straight Outta Oz,” follows the triple threat performer as he embarks on his most ambitious tour yet: a full-length musical with original score by Hall, inspired by The Wizard of Oz.

The tour kicked off last week in Vancouver, and will continue through August. He’ll make a stop in Chicago at Thalia Hall,  Sunday  August  7th, 2016.    GET  TICKETS  HERE – BEFORE THEY ARE GONE.

 

todrick-hall-gay six flags chicago

Awesomeness Films announced the start of production on their behind the scenes film following Todrick Hall’s upcoming tour  and will be filming in Chicago at Thalia Hall!

Directed by Katherine Wright (Call Me Kuchu), the film will go behind-the-scenes as Todrick mounts the musical, which tells the story of his life growing up in small-town Texas, his struggle to come to Hollywood and eventually succeed.

 

Check out the video style album STRAIGHT OUTTA  OZ  here!

Get it on iTunes  Here.

 

Then Todrick returns to Chicago Spetember 10th, for the 5th Annual OUT IN THE PARK  event  at  Six Flags Great America! There will be a meet and greet with fans  before the gates  open  at  7:30.  Then Todrick will kick off the evening at  8pm with a couple  live numbers!   www.CelebrateDiversityChicago.com

 

 

A Walking Play – NATURE

nature a walking play

Here is something really unique and different, in Chicagoland for a limited time!

TigerLion Arts presents Nature, the mythic telling of Emerson and Thoreau’s mutual love affair with the natural world. Grounded in the story of their friendship, this virtuosic production offers a perspective on their lives that is strikingly relevant, richly complex, and yet utterly simple. Nature is performed outdoors as a “walking play.” A professional ensemble of actors takes the audience on a journey through the natural environment as scenes unfold around them. Bagpipes, ancient flutes, drums and rich choral arrangements are intricately woven into the experience.

Nature is an extraordinary, family-friendly journey that co-mingles story, spirit, and nature, as a means to reconnect its audience with the natural world. This original work is collaboratively created with writer/actor Tyson Forbes, a direct descendant of Ralph Waldo Emerson.

 

nature play chicago morton grove

In today’s world, we are so estranged from our natural environment, and at TigerLion Arts, we feel that humankind must reconnect with nature in order to survive.

As oil spills into our oceans, as we race through our lives, as we look further and further outside ourselves for the answers, it is our hope that Nature can be a catalyst for our collective healing.

 

nature a walking play chicago

The 2016 tour of NATURE is currently making it’s stop at the 1,700 acre Morton Arboretum in Lisle – about 45 minutes west of Chicago.

Here through July 31st!

Thursdays through Sundays at 6:00 p.m.
Saturdays and Sundays at 1:30 p.m.

Thornhill Shelter at Parking Lot P21

How long is the show?
90 mins/No Intermission
Come early for a 30-minute pre-show performance that includes bagpiping and choral music to enjoy! If possible, plan your trip so you can spend some time on the grounds. Bring a picnic to enjoy before or after the show.

 

BUY TICKETS HERE!

More details about the show HERE!

Avatar Meets Cirque Du Soleil

cirque-du-soliel-toruk

 

THIS IS GOING TO BE  AMAZING!

The new Cirque du Soleil touring  arena show inspired by James Cameron’s record-breaking movie AVATARTORUK –  The First Flight, will be presented at the United Center, 1901 W. Madison St, on August 3-7, as part of a global tour in arenas. The show is presented by Visa Signature® in association with United MileagePlus®.

 

The show

Inspired by James Cameron’s AVATARTORUK – The First Flight transports you to the world of Pandora in a visually stunning live setting. Experience a storytelling odyssey through a new world of imagination, discovery, and possibility.

 

Through a riveting fusion of cutting-edge visuals, puppetry and stagecraft buoyed by a soaring cinematic score, Cirque du Soleil applies its unique signature style to James Cameron’s imaginary world and “makes the bond” between two kindred artistic visions that capture the imagination.

 

This live immersive experience also bears the distinct signature of directors and multimedia innovators Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon. It is a living ode to the Na’vi’s symbiotic coexistence with nature and their belief in the basic interconnectedness of all living things.

 

Narrated by a “Na’vi Storyteller” and populated by unforgettable characters, TORUK – The First Flight is a mythical tale set thousands of years before the events depicted in the film AVATAR, and before any humans ever set foot on Pandora.

 

When a natural catastrophe threatens to destroy the sacred Tree of Souls, Ralu and Entu, two Omaticaya boys on the brink of adulthood, fearlessly decide to take matters into their own hands. Upon learning that Toruk can help them save the Tree of Souls, they set out, together with their newfound friend Tsyal, on a quest high up in the Floating Mountains to find the mighty red and orange predator that rules the Pandoran sky. Prophecy is fulfilled when a pure soul rises among the clans to ride Toruk for the first time and save the Na’vi from a terrible fate.

tickets start at $38 !

https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/toruk

 

XANADU onstage in Chicago!

xanadu-chicago

FREE TICKETS!!!!  first  email  I get,  wins   2 tickets!  

Choice of  dates;  Friday     June 24 8pm

                                   Sunday   June  26  2pm

                                     Wednesday June 29th  8pm

                                      or  Thursday June 30th  8pm.     BestGayCities@gmail.com

 

AMERICAN THEATER COMPANY OPENS          XANADU

A TRIBUTE TO LATE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR PJ PAPARELLI

DIRECTED BY LILI-ANNE BROWN

NOW PLAYING THROUGH JULY 17, 2016

 

American Theater Company (ATC) opens musical comedy Xanadu, the final production of its Legacy Season, on Sunday, June 5. Presented as a tribute to ATC’s late Artistic Director PJ Paparelli—a not-so-secret fan of this camp classic—Xanadu is directed by Lili-Anne Brown with choreography by Brigitte Ditmars and runs at ATC now through July 17, 2016. The production has music and lyrics by Jeff Lynne and John Farrar and a book by Douglas Carter Beane, based on the 1980 Universal Pictures film of the same title.

 

Single tickets for Xanadu range from $48-$58. Student tickets are available for $15 with valid student ID in-person at the Box Office. More information and tickets are available by visiting the ATC Box Office at 1909 W. Byron Street, by calling 773-409-4125 or visiting www.atcweb.org

 

The cast for ATC’s tribute production of Xanadu includes Missy Aguilar (Calliope), Kasey Alfonso (Erato) Karla L. Beard (Melpomene), Jim DeSelm (Sonny), Landree Fleming (Kira), Aaron Holland (Danny Maguire, Zeus), Michelle Lauto (Kira U/S & Swing), Hanah Rose Nardone (Euterpe), James Nedrud (Terpsichore/Sonny cover), Daniel Spagnuolo (Thalia/Danny cover), and Cameron Turner (Swing).

 

Xanadu takes place in Venice, California in 1980. Struggling artist Sonny Malone seeks to create his own version of the American dream by renovating an abandoned warehouse into a venue for world-class entertainment – a roller disco! A hilarious and modern update of the1980’s camp classic, Xanadu celebrates the artist’s muse, even when it comes from the most unlikely of places.

 

Xanadu Performance Schedule

Regular Run: June 7–July 17: Tuesday–Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. with matinees on Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m.

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Paula Poundstone in Chicago / Skokie

paula poundstone chicago

THE NORTH SHORE CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS WELCOMES THE COMEDIC BRILLIANCE OF PAULA POUNDSTONE


The North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, IL welcomes comedian Paula Poundstone on Saturday, March 19th.

 

Thirty two years ago Paula Poundstone climbed on a Greyhound bus and traveled across the country — stopping in at open mic nights at comedy clubs as she went.  She went on to become one of our country’s foremost humorists. You can hear her through your laughter as a regular panelist on NPR’s popular rascal of a weekly news quiz show, Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me. Paula lent her distinctive voice to the character “Forgetter Paula” in the Academy Award nominated Disney Pixar film “Inside Out.”

 

Poundstone tours regularly, performing standup comedy across the country, causing Bob Zany with the Boston Globe to write: “Poundstone can regale an audience for several hours with her distinctive brand of wry, intelligent and witty comedy.”  Audience members may put it a little less elegantly: “I peed my pants.”

 

While there is no doubt that Poundstone is funny, the thing that probably separates her from the pack of comics working today and that has made her a legend among comics and audiences alike is her ability to be spontaneous with a crowd.  Poundstone says: “No two shows I do are the same. It’s not that I don’t repeat material. I do. My shows, when they’re good, and I like to think they often are, are like a cocktail party. When you first get there, you talk about how badly you got lost and how hard it was to find parking. Then you tell a story about your kids or what you just saw on the news. You meet some new people and ask them about themselves.  Then, someone says, “Tell that story you used to tell,” and then someone on the other side of the room spills a drink, and you mock them.  No one ever applauds me when I leave a party, though. I think they high five.”

 

Paula’s interchanges with the audience are never mean or done at a person’s expense. She even manages to handle politics without provoking the pall of disapproval less artful comics have received.

 

Her most recent comedy CD, I HEART JOKES: Paula Tells Them in Boston was recorded during a performance at the Wilbur Theatre in the heart of the city and was released on April fool’s Day 2013.  This was a follow up to her successful first CD I HEART JOKES:  Paula Tells Them in Maine that was released in 2009.

 

Over the span of her career, Paula has amassed a list of awards and accolades that stretch the length of a great big tall guy’s arm. She not only shot through the glass ceiling, she never even acknowledged that it was there.  Never one to stereotype herself as a ‘female comedian’ or limit herself to comedy from a ‘female’ point of view, in the early 90’s she was the first woman to win the cable ACE for Best Standup Comedy Special and the first woman to perform standup at the prestigious White House Correspondents dinner where she joined the current President as part of the evening’s entertainment.

 

In November, 2012 in Washington DC, Paula was honored, along with Nina Totenberg, NPR correspondent; David Brooks, New York Times columnist; and Bob Mankoff, New Yorker Cartoon Editor, with the 2012 Moment Magazine Creativity Award at their 35th anniversary symposium and dinner, followed by a one-hour panel on the intersection of humor and politics. Just weeks later Paula was hand-picked to interview Calvin Trillin for the Los Angeles-series-darling, Writers Bloc, a series that presents conversations between the featured author and another interesting thinker.

 

Paula has starred in comedy specials on HBO and BRAVO, won an Emmy Award, served as “official correspondent” for The Tonight Show during the 1992 Presidential race, pioneered the art of backstage commentary during an Emmy telecast, steps up to the plate for causes she believes in, and is almost always included in any compendium – be it film, television or print, noting comedic influences of the 20th/21st century, most recently, We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy (October 2012, Sarah Crichton Books). Paula also appears on “Late Night w/Craig Ferguson” about 3 times a year and she’ll do an occasional editorial for NPR’s “All Things Considered”.

 

In April 2013 NPR Laughter Therapy (Highbridge Audio) released a 2-CD collection of NPR’s best interviews and stories with “funny folks” including Paula’s Talk of the Nation interview.  If it means anything to anyone, she is recognized as one of Comedy Central’s 100 greatest stand-ups of all time.  Paula won an American Comedy Award for Best Female Standup Comic, and in 2010 she was one of a select group voted into the Comedy Hall of Fame.

 

Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me is now heard in 5 million homes across the country, including all of the major markets, internationally on NPR Worldwide and on the Internet via podcast.  In 2008 it received a Peabody Award for broadcasting excellence.  On the show Paula gets to match wits with some of the country’s leading pundits.  In May 2013 the show filmed its first Cinecast from New York’s Town Hall and Paula was one of the Panelists.  The show made its television debut on BBC America with a “2011 Year In Review.”  Paula was on that panel as well.  Poundstone quickly goes on record about how much she loves being part of the show saying: “I am a proud member of the endorphin production industry.  They allow me to say whatever I want on Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me.  The panelists are unscripted, so it’s perfect for me. I feel like I’m a batter in a batting cage. I get lobbed topics. Sometimes I just watch them go by, but every now and then I get a piece of one. If the others didn’t cheat, it would be an almost perfect work experience.”

 

Paula is also a published author and lecturer.  Her hard cover book, There is Nothing In This Book That I Meant To Say (Crown, 2006, with a forward by Mary Tyler Moore) is still in release on audio (Highbridge) and in paperback.  Other writing credits include the back page columnist of Mother Jones, The Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Weekly, and Glamour magazine.

 

Not only a writer, but an avid reader, Paula continues her role for the American Library Association (ALA) as the Nat’l spokesperson for United for Libraries, their “Friends of Libraries” national network – a citizens support group who work to raise awareness and much needed funds to support their local libraries.  Paula has appeared as the headliner at the ALA’s annual conference for their Laughs On Us panel the last four years, and to quote Sally Reed, the ALA Nat’l Director:  “…you’d have to come to one of these events to see how adored Paula is by librarians.  We love her and it’s never repetitive.”   Paula has hosted many events to great success, including the Art Directors Guild Awards an unprecedented 4 times.

 

The National Endowment for the Arts recently requested Poundstone to sit down for a chat about the art of comedy and her career.  Take a listen:  http://arts.gov/audio/paula-poundstone

 

 

GET A LAUGH with Paula’s comedy CD:

I Heart Jokes – Paula Tells Them In Boston

cdbaby:  http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/paulapoundstone1/

ITunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/i-heart-jokes-paula-tells/id632789944

 

Watch Paula on Craig Ferguson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6WnBZ5G6fc

Visit Paula at:  http://www.paulapoundstone.com

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/paulapoundstone

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/PaulaPoundstone

.

Showtimes: 8:00PM / Tickets: $45-$52 / Call: 847-673-6300

Visit:  http://www.northshorecenter.org/

The North Shore Center for the Performing Arts is located at 9501 Skokie Blvd.

Skokie, IL 60077

About Face Theatre LE SWITCH

about face theatre chicago WIT

In Philip Dawkins’ world-premiere romantic comedy, Le Switch, marriage equality finally reaches the U.S., and commitment-shy David finds himself unsure how to react to the nation’s honeymoon phase. When his best friend’s bachelor party takes him to Montreal, he is unexpectedly swept off his feet by a beautiful, young florist. In the months that follow, David and his non-traditional family (his sister, grieving activist roommate and best friend) must decide for themselves what it really means to be committed, married, and queer.

Written by Philip Dawkins
Directed by Stephen Brackett
Presented by special arrangement with Doug Nevin

 

Running Time: 2 hours 15 minutes with intermission

Chicago Queer Comedy Dec. 20th

Join About Face Theatre Artistic Associate, Scott Duff and a host of Chicago’s Best Queer comics at Chigaygo on 12/20 at 9:00pm at Laugh Factory Chicago (3175 N. Broadway). It’s a fabulously funny night of gay and gay-friendly comedy.
Exclusively for friends of About Face Theatre, enter the promo code “pride” when you order to receive $10 tickets!  www.laughfactory.com

About Face Theatre THE HOMOSEXUALS Dec. 19th

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Jess Godwin and Kristin Chenoweth

jess godwin chicago

DUET WITH KRISTIN CHENOWETH AT CHICAGO THEATRE SATURDAY  October 24th

“I can’t believe I’m actually writing this…

Last spring, through the wonders of twitter, Kristin Chenoweth let me know that she liked my music. Crazy. This past week, I jokingly tweeted at her and said “Hey! When you’re in Chicago this Saturday, I’ll play Fool Me Once on the piano while you sing!” Didn’t think anything of it. That night, she messaged me privately and asked if I would sing “For Good” with her on stage. After MUCH deliberation (I screamed and jumped up and down on my bed at 1AM) I said YES.

I have looked up to Kristin, sung her music, and adored her performances in tv shows for years. She has been so kind to me about my songwriting, and she tells me to keep pushing forward. I try my hardest not to do this for the validation…it’s a constant struggle…but it’s so nice to get little pushes and words of encouragement like this along the way. So, thanks to her, I’m ready to put myself out there again with a new video today.” (Say Love).

 

“Say Love” was supposed to be a chapter from the very beginning of the anthology, but that relationship ended. The song has taken on a new meaning and life for me since then, and I’m so glad my friends encouraged me to release it anyway.

I’m incredibly grateful to director Bradley Bischoff for having a vision and pushing me out of my comfort zone. To Yuri Lysoivanov and students for tracking at Flashpoint Tribeca. To Brian Allison for laying down guitar. To Paula Heckenast for hair and makeup. I’m most grateful to actor Gabe Ruiz. We had just become friends a few weeks before, but he didn’t hesitate when I asked him to do a shoot at sunrise in the middle of Lake Michigan. It was SO COLD. Gabe had my back the whole time.

JESS GODWIN  DECEMBER 4 SHOW

Don’t forget to grab your ticket for the December 4 show. Why not do it today? I’m going to performing all of the songs from the past year live for the first (maybe the last?) time!

 

FYI – I would like to give a shout out to one of our newest sponsors! We have used them and feel they are one of the best cleaning services in Chicago!

YEPP Chicago Needs Your Help!

yepp-chicago

The Youth Empowerment Performance Project (YEPP) is a unique youth theatre initiative that seeks a safe environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) youth impacted by homelessness and housing instability to explore their history, investigate new ways to address their struggles and celebrate their strengths through the process of developing a theatrical performance piece. In order to achieve its mission, they blend harm reduction, social justice, popular education, theatre of the oppressed, transformative and restorative justice work. YEPP is MOVEMENT BUILDING!

YEPP’s training program operates all year. However, within the course of six months, a cast led by director Bonsai Bermudez and supporting coordinators focus the work towards developing an original production to be shown in January 22, 23, 24, and 29, 30, 31 of 2016, at the Athenaeum Theatre.

What makes us unique? Our approach blends art, social justice and healing work in a way that encourages our ensemble members to create a performance that celebrates the strengths and advocates the needs of this often overlooked aspect of society.

We need your support. Annual funding assists our ensemble with the provision of a safe space, meals, transportation, workshops, and individual stipends.  HELP NOW!

Act now! Whether or not you are able to make a monetary contribution, we invite you to be a part of our community and keep up with YEPP news through our website at www.WeSayYEPP.com.

Alexandra Billings Nov. 2nd

alexandra billings

Pride Films and Plays’ annual fall benefit – Simply Sensational –  celebrates Chicago legend Alexandra Billings.

WGN’s Dean Richards serves again as the emcee. Billings will headline the event on Monday, November 2 that will  feature Pride Films and Plays’ Company Members, along with several guest performers. It will be a magical and moving event indeed!

A select number of VIP tickets are available for the benefit at $175, and include a pre-show reception at 6 p.m. with appetizers and open wine bar at the Marketa Sivek Gallery at 1123 West Belmont.  VIP ticket holders also enjoy reserved center-section seating for the 7:15 pm performance at Stage 773 at 1225 W. Belmont, and a post-show meet-and-greet reception and photo opportunity with Miss Billings and the cast.  General Admission tickets are $75 and include the performance and a post-show reception. Tickets can be purchased here.

Alexandra Billings is an actress, singer, author, teacher and activist. She stars as Davina in Amazon’s multi-award winning television series ‘Transparent’  and she has been seen on ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ ‘E.R.,’ and ‘Nurses’ among others. She has acted in Chicago and across the United States, in many instances being the first transgender actress to tackle rolls like Mama Rose in Gypsy.  She has worked at Bailiwick Repertory, Court Theater, and Steppenwolf, and has performed Off-Broadway. Ms. Billings’ activism stretches across the continent. She was inducted into the Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame in Chicago in 2007. Living with AIDS since the mid-eighties, she chronicles her life’s journey in her blog ‘Stilettos and Sneakers’ and is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Her life story “From Schoolboy to Showgirl” produced by Alex Silets (WTTW) was nominated for an Emmy in the Best Documentary category.

Tickets for Simply Sensational can be purchased here.

Margaret Cho Returns Oct. 3rd

Margaret Cho photographed in New York City.

Margaret Cho photographed in New York City.

SHE’S   BACK!

AND  out on the road with an amazing new show this fall!

“This show is about insanity, and about the anger I feel about everything happening in the world right now, from police brutality to racism to the rising tide of violence against women.

It makes me so crazy – hence the title: “THE PSYCHO TOUR” because there is no “I” in team but there is a “CHO” in psycho”.

I’m trying to bring some joy to the hysteria and insanity. It’s great when you can take something that’s very tragic and turn it around. That’s what I am doing! Please join me in the madness!”

The tour kicks off 10/1 and comes to
Chicago @ Chicago Theatre 10/3. GET TICKETS HERE.

RENT to Benefit AIDS Foundation of Chicago

The hit musical "Rent" returns to the Keller Auditorium, June 23-28.

Local startup nonprofit Artists Giving Back announced today that tickets for its World AIDS Day production of the musical RENT are officially on sale.

World AIDS Day RENT is the inaugural production for Artists Giving Back, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded by Chicago performers and professionals who have a passion for the arts and for giving back to the community. This one-night engagement production will take place on Worlds AIDS Day – December 1, 2015 – and all net proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Artists Giving Back’s philanthropic partner in and beneficiary of the production.

 

Additionally, Artists Giving Back is thrilled to announce that LGBT singer/songwriter superstar and Chicagoland native, Steve Grand, will be joining the cast as a special featured guest artist.  Mr. Grand, singer of the viral sensation “All-American Boy,” released his independent debut album, also titled “All-American Boy,” in March of 2015, which landed the #3 spot on the Billboard Independent Albums chart. Mr. Grand will perform “Seasons of Love” during the production, and will attend the RENT cast-and-audience after party, which will be hosted by Progress Bar (3359 N. Halsted, Chicago).

 

When addressing the choice of RENT for Artists Giving Back’s inaugural production, Artistic Director Peter Ruger had this to say: “Rent is a show that has inspired me for years.  The passion of the music and the story, and the connection I felt to the wonderful characters brought me not only to the fight against AIDS, but also helped guide me to my life as a singer.  I’m so excited that we at Artists Giving Back are getting to share this amazing show with Chicago to celebrate World AIDS Day 2015.  I hope it touches our audience as much as it’s touched me over the years.”

 

Artists Giving Back’s World AIDS Day RENT will take place at the Athenaeum Theatre in Chicago. Anyone interested in purchasing tickets can buy them from the Athenaeum Theatre’s website, www.athenaeumtheatre.org, under “buy tickets.”

 

Performance Details:

World AIDS Day RENT

7:30pm, December 1, 2015

Athenaeum Theatre      2936 N. Southport Avenue       Chicago, IL

 

About Artists Giving Back:

 

Artists Giving Back is a Chicago-based startup nonprofit founded by local performers and professionals who feel that the arts are a perfect vehicle for advancing philanthropic and charitable endeavors. Artists Giving Back’s mission statement proclaims:

 

We believe in philanthropy through self-expression and creativity. Through the production of art in all its forms—music, dance, drama, visual—we aim to support artists and our community. Artists Giving Back is an opportunity to interact with our community through the healing power of art.

 

Artists Giving Back aims to enrich the community in two primary ways: first, by providing quality artistic experiences to the public, and second, by donating all proceeds raised from its productions and artistic endeavors to local charities. While a new organization – Artists Giving Back was incorporated as a nonprofit in February 2015 – Artists Giving Back is proud to say that it is already full steam ahead on its inaugural production of RENT. More information about Artists Giving Back can be found on its website, www.artistsgivingback.org.

 

The production of Artists Giving Back World AIDS Day RENT is entirely funded by tax-deductible donations from individuals and organizations. Anyone interested in donating to Artists Giving Back can do so through the Artists Giving Back website.