Category Archives: Theater in Chicago

IT’S MY PENIS AND I’LL CRY IF I WANT TO

IT’S MY PENIS

             AND I’LL CRY IF I WANT TO
Written and performed by Jamie Black

COMING  JANUARY  2018!
The Buena, Pride Arts Center, 4147 N. Broadway

 

As a trans male, Jamie Black has had experience living as both a male and a female, making him uniquely qualified to explore the issue of gender norms. His one-man show, IT’S MY PENIS AND I’LL CRY IF I WANT TO has been performed in festivals around North America, including the New Orleans Fringe Festival, Atlanta Fringe Festival, Sideshow Fringe Festival in Nashville, TN, St. Lou Fringe Festival, and in summer 2017, the Toronto Fringe Festival. Locally, IT’S MY PENIS…. Has been performed at the Filet of Solo Festival, the Rhinoceros Festival and the Abbie Hoffman Died for Our Sins Festival. His first solo show, Living Inside Myself, was produced by Bailiwick Repertory and played to audiences across the country.

In this 45-minute show, to be performed in The Buena, Pride Arts Center, from January 5 through February 11, 2018; Black plays both the male and female members of three different couples: two college students after a date, a husband and wife in serious trouble, and an elderly man facing death and, after that, his widow. It explores a moment in each couple’s life and how each one perceives that moment based upon their acceptance or rejection of gender norms.

Are gender norms necessary in a society where the lines between male and female are increasingly blurred? Some would say “Absolutely!”

IT’S MY PENIS AND I’LL CRY IF I WANT TO takes a sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant, but always thought-provoking look at gender roles. From birth we are indoctrinated with ideas about what it means to be a man or woman and before you know it, we’ve bought into it.

Reviewing the show at the Toronto Fringe Festival, Lisa McKeown of MY ENTERTAINMENT WORLD said, “Black’s natural charm and talent shine through and he so easily connects with the audience that I found myself in tears by the end of the show.” Ilana Lucas of MOONEY ON THEATRE said, “it’s a sweet, earnest show about gender roles, far more Lesley Gore than Lady Gaga in tone… Black’s is a good voice to hear, with a strong message to listen to.”

Jamie Black has been an actor in Chicago for over 19 years. He has performed with many theatre companies including Factory Theatre, Noble Fool Theatre and National Theatre for Children. His first solo show was produced by Bailiwick Repertory and played to audiences across the country. Jamie premiered his current solo show IT’S MY PENIS AND I’LL CRY IF I WANT TO at MPAACT’s Solo Jams Spring series. He won National Artist of the Year at the 2016 St. Lou Fringe Festival. He made his International debut at the 2017 Toronto Fringe Festival and received an Independent Artist Grant from the city of City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. Jamie is a founding member of Soul Fools, an African American sketch comedy group. His television credits include The Chelsea Handler Show, Conspiracy: Martin Luther King, Jr. and Boss.

IT’S MY PENIS AND I’LL CRY IF I WANT TO will be performed

Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 5 pm in The Buena, Pride Arts Center at 4147 N. Broadway. Tickets are priced at $25 ($15 preview Friday, January 5) and will be available soon at www.pridefilmsandplays.com or 1 800 737 0984.

Are gender norms necessary in a society where the lines between male and female are increasingly blurred? Some would say “Absolutely!” IT’S MY PENIS AND I’LL CRY IF I WANT TO takes a sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant, but always thought-provoking look at gender roles. From birth we are indoctrinated with ideas about what it means to be a man or woman and before you know it, we’ve bought into it. This show explores a moment in three couples’ lives and how each one perceives that moment based upon their acceptance or rejection of gender norms.

 

 

ABOUT PRIDE FILMS AND PLAYS

Pride Films and Plays changes lives through the generation of diverse new work (or work that is new to Chicago) with LGBTQ+ characters or themes that is essential viewing for all audiences. We accomplish this mission through fully-staged productions, writing contests and staged readings, film screenings, and special events. We foster long term relationships with artists to create programming that is as diverse, unique, and complex as the community we represent. In 2015, Huffington Post called PFP “A powerful and empowering entity.” The company acquired its two performance spaces at 4139 and 4147 N. Broadway in July 2016, renaming the spaces the Pride Arts Center.

Pride Films and Plays is supported by The MacArthur Fund for Arts & Culture at The Richard Driehaus Foundation, The Illinois Arts Council, City of Chicago’s City Arts Fund, the Elliott Fredland Charitable Trust, Proud to Run, the AmazonSmile Foundation, Arts and Business Foundation, Tap Root Foundation and Alphawood Foundation.

PFP is a member of the Smart Growth Program of the Chicago Community Trust. Pride Films and Plays is a member of the LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Illinois and The League of Chicago Theatres.

ABOUT PRIDE ARTS CENTER

Pride Arts Center (PAC), operated by Pride Films and Plays, opened in 2016 and consists of two performance spaces: The Buena at 4147 N. Broadway which has 50 seats and The Broadway at 4139 N. Broadway which has 85 seats. PAC has become an important part of the arts environment in the Buena Park neighborhood and beyond by hosting events including After Orlando, Bechdel Fest, SheFest and the 525,600 Minutes Cabaret. Additional tenants in 2017 include Walkabout Theater, New American Folk Theater, Cor Productions, Underscore Music Theater, 20% Productions, About Face Youth Theater, Another Door Productions, and of course Pride Films and Plays.

For more information about space at Pride Arts Center, visit www.prideartscenter.com, or www.pridefilmsandplays.com.

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Broadway Cares Holiday CD

BROADWAY CARES/EQUITY FIGHTS AIDS RELEASES EFFERVESCENT NEW 2017 HOLIDAY ALBUM
The 19th volume in the “Broadway’s Carols for a Cure” collection is full of spirited holiday favorites sung by stars from Broadway’s leading musicals including 
Dear Evan Hansen, Come From Away, Hamilton, Waitress 
and A Bronx Tale. 

The Christmas season is in full show tune swing now that the 19th volume of Broadway’s Carols for a Cure has arrived.  The latest compilation from the beloved series continues Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ tradition of pairing the casts from award-winning Broadway musicals with seasonal songs that are both classic and new.  Once again, the result is pure magic and is sure to help make the 2017 holiday season shine brighter than ever before.

“These are all new, original recordings, creatively arranged and performed by the incredibly talented performers and musicians from the 2017 Broadway season,” explains producer Lynn Pinto who, once again, collaborates with engineer Andros Rodriguez on the album. Pinto allows each company a great deal of freedom in choosing the material and the style of the arrangement. She adds, “We record the musicians and singers in layers, utilizing isolation booths for a higher quality recording. It gives the album a unique sound from most cast albums and allows us to showcase some of the best voices and instrumentalists in the world.”

The first Broadway’s Carols for a Cure album debuted in 1999, making this year’s album the 19th in the annual series.  Fans of Broadway will be overjoyed  to hear recordings from Tony Award winning casts of Dear Evan HansenHamiltonCome From Away and many more:


ALADDIN O Come All Ye Faithful 
ANASTASIA All Those Christmas Cliches 
AVENUE Q The 12 Days of Christmas
BEAUTIFUL Love at Christmas Time
A BRONX TALE I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day
CATS Joy to the World
CHARLIE & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY Do You Hear What I Hear?
CHICAGO This Is The Night 
COME FROM AWAY It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
DEAR EVAN HANSEN Down In Yon Forest
GROUNDHOG DAY Oh Little Town of Punx, PA
HAMILTON Chester
JERSEY BOYS (National)Let’s Have an Old Fashioned Jersey Christmas
KINKY BOOTS Hark! The Herald Angel Sing
THE LION KING Everyone’s a Kid at Christmas
PHANTOM OF THE OPERA Old Fashioned Christmas
SCHOOL OF ROCK Yule of Rock
WAITRESS I Wonder What You Got For Me
WAR PAINT I Can’t Wait For Christmas

WICKED God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

Highlights are copious but include Billy Porter and the cast of Kinky Boots singing an all-new, rockin’ version of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” and the cast of A Bronx Tale performing “I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day” in a New Yawker-style that will have listeners humming for days.Additionally, Meghan Toohey (Sara Barielles’ long-time guitarist) serves up a lovely 1960s-style original song, “Wonder What You Got For Me,” featuring the talented Anastacia McCleskey and the rest of the company and band from Waitress; and Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, the composer/lyricist team behind Anastasia perform their original carol, “All Those Christmas Cliches,” along with their award-winning cast.

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is a nonprofit organization that helps individuals with serious illnesses including AIDS receive the health care and support they need.  In addition, they provide financial support in the form of grants to AIDS and family service organizations throughout the country.

“The 19th volume of Broadway’s Carols for a Cure is the best yet,” promises Lynn Pinto.  “It exudes such warmth, like a cozy blanket on a snowy Winter’s day.”

 The 2-CD set is  in the web store at BroadwayCares.org or by calling Broadway Cares at 212-840-0770.

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Happy Holigays

Fourth edition of Pride Films and Plays’ late night collaborative sketch show to run Saturdays December 2, 9 and 16 in The Buena, 4147 N. Broadway
 

 

26 PRESENTS: HAPPY HOLIGAYS is the fourth edition of Pride Films and Plays’ popular late night performance series inspired by the horror movie anthology THE ABCS OF DEATH. Our nine actors will present 26 scenes each inspired by a word that begins with a letter of the alphabet. Playwrights from across the Chicagoland area have created the 26 unique scenes. Performances will be Saturday nights at 10:30 pmDecember 2, 9 and 16 at The Buena, Pride Arts Center, located at 4147 N Broadway Ave.

26” features sketches written by the Chicago theater, sketch and improv community including: Carson Birdsong, Ross Christian, Amanda Foreman, Brian Gore, Wen Powers, Kallie Rolison, Tim Skau, as well as the performing cast. It is directed by Amanda Forman .

The cast includes Alli Braun, Addison Clearwood, Kayla Cole, Warren Dailey,Sarah Hazel, Dan Jackson, Winter Jones, Anna Marck, and Patrick Stengle.

“26” runs Saturday at 10:30 pm, December 2 through 16 in the Buena, Pride Arts Center, located at 4147 N Broadway Ave., Chicago IL.

Tickets are $10.00. Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.prideartschicago.com; or by phone at 1-800-737-0984.

Top Row L-R: Alli Braun, Addison Clearwood, Kayla Cole, Warren Dailey, Sarah Hazel
Bottom Row L-R: Dan Jackson, Winter Jones, Anna Marck, Patrick Stengle

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Cirque Du Soleil CRYSTAL – on Ice

Cirque du Soleil Fuses Excitement, Breathtaking Artistry and

Unique Creativity with Ice in     Crystal – A Breakthrough Ice Experience

 

Opening in Chicago on Thursday, November 16, 2017- 4 Days ONLY!

 

Chicago (October 4, 2017) – Cirque du Soleil is thrilled to venture into uncharted territory with its brand-new creation, Crystal by Cirque du Soleil, exploring the artistic attributes of ice for the very first time. Specifically created for arenas, the state-of-the-art production will create a fresh innovative experience, pushing the boundaries once again by combining outstanding skating and sliding, remarkable aesthetics and acrobatic feats that defy the imagination. Crystal will perform at the Sears Centre Arena, 5333 Prairie Stone Parkway, Hoffman Estates, IL in six performances only, November 16-19, 2017. Tickets for Crystal start at $30.00.

 

Crystal, the show’s main character, sets out on an exhilarating quest to fulfill her destiny as she dives into a world of her own imagination. She soars through this surreal world at high speed to become what she was always destined to be: confident, freed, empowered.

 

Crystal is about looking at things from fresh angles, peeking through the veneer of everyday life, reframing one’s daily reality to see what one might have missed. Sometimes the only way to appreciate things is to look at them sideways. Discovering one’s individuality and uniqueness requires venturing out on thin ice.

 

Show Schedule: November 16 – 19, 2017

  • Thursday, November 16 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, November 17 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, November 18 at 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, November 19 at 1 p.m.and 5 p.m.

 

Crystal is Cirque du Soleil’s 42nd original production since 1984. The company has brought wonder and delight to more than 180 million spectators in more than 450 cities on six continents. Cirque du Soleil has over 4,000 employees, including 1,300 performing artists from 50 different countries.

 

Forsythe Technology is the Official Sponsor of Crystal in the United States

 

Tickets                      cirquedusoleil.com/crystal.

 

Social Media          Facebook:           facebook.com/CrystalbyCirqueduSoleil

                                    Twitter:                @Cirque, #CRYSTAL

Instagram:          @cirquedusoleil, #CRYSTAL

 

Video                        https://youtu.be/HXHyPLXEYB4

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Bewitched Parody Bewildered!

Hell in a Handbag Productions Presents

BEWILDERED

Book by Ron Weaver
Music and Lyrics by Aaron Benham & Ron Weaver
Directed & Choreographed by Brigitte Ditmars
 Playing through  November 11, 2017 at Stage 773

A parody and reimagining of the beloved ‘60s/‘70s television sitcom Bewitched, this spellbinding throwback is told from the point of view of Gladys Kravitz, the poor, misunderstood neighbor who keeps seeing crazy things at the home of Samantha Stephens, a beautiful witch, and her ‘ordinary family.’ Gladys’ husband Abner has had enough and is about to take drastic measures. Can Gladys prove her visions are real without destroying the Stephens family – or is she doomed to a life of pills and institutions? Gladys finally gets her due in this fun and magical musical parody.

This show is a  MUST  SEE!  Brilliantly written by Ron Weaver! Amazing cast!

BEWILDERED features ensemble members David Cerda as Endora, Caitlin Jackson as Gladys Kravitz, Ed Jones as Uncle Arthur, Michael S. Miller as Mr. Tumer and AJ Wright as Darrin G. The production also features Steve Kimbrough as Larry Tate, Matt Miles as Abner, Elizabeth Morgan as Samantha, Scott Sawa as Darrin S. and Robert Williams as Tabitha/Louise. Rounding out the cast are Kira Gaudynski, Jennifer Ledesma, Travis Monroe Neese and Sarah Taylor as Magic Stage Hands.

Curtain Times: Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 3 pm. Please note: there will not be a performance on Sunday, October 15 due to Handbag’s Annual Benefit.
Special Halloween Show: Tuesday, October 31 at 7:30 pm
Tickets:  $34 in advance ($39 at door). Tickets are currently available at www.handbagproductions.org and stage773.com, by calling 773-327-5252, or in person at the Stage 773 box office.

PHOTO –  David Cerda as Endora with (front, l to r) Sarah TaylorKira Gaudynski and Scott Sawa in Hell in a Handbag Productions’ world premiere musical BEWILDERED. Photo by Rick Aguilar Studios.

 

About Hell in a Handbag Productions

Hell in a Handbag is dedicated to the preservation, exploration, and celebration of works ingrained in the realm of popular culture via theatrical productions through parody, music and homage. Handbag is a 501(c)(3) Not for Profit.

 

For additional information, visit www.handbagproductions.org.

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Cher Musical in Chicago 2018

NY TIMES reports

It’s official – the  new musical using Cher’s songs to tell her story — with three actresses playing different aspects of her life — is heading for Broadway 2018.

“The Cher Show” will play first in Chicago, beginning performances June 12 at the Oriental Theater and running for five weeks. It will then transfer to the Neil Simon Theater on Broadway, opening next fall, the producers, Flody Suarez and Jeffrey Seller, said Thursday.

“We have been discussing this musical for 10 years,” Cher, a pop star and Academy Award-winning actress, said in a statement. “It’s exciting and scary.”

The musical has an unusual approach — it will be structured like a variety show, nodding to “The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour,” which helped propel her to celebrity in the 1970s. The show currently features all or part of 35 to 40 of Cher’s best known songs.

“The Cher Show” is one of many jukebox biomusicals now in development, including “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical,” also featuring three actresses playing the title role, which is scheduled to run this fall at La Jolla Playhouse in California; “Ain’t Too Proud — The Life and Times of the Temptations,” now playing at Berkeley Repertory Theater in California; and “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical,” which is scheduled to open in London next spring.

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Tony N’ Tina’s Wedding Extended!

It’s  BACK  and  extended  indefinitely! TONY n TINA’S  WEDDING!

Now in its second run in Chicago, the current production opened in the fall of 2016 to rave reviews. Every weekend, neighbors of the Resurrection Lutheran Church on Seminary Avenue watch the same couple getting married on Fridays, Saturdays, and sometimes Sundays – and walk in the company of revelers to the nearby Vinnie Black’s Coliseum for a reception!  Everyone that has seen it  raves  about the good  time.

Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding is a one-of-a-kind night of entertainment – an immersive comedy show staged as an evening of nuptials for two Italian-American families.

It invites the audience to actively participate in all festivities: everyone is a welcome guest at the ceremony and reception, there’s real food, real dance, and real mingling with the cast of loveable characters.

 

And because there is so much action,  so much  improve,  you have a different  experience each time you see the show!

 

 

F A Q – 

What is the menu, and can we buy drinks?

In Chicago, we serve Italian buffet dinner consisting of pasta, sausage, tossed salad, bread and wedding cake. Gluten-free and vegetarian meals are available upon request: we recommend you inform us in advance so we are prepared. All other productions are usually similar though not necessarily the same. For further information on menus outside of Chicago (unless the information is found on the specific city page,)  you can email us at info@tonylovestina.com and we’ll be happy to help you. A full bar is available. Bar packages are also available upon request.

Pricing

All prices include the 2-part event, including the ceremony and reception, Italian Buffet dinner, including rigatoni, sausage, tossed salad, wedding cake, dancing and a cash bar.

YES – it’s  gay  and  gay  friendly!  Joey  the cousin  is  gay(at least in the show)  and  I did the $1  dance  with the groom  TONY! He actually LIFTED ME UP in the air!  #swoon!

WHAT ARE WAITING FOR?  Get a bunch of friends  and check it out!  For Chicago shows, please call 312-391-0414 or buy tickets online at www.tonylovestina.com. Just click the “buy tickets” button, choose “Chicago”, and select the desired showtime by scrolling down.

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Cirque style Show Flip FabriQue Oct 7

“Flip FabriQue projects an irrepressible spirit of fun and, yes, it’s catching.”
–The New York Times (Photo by Benoit Lemay)

In the mood to party with friends? Then join Flip FabriQue for their stunning, gravity-defying show Catch Me! Leave your troubles behind and settle in for an astonishing, lively show that will leave you smiling from ear to ear. Spectacular acrobatics, a one-of-a-kind trampowall and humor are all part of the spellbinding fun.

The company was created in 2011 by graduated students of Quebec City Circus School. They performed extensively with esteemed companies around the world such as Cirque du Soleil and Cirque Éloize.

The company adopts a creative and collaborative approach developed entirely by its artists and director. This approach spotlights each performer’s qualities and strengths to create pure magic on stage.

The identity of the troupe comes from the true emotions behind each artist’s eyes. They are all true friends that journey in the same direction. Their show is about their friendship and the feelings they have for each other. The public can still feel their raw emotions even when they perform very high acrobatics and hard circus skills during their performances.

Flip FabriQue wants to promote joy, playfulness and friendship.

Tickets: $30 General Public
$25 Seniors, Staff
$15 Students

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Cirque Du Soleil Luzia Inspired Mural in Chicago

Cirque du Soleil recently announced a partnership with Columbia College Chicago and the Wabash Arts Corridor (WAC) that will add a new public mural downtown in honor of the city’s Year of Public Art. Local artist Gloria “Gloe” Talamantes is creating the mural, commissioned by Cirque du Soleil and inspired by its highly acclaimed production LUZIA, currently playing a limited engagement in Chicago through Sept. 3.

 

The Cirque du Soleil-commissioned mural is an addition to WAC’s 40+ murals in the South Loop neighborhood. It will also kick off this year’s public art exhibition Street Level, which will unveil eight new murals that will be presented at street level and highlight a diverse range of artists at the local, national, and international level.

 

The mural was unveiled this week, on the western façade of Columbia’s 33 E. Congress Parkway.

 

“We are happy to give this artistic gift to Chicago for its Year of Public Art,” said Claudine Rivard, Company Manager of Cirque du Soleil’s LUZIA. “This is a way for Cirque du Soleil to thank the city and its residents for all of their support, not just for LUZIA, but for embracing our artists and crews for over 17 productions across 28 years.”

 

Having started as a troupe of street performance artists 33 years ago, Cirque du Soleil is always looking for ways to give back to the local communities it visits, either through its social action programs or through art. The LUZIA mural project in partnership with WAC and Talamantes will permanently add the signature joy and color of Cirque du Soleil to Chicago’s greatest concentration of street art.

“Chicago is one of the top destinations in the world for public art,” said DCASE Commissioner Mark Kelly. “It is fitting that acclaimed international arts organization Cirque du Soleil has commissioned one of Chicago’s own artists for the Year of Public Art. This new mural brings additional vibrancy to the growing Wabash Arts Corridor.”

 

“Chicago’s dedication to public art is deeply rooted in the city’s history,” said Neysa Page-Lieberman, WAC’s Chief Curator and the Executive Director of Columbia’s Department of Exhibitions and Performance Spaces. “Columbia and WAC continue the tradition each year in producing, supporting, and engaging Chicagoans and visitors with vital arts and programming. The scope of Chicago’s public art will flourish from the recognition and support by the world-renowned Cirque du Soleil.”

 

About the mural

Artist Gloria “Gloe” Talamantes’ style of work suits the project perfectly, and in creating the mural, she combines inspiration from LUZIA with her Mexican heritage.

“I created wispy butterfly wings that carry flowers adorned with motifs inspired by my roots and culture,” said Talamantes. “The design inspiration comes from my family heirlooms, carpetas tejidas, the delicate and intricate original crocheted designs of my grandmother and great grandmother. After watching some of LUZIA, I reflected on the massive red papel picado that was used in one of the scenes; it immediately made me think of the many designs that make up my grandma’s doilies.”

The dripping effect at the bottom of the mural is a direct reflection of the water scenes in LUZIA, the first Cirque du Soleil show to incorporate water into artistic and acrobatic scenes.

“I wanted to create a subtle resemblance to the water while keeping it connected to my graffiti roots,” said Talamantes. “Drips are common and often the most enjoyable parts of ink tags and natural spray paint abstracts when doing stylized letters. It is important for me to stay true to my Mexican and Graffiti culture, for the two have been an integral part of my life and visual art.”

 

About LUZIA by Cirque du Soleil

LUZIA takes you to an imaginary Mexico, like in a waking dream, where light (“luz” in Spanish) quenches the spirit and rain (“lluvia”) soothes the soul. In a series of grand visual surprises and breathtaking acrobatic performances, LUZIA invites audiences to escape on a surrealistic journey through a sumptuous and vibrant world suspended somewhere between dreams and reality. Smoothly passing from an old movie set to the ocean to a smoky dance hall or an arid desert, LUZIA cleverly brings to the stage multiple places, faces and sounds of Mexico taken from both tradition and modernity. Rich in awe-inspiring moments, LUZIA enchants by incorporating rain into acrobatic and artistic scenes – a first for a Cirque du Soleil touring production.

 

LUZIA is Cirque du Soleil’s 38th original production since 1984, and its 17th show presented under the Big Top. The company has brought wonder and delight to more than 160 million spectators in more than 400 cities on six continents. Cirque du Soleil has close to 4,000 employees, including 1,300 performing artists from close to 50 different countries.

FINAL DAYS!!

LUZIA is now playing in Chicago through Sept. 3, 2017, under the Big Top in the United Center parking lot. For show and ticket information, visit www.cirquedusoleil.com/luzia.

 

Follow #LUZIA and #cirquedusoleil on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

 

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Margaret Cho Sept 23rd Ticket Giveaway

SHE’S  COMING  BACK  TO CHICAGO!

An accomplished performer in all formats, Margaret Cho could be called the  “Queen of all Media” having conquered the worlds of film, television, books, music and theatre. She has five Grammy Award nominations (two for music albums, Cho Dependent and American Myth) and one Emmy nod for her groundbreaking work on 30 Rock.

Never one to shy away from a difficult or ‘taboo’ topic, her socially aware brand of stand-up comedy has made her both a thought leader as well as a teacher to those with open minds and open hearts. In 2017, Rolling Stone magazine named one of the 50 Best Stand-Up Comics calling her “the sort of funny, sex-positive feminist and LGBT activist younger comics continue to look up to.”

Equally as important as her creative side is the causes she is passionate about. Margaret is widely recognized for her charitable work with gay rights and anti-bullying campaigns. In every segment of her life, Margaret is honest, forthright, passionate, uproarious and always entertaining.

She’ll be in Chicago  with  FRESH OFF THE BOAT,  September 23rd. (GET TICKETS  HERE)

 

Y’all, it’s been a while but I am back and better than ever with the news that you need: I’M HEADING OUT ON TOUR AGAIN! You didn’t think I was gonna let Trump have all the fun to himself now did you?

I took time off to work on material near and dear to me, which is why I know you will enjoy
“FRESH OFF THE BLOAT”.  I’m cruising through the U.S. and then on to Europe.

This is my sickest show to date. My grandmother said, “You look like bloated as if you’ve been found dead in a lake after several days of searching.” (Koreans are the most savage of all the Asians.)

This time, I’m talking about being fresh off drugs, drinking and on the brink of suicide and I’ve come back to life. I’ve finally been fished out of the river Styx.

It’s meta. It’s magical. It’s me.

I’m dragging my ass to a city near you with a fresh, snarky and sexy outlook and I cannot wait for you to be right there with me. And don’t freak out if you don’t see your city, this is only the first leg of the tour.

It’s a celebration, bitches.

xoxo
Margaret

PS. THANK YOU Albert Sanchez for the beautiful photo and Tour Design for the gorgeous design!

CONTEST   FOR  FREE  TICKET  GIVEAWAY!

Leave a comment, any comment below with your email – your email is hidden from the public and we are not adding you to any lists. Just click READ MORE and you can leave a comment!

We will randomly draw 1 winning name,  for a pair of 2 tickets to see Margaret in Chicago.

Will will close the contest  and draw  one name out FRIDAY   SEPTEMBER 1st at NOON.

We will email the winner  that day.

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Luzia Show to benefit Night Ministry

Cirque du Soleil is coming to Chicago!
The Night Ministry has been chosen to benefit from a performance of Luzia on Wednesday, August 2, 2017, 8 pm at The United Center, 1901 W. Madison Street, Chicago. We are offering premium seating.
Hurry, less than 30 of our tickets remain! 
Tickets are $150 and may be purchased here.
Cirque du Soleil® donates tickets to organizations providing assistance to youth at risk with 100% of the profits from ticket sales supporting their work with young people. Hope to see you August 2nd under The Grand Chapiteau!
For more information, contact Charlotte Whitley, Special Events Coordinator at (773) 506-6009 or charlotte@thenightministry.org.
4711 N. Ravenswood Ave.
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 784-9000
www.thenightministry.org
Stay connected with The Night Ministry!
Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter  View our profile on LinkedIn  View our videos on YouTube  View on Instagram
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Venezuela Benefit July 5th Uptown Underground

   Verbena for Venezuela’s Freedom

Wednesday July 5th @ 8pm        General Admission $20

Verbena for Venezuela’s Freedom is a  benefit for UCV First Aids in Venezuela (Organization that provides medicine and treatment to the people affected by the violent protests against the government). Venezuela has been under the same government for over 18 years and the people are asking for a change. 100% of the ticket sales from this event will be donated to UCV First Aids in Venezuela

Venezuela is a country know for its diversity, get ready to be immersed in a bowl of different tastes, cultures and rhythms as pole dancers, queens, and a bevvy of beautiful burlesque and BOYlesque performers make you dance, scream and LIVE your LIFE!

 

The line up includes:

Kat Sass

Lady Jack

Bazuka Joe

Camille Leon

Lucky Bucky

Miss B La Rose

The Vixen

Willy LaQueue

Dizzy Lizzy

Switch

Coco Sho-Nell

Gaea Lady

Anghell from Venezuela!

PLEASE  SUPPORT  THIS  EVENT!~   TICKETS   HERE!

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Cirque du Soleil LUZIA in Chicago

Discover LUZIA, where a waking dream transports you to an imaginary Mexico.

Experience a wondrous world that inspires you to explore your senses, enveloped in light and nurtured by rain.

AWESOME MUSIC, of course!  Inspired by the cultural richness of Mexico, Cirque du Soleil’s production LUZIA features original music written by Canadian composer Simon Carpentier. The LUZIA album takes Carpentier’s original music written for a live acoustic setting and passes it through the filter of the electro-pop of Nortec Collective’s Bostich + Fussible, infused with brassy Mexican and Latin American sounds.

WATCH NOW

In Chicago this summer July 21st – September 3rd, 2017.

BUY TICKETS   NOW

Get a Gaggle of Gays  to come!  12 +  tickets.

More dates, more choice!
The popularity of LUZIA has taken Chicago by storm!

We added  two more weeks of performances to our Big Top stay at the United Center (Lot K).

 

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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.

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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!

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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

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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.

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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.

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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 .

 

 

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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.

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