Ten years ago, I attended my first Madhatter’s Ball, and it was unlike anything I had ever experienced! Lights, music, fanfare, and hats galore! Not only is this annual event an incredible spectacle, but the people I have met over the years through Lookingglass have become lifelong friends. The theatre brings extraordinary plays to the people of Chicago, and consistently engages our diverse community through talk-backs, volunteering, and educational outreach. I hope you will join me in supporting this wonderful organization of remarkably talented and caring people who create beautiful art, educate Chicago youth, and throw awesome parties!
So what’s in store for this year?
Whisper the secret password, slink through the velvet curtain, and join hundreds of your closest conspirators at the Madhatter’s Speakeasy. The Lookingglass Theatre Junior Board welcomes you to this clandestine hideaway for a sophisticated evening of debauchery on June 1st at Venue One in the West Loop. Don your fedora, cloche, bowler, trilby or boater, and kick of summer at the most unique fundraiser of the year.
Our hosts for the evening will be Lookingglass Ensemble Member Anthony Fleming III and Wendy Mateo of Big Lake Big City, and we will rock the night away to the beats and musical talent of Dante The Don, Dr. Bombay, DJ Q, Justin Jacobson, and DJ RedLine. The Madhatter’s Speakeasy will seduce you with delectable bites from your favorite restaurants, including Sunda, Rockit Bar & Grill, Hubbard Inn, and Market to name only a few. Despite the Prohibition era theme, Chopin Vodka will be flowing in addition to Primal Roots Wine, beer from New Holland Brewery, and a host of other delicious drinks.
The criminal cocktails, live entertainment, tasty treats, and salacious silent auction are just part of the fun for the evening. The true reason for our surreptitious gathering is to support Lookingglass Theatre’s education and community programs. Annually, the Madhatter’s Ball serves as the Lookingglass Junior Board’s primary fundraiser to help advance the theatre’s commitment to creating new theatrical work and increasing its work with Chicago-area students and families. Lookingglass’ acclaimed theater education programs encourage self-esteem and creativity in thousands of students every year. And, lucky you, getting to be a part of this fantastic cause! Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to join us for one of the hottest parties of the summer that is not only a ridiculously good time, but most importantly supports extraordinary work. It’s all for the kids!
The Madhatter’s Ball: Saturday, June 1, 2013 ~ Venue One, 1040 W. Randolph Ave. ~ 7:30 pm: VIP Reception ~ 8:30 pm - 12:00 am ~ 12:00 am ~ After-Party at Lumen (839 W. Fulton) ~ Cocktail attire ~ Speakeasy-style costumes are optional, but hats are recommended ~ All attendees must be 21 years of age or older ~ To learn more about the Junior Board, Madhatter’s Ball, and to purchase tickets, visit here.
I look forward to seeing you at the Madhatter’s Speakeasy!
Lookingglass Theatre Junior Board President
2013 Madhatter’s Ball Co-Chair
Tags: Anthony Fleming III, Art, chicago theatre, Chopin Vodka, dante the don, DJ Q, DJ RedLine, dr. bombay, educate Chicago youth, Hubbard Inn, Justin Jacobson, lookingglass, Lookingglass Ensemble Member, madhatter's ball, Madhatter’s Ball Chicago, Madhatter’s Speakeasy, market, New Holland Brewery, Primal Roots Wine, rockit bar & grill, sunda, The Lookingglass Theatre Junior Board, theatre, Venue One, Wendy Mateo, West Loop
Laughter is the best medicine! No, really…it’s been proven (kind of). Chicago is the best place to find laughter with our awesome improve comedy scene. And, coming up is a night of hilarious comedy at the 3rd Annual Laughing Hearts Comedy Night on Tuesday, May 21 at 6:30pm at Stage 773 (1225 W. Belmont Ave). 100% of the ticket proceeds go to the American Heart Association!
I have been raising money for the Heart Association since I was a little girl going door to door. Through participating in the Chicago Heart Walk since 2004, I’ve raised over $21,000. All of this is in memory of my wonderful Mom, Tracey, who passed away of heart disease in 2003. She was the first person in our hometown to have open heart surgery… at the age of 15! My mom was an advocate of the AHA and coordinated many events on its behalf. After doing the heart walk for a few years I thought….what else can I do to raise money? I’m a graduate of the second city conservatory, I love to laugh and make people laugh, and with those passions Laughing Hearts Comedy Night was born!
Performers include Off Off Broadzway, Rabbit Rabbit, ComedySportz and stand-ups Adam Burke, Maria Wojciechowski, Monique Madrid and Corey Rittmaster. There’s also a silent auction with awesome items like Blackhawks tickets, Cubs tickets, bottle service at Ay Chiwowa, restaurant gift certificates, acting classes, theater tickets, portrait sessions, and a ridiculous big basket of booze from Beam! Check out the site and like the LHCN Facebook page for tix & info, and make plans to attend! It’s good for the heart! See you there!
- Patricia True Agos
Tags: 3rd Annual Laughing Hearts Comedy Night, acting classes, Adam Burke, american heart association, Ay Chiwowa, Beam, Blackhawks tickets, bottle service, Chicago Heart Walk, Chicago improve, ComedySportz, Corey Rittmaster, Cubs tickets, heart disease, improve, improve comedy scene, laughing hearts comedy night, Maria Wojciechowski, Monique Madrid, Off Off Broadzway, portrait sessions, Rabbit Rabbit, second city conservatory, Stage 773, theater tickets
When I was a kid, I had the best time at camp (I’m sure you did too!) – which is why I’m co-chairing this year’s Campfire Ball at Venue One, benefiting Children’s Oncology Services, Inc. and its One Step Camp for kids with cancer.
We’ll have fun camp-themed foods like tater tots, mini grilled cheese, s’mores and some spiked bug juice to give it a grown up twist! Thanks to Hub 51, Bub City, Theory, Stout, Bridgehouse Tavern and Cork Catering, these bites will be extra tasty. Plus, music by DJ STEP, a digital photo booth, a wine raffle, silent auctions, and a full open bar will keep you busy and entertained all night long. Our thanks to Goose Island, Svedka, and TY-KU for making sure the bar is stocked till the end! Tickets are just $100 in advance and $125 at the door.
For every $1000 we raise, we send one kid to One Step Camp for a week.
What’s so special about camp is that the kids are either currently in treatment or survivors of Leukemia and other cancers, and they’re able to build a huge support system while just enjoying the joys and fun of summer camp. For a couple weeks they get to relax and forget about the rest of the world and just be kids.
All counselors and medical staff volunteer their time to create this safe and fun camping experience for the kids. And, all kids are able to attend camp regardless of what they can afford because of Campfire Ball. Last year, we raised $115,000, sending 115 kids to One Step Camp!
I learned about camp through my brother, who was diagnosed with Leukemia in high school. His nurse recommended One Step, and after he stepped foot on campus as a counselor, he couldn’t stop talking about the water fights, snipe hunts and endless candy eating! Because of him, I support One Step camp in two ways: with the kids, as a volunteer counselor (this year will be my 8th summer and I can’t wait!), and with my friends and yours, by going to Campfire Ball.
We’re hard at work putting the final touches on the big day and we hope you’ll be there! Camp is truly the most amazing place with the most incredible kids. The host committee plus my co-chairs, Chris Eilers, Jordi Izsak and Michelle Weiler hope you’ll join us to make this Campfire Ball the most fun yet!
- Rachel Drescher
Tags: benefits for children, Bridgehouse Tavern, Bub City, Campfire Ball, Campfire Ball 2013, charity, Chicago charity, Chicago summer camp, Children's Oncology Services, Cork Catering, DJ STEP, goose island, hub 51, One Step Camp, Stout, summer camp, survivors of Leukemia charity, Svedka, Theory, TY-KU, Venue One, wine raffle
Ready to do some good, Chicago? We’re Jessica and Amanda, and we’re working with Groundwork Opportunities (GO) to help put an end to world hunger. Swing by River North’s Rockit Bar & Grill on May 16 from 6:00-8:00pm to drink, mingle, and support GO’s incredible mission: investing in groundbreaking ideas, empowering local leaders, and engaging communities to create a world beyond poverty.
All the proceeds of this event will go directly to a small village in Malawi, Africa, allowing them to purchase agricultural equipment, seeds, and any other necessary materials to start a farm. The fundraising goal is $5,000, which is enough to cover everything the village needs to begin growing food and providing jobs.
The event includes two hours of unlimited beer and wine, as well as two specially crafted cocktails. Food will also be available at a 50% discount. Cubs and Sox tickets, signed Blackhawks memorabilia, one-month fitness memberships, and several other items will be available through a silent auction.
Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. To purchase tickets, click here. You can also watch our video or donate here. If Chicago can help a village in Malawi, who knows the impact that the ripple effect will have!
Tags: africa, blackhawks, charity, cubs, empowering local leaders, fight hunger, GO for Malawi, Groundwork Opportunities, hunger charity in Chicago, local charity event in Chicago, Malawi, river north, rockit bar & grill, silent auction, Sox, world hunger
Calling all Chicago brides-to-be! Chicago’s premier bridal event, Brides, Bubbles, and Bliss is back for the fourth consecutive year with a dazzling, bubbly-brimming display of the best in couture gowns, premiere Chicago caterers, and wedding day trends. Behind this chic affair are producers Cara and Scott Nava, founders of Carasco Photography, and two true gems within the wedding world. As professional photographers specializing in “day of” imagery, this highly sought-after pair saturates the bridal scene with fresh insight and extensive knowledge.
Looking to catch a glimpse of the hottest dresses walking this season’s runways? You’ve come to the right place. Amid designers like BHLDN and Jenny Yoo will be Romanian-based couture designer, Ersa Atelier—a line of American bridal envy with enough eye candy to keep even the grooms in the room at full attention. Delight in the collaborative musical styling of electric violinists from Chicago Symphony Sounds and the DJs of Okyne Media Lab, and when you’re ready to take your place as model, head over to the beauty bar where Jouer’s makeup artists will provide the lovely ladies of the room with makeup touchups all night long. Longing for more? No problem, Jewell Events Catering will keep you satisfied with seasonal bites while you brown the hottest trends in tablescape design by Revel Décor, Ashland Addison Florist and Soirée Weddings and Events.
This is the not-to-miss bridal event of the year, so come and enjoy a few Veuve Clicquot cocktails and take in the finest in wedding inspiration that Chicago has to offer! We’ll see you at 6pm at the Bridgeport Art Center’s Skyline Loft this Wednesday, May 1st!
As if you needed another reason to come – check out this video with highlights from last year’s soiree.
See you there!
Tags: American bridal, and Bliss, Ashland Addison Florist, beauty, BHLDN, Bridal, bridal event, bridal scene, Brides, Bridgeport Art Center’s Skyline Loft, Bubbles, Cara and Scott Nava, Carasco Photography, caterers, chic trends, Chicago Symphony Sounds, couture gowns, designers, dj, Dresses, Ersa Atelier, Gowns, groom, Jenny Yoo, Jewell Events Catering, Jouer’s, makeup, Music, Okyne Media Lab, professional photographers, Revel Décor, Soirée Weddings and Events, trends, Veuve Clicquot, wedding day, wedding dresses
Calling all Kentucky Derby lovers! This is Melody, an intern at STATE Restaurant in Lincoln Park, here to tell you guys all about STATE’s first ever Kentucky Derby Event sponsored by Woodford Reserve. On Saturday May 4th be prepared to place your bets and cheer on your favorite horse while sipping on Mint Juleps provided by Woodford Reserve Whiskey. There will be competitions and race wagering for prizes, all capturing Derby traditions in the high energy environment of STATE Restaurant located at 935 W Webster Ave. Parking will be available at the DePaul garage on Sheffield between Fullerton and Belden.
During the party, STATE will provide two special Derby themed packages that will be available for purchase online. The “Exacta” package will include Southern/Derby inspired cuisine, Miller/Coors drafts, well cocktails, and Mint Juleps all for just $25. The “Trifecta” package will include the same Southern/Derby inspired cuisine, Miller/Coors drafts, wells drinks, house wine, and Woodford Reserve Mint Juleps all for $35. Tickets are available online at STATEderby.com. Both packages will run from 2pm-6pm, and will be available at the door for additional rates.
In addition to the exclusive packages STATE will have a “Hattitude Competition”, where participants will be judged based on their best Kentucky Derby inspired hat! Located in the “Winners Circle” area, you will find the ever so knowledgeable Woodford Reserve reps providing tastings of their products while you wait at the Mint Julep bar for a perfectly crafted cocktail. Professional photographers will be on hand as well to capture all of the moments and leave you with photos you’ll be proud to share.
Everyone is encouraged to pay close attention to the races during the Derby on one of STATE’s 124 TVs, and turn in their foe wagers in order to win prizes, gift certificates, and private parties. No great event is complete without a take away; no ticket purchaser will go home empty handed. After the races, STATE encourages all customers to stay for the long awaited Mayweather fight while enjoying one of the 100 different draft beers that STATE has to offer.
So what are you waiting for?! Hop on STATEderby.com and buy your tickets now for early bird pricing! Trust me; you won’t want to miss this one. Let’s show Kentucky how Chicago does it better!
Tags: beers, DePaul bars, Derby traditions, Exacta, Hattitude Competition, Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Derby Event, Kentucky Derby hat, Lincoln Park Restaurants, Mayweather fight, Miller/Coors drafts, Mint Juleps, phots, professional photographers, races, Southern, Southern cuisine, STATE Restaurant, STATEderby.com, Trifecta, Winners Circle, Woodford Reserve Whiskey
I don’t know about you guys, but I LOVE watching the Food Network…specifically competition shows like Chopped and Iron Chef!! To me there is nothing better than watching people create something delicious out of unknown ingredients… which is why I am super, pumped for this year’s Key Ingredient Cook-Off: A Festival of Culinary Curiosities.
On Friday, May 3rd, at the Bridgeport Art Center, the Chicago Reader is hosting this awesome contest!! Twenty-six different chefs from around Chicago will go head-to-head using one of five ingredients that were voted on by the readers of the Chicago Reader’s Key Ingredient series.
Watch as your favorite chefs from restaurants such as Balena, Blackbird, El Ideas, Sprout, Nellcote, Trenchermen, and many more, create something delicious out of something as obscure as sea cucumber or smelt! But fear not because although the ingredient may be something as dreaded as Durian – the chef’s creation could taste as delicious as fountain of chocolate!!
The best part is that the event helps benefit Healthy Schools Campaign!! This non-profit organization advocates for policies and practices that teach students, teachers, and schools to learn all about healthier living!
This event is sure to be an amazing time!! General admission tickets are $65, which includes complimentary beer and wine, three specialty cocktails from Scofflaw, and tasting portions from all 26 chefs. VIP tickets are $100, which includes special bites from Panozzo’s Italian Deli, cocktails from Scofflaw’s Danny Shapiro, and all the general admission perks. So definitely don’t miss out on this delicious and exciting event!!
For more information regarding tickets and event details, contact Kristen Kaza at (312) 771-8546 or by email at Kristen@no-small-plans.com.
Tags: Balena, Blackbird, Bridgeport art center, Brooklyn brewery, browntrout, café des architects, café floriole, Carriage House, chicago reader, Chopped, City Winery, Cook off, danny Shapiro, durian, el ideas, Food Network, fountainhead, four roses, frog N snail, healthy schools campaign students, hoosier mama pie, hopleaf, Iron Chef, james beard award, Key Ingredient, longman and eagle, mess hall & co., mexique, Nellcôte, NoMI Kitchen, old town social, olmeca altos, panozzo’s Italian deli, Perennial Virant, river north beer, rootstock, scofflaw, sea cucumber, small bar, smoque, Sprout, state and lake Chicago tavern, teachers, telegraph wine bar, tensing, The Bedford, The Bristol, the butcher and larder, three aces, trenchermen
Hey, I’m Doug Simons, a restaurant broker who has been placing some of Chicago’s top restaurant and nightclub operators in business for many years and my partner, Ted Widen who owns ChicagoScene.com, and I are throwing a huge pub crawl in River North called Craft Crawl River North!
Chicago’s first ever Craft Crawl River North will be the largest pub crawl ever in the city’s hottest restaurant and nightlife neighborhood. This May 18th event will begin at noon and run til 9:00 p.m., and will encompass the city’s hottest venues—Rockit Bar and Grill, John Barleycorn, Public House, Bull & Bear, American Junkie, English, Mercer One Thirteen, Epic, Social 25, Moe’s Cantina, and Hubbard Inn.
The event is taglined “BEER-BOURBON-BURGERS”. Each of the 11 participating venues will offer two different Craft Beers at $4 for the day (a total of 22 different beers available) plus all the bars will also offer Gentleman Jack Whiskey drinks at $5 and each will feature its own special gourmet burger at one day only pricing.
This event is like no other—coinciding with the beginning of Chicago Craft Beer Week, this event is different than all others in that it encompasses an entire neighborhood and multiple venues, many of which will provide live entertainment and top DJ’s, or will feature grand openings of retractable rooftops.
Patrons will be encouraged to visit all participating venues and to get their “passport” stamped in order to be entered in a drawing to win a seven day Celebrity Cruise to the Caribbean or other cash prizes.
Don’t miss the first groundbreaking event in the country’s hottest entertainment neighborhood. Go to CraftCrawls.com now before Craft Crawl River North sells out!
Tags: American Junkie, Beer, Bull & Bear, burger, Caribbean, Celebrity Cruise, Chicago Craft Beer Week, Craft Crawl River North, Craftg beers, dj, Drinks, English, Epic, Gentleman Jack Whiskey, Hubbard Inn, John Barleycorn, live entertainment, Mercer One Thirteen, Moe's Cantina, night club, passport, prizes, pub crawl, Public House, restaurant, river north, rockit bar and grill, Social 25, venues
Where are all my gluten free friends? Living gluten free seems like it has become a popular American trend, but many are required to sustain this diet for a healthy wellbeing. If you think back five years ago, when you asked for a gluten menu, chances are you would get a look of confusion. As if you just asked the server a trivia question of some sort. Luckily, gluten free options are popping up all around the Chicago scene including grocery stores dedicated to specific diets like Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe’s. But, I have something greater than a menu; the gluten free gods are now bringing us the USA’s largest – The Gluten & Allergen Free Expo!
On April 20th-21st, over 120 national and local Chicago vendors will take over The Schaumburg Renaissance Convention Center and transform it into a comfortable tasting for those with gluten and allergen sensitivities. Vendors will not only be offering tastings of their goodies but share knowledge about recipes and general tips about lifestyle. All vendors will have signage indicating allergy information—have no fear! Not only can you sample and purchase some of the products but attend classes about cooking, baking, traveling and saving money.
Some of the vendors you can expect to see are Glutino, Udi’s, Enjoy Life, San-J, Schar, Truebar, Ian’s, Whole Foods, Smart Flour, Rudi’s, Holy Crap, Pamela’s Products, Kinnikinnick Foods, Zee’s Apparel, Crunchmaster, AST Enzymes, Andean Dream, Kiki’s, Health Yip, Freedom Foods, Bella, Zipfizz, Zemas, Surf Sweets, Gluten Free Passport, Hail Merry, Blue Diamond, Lucy’s, Penn Street Bakery, El’s, Tasterie, Lola’s Gourmet Chocolate, The Gluten Free Bar, Farmo, Keeki, Chicago Vegan Foods and many more.
Calling all early birds! If you want to be first to meet the vendors the doors open at 9am both days for you! Tickets are $35 per adult and $10 for children ages 3-12. For 10am, regular admission, tickets are $20 per adult and $5 for children ages 3-12. For information about The Gluten & Allergen Free Expo, go here. Hope to see all you gluten and allergy free friends trying all the new goodies and spreading the love!
Tags: allergen free, allergy, Andean Dream, AST Enzymes, Baking, Bella, Blue Diamond, chicago, Chicago Vegan Foods, classes, Cooking, Crunchmaster, diet, El’s, Enjoy Life, Farmo, Freedom Foods, gluten, gluten free, Gluten Free Passport, Glutino, Hail Merry, Health Yip, Holy Crap, Ian’s, Keeki, Kiki’s, Kinnikinnick Foods, lifestyle, Local, Lola’s Gourmet Chocolate, Lucy’s, menu, Pamela’s Products, Penn Street Bakery, restaurants, Rudi’s, sampling, San-J, saving money, Schar, sensitivity, Smart Flour, Surf Sweets, Tasterie, tasting, The Gluten Free & Allergen Free Expo, The Gluten Free Bar, The Schaumburg Renaissance Convention Center, Trader Joe’s, traveling, Truebar, Udi’s, vendors, whole foods, Zee’s Apparel, Zemas, Zipfizz
Attention all animal lovers! This is Cassy from Ripple Public Relations, and I wanted to spread the word about an amazing benefit coming up on Saturday, May 11th at John Barleycorn River North (149 W. Kinzie). Chicago-based non-profit organization, The Puppy Mill Project, is holding their annual benefit to honor the “Mothers in the Mills”, just in time for Mother’s Day.
The “Mothers in the Mills” benefit was created to honor and bring attention to all mother dogs held captive in the mills on Mother’s Day weekend. The mother dogs are force bred until they are no longer profitable to the breeder. These breeders supply the puppies to pet stores and to the public, unbeknownst to them. This incredible organization is enlisting the help of the Chicagoland community for this heartfelt and truly inspiring event.
From 6:30-10:30pm, guests will be able to enjoy a night of drinks and dancing, with a gourmet buffet dinner, silent auction, and raffle prizes – all while contributing to a great cause. Steve Sanders,WGN-TV Anchorman will be the guest emcee, and Chicago fan favorite band, Out of Control, will be performing. Tickets are $100 per person ($125 at the door), and can be purchased here.
It’s a fact that 99% of animals sold at pet stores are puppy mill animals that are bred in deplorable conditions. The mission of The Puppy Mill Project is to educate Chicago and beyond about these puppy mills, and put an end to this multi-billion dollar industry. Check out their YouTube video: “I Will Be Saved”.
For more information on The Puppy Mill Project, visit The Puppy Mill Project.
- Cassy Murphy, Ripple PR
Tags: anchorman, animal, animal lovers, benefit, breed, chicago, dinner, dogs, emcee, John Barleycorn River North, mills, Mother's Day, Mothers in the Mills, non-profit organization, Out of Control, pet stores, prizes, puppies, puppy, raffle, Ripple Public Relations, silent auction, Steve Sanders, The Puppy Mill Project, wgn tv