Everyone from Chicago knows the story: In October of 1871, a huge fire blazed through the city of Chicago, destroying everything in its path. It was probably caused by infamous O’Leary cow. But whatever the reason, from out of the ashes, Chicago arose a new, bigger and better than ever. Now, coinciding with the 140th anniversary of the Chicago Fire, the Lookingglass Theatre is inviting Chicagoans to take a deeper look inside this infamous event with the play The Great Fire.
Directed by theatre ensemble member John Musial, who originally put on the play in 1999, The Great Fire shows a time when ordinary people faced extraordinary circumstances. The play attempts to get into the emotion behind the fire and the decisions made because of it. The new production of the play has even more meaning behind it as the Lookingglass’ home is in the Waterworks Pumping Station, one of the only buildings to survive the historical fire.
The Great Fire is playing now until November 20th at The Lookingglass Theatre. For more information & to buy tickets go to: http://www.lookingglasstheatre.org/content/box_office/the_great_fire.
-Dave Lauer, intern
I woke up at 5am this morning for a BIG press day with Billy. We had to do 5 radio shows, a live tv show & a PSA all in 5 hours when he literally just stepped off a plane from France, Hungary, and Austria 12 hours prior. When he initially told me about how much press he wanted to do BEFORE he was live on Windy City Live- I thought it was absurd, but in all the time I have known him, I can say he pushes himself to work beyond what most people think is feasible. The main purpose behind all this press was to talk about two events that are the very important to him to support art & theatre in Chicago & raise scholarships for kids - The Madhatter’s Ball & The Piven Theatre Gala.
The schedule of the day went as follows:
6am – Picked up Chicago Reader, heard BD won “Best Person to Follow on Twitter” 6:15am – Car Pickup
6:30am – Stop at Rockit to pick up Burgers
6:45am – Live on Kiss FM with Angi Taylor at Brother Fred
7:30am – J & Julian Show on B96
7:40am – Fresh with Scotty & Rebecca
7:50am – K-Hits with Eddie & Jobo
8:30am – Make-up & Producer’s Session for ABC’s Windy City Live
9-10am – Live on ABC’s Windy City Live
11am – Steve Dahl Show
11:30am – PSA Shoot for Chicago’s Go Do Good Campaign that Connects Art to Action
1-3pm – Work at Rockit Ranch Productions
3pm – Call in with Andy Giersher
I took my camera with me to show you guys what it’s like to be Behind the Scenes when you are live on radio & tv!!! It was a crazy, fun-filled day, and I was shocked to see that Billy was still even standing to make it out that night! (Billy attended a party for Factor Models and worked at Sunda later that night. I, on the other hand, was asleep by 10pm)
By the way, for those who follow Billy on facebook & twitter – You may have seen the picture of the bird that he posted that seemed to be injured right outside his office on that day. I’m very happy to report that by the end of the day, the bird was saved thanks to the help from the Chicago Bird Collision Monitors – we will post a video we took and share the whole story here tomorrow!
Tags: abc, abc windy city live, Amy Shah, andy giersher, angi taylor, B96.3, billy dec, brotha fred, chicago, chicago bird collision monitors, chicago events, chicago reader, chicago reader best of 2011, eddie and jobo, facebook, fresh 105.9, fundraiser, j and julian, jeremy piven, k-hits, kiss fm, lookingglass theatre, madhatter's ball, piven theatre workshop, psa, Radio, rockit, rockit bar and grill, scotty and rebecca, steve dahl, theatre, twitter, windy city live
Film has the Oscars, TV has the Emmy’s, Broadway has the Tony’s, and the Jeff Awards evolved as a response to Chicago actors who were looking for a way to honor our local theatre talent- well deserved as Chicago has such a vibrant & enriching theatre community! This year the Jeff Awards (ceremony directed by Michael Weber) will be held October 25th at the Drury Lane in Oak Brook, followed by a reception featuring musicals and video segments from nominated plays. For tickets & more info visit www.jeffawards.org!
The Jeff Awards have been celebrating and honoring excellence in Chicago theatre since its inception in 1968. The 50 members on the committee represent a wide variety of background in theatre and promote artistic growth, educational opportunities, audience appreciation, and pride in the achievements of the theatre community… all united by an interest in properly evaluating and acknowledging theatre in Chicago! They evaluate over 250 locally produced shows & nominate shows based on the following categories: Production, Director, Actor and Actress in a Principal Role, Actor and Actress in a Supporting Role, in the two categories of Plays and Musicals. Awards are also given for Production, Direction, Actor and Actress in a Revue, and Cameo Performance, as well as Ensemble, Choreography, Scenic Design, Lighting Design, Costume Design, Original Music, Musical Direction, Sound Design, New Work and Adaptation. Awards are determined by a secret ballot audited by an accounting firm & the best part of the awards is that the committee does not use the words “best” or “winner,” instead it supports outstanding achievements & the evolvement of the theatre community.
I am very proud to say that Lookingglass theatre, where I serve on the board of directors, received 7 of the following nominations for their groundbreaking & breathtaking work:
NEW WORK – PLAY
David Schwimmer and Andy Bellin – “Trust” – Lookingglass Theatre Company
ACTRESS IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE – PLAY
Allison Torem – “Trust” – Lookingglass Theatre Company
SOUND DESIGN – LARGE
Ray Nardelli – “Hephaestus: A Greek Mythology Circus Tale” – Lookingglass Theatre Company and Silverguy Entertainment
LIGHTING DESIGN – LARGE
Brian Sidney Bembridge – “Hephaestus: A Greek Mythology Circus Tale” – Lookingglass Theatre Company and Silverguy Entertainment
ORIGINAL INCIDENTAL MUSIC
Ray Nardelli, Andre Pluess, Kevin O’Donnell and Josh Horvath – “Hephaestus: A Greek Mythology Circus Tale” – Lookingglass Theatre Company and Silverguy Entertainment
Bridges Media – Multimedia Design – “Trust” – Lookingglass Theatre Company Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi – Circus Choreography and Movement Direction – “Icarus” – Lookingglass Theatre Company
And special shout out to my fav actor Joey Slotnick who is up for an award for “Actor in a Principal Role- Musical” from Goodman Theatre’s production of “Animal Crackers.”
ever since I was floored by my buddy david schwimmer’s play “trust” at the lookingglass theatre (click here for my review) about the story of an internet predator’s effect on a young victim & her family, and subsequently learned of the horrible amounts of sexual abuse & rape that occurs these days to children all around us (1 out of 4 girls, 1 out of 7 boys), I have been doing my best to seek out ways to support the fight against it. I recently toured the facilities of chicago children’s advocacy center that treated 20,000+ women and children who were the victimes of rape and sexual assault since mayor daley created it ten years ago (and was so moved, I joined the board), I flew out to Los Angeles last week to attend the Annual Rape Treatment Center Fundraiser hosted by the cast of “Glee” (click here for pics & “read more” below for detail), and now I am inviting you to join me & Schwimmer to support the fight at a private event after the chicago international film fest premiere of the movie version of “trust” (see trailer above) that he directed starring clive owen, catherine keener, & viola davis. will you join us?
I had the honor of being invited by schwimmer to the toronto film fest premiere of “trust” so I can tell you first hand that not only is this movie one you must not miss, but its also really cool to see it and support on a night it’s presented at a major film festival, like it will be at chicago’s international film fest on monday oct 18th at 8p. if you can come, schwimmer will be presenting the movie himself and doing a q&a after, and then we will be hosting a two-hour private reception at Rockit Bar & Grill at 10pm w/cocktails & hors d’ouevres. Proceeds from the event will benefit Rape Victims Advocates & cinema/chicago. for tix and info: http://www.chicagofilmfestival.com/special_events/trust_fundraiser.php
I guess I need to say one more thing that many of you have heard me talk about on facebook & twitter. as proud, dedicated & supportive I am to the organizations above for all the help the give to enormous amount of victims out there, I think we need to also focus on how to help lessen the amount of victims out there by getting the word out, as I know this movie does, as it obviously has gotten me. so please, whether you can or can’t join us on this night, please help me/us spread this post around (shortlink: http://tiny.cc/xpxxw)… it may enhance awareness, stop a bad thing, make more people safe… thanks all.
was up bright and early this week to spread the word about arts/theatre in chicago and two events that i have been a part of for just about a decade – last night’s lookingglass theatre’s madhatter’s ball (which i’m sure you saw my tweets about!) and saturday night’s piven theatre workshop benefit (to see me on the set of entourage with jeremy piven, click here!) check me out on abc 7 with hosea sanders, i’ve known him for over 10 years, such a fan, he’s truly one of the hardest working guys in chicago!
Lookingglass theatre was formed over 20 years ago by a group of local college kids. 15 yrs ago I became best friends w/ two members randomly, Joey Slotnick and David Schwimmer, who introduced me to the group, and I fell in love w/ it immediately. So much that about 10yrs ago I founded the lookingglass Junior Board to get young professionals involved, where joey, david & I began to host great parties for them called the madhatters ball to benefit the theatre and their children’s programs! (See video above!)
This year madhatters ball happens thursday night 6/24 and has a whole new spin on it! The junior board has grown so much and so strong in the last decade, that they are taking it by the horns and producing this amazing event all on their own, which means I get to join you all for the fun and come as a fellow guest to party!
The night starts w/a performance of Lookingglass Alice at the theatre, rolling into a party at the ritz carlton, wrapping w/an after-party at The Underground w/ one of my favorite djs in the world, dj irie! Tickets and more info can be found at lookingglasstheatre.org
Just voted for the Chicago Reader “Best in Chicago” awards online! Figured I would share my answers since everyone asks me on Twitter and Facebook about my Chicago favs! (BTW, sorry did these fast, was in a rush, sorry if missed anyone!) You should vote too! (Especially for my places! haha) Voting ends this weekend so go to http://bestof.chicagoreader.com/ now!
Tags: alice in wonderland, amc on illinois, andrew lee, andy lee, arthur murray, ashkenaz, assault.it, avenues, back up, best of, bill and phil movers, billy dec, binny's, carrie seacrist, chicago reader, conan o'brien, connie's, dance center chicago, dj rock city, dr. wax, el tapitio, elevation, equinox, golden triangle, hero fitness, house of blues, house of glunz, hubbard, improv olympic, jim bean club, joe's, kanye west, kinsella landscaping, kith kin, lolla, lookingglass theatre, loveabulls, lovehammers, medinah country club, merchandise mart, metro, niketown, paws, plain white t's, que rico, reeza's, richard's, riverside cafe, rockit bar and grill, rockit wrigley, second city, skinny cows, smart rooms, south of 80, sue, sunda, the peninsula, trex, u of i, u2, underground, vermillion, village cycle, whole foods, wiener circle
As you might know, I have been a huge fan and supporter of art and theatre in chicago, all my life. If ever asked me what my favorite play was, I would have told you it was hands down “race. How blacks and whites feel about the American obsession.” Now, it may have tied with a new play I saw last night, called “trust.”
To be forthcoming, both were adapted/written for stage and directed by my best friend david schwimmer, but know that is not why I liked them. In fact, after 15yrs of friendship, I can tell you that we have thoroughly established that our artistic tastes are very different, if not sometimes opposite, so trust me, these works stand absolutely on their own. What I like about them most is that they deal with very current issues, that have a meaningful, impactful and necessary message, that cause viewers to reflect, acknowledge and consider changing immediately for the better, in one way or another.
after enjoying a lookingglass theatre production, john and i were eating at sunda, talking about how cool it would be to have the olympics in the usa…and was super excited to hear i was involved with the effort, so was more than happy to jump on camera real quick with me to talk about it! not only is he a hilarious, talented, nice guy…..but he’s a huge sports fan, olympic fan & chicago fan (even though he acts like a hater from boston……haha!)
remember all, how can you show your love for the chi (& the usa as a whole?) take one minute today to tell all your friends & contacts by email, twitter, facebook, phone calls, whatever….& ask all to listen to these wonderful personalities share their stories so the rest of the world knows how great our city (& country) is and how we want to share & strengthen friendships with the rest of our world! don’t forget, i am posting one new celeb interview per day here until the oct 2nd announcement that chicago (& the usa) will be the home of the 2016 olympics! so keep checking out who’s next! thx and….best of luck to all!