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
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
10 years ago my buddies David Schwimmer & Joey Slotnick were looking for new ways to raise money and awareness for their non profit theatre group Lookingglass to build their first home in the Historic Water Tower Pumping Station on Michigan Avenue. I strongly felt their was an active, art/theatre loving, socially conscious & supportive younger demographic in Chicago that would love to get behind it so I founded the Lookingglass Theatre’s Junior Board and kicked it all off with a giant 1000 person event called the Madhatter’s Ball that David, Joey & I hosted that was a huge success!
Each year the Junior Board got bigger & stronger raising more money & awareness about art & theatre in Chicago, and specifically Lookingglass productions, and their wonderful programs we began to support for kids. The buzz for Madhatter’s Ball has steadily also grown as a crazy, cooky evening of actors, art lovers, celebrities, philanthropists and more all coming together for a night of dining, drinking, auctions, costumes and good times. I am thrilled to say this is the 10 year anniversary of Madhatters and since the junior board has made my dream & vision come true and by taking it upon themselves to grow & produce the event better than ever, I will be attending as a guest and supporter!
I would love to see all of you out there this Saturday, June 25th at 8pm 1000 feet in the sky at the top of the John Hancock Observatory. Tickets also include a wristband to the after party at The Underground… All info on that and more can be found here – see you there!!!!! BTW, heads up, will be giving 2 tickets away Thursday 6/23 on www.twitter.com/BillyDec so make sure you follow me!
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