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
We are pleased to announce the theatrical release of the highly acclaimed documentary film ESCAPE FIRE: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare, executive produced by Doug Scott, President of OgilvyEntertainment, and directed & produced by award-winning filmmakers Matthew Heineman and Susan Froemke.
Hailed as “An ‘Inconvenient Truth’ for the healthcare debate”, ESCAPE FIRE tackles one of the most pressing issues of our time: how to save healthcare in America. The film follows dramatic human stories as well as leaders fighting to transform healthcare at the highest levels of medicine, industry, government, and even the US military.
ESCAPE FIRE premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and will be released theatrically in by Roadside Attractions on October 5th. Lionsgate will also be releasing the film on iTunes and Video on Demand that same day. We invite you to attend opening week to show your support in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Cleveland, Boston, Phoenix, Nashville, Tucson, Salt Lake City, and Washington DC.
Chicago’s showtimes are available here.
It’s that time of year again for Jeremy Piven & Billy Dec to join forces and host the best party of the year all to benefit the Piven Theatre Workshop & their new Theatre they are building!! Every year these two guys do whatever they can to help raise funds for children’s art & theater scholarships in Chicago and without exception it’s always a good time, it always brings out a fun, philanthropic crowd, celebrities, pro-athletes, media, influencers, movers & shakers… it’s the perfect opportunity to party it up for an excellent cause.
Check out this video from Jeremy & Billy on the set of Entourage inviting all to last year’s party, footage from previous year’s festivities & more! This year, the big afterparty you need to be at is at The Underground, Saturday June 23rd at 10pm (special reception 10p-11p), with just a $20 minimum donation at the door (feel free to give more!). The first event if anyone is interested btw is in Evanston at Noyes Cultural Art Center! For more information on that event, click here!
- Thanks and take care, KatieRose Cronin
UPDATE: This just released…great Q & A with Jeremy out today in Michigan Avenue Magazine about Saturday night: http://bit.ly/LCwFqz
**UPDATED** 3.1.12 :: Check out our Oscar Viewing Party Re-Cap Video!! See the exciting behind the scenes party footage, our amazing guests and who won the Oscar Challenge. Hint…it WASN’T the movie critic. Enjoy!!!
UPDATE 2/21/12 by Amy: Movie Critic Richard Roeper & Restaurateur Billy Dec go HEAD TO HEAD on Oscar Picks! And guess what?! The loser has to work for the other person! Watch this video below to see it all go down! By the way, you too can compete against them for some great prizes here: http://bit.ly/RockitOscars
Make sure you join Richard & Billy at the event & in this competition! Below sample of some of the fabulous prizes you can win at the event!
-A pair of Roundtrip tickets valid for travel from the US to Europe, Central America or the Carribean from United Airlines
-Three Month Spa Membership at The Peninsula
-Autographed pennant from Chicago Bull Derrick Rose
-One Week of FREE Private Uber Car Rides
-Blackhawks Hockey Stick autographed by the team
-Two tickets for the Opening Night Performance and Post-Show Cast Party for EASTLAND at Lookingglass Theatre
-Two autographed baseballs from Chicago Cub Ryan Dempster
-Fitness Guru Andrea Metcalf’s Package: workout mat, ball, book, dvd and personal fitness consultation
-Two Premium Seats to March 14th “Show Boat” at the Lyric Opera
-Party at 10 Pin with food, beverage and bowling
-Autographed Lance Briggs Jersey
-Autographed Mike Ditka Book
MEDIA ALERT : February 9, 2012
Richard Roeper & Billy Dec to co-host an Oscar Viewing Party
To benefit the arts through After School Matters
CHICAGO – On February 26, co-hosts Richard Roeper & Billy Dec will hold their 2nd Annual Oscar Viewing Party. Guests will test their movie knowledge by putting their ballot predictions up against Richard and Billy for a chance to win fabulous prizes while hearing their commentary live throughout the telecast.
Tickets are priced at $50 each with a portion of the proceeds going to support After School Matters, a nonprofit organization that offers Chicago public high school teens high quality out-of-school-time opportunities to explore and develop their talents in the arts, while gaining critical skills for work, college, and beyond.
Tickets include delicious passed appetizers from Rockit Bar & Grill, creative “Oscar themed” cocktails from Belvedere and Moet Chandon champagne. Gift bags will be given to the first 100 ticket buyers. Red carpet coverage begins at 5 p.m. telecast begins at 6 p.m.
Click here to get your tickets : http://bit.ly/xsHKGo
About the hosts:
Richard Roeper is co-host of Roe/Roeper on WLS-AM. Sun-Times Columnist. Author of eight books. Former co-host Ebert/Roeper. Contributor, ReelzChannel. Reviews: Richardroeper.com.
Billy Dec is CEO of Rockit Ranch Productions, Emmy Award Winning Entertainment Correspondent, ABC’s “Windy City Live”
Tags: abc, Academy Awards 2012, After School Matters, arts, Author, billy dec, charity, Ebert/Roeper, Entertainment Columnist, fundraiser, Oscar, Oscar Viewing Party, oscars, Oscars 2012, Reelz Channel, richard roeper, rockit bar and grill, Roe/Roeper, sun times, theatre, windy city live, WLS-AM
I love to hate love. For me, love is like going to an abandoned carnival, it looks like it used to be a lot of fun, but all of the attractions are rusted and there are far too many raccoons. There’s only one place I know that a V-Day Scrooge like me can go to avoid getting my heart stabbed in its pulsing bloody back: an anti-Valentine’s Day cabaret! Letters/X is a performance pieced together by real letters, emails, text messages, Facebook posts and other publicly written submissions that are presented as monologues and original songs. The cabaret was produced in 2004 with Groundup Theatre and has been going strong for nine years. The show has fresh material and is guaranteed to be a savvy way to not celebrate a certain senseless societal holiday. The show runs in the Apollo Theater from February 2nd through March 10th and starts at 8pm. You can grab your tickets at the Apollo box office, or through Ticketmaster.com, but hurry, nearly all performances of the anti-Valentine cabaret sold out last year.
Among the Letters/X ensemble and crew are Jessica Jane Childs, a 7 year veteran whose credits include Steep, Halcyon, Dream Theatre and The Lakewood Manor players, Stephanie Clark who has worked on several Tennessee Rep Theatre productions includingSweeney Todd, Rabbit Hole and Darwin in Malibu, and Anthony Roberts, Chicago’s resident playwright, composer, singer, guitarist and actor who has been involved in productions at American Blues Theater, Chicago Dramatists, Groundup, Serendipity, and American Theatre Company.
The affair is sure to be an absolute solute to all things love, and will allow you to reminisce on true love, lost love, and shady yet necessary affairs. Don’t be left home alone this Valentine’s day. Make sure you hop, skip, and jump over to the Apollo Theater to catch Letters/X soon!
Wanjiku K </3
The Gift Theatre Company, one of the smallest equity troupe’s in the Chicago, is celebrating their anniversary of ten successful years and are inviting all to experience it with them. The theatre’s newest performance, appropriately titled “Ten” is a quick sampler of short ten minute plays written by, ten playwright phenoms, David Rabe, Eric Bogosian, JT Rogers, Craig Wright, Caitlin Montayne Parrish, Andrew Hinderaker, William Nedved, Jenny Connell, & Maggie Andersen.
The ten performances run for a total of ten days. Ensemble member Jenny Connells, Guy Massey, David Rabe, and Craig Wright’s pieces have all already received great reviews and the shows complimenting them help to make the entire production a perfect, well you get the idea… ten! This performance truly is a Gift, that’s right, it’s free! Respect, right? I’m sold.
The show opened January 5th and runs until the 15th with times Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 pm, Saturdays at 4:00 and 7:30 pm, and again on Sundays at 2:30 pm. So if you’re looking for a nice afternoon or evening out at a show for the fabulous cost of free, reserve your seat by calling 773 283 7071 and enjoy the celebration with the Gift Theatre Company (4802 N Milwaukee Avenue). Man, that was a lot of tens… For more information visit http://bit.ly/zPvBls
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
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!
Just heard a crazy story about how chicago’s infamous oriental theatre is haunted. And its supposedly because of an incident that happened on this very day, 107 years ago… So naturally, I have to share…. When it opened in 1903 as the iroquis theatre it claimed to be absolutely fireproof. five weeks after opening its doors‹ you guessed it– it became a fire deathtrap for 602 men, women and children.
2,000 chicagoans had packed the theatre on december 30, 1903 to watch the matinee performance of “mr. bluebird.” one hour into the show the red velvet drapes caught fire. the audience, thinking the theatre was fireproof, thought it was part of the show. most died running for the exits that lead to the alley, which is why it’s actually called death alley.
fast forward to the present, many staff members of the oriental theatre claim to hear cries in the shadows and refuse to go up to balcony where cold spots and shadow people are reported. do the ghosts of those theatre patrons haunt the oriental or is this just another chicago ghost story? Guess you can find out for yourself next time you see a show there? Or if can’t wait, theater tours are every saturday… Let me know what happens!
if you follow me on facebook & twitter, you know I’m sitting in my trailer for fox’s “chicago code” waiting for makeup & wardrobe, before i deliver my lines in the scene I’m in today! as I look out from my trailer window, I see a very cold lake Michigan nearby, which reminds me of a killer video (above) I just saw, that I thought I’d share with you real quick!
It’s about the race to mackinac, hosted by the prestigious chicago yacht club for the last 100 years, known as the oldest annual freshwater distance race in the world. it starts off at the chicago lighthouse, just off navy pier, and ends 333 miles later at mackinac island. I particularly love how fig media & local artists captured the beauty, energy, spirit.. of the lake, race, city, skyline… chicago!
Speaking of my peeps at fig media, they are showing five cutting-edge short films tmrw 12/15 at the legendary Music Box Theatre (3733 north southport) from 7:00-9:00PM. You must check it! Alright, enough day dreaming for me though, off to break a leg! (will show some behind the scene clips of my scene shooting here on my blog later this week hopefully- stay tuned!)
Tags: billy dec, chicago, chicago code, chicago yacht club, documentary, facebook, fig media, fig media film festival, figgy, film, film fest, fox, fox's chicago code, lake michigan, music box theatre, race to mackinac, the mac, theatre, twitter