Hey Chicago! This is John Losurdo from St. Charles, but you might know me better as Johnny L. I am a 17-year-old cancer survivor.
At 4 weeks old, I was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma, an aggressive cancer. Since then, I have endured chemotherapy, surgeries, biopsies, transfusions, and everything in between. Growing up with cancer was anything but normal, and kids teased me by calling me “Cancer Boy.”
Through my hardships, I found an outlet in music to help escape the world. I recorded “Fearless,” a song dedicated to overcoming cancer as well as any type of discrimination for being different. The proceeds from this song, available on iTunes, will go to Children’s Cancer Research. Every kid deserves a fighting chance, and hopefully with this money we can even find a cure.
This past year I have focused on giving back. A group I am proud to affiliate with is Gilda’s Club. They provide incredible support programs to anyone affected by cancer. The evening of June 6, Gilda’s Club will host their summer concert event, GILDAPALOOZA, at the Cubby Bear in Wrigleyville. It will be a night filled with games, music, and socializing. Come join the fun to help support this worthwhile cause. Proceeds will help Gilda’s Club help EVERYONE!
I would love to see you there, because I will be helping to kick things off with a performance of one of my newest songs, Diagnosis…
I love Chicago because it is a world class city filled with world class people, and it inspires my music every day. Follow me on my Facebook and Twitter pages to stay updated– my album, “Different Colored Eyes Same Vision” drops soon.
Peace, Love, and Forever Hope!
Tags: available on iTunes, cancer survivor, Chicago cancer awareness, Chicago cancer outlets, Children’s Cancer Research, cubby bear, Diagnosis, Different Colored Eyes Same Vision”, GILDAPALOOZA, Gilda’s Club, Johnny L, Music, Performance, wrigleyville, “Fearless”
By now we all know that 3 Chicago-based performers will be in the cast of SNL. They are Aidy Bryant, Tim Robinson and Cecily Strong. Everyone has been writing about how they all are from The Second City, but guess what? They also performed at other Chicago-based comedy clubs. And Bryant, who went to Columbia College, actually worked at all three!
Lets start with the Annoyance Theatre, where Aidy Bryant performed earlier in her career. It runs several different comedy shows including improvised, musical and sketch. Aaand it’s a little subversive. How? Well they have a show called Skinprov. Naturally that one is 18 and over.
Bryant also did the iO up in Wrigleyville. She and Cecily Strong were a part of Team Virgin Daiquiri. This comedy place is pretty much only improv. So that means they have no plan on what the show is going to turn into. What’s special about the iO is that it is long form improv. Instead of games or short scenes, performers have a whole story arc with their characters and one whole sketch can last 30 minutes. Tim Robinson also performed at the iO with the Cook County Social Club.
So I said Bryant was pretty busy. That’s because she also did the improvised musical show called Baby Wants Candy. Like a lot of improv shows, it starts with a suggestion. Then, along with a band, the performers create a completely new musical. They did Sarah Palin the Musical once, so who knows what they’ll do next.
If you want to see these comedians before the Saturday Night Live season premiere September 15, check out Aidy’s video above and here’s one from Tim: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5i9zJxS1mE&feature=youtu.be and one from Cecily: http://vimeo.com/15493458
Tags: Aidy Bryant, Annoyance Theatre, Baby Wants Candy, Cecily Strong, chicago, columbia college, Comedy, Harold, improv olympic, iO, Long Form Improv, Old Town, Saturday night live, Season 38, SNL, The Second City, Tim Robinson, uptown, wrigleyville
Everyone grab a Chicago Social! There’s a 3 page, 9 photo huge spread on Rockit Ranch Productions’ 10 Year Anniversary – with really fun quotes and comment by the partners and friends! Scroll through the pictures for some of the great shots featuring the Stanley Cup, Barbara Streisand, David Beckham and more! – KatieRose Cronin
“The stretch of River North that fans out from Hubbard Street and runs west from the Mag Mile to the river is a far more happening place than it was in 2002. Back then, sparsely used parking lots and adult video stores abounded. True, there were some standout restaurants—Brasserie Jo and Rick Bayless’ mini-empire on Clark Street—but a lot of vacant buildings, too.
It could be argued that what set the neighborhood on its breakneck path toward being the dining and nightlife juggernaut it is today was the 2004 opening of Rockit Bar & Grill, the jacket-free place for a power-lunch/celebrity hangout/rock bar/Sunday brunch standby that was the brainchild of Rockit Ranch Productions. This month, the company celebrates its 10th anniversary as it prepares to launch its fifth establishment, a barbecue restaurant with Asian influences called Dragon Ranch that’s slated to open at 441 N. Clark St. later this summer.
Rockit Ranch Productions now employs more than 500 people, but in 2002, when the company was brought in as partners by Le Colonial’s Joe King to make a hit out of the velvety Gold Coast nightclub Le Passage, there was only the now-familiar trio: Billy Dec, the baseball cap-wearing celeb wrangler and ubiquitous face of the operation; Brad Young, the sharp-eyed money guy who quit his dad’s investment banking firm to found Rockit; and Arturo Gomez, the youngest of the three and a smooth, suited-up nightlife natural who veered into the business on his way to dental school and never looked back.
With little more than a printer and a bank account to make things legit, the Rockit team transformed (the now closed) Le Passage from a nonstarter of a spot into the place to be by nixing the froufrou French house music in favor of mainstream music and hip-hop, switching out the staff, changing marketing tactics and finding a sweet spot between glam factor and hometown hospitality. “Not all of the owners were from around here, and they didn’t know what Chicago wanted,” says Young. “We did.” King agrees: “They were the missing link we needed, and our sales improved significantly.” Lines became a given outside Le Passage’s red-carpeted alleyway, and the Rockit guys began scouting a location for their own venture.
Young took Dec to see an old lamp factory on Hubbard Street. The place was gutted, the windows were kicked out, and there were male prostitutes lingering on the sidewalk. “When you’re used to being anchored in the Gold Coast’s plushest little room, that space seemed like a huge risk,” says Dec. “We’d take our investors to see it, and they’d keep going outside to check on their cars.”
It wasn’t like the Rockit guys didn’t know what they were doing, though. Dec was a nightlife veteran, having started as a bouncer while in law school at Kent. He later opened several nightspots, including the 17,000-square-foot Circus on Weed Street, a project Young was involved with (Gomez also came into the picture about that time, after working as a bartender in Lincoln Park and then approaching Dec for a job). They had all witnessed the inner workings of the industry, and together they realized that the clientele who’d shocked them by lining up 4,000 deep on Circus’ opening night was getting older. They were going to need a more sophisticated place to play.
Rockit Bar & Grill, with its industrial-chic design by a then almost-famous Nate Berkus, was conceived as a hybrid, “a one-stop shop,” Gomez says. Patrons could have dinner downstairs (better-than-basic comfort food like burgers with truffle fries and giant salads became Rockit’s signature), and then simply walk upstairs to play pool, drink and party in the bar. (Rockit’s Wrigleyville outpost recently evolved into “Rockit Burger Bar” to reflect the neighborhood’s ordering patterns.)
When it became clear that the concept was working, the trio decided to keep the train moving by quickly opening up spot No. 2, The Underground, a few blocks away. Since staying out until Rockit’s weekend closing times of two or three in the morning wasn’t late enough for some revelers, it made sense to snap up a nearby space with a rare 4am license that happened to be for sale at the time. Bunker-themed The Underground—inspired by a club Young had visited in Jerusalem—was an immediate hit, bolstered in part by Dec’s knack for bringing seemingly every celebrity who happened to be in Chicago through the club’s inconspicuous metal doors. A recent example: the night Jamie Foxx grabbed the mic at The Underground and belted out a tune while the cast of Glee danced around him.
Next came Sunda, the Illinois Street restaurant that marked Rockit’s leap into fine-ish dining. The exotic-looking room and the sushi-leaning menu both aim high, but with the sound system turned up and a glossy crowd that likes to hit the bar for pre-dinner cocktails, the vibe is more party than proper—unless you’re Barbra Streisand and you require a bit of privacy, in which case you’ll enjoy a quiet meal upstairs, as the singer/actress and her husband James Brolin did last summer….
To enjoy the entire article, click here!
Tags: arturo gomez, Barbara Streisand, billy dec, brad young, chicago, circus, David Beckham, Doug Wexler, Dragon Ranch, glee, Gold Coast, James Brolin, jamie foxx, Jess De Guzman, Joe King, le passage, Nate Berkus, river north, rockit bar & grill, Rockit Burger Bar, rockit ranch productions, sunda, the underground, wrigleyville
Travie McCoy, lead singer of Gym Glass Heroes, is as you know, the indelible gold-selling group that credits local Pete Wentz as a buddy and collaborator. Travie has taken a quick break from the band to bust out a solo album, the famed Lazarus which of course features the monster hit “Billionaire” with Mr. Bruno Mars. Well I have great news Travie McCoy fans! He’s here in concert tomorrow – Friday, March 25 and I have 3 pairs of tickets for you!
If you want a chance at winning a pair here’s what you need to do : Comment below on why you love Travie McCoy AND why you think Metro rocks! Best 3 comments win a pair of tickets!
Sidenote….if you bring your concert ticket in to Rockit Wrigley (we’re just down the street) after the show, we’ll give you 20% off — BONUS!
Have at it guys – winners announced 5pm TONIGHT!
Tags: 20% off, bad rabbits, billionaire, billy dec, black cards, bruno mars, chicago, concerts, deals, Donnis, gym class heroes, metro, music venues, rockit, rockit wrigley, ticket giveaway, travie mccoy, travis mccoy, wrigleyville, XV
It’s a party every summer in wrigleyville, but w/new owners of the cubs, not having the best weather last year, and it being our 1st cubs opening day celebration at the new rockit Wrigley, I get the feeling my team & I will be immersed in extra fun this summer in wrigleyville… and we hope you will be a part of it too!
I’m hearing 1st of all that the biggest “do not miss” party day is opening day, this Monday (4/12)! Rockit Wrigley for example has b96 ( click to hear on radio ) airing live from Wrigley’s cubs opener on our patio from 10a-2p! you for sure should tune in to hear the energy, or better yet, with or w/o tix, just come & join us! If you do, you could win “impossible to find” tix for the opening game, concert seats to rihanna, cool gear, gift certificates… trust me, insane giveaways w/insane parties! You just need to be there!
And as for us, we are just going to keep the party going thru game 2 (weds 4/14)! Somehow we have the honor of being chosen as the actual location for the official post game radio show “Cubs 10th Inning on WGN!” yes, you have to turn in again, but if you or anyone you know is going to the game, or is near the neighborhood, there is only one way to be a part of the culture, fun, energy & celebration, and its to be live w/us!
in just the 1st two games of the year next week, looks to me like are going to have a great summer.. all you have to do is jump in and live it up! If we can help in anyway, whether you need our private party room that looks directly across the street at Wrigley (click here for pics and info), a table reservation, or just anything… email Kris@RockitRanch.com! For other radio fun, click here for a fun quick clip of me live yesterday on wgn giving away killer stuff on Michigan ave in the rain- and answering questions about how we all started in the biz- haha! and then click here to enjoy that new commercial I tweeted about yesterday when in the editing room- just telling it how it is I guess- notice us laughing about the 9a-2a party opening day- just ridiculous!
Want to win tickets from me? Be the 1st five people to have 20 friends sign up as a fan of this page www.facebook.com/rockitwrigley and mention your name…and win 2 tickets (i have 10 tix, so 5 winners!) to Opening Day! Winners announced by this Sunday at 6pm!!!
Tags: b96, B96.3, chicago cubs, cubs, cubs 10th inning on the wgn cubs radio network, home opener, opener, opening day, Radio, rihanna, rockit, rockit wrigley, stylz and roman, wgn, wgn radio, wrigley field, wrigleyville
Tags: billboard, business, campaign, charity, company, contest, facebook, facebook fan page, fan page, philanthropy, restaurant, rockit, rockit bar and grill, rockit wrigley, viral video, win, wrigley, wrigley field, wrigleyville
Chicago is a family loving melting pot! And I love when that melting pot is shared to bring warmth to all of us… with that, I really enjoyed this story in the chicago suntimes today featuring my chef’s grandma’s secret Hungarian goulash recipe that was brought to America and is now shared with us all in chicago (click here for full story, or enjoy my fav highlights w/ the recipe below)… hope you enjoy & share too!
“The heat is on, with spices in the mix
BY SEANAN FORBES