Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fri. April 1: "April Fool" at Howard Finster Vision House


The Howard Finster Vision House Chicago will feature Anthony DiFatta as their
Artist of the Month in a show opening on April 1.

DiFatta’s works have been have been in many solo and group exhibits
throughout Mississippi and in New York, Memphis, Santa Clara, CA, and Baton
Rouge. His artwork has been seen internationally on CD covers, posters,
books, and as the official art for MS Picnic in Central Park, Crossroads Film
Fest, The Viking Golf Classic, HeArts Against Aids and many more. He compiled
and designed the book, "Images from the Edge", a collection of artwork and
creative writing from the Stubbs Homeless Program.

“This body of work is very influenced by my love of outsider art and my work
with mentally and homeless individuals.” said DiFatta. The subject matter is
very ‘pop’ and references the work I was doing years ago with still-lifes,
the “Voodoo Doll” series, and some of the cd artwork I has done for Men of
Leisure, Eric Matthews, and Grammy Nominees Dorothy Moore, Bobby Rush, and

“The Voodoo Doll series I’m including in this show started shortly before
I left MCI/WorldCom. I was beginning to feel trapped in this corporate job. I
spent all day (and some nights) in a cubicle with less and less actual contact
with the people I worked for,” DiFatta said. “I started making paintings
of elongated figures in suits, sometimes with their hands and feet bound and
the lines would extend to the corners of the canvas. These lines became visual
devices for pinning the figures to the ground.”

“Growing up in Louisiana, I was always fascinated with Creole culture, and
the stories of Marie Laveau and Voodoo, so it was a very short jump to turn my
figures into voodoo dolls. They eventually became more whimsical than

“The other still-life work I do is very influenced by Wayne Theibaud, who
is one of my favorite artists,” DiFatta said. “He paints banal objects,
most notably cakes and pies, but treats them in an almost iconic way. These
ideas carried into the first solo show that I had in Jackson, ‘The
Extrodinary within the Ordinary,’ and this new work for the Chicago show has
brought me full circle.”

DiFatta and gallery owner, David Leonardis, met by chance in a karaoke bar
after a Cubs game. "I was in Chicago to audition for a television show and
when I didn't get it, my wife and I went to a comedy club to cheer me up."
says DiFatta. By luck they sat down at a table with Leonardis and immediately
hit it off. Now DiFatta is having his first solo show in Chicago at Leonardis'
new gallery.

The show is from April 1st to May 3. Opening receptions are Friday April 1st &
Saturday April 2nd from 6-9pm.The Howard Finster Vision House Chicago is
located at 1346 N. Paulina St. Chicago, IL



Local Theatre Spotlight

Compiled by Pat J. Daily

Chopin Theatre
1543 West Division, 773-278-1500, chopintheatre.com
The House Theatre of Chicago presents Joe Meno's Star Witness, about a missing child in a small Illinois town. Sean Graney directs. Through May 7: Thu-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 3 PM, $25. Tickets here.

"Madness in Miniature is an hour-long line-up of intimate, lush puppetry performances created and performed by Chicago puppet designer and performer Meredith Miller." Through June 23: Thu 10:30 PM, $25. Tickets here.

Polarity Ensemble Theatre (at Josephinum Academy), 1500 N. Bell, www.petheatre.com Laura Sturm directs Bryce Wissel's "existential sci-fi comedy," Ephemera. Through May 1: Fri-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM, $19. Tickets here.

Gorilla Tango Theatre
Gleeks and Freaks: A Glee Burlesque Musical (read Pipeline's review here). Through 4/28: Thu 9:30 PM, Fri 4/15, 9:30 PM, $15.

For April Gorilla Tango Listings, click here.

Monday, March 28, 2011

An Argument for Pawning Local

(All content, below, by Anna and Kamelia of the Green Star Movement)

Dear friends,

A wonderful Art Center, called Rumble Arts is on the verge of being shut down due to corporate takeover. Please take a minute to read this, sign the petition, and pass it on to as many people as you can. It's time to make some noise!!!

* Target: Alderman Maldonado and Chicago City Council
* Sponsored by: Friends of Rumble Arts Center

A corporation of pawn shops headquartered in Texas, plans to open a new location in Humboldt Park at 3201 West North Avenue. This specific corporation is a threat to Humboldt Park's well-being because of the debilitating effect on existing businesses just one block west from the chosen location.

The Rumble Arts Center and Aaron's Jewelry & Pawn Shop are family owned and operated businesses, located at 3411-13 West North Avenue. As part of Aaron's continued community outreach, the shop provides significant financial support for Rumble Arts Center.

Together, they have been creating programs and establishing initiatives which support the community. A new pawn shop in Humboldt Park will jeopardize the primary financial support of the Rumble Arts Center. The anticipated losses will require cancelling programming and closing the community center.

Rumble Arts Center is a non-profit organization, established to unite the community through the arts; providing donation-based classes, exhibits and programs. Rumble Arts is partnered with several local organizations, including ASM, C4, Chicago Youth Centers: Centro Nuestro, Community Counseling Services of Chicago, Blocks Together, which together expand their impact of services throughout the city. A new pawn shop will be a devastating blow to the primary funding of this community resource.

Local businesses provide instrumental support to local organizations because they are able to address their community's immediate needs.
We are not requesting money, we only ask for community support to stop corporations from infringing on local businesses. With your support we can keep our neighborhood vibrant with creative programming for all. Please sign our petition and stay tuned for important dates and times.


Thanks in advance for your time, and your support of the arts!!!!

Anna Soltys
Green Star Movement

Kamelia Hristeva
Executive Director
Green Star Movement

Meow... They're Baaaaaaaaack

Miss them in March?
The AcroCats will be back in April for two special encore performances!

Circus Cats of Chicago Featuring the Amazing AcroCats
Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 2pm and 4pm.

Tickets go quickly, so buy now! Don't let those kitties get away!

Gorilla Tango Theatre welcomes the Amazing AcroCats, one of four performing house-cat troupes in the US, for two special encore performances: CIRCUS CATS OF CHICAGO on April 10, 2011 at 2pm and 4pm at Gorilla Tango Theatre, 1919 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago 60647.

The Amazing Acro-Cats will perform their usual feats of agility pushing carts, riding skateboards, rolling barrels, ringing bells, turning on lights, walking tight ropes, jumping through hoops, knockabout acts and much more! These furry funambulists, aerialists and Pongers are no "dog and pony show" but real troupers!

Tickets are $18; click HERE for more info and to purchase tickets, or call 773-598-4549.

Monday, April 4: Wicker Park Garden Club Design Series Lecture

Photo courtesy of the Wicker Park Garden Club

Wicker Park Garden Club Design Series

Monday, April 4 – 7-8:30 PM
Wicker Park Field House – 1425 N. Damen

Julia Bachrach – Historian & Author

Clarence Hatzfeld – Architect
Prairie and Revival Style Designs

RESERVATIONS - $8: Wpgarden@aol.com or 773-278-9075
Cash or Check to Wicker Park Garden Club

Clarence Hatzfeld (1873–1943) was a prolific Chicago architect who has been relatively unknown, despite the fact that the city retains a large collection of his handsome Prairie and Revival style park field houses, commercial buildings, and residences. Although Chicago Park District historian Julia Bachrach had done some research on Hatzfeld over the years, strange things began to happen when she and her husband went house-hunting in the summer of 2008.

In this lecture, Julia will reveal why she thinks this architect who died more than sixty years ago is haunting her, and what she has learned about him through this ghostly experience. She will also provide an overview of Hatzfeld’s work including dozens of northwest side field houses such as those in Avondale, Kilbourn, Indian Boundary, Independence, Portage, and Athletic Field Parks and other buildings he designed in the Lincoln Park, Humboldt Park, and Lake View neighborhoods.

Julia Bachrach has written several books including: The City in a Garden: A Photographic History of Chicago's Parks (2001) and Inspired by Nature: The Garfield Park Conservatory and Chicago’s West Side (2008)–- the latter a project co-authored by Bachrach’s long term protégé and Jens Jensen “groupie”, Jo Ann Nathan.

Performance Opening: Pritzker Students to Perform Peter Pan this Weekend

Pritzker Students to Showcase Performing Arts Talents in
J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, March 31, April 1 & 2

Live Orchestra to Accompany Show; Tickets $5.00

CHICAGO, March 25, 2011 – Students from A.N. Pritzker School, a fine and performing arts magnet cluster school and regional gifted center in Wicker Park, will perform Peter Pan in the school’s auditorium. The public is invited to attend.

Performances will be held on Thursday, March 31, and Friday, April 1, at 7 p.m., and on Saturday, April 2 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 in advance and at the door. Pritzker is located at 2009 W. Schiller Street.

Peter Pan, a musical with songs and lyrics by Piers Chater-Robinson, is based on the novel by J. M. Barrie, who wrote about “The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up”, a fairy play about an ageless boy and an girl named Wendy who has magical adventures in the fantasy setting of Neverland. Peter Pan is Pritzker’s fourth annual all-school musical production.

“Each year, our students are more and more excited about these performances, and our audiences have grown larger and larger,” said Dr. Joenile S. Albert-Reese, principal of Pritzker. “The show will include a live orchestra, many are Pritzker students. It promises to be another great opportunity for friends, family and the surrounding community to see our students at their finest.”

During the last three years, Pritzker students performed The WIZ, Willy Wonka Jr. and Annie Jr. to sold-out crowds. A fourth show has been added to accommodate ticket demand.

A Leading Fine Arts School

The cast includes more than 90 students from kindergarten through eighth grade who have been rehearsing since autumn. A live orchestra conducted by Pritzker’s Music Director, Jenai Jenkins, will accompany the production. The 10-piece ensemble will consist of violins, saxophone, clarinet, trumpet and flute, and will be accompanied by Kai Alexander, a local Wicker Park resident and composer, performer, pianist of 32 years. Students also have provided inspiration for the set through their artwork. Students got hands on experience designing and fashioning props, collaborating on the designs for the scenic backdrops and working with Pritzker’s Art Director, Mindy Schwartz, to paint and construct the set.

“We continue to be thrilled by the developing talent we’re seeing in our students, and we’re confident this performance will be a treat for everyone who attends,” said Mrs. Jenkins.

Pritzker warmly welcomes Nathaniel Swift as drama teacher and Director of this year’s production. An Artistic Director of Eclipse Theater Company and Non-Equity Jeff Award Winner for Directing and Acting, Nathaniel Swift, added, “It’s exciting to be working with students – from Kindergarten to 8th Grade. They bring enormous talent, passion and focus to this production of Peter Pan. From the first day of rehearsals, it’s been a pleasure to work with the actors, singers, dancers and backstage crew as we explore this fun, exciting play!”

Dozens of parents and teachers have enthusiastically volunteered countless hours for rehearsals, costume design and other behind-the-scenes support. And local business owners have become Fine Arts partners by purchasing advertising in the playbill.

“We are grateful for the high level of community involvement we’ve had with this production including our new dance company, Danz Theater and Choreographer Lauren Parets. The support provided by our parents, teachers and the local community extends this performance to include a cast of thousands,” said Dr. Reese.

Get tickets at debroseen@comcast.net

Tickets for Peter Pan may be purchased in advance or at the door for $5 for general admission. Tickets may be requested by sending an e-mail to debroseen@comcast.net

About A.N. Pritzker School

A.N. Pritzker School is unique in that it is one of few schools within Chicago Public Schools that is both a Fine Arts Magnet Cluster School and a Regional Gifted Center. We currently have more than 600 students in pre-K through 8th grades. We offer a full-day kindergarten program as well as a half-day pre-school program.

We’d enjoy the opportunity to let you see Pritzker for yourself. For more information, please visit our Web site at www.pritzkerschool.org.

# # #

Sunday, March 27, 2011

See Saw

a makeshift seesaw stands
litter-strewn empty space,
A playground
where children play.
Have we come a long way?

Photo by Philin Phlash

Images from Lasalle II Spring Thaw

Long before the Mercedes Benz dealership near the highway was a Blockbuster, it was a peculiarly shaped restaurant called The Paddle Wheel, and the place where my parents had their first date.

Moving on, the dealership was home to a fundraiser, Spring Thaw II, which took place this past Saturday night, and benefited Lasalle II magnet school.

Philin Phlash was on the scene. Here are just a few pics.

Inside Crepe Crave, U-Spy Store, Avenue N and more

Always a fun place to pop in on, we covered opening day at Crepe Crave back when our e-newsletter was called Street Scene.

Here are just a few pics, as well as others from other places we came across while searching for early photos inside Crepe Crave which we know we've got somewhere.

Inside Lincoln Tavern

One of the oldest bars in the neighborhood, Lincoln Tavern was established in 1934.

Owner Billy was extremely kind to me, and while he hadn't heard of the e-pipeline, he listened to my shpiel, showed interest in my flier claiming to be an e-newsletter around for the past two years that he'd never heard of, and allowed me to photograph him inside and in front of the tavern which was established by his grandparents way back when. Billy now runs the tavern with his sister.

He then mentioned he had received an award from the chamber of commerce, as well as other awards over the years. He said something about five stars on Yelp, and I promised to look it up, which I did, along with this lovely Metromix blurb detailing more of this hidden gem's history, from its days as an ice cream parlor during Prohibition to a bar the minute the ban was lifted.

Tired of Golden Tee Golf? Why not try your hand at a hunting-inspired arcade game? There appeared to have been a hunter game inside, though do not take my word on whether or not it works because I'm not sure, and it's 7:50AM on a Sunday and I just decided I should find a way to put out a pipeline this Tuesday/Wed, even if it's shorter in fare and scope than usual. There's something about habit and tradition that is comforting, maybe like PBR on draft, or a chili sandwich, both of which I see advertised on the tavern signage. Shoot, I may as well admit it. I love working on the pipeline. It gives me hope in people and in the power of a neighborhood to come together to keep each other informed and inspired. More, importantly the pipeline gives me something to do, and places like Lincoln Tavern and people like Billy provide the reason to keep on doing it.

Maybe there was a time when the deer antler chandeliers swung and the place shook, with the kitten heels of flapper girls hitting on the flooring, but now, or at least on a cold spring Saturday afternoon, it was like walking into a quiet but homey scene out of Edward Hopper's Nighthawks, into the kind of place that has been around forever, and rightly so.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Art Opening, Sat. April 2 at OhNo!Doom

OhNo!Doom presents:
Beast Friends: Keith Noordzy & Kali Meadows
Opening reception: April 2nd, 2011 6-10pm
Exhibit closes April 30th

Keith Noordzy and Kali Meadows are Beast Friends. This exhibit showcases their individual works of friendship and beastliness.

Kali Meadows

Kali Meadows holds her pen in a funny way. Doing so has left a permanent bump on her ring-finger; a true mark of an illustrator. When she isn't doodling, she can be found admiring baby sloths and cracking open fresh coconuts in the sunshine of Los Angeles, CA.

Keith Noordzy

Keith Noordzy grew up in Florida hunting giant squids and dinosaurs. Over the years these ancient creatures started disappearing, leaving only visions and memories of those once great adventures. He now lives in Los Angeles retelling stories by creating artwork of epic creatures, cute characters, and their mysterious descent into the darkness.

Directly after the opening reception all unsold artworks will be available to view and purchase thru our online store: http://www.enstore.com/ohnodoom/

Customers can sign up for the Preview List where they will be able to purchase artwork the Friday before the official opening: http://ohnodoom.com/gallery/info.html#

OhNo!Doom Gallery

1800 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Chicago, IL 60647

Transportation: North of the Damen Blue Line
South of the Western Blue Line
Bus 49, 56, 72
Plenty of Metered Street Parking
Hours: Tuesday and Thursday 4pm-10pm
Saturday 12-7pm
By Appointment: info@ohnodoom.com
Phone: 773.698.8348

About OhNo!Doom: 

OhNo!Doom is a Chicago artist collective made up of designers, illustrators and plush artists (who all work creative jobs during the week). The group operates an art gallery-shop in Bucktown, that showcases it’s members work as well as other artists from around the world and is home to ON!D’s designer toy and clothing line. This space also does triple duty as the collective’s design studio headquarters. The OhNo!Doom Collective is: Oscar Alatorre, Max Bare, Joseph Call, Lana Crooks, Jordan Owen and Andrew Thompson.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Week Past, the Week Ahead

Today's issue can be read here.

We will likely be MIA for the March 29 issue, returning on April 5, just one day before the Pipeline 100 Participation Deadline.

The Deadline enables us to get cracking on the booklet editorial. Booklet due out first week in June, perfect time to get word out on summer events and such.

The one issue break will enable me to spend quality time with my mom without rushing on Sunday as well as solicit for the Pipeline 100 via phone and streets on Saturday and then work on necessary office work related to the project instead of just jumping into the abyss which is the next pipeline.

Due to my FT job, back pain, and needing to make time for physical therapy, there's little time to go to meetings related to $10 listings or affordable display ads. Please reference this detail sheet. It's $10 for a listing. ALL in the listings and display ads will be mentioned in a special section on sidebar of every Pipeline now through Labor Day, 2011, as well as in our printed booklet. Participants will shape future content and direction of the pipeline too.

All proceeds will benefit a team of four and assist with software expenses, toner, data storage, compensating pipeline staffers for their hard work b/c I don't believe 'everything is free,' etc.

Spring Fling with MaZi Fitness at Jackson Junge

Thursday, April 28, 2011 7pm – 9pm
Jackson Junge Gallery
1389 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, 60622

Art imitates Art! Two cultural venues in Wicker Park, Jackson Junge Gallery and MaZi Dance Fitness Centre join forces to create “Spring Fling,” a dance and fine art event that breaks new ground. MaZi instructors and students choreograph and perform dance inspired by the paintings of Laura Lee Junge, Jackson Junge Gallery’s signature artist. Some numbers present live recreations of Junge’s work while others express the mood and emotion her art evokes. The evening combines image, music and movement into a multi-sensory experience of pure delight. The event will be held at the Jackson Junge Gallery, 1389 N. Milwaukee Ave in Chicago, Thursday, April 28, 7pm – 9pm. Admission is free.

The Jackson Junge Gallery features the work of Laura Lee Junge and other contemporary Chicago artists.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Dispatch from Monday Night Wrestling

By Susanna Porter

Monday night wrestling took on a whole new meaning at The Viaduct Theater in Roscoe Village on March 21st. The extremely entertaining, all-girl Mud Queens of Chicago took over the stage with a rowdy, dirty and overtly sexy demonstration. The Mud Queens are the brainchild of Meg Bell, aka The Folsom Prison Manhandler, who, after a night of absinthe-drinking, decided she needed to spice up the city of Chicago. One of the original queens, Rainbow Bite, said they were inspired after watching the Jello Wrestling at the finale of a local carnival, and in 2004, the Mud Queens were born. The group started with doing warehouse parties and, with Meg’s connections with local venues, are now are doing 3 or 4 shows a year in Chicago.

Each girl has a stage persona that includes a nickname along with an ostentatious and frequently skimpy costume. Rainbow Bites “rival” Judy Jinx, a fairly new member of the Queens (who found the group online and contacted Meg), clad in a ripped-t-shirt bikini and decked in tattoos and piercings, said the experience is “amazing” and is very excited to be a part of the team; this was Judy’s second match. Another newer member, Killer Cupcake, aka Jenna Crile, met Meg while working at a bar that Meg was promoting at. She says it has been sold out at every show and indeed, an hour before the show began the doorman was turning away crowds of people begging to get in. Monday night was the big comeback for one of the original members, Cassandra Romanelli, aka Lugnut Lucy, who took a few moments with her trainer, Renee (a former wrestler with a black belt) to get pumped up before the show. Renee informed me that Lucy is 9 and 0 for wrestling matches and it is her first match since coming back to the city after three years in London.

Each match has three one minute rounds, each round marked by the scantily clad “Black Widow” and accompanied by the music of the Bad Knights, the band that plays with the girls at each match. Each girl (Annie Anthrax, Savage and Trampzilla were just some of the few that wrestled Monday night) faces each other, on their knees and when the whistle blows, they get down and dirty in the mud. The match referee, Kelly, enforces the rules (no hair pulling, choking, standing, etc) while getting just as dirty as the girls. Their emcee, the humorous and engaging Forest, announces every show and was flown in from Atlanta for Monday night to get the crowd riled up. Not that the queens don’t do this on their own. The aggressiveness, nudity (Twisted Fister ripped off her top in the second round) and gyrating across the stage kept the audience mesmerized. Even the with the rules, the girls do not hold anything back, doing whatever they can to pin their opponent.

As well as being sexy, the girls are tough and one negative jeer and you might find yourself with mud flung in your face. Those standing within 5 feet of the ring were completely covered by the end of the show! But the crowd loves them. Both the men and women are completely into the sport. One woman watching the show, Angela, was there cheering on her friend, Pippi Jawstomping and was in the front line of the ring, pounding on the ring and cheering with the rest of the rowdies. One of the male attendees, Ken, was there rooting for his coworker, Bruise Lee, who is trained in Jujitsu. He said outside of the show, the girls were all “really close” and hung out together all the time. Ken had gone to his first show and was hooked from then on. When asked what the appeal was, he said laughing “I mean its girls mud wrestling.”

All in all, the Mud Queens of Chicago are well worth the $15 ticket. They are entertaining, lively and fun as well as most of their proceeds goes to charity. The group of guys watching behind me summed up the experience in one statement “That’s the hottest thing I’ve seen in awhile.”

-Susanna Porter

Cheap Thrills Coming Soon

Click to enlarge

Art Opening: Sat. April 2, Rinus Van de Velde at Monique Meloche

Monique Meloche is pleased to announce her first exhibition by Rinus Van de Velde

(image caption: Rinus Van de Velde. Untitled, 2011. Siberian charcoal on paper, 240 x 180 cm)

Dear David Johnson,

April 2 – May 14, 2011

Opening reception for the artist Saturday, April 2nd, 4-7pm

For his 1st exhibition in Chicago, Belgian artist Rinus Van de Velde will exhibit 12 new, mostly large-scale drawings combined with hand-written text to create a complete environment both in the gallery and “on the wall” – our ongoing public art series. Van de Velde's masterfully drawn Siberian charcoal drawings are loosely inspired by photographic images culled from various sources, but paired with the artist's words personally scribed on the gallery walls, they create open-ended narratives for the viewer to interpret. The exhibition, titled Dear David Johnson, is the next chapter of the larger story Rinus Van de Velde tells in his work. Each show further develops and adds to the artist's fabricated autobiography. In this case, the wall texts are excerpted from a letter the artist wrote to imagined curator David Johnson, explaining why he missed their scheduled meeting. Van de Velde's work blends truth and fantasy, creating a complex world in which documentation and fiction, reproduction and reconstruction intrinsically tie together. The personal mythologies he builds with his nostalgic drawings tap into our collective unconscious, allowing the viewer to glean a greater truth from the artist's fictional realities.

Rinus Van de Velde (Belgian, born 1983, lives Antwerp) studied Autonomic Arts Sculpture at Saint Lucas, Antwerp (2002-2006) and had a HISK residency at the Higher Institute for Fine Arts Flanders – Ghent (2009-2011). He has had solo exhibitions at the SMAK Museum in Ghent (2008), Art Basel Miami Beach Art Positions (2009), and the Institut fur Zeitgenossische Kunst, Nurnberg (2010). Currently, Van de Velde has a solo exhibition at the Artisanal House NY (thru April 30), and upcoming at Galerie Zink, Berlin (opens April 16) and Tim Van Laere Gallery, Antwerp (September 2011). His work has been included in international group exhibitions in cities such as Antwerp, Brussels, Dusseldorf, Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris, London, Honolulu and Tokyo and is in the public collections of Vlaams Parlement and Provincie Vlaams Brabant. This will be his first exhibition in Chicago and only the third in the United States. Van de Velde’s “on the wall” project will remain on view until July 31, 2011.

Special thanks to the Consulate of the Kingdom of Belgium + Fisher Nuts + Leopold + The Commission of Wicker Park / Bucktown (SSA #33).

Monday, March 21, 2011

New March and APRIL 2011 Gorilla Tango Listings


The Essence of the New Woman

The Essence of the New Woman tells the story of a local writer who's struggle growing up has many tasks and challenging turning points that lead her to look for love early in life. Experiencing a typical young girl's life growing up in a urban setting, this struggle is not unique. This play is for all young people, in the hopes that they realize that being 'New' means being able to overcome and prevail to the next level.

Produced by Cago Pierre Productions.

Saturday, March 26, 2011 at 3pm, and Saturday April 30, 2011 at 3pm. Tickets are $10.



Oh-a-no! Mario and Luigi have become so perpetually frustrated by their endless pursuit of the Princess that everything they see has started to look like a beautiful, sexy woman-- even their most dangerous enemies! This sexy burlesque romp is a send-up of the famous Mario Bros. video games. Join us to discover whether the world's most adventurous plumbers will finally rescue the Princess and consummate years of amorous toil, or be seduced along the way by their alluring enemies. Don't forget to bring a few "coins" (or dollars) for tips... If the cast collects enough coins along the way, the audience will unlock the alternate ending!!! Ages 18 and over only.

Produced by GTT/Geek Girl Burlesque.

Friday April 1st at 9:30pm, Saturday April 2nd at 11:30pm, and Fridays & Saturdays at 11pm, April 8, 9, 16-30, 2011. Tickets are $20.

Master Works: The Museum Of Bad Art Plays (CONTINUING)

Commedia Beauregard has teamed up with the Museum of Bad Art to take six works of art from their permanent collection and translated them into short plays. Fulfilling the mission of Commedia Beauregard to translate not only from language to language, but from one art form to another, six playwrights each wrote a 12-minute play that tells the story of, or behind, one of the paintings from the MOBA collection. Four local directors have taken those plays and are bringing them to the Gorilla Tango Theatre stage!

Produced by Commedia Beauregard.

Sundays at 7pm, March 6 – April 10, 2011. Tickets are $15.

Lost Tales of the Chicago Fire (CONTINUING)

The Damnation! Group presents a densely-packed hour-plus of sketch comedy that tackles all of today's hot-button issues, including: the laziness of bogeymen; the proper use of tasers; pervy superheroes; effective tactics for impressing your coworkers, lovers and their parents; dinner-time deformities; dollhouse politics; and our nation's rich heritage of arson.

Produced by Austin Hahn.

Saturdays at 9:30pm, March 12 – April 2, 2011. Tickets are $12.

Gleeks and Freaks: A Glee Burlesque Musical (CONTINUING)

Geek Girl Burlesque, the people that brought you "Boobs & Goombas: A Super Mario Burlesque," present GLEEKS & FREAKS: A GLEE BURLESQUE MUSICAL. In this burlesque parody you’ll see everyone’s favorite misfits as they try to come up with the perfect fundraiser to get to Nationals. Will their new-found acceptance of their hotness be enough to get them to the competition and finally show the Cheerios what they are made of? With favorite songs from the television show performed live and choreography by Ellen Domonkos ("Whack: The Tonya Harding & Nancy Kerrigan Story, A Karaoke Musical" and The Flaming Dames), this show is sure to make even Coach Sue crack a smile. Ages 18 and over only.

Produced by GTT/Geek Girl Burlesque.

Thursdays at 9:30pm, March 17 – April 28, 2011.

ADDITIONAL SHOW ADDED: Friday, April 15, 2011 at 11pm.

Tickets are $15.

The Formula

Is there a formula for comedy? One calculated set of jokes and characters that will get you laughs? The Linebackers tackle these questions and more in a new sketch show, The Formula. This hour-long revue skewers the tried and true (and sometimes tired) cliches of sketch comedy with mother-daughter bonding, killing machines, and multiple bags of Sun Chips.

Created and performed by Dan Famera, Jack Famera, Melissa Fricke, Halcyon Person, Tim Swales, Lindy Voeltner, and Zach Zimmerman.

Produced by Halcyon Person and Zach Zimmerman

Fridays at 8pm, April 1 & 8, 2011. Tickets are $10.

Nana’s Choice

NANA’S CHOICE, written by Cheryl Thomas, is a tale about a teenage girl who is impregnated by an unlikely culprit. This story reveals how one girl’s decision affects many different people.

Produced by Aaron Lucas.

Saturday April 2nd at 6:30pm, and Saturdays at 4pm, April 9 – 23, 2011. Tickets are $15.

A Fireside Chat About Stereotypes and Perverts

The Disasterists are back with their third show, so gather round and join us for "A Fireside Chat about Stereotypes and Perverts." If you're the type who finds humor in pre-conceived notions about different cultures (and you are), or the type who titters when you hear the word "moist," you'll love this one-act sketch revue. Join us on Friday nights in April for some laughs!

Produced by Quin Perkins.

Fridays at 9:30pm, April 8 – 29, 2011. Tickets are $10.

The Ridiculously Sorry Tour

Featuring Stand Up Comedians Matt Sommerfield and Marty McGinley.


Produced by Matt Sommerfield

Saturdays at 5:30pm, April 9 – 30, 2011. Tickets are $12.


An evening of stand up comedy featuring husband and wife duo comics, Steve Himmelman and Hollie Himmelman.

Produced by Himmelmania Productions

Saturday, April 9, 2011 at 8pm. Tickets are $12.

Delirious Confetti Presents: A Show To Call Our Own

A SHOW TO CALL OUR OWN features the creative writings of the eight members of Delirious Confetti. From a cross dresser to Jimmy Stewart you will get what want and then some more!

Produced by William Meincke.

Saturdays at 9:30pm, April 9 – 30, 2011. Tickets are $10.

Circus Cats of Chicago featuring the Amazing AcroCats

Did you miss their sold-out March shows? Well welcome back kitties for two more oppuuurtunities to see the Amazing AcroCats!

The Acro-Cats: As seen on Must Love Cats, the new show on Animal Planet.

Our fantastic felines will amuse and amaze as they ride skateboards, roll barrels, ring bells, push carts, walk the high wire, climb ropes, jump through hoops, and more! These cats even play in a band! Meet the 'Rock-Cats'...a trio of talented felines on drums, guitar and piano. The 'Acro-Cats' have appeared on 190 North, WGN, America's Got Talent, CBS and more.

Don't miss your chance to meet them live and in Purrson. www.circuscats.com

Produced by Samantha Martin.

Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 2pm and 4pm. Tickets are $18.

The House on Mango Street

A talented group of students from UIC College Prep of the Noble Network of Charter Schools have worked together to adapt the novel by Sandra Cisneros, “The House on Mango Street”. Keeping in mind their personal goals to make a positive multigenerational change, they bring to life the journey that Esperanza goes through growing up in Chicago that finally makes her realize she should be proud of where she comes from, and give back to her community. “You will always be Mango Street. You can’t erase what you know. You can’t forget who you are.”

Produced by Maritza Torres/UIC College Prep

Wednesday, April 13th at 7pm and Thursday, April 14 at 6pm. Tickets are $10.


In our world, Max and Sally have begun discussing the possibility of children. In the otherworld, One begins to exist. Following the stories of two couples and three conceptual beings, Pills illustrates the complex, layered, and kaleidoscopic emotions that relationships are made of.

Produced by The Black Ship Company.

Fridays and Saturdays at 7pm, April 15 – 30, 2011. Tickets are $12.

Madre Mia

Madre Mia, the un-musical is back!

Shedding new light on the complexities of womanhood, Ramon Charriez and Michael Villareal present a series of live vignettes that therapeutically bridge the gap between misunderstood mothers and their children.

Disclaimer: Any mothers portrayed in this show are purely fictional. Should you recognize yours… seek help!

Directed by: Karla Estela Rivera

Written by: Ramon Charriez & Michael Villareal

Contributing writers: Karla Estela Rivera & Keith Privett

Produced by Ramon Charriez & Michael Villareal

Sundays at 7pm, April 17, May 1 & 8, 2011. Tickets are $12.

Marijuanarama! A Comedy Extrava-ganja

Stoners and smokers alike! Grab your buds and come celebrate 4/20 with an evening of cannabis comedy: “Marijuanarama! A Comedy Extrava-ganja”. The EEK! Theatre Company reaches into their secret stash to bring you sketches, songs, and stand-up celebrating the earthly herb. You won’t want to miss this night of tokin’ and jokin’. Because it’s high time we all had a laugh.

Produced by The Eek! Theatre Company.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011 at 7:30pm. Tickets are $12.

BRUISER: Tales from a Traumatized Tomboy

Some girls dream about their wedding day. Others long to play with ponies. Only a select few name and collect their scabs, speak to imaginary rodents in their minds, and make mortal enemies out of cute yellow doggies. Award-winning comedienne Kelsie Huff brings to the Chicago stage the true story of how a misplaced tomboy blossoms into an even more awkward adult.

Praise for BRUISER:

“Huff…a big-time talent, mixes a friendly Midwestern manner with a darker, slap-your-face-funny edge… a fearless chronicler of the awkward and the excruciating...comic gold” – The Daily Camera

Produced by Square Product Theatre.

Thursdays at 8pm, April 21 – May 26, 2011. Tickets are $12.

All performances take place at:

Gorilla Tango Theatre

1919 N. Milwaukee Avenue

Chicago, IL 60647


Visit www.gorillatango.com or call 773-598-4549 for tickets and more information.

Audience contact: 773-598-4549, info@gorillatango.com

Gorilla Tango Theatre Chicago is conveniently located at the intersection of Western and Milwaukee in Chicago's Bucktown neighborhood. Easily accessible by public transportation, GTT is steps away from the Western stop on the O’Hare Blue Line and the #49 Western, #73 Armitage and #56 Milwaukee buses. Street parking is readily available. GTT offers a variety of affordable ($3-$8) beer and wine for purchase.

Natural Blueberry Freeze Pie

Thanks to Ben who suggested I include this pie recipe in my e-newsletter. But I don't think he thinks I'm going to write it like this.

Begin by having a kitchen that almost looks like you could be domestic.
Arrange pots on top of a cabinet.
Be sure to have a spice rack in sight.
Do not forget to hang potholders.
Then, after a certain amount of time as hostess, randomly offer blueberries.
The invitation will be greeted warmly and your guest might be so happy he will leap up to go fetch said blueberries, to save your poor lower back the trouble, and before you can intervene he will open your fridge and freezer and see only blueberries.
This changes the story.
Why do you only have blueberries?
Why do you have so many blueberries?
You should pour them into a pie dish and make blueberry freeze pie.
It's easy.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Angelic Pretty on the Streets of Wicker Park

This past Saturday afternoon I left my Day Job where we keep occasional required Saturday hours and was on my way to catch the last bit of a reading at Reckless Records when I met Stephanie, who was wearing a pink and black checked Scarlett O'Hareish hoop skirt on the streets of Wicker Park, near six corners.

I complimented Stephanie on her outfit and then she asked me if I knew of a place called iCream. I pointed to iCream and on the way there she said her friends said that they'd just been to a vintage market, and did I know where it was? I pointed to 1550 N. Milw. next to Lubinski's where there was a sandwich board sign for Vintage Heaven Gallery Market.

Sometimes it's fun to play tour guide.

Then Stephanie said that at iCream all of her friends will be dressed like her, in a style of clothing by a designer called Angelic Pretty.

So I followed Stephanie to iCream where I saw more angelic and pretty young women, enjoying themselves while out on the town. Then I never made it to Reckless in time.

The end.

Spring Thaw Fundraiser: Lasalle II

Wicker Purim Event Launches The Living Room's Presence

Though much has been written about the redevelopment of Wicker Park's buildings into corporately leased or owned spaces, a three level space that formerly housed the Puerto Rican Cultural Center just north of the Six Points intersection of Milw/Damen/North is slowly transforming into a community space open to rentals for gatherings of all kind, from art exhibits to special events and musical acts.

The plan is for The Living Room to one day be home to a Jewish community center and preschool, to be operated by the neighborhood's chabad. Whenever I've mentioned chabad to fellow hoodrats, they are likely to say, "Oh, the people with the menorah mini-van," and they are correct. The chabad is very visible and often will drive through town blasting klezmer music as well as sending some of their youths out with pamphlets to fit in with the Green Peace and Planned Parenthood minions who hang out on the streets of Wicker Park too.

In 2005 or 2007, chabad held Jewish High Holiday services in a tiny vacant storefront on North Avenue near Akira. The following year services were in a former second hand music shop in a strip mall space now occupied by a pet food chain. Passover was once in a vacant space on Western soon to be used by a mobile phone company.

As a mostly non-observant Jew akin to the "Christmas and Easter" Christians, I've lived in Wicker Park going on seven years, in the same space, on occasion popping in on events like last night's Wicker Purim, a celebration of the Festival of Purim wherein in addition to readings from the megillah and Book of Esther there was an open bar, whiskey tastings, photo booth, and a buffet with falafel and hamentaschen (sp?) cookies. The evening's entertainment came by way of NYC-based rapper, Eprhyme, who played to a packed room, with sentence after rolling sentence containing original and insightful lyrics combining traditional Hebrew prayers with philosophies on work, society, current events, and more.

After the show, at the CD table, Eprhyme said that he's been rapping since the age of 12 or 13 and was first influenced by West Coast freestyle rap.

"It's [rapping] a different way to reach people and to reach within myself to embody the stuff I study and my experiences," he shared.

I then shared that I was purchasing his CD because I like the fact he was honest enough to say on stage, "Buy my CD. Make my wife happy." (It's not always easy being independent, something I can relate to these days, as I attempt to work on the Pipeline 100 project and "sell" what I love to do most while also doing it too.)

Eprhyme's first solo debut album, "Waywordwonderwill" which I'm listening to now, is produced on a Brooklyn, NYC based Jewish and World Music label, Shemspeed and promoted on a site called K. For a more in-depth piece on Eprhyme, check out this story in the Jewish Daily Forward.

Particularly inspiring were lyrics like, "Not by might, not by power, or material occupation, shall we become free" and "When we don't communicate, we all fall down."

My favorite song is track number 8, Pride and Prejudice, which was a bit less of a rap and more of a harmony, containing overlapping vocals by Nomy Lamm, who sounded like Jill Scott at the Wailing Wall.

As I am having difficulty locating P&P's lyrics, I'll just post fragments of what I heard while playing and replaying the song a bunch of times and likely annoying my neighbors:

"Stop me if I'm wrong, but doesn't everybody want to get along? We're all different that's what makes us great... I don't understand why it must be this way.... Is it part of your master plan for everything to be this way? It's gonna be okay baby, everything gonna be OK..... I've got love, I hate to hate."

Eprhyme's message is an important one in a time when the Jewish people are divided on many issues as well as assimilated. The chabad movement is attempting to build a bridge to connect Jews to each other and to their communities. For lack of a better way to describe it, I think it's close to win-win.