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Monday, May 27, 2013

Blue Man Group Announces Expanded Summer Schedule


     Cool Off With Blue Man Group During Additional Performances in 
June, July and August for Summer Vacationers

CHICAGO – Blue Man Group is a critically hailed theatrical phenomenon on stage at Chicago’s Briar Street Theatre, 3133 N. Halsted Street.  Blue Man Group’s production provides its audience with a unique and thrilling multi-sensory experience that blends innovative theatrical spectacle and dynamic original music with hilarious comedy, art, technology and science to create a performance experience unlike any other.

Additional performances have been added in June, July and August to accommodate summer visitors to Chicago. For a full show schedule, visit

Group rates are available for 15 or more. To request information, please email

The New York Times said of the show “People from all over the world, from all walks of life and from all age groups have become fans!” The Chicago Tribune called Blue Man Group “The perfect entertainment” while The Los Angeles Times designated the Blue Men as “the most tantalizing boundary-pusher(s) afoot” and E! Entertainment Television dubbed the show “what every performance aspires to be!” 

In the show, the Blue Men encounter a variety of environments to discover, engage with and explore of-the-moment situations with cutting-edge technology.  Many of the signature scenes that have made Blue Man Group one of today’s best-loved theatrical productions have been in the show since its opening, though new material has been integrated regularly. Newer passages include Blue Men interacting with “GiPads;” a funny and perceptive look at contemporary communication vehicles; and a pulsating finale featuring an original Blue Man Group music score.

Currently, Blue Man Group theatrical shows can be seen in New York, Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Orlando, Berlin, and on tour throughout the U.S. Blue Man Group can also be seen onboard the Norwegian Epic by Norwegian Cruise Line – the Official Cruise Line of Blue Man Group.

The company’s music, featuring custom made instruments and signature, percussive sound, can be heard on five albums, including the Grammy-nominated “Audio,” as well as
various film and television projects. As the company grows, it remains true to its vision of providing exciting experiences in a variety of media, appealing to a broad range of age groups and cultural backgrounds.

Blue Man Group’s appeal is multi-generational, with several projects specifically designed for young people, including “Making Waves,” a popular touring exhibit for children, and the national “Invent an Instrument” competition. 

Tickets are available from $49-$99. Tickets may be purchased at the Briar Street Theatre by calling the box office at (773) 348-4000; by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 982-2787; at all Ticketmaster ticket centers or via the Internet at For more information, visit

Cirque Shanghai: Dragon's Thunder is on at Navy Pier


CHICAGO – Cirque Shanghai returns to Chicago’s Navy Pier this summer with a magnificent new show“Cirque Shanghai: Dragon’s Thunder” beginning Wednesday, May 22, 2013. The production will run through September 2, 2013 (Labor Day), rain or shine, at the Navy Pier® Pepsi® Skyline Stage, the 1,500-seat, canopied, open-air theater on Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave.

Tickets will be available via Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000

“Cirque Shanghai: Dragon’s Thunder” is a spectacle for audiences of all ages, featuring performers direct from China who are leaders in their craft of tumbling, juggling, balancing and more. With a total of 36 troupe members, “Dragon’s Thunder” is the largest Cirque Shanghai cast to ever visit the U.S.

This year’s production features an incredible line up of awe-inspiring acts, including “The Chinese Flex Bar,”the heart stopping “Gravity Swings,” and the awesome sounds of the traditional Chinese “Dragon Drums.”For the first time in Cirque Shanghai’s North American engagement, the traditional Chinese drums will be an integral part of the production.

Back from last year’s show is the fate tempting “Wheel of Destiny,” and China’s finest daredevil motorcycle troupe, “Imperial Thunder,” returns with not two, not four, but five motorcyclists riding at break-neck speeds within a steel globe.

Audiences and critics alike have raved about last year’s production, “Cirque Shanghai: Year of the Dragon.” The Chicago Sun-Times says “No doubt about it, this ‘Dragon’ breathes fire,” and Newcity regarded the production as “athletically mind-blowing.” Chicago Parent believes “This is one of those rare shows that works for everyone,” and Northwest Indiana Times raved that “This season's Cirque Shanghai show can be summed up in three words: ‘Seeing is Believing.’”

Directed by Miao Miao Chen, “Cirque Shanghai: Dragon’s Thunder” is presented in this exclusive U.S. engagement by Navy Pier in conjunction with International Special Attractions, Ltd. (ISA) production headquarters in Shanghai, China.


“Cirque Shanghai” will perform May 22 – Sept. 2, with regular run performances as follows:
  • Wednesday at 2, 6 and 8 p.m. 
  • Thursday at 2 and 8 p.m.
  • Friday at 2, 7 and 9 p.m.
  • Saturday at 2, 6 and 8 p.m.
  • Sunday at 2 and 4 p.m.

There will be additional performances on Wednesday, May 22 and Thursday May, 23 at 10:30 a.m., Sunday, May 26 at 8 p.m., Monday, May 27 (Memorial Day) at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., Thursday, July 4 at 2 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 1 at 8 p.m. and Monday, Sept. 2 (Labor Day) at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Tickets go on sale May 3 and will be available by calling 800-745-3000 or Discounted tickets for groups of 10 or more are currently available by calling GroupTix at 773.327.3778 or visiting

I have been going to Cirque Shanghai's performances for two consecutive years the past years and have been awestruck each time. Read up my posts from previous years here.

Rosemont: MB Financial Park to Host Summer Concert Series


Free Outdoor Music Festival All Summer Long June 6-August 15
ROSEMONT, IL – After last year’s successful inaugural celebration, the Village of Rosemont announces the return of their free summer concert series, ‘Rockin’ in The Park.’ Expanding upon last year’s series, the 2013 festival will be a summer-long concert series, beginning on Thursday, June 6 and continuing through Thursday, August 15. The festival, sponsored by WXRT, will feature eleven live bands, fireworks and food and beverage tents on the great lawn in the center of new MB Financial Park at Rosemont, located at 5501 Park Place, Rosemont.

Throughout June, July, and August, there will be a variety of live music including 7thHeaven, Hi Infidelity, Kashmir, Spazmatics, Arra, Libido, Funk Circus, 16 Candles, American English, Modern Day Romeos, Infinity and Breakfast Club. On June 6July 3, and August 8, a spectacular fireworks show will directly follow the accompanying music act. Admission is free, parking is free with validation and outside coolers cannot be brought into the park.

All shows are from 7- 9:45 p.m., and a full schedule can be found below: 

Thursday, June 6: 7th Heaven & Fireworks – A rock band based in Chicago, 7thHeaven is sure to kick the summer off right with a high-energy show. 7th Heaven has charted #1 on the Midwest Billboard Charts twice in the past two years with their hits "Better This Way" and "Sing.” A fireworks show will follow this concert.

Thursday, June 13: Hi Infidelity - For six consecutive years, this Chicago-based band was voted as the Best Rock Cover Band, vocalist Dave Mikulskis was voted Best Vocalist and, in 2010, Bobby Scumaci was voted Best Keyboardist in Suburban NiteLife Magazine's Best of the Burbs contest.

Thursday, June 20: Kashmir – Seeking to re-create the experience of a 70's Zeppelin show utilizing authentic vintage stage gear, costumes and special effects, Kashmir prides themselves on playing Zeppelin as it was. They only use the equipment from the era with songs reproduced with great respect and admiration for the legendary band."It's not about us, it's about Led Zeppelin.”

Thursday, June 27: Spazmatics – Bringing all the awesome sounds, styles and way cool dance steps from the 1980's, the Spazmatics recapture all the best of the worst. Outstanding musicianship combined with creative flair and style makes for an evening of pure energy and entertainment, complete with skinny ties, Brill Creamed-hair and horn-rimmed glasses.

Wednesday, July 3: Arra & Fireworks - Arra is one of the best and largest-drawing classic rock cover bands in the Chicago area. Performing the biggest hits by the biggest bands of all time with precision and excellence, they have also headlined or performed at many of the area’s largest summer festival events. A fireworks show will follow this concert.

Thursday, July 11: Libido Funk Circus - Originally formed as an over-the-top tribute to the Disco music of the 70s, Libido Funk Circus has been entertaining a wide range of audiences since its inception. From the hits of the good ole' Motown days to the bass-thumping beats of today's dance music; from the always danceable Disco grooves to the new wave rock of the 80’s, Libido Funk Circus has something for everyone.

Thursday, July 18: 16 Candles - Established in 2003, 16 Candles brings all the great 80′s songs you love to life in full force. The members are five fun-loving guys with a simple love for the music of years past and a mission to fuse nostalgia and style to create a sight/sound spectacular unlike any other.

Thursday, July 25: American English - This Beatles tribute show was voted “number one” by thousands of Beatles fans as winners of sound-a-like contests at Beatlefest® for three consecutive years. They have also won Illinois Entertainer of the Year and have been voted "Best Tribute Band" three of the last four years by their fans in the Chicago area.

Wednesday, July 31: Modern Day Romeos - Based out of Chicago's suburbs, the band’s six members have come together from different musical backgrounds to create the most fun and high-energy show you can experience. Modern Day Romeos has
been endorsed and praised by many in the media including: 95.1 WIIL Rock, STAR 105.5, 102.3 WXLC and 1220 WKRS along with countless newspaper and magazine publications.

 Thursday, August 8: INFINITY & Fireworks – With a following that makes them one of the top cover bands in Chicago, INFINITY lights up the stage with their unique vocals and instrumentals performing hits from Boston, Bon Jovi, Led Zeppelin, Styx, Queen, REO Speedwagon and Journey. They are genuine entertainers, and everyone in the audience, no matter what age, will become part of this show. A fireworks show will follow this concert.

Thursday, August 15: Breakfast Club - A high energy rock and dance 80's tribute band, every song Breakfast Club plays is a hit that brings down the house. Moonwalk down memory lane with Breakfast Club as they spin you right round to all the radical sounds, styles and way cool dance steps from the 1980s in over-the-top retro 80s attire.

About The Village of Rosemont, Illinois
Rosemont, Illinois, Chicagoland’s business and entertainment suburb, is conveniently located five minutes from O’Hare Airport and twenty minutes from Chicago’s downtown. Rosemont is home to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, a wide variety of hotel and dining options, the Allstate Arena, the Rosemont Theatre and a host of entertainment and retail venues including MB Financial Park at Rosemont. Rosemont continues to grow and evolve based on the new vision of Mayor Bradley A. Stephens. The newest addition to the Rosemont community, set to open in August 2013, will be the Fashion Outlets of Chicago For more information visit

About The MB Financial Park at Rosemont
MB Financial Park at Rosemont is a 200,000 square-foot entertainment and dining complex that will house eight venues offering upscale international cuisine, live music and comedy, state-of-the-art film, bowling and more. Conveniently located near O’Hare International Airport, MB Financial Park at Rosemont is easily accessible from Chicago as well as the suburbs. The address is 5501 Park Place, a new looping street situated west of River Road between Bryn Mawr and Balmoral Avenues.  A 20-minute drive from Chicago’s Loop, MB Financial Park at Rosemont is walking distance from the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, the CTA Blue Line Rosemont station and Rosemont Theatre. Convenient parking is available.


Dynamic Live Insect Exhibit Gives Visitors an Up-Close View of the Four Stages of Butterfly Development, from Egg to Adult

GLENVIEW, Ill. – Visitors to the Kohl Children’s Museum will have the awe-inspiring experience of watching live monarch butterflies grow from eggs to fully developed adults this summer when the Watch Us Grow: Monarch Butterflies exhibit was launched May 21, and continuing through Sunday, September 1. The dynamic and interactive exhibit will give kids a chance to get up close to one of nature’s most beautiful and fascinating beings.

The live insect exhibit will show visitors the life cycle of the monarch butterfly, the Illinois state insect. Chicago’s youngest museum-goers will be able to view four stages of butterfly development; eggs, caterpillars, pupas, and adult butterflies; explore how animals change and adapt through the metamorphosis process; and determine whether a butterfly is male or female by examining its wing shape and pattern.

The monarchs will be exhibited in a specially designed habitat for chrysalises and butterflies where they will be free to explore, while providing visitors with an unforgettable learning experience. Exhibit signage explains the egg and caterpillar stages of butterfly growth, and live specimens of pupa and adult butterflies demonstrate the final two stages of growth.

Anderson Pest Solutions, the largest family-owned pest solutions company in the Midwest, has once again generously underwritten the exhibit. Anderson is dedicated to environmental protection and committed to reducing and eliminating the use of pesticides in favor of natural solutions to pest problems.

“The Museum is very grateful to Anderson for their ongoing support of the Watch Us Grow exhibit,” said Sheridan Turner, President and CEO of the Kohl Children’s Museum. “Children have the special opportunity to witness nature’s stunning life cycle happening in front of their very eyes. These insects are beautiful to look at, but they also teach children an appreciation for the life of something as small and magical as a butterfly.”

About Kohl Children’s Museum

In recognition for its outstanding exhibits and impact on Chicagoland families, Kohl Children’s Museum was recently named one of the country’s Ten Best Children’s Museums by Parents Magazine. The Museum was ranked sixth out of more than 300 children’s museums nationwide and was the only Chicago area museum recognized.

Offering 17 interactive, hands-on exhibits for children ages birth to 8, the Museum’s mission is to encourage young children to become effective learners through self-directed complex play. Kohl Children’s Museum is located at 2100 Patriot Blvd., in Glenview, Ill. at the corner of Patriot Blvd. and W. Lake Ave. in the newly redeveloped area known as The Glen. The Museum can be easily reached by public transportation, including Pace bus and Metra trains.

For more information, visit the Museum’s website at or call (847) 832-6600. The Museum is open on Monday from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Special members-only hours are from Monday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Admission prices are $9.50 for children and adults and $8.50 for senior citizens. Children under 1 year old and members are admitted free of charge. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Another new innings...

...started for me this week. Having held the Illinois Teaching Certificate for almost a year and a half, applying in school districts and not hearing back from them, I finally got a break in the same school district as Nino and Chica's. Lesson learnt - knowing people in the system works as much here as anywhere else in the world! So even though the hiring right now has been as a paltry substitute teacher, its exciting nevertheless for a variety of reasons. Getting back into a profession very close to my heart even if its a baby step towards that; getting the opportunity of experiencing teaching, first hand, in a country other than my own; being able to step out after another long stint at home to name a few. And the good part is its working well with my schedule. Nino returns at 4:00 and I am able to return before that. Chica who still goes half day has been lucky to get a loving babysitter in a dear friend. And mornings just got better. Every morning Nino wakes up with the question if I got a call from some school to see if he would be able to don his 'responsible child cum caring older brother' hat today :) I had been counseling the kids since last week about all they would have to remember to do as I would have to leave, on some days, almost an hour and a quarter before they leave for school. Which is typically the time they are ready to go for the bathroom 'works' after having gulped down their milk. And A more often than not has office calls during that time, which essentially leaves the kids on their own to get ready, fold their clothes, make their beds, eat their breakfast, make sure everything that's supposed to be in the bags actually is (yeah we are last minuters) and biggest of all KEEP AN EYE ON THE CLOCK! And I am proud to say that on the very first day, I am a proud mom of kids who got ready 20 minutes before their scheduled time and were the first ones to reach the bus stop! Yeah, Chica wore pink and green socks with a black and white shirt and red leggings, but I am ready to overlook that because she did look amusingly cute nevertheless :)

So now notes from the first day of work. I spent my time laughing over this video with A last night and hoping my day went better than this ;)

I substituted for a Math/Science teacher in a middle school today. Some of the things that impressed me -

1. The day started with select News being broadcast for the students to watch throuhgout the school in the homeroom period. Such a great idea!
2. Outside every teacher's room, along with their name was a sign which stated "Mr/Mrs XYZ is reading                            . " (followed by the name of the book). How inspiring!
3. 6th graders were working on a presentation in groups of 4 on National Parks. The roles taken up by each group member were Geologist/Animal and Plant researcher/Historian/Tour Guide. They made slides according to their role and shared it on Google Docs with their group members which the Tour Guide then adjusted to, well guide the audience. Such a great project!

So that's the latest from my end. Tomorrow is another exciting day as I get to visit the young Kindergartners. My kids are more excited than I am about this one :)

Friday, January 18, 2013

I am thankful for Basque athlete Iván Fernández Anaya

A few weeks back Nino read a book about Lance Armstrong and as is natural for a child his age, was so impressed by the feats he had achieved. He couldn't help marveling at the fact that a person could win the Tour de France seven times in a row. He was deeply moved by the fact that in spite of battling cancer, which he knew to be a deadly disease, he returned to cycling and by his will power and hard work went on to achieve all that he did. The book was obviously written before February 2011 when Lance Armstrong was charged by the United Stated Anti Doping Agency for using and distributing performance enhancing drugs and stripped of all his medals since August 1998. Very unfortunately we had to shatter the bubble he had created and bring down the cyclist from the larger than life pedestal the child had placed him on. The look on his face was not a pleasant one to see as he battled confusion, contempt, distrust. While it was a meaningful lesson in doing the right thing and the huge consequences following your choice of actions, still as a parent I felt a tug at my heart hoping that somehow everything could be undone and Lance Armstrong to go back to being the hero my son had just imagined him to be.

So today when I read about the Basque athlete Iván Fernández Anaya, I felt so heartened. I quote his glorious action

Very little has been said about this…..On December 2, Basque athlete Iván Fernández Anaya was competing in a cross-country race in Burlada, Navarre. He was running second, some distance behind race leader Abel Mutai - bronze medalist in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the London Olympics. As they entered the finishing straight, he saw the Kenyan runner - the certain winner of the race - mistakenly pull up about 10 meters before the finish, thinking he had already crossed the line.
Fernández Anaya quickly caught up with him, but instead of exploiting Mutai's mistake to speed past and claim an unlikely victory, he stayed behind and, using gestures, guided the Kenyan to the line and let him cross first.
Ivan Fernandez Anaya, a Basque runner of 24 years who is considered an athlete with a big future (champion of Spain of 5,000 meters in promise category two years ago) said after the test:
"But even if they had told me that winning would have earned me a place in the Spanish team for the European championships, I wouldn't have done it either. I also think that I have earned more of a name having done what I did than if I had won. And that is very important, because today, with the way things are in all circles, in soccer, in society, in politics, where it seems anything goes, a gesture of honesty goes down well."
He said at the beginning: unfortunately, very little has been said of the gesture. And it's a shame. In my opinion, it would be nice to explain to children, so they do not think that sport is only what they see on TV: violent kicks in abundance, posh statements, fingers in the eyes of the enemy ... 

I can't wait to share this with Nino today to give him back hope, the trust that honest people still do exist and are recognized and the belief that no matter how 'big' you are, you really are only as big as your actions!

Like Ivan says, please do share this with your children and show them the video here.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Sesame Street Live Brings "Elmo Makes Music" to Chicago Area in May

“Elmo Makes Music”

Fun & Furry Musicians Arrive in Chicagoland on May 1!

ROSEMONT, Ill.,  MERRILLVILLE, Ind. & JOLIET, Ill. – Mark your calendar for a musical event like no other—monsters making music!  Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Big Bird and all their Sesame Street friends are taking to the stage to share their love of music in Sesame Street Live “Elmo Makes Music” at Akoo Theatre from Wednesday, May 1 through Sunday, May 5, the Star Plaza Theatre from Wednesday, May 8 through Sunday, May 12 and the Rialto Square Theatre Tuesday, May 14 through Wednesday, May 15. Tickets for all 21 performances are on sale now!

Jenny, an enthusiastic new music teacher, arrives on Sesame Street only to discover that her instruments are missing.  Jenny’s new Muppet friends quickly come to the rescue and discover ‘instruments’ they never knew existed…rubber duckies, trash can lids and even cookie jars.  Elmo, Abby Cadabby and friends teach children that everyone can make and enjoy beautiful music together.

Like television’s Sesame Street, each Sesame Street Live production features timeless lessons for all ages.  Through the razzle-dazzle of this Broadway-quality musical production, children learn about patience, acceptance and teamwork.  The universal appeal of a Sesame Street Live production continues long after preschool.  Adults will appreciate the high-tech     stagecraft, cleverly written scripts, and music they’ll recognize and enjoy sharing with children, such as “The Hustle,” “You Should Be Dancing” and “Rockin’ Robin.”  “Elmo Makes Music” features nearly two dozen songs, including classics that children will love to sing along with such as “C Is for Cookie” and “The Alphabet Song.”

Elmo Makes Music: Schedule for Akoo Theatre at Rosemont 

Sesame Street Live "Elmo Makes Music"


Wednesday   May 1   7 p.m. (*Exclusive WTTW Benefit Performance)

Thursday        May 2   10:30 a.m. & 7 p.m. (*Opening Night Offer)

 Friday             May 3   10:30 a.m. & 7 p.m.
 Saturday        May 4   10:30 a.m., 2 p.m. & 5:30 p.m.
 Sunday          May 5    1 p.m. & 4:30 p.m.

Akoo Theatre at Rosemont
5400 N. River Rd.
Rosemont, IL 60018

$15, $25 and $30. A limited number of $40 Gold Circle seats and $90 Sunny Seats** are also available. *Opening Night, all seats (excluding Gold Circle     and Sunny Seats) are $15. A facility fee of $2 will be added to all ticket prices. Additional fees and special offers may apply.

 **Special $90 Sunny Seat packages are available at all shows. Sunny Seats feature VIP seats and a pre-show Meet & Greet with two Sesame Street Live friends.

**** Join WTTW11 on Wednesday, May 1 at 7 p.m. Call 773-588-1111 for ticket prices and more information.

For more information, call 847-671-5100. To charge tickets by phone, please call Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000. Tickets may also be purchased online at For information online, please visit Become a fan of Sesame Street Live on Facebook

Elmo Makes Music: Schedule for other Chicagoland Locations

Sesame Street Live "Elmo Makes Music"

Wedneasday  May 8      7 p.m. (*Oepning Night Offer)
Thursday         May 9      10:30 a.m. & 7 p.m.
Friday               May 10    10:30 a.m. & 7 p.m.
Saturday          May 11    1 p.m. & 4:30 p.m.
Sunday            May 12     1 p.m. & 4:30 p.m.

Star Plaza Theatre
8001 Delaware Place
Merrillville, IN 46410


$13, $18 and $28. A limited number of $35 Gold Circle seats and $65 Sunny Seats** are also available. *Opening Night, all seats (excluding Gold Circle and Sunny Seats) are $13. A facility fee of $2 will be added to all ticket prices. Additional fees and special offers may apply.

 **Special $65 Sunny Seat packages are available at all shows. Sunny Seats feature VIP seats and a pre-show Meet & Greet with two Sesame Street Live friends.

For more information or to charge tickets by phone, please call Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000. Tickets may also be purchased online at For information online, please Become a fan of Sesame Street Live on Facebook.

Sesame Street Live "Elmo Makes Music"

Tuesday         May 14   7p.m.
Wednesday   May 15  10:30 a.m. & 7 p.m.

Rialto Square Theatre
120 North Chicago Street
Joliet, IL 60432


$10, $13 and $17. A limited number of $27 Gold Circle seats and $52 Sunny Seats* are also available. A facility fee of $3 will be added to all ticket prices. Additional fees and special offers may apply.

*Special $52 Sunny Seat packages are available at all shows. Sunny Seats feature VIP seats and a pre-show Meet & Greet with two Sesame Street Live friends.

For more information, call 815-726-6600. To charge tickets by phone, please call Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000. Tickets may also be purchased online at For information online, please visit Become a fan of Sesame Street Live on Facebook.