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A familiar green villain is currently back in theaters, reimagined in Universal and Illumination's animated picture, THE GRINCH. But that's not the only place to see the tale come to life as Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical brings magic to the stage in select cities for 2018. Madison Square Garden's touring production is the big one, featuring Tony-nominated Gavin Lee (SpongeBob Squarepants: The Musical, Mary Poppins) in the lead role as The Grinch. Kicking off at The Chicago Theatre (November 16-25) before heading off to Boston and New York, my family and I were guests at the opening night performance in Chicago as holiday cheer took hold to a sold-out crowd.

Back in April, I shared the news that Mattel and Mills Entertainment had teamed-up to bring characters from American Girl into the realm of live theatre with the launch of American Girl Live. Now comes news on the full cast for the debut performances, which will have their world premiere at The North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, Illinois, Dec. 21-23, 2018. The cast of American Girl Live includes Jenna Bruce as Rebecca, Ashley Diane as Luciana, Laila E. Drew as Melody, Shelby Lysette Miguel as Nanea, Monica Poston as Julie and Kelsey Elaine Pressnall as Maryellen. The cast also features Orisa Gutierrez and Mari Skoultchi. 

The details are light right now, but Mattel and Mills Entertainment have teamed-up to bring American Girl to life as an all-new traveling musical. AMERICAN GIRL LIVE! will feature all-original songs and "unforgettable experiences" based on some of American Girl's most loved characters. The show promises "fun-filled adventure, where exciting tales of bravery and friendship come to life, LIVE and in-person" as families join their "favorite American Girl characters, and some brand-new friends, as they follow their hearts and share their dreams, in a journey across time." Check out a short video teaser below, and look for more details coming soon, including tour dates and cities. I can reveal that tickets will go on-sale on May 18, 2018 for most markets...

PJ MasksBack in March, there was a ton of excitement when it was announced that PJ Masks Live Tour was in the works. Now comes the official reveal that Entertainment One (eOne) and Round Room Presents will bring PJ Masks Live! Time to Be a Hero to cities across North America starting in September 2017. The "brand-new, fully-immersive musical stage production" is based on eOne’s top-rated animated TV series, which airs daily on Disney Junior. Catboy, Owlette, Gekko, and all of the Baddies will face-off in live performances featuring world-class production, familiar and original music, acrobatics, and immersive interactivity. Exclusive pre-sales begin Tuesday, May 16, at 10am EST, with the general public on-sale starting Friday, May 19, at 10am EST.

Published in Movies, TV and More

In a not-so-distant land called Schaumburg, nestled just minutes west of Chicago proper, there lies a grand castle - an 11th century relic that actually first appeared one foggy night in 1991. For nearly a quarter-century, visitors to this legendary kingdom have taken delight in a spectacle of sportsmanship that until this month, our family had not yet experienced - despite passing beneath the shadow of the castle tower on more than a few occasions. Last week, we answered the invitation of the King himself (or marketers working on his behalf) to attend Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament to witness the action first-hand, and for I to bring forth a tale of our family's experience in the realm of "steel and steed."

Published in Sports Entertainment

ALICE IN WONDERLAND has been reimagined with a rock and roll spin, and it's happened in Chicago. Director Rachael Rockwell and Music Director Michael Mahler have brought to life Lewis Carroll's ALICE IN WONDERLAND and THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS as a new tale starring a pair of young stars - Isabelle Roberts and Ariana Burks - who will alternate performances as Alice. Performances run through May 24 at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts (1016 N. Dearborn St., Chicago), with tickets available through the Chicago Children's Theatre website. Details below...

Published in Chicagoland
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