Days of the Living

SUSPIRIA (2018) Halloween Night at Music Box

  • Posted : October 22nd, 2018
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Preview Screening October 31st at 7pm | Opens November 2nd

From the Director of CALL ME BY YOUR NAME

A darkness swirls at the center of a world-renowned dance company, one that will engulf the troupe’s artistic director (Swinton), an ambitious young dancer (Johnson), and a grieving psychotherapist (Ebersdorf). Some will succumb to the nightmare. Others will finally wake up.

“5 Stars! A spectacularly strange affair, thrumming with wild blood and weird powers.” — TimeOut

“Savagely beautiful” — IndieWire

Information, trailer and tickets at!

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First Annual Lockport Coffin Race, October 20th

  • Posted : October 16th, 2018
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Lockport Coffin Race

Lockport presents its 1st Annual Coffin Race this Saturday, October 20th, noon to 4:00 pm in the Hamilton Street parking lot.


WANT TO WATCH? Arrive early to line up for the best seats! Parade starts at noon followed by the coffins racing down Hamilton Street between 12th and 10th Streets. A beer garden, food trucks and a DJ will be in the Hamilton Street Parking lot for our after party! Be sure to come in Costume so you can fit right in.

Free Admission and a family-friendly event! Full information at!

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Masquerade D’Vampire brings the best of Halloween to Urbana on Sat., Oct. 13th

  • Posted : October 11th, 2018
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Masquerade d'Vampire

For Halloween enthusiasts, vampire lore fanatics, and anyone looking for something new to do, the event of the year is approaching. At 8 p.m. on Saturday, October 13, the doors open for Masquerade d’Vampire at Blackbird Urbana.

“Anyone age 19 and up should have fun here,” said organizer J.L. Benet. Attendees should dress to impress and come ready to dance.

The event’s most famous performer is D.J. Scary Lady Sarah, who performs all over the world and has hosted the world’s longest-running goth club night, Nocturna, for the past 30 years. Fans are anticipated to travel from at least as far as Chicago and Indianapolis.

Champaign-Urbana’s once-flourishing goth scene was in decline even before their unofficial home, C-Street, closed its doors. Without a “home” club, enthusiasts have had to travel as far away as Chicago, Indianapolis, or even St. Louis. On October 13, though, Urbana is the place to be. Benet hopes his promoting group, The Darkness Underground, can help make Chambana goth again.

This may all sound a bit intense for the novice or the Halloween-casual, but Benet assures that there’s fun for everyone at the Masquerade. “I have attended vampire balls in Detroit, Tampa, and Denver. They brought a diverse crowd and were always the highlight of the year. The broader appeal brings in more, which was something very important in a city with a small goth community.”

Besides dancing their immortal behinds off, partygoers can enjoy a costume contest, metal-bellydance by Stygian Sisters, hoop and fire dancing, tarot and palm readings by Liz Rowland, special effects make-up demonstrations by local artist Breelyn Faye, and custom dental fang fittings by Maven Lore. “Maven coined the term “fangsmith” and has been making dental-quality fangs for vampire enthusiasts for over 20 years. His work has been in many documentaries, and he’s doing me the personal favor of coming from New Orleans,” Benet said.

Costume is optional but encouraged, and who doesn’t enjoy a night of dress-up, entertainment, and themed food and drink? “I plan to post some costume ideas on the event page,” Benet said. “Going to Dallas & Co. would likely be helpful for those looking for costume ideas. They also have masquerade masks there. Going to the make-up demonstration on Saturday, or getting Maven to make fangs for them prior to the actual event would also help.”

Advance tickets are $10 at, and at Enchantment Alley. Breelyn Faye will provide an advance makeup demonstration/tutorial at Enchantment Alley at 12 p.m. Saturday, October 13.

WHERE: Blackbird Urbana

WHEN: Saturday, October 13 from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.

TICKETS: $10 in advance at or Enchantment Alley. If tickets have not sold out, they will be sold at the door for a higher cost.

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An Evening with Don Coscarelli at the Music Box Theatre, Monday Oct. 8

  • Posted : October 2nd, 2018
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Don Coscarelli

Best known for his horror/sci-fi/fantasy films including PHANTASM, THE BEASTMASTER, BUBBA HO-TEP and JOHN DIES AT THE END, now Don Coscarelli’s taking you on a white-knuckle ride through the rough and tumble world of indie film, and The Book Stall is delighted to partner with The Music Box for this journey.

Coscarelli’s new memoir fits an entire film school education into a single book. It’s loaded with behind-the-scenes stories: like setting his face on fire during the making of Phantasm, hearing Bruce Campbell’s most important question before agreeing to star in Bubba Ho-tep, and crafting a horror thriller into a franchise phenomenon spanning four decades. Find out how Coscarelli managed to retain creative and financial control of his artistic works in an industry ruled by power-hungry predators, and all without going insane or bankrupt.

True Indie: Life and Death in Filmmaking will prove indispensable for fans of Coscarelli’s movies, aspiring filmmakers, and anyone who loves a story of an underdog who prevails while not betraying what he believes.

Monday, October 8th at the Music Box Theatre (3733 N Southport Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60613):
6:30pm – Signing (VIP ticket holders + additional books purchased by guests)
7:15pm – Intro + Film Screening
8:50pm – Q&A


$40 Book + Film Screening/$37 for Music Box Members
$10 Film Screening Only/$7 for Music Box Members
Only books purchased via the Book Stall or through a Book + Film Screening ticket will be signed

Tickets available via The Music Box:

Facebook Event Page:

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MASQUE MACABRE at the Strawdog Theatre Company, Oct. 4 – 31

  • Posted : September 23rd, 2018
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Masque Macabre

Strawdog Theatre Company Presents the World Premiere Immersive Theatrical Experience


Inspired by the Stories of Edgar Allan Poe

Written by Aly Greaves Amidei, Cara Beth Heath & John Henry Roberts
Directed by Anderson Lawfer, Janet Howe & Eli Newell

October 4 – October 31, 2018

CHICAGO (September 20, 2018) – Just in time for Halloween, Strawdog Theatre Company launches its 31st season with the world premiere of MASQUE MACABRE, a dark and bloody thrill ride inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe – think Carrie meets Eyes Wide Shut. The handlers of a “bad boy” entrepreneur go to extremes to give him one last big bash before his past catches up to him. An explorative immersive theatre experience a la Sleep No More, guests travel from room to room throughout the space and follow stories of revenge and murder as they play out in real time.

Written by ensemble members Aly Greaves Amidei* and John Henry Roberts* and company member Cara Beth Heath^ and directed by Co-Artistic Director Anderson Lawfer*Janet Howe and Eli NewellMASQUE MACABRE will play October 4 – 31, 2018 at Strawdog’s new home at 1802 W. Berenice Ave. in Chicago’s Northcenter neighborhood. Single tickets and season subscriptions are currently available at www.strawdog.orgThe press opening is Friday, October 12 at 7 pm or 9:30 pm.

MASQUE MACABRE will feature Strawdog ensemble member Michael Reyes* with guest artists Andrew BailesDan CobblerKatie GonzalezHenry Greenberg, Adam HinkleBrian HinklePatrick TJ KellyLisa McConnellLaura Nelson, Ella RaymontCollin Quinn RiceShaina Schrooten and Julian Stroop.

Comments Co-Artistic Director Michael Dailey, “MASQUE MACABRE is the most ambitious project in our 31 year history. We’re thrilled to share the immersive and horrifying world of MASQUE with Chicago audiences. With fourteen storylines playing out in real time throughout our entire space, you could see this show multiple times and come out with a totally different experience each time. At a haunting time of year, MASQUE delivers a modern nightmare that explores the line between revenge and justice and how what we do (or don’t do) makes us complicit in the evil and darkness of others. It may just keep you up at night.”

The production team for MASQUE MACABRE includes: Strawdog ensemble members Claire Chrzan* (co-lighting designer), Heath Hays* (sound designer) and Kyle Hamman* (video/media designer) with guest artists: Tom Burch (scenic designer), Virginia Varland (costume designer), Shelbi Arndt and Daniel Friedman (co-lighting designers), Lacie Hexom (props designer), Bobby Wilhelmson (violence designer), Kate Lass (intimacy designer), Mike Sanow (technical director) and Megan Gray (stage manager).

* Denotes Strawdog ensemble member

Denotes Strawdog company member



Inspired by the stories of: Edgar Allan Poe

Written by: Aly Greaves Amidei*, Cara Beth Heath^ and John Henry Roberts*

Directed by: Anderson Lawfer*, Janet Howe and Eli Newell

Cast: Strawdog ensemble member Michael Reyes* with guest artists Andrew BailesDan CobblerKatie GonzalezHenry Greenberg, Adam HinkleBrian HinklePatrick TJ KellyLisa McConnellLaura Nelson, Ella RaymontCollin Quinn RiceShaina Schrooten and Julian Stroop.

Location: Strawdog Theatre Company, 1802 W. Berenice Ave., Chicago

Dates: Previews: Thursday, October 4 at 7 pm, Friday, October 5 at 7 pm, Sunday, October 7 at 2 pm & 5 pm and Thursday, October 11 at 7 pm & 9:30 pm

Board Night Performance: Special performance with hosted drinks and appetizers, Saturday October 6 at 7 pm.

Press performance: Friday, October 12 at 7 pm or 9:30 pm

Regular run: Saturday, October 13 – Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7 pm & 9:30 pm, Sundays at 2 pm & 5 pm. Please note: Halloween week performances added on Monday, October 29 at 7 pm & 9:30 pm, Tuesday, October 30 at 7 pm & 9:30 pm and Wednesday, October 31 at 7 pm & 9:30 pm.

Tickets: Previews $30. Regular run $50. Seniors: $40. Board Night: $75. Single tickets and season subscriptions are currently available at Half price Rush and Student tickets available at every performance and other discounts available. Call (773) 644-1380 for details.

About the Artists

Aly Greaves Amidei (Co-Writer) has worked as a designer, playwright and maker based in Chicago for the last 18 years. She is an Assistant Professor of Costume Design at UNC-Charlotte. She is proud ensemble member of Strawdog Theatre Company and Lifeline Theatre. Her plays and audio dramas have been produced at Lifeline Theatre, WildClaw Theatre, Strawdog Hit Factory, College of DuPage and Cartage Theatre of Charlotte.

Cara Beth Heath (Co-Writer) has an MFA in Playwriting from Western Michigan University and a BA in Creative Writing from the College of Charleston. She is the Literary Manager at Strawdog Theatre Company. She’s also been invited to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for dramaturgy, directing and playwriting. Her work has been read and produced in several festivals and workshops across the Midwest, including her award-winning play Good Enough about the women of the Gibson guitar factory during WWII. She’s been in Chicago for a couple of years now, developing her plays and advocating for local playwrights.

John Henry Roberts (Co-Writer) joined the Strawdog ensemble in 2004. Previous writing credits include Strawdog’s production of The Sweeter Option and the Neo-Futurists’ production of True Dreams of Annie Arbor. Recent acting credits include Pillars of the CommunityBarbecue and The Night Season (Strawdog), Neverwhere and Miss Holmes (Lifeline Theatre), The Little Flower of East Orange (Eclipse Theatre, Jeff Nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Lead Role), Diamond Dogs and The Hammer Trinity (The House Theatre). He’ll next appear in Twelfth Night at Writers Theatre. He is represented by Paonessa Talent.

Janet Howe (Co-Director) is a director, immersive theatre consultant and Co-Artistic Director of (re)discover theatre. Over the past four years, Janet’s work has focused exclusively on immersive and site-specific works. Janet directed and spearheaded projects such as FOR ONE: a series of plays built for an audience of one and Farewell My Friend, an immersive melding of Romeo & Juliet and Tristan & Iseult. Other directing credits include LysistaratraFifty Shades of Shakespeare and Jason & (Medea). Starting October 2018, Janet will be studying immersive theatre at Middlesex University: London, focusing on accessibility in immersive forms.

Anderson Lawfer (Co-Director) is a Co-Artistic Director of Strawdog. He was the previous Artistic Director of Strawdog’s Hugen Hall and focused on new works, adapting and directing Pontypool, Fail/Safe and Kill Shakespeare. He is the creator and host of many Strawdog late night shows including Theatre Wars!The Direct Off! and The Game Show Show and Stuff! He will also be directing a new musical in the spring written by Mark Guarino and Jon Langford called Take Me.

Eli Newell (Co-Director) Eli Newell is thrilled to return to Strawdog after having previously assistant directed Damascus. He is a Chicago-based director from the Twin Cities, Minnesota. In Chicago, Eli has assisted at Goodman Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Raven Theatre, Strawdog Theatre Company, Haven Theatre and Windy City Playhouse. In the Twin Cities, he has worked with Guthrie Theater, Children’s Theatre Company, Ordway Center and the Playwrights’ Center. Eli is a graduate of Northwestern University’s School of Communication.

Crystal Head Vodka is the official vodka of MASQUE MACABRE.

About Strawdog Theatre Company

Since its founding in 1988, Strawdog Theatre Company has offered Chicagoland the premiere storefront theatre experience and garnered numerous Non-Equity Jeff Awards with its commitment to ensemble acting and an immersive design approach. The celebrated Company develops new work, re-imagines the classics, melds music with theatre, asks provocative questions and delivers their audience the unexpected.

Strawdog Theatre Company is supported in part by The Macarthur Fund for Arts & Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the Alphawood Foundation, The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, and the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

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