Saturday, September 14, 2019

REVIEW: A very entertaining Spamalot at Mercury Theatre

We saw Spamalot at the Mercury Theatre recently, and it is a very entertaining show, especially if you love Monty Python or silly humor.  Even if you don't know Monty Python, it would be very entertaining and well worth seeing.



DISCLOSURE:  We received review tickets in order to review the show.  This review has no relationship to the cost of the tickets.  I take my integrity seriously, and so should you.
All photos provided by theatre.

The show is (as the ad says) lovingly ripped off from the Monty Python movie "Monty Python and the Holy Grail."   That movie is a collection of absurdist sketches all themed in the world of Camelot, but Camelot is more of an excuse to do crazy comedy.  Many of the sketches from the movie have entered the classical lexicon of sketch comedy:   (I fart in your general direction, the Knights who say Nee, the airspeed velocity of a sparrow, the killer bunny rabbit, and many others)


The Trojan rabbit.  

Back in the early 2000's, former Python Eric Idle  came up with the idea to create the musical, and it premiered in Chicago before moving to Broadway. It's now back in a smaller, leaner production than the one that was on Broadway, and I think it's all the better for it.  The Mercury team has done a great job of keeping the show funny with minimal sets and props.  Director Walter Stearns keeps it going quickly from moment to moment, and musical director Eugene Dizon makes the most of his 6 piece live orchestra.
The Knights of the Round Table sing and dance.

The cast is uniformly excellent, including Jonah Winston as the ever-jaunty King Arthur, Meghan Murphy as the erotically charged Lady of the Lake, and all the other cast members do a great job.  Of particular note were Adam Fane with a number of memorable comic turns as characters and Adam Ross Brody who was a particularly fantastic cowardly Sir Robin.   (You might think that since my name is Adam, I am unfairly calling out actors named Adam.  Not true.  I calls them as I sees them.)  And all the voices were great.

At the end of the show, my wife marveled at how much talent we have in Chicago, which is definitely true.  My eleven year old son just laughed and laughed.  When musicality and comedy are both performed well, it's a joy to behold!

Ooh la la, the Lady of the Lake.

One piece of criticism from a comic point of view:

While I particularly enjoyed the Black Knight scene (a scene where Arthur and the Black Knight duel, and Arthur keeps on cutting off his extremities, to which the black knight says "It's only a flesh wound."  I felt that the mechanics of it the night I saw it were a little sloppy.  The mechanism of how he lost his legs was too obvious and not well-rehearsed enough.  It doesn't have to be perfect or an illusion, but it can't feel hurried, which is what happened the night I saw it.  I'm sure the actors will get the hang of it and do it cleaner by the end of the run.

All in all, a great night of entertaining theatre in Chicago's LakeView neighborhood!


The show was delightful from beginning to end.



SPAMALOT runs through November 3. The performance schedule for SPAMALOT is Wednesdays at 8 pm, Thursdays at 8 pm, Fridays at 8 pm, Saturdays at 3 pm and 8 pm and Sundays at 3 pm. Individual tickets range from $40-$70, and are available online at MercuryTheaterChicago.com,  by phone at 773.325.1700, or in person at the Mercury Theater Box office at 3745 N. Southport Avenue, Chicago.


Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Grant proposals open to RI Schools and Organizations

My mom, Karel Gertsacov
As many of you might know.  My mom was an art teacher.  She taught grades 7-9 in Cranston for many years.  Her specialty as an art teacher was teaching creativity, working with kids who didn't think they were good at art, and giving them confidence that they could do it.  Many times she'd say, "Okay, turn the paper on its side, and look now how interesting your art is!"

A few years before she passed away, she started a fund using the insurance money from my dad's death to start the Arts in Academics Fund at the Rhode Island Foundation, which allows schools, artists, and arts organizations to collaborate on creating innovative programs that combine arts into the academic curriculum.

Since the fund began 15 years ago, it's donated over $40,000 to programming of this type, and the fund has grown an additional 50%.  We've funded creative murals for schools, student written plays about math, the beginning of a materials libary for the art and science department, a kiln for a high school, the beginning of a literary and artistic journal, and much much more.

The fund is administered through the Rhode Island Foundation, which is now taking applications for this year's projects.  Projects should take place between January and December of 2020.

To find out more visit the following

 Arts in Academics Fund page at Rhode Island Foundation.

Website: Artsfound.org


Deadline for application submission is October 25, 2019. Please click here to apply.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Museum Exhibit: Virgil Abloh "Figures of Speech"

Before I left for Europe for the summer, I took in an exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art which I've been thinking about how to write about for almost two months.  The exhibit was a retrospective of Virgil Abloh called "Figures Of Speech."

Abloh is an artist, designer, engineer, and architect, who, while pursuing his masters degree in architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology, managed to hook up with Kanye West, and become the creative director of his creative team, working on album covers, concert designs, and merchandising.  He parlayed that work to create his own fashion brand Off-White, and recently became the artistic director of Louis Vuitton's menswear collection.













I was really struck by a couple of the pieces, including "You're Obviously In The Wrong Place" which quotes Pretty Woman with George Segal style sculptures in white that manages to be funny and meaningful on a number of levels, accessing racial discrimination, class discrimination, and impostor syndrome all at once. I loved it.



Another piece I really loved was the Figures of Speech mural, which incorporates a whole lot of imagery and signs and signals.  I did a video flyby of it, but it really deserves looking at and studying.



And a third piece I loved was the Black Cotton Logo.  With a simple inversion, Abloh manages to elegantly make a statement about consumerism, racism, history, and branding.  It's this kind of elegant and sardonic minimalism where I think Abloh is at his best.


There were lots of other pieces that I was not enamored of, but I'm not going to focus on them.

Abloh is an interesting character-- in 2002 he was a student, in 2006 a graduate student and in 2009 he was an intern at Fendi, and by 2019 he is a ruler of the universe.  One of Abloh's mandates in his work is "Question everything."  So here are my questions.  How did he rise so fast?  What is it about his work that is so fantastic that in 10 years he can rise to the literal top?  And could the next Virgil Abloh be a white female septugenarian?


I'm not exactly sure, but after listening to him talk at the opening of the exhibit (which runs through September 22 in Chicago, before going on to Atlanta (Nov 9-2019 to March 8, 2020), Boston (July-September 2020) and Brooklyn (Winter 2020 to Spring 2021) I'd say it's a combination of a few things.

Articulate  Abloh is a good talker.  He's got a lot of ideas and he likes to talk about them.  It was a little frustrating, someone asked him a straight forward question at the opening (about the difference between appropriating, stealing, and quoting) , and he preceded to talk for ten minutes, say all kinds of interesting stuff, and never answer the question.  He didn't even directly talk about the question, he just followed his own thoughts.  This is a guy whose trademark image is a quotation mark.




Actuator.  After looking through the entire exhibit, I think that Abloh is an actuator.  He takes his ideas and puts them on canvas/fabric/sculpture/whatever.  (He's come out with furniture, music, clothing, and a whole lot of other stuff.  It makes sense now when he has the money to make things happen, but I got the feeling from looking at his work that he was making stuff constantly, even if it wasn't very good.  He puts out his ideas concretely, even if they aren't fully formed or fully functional.  He lays it out there.

His Master's thesis project.  He redid it for this exhibition.
Iteration  The second part of that is that Abloh seems able to move on from one piece or idea and into another fairly effortlessly.  He has no problem releasing 10 or 15 different versions of something as he strives for what works (both aesthetically and in the marketplace)

Collaboration  Abloh enlists lots of other artists into his works and is able to use their contributions to fuel his own ideas and then take off even further.  He's worked with some powerhouses, including Kanye, Jenny Holzer, and Arthur Jafa, and has been inspired by diverse influences including the movies Black Panther, Pretty Woman and architect Mies van der Rohe.

Merchandising  Abloh seems to be a master merchandiser.  He's really great at putting price tags on things and getting people to buy them.  It's not so much a zeitgeist thing (I think) but a "knowing how to be the cool kid" thing.  Anyway you slice it, he knows what sells, and he seems to do a great job selling.  (By the way, that's the third artist who is a commercial success that I've seen have an exhibit at MCA- Virgil Abloh, David Bowie, and Takashi Murakami. Food for thought.)

These 5 elements seem to be at the heart of his work, and so I think the answer to my question lies somewhere in the middle here.

But whoever the next Virgil Abloh is, I'm going to guess that they will exhibit some or all of those traits above.

You can find out more about the MCA exhibit Figures of Speech at their website: 
https://mcachicago.org/Exhibitions/2019/Virgil-Abloh   Timed tickets are being sold for this exhibition, which also allows you access to all of the other museum exhibits.  And the Museum has a particularly strong slate of events around the Abloh exhibit, including talks with the artist, performances, student opportunities, and more.  Click the link above to find out more.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Remembering my dad: Alan Gertsacov

Another August rolls around, and it's difficult to imagine that my dad would have been 82 years old today.  Sadly, he died a long time ago (in 1987, at the age of 49) due to a car accident.

It's never been completely resolved exactly what happened, and why he was out of his car at 2 am on a January night, trying to wave down a driver that apparently didn't see him, and he got hit instead.

At the time, it seemed like it was very important to try to figure out WHY it happened.  There was talk of suing the driver, of starting an inquiry, but my mom never wanted to do that, and so it didn't happen.  And at this late date, it's still a mystery.  But of course, it doesn't really matter.  The fact is, he is dead, and has been for a long time, and it's his memory that I'd like to preserve.

He died when I was 22 years old.  I had graduated college (Photo to the left is of him at my graduation from Penn in 1986) and against his wishes had just started an acting program at the Trinity Rep Conservatory.  He had wanted me to apply to law school, and I did, and I was accepted, but I felt like it was better to take a risk first and go to acting school.  If it didn't work out, I could always go to law school.  If it did work out (and the jury is still out) well, here we are. My dad never saw me perform as  a clown, or come into my own as a performer/entrepreneur/artist.

Here are some of my memories of my dad.

My dad loved practical jokes.  

He'd often hide behind something and scare you when you came in.  His nickname in the family was Boo because he loved to play peekaboo when he was a child.  That apparently continued forward as an adult (and all of my brothers like to do it as well.)  One time when I was probably 17 I was driving my brothers and my cousin somewhere in Warwick (near the Jewish cemetery where my dad is buried.) We spotted my dad's car, and so we pulled up next to him and my brother put himself out the window and yelled BOO!  My dad was so surprised he nearly had a car accident.  Later my dad loved to tell that story!

My dad had a fantastic memory and was great with numbers
He was a champion duplicate bridge player (grand life master) and could remember hands from years ago.  He taught me and my brothers to play cribbage, and backgammon, and gin rummy.  He loved games where he could use his memory and math skills to great effect.  He was probably a blackjack card counter because he did seem to like to play that game too.  When he played craps, he always bet against the player (The house always wins, he would say.)  He was also really good at doing large math problems in his head.  He was always giving me math problems to do, and he'd often say to me "Ad, work with your head, not your hands."




My dad grew up in poverty.
My dad is the tall skinny guy in the hat.
This picture appeared in the newspaper.
My dad's father left his family when he was one year old.  During the war years and after, my grandmother led my dad's family through a number of South Providence haunts.  My dad and his brother had tons of jobs, not for pocket money, but to feed the family.  He swept up at the barbershop, he went on the weekends to Nausauket to go quahogging and sell clams and quahogs on the beach.  During parades, my dad would sell balloons (I still have somewhere, one of the pedal balloon pumps he had.)

 This reminds me of something my friend (now deceased) Pat Cashin told me to tell my son when he wanted a light up toy at the circus.  It's something my dad didn't say directly to me, but he could have.

"Son, there are two kinds of people in the world, those that sell the light up toys and those that buy the light up toys.  We are the people that SELL the toys."



My dad loved flash
Despite growing up in poverty, (or perhaps because of it) he loved to buy people dinner and be "the big spender."  He had a flash of $100 bills, and he loved to peel off a few and pay for stuff.  (I remember once he peeled me of 15 $100 bills so that I could buy my first Macintosh computer!)  At the ice rink he'd wear a fur coat, and he had 3 or 4 gold rings on his fingers and a big gold necklace with a lion on it (he was a Leo!)  He drove a gold colored Lincoln Continental that he loved (oh my god, I'm started to realize that my dad might have been a pimp!)  At family gatherings he almost always picked up the check.  (I remember him telling me that nobody will ever remember the dinner, but everyone will remember who picked up the check.)

Buy this on Amazon!
He also took me to a burlesque show when I was 12 or 13.  We went to see Rusty Warren and he let me buy the album "Knockers Up"  I don't know what he was thinking!  My mom and brothers must have been out of town.  The joke that I have a vivid memory of her telling that I did not understand at the time was this:

"They say that women don't like sex.  Completely wrong!  You know how I know?  Take your finger and put it in your ear.  Go ahead, do it.  Now rub it around for a while.  Now take out your finger.  And now which feels better, your finger or your ear?"



My dad loved old movies.


Later on, my dad had a business that was pretty successful, buying and selling used textile machinery around the world. I once drove with him to Indiana and helped out for two days, counting bobbins in a textile factory that was probably on its way to China or Malaysia.  I remember we saw the movie The Shootist on that trip.  He was a big fan of John Wayne, and of Clint Eastwood.  His favorite movie was probably The Sting, and the nose signal is something that he used all the time and my brothers and I still use.  I've taught it to my son also!  (Even though he hasn't seen the movie yet.)  Another one  of his favorite movies was The Dirty Dozen  and Dog Day Afternoon  He loved movies about criminals that did good things.

My dad had a lot of favorite foods.
His favorite was Twizzler's black licorice, but he liked Black Crows, and red licorice, and bridge mix, and Chuckles, and Jujubes, and just about anything else you could get stuck in your teeth.  His favorite ice cream was Blackberry with a side of Butter Brickle, and when we got it at home he'd take Smuckers Jam and add it to his ice cream.  He loved Chinese food, and lobster, and eating cold Caserta's pizza along with the Whimpy Skippy, the pig in the blanket, and the spinach pie.

When he walked into Davis's (the local Jewish deli) they knew that a big order would come in, because he couldn't stop from ordering Nova Lox (cut only by Mr. Davis himself), three different kinds of white fish,all kinds of corned beef, tongue, pastrami, roast beef, pickles, sour tomatoes, and of course lots and lots of knishes.  He taught me to make an open faced bagel sandwich by adding a slice of cheese to the top, and now whenever I go to family gatherings, I'm usually disappointed if the lox and bagels don't come with cheese.)



He also loved to claim credit for the big Thanksgiving dinners, Passover dinners, and Rosh Hashanah dinners that my mom would cook.  We'd have 15 or 20 people over for dinner.  "Did you like the food?" he'd ask.  "I cooked it all myself!"  He said it to get a rise out of my mom, which it did, and later he'd give his bride all the credit.  "My bride did it all!" He'd exclaim.

My dad had his catch phrases. 

Like most dad's, my dad liked to retell the same stories and use the same jokes again and again.  He was also a little bit of a stretcher of the truth.  He used to tell me that he rode with the Jesse James gang.  He was the driver.  (Forget about the fact that this was before cars!)

Here's a few of the old jokes/catch phrases he used to use.  (and I've used more than a few with my kid.)


My dad and I are on our wedding days.
 "Hands down like a soldier."

"There will be a quiz later."

"I gave him the 1-5, 1-5. He gave me 2,3, and 4 back." (My dad said he was a boxer for a short period of time, but I am not sure I believe him.  My mom said it was true, but I want proof.)

"Can you take him?"  (Usually said to your friend, while you were greatly embarassed.)

"Did you hurt the ground?"
 (After you've fallen down.)

"Do I know him.... He and I had looonch together!"  (The punchline to a terrible and raunchy joke)


I could go on, but that's probably enough memories for one day.

I loved my dad, and after he died I had recurring dreams that he was still alive, but on a secret mission, for the government, or the FBI, or the CIA, or for somebody.  In a few of these dreams he came back home to live with us and it was as if he was never gone.  I cherish the memories of these dreams now, and thinking about them makes me feel good.  I don't dream about him anymore. (at least I don't think I do.)

What makes me blue of course is that he never got to see me (or my brothers) grow up and become the men that we are today.  He never got to meet my wife, or my son, or revel in the successes that I've had (or commiserate in the losses.)

Of course, there's nothing I can do about that.  The only thing I can do is hug my child a little closer and make those hard to forget memories with him all over again.

And of course, hide behind something when he enters a room.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Review: The Lyric's West Side Story is Amazing.

We saw West Side Story at a matinee production last week at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and it was very well done.  It was well worth seeing.

The musical is itself a re-telling of the story of Romeo and Juliet, set in New York in the 1930's, and adding a Latino/whites race war element.

It's one of the top musicals ever, with music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Steven Sondheim and the book by Arthur Laurents.

This production is extra special, as it is a revival of the direction and choreography of Jerome Robbins, classic ballet and musical director.

Here's the promo reel.




As can be expected from the Lyric the voices were rich, the sets were well done, and the music was exceedingly well-played.  The choreography was great (although my 10 year old son complained that the fight scenes were too dancy, but that was exactly Robbins point-- to use ballet in the fight scenes and to make them graceful.)  Our modern sensibility demands realism, but when this production was first created in the late 1950's that was not the case.

Mikaela Bennet as Maria and Corey Cott as Tony. Photo courtesy of Lyric Opera website.
The thing that blew me away about this production was the acting.  While I do expect the sets to be sumptuously designed and the voices to be great, the acting at the Lyric is not always up to snuff.  And of course the songs are all great and recognizable.  GET THE SOUNDTRACK ON AMAZON.

The beautiful voices often carry the acting.  In this case, the acting is phenomenal, especially of the four main characters (Tony and Maria, the star crossed lovers (played by Corey Cott and Mikaela Bennett), and her brother Bernardo (Manual Stark-Santos)and his lover Anita (Amanda Castro.)





Usually when I've seen either this play or R and J (or really, any star-crossed lovers play) the lovers are seen as tragic figures, and their love is usually solemn.  When Tony and Maria meet at the dress shop where she works, they are both positively giddy with love.  They are loopy-- you can see the effect that their love has on them, and it shows.  I 100% bought their love, (and when they start pretending that the dress forms are their parents, and what they'll say about each other, it's magical.)  This sets up the whole set of strange optimistic bad decisions that they make.

Likewise, when Anita storms into Maria's room looking for Tony (he has just left) she immediately goes to the window to find him.  When she turns around, she is angry and sad and she sings:

A boy like that who'd kill your brother
Forget that boy and find another
One of your own kind
Stick to your own kind
A boy like that wants one thing only
And when he's done he'll leave you lonely
He'll murder your love, he murdered mine, just wait and see
Just wait, Maria, just wait and see


I had chills.



Bernardo didn't have a stand out scene per se, but he commanded every scene that he was in, and embodied that young male rage and sense of injustice.  He sings, he dances, he acts.  He is great! 

In this production, it is clear that the cops and the Jets have it in for him and his gang, and his outrage and anger are palpable throughout.  



That leads me to the other point about this musical, is that its themes of racism, antagonism, and xenophobia still ring true 70 years later.  Not sure if that points out that people haven't changed that much or that we just still have a long way to go as a society before "Justice For All" becomes a reality.

For all these reasons, I highly recommend seeing the show before it closes on June 2.

Performances run through June 2, 2019 at the Lyric Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Drive, Chicago. Tickets are on sale now starting at $29 and can be purchased at lyricopera.org/wss or by calling 312-827-5600.

West Side Story is a coproduction with Houston Grand Opera and Glimmerglass Festival.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Hamilton closing in Chicago on January 5




Just got the official press release. Hamilton will close in Chicago on January 5, 2020. Tickets for the final block will go on sale this Friday. It's not clear from the press release if Hamilton the Exhibition will close at the same time.

From the press release:

HAMILTON ANNOUNCES CLOSING DATE IN CHICAGO
JANUARY 5, 2020
FINAL BLOCK OF TICKETS ON SALE FRIDAY, MAY 17


CHICAGO (May 15, 2019) – The musical HAMILTON will conclude its more than three (3) year run in Chicago at Broadway In Chicago’s CIBC Theatre (18 W. Monroe St.) on January 5, 2020, it has been announced by producer Jeffrey Seller.  Chicago was the first city outside New York where HAMILTON opened; the production began performances on September 27, 2016 at what was then The PrivateBank Theatre. 

Tickets for the final block will go on sale on Friday, May 17 at 10:00 a.m. and will be available at CIBC Theatre Box Office, the Broadway In Chicago Ticket Line (800-775-2000) and online at www.BroadwayInChicago.com.  The CIBC Theatre Box Office will be open for advance sales from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


“More people have seen HAMILTON in Chicago than any other city, including New York,” said producer Jeffrey Seller.  “Chicago has been a cornerstone of our mission to make Hamilton as accessible to as many people as possible.  We’ve loved our time here, and you can bet that ‘we’ll be back’.”

During its Chicago engagement, from September 2016 to January 2020, HAMILTON will have been attended by more than 2.6 million people, a number nearly equal to the population (2.7 million) of the city.  More than 32,000 Chicago public school students and teachers have participated in HAMILTON’s singular, nationwide American history education program – popularly known as EduHam – since the musical arrived in Chicago.

During its 171-week run in Chicago, HAMILTON will have played a total of 1341 performances.



For information on HAMILTON, visit www.HamiltonMusical.comwww.Facebook.com/HamiltonMusicalwww.Instagram.com/HamiltonMusical and www.Twitter.com/HamiltonMusical, and the official app for HAMILTON is available for download at HamiltonBroadway.com/app, which offers an app-based show lottery, stickers, camera filters, a merchandise store, music, news, tickets and exclusive content with Lin-Manuel and the Hamilton companies.
                               
TICKETING INFORMATION
Tickets for the final block will go on sale on Friday, May 17 at 10:00 a.m. CST and will be available at CIBC Theatre Box Office, the Broadway In Chicago Ticket Line (800-775-2000) and online at www.BroadwayInChicago.com.  There is a maximum purchase limit of 12 tickets per household for performances between September 8, 2019 – January 5, 2020.  Tickets for the final block range from $75.50 – $205.50 with select number of premium seats available for all performances.  There will continue to be an online lottery for forty-four (44) $10 seats for all performances.  Lottery seat locations vary per performance but will always include seats in the first row.  Visit www.BroadwayInChicago.com/HamiltonLotteryFAQ or download the official Hamilton app at HamiltonBroadway.com/app for more lottery information. 

There are many sites and people that are selling overpriced, and in some cases, fraudulent tickets.   For the best seats, the best prices and to eliminate the risk of counterfeit tickets, all purchases should be made through authorized Broadway In Chicago outlets.



Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The GFAF Expo is now called Nourished!

Over the past few years I've been attending the Gluten-Free Allergy Free Expo, which is a great showcase for allergy conscious manufacturers and a great learning tool for allergy-conscious consumers. Although I'm not gluten free, my wife is gluten, dairy, soy sensitive, and so we are super aware of what's in food at our house.

I missed the event last year due to being out of town, and was wondering when or if I would get invited back to it.  (I think the last time it was in April)



Well, I have been invited back, but the name has changed!

It's now called Nourished: The Gluten Free, Allergy & Special Diet Festival. (aka The Nourished Festival).   It's happening June 1-2 in Schaumburg.

While all of the foods at the festival will continue to be gluten free, and in previous incarnations there has also been a nut-free section, this year they are adding a vegan section and a paleo/keto section as well.   The booths will be color coded (Blue booths are gluten free; red booths are nut-free and gluten free; purple booths are paleo or keto and gluten-free; green booths are plant-based and gluten free. )


The festival will take place in Schaumburg at the  Schaumburg Convention Center on June 1 and 2 2019 from 10 am-4pm each day.

In addition to booths with opportunities to try products, there will also be classes, book signings, community building, and lots more.

We are offering a 20% discount on tickets(see below), and also giving away some tickets via #rafflecopter

WIN TICKETS!
a Rafflecopter giveaway










Tickets for a day pass are typically $5 for kids and $15 for adults (and if you want a Sunday family pass, you can get one for  $35 which includes up to two adults and up to 6 kids!)

And if you purchase your ticket before 5/31/19 using the code ADVANCE, you will get 20% off your order, which is a pretty great deal. BUY TICKETS ON EVENTBRITE






NOURISHED FESTIVAL SCHAUMBURG IMPORTANT DETAILS!

 BUY TICKETS NOW.
WHEN: April 22 & 23, 2017
10:00-4:00 pm on Saturday the 22nd
10:00-3:00 pm on Sunday the 23rd

WHERE: Schaumburg Convention Center
1551 Thoreau Drive North  Schaumburg, IL 60173
Click HERE for directions.
Free Parking!

Note: If the Convention Center parking lot is full when you arrive, there is additional free parking in the lots of the adjacent office buildings.

COST: Tickets range from $5-$35 depending on age, cost, and how many days you want to attend. You can get an additional 20% off by using the code "ADVANCE" when purchasing between now and MAY 31.  BUY TICKETS NOW.

OTHER:
Concessions will be open for beverages and gluten-free salads.








PLEASE NOTE: The show is not 100% gluten free, or allergy free.  It is in a mixed use environment, and everybody is different.  You know yourself best.  If you can not tolerate certain things, DON'T TRY THEM!
Answers to all your questions about the festival can be found on the Nourished Festival website.

Also, please note, I have received free tickets to promote and attend this event.  I am also an affiliate of Nourished, and if you purchase tickets through the above links, I may make an affiliate credit. My thoughts about the event are my own.



Here's a list of the classes by day:

Saturday

10:30-11:30 AM

Roadmap to Healing Autoimmune Diseases

Functional medicine and nutrition management of autoimmune diseases is more than just a gluten-free or Autoimmune Protocol diet. The body has a priority list that must be addressed in sequence in order to build a foundation that will lead to fast results and true healing. At this workshop, learn the triggers for autoimmune disease, how leaky gut syndrome leads to loss of immune tolerance and autoimmune disease, and how to use The Ultimate Autoimmune Roadmap to heal autoimmune diseases without frustration.

12:00-1:00 PM

Understanding the Gut-Brain Connection

An integrative approach to health is critical to digestive wellness. Join Desiree Nielsen, RD to learn more about the gut-brain connection and the role of gut bacteria transforming digestive health, fighting inflammation and supporting mental wellbeing. Learn how to create a self-care routine that encompasses anti-inflammatory nutrition, intelligent supplementation, and wellness practices that fit into real life. Desiree will be available at Booth (# coming) after her presentation for nine, free 1-1 one consultations. Come by early to sign up!

1:30-2:30 PM

Restaurant and Travel Essentials for Gluten and Allergy Free Living

Dream of eating safe meals free from gluten and other allergens in restaurants? Want to travel gluten free or with food allergies across the US and the globe? Kim Koeller, world traveler with celiac disease and multiple food allergies, shares her travel insights from visiting all 50 States and flying almost 3 million miles to six continents. Learn tips for ordering safe meals in ethnic restaurants including hidden ingredients, food preparation and cross-contact considerations. Empower yourself with proven tricks for snacks, airlines, hotels, foreign speaking countries and more from Kim Koeller, the award-winning author and creator of the Let's Eat Out Around the World Gluten Free and Allergy Free travel series by GlutenFree Passport.

3:00-4:00 PM

Breaking the Cycle of Stress, Anxiety and Depression

The stress we live with today can be overwhelming. Not only do we have more on our to-do lists than time available, but financial, relational and other concerns compound our stress levels. In addition, our bodies are under a significant amount of stress due to toxins in our environment and food lacking in proper nutrients. Stacey Littlefield will address the problem and present solutions that everyone can follow to restore hope and ultimately a fuller and more vibrant life.

Sunday

10:30-11:30 AM

Bone Broth - SO Much More Than a Pot of Bones!

A pot of healing soup has been “medicine” for centuries. Learn why a daily dose of Bone Broth may help nourish, heal, reduce inflammation in the gut and body. Many experience healthier skin and shiny hair. Best of all, she will guide you on how to accomplish all this affordably – how to eat healthy AND maintain your budget!

12:00-1:00 PM

How to Shift Your Metabolism on a Gluten Free Diet

Going on a gluten-free diet is very often only the beginning of your healing journey. Discovering what your body needs to heal and balance your systems is a process that requires knowledge, experimentation, and diligence. Chen Ben Asher will present the science behind an elimination diet, removing gluten and other foods, and how it challenges our six bodily systems. With the right direction, you too CAN achieve BALANCE, VITALITY and WEIGHT LOSS.

1:30-2:30 PM

New Flavors and Ideas for Plant-Based, Gluten Free & Vegan Baking

Join Chef Einat Mazor as she teaches us how to make delicious pizza, waffles and breads. These recipes are fast, easy, delicious and plant-based!

3:00-4:00 PM

Gluten Cross-Reactivity: 10 Foods You May Be Eating That Your Body Thinks Is Gluten

You've gone gluten free and follow a strict gluten-free diet. You are beginning to feel better, but not quite what you expected? There are a number of naturally gluten-free foods which contain proteins so similar to gluten that your body confuses them with gluten. Learn more about what gluten cross-reactivity is, how to tell if it’s causing your symptoms, and what you can do about it.