RIOT FEST INTERVIEW: Pepper’s Bret Bollinger

By: Stacey Crawley

Photo Credit: Peter Bomberger

Pepper, an influence of reggae, rock and Hawaiian vibes, has been hitting it hard and flourishing for the past 20 years. It’s one of those groups you can’t wait to listen to when you’re in the mood for a laid-back party, the perfect backdrop to a summer night. I caught up with Pepper’s Bret Bollinger at Riot Fest in Chicago.  For additional tour dates and more information visit Read more


By: Stacey L. Crawley

Photo Credit: Peter Bomberger

The Black Foxxes, a UK band from humble beginnings, came to Chicago for the first time ever this year to play Riot Fest. They play loud, honest and put a message to their music. I got a chance to chat with Mark Holley, Tristan Jane and Ant Thornton about the tour and their new album “I’m not well”.  Read more


Highly Recommended:

Reviewed by: Stacey L. Crawley

Cheers, the iconic Emmy Award-winning NBC series where everybody knows your name, has brought that little bit of Boston to Broadway. When I first stepped into the theatre and caught a glimpse of the wonderfully detailed and realistic set by Michael Carnahan I was back thrown back to 1985. And…I…Loved it. Read more

BoHo Theatre Stages A Fearless NEXT TO NORMAL

Highly Recommended

Reviewed by: Stacey L. Crawley

Book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey
Music by Tom Kitt
Directed by Linda Fortunato
Music direction by Ellen K. Morris
 Thursdays-Saturdays at 8:00 pm and Sundays at 2:00 pm 
Performing at Theater Wit, 1229 W Belmont Ave, Chicago through Oct. 9

Outstanding powerhouse voices layered with feeling and bursting with emotion, Brian Yorkey’s musical Next to Normal takes you on a wild ride through pharmaceutical town. Never before have I been so entertained and bemused by antidepressants and electroshock therapy. The snappy tunes and serious subject matter blend together seamlessly. I found myself laughing while simultaneously needing several tissues to wipe away the stream of tears that had developed from seeing such despair. Read more

Broadway in Chicago’s ‘Kinky Boots’ Kicks a High Note

Kinky Boots

Playing at: Oriental Theatre
Dates: August 30, 2016 - September 4, 2016
Runtime: Two hours and twenty minutes with one intermission

Winner of six 2013 Tony Awards, including Best Musical Creative Team

Score:Cyndi Lauper Book: Harvey Fierstein 

Director and Choreography: Jerry Mitchell

 Produced By: Daryl Roth and Hal Luftig James L. Nederlander

Tickets and Info:

Highly Recommended

Reviewed By: Stacey Crawley     

Harvey Fierstein’s “Kinky Boots”, the story inspired by true events – tells the story of Charlie Price (Adam Kaplan), the heir of his family’s shoe business who is on a journey to becoming his own man. When Charlie’s father dies, the factory struggles to stay in the black and Charlie is desperate for a solution. After a chance encounter with Lola (played brilliantly by J Harrison Ghee) Charlie discovers he needs a niche market to save the factory.

Read more

Showbiz Chicago Feature Interview: RIOT FEST FOUNDER MIKE PETRYSHYN

By: Stacey Crawley

Without people like Mike Petryshyn, music would remain a virtual experience. Putting music festivals like Riot Fest together involves planning, creativity, innovation and a love of the process. It’s an art form. It gives us mere mortals a chance to connect with and worship our music gods. The stage, a pulpit where a song can stir feelings that perhaps headphones and YouTube cannot.

I had a chance to catch up with Mike and talk about the beloved festival which is coming back to Chicago for it’s 11th year on September 16-18 in Chicago’s Douglas Park. For tickets visit Read more

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