19
November , 2017
Sunday

Snoop's wife, Shanté Broadus, joins the rapper/actor/producer and host Cathy Hughes during the candid one-hour ...
CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan called on the U.S. Department ...
  Tenacity and Truth: People, Places and Memories Features Work from the Permanent Collection   CHICAGO, IL – On ...
WASHINGTON, DC – President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals ...
Masterfully crafted by Annie Tsotas, ‘Harlequin Confessions’ is a unique compilation of spiritual poetry – ...
The National Low Income Housing Authority reports that thousands of families are using their online ...
 Voting is still open today, Saturday, November 5, at IllinoisStrawPoll.com. Those interested can vote in person ...
“The struggle against the discriminatory, unreasonable or ineffectual application of our laws did not end ...
R.J. Taylor on Benton Harbor's House of David Jazz on a Summer's ...
Florida A&M University President James H. Ammons announces that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ...

Archive for December 20th, 2016

Family of Victims of Violence, Faith and Community Leaders to Hold Vigil at Mayor Emanuel’s House for 770 People Killed in Chicago This Year

Posted by Admin On December - 20 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Family of victims of violence, faith and community leaders will walk with candles and several coffins to house of Mayor Rahm Emmanuel to hold vigil.

 

CHICAGO, IL – Family members of victims of violence and community and faith leaders from across the city will gather at Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s house to hold a vigil for the 770 people killed in Chicago this year, and the policies that Mayor Rahm Emmanuel killed which could have saved them. Community leaders will carry coffins for policies which Mayor Emmanuel is responsible for: refusing to rebuild public housing, cutting school budgets, closing mental health clinics, and refusing elected civilian oversight of the police. Community leaders argue that these policies could have saved many of the over 770 people killed in Chicago this year. The group will gather at the American Indian Center 1630 W. Wilson Ave for a brief program and then march to the Mayor’s house holding candles and coffins.

 

The vigil will be held Wednesday, December 21, 4-6p.m., starting at 1630 W Wilson Ave., then on to Mayor Emanuel’s house.

 

According to activists “much of the news of the violence in Chicago this year has focused on sensationalizing gun violence and criminalizing young people, instead of focusing on the root causes of this violence: the lack of investments in housing, mental health, education and holding police accountable.” Community leaders say that “Mayor Rahm Emmanuel has committed violence against our communities: covering up the shooting of Laquan McDonald is violence, closing the Roseland Mental Health Clinic is violence, cutting the budgets of our neighborhood schools is violence, and refusing to rebuild public housing is violence. This violence by the Mayor is causing much of the violence we see in our streets. Its time he be held accountable.” Leaders are holding a vigil to mourn the loss of those killed and demand the Mayor invest in policies that can prevent future killings.

 

The organizations holding the vigil include the Chicago Housing Initiative, the Civilian Police Accountability Council, Black Lives Matter Chicago, the Mental Health Movement, and teachers from Chicago Public Schools.

 

NAACP Youth & College Convenes ‘Peoples Inauguration’ Jan 21

Posted by Admin On December - 20 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Chance the Rapper, Youth Activists Gathering in DC to Respond to Civil Rights Threats  

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Youth & College division of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is hosting a gathering of youth activists next month to organize and plan how to respond to new civil rights threats expected under a new administration and congress in 2017.

 

Leaders of the youth wing of the civil right organization, along with partners in Justice League New York and the Empowerment Movement will join together at the “People’s Inauguration” rally at Howard University in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, January 21 at 9 a.m. Grammy-nominated artist Chance the Rapper is scheduled to appear as a guest speaker.

 

The rally will re-unite allies and partners who helped register thousands of new and young voters during the 2016 election with the goal to launch a new era of activism and protest against potential threats from the presidency of Donald J. Trump. During the meeting, attendees will begin collaborating to unite together and stand for a progressive policy agenda in the coming months and years.

 

“We are faced with a moral and ethical crisis during this critical time in our nation’s history after the election of Donald J. Trump,’ said Stephen Green, director of the NAACP Youth & College Division. “This moment calls for young leaders to gather together and develop a strategy to protect the human and civil rights of all Americans through nonviolent resistance.”

 

The new initiative, called #StayWokeAndFight, will involve direct actions, protests and other activism to oppose threats to civil rights, education investment, criminal justice reform and other areas of concern posed by the incoming administration that takes office the day before the rally.

 

Organizers also plan to host a “People’s Inaugural Ball” on Jan. 20. Registration is currently open online for individuals and groups to join and attend at www.staywokeandfight.com.

 

Pro-Bono Bond Fund Frees 50th From Cook County Jail

Posted by Admin On December - 20 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

 

Project aims to free those too poor to afford bond from dangerous jail conditions as it works to end monetary bond in Illinois.

 

CHICAGO, IL – Pre-trial detainees languish by the thousands in grim conditions in Cook County Jail, while their livelihoods and education are undermined and their families suffer—all because they are too poor to bond out from jail. The Chicago Community Bond Fund—CCBF—has hit on a dynamic strategy to provide both short-term and long-term methods to address this fundamental injustice.

Yesterday, CCBF posted $1,000 to free the organization’s 50th person from jail or house arrest. This number includes parents, activists, and a plaintiff in the historic lawsuit brought on behalf of people who are detained pretrial simply because they lack the money to pay their bonds. The lawsuit, which was filed in October and has its first court date in next month, is the first ever class-action lawsuit of its kind in Cook County and seeks to end this unconstitutional practice.

CCBF operates as an all-volunteer nonprofit organization that works to end the use of monetary bond in Illinois, while, in the short term, simultaneously maintaining a revolving fund of donations to bond out low-income pretrial detainees who are jailed simply because they lack the economic resources to post bonds themselves.

“Pretrial detention and money bond have an astonishingly negative and entirely preventable impact on employment, education, housing, social security and medical benefits, and the custodial rights of those who are behind bars, putting enormous pressure on them to take plea deals just so they can get out of jail instead of taking their cases to trial,” says Max Suchan of CCBF. “In posting bond for a fraction of Cook County Jail’s pretrial population, we’ve enabled people to keep their jobs, benefits, get proper medical attention, and provide care for their children by restoring their liberty and removing them from an unsafe environment. The only just and long-term solution, however, is to end the use of monetary bond altogether.”

Cook County Jail holds over 8,000 detainees, 95% of whom are detained pretrial and have not been convicted of any crime. Of this number, the majority are there because they lack the money to post their bonds. CCBF has also supported activists from organizations like Black Lives Matter who have been arrested at political demonstrations over the last year—including two activists charged with felonies during a mass protest of Donald Trump’s planned March 11, 2016 Chicago rally.

“CCBF enabled me to be free to see the birth of my daughter and support my family,” says former detainee Diomar. “Bond is fundamentally unfair because it punishes poor people more—and its not just you that suffers, but also your entire family. They lock you away from your kids, and that really sets the tone for the case and puts you at a disadvantage from the very beginning. You can’t fight your case as well from a legal or emotional standpoint from the inside.”

Since December 2015, when the project began, CCBF has posted over $278,000 in bonds ranging from $500 to $50,000, spending the vast majority of this sum on felony bonds. To date, 9 bonds paid by CCBF have been returned to the organization, and no bonds have been forfeited.

Public Corruption: Courtroom for Sale

Posted by Admin On December - 20 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Judge Gets Jail Time in Racketeering Case

Judge's Gavel Over Cash (Stock Image)

In a case that exposed widespread corruption in a South Texas county’s judicial system—reaching all the way to the district attorney’s office—a former state judge was recently sentenced to six years in prison for taking bribes and kickbacks in return for favorable rulings from his bench.

Abel Limas, 59, a lifelong resident of Brownsville, Texas, served as a police officer and practiced law before becoming a state judge in Cameron County in 2001. He served eight years on the bench, during which time he turned his courtroom into a criminal enterprise to line his own pockets.

“The depth of the corruption was shocking,” said Mark Gripka, a special agent in our San Antonio Division who was part of the team that investigated the case. “What was more shocking was how cheaply Judge Limas sold his courtroom—$300 here, $500 there—in return for a favorable ruling.”

There was plenty of big money involved as well. Limas received more than $250,000 in bribes and kickbacks while he was on the bench. He took money from attorneys with civil cases pending in his court in return for favorable pre-trial rulings, most notably in a case involving a Texas helicopter crash that was later settled for $14 million. Referring to an $8,000 payment Limas received in that case, our investigators listened on the telephone as he described the cash to an accomplice as eight golf balls. “Their code language didn’t fool anybody,” Gripka said.

Evidence also showed that Limas made a deal with the attorneys in the helicopter crash case to become an “of counsel” attorney with the firm. He was promised an advance of $100,000 and 10 percent of the settlement—all while the case was still pending in his court.

Over a 14-month period beginning in November 2007, investigators used court-authorized wiretaps to listen to the judge’s phone calls. “That’s when we really learned the scope of what he was doing,” Gripka explained. The judge’s nearly $100,000 annual salary was not enough to support his lifestyle, which included regular gambling trips to Las Vegas.

In 2010, when Limas was faced with the overwhelming evidence against him, he began to cooperate in a wider public corruption investigation—and our agents learned that the Cameron County district attorney at the time, Armando Villalobos, was also corrupt. The investigation showed, among other criminal activities, that Villalobos accepted $80,000 in cash in exchange for taking actions that allowed a convicted murderer to be released for 60 days without bond prior to reporting to prison. The murderer failed to report to prison and remains a fugitive.

Limas pled guilty to racketeering in 2011. By that time, he had helped authorities uncover wide-ranging corruption in the Cameron County judicial system. To date, 10 other defendants have been convicted by a jury or pled guilty as part of the FBI’s six-year investigation, including a former Texas state representative, three attorneys, a former investigator for the district attorney’s office, and Villalobos, who is scheduled to be sentenced next month on racketeering, extortion, and bribery charges.

“During the course of this investigation, we interviewed over 800 people, including many local attorneys in Cameron County,” Gripka said. “We hope this case shows everyone that the government will not tolerate officials who violate the public trust. Fighting public corruption is a priority for the FBI,” he added, “and it is something we take very seriously.”

Source: FBI

 

Illinois on Track to Become First Smart State in the U.S.

Posted by Admin On December - 20 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

It continues Rauner Administration’s transformation of state IT systems

Smart State Workshop provides valuable information and direction from key leaders

 

CHICAGO, IL – The State of Illinois’ Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT) recently hosted the Smart State Roadmap Workshop, a two-day workshop to pursue becoming the first ‘Smart State’ in the nation.

“Governor Rauner has charged us to complete a holistic transformation and turn Illinois into a 21st century enterprise,” said Trey Childress, Deputy Governor of Illinois. “Becoming the first smart state in the country is not just about technology; it is about improved processes, governance and above all, improved customer service.”

This workshop had more than 50 participants including Deputy Governor Trey Childress, state agency heads, city officials, businesses, universities, national labs and non-profits. It expanded on the success of the initial Smarter Illinois event held in April 2016 that jumpstarted the state’s technology transformation efforts. The workshop was delivered by the Smart Cities Council, whose partners and advisors have contributed to more than 10,000 smart cities projects internationally.

“Illinois is aggressively reducing the 45 years of technology debt in only 4 years by acting boldly and strongly engaging the private sector and other partners in this effort,” according to the State of Illinois’ Department of Innovation and Technology Secretary Designate Hardik Bhatt. “We have the opportunity to leapfrog from legacy technology to global leadership, by getting a head start in becoming a smarter state.”

A smart state uses information and communications technology (ICT) to enhance livability, workability and sustainability in its cities, towns, rural areas and state agencies. A Smarter Illinois is ready for the future – harnessing digital transformation in a socially inclusive way that also strengthens business opportunities as well as the state’s brand.

Key goals of the smart state initiative include improving the overall efficiency, effectiveness and accessibility of government services; creating an attractive climate for businesses and entrepreneurs; increasing state GDP; and establishing a leadership position as a smart state – all while keeping enterprise security and privacy at the forefront and preparing our workforce for the future.

Sue Gander, the Director of the National Governors Association’s Environment, Energy and Transportation Division, also participated in the workshop. “Illinois’ smart state initiative is unique in that it involves collaboration among state agencies, cities, universities and industry partners,” said Gander. “The Illinois team set a strong example for other states to follow.”

During the workshop, several key action areas were prioritized with accompanying goals, assigned leadership roles and designated project partners, including the following:

  • Applying sensors and Internet of Things (IoT) to buildings and streetlights
  • Enhancing mobile citizen engagement and delivery of government services

  • Developing a procurement platform to obtain better pricing through volume discounts and streamline city and state purchasing

  • Generating more benefits from the existing portfolio of state assets
  • Creating a more business-friendly state supported by a digital portal
  • Applying smart cities standards
  • Reviewing policy and regulations to remove barriers to implementing smart technologies

  • Establishing a Smart Illinois brand

 

About DoIT:  On January 25, 2016, Governor Rauner issued Executive Order 16-01 establishing the Department of Innovation & Technology (DoIT), a new state agency with responsibility for the information technology functions of agencies under the jurisdiction of the Governor.  DoIT’s mission is to empower the State of Illinois through high-value, customer-centric technology by delivering best-in-class innovation to client agencies fostering collaboration and empowering employees to provide better services to residents, businesses, and visitors.  More information can be found on the DoIT website.

About the Smart Cities Council:  Launched in 2012, the Smart Cities Council is the author of the internationally recognized Smart Cities Readiness Guide, which provides guiding principles and best practices for an integrated, cross-cutting smart city. The Readiness Guide – which was developed based on input from hundreds of cities and solution vendors and has been applied all over the world – is the framework used to produce Readiness Workshops and Smart Cities Week conferences. The Council is comprised of more than 120 partners and advisors who have generated $2.7 trillion in annual revenue and contributed to more than 10,000 smart cities projects. To learn more, visit www.smartcitiescouncil.com.

NNPA News Service and Trice Edney News Wire Establish Partnership to Empower the Black Press

Posted by Admin On December - 20 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

 

 

WASHINGTON, DC – Approaching the 190th anniversary of the 1827 founding of the Black Press, the News Wire Service of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), a national trade association of more than 211 Black-owned newspapers, has become the chief subscriber of the 6-year-old Trice Edney News Wire in a partnership that aims to strengthen and empower Black newspapers across the country.

 

“Toward the fulfillment of the strategic objective of significantly increasing the original content distributed by the NNPA News Wire Service for use by our member publishers across the nation, we are pleased to align and subscribe to the Trice Edney News Wire ,” said NNPA President/CEO Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. “This arrangement will provide a timely additional benefit to the NNPA,” Chavis emphasized.

 

The groundbreaking arrangement is viewed as an important strategic move to fortify the Black Press of America that continues its historic and contemporary leadership for freedom, justice and equality in the United States and throughout the world.

 

“I am honored that the leadership of NNPA, known as the Black Press of America, has decided to subscribe to the Trice Edney News Wire on behalf of all of its member newspapers,” said Hazel Trice Edney, an award-winning 30-year veteran of the Black Press, founder of the Trice Edney News Wire and former Washington Correspondent and editor-in-chief of the NNPA News Service. “Despite significant gains in our quest for racial justice in America, the vestiges of racism and White supremacy still ravage every spectrum of our communities. We at the Trice Edney News Wire look forward to serving NNPA under our mantra – ‘provocative, empowering, unapologetically Black’ – by adding to their already powerful daily and weekly offerings of news and commentary.”

 

“Hazel Trice Edney is not a stranger to the NNPA and we welcome once again the opportunity to work with her in a joint venture that will enhance content offerings for NNPA publishers and editors,” said NNPA Chair Denise Rolark Barnes.

 

Through the subscribership, all NNPA member newspapers will have a full one-year access to the Trice Edney News Wire, which is broken down in seven categories – lead stories, columns, education, Black health, business/economics, international, and lifestyles/entertainment. Some Black columnists write for both NNPA and Trice Edney.

But the subscribership also gives access to exclusive Trice Edney columnists, including activist Dr. E. Faye Williams; political scientist Dr. Wilmer Leon; journalist A. Peter Bailey; and health columnist Glenn Ellis.

 

Starting December 19, 2016, the Trice Edney News Wire link and login information will be made available in the NNPA News Service member-only section.

 

Photo Caption, from left:  Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Hazel Trice Edney, Denise Rolark Barnes

 

Is Justice the Answer: A Civil Rights Response

Posted by Admin On December - 20 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS
By Marc H. Morial

President & CEO, National Urban League

 

This week, I was honored to participate in the National Consultation of the Conference of National Black Churches  as a panelist with Rev. Al Sharpton of National Action Network, Melanie Campbell of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and Cornel William Brooks of the NAACP. discussing the question, “Is Justice the Answer: A Civil Rights Response.  We discussed the urgent need for racial justice organizations to work closely with the faith community to confront the uncertainty the recent presidential election has cast upon civil rights, healthcare, income equality and fair policing.

This question has been especially poignant to ponder in Charleston this week, as the trial is underway here of the accused in the horrifying racist massacre at Mother Emanuel Church that occurred in June of last year. The people of Charleston and the nation desperately seek peace. From the darkest days of slavery, though the Civil Rights Era of the mid-20th Century, to the present day, the church has been the bedrock of the racial justice movement. I thank the Conference of National Black Churches for the opportunity to share this important Consultation, and for all the important work they do.

Freezing Rain, Snow, Bitter Cold to Impact Travel in Illinois

Posted by Admin On December - 20 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Motorists should be prepared for hazardous driving conditions in areas

CHICAGO, IL  – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is advising the public that a combination of freezing rain, snow, high winds and extreme cold is expected to significantly impact travel this evening and during the overnight hours. Icy conditions and low visibility could make driving treacherous.

 

“If you have plans to be on the roads tonight and tomorrow morning, you should first ask yourself if your trip is necessary before heading out,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. “We are working hard throughout the weekend to make our roads safe and passable as quickly as possible, but conditions are expected to be very challenging. Please give our crews room to work and expect much longer than usual travel times.”

 

Since Friday, whenever possible, IDOT crews have been pretreating bridges, overpasses and ramps, the areas most susceptible to icing. The department will have more than 1,700 trucks and 3,700 employees available statewide to battle the storm, applying salt and plowing where needed.

 

Motorists still should expect slick roadways and be extra cautious when driving. The public is encouraged to plan ahead and allow plenty of extra time for any kind of travel. For regular updates on statewide road conditions, visit www.gettingaroundillinois.com.

 

The National Weather Service is forecasting approximately up to four inches of snow in the far northern part of the state starting this evening, with reduced amounts to the south. Freezing rain from earlier in the day, combined with plummeting temperatures and high winds is anticipated to limit the impact of salt and other melting materials, making roads icy in spots.

 

“Winter weather can have a devastating impact on driving conditions. High winds, sub-freezing temperatures, and white-out conditions are expected throughout the night,” said Illinois State Police Director Leo P. Schmitz. “Avoid unnecessary travel. If you must travel, reduce your speed, increase following distance, and be watchful for black ice on bridges and roadways. Remember to slow down and move over for emergency vehicles.”

If you have to travel:

  • Take it slow, especially when approaching intersections, ramps, bridges and shady areas. All are prone to black ice, an invisible danger during some winter storms.

  • Make sure your gas tank is full.

  • Keep a cell phone, warm clothes, blankets, food, water, a first aid kit, washer fluid, and an ice scraper in your vehicle.

  • If you have to make a trip, check the forecast and make sure someone is aware of your travel route and schedule.

  • Carry a cell phone and dial *999 in the Chicago area for roadway assistance in case of

emergency. Reminder: using handheld phones while driving is illegal in Illinois, unless it is an emergency situation.

  • Always wear a seat belt, whether you’re sitting in the front seat or back seat. It’s the law.

  • Follow IDOT on Facebook and Twitter for updates on conditions.

CONSUMER ALERT: Attorney General Madigan: Investigate Before Donating to Charitable Causes for the Holidays

Posted by Admin On December - 20 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL ─ With requests for charitable contributions filling up your mail and email inbox, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan encouraged residents to do some important research before making holiday donations to any of the more than 25,000 charitable organizations in Illinois working to help others this holiday season and all year long.

 

Under Illinois law, charitable organizations, along with professional fundraisers, are required to register and file annual financial reports with the Attorney General’s office. Potential donors may then access this information, including income, expenditures, program details and administration costs, before giving to a charity.

 

“There are many wonderful organizations making a real impact in communities across Illinois, but it’s important to take time to research an organization before you donate to ensure your contribution will be used to further the charitable mission you want to support,” Madigan said.

 

Madigan offered the following tips to research a charity before donating:

  • Ask how much of your donation will go to the charity and other detailed questions, including whether the organization is registered and how much of your donation will be used to pay fundraising costs. Solicitors must give you this information if you ask.
  • Pay close attention to the name of the charity. Some fraudulent charities use names that sound or look like those of legitimate organizations to mislead you.
  • Do not pay in cash. For security and tax record purposes, pay by check, credit card or a format of payment in which you have a record. Be sure to write the full official name of the charity on your check – do not abbreviate.
  • Request written information. A legitimate charity will provide you with information outlining its mission, how your donation will be distributed and proof that your contribution is tax deductible.
  • Do not donate if the solicitor uses high-pressure tactics, asks for payment in cash or insists on sending someone to pick up your monetary/financial contribution. These are all hallmarks of a scam.
  • If you receive an email or text message asking for a donation, confirm that the request is from the charity, and not an imposter, by contacting the charity or visiting its website.
  • Be cautious of “look-alike” websites. These fraudulent websites will often ask for personal financial information and may download harmful malware onto your computer.
  • Don’t assume that charity recommendations on Facebook or social media are legitimate and have already been scrutinized. Research the charity yourself.
Madigan also noted additional national resources for researching charities:
  • GuideStar National Database of U.S. Charities: GuideStar provides detailed profiles of more than 640,000 nonprofit organizations nationwide. Its searchable database is sponsored by the nonprofit Philanthropic Research Inc. For more information, visit www.guidestar.org.
  • Top-Rated Charities: The American Institutes of Philanthropy (AIP) rates more than 400 charitable organizations using a variety of criteria, including percentage of revenue spent on administrative costs. The AIP website lists those charities which have received their highest rating, grouped by topic. For more information, visit www.charitywatch.org/toprated.html.
  • Philanthropic Advisory Service Reports: Sponsored by the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, this site provides evaluations and profiles of charities that solicit nationally or have national or international program services and includes descriptions of programs, fundraising methods and finances. For more information, visit www.give.org.
To obtain financial information, learn more about an organization, or find out if a charity that has solicited you for a donation is registered, visit Attorney General Madigan’s website or contact her Charitable Trust Bureau at 312-814-2595 (TTY: 1-800-964-3013). To report possible charity fraud, you can submit a complaint via Madigan’s website: www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov.

 

“Thrones! The Musical Parody” at Apollo Theater Chicago Extends for a Third Time, Due to Popular Demand

Posted by Admin On December - 20 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS
The Hit “Game of Thrones” Musical Now Plays Through February 12, 2017 

CHICAGO, IL – “Thrones! The Musical Parody” and Apollo Theater Chicago (2540 N. Lincoln Ave.) announce the third extension for the hit “Game of Thrones” send-up, now playing through February 12, 2017. Written and produced by the creative team behind “Baby Wants Candy” and “50 Shades! The Musical Parody,” the production centers around a group of friends gathering for the season finale of “Game of Thrones,” when they soon realize that one friend has never seen the hit HBO television show. Recounting plot highlights throughout all six seasons, complete with more than 40 characters and 21 original songs ranging in style from hip hop to traditional Broadway, the production has been hailed as “a robust comical homage” (Chicago Sun-Times) and a show that has “the audience falling off their chairs” (Chicago Reader). Tickets ($36 – $59) for the new dates are on sale now and can be purchased at the Apollo Theater Box Office by calling 773.935.6100 or visiting Ticketmaster.com.

A second production of “Thrones! The Musical Parody” continues its West Coast run at Hudson Theater Mainstage (6539 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles), through January 18, 2017. The LA premiere has been hailed as “comic gold” (Broadway World), “witty and riotous” (Discover Hollywood) and “a parody of epic proportions” (LA Post Examiner). For more information and tickets for the West Coast run, visit ThronesMusical.com.

“After premiering this summer, ‘Thrones! The Musical Parody’ continues to entertain and audiences here at the Apollo,” said Executive Producer Rob Kolson. “We couldn’t be more thrilled about our third extension, especially at a time when the Chicago theater scene has so many great options for theatergoers. I’m immensely proud of the production team and the cast, who continue to bring laughter and surprises to audiences here at the Apollo night after night.”

As Spencer, Brad, Hayden, Ross, Kelly and Tom gather for the season finale of “Game of Thrones,” they soon discover the ultimate travesty: that Brad does not watch the show. Over the course of 90 minutes, the group bands together to act out all six seasons (read: spoilers) for Brad, including dashing men battling White Walkers, ravishing women riding fire-breathing dragons, and the infamous “Walk of Shame.” “Thrones! The Musical Parody” debuted to completely sold-out performances at the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and was hailed as “darkly humorous and beautifully vulgar” (Edinburgh Festival Magazine) and “a resounding success!” (Sunday Times), followed by a sold-out, limited run at London’s Leicester Square Theatre. In its run in here in Chicago, “Thrones!” is a “hilarious ride that never slows down” (BuzzNews Chicago) and “unfailingly witty and deliciously irreverent” (Performink). The cast of “Thrones! The Musical Parody” includes Caitlyn Cerza, Madeline Lauzon, Beau Nolen, Victoria Olivier and Christopher Ratliff. One additional cast member will be announced at a later date.

“Thrones! The Musical Parody” is written by Chris Grace, Zach Reino, Al Samuels and Dan Wessels. The production is directed by Hannah Todd, choreographed by Tyler Sawyer Smith and produced by Emily Dorezas, Rob Kolson and Al Samuels. The creative team includes Thomas O. Mackey III (Set Designer), Eric Backus (Sound Designer), Amanda Gladu (Costume Designer), Patrick Ham (Prop Designer), Clare Sangster (Light Designer) and R&D Choreography (Violence Design). Dakota Hughes and Tanner Munson are the production understudies.

Beginning January 19, the extension performance schedule is as follows: Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 6 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m. For a detailed holiday performance schedule, visit Ticketmaster.com. For ticket inquiries for groups of 10 or more, call Group Theater Tix at 312.423.6612.

To learn more about “Thrones!” visit the website, and follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About Baby Wants Candy
“Baby Wants Candy” has performed more than 2,000 completely improvised musicals to thousands of fans from Chicago to New York to Singapore to Scotland. Currently, “Baby Wants Candy” runs in Chicago at the Apollo Theater, in Los Angeles at UCB Sunset and tours internationally.  A cutting edge theatrical experience, the performance features a revolving cast of A-list comedic performers and a full band.

“Baby Wants Candy” begins with the cast asking the audience for a suggestion of a musical that has never been performed before. Accompanied by a full band, the first title that the group hears becomes the title and theme for that evening’s 60-minute show, featuring a roller coaster ride of spontaneously choreographed dance numbers, rhyming verses and witty, jaw-dropping comedy.  Each performance is its own opening and closing night, and by design every show is completely unique and a once–in a lifetime premiere.

“Baby Wants Candy” has received rave reviews in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, The Onion, Chicago Sun-Times, TimeOut New York and more, and has received numerous awards including the winner of FringeNYC’s Outstanding Unique Theatrical Experience, Best Improv Ensemble by Chicago Magazine, the Best Visiting Comedy Ensemble by TimeOut New York, the recipient of the Ensemble of the Year Award at the Chicago Improv Festival, and a rare Sixth Star Award Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

“Baby Wants Candy” has included several notable performers including Peter Gwinn of “Colbert Report;” Rachel Dratch and Aidy Bryant of “Saturday Night Live;” Stephnie Weir of “MadTV;” Nicole Parker of “MadTV” and Elphaba in “Wicked” on Broadway; Jack McBrayer of “30 Rock;” Al Samuels and Kevin Fleming of “Sports Action Team;” Thomas Middleditch of “Silicon Valley;” Garry W. Tallent of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band; Mark Pender of The Max Weinberg 7 and Bruce Springsteen and the Seeger Sessions Band; and Johnny Pisano of the Jesse Malin Band and The Marky Ramone Band. Members of “Baby Wants Candy” have recently written the hit off-Broadway show “50 Shades! The Musical Parody”

About Apollo Theater
The Apollo Theater, located in the heart of Chicago’s Lincoln Park since 1978, has been home to many of the city’s biggest hits including the recent “Million Dollar Quartet,” which holds the record for the longest-running Broadway musical in Chicago history. Resident companies of the Apollo Theater include Emerald City Theatre Company and “Baby Wants Candy,” and many up-and-coming companies can be seen nightly in the theater’s 50-seat downstairs studio. Recently renovated and fully accessible, the Apollo Theater’s intimate 435-seat mainstage continues to deliver world-class theater as one of the city’s premiere off-Loop houses.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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