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Ten years ago, I attended my first Madhatter’s Ball, and it was unlike anything I had ever experienced! Lights, music, fanfare, and hats galore! Not only is this annual event an incredible spectacle, but the people I have met over the years through Lookingglass have become lifelong friends. The theatre brings extraordinary plays to the people of Chicago, and consistently engages our diverse community through talk-backs, volunteering, and educational outreach. I hope you will join me in supporting this wonderful organization of remarkably talented and caring people who create beautiful art, educate Chicago youth, and throw awesome parties!

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So what’s in store for this year?

Whisper the secret password, slink through the velvet curtain, and join hundreds of your closest conspirators at the Madhatter’s Speakeasy. The Lookingglass Theatre Junior Board welcomes you to this clandestine hideaway for a sophisticated evening of debauchery on June 1st at Venue One in the West Loop. Don your fedora, cloche, bowler, trilby or boater, and kick of summer at the most unique fundraiser of the year.

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Our hosts for the evening will be Lookingglass Ensemble Member Anthony Fleming III and Wendy Mateo of Big Lake Big City, and we will rock the night away to the beats and musical talent of Dante The DonDr. Bombay, DJ Q, Justin Jacobson, and DJ RedLine. The Madhatter’s Speakeasy will seduce you with delectable bites from your favorite restaurants, including SundaRockit Bar & GrillHubbard Inn, and Market to name only a few. Despite the Prohibition era theme, Chopin Vodka will be flowing in addition to Primal Roots Wine, beer from New Holland Brewery, and a host of other delicious drinks.

MHB6 B, J & D on stage

The criminal cocktails, live entertainment, tasty treats, and salacious silent auction are just part of the fun for the evening. The true reason for our surreptitious gathering is to support Lookingglass Theatre’s education and community programs. Annually, the Madhatter’s Ball serves as the Lookingglass Junior Board’s primary fundraiser to help advance the theatre’s commitment to creating new theatrical work and increasing its work with Chicago-area students and families. Lookingglass’ acclaimed theater education programs encourage self-esteem and creativity in thousands of students every year. And, lucky you, getting to be a part of this fantastic cause! Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to join us for one of the hottest parties of the summer that is not only a ridiculously good time, but most importantly supports extraordinary work. It’s all for the kids!

The Madhatter’s Ball: Saturday, June 1, 2013 ~ Venue One, 1040 W. Randolph Ave. ~ 7:30 pm: VIP Reception ~ 8:30 pm – 12:00 am ~ 12:00 am ~  After-Party at Lumen (839 W. Fulton) ~ Cocktail attire ~ Speakeasy-style costumes are optional, but hats are recommended ~ All attendees must be 21 years of age or older ~ To learn more about the Junior Board, Madhatter’s Ball, and to purchase tickets, visit here.

I look forward to seeing you at the Madhatter’s Speakeasy!

-Tai Duncan
Lookingglass Theatre Junior Board President
2013 Madhatter’s Ball Co-Chair

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