Shake Your Groove Thing: Wonka Ball 2019

Friday, March 15, 9:07 PM written by AFT Theatre

the hawk chicago

Be a queen of the dance floor this spring at About Face Theatre’s annual gala and Chicago’s hottest party:WONKA BALL: Disco Inferno on Friday, April 12, 2019 at 8 pm (VIP cocktail reception and awards ceremony at 7 pm) at Venue West, 221 N. Paulina St. in Chicago. Shake your groove thing with Chicago’s celebrated lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and allied (LGBTQIA) theatre as it celebrates its 23rd season on this truly fabulous evening. Tickets are currently available at or by calling (773) 784-8565


WONKA BALL: Disco Inferno will immerse guests in a lush world of drag, disco and decadent club culture. The evening is conceived as a toast to royalty from Diana Ross and Donna Summer to the legendary champions of ball culture started by LGBTQIA communities of color. Hosted by performer Cleo Pockalipps, About Face will honor the incandescent, life-affirming power of underground clubs in our LGBTQIA history, while featuring drag queens and kings of today, with all the freshness and creativity that makes About Face Theatre stand out. So put on your polyester leisure suit and get ready to Burn, Baby, Burn, all evening long with great food, cocktails, a silent auction, raffle, live entertainment and music from DJ CircuitMOM, dancing and, of course… DISCO!

VIP Cocktail Reception

Join About Face for an exclusive VIP reception beginning at 7 pm, where guests will enjoy early access to the venue and silent auction, exclusive performances by About Face artistic associates, free raffle tickets, signature cocktails, culinary treats and a live DJ.

WONKA BALL: Disco Inferno Co-Chairs include Willa TaylorMary Morten and Aaron Kacel. This year’s Honorary Co-Chair is WGN TV’s Paul Lisnek.

The evening also includes the presentation of the annual Leppen Leadership Awards, recognizing one individual and one organization whose efforts have made an enormous impact within Chicago’s LGBTQIA communities. This year’s recipients include Affinity Community Services, a social justice organization serving the needs of the Black LGBTQ community of Chicago with a particular focus on Black women; and Precious Brady Davis, a local award winning diversity advocate, communications professional and public speaker.

The evening will also include the About Face Youth Theatre MVP Award, presented annually to an outstanding youth theatre ensemble member for exceptional service to the company and to the greater LGBTQIA community. The recipient will be announced shortly.

Proceeds from WONKA BALL: Disco Inferno support About Face Theatre’s award-winning mainstage programming and nationally-recognized youth education and outreach program. Since 1995, About Face has created exceptional, innovative and adventurous theatre and educational programming that advances the national dialogue on sexual and gender identity while challenging and entertaining audiences in Chicago and beyond. Support from WONKA BALL enables About Face to thrive as Chicago’s celebrated home for LGBTQIA theatre.


Event: WONKA BALL: Disco Inferno
Date/Time: Friday, April 12, 2019 from 8 pm – 11 pm; VIP Cocktail Reception at 7 pm
Location: Venue West, 221 N. Paulina St., Chicago
Tickets: General admission: $150. VIP Cocktail Reception: $200. Additional sponsorship packages are available. Tickets are currently available at or by calling (773) 784-8565.

Sponsors to date for WONKA BALL: Disco Inferno include Venue West, J+L Catering, CircuitMOM Productions, Sidetrack, MillerCoors, GiveSmart, Vincent, RED Weddings, Fajita Factory, Spacca Napoli, Cabot Cheese, Cookies By Design, Biscuit Man, Split-Rail. Petterino’s, Mango Pickle, Edge of Sweetness, London House, Kal’ish Vegan, Longacre, FatCat, Noir D’Ebene, CH Distillery and Mozaics.
About Face Theatre creates exceptional, innovative, and adventurous theatre and educational programming that advances the national dialogue on sexual and gender identity, and challenges and entertains audiences in Chicago and beyond.