Yesterday morning the entire staff of Broadway In Chicago jammed into our Conference Room to watch the inauguration. There were more than a few of us who were in tears. What an exciting day for Chicago…for our country!
I embarrassed to admit at this incredible moment I thought of our theatres. It is a badly kept secret that every theatre around the world holds four tickets even after a show is sold out for the Pope or the President. And every once in awhile the Mayor, or the Cardinal, request these special seats. But one would ask, “Has the Pope or the President ever sat in these seats?” At that point, I admit, “Well, no.” But at last, I can really say, “IT IS TRUE!” because the Obama Family has actually come to all three of the Broadway In Chicago theatres!
Two summers ago, Eileen, my boss and I were the private ushers (as deemed by the Secret Service) for Michelle and primary candidate Barack Obama coming to THE COLOR PURPLE. What a night – it was a surprise for the audience and when we whisked them to their seats the whole audience jumped to their feet for a standing ovation. When Mrs. Obama attended WICKED with her mother and daughters, I don’t know who was more excited – the Front of House Staff (which thankfully acted as if it was business as usual) or the cast.
The best Obama moment came post show at HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL when Michelle and her family came to our cast party. I asked a cast member if he would like to meet Mrs. Obama, Sasha and Malia – the actor seemed a little put out that I interrupted his mother but a few moments later he ran over and whispered, “Oh my gosh! Did you just introduce me to the future first lady?” Luckily he didn’t faint!
Now I can really say that we had a President and First Lady in our theatres…what an honor!