The bus took a turn onto Cicero Ave. and the cast went quiet – occupied by the sights of a new Tour City. We’ve come into a habit of staring out the window while on the ride to our new ‘home’ in search of some familiarity; an ounce of hope that the city in which we’re arriving will bring us a delivering Jimmy Johns, a bar that stays open past 10:30pm, or even just a wash-n-fold Laundromat. I broke the silence: “Pepe’s!!!!”
Really? No one? In a cast full of New Yorkers and 90210-ers, I guess Pepe’s Mexican Restaurant doesn’t look too appealing. But to a girl from the Midwest it can only mean one thing: I’m Home.
I grew up in Lafayette, Indiana – near Purdue University. Did the showchoir thing, the pageant thing, etc. In my home, Chicago existed for one wonderful reason: Theatre. I’m back in the Midwest for a month doing Legally Blonde at the Oriental and couldn’t be happier to return in such style. I walked down State Street last night on the way to sound-check and could have lost it right there on the curb. This city is so majestic.
Our preview audience was brilliant. As a young actor, the range of my regional theatre experience is limited. I closed Les Miserables in New York last winter, and I’ve worked a couple of Summerstock jobs here and there, but this is my first experience in traveling with a show. Chicago brings with it all the poise and elegance of a Theatre City. Its theatre-goers are certainly not afraid to put on their Sunday Clothes for curtain.
I have such respect for this place. Here’s to four weeks of hometown splendor, good eats, good audiences, and a great run!
-Cortney Wolfson (Serena/Legally Blonde The Musical)