Philadelphia Eagles vs. Chicago Bears – November 22, 2009 at Soldier Field
Category Archives: Bank of America Theatre
Alayna Gallo and I were asked to be celebrity contestants in “shoot the puck” at the Chicago Blackhawks game on November 15th. Never in my wildest dreams would I have anticipated such an opportunity. The Blackhawks organization generously provided the Jersey Boys cast and crew with a penthouse suite to watch the game, so we had plenty of support from our friends.
Toward the end of the second period, Alayna and I were escorted downstairs, just outside the ice, where we were able to take a couple practice shots (Thank god! I haven’t held a hockey stick since I was 7 years old!) I can’t even begin to explain how nervous AND excited we were. With just a few seconds left in the second period, we were waiting just outside the ice doors when the Blackhawks scored. The energy of the 21,000 people in the arena skyrocketed. Alyana and I kept looking at each other with massive smiles plastered on our face saying “Oh my god, here we go!” There were 4 of us shooting the puck, including two children. Walking on that ice and scanning the thousands of people around me was an unbelievable feeling. Then, looking at the goal, I realized they blocked of most of it and left a tiny target the size of a mouse hole open. I was thinking, “Are you kidding me?”
They took Alayna and me to center ice and the children to the blue line. Sure enough, the boy, who couldn’t have been more than 10 years old, shot it right in that tiny hole! The crowd went crazy. Alayna and I went crazy! When it was my turn to go, I set up like I was taught by my coach, Ryan Quinn West, looked directly at that silly little hole and shot the puck with all my might. I was seriously just hoping the puck would make it down there. As I was watching the puck slide down the ice I thought, “Wow, that’s going pretty straight. Hey, this is gonna be close. Oh my god, this might actually go in! HOLY ****!!!!!!!!!!!” I was completely stunned. Alayna’s reaction was priceless. We high fived and I stepped off the carpet, mouth gaping open in disbelief. I was so grateful I didn’t have to shoot again because I didn’t even know how I did it the first time! Alayna shot great as well. On her third shot we were all screaming for a replay. The puck literally sat inside the hole, but didn’t go all the way through.
Alayna and I had a fantastic time. All the Blackhawks employees were wonderfully supportive and seemed to enjoy our neurotic excitement. This experience will most definitely go down in history as one of my favorites.
-Merissa Haddad (Mary Delgado and others/JERSEY BOYS)
Our own Frankie Vallie sent his thoughts on the evening:
It was a very proud moment to be playing Frankie in front of Mayor Daley and the group of mayors from the surrounding towns and cities. The energy in the theatre was incredible. It was a moment I will never forget. Thank you people of Chicago and Mayor Daley for making yet another memorable moment for me here in Chicago.
-Dominic Scaglione Jr. (Frankie Valli/JERSEY BOYS)
REMEMBER: There are only two months left to see Jersey Boys before it leaves Chicago! If you haven’t seen it, what are you waiting for? If you have, make sure to see it one last time! The show leaves January 10!
Sometime I miss the convenience of having our offices above The Shubert Theatre (now the Bank of America Theatre), but on Matinee Days it is so much fun to rush around the Loop checking on JERSEY BOYS and then over to the last Wednesday matinee of MARY POPPINS. I pass the Broadway In Chicago Street Team in their new backpack boards and, just like the other pedestrians, I stop and stare!
It is summer in the city and people are everywhere. What a far cry it is from what State Street was like 17 years ago when I started working at the old Shubert. Now no matter what time I leave the office to walk the few blocks to one of the shows I see people on their way to restaurants, hotels and theatres. This past weekend, State Street was filled with strolling crowds enjoying the weather and the stores. I bet visitors who come in for events like the Taste of Chicago or Blues Fest are just as impressed as I am by the vibrant, exciting Chicago Loop.
What do you love about Chicago in the summer?
This is what the marketing office looks like today:
You may be asking yourself if a bomb went off, or perhaps you think we are building a box fort… the answer is far more exciting than that. (at least for all of you!)
The reason for this mayhem is that we have an action-packed weekend planned! As you have probably heard, Monday is the Broadway In Chicago Concert in the Park, but we will also be participating in the annual Chicago Pride Parade on Sunday. Needless to say, we have been as busy as can be trying to make this an absolutely spectacular, albeit slightly hectic, pair of events.
On Sunday morning at the obscenely early hour of 9am, Andrew, Basia and myself will meet here at the Broadway In Chicago office to transport all of our materials to the parade route. I will have to work on my Tetris skills for the next couple days, because we somehow have to fit over 15,000 pieces of promo merchandise and three people into a Honda Accord. Seriously.
The parade itself will kick off around noon—keep an eye out for float #102 if you are at the parade because we will have tons of fun goodies to give away. There will be 14 BIC staffers and perhaps a cast member or two out supporting the GLBT community…and having a great time in the process! If you haven’t been to the Parade before, you should definitely try to join us—it is truly an unforgettable experience.
Then it’s time to run home for a good night’s sleep before the Concert in the Park! This is probably my favorite event of the year. What could be better than sitting outside listening to some amazing performers sing songs from my favorite shows? This year’s concert will include performances from Mary Poppins, Jersey Boys, Young Frankenstein, In the Heights, 101 Dalmatians and Boys v. Girls. Not only that, but Roger Bart, Dennis DeYoung, Ashley Brown, Gavin Lee and the whole cast of Jersey Boys will be there along with an Olympic athlete!
I have been attending these concerts for far longer than I have worked at Broadway In Chicago, so it is a lot of fun to be in on the planning process this time around. Sure, there is a lot of work involved—have you ever tried to transport dollies laden with fun merchandise through the packed streets of the Taste of Chicago – but there is nothing more rewarding than seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces as they leave the concert.
I truly hope that everyone joins us for at least one of these wonderful events this weekend. We put a lot of effort into making these experiences fantastic for all who attend, and love to share our passion for theatre with everyone that we can. See you this weekend!
-Mary Brennan (Marketing Coordinator)
Playing Frankie Valli in the town that Billy Sunday could not shut down has been a blast! June 10th marked my one year anniversary with the show and I was so excited to have been able to celebrate it here in Chi town! Being born and raised in Essex County, New Jersey, it is such an honor for me to see how this story and this music from where I grew up touches the people of Chicago. The passion and enthusiasm that I see each and every night on the faces of the people of this city overwhelms me. I want to thank everyone that has welcomed me with open arms and that has cheered so loudly every night. Keep coming out to support this show because we love being here is this remarkable city!
Jersey Boys has allowed me to do so many amazing things and nothing could top being at the Tony Awards to represent Chicago as Frankie Valli. Standing on that gigantic stage was a sight I will never forget. Being around all of that talent really made me proud to be a part of this incredible business. I was able to walk the red carpet with my fellow 5 Frankies and the Seasons from Broadway who I had the pleasure of working with before I came here and we were in the middle of James Gandolfini and Kevin Spacey…good company I would say! Another highlight was running into Geoffrey Rush in the stairwell while I was warming up and him remembering me from rehearsal…and all I could do was look in awe as he held his Tony Award. It went by so fast but it was something I will never ever forget.
See you guys on the stage!
-Dominic Scaglione Jr. (Frankie Valli/JERSEY BOYS)
Welcoming our 1 millionth patron to Jersey Boys isn’t simply a testament to the vitality of our show and the commitment of our producers and Broadway In Chicago, both of which I’m tremendously proud. It also means that even during the most difficult economic times we’ve seen in decades, people will still make an evening at the theatre a priority, showing that live theatre is still vital to the cultural health of our community.
I also think it fitting that we are telling the story of the Four Seasons during this challenging time as it is an exciting, life-affirming story that earns it’s standing ovations without artifice. I am so thankful to the people of Chicago and to all of the tourists who bought a ticket to Jersey Boys this year. Thank you for investing in live theatre, in Jersey Boys, in this amazing community, and in the men and women who make a living on the stage. Our fans are simply the greatest.
-Michael Ingersoll (Nick Massi/JERSEY BOYS)
Did you hear the news? Jersey Boys welcomed their 1,000,000th patron at yesterday’s matinee! Carol Miller of Orland Park was the lucky audience member, and awarded with a fantastic package from The Ritz-Carlton Chicago (a Four Seasons hotel). Her friend Donna Doonan of Naperville was Lucky Number 1,000,001. Here are some photos that the Broadway In Chicago team took. Enjoy!
Oh…I have missed two Mondays in a row to speak with you. So sorry but the drama around the last two weeks could only be done justice in a musical! Since I last talked to you: I was in NY and London with meetings and seeing shows, lost my voice (this is a difficult thing for anyone to imagine – Eileen without a voice), worked with the BIC team to open A BRONX TALE, along with a great final dress rehearsal and first preview of MARY POPPINS, PLUS delivered a talk at the Commercial Producing Conference. FYI: this was a great conference, put on by the League of Chicago Theatres. If you have interest in producing, you should definitely check it out for next year.
Hope you noticed the great Sunday article that the Chicago Tribune did on MARY POPPINS. It was a great spread with a headline above the masthead of the paper. Unfortunately they asked the question is “Are you coming to scare us, MARY POPPINS?” and the answer is NO – nothing about it is scary! In fact, every person in the audience from the youngest to the oldest is entranced by the story, the explosion of color, beautiful dancing and the great spirit leaves everyone feeling happier than when they came to the theatre. I have seen both London and New York, and to me this is by far the best MARY POPPINS ever! On the first preview, I sat up in the balcony as I often do to see what impact the show has for those in the balcony. It was amazing – this is one of those shows that whether you are on the main floor or the balcony you will have the experience of a lifetime. I always say that the shows that do the best are those that transform you from the time you walk in until the time you leave, those shows that reach you emotionally – and this is it!
We also have been working with the producers of THE ADDAMS FAMILY to finalize art for the show and plan a press conference for April – more details as they become available. The same producers, Elephant Eye, are also working with us to do a staged reading of SAVED The Divine Musical – based on the movie of the same name.
Plus, JERSEY BOYS is having a special performance on Wednesday to support Heart Health Night in partnership with Diet Coke – there will be a Red Carpet and many special guests in the audience.
In addition to all of that – my husband is producing a new play “The Quiet Man Tales” in the lower level of the Chicago Theatre that is in previews and opens on Sunday to the press.
For all those great supporters – PLEASE VOTE TODAY! The Chicago Tribune has created March Madness in search of the best cultural spot in Chicago. They have included JERSEY BOYS and MARY POPPINS in the running. Be sure to vote! Email selections to email@example.com. Voting ends at 9 AM on Tuesday.
I am headed to New York today. I will be in meetings tomorrow for JERSEY BOYS! We look forward to these meetings as the producers so love the Chicago Company and always want to do whatever they can to make JERSEY BOYS the success that it is in Chicago. And then later in the week, we are having meetings at the New York Nederlander offices to plan for future shows. We will be meeting with many of the producers of the upcoming shows and then also looking at what shows are coming up for us in the future. Perhaps out of my meetings this week , I will have some interesting news to report in next week’s blog post.
I will be seeing shows while in New York – two Tony Award winners – IN THE HEIGHTS and THE 39 STEPS. Not to worry I will be back in time for the opening of CHICAGO! Love that show, after all it is our namesake musical.
See you in the theatre!
EDIT: To answer the question, just leave it in the comments. Comments are not published right away, so be patient!
SECOND EDIT: WINNER IS EDUARDO MANIERO! Congrats! Someone will be emailing you with info on how to pick up your tickets. Enjoy!