Category Archives: Broadway In Chicago

Shawna Hamic sails on “The Last Ship” with Sting

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Shawna Hamic at The Last Ship opening night partyPhoto Credit: Amy Boyle Photography

‘The Last Ship’ cast member Shawna Hamic is originating the role of Mrs. Dees in the show. She spoke to Broadway In Chicago about her experiences so far during the pre-Broadway run.

I’ve been lucky enough to perform here in Chicago even before being a part of The Last Ship. I played the Cadillac Palace Theater twice as Madame Thenardier in the 25th Anniversary national tour of Les Miserables. So I have come to truly love Chicago and all it has to offer. This is actually my first time being here in a season other than Winter and I must admit- I like it even more when it’s warm outside. There is such a beauty to the city of Chicago. The buildings, the lake, the rivers, the museums, the culture, the food! So much to love. I have a few places i always have to visit when I’m here. For food it’s Mindy’s Hot Chocolate. I make a point of going every time I’m here. Another is a classic- Miller’s Pub on Wabash. It has an old school vibe and amazing food for really reasonable prices. I visit my favorite camera store (also on Wabash) called Central Camera. As an avid photographer I love to explore all the amazing history for sale. Film cameras and the places that sell them are a dying breed. Central Camera has been a family business for over 113 years. I just love it there.

Being here as a cast member in the pre-Broadway run of The Last Ship has been one of the most amazing experiences. It is unlike anything I’ve ever done. While I have been involved with a brand new musical before, this is the first time that it is Broadway bound and the first show that I’ve done that has changed daily. It has been a challenge and wonderful exercise on strengthening my muscles as well as the most important muscle for an actor- my brain! To be part of this company, led by our Director Joe Mantello, our Choreographer Steven Hoggett, Book by John Logan, Set and Costume Design by David Zinn, Orchestrations, Arrangements & Music Direction by Rob Mathes- It has been so fulfilling. I can’t end this blog without mentioning one of the most meaningful parts of this whole process… There has been a musician and artist who has written the music which is truly the soundtrack of my life. I associate important memories and moments with songs and most of them were written by the same person: Sting. To be a part of his first journey into musical theater has been an exhilarating and moving experience. He is humble and generous. He was there with us practically every day. Of course to be on hand to work on anything musically that needed tweaking, but also because he is as fascinated with the process as I am. A quiet man, yet still a dynamic presence, Sting continues to shape The Last Ship into something unforgettable. I can’t wait for audiences to experience the show. I hope they are as moved to be there as I am to be on the stage. I know that the show will continue to morph and change as we get closer to Broadway and the Neil Simon Theatre. I have never been more excited to continue a process as I am now. The work is blissful. I think that says a lot about a group of people when you look forward to going work every day. And I can say with all honesty- I do. So thank you Chicago for once again welcoming me and for being such a lovely fertile ground on which to grow a new brand work of art. You are a lovely town with wonderful citizens and I’m happy as can be to be here.

We’ll be doing a LIVE Twitter chat with Shawna at 12pm, Tuesday, July 1st! Join the conversation and ask your questions for her by using #LastShipBIC!

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Filed under Broadway In Chicago, Les Miserables, The Last Ship

KINKY BOOTS & PIPPIN to play at the Cadillac Palace Theatre next summer!

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Broadway In Chicago is thrilled to announce the return of 2013 Tony Award-winning Best Musical KINKY BOOTS, which began in Chicago with a pre-Broadway run back in 2012, and the 2013 Best Revival of a Musical PIPPIN! Both will play at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, with KINKY BOOTS running from July 12-26, 2015 and PIPPIN from July 28-August 9, 2015.

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Filed under Broadway In Chicago, Cadillac Palace Theatre, Kinky Boots, Pippin

Happy Father’s Day from the JERSEY BOYS!

The Four Seasons would like to wish all the dads out there a Happy Father’s Day! Don’t miss the movie, directed by Clint Eastwood, coming to theaters June 20th. You can also see the hit stage production when it returns to Chicago at the Cadillac Palace Theatre May 12-24, 2015!

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Filed under Broadway In Chicago, Cadillac Palace Theatre, Jersey Boys

Broadway In Chicago Annual FREE Summer Concert to be Held August 18th, 2014!

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Broadway In Chicago is thrilled to announce their annual FREE BROADWAY IN CHICAGO SUMMER CONCERT, sponsored by ABC 7 Chicago, that will take place on Monday, August 18, 2014 at 6:15 p.m. at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park (201 E Randolph St). Hosted by ABC 7 Chicago’s Janet Davies, from the entertainment and lifestyles program 190 NORTH, the concert will feature cast members from the World Premiere of AMAZING GRACE, the World Premiere of DEE SNIDER’S ROCK & ROLL CHRISTMAS TALE and hit musicals ANNIE, DISNEY’S NEWSIES, RODGERS + HAMMERSTEIN’S CINDERELLA, MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET and more. The Broadway In Chicago Summer Concert at Millennium Park is produced in partnership with The City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.

“This is our favorite night of the year, being able to share this rare gathering of Broadway performers with all of Chicago” said Eileen LaCario, Vice President of Broadway In Chicago. “This unparalleled event of the summer brings thousands of enthusiastic and devoted Broadway fans and supporters for a taste of Broadway, experiencing these performances in one of Chicago’s most iconic settings.”

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Filed under Amazing Grace, Annie, Broadway In Chicago, Dee Snider's Rock & Roll Christmas Tale, Million Dollar Quartet, Newsies

Buyer & Cellar celebrates 400th performance!

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Hit show Buyer & Cellar and star Michael Urie celebrated 400 performances after today’s matinee show with a fresh, hot Giordano’s Pizza! Who needs cake when you have Chicago deep dish?

Congratulations to everyone involved with this fantastic show on reaching this milestone!

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Filed under Broadway In Chicago, Broadway Playhouse, Buyer & Cellar

The ‘Boys’ Are Back In Town!

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Photo: Jeremy Daniel

Who loves you, Chicago? Today we announced that Jersey Boys is returning to Chicago next year from May 12-24, 2015 at the Cadillac Palace Theatre. With the movie version, directed by Clint Eastwood, being released in theaters June 20, we can’t wait for the stage production to come back after its 2-year-long engagement in 2010. More details at the Chicago Tribune…

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Filed under Broadway In Chicago, Cadillac Palace Theatre, Jersey Boys

Tony Awards: Best Musical

Memorable songs, powerhouse vocals and spectacular song & dance numbers have these Best Musical nominees bursting at the seams with Broadway energy. We can’t wait to see some of them eventually make their way to Chicago!

BestMusical

Best Musical

After Midnight

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

Aladdin

A Gentlemen’s Guide to Love and Murder

BestMusicalRevivalBest Musical (Revival)

Les Miserables

Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Violet

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Filed under Broadway In Chicago, New York, Tony Awards

Tony Awards: Best Play

 

The nominees for Best Play and Best Play (Revival) have dominated in other categories, with both backstage and onstage working together to create some truly special theatre memories for audiences.BestPlay

Best Play

Act One

Casa Valentina

Mothers and Sons

Outside Mullingar

All the Way

BestPlayRevivalBest Play Revival

A Raisin in the Sun

The Cripple of Inishmaan

The Glass Menagerie

Twelfth Night

 

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Tony Awards: Best Actress in a Leading Role

These leading ladies carry powerful pedigrees in the Broadway community with multiple nominations and wins between them. Can Chicagoan and first-time nominee Jessie Mueller sneak in a win in the Best Actress in a Musical category?
BestActressPlayBest Actress in a Leading Role (Play) (Clockwise, L to R)

Cherry Jones – The Glass Menagerie

Tyne Daly – Mothers and Son

Estelle Parsons – The Velocity of Autumn

LaTanya Richardson-Jackson – A Raisin in the Sun

Audra McDonald – Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill

DID YOU KNOW? LaTanya Richardson-Jackson is the wife of actor Samuel L. Jackson.

Estelle Parsons has been inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame. She originally moved to New York to become a presenter on The Today Show before beginning her career on stage and in film, winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. This is her fifth Tony Award nomination.

BestActressMusical

Best Actress in a Leading Role (Musical) (Clockwise, L to R)

Kelli O’Hara – The Bridges of Madison County

Jessie Mueller – Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

Mary Bridget Davies – An Evening with Janis Joplin

Sutton Foster – Violet

Idina Menzel – If/Then

TBT

Here’s a #ThrowbackThursday to when Audra McDonald, Sutton Foster and Idina Menzel won their Best Actress in a Musical Tony Awards in 2012, 2011 and 2004.

 

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Filed under Broadway In Chicago, New York, Tony Awards

Tony Awards: Best Actor in a Leading Role

 

These leading men command the stage with their presence and impressive acting abilities. Some are known primarily for their work on screen, but have shown their talent by being able to translate their skills to the stage. These are the Tony Award nominees for Best Actor in a Leading Role.

BestActorPlay

Best Actor in a Leading Role (Play) (Clockwise, L to R)

Mark Rylance – Richard III

Bryan Cranston – All the Way

Tony Shalhoub – Act One

Chris O’Dowd – Of Mice and Men

Samuel Barnett – Twelfth Night

DID YOU KNOW? Samuel Barnett originated the role of Posner in the Tony Award-winning The History Boys, continuing to portray the character in international tours as well as the film adaptation.

BestActorMusicalBest Actor in a Leading Role (Musical) (Clockwise, L to R)

Neil Patrick Harris – Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Ramin Karimloo – Les Miserables

Jefferson Mays – A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder

Andy Karl – Rocky

Bryce Pinkham – A Gentlemen’s Guide to Love and Murder

DID YOU KNOW? Ramin Karimloo has played 4 different roles in Les Miserables,  making his Broadway debut as Jean Valjean and playing Feuilly, Enjolras and Marius on the West End.

Andy Karl has also played another 70s icon, Tony Manero, in Saturday Night Fever, where he met his wife, Orfeh.

 

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Filed under Broadway In Chicago, New York, Tony Awards