PHOTO CREDIT ©AMY BOYLE PHOTOGRAPHY
Support manifests in many ways; this weekend Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel did a fine job of supporting the performance arts community. Rumor has it that he saw not one, not two, but four performances this weekend – including visiting a school that uses the arts to dramatically improve student performance and attending A TWIST OF WATER, a recently reviewed 4-star play by Route 66 Theatre Company at Theater Wit.
Working Actor Watching WORKING actors
Prolific actor Bradley Whitford, best known for his role of Josh Lyman on THE WEST WING, stopped by to catch an afternoon performance of WORKING. He stayed afterwards to spend a little time with the cast and his friend, director Gordon Greenberg.
Now tell me, what do our Mayor-elect and Bradley Whitford have in common?
I have started exercising again, watching my carbs and I am back on my weekly blog visit after a wild two months with more events than I can retell!
Tom McGunn, Garrett Johannsen, Jasmine McNeely and Bethany Thomas sing the National Anthem before the Taste of Chicago Concert.
The Broadway In Chicago concert at the Taste with Janet Davies – memorable from the beginning, with the Broadway In Chicago Players and their stirring rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, to end. Ten shows performed for 10 years of Broadway In Chicago. It was an amazing day with Broadway performers that flew in from various points and hung together under beautiful sunny Chicago skies – like a Broadway field trip.
Then there was the exciting opening and fond farewell to FUERZA BRUTA. It was one of my favorite shows that I was so hoping would take off but it was admittedly a stretch for Broadway In Chicago. While the audiences that saw it loved it, it just didn’t have the staying power that we had all hoped for, but what an adventure it was for all of us! We will miss all the gorgeous cast and crew as they travel back to Argentina.
Photo By Amy Boyle Photography
And then the opening of SHREK THE MUSICAL. WOW, it has been awesome! We had lots of excitement including the star of the show (native Chicagoan Eric Petersen) having his first child during previews as his wife delivered at Chicago’s own Northwestern Memorial Hospital. The Hospital and staff were so great and both Mom, Dad and the Hospital shared the new born princess Sophia with the world when they allowed ABC to come in and film the new happy family. Then on to a grand opening night with Jeffrey Katzenberg and the CEO and CFO of McDonalds (love that they stopped flipping hamburgers to enjoy a night of theatre and SHREK). That night was amazing – as the helicopters from Transformers 3 hovered 50 feet over Daley Plaza just a block away from the theatre, all of the celebrities arrived. And thankfully Transformers completed their filming 45 minutes prior to the start of the show – perfect timing. The performance was great – as Dean Richards says, “A Must See…for everyone from 8 to 80” and he is right! Such a funny, elaborate, great night out. I mean really? Who doesn’t like a good fart joke and tap dancing mice? And who showed up on the green carpet? None other than the four BILLYs from BILLY ELLIOT.
The stars of Billy Elliot walk the green carpet at the Shrek The Musical opening.
Speaking of BILLY ELLIOT, the show is steaming through the summer and if you are around you want to be sure to go and see it as it will only be here through January 15. Now is the time as they have the most amazing Back To School With Billy Program that includes Kids Free at the theatre with a paying adult. Check it out!
I couldn’t be happier with this summer – a true celebration of 10 years of Broadway In Chicago. In typical style, I was having so much fun – just couldn’t find the time to write.
More next week….
Dominic Scaglione Jr., Michael Ingersoll, Michael Cunio and Shonn Wiley with The Honorable Mayor Richard M. Daley. Photo by Amy Boyle.
Did you all see Chris Jones’ blog yesterday?
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!
I am approaching my one year anniversary of working at Margie Korshak, Inc. on the Broadway In Chicago account – and let me tell you that there has rarely been a dull moment! One of my favorite things about my job is that I am rarely at my desk and each day brings something new.
After a year, I thought it might be fun to look back and share some of my favorite moments:
- My first PR duty for Broadway In Chicago ― taking cast members from Wicked on an Architecture Boat Cruise on a beautiful day in September. I think I even managed to get some sun, too!
- The one year anniversary of Jersey Boys. What else can you say except a citywide pizza party and closing the show with Frank Sinatra’s “My Kind of Town” is pretty cool!
- Escorting Annaleigh Ashford and Jenny DiNoia from the cast of Wicked to a Bears game to sing the National Anthem. It was freezing cold, but it was worth it as they were amazing! Plus, I was able to walk on the field, watch very good looking football players warm up and stand next to the bench during the National Anthem.
- “Nobody puts Baby in a corner” Dirty Dancing is a link to my childhood – How could I not love it?!
- Wicked’s final performance. Although I only worked a short time with the show, it was sad to see Wicked leave Chicago… But the cast party at The Dana Hotel after the final performance was a great party!
- Meeting the magnificent and legendary Richard Chamberlain when he was in town starring as King Arthur in Monty Python’s Spamalot. It was a privilege to spend time with him.
- Having lunch with John O’Hurley, who played J. Peterman on Seinfeld, between television interviews at Italian Village while he was in town with Chicago The Musical. I am a HUGE Seinfeld fan, so need I say more?
- Watching the first preview performance of Mary Poppins at the Cadillac. I was moved to tears and it quickly became one of my favorite shows. Then getting to know the cast… how wonderfully talented, kind and energetic they were. They are all missed!
- Having Sir Elton John at a press conference on Tuesday announcing that Billy Elliot the Musical is coming to Chicago. We are very excited for March 2010.
Overall I think I have a pretty cool job…
There are many more fun stories, but so little space. I will be back with more tales from Broadway In Chicago’s press world in a month or two… See you then!
-Anne, Broadway In Chicago press agent
Filed under Billy Elliot the Musical, Broadway In Chicago, Cadillac Palace Theatre, Celebrity, Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story on Stage, Ford Center for the Performing Arts, Oriental Theatre, Jersey Boys, Mary Poppins, Spamalot: The Third Coming, Wicked
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!