People often say “those who can’t do, teach.” Well, I like to think of it more along the lines of those who can’t perform become press agents/publicists. My earliest childhood memory was wanting to be a star and diva like Miss Piggy. However, growing up over the years, I came to the realization that I really didn’t have the performing chops needed to make my kindergarten dream come true. BUT, I had a different kind of talent, a more behind the scenes talent, and that was being able to get performers and shows of all types the publicity they deserve.
Over the past ten years, I have encountered a fabulous group of people in my career from Cookie Monster to Carlin, but there was always something more I wanted to do. Growing up on musicals and theatre (from touring productions to our local 400 seat community theatre), I really wanted to get back to what I loved. In early 2009, I was able to come on board with Margie Korshak and work with Broadway In Chicago and the fabulous shows that are in Chicago! Although it is crazy from time to time, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I have been able to do some exciting things and meet some fabulous performers. There is no typical day here at MKI when you are working on Broadway show. Of course, there is the “standard PR stuff” like writing releases, talking to reporters and booking TV appearances. But we also get to things that fall out of the realm of a 9am – 5pm desk job! Over the past few months some of the highlights include:
- Going on a wine tasting tour of Chicago with Michael Cunio of Jersey Boys for a Chicago Sun Time article
- National Anthems for the White Sox (Mary Poppins, Jersey Boys and Fiddler on the Roof)
- Shopping for an opening night dress with Ashley Brown (Mary Poppins) at Maria Pinto
- Having breakfast during a media tour with Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp from Rent
- Having manicures with Alyana Gallo of Jersey Girls for a “girlie story”
- Going to the Windy City Rollers (women’s roller derby) with cast members from Xanadu
We at MKI are getting more and more excited as fall approaches for some great events and shows like the second Anniversary of Jersey Boys in Chicago, the premiere of The Addams Family, Young Frankenstein (with original cast members Roger Bart and Shuler Hensley) and In The Heights. And of course, gearing up for next year with Billy Elliot and Shrek! Broadway In Chicago will be keeping us very busy this fall but more importantly, they will be bringing YOU the best Broadway shows! Hope to see you at the next one!
-Michelle, Broadway In Chicago press agent
Filed under Billy Elliot the Musical, Broadway In Chicago, Fiddler on the Roof, In the Heights, Jersey Boys, Mary Poppins, Rent, Shrek The Musical, The Addams Family, Xanadu, Young Frankenstein
I was giving pep talk to the Sales Staff who are manning the Season Ticket table in the lobby over at FIDDLER ON THE ROOF this morning, and everyone started thinking of subscriptions they had sold as gifts, one stranger than the next!
David had a great mother-in-law story. A woman calls every season to renew her son and daughter in law’s season tickets. She not only pays for the subscription but mentioned she also babysits for them so they can have a relaxing “date night.” Now that is a great mother in law!
Mary in marketing said she could top that story. Her friend purchased two subscriptions as a wedding present for his wife last year and this year it became her anniversary gift. Maybe when they have children they will add to their subscription and bring the kids.
And speaking of children, one woman brings her teen age daughter to the shows. She has a Sunday evening subscription because her daughter is so busy with extra-curricular activities so that is the only time they have to spend together. And heaven knows any mother would jump at the chance to have a few pleasant hours with a teenager, where no conversation is required and the only drama is on the stage.
Matthew J. Kilgore
Fiddler opened Wednesday night in front of an amazing Chicago audience at the Oriental Theatre. It was an exciting night for me personally, as I grew up about 6 hours south of Chicago and went to college in Decatur, IL. During school, I spent many weekends in the Chicagoland area visiting friends’ families, performing with Midwest Ballet Theater in The Nutcracker, and playing Bugs Bunny in What’s Up, Rock?! at Great America in the summer of 1997. Chicago was also one of the places I cut my teeth in professional regional theater having danced in the ensemble of Annie Get Your Gun at the Marriott Lincolnshire a few years ago. So, needless to say, it was a dream come true to step out onstage Wednesday night in a city so close to my heart.
Fiddler on the Roof is a show about family and they way they navigate through their changing beliefs and traditions as the world changes around them. It seems to strike a chord with just about anyone in the audience which is why, I believe, the show is still as popular today as it was 40 years ago. Every person in the audience can relate to something that takes place during the show in some way.
On June 21 at 7:00pm, the cast of Fiddler on the Roof will take the stage at THE SPOT in a cabaret benefit entitled Fiddlin’ Around to raise money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and Chicago House.
We would love to extend an invite to all of Broadway In Chicago’s patrons to come enjoy a night of music to benefit these two wonderful organizations. Admission is $10 at the door and will include a drink ticket good for a free domestic beer or house wine. We will also be raffling off prizes and souvenirs throughout the night. Come on out and join us at THE SPOT!
Matthew Kilgore (Bottle Dancer; Ensemble/FIDDLER ON THE ROOF)
I looked out my door at the Sales Office just now and everyone was putting sneakers. My first thought was that they were all participating in some kind of WALKATHON after work. But then I remembered that tonight is the first night of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF and they are on the way over to put notes on the seats of any subscriber who has not renewed yet for next season.
Bethany, David, Nick, Michael and Rachel will run up and down the Balcony, around the Dress Circle and across the Orchestra sticking the notes on seats. They have a very small window (15 Minutes) between the time the sound check is finished and the House opens. Run, run, run!
The Season Sales Staff will be doing this every performance of FIDDLER. We used to put a flower on each seat but sometimes they would wilt, fall on the floor and be stepped on so now it is just the note reminding them about their subscription.
If you haven’t checked out being a Season Ticket Holder (all four shows for as low at $68), visit the website or call 312-977-1717 and talk to Bethany, David, Nick, Michael or Rachel. If they sound a little out of breath you will know why.