Category Archives: In the Heights

Guest Blog: Eric Walter, The Miracle Center

Photo by Steve Starr (www.SteveStarrStudios.com)

To be honest, I have never experienced a place quite like ‘The Miracle Center’. Jumping into a pool of clichés, I would have to say that the person you are from the first time you walk into the doors of The Miracle Center does not compare to the person you will become when you leave. When I first walked through the doors, I was just looking for a place to dance and refine my talents. I was in love with dancing, and did not know what to do with it; I wanted a career in the arts. However, I was not sure if that was what I wanted to really do with my future. I had huge artistic dreams, dancing on Broadway, auditioning for ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ and building a career in the Performing Arts. Joining The Miracle Center brought so much out of me, allowing me to grow in so many ways. Stretching my abilities as a dancer and testing my character, giving me opportunities of leadership, and chances to display grace and integrity. There is just an unimaginable amount of blessings that TMC has given me. Pushing me to apply and get accepted to Columbia College Chicago, pursuing a double major in Dance: Performance and Theater: Acting. As well as having the support of everyone at The Miracle Center to chase my dream of auditioning for the television show; ‘So You Think You Can Dance’. Mary Santana and The Miracle Center, is really a miraculous person and place.

There could not have been a better time for me to see the ‘IN THE HEIGHTS’. Being a hip-hop dancer, I sometimes feel inadequate to the world of Broadway and dance.  A lot of times, people hear about dancing (or even when I Google ‘dance’) the first thing you see is ballet shoes, ballerinas, and contemporary dancers in these beautiful positions. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Ballet/Modern and participate in classes, however, my native style is Hip-Hop and sometimes I feel as if my style of dance does not get the respect I think it deserves. Seeing ‘IN THE HEIGHTS’ gave my heart such joy! Seeing Hip-Hop get some respect and appreciation on a Broadway stage gave me a sense of confidence. To know that I can do what I love and that people will appreciate it. Plus, the production was so wonderful and so well put together, and just so beautifully done! I have, honestly, never been so enthralled by a cast, drawn into the music and given the overwhelming urge to get up and dance during a production. I not only enjoyed the show, but I took so much from it.

Meeting the cast left me speechless! Not just because I was smiling too hard to talk, but having the chance to meet an absolutely phenomenal cast, and seeing how friendly and kind they were! They were wonderful on and off stage, coming to shake our hands with huge smiles, making me feel beyond welcomed. I would go so far as to thank the cast for just being themselves. Reminding me that no matter where I go I will always be myself. Also, I cannot put into words how much fun it was to dance and jam along side the cast, who gets that kind of opportunity? Well not very many people and I am so blessed to be able to have been someone to interact with such an amazing group of people. Thank you so much.

Eric Walter

The Miracle Center

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Filed under Broadway In Chicago, In the Heights

Where in the World are Gemma and Eileen?

The Broadway In Chicago team went underground at the end of the summer, working hard to bring THE BOOK OF MORMON to Chicago! 

In the fall they’re usually seen at every event in the city – but they’ve gone missing. Rumor has it that they’re buried under group sales orders for THE BOOK OF MORMON.  Plus, there’s also the launch of an amazing new season to attend to – a new season which Time Out Chicago calls “edgier” than usual.

AMERICAN IDIOT: February 7 – 19, 2012

SOUTH PACIFIC: February 14 – 26, 2012

BRING IT ON: THE MUSICAL: March 6 – 25, 2012

FELA!: March 27 – April 8, 2012

JERSEY BOYS: April 5 – June 2, 2012

THE BOOK OF MORMON: Starting December 2012

Off-Season Specials:

IN THE HEIGHTS: January 10 – 15, 2012

MAMMA MIA!: January 24 – 29, 2012

RIVERDANCE: March 13 – 18, 2012

CATS: May 1 – 6, 2012

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Filed under American Idiot, Bring It On: The Musical, Broadway In Chicago, Cats, Fela!, In the Heights, Jersey Boys, Mamma Mia!, Riverdance, South Pacific, The Book of Mormon

In The Heights Rush Seats Just Announced

IN THE HEIGHTS National Tour Company © Joan Marcus

In The Heights starts tomorrow! Rush seats were just announced, but you can buy tickets anytime!

Full-time students and seniors (65+) can get rush tickets for only $25 day of show at box office. Quantities are limited and available with valid ID and cash only.

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Filed under Cadillac Palace Theatre, In the Heights

it won’t be long now

In The Heights started rehearsals for the first national tour this week. Here is video (courtesy of Broadway.com) and some photos from media day in New York. Only 6 1/2 weeks left!

Heights9Heights10Heights13Heights16

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Filed under Cadillac Palace Theatre, In the Heights

Love to hear the redeye goin’ tweet tweet tweet

If you are downtown tomorrow, make sure to stop by the RedEye’s TweetUp (click for the who/what/why/when/where).

In the Heights, Young Frankenstein and The Ten Tenors will be giving away tickets as trivia prizes. Plus Broadway In Chicago has a booth and we are doing giveaways from there for show merchandise, and you never know what we’ll ask you to do to get it – sing a song, answer trivia, do a dance. The possibilities are endless.

See you then!

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Filed under Broadway In Chicago, In the Heights, The Ten Tenors, Young Frankenstein

those who can’t perform…publicize

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

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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’m just a broadway baby

Broadway In Chicago and Taste of Chicago…Oh, What A Night! 

Janet and Craig get the concert underway

Janet and Craig get things underway.

This was my second Broadway In Chicago Concert in the Park experience.  I love this concert!  It is such a great preview of the shows going on now and the ones that are coming.

Last year, I performed with my company of JERSEY BOYS, but this year I had the extreme pleasure of co-hosting with ABC7’s Janet Davies!  I had such a blast!  Janet was so fun to work with.  We hit it off right away and had so much fun together.  I have to admit I was a little nervous when I got a glimpse of the 10,000+ crowd, but when Janet introduced me and the crowd greeted me with such an enthusiastic and supportive response, the nerves went away and the fun began.

I can’t talk enough about the performances. The concert kicked off with my buddy John Michael Dias (Frankie Valli in JERSEY BOYS) singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” so beautifully. 

MARY POPPINS was the first show to perform.  Ashley Brown, Gavin Lee, Aida Neitenbach, and Justin Hall performed a beautiful medley of songs from the show and the crowd loved it.  I need to talk about Ashley Brown’s voice.  WOW! Forget “Practically Perfect.”  It is just “Perfect.”  From the sound of the crowd, they thought so too.

Olga Merediz with members of the Niles North High School Choral Department at the Broadway In Chicago Concert in the Park

Olga Merediz with members of the Niles North High School Choral Department at the Broadway In Chicago Concert in the Park

Another performance that truly blew me away was the number from IN THE HEIGHTS.  I think that Chicago will completely fall in love with this show.  I saw it in NYC and LOVED it.  Olga Merediz, who was Tony nominated for her IN THE HEIGHTS performance, sang “Paciencia Y Fe.”  I don’t even know where to begin with this one.  Inspiring is the word that comes to mind.  Olga was absolutely outstanding and everyone at Jersey Boys is still talking about her performance.  There was also a special treat with this number.  BIC and Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of In The Heights, arranged to have the Niles North High School chorus back up Olga.  It made for a truly spectacular number.

I also thought that Dennis DeYoung’s 101 DALMATIANS was a lot of fun with very catchy music. I am still singing it!  I am really excited to see how this brand new show develops by the time it comes to Chicago in February.

Roger Bart, whose talents I have always admired, and Justin Patterson flew in from NYC to give Chicago audiences a taste of YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN.  They were hysterical.  I saw this HILARIOUS show in New York and I thought it was great how strongly the crowd reacted to “Puttin on the Ritz.”  From that reaction alone I can imagine it will be a hard ticket to get.

The Chicago Company of JERSEY BOYS at the Broadway In Chicago Concert in the Park

The Chicago Company of JERSEY BOYS at the Broadway In Chicago Concert in the Park

 The finale of the concert was…you guessed it…JERSEY BOYS!  My company did a medley of the hit songs from the show.  From the first notes that were played, it was mind boggling how nuts the crowd went!  People were screaming, singing, and dancing in the aisles.  It was absolutely awesome.  I know I speak for my entire company when I say how much that meant to us and how much we loved it!!!

JERSEY BOYS finished off the concert with a Four Seasons-style rendition of “My Kind of Town.”  It was a thank you to Chicago for embracing us for nearly two years now.

It was a fantastic night with phenomenal performances.  Thanks to all who attended.  Go see a show!

-Craig Laurie (Bob Crewe/JERSEY BOYS)

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Filed under 101 Dalmatians, Broadway In Chicago, In the Heights, Jersey Boys, Mary Poppins, Young Frankenstein

oh, those summer nights…

Yes…you probably heard.  This weekend was tough – we lost a performance due to technical difficulties at MARY POPPINS.  It was sad but we are doing everything we can to get those that missed the performance into another performance before MARY POPPINS closes on July 12.   There is the joy and heartbreak of live theatre and Saturday Night June 27 at 8:00 p.m. was heartbreaking.

 

However, today is a great day – there are so many things to do!

 

You can buy ½ price tickets through Hot Tix and attend either MARY POPPINS or JERSEY BOYS or both through the 4th of July Weekend – don’t wait the 1776 tickets were made available today through Hot Tix on-line and they are going fast.

 

And/Or, you can attend the Broadway In Chicago Concert in the park for FREE.   See Roger Bart from YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, the entire cast of JERSEY BOYS, the stars of MARY POPPINS, selections from 101 DALMATIONS with an introduction by Dennis DeYoung from STYX and more.

 

It is a perfect day to visit the TASTE and enjoy this great concert.

 

This is the one day of the year that I get to go out enjoy summer and the Taste and it is part of my job!  – The one performance of the year that is not in a dark room!

 

Don’t waste the day …. come and join us.  If you do all three things above you will be building quite the theatrical summer!

Eileen

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Filed under 101 Dalmatians, American Musical Theatre Project, Broadway In Chicago, In the Heights, Jersey Boys, League of Chicago Theaters, Mary Poppins, Northwestern University, Young Frankenstein

these are a few of my favorite things…

This is what the marketing office looks like today:

 

Marketing Office 001 Marketing Office 002 

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)

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Filed under 101 Dalmatians, American Musical Theatre Project, Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, Bank of America Theatre, Broadway In Chicago, Cadillac Palace Theatre, Drury Lane Theatre Water Tower Place, Feature Story, Ford Center for the Performing Arts, Oriental Theatre, In the Heights, Jersey Boys, League of Chicago Theaters, Mary Poppins, Northwestern University, Young Frankenstein

on the run

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.

Oriental Theatre

Oriental Theatre

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.

-Gemma

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Filed under 101 Dalmatians, Dreamgirls, Fiddler on the Roof, Ford Center for the Performing Arts, Oriental Theatre, In the Heights, Young Frankenstein