Tune-in Monday, Sept. 21 as Jersey Boys join Oprah for a trip back in time to the ’60s! Featuring a blast-from-the-past ’60s themed set, a studio audience decked out in their best ’60s costumes, and appearances by the stars of AMC’s hit series “Mad Men” and some surprise guests, it’s a retro hour you won’t want to miss. Plus, Oprah unveils what would have been her “Favorite Things” from the 1960s and Jersey Boys perform! “The Oprah Winfrey Show: Oprah Goes Back in Time – The ’60s” airs Monday, Sept. 21 – check local listings for time and channel.
Category Archives: Jersey Boys
This summer has been full of fun and exciting activities – Taste of Chicago Concert, escorting cast members to sing anthems and many more events around Chicago. However, while enjoying all of these experiences, we have been busy behind the scenes preparing for Broadway In Chicago’s outstanding fall line-up of shows. It’s the middle of September and I am sure all of you have been seeing the Fall Arts Previews – make sure to check the papers on Sunday as well!
Jersey Boys will kick off their anniversary celebration in October so make sure to keep your ear to the ground for the latest details about celebrations and appearances taking place to commemorate the anniversary.
Young Frankenstein is in the planning stages for in town interviews, advance features and performances by cast members, including original Broadway stars Roger Bart and Shuler Hensley. Maybe you will even see creator Mel Brooks pop up in a couple of interviews. Be sure to practice your “Puttin’ on the Ritz” moves in preparation for the show.
We are awaiting the arrival of The Addams Family creative team and cast members in mid-October. Right now everyone is in New York City rehearsing for the world premiere that will take place right here in downtown Chicago. There goes the Theatre District…we can’t wait!
-Anne and Michelle, press reps
I know the song very well but crying is what I will be doing when our own JERSEY BOYS take their final bow on January 10, 2010. It’s been nearly two and a half years since they opened here in Chicago. We are so proud of the long run and the over a million people who have seen JERSEY BOYS and loved it!
All good things come to an end! Let’s send them off with a bang and make sure that we fill every seat from now until January 10. If you haven’t seen it, don’t miss it; if you have seen it, I am sure like me you will have to come back to see the show that makes everyone stand up and cheer.
Fall is my favorite time of year for many reasons – fall fashions, change in the weather (although this year we are not tired of the heat!), and my birthday which comes around every October! But mostly because all of the theaters roll out their fall plans – and the fourth quarter of the year is the most popular time of year for theatre-going.
We are preparing for all the fall previews that are running this weekend, both submitting our ads to the papers and getting the writers what they need for their stories. We hope some of these stories will include our shows but mostly want them to be big and lavish – really great fall preview sections that show the depth of what everyone has to offer for Theater In Chicago – because there is no better theater town than Chicago.
This Thursday, we have two events for BILLY ELLIOT. The staff here is spending some time today and tomorrow following up with our guests and reminding them about this exciting event. It’s going to be pretty great – not only are the producers coming in from London but we are introducing the young boys who will star in the Chicago production.
BONUS ALERT: As a special treat, we are going to give four lucky readers an invitation to come to this private event! Leave a comment on this post with either the number of times you have seen Billy and why you love it so much, or if you haven’t seen it, why you want to see it when it comes to Chicago. We will select four random winners to come with a guest to the 3:30 pm event on Thursday, September 10 (make sure you can come at that time!). We will pick the winners at 5 pm on Wednesday, September 9. We will email the winners all the specifics on the event. You do not want to miss this!
Well, that was a blast !
Sometimes being a “swing” in a production really keeps you behind the scenes as the “insurance” policy for a multi-million dollar production like Jersey Boys. Then…a night like tonight comes along.
I got to be the swing in front of 75,000 people instead of “only” 1,800. Don’t get me wrong…anytime I perform, it’s exciting, and once I performed in Romania in a huge Chorale of 60 for only 15 in the audience. That was one of my favorite performances I can remember. But when the audience gets to be that huge [75,000] and you can see them like Lake Michigan laid out before your eyes…you just have to block it out, and do your thing.
Now, I’m a Baritone, and proud of it! But this last week, I had an upper respiratory infection, I had to call out of the show, missing three performances Tuesday and Wednesday…coughing and losing my voice in the process. I also knew I had to be on call for the other five performances coming up, and sing two national anthems coming up on Friday and Saturday.
Thursday, as the dance captain, we had a “put in” rehearsal involving three actors: our new “Bob Crewe”, and understudies for one of the four seasons and one of the girls. I needed to be there to take notes, and figured even though my voice wasn’t all the way recovered I could still come take notes, be useful, and not use the sick day. Ah…the fickle finger of fate.
After the rehearsal, I got the call to play Four Season Nick Massi at 5:30 for the 7:30 performance that Thursday. Luckily Nick is a Bass, but I used every thing I had and by the time “Who Loves You” came along I have to admit if I wasn’t singing solo, I was mouthing the words for the finale. I used the last flicker of voice I had in Rag Doll. Let’s just say…my final monologue was the strong but silent type.
The next day, the cast sings the National Anthem for the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley. I’ve never been to Wrigley, and couldn’t miss this opportunity…luckily I was on the Bass part of the arrangement. I sang, shook the coach’s hand, stayed one inning, and went home to steam. And I wasn’t on that night…thank goodness!
Saturday there were two shows, and a “Frankie” couldn’t go sing the anthem since they were needed at the theatre…so I was lucky enough to be asked to go to the Chicagoland Speedway to pick the lowest key possible for my fatigued voice while trying to get a couple “money notes” in there.
Boy, was I glad I got to do that! I really didn’t realize how patriotic I am. Just to have a color guard there from our armed forces presenting our nation’s gorgeous flag was enough to make me emotional. I love the ceremony, and reverence they brought to an Indy raceway…quasi-religious. I realized, yet again how lucky I am to live in this country, and to have a steady, stellar job in this economic time of stress. I had just dialed my parents cell phone, and handed the phone to Michelle, our PR rep, and I knew they were listening on speaker phone in the living room in Rome, GA. My mom (a great singer) reminded me the day before…sing the anthem “straight” with respect…don’t add anything…it doesn’t need it. She was right, of course…unless you are Whitney Houston, or Jennifer Hudson, whom I am NOT.
Race fans are really patriotic. Go figure ! I got emotional hearing them cheer and applaud when I got to a phrase like “rockets red glare” or “land of the free”, I even turned to the flag…it just seemed right as I was singing “oh say does that star spangled banner yet wave”. Hearing your voice in reverb a second and a half after you’ve actually song is fairly confusing, and you just have to tune it all out. With all that was going on in my head trying to keep the pitch/key consistant and the tempo, it was impossible not to tune out all the proud Americans in the stands. “Goosebump Central”…all over my body.
It was a night I won’t ever forget, and I’m glad I have a little video reminder to remind me, the understudy got to go on…sick at the Speedway, and didn’t mess it up too bad. It was a little low, but Nick Massi would have been proud. (My mom gave me an A+, thanks Mom.)
-Jared Bradshaw (Swing: Nick, Crewe, Gyp, Hank, Norm, Knuckles, dance captain/JERSEY BOYS)
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
A lot is happening at Broadway In Chicago!
I had to fly out for a one day turnaround to see a show and meet with producers. This is a show that will knock your socks off! It’s so much fun but I can’t give you more details than that right now. Today we had producers come in to tour all the venues for a new show that they are thinking of bringing to Chicago FIRST! Sounds spectacular and we made sure they all know that Chicago is fond of being first. What’s great about touring new producers around Chicago is that they fall in love with the city. What is not to love? And we always credit Mayor Daley for all the beautiful flowers and parks and our forefathers who had the foresight to not build on the lake. Everybody loves Chicago – even Elton John has Chicago fever!
SPRING AWAKENING is still with us but only for one more week – you must stop what you are doing and go. It is one of those shows that you don’t want to miss. JERSEY BOYS has really been busy with summer tourists and is now planning its second anniversary! We have meetings this week with THE ADDAMS FAMILY; it is great to be able to present a world premiere pre-Broadway production. We are also looking forward to YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN with some of the original Broadway stars Roger Bart and Shuler Hensley.
What a fall we have shaping up!
Rain, rain, go away! While it has not seemed like summer, it has definitely been theatre weather. All the tourists come to the theatre when the clouds roll in. I am hoping that there has been enough sunny weather for them to have a great time at the park and all of the other sites of Chicago and then on to the theatre for a real memorable experience: JERSEY BOYS & SPRING AWAKENING.
Yes, SPRING AWAKENING opens tomorrow night. I have to admit this is one of my favorite shows. It is so moving and well done – and gorgeously performed by talented young people who will be lighting up the stage for years to come. I am sure that some might be shocked by my choice but I think that it is the perfect musical to share with your progressive family. I know that my college age kids all loved it and it reinvigorated their love of theatre. And as a Mom that made me happy. This isn’t the show for the younger siblings but it is the show that will make you a hero with your 20 something children. It is simply breathtaking.
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