Category Archives: Jersey Boys

my fancy tank-top

I’m rocking a Jersey Boys tank-top tan right now…and I actually kinda love it. Thanks, Jersey Boys.

Okay, I’m not gonna lie to you…standing out on the street and handing out summertime swag (really really CUTE swag, mind you!) has plenty of shortcomings: It’s hot. It’s sweaty. Sometimes you bump into your awkward Junior Prom date who now lives in the city (WHO KNEW?!) and there’s nowhere to hide! Bad times.

But it’s mostly a whole lot of fun! Interns are usually cubicle-captives at their summertime jobs. At BIC we get to be outside, exploring the city and interacting with random Chicago theater-lovers (sidebar: despite what your parents told you as kids, talking to strangers is an amazing character study…for all you actors out there!). Who wants to be cooped up in the office all day when you could be out enjoying the beautiful weather?!

Plus, need I repeat my love for the oh-so-attractive tank-top tan that results from standing on Michigan Avenue all afternoon in July?! Rich.

And who doesn’t love getting free stuff?! We pass out everything from CD samplers to fans to temporary tattoos and discount coupons! So if you see some friendly twenty-somethings all decked out in Jersey Boys & Spring Awakening apparel, handing out swag…come on over and say hi! And grab a fan to cool off. Trust me, they’re a lot of fun.

-Tom and Grace, Street Team Supreme

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Filed under Broadway In Chicago, Jersey Boys, Spring Awakening

i go out walking

Walking Banner 006Sometime I miss the convenience of having our offices above The Shubert Theatre (now the Bank of America Theatre), but on Matinee Days it is so much fun to rush around the Loop checking on JERSEY BOYS and then over to the last Wednesday matinee of MARY POPPINS. I pass the Broadway In Chicago Street Team in their new backpack boards and, just like the other pedestrians, I stop and stare!

It is summer in the city and people are everywhere. What a far cry it is from what State Street was like 17 years ago when I started working at the old Shubert. Now no matter what time I leave the office to walk the few blocks to one of the shows I see people on their way to restaurants, hotels and theatres. This past weekend, State Street was filled with strolling crowds enjoying the weather and the stores. I bet visitors who come in for events like the Taste of Chicago or Blues Fest are just as impressed as I am by the vibrant, exciting Chicago Loop.

What do you love about Chicago in the summer?

-Gemma

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Filed under Bank of America Theatre, Broadway In Chicago, Jersey Boys, Mary Poppins

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

too good to be true

We kept looking at the weather forecast this past Saturday.  Praying it wouldn’t rain.  Broadway In Chicago had a lot at stake.  Sunday we had a float in the Gay Pride Parade and Monday was the concert at the Taste of Chicago.  God must have heard us because  Sunday was so beautiful..just about a perfect day.  I was sitting at my desk Sunday late afternoon doing reports when the Marketing Interns burst into the office- jubilant, exhausted, sunburned and singing.  Some of them are brand new so this was their first Gay Pride Parade and boy did they have stories.  See the photo:

 

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I wasn’t too sure even a novena would help me when I woke up Monday morning and saw both papers predicted rain in early evening.  The Taste Concert attracts over 10,000 attendees and is an incredible free event.  It is labor intensive for the entire Broadway In Chicago staff who must coordinate casts from six different shows, musicians and crew.  This year I had thrown in a new element.  Broadway In Chicago was hosting a reception in the Hospitality Tent for Season Ticket Holders with reserved seating for the actual concert.  Marc and Maureen Schulman had donated Eli’s cheesecake even though they were in the middle of the Taste with their own booth.  I had staff scheduled, RSVP lists…what if it rained?  I pictured 10,000 people dashing down Columbus Drive leaving the casts of MARY POPPINS, JERSEY BOYS, YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, 101 DALMATIONS, IN THE HEIGHTS, BOYS VERSAS GIRLS  standing on stage at the Perillo Band Shell staring out at the empty seats and lawn.

 

It did not rain.  The season ticket holders stood up and danced along with the JERSEY BOYS.  The Schulmans gave us so much cheesecake we even had some left over for lunch (okay- I ate some for breakfast) on Tuesday.   We are still getting emails and calls from people saying that this was the best Taste Concert we have ever done.    Even if I say so myself…It was absolutely fabulous!

 Gemma

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Filed under Broadway In Chicago, Jersey Boys

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

it’s too good to be true

Dominic Scaglione Jr. in a scene from JERSEY BOYS. Photo: Joan Marcus.

Dominic Scaglione Jr. in a scene from JERSEY BOYS. Photo: Joan Marcus.

Playing Frankie Valli in the town that Billy Sunday could not shut down has been a blast! June 10th marked my one year anniversary with the show and I was so excited to have been able to celebrate it here in Chi town! Being born and raised in Essex County, New Jersey, it is such an honor for me to see how this story and this music from where I grew up touches the people of Chicago. The passion and enthusiasm that I see each and every night on the faces of the people of this city overwhelms me. I want to thank everyone that has welcomed me with open arms and that has cheered so loudly every night. Keep coming out to support this show because we love being here is this remarkable city!

Jersey Boys has allowed me to do so many amazing things and nothing could top being at the Tony Awards to represent Chicago as Frankie Valli. Standing on that gigantic stage was a sight I will never forget. Being around all of that talent really made me proud to be a part of this incredible business. I was able to walk the red carpet with my fellow 5 Frankies and the Seasons from Broadway who I had the pleasure of working with before I came here and we were in the middle of James Gandolfini and Kevin Spacey…good company I would say! Another highlight was running into Geoffrey Rush in the stairwell while I was warming up and him remembering me from rehearsal…and all I could do was look in awe as he held his Tony Award. It went by so fast but it was something I will never ever forget.

See you guys on the stage!

-Dominic Scaglione Jr. (Frankie Valli/JERSEY BOYS)

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Filed under Bank of America Theatre, Jersey Boys

we’d like to thank you

Michael Ingersoll, Dominic Scaglione Jr., Shonn Wiley and Michael Cunio in the Chicago production of JERSEY BOYS.  Photo: Joan Marcus

Michael Ingersoll, Dominic Scaglione Jr., Shonn Wiley and Michael Cunio in the Chicago production of JERSEY BOYS. Photo: Joan Marcus

Welcoming our 1 millionth patron to Jersey Boys isn’t simply a testament to the vitality of our show and the commitment of our producers and Broadway In Chicago, both of which I’m tremendously proud. It also means that even during the most difficult economic times we’ve seen in decades, people will still make an evening at the theatre a priority, showing that live theatre is still vital to the cultural health of our community.

I also think it fitting that we are telling the story of the Four Seasons during this challenging time as it is an exciting, life-affirming story that earns it’s standing ovations without artifice. I am so thankful to the people of Chicago and to all of the tourists who bought a ticket to Jersey Boys this year. Thank you for investing in live theatre, in Jersey Boys, in this amazing community, and in the men and women who make a living on the stage. Our fans are simply the greatest.

-Michael Ingersoll (Nick Massi/JERSEY BOYS)

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Filed under Bank of America Theatre, Jersey Boys

a marvelous weekend

I had the perfect weekend!

Friday Night – attended Tommy at Circle Theatre in Forest Park. The show was great and the adult Tommy blew the audience away with an amazing performance. His name is Tom McGunn – and in addition to his amazing talent on stage, Tom has been a treasured marketing associate with Broadway In Chicago for over 4 years. Before that, he performed with my daughter in Joseph at the Chicago Theatre and Phantom at the Candlelight Playhouse.

Saturday – okay, let’s not talk about Saturday as it was all about getting caught up with e-mail – not very theatrical at all! However Sunday made up for it – the Sunday in June that every theatre Broadwayite (new term that was coined at the Tony’s!) waits with great anticipation.

It started off attending a reading of a musical in development called Harold and Maude (of the cult movie fame) at the home of director and Northwestern professor, David Bell. It was an intimate group of people – all theatre folk including Sandy Shinner from Victory Gardens, Bill Pullinsi from Theatre at the Center, and Libby Mages – Broadway Producer, among others. Kurt Johns, directed the piece and the show is written by Tom Jones who wrote the music for The Fantastiks. The cast was brilliant starring Renee Matthews but the stand out to me was her co-star Nathan Carroll, a recent graduate from Columbia College in Chicago and the most amazing young talent – and most importantly a valued usher for Broadway In Chicago.

Then at 7 pm, we had a Tony party with fellow Broadway In Chicago staffers and dinner by producer Tony D’Angelo (name-sake chef for the Tony’s and my adorable husband). We all thought it was one of the best Tony productions – lots of performances! Okay there were some sound problems but there was so much to look at – glittering stars, lots of people/producers that love Chicago and great performances, not-to-be-missed plays and even some stars from the shows you have or had in Chicago including our lead from Jersey Boys and Legally Blonde. Plus great performances by Shrek, soon to be at the Oriental Theatre, and our dear friend David Stone’s (producer of Wicked) Next to Normal (what an unbelievably moving show – even Elton gave a shout out to the composers), West Side Story (what a performance!), Rock of Ages and Hair (both rocked the house – and the TV viewing audience too – and hopefully rocking a Broadway In Chicago theatre soon!). Last but certainly not least, the 2009 Tony Award for Best Musical – BILLY ELLIOT! This is a shout out to the show’s producers: we so want this show to come to Chicago first before any other city outside of NY and for the longest time possible. Please send your pleas for the show to come here first and we will send them on to the producer!

High on Theatre,

Eileen

P.S. Here is real insider scoop – there was a quick video teaser for the THE ADDAMS FAMILY but only for the audience members at the Tony’s. Click here and you too can be on the inside. And don’t forget to buy your tickets! THE ADDAMS FAMILY is on its way to being sold out!

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Filed under Billy Elliot the Musical, Broadway In Chicago, Hair, Jersey Boys, Legally Blonde The Musical, New York, Next to Normal, Rock of Ages, Shrek The Musical, The Addams Family, West Side Story

if i had a million patrons

Did you hear the news? Jersey Boys welcomed their 1,000,000th patron at yesterday’s matinee! Carol Miller of Orland Park was the lucky audience member, and awarded with a fantastic package from The Ritz-Carlton Chicago (a Four Seasons hotel). Her friend Donna Doonan of Naperville was Lucky Number 1,000,001. Here are some photos that the Broadway In Chicago team took. Enjoy!

Donna & Carol with the Chicago company of Jersey Boys.

Donna & Carol with the Chicago company of Jersey Boys.

Check out the fancy FOH (that's front of house!)

Check out the fancy FOH (that's front of house!)

Everyone take a bow! You deserve it!

Everyone take a bow! You deserve it!

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Filed under Bank of America Theatre, Jersey Boys