Bumps, bruises, muscle strain, cuts, aches and pain! My body has had it all…But oh how I love it!!!
Doing this production has given me a new-found appreciation for athletes, gymnasts, dancers or anyone who choose a career physically demanding day in day out!
I’ve always been a physical guy, love sports and keeping fit but this show requires so much from your body. I know I’ve become more physically agile but I hadn’t really noticed a drastic change to my physical appearance until two days ago when my best friend (who has flown from England to visit me for a week in Chicago) commented on how different I looked. I disagreed at first until he showed me a few pictures of myself before I started this tour. I recommend anyone who can create something within their homes where you can fly everyday to do so! But not only do we have to fly everyday in the show (and swim for the Darling brothers), we do have a stern rota! As a company all the actors have a 30-minute warm up before every show that requires planks, press-ups, sit-ups and lots of stretching. All of the flyers in the show (Peter, Tinkerbell, Wendy, John and Michael) also have aerial fitness every Friday for one hour led by Tiger Lily (Heidi Buehler – Dancer) who puts us through our paces!
Speaking to my best friend at the moment, I have said how I want to keep up the good work and try new athletic and physically demanding skills. He and I went to see a baseball game the other day and it got me thinking, as a British guy in America I should try and find something American that we in England would never have been taught (like baseball) to keep me fit and try something different and new!
Sooooo… what sport in America should I learn or even what kind of classes (like yoga) should I take in order to learn a new technique plus keeping fit at the same time?
– Scott Weston (Michael)
My name is Evelyn Hoskins and I play Wendy Darling. If you know the story well, you will know that I actually get to fly every night from London to Neverland. This is possibly my favorite part of the job, something I may not get to do again in my acting career. I must admit to you now though that the first time I got flown 40 feet in the air I cried like a baby, but with practice, support and time – I have learnt to love it!
When I was a child, I was the kid that had to do everything that was even slightly dangerous. I was a tomboy and a daredevil but with age comes knowledge and understanding, and with that comes fear. I’m telling you this because a few weeks back I took my first trip to an all American theme park here in Illinois called Six Flags Great America. I was weary at first because I don’t think I had been on a roller coaster in maybe 10 years. I went with someone from the aerial team, the guys who fly us in the show, the deputy stage manager and another member of the cast.
The first ride we chose to do, as it seemed fitting, was Superman, in which you are suspended vertically with your legs hanging free to give you the sensation of flying. I loved it but the only issue was that I came off it questioning why I had no real adrenaline or fear. We came to the conclusion that it’s because of all the flying we do in the show! I will admit the rides to come definitely gave me that adrenaline buzz I went for, a very fun day for all!
I’m having so much fun here in Chicago. Backstage is great as we recently had some fake grass laid and a kiddy’s pool put in to soak our hot feet in this beautiful weather! I always enjoy this part of my job as it keeps me on my toes and definitely makes the show fresh and exciting.
So my question to you is this: Where should I go or what should I do in or around Chicago next to get that adrenaline buzz I’m seeking?
We’ve a special guest blog today, in the form of a video message from Peter Pan lead Puppeteer Joshua Holden. In it Holden discusses life on the road and what it’s like working in a tent in Chicago. Check it out and let us know what you think in the comments below.
Can you believe we are already halfway through the summer? I can’t believe it’s July 18!
I had a bunch of company over the past week – my sister, my nieces (different sister!), a family friend. It’s always so exciting to show them around the city when visitors come into town – it’s almost like being a tourist myself. There is so much in Chicago that you get used to; it’s nice to see it through someone else’s eyes.
Last Thursday, I took the PETER PAN Pirate Cruise with my sister. I love being on the water during the summer and last week it was so nice to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather before this crazy heat wave came through. The Pirate Cruise is so much fun. The pirates are funny, the crew of Chicago’s Little Lady is fantastic and the PETER PAN site looks amazing mid-summer. We have added two more cruises this summer – July 29 and August 11. If you haven’t had a chance to do this, please take advantage! PETER PAN is also doing a Neverland Festival now. They are having movies (Ghostbusters Tuesday night!), sword-fighting demonstrations, coloring stations, costume awards, “Talk Like a Pirate” lessons – plus you get the see the show and it’s amazing theatricality. The Festival itself is free but you don’t want to miss out on the show. It’s in its final weeks – only five more!
Another great adventure for your visiting friends and family this summer – PINKALICIOUS! It’s not about a girl who was out in the sun too much, but it is about a girl who eats too many cupcakes. My sister and I attended the show opening this past Saturday and the Broadway Playhouse was full of children (and their families) in their favorite pink outfits. The show is so much fun and perfect for kids as young as 3 to get a taste of their first theater production. The Emerald City Theatre Company always does top-notch work and it’s exciting to get to work with one of Chicago’s best theater companies.
Of course, we still have Beauty and the Beast at the Oriental Theatre. This is such a timeless piece – the music, the dancing, the singing, the acting. It’s fun and entertaining for everyone – the humor is there for everyone. This Beast is one of the funniest I have seen and Belle is just beautiful.
What do you like to show visitors when they come to Chicago? Do you hit the “usual” sites or take them to some of your favorite off the beaten path locales?
See you at the theater,
So how crazy is this! Just before I auditioned for the role of Michael for the US tour of this spectacular production, a woman told me that I would be living in America in the near future, and here I am, currently living in Chicago City in the USA! YAY!!! And what a wonderful city to be living in for the past few months!
What a blast this journey has been thus far. This show is amazing, the audiences are brilliant and I get to fly everyday! Backstage is like a constant rollercoaster, it never stops! Let’s just say this production really is about never growing up! There are often hidden surprises in your costume, food, or on top of your dressing room table–it’s NOT for the faint-hearted!
Whilst I’ve been here in Chicago, I think I’ve tried everything touristy! I’ve been on boat tours, been to the top of the Sears Tower, drove a Segway around Millennium Park, and now I’m trying to make my way around to the best restaurants here in the city! I’ve been following TV programs such as MAN vs. FOOD to find classic Chicago food! Magazines have helped a bit. Recently I booked into a place called ‘The Girl and The Goat’–I’ve heard it’s currently the place to eat! I don’t want to miss a thing! There is so much to do and so little time!
Soooo… If there is one thing I HAVE to do, to give me the ultimate Chicago experience before I leave this wonderful city, what would it be?
– Scott Weston (Michael, Peter Pan the Show)
Wendy (Evelyn Hoskins) and the Lost Boys
Coming from a small town in the English countryside where the buildings are never over three stories high, the city of Chicago is like the places I use to dream about seeing as a child. Now I’m here, not only to visit but to perform, and the best part is I get to play a child each night and fly over the streets and rivers of London!
Having only been here since April, I know I have yet to discover everything this beautiful city has to offer but I’m so excited to do so! Performing here is not dissimilar to London, the audiences are very mature and you can tell Chicago is a theatre town from the amazing reactions we have been receiving.
It’s so very exciting for me to get to play Wendy not only on the United States tour but especially so in Chicago where theatre is so important. I’m very grateful to be here, very excited for what’s to come and to see what the city has to offer!
– Evelyn Hoskins (Wendy, Peter Pan)
Do you have any suggestions for places Evelyn and the Peter Pan cast should visit while they’re here in Chicago? Let us know in the comments!
Memorial Day weekend starts tourist season for those coming to Chicago – you will want to see PETER PAN, the perfect summer experience for the whole family; WORKING, which only plays through June 5, CHICAGO The Musical, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, PINKALICIOUS and the classic WEST SIDE STORY!
For those of you venturing to New York – you may want to check out PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT. The show has a personal message for all of you.
Happy Memorial Day!
Is that I get to work with producers, directors, and the people who create the shows that come to Chicago. Courageous human beings that bring together creative people like paints and combine them on a canvas known to us as a stage. They are people who know that theatre makes a difference in our world. They are young, old, male, female, part-genius, part-wizard, with a definite touch of insanity mixed in! But these are the people that make a difference in my life and the life of Broadway In Chicago. These are the people that we work for – that we dance with – producers and creative directors are the ones we hope will love us and know we care about their shows as much as they do. We want them to bring their shows to our city, we want them to love our city, and to bring us the biggest, the best, the first, the never seen before – we count on them, they are our heroes.
Here I am with Jeannot Painchaud, co-founder and director of Cirque Éloize iD following a recent meeting to discuss how we are going to introduce Chicago to something they have never seen before.
Check this video out!
We’re getting ready to bring you several new shows over the next few weeks:
CIRQUE ÉLOIZE iD: April 26, 2011 – May 08, 2011
NEXT TO NORMAL: April 26, 2011 – May 08, 2011
PETER PAN: April 29, 2011 – June 19, 2011
And WORKING – extended by popular demand!
All before April ends!
We wanted to take you into the inner circle of what we have been working on at Broadway In Chicago.
CIRQUE ÉLOIZE iD
Checking out their TV commercial and tweaking it to work for Chicago audiences.
What do you think?
TV Spot 1
TV Spot 2
Coming up with fun things to do around the show.
What do you think about a Pirate Cruise? You load at Michigan & Wacker and are treated to a fun Pirate Cruise with your own Pirate garb! The boat would take you to Chicago Ave. and the river, right at the location of the PETER PAN tent, then bring you back after the show. Would you go?
If you are wondering how things are going at the site, make sure to click here to watch the tent go up!
What a great weekend we had! This warmer weather definitely makes us want to get outside. Since we can’t always get outside with our schedules, we put together a great street team for the summer. If you are looking for work and like to be outdoors telling people about theatre, click here. North Michigan Avenue is always a target for us and it’s great to have the Broadway Playhouse there now. Did you know you can buy tickets for all the Broadway In Chicago shows at the kiosk in Water Tower Place – right in the entrance to the mall?
LOVE LOSS AND WHAT I WORE
What could be better than planning a VIP event for group leaders, media and city officials? We are getting ready to introduce the show to Chicago, and we get to do it in one of the most prestigious shopping centers in the country, Water Tower Place. The theater is right there and it’s a mecca of shopping on “One of the Great Avenues of the World.” I don’t know if there could be a better location!