Category Archives: RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles


This past week was filled with nostalgia and many happenings!

On Tuesday, we had a great event: a conference for marketing directors across the country for LES MISERABLES. Chicago is an early stop for the 25th Anniversary Tour of Les Mis and this conference gave people an advance look at the show that will be coming to them in the months ahead. It also gave them valuable time with the company that routes the tour across the country and oversees the marketing and advertising for the show. Our marketing and sales people sit down at these conferences and share what we did in Chicago, giving them valued insight on what worked and what didn’t. And for LES MIS – everything works! It was nostalgic for me because this is one of my favorite shows and the songs bring back so many memories. Plus we get to work with folks from the Broadway Booking Office NYC, who are all close friends. We have worked with them on so many shows including JERSEY BOYS, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, SCROOGE, PHANTOM… but what makes it even more special is that my daughter, Julia D’Angelo, now works for them! So I have the awesome pleasure of having both my name and my daughter’s name in the same programs.

Next was a moment so sad but also so heart-warming.  I went to the memorial service for Joyce Sloane. She was a mentor to me, a women that had made it by starting out as a group sales person for Second City before eventually becoming the Associate Producer of the company. I always looked up to her as someone who was a magnet for talent and so successful but with a big heart.  Many call her the “mother of Second City,” but she was more than that – she was a mom to much of the Chicago Theatre Community. I sat in front of Stephen Colbert and behind Tim Kazurinsky at her memorial service, which was befitting of the matriarch, a queen. That is what she was for all of us.

Then it was off to the opening of RAIN. This was nothing but pure nostalgia. Sitting in the Oriental Theatre and hearing all those songs, was like listening to the songbook of a lifetime, with all the memories that come with it. Memories that were both private and public, from my first kiss to the assassination of President Kennedy.  The audiences went wild! Don’t worry if you missed it. From the audience reaction, I am sure it will be back.

Closing the week was the dress rehearsal of WORKING. Stephen Schwartz is in town for it, and what an amazing dress rehearsal – not a stop from beginning to end! In watching the show it brought back memories from the first time that I saw it at the Goodman Theatre. How things have changed! This new production is so fresh from beginning to end, starting off with taped interviews with Studs Terkel and the people he interviewed for his book. The stories that he brought to life out of those interviews are both touching and inspiring and the music that was created for this musical are nothing short of the brilliant–they are on the same level as the stories themselves.  I also loved the fact that the taped cutting features Studs interviewing a worker in Cicero. While I grew up in Berwyn, all my best friends lived in the neighboring town Cicero… what great memories.

This Thursday, February 17th, be sure to watch the ABC 7 Mayoral Debate live from Broadway In Chicago’s Oriental Theatre. The even is sponsored by community organizations including the League of Chicago Theatres and the Chicago Loop Alliance.  Tell us what you hope to see our next Mayor champion for in the arts and I will enter you for the chance to win tickets to the live broadcast of the Mayoral Debate.


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Filed under Broadway In Chicago, Les Miserables, RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles, Working

time to move on…

9 TO 5's Diana DeGarmo performs the National Anthem before the Chicago Bulls victory on January 24

Chicago suffered a blow on Sunday. Okay, Green Bay won, but let’s look at the bright side… their fans now have to go back to Green Bay. All of us Chicagoans could turn around on Monday and go to the United Center to see Diana DeGarmo, one of the stars of 9 TO 5 THE MUSICAL, sing the National Anthem before a win for the Central Division leading Chicago Bulls over the Milwaukee Bucks.

Plus, all of us theater lovers have so much to look forward  to – nothing better to cure the football blues than to plan your February outing to the theater!

·        Burn the Floor begins February 1 (two weeks only!)

·        Les Miserables begins February 2 (four weeks only!)

·        Rain: A Tribune to the Beatles begins February 8 (ONE week only!)

·        Working begins February 15 (from the composer of WICKED!)

Before I leave you today, I want to share this story. Chicago Magazine wants to write an article on NEXT TO NORMAL but they won’t do it unless there is a Chicago connection – a cast member or someone involved in the production that lives in or is from Chicago. Sound familiar? I said to myself what is this thing about residency in Chicago – my reply is to tell them that Alice Ripley shares an apartment with Rahm Emanuel!  Chicago Magazine should run the story just because it is a great award-winning show – Best Original Score, Best Lead Actress in a Musical, and Best Orchestrations. And the accolades go beyond just the Tony Awards – it won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama!

The rest I leave to you….


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Filed under 9 To 5, Broadway In Chicago, Burn The Floor, Les Miserables, Next to Normal, RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles, Working

abbey road on congress parkway

Steve Landes. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

Steve Landes. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

I’m writing from our tour bus, on the way to our last gig before we head to Chicago. Who is this ‘we’ I speak of? We’re Rain: A Tribute To The Beatles. If you have not seen us – what is it that we do? Is it a rock concert? Is it a production show? Is it theater? The answer is ‘kinda yes’ to all the above. We play the Beatles’ music live on stage, as authentically to the original records as possible, while, with the use of period costumes, sets, and multi-media & large screens, hit all the milestones of the band’s career – the Ed Sullivan show, the Shea Stadium concert, the Sgt. Pepper and Abbey Road albums, and more. It’s kind of if the Beatles performed their whole career in the span of two hours right before your eyes, while images of the Sixties flashed past you. Trippy, huh?

In any case, we’re currently living the Rock & Roll lifestyle – a different city, hotel, theater – every night, then it’s back on the bus and off to the next town. So we’re looking forward to our time in Chicago. Not only will we be in the same place for a whole week (yay!), but that place is one of the coolest cities in the country! And the Auditorium Theatre – wow. From what I’ve heard, and what I’ve seen online, it looks beautiful.

Our audience is usually filled with fellow Beatles fans (I have to admit – I’m a total Beatle geek. I know, you’d think when my job is 24/7 Beatles, I’d be kinda tired of them offstage. Nope, still love ‘em!). We get people of all ages – 1st generation boomers who can remember seeing the Ed Sullivan show that night in February ’64 when the Beatles first came to the US; 2nd generation fans like me, who found them through their parents, aunts or uncles, or older brothers and sisters, and even 3rd gen fans – kids in their early teens who just found the Beatles on their own somehow – or maybe even from their grandparents! In any case, it’s always cool to see Beatles fans out there, getting to hear what we’re doing, replicating the music we’re all so familiar with, being played live onstage, just as they remember it from the records. So we’re really looking forward to seeing what kind of audience we find in Chicago. It seems to be a little different in every part of the country. But it seems there are Beatle lovers everywhere. I can’t wait to see them come out and give us a listen!


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Filed under Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles