Category Archives: Shrek The Musical

do you wanna dance?

Ballet and Boxing….what a great time! On Saturday, I went to Pritzker Park where the “Eye” is and had a ball watching the Joffrey and Lake Shore Athletic teach Ballet and Boxing – both take focus and what I learned is that everyone can have fun doing both – young and old, male or female – it was a blast! Make sure to check out the other exciting free events with the cast of BILLY ELLIOT.

 

 

This week we are planning the opening ROCK OF AGES and the opening of our new theatre THE BROADWAY PLAYHOUSE. ROCK OF AGES has taken off and looks like it will be a sell out. This is a show that will have you rockin’ in the aisles of the BANK OF AMERICA THEATRE, so don’t wait and hear the words sold out! Same for the opening of the BROADWAY PLAYHOUSE! AN EVENING WITH SUTTON FOSTER ticket sales have taken off and you don’t want to be left behind. To have the original star of five Broadway shows perform in such an intimate space and be the first to see the theatre is a priceless experience. Don’t miss out!

REMINDER: Only two weeks left of SHREK THE MUSICAL! It is a great summer night out for the whole family.

-Eileen

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Filed under Bank of America Theatre, Billy Elliot the Musical, Broadway Playhouse, Cadillac Palace Theatre, Ford Center for the Performing Arts, Oriental Theatre, Rock of Ages, Shrek The Musical

turning over a new leaf…

I have started exercising again, watching my carbs and I am back on my weekly blog visit after a wild two months with more events than I can retell!

Tom McGunn, Garrett Johannsen, Jasmine McNeely and Bethany Thomas sing the National Anthem before the Taste of Chicago Concert.

The Broadway In Chicago concert at the Taste with Janet Davies – memorable from the beginning, with the Broadway In Chicago Players and their stirring rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, to end. Ten shows performed for 10 years of Broadway In Chicago. It was an amazing day with Broadway performers that flew in from various points and hung together under beautiful sunny Chicago skies – like a Broadway field trip.

Then there was the exciting opening and fond farewell to FUERZA BRUTA. It was one of my favorite shows that I was so hoping would take off but it was admittedly a stretch for Broadway In Chicago. While the audiences that saw it loved it, it just didn’t have the staying power that we had all hoped for, but what an adventure it was for all of us! We will miss all the gorgeous cast and crew as they travel back to Argentina.

Photo By Amy Boyle Photography

And then the opening of SHREK THE MUSICAL. WOW, it has been awesome! We had lots of excitement including the star of the show (native Chicagoan Eric Petersen) having his first child during previews as his wife delivered at Chicago’s own Northwestern Memorial Hospital. The Hospital and staff were so great and both Mom, Dad and the Hospital shared the new born princess Sophia with the world when they allowed ABC to come in and film the new happy family. Then on to a grand opening night with Jeffrey Katzenberg and the CEO and CFO of McDonalds (love that they stopped flipping hamburgers to enjoy a night of theatre and SHREK). That night was amazing – as the helicopters from Transformers 3 hovered 50 feet over Daley Plaza just a block away from the theatre, all of the celebrities arrived. And thankfully Transformers completed their filming 45 minutes prior to the start of the show – perfect timing. The performance was great – as Dean Richards says, “A Must See…for everyone from 8 to 80” and he is right! Such a funny, elaborate, great night out. I mean really? Who doesn’t like a good fart joke and tap dancing mice? And who showed up on the green carpet? None other than the four BILLYs from BILLY ELLIOT.

The stars of Billy Elliot walk the green carpet at the Shrek The Musical opening.

Speaking of BILLY ELLIOT, the show is steaming through the summer and if you are around you want to be sure to go and see it as it will only be here through January 15. Now is the time as they have the most amazing Back To School With Billy Program that includes Kids Free at the theatre with a paying adult. Check it out!

I couldn’t be happier with this summer – a true celebration of 10 years of Broadway In Chicago. In typical style, I was having so much fun – just couldn’t find the time to write.

More next week….

Eileen

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Filed under Billy Elliot the Musical, Broadway In Chicago, Cadillac Palace Theatre, Celebrity, Ford Center for the Performing Arts, Oriental Theatre, Fuerza Bruta: Look up, Shrek The Musical

from the wings wednesday: week 2 of shrek the musical

We hope you are enjoying these behind-the-scenes looks at Shrek The Musical. Have you taken photos on your way to the theater or in front of the marquee (not in the theater of course!)? Post them to our Facebook page! We’d love to see them.

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Filed under Cadillac Palace Theatre, Shrek The Musical

from the wings wednesdays: shrek the musical first preview

Last night was the first night of previews for SHREK THE MUSICAL – the very first show of the national tour! The official opening is on July 25, but it’s fun to see the show go up in front of an audience after all the work everyone has been doing.

See you at the theater!

-Faith

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Filed under Cadillac Palace Theatre, Shrek The Musical

big, bright beautiful world

I had the idea that some of you BIC followers might like to get a glimpse of what goes into the everyday happenings around our venues. So as often as time allows we will have a post with photos showing you some behind the scenes things from shows, marketing, operations, production – all the departments that work together so the magic onstage can happen.

As many of you know Shrek The Musical will begin previews on Tuesday, July 13 at the Palace Theatre here in Chicago. What you may not know is many people have spent hundreds of hours hard at work since June 14 loading the first scenery pieces into the building, having technical rehearsals, and welcoming the cast onstage for the first time. This all leads up to the moment you, the public, will see the show. Here are a few pictures of what we’ve been up to.

-Faith

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Filed under Cadillac Palace Theatre, Shrek The Musical

we’ve got a seat for you, LeBron

The stars of Chicago’s Theater District  fight for LeBron!

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Filed under Billy Elliot the Musical, Shrek The Musical

nothin’ but a good time

  

Eric Petersen as SHREK with the Stanley Cup

Broadway In Chicago rocked the Taste of Chicago on Monday during the annual Broadway In Chicago Concert at Taste. This year was bigger than ever with 10 shows (BILLY ELLIOT, SHREK THE MUSICAL, TRACES, MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET, DISNEY’S THE LION KING, WORKING, WICKED, NOT WANTED ON THE VOYAGE, HAIR and ROCK OF AGES), over 100 performers and 10,000 screaming fans – not to mention 1 green ogre, 2 American Idols and the  actual Stanley Cup. How is that for a free evening of entertainment?  

Hedy Weiss at the Chicago Sun-Times was thrilled by “the absolute brilliance of the Chicago performers who had a chance to shine.” We agree; it was a great day for Chicago! Read what else she had to say.  

We asked a couple of the performers to bring you backstage and share their experiences.  Hope you enjoy!  

 

Susie McMonagle as Mum with the cast of BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL during the 2010 Broadway In Chicago Concert at Taste

Susie McMonagle (BILLY ELLIOT):   

Had a blast at Taste of Chicago. We had our sound check early so we had some time to EAT before the show. Nothing beats the corn on the cob. Yes!   

It is always fun to perform in the Broadway In Chicago Concert at Taste. I saw some Chicago pals and mingled with New York gals as well. I also ran into David Holcenberg (he was my Music Director when I did MAMMA MIA) who was here with a new show that’s being worked on at Northwestern.   

The ballet girls were so excited!!! The big thrill was seeing SHREK as he walked out in full make-up! Wow. And let’s not forget that Constantine Maroulis from American Idol (who is coming to Chicago in ROCK OF AGES). Anyway he was in the green room eating dinner with all of us. Girls were thrilled! 
I was happy that BILLY ELLIOT was the first show to perform. That way the pressure was off, and I could kick back and watch everyone else!!! The band rocked it as well, and it was fun to interact with them during the performance. 
My boys, Jack and Elliot, came down and watched the concert, which was the best part of all. Performing in my hometown is the best gig ever!!!  

The cast of NOT WANTED ON THE VOYAGE at the 2010 Broadway In Chicago Concert at Taste

 Caitlin Collins (NOT WANTED ON THE VOYAGE):   

The other day I had this incredible dream. I was in a green room with cast members of some of my favorite Broadway shows. The stars of WICKED were there, and HAIR and DISNEY’S THE LION KING. Shrek was walking around in his full green regalia while a member of the new show TRACES warmed up with a handstand in the corner. The cast of MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET perfected their awesome 50s hair-dos, and Constantine Maroulis sat there, composed and looking like a total rock star.    

Then I pinched myself and realized I wasn’t dreaming. I was actually going to perform on the same stage as these artists as a part of the Broadway In Chicago Concert at Taste of Chicago. What an amazing opportunity! Singing Neil Bartram’s phenomenal music alongside my friends and cast-mates of NOT WANTED ON THE VOYAGE, with an awesome orchestra backing us up and 10,000 audience members applauding in front was an indescribably thrilling experience. When we walked off the stage, beaming and giddy, the most common response among our cast was, “I want to do that for the rest of my life.”   

Constantine Maroulis from ROCK OF AGES in the 2010 Broadway In Chicago Concert at Taste

The chocolate banana I bought at the Taste in between sound check and the performance was delicious, but it’s the exuberance from being surrounded by such talent, passion, and supportive energy that I can still feel resonating in my body. Thank you so much to Broadway In Chicago for making this fantastic and free event possible and for inviting NOT WATNED ON THE VOYAGE, the American Music Theatre Project’s newest musical be a part of it.   

The whole day was better than a dream.   

Hope you’ll join us next year!

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Filed under American Musical Theatre Project, Billy Elliot the Musical, Broadway In Chicago, Disney's The Lion King, Hair, Million Dollar Quartet, Northwestern University, Rock of Ages, Shrek The Musical, Traces, Wicked, Working

don’t rain on our parade

Broadway In Chicago has enjoyed participating in the Chicago Annual Pride Parade for a number of years.  This popular event, attended by more than 450,000 people, is always one of the highlights of our year, but it can come as quite a shock to unsuspecting “Pride Virgins.”  The crowd, couture and calidity can come as a surprise to anyone who has not experienced Pride in all of its glory.  It’s a test of endurance – nearly 3 ½ miles – but one that Broadway In Chicago is thrilled to undertake each year.

This year’s float featured BILLY ELLIOT, SHREK THE MUSICAL, FUERZA BRUTA: LOOK UP, DISNEY’S THE LION KING, TRACES,WICKED, HAIR and NOT WANTED ON THE VOYAGE.  Here are a few observational notes from this year’s Pride Virgins.

NICCI (Marketing Department, Broadway In Chicago): I approached the float Sunday morning when I realized:  I had never been to Pride.  I’ve been near it.  I lived in the heart of Boystown for two years, right off the parade route.  I’ve celebrated with a group of boys who were drunk with pride (or just drunk) and had managed to find their way into my apartment.  (I also found out that my front door lock was busted that day.)  I love my gay friends and encourage them to celebrate their pride every day.  So it was a shock to me when I realized that in five years of living in Chicago, I still had never seen the parade or witnessed what Boystown had to offer during its biggest holiday.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was pretty sure it involved lots of glitter.  And it did.  Not just on the floats, but also on the revelers.  I applauded the drag queens, who were dressed to the nines, as if they didn’t even realize that it was 150 degrees outside.  I sweated through my BILLY ELLIOT rainbow-colored sticker and, ready to turn my leggings into cutoffs, saw someone in full Elizabethan costume!

At first, I felt a little silly handing out dog tags and whoopee cushions while dancing to Broadway tunes (not my usual music choice), but two blocks later, I was belting “Defying Gravity” and shaking it to “Hair” like I knew the words.  I knew that I’d have the chance to sit down, but there was too much fun to be had in the crowd.  I wasn’t even aware that my arms were being slow-roasted to a nice medium-well until the parade was over.

Overall, I wasn’t surprised by the noise or the grandeur of the parade.  I was overwhelmed by the camaraderie.  In a city where everyone keeps to themselves normally, we were talking to everybody.  I literally dropped my purse to help another float hang banners.  The float across the street lent us a staple gun.  I never once felt shy or awkward; I felt welcomed.  The Pride Parade was the best party I have ever been to, and I didn’t even know anybody there!  I’ll always look back at my first Pride fondly (unless this sticker-shaped tan line on my arm never goes away).

STEVE (Marketing Director, NOT WANTED ON THE VOYAGE): Goodness.  After a morning of torrential downpours, my hopes were low for the day of this parade.  With raincoat in hand and sunscreen nowhere to be seen, I left the house expecting that even this long-running Chicago tradition might not make it through the rain.  I was about as wrong as could be.  What followed was a day of endless sunshine, dog tag crazy fans, cut-off t-shirts and tan lines that we will be visible for weeks.  Thank you Chicago for letting your “Freak Flag Fly” and embracing us so warmly.

KOKO (Marketing & Communications Manager, Northwestern University): Thanks to everyone at Broadway in Chicago for hosting us on the float.  It was such a fun day!  Of course, my neck is sore from flipping my hair to the music, I have a bruise the size of an orange on my arm and gravel in my knee from when I wiped out and I look like a tomato…but I wouldn’t trade any of those things!  🙂

JUSTIN (Marketing Team, NOT WANTED ON THE VOYAGE): This was the first time I’ve ever been to a Pride Parade so I had no idea what to expect.  What an amazing experience it was to interact with thousands of happy people sharing so much love (never have so many people wanted to hug and kiss me since I was a baby!).  My favorite moment was dancing along the street and seeing so many people singing along to the songs blasted by Broadway In Chicago (there are more theatre enthusiasts than you might think)!  Singing showtunes and dancing down Chicago streets is something you can’t do everyday…let’s change that!

Thanks for everything PRIDEChicago.  We’ll see you again next year!

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Filed under American Musical Theatre Project, Billy Elliot the Musical, Broadway In Chicago, Disney's The Lion King, Fuerza Bruta: Look up, Hair, Northwestern University, Rock of Ages, Shrek The Musical, Traces, Wicked

my kind of people

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Every time we meet with a producer who is bringing a show to one of our theatres we ask –“Is anyone in the cast from Chicago?” Whether it be a two week run of a show on a national tour, a pre-Broadway try out or a long run I want to know. I have assumed that in every city that the producer is grilled about the cast members’ place of origin. Apparently, this is not so! Only in Chicago is show management cross examined this way.

We ask because we really care and love when our own are in Broadway In Chicago shows. Just in case you were wondering…

  • Mandy Patinkin, co-star of AN EVENING WITH PATTI LUPONE AND MANDY PATINKIN, is, of course, from Chicago.
  • On March 18,  BILLY ELLIOT begins and Billy’s mum Susie McMonagle is from Chicago. PLUS Samuel Pergande & Blake Hammond (Billy’s Older Self and Mr. Braithwaite, respectively) are both Chicagoans.
  • The producer of SHREK, Bill Damascke is from Chicago, and his parents still live here.

It is not that we think that people from Chicago are better, we just know that Chicago produces some of the best talent in North America and we want them all to have success. We are knowledgeable, not prejudiced, and cheerleaders for our own.

Who are your favorite Chicago actors/actresses that have been in Broadway In Chicago shows? The first five (accurate) responses will receive press night tickets for AVENUE Q… even though I don’t think any of the puppets were born and raised in Chicago.

-Gemma

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Filed under Billy Elliot the Musical, Broadway In Chicago, Mandy Patinkin, Shrek The Musical

i’m a believer

Original Broadway Cast. Photo © 2008 DreamWorks Theatricals. Photo by Joan Marcus.

SHREK THE MUSICAL IS NOW ON SALE!

On sale days are special at Broadway In Chicago – we have so much to be thankful for:

  • Another great show that will start in Chicago
  • Working with Dreamworks – they are DREAM to work with
  • The perfect show for the summer
  • The buzz of big ads, phones ringing, internet clicking and more people planning to see theatre!

Check out this Metromix take over and the one on DailyHerald! – IT’S ALL ABOUT SHREK TODAY!

-Eileen

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Filed under Cadillac Palace Theatre, Shrek The Musical