Category Archives: Working

Don’t Rain On My Parade

So this week is going to be a busy one for Broadway In Chicago. We kicked it off yesterday with a float at the Pride Parade. We had prepared ourselves for a long day – the weather report was a little dicier than we would have liked, but it ended up being a perfect day for a parade. We had to scramble a bit at the start of the day, but ended up getting everything ready by the noon start time. The preparation is always a little intense for the parade, but the payoff is fun for our staff.

Today, we have a taping for our Broadway In Chicago Backstage program with Comcast. This is our second of the year (we did WORKING in January) and it always is a fun chance for the audience (and us) to get a little more insight into our shows. Today we are going to have cast members from the show and a performance. Beauty and the Beast starts on Wednesday so it was a great chance for the cast to do the taping and of course, perform at our Taste of Chicago Concert tonight!

Have you all been to our Taste of Chicago concert before? The event kicks off at 6 pm tonight at the Petrillo Band Shell, and our entire staff has their fingers, toes, legs, eyes all crossed in the hopes that the rain will taper off (or at least stop for about 2 hours between 6 – 8 pm). We have several shows coming in for the event – The Addams Family, Memphis, La Cage Aux Folles, Mary Poppins – plus performances from some of our current shows AND a bunch of fun surprises for the evening. It’s one of our favorite events of the year–can you believe this is our 10th year? We are so happy to give the Chicago fans a little “taste” of the shows that we have now and in the future and that the shows are always so supportive of the event.

Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!

See you at the theater,

Eileen

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Filed under Beauty & the Beast, Broadway In Chicago, Broadway In Chicago Backstage, La Cage Aux Folles, Mary Poppins, Memphis, Taste of Chicago, The Addams Family, Working

A Broadway State of Mind

Broadway is hot this season with a lot of new shows. I have spent 12 of the past 14 days in New York with a team of people from Broadway In Chicago. Once a year we go to NY and meet with all the producers and presenters of Broadway across the country. We saw some amazing shows, many of which we hope will come to Chicago sooner rather than later, but we will let you know as they make their plans.

We met to discuss the current and upcoming productions of LOVE, LOSS, AND WHAT I WORE, LA CAGE AUX FOLLES, MEMPHIS, THE ADDAMS FAMILY, WEST SIDE STORY, WORKING and PETER PAN. We were also lucky enough to see:

PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT

CATCH ME IF YOU CAN

SISTER ACT

WAR HORSE

THE BOOK OF MORMON

WONDERLAND

LOVE, LOSS & WHAT I WORE

HOW TO SUCCEED…

MEMPHIS

What are you hoping will come to Chicago?

Don’t forget to watch the Tony Awards on June 12 on CBS at 7 pm Central where the (record!) fifth Chicago Theatre will pick up a Regional Theatre Tony Award. Do you know which five theaters that have won?

In those two days between trips to NY, we attended the League of Chicago Theatres Gala where THE NEW COLONY received their 2011 Emerging Theatre Award.  Also saw the new Mayor inaugurated in Millennium Park.

There is no better place to be than CHICAGO!

Eileen

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Filed under Broadway In Chicago, Catch Me If You Can, Emerging Theater, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, La Cage Aux Folles, League of Chicago Theaters, Love Loss & What I Wore, Memphis, Peter Pan The Show, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Sister Act, The Addams Family, The Book of Mormon, The New Colony, Tony Awards, War Horse, West Side Story, Wonderland, Working

The great thing about my job…

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!

Eileen

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Filed under Broadway In Chicago, CIRQUE ÉLOIZE iD, Next to Normal, Peter Pan The Show, Working

What’s Up This Week?

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

PETER PAN

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!

WORKING

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!

Eileen

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Filed under Broadway In Chicago, CIRQUE ÉLOIZE iD, Loss & What I Wore, Peter Pan The Show, Water Tower Place, Working

Weekend Working

PHOTO CREDIT ©AMY BOYLE PHOTOGRAPHY

Bravo, Mayor-elect…

Support manifests in many ways; this weekend Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel did a fine job of supporting the performance arts community. Rumor has it that he saw not one, not two, but four performances this weekend – including visiting a school that uses the arts to dramatically improve student performance and attending A TWIST OF WATER, a recently reviewed 4-star play by Route 66 Theatre Company at Theater Wit.

 

Working Actor Watching WORKING actors

Prolific actor Bradley Whitford, best known for his role of Josh Lyman on THE WEST WING, stopped by to catch an afternoon performance of WORKING. He stayed afterwards to spend a little time with the cast and his friend, director Gordon Greenberg.

Now tell me, what do our Mayor-elect and Bradley Whitford have in common?

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Filed under Broadway In Chicago, Celebrity, Working

Calling all FACEBOOK FRIENDS….

If you aren’t a Broadway In Chicago FACEBOOK Friend – now is the time!

Tomorrow, February 25th, Broadway In Chicago will kick off a new promotion called $25 on the 25th

$25 on the 25th is an exclusive, monthly FACEBOOK deal offering a limited number of $25 tickets for select performance dates available on the 25th of each month – only to our friends on FACEBOOK! The program kicks off with $25 tickets to WORKING at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place for select performances in March.

WORKING is a vital new musical based on the book by Pulitzer Prize‐winning author and Chicago’s own Studs Terkel. Adapted by Stephen Schwartz (WICKED, PIPPIN and GODSPELL) from the original adaptation by Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso, WORKING is the working man’s A CHORUS LINE. A musical exploration of 26 people from all walks of life, with songs by all‐star composers Craig Carnelia, Micki Grant, Tony Award™-winning Lin‐Manuel Miranda, Mary Rodgers, Susan Birkenhead, Stephen Schwartz and Grammy Award™-winning James Taylor.

Our FACEBOOK Friends are very important to us, and this is another opportunity for us to make theatre more accessible through social media.

Come join us…

Eileen

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President’s Day…

Can anyone out there name a musical that is about or has a President as a character?

… But you can’t take mine –“1776”!  That was the first musical that I worked on professionally! I was a props mistress at Candlelight Dinner Playhouse – in 1973!

Tell us some more and we will pick a winner from those who answer to join us at the opening night of WORKING!

Eileen

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Nostalgia

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.

Eileen

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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….

Eileen

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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

WORKING 9 TO 5

We’ve got a great week in store for Chicago theater fans!

Sunday

Governor Quinn came to see WICKED! He and his guests took a backstage tour and met with Gene Weygandt (The Wizard) and Barbara Robertson (Madame Morrible). We love when our elected officials go to theatre!

Chicagoan Jane Lynch (Sue Sylvester on Glee) gave two shout outs to Chicago in her Golden Globes acceptance speech!

Monday

Martin Luther King’s Birthday is a day off for most, but we are loading in for 9 TO 5 and preparing for the start of WORKING rehearsals on Tuesday. In the office, it’s a good time to get caught up and ready for all the shows and events coming up this week.

Tuesday

First performance of 9 To 5!

One of the stars, Diana DeGarmo, appears on ABC.

Only 8 performances left of WICKED!

WORKING begins rehearsals!

Wednesday

Good sources tell me there will be a very special guest joining us: DOLLY PARTON! If you’re a fan, there are still tickets left. And even better, there’s a special $25 ticket offer* for performances Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday if you use the code DOLLY and purchase your tickets by the end of day Tuesday!

FUN FACT: It’s Dolly’s Birthday – AND WE ARE GOING TO CELEBRATE!

Thursday

Time to clean up the cake from Dolly’s birthday and prepare for the press conference and sneak peek of WORKING planned for Friday.

Friday

Stephen Schwartz (composer of WICKED and WORKING) visits Chicago and gives a sneak peek of the show from his unique perspective to group leaders and the media. Make sure to check your favorite station for coverage.

Do you want to be my guest at either the Opening Night of 9 TO 5 this Wednesday or the sneak peek with Stephen Schwartz this Friday? Leave a comment telling me what you are doing this week in theatre! What shows are you seeing? What show are you performing? What dance class are you taking? What role are you auditioning for? Let us know!

Eileen

*Offer valid only on January 18 – 20 performances. Not valid on premium seating, on previously purchased tickets or with any other offer. Subject to availability. Normal ticketing fees apply. Offer ends Tuesday, January 18 at the close of business. Other restrictions may apply.

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Filed under 9 To 5, Wicked, Working