Shawna Hamic at The Last Ship opening night partyPhoto Credit: Amy Boyle Photography
‘The Last Ship’ cast member Shawna Hamic is originating the role of Mrs. Dees in the show. She spoke to Broadway In Chicago about her experiences so far during the pre-Broadway run.
I’ve been lucky enough to perform here in Chicago even before being a part of The Last Ship. I played the Cadillac Palace Theater twice as Madame Thenardier in the 25th Anniversary national tour of Les Miserables. So I have come to truly love Chicago and all it has to offer. This is actually my first time being here in a season other than Winter and I must admit- I like it even more when it’s warm outside. There is such a beauty to the city of Chicago. The buildings, the lake, the rivers, the museums, the culture, the food! So much to love. I have a few places i always have to visit when I’m here. For food it’s Mindy’s Hot Chocolate. I make a point of going every time I’m here. Another is a classic- Miller’s Pub on Wabash. It has an old school vibe and amazing food for really reasonable prices. I visit my favorite camera store (also on Wabash) called Central Camera. As an avid photographer I love to explore all the amazing history for sale. Film cameras and the places that sell them are a dying breed. Central Camera has been a family business for over 113 years. I just love it there.
Being here as a cast member in the pre-Broadway run of The Last Ship has been one of the most amazing experiences. It is unlike anything I’ve ever done. While I have been involved with a brand new musical before, this is the first time that it is Broadway bound and the first show that I’ve done that has changed daily. It has been a challenge and wonderful exercise on strengthening my muscles as well as the most important muscle for an actor- my brain! To be part of this company, led by our Director Joe Mantello, our Choreographer Steven Hoggett, Book by John Logan, Set and Costume Design by David Zinn, Orchestrations, Arrangements & Music Direction by Rob Mathes- It has been so fulfilling. I can’t end this blog without mentioning one of the most meaningful parts of this whole process… There has been a musician and artist who has written the music which is truly the soundtrack of my life. I associate important memories and moments with songs and most of them were written by the same person: Sting. To be a part of his first journey into musical theater has been an exhilarating and moving experience. He is humble and generous. He was there with us practically every day. Of course to be on hand to work on anything musically that needed tweaking, but also because he is as fascinated with the process as I am. A quiet man, yet still a dynamic presence, Sting continues to shape The Last Ship into something unforgettable. I can’t wait for audiences to experience the show. I hope they are as moved to be there as I am to be on the stage. I know that the show will continue to morph and change as we get closer to Broadway and the Neil Simon Theatre. I have never been more excited to continue a process as I am now. The work is blissful. I think that says a lot about a group of people when you look forward to going work every day. And I can say with all honesty- I do. So thank you Chicago for once again welcoming me and for being such a lovely fertile ground on which to grow a new brand work of art. You are a lovely town with wonderful citizens and I’m happy as can be to be here.
We’ll be doing a LIVE Twitter chat with Shawna at 12pm, Tuesday, July 1st! Join the conversation and ask your questions for her by using #LastShipBIC!
Broadway In Chicago is thrilled to announce the return of 2013 Tony Award-winning Best Musical KINKY BOOTS, which began in Chicago with a pre-Broadway run back in 2012, and the 2013 Best Revival of a Musical PIPPIN! Both will play at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, with KINKY BOOTS running from July 12-26, 2015 and PIPPIN from July 28-August 9, 2015.
Who loves you, Chicago? Today we announced that Jersey Boys is returning to Chicago next year from May 12-24, 2015 at the Cadillac Palace Theatre. With the movie version, directed by Clint Eastwood, being released in theaters June 20, we can’t wait for the stage production to come back after its 2-year-long engagement in 2010. More details at the Chicago Tribune…
Diana Martinez and guest critic Mike Latone review ‘Motown the Musical’. “According to Latone, there was a “buzz in the audience you wouldn’t believe – I swear everybody was ready to jump up out of their chairs and start dancing.”” Read more at the Daily Herald
Last week, members of our team were able to attend the Spring Road Conference in New York City.
The conference opened with a surprise appearance by Tommy Tune!
Jon Stewart (“The Daily Show”) delivered the keynote address, stating about live theatre: “Why am I here? Here’s why…I can sit. And turn next to the person next to me and say ‘That was wonderful.'”
Presentations, speeches and discussions followed with (from L to R): Tyne Daly and Bobby Steggert of “Mothers & Sons”, Chicago actress Jessie Mueller of “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical”, Audra McDonald, Idina Menzel and the creative team of “If/Then”, the creative team of Bullets Over Broadway, Bryan Cranston of “All the Way”. A performance from “Aladdin” with stars Adam Jacobs and Courtney Reed took place as well.
A fantastic time was had by all attendees and we’re excited to see some of these shows hit the road and come to Chicago in the future!
Michael Urie, the award-winning actor from the hit show “Buyer & Cellar”, will be joining Broadway In Chicago for a LIVE Twitter chat on Wednesday, May 21! Want to know what he’s been getting up to while he’s in Chicago? What about how he prepares before going onstage? Ask him on Twitter using #BuyerCHI and he’ll respond to your questions in the hour he’s with us.
We’re incredibly excited to have this talented actor chatting with us and we hope you will have lots of good questions about what it’s like to work in Barbra Streisand’s basement for him!
Attention all science geeks and budding experimentationalists! The worldwide tour of MythBusters: Beyond the Myths, starring Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, will be in Chicago at the Cadillac Palace Theatre on December 6th, 2014 and tickets are now on sale! You can visit bit.ly/mythbusters14 to purchase them, including a VIP Meet-and-Greet option to get your photo taken with the MythBusters.
Clockwise from lower left: Windy City Live! interview with Ryan Chiaverini and Ji Suk Yi; signing the green room wall at Windy City Live!; performing a scene from the show for the Chicago Tribune Theater Loop Showcase; being interviewed by Chicago Sun-Times Theater critic Hedy Weiss; joining the WGN Morning News crew at the newsdesk
He also met with Broadway In Chicago groups ticket buyers at a special VIP cocktail event.
We are so excited to welcome Michael back to Chicago when Buyer & Cellar opens on May 6th!
Come visit us to hear all the latest gossip and behind the scenes information. We’ll have some BIC-ers chatting during the week, and on Fridays, a guest blogger – could be a cast member of a show, a show producer, a box office agent telling you all the inside tips on getting the best seat in the house without paying the highest price or even our public relations team gabbing on what it’s like to take cast members on interviews and public appearances. We hope to see you at the theatre very soon!