Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: theater

With Halloween right around the corner, it was a fun night of maniacal musical mayhem with Seymor, Audrey and Audrey 2… at the Drury Lane Theater in Oakbrook.

Categories: theater

And I did… get on my feet, that is!!! A great night of musical theater. So much fun with Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine. Okay, so not actually them… but a rousing musical adaptation of their rise to fame… and a fateful night with a bus. An incredible sing-along for those of us who grew up in The Eighties. C’mon shake your body baby, do the Conga!!!

Especially fun for those of us who have memories of seeing Miami Sound Machine at the Rosemont Horizon. Sure, we had to sit through a soccer game to see them perform those three songs during halftime on a folding stage they rolled in just for her! And the saw them again during her superstar days during her World Tour when they performed here in Chicago. I remember the days surrounding the bus crash… and her triumphant return with “Coming Out Of The Dark” at the American Music Awards. All of which is represented in this musical. Two thumbs WAY UP!!!

And some amazing architecture & craftsmanship at the Cadillac Palace Theater.

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Categories: theater

More Fun Day Sunday with the pre-Broadway PRETTY WOMAN at the Oriental Theater. Great to see Samantha Barks as Vivian. Nice throwbacks to the movie… just wish the songs were better! Kinda makes me happy our tickets were free! Makes me want to watch the movie again though!

I must admit I was hoping for more! I loved her as Eponine in “Les Miz”….
but she never quite got a chance to shine as bright as Julia ROberts did.

What’s better than one Broadway show?… TWO!! It was a “Double Feature” yesterday with an evening performance of JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT at Oakbrook’s Drury Lane Theater. Very fun & entertaining… but one of the STRANGEST adaptations I’ve ever seen. Instead of the traditional desert of the Bible, this show took place in a Las Vegas hotel room. Seriously. And every time the Narrator sang one of her songs to progress the story, she performed it as a different Las Vegas icon. Britney. Cher. Liza. Celine. Bette. Shania. Her impersonations were fun, but it totally took away from the story. Well that, and the fully-decked out Vegas showgirls… several of whom were burly guys in drag??? Go, go, go Joe!

Here’s an example… like this scene where the Narrator is totally upstaging poor Joseph as she sings ala Celine Dion. And with every impression, we also got an awkwardly humorous moment where Joseph takes a celebrity Selfie of himself with the Vegas Icon!… only to be projected on the large LED screen behind them.

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Categories: theater

Tonight we saw the sequel. The first Phantom was AMAZING!!!…
this one, not quite so much.

Enjoyable, but not quite amazing. But what I DID learn tonight..
apparently love never dies… and it never dies… it never dies… never dies!!!

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Categories: food, theater

After a great matinee, we also found cheap seats for CHICAGO at the Ambassador Theater. My friend Tiffany got “day-of” discount seats for us… in the SIXTH ROW!!!

Another fun Broadway show…
followed by a late-night subway adventure down to Greenwich Village for pizza at Joe’s…
a New York culinary institution with celebrity photos all over the walls.

Categories: theater

With a free day to play in New York, I zipped down quickly to TKTS to find some discount tickets. I scored a great seat for a matinee showing of KINKY BOOTS at the Al Hirschfeld Theater. It’s the new musical by Cyndi Lauper!!!

The lobby of the theater is a mini museum of Hirschfeld illustrations.

RANDOM HIRSCHFELD FACT : and my Summer Camp kids LOVE this one…
When Al Hirschfeld signed his illustrations, he always added a number next to his name. That number corresponds with the number fo times her hid his daughter’s name NINA into the illustration. Look closely at both sleeves to see a NINA in each of them!

The ceiling of the theater is incredible…

And the show was AMAZING too!!!

I even found myself leaving the theater when the stars were exiting the Stage Door…
and scored autographs from the two lead actors! Including Jake Shears, lead singer of the Scissor Sisters.

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Categories: Chicago, theater

And while the “real show” is on the stage, the rest of the Oriental Theater interior is pretty spectacular too! Lots of over-the-top ornate decor with amazing old-school craftsmanship everywhere you look!

Categories: music, theater

After years of hype, I finally made it to WICKED last night… and it did NOT disappoint. The production was amazing, and the story & songs were so much better developed than I expected. It’s not just a kids show. Quite a few clever twists along the way as you learn so much more about the Witches of Oz!!! Loved it… so why did I wait so long???

The show was amazing. The staging, the lights, the proscenium, and the voices were spectacular… chills… and hairs standing up on my arms!!! Everything was just mesmerizing!!!

Categories: holiday, theater

A cute stage musical version of the classic holiday movie in the always stunning Cadillac Palace Theater. Some classic Christmas carols and show-stopping tap dance numbers. A nice kick-off to the holiday season.

 

Categories: theater

Another amazing night of musical theater in Chicago. My all-time favorite Broadway musical has returned to Chicago! An amazing production with fantastic sets, dramatic lighting and incredible voices that pierce right though you. Even better… a great way to celebrate “Birthday Week” with my friend Pam in the second row!!!

And the Cadillac Palace Theatre never looked better…