Fall has begun with an influx of shows for theatre buffs. Nunn on the Run attended a variety of offerings all in one week.
Collaboration presented 1001, which is based on The Arabian Nights with a modern twist. The Chopin Theatre was a little too grandma’s basement for me with the decor and stuffiness. Some audience members nodded off during the first act which is never a good sign and one gent brought a full bottle of Greek wine to keep awake! The cast had many nice moments but it wasn’t cohesive and need some cutting, so blame the director for any faults. Visit collaboration.org for showtimes and tickets.
Monday Night Live at Petterino’s ,150 N Dearborn, celebrated their third year with cast members from Billy Elliot. Denise McGowan (my former Entertainment Director from Navy Pier) and Beckie Menzie host every week a cabaret class act encouraging patrons to sing on stage. Excellent food for a special $19.95 per person three-course dinner and half price bottles of wine. You have to try the cheesecake and the complimentary valet parking can’t be beat in the busy downtown theatre district. Call 312-422-10150 to reserve your dinner and show!
Steppenwolf began its new season with Detroit full ensemble members such Laurie Metcalf, her interview is linked here. The story is about two sets of neighbors and how they interact over the course of time with BBQs and other backyard activities. The cast carries the story of the complicated characters along to a boiling point. Cook up your tickets at steppenwolf.org. The Broadway Playhouse opened at the Water Tower Place, 175 E Chestnut, formerly the Dury Lane with a new modern look. Cast members such as Cesar from Billy Elliot and Barbara Robertson from Wicked were at the opening ceremony.
Broadway singer Sutton Foster held the first show at the Playhouse with a concert that was intimate and just the right length of time. She performed rarities from Shrek the Musical and Thoroughly Modern Millie. Her interview is linked here.
One of my favorites from the week was Rock of Ages at the Bank of America Theatre starring Constantine Maroulis (interviewed here) of American Idol fame. He did a great job of supporting the show. The vibe was fun and retro at the same time. Luckily the venue allowed drinking in the theatre to add to the party vibe with members from rock bands Styx, REO Speedwagon and Survivor sprinkled in the crowd to lift their lighters and watch the gang rock. Here is Jamie Ross from Bret Michael’s Rock of Love reality show who is Constantine’s manager. Visit BroadwayInChicago.com for tickets before they sell out.
Overall, a dramatic week that would make Shakespeare proud! Break a leg, thespians and watch for more shows on the way such as Working, The Lion King and Pandemonium.