'The Showtune Mosh Pit' for August 28th, 2013
THE LATEST IN UNAUTHORIZED GOSSIP AND BUZZ
FROM THE HEART OF CHICAGO'S SHOWTUNE VIDEO BARS,
AND MUSICAL THEATER NEWS FROM CHICAGO TO BROADWAY
Overheard last weekend under the showtune
video screens at Sidetrack and The Call:
Tonight's the night! It's gonna be alright at the FALL THEATER PREVIEW PARTY, hosted by yours truly at The Call nightclub in Chicago's Andersonville neighborhood, from 8:00 pm to midnight on Wednesday, August 28. BroadwayWorld Chicago has got theater companies lined up to tell you all about their fall shows, including the Goodman Theatre, Redtwist Theatre, the Marriott Theatre, NightBlue Performing Arts Company, Big Noise Theatre Company, Remy Bumppo Theatre and more. A special performance will occur during the 9:00 pm hour, and everybody who stops by will leave with a printout listing 117 Theater Productions opening between now and early December. One hundred and seventeen! You don't want to miss out on the information, the networking, the chance to ask questions about shows from people who know them. Come one, come all! The Call is at 1547 W. Bryn Mawr, sandwiched between Clark Street and Ashland Avenue. Alas, it's an 18+ venue, but if you send me an e-mail to Paul@BroadwayWorld.com, I can e-mail you the listing, live links and all. But better if you pick one up in person if you can. I would love to see you! Cool, peeps. Cool.
And fall has really gotten off to a great start, theaterwise, hasn't it? Super September has started early! The Drury Lane Theatre has gotten the types of reviews that producers dream about for years and never achieve for the regional premiere of the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Next To Normal," running through October 6, 2013 and starring Susie McMonagle as Diana, the suburban housewife with several big secrets. The show has garnered 100% RAVE reviews according to the "Theatre In Chicago" website. BroadwayWorld's own Misha Davenport raved about it as well. Nice, isn't it, when one of the most highly anticipated openings of the summer turned out to have been justified, and become on the fall's hottest tickets. Don't say I didn't warn you.
The Marriott Theatre has done almost as well with the regional premiere of "9 To 5" (running through October 20th), starring Susan Moniz among others in the Dolly Parton tuner based on the 1980 film comedy of the same name. Most folks would expect that a production of N2N would be better than a production of 925, because if you do them both as well as you can, N2N is just a better show to most observers. However, that's certainly not true of everybody! They are awfully different. If your inclination is that you would like "9 To 5," it sounds like you will. If you want something at the opposite of the spectrum musically, thematically and stylistically, then "Normal" is your destination. Nothing wrong with a little variety. We do have 117 plays and musicals opening in the near term. We've got something for everybody! And the Marriott certainly knows how to put on virtually any show to somebody's liking. After all, the song "Backwoods Barbie" really is a cool song, isn't it?
The Mercury Theater Chicago is bringing us the third major regional premiere of a big Broadway title in the past week with the "The Color Purple," and the reviews are falling somewhere in between those of N2N and 925. TCP, if I can call it that, is enjoying reevaluation as a smaller musical right now in both Chicago and London, and both productions are finding wide acceptance for their sizing of the material. Reviews here are strongly positive for L. Walter Stearns' midsized production. And I can tell you that the cast members who celebrated their opening on Monday night at Sidetrack were in high spirits indeed. Some of them hadn't been to a showtune video bar before, and it seemed like they will certainly be back! "The Color Purple" (where do it come from?) runs eight shows a week for two full months, through October 27th. And I've heard nothing but praise from the theater community here during the show's rehearsal and preview period.