'The Showtune Mosh Pit' for July 18th, 2012
THE LATEST IN UNAUTHORIZED GOSSIP AND BUZZ FROM THE HEART OF CHICAGO’S SHOWTUNE VIDEO BARS, AND MUSICAL THEATER NEWS FROM CHICAGO TO BROADWAY
by Paul W. Thompson
Overheard last weekend under the showtune video screens at Sidetrack and The Call:
As if the last two Sundays at Ravinia weren’t cool enough! Now, I’m not talking about the air temperature, of course, but rather of the appearances of Idina Menzel and Barbara Cook in the Pavilion, singing their hearts out to Chicago fans new and old. And the showtune madness continues at the venerable Highland Park outdoor venue this Saturday night, July 21, 2012, as the annual (the 50th annual) Women’s Board Gala concert and dinner takes place, this year featuring Broadway star Patti LuPone (she’s a “vocalist,” in Ravinia’s parlance), in tandem with opera star Patricia Racette (a “soprano”) and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. I believe Rob Fisher will conduct Patti’s songs, and James Conlon will do the honors for Patricia’s. You’ll remember that the Women’s Board Gala (a one-act early evening concert at 7:00) is followed by a formal dinner in tents on the lawn, and that two years ago, an evening honoring Stephen Sondheim got many a showtune folk upset with the brevity of the program, and the fact that folks were incorrectly forced from the lawn before the sun had even set, unless they made their way to the pricy tents. Hopefully these facts and circumstances are well known now, by patrons and by Ravinia staff. So, if you are willing to pay $100 or $70 for the Pavilion, or $10 for the lawn, this Saturday at 7:00 is for you. I’d advise you to double check all the details. But LuPone has performed there a lot, and has many fans in our area, of course….
Ravinia Festival - Official Site
And there’s at least one more Sunday afternoon of note at Ravinia, on Sunday, August 5 in the Pavilion, as Ann Hampton Callaway, the John Pizzarelli Quartet and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Ted Sperling, conducting) will present “Over The Rainbow – A Tribute To Harold Arlen” at 5:00 pm. Callaway, a Chicago native and sister of Liz, performs here frequently, and I’m sure this evening will be great. Just look at the line-up! What’s not to love?
Speaking of songwriters tributes in the northern suburbs, Northwestern University has created “With A Song In My Heart: The Romance Of Richard Rodgers,” which premiered last weekend and will play for two more, directed by Dominic Missimi. It’s in three parts: Rodgers with Hart, Rodgers with Hammerstein, and all the men’s work presented in a World War II canteen setting. It’s in the Ethel M. Barber Theater on the Evanston campus. And Northwestern is also presenting screenings of the film versions of “Oklahoma!” and “South Pacific,” on July 19 and 28, respectively. (We note the passing this week of the original Broadway Ado Annie, Celeste Holm, RIP.)