Posts Tagged ‘AMAZING GRACE’

Stanley Bahorek’s 4.79 weeks in Chicago with AMAZING GRACE

Posted on: October 30th, 2014 by B.I. C. No Comments

Bahorek, Stanley

“It is hopeless for the occasional visitor to try to keep up with Chicago. She outgrows his prophecies faster than he can make them,” said Mark Twain a mere 131 years ago. Well as a hopeless, occasional visitor I am running faster than a Chicago marathon runner to take in this town.  My first twenty hours off from technical rehearsals were loaded with shopping the Gold Coast, brunch at Kanela Breakfast Club, a tailoring appointment with Josh Kercher at Sebastian Grey, a perfect hair cut at Halo, taking in the brilliance of the company of Steppenwolf Actors in Connor McPherson’s phierce* new play “THE NIGHT ALIVE, dropping in for Improv 101 at Second City, and riding a Divvy bike to Lou Malnati’s to justify the caloric intake of an entire deep dish pizza. My review: if you like beautiful skylines, brilliant art, have a sense of humor and/or like to eat food you will love CHICAGO.

Meanwhile, being a player in this troupe which consists of Tony Award winner Chuck Cooper, Tony Nominee Tom Hewitt, Tony Nominee Josh Young, Most Pretty Voice Award Winner Erin Mackey, Most Fervent Callisthenic Doer Award Winner Laiona Michelle, Most Dedicated Backstage Actress Award Winner Harriett D. Foy, Most Lecherous Character in a Musical Award Winner Chris Hoch and thirty other stage geniuses in this epic birth of a new musical, I am learning 1) that I am in the company of greats and 2) how this metropolis garnered her reputation as midwife to new American classics for the stage.  (Sandy, Tanya, Margie, Vinny, et al….this crew at the Bank of America Theatre is quintessential Midwestern goodness.)  Can’t we agree that any midwife who could aid in the severing of the umbilical cord for both Adam Guettel’s THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA and Cirque’s BANANA SCHPEEL deserves acknowledgement for her loving embrace?  And that is what we have all felt while here in Chicago: a loving, Midwestern**, embrace.

(*phierce – of or relating to brilliant writing by Connor McPherson)

(**I was born and raised in Ohio, which I consider Midwestern – so I know a genuine nice person when I meet him or her backstage or on the CTA)

Thanks Stanley for your kind words about Chicago and spending time with us and Laiona Michelle yesterday for our live Twitter chat! Don’t miss Stanley and the rest of the company of AMAZING GRACE, playing for only 5 MORE PERFORMANCES at the Bank of America Theatre.

Laiona Michelle of AMAZING GRACE finds food for the soul + stomach in Chicago

Posted on: October 28th, 2014 by B.I. C. No Comments

‘Amazing Grace’ cast member Laiona Michelle (Nanna) will be participating in a LIVE Twitter chat tomorrow at noon CST! You can ask her questions using #amazingBIC on Twitter or replying to @broadwaychicago. In this blog entry she describes her experiences with Chicago’s food, faith and friendliness.

My favorite food spots in Chicago were Lou Malnati’s pizza, Mercadito and Table 52. For the first time in my life I was introduced to “real” Chicago style deep-dish pizza. Two words, “HOLY MOLY”. I shared a medium-size deep dish pizza with my cast mate and we had to force ourselves to stop eating simply due to the fact that we both wear unforgiving corsets in the show. I also love great Mexican food. Mercadito is by far the best Mexican food I have ever tasted in the USA. The tocino guacamole was a big winner and the estilo baja (mahi mahi beer battered tacos) were delicious! Lastly, Table 52 (Southern comfort food) made me feel right at home.

In addition to the great food, my spirit was also fed. I worshiped at The First United Methodist Church. When you enter there is this beautiful wood carving that depicts Jesus weeping over the city of Jerusalem. The congregation was welcoming and the service was lovely.

My time here in Chicago has been overall life-changing in many ways.  I have met some remarkable people both on and off stage. The audiences here have been simply wonderful and honest. I was often surprised by their vocal reactions and their emotional investment. They have taught me that this show, Amazing Grace, is not just a musical theatre piece, but for many a needed experience that they have been hungry for. I had the opportunity to speak with quite a few people who felt compelled to share their thoughts, private opinions and deep gratitude. It’s also been a joy to arrive at work and be greeted by ushers that are equally enthusiastic and moved to share their personal  experience as well. Thank you Chicago!

Short & Sweet – Amazing Grace

Posted on: October 28th, 2014 by B.I. C. No Comments

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Guest critic Christine Murphy of Palatine discusses her perspective on Broadway in Chicago’s new musical, Amazing Grace with Short and Sweet host Diana Martinez. Murphy was immediately drawn into the performance, finding it to be highly emotional: “A tear came to my eye more than one time.” Read more at the Daily Herald…

HOW SWEET THE SOUND! Welcoming AMAZING GRACE to Chicago

Posted on: September 30th, 2014 by B.I. C. No Comments

 

The song the world knows, the story it doesn’t. As Chicago anticipates this Pre-Broadway World Premiere, the cast and crew have already graced us with their presence Monday morning at the Cadillac Palace Theater in downtown Chicago. The show, which begins performances October 9, tells a story of love and redemption behind the classic song we’ve all come to know and love.

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(L to R) Tom Hewitt, Chuck Cooper, Josh Young, Erin Mackey, Laiona Michelle and Chris Hoch

 

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound?  Chicago got a taste of the stirring and powerful music at this year’s Summer Concert in Millennium Park. We were lucky enough to experience yet another glimpse of this musical at the Amazing Grace press conference as the ensemble cast performed “We Are Determined” for local press. It is clear this cast is already feeling right at home as they prepare to introduce the show to the world.

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The show ensemble prepares to perform

 

I once was lost, but now I’m found.

The cast traveled from New York City to call Chicago their new home. Because this is a brand new musical, we can only anticipate what these debuting professionals will have in store for us.

Was blind but now I see. Broadway In Chicago welcomes this phenomenal cast as they launch what we can only except to be an inspiring performance with unforgettable and moving songs. We eagerly a wait to be sung back to a time where one song can guide you home…

Click here to get your tickets now!

Broadway In Chicago Summer Concert Wrap-Up

Posted on: August 21st, 2014 by B.I. C. No Comments

As another summer goes by, so does another wonderful Broadway In Chicago Summer Concert. Here are some highlights to help you relive the moments that had you cheering, applauding and dancing!

All photos are courtesy of Amy Boyle Photography.

We did some magic with Kevin James “The Inventor” from The Illusionists.

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And found our corner of the sky with Kyle Selig and Ariana DeBose from the musical Pippin.

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Then we jammed with the cast from Million Dollar Quartet.

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Next the crowd threw up the ‘devil horns’ with Dee Snider and the cast of Dee Snider’s Rock & Roll Christmas Tale.

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Things got delicious during a performance by Alissa Walker and Jack Ball from Emerald City Theatre’s Hansel & Gretel.

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Josh Young and Erin Mackey from Amazing Grace amazed the audience with their performance of “Amazing Grace” as well as other songs from this new musical.

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The event became even more enchanted when two princesses made an appearance. Hilary Maiberger and Darick Pead from Beauty and the Beast dazzled with a performance of the title track.

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Paige Faure and Andy Jones from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella brought the glass slipper back with style.

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The sun stayed out for the performance by Adia Dant and Macy (the ADORABLE dog) from Annie.

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Then the stage was illuminated by John Michael Dias from Jersey Boys.

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Ellyn Marie Marsh from the musical Kinky Boots educated the audience with “The History of Wrong Guys”.

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Things got bloody with Callie Johnson, David Sajewich, and Andrew Di Rosa from Evil Dead the Musical.

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The cast of the First Wives Club had the audience joining in the fun.

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And Adam Kaplan from Disney’s Newsies became the King of Chicago for the night!

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The night was successfully wrapped up in a perfect package with our surprise performance by the stunning Rebecca LaChance from Beautiful – The Carole King Musical.

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We could not thank everyone involved enough for helping to put this concert together. From the production staff to the extraordinary talent, and of course the fans that came out and enjoyed it; thank you, thank you, thank you! We love your continued support of Chicago theatre as well as the spectacular BICGO pictures you shared with us! Everybody say YEAH for the best season ever!

Thanks for a spectacular concert and we will see you next year!