Happy One Year Anniversary on Broadway, Pippin the Musical!
Hello Chicago! This is Hannah Florence, and I play Meg Giry in the Spectacular New Production of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. I can’t believe that we are already into our fourth week here! Time sure does fly (even during a polar vortex.)
I’m so happy that we are here for another month because I still have a TON left on my to do list here! Of course even on days when all I do is my laundry and grocery shopping at Marianos and then the show at night, I still feel like I get the Chicago experience because the audiences here have been so awesome! They inspire and challenge me to do my best every single show. I know that you Chicagoans are a super savvy theater crowd so it’s really important to feel well rested and pumped (and sufficiently caffeinated – thanks Intelligentsia!) for each show here. Also the local crew here is amazing! Everyone is so professional and friendly and quirky, which I love.
So back to my to-do list…I have GOT to experience some more Chicago restaurants! So far I love ‘Girl and the Goat’ so much that I’ve gone there on the day off every week so far! But please tweet suggestions at me (@YesHannahBanana) I would love to find some lesser known but awesome spots. Same for bars/night spots! I think my favorite bar so far is Three Dots and a Dash. Their playful and silly Tiki vibe is precisely what I’m craving after a night of melodrama and high stakes in the Masked Man’s opera house. Oh, and as an NYC girl, I will always be loyal to New York pizza, but I’m not gonna lie, deep dish is pretty sweet too.
Alright, I’m about to walk out into the pretty snowy streets of this city. Hope to see you at the show and join us next Thursday when we will be tweeting LIVE!
See Hannah in The Phantom of the Opera playing at the Cadillac Palace Theatre through March 2nd. Be sure to ask any questions for Hannah (Meg Giry) @YesHannahBanana, Eric Ruiz (Porter/Ensemble) @theEricMRuiz and Nick Cartell (Ensemble) @nickcartell for our Twitter chat on February 6th at 10:30 am CST using #PhantomBIC to receive a reply during the LIVE TWITTER CHAT!
Broadway In Chicago is thrilled to announce the world premiere of AMAZING GRACE, a new musical starring Tony Award nominee® Josh Young (Jesus Christ Superstar) as John Newton, directed by Gabriel Barre (Andrew Lippas’ The Wild Party) and choreographed by Tony Award® winner Christopher Gattelli (Newsies), will play the Bank of America Theatre (18 W Monroe) this fall. With music and lyrics by Christopher Smith and a book by Christopher Smith and Arthur Giron, AMAZING GRACE begins performances October 9 and runs through November 2.
AMAZING GRACE is a world premiere musical based on the awe-inspiring true story behind the world’s most beloved song. A captivating tale of romance, rebellion and redemption, this radiant production follows one man whose incredible journey ignited a historic wave of change.
John Newton (Josh Young), a willful and musically talented young Englishman, faces a future as uncertain as the turning tide. Coming of age as Britain sits atop an international empire of slavery, he finds himself torn between following in the footsteps of his father – a slave trader – and embracing the more compassionate views of his childhood sweetheart. But when a perilous voyage on the high seas finds John in his darkest hour, a transformative moment of self-reckoning inspires a blazing anthem of hope that will finally guide him home.
Brimming with emotion and adventure, AMAZING GRACE is an unforgettable musical saga that captures the spirit of history’s sweetest and most powerful sound: freedom.
Thank you to Broadway In Chicago and the beautiful state of Illinois for welcoming us to The Windy City, not to mention of course – our absolutely incredible audiences that have so generously spoiled us here. You guys are doing it RIGHT! To start with, people often ask which part I am in the show because they rarely get to see me in the roles of The Phantom or Raoul as I am an understudy. On a (mostly) daily basis I play a range of characters including the 2nd Porter (Auction), Soldier in Hannibal, Stagehand, a Box Guest in Il Muto, also a Fireman and various “Opera Populaire” company members in Act 2.
As an understudy, I had the incredible pleasure of making my debut as The Phantom Of The Opera during the evening show on Wednesday, January 29th, here in Chicago. To say that the experience was beyond my wildest dreams would not do it justice! I had no idea that I wanted to be a performer until I saw this show (the #BrilliantOriginal on tour in Los Angeles) when I was 15 years old. Since then, it became a dream of mine just to be a part of this enduring and magical piece of classic musical theater, let alone to be able to play either the Phantom or Raoul. Getting to take the final bow as The Phantom in our #SpectacularNewPhantom was a full circle moment that went by so quickly; these are the moments to try to consciously see and feel everything so that the memory can’t escape. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that night, and the incredible audience, cast and crew that I got to share that with. Thank you.
As for the city of Chicago – again, Chicago does it RIGHT! I’m not used to seeing very much open sky in many cities other than LA, especially New York City which is where I now live when I’m not on tour (AKA – everything is in storage). I love to eat, and Chicago is not lacking on the matter of choice and taste. So far, The Girl & The Goat has surpassed the expectations for many of us “traveling foodies…” We do LOVE to eat in this cast, and we love to eat very well, so we’re very excited for restaurant week too! Of course, Michigan Avenue is not to be missed for the range of shops (including grocery staple @TraderJoesList ), as well as the Avenues classic Chicago history. I love how much of nature is infused into the city. I’ve said it feels like New York City here, but less cramped, more space, and with more reverence to what was here before all of the buildings and people decided to set-up camp. It’s safe to say that since we work hard, we “relax hard” just as equally, and the Chuan Spa at The Langham, Chicago has been an oasis of privacy and serenity. I was able to meet William Wesley Myers, Director of Spa, who along with his staff have been more than accommodating and welcoming to the cast. Amazing massages and facials using world-class technique and ingredients, as well as a stunning health club and pool have helped to make Chicago feel as close to home as possible. I’m also looking forward to visiting the Shedd Aquarium, the Skydeck and “Ledge” at Willis Tower as well as Cloud Gate/”The Bean” in Millennium Park. I don’t know that I would have had the opportunity to visit Chicago were it not for being a part of this tour, and I have to say that it’s truly been one of the highlights since we left New York City back in the Fall.
I’m looking forward to tweeting with as many of you as possible next Thursday, February 6th from 10:30am CST. Make sure and use hashtag #PhantomBIC so that our moderators can find your “tweet questions” during our session. Thanks so much for taking the time to read the blog and thank you again, Chicago -all of you- for your (much needed, brrrrrr!!) warmth and hospitality. Hope to see you at The Cadillac Palace through March 2nd!
You can catch Eric in The Phantom of the Opera playing at the Cadillac Palace Theatre through March 2nd. Be sure to ask any questions for Eric (Porter/Ensemble) @theEricMRuiz, Nick Cartell (Ensemble) @nickcartell and Hannah Florence (Meg Giry) @YesHannahBanana for our Twitter chat using #PhantomBIC to receive a reply during the LIVE TWITTER CHAT!
And the audience in Toronto loves it! This new show from the producers of Riverdance had its North American premiere last night and here is just a sample of what people are saying:
You can see more from Toronto audiences on the official Heartbeat of Home blog.
The next stop for their tour will be the Oriental Theatre here in Chicago from March 4 – 16, 2014. Don’t miss out on this spectacular new production featuring the dynamic, vibrant components of traditional Irish, Latin and Afro-Cuban music and dance. The world-class cast of forty includes a ten-piece band creating a new and electrifying sound written by award-winning, Golden-Globe-nominated composer Brian Byrne. You can get your tickets for the Chicago run at http://bit.ly/Heartbeat14