Posts Tagged ‘laiona michelle’

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!