“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.