Posts Tagged ‘Twitter chat’

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!

Meet The Cast of Evil Dead!

Posted on: September 23rd, 2014 by B.I. C. No Comments

With Evil Dead the Musical premiering tomorrow, read what the cast of this hilarious thriller has to say about their time spent here in Chicago and their experience as Candarian demons. You can live chat with them on Twitter next week on October 1st at 1pm CST! Tweet your questions using #EvilDeadBIC now and you’ll get a response from a cast member that day!


Julie Baird can’t wait to take the Broadway Playhouse stage tomorrow as Linda, the girlfriend of hero Ash! Read what she has to say about her experience performing for Broadway In Chicago’s hilarious and bloody good musical.

Here we go!! Evil Dead the Musical is moving into the Broadway Playhouse! To be performing as part of the Broadway in Chicago season feels a little unreal. Pinch me. I pop out of the subway station and pass the Water Tower singing Frank Sinatra’s version of “Chicago.” I’m probably getting stares but it’s fine because I get to perform nightly in my favorite city as a dancing zombie with the most amazing cast members a gal could ask for! I just recently moved back to Chicago after spending about a year and a half working at various places near the East Coast, so driving from LSD, the smell of Pequod’s deep dish pizza and the city’s Midwestern charm feels like home.

If you had asked me earlier in the year Evil Dead the Musical is not something I would have predicted to be on my list of projects, however I am so very glad it is!! The cast and crew we travel with are absolutely wonderful, and the over-the-top comedy is something I have grown to love. When we performed our preview a few weeks ago it was apparent that Chicago is going to have a blast embracing this crazy world of Candarian demons, campy fun, and extreme gore. You definitely don’t want to miss out!!!


Toronto native Andrew Di Rosa welcomes Chicago as his new home in the production of Evil Dead The Musical. Here is what he has to say about the wonderful city of Chicago and the hilarious gory musical it will host for the next three weeks.

Having hailed from Toronto, it is tough for me to admit that a city can rival my hometown quite like Chicago does. I arrived here a little under two months ago and I have instantly fallen in love with this beautiful city. The idea of leaving here is really difficult to imagine. Another thing that was difficult to imagine was that I would one day be performing as part of Broadway in Chicago’s season! It is truly a dream come true. I was first introduced to Broadway in Chicago when I performed during the preview concert in Millennium Park in front of close to twenty thousand people. I realized, very quickly, the support and genuine interest of the Chicago Arts community. It was both an exhilarating and a profound moment in my career.

When I first arrived in Chicago I asked my cast members, all who are current residents of Chicago, where I needed to go. Many people advised me that the deep dish from Pequod’s was the best and that ‘the bean’ was a site to see. I went to both and took pictures and sent them back home to brag to my family. I have quickly fallen in love with the downtown area and especially the beautiful Broadway Playhouse theatre that we are lucky enough to cover in blood. It is a wonderful space to perform this crazy show and I couldn’t have asked for more. Even our first preview in this theatre proved how wonderful the audiences were and how willing they were to go on this bloody and hysterical journey with us. With show stopping chants and thunderous applause, this audience has taken to the show quite wonderfully. They cheered, they laughed, they forgave us for the little mistakes we made along the way. This show has been a truly remarkable experience that I am so excited to share with the beautiful city of Chicago for the next three weeks.

See Evil Dead the Musical at the Broadway Playhouse, now playing through October 12!

Michael Urie Twitter Q&A

Posted on: May 16th, 2014 by broadwayinchicago No Comments

URIE, Michael_Headshot

Michael Urie, the award-winning actor from the hit show “Buyer & Cellar”, will be joining Broadway In Chicago for a LIVE Twitter chat on Wednesday, May 21! Want to know what he’s been getting up to while he’s in Chicago? What about how he prepares before going onstage? Ask him on Twitter using #BuyerCHI and he’ll respond to your questions in the hour he’s with us.

We’re incredibly excited to have this talented actor chatting with us and we hope you will have lots of good questions about what it’s like to work in Barbra Streisand’s basement for him!

Guest Blog: Hannah Florence is On Point(e) in The Phantom of the Opera

Posted on: February 4th, 2014 by broadwayinchicago No Comments


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!

Guest Blog: Eric Ruiz Does It All in The Phantom of the Opera!

Posted on: January 31st, 2014 by broadwayinchicago No Comments


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!