It would have been a terrific add-on when “Waitress” opened at the Cadillac Palace Theatre July 3 to have had some of Jenna’s recipes along with the pocket pies now traditionally sold during the shows national tour.
Because when waitress/cum/pie expert Jennna (Desi Oakly) encounters an obstacle or interesting situation she tailors a pie to match with ingredients ranging from luscious dark chocolate and exotic spices to strange vegetables and items likely not found in a grocery store.
At small-town Joe’s Diner where she bakes and waits tables, there are plenty of pie-inspiring people and situations from what to enter in a pie contest and what to make for her ob-gyn appointments with Dr. Pomatter (Bryan Fenkhart) to what will de-stress her when dealing with her abusive husband Earl (Nick Bailey).
The Diner’s trio of waitresses, Jenna, gospel-singer-style Becky (Charity Angél Dawson) and shy, nervous Dawn (Lenne Klingaman) carry the show with their personalities, the unexpected ways they each tie up with a lover and the songs and ways they support each other. Read More
If looking for a spectacular family show with fantastic music and dance numbers, eye-popping staging and costumes and an exotic fairy-tale style rags to riches, princess and palace story, then ‘Aladdin’ fulfills all those wishes.
The Broadway musical, now at the Chicago’s Cadillac Palace Theatre on its 2017 national tour, is everything a show-goer would expect from Disney.
Although based on Disney’s 1992 movie, ‘Aladdin,’ the stage musical, has the type of fabulous dance numbers and costumes loved by Broadway impresario Flo Ziegfield.
Of course Tony Award winners are involved. Casey Nicholaw from ‘The Book of Mormon’ is the director and choreographer and Gregg Barnes (‘The Drowsy Chaperone’) is the costume designer.
But families who loved the film will still have the score by Grammy and Academy Award winners Alan Menken, Howard Ashman and Tim Rice plus new numbers by Menken and Chad Beguelin who did the book
And there are the wonderfully familiar characters of the Genie, exquisitely interpreted by Anthony Murphy, Aladdin, delightfully portrayed by Adam Jacobs who played the title character on Broadway, and Princess Jasmine, the contemporary female role nailed by Isabelle McCalla.
Naturally, there is the diabolical Jafar played by Jonathan Weir with old-fashioned foiled-again style characterization and evil laughter who is joined in his quest for the sultan’s throne by the comic Iago (Reggie De Leon) who is human, not a parrot this time.
Aladdin’s three street pals are fun to watch in a skillfully done fight scene with palace guards. The trio are Zach Bencal as Babkak, Philippe Arroyo as Omar and Mike Longo as Kassim.
The whole story: an Arabian tale of poor boy meets titled girl, they fall in love, girl doesn’t want to have to marry a prince who will rule her or her kingdom, boy locates magic lamp whose genie turns him into a prince, girl and boy re-connect, are separated by an evil person and finally, wed, takes about 2 hours and 25 minutes including intermission.
Details: ‘Aladdin’ is at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 West Randolph St., now through Sept. 10, 2017. For tickets and more information call (800) 775-2000 or visit Broadway in Chicago.
You won’t have to ask what opera star Renée Fleming, Broadway star Jessie Mueller, folk singer/writer John Prine, R&B/gospel artist Michelle Williams, New Queen of Blues Shemekia Copeland, tenor Matthew Polenzani and The Handsome Family husband-wife duo have in common.
Merely, snag a ticket to their concert, Feb. 4, 2017 at the Civic Opera House, to see them perform.
You will experience a blend of styles and hear the program is a tribute to Chicago’s musical influence.
Mixing genres might sound unusual but think ‘Hamilton,’ a blockbuster musical that uses several styles (it’s not just rap or hip hop).
Led by Music Director Doug Peck, a five-time Jeff Award recipient, the eclectic program features and mixes musical styles.
Fleming, a creative consultant for the Lyric Opera, has been working with Lyric Unlimited, an outreach branch, to encourage Chicago residents to tell their stories through a variety of musical and rhythmic genres.
The legendary opera singer and Lyric Unlimited call the program Chicago Voices. Click on it to find out more.
“When violence in Chicago and a divided America are the headlines, Chicago Voices offers an example of unity, ” said Fleming. “On Feb. 4, we raise our voices to honor the musical heritage and rich diversity of the city we love,” she said.
For ticket information visit Lyric Opera/Concert or by call (312) 827-5600. The Civic Opera House is at 20 N. Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL 60606.