Theater & Music, Chicago
one of the architectural wonders in Wacker Area near the Chicago River due to the Art Deco Motif of the Building and on the Inside and a fine destination for Opera Lovers (unfortunately, I'm not fond of opera plays). They have assorted plays going on everyday and each play would lst from 1 1/2 to 4 hours depending on the motif and the prices will be like $ 600 for a mezzanine box for a play or $ 79 for an upper balcony seat. The Civic Opera House has 3,563-seats, making it the second-largest opera auditorium in North America. Built for the Chicago Civic Opera, today it is the permanent home of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, which also owns the building.
Musical: "Next to Normal" -- this is one depressing evening -- made all the worse if Alice Ripley's understudy is playing Diana. I have a preference for drama over musicals and making this a musical was a huge mistake. The music alternates between acrid rock and the worst of sing-songy Taylor Swift. Pearl Sun was substituted for Alice Ripley on a SATURDAY NIGHT! She doesn't have the pipes to make this at all palatable. Creditable performances from Curt Hansen (Gabe), Emma Hunton (Natalie) and Preston Sadleir (Henry) couldn't pull this production out of the pits. It rightly damns medical professionals who are all too quick to prescribe pill cocktails and demonstrate immense callousness about patient quality of life -- but that's hardly "entertainment".
Never ceases to amaze me how midwestern audiences give a performance a standing ovation just because New Yorkers liked it. Save your money.
I agree Hancock tower is always a place I take out of towners--go to the Signature Lounge on the 96th floor. drinks are pricey--$6 for a beer--but view makes it totally worth it.
Chicago is the comedy capitol of the world, so make sure you check out a comedy show while here. Shows I have seen and loved: Bye Bye Liver (a show about boozin' in the Windy City--hilarious!), Second City (a Chicago staple), any show at the Annoyance Theater.
The downtown Chicago Theatre District has an impressive number of theatres, and on any given night it is possible to choose between a great selection of musicals. When I was in Chicago, "Wicked" and "Jersey Boys" were playing, and for those it was better to book your tickets in advance. However, for most of the other musicals, rush tickets were available (see my shopping tip). I ended up going to see "Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story" since it was playing at the Drury Lane Water Tower Place Theatre, just two blocks down from my hotel on the Magnificient Mile. The Drury Lane WTP Theatre opened in 2005 and sits about 550 people. I was lucky enough to get a seat near the stage, at the center of the theatre, and had a fantastic time - I still catch myself singing "That'll be the day", "Oh boy" and "Peggy Sue" from time to time!
But even if the theatre I went to was located a bit outside of the Chicago Theatre District, I still went for a walk in the Randolph Street area, mostly to see two of Chicago's most legendary theatres: the Chicago Theatre, built in 1921 and located at 175 North State Street, is the city's oldest surviving theatre and a bit of a landmark; the Oriental Theatre, located at 24 West Randolph Street, is built on the site of the Iroquois Theatre, where one of the deadliest fires in US history broke out in 1903: almost 600 people were killed when the crowd massively rushed to the exit doors, which then opened inwards. Building and fire codes throughout the world were subsequently modified to make sure such a tragedy would not happen again. Today, the Oriental Theatre is known as the Ford Center for the Performing Arts and the musical "Wicked" has been playing there since June 2005.
If you enjoy watching comedies, then don't miss the Second City. The acts and jokes are extremely hilarious. The style is improvisational, so the actors are pretty professional in getting you to laugh. Topics range from everyday personal matters to current world events. The Second City can be found in other cities as well, like Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and New York, but Chicago was the birthplace of the Second City. It can be traced all the way back to the University of Chicago where a group of undergraduates started a show back in the 1950s. If you have a night to spare in Chicago, then come to Old Town, where the Second City is located.
From the moment it began, I was laughing! "Menopause, the Musical" is hysterical! The songs they sing are all popular, familiar tunes, but when you listen to the lyrics, you see how they've changed them to make you laugh. It's so funny! You must see it!! You won't be disappointed! Womens' night out is a wonderful time! Guys, don't be afraid -- you'll love it too! Everyone will enjoy this play! It's impossible not to laugh! It's a riot!
Symphony Center is the home for more than 200 live concerts a year -- orchestras, recitals, jazz, superstar guest artists, visiting orchestras, and more.
I went there for Argentinian tango the other day.. The tango was quite mediocre but I`m sure you can choose something to your liking from this extensive list of events.
A friend took me to this really neat research library that has a PIANO! Yes, I'm very musically inclined but not with a piano :-( I sing though. This building is even connected to a fresh market with a lot of natural and vegan selections. MORE INFO TO COME.
We went to see the award winning musical 'Wicked' at the Ford Center for Performing Arts, Oriental Theatre. The show was great and the venue was nice. The theatre seemed really old but well maintained and was really beautiful on the inside.
To see portions of interior, be sure to check photos 2 and 3.
The Cadillac Palace Theatre is located at the corner of Randolph and LaSalle Streets, and it was first opened in 1926. Legendary theatre architects [the Rapp Brothers] were the designers. Known for its splendid interior that was inspired by the palaces of Versailles and Fontainebleau, this splendor has returned as a result of the 1999 restoration and renovation.
Originally, it was opened as the "flagship of vaudeville's legendary Orpheum Circuit". Many famous people played here such as Bob Hope and Jack Benny. When vaudeville went out of favor, the theatre was converted to a movie palace that presented combinations of live theatre and movies. In the 1950s, the theatre managers started booking occasional Broadway shows.
Sadly, in the 1970s, the Bismarck Hotel transformed the auditorium into a banquet hall. To do this, they removed the seats on the orchestra level to bring the floor flush with the stage. By 1984, it was named The Bismarck Theatre and became a rock n' roll venue.
Thank goodness, it was restored and renovated about 1999 and renamed The Cadillac Palace. It now serves as a wonderful home for most of the pre-Broadway hits such as "Mamma Mia!" and "The Producers".
Yesterday [February 2, 2006], Allan and I saw Little Women, the Musical. It's such a pleasure to see and HEAR a musical at the Cadillac Palace. Most seats are excellent, and the acoustics are excellent.
This architectural gem with a decor of the Far East, was built back in the 1920's as a movie palace. Not only did it show motion pictures but it was a veritable museum of treasures from the Orient. Throughout its history it has housed movies and live theatre. In the 1970's the Oriental and other Randolph Street theatres had fallen on bleak times. The theatre was added to the Federal National Registry of Historic Places in 1978, but the building continued to crumble. The theatre was closed to the public in 1981. Then in the 1990's came the revitalization of Chicago's Loop, and the area was renovated and restored and now the Oriental Theatre is back in the limelight hosting such Broadway productions of "Wicked." In 1997 the Oriental's full name became The Ford Center of the Performing Arts Oriental Theatre."
The next time you are in Chicago try and check out the lobby of the theatre. Ornate fixtures, marble floors and sparkling chandeliers give an air of grandeur to this beautiful house of theatre.
Eventhough they haven't played very well the last couple of years, it was great to see a hockeygame and to see them play. The atmosphere was very special and for people who are used to soccergames....this is something completely different. Lots of show, the American way.
It is not very expensive and at no time i felt threatened by the crowd, so a great place to take your kids to, also.
When we were planning this trip we made a decision to go see Charles Dicken's "Christmas Carol" at the Goodman Theatre. It was a great choice and the strange thing was I had just done a bit of research on paid internships for my nephew who is an actor (albeit it an out-of-work actor.)
The theatre was founded back in 1925 as a tribute to the playwright Kenneth Sawyer Goodman, has recieved a special Tony award for "Outstanding Regional Theatre." They have staged many top stage productions as " Death of a Salesman" "Zoot suit" "and "Seven Guitars". The presentation of Dicken's "Christmas Carol" which is procuced seasonally is a fantastic testament to this theatre's history.
There is not a bad seat in the house for the "rake" of the seats is a sharp one, so be prepared to climb some stairs, there are, of course elevators for those with impaired mobility. During the production a "extraordinary" moment occured. Being an actress, I fully comprehended what this moment did for the actor. Scrooge had just been redeemed, he begins to laugh, very rusty at first. This laughter tickeled a small child in the sudience who then laughed out loud at Scrooge. Time stood still for a brief moment. I saw a flicker of recognition in the actor's face but he did not break the "4th" wall, instead he used it to fully develop his own laughter which took on immense proportions and swept the audience into the moment as well. Wow! That is good theatre!
I highly recommend if you are in the Chicago area to stop and see what is playing at the Goodman Theatre. A good time will be had by all.
Ticket prices vary, we paid $35 per ticket and had a marvelous view of the stage.
Chicago has a lot of great theatres to offer. "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change," is a great musical comedy performing at the Royal George Theatre on Halsted. It's funny, and the acting and singing is superbe. After the show, I was lucky to have the chance to meet one of the actors for a photo and an autograph, too!
Everybody knows Chicago is rich in history and culture. But ghost stories? You bet! And in "Supernatural Chicago," you not only hear some of the best, you experience them interactively. The performer (Neil Tobin, Necromancer) involves the audience in demonstrations that are sometimes magical, sometimes psychic, but always related to the story at hand. It's creepy, educational and fun! And it all takes place in a place that's supposed to be one of the more haunted in town: Excalibur nightclub.
As for the price, it's a steal -- the show, cover charge to the club for the night, plus two drinks, all for $25! (When you consider that cover charge alone is $10 on a Friday night, the show comes out to practically FREE.)
If you have a taste for the unusual and want a personalized theater experience while learning things about Chicago you might never know otherwise, this show is for you.
Note: "Supernatural Chicago" is at Excalibur nightclub every Friday night at 8pm. (Other days, times, and even locations may be possible for groups; see website for details.)