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Broadway in Chicago

Maura Hopkinson

Maura Hopkinson

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By Laura Kelly
As we ring in the new year, we also ring in the 2017 Broadway in Chicago (BIC) season. The 2016 season is definitely a difficult one to follow, because it included several Tony Award winning musicals. “Matilda”, “Chicago”, “Book of Mormon”, “Kinky Boots”, “Fun Home”, and “Finding Neverland” were just a few of the smash hits to appear on a Broadway in Chicago stage, among others.
The 2016 season also boasts the world premiere of the Broadway bound “The SpongeBob Musical”, being one of the last venues of the Disney’s “Newsies” first national tour, and, as we all know, the debut of the national tour of the infamous “Hamilton”, which is predicted to stay in Chicago as the tour’s first city for nearly two years. Although 2016 was a very successful year for BIC and the shows that performed here, 2017 is looking bright for theatre goers as well.
​ The first show to be performing in Chicago during January of 2017 is the longest running musical on Broadway. Running from December 14 to January 8, “The Phantom of the Opera” will be playing at the Cadillac Palace Theatre. “The Phantom of the Opera” tells the hauntingly beautiful story of the hideous phantom that lives beneath the stage of the Paris Opera House.
With its well known music by renowned composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, Phantom is considered a classic musical with a strikingly inspiring love story. Local Andrew Lloyd Webber enthusiast Tom Latz of the junior class says, “…about ten years ago, Phantom was even more iconic than Hamilton. It has the highest box office revenues of any show ever, theatrical or thematic. It has earned these amazing benchmarks and more for a reason, as it is one of the many masterpieces of Andrew Lloyd-Webber. The music is incredible. The plot is heartbreaking. See it and you won’t regret it!” The Phantom of the Opera is suitable for ages 7+.
​ Another show is on its way to Chicago for its BIC debut, “The Bodyguard The Musical” will be playing at the Oriental Theatre from January 31 through February 12. Based on the hit film, “The Bodyguard” focuses on the life of a former Secret Service agent that is now a bodyguard. The main character, Frank Farmer, is hired to be the bodyguard of Rachel Marron, a current superstar that is being stalked. Critics claim it to be a “breathtakingly romantic thriller.”
Starring Grammy Award-nominee and R&B star Deborah Cox, “The Bodyguard” is predicted to be a phenomenal show for the 2017 season.
​ Another long awaited musical currently on Broadway and traveling to Chicago for its first national tour is “Something Rotten!”. Set in 1595, “Something Rotten!” follows the life stories of two brothers, Nick and Nigel Bottom, and their attempts to be famous playwrights. In their time, however, they have big competition to get their titles out there: specifically, William Shakespeare himself.
Through constant trial and error, the Bottom brothers eventually invent something revolutionary that blows Shakespeare’s plays out of the water: a musical! This comedic and heart warming show exhibits aspects of quality musical theatre in every upbeat song, as well as modernized characters from the Renaissance. “Something Rotten!” will be playing at the Oriental Theatre from July 11 to July 23.
​ These three shows, among many others, show a bright future for theatre enthusiasts in the Chicagoland area. Also coming to Chicago is the critically acclaimed rock musical “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”, the twentieth anniversary national tour of “Rent”, Tony Award winning “An American in Paris”, and the historical drama, “Les Miserables”.

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Broadway in Chicago