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Posts Tagged ‘John Kander’

On Sunday, January 30, 2011, I was fortunate enough to attend “Chicago’s Facebook Fan Day” on Broadway. The producers of “Chicago” recognized what an important part online marketing plays in building an audience to a Broadway show and as a “Thank You” to their dedicated fans, it was decided to have “Chicago Fan Day.” The initiative started on November 15, 2010 when “Chicago” launched an exclusive online contest on its Facebook Fan Page. Any fan who recruited 10 of their friends to “Like” the “Chicago Fan Page,” would receive a FREE ticket to the Sunday, January 30, 2011 matinee performance. The response was so overwhelming that after just 5 hours, the Fan Page administrators had to shut down the contest.

In addition to the current cast, many alumni were present in today’s audience including the legendary Chita Rivera (who’s interview was just posted on Sunday), Ute Lemper, Vincent Pastore, and Lillias White. I was very fortunate to be able to talk to Chita and personally thank her and give her a button for participating in my blog. She was so gracious and kind!

Before the show started, fans were able to get their photo taken on the red carpet with the famous “Fosse Girls.” One of the “Fosse Girls” was kind enough to show off some of her best “Fosse” moves…Fans were also treated to cupcakes from CupcakeStop and coffee/hot chocolate from Gregory’s Coffee. On their way into the theatre, fans received a “Chicago” hat and special “Facebook Fan Day” t-shirt!

The energy and excitement in the crowd and on stage was huge today. I have to admit, this was actually my very first time ever seeing “Chicago” on Broadway and what  a day to see it. This electrifying show is filled with the legendary John Kander and Fred Ebb music and lyrics (“All That Jazz,” “When You’re Good To Mamma,” “My Own Best Friend,” “and Razzle Dazzle”) as well as the iconic Bob Fosse choreography (revived by the luminous Ann Reinking for the revival).

The revival of “Chicago” IS a classic Broadway production which is why it has been running for the past 14 years, won six Tony Awards at the 1997 Tony Awards, and in March will become the 5th longest running show in Broadway history. With productions all around the world and on tour, “Chicago” still attracts audiences from all over the world to Broadway. To be able to hear such iconic music and see such legendary choreography on stage is a moment in time and we are so fortunate to have a show like “Chicago” on Broadway in New York City, the entertainment capital of the world!

If you have never seen “Chicago” or if you were thinking about re-visiting it again, now would be the perfect time to come down to the Ambassador Theatre (219 West 49th Street between Broadway and 8th Avenue) in New York City to be “Razzled Dazzled” by “Chicago!

The whole afternoon was a thrilling experience and I’m so grateful that I was able to be part of it!

(Check me out in the center back right next to the middle row entrance…hahaha)

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Tonight, I was fortunate enough to attend the closing night of Broadway’s “The Scottsboro Boys,” the final collaboration by musical theatre luminaries John Kander and Fred Ebb. The enthusiasm, energy, and countless applause filled the theatre through the rafters! So many people turned out to see this final show: Brian Stokes Mitchell, Debra Monk, and Julia Murney were just a few of the folks I was sitting in the midst of, not to mention I was seated just a few rows behind John Kander himself! The final bows were very moving as the cast took them for the last time. John Kander made a beautiful toast to his friend and long-time collaborator Fred Ebb. It was truly a night to remember!

Now onto the show itself…”The Scottsboro Boys” is true piece of theatre and everyone who had anything to do with this production should be very proud to have brought this show to life for audiences to see and experience. It’s sad that such a powerful, thought-provoking, and entertaining show did not last longer.

Starring fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Joshua Henry along with John Cullum, Colman Domingo, Forrest McClendon, Sharon Washington, Josh Breckenridge, Derrick Cobey, E. Clayton Cornelious, Jeremy Gumbs, Rodney Hicks, Kendrick Jones, James T. Lane, JC Montgomery, Clinton Roane, Julius Thomas III, Robin S. Walker, and Christian Dante White, “The Scottsboro Boys,” based upon the famous “Scottsboro” case in the 1930s, tells the story of 9 African-American men who were unjustly accused of a terrible crime.

Watching these actors bring this story to life was moving. I really felt a part of their journey and took some of it away with me as I left the show. Some of my personal favorite numbers were “Nothin’,” “Go Back Home,” “Make Friends With The Truth,” “That’s Not The Way We Do Things,” and “Never Too Late.” The lyrics to these songs really spoke to me and were so well performed! The whole cast should be applauded for a job well done, especially Joshua Henry (for a powerful and strong performance both acting wise and vocally), Sharon Washington (who is an integral part of the show, but doesn’t have any dialogue until the she utters her few lines in the final moments of the show), Jeremy Gumbs (at such a young age to be so talented with an amazingly strong and powerful voice), and James T. Lane (bringing his wonderful comedic timing to “Ruby Bates”).

I am truly grateful for being able to see this show. It was an evening of theatre I will always remember! If this show ever comes back around, whether on tour or revived, I highly suggest going to see it! This show will not only entertain you, but it will make you think about the consequences of telling a lie to how the truth can set you free to equality, justice, and freedom for all.

Thank you “Scottsboro Boys” for an engaging and entertaining night!

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