Chicago in Nashville

chicago

For those of you who are in Nashville and have not taken advantage of the Broadway shows that tour through the Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC), I have one question for you… WHY??? Why are you not seeing all of these fabulous shows?! If I hear one more person say, “It’s not New York” or “It’s not real Broadway” I am going to take my shoe off and throw it….scratch that, I don’t want to hurt my shoe… I am going to sit you down and give you a very stern talking to, yep.

First of all, in case you haven’t noticed, we do not live in New York, so good luck seeing a show in New York as often as you can here. Secondly, have you seen a show at TPAC recently? They are phenomenal. Seriously, the traveling shows are no joke; the set, the costumes and the actors are all the real deal and they bring their A game. Just last night I saw Chicago, starring John O’Hurley (yeah the John O’Hurley). The two lead roles were played by women performed the same roles on Broadway (the real Broadway) and “Mama” was played by, Roz Ryan, another accomplished actress. The amount of talent on stage was almost too much to handle.

john

Chicago is a cross between Law and Order and How to Get Away With Murder (have you been watching that?!? It’s CRAZY!) It tells the story of two women on Murderess Row who are clearly guilty of murdering their lovers, yet manage to get away with their crime. They are young, beautiful, led by a slimy smart lawyer and able to woo the jury into believing their innocent. The craziest part is that this is all based on a true story!

A young woman, Maurine Dallas Watkins, an aspiring writer, covered the story of the real women on Murderess Row in Cook County Jail in Chicago. She was especially taken by two women’s story whom eventually became the inspiration for her play (not musical), Chicago. I recently learned this interesting bit of information and was shocked to learn that it wasn’t Bob Fosse who originated Chicago. Who knew?

jazz hands

Speaking of Fosse, can we discuss what I really loved about this musical? I have never seen a live version of Chicago, but I have been a huge fan of the music, the movie and the choreography for years! The live version did not disappoint. Fosse’s style is so unique, yet timeless. it’s been a long time since I’ve seen jazz (any version) performed on stage and it was a little nostalgic to watch the Fosse moves and jazz hands last night. The songs are better when you hear them live. I mean, really, you have to watch the “Cell Block Tango”, it’s not meant to only be heard.

The acting was great ,but Bianca Marroquin (Roxie Hart) was the standout performer for me. She blew me away! Her voice, her comedic timing and especially the scene where she plays a puppet on Billy Flynn’s knee…phenomenal. She’s the best actress I’ve seen at TPAC since the recent girl who played Glenda the Good in Wicked. I loved her. And, I loved the show.

bianca

Now, get off your bums (well, stay on your bums if you’re on the computer), check out TPAC’s Broadway line-up and buy yourself some tickets! And, if you do not live near here, then be sure to check out the tour dates for Chicago. You will NOT regret it.

Cheers!

A Wedding Seen Through Instagram

My cousin’s wedding in Chicago was beautiful and a blast! This is the first wedding Husband and I have been to together since our wedding. Being at a family wedding, thinking of our own and being pregnant made me a sentimental mess. I teared up when the bride walked down the aisle, when they were announced “Mr. and Mrs.”, when the best man gave his speech and when the bride’s grandfather got up to dance. It was just so sweet!

At the cocktail hour we found coasters that asked the guests who use Instagram to use a specific hashtag on all their photos so the bride and groom could easily see all the photos taken at their wedding. Genius! I was excited to start snapping and hashtagging some photos. Husband…well Husband not only got excited, but soon believed he was their actual photographer. I am not exaggerating when I tell you he took 120 Instagram photos at this wedding.

Cousin, I’m sorry. I’m sure you are rueing the day you came up this idea.

Between the two of us we took some fun and snazzy photos of their big day…

Have any of you used a specific hashtag at a special event or big party? I’d like to try it for my next big shindig…maybe a baby shower!

Cheers!

Good Times in Chicago

chicago

We only had a few days to spend in the windy city during our recent visit, and like any trip, we spent every second soaking up the city and making the best of the time we had. My cousin’s wedding is what brought us to Chicago, which means I got to enjoy the city with my parents and a few other family members too.

Even though the daytime was spent running from Grant Park to the Magnificent Mile we still managed to have a great time and see A LOT of the city.

fountain chicago
Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park

architectural tour

One morning we took one of Chicago’s famous boat tours down the Chicago River and into Lake Michigan. The Wendella Boat Tour took us around and told us the history of Chicago, the history of many of its skyscrapers and several entertaining stories…like where Ferris Bueler was filmed and the fact that a guy dressed like Spider Man once shimmied his way up the side of Willis Tower. There’s also a bar on the first floor of the boat that provides just about every drink…hot chocolate for me.

wendella big buildings

on a boat

We even made time to go to the top of Willis Tower. Willis Tower  (formerly know as Sears Tower) has what they call “Skydecks”. The Skydecks are glass boxes off the side of the 104th floor. It’s pretty funny to watch people slowly creep out on the clear floors, scared to look below them. It’s even funnier (and a little embarrassing) to watch their faces when Husband walks out and begins jumping up and down, as carefree as can be.

willis tower skybox

hair

One of my favorite stops was at the Art Institute. One of the current exhibits at this museum is “Impressionism, Fashion and Modernity“. This show is AMAZING. It shows how the Impressionist artists of the 19th century embraced fashion trends in their art. The exhibit not only shows some of my favorite pieces, but also displays period costumes that go with each painting! It’s perfect! This show was actually at the MET while we were living in NYC and I was so disappointed when I missed it. You can imagine how excited I was when I found out it was at the Art Institute.

Sadly, I was told "photography is not allowed" right after I took this photo at the entrance of the exhibit.
Sadly, I was told “photography is not allowed” right after I took this photo at the entrance of the exhibit.

The museum had lots of other famous art, like “American Gothic”, too.

american gothic

The rest of our time was spent enjoying the taste of Chicago. You can’t visit this city without trying the deep dish pizza and the Chicago style hotdogs at Navy Pier. We even had time for a large breakfast at Lou Mitchell’s… a world-famous breakfast joint that offers free donut holes and milk duds everyday.

deep dish
Deep dish Chicago-style pizza from Gino’s East

brunch hotdog navy pier

Now, I have to say it…New York’s pizza and hot dogs is WAY better!

Even if the food wasn’t the greatest, Chicago is still a nice getaway if you’re looking for a weekend vacation. Not only did we get to spend some time in the city with family, but we also got to visit our cousins AND a former 2005 Disney alumni!

chris

 

Thanks for the good times Chicago!

nightlife

Cheers!