Posts Tagged ‘Chicago’

Felony Franks

Last weekend, while in Chicagoland headlining at the Horeshoe Casino, Regis Philbin did NOT partake of the deep-dish Chicago pizza.  He apparently likes thin crust.  He did make a stop at a West Side hot dog stand.  Felony Franks is unusual in that it hires only former felons after they have served their time behind bars and are out looking for a job.

The menu is centered on crime: misdemeanor weiner, custody dog, probation burgers, etc.  No mention of justj’s mentioned Chicago style dog.. is that a crime?  A stand in Chicago that does not feature the Chicago-style version?

What do you think about the new stand?  I would say that I would be hesitant to purchase a hot dog from a former child molester or murderer.  And apparently, the press has been rather heated on the venue.

Some Added Spring In His Step

Sometime ago, I blogged about the famous and infamous celebrities who have gone through the seemingly revolving casting door of the musical Chicago.  Well, you can add one more: sleaze television king Jerry Springer.  This month, the lawyer-turned Cincinnati mayor-turned talk show host-turned Dancing with the Stars (yes?) contestant wrapped his six week stint on the London West End as ethically elastic lawyer Billy Flynn.  I suppose the acting would not be a far stretch from his days as a real lawyer and questionable politician.  He is well known for his flamboyant, quick talking, flim flam personality.  However, singing?  Never had the pleasure of hearing him so I can’t judge (let me see if he has made the you tube rounds).  Here he is performing “All I Care About” at a performance of selected songs at a Leicester Square park.  You just have to forward past the opening “All That Jazz.” Personally, I would rather watch the first number but that is not what this post is about.

Well at least he and David Hasselhoff have something else in common.  Jer-eee was the host of America’s Got Talent and the Hoff is one of the judges.  And as some will recall, the Burger King aficianado played the roles of Jekyll and Hyde on Broadway.  Wonder if ol’ Dave is going to put on the tux.  Springer says that he is going to be joining the Broadway cast until he returns to the Windy City for the talk show.  However, the producers of the New York show have no knowledge of this.

Give ‘Em The Old Razzle Dazzle

HEHE… much to a friend’s chagrin, I have entitled my first post with my new them after one of the signature numbers from the musical, Chicago. From what I gather, the producer for our community theatre’s production of the musical was fond of using the phrase whenever he could.  (“This show is full of razzle dazzle,” etc.).  Unfortunately, I was not yet involved in the group when this production was presented.  I do however know that I would like to play the role of Mr. Cellophane, himself, Amos Hart.  However, as most know, I am not one to stand in the shadows.  For better or worse, I do tend to stand out.  I dunno.

Perhaps I should have waited a few weeks to celebrate the first year of our little group of bloggers, but I was looking through various themes and came upon this little number.  I kinda like it.  So… don’t be afraid to comment on the blog of Morat’s new look.Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

AHHHH… Paris In Chicago In The Fall Is Lovely

I have previously discussed the number of famous (and infamous) celebrities that have gone through the revolving door that is the long-running revival of the musical Chicago. I still have my suspicions that the sole reason it is still continuing to attract crowds is its ability to draw tourists to see the latest headline grabber or long since faded has been attempting to step on stage. The latest addition is almost enough to make one lose their faith in the theatre (i am not one but…). Paris Hilton was offered the chance to assume the role of Roxie Hart. However, she has been swamped with so many other Broadway roles that she had to graciously turn down the offer. Some of those include (but are not limited to) The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas and The Great American Trailer Park Musical. I’m sure that there are other shows befitting the millionairess.

In actuality, the hotel princess had to decline when she found out that she would actually have to do something and learn lines that contained words that she never knew existed. Words beyond her usual utterances of: “That’s HOT… He’s Hot… She’s Hot… Everyone’s Hot.” She also found the six-day weeks quite rigorous and couldn’t possibly fit them into her active schedule. Poor Princess.

But can the producers come up with any better (or not so much better) casting decisions… please give your advice, someone may actually read the blog and follow it (even those reading from Sweden, Japan, and other far off countries) It seems to me that nearly everyone has had a tour of the windy city.

Artist Song Name Composer Composition Instrument
Strangely enough, Miss Hilton is reportedly being featured in the newest edition of Guinness Book of World’s Records  as “The Most Overrated Celebrity.”

A Few Of MY Favorite Things

My introduction to musical theatre was in the first grade as I sat in the high school gymnasium watching a performance of a Rodgers and Hammerstein show that I will come to later. Let me just say I was forever changed at that early age. I have to say that I enjoy a musical even more than a regular play because not only do they tell a story through dialog and action but also through music. The best musicals use that music to progress the rest of the action on stage… becoming a character all its own. Some of the greatest musicals also have a third component that I shudder to mention: d-d-d-d-ance (?) or as I prefer to call it stylized movement.

The following is a list of musicals that have found a permanent place within me. I would not necessarily say they were my “favorite.”

I just know I am forgetting at least one.

Broadways Best at

Float Like A Butterfly…Sing Like A Bee?

I have already touched upon this subject by mentioning those fly-by-night performers on a certain reality show becoming Broadway performers but the practice of bringing big names in an attempt to fill New York audiences is nothing new. I found it rather interesting to discover that in 1969 Muhammad Ali sang in the musical Buck White. According to the Internet Broadway Data Base, the show only ran from 12/2/69-12/6/69. So, bad example… I never said the shows in which the names appeared were successful.

-Julia Roberts was in the play Three Days of Rain from April-June, 2006.

– In Fall 2007, Jennifer Garner starred as Roxanne opposite Kevin Kline’s title role in a limited production of Cyrano de Bergerac.

-Perhaps most notably and most successfully has been the continuing revival of the musical Chicago. This seems to be a revolving door of pop culture names appearing on stage. Melanie Griffith, Bebe Neuwirth (so she was a stage actress prior to Cheers), Wayne Brady, Joey Lawrence, Usher, Brooke Shields(?), KELLY OSBOURNE(?!… as Mama Morton), ASHLEE SIMPSON. Ok… so even most of the names do not appeal to me. Most would turn me off of the show (which is good seeing live). But the musical is still running.

TicketsNow Homepage

If Music Be The Food Of Love, Play On

This afternoon two communities who are usually big rivals came together to honor someone who has touched the lives of quite possibly every person who either lived in either town or attended school in Edgerton, Ohio. Emily Curtis grew up in Edon but has taught music in Edgerton for 27 years at all levels (junior high, high school, and, most recently, elementary). Last year, she was stricken with leukemia and is in Columbus at the medical facilities on the OSU campus undergoing treatment. Through it all, she has been the same tough, strong, stubborn woman she has been for at least 20 years. She has given so much to everyone not only in this area but worldwide. Since 09/11/01, she has spear-headed a Troop Care package program sending supplies to the armed forces in Iraq and all over the world. The program has sent tons of necessities and has received numerous plaques, letters, and medals for its generosity.

At the benefit, there were thousands of dollars worth of donated items in a silent auction. Ohio State and Michigan memorabilia, beautiful artwork, Edgerton apparel, too much stuff to even begin to describe. School children danced and sang. Mrs. Balser, who started her teaching career at Edgerton 40 years ago, has generously taken Mrs. Curtis position for the year. A second grader sang “Rainbow Connection” and sounded like he should have provided the voice of Kermit the Frog in the “Muppet Movie.”

There are just so many personal levels on which I could write about my experiences with Emily. She is one tough cookie and will push you until you have reached your potential. During my four years in high school, she arranged for the band to travel to Chicago to see Phantom of the Opera. We attended a performance of Annie in Toledo as we were just beginning to stage our own production. Speaking of our production of Annie, I originally auditioned for the role of Daddy Warbucks. The day after tryouts, I was called over the PA to report to the band room. “OH, LORD… what have I done now?” I was asked to read for the role of Rooster. Read a bit of dialogue, sing “Easy Street,” and CROW. Emily and the drama director told me then and there that I had nailed the role of Warbucks, but they thought I would do even better as the villain.

In November 2006, I played the part of Vinnie in The Odd Couple. This was the first time I had been in a non-musical play since 1991 Two people were instrumental in my decision to try out (aside from myself that is). I called Emily the night before auditions and asked her what she thought. She has told me for years that I need to let my light shine bright (among other things) and that she knew I would do well. And following the Sunday matinee, she told me “Who is it that has been telling you for years to stop limiting yourself?” Thanks Ma

Tis the season to be Mary

Ok…. it is not Christmas time. However, as we are under a dreaded Winter Storm Warning I felt like talking about one of my favorite Yuletide movies. As I was playing Scene It with my niece earlier this evening, this question was raised: “In the National Lampoon Vacation movies, what was the nickname of Clark Griswold’s son?” Of course anyone who has seen the misadventures of the Chicago suburban family knows the answer: Rusty.

Christmas Vacation is my favorite of the four films (yes, there were four…. let us not forget the travesty that was Vegas Vacation). It shows the hapless Griswold clan as they do their best to entertain their whole extended family (both sides mind you). Everything from chopping down the family Christmas tree to the reading of “A Visit from St. Nick” on Christmas Eve. My favorite scene from this classic has to be Clark hanging from the eavestrough attempting to staple lights onto the roof. I can imagine my father doing the same thing…. even attaching his coat sleeve to the roof and sliding down with the collapsing ladder.

One nitpicky bit though. Speaking of Rusty (as well as Audrey, the daughter), they seemed to age differently in each movie. The young man seemed to decrease in age between European Vacation and Christmas Vacation. Rusty was played by Jason Lively (?) in Europe and by Johnny Galecki (before he was cast as Darlene’s boyfriend on “Roseanne”) at Christmas. I often wondered why the change in age. It’s not as if Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, and Randy Quaid could decrease in age. Just a minor quibble to an otherwise hilarious holiday tradition.