Friday Night

On Friday, I had a night out with my friend who is moving from Chicago to Boston. By the time I return from my trip, she will be already in the process; that’s why we had our little farewell on Friday.

We had dinner at Forte and then watched 1776 in the CIBC Theater, and it was a perfect Friday night!
I have not been to Forte since it reopened after remodeling and was renamed Forte from Tesori. They went to a smaller selection than the previous menu, but everything was of excellent quality. Also, they serve Vanille desserts, and I forgot about it until I saw it!

The show was great! I love this musical, and this production has an additional twist – all male parts are sung by women, and this is done in such a compelling way that ten minutes into the show, you forget about it and focus on what’s going on on stage.

It was a wonderful night indeed!

I wanted to say that it was the first good night of the week, but I immediately corrected myself because I had other good things this week, like dinner in the youth shelter and Chicago PUG. And a very fun recording of my talk. I don’t know what to make out of this week. I am sitting in the Field Lounge of American Arilines (yes, after an hour wasted last night, I checked-in at the airport with no problem, checked-in my luggage, and had some time to sit in the lounge). The food here is really awesome, so I decided, I will skip dinner on the plane and eat here. So yet another time – something stressful and then something good.

Les Miserables

This is the best musical I ever saw in my life. Seriously. I tried to find some recordings on the web, and only found this one, and it conveys very little of how marvelous this performance is! Everything: the voices, the acting, the costumes, the set – everyting was superb. 

The performance was very long – more than three hours, but I didn’t feel tired a bit. My neighbor and I both sat with our eyes wide opened throught the whole show, trying to catch each smallest detail. 

I don’t know what else to say except of that I want to see it again (and I have no time for that :))

Chicago The Musical

Yesterday after the conference, I went with my former French co-worker to see “Chicago” – she wanted to see a “real Broadway musical” and asked me to choose, which I happily did. We also had an amazing deal “two tickets for the price of one.

I was a little worried that it might not turn out as good as it could, remembering my disappointment with “Jesus Christ.” But it was brilliant! Probably the best “Chicago” I ever saw!

My Fair Lady

I went to see a new production of My Fair Lady on Thursday. This was an outing I planned to do with mom (with hopes that she still remembers the plot she knew!) It turned out that she only remembered the name, not the plot, but it was still good, because it is a beautiful show, and I wanted her to experience the atmosphere of a great classic musical. So at least that worked 🙂

Ain’t Too Proud!

And one more musical – the last one from this subscription. I am so glad I became a Broadway in Chicago subscriber (and so glad that the live shows are back!). As always, the question is how to find time for all the shows which are out there!

I was surprised to find, that all the Broadway in Chicago venues quietly stopped checking the vaccination status, and also, the voice message from the CSO which I received today about the upcoming concerts, states the same. It is not necessarily a bad thing, considering that although the infection rates are currently high, we hospitals are not overwhelmed. I hope it will stay that way!

How Was The Week

There has been a lot of work at my actual work in recent days – one of these weeks when you can’t lift your but off the chair. In addition, I started to resume some activities which got off my radar during the previous week. I remembered that I didn’t finish several professional-non-work-related things and put them back into my plans. I went to see the “Hadestown” in the CIBC Theater – great production, but I could not get fully engaged being in the state of mind I was. I am much better today, though. 

On Thursday, I went to the Shelter: the volunteers are finally back in March, so it was my second time after another pandemic break, and I sincerely hope it was the last one! We did a “make your own pizza” activity. The crusts were pre-baked, so the youth just had to assemble the toppings. Only about half of the residents participated, but this is a pretty good turnout! One more time, I am developing new relationships, and I hope that not everybody will disappear when I am back in April. 

And it was a great week at work! I can’t stop smiling, recalling some conversations with my co-workers; these conversations helped me get back to reality and the problems I was trying to solve three weeks ago. This week, the client I had was a true dream client, a pleasure to work with, so I am finishing the week more energized than tired. 

I hope to keep the same level of energy all weekend long :). It will not be easy having the upcoming cold spell, but I will do my best. 

Tulips from my neighbor

Cultural Activities

The Illinois indoor mask mandate will expire on February 28, and it looks like the city of Chicago will follow suit. Masks will still be required in the hospitals and such, in schools (if the legal battles will get to some resolution), and on public transport (thank goodness!!!)

I will monitor the situation, and I guess I will act as I feel comfortable. What makes me really happy is that pretty much all festivals and celebrations are returning. I still need to copy the schedule to my calendar, but I already know that summer will be busy in a good way!

That being said, there were a lot of cultural activities in the past two weeks, as much as I could fit with the amount of work I had!

I finally went to see a movie in the Siskel center with Igor (they are running so many interesting programs, and I can’t find time for any!) We went to see a 1971 movie from the “Bad Romance” series “The new leaf.’ Nothing special, but it was very entertaining. 

Then, there was a Hairspray production in the CIBC Theater. I tried to do a Broadway in Chicago subscription this year, and I am still unsure whether I like it and will do it in the future, but I am attending several performances this season. 

Official photo
Continue reading “Cultural Activities”

Live Theater

What a night! I can’t even say it was like in the “old days” – it was better than ever! Or maybe I forgot. Or maybe I just haven’t been to a Broadway class show for a while.

My neighbor and I had a night out in the Loop on Thursday. We started from a dinner at the Italian Village where I hadn’t been for more than two years. These days, they have a very strict reservation policy: they allow 1 hour 45 min for dining, and they charge you for canceled reservations (you need to put a valid credit card when you make the reservation). But that worked for us, ensuring that there was no crowd at the entrance, the tables were filled, and everybody had enough time to dine. It was nothing extravagant, but it was a very nice and festive dinner with their homemade pasta, wine, and a seasonal dessert. 

Then, we headed to the Nederlander Theater. They have a very strict COVID protocol, and they really watch the patrons following it – and this allows them not to have any capacity restrictions. . 

The show was fantastic! It was a pre-Broadway run of “Paradise Square,” and everything about it Twas brilliant: the story, the music, the voices, the choreography!  Two and a half hours of celebration of people’s talent and creativity!

The story takes place during the Civil War in New York, at the time when President Lincoln instituted the first Federal Draft, followed by the Draft Riot. More educational resources can be found on the production website (I think that I am not the only one who knew nothing about the Draft Riot, and about the Five Points neighborhood. At first, I didn’t realize that the actors present the real interracial couples of the 19th century; I thought that the cast was race-blind. But as the story unfolded, I realized that it was indeed about Irish/Black couples.

Unfortunately, I could not find any pictures, even from rehearsals, but I hope they will add some images to the production website at some point.

The only bad part was that I was at home after 11 PM and went to bed about midnight. And then, on Friday, Igor and I went to see the “Bug” in the Steppenwolf theater. That show started at 8 PM, and once again, we had to wait for the train, and I was home after midnight, and two nights in a row with about 4.5 hours of sleep was not a good idea. 

The “Bug” is a play written by Tracy Letts, and it’s a very difficult thing to watch. Unlike most people, I didn’t see the movie and judging by the description on the website I didn’t realize how depressing it was going to be. It’s not that I am avoiding depressing plays, but with that one, I can’t even see what anybody in the world could do to prevent that tragic end…