A Night on Broadway in Chicago to See “Hamilton: An American Musical” – Review

A Night on Broadway in Chicago to See “Hamilton: An American Musical” – Review

It’s Day 356 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and I just returned from home from a night on Broadway (in Chicago) to see Hamilton: An American Musical. That, traveling and sightseeing are the reasons I haven’t blogged since Tuesday. But let me backtrack…On Memorial Day my sweet hubby mentioned having a clear schedule this week and that he wanted to take me to Waco, Texas to see all things Fixer Upper. I’d expressed interest in visiting because our daughter-in-law is and I thought it would be something she and I could bond over as all our guys played golf. That being the case, I told him I’d rather make that particular trip when she and my oldest stepson can get the time off. Besides, since he was willing to drive to Texas, I’d much rather go to Round Top and stay at The Prairie – Rachel Ashwell, the founder of Shabby Chic’s, Bed & Breakfast. Beyond thrilled with this chance, I called to make reservations only to learn she just sold the B&B in January! Disappointed but not daunted, I researched which theaters were showing the critically acclaimed, multi-award winning musical about Founding Father, Alexander Hamilton I’ve been dying to see.  I found a decent deal on tickets for a show at the CIBC Theater last night (FYI – you can get 5% off if you’re a Triple A member). So, true to his word about wanting to treat me, my husband drove us into The Windy City  Wednesday, found a hotel, took me to a tour downtown Chicago, and then escorted me to a magical night seeing Broadway in Chicago’s presentation of Hamilton.

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I got so many compliments from other fashionistas on my floral dress & bag.                                Both, as well as the kitten heels & gold cardi Calvin Klein from TJ Maxx but purchased separately.
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Me and my husband outside the theater. 

Excited as I was about the musical, I’d never been to Chicago and wanted to take in all I could. My husband is well-traveled and served as the perfect tour guide. After we crashed at a quaint hotel Wednesday night, he deftly navigated the insane traffic, drove me through downtown, pointing out sites of interest, and then found a parking garage on Monroe Street where the CIBC Theater is located. We we walked one direction to Maggie Daley Park and along Lake Shore Drive where the police and fire departments have stations on the marina. Being landlocked in suburbia, I thought that was so cool! Next, we went the other way and had delectable salted caramel custard at the Shake Shack, which is anything but. Located inside the Chicago Athletic Club, the architecture of which is stunning, as is that of SO many of the buildings, we took an elevator to the top of the building where we had a rooftop view of Millennial Park. With our plan to save enough time to get changed for the theater, we dined alfresco at The Plaza, the park’s outdoor venue. If you’ve never had a Chicago style sausage, I highly recommend it! Sated on that and the best hummus and pita bread I’ve ever had, we went back, donned our evening wear and made it to the Majestic Building with time for photos – of course!

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose creative – I adore art, dance, drama, fashion, literature, and music – Hamilton didn’t disappoint. In fact, it delivered in spades. All written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, based on Alexander Hamilton’s biography – he was an immigrant from the Carribean – the musical is sung/rapped through with a combination of all kinds of genres of music. And the cast is intentionally made up of a multitude of ethnicities and skin tones. It remains fairly true to the real-life, historical events but of course takes some creative license for dramatic effect. The choreography is brilliant and had the audience – as diverse as the cast – sitting on the edges of our seats. The fact that Hamilton was a prolific writer made the plot even more relevant for me. Seeing such a powerful play, along with all the other adventures, made for an unforgettable night on Broadway in Chicago and ensures I won’t soon forget seeing Hamilton.

If you haven’t considered seeing this play, I hope you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and check it out.

 

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“I Can Only Imagine” at IMAX – Movie Review

“I Can Only Imagine” at IMAX – Movie Review

It’s Day 293 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and yesterday was one of my rare break from blogging days because my hubby took me on a date to see I Can Only Imagine at IMAX. Initially he invited me to join him for breakfast to finally put a Cracker Barrel gift card from Christmas to use. Though a sweet offer, two things prevented me from taking him up on it: a) I’m not a breakfast person until after 10am, and b) I maximize work days by refraining from other activities during work hours. You may be thinking, When a tall, good-looking guy asks you out, you go! I requested a rain check and mentioned seeing the movie. Too late I realized I could have taken an early lunch or the time due to Spring Break. Oops! Mental note to self: Do not to make the same mistake twice…So when he circled back around that evening and asked me to dinner, I grabbed the chance to redeem myself. And I was pleasantly surprised to learn date night included a late showing of the movie. It seems all was forgiven. In fact, as we watched it at IMAX on a Wednesday night two days before Good Friday, I realized forgiveness was a theme that ran through I Can Only Imagine.

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Me, Pink Collar Coach in blue – sweater, socks, and jeans. Couldn’t resist wearing sandals to show off my sock color! The floral handbag is an attempt to bring some spring to our rainy, cold day. All Calvin Klein from TJMaxx.                                               The sandals were on clearance at – wait for it – Steinmart!

Whether or not you’re a fan of Christian music, you’ve probably heard the group Mercy Me’s “I Can Only Imagine”, the all-time most played single. The movie with the same name is based on the true life story of lead singer Bart Millard. Millard’s father, played by Dennis Quaid, was extremely abusive, and the domestic violence he suffered is depicted on the big screen. The physical and emotional pain is almost palpable. This is what propels Millard’s music career and him turning that pain into purpose in the writing of the song. While the storyline and music are compelling, even with big names such as musician, Trace Adkins and Christian author, Priscilla Shirer, the acting seemed mediocre at best. And as critics of Christian films often describe their production, it appeared to be “low budget” without the fancy cinematography, bells and whistles. That said, the message of forgiveness being available to all, no matter what they’ve done, is loud, clear, and as beautiful as the rendition of I Can Only Imagine performed by Millard’s character near the end of the film.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose music lover and soloist, though this film didn’t appear to have a billion-dollar budget, it packed a billion-dollar punch that drove home not only the power of the song, but that pain serves a purpose in our lives. Countless lives have been impacted by the lyrics and Millard’s voice. Because the song is about hope. Its message is this – because Jesus Christ died, was buried, rose from the grave, and went to prepare a place for us, one day we’ll see it. And see Him. I had a baby resurrected to new life one Easter 17 years ago and will meet my child for the first time… As we celebrate Easter and the Resurrection, I’m so thankful my hubby took me to IMAX to see the movie, for it reminded me of that glorious day. I can only imagine.

If you’re Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and plan to see/see the movie as part of your Easter celebration, I’d love to hear from you.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

“Wicked” on a Wednesday Night – What a Wonderful Twist on “The Wizard of Oz”!

“Wicked” on a Wednesday Night – What a Wonderful Twist on “The Wizard of Oz”!

It’s Day 156 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, but unlike most Wednesday nights, I just got in from an amazing night on the town seeing “Wicked”. On a whim, I asked one of my Zumba friends if she wanted to go with me and she and her teenage daughter jumped at the change. Rather than dancing side by side like we usually do, we attended the midweek production at the Aronoff and sat together in seats that put us in a great position to truly enjoy the show. And I couldn’t have asked for better company. Jane loves “The Wizard of Oz” and was as enthralled as I was with this award winning Broadway musical that tells the behind the scenes story of The Wicked Witch of the West and Glenda the Good.

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Pink Collar Coach in all red. Calvin Klein trumpet sleeve dress, bag and booties.

Madison, me and Jane inside the Aronoff and outside after the show.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Chick who loves drama, musicals, and dance, I won’t give away the plot but will tell you this show has it all and puts a wonderful twist on “The Wizard of Oz”. So, if you love stories that make you think, feel, and possibly change your perspective, I suggest you give this one a try. The title truly doesn’t do it justice. In fact, I suspect if you’re anything like me, you’ll find it’s anything but wicked…

Be  savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach