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.

 

The Greatest Showman – Movie Review

The Greatest Showman – Movie Review

It’s Day 226 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and I finally saw The Greatest Showman and am excited to write a review of the movie I’ve been trying to get to since it’s release December 20th. Myrtle Beach was rainy today, so I walked to Starbucks this morning and spent the day there finishing a wonderful novel – bliss. Then, after a meal and the mall with my family, I opted to stay at the latter and take in the movie while they hit another bowling alley this evening (we bowled in Cincy before leaving – my hubby says it’s a tradition but I can only take so much!). I have no skill, so they were fine leaving me behind and I was thrilled to stay back and see the movie.
The film is a musical written by the same lyricists as LaLa Land. It depicts the the story of P.T. Barnum, the creator of the circus. Barnum is played by Hugh Jackman, of Wolverine fame. Seeing as that’s not my cup of tea, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen him in anything until now. To say I was pleasantly surprised by his acting, singing and even dancing is putting it mildly. Captivated from the very first moment is more like it. Having come from humble beginnings, his desire to provide a better life for his family drive him to the point that even after he’s exceeded all expectations with his circus, he wants more. His insecurities and need to be more cause him to nearly lose not only his circus but his motivation for building it in the first place.
Somewhere along the line, Barnum decides his show needs to appeal to the “high brow” society crowd, so he enlists Phillip Carlise (Zac Efron) a socialite who is also a performer, as a partner. From the moment Phillip lays eyes on Ann (Zendaya), a trapeze artist, sparks fly, but the star-crossed couple struggles to come together due to the fact that she’s not only a “circus freak” but a black one at that! No spoiler alert needed here – I won’t give away what happens, but I will say a scene where the two dance and work the ropes to demonstrate the push and pull of their romance is pure magic. I’ve not seen many Zac Efron movies, but I predict Zendaya (her last name is Collins but she’s already known by her first name only) is going to surpass all the other Disney Channel stars that have gone before her…
Phillip and Ann before a beautifully choreographed star-crossed lovers dance.                               Photo credit below.
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As much as I enjoyed the performances of the big name stars, it was the cast of circus “curiosities” that really spoke to my spirit. Having been a misfit for much of my life – because I’m a Christian, creative, a minority, my marriages have been biracial, etc, etc. – the ragtag team Barnum assembled seem like the my kind of people. They don’t look like most people and possess backbone and heart that make them truly unique. Their resilience, talent, and indomitable spirits made the movie for me. Like the Susan Boyle Britain’s Got Talent audition that went viral on steroids! I LOVE when the “curious” people shock the world with what others think they can’t do!
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose creative, I believe you’ll enjoy this movie. This musical is about creativity, imagination, and making the impossible possible. If you like real life rags to riches stories about the underdogs who win because of their hard work and ingenuity, then this film is for you. Or maybe you just want to be entertained. It delivers that in spades. P.T. Barnum wanted a better world where people could forget about their cares, so without the aid of electronics and technology, he designed it. Considering that, he may very well have been The Greatest Showman.
Be savvy & chic,
                                                                                                                                 ~Pink Collar Coach