Live theater alive and well in Chicago

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Live theater alive and well in Chicago

Sophia Matteucci, editor

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There is something about live theater that a movie just cannot provide. Is it the excitement of watching a story actually unfold right there before your eyes? Is it the burst of energy that the performers give off to help fill the aisles of seats flooded with people? Or could it possibly be the deep feeling of admiration that develops within you when you experience, with the actors, their vulnerability, and coming to the realization that they must put themselves out there like this day after day?

Well, whatever it is, the world cannot seem to get enough of live theater. Many believe that they have to travel all of the way out to New York to see a quality show; however, this is not the case. Little do many realize that we actually have a theatrical powerhouse right in our very own backyard — Chicago! Currently, the city of Chicago is offering a wide variety of musicals and plays for the public to see. Therefore, many people need to buckle down and learn what our neighboring state has to offer.

One musical that will soon be running in Chicago is Waitress. It is a very contemporary styled show, with lyrics and music written by Sara Bareilles in a pop fashion, and a book written by Jessie Nelson. The story takes place during modern times, and it is about a waitress named Jenna who is stuck in an unloving marriage to a man named Earl. Therefore, Jenna was not too happy to discover that she was pregnant as a result of having too much to drink one night. Earl wants Jenna to quit her restaurant job, but the thought of this displeases Jenna, because the only way she finds comfort is through baking. More specifically, baking pies, because that’s what she used to do with her mother. Jenna’s boss, Cal, then gives her the idea to enter one of her pies into a baking contest so that she can win the prize money and leave her uncaring husband. The story continues to follow Jenna and her friends, Becky and Dawn, as they each try to follow their dreams and discover new things about, not only love, but themselves.

However, if you don’t want to wait, the smash hit Hamilton is currently playing in Chicago, and it will continue to be performed there until an end date is posted (therefore meaning that this show does not have a scheduled end time and could potentially run for a year or years to come).

Hamilton follows the life of Alexander Hamilton from the beginning, all of the way up until he met his untimely and tragic demise, and how he helped to form and shape this country into what it is today. It not only explores the political aspects of his life, but the social ones as well. For the musical shows us Alexander’s relationships with his friends, his enemies, his wife, his killer and his lover. It is not only a historical and informative piece of art, but it is also a very moving and touching one that is told through the contemporary artform of hip-hop and rap music, with lyrics, music and book all written by the same man: Lin Manuel Miranda.

Now, those were only two of the many shows that Chicago has to offer. A few other shows that you will soon be able to catch in Chicago include The Color Purple, Pretty Woman, The Sound of Music, The Wizard of Oz, Oklahoma!, Jesus Christ Super Star, and On Your Feet.

Live theater is a beautiful and inspiring form pf artistic expression. Many people do not have the opportunity to experience live theatre that is of a truly amazing quality. We are incredibly fortunate to live so close to a place that offers such quality productions, and we as a community should begin to take advantage of that. Live theater is truly a gift.