NUNN'S THEATER HABIT
Wonderful Women Take On New Theater Shows
Fri. July 6, 2018 12:00 AM
by Jerry Nunn
Women are taking their rightful place in the Chicago theater scene recently, with the tour of Waitress being a prime example. It has an all female creative team behind it and continues success in New York celebrating 900 performances a few weeks ago.
On opening night July 3 the Cadillac Palace Theatre was packed with patrons ready to hear what all the fuss is about. Sara Bareilles showed she can compose a musical well and even had some recorded cameo moments. While Desi Oakley does a great job, it will make one hanker to see Bareilles play Jenna as she did on Broadway.
The small town storyline is refreshing thanks to the idea of the women not needing to be rescued from a tough life by a man. Instead she just needs a nudge to snap her out of an abusive relationship. There are plenty of pies to enjoy along the way and I was hungry by the end of the three hour experience. Jeremy Morse as Ogie takes the cake with an intentional way over the top performance. The show needs the recipe condensed but baked up some excellent music that makes Waitress something to bite into.
Hell in a Handbag presents The Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes Vol. 2 now playing at Mary's Attic, a welcome return from the first episodes that were such a hit for the theater company. Most of the gang is back and they have grown comfortable with their impersonations of the TV icons. Adrian Hadlock almost seems bored with that blank expression and gets Sophia just right every time delivering some unforgettable snappy one liners.
With such difficult times happening today, it is relaxing to hear Ed Jones as Rose recite simple stories from a time gone by. What the world needs now is Rose sweet Rose. The trivia bits in the middle added fun to the night and the running time was just right. I wanted a little more Tim Conway from Carol Burnett when Michael S. Miller played Hans but that can be easily adjusted. Overall, the gay community misses The Golden Girls shown in ticket sales, so hurry out before they retire to Shady Pines.
One golden gal that never plans on retiring or saying farewell is Cher. The Cher Show just debuted at the Oriental Theatre and was a huge undertaking. Their endeavor is cramming a six decade career that is still going into two and a half hours. This is with some mixed results, but mostly good. The one time I met Cher I told her I watched her as a little kid sit on the piano and sing on The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour. My heart soared when that was depicted onstage!
Did I need the speech at the funeral? No. While it was nationally broadcast and moving, it could easily be cut. The cast is excellent and Stephanie J. Block is a stand out as one of the three Chers. The Bob Mackie creations are worth the ticket price alone and the hits keep on coming throughout the course of the jukebox musical that will please almost any Cher fan.
For tickets to Waitress now through July 22 and The Cher Show through July 15 visit BroadwayInChicago.com. For The Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes, Vol. 2 visit BrownPaperTickets.com before Sept. 7.