Tag Archives: chicago

Divvy Bike Deals In Chicago!

Divvy Bike DealsOne of the best things about Chicago is how much there is to offer in terms of entertainment, food and sight seeing.  That said, people these days are on the hunt for Divvy Bike Deals in Chicago! Divvy Bikes are a special bike-sharing program that was initiated by the city in 2013. There are thousands of bikes at set locations around the city (mostly focused along the beaches and downtown) which anyone can rent for 30 minutes. The intention is to allow people to get from one location to another with as little transportation hassle as possible AND to allow you to enjoy a beautiful day as a bonus! There is no more lugging your bike or car from one beach to the next if you want to go for a ride. If you want to head downtown for lunch or dinner, grab a bike and ride instead of facing traffic! While the Divvy Bike rental does extend for half an hour only, you can keep them for longer and pay a fee for doing so.

Finding Divvy Bike deals in Chicago has been a bit of a challenge, but there are two available for a limited time!

If you are local, live or work downtown, I highly recommend getting a pass for a year. One of the major benefits of having an ongoing pass is that while one rental is good for a half hour, you can park your Divvy bike and then re-rent each half hour (or whenever you want) throughout the day! Make a day of going to the beach, going out for lunch, exploring downtown and more, just make sure that you turn in that bike every half an hour. So worth your money and your time!

Oriental Theater: We Will Rock You Chicago Review!

We Will Rock You Chicago Theater ReviewOriental Theater Chicago 2013: I am going to come out an say it – I am a huge Queen fan. I love Queen covers, I love Queen music and I would happily and fiercely argue that “Under Pressure” is one of the best songs of the last century. Therefore, I was sure that the production of “We Will Rock You The Musical” by Queen and Ben Elton through Broadway in Chicago would be an amazing evening. It turns out I was only half right.

We Will Rock You is made up of a collection of Queen songs a la Mama Mia (Abba music) and Movin’ Out (Billy Joel music). I went into the We Will Rock You Chicago show having read no reviews, recaps or any other information, wanting to be able to experience the show with a completely clear perspective. As the theater first darkened, “Innuendo” started to play. We were met with a screen that explained a premise about how a digital wave had taken over the land and people were only allowed to listen to the music “prescribed” by higher powers. No real music was to be played or even discussed. Okay. I’m willing to go with that. The stage lights then flooded the audience to a degree that all of us covered our eyes. I’m not entirely sure what that was supposed to convey, but I do know that I (along with many of the other audience members) kept my eyes mostly closed until that opening act ended. I didn’t want to miss the rest of the show because I’d suddenly lost my sight.

The music throughout the show was consistent. The voices were good (and easily stolen by the vocal stylings of Brian Justin Crum who played Galileo), but the show was incredibly uneven. Our two antagonists (Killer Queen played by Jacqueline B. Arnold and Khashoggi played by P.J. Griffith) appeared to be a strange replication of Tina Turner from Mad Max and Flash Gordon respectively. This could have been thoroughly entertaining (and yes, they played the Flash Gordon song), but it seemed as if the show wasn’t in on the joke or the campiness. The majority of the time that these characters appeared on stage, the show fell flat. This was not as much the fault of the actors, but the show dynamic itself. One of my favorite songs “Fat Bottom Girls” arrived out of nowhere, with Killer Queen in a sexier outfit and all of her “minions” wearing very little and carrying phallic pink dusters. That scene never went anywhere and there was never an explanation for it. It was literally a vehicle for the song.

That being said, the other stars of the show were entertaining. Mr. Crum had a voice that made you want to spend the show listening to him sing an entire Queen playlist. His female counterpart (Scaramouche, played by Ruby Lewis) absolutely killed “Somebody To Love” and the couple did a great job with “Under Pressure.” There were a few standout scenes, one of which was when this young couple gave in to their feelings for each other during “Who Wants To Live Forever.” The lighting was intense and reflected beautifully off of the billowy smoke that slowly flooded the stage. When the guitarist entered the stage through the smoke, the crowd rightfully burst into applause. It was a fantastic moment.

I would be failing to mention the most entertaining part of the show if I didn’t discuss Buddy, the tie-dye clad hippie who reminded me of a 1960’s George Carlin. He was the comic relief and likely the most memorable and fun part of the show. It was a shame that it took 40 minutes to get to his real entrance, but once we were there, the show jelled in a way that it hadn’t before. And believe me – he really was worth waiting for!

All in all, I would say that if you want a night out with Queen, it is worth your time to see this show. The music is good (you already know that!) and if you are prepared for some of the oddities of the show, hopefully you’ll enjoy it a bit more than I did on first viewing. OH! And if you do see the We Will Rock You Chicago show, be sure to stay until after the curtain call! đŸ˜‰

*Originally posted on Couponing For 4. Reposted with permission of the author.

Oriental Theater: Chicago Evita 2013 Review!

Evita Chicago ReviewOriental Theater September Chicago Evita 2013: Anyone who knows me well knows that I am a theater junkie. While I was raised on the likes of the Beach Boys and John Denver, more often than not there were musical scores being played in my house. Carousel, Pippin, A Chorus Line and more laced their way through my childhood. And that has never changed! I started taking my children to the theater when they were very small and have started a new “date” once per year (so far) when I take my son (almost 8 years old) to a Broadway In Chicago production.

I was recently invited to see the brand new production of Evita at the Oriental Theater. I have seen it performed in the past and also own the movie (Madonna and Anthony Banderas star), so I went in with both the knowledge of the show and if I’m being honest, some bias. I have never seen a live performance of Evita that felt cohesive. Where all of the story gelled and made sense. I was hoping that this would be the one that gave me that soul reaching experience that a musical can give you. And it did.

Chicago Evita 2013: This performance of Evita was absolutely stellar. From the first appearance of Che (Josh Young) singing “Oh, What A Circus” (a fabulous song), I couldn’t wait to hear him sing more. Mr. Young truly connected with both the lyrics and the audience from beginning to end. His voice was captivating and his musical inflections drove the story. I can honestly say that when he wasn’t on the stage, I was waiting for that next appearance.

The performance of Caroline Bowman as Eva PerĂ³n was just as enthralling. Eva is a truly difficult part because not only does she age from teenager (15) to about 33, but I’ve never seen a portrayal of Eva that I felt matched the woman that I imagine her to have been. Ms. Bowman captured that in spades. From her first appearance as a bright-eyed 15 year old, she owned the stage. She portrayed Eva as a strong, driven woman who knew exactly what she was doing on her rise to the top. And while the score lends itself to the telling of her story, this was the first time I’ve seen an actress not portray the vulnerability of the character until almost the end. This is the Eva that I have always imagined and Ms. Bowman embodied both her power and unshakeable drive.

Power is the word that I would say most captured the essence of the show. The choreography was beautiful and strong. The lighting (particularly when they filtered the lights through the windows at the top of the set and cast specific shadows onto the stage) was haunting. The principal characters were forces to be reckoned with.

For example, the first time PerĂ³n (played by a strong Sean MacLaughlin) met Eva displayed a forceful attraction that I had not seen before. It embodied a different kind of relationship between them that played through the rest of the show. Eva was not an eye-batting shyly-flirting woman as she’s often portrayed in that scene. She is a woman who is showing PerĂ³n how she can dominate both her own world and his. Through the choreography, he shows her that he is not dominated by anyone. It was a dynamic that I didn’t know I had been looking for until this show and it resonated right through the last scene.

I highly recommend going to this show and here’s how to do it on a budget! Broadway In Chicago seats can easily run for $90 if not more. If you’re interested in checking out Evita while it’s in Chicago (and you really should!!), you can find tickets on Goldstar for as low as $35! Make a date out of it and then tell me what you thought!

*Originally posted on Couponing For 4. Reposted with permission from the author.