Tag Archives: marriott theatre

Momma Rose in Gypsy at Lincolnshire Marriott

Marriott Theatre’s ‘Gypsy: A Musical Fable’ Truly Entertains You

Gypsy is a classic musical that takes audiences on a captivating journey through the tumultuous life of Momma Rose and her two daughters, Baby June and Louise. Set against the backdrop of the vaudeville era, this show is a collection of famous songs, tricky family dynamics, and an ultimately uplifting story.

Momma Rose in Gypsy at Lincolnshire Marriott

If you think you have an overbearing mom, it’s time that you meet Momma Rose. The brash, in-your-face stage mom who was “born too soon and started too late” is the kind of woman that you may want on your side, but clings so tightly to her children and her dreams that there is no letting go.

The Marriott Theatre’s new production of Gypsy: A Musical Fable is colorful, funny, and chock full of talent. Produced on their in-the-round stage, this heartfelt show is a great evening of entertainment.

The young ensemble of Gypsy at Marriott Lincolnshire

Gypsy is the story of Momma Rose and her daughters, June and Louise. Rose, in all of her hardcore ambition, is determined to make June a star. June has the blonde ringlets, the personality, and the singing and dancing prowess to potentially go places, but this is going to happen whether anyone likes it or not.

Louise, who has been told her whole life that she has no talent, performs in the background and dreams of a stable life with a stable family on a farm full of animals.

Herbie and Rose in Gypsy at Marriott LincolnshireWith the assistance of Herbie, the kind and loving agent who gets swept up into the family, Rose does anything she can – at any cost – to see her baby’s name in lights. And “baby” is the key word in this situation, as the girls have no idea how old they are. Rose continues to treat them as if they are children and they will tell anyone that they are 10 years old – every single year – if asked.

Gypsy looking in the mirror at Marriott LincolnshireThe fun twist of this story is that although Rose is the highlighted character, and certainly has the most timeless and memorable songs, in the end, it is Louise’s story. Gypsy is the semi-biographical story of Gypsy Rose Lee, one of the most famous and most successful burlesque entertainers who became popular for her quick wit and striptease.

It is important to mention that while Gypsy is a story of Louise’s experience with her mother, her sister, and various other characters, it is called “A Musical Fable” because there were many stories told by the real Gypsy Rose Lee (born Rose Louise Hovick) that can’t be fully substantiated. Could they be true? Of course. But could they have been embellished? Well, that’s showbiz. So take the story for what it is and enjoy it!

Tori Heinlein and ensemble in Gypsy at Marriott LincolnshireThe Marriott Theatre’s production is headlined by a stellar cast. Lucia Spina’s Rose is fierce and sassy, Nathaniel Stampley’s Herbie is gentle and wanting, Lauren Maria Medina’s Louise is hopeful and hurting, and Tori Heinlein’s June is a bundle of humor. Along with an adorably talented Baby June and Baby Louise (Elin Joy Seiler and Milla Liss) and an incredibly entertaining performance of “You Gotta Get A Gimmick” with Sawyer Smith, Leeanna Rubin, and Emily Rohm, it was hard to stop smiling.

While the story does have a fabulously directed scene where Gypsy perfects her burlesque stripping (complete with on-stage quick changes), there is nothing gratuitous or overly provocative. Burlesque at this time was more about the art of the tease, not nudity. Along with a short discussion about what burlesque is, I would be comfortable recommending this show to kids 12 and older.

Gypsy: A Musical Fable runs for approximately 2 hours 30 minutes including a 15-minute intermission. With classic songs like “Everything’s Coming Up Roses,” “Let Me Entertain You,” and “Together Wherever We Go,” you’re going to love getting wrapped up in Gypsy!

Marriott Theatre: Gypsy: A Musical Fable Chicago ReviewGypsy: A Musical Fable is playing at Marriott Theatre through 10/15/2023. Tickets can be purchased through the Marriott Theatre website or by calling (847) 634-0200. Marriott Theatre is located at 10 Marriott Drive in Lincolnshire.

Kieran McCabe jumping off the ground, Jed Feder on drums, and Shaun Whitley on bass In The Buddy Holly Story at Marriott Lincolnshire

Marriott Theatre’s ‘Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story’ Brings The Man To Life

“Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story” is an electrifying musical that tells the inspiring and tragic true story of Buddy Holly, the rock ‘n’ roll icon. With classic songs and stellar performances, this show is a great time!

Kieran McCabe jumping off the ground, Jed Feder on drums, and Shaun Whitley on bass In The Buddy Holly Story at Marriott Lincolnshire

We all know that I love a good musical. I was raised on musicals, I continue to listen to them in my daily life, and my children have never known a world without musical theater.

But while I am a musical fanatic, I am a pretty typical Gen Xer, so the information that I knew about Buddy Holly I could count on two fingers. First, I was pretty sure he’d sung the classic “Peggy Sue,” which I was mostly familiar with because of the movie Peggy Sue Got Married.

Second, I knew that he tragically died in the same plane crash as Ritchie Valens, which I learned from the movie La Bamba. That was it. So, going into the Marriott Theatre’s new production of Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story, I had no specific expectations.

Molly Hernández and Keiran McCabe as Maria Elena and Buddy Holly playing guitar in the Buddy Holly Story at Marriott TheatreBuddy – The Buddy Holly Story is the story of Buddy Holly’s rise to fame and marriage over approximately 3 years, but really, it’s a Buddy Holly concert. This fast paced-musical includes 25 songs and runs a continuous 95 minutes with no intermission.

Between various hits like, “That’ll Be The Day,” “Oh Boy, “Shout,” “La Bamba,” and “Chantilly Lace,” the show covers moments of Buddy signing a large contract, his relationship with his bandmates (The Crickets), his whirlwind love story and marriage, and his death at only 22 years old.

The entire cast and crew are excellent in this production. From the voices to the energy to the fact that the vast majority of the cast play their own instruments, your attention is captured throughout the show.

Jordan Arredondo, Kieran McCabe, and Teddy Gales in The Buddy Holly Story at Marriott Lincolnshire TheatreBut the magic in this particular production lives in Kieran McCabe’s portrayal of Buddy Holly. This star-making turn as a rock ‘n’ roll pioneer is sincere, magnetic, and swoon-worthy. Mr. McCabe’s Holly sang, played the guitar, drums, and piano, and lived to play and create music. You rarely see an actor fall into a role such that you can’t find the actor at all, but this was one of those times. This is a performance not to be missed.

I will admit that during the first half an hour of the show, I enjoyed it, but I hadn’t connected. I found myself liking the music, but also looking around at the audience to see their reactions. There were so many people clapping to themselves, bopping their heads, and mouthing the lyrics that it made me happy to see their joy.

And then something happened to me. During an appearance at the Apollo Theater, where Buddy Holly and the Crickets were the first white act to play the venue, the band got “on stage.” Buddy turns to the audience, vulnerably takes the microphone in hand, and says, “I hope you like my music. I hope my music is enough.” That was the moment I fell in love with and understood Buddy Holly.

The Cast of Buddy Holly Marriott Lincolnshire on stage playing instrumentsBy the end, audience members of all ages were up on their feet – including me – because the last part of the show is legitimately a rock concert and an incredible amount of fun.

If you aren’t familiar with Buddy Holly’s music or his life, don’t let that stop you from seeing this entertaining show. It moves quickly, the performers are fun, engaged, and multi-talented, and you will be able to appreciate this icon who died far too young.

Marriott Theatre: Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story Chicago ReviewBuddy – The Buddy Holly Story is playing at Marriott Theatre through 8/13/2023. Tickets can be purchased through Goldstar or by calling (847) 634-0200. Marriott Theatre is located at 10 Marriott Drive in Lincolnshire.

The cast of Big Fish at Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire IL

Marriott Theatre’s ‘Big Fish’ Is A Must-See

The cast of Big Fish at Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire ILI have a personal rule when it comes to giving a standing ovation. While it has become a gesture that is incredibly common at the end of most productions, I believe that one shouldn’t stand unless they have enjoyed the show so much that they just can’t sit any longer.

If you ask my family, they can tell you that it is a rare occurrence to see me stand during a curtain call. I will hoot and clap as loudly as possible, but standing is only reserved for those shows that either give me goosebumps or make me cry. And the new production of Big Fish at the Marriott Theatre – which did both – got a huge standing ovation from me.

Edward Bloom and Sandra Bloom sitting on a wooden floor in Big Fish from Marriott Lincolnshire TheatreBased on the movie of Big Fish, which was released in 2003, this musical tells the story of Edward Bloom, a larger-than-life traveling salesman with fantastical stories, his son Will, who is expecting his first son and trying to find a way to connect with his father, and Sandra, Edward’s faithful wife and Will’s loving mother.

The Big Fish mermaid with Edward and Sandra looking on at the Lincolnshire Marriott TheatreThroughout the story, the audience learns of various characters and happenings that include Edward’s first kiss with a mermaid, a witch telling him when he is going to die, and a giant that is scaring the whole town. Where does the truth lie and who is the man really? Those are the questions that Will wants to answer while his father is still around to be asked.

Edward Bloom giving Sandra Bloom a daffodil field in Big Fish Marriott TheatreWhile the show introduces you to the story and the multitude of characters during the first act, the second act is where it digs in deep. With captivating songs like “The River Between Us” and “What’s Next,” you not only feel for Edward, Sandra, and Will, but you begin to think about the relationships in your own life.

Will Bloom and Edward Bloom standing on either side of the blue ribbon river in Big Fish Marriott TheatreWe’ve all had times in our lives when we couldn’t connect with a loved one and the lyrics from Big Fish hit home. “He’s standing beside me, but not really there” from “The River Between Us” and “My father is a stranger I know very well” from “Stranger” are just a few of those moments where I wanted to congratulate the lyricist.

While the show itself is entertaining, has fun costumes, enjoyable songs, and a captivating story, the highlight of this production is the voices. Alexander Gemignani’s Edward Bloom, Heidi Kettenring’s Sandra, and Michael Kurowski’s Will make this version of Big Fish what it is. The supporting cast is excellent, and these three standouts are the real deal.

Jenny Hill and Edward Bloom in Big Fish Marriott TheatreI am a sucker for powerful voices that are not only beautiful, but emotional and resonating, and each of these three performers had multiple moments where they deeply touched the audience. Between the silences, chuckles, sniffles, and energy in the theater, these performers are the kinds of actors and vocalists that one hopes to see.

This is my second time seeing Big Fish, and the first time was over 10 years ago before it went to Broadway. I remember enjoying the show but had decided that I didn’t need to see it again. Boy, was I wrong!

The witch and Edward Bloom in Big Fish Marriott Theatre LincolnshireThe Marriott production of Big Fish is packed with wondrous characters, a fun score, and incredible vocals. It’s a must-see that shouldn’t be missed!

Marriott Theatre: Big Fish Chicago ReviewBig Fish is playing at Marriott Theatre through 3/19/2023. Tickets can be purchased through Goldstar or by calling (847) 634-0200. Marriott Theatre is located at 10 Marriott Drive in Lincolnshire.

Tony and Maria kneeling on the floor in the Marriott Lincolnshire production of West Side Story

Marriott Theatre’s ‘West Side Story’ Is A Modern Dream

Tony and Maria kneeling on the floor in the Marriott Lincolnshire production of West Side StoryI have to admit, I am a West Side Story loyalist. I was raised on the 1961 classic and wouldn’t be shocked to find out it was in my DNA. When I completed my graduate degree, West Side Story was the DVD that I played on repeat, needing something in the background to keep me company on those long nights of work and papers. I think it’s safe to say that I have watched the movie hundreds of times.

All of this being said, I couldn’t see the new Steven Spielberg version. I have incredible respect for the vision and talent of all of the players in the new film, but it feels wrong to me. The new interpretation could never live up to the classic in my mind, as much as I appreciate how many people enjoyed it. No one will be hurt by my excusing myself, so I’m sure it’ll continue to be a success without me.

The Sharks dancing in the Marriott version of West Side StoryThe stage, however, is a little different. Still the modern-day retelling of Romeo and Juliet with the same music as the movie, there are interesting alterations that can be done in the theatre.

The Marriott Theatre production of West Side Story is chock full of energy and talent. An in-the-round stage is never an easy place to set a production with over 25 cast members, but they did it flawlessly.

Riff and Bernardo having a knife fight on stageWest Side Story is a modern ballet full of passion, anger, and energy, all of which were communicated from the stage. And as much as one wants to discuss the acting, the costumes, the sets, and the voices, if this show doesn’t have a stellar orchestra and seamless dancing, it can’t succeed.

The Marriott orchestra was on-point. Every note was beautiful and you easily forgot what a gift it was to have talented musicians performing this intricate piece because you were in it.

The cast excelled at dance, bodies and lines moving with articulate choreography (by Alex Sanchez), making the most of every inch on the stage. Watching the cast perform during the “Dance at the Gym” was a true marvel.

Maria on the balcony and Tony climbing down the ladder in West Side StoryJake David Smith and Lauren Maria Medina (a passionate Tony and lovable Maria respectively) carried the show well as leads. I’m hoping Mr. Smith will record his version of “Something’s Coming” so that we can all listen to it on repeat.

Anita and the female Sharks dancingA few additional standouts were Marisa Fee as Anybodys (a scene stealer in the best of ways – the eye was drawn to her), Bret Tuomi as Glad Hand (absolutely hilarious, making me wish for the first time ever that the part was longer and had more lines), and Vanessa Aurora Sierra as Anita (feisty and affecting).

The Marriott production of West Side Story is an entertaining creation of gorgeous voices, incredible dancing, and an unbeatable score. Go out and enjoy seeing some theatre in person again with this show.

Marriott Theatre: West Side Story Chicago ReviewWest Side Story is playing at Marriott Theatre through 3/27/2022. Tickets can be purchased by calling (847) 634-0200. Marriott Theatre is located at 10 Marriott Drive in Lincolnshire.