New national Broadway tour for ‘The Color Purple’ a simple sensation by Philip Potempa I’m amazed it’s been nearly a decade since the last time a national Broadway tour of “The Color Purple” came to Chicago. Knowing that a new national tour would be playing a limited two-week July run in the Windy City, I had been telling others, “Yep, it’s been a few years since it was last here.” In reality, the last visit was more than “a few years.” It was 2009, and it was at the 4,000 seat Arie Crown Theater at McCormick Place in Chicago for...Read More
Elvis Presley earns ‘King’ title in Chicago premiere ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ By Philip Potempa It was just a month ago when DJ Fontana, drummer and friend of Elvis Presley, died June 13 at age 87. I’d met and interviewed him a few times, since he was a favorite celebrity guest at the festival dedicated to Presley held every October in Portage, Ind. He has his own place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and his history with Elvis started when the two met during a broadcast of the “Louisiana Hayride” radio show. Fontana’s name, memories and music continue to...Read More
Broadway in Chicago bow for ‘The Cher Show’ celebrates a superstar By Philip Potempa Of Notoriety I grew up watching “The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour” TV variety show in the 1970s and in the 1980s, I saw all of Cher‘s film performances which finally led to her big 1988 Academy Award win 30 years ago. And starting in the early 1990s, and as most recently as 2014, I’ve seen Cher perform in concert at least three times during my 25-year journalism career. I wouldn’t say any of the above makes me a “Cher expert” by any means. But...Read More
Music Theater Works’ ‘Pirates of Penzance’ a treasured stage adventure By Philip Potempa My last audience encounter with William Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan‘s more than a century-old stage favorite musical “The Pirates of Penzance” was in April 2012, when Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire invited the rollicking singing swashbucklers to their theater-in-the-round for a fun two-month run. Prior to that, it was the 2006 sensational staging at Drury Lane Oakbrook Theatre. And way back in 1982, there was the new national tour of producer Joseph Papp‘s version playing at what was then Chicago’s Shubert Theater and starring Jim Belushi as The...Read More
Chicago Lyric’s North American premiere of ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ earns praise and awe By Philip Potempa Any audience entering the Lyric Opera House in Chicago is immediately dazzled and immersed in opulence from the first glances around the lobby and performance space. Add to this the experience, the lavish North American premiere of Timothy Sheader’s Olivier Award-winning production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s rock opera “Jesus Christ Superstar,“ and the passion, emotion and excitement exceed all expectations. What began five years ago in 2013 as an amazing gift from the great minds at the Chicago Lyric to bring...Read More
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Philip Potempa, a 25-year Chicago veteran journalist, writes about what others are talking about to keep readers informed about the hottest tickets (and topics) in town and beyond.
His Of Notoriety columns and feature stories can also be read in print in his flagship newspaper The Post-Tribune, one of the daily newspapers in the Chicago Tribune Publishing Media Chain.
You can contact Philip Potempa at email@example.com
- REVIEW: New national Broadway tour for ‘The Color Purple’ a simple sensation
- REVIEW: Elvis Presley earns ‘King’ title in Chicago premiere ‘Heartbreak Hotel’
- REVIEW: Broadway in Chicago bow for ‘The Cher Show’ celebrates a superstar
- REVIEW: Music Theater Works’ ‘Pirates of Penzance’ a treasured stage adventure
- REVIEW: Chicago Lyric’s North American premiere of ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ earns praise and awe