Wednesday, January 31, 2018

to see Magic Tree House "Showtime With Shakespeare" at Emerald City

On Saturday morning I went to go see Magic Tree House "Showtime with Shakespeare" at Emerald City Theatre with Mommy, Daddy and Margot. The play is based on the Magic Treehouse book but the book is called "Stage Fright on a Summer Night", the play is written by the author's husband Will Osborne along with Jenny Laird with music by Randy Courts and it was directed and choreographed by Jamal Howard.

The play is about Jack and Annie who have a magic tree house that makes people go back in time when they say "I wish to go there." In this story they went back in time to meet Will(iam) Shakespeare who is a famous playwright from a long time ago and they get a mission from Morgan le Fay that is to find a magic that can turn daytime into night.

My favorite characters were Jack (played by Nik Kmiecik), Annie (played by Emily Senkowsky), Will or William Shakespeare (played by Leon J Evans) and Dan the funny dancing bear (played by Miguel Long). I was impressed with how high Nik Kmiecik could jump and how he played Jack so well because he seemed really scared about going on stage in Will's play.

I really liked the set of the Magic Tree house that turned into Shakespeare's stage designed by Angela McIlvain and I liked the prop apple designed by Danielle Myerscough. I also loved the lights on the magic treehouse designed by Brian Elston because they made the tree house look like it was spinning and spinning.
Photos by Austin D Oie

I loved all of the songs but my favorite part was when Jack and Annie solved the puzzle. This play taught me that you can learn magic by performing in the theatre. Theatre is magic.

I think all of my friends should see this show because it is based on one of my favorite books. Everyone who sees this show will love it.

I give this show 1,000,000,000,000,000 points because this show is AWESOME!!


Saturday, January 20, 2018

to see WICKED

On January 17th me and mommy went to go see WICKED at the Oriental Theatre in downtown Chicago. The musical is by Stephen Schwartz and book by Winnie Holzman and its a story about a girl named Elphaba and how she becomes the Wicked Witch of the West, but it is also a story about how a girl named Glinda becomes Glinda the Good. I know these characters from the Wizard of Oz.

The shows starts with the ensemble singing NO ONE MOURNS THE WICKED because the Wicked Witch of the West is dead and Glinda (played by Ginna Claire Mason) comes down from the sky in a bubble and tells the story of how Glinda and Elphaba became friends at school. Glinda has so many bags and all of the friends when she gets to school and Elphaba has just one bag, green skin and a sister in a wheelchair named, Nessarose when she gets to school.

We know Elphaba (played by Mary Kate Morrissey) has magic powers when she tries to protect her sister.  Madame Morrible (played by Tregoney Shepherd) tells Elphaba she's going to meet the Wizard.  Elphaba and Glinda share a room with a blue bed and a pink bed and they don't like each other.  Glinda gave Elphaba an ugly hat as a joke and Elphaba thought it was a gift, so in return she gave Glinda a training wand and a chance to train with Madame Morrible. When Glinda found this out she felt happy but sad that she was mean to Elphaba so when Elphaba gets laughed at for wearing an ugly hat to the ball, Glinda teaches Elphaba how to dance and they become friends.

Dr. Dillamond (played by Harry Bouvy), the goat professor, was losing his voice and when Elphaba and Glinda got to the Emerald City to see the wizard of Oz they found out that he was the one taking away his voice. The wizard had asked her to give his monkeys wings which was when she learned that he had no real powers so Elphaba took his book and decided to fly away, Glinda wanted to fly with her but she decided not to because she was maybe scared. And from then on Elphaba was known as the Wicked Witch of the West.

I loved ALL of the costumes, designed by Susan Hilferty,  because they were all so fancy and princess and prince-like. My favorite costume was the blue and silver Cinderella-like one that Glinda wears in the beginning and the end because she looks like a beautiful beautiful princess.

The songs by Stephen Schwartz were so good. I really liked "One Short Day," "What is this feeling," "Dancing through Life," "For Good," but my favorite song was "Popular" because Glinda was so funny especially when she taught Elphaba how to toss-toss her hair and she screamed with glee, this was my favorite part of the whole show.

If there was something I didn't like it was the dragon on the set because I thought he might blow fire and he moved and his eyes were red. I also didn't like the mist on the stage because it made me a little scared.

This show taught me that you can learn to be anyone's friend no matter what if you just show kindness to them.

I think that everyone in the whole world should see this show because its so cool and fun, well everyone expect babies, because babies would be really scared of the dragon (and their babysitters should stay home with them).

 I give this show 200-ZILLION POINTS because it is so AWESOME!

It was so cool meeting everybody after the show thanks to my friend Greg!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

to see Twas the Night Before Christmas

On November 22nd I went to see Ken Ludwig's "Twas the Night Before Christmas" at Emerald City Theatre Directed by my favorite Artistic Director Jacqueline Stone, I went with mommy and Margot. The play was about a kid named Emily (played by Kirra Silver) and her friend mouse named Amos the funny mouse (played by Alejandro Tey) who saved Christmas.

 It started when Uncle Brierly (Darren Hill) was reading Twas the Night Before Christmas and he said it was his favorite poem but when he got to the part "not a creature was stirring not even a mouse" Amos came out from his little house and he was stirring cookie dough to make cookies for Santa. And when he got to the part "while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads" Amos had the pigeon from "Don't let the Pigeon Drive the Bus" and was dancing with it because he thought Uncle Brierly said "while pigeons and sugar plums danced in their heads" which was so funny. And when Uncle Brierly left they did a dance party and then they saw a girl in the window who came into the house. The girl turned out to be a Jewish Elf named Calliope (played by Nora Lise Ulrey) from Santa's Workshop and she took them on an adventure on a plane to the North Pole where they found out that all the elves were locked in a dungeon by Sir Guy (also played by Darren Hill). Sir Guy wanted to sell the Naughty and Nice list so he could be in charge of Santa's workshop. But Calliope, Emily, Amos and Amos from Kansas found a way to save Christmas.  And Santa (played by Anthony Whitaker) gave Emily and Amos medals for saving Christmas.

The set designed William Boles was very creative. I loved how it seemed like there was just one thing on the stage, Uncle Brierly's house, but then all these little doors opened up and it transformed into Santa's Workshop. I love love loved the props designed by Letitia Guillaud especially the giant yummy candies and the amazing airplane that they flew in to get to the North Pole. I also liked the costumes designed by Rachel M. Sypniewski especially the mouse ears and tail on both Amos and Amos from Kansas.

My two favorite parts were: 1. when Amos was like "Ahhhhhh who's that? What's that?" and Emily was like "The stage Crew" and Amos said "The stage crew! Ahhhh!" and 2. When Amos said "When is this plane going to land?" and Emily said: "Amos the plane already landed you're the one still spinning."

This play taught me that the best gifts don't come in packages they come from being present and having fun.

I give this play One hundred thousand, million, billion, zillion to the infinity points because it was just so fun and funny.  And I think every animal and every person and everything in the whole wide world should see this play because it is the best play I have ever seen in my entire life.


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

to see School of Rock the Musical

On Saturday I went to see School of Rock the Musical at the Cadillac Palace Theatre in downtown Chicago with mommy. The musical by Julian Fellows, Glenn Slater and Andrew Lloyd Webber and directed by Laurence Connor was a play about a man named Dewey who taught kids in school to become the School of Rock.

Dewey (played by Merritt David Janes at our performance) loved to play his guitar but he got kicked out of his band so he pretended to be his friend Ned (played by Hernando Umana) by becoming a substitute teacher at Horace Green school. But Dewey had never been a teacher so he wasn't good at it. Dewey was late to school and asked for food and sent the kids to recess right away. But the next day he heard them playing music and he thought he could teach them how to play rock. Like the cymbals is like playing the drums and the cello is like playing the bass and the piano is like playing the keyboard. So he decided they could be a rock back and he could finally go to the battle of the bands.  Some of the kids didn't play music but helped like they were back up singers or Summer (played by Ava Brigilia) was the manager and another kid was the costume designer.

The actors were really amazing I loved Dewey the best because he was just the funniest guy I ever saw. And the kid actors were super cool because they actually played the instruments really well. My favorite kid was Phoenix Schuman who played Zach because he was amazing at playing the electric guitar.

The lighting design by Natasha Katz was excellent because during the battle of the bands the lights they were all colors around the stage and in "If Only You Would Listen" the lights would shift on each kid as they sang. The costumes by Anna Louizos looked a lot like parents and teachers and kids. The songs by Andrew Lloyd Webber stuck in our heads, mommy and I were whistling them as we are writing this.

My favorite part of the show was when Rosalie (played by Lexie Dorsett Sharp) came in to check on Dewey's class and he made up a song about Math that is called "Math is Great and a Wonderful thing." And when the battle of the bands guy, Jeff (played by Patrick Clanton) said "Okay okay stop throwing water bottles at me." And when Dewey wrote Mr. Schne...and then scribbled the rest and then made a y that was funny.  And another time they covered up the instruments with teepees and pretended they were learning about Thanksgiving and turkeys.

This show taught me that you should never stop doing the thing you love and when you teach what you love to others it spreads all over the world.

I would give this show 1 billion thousand points because I loved this show so much because it is so awesome. I would tell everyone in the entire whole seriously entire giant world to go see this because if everyone saw shows like this they might want to be a blogger just like me.


Monday, October 2, 2017

to see Hamilton!!!

On Saturday I saw Hamilton, An American Musical written by Lin Manuel Miranda, directed by Thomas Kail at the CIBC Theatre in downtown Chicago.  I went with mommy because daddy got us tickets for mommy's birthday.  The musical was about Alexander Hamilton who was the first treasury secretary of the United States. Alexander Hamilton was an immigrant from the Caribbean who is on the 10 dollar bill and was a founding father of the USA. The musical is about Alexander Hamilton but its told by Aaron Burr who is Alexander Hamilton's foe who shot and killed Hamilton in a duel.

I was really excited to see Hamilton because I have been listening to the broadway cast recording for over a year and I have watched videos of the Hamilton cast at the Tony Awards and the documentary on PBS and I have read the Hamilton the Revolution book we have at home.

Aaron Burr was played by my friend Gregory Treco, mommy was in plays with Greg in High School. He is the first person on the stage and sings my favorite song "Alexander Hamilton". I loved the way he sang the songs, he made the songs sound even better and I didn't know that was possible. My favorite song he sang was "Your Obedient Servant" and "The Room Where it Happens" because he can really dance AND sing. He was my favorite character.

All of the actors were so talented but I will tell you some of my favorites. Alexander Hamilton was played by Miguel Cervantes, he was a really good jumper and fast rapper and he was funny too when he dropped the book on the floor.  Charles Lee was played by Yossi Chaikin I thought he was so funny when he said "I'm a General Wheee!" Samuel Seabury was played by Aaron Gordon and he was also funny because he fell off the stool. I loved Hercules Mulligan/James Madison played by Wallace Smith he was just so cool. Eliza Hamilton played by Ari Afsar had a really pretty voice. And Alexander Gemignani who played King George was the funniest because he ran around in a circle like an excited kid when John Adams became President, this was my favorite part of the whole play. The Ensemble (Sam Aberman, Amber Ardolino, Remmie Bourgeois, Chloe Campbell, Tossi Chaikin, Aaron Gordon, Malik Shabazz Kitchen, Sheridan Mouawad, Samantha Pollino, Jose Rasario Jr and Willie Smith III) sounded like more than a thousand people and are the leaders of the show by helping us see the story, they're also really amazing dancers.

I really liked the costumes designed by Paul Tazewell because they looked like a long long time ago. I also really liked how the choreography by Andy Blakenbuehler and the set and props designed by David Korins worked together to show us the story. Like in "The World Turned Upside Down" how the ensemble was picking up chairs and props and turning them upside down or in "Hurricane" when the people made it look like a hurricane with the swirling lights designed by Howell Binkley.

One of my favorite moments was how they rewound the scene in "Satisfied" because it was fast and somehow they did it without crashing and it made me think WOW! I was so sad when Phillip died because George Eacker cheated the duel.  I was really scared during the duel between Aaron Burr and Hamilton but I liked how one of the ensemble girls came out and held the bullet like everything was frozen.

This show is really important because it taught me that even if you want to kill someone you shouldn't because you will wish you hadn't. When Burr tells us Hamilton's story he is telling us that when you kill someone you hurt more than just one person, you destroy families and ideas and you also hurt yourself.

I would tell everyone in the whole world, Go see Hamilton. I hope everyone will see it so that no one will decide to kill anyone anymore.

I give this play 800,000,000,099 points because it is SUPER AWESOME!!!

Love, Gunnar

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

to see Mother Goose's Garden

On June 10th I saw a play called Mother Goose's Garden at Emerald City Theatre with Margot and Mommy. The play was directed by my favorite Emerald City director, Jacqueline Stone. When we went into the Garden it was not like any other show I have seen before.
There was no stage, we got to be IN the play and we got a basket of objects so we could be a part of the play. I thought that was really weird but I really liked it because I got to talk to the characters and be a part of the play.

The characters were Jack and Jill, Little Bo Peep, Little Boy Blue, Mother Goose, the cow and the sheep.  Michele Stine played Jill, Little Bo Peep and Mother Goose, and Austin Ryan Hunt played Jack and Little Boy Blue. My favorite character part was when Jill made Jack play Little Miss Muffet because when he saw the spider he got so
silly scared and went "spider? Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!" and ran everywhere but kind of quiet and silly. I also liked Little Bo Peep when she said "Oh Beaureguard there you are" in a southern accent, that made me laugh, that's a silly name for a sheep.

The set, designed by Brian Elston, was so colorful it looked like a garden. There were a lot of colorful flowers and a vegetable garden and berry trees. The berry trees could move and we got to pick berries off of them.  And when we watered the flowers with the watering cans from our baskets the set actually made them grow taller! I also love the sound, designed by Jeffrey Levin, because when the trees moved they sounded like an ice cream truck.

My favorite parts were when we got to be a part of the show. Margot and I got to put hay in the cows mouth, brush sheep's wool, water the plants, plant the seeds, shovel a hole and pick the berries.

Again, everybody in the whole wide world should see this show because then they'll know how to plant a beautiful Garden!

I give this play 1 MILLION and 99 points. That's the biggest number I can think of...because this show is AWESOME!!!


Thursday, April 20, 2017

to see Mary Poppins at the Mercury Theatre

On Saturday afternoon I went to see Mary Poppins, directed by L. Walter Stearns at the Mercury Theatre.  I went with Mommy and Auntie Kerry.  The play is about Mary Poppins (played by Nicole Armold) who is a magical nanny that comes to take care of Michael and Jane when their other nanny goes away.

Michael (played by Casey Lyons) and Jane (played by Sage Harper) are two kids who want to spend time with their daddy but their daddy, George Banks (played by Kevin McKillip) is too busy working at the bank.  Bert (played by Matt Crowle) is also magical like Mary Poppins because he draws pictures that he can jump into by snapping his finger he also sings a lot and tap dances on roof tops, he's really good at that.  I was really impressed with Jane and Michael, I thought they made strong characters in their acting.

I really loved the set designed by Adam Veness because you could see the outside and the inside of the house. The outside was a painted curtain and the inside had a lot of different rooms that could change for different scenes. I loved the attic nursery because when they turned it around you could see Bert on the top of the roof.

The costumes designed by Rachel Boylan were very colorful and magical. During the song Jolly Holiday some of the black skirts maybe had some strings on them that when you pulled them you could see a more colorful skirt underneath. And I liked the dress worn by Mrs. Corry who sings Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious because it had lots of colors and lots of letters. I also really like Mary Poppins' costumes because she looked just like the Mary Poppins from the movie. Another costume part I thought was cool was when chimneys turned out to be people wearing chimneys for hats, there was even smoke coming out.

The show is really cool because it was full of magic and Mary Poppins was able to make things fly and even she could fly! My favorite part was when Michael and Jane were making icing for the cake and the Butler (played by Timothy Eidman) thought it wasn't icing he backed away and bumped into cabinets and made all the dishes crash and then he fell down and fell asleep, that was the silliest part it made me laugh so much. And my other favorite part was when George Banks was at the bank and he was thinking about how to say something and then he sang "it's Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" because he was being so silly and he finally decided to play like his kids.

I think the lessons to learn were for Michael and Jane to listen to their nanny and to learn new things and George Banks learned how to play with his children more.

I really think all of my friends especially Jo and Matilda and Sofia and Olivia and Mia and everyone in the whole wide world should see this show because then everyone can learn to be kind and listen to each other! Also they should see it because it is so fun!

I would give this play 9,900 points because it's the best play I ever saw!!