March 27, 2010

The Girl Who Had Everything

Former Winnetka native and Tony Award winner Christine Ebersole had a concert here in Chicago last Thursday, March 25. It was held at the Harris Theatre in Millennium Park and was part of the theatre's Broadway Series. It was so wonderful to get to hear Ms. Ebersole's crystal clear voice again. Dressed in simple yet elegant black, Ms. Ebersole was accompanied by a 4 piece band which consisted of bass, reeds, drums and piano but the showcase of this night was clearly her beautiful voice. In fact, it was as if she came with three different personas, a delicate soprano, a jazzy lounge singer and a brass and comic belter. Her singing was effortless that the notes seem to just flow out of her.

There was no songlist so I wasn't familiar with all the songs she had sang but it consisted mostly of songs from the American songbook and Broadway tunes. My favorites that night were her jazzy version of 42nd Street, Fascinating Rhythm, I've Got A Crush On You and On The Sunny Side of the Street. Little Edie did make an appearance but not to sing a song but as part of her banter. She recited Robert Frost's poem, The Road Not Taken in Little Edie fashion which cracked everyone up! She was hilarious !

The show was directed by Hairspray lyricist, Scott Wittman so some of the banter you could tell was scripted but Ms. Ebersole was so natural onstage that it was so casual and free flowing. I never realized what a very funny lady she is. For an encore, she did an homage to Ertha Kitt singing Mink Schmink complete with a spot-on Ertha Kitt impersonation, purrs included. It was amazing! As a tribute to the Windy City, the last song she sang was the amusing Give Me Chicago Anyday, a song which was written by Chicago singer and song writer, Susan Werner who incidentally I had spotted in the audience during intermission. Very cool!

It was my first time seeing a show at the new Harris Theatre. It's such a beautiful theatre built uniquely underneath Millennium Park that you have to walk downwards to the belly of the theatre to get to the main floor! The theatre possess great acoustics making the concert even more enjoyable. The sight lines from our seats at the rear of the main floor were also great that I never had to lean to the side to look over the person in front of me. I guess that's the benefit of a well planned newly constructed theatre. I would love to see another show there again.

Some photos I took that night:

The Harris Theatre on Randolph Street

Digital Posterboard outside the theatre

The art piece over the lobby of the theatre

check out the very "Next To Normal"-esque theatre lobby

Apparently Lang Lang is coming in April!


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