They say all good things come to an end, I am not sure who ‘they’ are or why this is true, but sadly our Road to Chicago has ended. We have been on this journey since March 3, 2012 when we received the big news that we had been granted the highly sought after rights to produce Chicago. So naturally it is a little bittersweet for us that we are at journeys’ end. Acting Out Theatre Co. embraced this production with ‘mucho gusto!’ We knew we had been given a gift and we wanted to be worthy of this iconic show. So all of us at AOTC went to work before last summer’s Big River was even “in the books.” Because one thing we know for sure, it takes a long time to put on a quality show. So we spent over a year researching Fosse style dance, 1920’s costumes and make-up/ hair, stage design, character research, and the list goes on. We started blogging about our adventures at the beginning of 2013 so we could share our enthusiasm and excitement with everyone. We have gotten great feedback and plan to continue blogging! Thanks for taking the time to read about us each Monday morning!
There are so many people and organizations that we feel deep gratitude toward. Thanks to all the phenomenal people in Momence that began with Mayor Porter saying yes to our ambitious vision. The assistance and excitement by all was second to none! A big component of the pre show buzz was generated by the uncanny photographic abilities of Kena Clark. We took an unprecedented amount of promo pictures but nothing told the story better! We are forever indebted to her magnificence! We were also fortunate such talented individuals showed up to audition! SO much talent walked in the door that we thought pretty quickly – “okay fellows, keep your socks up” – this could be pretty amazing! I knew in my gut the possibilities were tremendous. We started dance and vocal rehearsals in early March on weekends and Kendra put the dancers though the paces! Each movement of the spectacular choreography was perfected and that paid off big time come show time! And all the extra vocal work our Velma and Roxie did with vocal coach Shannon Woodruff to make their voices Broadway worthy – that was the final piece to make these ‘killer dillers’ quadruple threats – did they ever have the look, the character, the dance ability, but they were also able to be flawless with their vocals as well! The overwhelming response from the community was that each area of the production was top notch - from the pre-show Speakeasy to costumes to dance to vocals to makeup to the stage and on and on. This cannot be achieved without a whole lot of people sharing the same drive, passion, and vision. I have discovered that ordinary people can achieve extraordinary results when coupled with passion and collaboration. We were asked time and again during the run, “where did this troupe come from and where is the next stop?” That is the ultimate compliment to this group of community members that work at their “real” jobs and live right here next to you and me in Kankakee County. I am proud to know and do community theatre with these incredible people.
Magic happens in theatre and we have all just experienced it. It defies description but we can all feel it in our hearts and soul. Thank you for being on this road with us, sharing our enthusiasm, and embracing AOTC. You have shown us outdoor theatre is a desirable entertainment option in Kankakee County! If you missed the show (or even if you didn’t) watch this quick clip! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCfFl68QeFw
Continue with us for A Night in Sleepy Hollow, It’s a Wonderful Life Radio Play, and go with us ‘Beyond the Barricade’ next summer for our production of Les Misérables in the shadow of the clock tower on the grounds of the historic Shapiro Developmental Center.
But for now – stay tuned for our next installment – Into the Hollow….
Forever Grateful, Sharon