Chicago Production: Anastasia!

Chicago Production: Anastasia!

Chicago knows its business about a lot of things – and one of those things is definitely theater!

I’ve been lucky enough to see several productions put on in Chicago. Minnesota has its own great theater life, but it feels like Chicago just has more companies. (Plus, I mean, it has a whole musical named after and about it.)

So, every year for the graduating seniors, Loyola gives discounts and puts on a few special events. This year it is a boat cruise, a Cubs game, a special Senior Toast, and a viewing of Broadway’s Anastasia! Of course I had to go. Theater can really rack up, which is why I seized my chance to see one of my favorite movies as a play for more than cheap.

There are a lot of amazing student discounts, like a student ticket price for the Joffrey Ballet (I went and saw them last year put on a production of The Nutcracker, but set at the exciting 1893 World’s Fair that took place here in Chicago) or special discounts at smaller venues too. Different Loyola programs also sponsor trips to relevant shows – in my freshman year, the Honors Program took us to see Galileo at a tiny theater near DePaul University. It was alright, but made better by the fact we were studying him at the time.

So yes, Anastasia. If you get a chance, I’d recommend it! It was held at the old Oriental Theater, now the Nederlander, which is so beautiful and a work of art on its own. Although the musical cut out my roommate’s favorite parts (the Rasputin parts, which I always found a little too scary and creepy for my liking) they added in more Russian-Revolution bits and the impact it had on the aristocracy and how the aristocracy impacted it, although of course it was still very much pro-royalty. I mean, who doesn’t want to find out they’re actually a lost princess? You know?

I couldn’t take pictures during the show – nor would I, really – but the costumes were absolutely fantastic. I was utterly distracted by all of the shiny things that sometimes I forgot to listen to the music! It was mostly the same songs, plus some more new beautiful ones, if I remember the movie correctly.

This is all to say that I love theater, Chicago loves theater, and even if you don’t, if you spend any time at all in Chicago I recommend you try something. After all, there’s not just this Broadway stuff and Shakespeare – there are troupes that specialize in satire, improv groups (improv Shakespeare anyone?) and some, like the Splatter Theater for a bloody Halloween, that make things exclusively for holidays.

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