Now that Labor Day weekend is over, summer 2018 is in the past, making it the perfect opportunity to reflect on the past three months and the adventures we’ve had. We haven’t had the most exciting summer, as we didn’t go on vacation or anything extravagant like that. But we still had some good experiences that made the summer an eventful one—many of which happened to involve Broadway.
June 2 – Humboldt Park in Chicago, Illinois
As a way to stay active, we started going for runs around our neighborhood earlier this year. Neither of us are very into running, but it’s a cheap and convenient way to get exercise. Despite that, we have both been interested in getting involved with races, and the Humboldt Mile was the perfect first race for us.
For one, the race length was comfortable for us. A mile isn’t much, but it’s a good start. But the best thing about the event was the fact it was for suicide prevention, something we have advocated for a lot in recent years.
The weather for the run was perfect, and the environment was very chill. As former athletes, we can both be very competitive. Being twins, we’re naturally competitive, too. But knowing we aren’t the fastest runners, we appreciated that the nature of the event was more so focused on bringing people together for a great cause.
Bandstand on Screen
July 25 and 28 – Select theaters nationwide
Bandstand is a Broadway musical that we both saw in New York last summer, and it is one of our favorite musicals. However, in our opinion, its run on Broadway was shorter than it should’ve been, closing less than five months after it opened. That said, we were thrilled upon finding out that the filmed version of the musical would be played in movie theaters nationwide, because it meant we’d get to re-experience the brilliance that is Bandstand. Even better, so many other people would get to see it, too, from people who missed its run on Broadway or couldn’t make it to Manhattan to watch it.
We saw Bandstand both nights it was in theaters, and it was well worth it. The show gets better every time we watch it, and there was a good turnout for both showings.
August 13 – Milllenium Park in Chicago, Illinois
Having only gotten into Broadway a year ago, the Broadway in Chicago Concert was a great way for us to get to know more musicals and experience different Broadway performers. We had to wait for two hours to get seats for the concert, but it was well worth it. Of the 12 shows with performances at the free concert, we were already familiar with two of them: Miss Saigon and Dear Evan Hansen.
We had seen Miss Saigon on Broadway last summer; however, we were still excited for its performance at the BIC Concert, because we were looking forward to hearing Emily Bautista, a fellow Filipina that is playing the lead role on Miss Saigon’s national tour. Dear Evan Hansen is a show we have wanted to see for almost a year now, and we have listened to the cast recording countless times.
Unsurprisingly, the performances for Miss Saigon and Dear Evan Hansen were our favorites. Emily Bautista gave us chills when she sang “I’d Give My Life For You,” and Ben Levi Ross had two phenomenal performances. He did an excellent job singing “Waving Through a Window,” one of our favorite songs from the musical. He also sang another of our favorite DEH songs, “You Will Be Found,” with local high school students, making us tear at the beautiful rendition.
The performances for Book of Mormon and Cats were standouts for us, too. Book of Mormon‘s performance was hilarious, and Caroline Bowman’s rendition of “Memory” was beautiful. Santino Fontana, the voice of Hans in Frozen and the original Prince Topher in the Broadway version of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, was a co-host for the concert. As people who very much so enjoy Frozen and Cinderella, it was really cool getting to see him and hear him in person.
Given the fact the concert is always on a Monday evening, we don’t know whether we’ll get to attend future events. But we’re glad we had a chance to go to this one and hope it isn’t the last one we go to.
August 19 – Chicago Improv Club in Schaumburg, Illinois
The Broadway Princess Party was easily the highlight of our summer. Not only did we get to hear and see Broadway royalty perform live, but we got to meet them all, too!
The Broadway Princess Party is a concert series created by Laura Osnes, Broadway’s original Cinderella in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, and Ben Rauhala, a popular Broadway musical director. For the most part, BPP concerts are done in Midtown Manhattan, but they’ve recently started doing shows around the country. Fortunately, one of the shows was in the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg.
In addition to Rauhala on the piano and Osnes, the show also included Courtney Rhodes, Broadway’s original Jasmine in Aladdin and a fellow Chicagoland native; Susan Egan, Broadway’s original Belle in Beauty and the Beast and the voice of Meg in Hercules; and Adam Jacobs, Broadway’s original Aladdin and a fellow Filipino. All five of them are such powerhouses with immense talent, and getting to watch them perform live was such a fun, magical performance. The show is filled with plenty of princess songs and humor, and we didn’t want it to end.
We had VIP tickets for the event, meaning we got to go to the post-concert meet and greet. As people who absolutely love giving gifts, we wanted to give the Princess Posse presents to let them know how much we appreciated them and their bringing the party to Schaumburg. We gave them each custom wooden letters, and they seemed so thrilled and grateful to receive them.
Knowing how much we enjoyed the Broadway Princess Party, we could go on and on about it. But if you want to read more about our favorite memory from this summer, check out Amanda’s blog post!