As the opening of THE VERONA PROJECT gets closer and closer, we’re trying to really make sure that everyone in the Chicagoland knows about us. This past weekend, Broadway in Chicago honored us with a slot in their annual concert Summer concert with ten other INCREDIBLE Chicago shows. Though the show is usually a part of Taste of Chicago, Broadway in Chicago hosted the concert themselves at Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. Walking up to the stage on Monday morning felt like quite the fete.
But before we could make it to the stage, we had to rehearse. We also had to get two more actors to help us out, since the entire Northwestern cast isn’t here over the Summer. The original San Francisco Valentine, and NU alum, Nate Trinrud just happened to be in Chicago for the weekend (a true miracle) and graciously accepted the offer for a reprise. The incredibly talented Mallory Moser, rising Musical Theater Senior at Northwestern, also agreed to lend us her vocals for the concert. With only two rehearsals scheduled before the concert, the team had planned meticulously for the time to be extremely effective. Nevertheless, life is always something like live theater - and anything is bound to go wrong at any moment. Our director, Amanda Dehnert, has been working New York and was planning on flying into Chicago for rehearsals on Sunday and Monday. That did not happen. A series of unfortunate events led to two planned flights leaving without Amanda Dehnert.
This meant that we had to rehearse without our director… BUT WAIT. TECHNOLOGY. WE LIVE IN 2012! Yes, thanks to some sort of video technology (no, not Skype) - our cast sat in front of a computer and learned some songs. Don’t believe me? Here’s a picture:
The cast worked hard and pulled it out because when we rehearsed Monday morning they sounded incredible. So incredible that we decided to do a test run for the musical theater Cherubs at school - THEY LOVED IT. The confidence boost sent us on our way to Pritzker where a soundcheck was waiting for us. As someone who wasn’t sound checking, I got to watch all of the sound checks - it was like a private concert, featuring Cyndi Lauper as the closing act. After the sound check came the real concert and the house was PACKED. I was asked to guard the gate until it was time to open them and the lines were so long. People ran to their seats and excitedly waited.
Needless to say, The Verona Project stole the show! Ok…I may be biased but I’m pretty sure that the audience was roaring by the end of it. I was really proud of my fellow students. My friends. My friends just performed in front of a packed house of THOUSANDS of people. Thousands of people who loved it. The power of music everyone! My favorite aspect of The Verona Project is the music. Writer/Director Amanda Dehnert has really done great things in the show and I can’t wait to share it with the theater world at large.