Royal George Theatre Hosts MIRACLE Review – Reliving the End of The Curse, TOP PICK FOR DIEHARD CUBS FANS , Now Thru September 29
If a martian first arrived in Chicago and wanted to get a quick fix on who inhabits its streets (or at least those near Wrigley Field), Miracle would be a good first primer. From how Chicagoans eat hot dogs, to rivalries between Cubbies and Sox, to the sweet spot Harry Caray holds in many a heart and more, this is a script that is soaked in defining place, except perhaps the somewhat glaring omission of how Boystown is encroaching on Wrigley terrain.
Similarly this musical’s book by Jason Brett is a time capsule detailing the moments and mindsets of 2016 when the Cubs’ diehard fans were rewarded for 108 years of loyalty and believing that some day the curse would be broken. We are reminded that there was a teachers’ union contract dispute and layoffs in the air, some equating a woman running for president as about as likely as the Cubs ever winning, gentrification upending neighborhoods, growing tax burdens on longtime residents, and more.
Even better, all this martian would have to do would be to take a gander at the audience, about half of whom are wearing their Cubs t-shirts or similar.
And best yet, thanks to the Cubs loan and the projection designs by Mike Tutaj that crown the stage and the show throughout, we get to relive the excitement of that last World Series game that went into overtime after a delay for the rain – adding to the drama of THE moment when the curse ended. In fact the tagline for this production that you see on your program is “..A Musical 108 Years in the Making”.
The story is told through the lens of getting to know a multi-generation family that owns a Wrigleyville bar, exquisitely imagined in fine detail by Scenic Designer Collette Pollard.
The story is mainly told through 20 songs (Music and Lyrics by Michael Mahler).
In this reviewer’s opinion, there is little in this script or music—despite fine performances by the entire cast—that ignites as much as reliving the moment shown in video above the bar setting. That said, there is obviously no shortage of devout Cubs fans that will likely keep this show as a commercial success throughout the run. If you are ever on the look for a chance to sport your Cubs wear and share in fandom rituals- this is your top pick show for sure. For the rest of us—and especially if you like this reviewer became a Cubs fan only in that last year when the team was clearly flirting with a break from the curse—you may find better theater options and more engaging musicals on our stages now.
One rather critical “what on earth are they thinking???” comment and nagging question that this reviewer feels compelled to make on behalf of friends who have been injured on a stage---Why did they put an opening to the orchestra pit front and center on the stage??? It not only grossly limited the potential for choreography but also seems to burden these performers unnecessarily. This writer felt an undertow of anxiety throughout. Please don’t do that again productions at the Royal George– please!
Music & Lyrics by Michael Mahler
Written by Jason Brett
Directed by Damon Kiely
Originally Conceived by William Marovitz & Julian Frazin
Produced by William Marovitz and Arny Granat
Brandon Dahlquist, Norm Boucher, Amaris Sanchez, Elise Wolf, Jennie Sophia, Byron Willis, Veronica Garza, Michael Kingston.
Choreography by Dina DiCostanzo, musical direction by Kory Danielson, set design by Collette Pollard, costume design by Izumi Inaba, lighting design by Christine Binder, sound design by Ray Nardelli, projection design by Mike Tutaj, and properties design by Angela McIlvain.
Thru September 29
Wednesdays at 7:30pm
Thursdays at 2pm and 7:30pm
Fridays at 8pm
Saturdays at 3pm and 8pm
Sundays at 3pm
Royal George Theatre
1641 North Halsted
Check for Half-Price Deals from Hot Tix:
For full-priced tickets and ticket availability information please visit the Miracle, The Musical website or call The Royal George Theatre box office at 312.988.9000.
Photos courtesy of Royal George Theatre
Note: Picture This Post reviews are excerpted by Theatre in Chicago
About the Author:
Amy Munice is Editor-in-Chief and Co-Publisher of Picture This Post. She covers books, dance, film, theater, music, museums and travel. Prior to founding Picture This Post, Amy was a freelance writer and global PR specialist for decades—writing and ghostwriting thousands of articles and promotional communications on a wide range of technical and not-so-technical topics.
Amy hopes the magazine’s click-a-picture-to-read-a-vivid-account format will nourish those ever hunting for under-discovered cultural treasures. She especially loves writing articles about travel finds, showcasing works by cultural warriors of a progressive bent, and shining a light on bold, creative strokes by fledgling artists in all genres.