Lookingglass’ hit production of The Great Fire has now been extended through December 4th! See my earlier blog post for my review! Go see this show, you have 4 more weeks.

http://blog.hamptonsuiteschicago.com/?p=164

Even better, you can get exclusive  HALF PRICE TICKETS half price tickets for every Thursday 3pm matinee for the rest of the run.  To redeem, simply use code THUMATBOGO when buying online at lookingglasstheatre.org or by phone at 312.337.0665.

Half price, need I say more?

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Jersey Shore: The Musical

To be a Jersey Shore fan or not to be, that is the question? MTV has once again successfully hooked millions of viewers to the reality show which follows 7 (really tan) strangers from the east coast who try to live together in a ridiculous house on the Jersey Shore. Sounds like just another season of “The Real World” right? WRONG. The Jersey Shore has not only captured its audience with the intense arguments and dramatic “hook ups”, but they have made up their own nicknames and contagious vocabulary that has taken the nation by storm. If these words confuse you: GTL, Grenades, T-Shirt Time, Fist Pump, Juice heads, GFF, or MVP, than you have not tuned in on Thursday aka “Jersday” to see what shenanigans Nicole “Snookie” , Mike “the Situation”, DJ Pauly D, Vinny, Jenni “JWOWW”, Ronnie, Sammy “Sweetheart,” and Angelina are getting in to.

After the first season, the show just exploded and the cast became famous for doing absolutely nothing.  The demand for leopard print and big hoops skyrocketed; they are appearing on TV shows i.e. Dancing with the Stars, JERSEY SHORE Halloween costumes were a #1 seller, and our very own Hampton Brand is using Jersey Shore for their TV commercials. Just when I thought the pandemonium was over, the Jersey Shore Musical launched in Chicago.

 

Poster of Jersey Shore: The Musical

Jersey Shore: The Musical

Jersey Shore: The Musical is written by 4 Days Late with a hilarious tone and perfectly selected cast. Snookie had her poof, JWOWW had her extensions, Sammy and Ronnie had their fights, Angelina instigated those fights, Pauly D and Vinny had their “T-Shirt” time, and the Situation had his “Situation.” The Music was directed by Matt Griffo and definitely didn’t lack originality with songs like “We’ve got no shame” and “Snookin’ for Love.” Along with talented actors and creative songs, there were some impressive dance numbers which did not include fist pumping.

The show plays every Friday and Saturday night at 7:30pm at Studio BE located at 3110 North Sheffield. You can purchase tickets online at http://www.studio-be.org/buy-tickets or at the door for $23. The show runs about 2 hours and the venue is a BYOB. The show recently got extended to play until December 3rd so round up your friends, call a cab, and brace yourself for the madness at the Jersey Shore.

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Are you ready for some football????

It’s that time a year again when folks are lining up outside Soldier Field at 5am firing up their grills, setting up their tents and getting ready for the big game. If you are coming in town during gone of these fantastic weekends and don’t have tickets, do not worry! You can always (almost always depending on the season) get ticket from one of the local ticket brokers. I use AAA tickets, they seem to have the best deals and most tickets available (800-300-4849). But if we have a wind chill of ten below outside and you don’t want to brave our Chicago weather, there are a ton of places to go and watch the game. Right around our hotel to name two of my favorites are Rockit http://www.rockitbarandgrill.com and English http://englishchicago.com. Both have a fantastic selection of food, but more importantly a great assortment of TV’s to watch and root for da Bears!

English’s looks a little bit like a 21st century pub cut from the cloth of a London watering hole. Some of design elements include custom ironwork, tufted booth seating, Victorian wallpaper, handcrafted chandeliers and a collection of large vintage photographs. You will find all of you English favorites like fish and chips with a few foodie favorites like white truffle lobster mac & cheese.

Rockit Bar & Grill has a TV in pretty much every corner you look. Trust me; you won’t miss any game you are looking for here. When you go, you must try two things from the menu: Burger & Rockit Cheese Fries. The burger was named best in the nation by “Good Morning America” and the fries are the best that I have every tried. They have melted brie cheese and shitake mushrooms. Soooooo good….

Either one of these restaurants will do the trick.

Bear Down!

Bear Down

Bear Down Chicago Bears!

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The Great Fire Chicago of 1871 inspire a play at Lookingglass Theatre

“The Great Fire” is the newest production at The Lookinglass Theatre in the Waterworks Building on Michigan Avenue. If you don’t know, these buildings are just a few of the buildings that were not destroyed by the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The fire started buying on October 8th, 1871 destroying 4 square miles of Chicago, burning the neighborhoods now known as the Loop, River North, Streeterville, & the Near North. The fire burned the site where the Hampton Inn & Suites Chicago – Downtown now stands.

To commemorate the 140th anniversary of that tragedy, Lookinglass member John Musian has reworked his 1999 play. Expecting pure tragedy, I was quite surprised at the many humorous numbers interspersed in the story. That is not to say that this is a lighthearted comedy, at it’s heart the show still tells the story of the fire that claimed hundreds of lives of the young city of Chicago. You will learn the fate of two families: the family of a rich & highly influential judge & poor immigrant family. Needless the say, the fire does not discriminate.  You will learn that the phrase “fiery red-head” will take on a whole new meaning as you see a young redhead as the personification of the fire. She torments her victims with dance, fighting & choking them with smoke. This abstract way to show the fire gives some interest in the story even showing a very interesting “death waltz.”

I would highly recommend this show to history buffs (I learned a few new facts about the fire). The show is even more enjoyable if you are familiar with either the fire of Chicago history. I would say kids as young as 10 would also understand and enjoy the show. Running about an hour & 30 minutes with no intermission, you will be surprised how quickly the show is paced. Through November 20th, you can buy tickets at the Lookingglass Theatre.

Just a 15 minute walk from the hotel, the Water Works & Water Tower are a Chicago landmark are work a look. The Chicago’s Visitor Information Center is even located in the Pump House along with the theatre & the still in use pump, pumping in the city’s drinking water.  The tower is the 2nd oldest waterpower in the US. From a time when public buildings were built not just for their use, but as an icon for civic pride.

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Broadway Playhouse: Great theatre for a Girls’ Night on the Town!

“Love, Loss & What I Wore” is currently playing at the Broadway Playhouse through December 4th, 2011. A group of monologues by women telling how that clothes that they wore affected the memories of their lives. The show starts off quite poignant, describing clothes that have some important meaning in the their lives. I was quite surprised how much I was enjoying the show with these poignant moments. The second half had quite a bit more humor, including at bit called “my first bra.” The humor definitely moved the intermission less show along, but I longed for the stories found earlier in the show. The bra stories were part of the show called “the clothesline” where all 5 women on stay spoke telling their story.

 

I would highly recommend this she for women whether they be fashion concious or not. I would say that the crowd was easily 12 to 1 women to men. I undoubtedly was sure that the men in attendance were the supportive husband that tagged along or the brave soul that surprised his wife with tickets. Perhaps there were some gentlemen, like myself, that were there seeing the show as part of his Broadway In Chicago subscription. I am glad I saw the show, although I would not have without my season tix! This show is also very easy for the non-theatre goer to see since it is a collection of vignettes. The show is about an hour & 40 minutes with no intermission, so keep this in mind when buying drinks beforehand (I had two beers 7 could not make it all the way though)!

 

Playing through December 4, 2011, tickets are $68 & can purchased at Broadway in Chicago  Photos from opening night

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Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago second to ?

Kirsten Fitzgerald and ensemble member James Vincent Meredith, Credit: Michael Brosilow

 

I have been a season ticket holder, with Steppenwolf Theatre for several years, and lately have been questioning why.  Well, this first production of the new season, currently in previews, “Clybourne Park”, was enough for me to remember why I subscribed in the first place.

Not only was the play sensational, the subject matter interesting but the caliber of the acting was exceptional.  I refuse to say more, as I feel it would ruin the theatre goer’s experience.

Steppenwolf is known for premiering many plays, of Chicago playwrights, that have found their way to the Great White Way – even to include winning Toni’s for both the play and the actors.

If you happen to be staying at the Hampton Inn & Suites Chicago, the theatre is easily accessible from the Red Line “El” train – take a right out of the front doors, left onto State St (the 1st light), at Grand & State just board a Howard bound train going north. Get off at the North & Clybourn stop. Then travel north on Halsted for a half a block, you cannot miss it, no pun intended.

Exterior Image of Steppenwolf Theatre

Exterior Image of Steppenwolf Theatre

 

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Happy Hour at the Terrace at the Hampton Inn & Suites Chicago Downtown

Thursday, August 4th marked the Hampton Inn & Suites Chicago Downtown’s very first Happy Hour Event at the Terrace, located on the 2nd floor.

Guests from Mesirow Financial enjoyed an urban, summer setting complete with a backdrop of exposed brick walls, tropical Bird of Paradise floral arrangements-compliments of Daniel’s Floral (http://www.danielsfloral.com/), the sounds of summer music, plus food and beverage to boot.

An Aerial View of the Terrace

Catering was provided by Big Delicious Planet (http://www.bigdeliciousplanet.com/) and consisted of a Mediterranean display of olives, meats, cheeses and vegetables, some favorites South of the Border and beef sliders. White Wine and Stella Artois were the crowd favorites for beverage selection.

The Terrace recently received new outdoor furniture from Classique Innovations , a vendor at nearby Merchandise Mart.

Classique Innovations Outdoor Furniture

 

If you are in the market to host a reception or  event at the Terrace, please contact the Sales Department at the Hampton Inn & Suites Chicago Downtown by calling 312-832-0330. Cheers!

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