Monday, May 15, 2006

The Pirate Queen Musical to Sail Into Chicago This Fall


The Pirate Queen Musical to Sail Into Chicago This Fall

If you are like me -- one of the millions of theatre-goers worldwide who enjoyed two of the biggest, global theatrical spectacles of the past twenty years, Les Misérables and Miss Saigon -- you may want to find your way to the Cadillac Palace Theatre in Chicago this fall as The Pirate Queen is set to enjoy its world premiere. The latest Broadway-bound Alain Boubil/Claude Michel Schönberg musical is a fictionalized account of an actual Irish woman, Grace O’Malley, who became a legend thanks to her life as a pirate. The sensational Stepanie J. Block has been cast in the lead role.

Audiences who caught The Boy From Oz will remember Block for her portrayal of another real life legend, Liza Minnelli, while fans of the touring Wicked production may have thrilled to Block defying gravity as its first Elphaba. Personally, I loved Block in both roles, which she imbued with enormous style and grace, as well as her amazing vocal range.

If you read my blog last Friday, you may understand that my trepidation regarding this production comes in the form of its direction. Frank Galati will helm the large cast of forty. I saw two of his shows from the last theatrical season, and they ranked at the bottom of my list among all 54 productions I saw during that time. Could the third time be the charm? Or could it be three strikes and he's out?

Another reason for my apprehension is that the producers of Riverdance -- perhaps aptly named Riverdream -- are behind The Pirate Queen. I have never seen Riverdance, but given the cliché it's become, I have my doubts about what this all adds up to.

Minus a revolving stage or helicopter, I'll have to hope for the best with Stephanie Block on board. Tickets for The Pirate Queen go on sale on May 19 for performances running from October 3 through November 26.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Click here for tickets.

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