OFF BEAT

OFFBEAT: Buddy Holly and Julia Child in 2013 Chicago Broadway season

Phil Potempa's daily entertainment news column
2013-03-05T00:00:00Z OFFBEAT: Buddy Holly and Julia Child in 2013 Chicago Broadway seasonBy Philip Potempa philip.potempa@nwi.com, (219) 852-4327 nwitimes.com

In addition to the return of "Wicked," "Evita" and "The Cat in the Hat," audiences can look forward to seeing "Flashdance," "We Will Rock You," "Once" and "Elf" plus stagings of productions about the lives of Buddy Holly and Julia Child for the Broadway in Chicago 2013 stage season.

First up, this summer it's "Buddy" at Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St., June 18-30.

Before The Beatles, The Beach Boys or The Rolling Stones ever played a note, the new sound of rock music was forever changed by Buddy Holly, a 19-year-old kid from Texas. "Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story" tells the true story of his meteoric rise to fame, from the moment in 1957 when "That'll Be the Day" hit the airwaves until his tragic death less than two years later. The show features more than 20 hits including  "Peggy Sue" and "Oh, Boy!"

It's a return to the early 1980s with "Flashdance," playing July 30 to Aug. 11, also at Cadillac Palace Theatre.

Celebrating its 30th Anniversary, the pop culture phenomenon of "Flashdance" is now live on stage. I'm told "Flashdance-The Musical" will tell the inspiring film story of Alex Owens, a Pittsburgh steel mill welder by day and a bar dancer by night with dreams. It features a score with the biggest hit songs from the movie, including the Academy Award-winning title song and "Maniac," "Gloria," "Manhunt," and "I Love Rock & Roll," plus 16 new songs.

The beloved culinary icon of TV Julia Child is the subject of "To Master the Art," running Sept. 10 to Oct. 6 at Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place at 175 East Chestnut in downtown Chicago. It's TimeLine Theatre Company's 2008 World Premiere hit by William Brown and Doug Frew about the kitchen adventure and romance of Julia and husband Paul Child, along with her work with cookbook collaborator Simone "Simca" Beck.

A long-overdue return stage reign of "Evita" hits the Windy City Sept. 17 to Oct. 6 at Oriental Theatre at 24 West Randolph. Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Tony Award-winning musical about Eva Perón continues to mesmerize.

Next up, it's "Once," winner of eight 2012 Tony Awards, including "Best Musical." Featuring an impressive ensemble of actor/musicians who play their own instruments onstage, it's the enchanting tale of a Dublin street musician and his haunting love songs.

For the holidays, "Elf the Musical" plays Nov. 26 to Dec. 15 at Cadillac Palace Theatre, based on the 2003 film comedy.

There are also great "special" show offers that are certain to draw audiences, like "The Cat in the Hat," playing June 15 to Sept. 1 at Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place and "We Will Rock You," Oct. 22-27 at Cadillac Palace Theatre, the latter coming direct from London's West End featuring the greatest hits of the legendary British rock group Queen.

And Chicagoland audiences will be seeing green, just in time for Halloween, when the "Oz" witches from "Wicked" fly back for a nearly two-month run Oct. 30 to Dec. 21, once again at Oriental Theatre.

FYI: Current Broadway In Chicago subscribers can renew now at BroadwayInChicago.com and new subscribers can purchase these shows on March 22. Individual tickets will go on sale at a later date by calling (312) 977-1702.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at philip.potempa@nwi.com or (219) 852-4327.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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