Wednesday, or anytime, is a great time for reader comments from the mailbag, starting with Phyllis Sedlak of Highland:
"Phil: Saw in your column back at the end of March Frankie Valli was going to be at the Chicago Theatre, so I got tickets in April. Just wanted to share my experience with you. WOW, what a show! I was shocked to find out he is 79-years-old! His performance was that of a truly great singer. I knew a lot of the songs, and yes, I did sing along with him and clapped and made lots of noise. For so many of his songs, it seemed, he was singing only to me. He performed for almost two hours without an intermission! The back-ups were awesome, with great sounds. The last time I saw Frankie was about 32 years ago at the Holiday Star Theater in Merrillville, and he has not changed. AWESOME!" — Phyllis of Highland
Thank you Phyllis. And on the subject of box office opportunities, I have some good news for Diane Poulton of Crown Point and other 'Wizard of Oz' fans. Diane wrote me last month asking about if the new stage tour of the fun fabled journey of Dorothy would be coming to Chicago anytime soon. Whola! Just announced by Broadway in Chicago, this new incarnation by Andrew Lloyd Webber will play Chicago April 30 to May 11, 2014 at the Cadillac Palace and star Danielle Wade as Dorothy, direct from her London run. Tickets for the entire full Broadway in Chicago new season are on sale Friday, while individual show tickets will go on sale at a later date. FYI: broadwayinchicago.com or (800) 775-2000.
It doesn't take a twister to land in a world of confusion and map mayhem. A column I wrote last week about Valparaiso, Fla. and Valparaiso, Chile, and these sister cities connection to our own Valparaiso, Ind., prompted reader Gene Clifford to write me with the following:
"Phil: There is also a Valparaiso, Neb. It is located west of Omaha and north of Lincoln. It has a population of about 600 people. I purposely traveled through it returning from Billings, Mont. back to Valparaiso, Ind. where I live. Thank you, Gene Clifford"
Reader Linda Tsoutsouris of Valparaiso had the following good news to add to my review last week about "To Master the Art," the stage play now running in Chicago about Julia Child.
"Phil - My daughter, Julie Eberhardt, was the property designer for 'To Master the Art.' She was also the prop designer for Timeline when they originally did the show a couple years ago. The Broadway in Chicago troupe changed so much of the original design however, she almost had to start from scratch. It really looked like an authentic French kitchen from the 1950s, didn't it? A lot of research and many prop hunts went into it. I don't think anyone realizes how much work is involved in finding just the right prop to fit a certain place and time. And then multiply that by a hundred or more items.I can't help bragging a bit. I'm very proud of my daughter." — Linda