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franklyHANK: 'Frozen,' 'Mean Girls' and 'Harry Potter'

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Hank talks theater with "Frozen," "Mean Girls" and "Harry Potter." (WLS)

Chicagoans love theatre and they'll travel to New York City to see some of the best shows on Broadway; and that's exactly what I did. Plus, you're in luck! Two of these shows should be making their way to Chicago soon.

"FROZEN"

This is the stage musical of the hit 2013 animated film. "Frozen," the film, literally comes to life on stage in the most magical of ways. Thanks to beautiful sets and incredible special effects, we are transported to Norway to see Anna and Elsa. "Frozen" stars Broadway veterans Caissie Levy as Elsa and Patti Murin as Anna, Jelani Alladin (Kristoff), Greg Hildreth (Olaf), and John Riddle (Hans). "Frozen" features music and lyrics by the creators of the film score Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez and a book (script) by Jennifer Lee, the film's screenwriter and director (with Chris Buck).

The costumes are glorious and the sets are beautiful, but you've really come to see the special effects and they do not disappoint. MUST-SEE for the family.

WHERE CAN I SEE "FROZEN?"
Broadway
St. James Theatre, 246 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036
Playing indefinitely
Tickets: https://frozenthemusical.com/tickets/#ticket-tips

WILL "FROZEN" COME TO CHICAGO?
Yes. The national tour kicks off in Fall 2019 and although cities haven't been announced, I guarantee "Frozen" will come here. Disney has brought every major production here, so "Frozen" will come.

Check out the video below. It's the full performance of "Let It Go" from the theatre and it's spectacular!!

"MEAN GIRLS"
This is another musical based on a popular film. Tina Fey wrote the book for "Mean Girls." Her husband, Jeff Richmond, did the music along with Nell Benjamin. The plot is simple:

"Cady Heron may have grown up on an African savanna, but nothing prepared her for the wild and vicious ways of her strange new home: suburban Illinois. How will this nave newbie rise to the top of the popularity pecking order? By taking on The Plastics, a trio of lionized frenemies led by the charming but ruthless Regina George. But when Cady devises a plan to end Regina's reign, she learns the hard way that you can't cross a Queen Bee without getting stung."

Erika Henningsen plays Cady. Taylor Louderman plays the evil Regina. They are both stellar. As are Ashley Park, Kate Rockwell, Barrett Wilbert Weed, and Grey Henson. The show is funny. The songs are great. The set is basically a giant video wall, but it works for this production. I say "Mean Girls" is worth your money. But here's a warning. It's up for 12 Tony awards and if it wins "Best Musical" (as it is predicted to), tickets will be hard to come by.

WHERE CAN I SEE "MEAN GIRLS?"
Broadway
The August Wilson Theatre, 245 W 52nd St., New York, NY
Playing indefinitely
Tickets: https://meangirlsonbroadway.com

WILL "MEAN GIRLS" COME TO CHICAGO?
Yes. The national tour kicks off in Fall 2019 and although cities haven't been announced, "Mean Girls" will come here. The show is set here. Tina Fey lived here. "Mean Girls" will absolutely come here.

Here's a sneak peek of "Mean Girls."

"HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD" - Parts 1 & 2

Keep The Secrets. That's what they ask you when you see "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" on Broadway. So I will not reveal much here, but I will say seeing HPATCC is a magical theatre experience that is unlike any other. Harry Potter is all grown up and married to Ginny Weasley. His sons James and Albus attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardy. Albus befriends a quirky student there named Scorpious Malfoy, son of Draco Malfoy, one of Harry's biggest enemies at Hogwarts. Let's just say the boys try to right a wrong in the past, but nearly destroy the future. All of the magic you would expect in a Harry Potter play is there. Some of your favorite characters pop up when you least expect. The illusions are above and beyond.
The seven principal players from the London production are in this production as well: Jamie Parker (Harry Potter), Noma Dumezweni (Hermione Granger) and Paul Thornley (Ron Weasley) with Poppy Miller (Ginny Potter), Sam Clemmett (Albus Potter), Alex Price (Draco Malfoy) and Anthony Boyle (Scorpius Malfoy). Also in this cast is Jessie Fisher who plays Delphi Diggory, cousin of Cedric Diggory who was killed in "Goblet of Fire." She is a Chicago native. Her role turns out to be very important and she KILLS IT! Such a fantastic performance.

HPATCC is 5 hours and 15 minutes long. You see the show in two parts. The preferred method of seeing the show is Part 1 as a matinee and Part 2 as an evening performance on the same day. It makes for a long, but absolutely wonderful experience.

WHERE CAN I SEE "HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD?"
Broadway
The Lyric Theatre, 214 W 43rd St, New York, 10036
Playing indefinitely.
Tickets: https://www.harrypottertheplay.com/us/ticket-info/

WILL "HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD" COME TO CHICAGO?
It is highly unlikely that HPATCC will tour. The Lyric Theatre was designed for this production and there are elements of the show that would be impossible to reproduce elsewhere. Perhaps HPATTC will set-up a residency in another city at some point, but for now, the only place to experience the magic is Broadway or London's West End.

Check out the Potter cast as they began rehearsals earlier this year.

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